Count Dracula was the original vampire.
Dracula's early history is largely unknown for certain, apart from the fact that his former 'servant', Tanya, was freed from his control by the sight of her master attacking an innocent child. Developing a "blood substitute" to avoid feeding on humans, Tanya dedicated herself to fighting Dracula and won several of his followers over to her side. However, none of them were able to directly fight him, as Dracula still possessed a mental link to them and could control them.
Eventually, Dracula made his way to Gotham City, where he and his minions fed upon Gotham's marginalized (homeless people, prostitutes, drug addicts, etc.) to increase their ranks, aided by the mayor's reluctance to admit the situation to the public and Gotham's already high crime rate. In an attempt to cover up the true nature of the attacks, Dracula's minions always slashed the throats of their victims to cover up the bite marks. Eventually, Dracula, by his own admission, was driven so mad by the "tainted blood" of Gotham that he was no longer concerned with getting caught, having become a total monster.
The murders eventually gained the attention of Batman, who investigated and surprised one of Dracula's minions just as she killed another victim; seeing the bite marks after he drove her away before she could slice the victim's throat, Batman slowly realized the truth.
Dracula eventually came across Batman when the latter was saved by Tanya and her "Others" after coming across a vampire nest. Arriving in his monstrous bat form, Dracula used his mind control powers to force Tanya and her minions to their knees, and then to commit suicide with their own stake guns. However, before the latter could be carried out, Batman freed them by attacking Dracula, only for Dracula to slash his chest open. Using this to his advantage, Batman drew the shape of a cross on the wall with his own blood, leaving Dracula at a stalemate as the vampire lord was simultaneously drawn to the blood and unable to approach the cross. After several hours, Dracula was forced to flee from the approaching dawn, vowing that Batman's blood would be his.
Dracula subsequently kidnapped Batman's ally, Commissioner Gordon, and held him hostage, bleeding him from a wound in his neck without biting him to prevent him from returning as a vampire. Meanwhile, Batman and Tanya lured Dracula's minions into the Batcave, where Batman set off pre-planted explosive charges to destroy Wayne Manor and expose the inside of the cave to the sunlight, killing both Dracula's and Tanya's forces.
Batman, having been granted some vampiric abilities by Tanya, subsequently armed himself with silver batarangs and tracked Dracula down just in time to save Gordon. In the ensuing battle, during which Batman found himself unable to match Dracula's incredible strength despite his new bat-like wings allowing him to pursue his foe, Dracula, enraged that Tanya gave him the "gift" without actually killing him, bit into Batman's neck and drained him of his blood. Nonetheless, Batman managed to impale Dracula on the remains of a tree that had been struck by lightning, putting an end to the vampire lord's reign of terror; unfortunately, Batman was transformed completely into a vampire by Dracula's bite.
However, some of Dracula's forces remained, and, unable to think beyond their next victim after Dracula's death, were taken over by the Joker, who coordinated their feedings to turn all of Gotham's major crime families. Although Batman continued the struggle against these vampires, he found himself increasingly longing for genuine human blood rather than Tanya's blood substitute, wondering if he was a more natural predator than Tanya or if his greater thirst was caused by his exposure to the more virulent vampire strain transmitted by Dracula rather than only being bitten by Tanya.
Despite his struggles with his bloodlust, Batman was eventually able to defeat the last of Dracula's 'family', with Gordon, Alfred, and a team of Gotham police officers staking the majority of the vampires as they slept during the day while Batman and his new ally, Selina Kyle, took out those remaining in a warehouse at night. During the final fight, however, Selina was killed by the Joker, and Batman, in a grief-stricken rage, succumbed to his vampire instincts and drained the Joker of his blood. Horrified, Batman fled the scene, leaving a letter asking for Gordon and Alfred to stake him now that he had become a monster like Dracula, taking the Joker's blood in a moment of vengeance and rage.
Unfortunately, Gordon and Alfred neglected to behead him after the staking; thus, Batman was driven insane by his bloodlust and the subsequent months he spent decaying in his crypt. When the stake was removed, Batman embarked on a rampage, slaying most of Gotham's villains for their blood, reflecting more than once that he had been cursed by Dracula's 'kiss' and the Joker's foul blood in equal measure, and finally remarking to Gordon after slaying Two-Face that now, he was perhaps even worse than Dracula himself, feeding eagerly without even Dracula's patience and restraint.
- 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.
Where most vampires were merely immobilized by stakes through the heart, Dracula collapsed into ash when he was impaled, although this could be due to various factors ranging from the size of the stake- an old tree that had just been struck by lightning- to his greater age.
This character is an adaptation of Dracula, a character from the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker published in 1897. More information can be found in the Wikipedia.org article Count Dracula.
- 1 Appearances of Dracula (Earth-43)
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- Quotations by or about Dracula (Earth-43)
- Character Gallery: Dracula (Earth-43)