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Comic Book / Curse of the Mutants

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Curse of the Mutants is a 2010 X-Men storyline that spanned across its spin-off titles as well as the Sub-Mariner that pits the mutant superheroes against vampires, taking place in the aftermath of Second Coming where the team had re-located to San Francisco.

When Count Dracula holds a gathering with several vampire clans to discuss current affairs, he is betrayed by his own son Xarus who believes his father is holding down their entire race and conspired with other clans to overthrow him. After beheading and staking Dracula, Xarus devises a cunning plan to eliminate their kind's weakness to sunlight so they can set his eyes on world domination and he chooses the X-Men as his first targets to create a powerful army.

He draws their attention by sending a suicide bomber to explode in Union Square and infecting its inhabitants (including Jubilee) with vampire blood. As they realize their vampire problem, the X-Men enlist the help of Blade, but as their problem worsens and the fact they are fighting an enemy they are not prepared with, their key to survival against their new menace lies on finding and resurrecting Dracula...

This storyline contains examples of the following tropes

  • And I Must Scream: The people used as bloodbags by the Moksha sect in the temple were Dracula's body is kept. They are stranded on feeding machines and kept awake the entire time as their blood is slowly drained by the Mokshas since they are slow feeders and they use their energy to shield the place from any aircraft as well as to disrupt Storm's powers. She ends up forced to put them out of their misery.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Dolly, a mute vampire hunter from the Blade one-shot. Its unknown whether its a "he" or "she" due to Dolly wearing a full concealing bodysuit that makes hard to determine its gender. Blade refer to Dolly as "its" because Dolly is completely insane and unable to tell.
  • Apathetic Citizens: In at least one closed incident, Blade fights vampires during a rock show concert and nobody seems to bat an eye when this happens, specially when there are people actually being killed in front of them.
  • Archnemesis Dad: More like Archnemesis Grandpa when its revealed that Namor's own grandfather Thakorr is an Atlantean vampire and their Highlord.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: Xarus killed his father Dracula to usurp his throne.
  • Batman Gambit: Xarus's vampire army manages to turn Wolverine. Xarus then puts Logan in the lead of his attack on Utopia, as a psychological gambit to demoralise the mutants. Then, just when Xarus thinks he can't lose, Cyclops reveals the vampirism only worked because Dr Nemesis shut off Wolvie's Healing Factor, and turns it back on. Now Wolverine's back, very unhappy, knows where Xarus is based, and the vamps really aren't expecting him to turn on them.
    • This also includes a form of Internal Retcon, as earlier issues of the X-Men indicated that regardless of his healing factor, Wolverine could be turned if conditions were right. It becomes a plot point in the issue What If Wolverine became Lord of the Vampires? back in the mid-90s which uses Uncanny X-Men #159 as the point of divergence, along with a follow-up during the Timequake storyline where the issue focuses on Wolverine becoming Lord of the Vampires shortly before the events of the company-wide (though still largely X-Men-centric) storyline known as Inferno.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Xarus is killed and the day is saved... But Dracula had to be restored to the throne much to Blade's exasperation. While Wolverine is cured of vampirism, Jubilee is still infected as the cure they created did not work.
  • Continuity Nod: The storyline acknowledges that Dracula once tried to make Storm his vampire bride a long time ago in Uncanny X-Men #159, and many characters tease Storm about it, much to her annoyance.
  • Council of Vampires: The concept of a vampire nation ruled by several clans was officially introduced in Marvel continuity with this storyline. The idea already existed in the Blade Trilogy movies and heavily influenced it here.
  • Daywalking Vampire: Xarus commissions the Mystikos sect to create medallions that allows vampires to walk under the sunlight by deflecting the harmful radiation from their bodies. This way he manages to solidify his position as Lord of Vampires.
  • Decoy Protagonist: The X-Men are naturally the main focus on the story, but the storyline's prologue had Janus Tepes (Dracula's other son and Xarus' brother) as the point-of-view character as he sees first hand Dracula's death at his brother's hand and is trying to find a way to stop him. Unlike most examples of this trope, he actually survives before the focus shifts on the X-Men.
  • Enemy Mine: The X-Men realize they need Dracula's help to deal with his rebellious son so they set out on a quest to finding his body.
  • The Evil Prince: The main villain of the story is Dracula's son Xarus, who usurps his father as Lord of Vampires and has his eyes set on world domination.
  • Evil Costume Switch: After becoming a vampire, Jubilee dresses in all black and seemingly becomes taller and curvier too. If it wasn't noticeable she had the Most Common Superpower during New Warriors, she certainly has by the time of this storyline.
  • Find the Cure!: In addition to fighting the vampires, the X-Men are also searching for a cure and commission Dr. Kavita Rao and Dr. Nemesis to make one.
