Wolverine (2nd series) #4
• Supernatural blood-letter who
subsists on the liquid essence
of living beings, increasing his
strength, endurance, and reflexes
accordingly, possesses an immortal
lifespan, superhuman sense of smell,
unqualifiable regenerative powers
and cannot be killed by metal forged
by mortal man, able to induce
bleeding in others through physical
contact in order to feed, weaken his
prey, or create a psychic bond between
them that allows him to track his prey over a distance, control their actions to some degree, and resist psychic abilities they possess, can fully reanimate deceased victims as revenants under his command, and transform into a more monstrous form with an elongated jaw, fangs, and talons
The man now known as Bloodscream was born in England during the 16th century. In his youth, he was apprenticed to learn medicine and eventually became a "leech" and a "sawbones," as he called it. He was no average doctor, however, for the young Englishman served as a pirate and naval surgeon on the ships of Sir Francis Drake. In the name of Queen Elizabeth, they often captured foreign vessels and warred with the Spanish Armada on the high seas.
The doctor would become a demon after getting shot in the gut during an "involuntary transfer of title" over a bullion vessel. Drake commanded a necromancer named Dagoo to save his surgeon, using magic where medicine had failed. Instead of returning the surgeon to life, though, Dagoo cursed him with "un-life," using his spells to make the Englishman a kind of living vampire who fed on the blood of living creatures. And so, Bloodscream was born.
[Note: The exact point when Bloodscream adopted his nom de guerre is unknown. Indeed, he was initially referred to as Bloodsport from Wolverine (2nd series) #4-8, before being called Bloodscream in #17. For simplicity's sake, and lacking any other name to call him, we'll be referring to him as Bloodscream throughout the article.]
Initially horrified over what he had become, Bloodscream feared the true death even more. He wrung the secrets of the elixir from Dagoo before killing him. The mixture required root of mandrake, spleen of whale, bone of tiger and "blood of a man who ageth not." Bloodscream spent the next few centuries compiling the elements for his heathen elixir, but the blood of an immortal continued to elude him. Following Dagoo's dying suggestion, he often went to war, for men always seek what they cannot have, even men who cannot die. In 1781, he fought at the Battle of Yorktown at the end of the American Revolutionary War. In 1805, he warred either for or against Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Austerlitz. He joined the French Foreign Legion and fought in Mexico in the 1860's, and later in the Sudan. During World War I he was at Ypres, and in the Spanish Civil War he fought in the Siege of the Alcazar in 1936, all without finding his unaging man. [Wolverine (2nd series) #78]
In 1944, Bloodscream was serving as an officer in the Nazi party near Normandy, France, in the final days of World War II. He witnessed a lone Canadian paratrooper hold off nearly an entire battalion with fists and knife alone. It would be decades before Bloodscream and the corporal crossed paths again. [Wolverine (2nd series) #78, 34]
By the modern era, Bloodscream had found a partner in Roughouse, an exile from the Asgardian worlds. (Roughouse was apparently not "man" enough for his blood to qualify for Bloodscream's elixir.) The pair acted as mercenaries and found themselves in the employ of General Nguyen Coy. The general intended to make himself crimelord of the principality known as Madripoor and eliminate his rival, the Tiger. Tyger Tiger had only recently brought down the last crimelord of Madripoor, Roche, and had not fully established her position as his successor, making it the perfect time to strike. Prince Baran of Madripoor was willing to entertain some competition between the crimelords before declaring his support for one or the other, and allowed Coy to make his play.
Bloodscream and Roughouse started the festivities by hunting down and murdering Chancellor Ranjamaryan, an aide to the prince who intended on sponsoring Tyger Tiger to his employer. Ranja's death sent a message to Tyger and her people that a war was about to begin. They continued to undermine Tyger Tiger on Coy's orders by intimidating her pilot, Archie Corrigan. Bloodscream used his blood-letting ability to scar his handprint on Corrigan's chest, leaving him with a powerful warning not to fly for Tiger anymore.
