Real Name: Vincent Dracula (presumed - see comments)
Identity/Class: Extradimensional (Earth-57780) human vampire
Occupation: Haunted House owner; possible future horror store owner
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: J. Arthur Crank (neighbor), the Short Circus (neighborhood pranksters/band), Spider-Man
Enemies: The Mad Thinker
Known Relatives: "Uncle Dracula" (unclear if that's the "original" Count Dracula)
Aliases: Count Dracula (presumed)
Base of Operations: A haunted house somewhere in New York City, New York, USA, within bad pun distance of the Electric Company studio
First Appearance: Spidey Super Stories I#7 (April, 1975)
Powers/Abilities: The Vampire delivered terrible punchlines, was a good neighbor, and possessed the inability to tell whether wolf howls were coming from inside or outside his house. Like other vampires, he also was unable to go out in daylight and presumably had other, unrevealed vampire powers.
Height: 6'2" (by approximation - but also see comments)
Weight: 175 lbs. (by approximation - but also see comments)
Eyes: Appear to be black (see comments)
History: (Spidey Super Stories I#7) - After a hard day at work, Spider-Man relaxed by playing some night tennis with rackets and a net made entirely out of his webbing then played some night basketball with a net made from his webbing and then finally played some night baseball with the Short Circus, creating a bat and ball solely out of his webbing. Despite the questionable aerodynamic and material properties of sports gear made from sticky webbing, they seemed to be doing fine but when Spider-Man said the word "bat," the Vampire stopped by to say "Bat? Did I hear someone say Bat?" to which someone laughed uproariously, probably a member of the Short Circus, as they once found almost dying in a cable car accident hilarious.
(Spidey Super Stories I#11/3) - The Vampire was in his haunted house, where a strangely anthropomorphic mouse wearing a cocktail napkin as a ghost costume said "BOO!" Not scared by this, the Vampire instead became rather upset, jumping up and down in frustration and saying "I didn't say haunted mouse! I said haunted house!"
(Spidey Super Stories I#11/4) - The Vampire opened the front door to his haunted house, where a white shirt of the kind ladies wore a hundred years ago was floating in front of a parlor mirror. The shirt initally appeared to be a ghost all by itself but it turned out it was just so sheer and silky that it was completely transparent. In frustration, the Vampire grabbed the shirt and rather violently ripped it in half, saying "A haunted blouse? No, no, no! I won't put up with this." He then grabbed his golden cane/child-threatening stick and said "Who's the louse...who's messing up my haunted house?" In the same room as the Vampire, not five feet away, four members of the Short Circus were doing a terrible job of hiding behind a dresser, a suit of armor, a curtain and a different, more curvy dresser, respectively. While the Vampire didn't see any of them, the boy behind the curtain was holding a string attached to the ripped shirt and the boy behind the curvy dresser was holding what appeared to be a corsage (a white flower in a transparent box). (see comments)
(Spidey Super Stories I#14/2) - Spider-Man was
through a very suburban area of New York City, apparently blissfully
his webbing couldn't possibly be attached to anything, when local
curmudgeon J. Arthur Crank flagged him down. He complained to Spidey
the funny noises that were coming from the Vampire's haunted house next
door, including a howl that happened right at that moment, which caused
to literally jump into Spidey's arms. Spidey asked how J. Arthur knew
his neighbor was a vampire and J. Arthur mimed holding a cape in front
of his face and said his neighbor "has more teeth than a toothpaste
ad." He also said he had "seen awful things like bats, wolves and
spiders." Spider-Man didn't take kindly to the disparagement of his
arachnid brethren but J. Arthur immediately apologized. Spidey then explained that
couldn't "touch him (the Vampire) unless he does something wrong."
Spidey told J. Arthur that he was actually after the
Mad Thinker and showed him a wanted poster. On the back of the wanted
poster, the Mad Thinker had hand written "Beware! My robot army will
take over the city! - The Mad Thinker." Spidey then swung away and J.
