The race of vampires first appeared in the pre-cataclysmic era (before the sinking Atlantis and Lemuria), circa 18,500 B.C., when the Atlantean cult of Darkholders used the power of the Chthon Scrolls in order to oppose King Kull, who had slain their leader, Thulsa Doom. The result was Varnae, one of their own raised as the world's first vampire. Varnae quickly slew the other Darkholders and used them to found the vampire race, with himself as Vampire Lord. Other races of vampires -- the Adze, Ancients, Charniputra, Huskies, Jumlin, Nosferati, Purebloods, Tryks, and Yiki Onna -- either diverged from this original Varnaean line, or else arose out of other circumstances. When Atlantis sank 500 years later after his creation, Varnae went into hibernation, emerging from time to time to confront threats (such as that posed by Conan in 10,000 B.C.) and to coerce the sorceress Aamshed into creating a ritual to increase his power. This Ritual of Ascendance could only be performed once every 2000 years on the vampire's home soil, however, and twice Varnae failed to complete the ritual before he gave up and resolved to instead seek an heir. Varnae reigned as the unchallenged leader of Earth's vampires for many thousands of years before ceding the title and position to Vlad Dracul in the year 1459. Dracula retained this title in a nearly unbroken reign until Earth's Sorcerer Supreme, Dr. Stephen Strange, uncovered a mystical spell called the Montesi Formula that would banish all vampires from this dimension. Ironically, this spell was found within the Darkhold, the same mystical text containing the spell used to create vampires in the first place. Like most spells, the Montesi Formula contained a counter-spell, and within a few short years, vampires began to appear across the world once again. Dracula himself rose from the grave and reclaimed his title as Lord of the Vampires.
The only known substances which could cause a vampire pain were silver and, to a lesser extent, unless it penetrated the vampire's heart, wood. The surest way to kill a vampire was to drive a wooden stake or a silver blade through his or her heart. The stake or blade prevented the heart from supplying ichor to the rest of the body. If the stake or blade was removed, however, even if the vampire's body had crumbled to dust, the vampire's mystical vitality would restore his or her body to the condition it had before the vampire was slain, and return him or her to vampiric "life." Beheading a vampire would also kill him or her. However, there were only three methods of making sure of destroying a vampire permanently. One was to expose the vampire to direct sunlight and then to scatter the ashes. Another was to pierce the vampire's heart with wood or silver, sever his or her head, burn the head and body in separate places and scatter the two resulting piles of ash in separate locations. The third was mystically, most notably by using the incantation known as the Montesi Formula (after the monk who first realized its significance). Montesi created the incantation by studying fragmentary copies of the Darkhold. It was lost amid many other documents copied by various anonymous monks over the centuries. Research by various vampire hunters over the past few decades revealed its significance, and it was sought by both those hunters and by Dracula, who wished to destroy all copies of it. The incantation apparently canceled the mystic curse that allowed any vampire within earshot to exist, causing it to crumple to dust. The danger is that, as the Montesi Formula was created from black magic theory from the Darkhold, using it untrained (in the mystic arts) causes the user to lose his soul.
At one point, a cult who worshipped the elder demon gods apparently fixated on Dracula as a recipient of their power. Dracula gave them the fragments of the Darkhold he had discovered; the cultists (who were low level mystics) repeatedly recast the original spells that created the first vampires. This increased Draculas powers considerably, and he lost his vulnerably to sunlight and others. Dracula was able to take full control of their minds (as well as anyone around the world that Dracula had ever hypnotized in the past, at will).
Doctor Strange (who at the time was in a great battle with Dracula) was aware of the Montesi Formula. He tracked down the Darkhold and using the original source material to study the spells that created vampires, Doctor Strange created a massive version of the Montesi Formula (backed by his power as Sorcerer Supreme) to wipe out all of the vampires in the Marvel Universe.
See Known Vampires.
The Vampire Sects are diverse as human religions and Vampires from different sects might have different characteristics of abilities:
- Kreiger Sect: Western European type warriors, one of the strongest sects.
- Claw Sect: Middle Eastern type warriors, rivals of the Krieger.
- Mystikos Sect: American Vampires embraced the modem world. They are Businessmen, with skill at technology.
- Anchorite Sect: American rural outcasts who prefer to hide from humanity and live in peace, similar to the lifestyle of the Amish.
