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Baron Blood

Real Name: Lord John Falsworth
Occupation: Former assassin for German intelligence agencies
Identity: Known to high officials of the Allies during World War II and to high British officials and Scotland Yard
Legal Status: British Subject member of the aristocracy
Former Aliases: John Falsworth, Jr., Dr. Charles Cromwell
Place of Birth: Falsworth Manor, England
Place of Death: Castle Dracula, Transylvania, Romania
Place of Final Destruction: Falsworth Manor, England
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: Montgomery (Union Jack I, brother),Lady Crichton (Jacqueline Falsworth Crichton, niece), Kenneth Crichton (grandnephew)
Group Affiliation: Super-Axis
First Appearance: INVADERS #7
Final Appearance: CAPTAIN AMERICA # 254

History: Lord Falsworth was the younger of the two sons of William, Lord Falsworth, one of the wealthiest members of the British aristocracy in late Victorian and Edwardian times. Upon William's death shortly before the outbreak of World War I, his elder son inherited his title. Montgomery, who, according to the British tradition of primogeniture, also inherited the bulk of his father's estate. Embittered, Lord John set out for the European continent to seek his fortune. Eventually he came to Romania, where he sought to find Castle Dracula, about which he had read in Brain Stoker's 1897 work Dracula. Most people believed that Stoker's book was a work of fiction, but Lord John believed the rumors that the letters and journal entries it contained were real and described actual events. Lord John believed that if he could find and control Dracula, he could use the vampire as a means of achieving immense wealth and power. However, on finding the vampire at Castle Dracula, Lord John fell victim to Dracula's hypnotic powers Dracula bit him, and John died, only to rise three nights later as a vampire himself. Because of Lord John's British background, Dracula sent him back to England to wreak havoc upon that country where he had run afoul of Abraham Van Helsing and other opponents. In pursuit of this goal, after World War I broke out, Lord John offered his services to German intelligence, which gave him the code-name Baron Blood. As Baron Blood, Lord John concealed his true identity with a mask and costume, which made him resemble a grotesque bat of human size, and which helped inspire terror in his victims. Baron Blood became the Germans' greatest secret weapon in the final months of the war. He battled the Freedom's Five, a group of costumed agents from the United States, Great Britain, and France several times but always managed to escape. During the war's final weeks, Baron Blood was in London, where he murdered various military leaders and other important Britons. He was finally found by the original Union Jack, who was not only a member of the Freedom's Five but also was secretly Blood's brother Montgomery. Union Jack wounded Blood with a silver blade, causing him to flee England.

Alter World War I. Baron Blood devoted himself to studying the occult. Following Adolf Hitler's rise to power, Baron Blood, seeing in Hitler and his followers kindred spirits to himself, again offered his services to German intelligence. German scientists performed painful operations on Blood to enable him to resist the effects that direct sunlight has upon vampires, although only for limited periods of time and at the cost of some of his vampiric power, such as his ability to change shape. Baron Blood then returned to Falsworth Manor under the cover identity of John Falsworth, Jr., who was supposedly the son of Lord John. As John, Jr., Baron Blood used special oversized dentures in order to conceal his only partially retractable vampiric fangs, and avoided direct sunlight whenever possible, claiming that he had a rare skin condition.

Baron Blood once again began a reign of terror in England, and nearly killed his brother's daughter Jacqueline with his bite. This time, however, Blood was opposed not only by his brother Montgomery, who came out of retirement to become Union Jack once more, but also by the Invaders, a team of super heroes serving the Allied cause. Union Jack and the Invaders discovered that John, Jr. was Baron Blood. As the fight raged on, Blood fell onto and was impaled by a stalagmite that had traces of silver in it.

However, Baron Blood was resurrected months later and joined the Super-Axis, a group of superhumanly powered beings who served the Axis powers. The complete history of Baron Blood's activities during World War II has not yet been revealed. By the end of the war, though, Blood had again been killed with a wooden stake through his heart, and, since he was a member of the aristocracy, he was entombed in the Tower of London. Dracula returned to London, and ordered one of his mortal pawns, Dr. Charles Cromwell, to resurrect Baron Blood. With the aid of some vampires, Cromwell succeeded in getting into the Tower, reviving Blood by pulling out the stake, and substituting another skeleton in his place. Dracula left the London area, and Cromwell fell under Blood's domination. Blood learned all he could about Cromwell and his medical practice, and ordered Cromwell to move to the village near Falsworth Manor. Blood began attacking villagers, although he took care not to be identified, and some local citizens, who set it afire, eventually traced the mysterious vampire to Cromwell's house. Baron Blood killed Cromwell and his sole relation, his daughter, and left their bodies in the burning house. The few villagers who believed a vampire to be responsible for the attacks thought the fire had destroyed the vampire. In fact, Blood survived and from then on, impersonated Cromwell. The German scientists' treatments had long since worn off, and Baron Blood's full vampiric powers had returned. Blood could still resist the effects of direct sunlight as long as he wore the special head mask and undergarments that were part of his disguise as Cromwell. Blood sustained himself thereafter by drawing small amounts of blood from anemic patients of Cromwell's.

However, Blood's vampiric compulsions finally forced him to attack victims once more. He took care to kill them before draining their blood, so they would not themselves become vampires, and the police attributed his killings to a "slasher." The now extremely aged Lord Falsworth, though, suspected that the murders were his brothers work, and summoned Captain America, who had fought Blood as a member of the Invaders. Meanwhile, Blood, as Cromwell, was acting as Lord Falsworth's own physician. Blood was just waiting until his now ancient brother was at his weakest, so that he could then turn him into a vampire, forcing him to remain old and feeble for eternity.

Captain America quickly discovered that the skeleton in Blood's tomb in the Tower was not Baron Blood's, and clashed with the Baron soon afterwards. Lord Falsworth's grandson Kenneth discovered that Blood was impersonating Dr. Cromwell, and in a battle that followed, Captain America killed Baron Blood by severing his head with his shield. The Baron's head and body were then burned separately, and the two sets of ashes were scattered in different areas, thus ensuring that the Baron could never be revived again Thanks to the Montesi Formula, even the ashes have now dematerialized.

Height: 5 ft. 10 in.
Weight: 180 lbs
Eyes: Red
Hair: Black

Strength Level: As a vampire Baron Blood possessed superhuman strength, and could lift (press) at least 1,500 pounds

Known Superhuman Powers: Normally, Baron Blood possessed all the standard powers of a vampire, but to a degree greater than that of most vampires, with the obvious exception of Dracula. Baron Blood could hypnotize victims by staring into their eyes, command certain forms of animals such as mice and rats, and control the weather to a certain degree over a small area. During at least part of World War II Baron Blood was unable to utilize his shape-shifting powers due to the unusual cosmetic treatments given him by German scientists to enable him to endure direct sunlight for brief periods of time (about a half hour) without feeling pain and finally disintegrating as other vampires would.

Unlike other vampires, including Dracula himself, Baron Blood was able to fly without transforming himself into a bat. Possibly becoming a vampire awakened in him a latent psionic capacity for sell-levitation.

Baron Blood had the same vulnerabilities as other vampires, including wooden stakes through the heart, silver, the presence of religious symbols, garlic, and beheading. Unless utilizing the special means of protection described earlier, he was, like other vampires, vulnerable to direct sunlight. However, although most vampires fell into a trance-like state during daylight hours Blood always seemed capable of daytime activity, whether he had protection or not, as long as he avoided direct sunlight.

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