Arthur vowed to investigate the noises coming from the Vampire's
haunted house by himself. J. Arthur grumbled aloud about how he was
"the President of the Better Neighborhood Club" and how he would "knock
vampire's block right off this block" before using the
goblin-with-comically-large-nose-ring door knocker on the Vampire's
house. The knocking opened a trap door under Crank's feet and he fell
Vampire's basement. The anthropomorphic mouse scared Crank, so he
piled up some boxes to try and reach a window to escape but he was too
heavy and his foot broke through the boxes. Despite swinging away,
Spider-Man was hanging out
on a ledge of the Vampire's house, yet unconcerned by J. Arthur falling into a
trap door directly beneath him. His Spider-Sense told him danger was near and
Spider-Man then saw "the
walking towards his house. "But he doesn't hurt anybody!" Spidey
thought, apparently knowing the Vampire's reputation and puzzled by why
he sensed danger. Despite looking right at it Spider-Man failed to
notice a bright red, two-foot-high
wind-up key sticking out of "the Vampire"'s back. But he then realized
Vampire must actually be a robot made by the Mad Thinker since it was
out during the day. Spidey suddenly remembered that J.
Arthur Crank had been trapped inside and then spun a massive web-bridge
tree he was standing at back to the ledge of the haunted house, a
distance of approximately 30 feet over level ground, and crossed
the bridge back to the ledge and then climbed down to the Vampire's
front door. The real
Vampire appeared when
Spidey used the door knocker (which didn't trigger the trap door for
some reason). Wearing a nightcap (the kind with a fluffball on the end)
and holding a very unhelpful alarm clock with the word "SUNDOWN"
written in the middle and no other numbers or markings, the Vampire
groggily invited Spidey in. After then hearing a very loud
howl, the Vampire leapt right into Spider-Man's arms and Spidey told
him that he thought the Mad Thinker was living in his
house. The Vampire responded by pointing to a portrait of his Uncle
on the wall, which had the eye holes cut out for an unrevealed reason.
The Vampire and Spider-Man both saw someone's eyes looking out and
assumed it must be the Mad
Thinker. Spidey rushed to grab him and the wall comically flipped
like a revolving door to reveal that it was not the Mad Thinker but J.
Crank on the other side. It then rotated back to Spidey and the
Vampire failed to mention that J. Arthur Crank was on the other side of
the wall before they left to go look for the Mad Thinker
elsewhere. Searching the haunted house by looking behind
curtains and in closets until they saw a suit of armor move, Spider-Man
and the Vampire both
rushed to tackle it but once again, it proved not to be the Mad Thinker
Arthur Crank, somehow now wearing a suit of armor. All three of them
then saw the robot Vampire heading upstairs
and followed it to the lair of the Mad Thinker, who was hiding out in
the Vampire's attic
with a "robot army" consisting of the
robot Vampire, a howling robot wolf, six robot bats and five bright
red robot spiders. The Mad Thinker wondered how he had been found out,
to which Spidey
replied as he webbed the Thinker up: "Easy. Your robot led us here!" The
chimed in "Besides your vampire robot walked during the day and no
real vampire does that." The Mad
Thinker responded by saying "Details! I can't be bothered with
as two police officers showed up in the attic of the Vampire's
haunted house to take the Mad Thinker to jail. The Vampire was
that he had now inherited all of the Mad Thinker's robots for his haunted house,
he was now going to open a "horror store," prompting J. Arthur Crank to
groan "Oh, no, no, no!"
Comments: Created by Paul Dooley and The Electric Company television writers and adapted for comics by the team supreme of Jean Thomas, Winslow Mortimer, Mike Esposito and Tony Mortellaro. But in the most important sense, created by Morgan Freeman.
Yes, that Morgan Freeman. He was an actor for the entire run of the children's television sketch show The Electric Company from 1971-1977 and the Vampire was one of the more memorable recurring characters he portrayed. I won't link to any specific videos (because those links likely won't work forever) but just search "morgan freeman vampire electric company" and you'll find all you need. It's delightful to watch a young Morgan Freeman with the same authoritative voice he has now pretend to be a vampire washing himself in a bubble-filled casket, etc.
The Vampire's physical attributes are taken from 1970s Morgan Freeman's approximate attributes. The Vampire (as he appeared in the comics) seems to have black eyes and does not appear to have Morgan Freeman's eye color of "Hazel with a blue/grey ring around the edge of the iris", though we never got a real close-up in the comic, so you never know.
WHAT'S IN A NAME - Morgan Freeman Dracula edition.
In the Spidey Super Stories comic, this character is only referred to as "the Vampire" and is referred to as such several times. He does mention an uncle Dracula, so it's likely his last name is Dracula. As you probably know, Spidey Super Stories spun out of The Electric Company Spider-Man sketches and while it is heavily based on that and the realities are very similar, it's not quite the same. Earth-57780 vs. Earth-The Electric Company.
