Fictional character biography
|First appearance||Invaders #7 (July 1976)|
|Created by||Roy Thomas & Frank Robbins|
|Alter ego||Lord John Falsworth|
|Notable aliases||John Falsworth, Jr., Dr. Jacob Cromwell|
John Falsworth first appears in the title Invaders as an English aristocrat. Although posing as the son of the first John Falsworth, it is revealed in flashback that the character is in fact the original, made possible due to the fact that he is now an ageless vampire. When the family fortune is left to older brother James, John Falsworth leaves England to pursue an interest - vampire lore. Falsworth travels to Transylvania and encounters the original vampire Dracula, who, after overpowering Falsworth, drains his blood and turns him into one of the undead. Dracula then commands Falsworth to return to England and cause havoc in revenge for the deeds of former opponent Jonathan Harker. Adopting the alias of Baron Blood, the character allies with Germany during World War I and without either party realizing the identity of the other, battles his own brother, who is now the English hero Union Jack. Blood is wounded by Jack with a silver dagger, and flees to recover.
The character reappears during World War II in his false persona, and once again aids Germany, with Nazi technology helping to reduce susceptibility to sunlight (a major vampire weakness). As Blood, Falsworth attacks and wounds his niece, Jacqueline Falsworth, but is driven off by the original Human Torch. Almost dead due to blood loss, Jacqueline Falsworth is saved when given a blood transfusion by the Torch. The artificial blood causes the character to develop superhuman abilities, and she becomes the heroine Spitfire. Blood captures Spitfire and takes her to a cavern below Falsworth Manor, where in a final battle with Union Jack he cripples the hero by dropping a boulder on his legs. The superhero team the Invaders, however, arrive and defeat Blood, driving his body onto a silver-veined stalagmite.
Baron Blood reappears when Japanese soldiers sent by the spy Lady Lotus find the cavern and attempt to resurrect the character. The soldiers are driven off by Union Jack (the identity having been adopted by James Falsworth's son, Brian) and Spitfire, although Blood is accidentally revived. Blood travels to the United States of America and after a brief skirmish with the Invaders joins the Nazi team the Super-Axis for a final battle with the heroes. Blood is killed once again when impaled on a stake thrown by Namor the Sub-Mariner.
In the title Captain America a servant of Dracula, Dr. Jacob Cromwell, is sent to revive Blood, whose bones are stored in the Tower of London. Although Cromwell is successful, Blood betrays and kills him and one of his daughters, turning the other into a vampire (who becomes Baroness Blood). Assuming Cromwell's identity, Blood commits a series of murders that arouse the suspicions of his now very elderly brother James. The older Falsworth requests the aid of Captain America, who with the third version of Union Jack battles Blood. After being tricked into thinking that Union Jack was his older brother James, Blood is decapitated with Captain America's shield. The character's body is burned to ashes, with the ashes scattered.
Baron Blood reappears in an Avengers annual, being revived briefly to become part of Elder of the Universe the Grandmaster's Legion of the Unliving, and in a flashback story in a Namor: The Sub-Mariner annual briefly battles Namor over the affections of a female.
Baron Blood is resurrected in the second volume of Knights of Pendragon, before being killed by the third Union Jack; and in another flashback story in the third volume of Captain America, feeding on Allied troops before capturing Captain America and Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos. Blood tortures Fury, but when he leaves on another mission another vampire - an Allied officer that Blood had turned - kills the Nazis guards and frees the human prisoners, breaking down the bunker door so they can get out, even though doing so exposes the area to sunlight at the cost of his own life.
|Baron Blood II|
|First appearance||Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme vol. 3, #10 (Dec. 1989)|
|Created by||Roy Thomas and Jackson Guice|
|Alter ego||Victor Strange|
The storyline The Book of the Vishanti: Curse of the Darkhold in the title Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme features a new version of the character. When a still inexperienced Doctor Strange attempts to resurrect his dead brother Victor with a spell from the Book of the Vishanti, it revives the character as a vampire. Given the costume and name of Baron Blood by a voodoo sorceress, Victor Strange attempts to control his bloodlust, and becoming a costumed vigilante called Khiron, attempts to only prey on criminals. At times when criminals are not available, Victor utilizes his willing girlfriend, Morgana. However, his heroic impulses are used against him; Victor is preyed upon by Cagliostro, an ancient entity that needs vampire blood to live. Victor barely escapes this situation. The bloodlust, however, forces the character to kill innocents and he eventually commits suicide.
|First appearance||Captain America #253 (Jan. 1981)|
Roger Stern and John Byrne
|Alter ego||Kenneth Chrichton|
The final version of Baron Blood features in the limited series Union Jack. Kenneth Crichton, the son of Jacqueline Falsworth and a sufferer of the medical condition anemia, is estranged from his family after refusing to adopt the identity of Union Jack, deeming his close friend Joey Chapman to be a better choice. Crichton encounters Baroness Blood, who offers to cure his anemia. The character accepts and is turned into a vampire, becoming the new Baron Blood. Baroness Blood then directs Crichton to steal the Holy Grail from a museum, and uses the artifact to become immune to all vampire weaknesses. The Baroness then betrays Crichton and her vampire servants, leaving them to die when exposed to sunlight.
Powers and abilities
The first Baron Blood possesses all the abilities of a vampire, including superhuman strength and durability; hypnotism; the ability to command mice; rats; bats and wolves. Weaknesses include vulnerability to sunlight; garlic; silver; the presence of religious symbols; decapitation and a wooden stake through the heart.
Courtesy of Nazi science, Blood received treatment that allows activity in sunlight, at least for some length of time, although this also prevented a vampire's traditional shape-changing powers (into wolf or bat form) from working. His transforation into a vampire also somehow activated an apparently latent psionic ability of self-levitation, which enabled Blood to fly without having to change into bat form.
In this universe where everyone is a vampire, the Kenneth Crichton version of Baron Blood was the last Union Jack before he became Brother Blood.
Set in an alternate universe, the limited series Marvel Apes depicts Earth's heroes as intelligent apes with Blood posing as hero Captain America in the Ape-Vengers (a distorted version of the superhero team the Avengers). The villain is eventually opposed and defeated by the true Captain America.
- Invaders #7 (July 1976); #8 (Sep. 1976) #9 (Nov. 1976)
- Invaders #39 - #40 (Apr. - May 1979); #41 (Aug. 1979)
- Captain America #253 - 254 (Jan. - Feb. 1981)
- Avengers Annual #16 (1987)
- Namor: The Sub-Mariner #2 (Jan. 1992)
- Knights of Pendragon vol. 2, #10 - 11 (Apr. - May 1993)
- Captain America vol. 3, #20 - 21 (Aug. - Sep. 1999)
- Alias #26 (Nov. 2003)
- Infinity: The Hunt #2
- Doctor Strange:Sorcerer Supreme #10 - 11 (Dec. 1989)
- Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme #14 - 18 (Feb. - June 1990)
- Dr. Strange Annual #2 (1992)
- Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme #56 (Aug. 1993)
- Seen in Captain America #253 - 254 (Jan. - Feb. 1981)
- Union Jack #1 - 3 (Dec. 1998 - Feb. 1999)
- Exiles #31
- Marvel Apes #0 (Jan. 2008); #1 - 2 (Nov. 2008); #3 - 4 (Dec. 2008)
- Baron Blood I at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe
- Baron Blood III at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe