thornehill-jason-vamptales-pg10-pan6-adult JASON THORNEHILL

thornehill-jason-vamptales-pg9-pan4-adultfaceReal Name: Jason Thornehill

Identity/Class: Human
    active in 
pre-modern era, at least (presumably 1964-1974 A.D.)

Occupation: Unrevealed

Group Membership: Formerly Churchill Prep and an unidentified university student bodies

AffiliationsMartin Cunningham, Gus, Kit, Mr. Peterson, Nurse Stanton, unidentified artist/witness

EnemiesMartin Cunningham

Known RelativesGerry Thornehill (father, deceased/presumably vampirized),  Carla Thornehill (mother, deceased/presumably vampirized);
Martin Cunningham (adoptive father)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    formerly an unspecified location in New England;
    formerly Churchill Prep, somewhere in New England;
    formerly his parent's house/the Thornehill place, somewhere in New England

Education: Presumably at least a Bachelor of Science or Arts

First Appearance: Vampire Tales#8/3 (December, 1974)

Powers/Abilities: Jason had no special abilities, but he was brave and willing to take risks and to confront and stake a vampire.

    College educated, he had some degree of above average knowledge, and he appeared to be driven to succeed.

Height: Unrevealed (approximately 6'1" as an adult)
Weight: Unrevealed (approximately 205 lbs.)
Eyes: Unrevealed (black and white story; dark, so likely either brown or dark green or dark blue)
Hair: Dark brown (apparently; again, black and white story)

Vampire Tales#8/3 (fb) - BTS) - Jason was a student at Churchill Prep (presumably short for Preparatory Academy or School).

(Vampire Tales#8/3 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Jason had jumped off the giant oak tree Ol' Bailey into Churchill Prep's private pond/lake/swimming hole during daylight.

(Vampire Tales#8/3 (fb) - BTS) - Jason's friend Gus dared him to jump into the watering hole from Ol' Bailey at night, calling him a coward if he would not do it. Unwilling to turn down a dare. Jason brought Gus and Kit with him when he left their dorm after dark (at some point after 8pm) on the first really warm spring night.

(Vampire Tales#8/3 (fb)) - As Jason, Gus, and Kit approached Ol' Bailey, they were unaware of the vampire Martin Cunningham circling above them in bat form or landing on the ground nearby.

(Vampire Tales#8/3 (fb) - BTS) - Having sought to adopt a young man with whom to share his life and wealth, Cunningham considered that these youths would do nicely, as they were neither too young nor too old. Reminded of himself as a youth, Martin swiftly decided that Jason was the one he wanted.

(Vampire Tales#8/3 (fb)) - Noting that it was awfully dark, Kit suggested they should go back to the dorm, but Jason reminded him that a dare was a dare, and Jason further pointed out that no one could call him a coward, as he was not afraid of anything and anyone who said he was afraid was a liar. Even after Gus noted that he had been only kidding and agreed that they should go back, Jason told him that it was too late, as they were already there.

    As the boys stripped down to their underwear, both Gus and Kit were clearly concerned, noting that it was awfully quiet out there and that it was like the place was haunted, respectively. Jason teased his friends, asking what a ghost had ever done to them. Looking up at the giant oak, Gus stated that it was really high and asked if it was safe. Replying that he had done the dive in daylight before and that it was "a snap," Jason climbed high up into the tree until reaching the "diving board" branch, which slowly dipped under his weight. 

thornehill-jason-vamptales-pg3-pan6-bat    However, as Jason readied himself to jump, the vampire bat (Jason didn't see what it was) flew past him, startling him and causing him to fall backwards to the ground. Jason was knocked unconscious, and Gus and Kit decided to go get the principal to help. Cunningham then alighted on the ground in human form, noting that the boy was uninjured (he almost certainly had a concussion from being knocked unconscious from an impact); considering the boy to be brave and handsome, he confirmed that Jason was the one he wanted.

    As Jason revived, he confirmed that he thought he was alright, and Martin Cunningham introduced himself, claiming to have been taking a walk nearby when he heard someone call for help.
Jason was back on his feet and dressed by the time Gus and Kit returned with the principal, Mr. Peterson, and Nurse Stanton. As the nurse checked him over, Jason tried to explain how Mr. Cunningham had taken care of him, but Peterson interrupted, listing a number of rules Jason had broken. Martin then interrupted, suggesting that Peterson was being a little hard on the youth before noting that he had been thinking of making a donation of $50,000 to the school, but was reconsidering it if Churchill Prep was the sort of school that punished a boy for being mischievous...thornehill-jason-vamptales-pg6-pan2-youth-face-full-obl

    After Peterson changed his tune and assured him there would be no punishment, Martin told Jason that perhaps he would see him after school as they had a great deal about which to talk. Though grateful, Jason nonetheless felt a chill through his spine.

(Vampire Tales#8/3 (fb) - BTS) - Jason was disappointed when Martin did not show up after school.

(Vampire Tales#8/3 (fb)) - After sunset, Martin flew onto campus as a bat, descending to Earth and returning to human form unseen before greeting Jason. 

(Vampire Tales#8/3 (fb) - BTS) - Martin and Jason had a long talk, although something in Martin's manner disturbed Jason.

(Vampire Tales#8/3 (fb) - BTS) - Traveling to the Thornehill place, Martin fatally drained and drank the blood of Jason's parents, Carla and Gerry Thornehill. Hearing Carla's scream, an unidentified neighbor returning from a party rushed to see what was wrong and observed Martin's actions. 