In The Electric Company show, Morgan Freeman:
1) Clearly began as a bloodsucking character specifically named "Count Dracula," who tries to bite the necks of theatergoers and Bavarian yodelers/whistlers (who're trying to prove their bravery by hanging out in graveyards).
2) Later reveals he's "one of six Count Draculas in the New York phone book," but he prefers "vanilla malteds" to any other kind of drink (including blood).
3) Even later, has an awesome song and dance as "Vincent the Vegetable Vampire," where we learn "I come creeping in your garden at night" and "whatever vegetable I may catch, gets squeezed for juice and natch, I drink it all down in one gulp." It should also be noted that "at night when potatoes close their eyes, I come and take them by surprise."
Now, is this all the same "character?" In all cases, he wears extremely similar (likely identical) outfits and is played by Morgan Freeman and speaks with the accent of a 1970s person pretending to be Dracula. I imagine what happened is that eventually some concerned parents wrote in about the fact that a vampire was trying to bite necks and drink blood on their childrens' educational program. So the writers evolved him to be Dracula but only drink milkshakes, not blood. Then later, he got evolved again into Vincent, who apparently only "stalks" and eats vegetables. So either there's more than one vampire played by Morgan Freeman, or the character is named "Vincent Dracula" and slowly over time came to wean himself off blood, then off milk, until he could sustain himself solely on vegetables. I choose to believe that's what happened, but you could make a case that they're all different characters. Continuity was not really The Electric Company's strong suit.
I didn't add any details from his television appearances to the main profile except his presumed name/alias and height/weight. If you include those TV appearances, he would gain occupations as a barista, a shoe store employee and a gambler. He also would gain affiliations with the rest of The Electric Company cast and have Spider-Man also listed as an enemy and gain the power to become invisible, or possibly teleport. And that's just from the 5ish sketches I could find, it's probably a lot more than that.
Spidey Super Stories are usually original stories and the ones that ARE based directly on The Electric Company segments seem to always credit the writer of that episode. Still, there's 780 episodes, so there's always the possibility that some of these stories (especially the two in issue 11) are based on The Electric Company sketches.
Comments on Spidey Super Stories #11/4:
Can a shirt really be a ghost all by itself? That seems kind of like a faulty premise to begin with. Does fabric have a soul?
From what we can tell, the Short Circus broke into the haunted home of a Vampire to dangle ancient ladieswear in his face as a rhyming-based "prank," pretending a nightshirt is a ghost in an actual haunted house that may contain actual ghosts. Except for the one boy who brought a corsage, presumably to ask the Vampire to prom?
Comments on Spidey Super Stories #14/2:
Unlike J. Arthur Crank, the Vampire is quite the nice neighbor. He's been hearing loud howls (actually coming from within his house) for a while and thought the whole time they were coming from his neighbor, J. Arthur. But you don't see him flagging down Spider-Man for a random neighborhood noise complaint.
Spider-Man mentioned not being able to do anything about the Vampire unless he did something wrong, which is a bit of an odd legal stance for Spider-Man to take on alleged blood-sucking creatures of the night, but good on Spidey for upholding the principle of "innocent until proven guilty." This one time.
It seemed rather cheeky for the Mad Thinker to write his threat against the city on the back of his own wanted poster and then deliver it to Spider-Man. I'm assuming here that it's an actual wanted poster of him for a previous crime and not a fake wanted poster created by the Mad Thinker himself, because that's just too sad to contemplate.
Spider-Man's Spider-Sense can apparently distinguish "non-dangerous Vampire" from "robot duplicate of non-dangerous Vampire" at a distance. I guess he's somehow dangerous despite doing nothing but calmly walking this entire story. Spider-Man is looks right at the big red key in the robot Vampire's back, but then spends an entire panel pondering with question marks before he comes to the amazing realization "Vampires don't come out during the DAY. So that CAN'T be a real vampire! It must be a robot. And who makes such life-life robots? The Mad Thinker! I'll bet he's in that haunted house." Um, yeah, Spidey. Daylight. That's why it's a robot, not the giant key in its back.
I feel that Spidey probably could have just walked the 30 feet back to the Vampire's house to knock on his door instead of weaving an elaborate web-bridge wide enough to drive a car across. Maybe he spontaneously decided to play "hot lava" in the Vampire's yard for some reason.
