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|As a result of the New 52 in 2011, the entire line of DC characters was relaunched, incorporating properties belonging to the company's imprints: Wildstorm, Milestone, and Vertigo. As such, elements of this character's history have been altered in some way from the previous incarnation. For a complete list of all versions of this character, see our disambiguation page.|
Cain was the first murderer, condemned for killing his brother Abel.
Beginnings of Vampirism
Given the "Mark of Cain" for his murder of his brother Abel, Cain lost his memory. Wandering in a desert, he came across a dying woman, also cast from Heaven, and found himself with a need to feed upon her. He drank her blood, confused as to how she knew his name, but had an instinctual knowledge of how to feed without actually killing her, leaving her alive enough to rise again, which she did as his bride, Lilith, Mother of Monsters. He also became stronger as a result of feeding.
After turning hundreds to their vampiric "children," Cain and Lilith came across a cult of vampire hunters. When she succumbed to her rage and loss, Lilith transformed into the first beast. Though they thought they killed all of the vampire hunters, enough survived to found the Order of the Van Helsings.
After a time of living like monstrous monarchs, they were met by a demon who had come to take back the power that they had got. Though he could not be killed, the Demon took the souls of all of those he had turned, including Lilith. He was promised, on that night, that if he fed just once upon a truly innocent soul, he would be cursed to spend his days locked in a vacuum of nothingness, eternally.
Middle Ages and Renaissance
During the Dark Ages, Cain attempted to make his way across Europe with a vampiric horde in the hopes of turning the Amazons of Themyscira into vampires and create an unstoppable undead army. He was repelled in his efforts by the Demon Knights, but not before the Shining Knight was bitten.
In the late 16th Century, Cain came across the broken carriage of a young man, to whom he told the story of himself and his bride, including the tale of the demon, when prompted on the basis that he was clearly not human (having realized this when a stab to Cain's body did not make him bleed). Misconstruing the young man's love for a young maid as lust, Cain fed upon him. Unfortunately, the victim, Andrew Bennett, was truly innocent, and so was capable of containing his power, as per the curse of the demon. He was thereafter trapped within the House of Mystery, while the young man became a partial vampire. This punishment was engineered by the Order of the Van Helsings itself as a means to contain him, given his immortality far beyond that of any vampire after him.
Rise of the Vampires
Upon the murder of Andrew Bennett by Tig Rafelson in the early 21st Century, Cain was freed from his imprisonment for the first time in five hundred years. He quickly took up command of the sunlight-tolerant, vampiric army of Mary, Queen of Blood, the very woman of which he was told by Andrew so many centuries ago. Stealing magic as it was used in order to strengthen his army, Cain became stronger himself with each spell used by the Justice League Dark in attempts to fight his vampiric forces.
Though Mary tried to confront Cain over his lack of respect to her and theft of all control of her army, he proved too strong for her to face, causing her to join forces with those aimed to stop his attempt to take over the entire Earth. Unfortunately, her efforts proved of little importance as he used his siphoned magical energy to rid all of his vampires of their traditional weaknesses, making them supremely powerful as a result.
Due to the interference of the Crystal One at the behest of Madame Xanadu, the world's magic was transferred from Cain to a resurrected Andrew while the former was fighting the Justice League Dark, which Andrew acknowledged as he came to the battle. With Andrew's first use of his magic, he turned the vampire army to dust, and with his second, he resurrected them, setting them upon their former master before decapitating Cain. Andrew thereafter used the world's magic to absorb all of the evils of the vampires into his own body, rendering himself the only vampire in the entire world as Cain nonetheless re-materialized out of the view of the assembled heroes, aware of Andrew's newfound evil.
Resurrection of Lilith and Fall
After Andrew had absorbed all of the evil of the vampires, Cain was rendered without his vampiric powers. Found by the newly human Mary and her companions, he readily admitted to being Bennett's sire. He tried to tell his story to the assembled vampire hunters, but they grew frustrated with the lack of information about the newly corrupted Andrew, eventually leaving in the middle of his tale when it became clear that the vampire had killed most of the Order of the Van Helsings and was on the move.
