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Frank Drake (Earth-616)

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Quote1 The shadows and the darkness, they've protected the occult for too long... Quote2
-- Frank Drake src
 

Early Life

Frank Drake was a millionaire playboy who had squandered his inheritance and was left with nothing more than an ancestral castle in his assets. Planning to sell it, Drake and friends travelled to Transylvania where the castle was located. It was discovered that this was the castle of Count Dracula, though Drake never truly believed in the Dracula legends. Drake and his friends stumbled upon the skeleton of Dracula and accidentally resurrect him. Drake narrowly escaped death when Dracula recognized Drake as a descendant. Drake eventually relocated to London.[1]

Meeting the van Helsings

Broke and in despair, Drake attempted to commit suicide but was saved by Rachel van Helsing and Taj Nital, two vampire hunters. Through them, Drake met Quincy Harker, a descendant of Jonathan Harker, whose tale had been told in Bram Stoker's novel. Rachel of course was a great granddaughter of Abraham van Helsing. Drake learned that Dracula had eventually caused the death of Jonathan Harker and Abraham van Helsing some years after they had defeated him in the book's events. Quincy, Rachel, and Taj (whose family had been killed by vampires) were dedicated to killing Dracula and his vampiric followers.

Frank Drake joined Quincy Harker's band of vampire hunters under the close tutelage of Rachel van Helsing and Quincy Harker. Other allies included Blade, with whom Drake constantly clashed but who eventually became a valued friend and vampire detective, and Hannibal King, whom Drake came to trust because of Blade. Although a close friendship grew between Drake and van Helsing, their potential for romantic involvement remained shaky due to Frank's lack of self-confidence and Rachel's fear of intimacy. This resulted in him temporarily leaving Harker's group and almost being killed when he was lured to Brazil by his old friend Danny Summers, who had been hired by Dracula to dispose of Drake. Drake was saved by Brother Voodoo[2][3][4] and then rejoined Harker's group[5] just in time to witness Dracula's death at the hands of Doctor Sun and his assassin Juno.[6]

Montesi Formula

Quincy Harker eventually made the ultimate sacrifice by detonating a bomb concealed in his wheelchair, which also destroyed Dracula and much of the castle in which they had met for the last time. Quincy's final letter to Rachel and Frank urged the two of them to grow closer together and discover what they all knew was there all the time. As a result, Frank and Rachel did attempt a romance but due to Frank's later account, Rachel was an empty shell without Dracula to fight and the two shortly parted but not without deep regrets. Rachel was eventually turned into a vampire herself and died mercifully at the hands of X-Man Wolverine. Frank, upon hearing of Rachel's death realized that Dracula was back and teamed up with Blade, Hannibal King, and Doctor Strange to fight his return from the grave. Drake, King, Blade and Strange were responsible for casting the Montesi Formula, which destroyed Dracula and all vampires, and banished vampirism from Earth. Drake, King (cured of vampirism and the only vampire to survive the Montesi spell), and Blade decided to remain together and become private investigators, founding the firm of King, Drake, and Blade (aka Borderline Investigations). They investigated a number of strange and not so strange cases, including a battle with the Darkholders.

Marlene

Drake, wishing for a more normal life, eventually left the firm. Apparently, the friendship between King, Drake, and Blade had soured. Drake moved to Washington D.C. and married Marlene McKenna, a woman he had met sometime after parting ways with Rachel. During this time, Marlene seemed to come under the power of Dracula and scarred her face to resemble Rachel's facial scars. Drake, reluctantly called a hostile Blade and the two, assisted by Blade's friend Katinka, eventually aborted Dracula's resurrection again. This resulted in Blade's nervous breakdown and institutionalization. Drake, determined to live a normal life with Marlene, declined an invitation from Katinka, to stay in touch. Katinka suspected that things were only beginning.

Nightstalkers

With the weakening of the Montesi spell, Dr. Strange realized that not only were vampires returning, but also an increased occurrence of supernatural invasions. With this revelation, Strange arranged for the release of Blade, and for Drake (whose wife Marlene had again mysteriously fallen ill), to meet him and King back at their old Borderline offices.[7] None of them were glad to see the others, but with each having their reasons for getting back together, they formed the Nightstalkers; By day, they were private investigators, by night, they fought a number of supernatural villains. Drake, armed with an anti-supernatural nanotech gun named Linda (after Linda Blair of The Exorcist) fought alongside Blade and King against such enemies as the Lilin, and D.O.A..

Midnight Sons

The Lilin were children of Lilith, an ancient demonic being, and their appearance drew the attention of the Nightstalkers, and ultimately drew the trio to other vigilantes and groups aligned against the dark forces. Together, this new assemblage, including the duo of Ghost Rider and Blaze, and Michael Morbius among others, fought together loosely against Lilith and her brood, and were successful in stopping the demon queen from bringing more Lilin to Earth despite their differences with the other parties present. With the immediate threat taken care of, the Nightstalkers found themselves mystically transported away from the scene before they could confront the others. Unknown to them at the time, the gathering and separation had been thanks to transportation spells cast by Dr. Strange.[8]

Frank and his Nightstalker comrades had a further encounter with this informal group, and were more formally inducted into the ranks of the Order of the Midnight Sons. Frank himself could not be branded with the mark of the Midnight Sons, as he was not an inherently supernatural being himself, but he continued associate closely with this group as a team with his two Nightstalker comrades. In one of the many adventures involving this group, Drake helped deal with Blade, who temporarily went insane due to the use of the Darkhold.

Eventually, the Nightstalkers fought against the Atlantean vampire Varnae in which Drake overloaded Linda causing an explosion that was thought to destroy him and Varnae (King having attempted to sacrifice himself by plunging a metal stake through his heart while fighting off Varnae's mental control). Blade escaped believing them to be dead but eventually ran into King in New Orleans who explained that Drake also survived but was left horribly scarred and crippled in both body and mind and would probably remain only a shell of his former self.

Abilities




Weapons

  • "Linda": Frank uses the Exorcist Gun, which he calls 'Linda.' It fires energies at frequencies that affect the supernatural. 'Linda' is also attuned to detect supernatural energies.

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