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Rachel Van Helsing (Marvel)

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Van Helsing has no super human powers. However, she is an excellent fighter and trained in the arts of many different kinds of weapons. She is also trained parapyschologist, knowledgeable in the occult, particularly in the area of vampirism. She had also observed Dracula for many years and had developed a keen awareness of his psychological profile

Rachel Van Helsing is the grand-daughter of vampire Abraham Van Helsing (as described in Bram Stoker's novel "Dracula"). Rachel was raised by vampire hunter Quincy Harker after Dracula murdered her parents in front of her, an event that no doubt traumatized the young girl. On her 16th birthday, she was confronted by Dracula who used his hypnotic powers in an attempt to turn her. Fortunately, Quincy Harker saved her from the vampire lord but Rachel never forgot the encounter and the effects of Dracula's powerful will. These two encounters no doubt contributed to her study of parapsychology, a field she excelled in.

Rachel Van Helsing battled Dracula and his legions for many years and was one of his most persistent foes. She traveled around the world as she hunted down Dracula. During one of her sojourns abroad, she saved an Indian man named Taj from Dracula and his legions. Taj joined her for a time and acted as her protector as he aided her in her fight against Dracula.

Through the years, Van Helsing had developed a fierce hatred of Dracula which was constantly threatening to consume her. Fortunately for her, she met Frank Drake, a descendant of Dracula's who was ready to kill himself after Dracula turned his girlfriend. She saved Drake's life and he soon joined her in her fight against Dracula. It wasn't long before she fell in love with Drake and this passionate relationship helped her maintain her humanity as she was subjected to the tragedy and sorrow that Dracula left in his path.

Rachel was a loyal aide to Quincy Harker as well as a good friend. She helped support Harker in his most trying moments, including the death of his daughter Edith at Dracula's hands. It was this loyalty and friendship that saved Van Helsing's life after she had been abducted by three of Dracula's minions. Harker had to choose between killing Dracula and allowing Van Helsing to be freed. He chose Van Helsing over her protests and allowed Dracula to escape.

Many years passed as Van Helsing watched her mentor and friend growing older and closer to death. As time passed, Van Helsing found herself growing colder and colder as her relationship with Frank Drake seemed to be crumbling before her eyes. Drake had changed from an uncertain man to someone was self-confident, perhaps to the point of arrogance. Van Helsing began distancing herself from Drake as well as Harker, a fact that Harker was all too aware of.

Rachel's emotional descent was finally halted after the death of Harker. Harker had managed to kill Dracula but before he left, he had prepared a letter for Van Helsing. In the letter, he warned Van Helsing not to lose her humanity as he had after battling Dracula for so many years. Rachel realized that Harker was right and she vowed to hang on to her humanity. Perhaps her greatest battle was won when she opened up to Frank Drake and allowed herself to grieve at Harker's death.


First Appearance: Tomb of Dracula (1972) #3

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View a chronological listing of this character's appearances

Issue Appearances:
Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme (1988)
Essential The Tomb of Dracula (2003)
Giant-Size Chillers Featuring Curse of Dracula (1974)
Marvel Encyclopedia (2014)
Nova (1976)
Silver Surfer vs. Dracula (1994)
The Marvel Encyclopedia (2006)
The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (1983)
The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition (1985)
The Tomb of Dracula Magazine (1979)
Tomb of Dracula (1972)
Tomb of Dracula (1991)
Uncanny X-Men (1963)
Vampires: The Marvel Undead (2011)
Werewolf by Night (1972)
Wolverine Saga (1989)

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