(Vampire Tales#8/3 (fb) - BTS) - The witness escaped unharmed, and he apparently told others what he had seen but no one believed him. Haunted by the events, the man eventually descended into alcoholism. 

(Vampire Tales#8/3 (fb)) - The next day, Kit -- informed and accompanied by Mr. Peterson -- awakened Jason and told him of his parents' death.

(Vampire Tales#8/3 (fb) - BTS) - Believing his parents to have died (perhaps accidentally, rather than having been killed), Jason spent the next two days in a fog. As he did not have any other relatives, friends of his father made the arrangements for the funeral and the burial.thornehill-jason-vamptales-pg7-pan2-cunningham-hug

(Vampire Tales#8/3 (fb)) - Even standing over his parents' graves, Jason still could not believe they were dead. He saw Martin waiting for him, and Martin comforted Jason, telling him he would see about adopting him.thornehill-jason-vamptales-growingup

(Vampire Tales#8/3 (fb)) - In the ensuing years, which Jason would considered to have passed quickly and to have been "strange but pleasant," Martin treated Jason as his heir: He sent Jason to the best schools, dressed him in the best clothes, and eventually provided him with the best cars.

(Vampire Tales#8/3 (fb) - BTS) - Jason came across a 10-year-old Daily Bugle headline article describing his parents as having been slain in a "bizarre blood ritual."

(Vampire Tales#8/3 (fb)) - Jason discussed the matter with Martin, who told him he could investigate if he felt he must, but he advised against it, as sometimes the past should remain buried. Jason insisted that if it took the rest of his life, he would find who had murdered his parents and then take his revenge; Martin remained silent as Jason departed.

(Vampire Tales#8/3 (fb)) - Jason located the witness to his parents' murder and pressured him to tell heard his story. Knowing the man had been an artist, Jason asked him to draw the killer's face.

(Vampire Tales#8/3 (fb) - BTS) - Jason bought the witness a pint (presumably of beer, but possibly some other form of alcohol), and the witness drew the picture. Seeing the image and recognizing it as Martin, Jason resolved what he had to do. Armed with a wooden stake, he headed back home.

(Vampire Tales#8/3 (fb)) - When Jason returned home, Martin -- realizing Jason had learned the truth -- asked him to understand that he always been a lonely man; that Jason was so much like he had been before being stricken with "this affliction"; and that he had wanted Jason to be his son and to take is inheritance. When Martin asked if that was such a terrible thing while exposing his fangs, Jason thrust a wooden stake into his heart, and Martin crumbled to dust.thornehill-jason-vamptales-pg10-pan5-staking

    Jason considered that all Martin had given him was a ten-year nightmare and an inheritance of blood.

Comments: Created by Carla & Gerry Conway and Alfredo Alcala. 

    The first names of Carla and Gerry Thornehill were revealed in Vampires: The Marvel Undead.
    More detail was provided here, as there wasn't room for all of the information in the printed book (additionally, Carla & Gerry's information came in after all of the space for headshots was filled):

    The first names of Jason's parents were obviously in homage to writers Gerry & Carla Conway.

    Being fatally drained by a vampire is the most consistent means by which a person is transformed into a vampire, so Jason's parents would most likely have become vampires. They were buried two days after their deaths, and most vampires revive three days after their mortal deaths. However, perhaps Martin wished to prevent this, and he visited their graves and staked them or something.

    Martin was likely revived by the prophecy fulfilled in Blade III#12 that brought back every vampire that had ever perished. The same is true for Carla and Gerry Thornehill, assuming they were vampirized as expected.

    Jason's age was not specified...I had thought it said that he was 10 years-old, but there are tons of references to ten years since his parents death and I think I may have misread a reference to the headline of his parents' death being from a 10-year-old newspaper. Regardless, the kids look like they could have been anywhere from 10-14-years-old. Jason was a few inches taller than either of his friends, and he was about up to the chin of Martin Cunningham, whose height I estimated to be 5'11". Ballparking Jason at 5' tall at that point, if his two friends were average height for their age, that fits with them being 11-years-old and being born circa 1953...ish.

    Stories that occur without any direct ties to the modern Marvel Universe are typically considered to have occurred at the time of publication and outside of the sliding timescale. As this story covered a 10 year flashback and was printed in 1974, I would think the earliest portions of the story would have taken place in 1964. The end point of the story was considered the present time of the narrator, Jason Thornehill. Regardless, Jason's sideburns and the style of the clothing fits for the 70s for me. 

    Jason Thornehill could be a candidate for the Legion of Night, if anyone remembers them!

    Jason is additionally pictured in a number of images in Martin Cunningham's profile.

Profile by Snood.

Jason Thornehill
should be distinguished from:

images: (without ads)
Vampire Tales#8/3, pg. 1, panel 4 (young Jason with Gus & Kit);
        pg. 2, panel 3 (youthful face, frontal, minor word balloon cutoff);
        pg. 3, panel 6 (startled by bat);
        pg. 6, panel 2 (youthful face, full, oblique);
        pg. 7, panel 2 (hugging Martin);
            panel 4-8 (Jason growing up);
        pg. 9, panel 4 (adult face);
        pg. 10, panel 5 (staking Martin);
            panel 6 (adult full body)

Vampire Tales#8/3: "The Inheritance" (December, 1974) - Carla & Gerry Conway (writers), Alfredo Alcala (artist), Marv Wolfman (editor), Tony Isabella (consulting editor)

First posted06/18/2022
Last updated: 07/29/2022

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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