MEMBERSHIP: Rebecca Glass, Lila;
1600 other college students across the USA
PURPOSE: Accumulation of magical power; most students thought they were in it purely for the fun
Gregor Smirnoff (former leader);
Dracula (former leader);
presumably tapped the power of Asmodeus
ENEMIES: indirectly Blade, Frank Drake, Judiah Golem, Katinka, Marlene McKenna
BASE of OPERATIONS:
various Universities across the USA
Tomb of Dracula III#1, 2 (Epic Comics, 1991)
(Tomb of Dracula III#2 (fb)) - Professor Gregor Smirnoff sought to accumulate magical power for a variety of purposes. To this end he sought work at a University, knowing that these were places of unrest, where the students seek answers...and escape. Smirnoff gave the students an excuse to come together, to party, to believe in something. He needed them passionate. Their blood had to be vital. He made them think--made them create, and then made them destroy their creations in one orgiastic frenzy. At the moment of the destruction of their own creation, he could tap into their souls. Perhaps all he could take was an insignificant flash of psychic inspiration, but he could store that power and wield that energy.
Eventually, Smirnoff specifically sought the resurrection of the Vampire Lord, Dracula. He developed the Belonging in campuses across the country. The students took to the rituals with great abandon. He used a fraction of those energies to find and summon the soul of Rachel van Helsing. A fraction more was used to implant her soul in Marlene McKenna.
(Tomb of Dracula III#1) - As the demon Asmodeus
manipulated events to allow the resurrection of Dracula, one of
the Belonging, Rebecca Glass, initiated one of Smirnoff's rituals
without Smirnoff's supervision. She was instantly incinerated and
her spirit used as part of Asmodeus' fuel.
Meanwhile, Smirnoff continued his plans and successfully resurrected Dracula.
(Tomb of Dracula III#2) - Smirnoff introduced Dracula to the Belonging member Lila. Dracula tired of Smirnoff and killed him.
(Tomb of Dracula III#3) - Seeking aid in understanding the modern era, Dracula seduced Lila, remaking her as his mortal slave. Lila then accessed Smirnoff's documents and accelerated his plans. Lila communicated with sect leaders across the country and convinced over 1600 members of the Belonging to engage in the full rituals which Smirnoff had previously held back. In orgiastic rituals involving blood and other bodily fluids (and worse), they unwittingly sacrificed their lives and their souls--the power of which was transmitted to Dracula. Their bodies were consumed in flame, leaving no eivdence of what had occurred.
(Tomb of Dracula III#4) - Dracula used the spirits of the Belonging to inhabit and reanimate an army of corpses to overtake the US capitol. However, Dracula's enemies--Blade, Frank Drake, and Katinka--showed up to oppose him. Blade succeeded in gravely wounding Dracula before being defeated, and Dracula drew the spirits into himself, hoping to vastly amplify his own power. Initially his power swelled, but as the spirits continued to fill him, he was overwhelmed by the them. Most of the Belonging had been merely confused or misdirected, and the innocence within their souls tore Dracula apart.
COMMENTS: Created by Marv Wolfman and Gene "The Dean" Colan.
I think Smirnoff initially described the Belonging as having 666 members. Either it continued to grow beyond that number, or they simply recruited many others, because the ritual that sacrificed their souls had over 1600 participants.
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.
Lila has no known connection to:
She was a student at Georgetown University, was
Rebecca's lover and was only in the Belonging for the fun.
Rebecca tried to convince her to explore the magic further, but
she refused. After Rebecca's death, she felt guilty and was
suicidal. However, Dracula chose her as his mortal agent and made
her his slave. Under his spell, she fell in love with him, even
as he became increasingly more emotionally and physically
abusive. She showed him how to access Smirnoff's computer
documents, revealing the full extent of his plans. Under his
guidance, she contacted leaders of various sects of the Belonging
across the country and convinced them to undergo the full rituals
described in Smirnoff's notes. These rituals sacrificed their
lives and souls to Dracula granting him access to great power.
After this he abandonned her. She was seen curled up in his
coffin, crying and waiting for his return.
During Dracula's battle in Arlington against the vampire hunters, Lila arrived to aid Dracula. After being wounded by the hunters, Dracula took the aid he needed--her blood and probably her life.
Which, of course, means that she could return as a vampire at any time.
--Tomb of Dracula III#1 (2-4
She was a student at Georgetown University and was the former lover of Lila. However, she became more and more obsessed with the cult of the Belonging, and tried to convince Lila to perform a private ritual with her--without Smirnoff's supervision. Lila refused, and so Rebecca performed the ritual in private. She did so around the same time the demon Asmodeus was using his energies to resurrect Dracula, and her spirit and body were consumed in fire, and used as fuel for the magic Smirnoff had been gathering.
--Tomb of Dracula III#1
Tomb of Dracula III#1-4 (1991) - Marv Wolfman (writer), Gene Colan (pencils), Al Williamson (inks), Terry Kavanagh & Mark Powers (editors)
Last updated: 11/10/02.
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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