fullRYAN BIRKS

Real Name: Ryan Birks

Identity/Class: Human vampire (early 20th Century)

Occupation: Predator;
    former ship's captain

Group Membership: Vampires of Earth;
    formerly the crew of an unidentified ship

Affiliations: None identified;
    former pawn of Dracula

Enemies: Dracula, Angelica Nealneck shot

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of OperationsCurrently unrevealed;
    formerly an unidentified ship grounded near a lighthouse on Harrow's Point, on the coast of Maine, circa 1920;
    formerly his unidentified ship mobile over some portion of the Atlantic Ocean

First AppearanceTomb of Dracula II#4 (April, 1980)

Powers/Abilities: As a vampire, Birks presumably has superhuman strength (typically enhanced human) and requires 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. 

    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.

    Decapitation was also apparently sufficient to destroy him.

    As a ship's captain, he was presumably experienced and skilled at sailing, leading a crew of seamen, and other nautical skills.

Height: Approximately 6'1" (he seemed to reach up for the 6'5" Dracula's neck, but not much)
Weight: Approximately 210 lbs.
Eyes: (Originally) unrevealed; (vampiric) possibly red
Hair: Gray (original color, presumably different, but unrevealed)
headlessdecapitated

History:
(
Tomb of Dracula II#4 (fb) - BTS) <Circa 1920 or so (see comments)> - Under unspecified circumstances, the vampire-lord Dracula boarded the ship of Captain Ryan Birks. Over time, Dracula presumably drank the blood of and/or slew most, if not all, of the crew. Bitten, Birks was tied to the ship's steering gear; nonetheless, his body obeyed Dracula's commands.

(Tomb of Dracula II#4) - Under Dracula's direction, Birks directed the ship towards a lighthouse on Harrow's Point, on the coast of Maine. Approaching land, the ship crashed against rocks, and Dracula traveled to land on his own power, leaving Birks behind, apparently with a broken neck (see comments).

(Tomb of Dracula II#4 - BTS) <6 months later> - Frank and Laura Neal brought their young (perhaps 10 years old or younger) daughter, Angelica, to live in the lighthouse.

(Tomb of Dracula II#4) - The vampiric Birks called to the young Angelica (who thought it to be her mother's voice), summoning her from her room out to and into the boat on the shore. "Angelica...help me...hurry lass...I need you..." Birks suddenly confronted the girl, tearing open the front of her dress and telling her it was cold as a grave on this damned death-ship, but that he wagered she could warm his old bones. However, Dracula then appeared, telling the captain that that was a wager he would not collect, as he claimed the child as his own. Birks lunged for Dracula's throat as he told the senior vampire that he claimed too much, but Dracula, noting he was king and merely claimed his due, beheaded Birks with a swipe of his hand. Birks head hit the ground, and his body dropped a second or two later. 

Comments: Created by Roger McKenzie and Gene Colan.

    Birks would presumably have been restored via the prophecy spell in Blade III#12.

    The exact timing of the adventure of Angelica Neal is not revealed, but the Neals drove what looks to be a Model T, which were in production from 1908-1927. I've ballparked the adventure to be around 1920, but it could be 12 years before or perhaps a decade or more later.

    Birks may have already been dead and possibly suffered a broken neck prior to the ship's crash, but we only saw him with his head down and in shadow prior to the crash.

    The Angelica story was pretty creepy...Dracula seemed to have some pedophile thing going on, though there's not any evidence he did anything more than strip her and drink her blood.

    ohotmu Ryan Birks was identified in and got a semi-colorized headshot (as he was a pale, corpse-like being) in the Vampires: The Marvel Undead's Vampire Appendix profile.

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Ryan Birks
should be distinguished from:


shipBirks' ship

Birks was captain of a large sailing vessel. The specific features of the ship are unrevealed as we only saw it as Dracula ran it aground. The number of crewmen aboard, and how many of them perished and/or were vampirized is unrevealed.


(
Tomb of Dracula II#4 (fb) - BTS) -  Circa 1920 (see comments), Under unspecified circumstances, the vampire-lord Dracula boarded the ship of Captain Ryan Birks. Over time, Dracula presumably drank the blood of and/or slew most, if not all, of the crew. Bitten, Birks was tied to the ship's steering gear; nonetheless, his body obeyed Dracula's commands.

(Tomb of Dracula II#4) - Under Dracula's direction, Birks directed the ship towards a lighthouse on Harrow's Point, on the coast of Maine. Approaching land, the ship crashed against rocks, and Dracula traveled to land on his own power, leaving Birks behind, apparently with a broken neck (see comments).

(Tomb of Dracula II#4) - A little over six months later, the vampiric Birks summoned the young Angelica and tried to feed on her. Dracula decapitated Birks and took Angela for himself, leaving her on the beach.

--Tomb of Dracula II#4 (April, 1980)


images: (without ads)
Tomb of Dracula II#4, story pg. 2, panel 1 (ship);
            panel 2 (steering, in shadows);
        pg. 3, panel 5 (neck bitten and broken(?));
        pg. 20, panel 1 (confronts Angelica);
            panel 3 (full body, threatens Angelica);
        pg. 21, panel 3 (decapitated by Dracula);
Vampires: The Marvel Undead's Vampire Appendix profile: Ryan Birks headshot


Appearances:
 
Tomb of Dracula II#4 (April, 1980) - Roger McKenzie (writer), Gene Colan (penciler), Tom Palmer (inker), Lynn Graeme (editor)


Last updated: 02/26/15

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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