DETECTIVE INSPECTOR KATE FRASER
Real Name: Katherine Fraser
Identity/Class: Unrevealed - possibly human mutant (see comments)
Occupation: CID (Criminal Investigation Department) Detective Inspector
Group Membership: Scotland Yard Police
Affiliations: Blade (Eric Brooks), Captain Britain (Brian Braddock), Chief Inspector Dai Thomas, Inspector George Chelm, an unidentified Rutherton constable, Toby, Kelly Forrest; formerly Vlad Dracula
Enemies: Vlad Dracula, Y'Garon, Amos Starn, Anthony D'Aire, Legion of the Damned, the Vixen and the Vixen's men
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: Mrs. Fitzhugh
Base of Operations: London, England
First Appearance: Giant Size Dracula#2 (September, 1974)
Powers/Abilities: Kate is an "esper" who possesses the power of psychometry, allowing her to know the entire history of objects she examines. Unlike many psychometrists, she merely needs to see the object to use her power, and she claims that, for example, if she looks at a gun, she can tell "who owned it last, who used it last, back to the day it was forged...maybe beyond." When she uses her power, she often experiences events that took place near the object from the perspective of people who were involved, and so she has frequently experienced murders from the vantage of the victim, something she understandably finds distressing.
Kate is an excellent shot with a gun, and a good enough driver to maintain hot pursuit during rush hour when chasing a vehicle that can drive up walls. She's also a reasonably capable brawler, holding her own against a mob of bloodthirsty cultist (or mind-controlled) villagers. Having made it to the rank of Detective Inspector, she is presumably a reasonably good detective.
History: (Giant-Size Dracula#2) - Kate Fraser may be the reincarnation of an ancient warlord's lover, who was then reincarnated as Maria, the wife of Vlad Tepes Dracula, himself perhaps the reincarnation of the ancient warlord (see Comments).
(Giant-Size Dracula#2 (fb) - BTS) - Kate Fraser was a psychometrist, able to tell any object's history merely by examining it. She joined the police force, but came to view her power as more of a curse than a gift, finding that others viewed her as a freak, "the fey cop" despised by "mutie haters." To make matters worse, when objects had an especially violent past, she sometimes experienced some of those events from the point of view of one of those involved, such as murder victims, getting the full sensation of dying and afterwards being left shaking and unsure whether the death she had just suffered was real and her life as Kate was the dream.
(Captain Britain I#8/1 (fb) - BTS) - At some point Kate was forced to kill someone (see Comments).
(Giant-Size Dracula#2 (fb) - BTS) - Over the course of ten years on the force she rose from the ranks to become an plainclothes detective at Scotland Yard, the assistant to Inspector George Chelm, a man who had encountered both Dracula and Quincy Harker's vampire hunters.
(Marvel Preview#3 (fb) - BTS) - Among her more mundane duties, Kate helped raid the club "Ponce's" several times, busting both the club and the owner, Ponce, for their excessive and illegal practices, with each trip making Kate feel dirtier and slimier than the one before.
(Giant-Size Dracula#2 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Chelm and Kate heard that Dracula had been destroyed in a confrontation with Dr. Sun and Lucas Brand.
(Giant-Size Dracula#2) - When eleven women were murdered within a fortnight in the village of Rutherton, Inspector Chelm suspected a vampire was involved. Since Harker was ill and van Helsing unavailable, he chose to investigate himself, enlisting Kate despite it being her weekend off. They drove up to Rutherton from London on Sunday 28th April, 1974. Upon their arrival at Rutherton Mortuary, they were informed by the owner, "Old" Amos Starn, that another girl, Annie Malcolm, had just been killed. Inspecting Annie's possessions, Kate noticed a piece of metal shaped into a star which appeared to be glowing. When she touched it, she had a vision wherein she was a bound female victim who was brutally sacrificed by a hooded cultist, Y'Garon, so that "the Triad" might live once more. Coming out of her trance, she relayed this information to Chelm and Amos, adding for Chelm's benefit that the killings were not down to vampires. Chelm was skeptical of this last, but a local police constable supported Kate, pointing out that none of the victims slain over the last two weeks had risen again, whereas vampire victims should have arisen after three days. Chelm asked Kate what the killer might be, if not a vampire, but she informed him she didn't know; all she had sensed was great age and great evil.
