GREENBERG the VAMPIRE
Real Name: Oscar Greenberg
Identity/Class: Alternate Earth (unidentified reality) vampire
Affiliations: Vampires, Denise Keaton (lover and vamper)
Enemies: Arthur Keaton, Lilith, New York Ripper, Leslie Townshend
Known Relatives: Nathan ("Nat," father, deceased), Henrietta (mother, deceased), Ira (brother), Morris Jacob Greenberg (nephew)
Base of Operations: Manhattan, New York (Earth-Greenberg)
First Appearance: Bizarre Adventures#29/2 (December, 1981)
Powers/Abilities: Greenberg and the
vampires of his world differ somewhat from the vampires of
Earth-616. He does have enlarged canine teeth and requires blood
to survive. He can easily live off of animal blood, preserved
blood, etc., and he has almost never fed directly from a living
person. He can and does consume conventional food as well, but he
still requires blood, approximately 8 ounces per day. Death at
the hands of the vampire converts the victim into a new vampire
in three days.
He possesses some degree of superhuman strength, can transform into a bat or into mist, and is immune to the effects of aging, conventional disease, and most forms of injury. He is vulnerable to religious icons, sunlight, and a wooden stake (silver is uncertain). Oddly enough, he was injured by the very presence of a crucifix, but he was able to grasp it to block out the painful "light" it emitted, and hurl it aside. He does cast a reflection in the mirror, but apparently does not show up on film.
Most vampires of Earth-Greenberg continue to live out an otherwise normal existence and continue their occupations if possible, and enjoy many of the same recreational activities as the living--although they are limited to the night-life. The vampires also have some sort of judicial system to prevent Feeders from attacking people and drawing attention to their existence.
Oscar is also a skilled writer. He worked for many years as a horror writer, but after his mother's death he began to write more "touchy-feely" stuff.
(Marvel Graphic Novel#20: Greenberg the Vampire (fb)) - As an infant, Oscar Greenberg was visited by Lilith, who attempted to claim him for herself. Oscar's mother, Henrietta, whose father was a rabbi, called upon "Sanvi, Sansanvi, and Semangeleaf" for help, and drove her off.
(Marvel Graphic Novel#20) <1954> - The young Oscar Greenberg was visited and seduced by Lilith as he prepared for his own Bar Mitzvah.
(Marvel Graphic Novel#20 (fb)-BTS/BizAdv29/2 (fb)-BTS) - Oscar
Greenberg met Denise Keaton while doing research for a novel at a
meeting of a Satanic Cult. The two clicked instantly and soon
ended up in a romantic encounter. In the heat of passion, Denise
lost control of herself and bit into Oscar, draining his blood.
Three days later, Oscar rose as a vampire.
Oscar continued his career after his rebirth, and he also continued to see Denise, whom he fell in love and eventually moved in with over a ten year time period.
(BizAdv29/2) - Oscar and Denise investigated the cult guru Leslie Townshend, and uncovered evidence of her murdering Tina D'Addario. At the same time, Oscar was stalked by the vampire hunter, Arthur Keaton. Keaton collapsed in defeat after seeing his sister, Denise, as a vampire, and Townshend was hurled out of a high rise window by the reanimated corpse of Tina.
(Marvel Graphic Novel#20) - Oscar, suffering from writer's block, decided to try his hand in cinema, working for Thad Turkel. He also worked with Geraldine Adams and her teenage daughter, Evie. However, Evie--a young, vivacious actress--turned out to be Lilith, and she again seduced him. She sought to use her work to seduce the rest of the world into the fiery lust of the world she had dwelled in before being brought to the Garden of Eden with Adam. Greenberg's family and friends--including Rabbi Zeydl, whom Henrietta had recruited--sought to drive off Lilith, but were each overpowered by her. However, Greenberg drew on the love of his family and girlfriend and shot Lilith, banishing her from the Earthly plane.
Comments: Created by J. M. DeMatteis and Steve Leialoha
As pointed out by our own John McDonagh, the
letter page of Dr. Strange: Master of the Mystic Arts (Dr.
Strange (vol2)) #66 states that the story of Greenberg the
Vampire did not take place in the Marvel Universe. This was in
answer to a question of whether he was destroyed by the reading
of the Montesi Formula in Dr. Strange II#62.
It is still possible that the Lilith he encountered may have been associated with the version of Earth-616--see the comments of her profile for a discussion of that.
I personally like to think that those not tied directly to Earth-616 are not necessarily part of the sliding time scale, with his major adventures taking place in the 1980s...which would also fit nicely into the pre-modern era if some writer ever decided to bring him into Earth-616 continuity.
There are actually a bunch of minor vampires seen at parties with Oscar and Denise, but they had little overall significance, so I left them out of this profile.
Amazing Heroes#133 (Jan 1988) mentioned a planned sequel/prequel Graphic Novel.
Oscar Greenberg has no known connections to:
She was the former
lover and financial supporter of Leslie Townshend. When she
decided to break up with Townshend and withdraw her extensive
funding, Leslie managed to hypnotize her, have her amend her will
to leave everything to Townshend Temple, and then commit suicide.
