Vlad Dracula (often referred to simply as Dracula) is Marvel's incarnation of the legendary lord of all vampires - changed somewhat so as to fit in with the superheroic themes of Marvel.
Born to Transylvanian nobility in 1430, Vlad Dracula would eventually become the world's most powerful vampire. Driven by lusts for power, companionship, and blood, his centuries of undead existence have brought him into conflict with vampire hunters, other immortals, and, most recently, super-powered heroes. Dracula has a vast network of loyal servants, cultists, brides, and minions, who assist him and will attempt to resurrect him if he is slain.
Vlad Tepes Dracula was born the son of the infamous Vlad Dracul (also called Vlad the Elder) in Schassburg, Transylvania (now Sighisoara, Romania) in 1430 A.D. In 1444, he accompanied his father and brother Radu to Turkey, where they planned to negotiate for peace. They were ambushed en route by agents of Sultan Murad II, who held the sons captive, forcing Vlad the Elder to favor Turkey. This eventually led John Hudyadi and Vlad's other advisors to revolt against him, killing him and his son Mircea. After five years of torture, Radu had died in captivity, but Dracula escaped to claim the title of Voivode of Wallachia at the age of 18. His reign lasted only a year before he was forced to flee the principality, fearing his father's killers. In 1451, Dracula finally tired of running, and threw himself at Hudyadi's mercy. Hoping to add legitimacy to his regency, Hudyadi took Dracula under his wing, teaching him the arts of war, and overseeing Vlad's pre-arranged marriage to Zofia (whom he despised). After a year of marriage Dracula considered all his obligations fulfilled, and expelled his wife and their daughter, Lilith. Lilith was left in the care of a gypsy woman named Gretchin, while Zofia decided to take her own life rather than live as a peasant.
Again assuming the throne, Dracula married his love Maria, and sired a son, Vlad Tepulus. He also ordered everyone associated with his father's death impaled, and ordered a massive assault on Turkey. Misled by "visions" from Varnae -- who saw potential in the young despot -- Dracula was defeated in battle in 1459. Dracula was supposedly defeated by the Turkish warlord Turac, who left him alive, hoping to use him to seize control of Transylvania. Other accounts have suggested that he was actually mortally wounded by the nearly-immortal mutant En Sabah Nur (now better known as Apocalypse) and his band of Dark Riders. In any event, Dracula was taken to the Gypsy Lianda for healing. Instead, Lianda (secretly a vampire) vampirized Dracula. Dracula came to grips with his new, dark powers too late to save Maria from Turac, but soon avenged her by slaying the warlord.
Vlad next set out to attack the Gypsies, who he blamed for his transformation into a vampire. When Gretchin lost her son to the prince's depredations, she used spells to transform Lilith into a vampire as well in retaliation. Gretchin also made her immune to most vampiric weaknesses, ensuring that the girl who grew up hating her father would now trouble him for all eternity. Soon after, Varnae empowered his servant, Nimrod to act as Vampire Lord, secretly leading him into a fight with Dracula as a test of his strength. Dracula slew Nimrod, proving himself worthy of taking Varnae's title as the true Vampire Lord. Dracula drank of Varnae's blood, and seemingly the destroyed the vampire lord as he assumed his powers for his own. Dracula also reclaimed Castle Dracula from its new occupant, the vampire Bordia. It was during this conflict that he first learned of the Darkhold, and the Montesi formula for destroying vampires. Dracula sent the thief Murgo to retrieve the tome from the Vatican, but the thief was slain and the book stolen by the sorceror Cogliostro, beginning a centuries-long feud with Dracula. Dracula also vampirized several women, making them the first of his so-called "brides", and avenged himself against Murad II.
Following an assassination attempt in 1471, Dracula abdicated the throne, but remained at Castle Dracula (near Sargov) for over a century after. During that time he was forced to confront and kill his son, Vlad Tepulus, who had been raised by gypsies and taught to hate him. In 1496, Dracula was approached by emissaries of Bologna, Spain, and Prussia, requesting that he remain out of their respective countries. This only irritated Dracula, and, after slaughtering the emissaries, he began his first tour of greater Europe. Though he eventually returned to Transylvania, he was pursued by a man known only as Hans, who sought vengeance against the vampire. Suffering from frostbite, Hans was nursed back to health by Rache van Helsing, and the two became lovers. When Hans recovered enough to fight Dracula and was subsequently killed, Rache (pregnant with Hans' child) vowed that her line would oppose Dracula until the monster was finally destroyed.
