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Comic Book Alphabet of Vampires – I

Again, coinciding with First Second Books’ Vampire Month, here’s the next in our alphabet of comic book vampires!

Enjoy!

I…Vampire

I…Vampire was a comic series that ran in the pages of House of Mystery, going from one of a number of short stories to becoming the star feature of the comic book.

Created by J.M. DeMatteis and drawn initially by the late great Tom Sutton, I…Vampire starred Andrew Bennett, an English Lord who, after being turned into a vampire in the late 16th Century, turned the great love of his life, Mary Bennett, into a vampire as well.

However, his gift of love did not turn out that well, as Mary was corrupted by her new vampiric powers, and soon became the head of a cult called the Blood of the Red Moon, and began plans to take over the world.

Bennett devoted the rest of his unnatural life to stopping his former love.

DeMatteis created a great figure in Bennett – a truly noble vampire (he, of course, would not drink from human flesh – choosing instead animal blood or bottles of human blood).

DeMatteis did not stay with the feature for that long, and Bruce Jones wrote the bulk of the series, I believe.

Sutton did most of the art on the comic, and it was a fun series to read.

Originally, it was just one of many features – heck, it did not even originally appear monthly, but that changed eventually…

And as you can see, soon, I…Vampire was the selling point of the title…

In fact, in between House of Mystery #309 and #310, a notable change happened…

Now the book was clearly I…Vampire’s!!

The character was popular enough to even team-up with Batman!

Ultimately, the title ended…

DeMatteis brought him back in the pages of Dr. Fate.

But he made VERY few appearances in the last fifteen or so years, until Brian Azzarello made him a major part of Team 13.

Team 13 rules so much.

22 Comments

Tom Fitzpatrick

May 28, 2008 at 3:25 am

“Outside in the distance, a wild cat did growl ….”
“Two alphabets were approaching, the wind began to howl …”

Bob Dylan

Seems very much like Angel, no?

There are only so many noble-vampire stories you can tell before you start mixing in the major plot points of all of them together. And the noble-vampire story is, historically, more of a werewolf story. (Vampires traditionally are the external evil coming to get you: werewolves are the internal evil coming out. A first-person vampire story is really a werewolf story with a shave.)

Matthew Johnson

May 28, 2008 at 6:20 am

Trivia: reportedly, Stephen DeStephano’s DC tryout was a parody called “I… Baby Vampire.” (I don’t think it was ever published.)

So does anyone know how he’s back to life? Since DeMatteis kind of killed him in Dr. Fate.

Personally, this was one of the few “non-capes” comics I read growing up…. that and Jon Sable: Freelance. I actually looked forward to reading this every month.

I always thought the reason I…Vampire became the “star” of the book was because the anthology books weren’t doing so well, and DC thought giving them a regular character/feature would help. I figured that was also why the Creature Commandos took over Weird War Tales. Maybe that’s one for the CBULR column, though.

So does anyone know how he’s back to life? Since DeMatteis kind of killed him in Dr. Fate.

I assume Geoff Johns does.

Seriously, “Architecture and Morality” is seemingly non-canon [or more precisely is atheist/agnostic about canon: Dr. 13 would want it that way.] However, I think Johns is amused by the idea of making the team canon, and has started doing some small things towards that end in Booster Gold and Action Comics.

The Cult of the Blood Red Moon popped up as the antagonists in Moench’s 1980s Spectre series, IIRC. (And they were namechecked in Gaiman’s Books of Magic.)

Did this character appeared in Morrison’s Animal Man run, when Buddy was stuck in the past or something, and he was having tea with Jason Blood, or am i mizing my characters?

Seems very much like Angel, no?

I think he was a bit more complex and had more of a direction than Angel.

Angel didn’t seem to even DO much for decades after he got his soul.

Trivia: reportedly, Stephen DeStephano’s DC tryout was a parody called “I… Baby Vampire.” (I don’t think it was ever published.)

Ha! That’s awesome.

So does anyone know how he’s back to life? Since DeMatteis kind of killed him in Dr. Fate.

Yeah, but he’s been killed before.

I think when you’re working with people who are undead already, it’s not too hard to bring them back to life.

always thought the reason I…Vampire became the “star” of the book was because the anthology books weren’t doing so well, and DC thought giving them a regular character/feature would help. I figured that was also why the Creature Commandos took over Weird War Tales. Maybe that’s one for the CBULR column, though.

Could be true!

Did this character appeared in Morrison’s Animal Man run, when Buddy was stuck in the past or something, and he was having tea with Jason Blood, or am i mizing my characters?

He MAY have been one of the characters Buddy sees in Limbo.

I don’t recall offhand.

“Seriously, “Architecture and Morality” is seemingly non-canon [or more precisely is atheist/agnostic about canon: Dr. 13 would want it that way.] However, I think Johns is amused by the idea of making the team canon, and has started doing some small things towards that end in Booster Gold and Action Comics.”

Ah, geez, Thok, I wish you hadn’t told me that.

Actually Brian, my point was that Angel took elements from this character…the noble Vampire who wouldn’t drink human blood and all that and fought evil. Didn’t mean to imply they were the same character. I wonder if Joss Whedon read this series when he was younger?

I got that, Walid – your comment just inspired me to think about comparing the two, and in comparison, I think Bennett is a bit more complex and had more of a direction.

Pretty sure that the time-lost Animal Man had coffee with the Phantom Stranger, Immortal Man, and Jason Blood at an outdoor cafe in the daytime– no vampires in sight.

Ah, geez, Thok, I wish you hadn’t told me that.

OK, are you disappointed by the idea that Team 13 isn’t canon, or the idea that Johns is trying to make it canon?

(I assume it’s the second, but I’m not sure I understand being disappointed by either idea, unless you really dislike Johns continuity fetish.)

My guess, thok, is that it was “Oh no, you’re making me want to read a Johns comic book.”

[…] at the nexus of all of my interests.  (I didn’t see any vampires or zombies, but there are many comics about both.)  The attention whores held up signs attributing their hate for certain […]

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