The next morning the constable took Kate to show her where Annie's corpse had been found. He mentioned to Kate that a similar murder spree had happened during the Second World War, when twelve girls had been torn apart and the murderer never caught. Aware that she needed to learn what had happened to Annie, Kate reluctantly used her psychometry to experience the girl's final moments, and discovered that Annie had been running, hoping to reach sanctuary at D'Aire Manor, a large house within sight of them. She and the constable went to the Manor, but found the owner, Anthony, Lord D'Aire, unsympathetic, feeling he was wasting his time he could be using for personal pursuits by seeing her, and unconcerned about a girl dying near his home since he had nothing to do with it. Kate's response to this callous last comment was lost as she spotted a display on the wall, which D'Aire identified as an authentic Norse rune board, studded with twelve metallic stars called Hilthstars, supposedly keys to great power. Kate noted it had an empty thirteenth space, meaning a Hilthstar was missing. D'Aire admitted his set was incomplete, and Kate responded that she had another Hilthstar, producing the one taken from Annie's belongings and moving to place it in the final space. In a panic, D'Aire shouted out to her to stop, adding that "It's not yet time!" before realizing he had said too much. As Kate pressed him to explain what he meant, he covered his slip with anger, demanding she and her companion leave as they had "abused his hospitality long enough." Kate and the constable reluctantly departed, though Kate made it clear to her companion that she wasn't finished with D'Aire. As they drove off, Kate's attention was caught by an impressive Roman fort, which the constable informed her was built in the time of Emperor Hadrian, though not as part of the distant Hadrian's Wall. Their discussion changed course as they spotted Old Amos on the road, driving along in a horse-driven buggy, and Kate admitted to the constable that the old man gave her the creeps. Kate got the constable to drop her off at "the archives," where she learned that whatever had been preying on the locals appeared to have been doing so since the Roman occupation, with the fort having been built after the Romans lost a crack legion, 3000 men, in a single night to the unknown terror. Catching up with Chelm that evening in the pub, Kate related her findings, but their discourse was interrupted when a nearby villager, Nobby Clarke, began angrily ranting to his friends that he believed D'Aire was responsible for the death of Annie, his fiance, then he stormed off shouting that he intended to confront D'Aire, followed by one of his friends, Tom Ashton, trying to calm him down.
Trying to get her thoughts in order, Kate went for a walk in the fog, but was confronted by a hungry Dracula, who intended to feed off her. However, he changed his mind when he saw her more clearly, feeling she bore an uncanny resemblance to his murdered second wife, Maria. Despite proclaiming himself not to be a lovesick youth smitten by the image of what he once loved, Dracula elected to let Kate live, swiftly hypnotizing her to forget he was Dracula and instead telling her that his name was Drake. Before they could talk further, a scream drew their attention. Kate warned "Drake" to stay back, in case there was danger, unwittingly impressing the vampire with her courage, and the pair soon found the horribly burned and cut Tom Ashton. Seemingly recognizing Kate, the dying man warned her that she was the woman "it" wanted, telling her to get away while she could. With his final breath he concluded that Y'Garon controlled the village. Dracula advised Kate to take the advice, but another interruption came, this time in the form of Inspector Chelm. Presumably having followed Kate to ensure she was alright, the Inspector pulled a pistol loaded with cross-marked silver anti-vampire bullets and told Dracula he was under arrest. As Kate reacted with surprise to learn her companion was Dracula, the vampire lord haughtily informed Chelm that they had nothing to fear in Rutherton from him, then turned to mist and escaped. The two detectives headed back to their lodgings, unaware they were being watched by a demonic looking Amos.
In the early hours of Tuesday, Kate's suffered a nightmarish psychometric trance, envisioning herself fighting alongside an unnamed warlord centuries ago as they battled against the demon Y'Garon's forces, until finally only the warlord and his lady were left. Captured, the lady/Kate relived the sacrifice she had experienced when she first touched the Hilthstar, this time with more detail, as Y'Garon boasted the killing would help release his demonic brothers. Kate woke with a scream as the sacrificial blade slew her, her cry prompting Chelm to enter her room to check on her. He informed her that Ashton's body had vanished, and the man sent to guard it had been slain, so he was leaving for Newcastle (the nearest city) for search warrants and more men. Sure things should be safe until nightfall, and intending to be back before then, Chelm told Kate to mind the store in his absence. He departed swiftly, missing Kate's plea that he stay and help her. Shaking, she realized she was holding the Annie's Hilthstar, grasping it so tightly that it had cut her hand; as her blood made contact with it, her mind was taken over by the demonic Amos, now revealed as Y'Garon. After getting her to dress and arm herself with stakes, he directed her to Banner's Mill, an abandoned building where Dracula's coffin was hidden, and ordered her to slay the slumbering vampire, then bring Dracula's head to D'Aire Manor before nightfall. Fearful of the vampire, Y'Garon departed without waiting for Kate to carry out her instructions. Kate lifted the lid off the coffin and prepared to slay the insensate Dracula, but then hesitated, fighting the compulsion until she passed out across her intended victim. When the sun set, Dracula awoke and discovered the still unconscious Kate; feeling betrayed to find her with stake in hand after he spared her life, he woke her intending to then vampirize her, but when she immediately went into a frenzy, repeatedly calling out that she needed to kill him, Dracula realized she had been enthralled. Using his own mesmeric powers, he calmed her and learned that Y'Garon was behind the attack. Breaking Y'Garon's compulsion, Dracula set Kate free of his own power too, and, overcome with relief, she hugged him. Moments later however, the mill's door was smashed in, signalling the arrival of D'Aire at the head of a mob of villagers. The lord ordered the mob to slay Dracula for Y'Garon, but Kate joined the vampire in fighting them. Realizing the villagers' superior numbers would win in the end, Kate advised Dracula that they should escape, but was less than happy when he created an escape route by throwing an unlucky villager, Paul Kramer, through a brick wall, killing Kramer instantly. As they fled into the night, arguing, D'Aire ordered the villagers to pursue, but warned them not to harm Kate.