- Purebloods: Born as Vampires.
- Nosferati: Eastern European, similar to Count Orlock, their need for powerful blood sometimes drives them to attack other Vampires.
- Moksha Sect: Seers who gain their powers by feeding as little as possible.
- Siren Sect: All beautiful female Vampires with powers of seduction.
- Adze: African Vampires who are able to survive the usually instantaneous methods of Vampire destruction for ten minutes.
- Ancients: Italian Vampires with superior superhuman speed and healing factor compared to that of other Vampires.
- Yiki Onna: Japanese Vampires with the power to turn into ice storms rather than fog as most Vampires can.
- Jumlin: Native American Vampires.
- Huskie: Vampires who are brought back brain dead and are basically human husks. They only follow their base instinct and feed on small animals. They will not rest until they have completed a task from their human life.
- Charniputra: Gargoyle like Vampires that reside in the Himalayas
- Aqueos: Atlantean (Homo mermanus) converted Vampires
- Tryks: A powerful, parasitic race that prefers the blood of other Vampires.
The followers of Ba'al exhibited many of the same properties as traditional vampires, but were not in fact true vampires. They wore false fangs and were not inhibited by ultraviolet radiation, but they did partake in the consumption of human blood. Ba'al bestowed power to his underlings, making them stronger, faster and more durable, but they did not possess characteristics that could be defined as superhuman. The Baalist vampires originate from the region known as Gehenna and have followed the edicts of Ba'al since about 13,000 BCE.
Morg was stated to be a "standard Class-2 Vampire", without clear explanation of the classification.
Also see the list of confirmed Class-2 Vampires.
Powers and Abilities
A vampire is a human being who has died but has been resurrected by specific supernatural means and possesses a variety of supernatural abilities and specific limitations, most notably to frequently ingest fresh blood in order to maintain their own existence. Vampires have often been referred to as "undead" throughout the centuries since, even when active, they were not truly alive in the same sense as ordinary human beings. Technically, they can be classified as actually being dead.
Vampires require the fresh blood of living beings, preferably the blood of humans, in order to sustain their physical existence and, usually, obtained it by biting their victims and draining their blood. The bite of a vampire transferred a very mysterious enzyme found only within the saliva of a vampire into the bloodstream of the victim. If the vampire drank enough blood to cause the death of the victim, this enzyme would trigger an unusual metabolic change within the victim's body, beginning with the production of an unusual green liquid referred to as ichor into the bloodstream.
After roughly three days, there would be enough of this liquid in the victims body that it would begin to course through the victims veins in the same way their blood once did. The victim then returned as a vampire and was capable of all the basic capabilities of ordinary humans, with the exception of being able to have children, plus a number of superhuman abilities. However, if the victim retained sufficient blood to survive the vampire's attack, he or she would begin to show signs of anemia because of the presence of the enzyme in his or her bloodstream. The victim would not die under such circumstances. Until a newly created vampire's body metabolized the enzyme, a process that might take as long as several months in some cases, he or she would be extremely weak and highly susceptible to hypnotic suggestions, verbally or through long range mental contact, by the vampire responsible for the attack. There was also a distinct possibility of the newly-turned vampire developing a perverse sexual attraction for the vampire responsible for the transformation.
Note that a new vampire is not created unless the attacking vampire wishes to do so, or loses control and injects too much enzyme.
The overall extent of a vampire's abilities depended upon the strength of the vampire's will. Exceptional vampires with powerful wills, such as Dracula or Varnae, were capable of summoning and controlling thunderstorms, even though the mystical concentration required to do so left them extremely weak for a certain period of time. The vampire's willpower could also determine the extent to which he or she could master their craving for blood and retain the same personality they had in life. However, most people that became vampires quickly found themselves unable to resist the all consuming craving for blood. They quickly degenerated into cruel and animalistic hunters of ordinary human beings, even if these new vampires had been kind and sensitive people in their mortal lives.
Summoning and Shape-shifting
Vampires could summon and control certain creatures such as bats, wolves, and rats. Vampires could also transform themselves into bats, and in the case of some vampires, wolves, while retaining their human intelligence in these forms. Some vampires could even become human-sized bats. Vampires could also transform themselves into mist at will, while still retaining their normal consciousnesses in that form.
