Published December 11, 2023

Welcome to Vampyrsk, the Vampire Kingdom

Based in Ukraine, the vampire nation known as Vampyrsk acts as an internationally recognized safe haven for the undead and is led by none other than Dracula.

For decades, vampires lurked in the shadows of the Marvel Universe, snatching unsuspecting victims when the opportunity allowed. These days, the bloodsuckers have enjoyed a higher profile thanks to Dracula, who now leads a vampire nation-state called Vampyrsk. Based in Europe, this vampire nation boasts links to the Avengers as well as the vampire-hunting super hero Blade, who recently turned to Dracula for help in BLADE (2023) #6 by Bryan Hill and Lee M. Ferguson.

Here's everything you need to know about Vampyrsk, including the circumstances behind its founding and the key figures that influence its standing in the greater Marvel Universe.

The Creation of Vampire Nation

Following Dracula's failed bid to conquer the United Kingdom in CAPTAIN BRITAIN & MI13 (2008), the Marvel Universe's vampire community languished in disarray for some time. Dracula's son Xarus temporarily killed his father and took command of the vampires in the interim, only for Dracula to reclaim power in X-MEN (2010). This led to a devastating civil war among the vampires that threatened to spread into the land of the living, prompting Earth's Mightiest Heroes to become involved in AVENGERS (2018) #14.

Black Panther personally recruited Blade to help contain the escalating conflict, citing the Daywalker's unmatched expertise in hunting supernatural monsters. After a showdown that spanned the globe, the vampire civil war came to an end, with Dracula emerging as the uncontested leader of the undead in the Marvel Universe. As part of the terms of this uneasy peace, the Chernobyl region of Ukraine was formally ceded to the vampires so they could form a vampire nation-state.

Leadership of the Vampire Nation

Though Dracula is the leader of this diplomatically recognized nation-state, complete with United Nations protections and provisos, there were conditions put in place for his legal sovereignty. For instance, the UN installed Blade as its official on-site peacemaker in Vampyrsk, an appointment he eagerly accepted given the parameters of his new job. In this position, Blade kept a close eye on the vampires to ensure they didn't pose a clear and present danger to humanity. As a result, Dracula was forced to keep his longtime enemy close by.

Dracula presides over a ruling council that helps him lead this fledgling nation and, given recent attempted coups and crises of leadership, he let Blade handle most of his dirty work to maintain control. This included an incident where a high-profile member of the council, Corvis, was assassinated; Blade investigated the political murder as Dracula solidified his power base in BLADE: VAMPIRE NATION (2022) #1. Eventually, Blade left his law enforcement role in Vampyrsk to be free of the bureaucratic constraints and returned to vampire hunting around the world with his daughter Brielle Brooks.

the Vampire Nation's Prominent Appearances

One of the vampire nation's first great challenges was the arrival of Knull, God of Symbiotes, who invaded Earth with an army of symbiotes in the crossover event KING IN BLACK (2020). As part of Knull's opening attack, the symbiote god engulfed the planet in total darkness, putting Earth's heroes on the defensive. Desperate for an army naturally capable of fighting in the darkness, Blade asked Dracula for reinforcements to combat the symbiotes. The vampire leader begrudgingly agreed, seeing Knull as a common threat.

When mutantkind created its own nation-state of Krakoa in HOUSE OF X (2019) and POWERS OF X (2019), Wolverine was targeted by the vampires for his accelerated healing factor. After battling vampires around the globe as part of this globe-spanning hunt, Wolverine decided to take the fight to undead's front door in WOLVERINE (2020) #11. After a heated showdown near Vampyrsk, the vampires and mutants settled into an uneasy truce, so that Wolverine was no longer actively pursued by the undead.

The Current State of the Vampire Nation

Dracula and his vampires still enjoy diplomatic benefits and protections from having their own legally recognized nation within Ukraine, especially now that Blade is no longer a constant presence within their borders. Following previous periods of unrest and attempts to overthrow him, Dracula remains the clear leader of the vampires in the Marvel Universe and just as formidable as ever. Facing an unleashed ancient monster called the Adana, Blade even turned to Dracula for help, with Dracula going as far as to let Blade drink his blood to upgrade his vampiric abilities.

Ahead of BLOOD HUNT (2024), Vampyrsk remains a global safe haven for vampires on Earth, with Dracula firmly seated as its ruler. The upcoming crossover event is quickly shaping up to be the vampires' most ambitious moment in the Marvel Universe so far, and soon, no hero will be safe from the bloodthirsty hordes of the undead.

Take a trip to Vampyrsk in BLADE #6, on sale now!

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