Real Name: Roberta "Robbie" Christianson
Identity/Class: Human vampire;
Occupation: Espionage agent, pilot
Group Membership: Vampires of Earth;
formerly CIA, NASA
Affiliations: None identified
Enemies: Dracula, KGB, Lisle, Miklos Szkorbec
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: "Sister Roberta" (used by Lisle as a term of endearment)
Base of Operations: Currently revealed;
destroyed on Dragon Mount, Transylvania, not far from Castle Dracula
First Appearance: Dracula Lives#8 (September, 1974)
Powers/Abilities: As a vampire, Roberta presumably had superhuman strength (typically enhanced human) and required regular blood meals to survive; when fully fed, she could heal rapidly from non-fatal wounds. Further, feeding on a human victim would turn that victim into a vampire, depending on the extent of the feeding and other circumstances.
She demonstrated vulnerability to religious icons, sunlight, and a wooden stake through the heart. She presumably had the standard vampire vulnerabilties, including garlic.
.She was a seasoned espionage agent -- highly skilled in unarmed combat and as a marksman -- and was a seasoned and talented pilot. She preferred to fly her "jazzed up" Mosquito, and she carried a Magnum (I think the CIA carries/carried .357 Magnums, but I'm not certain).
Height: Unrevealed (approximately 5'8")
Weight: Unrevealed (approximately 138 lbs.)
Eyes: Presumably red as a vampire (apparently dark brown as a human)
(Dracula Lives#8 (fb) - BTS) - Roberta Christianson worked for NASA, but when NASA refused to train her for a trip to the moon, she quit and transferred to the CIA.
(Dracula Lives#8 (fb) - BTS) - Roberta flew "black" (secret) missions for the CIA for a long time.
(Dracula Lives#8 (fb) - BTS) - Roberta slept in a number of fields during missions.
(Dracula Lives#8 (fb) - BTS) - Robert flew a lot of assassins for the CIA.
(Dracula Lives#8 (fb) - BTS) - Roberta killed others as her job required.
(Dracula Lives#8 (fb) - BTS) - Roberta was known throughout the CIA for her manic stubborness
(Dracula Lives#8 (fb) - BTS) - Roberta was shot down over Russia when an SR-71 overflight she was flying went totally wrong. She made it out, despite the best that the KGB could throw at her.
(Dracula Lives#8 (fb) - BTS) - Orders from Langley instructed Roberta to return home for some down time after her next mission.
(Dracula Lives#8 (fb) - BTS) <1974> - Roberta met the man codenamed Dragon (secretly Dracula) when he arrived at her base in Turkey with authorization papers from the highest authorities in Langley. She noted his accent and his hunter-like eyes, and assumed him to be an assassin.
(Dracula Lives#8 (fb) - BTS) - When Roberta told "Dragon" that they would be flying her jazzed up Mosquito airplane, with its wooden frame, she sensed a momentary flicker of fear across his eyes (though she knew it not, this was a fear of crashing in such a craft and being impaled on its wooden fragments).
(Dracula Lives#8 (fb) - BTS) - Three days later, flying in her de Havilland Mosquito plane, she departed Turkey with "Dragon" with plans to bring him to Transylvania.
(Dracula Lives#8) - As Roberta flew across the Ukranian coast at 100' to avoid Soviet radar cover, then headed west away from Russia at the mouth of the Dniester river and towards Romania, she told "Dragon" they would be at their destination in 2 hours.
As they were over the Transylvanian Alps (with a new moon), a powerful and unexpected storm struck like a miniature hurricane. Roberta was battered as the yoke flew wildly against her hands and legs, but she eventually regained control of the plane, taking damage to one of the engines as she clipped some trees. As she prepared to make an emergency landing 10-20 miles away from the planned drop zone, she looked in the mirror and saw "Dragon" apparently headless (he had kept his head covered completely by a helmet so she would not see that he would not cast a reflection, which would expose his true nature; in the tumult of the storm, his helmet had been knocked off); she turned around and saw his normal face, but a look back in the mirror confirmed that he did not cast a reflection. After she verbalized this, he allowed himself to resume his more vampiric form, and then mesmerized her via eye contact. She found herself unable to resist and was even drawn to him, but the distaction of a proximity alarm (as they approached a cliff) provided a distraction to both, and she stiff-armed him away, and she navigated the plane above the cliff to land on a pasture.
