Comics books and vampires, they're just one of those perfect pairings. Delicious on their own, but so much sweeter together. Whether it's the Frank Frazetta painted hottie you hid under your mattress, the scientist turned supervillain that reunited capes and creepies, or the jean-vest-wearing hooligan currently guzzling beer and blood on AMC's Preacher, comic fans have always found the most mesmerizing and memorable characters to be the ones sporting fangs.
With Blastr counting down the 31 days of Halloween, and with Vertigo releasing an all-new comic book sequel to the classic 1987 film The Lost Boys on the 12th of this very month, there's never been a better time to take a closer look at the most fearsome, legendary and downright coolest vamps in comics.
From the classic characters still driving us batty to the more recently turned undead we're currently spilling our guts for, here's a haunted belfry full of the 13 best comic book bloodsuckers to ever drain a vein!
Every day this month we're bringing Top 13 lists tied to the world of horror. You can follow them all here.
Emily Briggs was originally introduced in 1985 in the pages of Batman & The Outsiders #25, later going on to become the telekinetic superhero Looker, and later still a super-powered vampire. DC Comics, who was also publishing I, Vampire at the time, introduced a new version of Looker in 2012 with National Comics: Looker #1, a one-shot story which showed a lot of potential for how the company could fuse the horror and superhero elements in their books. This version of Emily was a successful supermodel before a vampire bite made it impossible for her to ever be photographed again. Donning a bright red costume, she opens a modeling agency called LOOKER so that she can use her powers to protect her clients from the darker elements of the fashion industry.
12) THE COLLECTOR
Like Chew's protagonist Tony Chu, The Collector, or the Vampire as he calls himself, is a cibopath, able to gain memories and abilities from the things, and people, he eats. Though not technically a vampire, he does become quite like one in his quest for dominance, sharpening his teeth and consuming others to inherit their powers of seduction, long life, and mind control. Not to mention several far sillier abilities, like gaining strength by eating spinach, which he took from one unnamed sailor, or the less-than-useful mastery of stringing a guitar with pasta noodles. Whatever powers he employed at the time, as soon as he appeared in December 2009's Chew #7, he began a spree of intimidation, interrogation, and stone cold, blood draining murder that seemingly no character in the series was safe from.
11) STATUE TORI
Somewhat appropriately the freshest of the undead on this list, Tori was introduced earlier this year in the eighth issue of Devil's Due/1First Comics' sublime fantasy sitcom Public Relations. Dubbed "Statue Tori" due to her uncanny talent for chiseling the likenesses of Sardonia's many brave(ish) knights into stone, and also because of her sixteen-year-old appearance. She's an obvious parody of oversexed, underaged bad girl characters like Chaos! Comics' own blood sucking teeny bopper, Chastity. Only certified goth Threnody Dark sees past her apparent youth, declaring, "No sixteen-year-old on earth has any ******* idea who the members of Duran Duran are."
10) THE VARCOLAC
The Vârcolac is the titular villain of a six-part Hellboy story which began in Dark Horse Extra #14 in July of 1999. Described by Countess Ilona Kakosy as "The King of all Vampir, living and dead," the colossal Vârcolac blocks out the moon upon its arrival, a shout out to the Romanian legend about a vampire that causes eclipses, which writer Mike Mignola credits as the inspiration to the story. That the appearance of The Vârcolac and his subsequent battle with Hellboy eventually turn out to be illusions created by the Countess to prevent her own staking does nothing to diminish the scene, which remains one of the most epic and memorable in Mignola's entire Hellboy saga.
9) SKINNER SWEET
Skinner Sweet, renowned lover of candy and carnage made his first appearance in American Vampire #1, released in 2010 with an origin story written by the master of literary terror, Stephen King. A shootout in 1880 with a Nosferatu-like European vampire exposed Sweet to an eyeful of ancient blood, turning him into the first ever American vampire. Confined to a coffin for the next thirty years, he emerged with the realization that the weaknesses of elitist old-blood vampires had no effect on him, be they water, silver, or sunlight. As a matter of fact, sunlight strengthened Skinner, and nothing short of gold could seriously harm him.
Jubilation Lee first appeared in 1989's Uncanny X-Men #244, a homeless teen mutant with the ability to create explosions out of thin air. She lost her powers after the events of House of M, but gained a whole slew of vampiric benefits and weaknesses during 2010's X-Men: Curse of the Mutants when she succumbed to Xarus, the son of Dracula. It's impressive that a member of the X-Men, for whom death, undeath, and resurrection seem relatively common, has managed to maintain her status as a vampire for this long, but it may have been the best thing to ever happen to the mutant mallrat. After Curse of the Mutants concluded Jubilee's condition was left unresolved, but it ushered in an unparalleled era of stability for the character, who moved back to her home town, invested in some very strong sunscreen, and settled down to raise her adopted son, Shogo.
