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Classification: Demons (or maybe some type of malevolent spirit-beings?)

Location/Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
   formerly Earth's universe (Reality-616)

Known Members: None named
Estimated Population: Unrevealed

Affiliations: Urthona;
   formerly unspecified "curse-bound hosts"

Enemies: Doctor Stephen Strange; Rintrah

First Appearance: Doctor Strange II#81 (February, 1987)

Powers/Abilities: The Dark Bloodhunger of the Night are demons that can occupy host bodies that have been afflicted by an unspecified curse. Their presence within these curse-bound hosts may endow those hosts with certain unspecified supernatural powers and abilities but also with certain unspecified supernatural weaknesses.

   It has not been revealed how much control the Dark Bloodhunger of the Night can exert on their curse-bound hosts while occupying them. While it's possible that they could have total control over their host bodies, it's also possible that the demons could only affect the minds of their hosts and influence their attitudes and/or choices.

   Without hosts to occupy, the Dark Bloodhunger of the Night can manifest as distinct shadowy forms that resemble terrestrial bats but which may not have any physical substance to them. In those forms, they can attack physical beings but it has not been revealed how dangerous those attacks could be to targets who were not mystically protected. The fact that Rintrah's astral form was able to leave his body without any hindrance from the Dark Bloodhunger suggests that they cannot interact with astral forms and may not even be able to perceive them.

Limitations/Vulnerabilities: It seems likely that the Dark Bloodhunger of the Night need to be occupying their curse-bound hosts in order to function effectively in Earth's universe.

   While within hosts, the Dark Bloodhunger of the Night may need to regularly consume blood in order to keep their host bodies functional.

   The Dark Bloodhunger of the Night can be destroyed by exposure to certain pure forms of mystical light, like that which can be emitted by the Eye of Agamotto amulet. Exposure to non-mystical forms of light, like sunlight or other forms of electromagnetic radiation, may also weaken or destroy them.

Traits: Malevolent, vengeful and bloodthirsty

Type: Non-humanoid demons (possibly non-corporeal spirit-beings composed of dark magical energy or living shadows)
Eyes: Unrevealed
Limbs: Two (wings)
Fingers: None
Toes: None
Skin color: Black
Average wingspan: 2' (estimated)

(Doctor Strange II#81 (fb) - BTS) - The Dark Bloodhunger of the Night were demonic beings who existed in Earth's universe (Reality-616) within "curse-bound hosts."

(Doctor Strange II#81 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Doctor Strange banished the Dark Bloodhunger of the Night from his universe and denied them their curse-bound hosts. This deed caused the Dark Bloodhunger of the Night to vehemently hate Earth's Sorcerer Supreme and develop a thirst for vengeance against him.

(Doctor Strange II#81) - Sometime later, Doctor Strange and his new apprentice Rintrah traveled to the extraterrestrial planet Gevaltu in pursuit of the alien sorcerer Urthona who had recently stolen Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum from Earth and transported it, along with Strange's objects of power and his friends Wong and Topaz, to his homeworld. Since Strange's physical body was still debilitated after it had only recently nearly been killed by Urthona's champion Orc, it remained in a tube aboard the Skrull starship while Rintrah allowed Strange's astral form to share his own form for the upcoming battle. Strange/Rintrah also wore Strange's Eye of Agamotto amulet and his Cloak of Levitation.




(Doctor Strange II#81) - When the spacecraft had come close enough to Gevaltu, Urthona used the Talons of Farallah to grasp it and pull it in from space and down to the surface. Once there, "Dr. Strange" easily overcame the army of minions that Urthona sent against him, and the two sorcerers were soon engaged in a mystic battle. Finding that Strange's power was more impressive than he had expected, Urthona realized that he was not yet his enemy's master so he chose to attack Strange through his friends by seemingly killing the captive Wong.

    Shocked by this, Strange halted his attack, thus giving Urthona enough time to use the cursed tome of dark magic known as the Darkhold to conjure forth the Dark Bloodhunger of the Night who began to emerge from within the book itself (which may actually have been serving as a portal). As soon as each of these shadowy bat-shaped creatures appeared, they all immediately flew to attack "Dr. Strange" as Urthona stated that Strange's thirst for revenge was nothing compared to theirs.








