With the recent popularity of Twilight, The Vampire Diaries and the Sookie Stackhouse novels, vampires have become something of a hot topic. Each of these series features one or more protagonists of the blood-sucking persuasion, thus turning vampires into sympathetic heroes. Even Anne Rice is guilty of humanizing these demonic beings, and while I respect her amazing storytelling talents more than I can express, I take a slightly more . . . old-school view of these creatures of the night.
That being said, I thought for this post I would discuss the men and women that make up the other side of this genre – vampire hunters.
When I was in middle school a friend of mine introduced me to Joss Whedon’s hit tv show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I was immediately enraptured by Whedon’s witty dialogue, gruesome villains, AND his depiction of a sassy, petite demon hunter. Despite her diminutive stature, Buffy was everything a slayer should be: athletic, powerful, and above all, stylish. She could vanquish a demon in under a minute, all the while wearing three-inch heels. Definitely one of my childhood – and present day – heroes.
After Buffy, my interest in slayer legends expanded with an introduction to the vampire hunter Blade. I read some of the Marvel comics and absolutely loved the film series starring Wesley Snipes. I thought the concept of a vampire hunter who was himself half-vampire thoroughly fascinating. To loath vampires to the very core, and yet have inherited their thirst for blood, a constant reminder that he's made from the very thing he hates . . . now that’s genius. Add in a double edged sword and the ability to walk in the sunlight, and you’ve got a recipe for a lethal hunter.
Last but certainly not least, I want to mention perhaps the most famous and influential vampire hunter of all time – Abraham Van Helsing. Unlike Buffy and Blade, Bram Stoker does not portray Van Helsing as a “career” vampire hunter; rather, he becomes one out of necessity. When Lucy Westenra falls ill of an unknown disease, Dr. John Seward contacts Van Helsing because of his knowledge of “obscure diseases”. Though by no means a demon hunter, he recognizes the mark of the vampire upon Lucy, and eventually tells his friends how to kill her. He manages to destroy the three blood-sucking brides of Dracula single-handedly, and is instrumental in defeating the most famous vampire of all time himself, Count Dracula.
Needless to say, I doubt today’s sparkling vampires would hold up against hunters such as these.
This post is part of the Blogging A through Z Challenge 2012. My theme is (in case you didn’t already guess) science fiction. Stay tuned for the rest of the alphabet, and if you’d like to check in on the rest of the participants, simply click here.