Vlad Drakul (Dracula)

draculafilmcasualgamer‘s request brings to us yet another big baddie from Marvel Universe, this time the lord of vampires himself, Dracula. Nicknamed Drake, the immortal vampire appeared in Blade: Trinity as the main antagonist, portrayed by Dominic Purcell in his human form and by Brian Steele in his original, demonic one. The movie version is an ancient demon named Dagon, the progenitor of the vampire race who crossed history feasting upon the blood of humans; he’s awakened in modern times by Danica Talos and her clan, and he obviously comes to blows with the vampire-hunter Blade…but he actually finds himself more similar to his enemy than to his weak and whiny descendants. The modernized version of the character wasn’t really something, actually, and the comics one is closer to Bram Stoker‘s original version, which in turn is based on the historical figure of Vlad Țepeș…but, of course, there are some differences. Let’s see together.

Born in SchassburgTransylvania, in 1430Vlad Drakul was the son of Vlad Țepeș, the Prince of Transylvania and Voivode of Wallachia. At the time, Europe was under the constant assault of the Ottoman Empire, and Transylvania was the last line of defense against the Turks: when his father died in an ambush along with his brother Radu, Vlad was still 18 years old, but that didn’t prevent him from escaping a Turkish prison and claiming his rightful titles, sitting on the throne that was destined to him by birthright. The throne, however, had been taken by the usurper John Hunyadi, who decided to take Vlad under his wing to appease the old king’s supporters. Young Dracula played Hunyadi’s game, and learnt everything he could from him on the art of war; he even married Zofia, a woman he hated, to play the good adoptive son, but when Hunyadi died, he sent Zofia and their daughter Lilith away, assuming the throne and marrying the woman he truly loved, Maria. Vlad had a heir from Maria, Vlad Tepulus, and rebuilt his father’s empire, defeating the Ottoman Empire over and over and becoming infamous for the brutality used to dispatch his enemies, both the Turks and the Hunyadi’s supporters who draculacomics1had betrayed his father: all of them got impaled, and Vlad earned the name Dracula, The Dragon. Then, in 1459, everything ended: the Turkish warlord Turac had allied with a formidable warrior, the mysterious leader of the Dark Riders En Sabah Nur, and Dracula was defeated by their combined power. Barely alive, he was brought to the gypsy Lianda to be healed, but the woman, who remembered far too well Dracula’s persecution of her people, chose to curse him instead: a vampire herself, the woman bit the prince, turning him into a vampire. During the time it took for Dracula to regain senses and to understand his situation, Turac had invaded Transylvania, assaulted Vlad’s castle, and raped and killed Maria. Dracula’s first act as a vampire was to slaughter his hated enemy in revenge of Maria’s death, and to enslave him to his will by turning him into a vampire as well. His thirst for revenge and blood wasn’t over yet, and he resumed the command of his army, turning most soldiers into vampires and attacking the gypsies, slaughtering Lianda’s children in the process. Then, he killed the vampire lord Bordia, claming from him his old family castle. The following years he dedicated to enhance his powers and to increase the number of his servants, lieutenants and wives.

Finally, the incredible rising power of Dracula attracted the attention of the ancient vampire Varnae and of his servant, Nimrod, the lord of Earth‘s vampires. Nimrod ordered Dracula’s submission, but this obviously angered the proud warrior, who challenged the much more powerful and ancient vampire lord, and managed to slew him in battle: as a result, Dracula became the new vampire lord, and was allowed to drink Varnae’s blood, gaining incredible powers (even for a vampire). In the following centuries, his strength, power and cruelty grew as one, and he made an incredible number of sworn enemies: the gypsies sent against him his own children (and Dracula killed Vlad), the European nations declared war to him, a woman named Rache Van Helsing swore that her bloodline would have fought against him until he was destroyed, other vampires such as Elizabeth Bathory wanted to kill him to steal his position from him, and of course priests and holy warriors from the Vatican never ceased to try and destroy him. Dracula managed to kill all his enemies, and even if he got defeated some time, he managed to resurrect himself draculacomics2over and over again thanks to Varnae’s blood and to his ever-increasing powers. His lust for power brought him to sought even forbidden knowledge, such as the one held in the lost book of Darkhold, written by the evil Elder God Chthon and containing incredibly powerful black magic; the quest for the tome brought Dracula to start a war with the powerful magician Cagliostro, a conflict that would have lasted for centuries. Crossing history as a plague, Dracula was finally killed in 1897, after facing once again En Sabah Nur, who had formed an alliance with Abraham Van Helsing, a renowned hunter who was trying to protect an English woman, Mina Harker, from the monster. Dracula’s dismembered body was put into a coffin and hidden. Not much time later, however, a gypsy woman named Marguerita tricked the incredibly strong Frankenstein’s Monster to retrieve the coffin and to open it, leading to the resurrection of the Lord of Vampires. His continuous resurrections ended up enraging Death herself, who started manipulating people and events to restore the natural order and kill the vampire, creating a number of formidable enemies for him: Dracula, however, was not easily defeated, and the new century opening in front of him was ripe for his hunt to resume.

Vlad Drakul is a proud and rock-like warlord, whose cruelty against his enemies is legendary just as the devotion and loyalty he can inspire in his subordinates and allies. Determined and iron-willed, he constantly fights to fortify his power and to extend his dominion, in a neverending conquest that shook the ground of the universe itself. As Dracula, he’s by far the most powerful vampire ever lived: added to his human battle prowess and his remarkable and cunning intellect, beside the “normal” vampiric powers (superhuman strength, speed, stamina, durability, reflexes and senses, regeneration, immortality, fangs and claws), he possesses vast magic powers, which make him a powerful sorcerer, and he has also the ability to control weather (to the point of being a match for Storm or even Thor), to transform into a bat, a wolf, or even mist, thus becoming intangible and nearly invisible, to hypnotize people and vampires alike and to completely control the minds of the ones he has turned. The mystic energies empowering him actually prevent him from truly dying, and he’s always resurrected even by the simple physical removal of the object that has killed him from his body, usually silver blades or a wooden stake. Unstoppable, ambitious, irreparably evil, Dracula is an immortal plague that ravages the world, a flawless predator who preys on humanity, an abomination which defies the rules on which the universe itself is built…he knows all of this, and he basks in it.

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