Frost, Deacon

Frost, Deacon

(pop culture)

Deacon Frost, a vampire and antagonist of Blade the Vampire Slayer, was introduced in the pioneering comic series Tomb of Dracula (Marvel, 1972–1980), one of the many characters created by writer Marv Wolfman. The first reference to Deacon Frost occurs in issue No. 13 in which he kills Blade’s mother as she is going into labor with him. Frost’s bite taints the blood remaining in her and Blade is thus born as a dhampir, his mother’s blood passing to him several extra-mundane abilities, including the dhampir’s traditional sensitivity to the presence of vampires. Blade also cannot be transformed into a vampire. Deacon Frost had been high on his list of hoped-for targets when he met the cadre of vampire hunters headed by the wheel-chair-bound Quincey Harker (in issue No. 10).

Frost, as originally conceived, was a white-haired but vigorous senior citizen, with a full beard and mustache. He tended to dress in nineteenth-century European garb.

In later appearances in Tomb of Dracula, we learn that his vampire career dates to the 1860s when, as a scientist in search of immortality, he injected himself with vampire blood resulting in his transformation into a vampire (No. 53). He turned Hannibal King into a vampire and a vampire hunter. Through the issues of Tomb of Dracula in the 1970s, he periodically reappears and broadcasts his grandiose idea of replacing Dracula as the Lord of the Vampires. He was endowed with the ability to produce vampire doppelgangers (clones). They were automatically generated after he bit someone. And with a vampire army of doppelgangers he attacked Blade and King. They ultimately defeated him, and killed Frost. Later one of his doppelgangers showed up and had to be dispatched.

In 1998, Blade emerged again as the star of his own movie in which he again faces off against Deacon Frost (portrayed by Stephen Dorff). The movie begins with Blade’s unusual birth. The action moves immediately to a nightclub where the now adult Blade (portrayed by Wesley Snipes) takes on a room full of vampires, whom we later discover are minions of Frost, now appearing as a much younger man, completely clean shaven.

Frost still has grandiose plans, now focused on ruling the various vampire “houses” or clans and becoming a vampire god, La Magra, which he initially accomplishes through performing a magical ritual, that included the slaying of the heads of the 12 vampire houses. With his new status and the powers it confers, he and Blade are set up for their final confrontation. In relatively quick fashion, Blade seemed to have finally killed the vampire by first cutting off his arm and then cutting him in two pieces. Frost, however, is not done, but reassembles the two halves and regenerates a new arm. In the end, he is seemingly killed from darts filled with pure sunlight.

Since no vampire seems to ever be killed for good, it was not surprising when Frost and his clones reappeared. In a Blade one-shot comic, Blade: Cresent City Blues (1998), Frost reappears, affirms that a previous reappearance was in fact one of his clones, and then proceeds to build a power base in New Orleans. Blade again thwarts Frost’s plans, but the vampire ultimately escapes. He reappears again in Blade: Vampire Hunter (1999–2000) where he heads for the desert to meet Dracula, who is about to engage in a Rite of Ascension that would greatly expand his powers. Blade arrived in the nick of time and after a lengthy battle again killed Deacon Frost with a stake in the heart. This story was cut short in 2000 and only completed in the new Tomb of Dracula Series in 2004.

Sources:

Blade. Nos. 1–12. New York: Marvel, 2007.
Blade: Vampire Hunter. Nos. 1–6. New York: Marvel Comics, 1999–2000.
Christensen, Jeff. “Deacon Frost.” The Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe. Posted at http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix3/frostdeaconblade.htm. Accessed on April 5, 2010.
Brooks, Eric. “Blade.” Marvel Universe. Posted at http://marvel.com/universe/Blade. Accessed on April 5, 2010.
Tomb of Dracula. Nos. 1–70. New York: Marvel Comics, 1972–1979.
Tomb of Dracula. No. 1–4. New York: Marvel 2004–2005.