During this century Dracula also encountered alchemist Esteban Diablo and battled Puritan adventurer Solomon Kane. Kane escaped with his life, but soon returned, feeling guilty for leaving Dracula alive. Kane and Morgit just barely managed to defeat Dracula, staking him with a sharpened, ornate cross. It was only a few hours, however, before a hungry band of travellers arrived at Castle Dracula, reviving him when one took the valuable cross from Dracula's seemingly-ancient skeleton. At one point, a man named Durenyi managed to steal Dracula's diary, which revealed several of his weaknesses and would eventually become one of the sources adapted by writer Bram Stoker into the novel Dracula. Around the turn of the century, Dracula relocated to a new Castle Dracula, this time near Burgo Pass, which served as his main base of operations off and on for over four centuries.
In 1606, Dracula encountered Elizabeth Bathory, a distant relation now known as the Blood Countess, due to her custom of bathing in virgin blood to stem the effects of aging. The macabre tradition also allowed her to resist Dracula's control, and almost to entrap him. He eventually gained the upper hand and slew her. For a time Dracula ruled over a Spanish province, but was driven out following the first of many encounters with a radiant, golden angel. In 1961 Dracula tired of his wanton brides, and sought out a more reserved bride. He settled on an American woman, Charity Brown of Salem, Massachusetts. Before he could arrive to claim her, however, she was framed for witchcraft and publically executed.
In retribution, Dracula manipulated the slave Tituba into setting into motion the infamous Salem witch trials. In the 1670s Dracula found himself without sustenance in rural Switzerland, kept from human prey by the rural farmers' extensive (and extensively superstitious) anti-vampiric defenses. Forced to make due with cow's blood, Dracula inadvertently created the bizarre Bessie the Hellcow. The hellish heifer would spend three centuries trailing Dracula before it met its end at the hands of Howard the Duck.
Castle Dracula itself was endangered during the eighteenth century, first by pirate Hellyn deVill (who was killed by her own crew when Dracula exposed her as a witch), and then by the combined military threats of Turkey and Catherine the Great's Russia. Dracula was forced to flee Transylvania, and he relocated to France in 1762. There he rekindled his feud with Cogliostro (after destroying a gargoyle animated by Cogliostro's agent, Jack DuBois). After becoming an advisor to Kind Louis XVI in 1775, Dracula surmised Cogliostro no longer had the Darkhold. No longer fearing the Montesi formula, Dracula vampirized Cogliostro's wife, Lorena Serafina, as retribution for past slights.
In 1789, Dracula was nearly destroyed by Montplier, one of Cogliostro's agents, but escaped in the confusion of the storming of the Bastille. Fleeing France, Dracula vampirized Austrian Henry Sayge, and soon after Transylvanian lady Louisa Russoff. He was staked by her husband, Baron Grigori Russoff, who was bitten by a female werewolf in the attempt. Grigori thus became the first in a long line of Russoffs bearing the curse of Lycanthropy. After the stake was inadvertently removed and he was reanimated, Dracula decided to augment the Castle's defenses with various traps. Not the least of these was Dracula's infamous "Pit of Death".
In 1753, Dracula was in Cologne, Germany when a group of villagers managed to capture him and tie him to a stake. The village priest Father Eisner doused him with holy water and drove a stake into his chest. Present at the execution was Eisner's adopted daughter Marie. After destroying the vampire, Father Eisner suffered a massive heart attack. That evening, little Marie Eisner removed the stake from Dracula's chest, resurrecting the vampire. She struck a bargain with him, swearing that she would acknowledge Dracula as her savior if he agreed to use his powers to save Father Eisner's life. Dracula agreed, but rather than save Eisner's life, he instead tore his heart from his chest and presented it to Marie as a demonstration of his vile power. He then attacked her again, but Marie dangled her cross charm in front of Dracula's face, forcing him to flee. Dracula swore, that one day she would beg him to give her life everlasting. It would be seventy years before the two saw one another again.
