In life, Bloodscream was born Zachariah Ravenscraft in 16th century England, and was a man who spent much of his youth apprenticing under a doctor. He later served as a Sawbones - a naval surgeon - for Sir Francis Drake's pirate fleet sometime between 1577 to 1580. He unfortunately wound up being mortally wounded during an attack on a Spanish galleon, upon which Sir Drake directed a shaman to heal him. The shaman was actually however a necromancer whose only way to save Zachariah was to trap him between life and death, turning him into a pseudo-vampire. Furious for being made into such an abomination, Zachariah demanded the necromancer to tell him how to reverse his curse, who told him that only a special potion made with the "blood of a man who ageth not" could cure him. When he asked where he could find such a man, the necromancer simply replied "they go to war!"
Thus Zachariah went out to participate in whatever war he could, until during the 20th century when he served as a soldier for Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. He saw action during World War II and first encountered the man then known only as Logan, who would later become Wolverine, during the Battle of Normandy (June 6 - August 25, 1944). The two engaged in a brief battle with Zachariah ultimately being stabbed and left for dead by Logan.
Fifty years later in Madripoor, Zachariah - now the mercenary known as Bloodsport - ran into Wolverine once again and noticed that Wolverine hadn't aged since his encounter with him decades earlier. This left him to believe that Wolverine's blood would work in the potion to turn him back into a human. This heralded the beginning to the long and bloody rivalry between these two ageless killers.
Bloodscream was created by writer Chris Claremont and artist John Buscema. He first appeared in 1989's Wolverine #4. Originally he went by the name Bloodsport, but it later changed to Bloodscream to prevent confusion with a DC Comics character of the same name.
Major Story Arcs
Bloodsport & Roughhouse
Bloodscream properly introduced himself to Wolverine while working in Madripoor as a criminal enforcer for the crime-lord General Coy, along with his partner, Roughouse. Under Coy's orders, Bloodscream and Roughhouse clashed with rival crime-lord Tyger Tiger and her ally Wolverine, who was at the time in his alter-ego as "Patch." At one point Bloodscream nearly killed one of Wolverine's close friends, Archie Corrigan, managing to scar his chest with a vampiric hand-print before being interrupted.
After he parted company with Roughouse, Bloodscream enters a partnership with Cylla Markham of the Reavers, who at that point is tracking Wolverine for reasons of her own. He joins her in tracking Wolverine all throughout the high Canadian wilderness and they finally locate him, though both he and Cylla are near death from hunger and fatigue. Knowing he has no chance against Wolverine unless he's at his peak, Bloodscream turns on Cylla and kills her by draining her of all her blood. He then confronts Wolverine, who is armed with the Honor Sword of Clan Yashida. The sword is a katana said to have been forged by demon blacksmiths from a fallen meteorite. Therefore as the sword wasn't forged by mortal man, Bloodscream was vulnerable to it and was struck down by Wolverine, who again left him for dead.
Things That Go Bump in the Night!
However, Bloodscream later reappears, apparently having turned over a new leaf by working with Albert and Elsie-Dee for a while. This turned out to have been a ploy from Bloodscream to use the two androids to track down Wolverine however, and their collaboration is short-lived.
In an effort to regain his humanity, Bloodscream begins working for the dark sorcerer Belasco in order to prevent the N'Garai from invading Earth and starts capturing people around the Bermuda Triangle and bringing them under his thrall to serve as an army. This attracts the attention of Wolverine and the X-Men, who Bloodscream attacks with his mind-controlled crew and delivers them to Belasco. The sorcerer reveals to the X-Men his plan to open a vortex to the dimension of the N'Garai, which he'll conquer with the aid of Bloodscream and his crew. With the N'Garai under his rule, Belasco would then conquer the world. As Bloodscream readies to go through the vortex, the X-Men reveal to him Belasco's deception. Enraged, he attacks Belasco. The vortex then begins to destabilize and Bloodscream holds off Belesco while the X-Men escape, leaving the two damned beings to be taken away to another dimension.
Better Than Best!
Returning to Earth under unrevealed circumstances, Bloodscream reunited with Roughouse and the two were recruited to act as enforcers in New York City for the South American crime-lord, Black Tarantula. While working for him, they ran afoul of Wolverine again, and Spider-Man.
