Real Name: Duncan Corley
Identity/Class: Human, Ghost/magic user
Enemies: Paul Beare, Dracula, Inspector Chelm, James Jackson
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Highgate Cemetary, London, England, United Kingdom
First Appearance: Tomb of Dracula I#16 (January, 1974)
Powers: Duncan Corely presumably had no superhuman powers while alive. As a revived spirit, he could teleport himself across large distances, as well as destroy and re-manifest his corpse body as he pleased. He presumably had superhuman strength, as he could stand up to Dracula, as well as possessing telepathy, since his corpse body had no eyes. He could not speak, and hence had to communicate what he wanted through his actions.
History: Duncan Corley's life remains undepicted. After his death, he received burial at Highgate Cemetary in London. However, five years later and four weeks later, the occult dabbler Paul Beare died. Being wealthy, Beare had stipulated a perfect astrological gravesight-- sadly, the one already occupied by Corley's cadaver. Nevertheless, James Jackson, his solicitor, had Corley's body removed to another cemetary to make room for Beare. Somehow, this upset the repose of Corley's spirit, so that he returned as a ghost.
(Tomb of Dracula I#16 (fb, BTS))- Corley stole Beare from Highgate and went for solicitor Jackson's papers.
(Tomb of Dracula I#16) However, Jackson's secretary Helen Cantler happened upon Corley as he rifled through the papers. She screamed upon seeing his face, and reacting out of fear, Corley killed her. Jackson also entered the room; Corley hit, but did not kill him. Corley made off with what he needed from Jackson's safe.
Six hours later, Martin and Gordo Brown, tomb-robbers, attempted to burgle Paul Beare's grave. Dracula, who had a secret base at Highgate, moved in for the kill, but Corley, again driven to protect the sanctity of his grave, slew the grave robbers. Corley then disintegrated. Frustrated, Dracula had his slave Horatio Toombs cover up the incident, as he did not want the authorities investigating Highgate, lest they discover his base. Dracula was frustrated, as Corley's killing of the Browns robbed him of potential victims.
Inspector Chelm learned of the sightings of Corley, and contacted Quincy Harker. Harker noted that he would try to help, but did not suspect Dracula's involvement. Within mintues, Chelm received another report of Corley in Coventry Street. Corley confronted Theresa Beare, Paul's widow, and ripped off a marble-stone locket she wore-- marble that came from Corley's original tombstone. A local tough named Henry Bonney attacked Corley, who made short work of him. Dracula, who had been flying around looking for prey, saw Corley, and attacked him. Corley threw Dracula through a window and fled.
Dracula deduced where to find Corley next-- in Highgate, where he had first encountered him. He dug up the grave, was briefly attacked by Corley, but fought back. Corley once again turned himself into dust. Dracula noticed the name on the tombstone-- that of Paul Beare. Remembering past encounters with Beare (Beare had invited Dracula to join him on some occult escapades), Dracula set off to Beare House.
Meanwhile, Inspector Chelm pieced together the identity of the ghost as Duncan Corley, and figured out his reason for his manifestation as such. Then he headed off to Beare House with his aide Dooley. Dracula arrived there before them, and found Paul Beare's corpse in a chair, with a piece of paper pinned to it reading "Do not bury him again" Dracula decided to rebury Beare.
A few kilometers away, Inspector Chelm, still driving with his aide Dooley, saw Corley's ghostly form on the road. Swerving to avoid him, Dooley pulled over. Chelm shot at Corley, with no effect. Corley disarmed Chelm.
Corley came upon Dracula carrying Beare's corpse, and immediately attacked him. Dracula finally managed to subdue Corley, who did not turn to dust this time. The vampire set off with Beare's corpse, but then Chelm arrived and explained to Dracula the whole situation with Corley and Beare. Dracula left behind Beare's corpse and flew away with the remains of Corley, to reenter it in Highgate Cemetary.
Comments: Created by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan.
Highgate Cemetary actually exists, and holds the grave of Karl Marx, which the People's Republic of China pays some of the upkeep for. Other famous Communist leaders have also been buried near this man who refined the image of the economic vampire.
by Per Degaton
Duncan Corley should not be confused with:
Last updated: 12/10/02
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
All characters mentioned or
pictured are ™ and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All
Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at: http://www.marvel.com
Back to Characters