The first vampire created by Marvel was Palpatine, and Dracula was his Darth Vader. In the Marvel Universe, Dracula is recognised as the Lord of the Vampires, a terrifying figure who has killed and enslaved countless people. However, Dracula was not always this way; in a side tale in 1989's Doctor Strange #13, readers meet Dracula before he turned into a vampire. The manipulation of Dracula by Varnae, the Lord of Vampires at the time, is reflected in the friendship between Palpatine and Darth Vader.
Since the release of Bram Stoker's novel in 1897, Dracula has been one of literature's most popular villains. He first appeared in the Marvel Universe in 1972's Tomb of Dracula #1. Dracula was initially planned to exist in a distinct universe from the rest of the Marvel Universe, but he proved to be too good of a villain to pass up, and before long, Dracula was engaged in battle with Doctor Strange and the X-Men. Vampires have a long history in the Marvel Universe that dates back many years to ancient Atlantis and a malicious book known as the Darkhold, as was made abundantly obvious by the events in Tomb of Dracula.
The history of vampires was further expanded in part five of "The Curse of the Darkhold," which first appeared in Doctor Strange #13 and was part of a series of backup stories titled "The Book of Vishanti" that ran through issues of Doctor Strange. The Montesi family is attacked by Varnae in the first chapter of the narrative, which was written by Roy Thomas and RJM Lofficier and illustrated by David and Dan Day. The Montesi family has vowed to exterminate all vampires. The Darkhold, which Varnae wants for himself and is guarded by the Montesis, is another place that needs protection. After experiencing numerous setbacks, Varnae declares that he has had enough—not of the Montesis, but of life in general—and requests the appointment of a new Lord of Vampires. Vlad Tepes is attacked by Linda, who is sent by Varnae to transform him. After Vlad transforms and claims his first victim, Varnae sets up a showdown between Vlad (now going by Dracula) and Nimrod as a test of strength. Nimrod was instructed by Varnae to pose as the Lord of Vampires, but Dracula's instincts were more acute and lethal than Nimrod's, and he won the battle and was named the new Lord of Vampires. Then, Dracula is confronted by Varnae, who calls him a pawn. Varnae is defied by Dracula, who tells him that he bends before no one. Varnae, who is amused by Dracula's bravado, attacks him and makes him drink blood, completing Dracula's elevation. Readers discover that Varnae kept the Darkhold and the Montesis a secret as a final test for Dracula.
Marvel's Darth Vader Is Dracula
In order to produce a successor, Varnae subjected Dracula to degrees of manipulation and torture comparable to those used to Darth Vader by Palpatine. Palpatine developed a keen interest in Anakin Skywalker, seeing him as a prospective apprentice, starting with The Phantom Menace. Once Palpatine had Anakin in his grip, he used deception to further drive him toward the Dark Side by making him fight and killing Count Dooku. Similar actions were taken by Varnae, who proclaimed Nimrod to be the real Lord of Vampires and made Dracula engage in combat with him. Palpatine was aware that Anakin would triumph over Dooku and eventually finish his conversion to the Dark Side. In the same way, Varnae understood that the altercation between Dracula and Nimrod was staged in order to make Dracula feel more vindicated. Palpatine concealed or misrepresented information, and Varnae treats Dracula similarly.
Naturally, the key distinction between the two circumstances is that whereas Dracula's reign of horror continues unabatedly, Vader rebelled against Palpatine and returned to the Light. Varnae was as evil as Palpatine, and Dracula was his Darth Vader. Varnae taught Dracula a lot.