  • Fish People: The Aqueos Sect are Atlantean vampires that vaguely resemble gill men.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire:
    • Janus Tepes qualifies. While he is loyal to his father (who is evil, but also pragmatic), he is always cordial and kind to others and is much better at controlling his impulses than other vampires as he assures Storm and Gambit.
    • The Anchorite Sect's hat. They are rural vampires that live far away from civilization like the Amish and subsist in animal blood. The fact they are peaceful makes the other sects look down on them as "pathetic and weak". Do note this doesn't save them from Blade - when he interrogates a Anchorite vampire about it, he offers his help to avenge his sect and Blade simply puts a stake through his head.
    • Mr. Colvin, the owner of Mercy General Hospital, who hires Deadpool to get rid of a pack of Claw Sect vampires who decide to raid the hospital.
  • Godwin's Law: When the X-Men are considering the alternative of resurrecting Dracula to help against Xarus, Blade is the one to object stating that "you don't dig up Hitler to fight Saddam Husseim".
  • Gotta Catch Them All: After Dracula's death, Xarus and his conspirators separated his head and his staked body for different sects to preserve them. Namor is sent to retrieve the head kept by the Atlantean vampires while Storm and Gambit search for his body being kept on an unmarked island.
  • Guilt-Free Extermination War: Cyclops outright says that he is prepared to commit genocide against Xarus' people.
  • Hero of Another Story:
    • Blade, obviously, who has been fighting vampires through out his whole career. He is even featured in his own spin-off comic where he and his team confront Xarus' followers.
    • Dracula's other son Janus also qualifies since he is the main protagonist of the Death of Dracula one-shot and has been doing his own fighting against his brother's minions.
    • Namor the Submariner has his own miniseries where he confronts the Aqueos in search of Dracula's head. He ends up having to confront his own abusive grandfather Thakorr who has been turned into a vampire.
    • Deadpool has a two-issue story tying in with this one where he is hired by a family of hospital-owning vampires (or "Draculas", as he calls them) to defend it from vampires seeking to attack and infect its patients and staff.
  • I Hate You, Vampire Dad: A literal example since Xarus is Dracula's biological son. The whole plot of this event happens because Xarus disapproves his father's ruling method and wants to take vampires out of the shadows.
  • Logical Weakness: Holy water burns vampires like acid. Ice is water in solid form. Therefore, Iceman has a priest blessing his body to gain an edge against the vampires.
  • Look Behind You: When Wolverine finds Jubilee in a vampire hideout, she uses this trick to distract him long enough to bite and infect him.
  • Looks Like Orlok: The Nosferati sect, unsurprisingly. The Aqueos Sect is also (sometimes) depicted similarly with blue skin, bald heads and pointy ears, but not always (see Fish People).
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: In Rue Blood, Damen was originally from India and fell in love with an American woman named Rue, who was murdered by the The Klan.
  • Man of Kryptonite: Husk uses her mutant power to shed her entire body into wood, making her immune to vampire bites when one attempts to feed on her and being able to dispatch them using her bare hands.
    • Cyclops reveals that a key part of his plan is having a priest bless Iceman. This makes Iceman a One-Man Army when facing vampires, as all of his ice is now frozen holy water.
  • Mythology Gag: The X-Men discovering that vampires are using people as living bloodbags was inspired by a deleted scene in the first Blade movie where Deacon Frost planned the same thing. This plot element was later recycled in Blade: Trinity, as the vampires' "final solution".
  • No-Sell:
    • A vampire tries to bite Husk's neck to no effect due to turning her entire body into wood.
    • Rogue's absorbing touch also doesn't work on vampires.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Xarus tells this to Cyclops when making his We Can Rule Together speech, that vampires and mutants were hated and feared by mankind and they have a whole lot in common. Cyclops doesn't buy it for a second.
  • Offing the Offspring: Dracula is the one to kill Xarus at the end by forcibly tearing his head out with his bare hands. Given that Xarus was evil and tried to usurp his throne, his father really doesn't feel bad about killing him.
  • The One That Got Away: Dracula regards Storm as this, since he was deeply attracted to her but never got to make her his bride. His son Janus even calls her this trope word-for-word.
  • People Farms: The X-Men discover a facility where vampires are keeping people suspended in animation while being drained of their blood. In the Storm and Gambit one-shot, the two discover another one where people are trapped to feeding devices to the Moksha vampires, the difference is that their victims are awake and aware the whole time.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Seems like Dracula has given up trying to take over the world or any other nefarious plan to have humanity subjected to vampires like he did in the past, and is content to have his people live in the background because they couldn't possibly compete with all the other people in the Marvel Universe. His son Xarus disagrees.