When Lupescu infiltrated Castle Dracula in 1809 to recover his abducted wife, Velanna, he was soon trapped in the Pit and forced to combat four of Dracula's brides (including Velanna). Lupescu survived, and arranged the brides' staked corpses in the shape of a giant cross, insuring that Dracula would never be able to get close enough to reanimate them.
In 1823, Dracula returned to Cologne, Germany to fulfill a promise he had made over seventy years ago. He forced his way into the hospital room of the dying Sister Marie Eisner at the Reichenbach Clinic and demanded that she acknowledge him as her savor. Sister Marie always knew that Dracula would one day return to claim her, but still she renounced him. As the vampire lunged for the frail woman, she slipped a crucifix necklace about his neck, forcing him to recoil. Sister Marie then peacefully passed away.
Dracula vampirized numerous victims in that century, including the young wife of Count Vryslaw. Vryslaw kept his wife imprisoned, but sustained on animal blood. After twenty years of captivity, the Countess refuged to drink anything but human blood, and the Count turned to killing local women to appease her. Drawn out by the rumors of the "vampire killings", Dracula tracked down and confronted Count Vryslaw. Vryslaw was so terrified of the vampire lord (and his inability to hurt him) that he decided to kill his wife with a wooden arrow before he died himself of a heart attack. Dracula also used the Chidren of Judas vampire cult to vampirize the wife of Abraham van Helsing, reviving his old fued with the van Helsing family. Dracula was again drawn into politics when Lyza Strang convinced him to kill her husband, Archibald Strang, thus assuring that Otto von Bismarck would become Minister-President of Prussia.
Lyza ultimately betrayed Dracula, having him ambushed and staked; when he recovered, he vampirized Lyza in retribution. Charmed by an American woman he had met in Europe, Dracula purchase the frigate Raven in 1862, and travelled to Savannah, Georgia. (It may have been during this trip to the American South that he vampired Suze Harlow, a young girl whose vampiric DNA would later be extracted and cultivated by Hydra to create a vampiric soldier, Bloodstorm One.) Arriving in Savannah, Dracula agreed to bolster the Confederacy with his Legion of the Damned in exchange for Anabelle's return to Transylvania. Though the Legion slaughtered all Union troops they came across, Anabelle's father recognized Dracula for what he was, and staked him. Anabelle, determined to honor the bargain, removed the stake and returned to Transylvania with him.
In 1870, Dracula took advantage of the onset of the Franco-Prussia War by using his vampire legions to occupy Vienna. Upon entering the imperial Palace, however, Dracula was again confronted by the mysterious Golden Angel, and forced to flee the city. When the pirate Captain Cutlass looted a French ship bearing some of Dracula's wealth in 1875, Dracula vampirized the captain in front of his three-year-old daughter, Marianne. Somehow, Marianne managed to contain and care for the captain until 1903, when they crossed paths with Dracula again in Madrid. In 1879, royal Phineas Kroner selected Count Dracula as an appropriately noble suitor for his daughter, Maria (Phineas having killed all other suitors for being too poor). Clearly, Phineas did not know of Dracula's vampiric nature. At some point, an American Marshall -- hired specifically to exact revenge on the vampiric Count -- destroyed Dracula with a blast silver buckshot. Though he was later revived, minute particles of silver remained in his body, weakening him, and causing him to age quickly when he had been without fresh blood for too long.
Dracula is probably most famous for the events of 1890, which would later be compiled from various journals and clippings and adapted by Bram Stoker into his most famous novel, Dracula. During this episode, Dracula summoned Englishman Jonathan Harker to Castle Dracula on the pretense of by land. There Dracula became intrigued by an image of Harker's fiancé, Mina Murray. Holding Harker captive, Dracula travelled to England. There he enlisted the mad Renfield as his servant and fed off the people of Whitby, including Mina's closest friend, Lucy Westenra. By the time he had gotten close to Mina and began to enthrall her, Lucy had died and Harker escaped, mobilizing Dr. John Seward (one of Lucy's former suitors), Abraham van Helsing (Seward's mentor), and Quincy Morris (Lucy's fiancé) to seek out and destroy Dracula.
