Rachel was the great-granddaughter to the legendary vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing. When Dracula took revenge on the van Helsing family by killing the parents of young Rachel van Helsing, Quincy Harker saved the girl from Dracula, taking her under his wing. Dracula however gave her a scar across her forehead, witch she bares to this day.
Rachel grew up to become a true successor to the van Helsing mantle. Quincy was a vampire hunter and he tought Rachel everything there was to know about vampires and how to hunt and kill them. She and her teammates pursued Dracula across the globe, usually wielding her crossbow.
Rachel Van Helsing was created by Archie Goodwin and Gene Colan and first appeared in Tomb of Dracula 3 (1972).
Mayor Story Arcs
Forming the Dracula Hunters
While Rachel and Quincy where trailing Dracula in India, she met Taj Nital, whose throat had been slashed by Dracula in combat, rendering him mute. Taj became a member of Quincy's team after Dracula got away from the threesome. Some months later, Rachel met Frank Drake. Drake was a descendent of Dracula himself and was the one that had accidentally freed Dracula from his grave. Drake was haunted by this experiences and attempted to commit suicide by flinging himself from a bridge in London. He was however saved by Rachel and Taj, who recruited him into their ranks, eventually introducing him to Quincy Harker himself.
Drake was often cowardly in battle in comparison to the fiery Rachel and the stoic Taj, but over time, he found his courage. Rachel and Frank even fell in love. The group would soon be known as the Dracula Hunters, also recruiting others such as the detective turned vampire named Hannibal King, a novelist named Harold H. Harold and the uneasy ally known as Blade the Vampire Hunter. The group fought against Dracula and his helpers on various times and on various places.
After years of battling Dracula, it eventually came to an ending. The final battle however came with a price, Quincy had rigged his wheelchair with explosives and hearled himself towards Dracula, killing him instantly. Dracula was luckily thought dead as well. However, the loss of their team-leader and with their main purpose fulfilled, the group soon split into separate groups. Rachel and Frank still loved eachother, but the relation did not stand.
A Normal Life
After her adventures with the Dracula Hunters, Rachel started living a normal everyday life. She became a teacher at a university and lived a good live for some years. However, things would soon change drastically.
The X-Men and Death
It turned out that Dracula had not perished in their final battle, and returned for vengeance on his enemies. He snuck into Rachel's university appartment and waited for her to return from her work as a teacher. With Rachel shocked to her core, she was unable to withstand Dracula and was bitten and vampirised. Dracula then brought her to his castle and used her as a pawn against the X-Men. Dracula had namely also bitten the X-woman Storm and had her under his influence as well, although she was no vampire like Rachel just yet. The X-men came to rescue Storm and fought Dracula but where overwhelmed by his power. Rachel however ultimately regained some of her will back and aided the X-Men in slaying Dracula. When peace came to the castle once again, Rachel asked the X-men to kill her before her hunger took over, for she could not live with the idea of being a vampire. The X-man Wolverine brought her outside to a beautiful cliff at the water-side where the sun was about to come up. At the moment that the sun came up, Wolverine hugged Rachel and putt a wooden stake through her heart. Rachel's last view was that of a beautiful sunset as she uttered the words 'so beautiful'.
Devastated by Rachel's death, Frank Drake joined with Hannibal King and Blade in assisting Dr. Strange with the recovery of the Darkhold so that its Montesi Formula could be used to destroy Dracula. The Montesi formula worked for some time, but over time, Dracula returned. The group however remained together to fight occult villains and demons.
Many years later, Blade was tricked into casting a spell that was supposed to resurrect all the vampires that had been killed. Whether this truly happened, and if this means Rachel van Helsing is once more in the land of the living remains to be seen.
Dracula: Sovereign of the Damned
Rachel van Helsing stars in the animated Dracula film, based on the Tomb of Dracula comic book series from Marvel.