Decobra was a notorious teacher, physician, and scientist during his living days in the 19th Century. He was banned from Cornell Medical School because of his experiments to transplant the human heart. Living in exile, Decobra continued his experiments by stealing corpses from different graveyards and performing heart transplants on them. One night, he stumbled upon the coffin of a vampire and he became the victim of the undead's coven.
As a vampire, Decobra proved his heart transplant experiment was successful when he removed his heart from his own body and placed it inside a grandfather clock in his ancient mansion. The events after this development are unknown, but Decobra was eventually locked in his own coffin and a sunlamp was activated and placed above his coffin, so he couldn't escape without dying.
A century after his human days, Decobra's mansion was found by Bruce Wayne, who accidentally broke the sunlamp, allowing Decobra to escape his coffin trap. Weakened and hungry, Decobra was still a mighty enemy for Batman until the Dark Knight realized the location of Decobra's heart and killed the vampire by shooting an arrow through the grandfather clock.
- 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.
- Artist Mike Grell based Decobra's appearance on actor Christopher Lee's depiction of Count Dracula in a series of films produced by Hammer Film Productions from 1958-1973.
- 1 Appearances of Gustav Decobra (Earth-One)
- 1 Images featuring Gustav Decobra (Earth-One)
- Quotations by or about Gustav Decobra (Earth-One)
- Character Gallery: Gustav Decobra (Earth-One)