Kate and Dracula ran the mile to Rurtherton, and as they reached the village the detective told Dracula that if they could reach her car, they could radio for help, as Chelm could not be too far away, but the pair were ambushed by more villagers. Kate saved Dracula from being staked in the back, and the pair made it to Kate's car and drove swiftly off, losing their pursuers. Kate noted that the radio had been smashed, and became convinced they had been allowed to get away. As she wondered why, she spotted someone in the road ahead, and swerved to avoid them, ignoring Dracula's instruction to just run them down. The car crashed, and D'Aire hauled Kate out of the vehicle and knocked her unconscious. Dracula attacked D'Aire, but was knocked unconscious from behind by Y'Garon. Discounting the vampire as no further threat, Y'Garon too Kate to the castle to be sacrificed, but luckily for her the ceremony took several hours to prepare. Recovering before then, Dracula came to her rescue, only to be swiftly captured. As Y'Garon boasted to his new captive that Kate, suspended above a blood red pool, was about to be sacrificed, Kate demanded to at least know who he was and why she was going to die. Y'Garon proclaimed that he was the Eldest of the Triad, remind Kate of her dreams, and Y'Garon gladly confirmed that she knew him long before, both her and her vampire, and that he had slain them both. He explained further that he was of the Elder Gods (actually the N'Garai - see Y'Garon's profile), but his brothers had been trapped in another realm after a dimensional holocaust. To open the gate between dimensions, a Sa'arpool, he needed Kate's blood. He made a small incision to start with, and the gate began to open, allowing tentacles to rise up towards Kate and begin to encircle her. Seeing the tentacles begin to touch Kate, and the distress in her eyes, Dracula recalled his lost Maria and found the strength to break free. Lost in memories and thinking Y'Garon was Maria's murderer, Turac, Dracula smashed Y'Garon's human host form unconscious and slung him into the Sa'arpool, disrupting it. He then leapt across to free Kate, calling her his wife, but though confused by this, Kate told Dracula to leave her and escape while he could, feeling he was no match for the entire Triad. Ignoring her, and still lost in the delusion that she was Maria, Dracula broke Kate's chains and ripped apart the tentacles reaching for her. The pair fled the room, with Dracula informing Kate that if they could seal the hellspawn in the chamber then they would be destroyed when the Sa'arpool exploded. Sure enough, moments after the pair reached a safe distance, the entire house was destroyed in a massive explosion. Dracula collapsed in pain, telling his "love" that he was wounded and, resigned to die, noted that the sun would soon rise. Kate tried again to tell him she was not Maria, then decided there was no point, and instead offered to let him feed off her, even if it might mean her own death. Dracula refused, and then suddenly came to his senses, realizing who she really was, and remembering that his wife was dead. He swiftly hypnotized her, telling her to forget what she had seen, including Y'Garon and himself, and to instead believe that an insane and now-dead Anthony D'Aire was the killer. "But know this. Tonight you reminded Dracula of when he was a ...man. And of the woman that man...loved. I am grateful."
(Giant-Size Dracula#3) - On Sunday, 29th September, while London was being hit by one of the worst storms in twenty years, Kate Fraser was called in after police found the drained corpses of a young couple, Thomas Hare and his girlfriend Jan, near Golladay Mews. While uniformed police kept the public back from the crime scene, another detective, Toby, confirmed to Kate that the couple were victims of a vampire. At that point, a car driven by agents of Dracula's foe, Elianne Turac, drove past, carrying within it the kidnapped Quincy Harker. With his abductors temporarily distracted by the sight of all the police outside, Harker seized the opportunity to attack his captors, causing their car to crash a short distance away from the police. Dracula, who had killed the young couple and was still in the area, had been covertly watching events unfold, and reached the vehicle first; with Harker shaken by his ordeal, he easily fell sway to the vampire's hypnotism, and told Dracula what he knew of Elianne's plans. However, before Dracula could vampirize Harker, Kate and the police came running up. Not wishing the world to learn he was alive yet, Dracula elected to flee before they could get close enough to identify him through the driving rain; though his transformation into a bat tipped Kate to the fact that he was a vampire, she failed to recognize him.
