Monday, October 26, 2009

Before There Was Twilight...

There was the original moody vampire...Andrew Bennett, the star of 'House of Mystery's' series "I...Vampire". The epic tale played out over 24 issues within the 'House of Mystery' banner from 1981-1983. It was the first comic series I could share with my best female friend Shauna during High School. OMG. I just realized girls have ALWAYS loved vampires with issues. Like Angel, Andrew Bennett had plenty of ennui to go around. The series was created by J.M. DeMatteis and illustrated by some of the top artists of the day. It was so popular that it eventually took over the horror anthology series leading to a full length finale that was both exciting and unexpected. I always thought this story would have made a great TV miniseries on one of the cable channels hungry for a cool vampire story.

"In 1591, after being turned into a vampire himself, Lord Andrew Bennett turned his lover, Mary Seward, into a vampire, and she became corrupted by the power. She took the name Mary, Queen of Blood and created a group of vampires called The Blood Red Moon bent on taking over the world. The series followed Bennett into the modern day as he tried to undo his mistake and take down Mary and The Blood Red Moon.

He was helped by his two companions Deborah Dancer, a beautiful young woman who Bennett saved from Mary at Woodstock (and was also his girlfriend) and Dmitri Mishkin, a Russian man whom Bennett had rescued from Mary when Mishkin was a child.

To try and keep his humanity, Bennett made a vow to only drink the blood of animals and bottled human blood (which created a subtext of alcoholism).

Andrew Bennett has the powers of a vampire. He can transform into mist, a bat, and a wolf and he has superior strength far beyond that of a mortal man. He also possesses immortality, the ability to turn others into vampires, a healing factor, and limited telepathy. Also, his image can not be seen, such as reflected in a mirror or captured on film.

However, he also has the weaknesses of a vampire, as well. He can be killed by sunlight, silver, and crucifixes, and he is cursed to drink the blood of the living. Unlike other vampires, he can reconstitute himself some time after being killed. He is also with full control over his curse and he doesn't mean harm to any human he likes." (Wikipedia)

If you like this kind of story you would be crazy not to track down (or download the bit torrents) for House of Mystery House of Mystery (1981-83): #290-291, 293, 295, 297, 299, 302-319, 321.

He later appeared in the fantastic graphic novel - Dr. Thirteen: Architecture and Mortality which is well worth your time also.

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