Townshend's followers spent weeks chanting over Tina's corpse, trying to use the power they perceived in Townshend to resurrect her. They were eventually discovered and stopped, but sometime later, Tina's corpse indeed came back to life and confronted Leslie over her murder. She hurled Leslie out of a high rise building to her death, and then crumbled into ashes.
--Marvel Graphic Novel#20 (20(fb), 20
She was the widow of Nat, and the mother of
Oscar and Ira. She drove off Lilith when she sought to claim him
as an infant. Oscar kept the knowledge of his vampirism from her,
but she found out nonetheless, respected his secret, and acted as
if nothing were different. She was the first to recognize the
effects of Lilith on Oscar, and recruited Rabbi Zeydl against
her. In the final confrontation with Lilith, she had a heart
attack and died after Lilith assaulted her.
She enjoyed calling Oscar's lover "Clarisse."
--Bizarre Adventures#29/2 (Marvel Graphic Novel#20(fb), BizAdv29/2, Marvel Graphic Novel#20
The brother of Oscar, son of Henrietta and Nat,
and the father of Morris. He inherited their father's butcher
shop, Greenberg's Kosher Meats. He stores and keeps literally
gallons of cow and chicken blood, which Oscar uses as his primary
source of nourishment. As Oscar puts it: "It's much
safer than robbing blood banks (especially in this age of AIDS),
and the stuff is kosher, to boot."
He had the most difficult time accepting Oscar's new existence, but made a strong effort anyway.
--Bizarre Adventures#29/2 (Marvel Graphic Novel#20
Morris Jacob Greenberg
The son of Ira and the nephew of Oscar. He suffers from, as Oscar calls it, Obnoxia Nervosa. In addition, he often came up with the short end of the stick in Oscar's occult adventures. He was taken hostage and nearly killed by Arthur Keaton, who forced him to lead him to Oscar. Later, his would-be girlfriend was killed hours before their first date by the New York Ripper. Morrie was initially considered a suspect, but released after questioning. Later still, he was apparently possessed or at least manipulated by Lilith.
--Bizarre Adventures#29/2 (Marvel Graphic Novel#20
Denise's brother, he was driven mad after seeing his sister attacked by a vampire, and set out on a forty year career of slaying vampires. However, he was driven over the edge when forced to realize that his own beloved sister was one of the vampires he so hated. After the confrontation, he was left in a nearly mindless, inert state.
--Bizarre Adventures#29/2 (29/2(fb) 29/2
Oscar's lover, she is also the one who vamped him. At the age of seventeen, she unwittingly opened the door for a vampire and was slain by him. She rose three days later as a vampire, and spent much of the next thirty years searching for spiritual guidance, under all manner of cults, gurus, self-help groups, meditators, saviors, swamis and the like. She met Oscar Greenberg at a Satanic Cult meeting, and later, in the heat of passion, lost control of herself and vamped him. She felt very guilty about this, but he forgave her, and the two fell in love and eventually moved in together over the next ten years.
--Bizarre Adventures#29/2 (BizAdv29/2(fb), Bizarre Adventures29/2(fb)-BTS/Marvel Graphic Novel#20(fb)-BTS, Bizarre Adventures#29/2, Marvel Graphic Novel#20
The New York Ripper
Thad Turkel. He was a movie producer who was ensorcelled by Lilith and began committing a series of grisly murders. He hated Lilith and how she manipulated him, and he sought out beautiful women who reminded him of her, and killed them. He hired Oscar Greenberg to write for him, but eventually he stalked and attacked Denise, who forced him to reveal the cause of the attacks before killing him.
--Marvel Graphic Novel#20
She was a new age guru, who eventually went over the edge and became a cultist. Prior to her turn for the worse, Denise Keaton had spent some time under her tutelage. She had a devout following, who came to believe her to be a deity (this was not the case, as Oscar grasped one of her symbols with no harm to himself). As her fanaticism increased, she had a temple built to herself, and then hypnotized her lover and financial supporter, Tina, into killing herself. Greenberg and Denise uncovered evidence of these events (as Leslie was cuckoo crazy enough to film virtually hour of her own existence), but Leslie caught them in the act. Leslie's cultists were no match for Oscar and Denise, but Leslie held them at bay with a crucifix. She planned to hold them until the sun came up, but she was interrupted by the sudden appearance of Arthur Keaton, who caused a distraction that allowed Oscar to knock the crucifix from her hands. Seconds later, the partially resurrected corpse of Tin appeared and threw Leslie out of the window of her high rise temple, killing her.
Leslie had a devout following and she may have had some slight mental/spiritual powers. She was able to hypnotize Tina and force her to kill herself, and Tina' resurrection may have been at least partially a result of power drawn from Leslie by the belief of her followers.
Bizarre Adventures#29/2 (December, 1981) - J.M. DeMatteis (writer), Steve Leialoha (artist), Denny O'Neil (editor)
Marvel Graphic Novel#20 (1986) - Mark Badger (writer/artist), Ann Nocenti (editor)
First Posted: 11/02/2002
Last updated: 10/14/2021
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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