Vampires in The Green Lantern: Blackstars

The second issue of The Green Lantern: Blackstars by Grant Morrison, Xermanico, and Steve Oliff has a few fun vampire references. I don’t intend to annotate the entire issue, but here are a few things I noticed.

The name of the space vampire queen, Belzebeth, calls to mind Biblical demon Beelzebub with a sprinkling of Elizabeth Báthory. Báthory was a Hungarian countess from the 17th century who allegedly tortured and murdered hundreds of young girls. Like Vlad Dracula, her story was connected to vampirism only after her death. Her coat of arms resembles that of the Order of the Dragon.

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Her castle recalls many takes on Castle Dracula, though it seems to be sited on the water instead of above a chasm.

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Her husband, Count Vorlokk, resembles Count Orlok from 1922’s Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror, directed by F.W. Murnau, which was the one of the very first vampire films ever made and is a masterpiece of German Expressionism. Vorlokk turning into a Sun-Eater is a sensible if outrageous thing for a cosmic vampire to do. Sun-Eaters are DC universe creatures that do exactly what you think. He has a “cringing retinue of Renfields” (great language!). Renfield was the insane harbinger of Dracula in Bram Stoker’s novel.

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Their wedding namechecks 70s films Count Yorga, Vampire; “Carmilla,” which I talked about here and has been adapted into film several times; and 1978’s Martin directed by George A. Romero (most famous for Night of the Living Dead). “Mandrakk” is the villain of Morrison’s Final Crisis comic. He’s a corrupted version of the Anti-Monitor from Crisis on Infinite Earths who turns into a reality-eating vampire, and also an analogy for I guess comic book editors who have to make every story dark and gritty for the sake of short-term tales boosts. (Not relevant, but I just like to mention it.) The terms “Vampyroi” and “Clan Nosferaculux” are fun.

In the crowd are, among others, Brad Pitt’s Louis from Interview with the Vampire, Robert Pattinson’s Edward from Twilight, space vampire Vampirella, Morbius, the Living Vampire, the cast of What We Do in the Shadows, British half-vampire vampire hunter Blade, and more. The officiant is Vlad III Dracula (see his portrait on the Wikipedia page). I’m rather surprised I can’t pick out a David Bowie from The Hunger in the crowd.