   Although protected by the Shield of the Seraphim, Strange/Rintrah were soon engulfed by the creatures. Rintrah urged his master to return the attack, but Strange was overcome by despair over what had happened to Wong and was unable to fight back. Rintrah reminded Strange that Wong deserved a champion who would see that evil was torn out of the cosmos itself by its roots but Strange still could not fight back. As Strange/Rintrah were completely surrounded by the Dark Bloodhunger of the Night, Urthona reminded his foe that he had banished them out of the universe and denied them their curse-bound hosts, and then stated that Strange would soon realize how much they hated the Sorcerer Supreme for that deed.

   With Strange still not fighting back, Rintrah decided to try something to help, and his astral form left his body. His departure left Strange in full control of Rintrah's body and the knowledge that Rintrah had gone to fight his battles shocked Strange into realizing that he had let rage consume him and that rage's left hand, despair, had grabbed him and hurled him down. However, Strange then declared, "But not any more!" and resumed his battle with Urthona.








   With the Dark Bloodhunger cloud still swarming around the Shield of the Seraphim that surrounded and protected him, Strange-in-Rintrah then created (or summoned) a multifaceted mystical crystal while declaring, "Although the darkness may come from all sides, the light can have many facets too!" And then, as a large crystal appeared before his chest and directly in the beam of light that the Eye of Agamotto amulet had begun to project, Strange-in-Rintrah continued, saying, "And through the spell of the Crystal of Vyhagh Ar, we shall see - - that the true light has a thousand arrows in its defense!"

   As Strange-in-Rintrah spoke those words, the light beam from the Eye of Agamotto was splintered into multiple narrower beams of light as it passed through the Crystal of Vyhagh Ar. Each of those light beams targeted all of the separate aspects of the Dark Bloodhunger of the Night, apparently destroying them all.

   After the Dark Bloodhunger of the Night had been destroyed, the two powerful sorcerers continued to battle until Urthona spotted one of Strange's minions (actually Rintrah in Strange's real body) trying to free the captive Topaz and Wong. Urthona then tried to kill the trio, but Strange-in-Rintrah saved them by attacking Urthona with a powerful bolt of energy, even though he knew that in doing so he would have to expend energies that would have been needed if he were to be able to defeat Urthona. Then, as Urthona retrieved the Darkhold that he had just dropped, Strange-in-Rintrah realized that Urthona was only moments away from turning all of Strange's talismans of power against him and that he no longer had the strength to withstand them.

    Considering that destroying those talismans was now the only way that he could prevent Urthona from keeping them but that doing so would end the protection that they provided to Earth against multiple dark forces, Strange-in-Rintrah nevertheless seemingly chose to destroy them all, something that Urthona considered to be madness. Once Urthona had used the power of the Darkhold to spirit himself away, the astral forms of Strange and Rintrah both returned to their proper bodies and Topaz told Strange that Wong was still alive.

(Strange Tales II#1/2) - Only minutes later, after Strange had transported the Sanctum Sanctorum and his friends back to Earth, Topaz was able to use her now-enhanced empathic powers to completely heal Wong's ruined face and restore him to full health. However, the negative consequences of (seemingly) destroying those objects of power soon began to manifest themselves on Earth.

Comments: Created by Peter B. Gillis, Chris Warner and Randy Emberlin.

   I've had my copy of Doctor Strange II#81 ever since I bought it on the day it went on sale and it was only now, while doing this profile, that I looked at some of the images closely enough to see that the Dark Bloodhungers seemed to actually be clawing their way out of the open pages of the Darkhold instead of just appearing above it.

   The Dark Bloodhunger of the Night appear in seven panels but most of the images of individual creatures are incomplete or lacking in detail or marred by the presence of things like word balloons getting in the way. Ah, well, one does what one can with what one has.

   Exactly what type of entities the Dark Bloodhunger of the Night are was never revealed. I've chosen to list them as demons but they could easily be some other type of supernatural creature. The story was also unclear as to whether they had physical bodies. I think that they were meant to be non-corporeal spirit-beings composed of dark magical energy or maybe some sort of living shadows, but who knows? Of course, if the creatures were non-corporeal, then their wings would also be intangible, making them useless for the purpose of propelling them through the air. Hmmm.