Dracula escaped to Transylvania, but was there impaled and decapitated by Seward and Morris. Since the knives Morris and Seward had used were neither wooden nor silver, Dracula had only been somewhat injured, but elected to use his power to transform into mist to trick his attackers into believing him dead. In 1896, the last piece of the story fell into place when Dracula's stolen diary finally fell into Stoker's hands; Dracula was published a year later. Oddly enough, Dracula read the novel, and penned a venomous letter accusing Stoker of lying, Harker of an opium addiction, and van Helsing of being part of a long line of charlatan magicians bearing a grudge against him. For good measure, he cursed the letter, writing that any who found it would be devoured by his Children of the Night. American journalists Mark Cordier and David Frazier became the first to discover the letter a century later, and did indeed fall victim to the curse.
In 1897, Dracula discovered the existence of Clan Akkaba, and it's relation to En Sabah Nur. Dracula then began a vengeful campaign against Clan Akkaba, slaughtering many before van Helsing determined he was involved. While most of Clan Akkaba eventually became vampires and were destroyed in the conflict, Apocalypse and van Helsing managed to gain the upper hand. Dracula was impaled and decapitated by Apocalypse with his own limbs, but refused to follow van Helsing's "superstitious" rituals to permanently destroy the vampire. Dracula soon recovered, but was tracked down and staked by van Helsing in Castle Dracula, thanks to the help of a young boy named Carl von Harbou, one of Dracula's servants. Persons unknown eventually discovered the body, and, recognizing the danger, placed it inside a coffin, which was then moved to a deep cave blocked by a heavy stone. In 1898, a vampiric Gypsy woman, Marguerita, freed Dracula by tricking Frankenstein's Monster into believing she knew the location of the last living Frankenstein. When the monster removed the stone at the mouth of the cave, Marguerita removed the stake from Dracula's body, reviving him.
By 1900, Dracula had finally shirked off the last effects of the silver buckshot he had been struck with so long ago. In 1903, Dracula again encountered Captain and Marianne Cutlass in Madrid; when Dracula attacked Marianne, the Captain broke free and fought back against Dracula, who staked him. Angered by Dracula's disruption of the natural order, Death herself took the form of Carlos Muertos, and raised a mob against him in Madrid. The mob staked and buried him, but before too long graverobbers found the body and removed the stake. The enraged count found and vampirized each member of the mob that had killed him, and led his new army against the town of San Cristo. Dracula failed to account for the time difference, however, and was incinerated with his army by the rising sun. Dracula's servants soon recovered his ashes, and revived him by placing them in soil from his native Transylvania. After this latest resurrection Death finally revealed herself and conceded defeat, calling for a temporary truce.
In the turmoil preceding World War I, Lord John Falsworth invaded Dracula's tomb, hoping to turn him into a living weapon. Instead, Dracula vampirized him, sending him back to England to wreak havoc as the first Baron Bood. Around this time Dracula also finally slew Jon Harker. In 1926 in Rome, Dracula made an enemy of mobster Nick Diablo, who put out several contracts against him. All three hitmen sent by Diablo, as well as his girlfriend, Luisa Morelli, were vampirized, and sent back to finish him off. Dracula also once more encountered Marianne Cutlass, and vampirized her husband, Count Marcos de la Triana. Heartbroken, Marianne allowed her husband to vampirize her (Years later, Marianne would again return to Dracula, begging him to end her cursed existence after her husband was staked by the vampire-hunter Blade).
Sometime in the early 1930s, a government agent in Marseilles discovered Dracula had control over his superior, wounded him, and began a month-long hunt across the country. The hunt culminated aboard a zeppelin, which Dracula caused to crash when he killed pilot. The Frenchman leapt to safety, but Dracula had also escaped. By now Quincy Harker, son of Jon Harker, had organized a taskforce specifically to destroy Dracula. Dracula, however, had once more travelled to America, killing several people on the cruise there. In North Carolina, Dracula was drawn to Devil's Lake, where he battled the Devil's Heart. On the coast of Maine, Dracula enthralled and fed on Angelica Neal, a young girl tending a lighthouse with her family. When her family tried to keep Dracula from her, he slew her mother, Laurie, before her father, Frank, finally drove him off by painting the symbol of a cross in blood over the lighthouse light.
