Real Name: Giuseppe MontesiIdentity/Class: Human magic-user;
Occupation: Custodian of the Darkhold;
rank of Monsignore within the Roman Catholic Church
Affiliations: Various within the Roman Catholic
Church; unidentified American tourist and others he saved from vampires;
worshipped the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God
Enemies: Chthon and his agents, Dracula, Maria, vampires in general
Known Relatives: Paolo Montesi (ancestor, deceased), "Raffaela" Montesi (ancestor, deceased; see comments), Giacomo Montesi (ancestor,
deceased), Marcello Montesi (ancestor, deceased), Luciano Montesi
(ancestor, deceased), Vittorio Montesi (brother), Victoria Montesi (adoptive niece); unidentified father and mother (last name almost certainly Montesi);
various unidentified grandparents, great-grandparents (and possibly
previous generations), daughters-in-law, granddaughters-in-law,
"amateur," "pious old jackass," "pompous little giant-killer," "sanctimonious, senile old fool," (all insults by Dracula)
Base of Operations: The Vatican, Rome
First Appearance: Dracula Lives#6 (May, 1974)
Powers/Abilities: Giuseppe had extensive knowledge of the theology and the Catholic church, as well as vast occult knowledge.
Most notably, Giuseppe had memorized what was known as the Montesi formula, and he could use it to incinerate a vampire.
He was a man of letters, of contemplative reflection, of quiet study and philosophic investigation. While not a man of action by nature, he became a vampire-slayer out of a sense of duty to his fellow man. However, lacking experience in combat, Giuseppe did not necessarily act with appropriate haste, nor did he always strike when the opporunity unexpectedly arose.
strong religious faith allowed him to read the Darkhold without being corrupted
Giuseppe's lifespan was elongated by his proximity to the Darkhold.
Height: Approximately 5'7"
Weight: Approximately 170 lbs.
Eyes: Dark (presumably brown)
Hair: Brown in youth; including mustache
(Dracula Lives#6 (fb - BTS) – Giuseppe Montesi was a modern-day descendant of the Montesi lineage, with his ancestor Paolo having been chosen by Pope Eugene III as custodian of the Darkhold. The Roman Catholic church had inherited the stack of notes from Father Ramon Joquez of California, who had been in possession of the Darkhold and possessed by the spirit of the Mad Monk Aelfric.
As per long-standing policy in Darkhold-related matters, the Church handed the notes to Giuseppe. By studying them, he rediscovered and memorized the incantation to destroy vampires known as the “Montesi Formula.”
(Dracula Lives#6 (fb) - BTS) – Giuseppe used the formula on newly-created vampires.
Giuseppe became known within the local vampire community.
Giuseppe mailed a copy of the Darkhold incantation to destroy vampires to Quincy Harker.
(Dracula Lives#6) – In Rome, Giuseppe rushed to rescue an American tourist about to be assaulted by a vampire named Maria. As the victim succumbed to her mesmeric stare, Giuseppe assured the tourist that Maria's hunt was ended. Giuseppe then ordered Maria to turn and face him. Immediately recognizing Montesi, Maria was agonized by his cross. Giuseppe then warned her that the cross was not the only weapon he wielded, and he told her to listen to the words from the Darkhold, words that called forth the power to banish her to oblivion. Although he didn't even know the precise meaning of the words, Giuseppe voiced them, and Maria burst into flames, leaving behind only ashes.
Infuriated by Giuseppe's piousness, Dracula resolved to follow him and confront him that night, but he was horrified when Giuseppe arrived at the Vatican. Agonized by the Vatican's holy nature, Dracula screeched in pain and flew away. Hearing this and correctly identifying the sound as that of a wounded bat, Giuseppe shouted out to Dracula that he had been expecting him. As Dracula continued to fly away, Giuseppe noted that he was not yet ready to deal with Dracula, but he felt that they would soon have a reckoning, although he assumed that it could not happen in the Vatican.