A vampire could make most human beings into his or her temporary slave if he or she could catch their gaze for a sufficient amount of time, usually only a matter of seconds. The exact length of time needed to mesmerize the victim depended on the strength of will of the vampire and that of his or her victim.
Vampires were rendered immune to the ravages of disease and of aging. However, if deprived of blood for a lengthy period of time, a vampire would begin to show distinct signs of aging, such as his or her hair turning gray. Upon ingesting fresh blood, the vampire would revert to the age in which he or she had been at the time of death.
In most cases, vampires were able to heal themselves from minor injuries within a very brief period of time. Some vampires, such as Count Dracula, could heal from severe burns or broken bones within the span of a few hours, where as most other vampires might require several days to heal the exact same injury. Vampires were not able to regenerate missing organs or severed portions of their anatomy, with the exception of hair. Apart from periodic inconveniences, injuries like these would not critically impair a vampire's effectiveness. Because the ichor was similar in function to blood, poisons and other toxic substances that were circulated in its bloodstream would adversely affect a vampire, although no dosage was large enough to cause death.
Average Strength level
Most vampires possessed superhuman physical strength anywhere from 10 to 20 times greater than they possessed in their mortal lives. The vast majority of known and recorded vampires were capable of lifting from 1,000lbs to 4,000lbs, with only Count Dracula and his predecessor Varnae being known to lift more at 4 and 7 tons respectively due to their special stance as ruler of Earth's vampire race.
Vampires had many limitations imposed upon their supernatural abilities, and even upon their very existence. Below are a listing of weaknesses common to supernatural vampires.
Vampires are regularly required to consume a few pints (litres) of blood every other night. Failing to do so would cause the vampire to weaken and after an extended period without blood seemingly perish. A vampires ability to metabolize blood and their frequency of feeding usually varies however depending on a number of factors: Length of time between feedings, damage or injury to the body, resurrection from a near death state, and excessive use of their supernatural abilities and strength.
Typically, vampires cannot travel more than 100 miles (160 km) from their land of birth, unless their bring at least one pound (500 g) of their native soil wherever they choose to sleep during the day. For example, Dracula would typically have coffins with dirt from his native Transylvania shipped to his various hideouts all over Europe and the United States so that he would have a place to rest unharmed from the sun.
However, in many instances vampires (including Dracula) have been depicted being able to travel to far off places and sleep in locations that do not have their native lands earth on hand.
The result of a vampire who does not do this remains unexplained, however given the instances that a vampire has slept without being around soil from their native land suggests that this is not a lethal weakness.
A vampire's greatest weakness is sunlight, due to their altered metabolism, vampires were unable to withstand direct sunlight. Sunlight, somehow caused the ichor to congeal within the vampire's veins and the skin to rapidly decay. Direct exposure to sunlight caused the vampire to dehydrate completely and turn to powder.
Some vampires, such as Dracula have been able to reform their bodies following being turned to powder from the sun, while others have been completely obliterated from contact with the sun. The conditions in which a vampire can come back from the dead may be particular to one who is rightfully the lord of all vampires.
Vampires also had an aversion to any religious symbol (such as a crucifix, cross, Star of David, or holy water) wielded or placed by anyone who believes in the religious significance of the symbol. The size of the symbol was not a consideration on its ability to repel vampires, only the strength of belief: for example, a believing Christian wielding a small cross could hold a vampire at bay with it and even sear the vampire's flesh simply by touching him or her with it.
However, the deity must be one that was believed in at the time of the vampire's original death; a cross had no effect on Varnae, for example, since he died approximately 16,000 years before the crucifixion.
Another consideration is if the vampire in question worshipped the faith whose religious symbol is being used against them. For example, when David Eshocl used the Star of David against Dracula , Dracula was weakened by it's sight, but stated that because he followed Christianity and not Judaism before becoming a vampire, the Star had a lesser effect on him.
Further, there may be an element of belief by proxy or a vampires own belief that a symbol may harm them, as there have been instances where a crucifix has been used by someone who is not holding the item. For example, Quincy Harker  and Elainne Turac  have both utilized weapons that would project the symbol of the cross against Dracula while not actually holding the religious symbol. Further, Quincy's faithful dog Saint, has a collar lined with silver crosses  that were able to harm Dracula. It's highly improbably that Saint understands the symbolism let alone having faith in Christianity, however either Quincy's faith, or Dracula's belief that the crosses could harm him caused the vampire lord pain.
