Identity/Class: Human vampire;
active in the latter half of the 16th century);
former citizen of Japan (see comments);
Group Membership: Clan Kodo, Vampires of Earth
Affiliations: Those he vampirized (he vampirized some in Clan Kodo, and it spread throughout the rest of the clan;
Enemies: Jakkaru and his soldiers, Raizo Kodo;
at some point Lord and "Lady"/Mrs. Kodo
Known Relatives: Raizo Kodo (brother, deceased), Lord Kodo (father, deceased), Mrs./"Lady" Kodo (mother, deceased)
Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
formerly Clan Kodo's village in an unidentified location in 16th century Japan
First Appearance: Tomb of Dracula Presents: Throne of Blood (June, 2011)
Powers/Abilities: As a vampire, Ryuhei had superhuman strength (likely lifting 1000-4000 lbs.) 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. Those he vampirized may or may not have been subservient to him.
When fully fed, he could likely heal rapidly from non-fatal wounds.
He presumably has the standard vampire vulnerabilities, including sunlight, religious icons (such as the Judeo-Christian cross) and to the Montesi Formula, garlic, a wooden stake through the heart, and silver.
There is not evidence that he could mesmerize others with a gaze.
It is similarly unrevealed whether he could transform into a bat or wolf or into mist.
Even prior to his transformation, Ryuhei was a skilled swordsman (Raizo considered that Ryuhei may even be better than him and that he would rather have Ryuhei at his side than a dozen of their father's most skilled samurai). After becoming a vampire, Ryuhei's enhanced strength and speed made him much more powerful and deadly with a sword.
Height: Unrevealed (I estimated Raizo at 6' based on comparison to Dracula; Ryuhei was a couple inches shorter, so perhaps 5'10")
Weight: Unrevealed (perhaps 170-180 lbs.)
Eyes: Red; (pre-vampire) brown
Other distinguishing features: Pointed ears and enlarged maxillary canine teeth
(Fear Itself: Hulk vs. Dracula#1 (fb) - BTS) <1585> - Ryuhei (background) and his older brother, Raizo, were sent by their father, Lord Kodo, to assassinate the enemy warlord Jakkaru who had defeated the armies of five other warlords before threatening Clan Kodo.
(Fear Itself: Hulk vs. Dracula#1 (fb)) - Disguised as peasants, Raizo and Ryuhei trekked through the fields, as Raizo reminded Ryuhei to hide his sword.
When Ryuhei apologized, Raizo politely reminded him just to stay alert so their disguises could hold as long as possible.
Noting he did not mind an honest suicide mission, Ryuhei questioned why they could not have traveled under the cover of darkness, but Raizo told him how Jakkaru only battled during the night.
When Ryuhei noted his apprehension about Jakkaru's forces having defeated the other armies, Raizo reminded him that that was why their father had sent them covertly, rather than meeting in open battle.
The two brothers entered Jakkaru's base and took out a quartet of guards before confronting Jakkaru. As the warlord swiftly demonstrated his superior speed and strength, punching Ryuhei to the ground. Outmatched otherwise, Raizo wildly threw his sword to distract Jakkaru and then grabbed his sword arm, allowing Ryuhei to stab Jakkaru through the chest.
However, when Ryuhei attempted to find some personal token to show their father, Jakkaru swiftly spun and bit Ryuhei in the neck. Unwittingly grabbing a wood practice sword, Raizo decapitated the warlord.
Raizo then stole a horse and helped the weakened Ryuhei back to their home.
(Fear Itself: Hulk vs. Dracula#1 (fb)) - Having examined Ryuhei's wound, Lord Kodo's physician was perplexed, as the wound was superficial and not infected, and it would not explain his being weak and sluggish. He was concerned that Ryuhei had been possessed by an oni (demon or other mystical creature)
(Fear Itself: Hulk vs. Dracula#1 (fb) - BTS) - The women of Clan Kodo considered Ryuhei's affliction to be the result of a shapeshifting kitsune (fox).
