A warrior in medieval Japan, Raizo Kodo found his clan threatened by the warlord Jakkaru (actually a vampire), a mysteriously powerful conqueror who had legions of men at his command, held in sway mostly by fear. Journeying to Jakkaru's encampment with his brother Ryuhei in the guise of simple peasants, the duo was able to infiltrate his camp, killing his guards and confronting Jakkaru.
Enraged, Jakkaru attacked the pair, holding his own before being stabbed through the heart by Ryuhei. Thinking him dead, Ryuhei approached the body hoping to find a personal treasure of Jakkaru's he could show his father, but quickly found that Jakkaru wasn't dead. As Jakkaru sunk his fangs into Ryuhei, Raizo grabbed the first thing he could find, a wooden training sword, and stabbed Jakkaru again, then beheaded the vampire, seemingly killing him. Escaping with his injured brother, the two fled to their clan's home.
At home, the Lord Kodo's attendants attempted to warn him of the evil that lurked within Ryuhei, speculating that a demon had possessed Jakkaru and now resided in Ryuhei. Warning his father that maybe the attendant was right, Raizo's father ignored him, thinking Ryuhei just needed rest.
Over the next few days, Ryuhei's behavior changed, as he spent nights carousing with women in the neighboring village. Confronting Ryuhei over this behavior, Raizo found his brother belligerent and angry that his brother seemingly didn't respect him.
Feeling the need to do something to help his brother, Raizo met with Suzume, unofficially his fiance, who told him that if a problem existed, he needed to solve it. Determined to solve the mystery of his brother's odd behavior, he set to find the answers at Jakkaru's fortress. There, he found the former servants of Jakkaru, enraged at his presence, and swiftly dispatched them.
Questioning their commander, Raizo was told the story of Jakkaru, who, after meeting with a Dutchman who promised him power and eternal life, found himself changed, and began carrying out "acts of unspeakable depravity."
Leaving Jakkaru's castle, Raizo returned home, stopping along the way to outfit himself for battle. Entering his home, he confronted his father, a newly-turned vampire. Slaying the old man and his mother, he then set fire to his home. When Suzume approached him, he attempted to convince her to leave with him, not realizing that Suzume had already been transformed. Bitten by Suzume, he found he had no choice, and was forced to kill her.
Killing the other transformed residents of the Kodo clan, he eventually confronted Ryuhei who sat calmly in anticipation of the battle. Offering Raizo a chance to join the clan as it gained power, Raizo told his brother he would never choose that path, then battled his brother, eventually being disarmed and held at the point of a sword by Ryuhei. At that point, a piece of the burning roof fell onto Ryuhei, separating the two and setting Ryuhei on fire.
Seeing his chance, Raizo beheaded his brother and fled the fire. Stopping at a nearby tree, Raizo knew, due to Suzume's bite, he would soon find himself corrupted as his family had become. Holding a wooden sword to his gut, he prepared to kill himself...but found himself too weak to do so. And as the change took effect, he found he liked who he had become.
During World War II, Raizo opposed certain members of the Nazis known as the Thule Society as they experimented on Vampires for mystical reasons. When the Valkyrie known as Brunnhilde arrived following her strange summoning to earth, she found the slaughtered Thule Society members, and after a brief fight following Raizo's assumption that she was one of their number, Raizo informed her of their acts and that the building they were in was set to explode. The two quickly left.
In 1957, while living in Kenya he met Charles Xavier. Raizo saved Xavier from mercenaries, who were hunting for a group of Raizo's people. In gratitude for saving him, Xavier erased their memories.
Now a vampire himself, Raizo found himself alone, and left with a lot of time. Feeling he was fated for some great purpose, he began training himself. Over the years, he joined the Krieger sect, a militaristic vampire army, learning their secrets before moving on to join the Claw sect, learning their talents before again moving on. Angered over this, a Claw sect envoy was sent to Dracula for permission to kill the vampire, which Dracula granted, knowing the Claw sect had no hope of killing the vampire.
At an unknown point, Raizo founded his own clan of Vampires, known as the Forgiven. When Dracula's Romanian fortress came under assault by Nul, the Forgiven offered Dracula their services. Briefly imprisoned as a security concern, they easily broke free from their cell. While his teammates sought to protect the citizens of nearby Pasnic and prevent Nul from reaching Dracula's castle, Raizo spent his time considering the known information on Nul/Hulk, and tried to devise a way to defeat him. After much pondering, he announced to Dracula and his advisers that Nul/Hulk couldn't be defeated, and promptly left the castle. Collecting Forgiven member Inka, he revealed to her his true plan. Returning to the battle after an hour's absence, the two, with Inka posing as Hulk's love-interest Red-She-Hulk/Betty Ross, used the illusion to convince Hulk to lay down his hammer, ending the Nul possession and saving Dracula's castle. While an angry Hulk left shortly after, Dracula informed Raizo and the Forgiven that he would let them leave, but they would return to being enemies. Raizo then announced to his teammates his intention to steal the Hammer of Nul from Dracula.