Later Kate visited Harker in the hospital, having learned that he had disappeared two nights earlier (Friday, September 27th 1974) from a private function held in a remote Scottish home, while fifty-eight others at the function were brutally murdered (by Elianne's mercenaries). The doctor, Kelly Forrest, told her that waking Harker up in his current condition - third degree burns, a possible concussion and internal hemorrhaging - could kill the patient, but Kate was unwavering; Harker was the only lead they had to the murders, and they couldn't wait until morning if vampires might be involved. Though Kate cared about Harker's survival - "more than (Kelly would) ever know," she insisted the doctor wake his patient within the hour.
The next morning Kate and Chelm were called to Saracen Industries, where a vampire (Dracula, unknown to either detective) had found and slaughtered Elianne Turac and her mercenaries. She informed Chelm that Quincy, "a tough old coot," was fine, resting comfortably with no complications. To try and find out what had happened at Saracen, Kate used her psychometry on Elianne's corpse, living through Elianne's innocent early days that ended tragically when her father returned home from war a vampire to slay Elianne's family and her lover, experiencing how Elianne became twisted and extended her life via black magic as a bitter, revenge seeking immortal, and then ultimately died a painful death at the hands of a vampire whose features Kate could not discern. Coming out her trance, Kate asked Chelm for a stake and mallet, and tearfully ensured Elianne would not rise again as one of the undead: "Rest in peace, little one. You've earned it!"
(Marvel Preview#3) - Blade the Vampire Hunter was brought in to Scotland Yard after he slew a vampire, Stephen Roak, down by the Thames embankment. Once Roak's undead status was confirmed, Chief Inspector Dai Thomas told Blade he was free to go, but the pair argued when Dai asked Blade to ease off a while, as every time Blade brought a corpse in, Dai had to deal with lawyers, grieving relatives, MPs, civil libertarians and racists all screaming for Blade's neck. Sitting outside the office at her desk, Kate heard the argument, which ended with Blade gut punching Dai and storming off. As the slayer departed, Kate asked Dai if he wanted his attacker held, but Dai told her to let Blade go, admitting he was worried that Blade was too cocky and would eventually make a mistake that would cause them all trouble. Sure enough, the very next night, the vampiric Legion of the Damned tricked Blade into thinking he had slain an innocent twelve year-old, Josie Harper. Dai was called to the scene, and instructed some of the constables to send for Kate, because he was suspicious o the evidence. When Kate arrived, Dai explained to her that though it appeared a clear-cut case on the surface - it was one of Blade's custom knives - there were no prints on the knife, only traces of decayed flesh. So Kate used her psychometric powers to witness the knife's history, witnessing several vampires holding Blade's lover Safron Caulder prisoner, and experiencing Josie's death at the hands of a vampire (Anton Vierken). She confirmed to Dai that Blade was being framed, and of Safron's plight, warning that there appeared to be a legion of vampires involved. However, she and Dai both knew that her powers would not be admissible in court, and that they needed hard evidence to save Blade. Knowing Dai would be tied up with the official investigation, Kate insisted that she would look for the evidence they needed, but Dai was concerned that her acting solo was dangerous, as the vampires would not hesitate to kill a cop. Unfortunately for Kate, one of the constables at the scene, Thomas Lawson, was secretly a vampire, and after he overheard this discussion, he slipped away to call the Legion and warn them.
Kate began her investigation at the club where Safron worked as a dancer, and was directed by the stage manager to Ponce's, unaware that the stage manager was in the thrall of Ponce, who was now one of the Legion's vampires. When she arrived at his office, Ponce attacked Kate, ripping her jacket and blouse, but doing so exposed a cross she wore specifically because of Scotland Yard's recent vampire problems. Ponce recoiled, and Kate removed the cross and slipped it over his neck, slaying him. Swiftly fleeing the club, Kate ran straight into the arms of more of the Legion's vampires, including their leader, Vierken, who ordered the others to take her. Blade, who had found his way to Ponce's while looking for Safron, witnessed this and intervened, saving Kate, but the numbers were against him, and he nearly fell to one of the vampires until Kate staked it from behind with one of Blade's stakes. Taking the opportunity, Blade and Kate fled. With dawn approaching, Vierken wanted to leave pursuing them until the next night, but Marguerite D'Alescio, a human who ruled the Legion on Dracula's behalf, insisted they go after their quarry immediately, and retrieve Kate unharmed. Knowing they could not outrun the vampires, Kate and Blade slipped into an Underground station, hoping they might catch an early train, and Kate flashed her police ID badge and asked the station master to call Scotland Yard, but the vampires, close behind, killed the man before he could, then caught up with their quarry. One targeted Kate, deciding to ignore D'Alescio's orders, but Kate stunned him with a strike to both ears, then threw her assailant on to the tracks, where he was electrocuted by the third rail. Blade's fight also took him on to the tracks, but Kate spotted the light of an approaching train, and hauled her new friend back onto the platform just in time; his attackers were not so lucky.
