Captain Britain and MI13 #12

Issue Date: 
June 2009
Story Title: 
Vampire State – part two

Paul Cornell (writer), Leonard Kirk (penciler), Jay Leisten (inkers), Brian Reber (colorist), Stuart Immonen (cover), Skottie Young (variant cover) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letterer), Daniel Ketchum (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

Spitfire has been taken to Dracula’s headquarters on the moon. Forced to obey his will, she feeds on a human prisoner before being led to Dracula, who tells her her opinion will change and introduces her to his allies, Lilith and Captain Fate. On Earth, the members of MI13 have ferreted out more vampire traitors and wonder what the traitor Mayhew meant by the head. Blade realizes it’s about the head of his friend, Quincy Harker, and leads them to the witch, Diana Hetherington. She shows them Harker’s skull and explains that Quincy used his soul to power a spell that would make sure vampires couldn’t enter Britain without being invited. A moment later, they are about to learn that all of this was part of Dracula’s plan, as they have now led him to the only thing that could keep his invasion fleet out of Britain. With the help of Lilith’s magic, he manages to destroy the skull.

Full Summary: 

The moon. Spitfire stands outside a huge castle with her son, Kenneth, who is now dressed in the (tastewise questionable) costume of Baron Blood. How did the castle get here? Jaqueline wonders. Magic, he tells her. But the sun, it’s even more dangerous to them up here! How do they…? Magic, he replies again. It’s one of the Master’s great innovations, that they shouldn’t shun magic. There’s a shield that keeps out the radiation, all down to Lilith.

He can’t tell her, it’s… it’s so good to see her finally standing here. In the communion of their people. He’s got so much to show her, so many things she’s been missing out on.

She tells him she’s sorry. She’s only here because Dracula… she means the… Master… because there’s something about him that forces her to be loyal to him… to obey him. He’s told her she cannot contact anyone, that she can do nothing against his will. She’s not enjoying this. She doesn’t see how she ever could. Tell her, what he calls a culture, a civilization… isn’t it just them making the best of things? He laughs. What civilization isn’t?

Now come, he drags her to the castle. She’s going to experience the joy of drinking hot from the artery.

MI13 HQ. Portwell House, Whitehall. Blade and Dane stake two more vampire spies. They’re the last, Pete states. In total, they were employing four vampires. And they say the civil service is a job for life. Blade states the last one was wearing a puncture vest beneath his shirt. He sharpens his stakes to nanopoint, but anyone else… These guys are organized!

Pete announces they remain in lockdown as the security services are purged. But they are still on the backfoot. This is what he wants them to be doing tonight. Briefing in five minutes.

Faiza and Dane, in civilian clothes, as are the rest of those who join them are already there. She is not thinking what he thinks she is, Faiza defensively tells Dane. He didn’t say anything, he begins to protest. She explains that she doesn’t think that all of these resources should be concentrated on finding her dad. She knows it’s all pulling in the same direction. She’s not a child!

Let’s get started, Wisdom tells them. “The Head,” that’s all the turncoat said before he died. The head of who or what? What are they being distracted from tonight? He addresses Alistaire Stuart, who suggests there are a few magical creatures and ancient gods who were beheaded. Blade interrupts, he thinks it could be the head of a friend of his…

On the moon, Spitfire is led to the bloodbank; several human prisoners strung up. Is she English? one man asks. Please, he speaks some English. His name is Louise. He’s from Dieppe. Where is he, what’s happening?

Jaqueline pleads for this not to happen. Kenneth assures her she has no choice. This is how they feed up here. On stolen cattle. Why not just let herself go and enjoy it? She could say it’s a test. But they all know Dracula’s will is their will. They can all feel it, shaping this culture, what they can and cannot do… really, this is just for fun!

Please, Louis begs, crying. Jaqueline cries too, trying not to do it and having no choice. Finally she feeds on the man.

In London, Blade shows the others a picture of Quincy Harker, an old comrade of his. He gave his life to destroy Dracula. Brought down his castle using explosives. Killed himself in the process. What very few people know is he left a will. With specific instructions concerning his earthly remains. He takes out a notebook.

He thought Blade was a gadget person, Brian remarks. Usually, but as they are finding out: Vampires use computers. So his notebook’s not a blackberry, but a palimpsest, a book written over an older book. In this case, a Gideon Bible.

