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Dr. Rachel van Helsing
Comic image missing.svg
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Tomb of Dracula #3 (Jul 1972)
Created by Archie Goodwin and Gene Colan
In-story information
Species Vampire
Partnerships Quincy Harker's band of vampire hunters

Rachel van Helsing is a fictional character in the Marvel Universe.

Fictional character biography

Rachel van Helsing was the great-granddaughter of Abraham Van Helsing, the legendary vampire hunter whose exploits against the vampire lord Dracula were chronicled in Bram Stoker's novel, Dracula. As a child, Rachel was witness to the murders of her parents at the hands of Dracula, in revenge for his defeat by Abraham Van Helsing. Rachel was subsequently raised by vampire hunter Quincy Harker, who was Dracula's most persistent enemy in the 20th century.

While earning her PhD in anthropology and studying parapsychology, Rachel was trained as a vampire hunter by Harker. When Dracula led a large vampire attack on a village in India, Rachel slew the vampire that had bitten the boy Adri Nital using her wooden crossbow, and drove Dracula off when he tried to slay the boy’s father, Taj Nital. Taj joined the band of vampire hunters both in gratitude and for revenge against Dracula for his son’s transformation into a vampire.

Rachel and Taj were later joined by Frank Drake. Rachel and Frank fell in love, and Frank joined Harker’s organization of vampire hunters. They clashed repeatedly with Dracula over the years, and Harker finally slew him at the cost of his own life. Following Harker’s death, at his request Rachel tried to find happiness with Frank, but due to his feelings of inadequacy and her emotional inhibitions they ultimately parted.

After leaving her teaching job at University of Oxford and becoming a visiting professor at Bard College in New York, Rachel was taken by surprise by Dracula, who killed her and turned her into a vampire. Rachel became his consort and ally when he clashed with the X-Men and his daughter Lilith, who had possessed Kitty Pryde at that time, over the Montesi Formula. During this battle, Dracula was unable to maintain the concentration required to keep the strong-willed Rachel van Helsing under his control. Appalled at what she had become and what she had done, she hurled a spear through Dracula’s heart and killed him again. At her request, Wolverine gave her a merciful death by driving a stake into her heart.[1]

Months later, Frank Drake avenged Rachel's death at Dracula's hands by playing a major role in assisting Doctor Strange in casting the Montesi Formula, the spell which destroyed Dracula and all other vampires on Earth.[2]

However, the Montesi Formula was later reversed. Some time later, Blade inadvertently fulfilled a prophecy which brought back every vampire who had died; whether this includes Rachel has yet to be revealed.

References

  1. ^ Uncanny X-Men Annual 6
  2. ^ Doctor Strange vol. 2 issues 61 & 62
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