COUNT VICUNA

Real Name: Vicuna (first name unrevealed)

Identity/Class: Human vampire (possibly alternate reality centuries ago; see comments);
   citizen of Hungary

Occupation: Aristocrat

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Lucifer (see comments)

Enemies: Humans

Known RelativesNatasha (wife, deceased)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: A castle somewhere in Hungary

First Appearance: Mystic#16/2 (January, 1953)

Powers/Abilities: Count Vicuna presumably possessed the standard abilities of a vampire. He could transform into a bat at will or a giant bat-like form. He needed human blood as nourishment, and his bite infected his victims with the same strain of vampirism, turning them into vampires themselves. He was apparently paralyzed during daylight and could only move at night. He was immune to harm from any conventional weapons and could only be slain with a wooden stake carved out of White Aspen driven through his heart.

Height: Unrevealed (5'10"; by approximation)
Weight: Unrevealed (180 lbs.; by approximation)
Eyes: Unrevealed (impossible to determine)
Hair: Brown

History:
(Mystic#16/2 (fb) - BTS) - Centuries ago a young, rich, spoiled and arrogant aristocrat named Count Vicuna lived in Hungary. Though he could have one of the richest women in Hungary as his bride, he had fallen in love with a peasant girl named Natasha and constantly nagged her about marrying him, which she always declined.

(Mystic#16/2) - One day Vicuna was on his way out for a ride in his carriage, but before he left he ordered his servant Hans to have the scullery boy whipped because he had been causing trouble in the kitchen. Vicuna rode to the fields where Natasha was working to ask her once again for her hand, but she declined to marry him because she hated him and considered him the most horrible man she had ever met.

   At night Vicuna watched Natasha go home with another man. Vicuna swore to make her his even if he had to sell his soul to the Devil. That evening when Vicuna returned back home he found a strange visitor in his study. Vicuna thought the man was wearing a costume, but the horned, red-skinned creature assured him that it was not and introduced himself as Lucifer. He offered Vicuna the love of Natasha in exchange for his soul. Lucifer gave a contract to Vicuna, who signed it with his blood.

   The next evening Natasha came to Count Vicuna's garden and asked Vicuna for forgiveness for being such a fool to decline his offer to marry her. Her love for Vicuna had miraculously been awakened and she now desired to be Vicuna's wife. Vicuna forgave her and told her that they would be married the next day.

   The wedding between Vicuna and Natasha was most the most elaborate the small village had ever seen and everyone was in attendance including Lucifer.

   Over the next few months Vicuna witnessed in disappointment how Natasha lost all her beauty and looked more and more like she was about to die any minute. Vicuna learned from Natasha that she kept hearing a voice that told her that she would die, which she did not long after. 

    Vicuna didn't understand how this beautiful woman could turn into a hag in only a few months and then die. It seemed like evil magic to him, at which moments Lucifer entered the room. It was him that had cheated Vicuna of his love, and he was now there to claim Vicuna's soul. Lucifer took Vicuna's soul to Hades and turned his body into the first of a new generation of creatures that would wander Earth for all eternity and feed on human blood.

   From that day on Vicuna lay still in a coffin during the day and rose during the night to hunt humans for their blood. He flew across the village transformed into a bat and each of his victims became a vampire as well. Vampires quickly spread to all corners of Earth.

   The fate of Vicuna remains unrevealed.

Comments: Created by unidentified writer & artist.

    The story of Count Vicuna was told by an unidentified man, secretly a vampire, at the White Horse Inn in the small Hungarian village Arad to some unidentified patrons, who were not too pleased when the vampire showed his true nature to quench his thirst on them.

    When did this story take place? A few centuries ago according to the narrator, but here is the problem. The way the Vicuna was dressed in the flashbacks the story could not have taken place earlier than the middle of the 19th century. His type of top hat was created between the 1840s and the 1850s in the United States and not earlier. This could be artistic license or the main story actually took place at some point in the future of an alternate Earth. Maybe humanity was hindered on this Earth to become more technologically advanced by the rise of the vampires.

It is unlikely that this story took place on Earth-616 for various additional reasons:

  1. The fact that vampires were unknown only a couple of centuries before this story took place. Vampires had been around on Earth-616 for millennia!
  2. The fact that Count Vicuna was the first vampire according to the narrator! Varnae begs to differ! Though there are different strains of vampires, which makes it kind of possible that he was part of a different strain.
  3. Lucifer (or maybe another Hell-lord using that name) was involved in the creation of vampires. Different kinds of vampires exist, but most of them AFAIK were connected to Chthon. Maybe this Lucifer was Chthon or one of his agents in disguise, but it was pretty clear what was intended. Lucifer aka. the Devil created him according to the story!
  4. Vampires were such a huge problem that humans didn't even dare to go out at night. It is possible that this was a local problem in this area of Hungary because vampires originated in this land. Maybe it was not such a big deal in other parts of the world, but it still seemed a bit weird.
  5. I agree that it seems less likely, but, as you note, there are several ways this could still fit in with Earth-616. Being a variant strain of vampire is one easy out.
    --Snood

    This profile was completed 07/20/2021, but its publication was delayed as it was intended for the Appendix 20th anniversary 's celebratory event.

Profile by Markus Raymond.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Count Vicuna should not be confused with:


Natasha

    She was a servant girl, who was courted by Count Vicuna for a long time. She refused to marry him.

    One day while working the fields she was again approached by Vicuna, who asked her if she had reconsidered his offer. Natasha coldly told him that she would never marry him because she hated him and considered him the most horrible man she ever met. It was already night when she went home from work, watched by Vicuna.

    The next evening Natasha had changed her mind, due to the influence of Lucifer, and she begged Vicuna in his garden to forgive her for being such a fool before. Her love for Vicuna had been awakened and she now wanted to be his wife.

    Count Vicuna and Natasha got married the next day in the most elaborate wedding the village had ever seen. Everyone attended, including Lucifer.

    Over the next few months Natasha grew more haggard with each day. Her skin became wrinkled and with each day looked more like she was going to die. When her husband confronted her about her declining beauty and health, Natasha revealed that she was hearing a voice that told her she was going to die. Not long after Natasha died, looking like an old hag. After her death Lucifer told Vicuna that he was behind her death and then claimed Vicuna's soul.

--Mystic#16/2


images (without ads)
Mystic#16/2, p3, pan7 (main)
Mystic#16/2, p3, pan6 (head shot)
Mystic#16/2, p2, pan2 (with top hat)
Mystic#16/2, p4, pan5 (bat form)
Mystic#16/2, p2, pan4 (Natasha)
Mystic#16/2, p3, pan7 (Natasha, dead)


Appearances:
Mystic#16/2 (January, 1953) - unidentified writer, unidentified artist, Stan Lee (editor)


First Posted: 09/02/2021
Last updated: 08/29/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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