If Ranja's death wasn't clear enough, the duo's attack on Tiger's private car and her driver on their way to see Prince Baran made it undeniable: war in the streets of Madripoor. The driver was a local roughneck named Patch, who fought back to protect Tyger Tiger from the assassins. While he was engaged with Roughouse, though, Bloodscream got his hands on Tiger and made her bleed for him. Unknown to Bloodscream and Roughouse, Patch was actually the X-Man called Wolverine, trying to keep his identity a secret in Madripoor. Patch was prepared to pop his claws and reveal his secret to save the Tiger, but the assassins were stopped instead by an unexpected ally. General Coy's niece Xi'an was working for him to get assistance in locating her missing siblings. She was also the former X-Man-in-training named Karma, though, and hated her uncle's criminal ways. Karma stepped in and mentally possessed Bloodscream and Roughouse long enough for Patch to recover his strength and get the injured Tiger to safety. [Wolverine (2nd series) #4]
Tyger Tiger wasn't safe, however, for Bloodscream had the ability to track any victim whose blood he had sampled, a gift he demonstrated to Karma's lament. When Xi'an accidentally cut herself on some glass in General Coy's penthouse, Bloodscream tasted her blood and, with sinister airs, remarked on how the two of them were linked, now and forevermore. Bloodscream tracked Tyger Tiger to the local offices of Landau, Luckman & Lake, and let Roughouse knock on the offices in his own, inimitable style. Bloodscream drained the office's expediter, Mister Chang, for giving safe haven to Coy's enemies, and the assassins brought Tyger Tiger and her bodyguards, Jessica Drew and Lindsey McCabe, back to the prince's palace for General Coy's amusement. [Wolverine (2nd series) #5]
Despite her capture, General Coy was unable to rid himself of the Tyger thanks to the indestructible armor Patch requesitioned for her from LL&L. Patch attempted to siege the palace and rescue the Tiger, with Archie Corrigan and Karma secretly aiding him. Patch deployed his hidden claws long enough to catch Bloodscream off-guard and slit his throat, but even that injury only momentarily delayed the supernatural assassin. Also, unfortunately for Karma, she discovered her possession power no longer worked against Bloodscream, after he had tasted her blood. The various combatants continued to trade partners, as Jessica Drew and the revived Tyger Tiger found themselves pitted against Bloodscream. Bloodscream bragged again how he could not be killed by weapons forged by mortal man, only to be shocked at the notion that LL&L may have acquired Tyger Tiger's armor from an inhuman source. A blow from the armored Tiger did temporarily incapacitate Bloodscream, but the armor was apparently not the weapon that would kill him. [Wolverine (2nd series) #6]
The struggle did not go unnoticed by Prince Baran and his palace guards, who finally stepped in to end the fighting as it grew out of control. Baran had been eager for crime in Madripoor (their chief export) to get back to normal after Roche's demise, and found Coy as acceptable a replacement as Tyger Tiger. However, a prolonged gang war on his territory was bad for business all around, and so he declared a parlay. All sides came to the bargaining table and ultimately agreed that General Coy would run slavery and drugs in Madripoor, which the Tiger refused to touch, while Tyger Tiger oversaw the rest of the island's crime, and each paid tribute to the prince. [Wolverine (2nd series) #7] Bloodscream and Roughouse remained in Coy's employ after he was established as co-crimelord of Madripoor, looking after his interests. [Wolverine (2nd series) #8] Whatever his loyalties to his partner, Bloodscream had little to say when Coy sold Roughouse to a business partner as a guinea pig after he lost a disappointing prize fight against Patch. [Wolverine (2nd series) #17]
Whether because of his partner's mistreatment or for other reasons, Bloodscream eventually left the service of General Coy. At some point, he also recognized that the man he knew as "Master Patch" was the same as the knife-wielding Canadian paratrooper he encountered in World War II, un-aged after the passage of decades. Realizing that Patch may contain the "blood of a man who ageth not" he had been searching for to complete his elixir, Bloodscream began hunting for his old foe. "Patch" had long since ended his ties to Madripoor, however, returning to the X-Men as Wolverine, only to leave them again. Bloodscream somehow encountered the former Reaver cyborg named Cylla Markham, who was programmed by Donald Pierce to kill Logan. The two combined their supernatural and technological tracking skills to hunt down their prey. [Wolverine (2nd series) #77]
