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Baron Blood(pop culture)
The vampire Baron Blood was one of a host of super villains created by Marvel Comics as worthy adversaries of its very successful superheroes. He first appeared in The Invaders (No. 7) in 1976, a time when Marvel was well into its creation of what came to be known as the alternative “Marvel Universe” (a world where all of their comic superheroes could exist and interact). Baron Blood was born late in the nineteenth century as John Falsworth, the younger son of Lord William Falsworth, a British nobleman. Shortly after the turn of the century, when his brother inherited control of the family fortune, the younger Falsworth went to Romania to search for Dracula. He planned to gain control of Dracula and become a powerful person, but he underestimated the Count’s powers and was instead turned into a vampire. Falsworth returned to England as Dracula’s servant and agent to create havoc in England. He became Dracula’s instrument of revenge for the defeat described in Bram Stoker‘s novel.
Falsworth became a German agent during World War I, which is when he first assumed his identity as Baron Blood. After the war, he disappeared until he reemerged as a Hitler supporter in World War II. He returned to England, posing as his own grandson, and took up residence at Falsworth Manor. He attacked his own family, but was defeated by the Invaders, the super-team that had been assembled to defeat the Third Reich. He was killed by a stalactite threaded through with silver. He was then entombed in a chapel with a stake in his heart and his casket surrounded by garlic.
Baron Blood did not reappear until 1981, when Captain America, one of the original Invaders, was summoned to England. The now aged Lord Falsworth believed that Baron Blood was the cause of a rash of what had been defined as slasher murders. Captain America then discovered that Baron Blood was not in his tomb. He had been resurrected some years before by a Dr. Charles Cromwell, who had been sent to Blood’s tomb by Dracula. After awakening, Blood killed Cromwell and assumed his identity. He lived quietly for many years taking blood from his patients. Captain America tracked him down, killed him, then decapitated him and burned his body.
Captain America had finally disposed of Baron Blood, but he was too worthy a villain to leave in the ashes. He initially reappeared in the form of Victor Strange, brother of Marvel’s sorcerer hero Dr. Stephen Strange. Victor had died and was frozen cryogenically. When Dr. Strange tried to revive him with magical spells, one of the spells worked but turned Victor into a vampire. Therefore, when the cryogenic machine was turned off in 1989, Victor awoke as a vampire. He donned a costume similar to Baron Blood’s, and was named Baron Blood by Marie Laveau, the voodoo priestess whom Strange was fighting at the time of Victor’s resurrection. Baron Blood settled in Greenwich Village and, like the vampire Morbius (another Marvel vampire), satisfied his craving for blood by attacking criminals. He reappeared occasionally in Dr. Strange episodes until August 1993, when he committed suicide by plunging a knife into his midsection. Dr. Strange buried the Baron, but there was no reason to believe that Baron Blood had finally been destroyed.
Baron Blood had a second reincarnation in 1999 in the person of Kenneth Creichton, a relative of the original Baron Blood. Suffering from anemia, he is approached by Baroness Blood and finally accepts her offer to be changed into a vampire. Thus he becomes the new Baron Blood. Meanwhile, the Baroness discovers the Holy Grail. The baron is present at Glastonbury when, in the presence of the group of vampires, she drinks from the Grail, thus attaining the power to walk about in the daylight. She refuses to share the power with the others and destroys the Grail. As the sun rises, Baron Blood is among those who disintegrate in its rays.
In 2007, Baron Blood was resurrected yet again in the story line of the third series of comics devoted to Blade the Vampire Hunter in which Blade’s father becomes a vampire in order to survive a terminal disease. He has lost his soul and in the process of seeking its restoration encounters a prophecy. This prophecy, when fulfilled—as it is at the end of the series (N.12)—causes the reemergence of a number of vampires. All of these vampires, including the infamous Baron Blood, remain alive (2009) and walking the earth.