VAMP/ANIMUS

Real Name: Denise Baranger

Identity/Class: Human technology;
    U.S. citizen with a criminal record;
    identity known to American legal authorities

Occupation: Professional criminal;
    formerly an operative of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Supreme Headquarters International Espionage Law-Enforcement Division);
    double agent for the Corporation

Group Membership: Scourge of the Underworld victims (not a real group);
    formerly the
Corporation, S.H.I.E.L.D., S.H.I.E.L.D. Super-Agents (Blue Streak, Marvel Boy/Marvel Man (now Quasar), Texas Twister)

Affiliations: Curtiss Jackson, Kligger, Moonstone (Karla Sofen), Veda

Enemies: Blue Streak, Captain America, Falcon (Sam Wilson), Nick Fury, Hulk (Bruce Banner), Marvel Man (Quasar), Scourge of the Underworld, S.H.I.E.L.D.

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Annie-Muss (from the Hulk), Femme Force (suggested by Nick Fury, rejected by the Vamp)

Base of Operations: The Medina County, Ohio branch of the Bar with No Name;
    formerly S.H.I.E.L.D.'s  Los Angeles base;
    formerly S.H.I.E.L.D.'s barbershop headquarters, Manhattan, New York

First Appearance:
    (Vamp): Captain America I#217 (January, 1978)
    (Animus): Captain America I#222 (June, 1978)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Powers/Abilities: The Vamp was in athletic physical condition and was an excellent hand-to-hand combatant; she held a black belt in Judo.
    Apparently the Vamp possessed limited telepathic abilities in her normal form.
    Her Absorbo-Belt enabled her to duplicate the powers and abilities of those within an undefined radius of her. However, she never actually seemed to demonstrate superhuman powers, primarily using the belt to replicate human levels of strength and skill. It is known that her belt could not replicate the vast strength of the Hulk.

    The Animus had Class 25 strength (see comments) and durability, and could project powerful psionic bolts of concussive force from her forehead. She possessed telekinesis, sufficient to derail a full-speed train or to animate inanimate objects, even something as large as the statue in the Lincoln Memorial. However, the Animus could not project its psychic energy without remaining absolutely still.
    The Animus possessed a large crystalline club, which it used primarily as a weapon, thought it served to store most of the Animus' enormous psionic energy. It sometimes used the club to focus and project its psychic attacks.
    The Animus was apparently still female, but it lacked secondary sex characteristics (at least in the upper half of its body. Translation: It did not have breasts). (see comments)
    The transformation into the Animus was entirely controlled by remote control via a device possessed by Kligger. Her clothes also transformed with her, returning to normal when she became the Vamp again.
    The Animus could be teleported away during a battle, though this was presumably via remote Corporation equipment and presumably not under her direct control.

 

 

 

 

 

Height: (Vamp) 5'6"; (Animus) 6'5"
Weight: (Vamp) 125 lbs.; (Animus) 310 lbs.
Eyes: (Vamp) Violet; (Animus) Black
Hair: (Vamp) Black; (Animus) Bald

History: The Vamp's origins are unrevealed.

(Captain America I#230 (fb) - BTS) - The Vamp served as an operative for the subversive organization known as the Corporation

(Captain America I#230 (fb) - BTS) - The Vamp became the lover of Kligger, head of the Corporation's East Coast branch.

(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#20: Vamp) - Presumably through genetic engineering, Corporation scientists endowed the Vamp with the ability to transform into the Animus. Kligger triggered her transformations by remote control through a device in is possession.

(Captain America I#217 (fb) - BTS) - In order to better combat the super-powered agents of the Corporation, S.H.I.E.L.D. put together their own group of Super-Agents. The Vamp was a member of this group, secretly serving as a double agent for the Corporation.

(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#20: Vamp) - S.H.I.E.L.D.--unaware of the Vamp's ability to become the Animus--selected her as one of their Super-Agents due to her excellent hand-to-hand combat skills. S.H.I.E.L.D. gave the Vamp an "Absorbo-Belt" enabling her to duplicate the powers and skills of others within limits.

(Captain America I#217 (fb) - BTS) - Nick Fury wanted to dub his new agent "Femme Force," but she instead chose the name "Vamp."

(Captain America I#217) - Nick Fury introduced Captain America and the Falcon to the Super-Agents, and the Vamp put on a demonstration of her abilities: Fury sent S.H.I.E.L.D. agent 74 to try to take her down. She allowed Agent 74's nunchak to wrap around her wrist, and then she grabbed his wrist and flipped him through the air and dumped him on his back. Cap provoked the four agents to see how good they were: the Vamp's first drop kick knocked Cap to the floor. She later tried to strike him from behind, but Cap swung his shield to the defense, and she hurt her hand on the shield. Cap then halted the fight and revealed he had just been testing them. Telling them they were good, but needed practice as a team, Cap nonetheless turned down Fury's request to train them, instead recommending the Falcon take the job. The Falcon accepted.