Arriving at the House of Mystery, where a portal was being opened to Hell using a stone from the top of the Tower of Babel, which had touched Heaven (thus instead opening up to them both and causing a break in reality itself), he attempted to use said portal, kept open by the magic-using vampire Charles Thompson, to free his wife from Hell.
Cain was disappointed when there was no sign of Lilith. Realizing that not only the evils of the vampires were inside of Andrew, but also the very souls of all of them, Cain ripped those souls from him, locating the soul of Lilith in the process.
Though the portal began to become unstable as well as unable to be closed, Cain was unconcerned, as he soon would have his Lilith back with him. To expedite that, he threw the soul into the dead body of Tig Rafelson, Andrew's new "queen" as well as mortal enemy, causing her to begin to transform into Lilith before his very eyes.
Though attempts by Andrew and Deborah Dancer fail to kill him, with him even being able to regenerate his head if decapitated, Cain prepared to usher in the destruction of the universe with Lilith by his side. As he wished to kill his sire, Cain followed Andrew to the main part of the House of Mystery, where he was once imprisoned. There, he found himself in a court room, face to face with Lucifer as his judge. Despite Cain's attempt to pass his Mark of Cain on to Andrew, he had taken it back when he resurrected Lilith. As punishment for his crimes, he was sentenced to a fate worse than death: eternal life in the House of Mystery, forever suffering.
Holy anachronisms, Batman!
This article is in need of updated information.
Powers and Abilities
- Vampirism: In addition to the various mental and physical benefits that vampires are heir to, they also possess the ability to turn others into vampires as well. Each new vampire is traditionally subservient to the one who "turned" them, but some strong-willed vampires have been known to rebel against their masters.
- Enhanced Senses: A vampire's senses are enhanced far beyond those of a normal human being.
- Immortality: So long as vampires continue to consume blood, they will not age beyond the physical state they were in when they first became a vampire.
- Invulnerability: Vampires are invulnerable to most forms of injury (certain exceptions apply). Bullets, blades and blunt objects do little to no damage to a vampire's body.
- Regeneration: In addition to being virtually indestructible, whatever damage a vampire does in fact suffer can be healed through the consumption of human blood.
- Superhuman Strength: A vampire's strength level is several times that of a normal human being and they are considered superhuman.
- Superhuman Stamina: So long as they continue to consume human blood, a vampire can function tirelessly without rest or relaxation. However, a vampire's stamina wanes the closer it is to sunrise.
- Psychokinesis: Most vampires possess some form of psychokinesis. Some are clairvoyant, others can communicate telepathically, some possess mind control. Particularly powerful vampires can control the minds of several people at once.
- Transformation: Vampires often possess the ability to transform into a variety of creatures or effects such as bats, wolves, rats or even mist. While their physical attributes may fluctuate during such states, a vampire's mental acuity is the same as that when they are in their human shape. A vampire who transforms into an animal may also benefit from that particular animal's attributes including razor-sharp claws, fangs or the ability to fly.
- Metamorphosis: Vampires often demonstrate the ability to alter their appearance at will.
- Magic: Cain is a very capable magic user, siphoning the power of other magic users and sapping the power of their spells in order to fuel his own power.
- Decelerated Aging
- Mark of Cain
- Mental Illness: Cain is periodically gripped with the overpowering urge to murder his brother, Abel.
- This character is an adaptation of Cain, a character in traditional stories. These include, but may not be limited to religious texts, myth, and/or folk lore. More information on the original can be found at Wikipedia.org.
- Cain is also and most prominently known as the Sire of All Vampires.
- Cain does not consider himself a vampire, but rather "what came before."
- I, Vampire: Rise of the Vampires
- I, Vampire: Wave of Mutilation
- Demon Knights: The Gathering Storm
- The Dreaming (Volume 2) #
- 34 Appearances of Cain (Prime Earth)
- 14 Images featuring Cain (Prime Earth)
- 2 Quotations by or about Cain (Prime Earth)
- Character Gallery: Cain (Prime Earth)
This character exists under the Vertigo Imprint which is intended for Mature Readers. Vertigo titles although they may cross over into regular DC continuity.
This template will categorize articles that include it into the category "Vertigo Characters."