Real Name: Marlene McKenna-Drake

Identity/Class: Human "mutant"/magic user

Occupation: Professor of Law

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Loosely associated with Blade, Dr. Strange, Katinka, and Hannibal King;
Dracula (enslaved her), Gregor Smirnoff (used her as a pawn), Rachel van Helsing (spirit possessed her), possibly received power from the Belonging and/or Asmodeus

Enemies: Dracula, Lilith

Known Relatives: Frank Drake (husband)

Aliases: Marlene Drake, Marlene McKenna

Base of Operations: Boston, Massachusetts; formerly Georgetown University, Washington, D. C.

First Appearance: Tomb of Dracula III#1 (Epic Comics, 1991); Nightstalkers#1 (November, 1992)

Powers/Abilities: Marlene has low-level psychic powers, granting her a certain degree of empathy and sensitivity to the supernatural. While under the influence of Dracula and his allies, she briefly gained vampire-like powers, although she never transformed fully into a vampire.

(Tomb of Dracula III#1 (fb)) - Marlene sought aid from psychologist Gregor Smirnoff, who sought supernatural power for his own agendas. Smirnoff recognized her psychic powers and realized that she could become part of his plans. Smirnoff sought to resurrect Dracula, and so manipulated Marlene into contact--and subsequently, a relationship--with another of his patients, Frank Drake.
Within a year, Frank and Marlene were married. Smirnoff used his "dream therapy" to guide Marlene towards an obsession in Drake's vampire-hunting past, and in the vampire lord Dracula.


(Tomb of Dracula III#1) - Smirnoff, using power obtained from rituals of the Belonging, managed to locate and recover the soul of the former vampire hunter (and lover of Drake) Rachel van Helsing, which he placed into Marlene under his control. As Marlene began to suffer from a series of spells and weaknesses, causing her to have a car wreck, Drake began to suspect that Smirnoff's therapy was exacerbating things. Frank took Marlene and fled to London, but her condition continued to progress. As Rachel began to take control of her, Marlene took a razor and carved up her forehead, to match the scars on Rachel's forehead--which had been caused by bats under Dracula's control. Smirnoff tracked them to London, ambushed Drake, and had Marlene/Rachel lead him to the ruins of Castle Dracula. There they found the corpse of Dracula (see comments) and removed the silver spoke, reviving it.

(Tomb of Dracula III#2) - Initially mistaking Marlene for the true Rachel van Helsing, Dracula quickly realized his mistake, and decided that she would be perfect to take as a mate, and to form a new, loyal son. Drake, however, managed to skewer Dracula and flee with Marlene. They barely escaped from the horde of demons summoned by Dracula after Smirnoff again removed the spoke. Back in the US, Dracula continued to mentally speak to and seduce both Rachel and Marlene. Pretending to have returned to her normal state of mind, Marlene nearly convinced Frank to release her, until Blade stopped him.
Drake and/or Blade contacted Katinka, who used a series of herbal remedies to try to help Marlene. One of these proved that Marlene was lying, and was still possessed. Blade, meanwhile, thought Marlene might be the bait with which they could trap Dracula.

(Tomb of Dracula III#3) - Katinka tried to exorcise the spirit of Rachel and the effects of Dracula from Marlene via blood transfusions and various medications. Marlene/Rachel, lashed out, breaking free and attacking those who would help her. Blade knocked her to the ground and began beating her mercilessly, until Drake stopped him. They renewed their efforts, but Dracula sensed what was happening and burst in and attacked them. Drake, Blade, and Katinka drove him off, gravely injuring him in the process. As he fled, Marlene revived, apparently cured.
However, three days later, the Belonging performed the grand ritual which sacrificed their souls and granted their power to Dracula. With this, Dracula's control over Marlene was renewed.

(Tomb of Dracula III#4) - Dracula's power caused Marlene to develop vampiric abilities, and she broke free from her restraints by taking a half-bat form, and met up with Dracula in Arlington cemetery. Drake tried to rescue her, but she fought him with all of her might, trying to stay by the side of her lord. Frank finally managed to break through and reach Marlene, restoring her mind. Dracula sent his army of revived corpses after them, and they began to drag her back to him. Blade then attacked Dracula, sorely injuring him and causing him to call on the full power of the souls he controlled--which destroyed him. With both Dracula and Smirnoff gone, Marlene regained her own mind once again.

(Nightstalkers#1) - Frank and Marlene visited the New England Aquarium, where they both suffered a vision of the release of the Demonqueen Lilith. Frank recovered quickly, but Marlene was left in a trance-like state, completely unaware of her surroundings.

(Nightstalkers#2) - Now recovered, Marlene attempted to dissuade Frank from working with Blade and Hannibal King.

(Nightstalkers#11) - Marlene realized that Frank was back in business again, although she didn't like it. However, she remained supportive of him, encouraging him to use their love to strengthen his resolve and maintain his purity of soul.

(Nightstalkers#12 - BTS) - Frank worried whether his visions were affecting Marlene.

(Nightstalkers#16) - After a romantic evening together, Marlene begged Frank to leave Borderline investigations and start a family with her. However, Dr. Strange then summoned Drake to help recover his "Exorcist" gun from Hydra. As Drake left, Marlene told him not to come back.

(Nightstalkers#18) - Marlene attended Frank's funeral, after he was seemingly killed in battle against Varnae.

Comments: Created by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan.

See the comments in the entries on Dracula and Asmodeus for explanations on how Dracula ended up back at Castle Dracula.
See either the comments in Dracula or Varnae for a discussion of the fate of Frank Drake. He's not dead.

I may be the only one who read AND enjoyed the Legion of the Night. However, I think Marlene would be another great addition.

I'm not sure how to classify someone with low-level ESP. They could be mutants, or they might have minor mystical ability. Given the supernatural ties of the character, I'd think interaction with magical forces would be more likely.

On more than one occasion in the Epic Tomb of Dracula series, Dracula breaks into a house/building, etc., without permission. There must be specific circumstances in which this applies, as this is one of the most broken of all of his rules/weaknesses. Certainly, at least in this instance, it might be because his powers were amplified by that of the Belonging and/or Asmodeus.

Marlene dying her hair blond (or allowing it to return to blond) after the Epic ToD series could indicate she's still got a little bit of Rachel in her, or she could just be like many women, and just wanted a change.

Marlene should not be confused with:

Tomb of Dracula III#1-4 (1991) - Marv Wolfman (writer), Gene Colan (pencils), Al Williamson (insk), Terry Kavanagh & Mark Powers (editors)
Nightstalkers#1-2 (November-December, 1992) - D.G. Chichester (writer), Ron Garney (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Nightstalkers#11 (September, 1993) - D.G. Chichester (writer), Kirk Van Wormer (pencils), Bill Anderson (inks), Hildy Mesnik (editor)
Nightstalkers#12 (October, 1993) - Steven Grant (writer), Vince Giaranno (artist), Hildy Mesnik (editor)
Nightstalkers#16 (February, 1994) - Frank Lovece (writer), Bill Wylie (pencils), Frank Turner (inks), Chris Cooper (editor)
Nightstalkers#18 (April, 1994) - Frank Lovece (writer), Doug Wheatley (pencils), Frank Turner (inks), Chris Cooper (editor)

Last updated: 11/10/02

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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