With Sony’s anti-hero vampire flick Morbius coming out this week on 31st March and a reboot of half-vampire ass-kicker Blade coming out, it’s high time we talk about vampires. Specifically the ones in the Marvel Comics universe.
Simply put, there’s quite a number of them in Marvel’s comic book universe. The concept itself has been depicted tons of times from the company adapting Bram Stoker’s favourite misunderstood bloodsucker to even making some X-Men mutants grow fangs and feed on other mutants. Here’s a quick list of important ones to keep note, because you’ll never know when a movie production house like Sony or Disney would tap the bloodsucker well in 2023 or even beyond.
We will start with the obvious picks before we delve into the deeper Marvel lore, so here are the top two on every pop culture aficionado’s mind:
The most popular half-vampire warrior who wields katanas and a rocking trenchcoat, Eric “Blade” Brooks is a dhampir who has a terrible childhood but makes the most of it by being a hero who works at night. The first two Blade films told its story very well thanks to great action, writing, and Wesley Snipes as a badass lead. The fact that he’s one of the few superheroes of colour back in the day also helps him gain cult status among movie and comic book fans.
He isn’t as strong as half the vampires on this list, but he makes it up with his peerless fighting skills, martial arts knowledge, and healing factor. His only known weaknesses are his need to consume blood (solved by his serum injections), red sunlight, and his moral code. Then again, the latter is only viewed as a bad thing to the antagonists he faces.
On the MCU side of things, he’ll be portrayed by Mahershala Ali in a future Blade series. Long story short, Blade’s status as a relevant hero in comic book fandom is fine and pretty much untouchable at this point.
We did an extensive feature on Michael Morbius, the bloodsucker vampire who is a scientist and anti-hero kinda guy who fills the “comic book vampire” role for the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Dubbed the living vampire, he was a scientist with a rare life-threatening blood disease. He found a cure for it from bat DNA, but he ends up being the title vampire as that’s the side effect of him using the “cure”. He’s super-strong, can fly, has sonar powers, and doesn’t succumb to vampire weaknesses like sunlight and holy water unlike Marvel’s Dracula.
His whole schtick of saving lives but also thirsting for human blood (otherwise he gets depowered) is what makes him a fan favourite among comic book readers. That, and his smarts and eloquent behaviour, as well as his callback black-and-red ensemble. Hopefully actor Jared Leto does his live-action version justice.
Remember when we mentioned that Dracula was integrated into the Marvel universe? Welp, Vlad Dracula here is that guy.
He is the de facto leader of the vampires, rules Castle Dracula, is S.H.I.E.L.D’s top bad guy to hunt down, and has already set up the Vampire Nation where he rules a country with nobody but vampires. He’s clearly evil, but dedicated to his kind and is pretty good at ruling and leading. The 616 version of Dracula is basically immortal, is pretty damn strong as a swordsman and magician, and can go toe-to-toe with villains like Thanos, Dr. Doom, and Magneto. The only things holding him back are his vampire weaknesses: sunlight, religious icons, holy water, and the need to drink blood lest he gets severely weakened.
Back in the 60s and 70s, Captain America has fought a ton of goofy villains that happen to get pretty sweet makeovers for current times. Baron Blood is one such villain, who also happens to be a vampire.
A veteran of both World Wars, John Falsworth turned into Baron Blood thanks to Vlad Dracula and ends up fighting against England through subterfuge and helping out the Nazis/Hydra factions. In current times, Baron Blood is at war against the new Captain America Sam “Falcon” Wilson. He does defect over to the good side, but only to preserve his kind. He still hates humans.
We’re guessing it’ll be a while until Baron Blood makes his MCU debut; perhaps as a Dr. Strange film cameo or even a new Captain America movie/series villain?
We’ll need to include the first-ever Marvel Comics vampire in this feature if we need to make this an essential tier list. This vampire made his appearance in Marvel Myster Comics #35 way back in July 1942. Rather than use Bram Stoker’s Dracula and the license, the Marvel writers just made up their own in the form of Count Vicaro.
To recap, this count ruled some kingdom over 400 years ago. He became a vampire and kept himself alive by kidnapping villagers and draining their blood. His evil deeds were eventually found and put to an end by a hero named Angel (Thomas Halloway), who is basically a 40s vigilante with guns, a cape, and some flight ability via the Cape of Mercury, before Marvel decided to just give Dr Strange that same cape but called it the Cape of Levitation.
If the MCU plans on going the vampire infection and war route, it can only add the story of Count Vicaro and Angel as a flashback of sorts to help out some grander story they would have planned.
We all know Storm/Ororo Munroe, benevolent X-Men lead who can fly and control the weather to her liking? What if we told you there as an alternate universe version of her who ended up killing a few X-Men and tried going on a road to redemption?
Enter Bloodstorm, the Earth-21710 (and Earth-1298) versions of Storm. Her backstory is about the same, except she gets kidnapped by Dracula and turned into a vampire. She has the same weather-controlling and lightning powers as her 616 counterpart, but she can also shapeshift into mist and a flock of bats, as well as use hypnosis to get people to do her bidding. Fitting, since she is leadership material.
She also sees everything in shades of red and sports a rocking uniform ensemble with the top, the jacket, and her ponytail. Oh, and the piercings; can’t forget about the piercings and earrings. Honestly, having an X-Men leader with moral shades of grey long before the Wolverine vs Cyclops schism thing happen, and sporting vampire powers to boot, just makes Bloodstorm all the more badass and cool.
You heard us right. The same X-Men teenager in the 90s cartoon became a vampire at one point in her career, and it was a pretty long run. This started in the 2010 X-Men run “Curse of the Mutants” where she turned thanks to a combination of infected blood spilled on her via a vampire suicide bomber and a bite from the son of Dracula named Xarus (comics, right?).
Despite this setback, she managed to do a lot more than just whine and mope in her contained cell under the X-Men’s care. She formed a strong friendship with X-23 (mini girl Wolverine), controlled her vampirism by getting help from the Forgiven, and teamed up with the X-Men as field leader for some missions, as well as becoming a mom by adopting a lone baby boy she found in Budapest. The latter is probably her way of paying it forward since X-Men like Wolverine have taken care of her when her parents couldn’t.
She isn’t a vampire anymore thanks to powers from the Phoenix Force in a 2017-20188 Generation X run, but at the very least, it made some folks pay attention to the previous X-Men brat who goes through major growth. Thanks to getting bit by Dracula’s son, so thanks?
If the MCU plans on bringing this and the Bloodstorm story bits, the powers that be need to bring in the X-Men into the cinematic world first and foremost.
A vampire cow who is friends with Deadpool and the enemy of Howard the Duck. Perhaps Bessie can guest-star alongside Ryan Reynolds’ Wade Wilson in the third Deadpool movie down the line?
Know any other vampires in the Marvel Comics universe we should add? Let us know!