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Quote1 I'm a leg-man, understand? And when I take in a pair of dark, slender stems, resting in the doorway of this hovel I laughingly call an office, I take my sweet time before checking out the rest of what's staring at me. Quote2
-- Hannibal King src
 

Early Life

Hannibal King was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was a skilled private investigator who made a decent living. While working on a case in London King was bitten by Deacon Frost, a Vampire. When he had awakened and realized he had become a vampire, he was disgusted and horrified by the transformation. King vowed never to feed from a human and instead purchased blood from blood banks to feed. King also decided not to use his newfound powers in his line of work, deciding to rely on his own natural skills he had developed over years of work, but was now forced to work only at nighttime.[2][3]

Meeting Dracula

A woman named Adrianne Brown Walters entered the London office of King. She wanted him to look into the murder of her newlywed husband, Fred Walters, whom she believed was killed by an otherworldly beast. Mrs. Walters described the case in detail, including the fact that she witnessed a man bite her husband across the throat before disappearing out of sight.

King automatically knew that Mrs. Walters was describing the actions of a vampire. He went to the "Lucky Inn" to ask questions. The bartender invited King into the back where he subsequently attacked him. King easily beat the man down and discovered two small bite marks on the man's neck. The bartender was obviously in service to a vampire.

King began to investigate Fred Walters' employers, Wyandanch Limited. He encountered Dracula conspiring with one of his underlings. Dracula turned to attack him, and King fired a gunshot into the vampire lord. The bullet passed through him and struck Dracula's servant, O'Brien. Dracula pushed Hannibal out of a two-story window. King got up and went back inside, but Dracula was gone. He interrogated O'Brien and asked him about his latest shipping manifest - specifically, the destination of a wooden coffin. O'Brien told him that one was shipped to a warehouse in Kensington.

Hannibal went to the warehouse and found Dracula as well as several of his followers. He fought off each of the vampires; Dracula heard police sirens in the distance and dispersed. Hannibal met with Mrs Walters. He told her everything that he learned and explained that Dracula killed her husband to cover up the paper trail concerning the export of his various coffins.[2]

Meeting Blade

While searching for the vampire that bit him, Hannibal met Blade, the vampire killer. At first they fought, but became a mutual allies as Frost was the one who killed Blade's mother.[4] Hannibal easily defeated Blade, but due to their shared mission, they decided to work together. They waited in Frost's apartment for his recent victim to rise as a vampire. When he awoke, he explained that he had dug up a coffin containing an exact copy of Blade.[5] Blade and Hannibal King continued their hunt for Deacon Frost, wondering how Frost intended to take over the world with a duplicate of Blade.[6] Blade and King went to London so Blade could visit Safron.[7] Blade and King found Blade's "Doppelgänger" and he revealed that he was created to destroy him.[8] The two fought, but Blade stopped when the two began to fuse together upon physical contact. Hannibal King rushed to Blade's rescue; however he was too late to stop the merger from completing. With the vampire doppelgänger in full control of their unified body, it set its sights on King.[9] The Doppelgänger attacked King, and despite his savage fury, he was easily fended off by King who stabbed the faux-Blade in the chest with one of his own wooden daggers, sending the imitator out a window and allowing Hannibal to escape.[10] King was still fleeing from the vampire doppelgänger of Blade when their fight crashed into Dracula's party. Deacon Frost was among the crowd and watched eagerly as his ongoing plan unfolded in front of him. Furious with Blade's interruption of his party, Dracula attacked and was shocked to find his longtime vampire hunter foe was now a vampire himself. Blade appeared to have the upper hand when he stabbed Dracula in the back with one of his wooden daggers; however, Dracula turns around, and mocking the fake Blade's inferior skill to the original impales the vampire doppelgänger in the chest with a stake killing him.[11]

Darkhold

Doctor Strange Vol 2 62 001

While investigating the murder at the hands of the Darkholders, King contacted Doctor Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme.[1] With the help of Doctor Strange, King discovered that the Darkhold contained a spell not only to create vampires but to destroy them.[12] However it was also revealed that Dracula had once again been resurrected. King, along with Blade and Frank Drake, visited Castle Mordo, the home of the powerful sorcerer Baron Mordo to retrieve the Darkhold.[13] They battled Dracula and the Darkholders, and then used the book to cast the Montesi Formula. The formula destroyed all existing vampires, including with Dracula, and also prevented any new vampires from being created.[14] King, however, was not destroyed along with the other vampires as he had never taken blood from a living person. Doctor Strange however still had to perform a complete blood transfusion for King to survive. The transfusion, however, returned him to a human.[15]