Up in northern Alberta, Wolverine caught their scents on his tail while touring the roads on his motorcycle. He chose to take to the woods of the Great White North in order to deter further pursuit, but Bloodscream and Cylla followed him into the wilderness. They dogged his trail for days, and Bloodscream dragged along an old station attendant as "cattle" to continue feeding his need for blood on the hunt. They eventually caught up to Logan when he wandered back into civilization at the town called Logan. Run to the point of exhaustion by the ordeal, Bloodscream revealed the true nature of his alliance with Cylla -- he considered her just another piece of cattle, and drained her dry of her life essence in order to rejuvenate himself for battle. Bloodscream revealed his true, demonic countenance to Logan for the first time, but didn't count on the Honor Sword of the Clan Yashida. Originally forged by demons before being recast by Masamune for the clan, Bloodscream's curse left him vulnerable to the blade. As Wolverine jousted with Bloodscream with the sword atop his Harley, the slashing blade left the vampire for dead in the street. [Wolverine (2nd series) #78]
Although he didn't die, Bloodscream's injuries left him in a death-like state as his regenerative powers did their work. And since his wounds would have been entirely fatal to any normal being, the town authorities believed him to be as dead as Cylla when they recovered the bodies. Perhaps out of superstition, though, they did not bring the bodies inside the coroner's office where they might thaw, and left them covered out by the wood pile. Bloodscream eventually recovered and made for the roads, where he attacked a passing truck. After killing the occupants, Bloodscream used the vehicle to make good his escape. [Wolverine (2nd series) #80]
By chance, Bloodscream's journey brought him near the burial grounds of the Siksika tribe, and his senses detected an unusual aroma. Investigating, he found the inert bodies of two androids named Albert and Elsie Dee buried in a three hundred year old entombment. Using the truck batteries to recharge the androids, Bloodscream learned their strange tale of time travel, and of their friendship with Wolverine. After helping the duo fight off some poachers, Bloodscream manipulated them into believing he was a mutant, and a friend of Wolverine's as well. He claimed Logan was suffering from a great illness without even knowing it, and that he must find Logan quickly to get him treatment. Sufficiently deceived, Albert and Elsie Dee agreed to help Bloodscream on his quest, and soon he was back on the trail of Wolverine. Despite their efforts, however, the trio remained one step behind Wolverine in his adventures, as he travelled to the Canadian arctic, Muir Island and the Himalayas. Bloodscream eventually parted ways with Albert and Elsie Dee, and it's unknown if they ever learned his true intentions. [Wolverine (2nd series) #82-84, 86]
Bloodscream eventually gave up on his search for Wolverine, and made the acquaintance of the necromancing sorcerer, Belasco. Belasco needed aid against the demonic hordes of the N'Garai, whom he claimed were planning a full invasion of the Earth dimension. Appealing to his long-forgotten conscience, Belasco offered Bloodscream redemption and perhaps the return of his humanity in exchange for his assistance in defending Earth from the demons. Bloodscream eagerly entered Belasco's service, unaware that the sorcerer actually intended a "first strike" assault against the N'Garai, and planned to make them his own army for the conquest of Earth.
Stationed at an ancient temple on an island near Bermuda, Bloodscream and Belasco began raising a fleet of forgotten vessels from the Bermuda Triangle. Bloodscream also returned to his pirate origins as he started attacking ships in the area, kidnapping their crews and draining enough of their blood to gain hypnotic control over his victims. Bloodscream soon had a small fleet of naval vessels and a mind-controlled mob of sailors to crew them. One of his intended victims managed to escape, however, and his tales reached Wolverine and the X-Men, who came down to Bermuda to investigate. During the conflict that followed, Belasco's true intentions were revealed to Bloodscream after he opened the portal to the N'Garai's home dimension. Incensed at falling for the deception, Bloodscream saved the lives of the X-Men by holding Belasco off and dragging them both through the collapsing portal into the demon realm. [X-Men Unlimited (1st series) #9]
[Note: In his next appearance, Bloodscream was inexplicably back on Earth and working with Roughouse again. No reference was made to his encounter with Belasco. In fact, footnotes in the issue specifically mention his encounter with Wolverine in Alberta as the last time they saw each other.]
