There aren’t many people who haven’t heard of Dracula. The Count has been around since 1897, when he first appeared in Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula. The character actually turns 120 this year, so why not explore another tiny sliver of Dracula’s unique history.
A big reason for Dracula’s staying power has to be the fact that the character exists in the public domain. This pretty much mean that he can be used by almost anyone, in any story they choose, and has led to many versions of the character showing up in books, films, plays, TV, & comics.
To many, Dracula is not only the ultimate vampire; he’s the ultimate villain. So why not pair up the ultimate villain against the best heroes and superheroes that comics has to offer. Marvel, DC, Dynamite, and other comic publishers took full advantage of being able to use Dracula, and reward readers with some pretty memorable comic books. Some characters on this list aren’t exclusively comic characters, but the comics are where they met Dracula. It’s amazing just how many characters have tangled with Dracula over the years. There’s so many, that we’ve surely missed some, but here is our list of 15 Comic Book Heroes Who Fought Dracula.
15. Deadpool vs Dracula
Marvel is the comics publisher that has probably used Dracula the most in their stories, so much so that Dracula had his own comic series (Tomb of Dracula), which ran for an impressive seventy issues. It took a few years, but eventually Dracula tangled with the Merc with a Mouth. It was a memorable affair, especially for Deadpool.
In Deadpool: Dracula’s Gauntlet, Dracula hires Deadpool to transport a valuable item for him. That item happens to be a royal succubus queen named Shiklah, who is supposed to wed Dracula. Things get complicated when Dracula’s bride-to-to be falls for Deadpool instead.
It’s as zany as story as you might expect, but at the end of the day Deadpool has Dracula to thank for introducing him to his current wife. That’s right… Deadpool actually marries Shiklah in a wedding officiated by Nightcrawler (from the X-Men). It’s safe to say that meeting Deadpool was one of the immortal Count’s biggest regrets in his long life.
14. Scooby Doo & Friends vs Dracula
Dracula’s storied history has even led him to the kid-friendly TV cartoon, Scooby Doo. A friendlier and toned down version of Dracula shows up in a few episodes, but the Scooby Doo comic featured a more sinister version.
Well, it’s tricky, because the version of Dracula in Scooby Doo… Mystery comics #25 isn’t actually the “real” Dracula. Mayoral candidate Sidney Ladacur enlists the help of Scooby and co. to help solve a little ghost problem he is having. Ladacur has been receiving threats from Dracula regarding Ladacur’s continued pursuit to become mayor. Ladacur also reveals that he is an ancestor of the real Dracula, and thus fears that the vamp’s ghost is haunting him. Sure enough, Scoobs and the team figure out that this “Dracula” isn’t quite what he seems. The Scooby gang solve yet another case while avoiding the real Dracula.
13. Superman vs Dracula
Even the Man of Steel has faced off against the Prince of Darkness, albeit on few occasions. In issue #344 of Superman, Dracula and the Frankenstein Monster enter the world through a dimensional portal, and Dracula soon sets his sights on Superman.
With Superman being used to tangling with villains as powerful as Darkseid or Brainiac, you’d think Dracula would be easy an easy win, but the battle is a surprisingly even one. It’s unclear if Superman’s weakness to magic hindered his ability to stand toe to toe with Dracula, but it’s a possible explanation. Superman manages to defeat Dracula and, with an assist from the Phantom Stranger, banishes the Count back to the nightmare world he came from.
That story came out way back in 1980 and round two didn’t take place until 2002, in Superman Vol. 2 #180. This time, Dracula has home field advantage. He battles the Man of Steel in the darkness of his castle and expects to have the upper hand. Things end far gorier for Dracula in his second run in with the Man of Steel.
At one point, Dracula seems to have everything well in hand, until he attempts to suck Superman’s blood. Superman is powered by the sun, thus making his blood solar charged, and of course the sun is one of Dracula’s primary weaknesses. After biting into Superman’s neck and ingesting his blood, Dracula completely explodes. At least he died doing what he loved.
12. X-Men vs Dracula
Of all the X-Men, Storm is the one who’s been the most affected by her battles with Dracula. It was she who was bitten and nearly turned into Dracula’s bride. It all started in Uncanny X-Men #159, and Storm struggled to recover the encounter. It’s not like X-Men didn’t try to put up a fight, though.
In that issue, Wolverine, Colossus, Kitty Pride, and Nightcrawler manage to fight off a horde of demonic wolves and rats but get their butts handed to them by Dracula himself. Nightcrawler makes a desperate play bwith a cross made out of two sticks, which ends up hurting Dracula and buying them time until Storm returns to save the day.
This issue is also notable for revealing Nightcrawler’s religious beliefs for the first time. This version of Dracula is the vamp at his most formidable. It’s not easy leaving a lasting impact on the X-Men, but Dracula did a pretty good job.