Nightstalkers

Hannibal, Blade, and Frank Drake formed their own detective agency called Borderline Investigations, but they were better known as the Nightstalkers.[16] With Doctor Strange, they fought the Darkholders again.[17] They then battled them alone without the aid of the Sorcerer Supreme.[18] King later accompanied the Defenders as one of their many rotating team members. The makeshift team helped stop the plans of Minvera Bannister.[19]

The agency discontinued after Drake left and Blade was committed to a psychiatric hospital following a battle with a temporarily resurrected Dracula. Doctor Strange later arranged the release of Blade so that he could join Drake and King in reforming Borderline Inc. as the Nightstalkers.[20]

The mother of all demons, Lilith, hired Blade's agency to kill Ghost Rider -- the leather-clad, motorcycle-riding Spirit of Vengeance -- and bad-boy Johnny Blaze, the fiery skeleton's former host. After a protracted battle, Blade and company realized they had been duped. The team joined with Ghost Rider and Blaze against Lilith, battling her monstrous minion Meatmarket.[21] Blade, Drake, and King continued their partnership with Ghost Rider and Blaze. Along with Dr. Strange, Morbius the Living Vampire, and the Darkhold Redeemers, they formed the Midnight Sons, a group dedicated to preserving the boundaries between our world and the dark realms. The Midnight Sons clashed with Lilith and her demons spawn, the Lilin, in a supernatural contest with Earth as the prize. The Midnight Sons proved victorious, destroying Lilith and her brood.[22] Blade also rescued his close friend Safron Caulder from the Darkholders.[23]

The Nightstalkers also battled other threats, such as Hydra's D.O.A. (Department of Occult Armaments).[24]

King became a part time member of the Midnight Sons.[25]

King and the team work with the Punisher (Frank Castle) to battle a dangerous cult leader named Shiv.[26] Working together they were able to stop the cult from sacrificing any more people.[27] The team battled various supernatural threats such as Stonecold[28] and Vic Slaughter[29] along with the return of the D.O.A.[30][31] They also encountered the dreaded Short Circuit[32] and teamed up with an evil alternate reality version of Hannibal King.[33]

Blade's desire to destroy supernatural enemies led him to be tricked into using the Darkhold.[34] As 'Switchblade,' Blade attacked a number of supernatural beings and stole their power in the 'Midnight Massacre'.[35] King and the Nightstalkers eventually stopped Blade, using another page of the Darkhold to restore things back to normal.[36]

They worked with the Darkhold Redeemers to battle Martine Bancroft[37] and the Lilin,[38] against whom even Doctor Strange could not help.[39]

King and the team battled a new threat called Bad Timing, working for Lilith.[40] The Lilin then teamed up with The Fallen.[41][42][43][44][45][46][47]

King and Blade battled Bloodstorm, a clone of Dracula and the first of a line of vampiric shock-troops utilized by Hydra's D.O.A.[48] He was created in a lab by Lt. Belial, but as soon as he emerged, he began slaughtering all the Hydra personnel present, including Lt. Belial at the hypnotic command of Varnae.[49]

Upon the eventual weakening of the Montesi Formula and the return of vampires, Blade encountered and staked a former ally, a now-vampiric Taj Nital. However, the team was unable to prevent its hated quarry, the vampire, from returning to the earthly realm. Blade, Drake, and King, who again had become afflicted with vampirism, began their crusade anew to cleanse the world of all bloodsuckers. Blade and his partners clashed with the dread lord Varnae -- supposedly the first vampire, the demon who had visited this hellish curse upon men. King and Drake were slain in a bloody and futile battle. The loss of his compatriots only strengthened Blade's resolve to rid the world of vampires, regardless of the circumstances of their creation. Following their victory, King was cured of his vampirism.[50] He remained with the Nightstalkers as Blade left the team for New York.[51]