(Fear Itself: Hulk vs. Dracula#1 (fb) - BTS) - Lord Kodo's cook considered Ryuhei's affliction to be the result of bad cabbage.
(Fear Itself: Hulk vs. Dracula#1 (fb)) - Begging Lord Kodo's forgiveness, his physician shared his concerns about Ryuhei's condition, and he discussed the rumors of Jakkaru eating the flesh and drinking the blood of those he had vanquished else as further evidence of this being a demon on a rampage. The physician noted that Jakkaru's spirit could have passed through the bite, at which point Lord Kodo silenced him, considering speculating on superstition to be unproductive.
Although Raizo suggested that they listen to the physician, his father countered that everybody had a theory, and that the simplest explanation was that Ryuhei had simply had a shock and needed nothing more than rest.
(Fear Itself: Hulk vs. Dracula#1 (fb) - BTS) - Over the next few days, Ryuhei regained his strength, but he brooded, and he snarled at the servants. Most unusually, he had seen in the village, coming and going at odd hours.
(Fear Itself: Hulk vs. Dracula#1 (fb)) - As Ryuhei told a pair of women they could both show him their gratitude for saving the village from Jakkaru, Raizo confronted Ryuhei and told him they needed to talk. Ryuhei sent the girls away, suggesting another time as his brother insisted on boring him with something. When Raizo expressed his concerns about Ryuhei's atypical behavior and how it was affecting the entire family and asked to help him, Ryuhei mocked Raizo as self-important and told him he would not be living in Raizo's shadow much longer and that Raizo would someday have more respect for him.(Fear Itself: Hulk vs. Dracula#1 (fb) - BTS) - As Lord and Lady Kodo began showing changes, avoiding sunlight and suffering headaches, Raizo made the three-day horse ride to Jakkaru's castle, where he learned some details of Jakkaru's transformation.
(Fear Itself: Hulk vs. Dracula#1 (fb) - BTS) - Returning to Clan Kodo's village, Raizo staked his transformed his parents and decapitated Suzume, but not before she had bitten him.
Slaughtering the rest of the transformed villagers, Raizo began to feel the effects of Suzume's bite.
(Fear Itself: Hulk vs. Dracula#1 (fb)) - Raizo confronted Ryuhei, who mockingly noted "always it must be Raizo's way." After which he told Raizo that he was meant to join them and that they could be Japan's most powerful clan. When Raizo refused to choose their way and attacked, Ryuhei noted that despite Raizo burning the castle to ash, Clan Kodo would live through him (Ryuhei) and that Raizo would die if he did not join him.
Ryuhei's superior strength and speed soon put Raizo at the disadvantage. However, burning logs then fell atop Ryuhei, and Raizo decapitated Ryuhei as he tried to climb out.
Comments: Created by Victor Gischler, Ryan Stegman, and Mike Babinski.
Ryuhei was likely revived by the prophecy fulfilled in Blade
III#12 that brought back every vampire that had ever perished.
Of course, it is possible that many of these were resurrected in broad daylight and incinerated...assuming they had the standard vampire weakness to sunlight.
The standard vampiric transition involves dying from the blood loss (a single non-fatal bite would not typically cause someone to transform) and then reviving three days later. However, there are numerous cases of much more rapid transformation as seen with Raizo, Ryuhei and others. Perhaps the vampire that bit Jakkaru was from a variant sect.
This profile was completed 5/22/2022, but its publication was delayed as it was intended for the Appendix 25th anniversary 's celebratory event.
Profile by Snood.
Ryuhei Kodo should be distinguished from:
Tomb of Dracula Presents: Throne of Blood (June, 2011) - Victor Gischler (writer), Goran Parlov (penciler), Dalibor Talajic (inker), Sebastian Girner (assistant editor), Daniel Ketchum (editor)
First posted: 08/19/2022
Last updated: 08/19/2022
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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