Kate accompanied Blade back to his friend Slow Boy's nightclub, where the vampire slayer treated her injuries and she informed him that though he was wanted, she believed in his innocence, though she failed to elaborate why she knew this. Blade, who had been tricked by the Legion into thinking he was guilty of Josie's death, told Kate he intended to give himself up as soon as he either rescued Safron, or slew her if she had become a vampire. Kate enquired as to why he hated vampires so much, and he told her of his origins, including how vampires killed both his mother and his friend Jamal Afari. Seeing Blade was becoming despondent thinking about the friends he had lost, Kate told him she had a plan that might let them save Safron.
(Marvel Preview#3 - BTS) - Kate learned of Marguerite's involvement with the Legion (either from Blade, who'd been introduced to her, or because Kate recognized her during the confrontation with the Legion). Blade informed her that he had already broken into Marguerite's Mayfair home looking for clues and come up empty, but Kate checked with an unidentified friend who confirmed that Marguerite's home had a second, private study upstairs, which Blade had not checked. The pair decided to gain entry during the daytime to see if it might give them a clue to Safron's whereabouts.
(Marvel Preview#3) - Playing on the fact that both police and vampires were used to only seeing Blade in his vampire-hunting gear, that afternoon Kate and Blade disguised themselves as a affluent couple and headed to Mayfair. When Blade complained about the disguise, Kate, annoyed at his continual grousing, chastised him and he apologized, recognizing that she had gone out on a limb for him and promising to repay that debt. At Marguerite's home Blade and Kate pretended that they were househunters who had come to the wrong address and barged in past the heavy who answered the door. Their ruse lasted mere seconds before the two human servants present recognized Blade, but he and Kate knocked out one out apiece, and, with sunset getting closer, Kate sent Blade upstairs to check the private study while she handcuffed the two thugs.
(Marvel Preview#3 - BTS) - Once this was done, Kate checked the downstairs study, finding computer print-outs pertaining to experiments of some sort. She also found a video cassette made by Vierken because he resented Marguerite constantly denigrating him, which showed Safron and Josie being held captive at Marguerite's house with her knowledge, and showed a vampire slaying Josie. Knowing she now had the proof she needed to clear Blade, Kate headed upstairs...
(Marvel Preview#3) - ...where she found Blade about to stake Safron, who he had found in the study but who had seemingly been vampirized. Kate grabbed at Blade, but he threw her away from him; before he could strike the fatal blow, Kate ripped open the curtains, letting in the sunlight. Safron passed but didn't disintegrate, confirming Kate's belief that she was still human. Kate explained to Blade that Vierken's vampires had infected Safron, but not enough to turn her, and with blood transfusions she would recover. Not yet mentioning the tape (presumably because she viewed the print-outs more urgent), Kate then showed Blade the paperwork she had found, and he realized they pertained to an experiment Vierken had boasted about, trying to find a way to allow vampires to survive sunlight. Now aware of what the tests were discussing, Blade and Kate simultaneously had an horrific revelation: the print-outs showed the process was completed and ready for immediate testing. However, the pair had been so distracted by their discussion that they failed to notice the sun setting and the sky outside filling with rapidly approaching bats. Vampires crashed through the window, some snatching Safron and carrying her aloft, while others attacked Blade and Kate. Massively outnumbered, the two fled to Kate's car with the vampires still in pursuit; harried as she drove manically through London's streets, Kate eventually crashed when a vampire smashed through the windscreen as the car drove over a bridge above the Thames. Vampires pulled Kate from the vehicle before it slammed into the water below, and the struggling Kate, who believed Blade had perished, was knocked unconscious by Vierken. She awoke in the presence of Vierken and Marguerite to find she had been spirited to D'Alescio Hall, an isolated castle in the north of England, which Kate swiftly deduced also housed the main laboratory for the sunlight serum. Intent on learning how much Kate knew of their plans, Marguerite pointed out that while the master had ordered them not to vampirize, kill, cripple or disfigure Kate, they were still allowed to hurt her. Vierken began torturing the defiant Kate, but it soon became apparent that she wouldn't crack, at least not subjected to the limited level of force allowed. Vierken departed for the lab to retrieve suitable interrogation drugs, but ran into Blade, who had survived the crash and pursued them to the castle. Blade slew Vierken and set the castle ablaze, destroying the serum. Believing the fire would destroy any evidence so that it was just her captives' word against hers, Marguerite showed Kate and Safron a safe route out of the castle, but as they exited they were confronted by Blade. When Marguerite boasted that she had nothing to fear from the law, Blade threatened to shoot her, feeling he might as well go to prison for two murders as for one, but Kate stopped him, revealing the existence of the tape. As Blade, Kate and Safron departed the castle, Dracula spoke through Marguerite, revealing to the trio who the real master of the Legion was, and promising that he and Blade would meet again.
