ASMODEUS

Real Name: Asmodeus

Identity/Class: Demon (presumably Class Two)

Occupation: Demon lord

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: The Belonging, Dracula, Gregor Smirnoff, Vampires; army of demon servants

Enemies: Indirectly Blade, Frank Drake, Inspector Judiah Golem, Katinka, Marlene McKenna

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: A realm of Hell

First Appearance: Tomb of Dracula III#1 (Epic Comics, 1991)--not actually seen

Powers/Abilities: Only a few of Asmodeus' abilities have been seen. He was sufficiently powerful to resurrect Dracula, from what would have otherwise seemed to have been his permanent destruction. He can manipulate reality, or perhaps reshape matter to a great extent. He can apparently alter the memories of others. He can grant power or energy to others, presumably in exchange for the souls or life energies of others.
He is served by a large army of demon-creatures, who can be sent to Earth under certain circumstances.

Height: 6' 3" Weight: 425 lbs.

History:
(Tomb of Dracula III#1) - ...Asmodeus once more took reign of Hell and ordered his minions to awaken from their decade-long slumber. Leathery wings once again slapped the coldness of night. Blood once more cut through the fragile veil of flesh to bring life to those things undead. But the night was still without its lord. Asmodeus reached for those sun-bleached bones where they last lay, but could find nothing save the crippled remains of some insignificant mortal.
Thus began the search. One year more passed before was found the black soul that had long ago been skewered by silver. Asmodeus smiled (and somewhere in China an earthquake killed ten thousand) and returned the bones to their proper resting place. All was now where it should be. The rest would unfold in proper order...

(Tomb of Dracula III#1-4-BTS) - Asmodeus may well have supplied some of the power to Gregor Smirnoff, filter from the Belonging and other experiments, that allowed him to summon the soul of Rachel van Helsing and place it into Marlene McKenna. He was also quite likely involved in the death-by-fire that occurred in the rituals of the Belonging, which resulted in the placement of the participant/victim's soul in a magical storage place. The first such death, that of Rachel Glass, was siad to have opened the gates of Hell, and may
With information derived when Rachel, Marlene, and Frank Drake, Smirnoff traveled to Castle Dracula and resurrected the Vampire Lord by removing the silver spoke. As Dracula left with Smirnoff, he attempted to summon his legions (normally rats, bats, wolves, etc.). His powers "touched the loins of Asmodeus." A vast army of demon creatures, and possibly undead people, appeared to terrorize Drake and Marlene.
Later, the Belonging's collective rituals resulted in over 1600 members being consumed in flame and the power of their souls being granted to Dracula. Dracula eventually tried to absorb the full power of the mass of souls, and was blown to pieces as a result.

Comments: Created by Marv Wolfman and Gene (The Dean) Colan.

Asmodeus is not seen on a single page of the limited series, but his activities are mentioned in narrative throughout, and it would seem as if he were the behind-the-scenes manipulater of all of the supernatural events seen in this series. His demons are seen on-panel.
There are a number of extremely vague and ambiguous statements in this series, and so I have done my best (after reviewing Dracula's full continuity for his profile, and reading through this series for the third time) to attempt to clarify what they mean. The only definitive actions of Asmodeus are the participation in the resurrection of Dracula (as quoted above) and the release of a bunch of demons to assist Dracula again Frank Drake.

This story, with Asmodeus gaining control of Hell (or a realm of it anyway), would likely seem to fit in at some point after Mephisto might have been temporarily destroyed, such as in Fantastic Four I#277 (at the hands of Franklin Richards) or in Silver Surfer III#100. However, as this might represent one of myriad realms of Hell, this placement is not critical.
More critical is how the resurrection of Dracula fits in. When Asmodeus searched for the bones of Dracula, he looked at Castle Dracula, where the vampire lord had been destroyed by Quincy Harker in Tomb of Dracula I#70. Dracula was not there, because he had been since resurrected by Florence Embers in Tomb of Dracula II#1. Asmodeus could not find Dracula anywhere on Earth. This is because Dracula had been destroyed by the Montesi Formula in Dr. Strange II#62. After some searching, he eventually located the soul of Dracula, perhaps because in Dr. Strange III#18, Marie LaVeau invoked a spell to recreate the Lord of the Vampires. This spell apparently disrupted the Montesi Formula, which--in its full form--had made it impossible for any vampire to exist on Earth. The effects on Varnae possibly may have carried over to other Lords of the Vampires, or at least Dracula, who is the only one to have held that title for any significant length of time besides Varnae himself.

Asmodeus--as can be seen by the clarifications below--is a pretty popular demon name, apparently just under Satan, Lucifer, and what-not. So it may be that a bunch of demons have taken that name, to capitalize on it, or it may be that a single demon has taken multiple forms and motivations and power levels, or all of the above. Take your pick. Moot point. Dorcas Farkas.
At any rate, a demon striving for this name wold likely seem to be one of the Class Two demons, along the lines of Mephisto, Thog, etc. These beings appear to originate from Earth, but from a much later time period than the Class One demons, the Elder Gods.

This story was written under the Epic Comics imprint, and so is not inherently part of Earth-616 continuity. However, as discussed under the Dracula and Smirnoff profiles, they fit in pretty well and even explain some otherwise unexplained gaps in continuity.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Asmodeus, the demon who associated with the Belonging and Dracula, may or may not be


Appearances:
Tomb of Dracula III#1-4 (1991) - Marv Wolfman (writer), Gene Colan (pencils), Al Williamson (inks), Terry Kavanagh & Mark Powers (editors)


Last updated: 05/03/04

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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