As soon as she landed, she pulled her Magnum and spun to draw it on "Dragon," but he smashed her hand against a seat brace, forcing her to drop it. With aid from her case and by discharging a parachute into him, Roberta was able to make it out of the hatch, and she fled into the woods. She was unaware that Dracula was keeping up with her in mist form, and by the time she realized that the conditions weren't right for fog and recalled how vampires could change shape, he picked her up and threw her into a tree. He then shook and beat her until she could fight no more, after which he sunk his fangs deep into her neck and drank of her blood.
(Dracula Lives#8 (fb) - BTS) - Dracula's minions (perhaps Lisle, specifically) brought her to his castle, removed her flight suit, put a sheer, gossamer silk burial gown on her, and placed her into a coffin with dirt at its bottom.
(Dracula Lives#8 (fb) - BTS) - Stalking alone through the deserted streets of a lowlands village, Roberta, now a vampire, partially sated her thirst on an old, semi-comatose drunkard unable to make it home from the local inn. As he would have frozen during the night, she felt she did him a service by making his death more pleasurable.
(Dracula Lives#8 (fb) - BTS) - Roberta feasted upon a pair of lovers out for a forbidden midnight stroll.
(Dracula Lives#8 (fb) - BTS) - Roberta feasted upon a baby, barely a year old, and she bit it repeatedly to drain it dry.
(Dracula Lives#8 (fb) - BTS) - Within her coffin, Roberta had dreams of flying through the air and swooping down and feasting upon a powerful but nonethless helpless man.
(Dracula Lives#8 (fb) - BTS) - For unspecified reasons, after at least 11 days of living life as a vampire (see comments), Roberta regained her human mind and will, partially forgetting her vampiric experiences.
(Dracula Lives#8) - Roberta awakened on the night of a full moon and realized with horror where and what she was; with a single blow she shattered the lid and escaped from it. As she examined her new nature, she unwittingly began to draw back a curtain, and she immediately screamed in agony and collapse from the third degree burns on her hand as sunlight struck it.
(Dracula Lives#8 (fb) - BTS) - Roberta crawled into a corner, rocking back-and-forth and cradling her hand until night fell.
(Dracula Lives#8) - Lisle, one of Dracula's Brides/minions/whatever, approached Roberta and told her they could now hunt as it was nighttime. Despite hungering to hunt and being driven nearly into a frenzy by the smell of a man upon which another vampiress was already feeding, Roberta regained her wits and kicked Lisle in the face (the tangling gown preventing her from snapping Lisle's neck) and knocking her back so that a coffin fell on top of her. Roberta then tore off the gown and shouted her defiance at "Dragon," after which she realized that her life and everything she had been was now gone, and she vowed that "Dragon" would die for that.
Using her CIA training, Roberta located her gear after picking the lock into Dracula's study, but as soon as she was fully dressed, Dracula found her, reading her thoughts and telling her she was beyond God's grace. She pulled her Magnum and futilely emptied it as her bullets passed harmlessly through him, after which she grabbed a pair of candlesticks and made a cross to ward him off. While he shied away, she had to drop the candlesticks after her hands burst into flame, burning her down to bone. Recovering, she fled him, escaped the castle, and rushed through the surrounding forest.
Weakened from hunger, Roberta stumbled and fell into tree branches, tearing open her flesh but not bleeding, until encountering the hiker Miklos Szkorbec. She savagely fed upon and fatally drained him, regaining her strength, completely healing from her injuries, and feeling both high and powerful...before wretching from nausea upon realizing what she had done...and realizing that there was no way she could live and break free of her curse.
She was then greated by Lisle, who told her she was one of them body and soul as she offered her another robe. Roberta instead assaulted Lisle, knocking her back and impaling her against a tree branch; as Lisle decomposed, Roberta furiously tore off Lisle's skull and threw it to shatter against the escarpment. Roberta smiled grimly as she noted that for Lisle, it was over, but she was then taunted by Dragon's voice, telling her it was not over for her, and they she had to pay for hurting him and his own. As her tormenter was nowhere to be seen, she shouted to him to come and get her, as she was her own woman until he did.
Roberta's flight eventually brought her to the pasture where she had left her plane. She tripped on a vine as she rushed toward the plane, her fall saving her from a vampire swooping in from above, after which she savagely shattered the vampires spine, neck, and other bones, leaving him at least temporarily immobilized.
