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
Baron Blood possesses the same standard powers that are associated with classic Vampires, but to a greater and more effective degree than that of most vampires due to being experimented on at the hands of the Nazis during World War II. With the obvious exception to Dracula, some of Baron Blood’s powers are greater than most Vampires.
Baron Blood possess powers common among vampires including superhuman strength, stamina, speed, reflexes, agility, durability, and healing factor. Baron Blood's immune system is much greater than normal humans upon regular ingestion of fresh blood rendering him to be immune to the effects of all known Earthly diseases and infections and although Baron Blood isn't technically alive, like with all vampires, regular ingestion upon fresh blood for all intents and purposes renders Baron Blood being literally a functionally immortal in the sense that Baron Blood is completely immune to the effects of aging and could never die by old age while remaining in his physical prime as he has been alive since before World War I making him well over 100 years old.
Baron Blood's sight, smell, and hearing are enhanced to superhuman levels. Baron Blood can see further with better clarity than that of what normal humans can and like all vampires, has exceptional night vision allowing him see into the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum with perfect clarity in near-total darkness. Baron Blood possess bat-like hearing as he can detect sounds that ordinary humans can't, even at great distances. Baron Blood’s sense of smell is also acute enough to detect the scent of blood in the air, which he can use to track an injured opponent by scent if necessary.
Baron Blood has limited telepathy allowing Baron Blood to be capable of hypnotising and mentally enslaving most individuals after he maintains eye contact with him or her for only a few seconds turning him or her into a temporary slave. While under his influence, Baron Blood can force others to do his bidding and follow his wishes and as a by product of his telepathic abilities such as hypnosis, Baron Blood, like all vampires, is capable of manipulating the emotions of other to some degree, influencing their moods and physiological responses. Baron Blood can control certain animals like mice, rats, bats, and wolves, and a upon biting a person creates a empathetic link through which he can use to control that said person.
Baron Blood can hover in mid air at will and can fly at over 50 miles an hour, and affecting the weather and climate to a certain unknown degree within limits not yet determined, over a small area of at least a one mile (1.60934 kilometres) radius of himself. Within that area, Baron Blood could generate thunderstorms of great power. Baron Blood has been able to extensive use his powers to control the weather allowing him to summon thunderstorms, a blizzards, or a fog in order to aid in an ambush or to cover his retreat. However, the act of controlling the weather would leave Baron Blood physically drained afterward and due to experiments conducted on him by the Nazis during World War II, Baron Blood could shoot out gas from his nostrils that could leave his victims dizzy and unconscious and has even been shown to render superhumans like Namor useless.
Baron Blood is a college graduate and he was trained by the Nazi party and was a good hand to hand combatant and was a highly skilled espionage agent during World War II with detective skills and from some time before World War I, Baron Blood has studied the occult arts. Baron Blood also leaned all he could from Dr. Jacob Charles Cromwell’s medical practice when he was under his control before he killed him and took his identity.
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 for about half an hour, 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.