Baron Blood

Real Name: John Falsworth

Identity/Class: Vampire

Occupation: Vampire lord; former doctor, coroner, Nazi agent, assassin for German intelligence

Affiliations: The Super-Axis (Lady Lotus, U-Man, Master Man, Warrior Woman); Uberkomanndo, Dracula

Enemies: The Invaders (Captain America, Human Torch, Sub-Mariner, Union Jack, Union Jack, Spitfire), Union Jack

Known Relatives: James Montgomery Falsworth (Union Jack, brother, deceased), Jane, Lady Falsworth (sister-in-law, deceased), Brian Falsworth (Union Jack, nephew, deceased), Jacqueline Falsworth Crichton (Spitfire, niece), Cedric, Lord Crichton (nephew-in-law, deceased), William, Lord Falsworth (father, deceased), Kenneth Crichton (Baron Blood, grandnewphew, deceased), John Crichton (great-grandnephew), Katherine Ainsley-Jones (distant cousin, deceased)

Aliases: Lord Falsworth, Dr. Jacob Charles Cromwell, the Slasher, John Falsworth Jr., the Honourable John Falsworth

Base of Operations: United Kingdom

First Appearance: Invaders #7 (1976)

Powers/Abilities: An extremely powerful vampire, able to control the weather and command the "lower animals" sych as rats, dogs and wolves, as well as having the more traditional powers and weaknesses - for a brief period due to Nazi experiments he was resistant to sunlight and many of the other traditional methods of hurting vampires. During this period he lost his ability to shapeshift, and had a build like a muscle beach bodybuilder. When he returned decades after the war to plague his brother for the last time, he had lost his resistance to sunlight, but regained his full range of shapeshifting powers as well as a leaner, more athletic build.

He had a psionic power of flight, which perhaps was a human power triggered by his becoming a vampire (e.g. he might have become a living human with the power to fly if things happened differently - this possible mutant gene-structure is supported by his nephew Brian gaining electrical powers, and his niece Jacqueline gaining superhuman speed, in incidents which perhaps wouldn't have granted powers to a regular human).

History: John Falsworth was the younger son of the rich and noble Falsworth family. In the days just before the start of what proved to be the First World War his father died, and with his brother Montgomery inheriting the family title and fortune, John saw little point staying in England. A shallow and bitter man, he wanted what his brother had, and cared little about his father's passing, save that he would now have to pay his own way in the world.

John had long held the conviction that Bram Stoker, the author of the 1897 novel Dracula, had based his story in fact rather than imagination. And he reasoned that if he could gain control of the Lord of the Vampires, then nothing would be able to stand in the way of his ambitions. Thus it was that when young Falsworth left England's Green and Pleasant Land, he decided to make his way to the wilds of Transylvania. He eventually found his way to Castle Dracula, and armed with a crucifix he braved that eerie ediface. Within its walls his theory proved true, for he did indeed discover the lair of the dreaded Count, deep in the crypts beneath the castle. But while he had brought protection in the form of the cross, he had not reckoned with Dracula's hypnotic abilities. Arriving as evening fell, he found the Count all too awake, and the vampire's mesmerism caused him to cast aside his only safeguard. Thus it was that John Falsworth, who had sought to control the undead, became one instead.

War came, and John allied himself to the German cause. He travelled to England to spread terror and destruction, taking on the costumed identity of Baron Blood so that sightings of him would cause panic. This brought him into conflict with the costumed hero Union Jack, who was actually his elder brother Montgomery. While John figured out who lay behind Union Jack's mask, the reverse was not true. After the Great War concluded Baron Blood decided to lay low. But when Hitler came to power Baron Blood again offered his services to Germany, sensing in the Fuhrer someone even more evil than Dracula. Nazi scientists operated on him, granting him limited immunity to sunlight at the cost of his shapeshifting abilities. When war again erupted across Europe, John saw the opportunity to gain revenge on his hated elder brother, whom he irrationally blamed for "stealing his birthright". He returned to England and pretended to be his own son; naturally his "uncle" Montgomery insisted he stay in the family home, Falsworth Manor. Once there he set his sights on his niece Jacqueline, feeling that transforming her into a vampire would destroy her father, his brother.

He probably would have succeeded if it had not been for the intervention of the Invaders, and his brother taking on the mantle of Union Jack once more. Confronted, Baron Blood fled to the caves beneath the Manor. His brother pursued him, and the Baron crsuhed his legs with a huge boulder. Before he could finish him off Captain America intervened. Baron Blood fell backwards, and impaled himself on a stalagmite, turning instantly into a rotted skeleton. Lord Falsworth, his legs crippled was confined to a wheelchair (although his son Brian would later take on the identity of the second Union Jack), and Jacqueline, her life endangered by the amount of blood she had lost, was saved by a transfusion from the Human Torch, which inadvertantly gave her superhuman powers too; she became the heroine Spitfire.

Some time later the Japanese agent known as Lady Lotus set out to form a "Super-Axis" to combat the Invaders. She sent her troops to recover Baron Blood's body, and once they removed him from the stalagmite he was instantly restored. Working as one of the Super-Axis he again faced the Invaders; and once again he was defeated and impaled.

His body was stored at the Tower of London, to ensure he would not be revived again. Decades later a pawn of Dracula's, Dr. Cromwell, was sent to awake him once more. The Baron killed Cromwell and stole his identity, sustaining himself from "anemic" patients to hide his feedings. He also transformed Cromwell's daughter, turning her into a vampire who would later call herself the Baroness. But Blood missed the kill, and so he began a series of "slasher" murders. This drew his now-extremely aged brother's attentions, and Lord Falsworth became convinced that Baron Blood had returned. He contacted his old ally Captain America, and asked him to come and investigate. Cap confirmed that the vampire was loose again, and Lord Falsworth donned his costume once more, hoping to draw the killer out of hiding. Deciding that Jacqueline's son Kenneth was too weak to take the elder Falsworth's place as the stalking goat, Kenneth's friend Joey Chapman instead put on the costume, becoming the third Union Jack. Blood came for his brother, intending to make him one of the undead so that he would be trapped in an old and crippled body for eternity, but was confronted by Captain America. The American hero decapitated the vampire using his shield, and to ensure that he could never return, his body and head were burned in separate piles and the ashes scattered in different locations. The threat of his brother's evil finally over, Lord Falsworth quietly passed away.

However this was not the end. Not only was John Falsworth temporarily brought back into existence by the evil magics of Mys-Tech, but his progeny, the Baroness eventually transformed Kenneth Falsworth in the third Baron Blood.

Comments: Thanks to Violet Shulman for providing additional information about his powers.


Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.

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