(Captain Britain I#5/1) - Kate Fraser and Dai Thomas arrived at Thames University, site of a recent battle between Captain Britain (Brian Braddock) and Hurricane. The hero was still present, helping the rescue services locate survivors buried beneath the rubble from buildings which had collapsed during the fight, and Dai immediately launched into a verbal assault on him. Kate tried to make Dai hold back until he heard what had actually happened, but her words fell on deaf ears. However one of the university's professors, Dr. MacKenzie, interposed himself between Kate's irate boss and the superhuman, to fight the latter's corner for him. While Dai was thus distracted, Captain Britain slipped away. Kate was the only one who noticed this. She considered to herself that since she was Dai's assistant, she should bring this to his attention...but then decided not to.
(Captain Britain I#8/1) - Having encountered some of the Viper's men fleeing the scene of a bank robbery, Kate pursued them down Oxford and Regent Streets. She dodged blaster fire, and radioed in for reinforcements. The chase was ended however when Captain Britain ripped the engine out of the criminals' vehicle. Kate watched as the crooks piled out of their wrecked transportation, and bemoaned the absence of the reinforcements and her own lack of a weapon, but then noted that even if she had been armed, it wouldn't have made a difference, as she could not kill. Her fortitude in this area was tested when she observed one of the gang about to shoot Captain Britain in the back. She grabbed a blaster which one of the villains had dropped, and knowing Captain Britain's life depended on her accuracy, shot the gunman. He collapsed to the ground, wounded, and Kate and Captain Britain exchanged thanks for the help each had given the other. The hero took the opportunity to enquire of Kate why her boss Dai seemed to dislike him so much. Kate explained to Cap about how Dai had lost his wife, killed during a superhero battle while they were visiting New York.
Comments: Created by Chris Claremont (writer), Don Heck (art) and Frank McLaughlin (inker).
To anyone who ever speculated that Marvel U.K. stories were not in the same reality as Marvel U.S. tales, Kate Fraser and Dai Thomas were the first proof otherwise, as both had appeared in Chris Claremont's American tales prior to turning up in Captain Britain. Their appearances so early on in the run show that the writers always considered it the same world.
With Chris Claremont's departure from writing Captain Britain, Kate just vanished from the stories, apparently less memorable to the subsequent writers than Dai Thomas. By the time Claremont returned to writing CB, events had moved on, and even if he remembered Kate, by this time another British female telepath had been added to Captain Britain's mythos, making Kate somewhat superfluous.
In her first appearance she is told off by Inspector Chelm when she disparages her powers; he notes that her abilities are "a science, not witchcraft," and she responds "tell that to the mutie haters." It's not clear whether this means she thinks of herself as a mutant, or whether she means that anti-mutant bigots often consider mutant powers to be witchcraft, i.e. powers like hers, but not necessarily having the same origin. Even if she does think she is a mutant, that doesn't mean she actually is one, but it is certainly a possibility, in which case I think she might also be a candidate for the first confirmed British mutant to appear in a Marvel comic - yes, within 616's timeline, others predate her, and yes, Toad appeared first and he's British, but his nationality wasn't revealed until his 1980's handbook entry. Whatever the origin of her powers, she'd have been a prime candidate for S.T.R.I.K.E. to recruit for their ill-fated Psi-Division, which might explain why she suddenly just stopped appearing; given that would probably mean she got killed off-panel by Slaymaster though, perhaps we better hope not.