(Dracula Lives#6 - BTS) – Feeling Montesi had laughed at him, the enraged Dracula ultimately resolved to breach the Vatican and destroy Montesi's copy of the Darkhold incantation to prevent the extermination of himself and his people. Dracula subsequently ambushed and slew a pair of priests, donning their hats and robes to disguise himself, and forced himself to walk into the Vatican despite the pain it caused him. Forcing himself to gaze only at the ground to avoid viewing the cross, Dracula asked a priest encountered for Montesi's location, and he was informed that Montesi would most likely be in the archives, continuing his research.
(Dracula Lives#6) – Giuseppe examined his copy of the incantation, considering the unidentified language in which it was written and how learning this linguistic code could lead to learning the origin of the Darkhold and a lost culture they never knew before, as well as ridding the world of Dracula and his ilk.
Giuseppe was caught unprepared when Dracula suddenly burst into his
room, shoved him out of the way by the face, grabbed the Darkhold
Incantation, and shoved it into the flames of a lit candle. Dracula
mocked Montesi, noting he was no Harker or Van Helsing or Blade, but
that he only knew a magic trick that went up in smoke. |
As Montesi fled the room, Dracula mocked his hopes and dreams as burning in his hand.
(Dracula Lives#6 - BTS) – After further gloating, Dracula realized that while he had intended to let Montesi live to spend the rest of his days reliving his defeat, that Montesi must have committed the spell to memory. Dracula then rushed out of the room intending to slay Montesi; however, he continued to encounter and be agonized by religious iconagraphy. He resolved that his quest was futile and that the place was a death trap for him.(Dracula Lives#6) – Dracula then encountered Montesi in the Sistine Chapel. Warning Dracula that by finding him he had found doom in God's house, Montesi raised his hands in prayer and asked the Lord to hear him as he began to recite the incantation to destroy vampires. Realizing the danger, Dracula dove atop Montesi, silencing him and smashing his head into the floor. Dying, Montesi nonetheless warned Dracula not to laugh as he had days ago mailed a copy of the incantation to Quincy Harker.
As Giuseppe died, Dracula rushed away, denouncing this warning as lies.
A group of priests/monks then entered the room and found Montesi's body. Noting that he had been murdered before the very face of the lord, one of their number asked if they shouldn't call the police.
Another noted that they would do so in time, but that a man that evil couldn't help but be caught or reveal himself. Instead, that priest/monk advised that they attend to their lost brother and pray for his soul, as well as for that of his murderer.
(Dr. Strange, Sorcerer Supreme#15/2/Jean-Marc Lofficier) - Giuseppe Montesi had no son that we know of, but left behind a brother, Vittorio.
Comments: Created by Steve Gerber, Gene Colan, and Ernie Chua.
The provenance of that Darkhold was as follows: After the execution of the mad monk Aelfric in Spain in 1149, Paolo Montesi had obtained possession of a number of scrolls from the Darkhold. Marcello Montesi completed it with other scrolls obtained from Kamar-Taj. C. 1459 AD, that Darkhold was stolen from Marcello’s unidentified son by the gypsy thief Murgo under the direction of Dracula, but Cagliostro slew Murgo and took the Darkhold for himself. He then lost it prior to 1785 in as yet unrevealed circumstances. It fell at some point in the hands of the vampire Lord Ruthven in Greece. It was eventually found and recovered in Istanbul by Cagliostro’s son Taboo at the end of WWII. Taboo unwittingly sold it to Baron (Gregor) Russoff. From there, it was inherited by Laura Russell, who sold it to Miles Blackgar, and from there it fell into the hands of Father Joquez. The Darkhold was then reclaimed by Dracula and, after a battle with Rachel van Helsing, purposefully discarded by the Vampire Lord in the Alps. There it was found by Morgan Le Fey.
copy mailed by Giuseppe to Quincy Harker obviously never reached the latter, who
would otherwise have used it, but we know that it was later destroyed when
Dracula fought the X-Men in Pendrammon Castle.
