John Falsworth sought to gain power through controlling Dracula, but instead was turned into a vampire. At his new master’s behest, he assisted the Germans in World Wars I and II, battling the Invaders.
Baron Blood was created by Roy Thomas and Frank Robbins in 1976 and first appeared in The Invaders # 7.
Baron Blood fought the Invaders during World War II, then returned after the war to battle Captain America and Union Jack, until Cap destroyed him.
Some time later Dr. Strange's vampire brother, Victor Strange, was given a Baron Blood costume by Marie Laveau, and became the second Baron Blood. He first appeared in Doctor Strange #15. He tried to fight crime for a time, eventually changing his name to Khiron when he heard that the original Blood had returned, but eventually committed suicide, fearing his bloodlust would lead to him slaying innocents.
John Falsworth’s grandnephew, Kenneth Crichton, the son of Spitfire, became the third Baron Blood thanks to an affair with Blood’s protégé the Baroness. However, after using him to fight his friend Joseph Chapman, the modern day Union Jack, she betrayed Kenneth, leaving him to die in the sunlight. She subsequently gave birth to Kenneth’s vampire son.
When the vampire hunter Blade was tricked into completing a spell that resurrected all slain vampires, Kenneth was revived, and returned as one of Dracula's Generals when the vampire lord attempted to invade Britain; Crichton met his ultimate demise at the hands of Blade, who rejected Crichton's attempt to surrender.
Major Story Arcs
John Falsworth is the second son of William, Lord Falsworth. Upon his father’s death in 1914, leaving the family title and bulk of the estate to John’s older brother, Montgomery, a bitter John travels to Europe to seek his fortune. Believing that Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula was a true story, John visits Transylvania, hoping to find and control Dracula as a means to gaining power, but Dracula’s hypnotism makes John drop the cross he was using for protection, and he turns John into a vampire. When World War I breaks out, Dracula orders John to assist the Germans, wanting to strike against England, the country that had produced many of his most hated foes, and John becomes the villainous German agent Baron Blood.
As Baron Blood, John Falsworth wears a costume as a giant bat to generate fear and to hide his identity from the world. During the First World War he is pursued by Freedom’s Five, and, in the dying days of the war, is sent to London to target senior Allied officials, only to have his assassination spree stopped by Union Jack, secretly his brother Montgomery; recognizing his brother’s voice, Blood keeps silent during their encounter, ensuring Montgomery does not realize his vampiric foe’s true identity.
Between the wars John lies low, studying the arcane arts, but when the Second World War looms, John renews his contacts with German Intelligence and, after they put him through experimental surgery to allow him to temporarily endure sunlight at the cost of some of his shapeshifting prowess, he returns to England posing as his own son, and infiltrates his family home, Falsworth Manor.
Seeking to hurt Montgomery, Baron Blood targets Montgomery’s daughter, Blood’s niece Jacqueline, but the android Human Torch intervenes and drives him off. Jacqueline brings the Torch and his team mates, the Invaders, back to Falsworth Manor, and their presence inspires Montgomery to become Union Jack again.
While they are all away from the Manor hunting Blood, John again attacks Jacqueline, intending to turn her into a vampire. However, having figured out Blood’s ruse, the Invaders interrupt Blood, who flees with his victim to some nearby caves. Making his stand there, in the ensuing fight Blood crushes his brother’s legs with a boulder, crippling him, but Montgomery levers the rock off his legs, directing it onto Blood, impaling him on a stalagmite. Partially as a result of Blood’s feeding off her, Jacqueline becomes the superheroine Spitfire and joins the Invaders.
Blood is eventually revived by agents of Lady Lotus, who coerces him into joining her Super-Axis. This team clashes with the Invaders, but defeat them, capturing most of them and again destroying Blood. Later revived again, Blood clashes repeatedly with the Invaders, both individual members and the assembled team.
After the War ends, Blood becomes involved with a neo-Nazi group, and in 1959 he battles Nick Fury’s Nazi-hunting Avengers. Some time later Blood is finally destroyed, and his remains are placed in the Tower of London under guard, lest he rise again. Decades later Dracula sends an agent, Jacob Cromwell, to revive Blood; John steals Cromwell’s identity, and turns one of Cromwell’s daughters into the vampire later known as the Baroness.
After setting himself up as a physician near Falsworth Manor, the disguised Blood uses his position to get close to his now elderly brother, intending to vampirize him once Montgomery becomes sufficiently infirm, so that Montgomery will remain that way forever, but John’s bloodlust leads him to commit several murders in the area, alerting Montgomery to Blood’s return.
Montgomery sent for his old ally Captain America, who, aided by the latest Union Jack, Joe Chapman, ultimately beheads Blood when he finally attacks Montgomery.
A few years later Mys-Tech revives Blood to serve them, but Union Jack, now a Knight of Pendragon and foe of Mys-Tech, learns of Blood’s revival, and slays him again. However, Blood is later revived again, and, taking offence at what he considers to be a pollution of true vampirism, threatens the scientifically-created vampire, Morbius.
Powers & Abilities
The first Baron Blood possesses all the abilities of a vampire, including superhuman strength and durability, hypnotism and commanding rodents like rats and bats, as well as wolves. His weaknesses, like most vampires, include vulnerability to sunlight, garlic, silver, the presence of religious symbols, decapitation and a wooden stake through the heart.
Through the advancement in science courtesy of Nazi science, he received treatment that allowed him to be active in sunlight, but this ability waned after several deaths and resurrections.
Marvel Apes: Set in an alternate universe, the limited series Marvel Apes depicts Earth's heroes as intelligent apes, with Baron Blood posing as the hero Captain America in the Ape-Vengers. The villain is eventually opposed and defeated by the true Captain America.