11. Ash Williams (From The Evil Dead Franchise) vs Dracula
Fans of the Evil Dead/Army Of Darkness film franchise hardly need an introduction to Ash Williams. In 2004, Dynamite comics began publishing the further adventures of Ash and co. Ash is most used to battling against the deadites, but he encounters a new breed of evil when Dracula is mistakenly resurrected in the pages of Dynamite’s Army of Darkness #7. With the Necronomicon in hand, Dracula raises his own undead army and seeks to blanket the world in eternal darkness.
No quarter is is given in this bloody tale. In many ways, Ash’s character is a lot like Deadpool. Both characters have a big ego and a love of running their mouths. As it turns out, not even Dracula can intimidate Ash and his double-barrel boom-stick and chainsaw.
10. Red Sonja vs Dracula
For those unfamiliar with Red Sonja, she was based on Red Sonya of Rogatino, a character from a short story by writer Robert E. Howard, who was also the creator of Conan. Creators Roy Thomas & Barry Windsor-Smith looked to pay tribute to Howard by creating a character who could exist in the world of Conan.
She is as brave and fierce as Conan, but Red Sonja ran into one enemy that Conan never encountered; Dracula. Maybe it’s Dracula’s constant search for a bride that leads him to seek out such strong-willed women. One thing that is for certain, is that Dracula goes all out to get what he wants, and this time is no different.
Dracula makes it personal by invading Red Sonja’s homeland of Hyrkania. The woman, known as The She-Devil with a Sword, doesn’t take that lightly. Dracula ends up being not only one of the most formidable villains Red Sonja’s ever faced, but also the last villain she faces at the end of Dynamite comics’ eighty-one issue run.
9. Silver Surfer vs Dracula
Clearly, Dracula is no match for a cosmic being as powerful as Silver Surfer, right? In this case, Dracula is more than capable. The Silver Surfer battles Dracula in Tomb Of Dracula # 50, and it’s a fairly lopsided affair. The problem is that Dracula’s level of power varies from version to version. He mopped the floor with the X-Men but he wasn’t much of a match for Superman. Silver Surfer ends up running into the pumped-up version of Dracula thanks to a group of Satanists who lure the Surfer in to destroy Dracula. It seems that even Satanists hate Dracula.
Once Silver Surfer uncovers the evil of Dracula, he decides to take the vamp out. He wastes no time and goes directly to the Count’s castle to engage him in combat. All of this happens in front of Dracula’s then-wife, Domini. This turns out to be a major mistake for Silver Surfer as he gets totally manhandled by Dracula. It took Dracula’s wife to convince Silver Surfer to walk away. Humbling or humiliating, take your pick.
8. Sherlock Holmes vs Dracula
The world’s greatest detective (aside from Batman, of course) met Count Dracula first in a novel by Loren D. Estleman. The comic Victorian Undead: Sherlock Holmes vs Dracula has some similarities to Estleman’s novel, but it still does its own thing. The comic, however, doesn’t shy away from Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula. They do a good job of weaving in Bram Stoker’s tale into their own story, and it works.
Sherlock Holmes and Watson end up needing to team up with Dr. Van Helsing to take down Dracula. Sherlock has plenty of brains and Dracula has brawn, but both show that they are capable of switching roles when they need to. Sherlock turns out to be a far better fighter than anticipated, and Dracula turns out to be smarter, and more cunning than you’d think. Victorian Undead: Sherlock Holmes vs Dracula, is a far more cerebral read than anything else on this list, but just as fun.
7. Solomon Kane vs Dracula
Solomon Kane is another pulp-era character created by the famed Robert E.Howard. Solomon Kane is a puritan man whose only quest in life is to go where he is needed and vanquish evil in all its forms. Solomon Kane made his comics debut in the ’70s as a back-up feature in many of Marvel’s popular magazine-sized comics line, like Savage Sword of Conan. One of Solomon Kane’s most memorable stories came when he encountered Dracula in issue #3 of Dracula Lives!
Kane’s hunt for his friend’s missing daughter leads him to Dracula’s doorstep. Earlier in the story, Dracula actually saves Solomon Kane from a pack of ravenous wolves and then offers Kane a place to stay for the night. It’s there that he learns of Dracula’s nefarious plan and his connection to the missing girl. They engage in an impressive fight that ends in Dracula begging for his life.
6. Spider-Man vs Dracula
Spider-Man had already had one memorable bite in his life, but he wasn’t looking to make it two when he encountered the Count. Spidey crossed paths with Dracula in an interesting issue of Giant Sized Spider-Man. In it, Spider-man sets out to search for a cure for a rare blood disease that is affecting his Aunt May. The only way to get the cure is to meet with a reclusive doctor aboard a ship at sea, because the good doctor refuses to travel by plane. There’s a whole bunch of other interested parties after the cure, including Dracula.
The thing is that there isn’t any physical confrontation between Spidey and Dracula; it’s more of a fight for the cure. Each party does what they can to get to the doctor first, or in Dracula’s case, simply eliminate the competition. Eventually Spider-Man is able to locate the good doctor before Dracula sinks his teeth into her. Still, fans were left with a hunger to see ol’ Web-head duke it out with Dracula.