That copy was obviously intercepted and destroyed by Dracula’s agents.
Dracula Lives#6, he was just identified as "Montesi," and he was the
first Montesi identified in the Marvel Universe. His first name was
first revealed in the Book of the Vishanti feature in Doctor Strange,
Montesi's wife was not shown on panel, nor was she named as anything
other than the mother of his son. However, as Paolo was both a deeply
religious man and he had been given dispensation to marry to sire
children, this was almost certainly his wife. As not taking a husband's
last name was not common at the time, I would think her last name was
almost certainly Montesi. Jean-Marc Lofficier confirmed this, and he
provided the name Raffaela for her. At the time of this profile,
however, that information has yet to see print in a Marvel Comic.
We know that Giuseppe didn't have a son, but we don't know whether he had a wife.
Giuseppe thought to decipher the language in the Darkhold incantation
(aka the Montesi formula, although I'm not sure it was ever called that
until X-Men Annual#6) in hopes of learning the origins of the
We now know the Darkhold was created by Chthon, but this story was published in 1974, Chthon was created in the comics and revealed as the Darkhold's creator until 1979 (although, as the Other, he appeared in Marvel Chillers#1 in 1975)
Unlike Varnae, Dracula didn't predate Christianity or Catholicism, and so he is vulnerable to the related religious symbols. Dracula
is sometimes crippled by a normal person holding a cross. I think
special circumstances would have been needed for Dracula to enter the
Vatican and bypass all the Catholic symbols amongst a wealth of people
with extreme faith in those symbols. I would like to see a story
explaining how Dracula used some mystic item or spell to breach the
Vatican, bypass all of the symbols, and assault Monsignore Montesi
therein, even after he had started reciting the incantation of vampiric
As the Montesis had extended lifespans via exposure to the Darkhold, I
would have preferred to have Dracula's encounter with Giuseppe have
occurred in 1974, rather than being part of the sliding timescale. Many
of the magazine stories fit into the time that they were published, and
there's nothing actually in-story that would contradict this for
Giuseppe...however, the narrator specifically references modern era
events, such as encounters with Topaz and "a werewolf" with a footnote
referencing Tomb of Dracula I#18 and Werewolf by Night I#15. While
Dracula had encountered various werewolves over the centuries, Topaz is
a bit more of a specific reference...plus the footnote. It would take
some in-story ret-con to reverse that I think. So, we have to include
Giuseppe in the modern era, meaning Dracula slew him less than 10-12
years ago, and moving forward with time. Boo.
This profile was completed 05/27/2021, but its publication was delayed as it was intended for the Appendix 20th anniversary 's celebratory event.
Profile by Jean-Marc Lofficier and Snood, with assistance from Loki (digital image supplier).
Giuseppe Montesi has no known connection to:
Dracula Lives#6, pg. 1, panel 1 (holding cross in stairwell)
pg. 2, panel 1 ("turn bloodsucker");
pg. 2, panel 4 (showing Montesi formula in effect);
pg. 4, panel 1 (good headshot, hearing scream);
pg. 8, panel 1 (research mode);
pg. 10, panel 1 (confronting Dracula in the Sistine Chapel");
panel 2 (trying to incant Dracula to death);
panel 3-4 (fatally injured by Dracula);
panel 5 (last words, defiant to the end);
panel 9 (body discovered.)
Dracula Lives#6 (May, 1974) - Steve Gerber (writer), Gene Colan (penciler), Ernie Chua (inker), (editor)
Dr. Strange, Sorcerer Supreme#9/2 (November, 1989) - Roy Thomas, Jean-Marc & Randy Lofficier (writers), David Day (penciler), Dan Day (inker), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Dr. Strange, Sorcerer Supreme#15/2 (March, 1990) - Roy Thomas, Jean-Marc & Randy Lofficier (writers), David & Dan Day (artists), Ralph Macchio (editor)
First posted: 09/05/2021
Last updated: 03/07/2022
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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