She soon found her airplane as she had left it, with just enough room for a skilled pilot such as herself to get it out again; as she climbed in, she found herself terrified of the wooden frame, fragments of which might destroy her, and she realized that Dracula and the other vampires feared it for the same reason. Refusing to give up, she climbed in as she heard Dragon's hunters approaching. She went through the start-up protocol, praying it would work, and her prayers were rewarded as the port engine started on the first try; one vampire was foolish enough to get too close as she turned the plane around, and its port propeller -- which had a silver alloy coating as a weather shield -- shredded him. Fear of the combination of silver and wood caused the other vampires to flee, and she fired up the starboard engine.
As she taxied the plane, she realized (based on the moon being full now vs. a new moon when she arrived) she had been there for at least 2 weeks, which led to her recalling some of her early kills. With tears in her eyes, she searched for any of Dragon's brood, and she used the propeller to slaughter another vampire as it tried to escape by air in bat form.
Unable to find any others, Roberta was caught unaware from "Dragon" materialized suddenly beyond the canopy, exploding the plexiglass in a shower of shards that tore into her. Roberta fought back, but could not match his power, and he pinned her to the back of her seat. When he asked how she could be a vampire and still defy him, she answered that she didn't know, and he announced that she was of no use to him and must die once more. Roberta defiantly kicked at the throttles, and the acceleration knocked "Dragon" off balane, and she quickly twisted the control yoke, sending him smashing into the rear bulkhead.
Realizing the sun wouldn't be up soon enough to destroy her enemy, she decided she needed to do it with her airplane's wood. Dracula recovered despite her brutal aerobatics, and began beating her; she realized that he intended not to kill her but to beat her into submission and then enslave her. She then swerved the plane so the left wing crashed against a pine tree; as the plane caught on fire and prepared to crash, Dracula prepared to escape and take her with him, but she spun the plane and crashed into Dragon's Mount.(Dracula Lives#8 (fb) - BTS) - Roberta's body was impaled by the main fuselage spar and partially consumed by flames.
Comments: Created by Chris Claremont and Pablo Marcos.
This story was published in 1974 and has absolutely nothing to tie it to the modern era/sliding timescale...it fits nicely at the time of publication, and Dracula's OHotMU entry confirms the story to have occurred in the second half of the 20th century. The story specifically notes it to have been like 30 years after World War II.
Roberta, Lisle, and Miklos would presumably have been restored via the prophecy spell in Blade III#12.
The whole story refers to Roberta's antagonist as Dragon, and it's not until after the vampire Roberta was destroyed that he identified himself as Dracula. So, it's not clear that Roberta was aware who she was actually facing.
When she awakened in a coffin with dirt at the bottom, she considered that if they were playing the game for real, it would be Central Park dirt. As vampires typically sleep upon their native soil, that would indicate she was from Manhattan, New York.
As the story was told, it seemed that Roberta was waking up for the first time as a vampire when she burned her hand. As I see it, there's no story breaks from there until her escape from the castle and reaching her plane. But as she departs, she reasons that she had been there for at least 2 weeks, and she recalls how she had fed upon a few victims before. Presumably these feedings took place before she burned her hand, meaning she became a vampire and fed a few times, and then somehow regained her human wits, was unable to recall her vampiric actions, and fought off her vampiric urges. Certainly possible, just seems less likely for someone to be a vampire and dive in whole-heartedly (to the point of feeding on and kiling the baby) and then to recover fully. Perhaps there are other factors involved?
Shad Daly pointed out that there was no explanation of why the CIA would be transporting Dracula from Turkey to Romania, and that there is probably a larger story there.
What is Claremont's deal with Mosquito planes? Isn't that what Christopher Summers (Corsair) was flying when he was shot down by the Shi'ar?
This was a text story, although there was an image on each page.
I'd be impressed to see a writer insert CIA agent Roberta Christianson into a story taking place in the early 1970s or late 1960s.
Profile by Snood.
Roberta Christianson should be distinguished from:
images: (without ads)
Dracula Lives#8 "Child of the Sun," pg. 1-2 (plane, front view);
pg. 3 (human form, pilot gear, profile);
pg. 4 (plane, back view);
pg. 5 (piloting plane, looking back at Dracula) - image colorized and cleaned up for Vampires: The Marvel Undead handbook's Vampires appendix headshot
pg. 6 (bitten by Dracula);
pg. 7 (vampire, face);
pg. 8 (vampire, full, gown);
pg. 9 (vampire holding cross against Dracula);
pg. 10 (vampire, mostly full, standing over Miklos Szkorbec)
Dracula Lives#8 (September, 1974) - Chris Claremont (writer), Pablo Marcos (artist), Tony Isabella (consulting editor), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Last updated: 03/18/16
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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