Count Varnis is a vampire who has claimed to be centuries old. His past history unknown, at one point he located himself to Vampire Mountain, which earned its reputation for being haunted -- likely due to Count Varnis. By the beginning of 1943, Varnis began contemplating how to eliminate a vampire's vulnerability to sunlight.
During this time, Privates Steve Rogers, Joe Dawson, and Bucky Barnes were sent up to Vampire Mountain by their commanding officer Sgt. Duffy to install a search light on the mountain as punishment for a prank. When the trio of soldiers came up the mountain an avalanche blocked the road behind them forcing Steve and Bucky to get out and dig through it while Joe went the rest of the way up the mountain to install the spotlight.
After finishing the job, it was dark, and Joe was attacked by Varnis who then began to feed on Joe's blood. Hearing Joe's screams, Steve and Barnes attacked Varnis as Captain America and Bucky sending the vampire fleeing. They then took the unconscious Joe to a nearby house and were formally introduced to Varnis and his butler. Having not gotten a good look at Joe's attacker, they did not recognize Varnis. The Count invited them in and Joe was placed in a bedroom to rest while Cap and Bucky had supper with the Varnis.
He suggested that the two men stay the night in his home, and Cap and Bucky took them up on the offer. Later in the night Varnis transformed into a bat and began feasting on Dawson again. Dawson's moans drew Captain America from bed and he sent Varnis fleeing again. He quickly returned to human form and when Cap and Bucky told him of the attack and that Joe was dead, he brought them to Joe's room and the two heroes were surprised to find Joe missing.
Joe was far from dead, in fact he was transformed into a vampire, and was later sent to attack Bucky, but Bucky and Captain America fought him off and fled back to Camp Lehigh near dawn. Count Varnis and Joe were forced to go back to the coffins below Varnis' home to sleep the day.
The following night Sgt. Duffy (furious over Steve Rogers and Bucky's story) went up to the mountain to install the searchlight himself. Going up to the house for a glass of water he too was captured by Varnis and his butler. When Captain America and Bucky went to Duffy's rescue, they were also overpowered and tied up. Then Varnis explains that he hoped to experiment on the three men and learn how to gain immunity to the sun.
The three men managed to free themselves from their bonds and when the vampires returned force them to flee outside. With dawn rapidly approaching, Captain America and the others locked up the house trapping the vampires outside. Attacking them head on, Captain America battle Varnis and knocked the vampire off a cliff sending him crashing down onto a jutting tree branch that impaled him through the chest, killing him instantly. As the result of his death, the butler crumbled to dust and Joe was restored to normal.
Count Varnis was a vampire. Presumably he had all the same abilities common to vampires. He only displayed the ability to transform into a bat. Once draining an individual of their blood, Varnis could also transform them into a vampire. Interestingly enough, whereas most people turned would rise as a vampire within 3 days time, the victims of Count Varnis became vampires in a matter of hours after death.
Count Varnis had typical weaknesses of a vampire, a blood thirst that would weaken him if he did not feast. Sunlight and a stake through the heart could kill him. Upon his death, those turned into vampires would revert back to human form. It would appear that those who were vampires for many centuries would rapidly age, and at least in the case of his long standing butler, crumble to dust.
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- Minor Appearances of Endre Varnis (Earth-616)
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