Lord Rodney Kemp was an apparently young minor English aristocrat who intended to attend Thames University, where he met Courtney Ross and Brian Braddock. He invited Courtney to his ancestral home, Darkmoor Castle, but unknown to her, the mild mannered peer was actually not Rodney but Lord Rupert Kemp, the 7th Baron Darkmoor, who centuries ago had traded with Satan for immortality and the power to shapeshift; though a fair haired, bespectacled young man by day, Kemp would become a saturnine vampire by night, except when the full moon transformed him into a werewolf. He apparently wanted Courtney to join him as an ageless vampire since she resembled his lost love.

Kemp was killed when, while in werewolf form, Captain Britain stabbed him through the heart with an improvised silver dagger made from a goblet stem, then burned the parchment on which Kemp had signed his deal with the devil. Darkmoor Castle apparently burned to the ground in the subsequent fire caused by the parchment's destruction.[1]


The Black Baron's magic allowed him to assume several forms. In his "baseline" vampire form the Baron possessed enhanced strength (lifting 1 ton), could hypnotize with his gaze, and turn into a bat or gigantic python. The full moon's light triggered an automatic change into his less rational werewolf form, which possessed sharp fangs and claws, greater superhuman strength (lifting 10 tons), could leap several feet from a standing start and command wolves.

Both his vampire and werewolf forms were immune to gunfire but could be harmed by good mystical items; his werewolf form was vulnerable to silver and his vampire one to daylight. His human form displayed no power and may have had human vulnerabilities but was unaffected by daylight. In at least his vampire and bat forms he could cast spells, including animating inanimate objects, making fires disgorge choking smoke and creating illusions. Flying stone gargoyles and animated skeletons, presumably given life via his magic, protected his castle.[citation needed]

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