In GS Dracula#2 Kate claims it had been "reported" that Dracula had been destroyed, and a text box cites Tomb of Dracula I#21, which was the issue he fought Dr. Sun and Lucas Brand, so presumably that's the fight she was referencing. Quite who might have reported on this I don't know. Through both GS Dracula#2 and #3 Dracula worked hard to keep his being still alive (unalive?) a secret, as he wanted time to build up his forces before attacking Rachel van Helsing; he wiped Kate's memories in #2, while in #3 Harker was too badly injured from the car crash to see who he was talking to before Dracula hypnotized him, and even when Kate lived through Elianne Turac's life and death, she only saw Elianne's killer as a figure in shadow. However, Chelm saw Dracula twice in GS Dracula#2, clearly recognizing him both times, and Dracula was not seen to hypnotize him; presumably he must have done so off-panel after #2 ended, or else he wouldn't still believe his secret was safe in #3.
Y'Garon seems to be convinced, and may well be right, that Dracula and Kate are the reincarnations of the warlord and his lover who Y'Garon slew centuries ago; this in turn suggests that Kate's resemblance to Dracula's beloved Maria isn't coincidence, and that Maria might well be another reincarnation of the warlord's lover. Here's an image of the original couple next to Dracula and Kate - you decide! If this is the case, then there's an irony in Kate staking Elianne Turac, as Elianne's father, Turac, had been turned into a vampire and sent to kill his own family by Dracula, in revenge for Turac murdering Maria.
Strange as it seems, in Marvel's 1970s Dracula stories the UK police are well aware that vampires are real, and act accordingly when they find victims. Marvel Preview#3 shows that even regular bobbies on the beat knew who Blade was and, while they'd arrest him if they found him standing over a dead body, they were willing to check whether the corpse was a vampire before actually charging him with anything. He'd even call them himself to come and get him. Even the public seem somewhat aware of the truth, as vampire killings are reported as such in the newspapers in GS Dracula#2, though, of course, there's a chance the paper was being sensationalist, and neither they nor the public actually believe the killings were done by the undead.
The years, and even the month and dates, of the events in GS Dracula#2 and 3 are topical; they certainly no longer took place back in 1974, thanks to the sliding timescale, and the constable in #2, who in the story as depicted was present in Rutherton on leave from the army during World War Two when the previous murder spree took place, now cannot be old enough to have both served during that conflict and still be an active police officer. Even the amount of time that passed between #2 and #3, April to September, should be considered topical. However, it is still okay to take the number of days taken by the events seen in the individual issues as being accurate; e.g. Quincy Harker was kidnapped by Elianne Turac two days prior to Dracula confronting Elianne.
For readers who only knew Kate from Captain Britain, there was a confusing bit of dialogue, hinting at the backstory established in her earlier appearances. While talking to Captain Britain, she notes that she is glad she only wounded a crook she shot - "I've died too many times to wish death on anyone else." For years I wondered about this, until I read GS Dracula #2, where, via her psychometric power, she experiences the deaths of various people. Kate's thoughts also indicate that she once killed someone, and has no desire to ever do so again. It isn't stated at what point in her life that she'd had to slay this person, but given how much she tries to avoid killing in her first appearance, it would likely be prior to that. I'd guess she'd have been most likely to have been put in a position where killing someone was the only option (to stay alive or save someone else) after she became a police officer, in the line of duty. She's an excellent shot, but doesn't carry a gun in any of her appearances; perhaps she briefly joined the British police's armed response unit, then moved to Scotland Yard after being forced to shoot someone dead?
Strictly speaking, Kate never uses the alias Mrs. Fitzhugh. However, in Marvel Preview#3, when she and Blade disguise themselves as a couple, Blade introduce himself to the human servant of the Legion as Malcolm Fitzhugh; though the charade is exposed almost immediately, since Kate is posing as his wife when he used the alias, then by default she would presumably have been Mrs. Fitzhugh.
Hadrian's Wall, mentioned in GS Dracula#2, is a fortified wall that the Romans built predominately to keep out the northern barbarians (the Picts of what would later become Scotland) from the Roman occupied southern proportion of Great Britain. It is over 73 miles long, running all the way between England's East and West coasts. Because it runs almost horizontally across the island (if you view a map of Britain with the island pointing straight up), while the current Scottish border runs at an angle, the distance between Hadrian's Wall and the border varies, from less than a mile at the West to roughly 68 miles at the East. A mention of the village being near the North Sea puts the village on the West coast, so Rutherton, whose Roman fort is said to be 60 miles north of the wall, is probably only just in England, very close to the Scottish border. This is supported by a note that Dracula flies 300 miles to get from London to Rutherton, which is about the distance of London to the Scottish border.
Presumably Dracula's instructions to the vampires under his
control that Kate was not to be harmed are still in place. Given the way
Marguerite reels off a list of restrictions Dracula has put in place regarding
Kate, I can just imagine how the orders were relayed. Something
Dracula - "Tell all under my sway that the woman Kate Fraser is not to be considered food. No one shall feed off her nor turn her into one of our number."
