Ulysses Bloodstone promotional art.
|First appearance||Marvel Presents #1 (Oct. 1975)|
|Created by||Len Wein
|Team affiliations||Monster Hunters
|Notable aliases||Ulysses Bloodstone, Captain Achab, Redstone Kid|
|Abilities||Superhuman strength, immortality|
John Warner has explained the development of Ulysses Bloodstone: "Len Wein and Marv Wolfman came up with the spark that would become Bloodstone—the premise of a man who fights monsters—and together he [sic] and I began to develop a series idea to take up ten pages of Where Monsters Dwell."  Mike Vosburg was the artist assigned to the first installment, and then Pat Boyette was to do the rest of the series. Warner developed ideas for the ongoing story describing the planned ideas as "grand and epic and sweeping in scope" and "very cosmic and complex."
Where Monsters Dwell was cancelled at the same time as The Living Mummy, another title on which Warner was working. However, he was informed that he would get the chance to run part of the story in the first two issues of a new title, Marvel Presents. The first two parts were finished, and they would run in issue one; Warner had to draw everything to a satisfactory close in the second issue. He says, "In the first two episodes I had laid the groundwork for this grand sweeping epic ... and all of a sudden I had to tie it off in eighteen pages." This left a lot of the story untold, and he could only introduce two of the characters he wanted to bring in, Brad Carter and P.D.Q. Warner. Due to the delays Boyette was unavailable for the second issue, whose artwork Sonny Trinidad drew instead.
Most of the rest of the planned stories would appear in the back-up story in The Rampaging Hulk (1977) which led up to Bloodstone's death. This was told in #8, after the feature was replaced in #7 by an unrelated feature, and now written by Steve Gerber rather than Warner. Other parts of his history would be told through flashbacks in titles like Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty (1999), and more of the background to his death was filled-in by The Bloodstone Hunt storyline in the regular Captain America comic (1989). His adventures with the Monster Hunters were told in Marvel Universe (1998) and Marvel: The Lost Generation (2000).
Fictional character biography
In the Hyborian Age, a meteorite landed on Earth in Northern Vanaheim on the European continent, circa 8250 B.C. It was controlled by an evil extra-dimensional entity called the Hellfire Helix, which wanted to conquer the world. To that end, it sent its agent, Ulluxy’l Kwan Tae Syn, to get the meteorite and find a host for it. However, a local human hunter/gatherer found the rock, and fought Ulluxy’l Kwan Tae Syn. In the fight, the meteor was smashed, a part of it (also called the Bloodgem) was imbedded in the human's chest, and the explosion killed the human's tribe. The human vowed revenge on Ulluxy’l Kwan Tae Syn. Because of the gem in his chest, he became immortal, and later became known as Ulysses Bloodstone.
Ulysses Bloodstone was one of the most successful mercenaries in the world. His long life allowed him to assemble a vast fortune, which he used to set up a series of outposts, fully staffed and equipped, in various corners of the world. He gained mastery of most of the world's weaponry, and a large portion of the world's martial arts and languages.
Over the next 10,000 years, Bloodstone would travel all over the world, looking for Ulluxy’l Kwan Tae Syn. As a result, by the 20th Century, he had become immensely wealthy, and could speak most of the world's languages. In his hunt for Ulluxy’l Kwan Tae Syn, he had become a mercenary, adventurer, and soldier-of-fortune, proficient with most of the world's weaponry. Because of Ulluxy’l Kwan Tae Syn's ability to summon monsters from another dimension, which Ulluxy’l did specifically to keep Bloodstone away from him, Bloodstone gained a reputation as a monster hunter.
Sometime in the 1930s, he battled Nosferatu and his clan of vampires. In 1933, he gained a sidekick: Fat Cobra, who later became one of the Immortal Weapons. He embarked on a series of adventures with him that took them to the far corners of the globe, traveling to the Savage Land and Monster Island and fighting Mole People and Fin Fang Foom. In the 1950s, he became a member of the Monster Hunters, of whom he remained a member till they disbanded.
Bloodstone met two future allies, Brad Carter and P.D.Q. Warner, who sought giant humanoid monsters to battle. A fight between Possessor and Bloodstone occurred during this time in which he was able to defeat his foe with the help of the Bloodgem. He battled the giant undersea humanoid monster Goram while seeking another Bloodstone fragment. Goram was subdued by the technology of Bloodstone Island, and then Ulysses Bloodstone fought Killer Shrike. Bloodstone met Iron Man, then battled Goram and his master Centurius. Bloodstone then met Ulluxy’l Kwan Tae Syn on the astral plane. Bloodstone petitioned the United Nations to recognize the sovereignty of Bloodstone Island, and then battled Sharzan the Elemental.
Bloodstone's vendetta against the Hellfire Helix ended when the truth came out: the Hellfire Helix had needed a host, and had chosen Bloodstone. As Bloodstone and Ulluxy’l Kwan Tae Syn had fought, the Helix had assembled a group called "The Conspiracy," which had five members, to reassemble the meteorite and gain control of Bloodstone. Bloodstone faced off against the Conspirators, but they defeated him. The life-sustaining gem fragment was surgically removed from his chest by one Conspirator, the surgeon Dr. Juden Bardham. The Conspirators thought they would become immortal, but instead, the evil Helix killed all five of them to reassemble the gem. Bloodstone's body managed to kill the gem-monster Ulluxy’l Kwan Tae Syn and prevent the Helix from coming to Earth by vanquishing the Hellfire Helix on the astral plane. His body then withered and died.