Dracula Lives

Deacon Frost teamed up with Marie LaVeau to take over organized crime in New Orleans, to use it as a staging area for greater conquests. As Dracula had returned, but was not currently acting as Lord of Vampires, Deacon captures Blade, Hannibal King, and Brother Voodoo to establish his rep among the undead in his power grab. The heroes freed themselves from the trap and Blade battled Deacon Frost to a stalemate. Deacon escaped, and Blade vowed to hunt him down.[52]

Tatjana Stiles

King later set up a small shop in San Francisco where CIA agent Tatjana Stiles hired King to investigate the vampire Navarro who had stolen a number of biological weapons.[53] King was captured by Navarro and forced to feed on a live human to prevent them from being turned into a vampire. King and Tatjana ultimately destroyed Navarro, but Tatjana was horribly injured. She begged King to make her a vampire in order to save her, and King gave in, taking his second human life.[54]

Working with Spider-Man

Spider-Man went undercover a to Club Jugular in an investigation into Zombie. While poorly attempting to pass as a goth, he ran into Hannibal King and Lilith Drake. Lilith and Hannibal fought each other while Pete changed into Spider-Man. As soon as he entered the fight, Lilith tossed him through a window. Hannibal failed to obtain the Amulet of Damballah from her, and Lilith eventually escaped. Spider-Man and King decide to team-up to track down Lilith. King told him about the amulet, and that the Zombie was responsible for the recent abductions. They tracked Lilith to her lair, and resumed their fight. Lilith wanted to enslave King, and turn him into her personal vampire general. King naturally refused the offer, and succeeded in snatching the amulet. He then ordered the Zombie to attack Lilith. Lilith broke free, but it was clear now that her operations in New York were hopeless. She managed to evade capture once again, just as the sun began to rise in the sky. King had the Zombie crated up and shipped to New Orleans. He traveled ahead to confer with his client, Donna Garth, daughter of the once-human Zombie, Simon Garth. King handed her the Amulet of Damballah.[55]

James Lucas

King assisted Blade in London where the latter confronted Draconis, a vampire impervious to all forms of exorcism.[56] The two vampire hunters later battled Union Jack.[57] Back in the US, King and Blade helped Spider-Man battle the criminal Fracture.[58] Blade's father Lucas Cross offered a way to restore the souls of all vampires, but in addition the effect would remove all of the traditional vampiric weaknesses. The spell was dependent on Blade, who refused to provide invulnerability to his sworn enemy.[59] Blade attempted to enlist King against Blade's father, but King refused, and attacked his former partner for denying him one of his greatest desires: to see the sunrise again. Blade staked King, leaving behind only a smoking stain on the cobblestones. He returned to life along with all the other vampires that Blade had killed, and Blade however decided to give him a potion that would stop him needing to feast on blood.[60]

Powers

  • Vampirism: Hannibal King is a vampire and possesses all of the various superhuman attributes commonly associated with vampires.
    • Superhuman Strength: Like all vampires, King is superhumanly strong and possesses about 10 times the strength he possessed as a human, allowing him to lift about 1 ton.[61][62][63][64][65][66][67]
    • Superhuman Speed: King can run and move at speeds that are beyond the physical limits of the finest human athlete.[61][62][63][64][65][66][67]
    • Superhuman Stamina: King's musculature produces less fatigue toxins during physical activity than the musculature of a normal human. He can physically exert himself at peak capacity for a period of several hours before the build up of fatigue toxins in his blood begins to impair him.[61][62][63][64][65][66][67]
    • Superhuman Agility: King's agility, balance, and bodily coordination are enhanced to levels that are beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete.[61][62][63][64][65][66][67]
    • Superhumanly Acute Senses: King's senses of sight, smell, and hearing are enhanced to superhuman levels. King, like all vampires, has exceptional night vision and can see with perfect clarity in near-total darkness. He can also detect sounds that ordinary humans can't, even at great distances. His sense of smell is also acute enough to detect the scent of blood in the air, which he can use to track and injured opponent if necessary.[61][62][63][64][65][66][67]
    • Regenerative Healing Factor: Like all vampires, Hannibal King can rapidly regenerate damaged or destroyed bodily tissues faster and more efficiently than an ordinary human. King can regenerate from multiple bullet wounds, knife wounds, or severe body wide burns within a matter of hours. However, he isn't able to regenerate missing limbs or organs.[61][62][63][64][65][66][67]
    • Immortality: Though King isn't technically alive, he is functionally immortal for all intents and purposes. Since he isn't alive, he is immune to the effects of all known Earthly diseases and infections. As long as he feeds on fresh blood on a regular basis, King's aging process is completely halted as well.
    • Shapeshifting: King, like all vampires, possesses a limited shapeshifting ability and can transform into a bat, a wolf, or as a gaseous mist. He retains his full intelligence in these forms and typically uses them for the purpose of traveling faster than he can while in his human form.[61][62][63][64][65][66][67]
    • Weather Manipulation: King, like all vampires, possess the ability to greatly manipulate the weather over a limited area, such as creating immensely powerful thunderstorms. However, manipulating the weather in such a way leaves him physically and mentally drained for an extended period of time.[61][62][63][64][65][66][67]
    • Hypnotism and Mind Control: Like all vampires, King has the ability to hypnotise most beings just by making eye contact with them for a few seconds. While under his influence, he can force people to do his bidding, though beings of great will power can resist him. King can also mentally control other vampires that he himself has created, or rather he could if he ever did sire other vampires.[61][62][63][64][65][66][67]
  • Former Powers:After his restoration as a vampire, Hannibal seemed to be more resistant to sunlight than normal vampires. His need for blood was also greatly diminished.[61][62][63] [64][65][66][67]