In 1942, World War II came home to Castle Dracula when the Count discovered his Gypsy servants were being killed by the Nazis. The Count opposed the Nazis, even lending aid to an invading American unit, Nick Fury's Howling Commandos. The Commandos continued to work with Dracula even when his vampiric nature was revealed, but Percival Pinkerton promised he would inform Dr. van Helsing of Dracula's whereabouts. Dracula welcomed the challenge. In 1944 the Nazi's occupied Castle Dracula itself, using it as regional headquarters. Dracula vampirized their commander, Hauptmann Rudolph Kris, took bodily possession of him, and led him to kill his own troops. Kris had no recollection of his vampiric activities, and began a hunt for the vampire killer that ultimately led back to him. He was staked by his second-in-command, Leutnan Willi Hanson.
Documentation of Dracula's activities improved by this point in the twentieth century. In 1945 he attacked Quincy and Elizabeth Harker at an opera; both survived, but Elizabeth was nearly drained of blood. In the late 1940s, Dracula was prevented from feeding off a village girl near Castle Mordo, Transylvania by the sorcerer Baron Mordo, who intend to use the girl as a human sacrifice. Dracula also kept a watchful eye on Gregor Russoff, correctly surmising that he possessed the Darkhold. In 1951, a man name Tartoff spent a night outlining his family's long, unfortunate history with Dracula for writer Sandor Xavier.
Tartoff also believed that if Dracula could not feed on his blood by the end of the night, he may be destroyed forever. The validity of Tartoff's theory may never be known, as the man posing as Xavier revealed himself to be Dracula and slew Tartoff only an hour before dawn. At some point, Dracula slew the last adult van Helsings as their nine-year-old daughter, Rachel, looked on; Quincy Harker managed to save Rachel from her parent's fate. In Tarnington, Dracula sought the power of the demons Ypsilloth and Ryg, who had been trapped beneath the Jennings Mill for forty years, but was thwarted by a man named Mason. In Brass Monkey, New Mexico, Dracula took control of a prostitute, and used her to break into the local blood bank.
Dracula discovered the blood stored there was useless too him, and, adding injury to insult, he was also confronted by the elderly Father Vergilius Flotsky. At one point, Dracula was approached by the aged Orphelus, who claimed to need his help in once more reaching the infernal, rejuvenating Pool of Blood. However, when the pair arrived at the pool, Orphelus used an ancient locket to return it to hell, claiming that immortality was a sin that others should be spared of. Years later, Dracula was opposed in India by a full-grown Rachel van Helsing.
When Dracula tracked down and vampirized his old enemy Jamal Afari, his disciple vampire-hunter, Blade, swore vengeance against him. Blade and his vampire hunters managed to stake him in China, but he was revived by Dracula's servant Kuai Hua, and her handmaidens. At one point, Dracula learned of Jackson Kubbard, who claimed to be a reincarnation of his old rival, Cogliostro; Dracula had his coffin shipped to Manhatten to investigate, only to learn that Kubbard was a fraud, and suffer through withdrawal after drinking the blood of a drug addict. Marie LaVeau had her servant bring Dracula's coffin to New Orleans, where he was drawn to a young girl he had recently vampirized. She obtained a sample of his blood for her immortality serum, and proposed a more permanent alliance, but Dracula refused, irritated at being bound by force.
In Paris, Dracula was confronted by Hélène DuBois (great-great granddaughter of Cogliostro's man, Jacques DuBois), who sent a gargoyle animated by his spirit to (unsuccessfully) fight Dracula. Dracula vampirized CIA pilot Roberta Christianson, who continued to fight him afterward, ultimately crashing her own plane in an effort to destroy him. In Paris, Dracula met an American girl named Mary who, after years of failed relationships, actually embraced undeath as one of his brides. When even Dracula abandoned her, she impaled herself on a stake. At one point, a Scotsman staked Dracula, sending him into his own Pit of Death. He mentally sent his agent, Comte St. Germaine to obtain the Amulet of Zarathos to revive him, but he was foiled by a young Sue and Johnny Storm. Eventually, Dracula's descendent, Frank Drake, inherited the castle, and his friend Clifton Graves unwittingly removed the stake. Drake joined a band of vampire hunters, pursuing Dracula across America and Europe. In that time Dracula also encountered a zombified Duncan Corley, the Werewolf (Jack Russell) and Topaz, the elderspawn Y'Garon, and the Elianne Turac, the life-extended daughter of his old nemesis.
