For this weekend’s escapist superhero post Balladeer’s Blog will take a Halloween Season look at Marvel Comics’ character Lilith, the daughter of Dracula. 

gs chillers 1GIANT-SIZE CHILLERS Vol 1 #1 (June 1974) 

Title: Night of the She-Demon 

Villain: Dracula

NOTE: In the 1970s Marvel Comics launched several horror titles, most of which I have reviewed previously here at Balladeer’s Blog. One of those horror titles dealt with Dracula being on the loose in the present day. Lilith’s tales took place in that same continuity.

Synopsis: In England, Dracula visits one of his human thralls, Lord Henry, to order him to pursue diplomatic immunity for an alias that Drac will adopt. 

The undead count’s presence in England has supernaturally triggered some stirring in a grave outside London. It is the grave of Dracula’s daughter Lilith, who was put there 30 years ago by vampire hunter Quincy Harker, Marvel Comics’ descendant of Jonathan Harker from the 1897 novel Dracula.

Dracula’s presence in the same country as Lilith is one of the conditions necessary for her to return from the grave. Another condition is the nearness of a woman who hates her father as much as Lilith hates her own father. (I will explain Lilith’s odd vampiric nature shortly.) 

In a home near the cemetery live the O’Haras. Beautiful young redhead Angel O’Hara’s hatred of her father reaches the boiling point as he smacks her around for getting pregnant while not married. Her boyfriend Ted Hannigan tries to stop Angel’s father but the father, Martin, fights back and accidentally kills him. 

lilith fangsAngel’s rage at Martin now serves to lure Lilith’s spirit out of her grave and to the O’Hara household. She possesses Angel as she has done with many women over the centuries and mystically transforms the redhead’s face and body into her own, complete with fangs and black hair. 

Lilith drains Martin O’Hara of all his blood, then turns into a bat and flies off. Through a comic book coincidence, Dracula himself is at large that same night and spots his daughter (yes, he recognizes her even in bat form), then follows her to a soccer match. 

The pair confront each other and their conversation provides Lilith’s origin: in the 1400s she was born to Vlad Dracula and his wife through a forced marriage. Because it was a loveless match, Vlad named their daughter Lilith from Biblical lore to spite his religious wife. 

After years of mistreating Lilith and her mother, Drac cast them out. Her mother committed suicide rather than live as a commoner and Lilith was then raised by gypsies. Lianda, her gypsy mother, saw her son killed years later by the now-vampiric Vlad Dracula. 

lilith fingerAs revenge, Lianda used gypsy magic to turn the father-hating Lilith into a vampire with qualities all her own. Lilith was glad to be able to pursue and oppose her father over the centuries, but mercilessly preyed on humans as well. 

Lilith could possess other women and turn their bodies into duplicates of her own and back to normal at will. In a host body Lilith was immune to daylight and holy relics. Otherwise her abilities were mostly those of other vampires.

Back to the present day, Lilith asks Dracula to put aside their personal war and join forces for a time. Dracula refuses and the two part company aware that their deadly enmity is back in effect now that Lilith has risen from the grave. 

vt 6VAMPIRE TALES Vol 1 #6 (August 1974) 

Title: The Axe Man 

Villain: The Axe Man

Synopsis: Lilith has had her host body Angel O’Hara move to New York City to get away from living in a country where her father has many of his thralls. This particular story picks up when Lilith, in her Angel O’Hara form, is attacked by a pair of rapists late one night. 

Lilith shows her true self and feeds on the would-be rapists. Meanwhile, a woman-hating serial killer called the Axe Man by the media has been murdering women with his axe. As Angel O’Hara, Lilith insinuates herself into the life of Martin Gold, the boyfriend of the Axe Man’s latest victim. 

Needless to say, Lilith comes face to face with the Axe Man and shows him that there are deadlier things than himself roaming the nighttime streets. 

tod25TOMB OF DRACULA Vol 1# 25 (October 1974)

Title: The Night Staker

Synopsis: Vampire private detective Hannibal King explains how Lilith reached New York City a little while back. She took a night flight on a DC-10 from London to New York. There were 76 people total on the flight. On their way over the Atlantic, Lilith fed on her fellow passengers and enthralled the crew. 