Bloodscream and Roughouse came to New York City in the employ of an old client, the Black Tarantula. The duo had worked for the Tarantula in the past, but he only recently extended his reach to Manhattan. While overseeing part of the Black Tarantula's protection racket, they happened across their old foe Wolverine by chance. Taking him by surprise, Bloodscream and Roughouse held Logan prisoner and vented their past frustrations against him in several torture sessions. Logan eventually broke free and outmaneuvered his sparring partners, taking them down and turning them over to the police. [Wolverine (2nd series) #123] After the Black Tarantula made their bail, Bloodscream and Roughouse set up base in one of his cargo ships to prepare for their assigned task -- the kidnapping of Black Tarantula's estranged wife. While meeting with their master's valet Chesbro, however, the assassins were attacked by agents of a rival crimelord, Delilah and Ricochet (secretly the amazing Spider-Man). Delilah was defeated, but Ricochet followed Bloodscream and Roughouse back to the cargo ship. Using his four identities at the time to throw them off-guard, Spider-Man overwhelmed and captured the duo. In order to ensure their release, Bloodscream traded information to the hero about their assigned target. [Amazing Spider-Man (1st series) #435]
Sometime later, Bloodscream lost any will of his own to the cannibalistic sorcerer called Mauvais. Using his magic, Mauvais tied himself into the spell Dagoo cast on Bloodscream, making him the bloodsucker's master. Recently released from a long imprisonment, Mauvais needed to build up his strength. He sent Bloodscream out to capture human victims for him to consume at his leisure and regain his power. Unable to control himself, Bloodscream did as Mauvais commanded and began harvesting from the homeless population in New York City. His abductions came to Wolverine's attention, and Logan tried to bring Bloodscream in. At Mauvais' direction, Bloodscream retrieved and enslaved Vermin, the cannibalistic rat-man imprisoned at the Ravenscroft Institute for the Criminally Insane. Together, the two of them attempted to capture Wolverine for Mauvais' pleasure, as the sorcerer also held an interest in Logan. Bloodscream lost control of Vermin during the fight, however, and was forced to return to Mauvais empty-handed (and un-handed, as Logan had in fact cut off his hands.) [Wolverine Annual 2001] He was still under Mauvais's control when the sorcerer assumed the power of the Wendigo in the Canadian wilderness. Presumably, Mauvais' power over Bloodscream ended when the Gods of the Great White North banished Mauvais from this plane of existence. [Wolverine (2nd series) #170-172]
After escaping Mauvais' influence, Bloodscream reunited with Roughouse and they returned to Madripoor for work. The two became assassins in the employ of the island's new ruler, Princess Viper of Hydra. They intervened at the Princess Bar when Tony Stark, Director of SHIELD, arrived on the island on a mission to destabilize Viper's regime. Bloodscream tried to feed from Stark, but found the Golden Avenger's Extremis undersheath resistant to his touch. Stark survived their assassination attempt, but Viper did manage to eliminate Stark's contact in Madripoor. When Stark staged a direct assault on the royal palace with the assistance of Tyger Tiger, Bloodscream got his rematch.
He fed before the fight, draining one hundred Hydra agents to make him a physical challenge for Stark in his Iron Man armor. Ultimately, Stark dispatched Bloodscream using a "weapon not forged by man" -- the data spike from his armor, creating by robots in Stark engineering laboratories. With Bloodscream and Roughouse fallen and the people of Madripoor behind Tyger Tiger, the reign of Viper and Hydra was ended. [Iron Man: Director of SHIELD Annual #1]
Despite Viper's departure, Bloodscream and Roughouse remained in Madripoor as local talent, and soon found themselves employed by a splinter faction of Hydra led by Hardball and Scorpion, formerly of the Avengers Initiative. American agents from the Shadow Initiative were sent to bring Hardball in for treason, and so Bloodscream crossed swords with Typhoid Mary. Although she successfully decapitated the vampiric assassin, Bloodscream was only momentarily deterred before turning his blood-letting touch on her. The Shadow Initiative surrendered at first, but this turned out to be only a ruse to get into Hydra's base. As Bloodscream and Roughouse confronted the Initiative again, they were caught off-guard by a sudden arrival... the Initiative's new covert agent, Ant-Man. The diminutive adventurer shot off some bio-electric blasts in Roughouse's ear to bring him down, then leapt inside Bloodscream's body. He then expanded to full size, causing Bloodscream to explode outwards from the pressure. [Avengers: The Initiative #23-24]
Even then, however, the Initiative commented that it should only be a matter of time before Bloodscream regenerates himself. At the moment, the vampiric assassin's whereabouts are unknown, but he likely will resurface somewhere in the world one day. When he does, Bloodscream may be killing for pleasure or for money, but be certain... he will be killing someone.