Obtaining the hammer, the Forgiven hid out in a cabin in Transylvania, where they met Brunnhilde/Valkyrie who sought the hammers to return them to Asgardian possession. Wishing to judge her character by how she fought, Raizo briefly dueled Valkyrie until she informed him of her reason for seeking the hammer. Reflecting on how similar it was to their confrontation during World War II, Raizo ended the fight and gave her the hammer. When Valkyrie and her teammates in the Secret Avengers encountered the Nosferatu that Raizo and his Forgiven had been hunting, he covertly came to their aid, killing a Nosferatu before it could attack Valkyrie.
Following a battle between the X-Men and the nation-state of Puternicstan's Sentinel army, Jubilee found herself crashing a Sentinel in Eastern Europe. As she recovered from the crash, Raizo greeted her. Taking her to the Forgiven's base, he worked to convince her that her desire for human blood was unnecessary and that she could just as easily survive on animal blood. Though initially reluctant and desperate to flee, Jubilee eventually agreed to allow Raizo to help her. When the X-Men eventually tracked down the Forgiven they briefly battled the vampires, with Psylocke testing her swordsmanship against Raizo's. Evenly matched, the duo's duel was halted by Jubilee, who explained her presence among the vampires to her teammates. Further conflict was halted by X-Man Colossus arriving with the defeated Zapata Brothers and the revelation of multiple assassins arriving, with Raizo as their target.
Powers and Abilities
Vampirism: Raizo, like all other vampires, is capable of transforming an individual into a vampire by biting them. A special enzyme found only within vampire saliva is responsible for this transformation. After draining all of the blood from a victim, the victim enters a death-like state and returns to life three days later.
- Superhuman Strength: Like all vampires, Raizo possesses superhuman strength
- Superhuman Speed: Raizo is capable of running and moving at speeds greater than even the finest human athlete.
- Superhuman Stamina: Raizo's body is more resistant to the fatigue toxins generated by his muscles during physical activity. He can exert himself at peak capacity for several hours before fatigue begins to affect him.
- Superhuman Agility: Raizo's agility, balance, and body coordination are enhanced to levels that are beyond the natural limits of the human body.
- Superhuman Reflexes: Raizo's natural reaction time is enhanced to levels that are beyond the natural limits of the human body.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: Raizo is capable of regenerating damaged or destroyed tissue to an extent much greater than an ordinary human. Raizo can fully heal from multiple gunshots and severe burns within a matter of minutes, however he cannot regenerate missing limbs or organs.
- Immortality: Raizo, like all vampires, is functionally immortal in the sense that he is immune to the effects of aging and is immune to all known Earthly diseases as long as he ingests fresh blood on a regular basis to maintain his vitality.
- Fangs: Like all vampires, Raizo has fangs and claws and can quickly drain a victim of blood.
- Shapeshifting: Raizo is able to shapeshift into bats, rats, a wolf, and mist. He can also turn into human-sized or larger wolfen and bat-like forms.
Sword fighting and martial arts.
Raizo, like all vampires, has a number of special vulnerabilities. His greatest weakness, like that of other vampires, is that he must ingest about one quart of fresh blood in order to maintain his vitality. Otherwise, his powers will steadily decrease to the point where he enters a comatose state. Raizo is highly allergic to silver and can be severely injured, or killed, with silver weaponry. If Raizo is injured by silver, his recovery time is considerably slower than normal. Raizo is also unable to withstand exposure to direct sunlight. His tissue begins to instantly dry up and will crumble to powder within a matter of moments. Raizo can be killed by having a wooden stake plunged into his heart, somehow interrupting the mystical energies that keeps him alive. Raizo can also be killed by being decapitated and being exposed to fire. Raizo can also be affected by religious icons, such as the Star of David or a crucifix. Raizo is affected by the strength of the wielder's faith in the icon and religion it represents, not the size of the icon itself. Raizo must rest within his coffin during daylight hours. He must line his coffin with soil from his homeland in order to both sustain his power and travel more than 100 miles from his birthplace.
- 14 appearance(s) of Raizo Kodo (Earth-616)
- 1 mention(s) of Raizo Kodo (Earth-616)
- 16 image(s) of Raizo Kodo (Earth-616)
- 5 quotation(s) by or about Raizo Kodo (Earth-616)