At this point Dracula usurped Castle Dunwick in London from Sheila Witter, making it his latest Castle Dracula. Dracula also suffered considerable agony when he entered the Vatican itself to slay Giuseppe Montesi and destroy the Montesi Forumla. Montesi had already sent a copy of the spell, however, to Quincy Harker. Some time after, Dracula crossed Doctor Sun, a human brain in a robotic body kept alive by fresh human blood. Sun staked Dracula, and the situation eventually grew so desperate that vampire hunters used Aurora Rabinowitz's virgin tears to revive him. Dracula and Blade then worked together to destroy Sun, though the doctor would eventually return.
Dracula again became a father after marrying his third true wife, Domini. Domini was about to become a human sacrifice of Anton Lupeski's Church of Satan, when Dracula interrupted, posing as the devil himself. When "Satan" demanded the girl so he might sire a son, Lupeski saw through the deception, but hoped that child would be powerful under his control. Lupeski married the two, and they had a somewhat demonic-looking son, Janus. When things didn't go as planned, Lupeski attempted several times to destroy Dracula. At one point, Lupeski summoned the cosmic Silver Surfer to destroy him, and they fought to a standstill before Domini convinced the Surfer to leave Dracula be. When a more mundane assassination attempt accidentally killed Judas, Dracula crushed Lupeski's skull. Janus' death sent Dracula into a depression as he reflected on how each of his previous children had eventually turned on him. Domini magically resurrected the child, but it became merged with the troublesome Golden Angel. The composite being grew instantly to adulthood, going on to trouble Dracula for years. As punishment for posing as Satan and siring Janus, Mephisto stripped Dracula of all his unholy powers. When Dracula became so desperate that he actually prayed to God for help, Mephisto was so amused by the irony that he restored Dracula's powers. Dracula then reclaimed the title Vampire Lord from the usurper Torgo, just in time to be staked by a silver-spike-wielding Quincy Harker. Harker perished in the attempt, which also destroyed the latest Castle Dracula.
In one of his more bizarre resurrections, Dracula was revived by Florence Ebers to serve as the immortal body for her resurrected husband, Augustus. She used the Yazdi Gem to impose Augustus' personality on Dracula, but destroyed the gem when he turned on her. Dracula also got caught up with the satanic Cult of the Enclave, and was forced to battle the life-draining Dimensional Man. Later, Jacque McDonald started to merge minds with Dracula after she received a blood transfusion from her mother, a former victim. Dracula was weakened as Jacque began to take on his sinister personality, but she expelled his influence by force of will. Returning to the partially-rebuilt castle, Dracula renounced and slew his brides. Dracula suffered an embarrassment when biting Howard the Duck left a bad taste in his mouth, sending him into a frenzy.
After being manipulated by the Six-Fingered Hand, Dracula reluctantly sided with the Defenders against rival vampire Gordski. Dracula twice failed in attempts to make the X-Man Storm one his vampire brides. Dracula gained magical enhancements from the cult of Darkholders, and ultimately became powerful enough to oppose the thunder-god Thor. He was killed along with every on vampire on Earth, however, when Doctor Strange used the Montesi Formula.
The spells of protection Strange had cast years earlier on his vampiric brother, Victor weakened the spell, however, and it ultimately broke when Marie LaVeau used the vampiric verses to resurrect Varnae. The demon Asmodeus, worshiped as Satan by Lupeski's Church of Satan, drew back Dracula's spirit and reconstructed his body in Castle Dracula, inducing his servant, Professor Gregor Smirnof to revive him with the souls of 666 students from his Belonging cult. Dracula was thwarted by Blade, Frank Drake, Katinka, and inspector Judiah Golem, who wounded Dracula to such an extent that the purity of the sacrificed souls overwhelmed him, causing an explosion. A later, mysterious explosion somehow fused Frank Drake, Hannibal King, and Bloostorm One into a new, monstrous "Dracula". Eventually, the real Dracula's spirit took advantage of the situation, displacing Drake and King (freeing them), and making him master of the new body.