Abilities

  • Hand-to-Hand Combat: King is well-versed in hand-to-hand. Often refusing to use his vampire powers in a fight.[61][62][63][64][65][66][67]
  • Detective Skill: King is a skilled detective, capable of observation, forensic investigation, and inductive and deductive reasoning of the highest caliber.[61][62][63][64][65][66][67]
  • Interrogation Expert: Due to her experience and training he has an extensive knowledge of interrogation methods.[61][62][63][64][65][66][67]
  • Expert Marksman: He is an exceptional marksman, he is skilled in sharpshooting and knife throwing.[61][62][63][64][65][66][67]
  • Indomitable Will: King is a very strong-willed person. He is able to overcome the bloodlust that effects all vampires. He refuses to use most of his vampire powers on his day to day work. Refuses to use his hypnotic powers as to rob any sentient creature of its identity or control. [61] [62][63] [64][65][66][67]

Weaknesses

  • Vampirism Weaknesses: Hannibal King possesses all of the typical vulnerabilities common to vampires.[61][62][63][64][65][66][67]
    • Blood: The most basic and well known weakness of King, or any other vampire, is the need to regularly ingest blood in order to maintain physical vitality and a youthful appearance. However, King restricts himself by refusing to feed upon the living. If he were go to for a long period of time without feeding, King will steadily weaken until he eventually suffers a kind of second death.[61][62][63] [64][65][66][67]
    • Religious Icons: Hannibal King can be affected by being exposed to religious icons, such as a Christian crucifix or the Jewish Star of David. The size of the icons is irrelevant, but the faith of the one holding the icon that can cause extreme levels of fear. If he is touched by one of these icons, he will suffer severe burns that will take much longer to heal than ordinary burns.[61][62][63][64][65][66][67]
    • Wooden Stake: King can also be killed by having a wooden stake driven through his heart. For some unknown reason, the stake prevents the various mystical energies that empower a vampire from circulating through his body. However, removal of the stake from King will result in his immediate return to life.[61][62][63][64][65][66][67]
    • Silver: Like all vampires, Hannibal King is particularly vulnerable to objects or weaponry composed of silver. If he is stabbed through the heart with a silver stake or blade, he will die in much the same way as if he were stabbed with a wooden stake. If he sustains injury from a silver weapon or object, his recovery time from the injury will be much longer than healing from an injury sustained from a weapon composed of more conventional materials.[61][62][63][64][65][66][67]
    • Sunlight: During the daylight hours, King falls into a dormant, comatose, death-like state and will remain that way until sunset. However, if he were to be exposed to direct sunlight, his body will be incinerated within a matter of seconds.[61][62][63][64][65][66][67]
    • Native Soil: King, like all vampires, must line his coffin or sleeping area with soil taken from the land of his birth; otherwise, he isn't able to travel more than 100 miles from the place of his birth.[61][62][63][64][65][66][67]



Weapons

He carries a revolver and sometimes uses other artillery such as his shotgun.