I guess Spidey's just the kind of guy whose muscular arms look really inviting to repeatedly jump into when a wolf howls. Eh, I buy it.
Both the Vampire and the portrait of "Uncle Dracula" we see are very dark-skinned. It's not clear if that's the original Count Dracula's skin color on Earth-57780, or if that's a different descendant of Dracula and the original has a mixed-race family, which is pretty progressive for someone presumably born in the 1400s.
Absolutely no explanation is given as to how (or why) J. Arthur Crank escaped the basement he was trapped in and then dressed himself in a full medieval suit of armor without a squire and then decided to stand still holding a spiked mace, all completely silently and within a few minutes.
When the Mad Thinker is revealed, the Vampire himself also mentions that they knew it was a robot Vampire because it was out during the day. He says this WHILE HOLDING THE GIANT KEY THAT WAS STICKING OUT OF THE ROBOT VAMPIRE'S BACK. Yes, once again, it's the fact the robot Vampire moved in sunlight that was the "key" to cracking the case. Not the enormous wind-up key they are literally holding. Literally. No one in the entire story mentions the key; it's kind of infuriating.
This Mad Thinker does not quite seem to be the equal of his Earth-616 counterpart. That one normally plans for every possible scenario and his plans are ruined at the last minute by an unforseen human "x-factor". This one forgot that Vampires don't walk in sunlight, and when confronted with this fact was like "Eh, details, whatever."
The police officers who immediately show up in a haunted attic apparently don't need "evidence" or anything and the Vampire gets all of the city-taking-over robots for his haunted house. He says he's going to open a "horror store", regardless of zoning laws, presumably to sell the 13 unscary robots he just inherited. J. Arthur Crank then says "Oh, no, no, no!" at the thought of people coming into his neighborhood to shop for charming little robots and/or horror store stuff.
J. Arthur Crank, in a slight bit of fantasy/racial profiling, thinks that all African-American men who wear capes and have toothy smiles are vampires. I hope he never meets Lando Calrissian...
Profile by caliban.
The Vampire of Earth-57780 (aka Vincent Dracula) has no known connections to:
A strangely human-like mouse that lived in the
Vampire's haunted house, "the anthropomorphic mouse" wore a cocktail
napkin as a ghost costume and went around proclaiming "Boo!" and scaring people in the basement.
--Technically, we don't know that it was the same anthropomorphic mouse in both stories but they both live in the same haunted house, so it seems like a pretty safe bet.
--Spidey Super Stories I#11/3 (#14/2,
"child holding a corsage"
An unidentified member of the Short Circus, he liked pretty flowers and pranking the Vampire.
--I don't know if
they actually have grade school prom, but I think it's pretty likely he
has a crush on Morgan Freeman. Who doesn't?
--Spidey Super Stories I#11/4
Mad Thinker's robot army
The Mad Thinker's robot army, which was housed inside
the attic of the seemingly oblivious Vampire's haunted house, consisted of a howling
wolf robot, six robot bats and five bright red robot spiders. They
were designed to take over the city.
--Spidey Super Stories I#14/2
The Mad Thinker's robot duplicate of the Vampire, which wandered around during the day.
- No reason was given for what the robot Vampire was actually doing while wandering around during the day, which the entire plot nonsensically depended upon. And see? I wasn't kidding about that key.
--Spidey Super Stories I#14/2
images: (without ads)
Spidey Super Stories#11/4, p14, pan4 (main image + lonely child image)
Spidey Super Stories#11/3, p8, pan2 (headshot image)
Spidey Super Stories#14/2, p10, pan1 (sleepy image)
Spidey Super Stories#11/3, p8, pan3 (anthropomorphic mouse image)
Spidey Super Stories#14/2, p13, pan1 (robot army image)
Spidey Super Stories#14/2, p8, pan1 (robot vampire image)
Spidey Super Stories#7 (April 1975) - Jean Thomas (writer), Winslow Mortimer (pencils), Mike Esposito and Tony Mortellaro (inks), A.J. Hays (editor)
Spidey Super Stories#11 (August 1975) - Jean Thomas (writer), Winslow Mortimer (pencils), Mike Esposito and Tony Mortellaro (inks), A.J. Hays (editor)
Spidey Super Stories#14 (December 1975) - Jean Thomas (writer), Winslow Mortimer (pencils), Mike Esposito and Tony Mortellaro (inks), A.J. Hays (editor)
First Posted: 10/29/2018
Last updated: 10/29/2018
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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