5. Zorro vs Dracula
On this occasion, Dracula must face off against one of the greatest swashbuckling swordsmen in all of fiction; Zorro. Topps Comics published the highly contested affair in 1993, and it was a doozy. Similarly to Spidey’s encounter with Dracula, Zorro firsts meets the Count aboard a ship on its way to Notre Dame. Both men crave the affections of a young woman on the ship but Dracula gets to her first (what else is new?), and begins slowly turning her into a member of the undead. Zorro recognizes this and engages Dracula in combat, hoping to save the woman.
The climax of their duel takes place in the catacombs of Notre Dame. It’s isn’t Zorro’s steel that bests Dracula here, but rather an ancient relic from the time of Jesus Christ. It’s original, if weird ending.
4. Vampirella vs Dracula
Finally! Another vampire against the king of vampires. Vampirella is a comics character who made her debut in the pages of Warren magazine, but she’s jumped around to a few different comics publishers over the years. Her current home is at Dynamite Comics. When it comes to vampires, Vampierella has a pretty sweet deal. She has all of the powers of a vampire but none of the weaknesses, though she still requires blood to survive. Another unique trait of Vampirella, is her desire to do good as vampire. This sets up an inevitable battle with Dracula, who isn’t too interested in giving back to society.
Vampirella is probably the character who has fought against Dracula the most of anyone on else this list. The stories often play on the fact that they are helplessly drawn to each other on earth, and have thus loved, hated, and battled one another through the ages.
3. Howard the Duck vs Dracula
Apparently, Dracula has no qualms about battling against cute little ducks. This duck however, happens to be an alien. Who could forget Howard the Duck’s awesome cameo in the end credits scene of Guardians of the Galaxy?
The loud-mouthed duck didn’t know what he was up against when he ran into Dracula in the pages of Howard the Duck Magazine #5. Really, It’s more about Howard being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Both Dracula and Howard are visiting Cleveland, and Dracula gets hungry (as he always does) and spots Howard, ripe for the biting. The funny thing is that Dracula confuses Howard for a small man due to the fact that Howard dresses in a blue business suit. Dracula bites into Howard but does not like what he tastes once he realizes that Howard is a duck and not a human. He runs off in disgust but the damage is already done to poor Howard.
Howard the Duck then becomes Drakula and sets out to feast on other poor, unsuspecting ducks. Eventually, Howard becomes his old self again and goes out on a quest to stop the Count before he steals his girlfriend. It’s a funny and well drawn comic that’s worthy of its inclusion on this list.
2. Batman vs Dracula
It’s only fitting that the man who dresses like a bat met the man who can literally become a bat. Warner bros. released a direct DVD movie in 2005 titled The Batman vs Dracula, but for the purposes of this list, we’ll focus on the comics. Batman‘s famed comic book duel against Dracula occurred in 1991, in the Elseworlds tale, Batman: Red Rain. Often regarded as one of the best Elseworlds graphic novels that DC put out, it also had lasting effects on the Dark Knight himself.
While investigating a series of murders in Gotham’s back alleys, Batman uncovers a group of vampires living among its citizens. This leads Batman to the shocking discovery of the dark lord, Dracula. The Count proves to be Batman’s ultimate foe, ultimately forcing him to blow up his own bat-cave!
In one of Batman’s many battles against Dracula, he sustains a bite and steadily begins to lose his humanity, starting to transform into a vampire. This gives Batman the added strength he needs to vanquish Dracula but the climax of the story ends in Batman succumbing to his injuries and fully becoming a hideous vampire bat.
The success and popularity of Batman: Red Rain spawned two more sequels that still featured vampire Batman. The Dark Knight’s encounter with Dracula only proves that anyone who walks off unscathed after a battle with Dracula should be considered lucky.
1. Doctor Strange vs Dracula
Some of Doctor Strange‘s greatest stories came out of his battles with Dracula. One such story is collected in the trade paperback Doctor Strange vs Dracula: The Montesi Formula. During the first meeting of the two combatants, Doctor Strange makes it his personal quest to eradicate all vampires on the planet due to the murder of his friend Wong at the hands of Dracula in earlier issues. The Eye of Agamotto allows Doctor Strange to locate Dracula’s lair and then all bets are off.
It’s a memorable encounter that has twists and turns, and even leads to the death and resurrection of Doctor Strange. A rather controversial moment happens in the issue, when its looks like the only way to defeat Dracula is by invoking the help of God. Thanks to this holy assist, Doctor Strange is able to destroy Dracula and resurrect Wong in the process. Of course, this wouldn’t be the last we see of Dracula. He would return to face the Sorcerer Supreme on a few more occasions, with each meeting upping the stakes (no pun intended). We fittingly end our list with this classic confrontation.
Can you think of any characters who faced off against Dracula that we missed? Leave them in the comments!
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