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From Eerie #12
Archibald Constable and Company (UK)
The following is based on the original character history from Stoker's novel:
Count Dracula is a centuries-old Vampire, sorcerer, and Transylvanian nobleman. He claims to be a Székely descended from Attila the Hun and inhabits his decaying castle in the Carpathian Mountains near the Borgo Pass. Unlike the vampires of Eastern European folklore which are portrayed as repulsive, corpse-like creatures, Dracula exudes aristocratic charm to mask true evil. As a youth, Dracula studied the black arts at the academy of Scholomance in the Carpathian Mountains, overlooking the town of Sibiu and became proficient in alchemy and sorcery. He later joined the military. He transformed into an undead vampire by using black magic and lives for several centuries in his castle with the Weird Sisters.
In the 19th century, he begins to enact his plan for world domination,beginning with England. He summons Jonathan Harker to provide legal support for a real estate transaction overseen by Harker's employer. The Count keeps Harker alive and unaware of his true intentions. Dracula then leaves his castle and boards a Russian ship, the Demeter. During the voyage he feasts on the ship's crew members. Dracula leaves the ship in the form of a wolf. Soon the Count goes after Harker's fiancée, Mina Murray, and her friend, Lucy Westenra. Also, there is a notable link between Dracula and Renfield, a resident of the asylum who is compelled to consume creatures in ascending order of size to absorb their "life force". He acts as a sort of Dracula detector, sensing the count's proximity.Dracula begins to visit Lucy on a nightly basis to drain her of blood and simultaneously transform her into a vampire. Lucy's companions notice something is wrong and call upon the Dutch doctor Abraham Van Helsing who soon deduces her condition is supernatural in origin. Despite an attempt using garlic to keep Dracula at bay, he entices Lucy out of her chamber and drains her completely of her blood which kills her. Van Helsing leads a group of men to enter Lucy's crypt and kill her reanimated corpse and then to go to Dracula's residence at Carfax Abbey, destroy his boxes of earth, and deprive him of his ability to regenerate his powers. Count Dracula leaves England and returns to Transylvania, but he bites Mina before leaving.
Eventually, Lord Godalming, Van Helsing, Dr. Seward, Jonathan Harker, Mina and Quincey Morris track the Count back to Transylvania and destroy him by cutting his throat with Jonathan Harker's kukri knife and piercing his heart with Quincey Morris's Bowie knife while his coffin was in transit. However, this is an omission of one of the proper ritual to destroy a vampire such as with a stake to the heart, decapitation, or dismemberment followed by cremation. The lack of proper disposal has suggested that Dracula may rise again.
Powers and Weaknesses
Dracula's powers include super strength, wall crawling, hypnosis, mind control, control over nocturnal animals (such as wolves and rats), weather manipulation, shapeshifting, change his size, transmit his vampire curse to others, and has limited invulnerability. His featured forms of shapeshifting in the novel include that of a bat, rat, wolf, vapor and fog. He also can only be definitively killed by decapitation followed by impalement through the heart or shooting him with a sacred bullet. He also requires no other sustenance but fresh blood, which has the effect of rejuvenating him. Without it, he physically ages at an accelerated rate. Sunlight also weakens Dracula, but unlike other vampires does not destroy him. He also possesses an aversion to garlic and sacred objects such as a cross. Dracula cannot cross running water or enter a house uninvited.
Dracula in Popular Culture
Count Dracula has made numerous appearances in comics, films, and video games. He also has served as the inspiration for many other vampires such as Count Orlok from the German expressionist vampire horror film, Nosferatu.
Public Domain Comic Appearances
- Active Comics #7: The character Noodle (a baby who dresses as a superhero) fought Dracula.
- Eerie #12: The story was an adaptation of the original story by Bram Stoker.
- Kid Eternity #4: Kid Eternity summons Dracula and several other fictional characters using his powers.
Public Domain Literary Appearances
- Dracula; or, The Un‐dead (play), by Bram Stoker, 1897. According to Wikipedia, the play was staged for the public before the novel was released.
- Dracula (novel), by Bram Stoker, 1897.
- Makt myrkranna (Might of Darkness), by Bram Stoker and Valdimar Ásmundsson, 1901. The Icelandic version of the novel was rewritten to include many new characters.
- “Dracula’s Guest” (short story), Dracula’s Guest and Other Weird Stories, by Bram Stoker, 1914.
- DC Comics, Dell, Dynamite Entertainment, Universal Pictures, Marvel, and numerous others have all used modified versions of the character, and their respective versions are owned by each of them. The original novel is undeniably in the public domain and, thus, anyone can create their own version(s) of the characters within.
- When Nosferatu, the unauthorized film adaptation of Dracula, was made in 1922, Count Dracula was replaced by Count Orlok.