Bloodstone's skeleton was later revealed to be in the possession of the American Museum of Natural History. The Hellfire Helix was later revealed to have resurrected itself, and it possessed the corpse of the first Baron Zemo, which disappeared down an inactive volcano in Japan.
The Bloodstone restored the Punisher, who had been resurrected as a Frankenstein's monster-like entity derisively nicknamed "Franken-Castle," to normal after a damaging fight with Daken and Wolverine. The Punisher discarded the Bloodstone when Ulysses Bloodstone's daughter Elsa and the Legion of Monsters made him realize that it was beginning to affect his judgement, causing him to consider killing those who might commit crimes rather than allowing him to retain his resolve to only kill the guilty.
Powers and abilities
The mystic Bloodstone fragment embedded in Ulysses Bloodstone's chest emanated magical energy which increased his physical strength, speed, stamina, agility, reflexes, and senses to superhuman levels. The Bloodstone also provided vast regenerative capabilities that enabled his rapid regeneration of injured or missing body tissue with much greater speed and efficiency than an ordinary human. The more extensive the injury, the longer it would take for him to heal it fully. Bloodstone's healing ability was sufficiently developed for him to be able to regenerate severed limbs, which he did at least once. On this occasion, Bloodstone entered a state of self-induced hibernation which could last for years. Aside from his greatly enhanced healing, the Bloodgem rendered Bloodstone virtually immortal in the sense that he was immune to the effects of aging and to all known diseases. Bloodstone's life was dependent upon the presence of the fragment and, as a result, he had ceased to require food, water, or air to survive. However, if he was forcefully separated from the gem, then that forceful separation would kill him; indeed, when Dr. Bardham removed the fragment from his chest, it did kill him.
Aside from his physical attributes, the Bloodstone provided certain psionic abilities to Ulysses Bloodstone. He possessed a kind of invisible third eye on his forehead that allowed him to see human auras, which enabled him to see people even in total darkness, and the ability to travel mentally onto any one of the various astral planes of existence. Bloodstone also possessed some degree of psychokinesis, the limits of which were never discovered, but which also enabled him to detonate certain explosives by means of such psychokinesis.
Bloodstone's greatly extended lifespan afforded him many lifetimes's worth of time to study virtually anything he wished to learn. Thus, he had acquired a high degree in expertise in virtually all forms of armed and unarmed combat. In the modern era, he used a variety of different weapons, including high-caliber firearms, swords, and knives. He carried a specially-designed sawed-off shotgun whose shells he could detonate mentally, as well as a stainless steel Bowie knife and .45-inch caliber semi-automatic handguns. He wore a flak jacket with storage pouches for a variety of weapons and ammunition.
Elsa Bloodstone is the daughter of Ulysses Bloodstone. She was the star of her own mini-series, simply titled Bloodstone.
Cullen Bloodstone is the son of Ulysses Bloodstone and a student at the Braddock Academy. He was among the 16 teenagers who were captured by Arcade and brought to Murderworld so that Arcade could have the teenagers fight to the death.
Ulysses Bloodstone also appeared in Nextwave in many flashbacks relating to his daughter's training and is shown acting out of character - for example, Ulysses creates a robot tutor for Elsa that uses torture to teach her. In another incident, Ulysess throws a baby Elsa into battle against a monster. In 2006 Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada stated that "for the time being" Nextwave was to be considered set in a universe separate from the main Marvel continuity. More recently Nextwave has been partially integrated with the Marvel Universe when someone dressed like the Nextwave version of Monica Rambeau was seen being deported back to Earth-A, from where people had been arriving on superhero vacation packages. Furthermore, several characters in the Nextwave book, not including Elsa herself, appeared in other books, referring to some events of the series as actually canon. Civil War: Battle Damage Report suggests that Nextwave adventures actually happened, but due to mental conditions and drug treatments given to the main characters, they were in a constant delusional state, accounting for the weird memories Elsa displays of her father.
Stories featuring him that have been collected into trade paperbacks include:
- Marvel Milestones Special: Bloodstone, X-51 & Captain Marvel II (collects Marvel Presents #1 and Bloodstone #1, Marvel Comics, 2006)
- Captain America: The Bloodstone Hunt (collects Captain America volume 1 #357-362, 1989), tpb July 1993, ISBN 0-87135-972-3
In other media
A Bloodstone TV series was considered for development in 2001.
- "Of Helixes and Hexes," written by John Warner, published in the "Reader's Space" section of Marvel Presents #2, for December of 1975.
- Bloodstone #1-4 (2001-2002)
- Immortal Weapons #1 (2009)
- Marvel Universe #4-7 and Marvel: The Lost Generation #2
- These had previously appeared in Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #2, for July of 1968.
- Marvel Presents #1-2
- Rampaging Hulk #1
- Rampaging Hulk #2
- Rampaging Hulk #3
- Centurius had also first appeared in Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #2.
- Rampaging Hulk #4
- Rampaging Hulk #6
- Rampaging Hulk #8
- Captain America #357
- Captain America #362
- Franken-Castle #21
- Avengers Arena #1
- Wade Gum (2006-07-01). "Heros Con: Joe Quesada Panel," http://www.wizarduniverse.com/magazine/wizard/000765389.cfm
- She-Hulk #21 (2007)
- For more information see Nextwave#Continuity
- Anthony Flamini & Ronald Byrd (w), Scott Kolins (p), Scott Kolins (i). Civil War: Battle Damage Report 1 (March 2007), Marvel Comics
- Marvel Milestones Special: Bloodstone, X-51 & Captain Marvel II at the Comic Book DB
- Hunt for the Bloodstone at the Comic Book DB