After landing , the vampress fed on the crew and fled. The authorities found the other 75 people on board dead, drained of blood via two holes on each of their throats.  

lilith blood bookDRACULA LIVES Vol 1 #10 (January 1975) 

Title: The Blood Book 

Villains: A gang of heroin dealers 

Synopsis: Lilith, in her Angel O’Hara body, is still living with Martin Gold, the aspiring writer, and by night preys on an abusive biker and other predators toward women.   

The bookstore where Martin works is also a front for heroin dealers who dispense their goods in bags concealed inside hollowed-out books. 

Inevitably, Lilith stalks and preys upon the entire gang to extricate innocent Martin from legal entanglements with them. 

dl 11DRACULA LIVES Vol 1 #11 (March 1975) 

Title: Nobody Anybody Knows 

Villain: The Faceless One 

Synopsis: Prowling the night-darkened streets, Lilith saves another woman from a rapist. As she feeds on the would-be assailant the vampress reflects on how much more refreshing she finds the blood of vile souls who no longer deserve to live.

lilith feedingIn New York City she has a ready supply of the lowest criminals imaginable, limiting the interest that the police take in solving the slaying of her victims. This helps her maintain a low profile until she can completely adjust to the present-day and find an opportunity to strike at her hated father, whose legions far outnumber her at the moment. 

As Angel O’Hara, Lilith still lives with Martin Gold. She takes a job with the New York Oracle, a counterculture newspaper in New York City. Soon, a mass murderer begins corresponding with the public via the Oracle’s classified ads. 

lilith looks onNaturally, Lilith intervenes, slaying the faceless, anonymous killer but not before he has shot six people to death, including two police officers.

Lilith reflects on how much cities have changed since she was put in her grave by Quincy Harker over 30 years ago. They are now even more savage and dehumanizing.

lilithbeatingdracTOMB OF DRACULA Vol 1 #60 (August 1977)

Title: The Wrath of Dracula 

Villain: Dracula

Synopsis: In flashback, Count Dracula recalls a turn of the century clash between him and his daughter Lilith.

In France, Dracula had had a bad run of three nights in a row with no victim and he was growing weak from not feeding. Each time he was closing in on a potential victim, Lilith swooped in and took them for herself, draining them before her father could catch up to her.

lilithimpaledAfter two more nights in a row of Lilith stalking him and stealing his prey, the count grew desperate. Using nearly the last of his strength he took bat form and flew across the Channel to England, with his daughter still following him. 

Reaching London, Dracula lured her to the top of Big Ben, where he took her by surprise and caused her impalement death before slaking his thirst for blood in the city below. Before long Lilith was revived and resumed hunting her father. 

mp 12MARVEL PREVIEW Vol 1 #12 (September 1977) 

Title: Profits Are Plunging

Villain: Kallen Chemical Works   

Synopsis: Lilith’s host body Angel O’Hara is still living with struggling writer Martin Gold. Martin still has no idea that his lady love is really Lilith the daughter of Dracula. 

Still unpublished, Martin has been forced to accept a job writing P.R. releases for Kallen Chemical Works, run by Walter Kallen. Angel still works for the New York Oracle. 

Despite herself, the bemused and perplexed Lilith finds herself genuinely beginning to care for Martin Gold, given how well he treats her alter ego. One day Martin discovers that he’s been writing publicity blurbs for a Kallen Chemical Works formula which brings in millions but is causing irreparable damage to the ocean. 

lilith bitingIt turns out that Kallen’s company is just as crooked as Marvel Comics’ Roxxon (Exxon) and Brand Corporation (Rand Corporation) and Walter Kallen wants his armed goons to take Martin on a fatal car trip before he can carry through on his threats to expose the company. 

Lilith assumes her true form and takes on Kallen and his four thugs. After one of them gets lucky and throws her out the 40th floor window she turns into a bat to save herself and then continues her attack. She kills Walter and several of his gunmen while saving Martin from them. As the story ends, he still has no idea that Angel is really Lilith.

lilith and muggersMARVEL PREVIEW Vol 1 #16 (September 1978)

Title: Death by Disco 

Villains: Assorted disco hedonists

Synopsis: Lilith, while hunting throughout New York City one night, saves a very old woman from being mugged and tortured by a pair of muggers. Naturally she preys on the assailants then heads home to become Angel again.  

lilith insultAngel O’Hara and Martin Gold still live together, with him still oblivious about her dual identity. With disco fever infecting the USA he is writing a novel about disco music being a supernatural force which enchants its dancers and turns them evil. 