Released in 2006 by Image Comics, Drain #1 introduced Chinatsu in a classic story of love, betrayal, and revenge written by C. B. Cebulski and lavishly illustrated by Sana Takeda of the horror fantasy series Monstress. The daughter of a samurai, and the only one left alive after her entire family and clan were savagely set upon by a vampire, we are only given tiny glimpses at the many lives Chinatsu has lived in the four centuries since receiving the curse of immortality. Ruthless, intelligent, and completely ready to leave everything behind at a moment's notice, she now lives only to punish the wicked. And at the very top of her list sits the vampire who turned her, and the woman she once loved, the only human Chinatsu has ever turned.
When Vampirella premiered in September of 1969 as the host and headliner of the anthology magazine Vampirella #1 she was depicted as an alien from the planet Drakulon, where blood flowed in rivers as water does on earth. She has since been rewritten as the daughter of Lilith, the biblical Adam's first wife who was cast out of Eden for refusing to submit to him. Whatever her origin, Vampirella has all the classic vampiric perks, immortality, shapeshifting, a hypnotic gaze, with none of the common weaknesses. She's been revived and reimagined countless times, and with a brand new series by Paul Cornell and Jimmy Broxton recently announced she continues to endure as comics' flagship blood hungry heroine.
Far more noble than most creatures of the night, and considerably less pale, this dual-wielding daywalker made his debut in 1973, in the tenth issue of Marvel's classic Tomb of Dracula series. Born in a brothel as Eric Brooks, his mother gave birth while being feasted upon by a vampire disguised as a doctor. Eric's violent and tragic entrance into the world gave him both the purpose and the power, specifically an immunity to full vampirism, to become the heroic hybrid, Blade. An obvious choice for this list, he's more than earned it, with film and television appearances helping him to become one of the most recognizable vampire hunters of all time.
The Hellsing manga, originally serialized in the Japanese comic magazine Your King OURS from 1997-2008, follows Alucard, the first vampire. Following events not revealed until quite late in the series, Alucard swore his eternal loyalty to the head of the Hellsing family, and over a century later the current head of the family has appointed him supernatural specialist in the Order of Royal Protestant Knights, also known as the Hellsing Agency. Though Alucard claims "there is no such thing as immortals," he is himself seemingly unkillable, even by decapitation and a stake through the heart. As cruel as he is powerful, the monsters he is assigned to hunt, and sometimes even his allies, are subject to constant mockery and humiliation.
3) PROINSIAS CASSIDY
From the very first issue of Preacher in April 1995, one of its most crucial ingredients was the sarcastic charm that emanated from Cassidy, colored by his thick Irish accent. A fiercely loyal friend, Cass puts himself on the wrong end of fists, knives, and more than a few bullets while in the company of Reverend Jesse Custer. Even after the drinking buddies initial falling out Cassidy is ready to single-handedly take on The Saint of Killers to protect a man who called him an "abomination" upon learning of his peculiar diet. And like any great literary vampire, there's something strangely romantic about his pickup truck lifestyle, driving cross country by night and sleeping the day away under a tarp on the side of the road.
Interceptor envisions an Earth plunged into eternal darkness by nuclear overkill and reclaimed by hyper-evolved vampires. When the second issue was released last February it introduced the series' most memorable villain, Matilda, queen of the western hemisphere. With giant red antlers and a long white gown that stretches out to become the carpet you would walk in on to greet her, she lays sprawled out, drunk off the blood of the naked men piled up around her hedonistic throne. Writer Donny Cates praises series artist Dylan Burnett for the character's design, remarking in a recent interview, "it says so much about her character that she's so confident that she'll never be challenged that she wears the most ridiculous, impractical thing that she possibly could."
1) MORBIUS: THE LIVING VAMPIRE
February 1971 saw the now defunct Comics Code Authority lift its ridiculous ban on certain supernatural characters, including vampires, so when The Amazing Spider-Man #101 came out in October of that same year audiences were more than ready to see monsters make a comeback. Coincidentally, it was also the first issue of the series not to be written by Stan Lee, and it ushered in a historic era of horror comics from the publisher. In a uniquely non-supernatural origin by Roy Thomas, Dr. Michael Morbius accidentally transformed himself while attempting to cure his own rare and fatal blood disease. Endowed with vampiric powers and appetites, and a disco-collared jumpsuit courtesy of artist Gil Kane, he went on to headline a number of his own books as the archetypal, tragically monstrous protagonist.