(Captain America I#218) - Sharon Carter walked in on a session in which the Falcon trained the Super-Agents. The Vamp mocked Blue Streak after he cried out from a near-miss blast from Marvel Man. She was preparing to go into action herself when the Falcon called for them to take a break.

(Captain America I#228 (fb) - BTS) - The Falcon disappeared for several days after being captured by the Corporation. Figuring the Falcon was an adult and could take care of himself (or not really caring, in the Vamp's case), the Super-Agents made no effort to locate him. They continued their training on their own.
    When S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Manhattan base was slated for demolition, the Super-Agents were reassigned to S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Los Angeles base.

(Captain America I#222) - When Captain America traveled to Washington, D.C. to reflect in front of the Lincoln Memorial, the Animus--presumably sent there by Kligger--animated the statue and sent it to attack Captain America. After Captain America shattered the monument, the Animus confronted him directly, telling him that he must DIE-E-E-E!

(Captain America I#223) - The Animus fought Captain America, striking away his shield with its club and tossing the hero around with its telekinesis. When Captain America outmaneuvered it and prepared to smash the Animus in the face, it was teleported away (presumably by Kligger).
    Later after Corporation agent Veda reported Captain America's intent to ride the one p.m. Metroliner train, Kligger sent the Animus after him again. The Animus used its telekinesis to derail the train, but Captain America quickly recovered and charged the Animus, who held him back with its club and tk-blasts. The Animus then took control of Captain America's shield, sending it after the hero. However, Captain America realized that the Animus stopped moving when it used its telekinesis, indicating it could not use both forms of attacks at once. Distracting the Animus with a hurled rock that made it release his shield, Cap then closed on the Animus, catching it off guard and beating it unmercifully. Finally, the decidedly feminine voice of the Animus begged Kligger to stop Captain America from killing it, and Kligger teleported it away again.

(Captain America I#228) - Captain America interrupted a training session of the Super-Agents by video communication, asking about the Falcon, and the Vamp told him that the Blue Streak was the last one to have seen him. The Blue Streak told Cap that the Falcon had last said to him that an "old contact told him Jim <Wilson>'s in trouble."
    Cap was subsequently ambushed by Corporation agent the Constrictor. As only Jasper Sitwell and the Super-Agents knew that he had been in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Manhattan base, he correctly figured one of them must be a double agent for the Corporation.

(Captain America I#229) - Captain America confronted the Super-Agents in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Los Angeles base's training room, telling them that one of them was a spy and he could prove it. In an effort to prevent Cap from questioning him further, the Blue Streak told the others that Cap was just provoking them as another test, and led the other Super-Agents to attack him. The Vamp attempted to prove that her belt made her Captain America's equal, but Cap dodged her attacks until she accidentally punched a wall, after which he knocked her down, telling her, "no device on Earth can give you instant experience."
    After being exposed as a double agent for the Corporation, the Blue Streak attempted to flee, only to be dropped by Cap's shield. The Vamp decided to kill the Blue Streak to prevent him from giving her away, too. Pretending to be trying to force the Blue Streak to talk, the Vamp began savagely beating him. Captain America tore off her belt, and the sudden change in her energy level weakened her. She then apologized to Captain America, telling him that she had just lost her head.
    Deciding that everyone there was crazy, the Texas Twister quit the Super-Agents and took off. Captain America then confronted the battered Blue Streak, who--feeling he had nothing else to lose--told Cap that the Falcon was being held on Alcatraz.

(Captain America I#230) - The Vamp accompanied Captain America and Marvel Man to Alcatraz to locate the Falcon. They found him a prisoner of the Corporation's West Coast manager, Curtiss Jackson, but as Captain America feigned negotiations with Jackson, Kligger showed up, with Moonstone (Karla Sofen) by his side, and Jim Wilson and the drugged Bruce Banner as his prisoners. The Vamp then rushed to Kligger's side, naming him as her lover and revealing herself to be another double-agent for the Corporation. Irate upon learning this, Marvel Man blasted the equipment restraining Banner, freeing him and allowing him to become the Hulk. As the Hulk rampaged uncontrollably--including incapacitating Captain America, the Vamp convinced Kligger to give her "the power." Kligger turned her into the Animus, who flattened the Hulk with a club to the back of the head, knocking him into flooding waters entering via the Northern sea gate, which Jackson had opened.