He shows them a map. There’s gotta be something going down around the Oxfordshire village of Totterson tonight and it’s about the head of Quincy Harker…

On the moon, Kenneth tells the bloodied and shocked Jaqueline to pull herself together. They are about to enter… the presence. He refers to Dracula , dressed in uniform, who is standing at a round table, together with his allies, Lilith ( the mother of demons) and the ghost pirate Captain Fate. Dracula wishes them both a good morning. He sees Jaqueline’s been blooded. Very good. These are his allies, the Viscountess Lilith of Atlantis and Captain Fate.

Interesting, Lilith remarks, getting close to Jaqueline, so many things in this one… she’s trying got be brave, but… Ah there, the meat’s smelt her.

Dracula chides her. It’s not fitting that nobility should address each other like that. When they have their homeland, they’ll have to work together.

Mockingly, Lilith bows. My Lord. the habits of a thousand years. She offers her apologies to the lady. Forgive her manners, Jaqueline snarls, but she’s just murdered someone. She’s not used to gatherings where one’s title is more important than one’s humanity.

Ah, wit! Captain Fate remarks. He seems to recall he enjoyed that. If she’s going to fight alongside them, may he show her the new Serpent’s Crown?

They show her a huge spacefaring vessel looking like a ship. This is their flagship, Dracula informs her. It’s built around the magical idea of Fate’s vessel. But enlarged with the viscountess’ power. To contain the ordnance to subdue Britain. And a thousand vampires to rule it.

And they expect her to work with them? Spitfire asks in disbelief. She may have to obey Dracula, to not betray him, but why would she contribute? Why would she provide them with anything original?

Surprisingly kindly, Dracula tells her that this is an opinion and it fades. Himself, he was a Christian, forced to fear every sign of his former faith. For years he was furious at that. Now he enjoys killing priests. This isn’t hypocrisy… He draws her closer. It’s a sign that they are changeable, individual. Not “things,” as they call them. Not artefacts, not a condition, but people with the perspective of time. Something humans did not evolve with. She’s seen more of it than most: Less than many of them vampires.

He touches her bloodstained lips. The desire for blood she starts to feel will change her and her opinions. This is not an addiction. It’s her natural state. And she has been freed to rule in a hierarchy which will be the perfection of aristocracy. Kindly, he tells her to rest. She has no part to play in the current phase of the plan. Which is proceeding as they speak.

Aboard a plane en route to Oxfordshire, Captain Britain addresses Blade. He hasn’t said a word about Jac. He takes it the two of them are…? They just got started, Eric replies. They’ll find her. He’ll kill everything in the way. Dracula knows that. So what’s to say? Well, Brian replies with a smirk, Blade really is British.

On the moon, Jaqueline tries to use her watch to contact the others and finds she can’t. She swears. Kenneth gently tells her to stop it. She can’t make herself use it. He can ask the master if they could destroy the communicator if it’d make it easier… Dracula won’t agree, Jaqueline replies. He must want her to use it at some point. To lead her team into something. Is it just her? Or did they take others from…? Two others, he replies. But they’re in different circumstances. He’ll show her.

Elsewhere an elderly lady awakes apparently roused by her dream which told her that visitors are coming. Bloody magical powers, she swears and goes down the stairs. People popping up in her dreams, asking for this and that, pillocks, aren’t they? she asks her cat, Titania. She should have gone ex-directory. She begins to boil some tea. That moment the doorbell rings. Unsurprised, she asks the members of MI13 how many of them take sugar.

Later at the table, Dane pets one of the cats, while the woman, Diana Hetherington, tells Cap she’s honored to meet Merlin’s new champion. Blessed be, son of Ambrose, Long Man, he who walks through. Blessed be, Brian replies. Diana addresses Pete, remarking she knows of some young witches who’d dearly love to know where he’s… He interrupts her embarrassed. Give the Faringdon Circle his regards.

Did she do what he asked? She gets a box down from a shelf. She opens it to get out a human skull painted with strange symbols. Poor old Quincy, she remarks.

On the moon, Kenneth looks through graves. The twenty-sixth is Dr. Hussain’s. To be reborn as a vampire in three days, he explains. Along with twenty-five others, taken on the same night. Including one of M13’s men. This is how they recruit their army, Jaqueline realizes.

When they’ve broken military resistance, the next step will be mass conversion, he tells her exhilarated. The master’s even decided which land will be set aside for the purpose. Dartmoor. Bodmin. Gentle, blessed ground. It’ll be a cull at first. A literal bath of blood. But from it will come a food supply. A much smaller Britain. A nation like it was. When it was good. A haven for them.

Back on Earth, Blade explains that Quincy had a very simple idea. A minor alteration of an ancient boundary condition. One that’s very inconvenient for vampires. But all Quincy could do was defend one country. The one he’d come to love and value as the center of anti-vampire-ideology.

