Spoilers ahead for Avengers #48!
Marvel has revealed that Dracula has developed a weapon powerful enough that it can kill Celestials. In Avengers #48, on sale now in print and digital, readers learn the Lord of the Undead has weaponized his blood, creating a strain so potent it threatens to consume one of the ancient beings.
Dracula has been making moves across the Marvel Universe lately. After reasserting his dominance after the Vampire Civil War, Dracula has established the Vampire Nation deep in the heart of Russia, near the site of Chernobyl. Dracula has also begun harvesting the blood of other heroes, such as Wolverine, in hopes of creating an army of daywalkers. In the “World War She-Hulk” story, currently running in Avengers, Dracula has also taken an interest in gamma-irradiated blood. Clearly, Dracula has a grand plan, and another phase of that plan is introduced in Avengers #48: developing a way to kill and turn Celelstials. The issue is written by Jason Aaron with art by Javier Garron, colors by David Curiel and letters by Cory Petit.
While the Avengers are busy fighting a brainwashed She-Hulk, Blade is in Russia, at the Vampire Nation. He is in radio contact with Black Panther, who is back at Avengers Mountain. Panther tells Blade that the Mountain, built around the body of a Celestial, has been infected with a virus causing rapid necrosis. Blade tells Black Panther it sounds like Dracula has weaponized his blood, making it so potent that it might turn the Celestial into a vampire. Black Panther tells Blade he will worry about the mountain, and Blade returns to killing vampires.
The Celestials are some of the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe. They travel from world to world, tampering with species’ development and then returning to judge them later. They are beyond human comprehension, and many species view them as “gods.” Dracula’s ability to kill (and turn) a Celestial puts him in a very elite category of characters, as very few have been able to take on the awesome beings. The Sentry, one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe, was barely able to make a dent in one. While Knull, the King in Black, while possessed the Necrosword, was able to both kill and enslave Celestials. Perhaps the only other character with the power to kill a Celestial is Franklin Richards.
Over the last few years, Dracula has reasserted himself as one of Marvel’s premier villains, and now he has a weapon so powerful it can not only kill a Celestial, but turn it into a vampire. Only time will tell what the fallout from this will be.