benitio_lord-bologna.jpgLORD BENITIO

Real Name: Benitio (first name unrevealed)

Identity/Class: Human vampire  (15th century);
    Bolognese citizen

Occupation: Diplomat, emissary

Group Membership: Vampires of Earth;
    formerly some role in the government of Bologna

Affiliations: Dracula, Lord Vargas, Lord von Roon

Enemies: Formerly Dracula and vampires

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Dracula once mispronounced his name as Benito (which Benitio politely corrected)

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    last seen in Castle Dracula in the Carpathian mountains, in
Snagov, Transylvania, Europe;
    formerly an undisclosed location in Bologna (now a city in Italy)

First AppearanceDracula Lives#12 (May, 1975)benitio_lord-bologna-upper-body1.jpg

Powers/Abilities: Benitio had some skill as a diplomat, though his fear of Dracula and his vampires dampened his effectiveness.

    Presumably, as a vampire Benitio had superhuman strength (typically enhanced human) and required regular blood meals to survive; further, feeding on a human victim would turn that victim into a vampire, depending on the extent of the feeding and other circumstances. Many vampire victims take three days to revive as a vampire. He presumably had the standard vampire vulnerabilties, including religious icons (presumably proportional to the strength of the wielder's faith), garlic, sunlight, and a wooden stake through the heart. Benitio may or may not have been able to transform into a bat (or wolf, or mist), an ability that is often ascribed to vampires with greater than average abilities. Many vampires are unable to enter a building unless he or she has been invited.

Height: Unrevealed (he was only seen on the ground in comparison to Dracula, the only being of known height in his appearance); perhaps 5'7"
Weight: Unrevealed; perhaps 170 lbs.
Eyes: Unrevealed (black and white story); perhaps brown (common in Southern Europeans)
Hair: Apparently light brown

History
(
Dracula Lives#12 (fb) - BTS) - In the six years following Dracula's vampirization in 1459, several nations, including Bologna, Prussia, and Spain, became concerned about the prevalence of vampires in Transylvania and feared their spread into their own nations.

(Dracula Lives#12 (fb) - BTS) <1465> - Lord Benitio, Lord Vargas, and Lord von Roon were sent as emissaries of their respective nations Bologna, Spain, and Prussia to gain Dracula's promise that he and his followers would not enter their countries. benitio_lord-bologna-groveling.jpg

    They were each apparently accompanied by an envoy of associates, and they requested an audience with Dracula.benitio_lord-bologna-vampirized.jpg

(Dracula Lives#12) - Along with Vargas and von Roon, Benitio attended a ghastly party at Castle Dracula.

    After Dracula noticed the distaste his guests showed in festivities, which included dancing vampiresses, he asked Benitio what it was they wished of him. As Benitio carefully tried to speak his peace, Dracula impatiently urged him on.

    Benitio stated their mission, and then continued on that if the emissaries did not return to their respective nations with this promise from Dracula...; but Dracula interrupted him, asking what they threatened. Dracula then asked if the men realized who he was or if they had any conception of the doom they had called upon themselves by threatening Dracula, Prince of Vampires, and he bared his fangs. The emissaries briefly thought that this must be a dream, but then as they realized what was really happening, they screamed, and the vampires descended upon them.

    Groveling on the floord, Benitio begged for mercy, stammering as he tried to tell Dracula he was forced to make his demands. Dracula asked who made Benitio come to him? If it was a king, Benitio need fear him no longer, as he would soon have a new king...the king of the undead. As Dracula descended on Benitio and bit into his neck, Benitio screamed in terror.

(Dracula Lives#12 - BTS) - Inspired by the foreigners, Dracula left Transylvania for a time and fed upon people from various surrounding nations before returning to Transylvania.

Comments: Created by Gerry Conway and Tom Sutton.

    Dracula makes clear his intent to vampirize Benitio, and I would presume his allies, Vargas and von Roon, shared his fate. To the best of my knowledge, none of the lords from this story were seen again, although they'd be pretty unrecognizable as vampires outside of their official garb.

    Sending men to get Dracula to stay out of their nations actually leading Dracula to visit those nations is actually ironic...as opposed to what most people call irony.

    World history and culture are not strong suits of mine. Loki helped me sort through what countries were what in the 15th century and what they are now.

    Bologna was an independent nation at the time of this story. According to Wikipedia, Bologna was absorbed into the Papal States in the early 16th century, temporarily conquered by Napoleon, and then became part of the Kingdom of Sardinia around 1860, which soon became the kingdom of Italy. It remains a city in Northern Italy.

    Looking at a map of 16th century Europe, the countries chosen are interesting, as they are some distance from Transylvania and each other (perhaps Hungary, Turkey, and/or Moldavia might have been better choices). Obviously information wasn't as readily available as there was no internet in 1975, and maybe there were specific reasons for their choices.

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Lord Benitio
should be distinguished from:


images: (without ads)
Dracula Lives#12/3, pg. 2, panel 4 (upper body);
            panel 6 (face);
        pg. 4, panel 1 (groveling);
            panel 3 (bitten by Dracula)


Appearances:
Dracula Lives#12/3: The Sins of the Fathers (May, 1975) - Gerry Conway (writer), Tom Sutton (artist), Marv Wolfman (editor)


Last updated: 02/26/15

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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