   As mentioned above, the Dark Bloodhungers seemed to arrive on the planet Gevaltu by exiting from the pages of the Darkhold. Given that Doctor Strange had supposedly banished them out of the universe, it would be reasonable to presume that Urthona's conjuring had summoned them back into the Earth dimension (Reality-616) by causing the two open pages of the Darkhold to act as an interdimensional portal. On the other hand, maybe the way in which they had been banished out of the universe had been by trapping them inside the pages of the Darkhold and Urthona's spell only released them from within those pages?

   I found it somewhat irritating that the singular term "Dark Bloodhunger of the Night" was used as the name for this entire group/race of demonic entities. Would "Bloodhunger" also be the term used for a single member of this group/race?

   In the real world, the words "cloud" and "cauldron" and "camp" and "colony" are all collective nouns used when referring to groups of bats so I called the group a cloud once but it didn't really sound as menacing as I thought it should. The term "swarm" would probably have sounded better, since it has a negative connotation due to being associated with mass invasions by insects, but these creatures were clearly not insects.

   As soon as I saw the "Dark Bloodhunger of the Night" in the pages of Doctor Strange II#81, I immediately thought to myself,
"Hey, those are VAMPIRES!!!" This is something that I continue to believe to this day.

   There are four significant similarities between vampires and the Dark Bloodhunger of the Night that would seem to provide strong evidence that the two groups actually are directly connected to each other:

  1. Based on their name, these demons hunger for blood — just like vampires, who need to regularly drink blood in order to survive in their undead state.
  2. Without their hosts, these demons seem to resemble terrestrial bats — a form into which (almost) all vampires can transform themselves.
  3. These demons are vulnerable to light — just as the greatest weakness of vampires is their inability to survive direct exposure to sunlight.
  4. These demons used "curse-bound hosts" to act within Earth's universe — and vampires are often described as suffering from the curse of vampirism.

   So, assuming that there really is a connection between these two groups, what could it be? Well, the one thing that makes someone a vampire instead of just a corpse is the presence of a very mysterious enzyme that can trigger an unusual metabolic change within the bodies that leads to the production of an unusual green liquid (referred to as ichor) in the bloodstream. It is the presence of a sufficient quantity of this ichor within a corpse's bloodstream that magically reanimates the corpse and enables the spirit of the deceased person to continue to inhabit its transformed body. Based on these facts, it seems likely that the "Bloodhungers" might be demonic intelligences connected to this enzyme or the ichor, and that they co-exist within every body that is kept animated by the presence of this ichor. This would make the Bloodhungers somewhat like the various sentient viruses that are known to exist within the Marvel Universe.

   I really like this theory and am reasonably sure that it is what writer Peter Gillis (might have) had in mind when he wrote that story. However, the one thing that gives me pause is the fact that, although I've been using the internet for over twenty years now, I've never come across any reference to this idea anywhere. So, assuming that I'm not the only person to notice those significant similarities between the two groups, does this mean that everybody else who noticed them also knows something, some fact, that invalidates that theory? If such a fact exists, then I would REALLY like to know what it is.

    As revealed in Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#7, the Darkhold (and many other magical artifacts) were whisked away by Agamotto to his realm when Dr. Strange intended to destroy them. Agamotto later returned many of them to Strange.

Profile by Donald Campbell.

The Dark Bloodhunger of the Night has no known connections to:

images: (without ads)
Doctor Strange II#81, page 15, panel 3 (main image)
      page 14, panel 4 (conjured forth by Urthona)
      page 14, panel 5 (attacking Strange/Rintrah)
      page 15, panel 1 (unable to penetrate the Shield of the Seraphim)
      page 15, panel 3 (having completely surrounded Strange/Rintrah)
      page 15, panel 4 (continuing to exit from the Darkhold)
      page 16, panels 3-4 (Strange-in-Rintrah prepares the Crystal of Vyhagh Ar)
      page 16, panel 5 (being destroyed by the light from the crystal)

Only Appearance:
Doctor Strange II#81 (February, 1987) - Peter B. Gillis (writer), Chris Warner (penciler), Randy Emberlin (inker), Carl Potts (editor)

First Posted: 06/10/2023
Last updated: 06/10/2023

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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