  • Hannibal King is one of the many heroes mentioned in the Civil War Battle Damage Report. [68]
  • Hannibal King's early adventures are reprinted in Essential Series The Tomb of Dracula.[69][70]

Discover and Discuss

Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Doctor Strange Vol 2 #58
  2. 2.0 2.1 Tomb of Dracula #25
  3. Vampires: The Marvel Undead #1
  4. Tomb of Dracula #44
  5. Tomb of Dracula #45
  6. Tomb of Dracula #46
  7. Tomb of Dracula #47
  8. Tomb of Dracula #48
  9. Tomb of Dracula #49
  10. Tomb of Dracula #50
  11. Tomb of Dracula #53
  12. Doctor Strange Vol 2 #59
  13. Doctor Strange Vol 2 #60
  14. Doctor Strange Vol 2 #61
  15. Doctor Strange Vol 2 #62
  16. Doctor Strange Vol 2 #67
  17. Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #9
  18. Marvel Comics Presents #64
  19. Defenders #148
  20. Nightstalkers #1
  21. Ghost Rider Vol 3 #28
  22. Ghost Rider Vol 3 #31
  23. Marvel Comics Presents #6
  24. Nightstalkers #2-4
  25. Midnight Sons Unlimited #1-2
  26. Nightstalkers #5
  27. Nightstalkers #6
  28. Nightstalkers #7
  29. Nightstalkers #8
  30. Nightstalkers #9
  31. Nightstalkers #11
  32. Nightstalkers #12
  33. Nightstalkers #13
  34. Nightstalkers #10
  35. Ghost Rider Vol 3 #40
  36. Ghost Rider/Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance #13
  37. Morbius: The Living Vampire #16
  38. Ghost Rider Vol 3 #44
  39. Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #60
  40. Nightstalkers #14
  41. Ghost Rider/Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance #17-18
  42. Morbius: The Living Vampire #17
  43. Marvel Comics Presents #145-146
  44. Midnight Sons Unlimited #4
  45. Ghost Rider Vol 3 #45
  46. Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #61
  47. Nightstalkers #15
  48. Nightstalkers #16
  49. Nightstalkers #17
  50. Nightstalkers #18
  51. Blade #1
  52. Blade Vol 3 #1
  53. Journey into Mystery #520
  54. Journey into Mystery #521
  55. Spider-Man Unlimited #20
  56. Blade Vol 5 #8
  57. Blade Vol 5 #9
  58. Blade Vol 5 #10
  59. Blade Vol 5 #11
  60. Blade Vol 5 #12
  61. 61.00 61.01 61.02 61.03 61.04 61.05 61.06 61.07 61.08 61.09 61.10 61.11 61.12 61.13 61.14 61.15 61.16 61.17 61.18 61.19 61.20 61.21 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #5
  62. 62.00 62.01 62.02 62.03 62.04 62.05 62.06 62.07 62.08 62.09 62.10 62.11 62.12 62.13 62.14 62.15 62.16 62.17 62.18 62.19 62.20 62.21 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #14
  63. 63.00 63.01 63.02 63.03 63.04 63.05 63.06 63.07 63.08 63.09 63.10 63.11 63.12 63.13 63.14 63.15 63.16 63.17 63.18 63.19 63.20 63.21 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 2 #7
  64. 64.00 64.01 64.02 64.03 64.04 64.05 64.06 64.07 64.08 64.09 64.10 64.11 64.12 64.13 64.14 64.15 64.16 64.17 64.18 64.19 64.20 64.21 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 2 #20
  65. 65.00 65.01 65.02 65.03 65.04 65.05 65.06 65.07 65.08 65.09 65.10 65.11 65.12 65.13 65.14 65.15 65.16 65.17 65.18 65.19 65.20 65.21 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Master Edition #25
  66. 66.00 66.01 66.02 66.03 66.04 66.05 66.06 66.07 66.08 66.09 66.10 66.11 66.12 66.13 66.14 66.15 66.16 66.17 66.18 66.19 66.20 66.21 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 4 #18
  67. 67.00 67.01 67.02 67.03 67.04 67.05 67.06 67.07 67.08 67.09 67.10 67.11 67.12 67.13 67.14 67.15 67.16 67.17 67.18 67.19 67.20 67.21 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #6
  68. Civil War Battle Damage Report #1
  69. Essential Series #The Tomb of Dracula 1
  70. Essential Series #The Tomb of Dracula 3
  71. Vampires: The Marvel Undead #1
  72. Vampires: The Marvel Undead #1



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