  • Protectorate: Cyclops looks after San Franciso and Utopia's protection very seriously and he makes it very clear to Xarus' offer to joining them:
    Cyclops: Pay close attention, Xarus. I will say it once: you and I, we are not brothers. We're not friends. We're not neighbors. You come at me and my people, and you'll wish you had gone anywhere on Earth besides San Francisco. I'll choke the bay with vampire bodies. You want a historic moment? I will give you one. I'll preside over the greatest slaughter of vampires ever known.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Krieger and Claw Sects respectively. They are vampire warrior clans that take discipline very seriously and have different themes (the Krieger are Western European and dress in Prussian/German inspired outfits, while the Claws are Middle-Eastern ninjas). Also because of their honor, they refuse to side with Xarus when he betrays Dracula and Janus' interactions with the Claw do show their heavy belief in honor. Its revealed only the Kriegers stuck to their guns as the Claw were in league with Xarus from the beginning and using their protection medallions, manage to purge Dracula's loyalists.
  • The Purge: In Death of Dracula, Xarus intends to destroy all vampires that don't side with him, but this task becomes complicated when the two most numerous sects - the Krieger and the Claw, refuse to stand by him and pull this trope effectively. After some manipulation and tricks, he reveals the Claw sect was on his side all along and using the Mystikos' light-bending medallions, they defeat the Kriegers and execute Janus and all other Dracula loyalists by exposing them to sunlight, though Janus survives thanks to having a medallion slipped to him. After he is done, he starts targeting vampire-hunters all over the world.
  • Reincarnation Romance: In X-Men vs Vampires #1, Rogue meets Damen, a vampire from India who thinks she is the reincarnation of his lover Rue, a Southern white woman that was executed by The Klan. Turns out he is incorrect as Rue actually reincarnated as No-Girl, a female Brain in a Jar, and she uses her power to briefly possess Rogue and communicate with him.
  • Romantic Vampire Boy: Damen in Rue Blood is a very dark spin on this trope, since he falls in love with Rogue thinking she is the reincarnation of his girlfriend, but discovers that the real Rue is reduced to a sentient brain in a jar and worst of all, she can't find any of his genuine feelings inside him as he is nothing more than an Empty Shell after becoming a vampire. Broken with this revelation, he hands over his sword to put him out of his misery.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Staking the Loved One: Staunchly defied at the end. Jubilee is turned into a vampire by Xarus and the process seems irreversible since the cure isn't working. Blade attempts to stake her, but Wolverine stops him from doing so. He storms off saying that she is now the X-Men's problem and if they can't take the expert's advice, he can't really help them.
  • Total Party Kill: In the Blade one-shot, where he assembles all the few surviving vampire hunters he could find to fight against this menace, but they were caught completely unprepared for vampires fighting in the sunlight. Everyone dies fighting the vampires while Blade himself narrowly avoids death by jumping into a plane and crashing it into a mountain making his enemies think he perished.
  • Vegetarian Vampire: The Anchorite clan feeds exclusively on animal blood which makes his fellow vampires look down on them.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After being Out-Gambitted by Cyclops and having his entire invading force destroyed by the X-Men, Xarus completely loses it and demands his men to send a second wave, only for his lieutenants to inform him "we don't have a second wave". It becomes a lot worse when Dracula confronts him in his command room and Xarus' men refuse to follow him anymore, as he is reduced to a rambling lunatic during the whole ordeal.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Xarus and Alyssa, at least at first. After her repeated betrayals, he picks Jubilee as his new bride and turns her into a vampire.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Vampires are killed indiscriminately by the heroes, to the point Cyclops doesn't feel bad at all about threatening Xarus with a genocide. Even the Anchorite sect composed of peaceful farmers or the friendly Damen are killed by the heroes. The only ones shown any mercy are Janus and Jubilee.
  • Wild Card: Alyssa, the leader of the Sirens. No one can really tell what side she is on, since she is initially Xarus' girlfriend and also flirts with his brother Janus. When her boyfriend starts his coup, she seems to be on his side until she sends a couple of Siren girls to seduce and assassinate him. This attempt fails, but Xarus decides to spare her life. She then betrays him yet again by saving his brother Janus, who refused to stand by his side, but for some reason he keeps her around.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Dracula has been drastically redesigned in this storyline, ditching his Classical Movie Vampire for a more armored look with pale white hair tied in a ponytail. It was such a radical change that one could be forgiven for thinking they were two separate and different characters, but he is acknowledged to be the same one as encountered by the X-Men before. Ever since this event, this design has been considered Dracula's staple being even used in the Avengers Assemble series.