Spots a minion mulling this order over and then beginning to grin.
Dracula - "No killing her either."
Minion's face falls, then slowly the smirk starts to return.
Dracula - *Sigh* "Crippling and maiming are off limits too."
Minion pouts, pauses, thinks for a second and opens his mouth to say something.
Dracula, interrupting - "No! Before you ask, disfiguring is also off the table."
Minion looks disgruntled. "Can't we have any fun with her?"
Dracula - "Oh, all right. You are allowed to jump out from behind things and scare her, and to give her noogies or Indian burns. But not wedgies!"
Profile by Loki
Kate Fraser has no known connections to
During the war, the unidentified constable had visited Rutherton on leave, and had heard about the spate of previous murders, though he apparently wasn't involved in the hunt for the killer at that time. Decades later he had become a constable in Rutherton, and he was either at the mortuary when Chelm and Kate Fraser arrived, or arrived himself moments after (he doesn't introduce himself when they arrive, like Amos does, but is present without explanation at the end of Kate's first vision). He corroborated Kate's belief that the Rutherton killer was not a vampire by pointing out that the victims had not risen after three days. Later he accompanied Kate to the site where Annie Malcolm had been murdered, and then on to D'Aire Manor. He regaled Kate with stories of the past murders and of the slaughter of a Roman legion which led to the Romans building a fort so far north of Hadrian's Wall, which inspired Kate to check the archives and deduce that something had been intermittently murdering people in the area since Roman times.
He subsequently drove Chelm to Newcastle. Later that same day, the constable was driving Chelm back to Rutherton when he spotted Kate's crashed car. When he got out to investigate, he saw Dracula, who was just waking after being knocked out by Y'Garon. The constable, unaware of Dracula's identity, asked the vampire lord if he needed any help. Unfortunately for the constable, the injured Dracula felt the need to feed, and the hapless constable was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
A plainclothes police officer who confirmed to Kate that the Golladay Mews murder victims had been slain by a vampire. He'd clearly had experience of such things before, because he was not shocked at this, and matter-of-factly told her they would need to get a priest, a mallet and some stakes, to ensure the victims didn't rise again.
Dr. Kelly Forrest treated the injured Quincy Harker after he had been in a car crash. He clearly knew Kate Fraser, as they were on first name terms, and he tried to convince her not to risk Harker's life by waking him prematurely. He was clearly no stranger to the reality of vampires, as he didn't argue when she used this as a reason why Harker needed to be woken ASAP.
His surname, visible on the panel to the right, may be Forrester or something similar, rather than just Forrest. However, I've gone with the short version. Besides, I suspect it isn't coincidence that we've got a Dr. Kelly Forrest created by Star Trek fan Chris Claremont, when Star Trek's Dr. McCoy was played by DeForrest Kelley.
Captain Britain I#5/1, p3, pan 6 (main)
Giant-Size Dracula#2, p6, pan2 (feeling Annie's death)
Giant-Size Dracula#2, p3, pan3 (powers activating)
Giant-Size Dracula#2, p17, pan3 (about to stake Dracula)
Giant-Size Dracula#2, p26, pan1 (being menaced by tentacles over the Sa'arpool)
Giant-Size Dracula#3, p30, pan2 (reading Elianne's past)
Giant-Size Dracula#3, p30, pan8 (putting Elianne to rest)
Captain Britain Weekly#8/1, p4, pan 3 (meeting Captain Britain)
Giant-Size Dracula#2, p3, pan4/p24, pan4 (Y'Garon kills the warlord's lover/Dracula watches as Kate is about to be sacrificed)
Giant-Size Dracula#2, p4, pan2 (constable)
Giant-Size Dracula#2, p22, pan3 (constable's death)
Giant-Size Dracula#3, p12, pan1 (Toby)
Giant-Size Dracula#3, p19, pan5 (Kelly Forrest)
Giant Size Dracula#2 (September, 1974) - Chris Claremont (writer), Don Heck (pencils), Frank McLaughlin (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Giant-Size Dracula#3 (December 1974) - Chris Claremont (writer), Don Heck (pencils), Frank Springer (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Marvel Preview#3 (September, 1975) - Chris Claremont (writer), Tony DeZuniga & Rico Rival (artists), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Captain Britain I#5/1 (November 10th 1976) - Chris Claremont (writer), Herb Trimpe & Fred Kida (artists), Larry Lieber (editor)
Captain Britain I#8/1 (December 1st 1976) - Chris Claremont (writer), Herb Trimpe & Fred Kida (artists), Larry Lieber (editor)
First Posted: 08/29/2013
Last updated: 08/29/2013
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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