Bloodscream was later brought under the thrall of Mauvais, a cannibalistic sorcerer, to serve as his agent. The feral Vermin also came under Mauvais' control, and he was used to procure victims for both Mauvais' and Bloodscream's consumption. Mauvais attempted to summon the Wendigo so that he could eat its heart and gain its power. Wolverine intervened in his scheme however, and the Inuit Gods exiled Mauvais to the dimension of the Great Beasts of Canada, subsequently freeing both Bloodscream and Vermin from his control.
Both Bloodscream and Roughouse were present when Eddie Brock put the Venom symbiote up for auction, most likely representing another party, but were outbid by Don Fortunato.
After Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man was appointed as the new director of SHIELD, he was attacked by the terrorist organization HYDRA, who had recently taken Bloodscream and Roughouse into their employ. Both mercenaries proved to be fierce obstacles for Stark, especially Bloodscream as nearly a hundred HYDRA members had offered themselves to him to feed on, enhancing his already fearsome abilities to drastic levels. He was able to inflict severe damage to the Iron Man armor and even shrugged off repulsor blasts with relative ease. Bloodscream brought about his own undoing however when he boasted to Stark that he couldn't be harmed by any man-made weapon, upon which Stark stabbed him with a blade from his armor that had been made by a Stark Enterprises engineering robot rather than man. Bloodscream was left severely wounded and forced to retreat with the rest of HYDRA when SHIELD gained the upper hand.
The Initiative: Disassembled
When the Shadow Initiative infiltrated Madripoor in order to apprehend Hardball after he'd defected to HYDRA, both Bloodscream and Roughouse were still in the organization's employ and opposed their efforts. Typhoid Mary managed to decapitate Bloodscream, but he just kept on coming until Ant-Man tore Bloodscream's body to pieces by getting inside it and growing himself to full size. Ant-Man figured that Bloodscream could still pull himself back together if given time though, urging the Shadow Initiative to escape HYDRA as soon as possible.
Powers & Abilities
Bloodscream is not a true vampire and hence his powers differ greatly from other vampires. He has none of their typical weaknesses and is able to walk in daylight without fear of disintegrating, nor is he susceptible to crosses, wood, garlic, or silver. He does however possess immortality, superhuman strength, speed, reflexes, and a myriad of other powerful abilities, namely:
- Siphoning Lifeforce: Bloodscream has the vampiric ability to absorb and feed off the lifeforce of human beings from their blood either by biting them or simply by touching their bare skin, eventually leaving their bodies withered husks after all their blood has been drained. Those who manage to survive his touch are left with a bloody scar in the shape of his hand. All of Bloodscream's other powers are sustained and strengthened by his ability to absorb others' lifeforce.
- Shapeshifting: He is capable of morphing into a bigger, more grotesque, feral-like creature with elongated claws and countless razor-sharp fangs. Usually he takes this form when extremely aggravated or in a blood lust.
- Necromancy: He is capable of animating his drained victims and turning them into undead zombies that are under his control.
- Mind Control: He is capable of controlling humans by simply limiting the amount of blood he drains from them, keeping his victim alive but unable to resist his commands. He normally marks his victim when he does this by placing his hand on them and drawing smalls amount of blood, leaving a scar in the shape of his hand.
- Speed: He is capable of running down and chasing vehicles at phenomenal speeds in the superhuman range. Bloodscream has chased down Wolverine on foot for weeks while Wolverine was on his motorcycle, eventually catching up to him at a rest stop.
- Stamina: He possesses superhuman stamina, having been able to maintain his running speed for days and weeks, only occasionally stopping to feed.
- Regeneration: Perhaps most notably, Bloodscream possesses a healing factor similar to the level of Wolverine's. What makes it even more disturbing is that he maintains full autonomy of his body even if he is decapitated, and is easily able to reattach his own head in such cases. His regeneration further increases with the amount of blood he feeds on. Another noticeable difference is that he cannot die by conventional means as his existence is tied to the necromancer's curse, making it so that he can only die or suffer fatal wounds from metal not made by human hands. Even then however, his wounds will only be temporary so long as he isn't fully killed.
X-Men: The Animated series
Bloodscream and his partner Roughhouse made a brief appearance in Whatever It Takes (Episode 16) of the series.
Wolverine: Adamantium Rage
Players fight as Wolverine against Bloodscream, who appears as one of several boss characters in this 1994 video game for the Super NES and the Sega Genesis/ Mega Drive.