Lastly, a religious symbol can lose it's power over a vampire if the vampire is capable of making the believer's faith falter. In a situation like that, the strength of the religious symbols ability to repel a vampire would weaken.
Vampires also had a mystical aversion to entering any human dwelling place to which they were not verbally invited. Once invited, they could enter the place at any time thereafter. This appears to only be the case with peoples personal dwellings, as vampires have been seen entering public buildings without the need of being invited inside.
Impaling the Heart
Another weakness of vampires is to impale them through the heart, causing them to eventually decompose into a skeleton. Originally it was thought that a wooden stake would be the only means of doing so, however advancement in vampire hunting techniques have indicated that any object that can break through a vampires chest and pierce the heart is sufficient in killing a vampire.
For example, Blade learned that wooden daggers would prove to be just as effective , while Frank Drake and Rachel van Helsing have used wooden bullets , Quincy Harker once even defeated Dracula by driving one of the spokes of his own wheelchair into Dracula's heart .
The scent of Garlic can sap the strength of a vampire. It has been used as a rope to bind vampires, sapping their strength sufficiently to prevent them from breaking the bonds. However, this weakness is not a lethal one, however it can leave a vampire vulnerable to its other weaknesses.
Magic wielders such as Doctor Strange and Topaz have been able to harm vampires with magic, and some spells have the effect to kill a vampire. The most lethal spell is the Montesi Formula is a spell from the Book of Darkhold which can destroy all vampires. It was once utilized to do just that, however upon it being broken all the vampires that were destroyed found themselves restored to life once more.
Vampires cast no reflections, and their images could not be captured on film.
Habitat: Habitat of this race is unknown.
Gravity: Same as Earth
Atmosphere: Same as Earth
Population: Population of this race is unknown.
Type of Government: Government type unknown.
Level of Technology: Technology level unknown.
Cultural Traits: Cultural traits unknown.
Representatives: Count Dracula, Baron Blood, Lilith, Varnae, Hannibal King, see Known Vampires
- Only true vampires possessed the listed vulnerabilities, since their supernatural nature originated within the pages of the Darkhold. Individuals such as the vigilante Michael Morbius, often referred to as "The Living Vampire", and the undead mercenary known as Bloodscream were immune to them since they're referred to as pseudo-vampires. They possess many vampiric qualities, including appearance and many similar superhuman abilities, but have none of the special vulnerabilities because the origins of these abilities had nothing to do with the magic found within the Darkhold.
- The vampires in the Blade movie series, and TV Series, are very different from the vampires in traditional Marvel Universe, considering they are based on semi-scientific premises, based around a virus, and how this virus has mutated the infected into another species of humanoid. The progenitor of the vampire race is Drake, AKA Dracula, as stated in Blade: Trinity. Most of his descendants can be grouped into two classes; the "purebloods", those who were born a vampire, and the "turned", who began life as human, but were later turned by infection from a vampire's bite. Also depicted was a rare anomaly where a vampire became a ghoulish being without any regenerative capability, and a mutated albino off-shoot race known as the reapers.
- No trivia.
Links and References
- Blade (Volume 1)
- Blade (Volume 2)
- Blade (Volume 3)
- Blade (Volume 4)
- Dracula Lives
- Haunt of Horror
- Morbius: The Living Vampire
- Tomb of Dracula (Volume 1)
- Tomb of Dracula (Volume 2)
- Tomb of Dracula (Volume 3)
- Tomb of Dracula (Volume 4)
- Vampire Tales
- ↑ The Gehenna Stone Affair
- ↑ Infinity: The Hunt #2
- ↑ Tomb of Dracula #27
- ↑ Tomb of Dracula #32
- ↑ Giant-Size Dracula #3
- ↑ Tomb of Dracula #32
- ↑ Tomb of Dracula #30
- ↑ Tomb of Dracula #20
- ↑ Tomb of Dracula #70
- ↑ Tomb of Dracula #1
- ↑ Tomb of Dracula Vol 1 14|Tomb of Dracula #14
- ↑ Tomb of Dracula Vol. 2 #1