Lilith Drake -- taunted by Dracula with the knowledge that the spells freeing her from vampiric weaknesses also meant she herself could never kill her father directly -- infected him with a blood virus created by Dr. Charles Seward. Dracula was able to survive by feeding on Seward, who had used his own, cursed blood to create the disease.
Dracula encountered the mutants of Generation X, and was later forced to work with Elsa Bloodstone, daughter of ancient rival Ulysses Bloodstone. The two opposed the Nosferati vampires, who hoped to infect other, "pureblood" vampires with a virus that would make them into immortal blood-donors.
As the millenium approached, Dracula prepared for the Ritual of Ascendance, surrounding himself with armies of vampires from around the world to protect him during his weakened, incubation state. Dracula succeeded despite the opposition of a new group of vampire hunters, gaining immense power and growing to a gargantuan size. When Dracula took Divinty Drake as his vampire bride, Divinty revealed herself to be, in fact, the sorceress Aamshed. Aamshed brought forth a mystic lodestone, which summoned the souls of everyone to be vampirized since the last Ritual performed by Varnae. Again, the purity of the souls ovewhelmed Dracula, and Blade staked him for good measure to make sure he was destroyed. The remaining vampire armies in the area where destroyed in the spiritual backlash.
Dracula returned once more, however, as Blade traced Spider-Man's recent partial vampirization to Dracula. Blade staked Dracula, noting that Spider-Man's radioactive blood would keep him safe from full, permanent vampirization. A corrupt division of SHIELD, heavily infested by vampires loyal to Lucas Cross, stole the body, and Blade destroyed an entire SHIELD Helicarrier in an effort to destroy the infestation.
Dracula remained low for several years following that. He turned up later and met with Victor von Doom on Earth's moon. He proposed a non-aggression treaty with Doom, which enabled him to coordinate plans for an attack on England without encroaching upon any of Doom's prospective interests. Using the scientific wizardry at his coven's disposal, he genetically mutated vampire assassins with specific targets in mind - notably, the members of MI-13.
Powers and Abilities
Dracula, like all other vampires, is capable of transforming an individual into a vampire by biting them. A special enzyme found only within vampire saliva is responsible for this transformation. After draining all of the blood from a victim, the victim enters a death-like state and returns to life three days later. Like all vampires, Dracula possesses superhuman strength.
Due to his special stance as the ruler of Earth's Vampires, Dracula can lift about 4 tons under optimum conditions. With the possible exception of Varnae, Dracula is the most powerful vampire that has ever been encountered. Dracula is capable of running and moving at speeds greater than even the finest human athlete. Dracula's body is more resistant to the fatigue toxins generated by his muscles during physical activity. He can exert himself at peak capacity for several hours before fatigue begins to affect him. Dracula's ability, balance, and body coordination are enhanced to levels that are beyond the natural limits of the human body. Dracula's natural reaction time is enhanced to levels that are beyond the natural limits of the human body.
Dracula is capable of regenerating damaged or destroyed tissue to an extent much greater than an ordinary human. Dracula can fully heal from multiple gunshots and severe burns within a matter of minutes, however he cannot regenerate missing limbs or organs. Dracula, like all vampires, is functionally immortal in the sense that he is immune to the effects of aging and is immune to all known Earthly diseases as long as he ingests fresh blood on a regular basis to maintain his vitality. Once killed, Dracula's power is such that he can resurrect himself under the proper conditions. if incinerated (as by sunlight or fire), Dracula can reconstitute himself if his ashes are placed in a coffin filled with soil from his homeland. If staked through the heart, Dracula can regenerate once the stake is removed. Like all vampires, Dracula has fangs and claws.
He can quickly drain a victim of blood. Dracula is able to hypnotize others by gazing into their eyes for a short period of time. As Lord of Vampires, Dracula can compel other vampires to follow his orders unless their willpower is strong enough to resist him. Dracula is able to shape shift into bats, rats, a wolf, and mist. He can also turn into human-sized or larger wolfen and bat-like forms. Dracula is a very powerful magician. He is able to summon and command lesser vampires, undead, packs of wild dogs, bats, and rats. He has considerable control over the elements and weather, enough to oppose Storm or Thor. However, Dracula is severely weakened for an extend period of time afterward. A person bitten by Dracula is able to be influenced by him through a sort of empathic link. Only beings of exceptionally strong wills are capable of resisting him.