5 Ways Marvel’s Version Of Van Helsing Is Better (And 5 DC’s Version Is)


Abraham Van Helsing was created in 1897 by Bram Stoker in his most iconic work, Dracula. Many elements of the classic novel have found their way into popular culture, and one of the most enduring is the enigmatic vampire hunter himself. Although not the book’s main character, Van Helsing established the classic archetype of the hardened, world-weary monster slayer.

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Similar to how both companies have versions of other classic fictional characters, including Sherlock Holmes and Victor Frankenstein, Van Helsing is portrayed in the stories of the two comic book titans, each bringing a unique style and approach to the personage.

ten DC’s Van Helsing has been fully integrated into DC continuity

The New Teen Titans #21 Night Force #1

Van Helsing is first mentioned in DC via preview backstory in The New Teen Titans #21 from 1982 for the next night strength series. By Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan (keep those two in mind), this version of the Vampire Hunter fits very closely to the lore laid out in Bram Stoker’s novel. The book and its details had long since fallen into the public domain by this time, hence the little vampiric media boost in the 70s and 80s. Released only a few years before the universe reboot event Crisis on Infinite Earths, and possibly due to their creation by the writer and architect of Crisis, Marv Wolfman, most of Van Helsing’s stories and lore remained intact on the New Earth that was born at the end of the miniseries.

9 Marvel’s Van Helsing Is a Nemesis of Dracula

Tomb of Dracula #1 and #3

Marvel’s version of Dracula’s nemesis first appeared via flashback in 1982 Tomb of Dracula #1. This legendary horror title from Gerry Conway and Gene Colan was, like night strength would be ten years later, a product of the Comics Code Authority relaxing its restrictions on horror characters, and Bram Stoker’s novel having fallen into the public domain. Although Conway is credited with the story, he actually happened long after the plot had been laid out by Roy Thomas and Stan Lee. An over-committed Conway left the book soon after. The series suffered from a lack of direction after that, but managed to pull itself together when the previously mentioned Marv Wolfman took over the title.

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Van Helsing is much more fleshed out and focused in the Marvel comics, and receives a memorable death at the hands of his nemesis. While posting so close to Crisis gave the DC version a head start in avoiding retcons, the Marvel character caught more of the company’s attention, likely due to the company striking while the iron was hot. Just a year earlier, they featured Morbius the Living Vampire in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man #101 by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane and they didn’t stop messing with the undead for a while after.

8 DC’s Van Helsing Great-Granddaughter Had Supernatural Powers

Vanessa Van Helsing

The reason why Abraham Van Helsing was introduced into the pages of night strength in the first place was due to his great-granddaughter, Vanessa Van Helsing, featured prominently in the magazine. Vanessa had the ability to perceive the normally hidden world of the supernatural. Her young age made her vulnerable, and these abilities negatively affected her psyche and led to her being placed in Potomac Psychiatric Hospital in Georgetown. As an adult, she was cared for by Donovan Caine and had many adventures on the show.

seven Marvel’s Van Helsing’s Vengeful Great-Granddaughter Was Powerful And Self-Sufficient

Rachel Van Helsing

While DC’s Vanessa Van Helsing was an interesting character, she was often dependent on her male peers and struggled to be a productive member of the team. The same can’t be said for her Marvel counterpart, Rachel Van Hesling. A feisty and vengeful undead hunter, Rachel swore revenge on the Earl after he murdered her family and left her as the sole survivor. Rachel was quick to act and went to great lengths to finally take down Dracula for good. Unfortunately, she succumbed to the vampiric plague and rather than live as the thing she hated the most, she asked Wolverine to kill her. Poor Logan has no respite when it comes to killing his friends out of mercy.

6 DC’s Vanessa Van Helsing was part of Night Force

night force

Night Force, as mentioned earlier, was a team and series created by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan in issues of The New Teen Titans. A sort of Proto-Justice League Dark, it was a ragtag group of mystical and supernatural characters who joined forces to put an end to magical and horror-themed threats of which the other heroes were unaware or unaware. couldn’t resist. Recently, the team has been made up of younger characters like Klarion the Witch Boy and Traci Thirteen, giving the group a more Teen Titans vibe. Suitable given their origins in the later teams’ series.

Vanessa Van Helsing wasn’t the powerhouse of Night Force, but she fought well alongside Baron Winters, Donovan Caine, and other supernatural heroes.

5 Marvel’s Rachel Van Helsing fought as Blade’s peer

Blade Rachel Van Helsing Tomb of Dracula

Easily the best-known character to emerge from the pages of Tomb of Dracula is Marvel’s resident vampire slaying expert, Blade. Not yet reconstituted as a dhampir like his animated and cinematic counterparts, Blade was simply a normal human who was immune to undead bites and trained to peak physical condition.

RELATED: Marvel: 10 Facts You Never Knew About Blade

He and Rachel both had an ironic bloodlust for the eradication of the vampiric plague on humanity and became peers in their quest to cleanse the world of menace.

4 DC’s Vanessa Van Helsing’s Psychokinesis Had Scary Potential

Vanessa Van Helsing

Vanessa Van Helsing would meet and fall in love with hard-nosed journalist Jack Gold, another member of Night Force. Unfortunately, Jack Gold did not love Vanessa and only married her out of fear of psychic reprisal. This will come true when Vanessa becomes so angry with her apathetic husband that she unknowingly creates a serial killer out of his psychokinetic abilities. While that might not be a good thing to do, it depicts the possibly limitless power she holds in her mind.

3 Marvel’s Van Helsing Fought Alongside Apocalypse

Apocalypse versus Dracula

Taking things back to the original Abraham Van Helsing for a moment, the classic fictional hero would encounter one of the X-Men’s most formidable foes when Apocalypse crossed paths with Count Dracula in the aptly titled title. X-Men: Apocalypse vs. Dracula by Frank Tieri and Clayton Henry. Initially mistaking the mutant for a vampire due to his pale appearance, Van Helsing would eventually join forces with him and others to stop the Count. Following these events, the monster hunter traveled to the Americas to hunt the man-eating Wendigo before meeting his death in the pages of Tomb of Dracula #20 by Wolfman and Colan.

2 DC’s Van Helsing is named after a vampire-hunting cult

I, Vampire Le Van Helsings

First appeared in the pages of me, vampire by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Andrea Sorrentino, The Order of the Van Helsings was a secret society of vampire hunters dating back to the 13th century BCE when the biblical first son Cain brought the plague of vampires to ancient Egypt. The group maintained great influence and power and was ultimately, according to John Troughton, the inspiration for the name Abraham Van Helsing. This cult would come into constant conflict with Andrew Bennett and Mary the Queen of Blood during their own interpersonal battles.

1 Marvel’s Noah Van Helsing Conspired With Blade For Nuke Dracula

Tomb of Dracula 2004

Rachel Van Helsing wasn’t the only Van Helsing family member to interact with Blade the Daywalker. Noah Van Helsing, Rachel’s half-brother, has recruited Blade and other vampire hunters to help him put an end to the Vampire Lord for good. This final plan to end the Vampire Lord was, based on the writings of the mystic Aamshed, to activate a nuclear bomb in Dracula’s coffin located under the castle grounds. These events took place in 2004 Tomb of Dracula series by Robert Rodi, Bruce Jones and Jamie Tolagson. Unfortunately for Noah, he failed to see his absolutely metallic plan come to fruition as he was killed in the attempt. While Blade would end up killing the creature the old-fashioned way, Noah’s extreme plan is one of those moments that really reminds the reader why the comics are so much fun.

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