(Incredible Hulk II#232) - Recovering, the Hulk assaulted Moonstone and was blasted from behind by the Animus. The Hulk turned and tackled Animus, who fought back by telekinetically launching rocks at him and then caused the rock floor to grow up over his body and contain him. However, the Hulk broke free shortly thereafter, and when the Animus attacked him with its club, the Hulk tore the club from its grasp and then shattered the club. Its power source shattered, the Animus reverted to the Vamp, who fell into a catatonic state from the mental stress caused by the club's destruction.

(Captain America I#231) - As S.H.I.E.L.D. agents cleaned up Alcatraz, one of them agents threatened to strike the virtually mindless Vamp to force her cooperation. Captain America stopped the assault and forced the rowdy S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to relinquish the Vamp into his custody. Captain America flew her directly to S.H.I.E.L.D.'s new Manhattan headquarters, and turned her over to their care.

(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#20: Vamp) - The Vamp eventually regained full consciousness and was convicted, though she eventually somehow regained her freedom. She apparently became a freelance criminal and operated in the Midwest for a time.

(Captain America I#319) - The Vamp was approached by Firebrand as were several costumed criminals to meet at the so-called "Bar With No Name" to discuss the threat poised by the assassin Scourge. Per Bar policy, Vamp and any others using weapons, etc. had to leave them at the door. Scourge, however, turned out to be present disguised as the bartender as he killed Firebrand, the Vamp and all the other costumed criminals in attendance with explosive bullets..

Comments: Vamp created by Roy Thomas & Don Glut (writers), John Buscema (pencils), and Pablo Marco (inks).
    Animus created by Steve Gerber (writer), Sal Buscema, John Tartag, and Mike Esposito (artists).

    The Vamp had an entry in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Deluxe Edition#20 and the Master Edition. The entry states that she no longer had her Absorbo-Belt after her release from prison, though it clearly shows her wearing it at the time of her death. Perhaps she had a new belt built, though she should have had to surrender it before entering the Bar, where she was shot. Or perhaps she simply wore a non-powered duplicate. Or she somehow tricked the others into thinking the belt was non-powered. Or it was artistic license...
    It is not known if she could still become the Animus, but I would ASSume not. However, the OHotMU hypothesized that she might have learned how to control the Animus transformation on her own at a later date.
    The Deluxe Edition stated that the Animus could lift 100 tons, but the Master Edition changed that to Class 25, which seems more accurate. The Master Edition further established that her Absorbo-Belt allowed her to replicate strength up to Class 10 (2-10 ton range).

In Captain America#230, Cap reasoned that Vamp was the telepath who had sicked the Constrictor on him. However, I don't think the Vamp (or Animus) ever demonstrated telepathy.

Vamp looks Asian in her OHotMU Deluxe entry, though she never looked that way in the original stories. I'd name her Esmerelda Bondy.

In Jungian psychology, an animus is a masculine mental component of a female. With that in mind, the Savage Animus was certainly male.
--Chris Jarocha-Ernst

Her real name was revealed in Falcon's entry in OHotMU A-Z Hardcover#4.

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Vamp/Animus should be distinguished from:


images:
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Deluxe Edition#20: Vamp (main image & death scene)
Captain America I#222, last page (Animus)
    #223, p16, panel 3 (Animus face)
    #231, p5, panel 3 (Vamp face)


Captain America I#217 (February, 1978) - Roy Thomas (plot/editor), Don Glut (script), John Buscema (pencils), Pablo Marcos (inks),
Captain America I#222-223 (June-July, 1978) - Steve Gerber (writer), Sal Buscema, John Tartag, and Mike Esposito (artists), Jim Shooter (editor)
Captain America I#228 (December, 1978) - Roger McKenzie (writer), Sal Buscema, Mike Esposito, John(?) Tartag (artists)
Captain America I#229 (January, 1979) - Roger McKenzie (writer), Sal Buscema (penciler), Don Perlin (embellisher)
Captain America I#230 (February, 1979) - Roger McKenzie (plot), Roger Stern (script), Sal Buscema (pencils), Don Perlin (ink)
Incredible Hulk II#232 (February, 1979) - Roger Stern (plot), David Michilinie (words), Sal Buscema (pencils), Mike Esposito (inks), Mary Jo Duffy (editor)
Captain America I#231 (March, 1979) - Roger McKenzie (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Don Perlin (ink), Roger Stern (editor)
Captain America I#318 (June, 1986) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Paul Neary (rough penciler), Dennis Ianke (ink finisher)


Last updated: 04/21/14

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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