By Ben Morse
In 2011, terror overtakes the Marvel Universe as Fear Itself envelops its heroes and villains.
To delve deeper into what lies at the root of this climactic event, each week in Fear Files we will speak with Marvel’s biggest creators about exactly what frightens the premiere heroes and villains whose lives they guide.
This week, Victor Gischler talks a man who has a reputation for instilling fear: Dracula! Next on tap for both the lord of the vampires and the writer will be FEAR ITSELF: HULK VS DRACULA.
What is Dracula most afraid of?
Victor Gischler: I think he is most afraid of being irrelevant. He is a ruler and a leader and feels his rightful place is in the center of important historical events. I don't mean a cringing sobbing fear. More like a deep concern that his world view might actually be wrong. Ultra confidence is front and center to what makes Drac the lord of vamps. Anything that upsets the world view undermines that confidence.
Following his temporary displacement by Xarus, is Dracula more on guard and fearful of irrelevance?
Victor Gischler: I think it's just that Dracula knows he is a person of great substance and that he has a lot of hype to live up to.
Where do these fears hurt Dracula most in terms of how he operates?
Victor Gischler: They don't hurt him too much. You don't last centuries in this game by making mistakes. One might argue that Dracula got careless when Xarus unseated him briefly. Dracula perhaps got a little too complacent with the status quo—but the thing about Dracula is that he learns from these infrequent missteps. You better believe he won't make the same mistake again.
Fear is also one of the most potent tools in Dracula’s arsenal—how does he best utilize it?
Victor Gischler: He almost doesn't need to consciously "use" it. It's just there, his reputation looming over everything he touches.
The skunk doesn't have to spray you. You see that skunk and know what might happen and you steer clear.
Although a skunk comparison is not really a dignified enough comparison for Drac.
How do you think Dracula would describe his relationship and connection to fear?
Victor Gischler: I'm not sure he'd even think about it. A fish probably doesn't think about its relationship to water. Dracula is more self-aware than a fish, naturally, but fear is Drac's natural element and he swims in it effortlessly.
Is there any person or creature that Dracula fears? Should there be?
Victor Gischler: There are things that Dracula respects because he knows these things/people are powerful enough to do him harm. But "fear"? Even if there was fear in Dracula he'd never admit it to himself.
Will Dracula be able to maintain his stature or will he be crushed by The Hulk? Find out in FEAR ITSELF: HULK VS DRACULA!For more information on Fear Itself, visit the official event page.