She met him on several occasions, Diana reminisces. They had a close acquaintance. He smelt of honey. And had the most enormous… oh what’s the word? Oh yes. Library. She lifts the skull. He gave his soul literally to power the spell. And had it contained in his skull. She found the remains and performed the ceremony. While the skull is in the country, Blade continues, every vampire who wants access to Britain has to be invited. Like they are coming into a residence, individually.

Wisdom takes the skull. So this is an anti-invasion-weapon? If they were planning on going for his tonight, MI13’s swift arrival has caught them on the….

That moment, a vampire horde breaks through the walls.

Good, good, Dracula observes the proceedings from his lunar HQ. The Hetherington woman was one of hundred possibilities as to who might have the head. And Brooks led them to her. That’s why Dracula didn’t ambush him. Well, that and his sexual rivalry with Joseph Chapman, he tells his partner Lilith and Fate. That may yet bear fruit. This is why the declaration of war was necessary, to give the intelligence service a credible reason why they hadn’t attacked Brooks. And this is why he made his agent say those two words before he died.

He has no interest in impressing them, it is merely his hope that they may learn his methods and one day practice them themselves. He asks them to come to the observatory with him. He will need Lilith’s abilities for the next phase.

On Earth, MI13 are trying to hold back the attacking vampires. How long until dawn? Pete asks. For 28 minutes, Cap replies without even looking at a clock. How does he…? He feels the world turning.

The Black Knight orders the others to fight their way to the skull and form around it. The vampires are on a clock! No such luck, Blade tells him. These guys have serious protection, referring to the fact that the vampires are covered head to toe in bandages and wear goggles. While he stakes one, he adds that first light is not going to bother them. And you can be sure they have… magical back up, Brian adds as green energy engulfs the room.

On the moon, Lilith stands under the ray of a huge device, bathed in green light. His stealth squad’s brains are focusing her spell. She opens a gateway to MI13.

Look at those swords, Fate sighs, referring to Excalibur and the Ebony Blade. And look at those using them. The Magus Sword wants them!

Cap finds himself helpless. Whoever is doing this, knows something about the way Merlin made him. The heroes find themselves cornered while Faiza tries to fend the vampires off with Excalibur. It’s working, she thinks.

Dracula’s form appears highly above the vampires. A display of faith from the Muslim in England’s green and pleasant land. We’ll have none of that shortly. None of any faith. He would be Wisdom, he takes it. What an ironic name. The skull floats towards him. Because, he sees, this war in which they thought they were engaged--?. Dracula crushes the skull. It’s a game. And he just won.

Characters Involved: 

Black Knight, Blade, Captain Britain, Excalibur, Pete Wisdom, Spitfire (all MI-13)

Alistaire Stuart

Diana Hetherington


Kenneth Falsworth / Baron Blood III

Captain Fate



Louis and other human prisoners

Story Notes: 

Quincy Harker was a character from the “Tomb of Dracula” series, the son of Jonathan and Mina Harker. Quincy was trained as a vampire hunter by Van Helsing, and became his successor. Quincy quickly became Dracula's nemesis; in retaliation Dracula killed Quincy's wife as the Harkers were attending a concert and crippled Quincy, leaving him permanently wheelchair-bound. Despite his disability, Quincy continued the fight, converting his house into a veritable vampire death-trap and his wheelchair into a personal anti-vampire arsenal. Quincy later took in the orphaned Rachel van Helsing and her trained her as well as other vampire hunters. Ultimately, Quincy Harker confronted Dracula at Castle Dracula itself in Transylvania. Knowing that he would die soon, as he had recently suffered a heart attack, he activated a time bomb in his wheelchair. Harker plunged a silver stake into Dracula's heart and was about to sever the vampire's head when the explosives went off, killing Harker and demolishing the castle.

A palimpsest is a manuscript page from a scroll or book that has been scraped off and used again.

Lilith (the mother of demons) shouldn’t be mixed up with the other Lilith, Dracula’s estranged daughter. This Lilith, mother of the demonic Lilin is an immortal demoness who seeks dominance of the Earth. She was also among the demons released by Wisdom in issue #3.

Captain Fate is a 200-year-old Earth sea pirate cursed to sail the spaceways aboard his ship the Serpent’s Crown forever by the wizard/satyr Khordes. Captain Fate and his crew came into conflict with the Man-Thing but were defeated. Fate was a lot hairier back then though.

The Magus Sword, Captain Fate’s sword, seems to be the bearer of his curse.

“Blessed be” is a greeting or blessing in Wicca and other neo-pagan traditions.

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