Meanwhile, at the Oracle, Angel accepts an assignment from the editor to write an article about the disco scene when the increasingly obnoxious and pudgy Martin refuses to write the story.

Angel visits a disco called the Ice Palace that night and soon transforms into Lilith due to the overly handsy and overly coked-up nature of the men in the place. At one point she even has to smack around an overly aggressive come-on artist. 

lilithfaceShe remains in Lilith form deep into the night, since the crowd at the Ice Palace assume she’s just another New Yorker with a kinky “look.” Eventually she lures this disco’s dancing king – T.J. Novello – away from his “queen” – Della Fiorella, infuriating her. 

T.J. and Lilith head out into the night, where he shares his nihilistic, self-mythologizing philosophy with her. For once, Lilith is genuinely intrigued by a human being outside of Martin Gold. T.J. may be arrogant but he is also well-built, handsome and a magnetic dancer. 

tjlilithLilith is also fascinated by his tendency to commit robberies on the spur of the moment when something catches his eye. Their conversation eventually leads them to T.J.’s desire to die violently and spectacularly, to cement his “legend.” 

Lilith is about to grant him his wish by feeding upon him, but suddenly T.J. is shot to death. His killer is the jealous Della, who was egged on to follow and kill her “king” by two male disco-goers who accompanied her to the scene of this murder.

lilithlipLilith slaughters and feeds upon the men with Della, then transfixes Della and orders her to dance for her. While she watches Della dance as she had watched T.J. earlier, she is filled with desire for her, too. 

NOTE: In Marvel’s black & white magazines they could get away with more adult topics and even some occasional toplessness. 

Lilith feeds upon Della then returns to her and Martin’s apartment and becomes Angel O’Hara again.

tod67TOMB OF DRACULA Vol 1 #67 (November 1978)

Title: At Long Last … Lilith

Villain: Dracula 

NOTE: By this point, Tomb of Dracula‘s initial run was rapidly coming to an end and would be canceled with issue # 70. The writers finally decided to return to their obviously forgotten Lilith subplot before the series came to a close. 

Synopsis: Dracula, at this particular point in his series, had ticked off Satan, who withdrew Drac’s vampiric form and powers, condemning him to be stuck as a mere penniless mortal. Dracula has arrived in New York City in search of Lilith, hoping he can persuade her into turning him back into a vampire. 

NOTE: I have no idea why he would think that, but like I said, the series was coming to a close so the writers couldn’t be picky about how they forced Lilith in before the finale. 

lilcolLilith lures her hated father to her and Martin Gold’s apartment where, with extreme contempt, she refuses to grant him his wish, knowing how a human existence is so demeaning to the haughty count. She then toys with the furious Dracula, smacking him around at will since he is now a weak human being. 

Vile as he is, Count Dracula is no coward and he continues attacking Lilith while she laughs at him and taunts him, luring him out into the nighttime streets of New York City. Eventually, their fight takes them inside a theater where a play is being performed. 

lidracLilith continues to enjoy toying with her father, forcing rats to attack him in large numbers, then feral dogs and finally having enthralled humans attack him. Like her father often has in the past, Lilith has toyed too long, and suddenly Quincy Harker and his team of vampire hunters have arrived on the scene, drawn by news reports. 

Fearful that Quincy Harker will again send her to her grave, Lilith flees, assuming that the vampire hunters will finish off her powerless father. (Idiotically, they won’t, unwilling to kill a human. Drac pays them back by killing Quincy and the others when he becomes a vampire again.)

NOTE: And that ends Lilith’s early adventures. She had never become popular enough to earn her own monthly or even bi-monthly series. In 1983 she died along with all other vampires on Earth when Blade the Vampire Slayer and Dr. Strange obtained the Darkhold and recited the Montessi Formula

That was because Marvel decided to cancel horror series and all vampire, werewolf, etc stories. By around 1990 they changed their minds and brought back all their horror characters. Lilith has made periodic appearances ever since. 









Filed under Halloween Season, Superheroes


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