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MI13: Mark of the Vampire

Writer Paul Cornell discusses the danger of England’s greatest heroes falling to Dracula in CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MI13

Preview art by
Leonard Kirk

By Jim Beard The threat of vampirism hangs over Captain Britain, his friends and his associates like the plague. It's an eternal threat—a threat with teeth. Enter CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MI13 #12, due out April 8, and Count Dracula's fondest wish: a vampire state. It may come to pass if England's greatest hero and the stalwarts of MI13 end up with their necks on the chomping—err, chopping block. Some MI13 cast members already suffer from vampirism, namely Lady Jacqueline Falsworth Chrichton, a.k.a. Spitfire, and newcomer Blade. Series scribe Paul Cornell calls the former a vampire "with benefits," but admits that "she's now finding out what some of the drawbacks are, like being in thrall to the Lord of Vampires." Now that's a scary thought: being under the thumb of one of the greatest supernatural menaces of all, a bloodsucker with a curse and an unforgiving master. What if the rest of the cast found themselves in such a state? We asked Cornell to give his thoughts on what it might mean to each of his intrepid band of heroes and agents… CAPTAIN BRITAIN Gifted with immense power from Merlin himself, Brian Braddock has sworn to protect his country—but could he protect it from himself?

Preview art by
Leonard Kirk

"It's hard to say, with Cap's magical nature now, if he could become a vampire," muses Cornell. "But if he was, he'd have to do something about it, really quickly, and would have the willpower to stake himself if there was definitely no other choice." PETE WISDOM A superb agent and a mutant with the ability to absorb solar radiation, Pete's a talented guy, but could this Skrull-fighter win out over the bite? "Pete might try to live with it, might see if he could find any advantages," Cornell posits. "But his great sense of duty would eat into that process every day. He'd have to be a very loyal vampire!" THE BLACK KNIGHT Wielder of the deadly Ebony Blade in the service of his country, Dane Whitman also carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. How much more tragedy could the Black Knight bear? "I think that might well be the last straw for Dane, given the curse he already labors under," admits Cornell. "I think the extra bloodlust might send him into a berserker mode that would never stop."

Preview art by
Leonard Kirk

DR. FAIZA HUSSAIN Steward to the Black Knight, powerful healer and wielder of the sword Excalibur, Faiza's pulled in many dangerous directions at the moment—would vampirism be the match to the tinder? "For Faiza it'd be a long, hard, haul," Cornell says. "She's about to see her father doing his best to live with this curse. To be a religious person—as Dracula originally was—and to be then repelled by every sign of faith would be a terrible thing indeed." ALISTAIR STUART Leader of MI14 and accomplished scientist, Alistair's already used to the strange condition of a mutable form, so would bats and wolves present much of a challenge? "Alistair's already cursed by shapeshifting," Cornell says. "He's made the best of that, so he might well find the condition interesting and worthy of study." Witness the next move in Dracula's war on Europe in CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MI13 #12 on April 8. Meanwhile, you can look back on the first issue with Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited! Check out the official Marvel Shop for your favorite Marvel Heroes! Download episodes of X-Men: Evolutionicon now on iTunes!

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