The Avengers' Next Big Problem Caught Fan-Favorite MCU Heroes in His Web – CBR – Comic Book Resources

A powerful Marvel villain who’s been menacing the Avengers and the X-Men just turned his attention to Black Widow’s breakout heroes.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Winter Guard #3, now on sale
The Marvel Universe is full of dangerous figures, but no one has had more ambition lately than perhaps Dracula. He’s been positioning himself against multiple forces, trying to gain an edge in a super-powered arms race while undercutting his enemies when possible.
Dracula gains a major upper hand over Russia’s super-soldiers in Winter Guard #3 by Ryan Cady, Jan Bazaldua, Federico Blee, Fernando Sifuentes, and VC’s Ariana Maher  — and uses it at an opportunity to remind his foes (and readers) how devious he can be.
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Dracula has been making moves all across the Marvel Universe recently, manipulating events to cement his place of power in modern society. A deal with Russia resulted in the creation of a vampire state in the radioactive ruins of Chernobyl, despite the attempts by the Avengers to counter his ambitions. A captured Wolverine’s blood briefly allowed Dracula and his followers to become Daywalkers, and X-Force’s counter-operations have earned his ire (and his open jealousy of someone like Charles Xavier, who has more or less forced the world to contend with the mutant nation of Krakoa). In Winter Guard #3, his ambitions even end up drawing the potential ire of his Russian allies — all to his amusement.
The Winter Guard has been contending with two rogue Russian agents, Red Guardian and White Widow. The pair have caught the attention of the Winter Guard and their superiors due to their investigation into the mysterious Operation Snowblind, a discreet amount of data hidden on drives spread amongst Russia. Red Widow, Darkstar, Vanguard, Ursa Major, Perun, and Chernobog have been continuing with their search for the pair (while also trying to ferret out a traitor in their ranks who helped bring down Crimson Dynamo) when they’re invited to speak with Dracula. Arriving at his castle, they learn they aren’t the only guests — as Red Guardian and White Widow soon arrive as well. Luckily for the latter, Dracula’s “hospitality” keeps them from fighting, otherwise risking a vampiric assault.
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Dracula and Red Guardian reveal to the group that when he discovered the truth about Operation Snowblind — not state secrets or hidden weapons, but rather merely proof of criminal actions taken by the Russian government over the years — he spread the information so it couldn’t be easily recovered. This included giving one of the drives to Dracula, as Red Guardian expected his long-time enemy to hold onto the potentially devastating information with ease. Dracula reveals this is the case and gives the drive back to Red Guardian when he learns he intends to leak the information — causing chaos across the globe. As Dracula explains to Red Widow, this is a win-win situation for him. Either Winter Guard recovers the drive and his old enemy dies in the process, or global chaos makes his nation easier to spread.
Dracula is one of Marvel’s most dangerous villains, with his ruthless ambition making him a potentially devastating figure even in the best of times. By playing diplomat and not raising a single finger against either party, he’s able to effectively force some of Russia’s most powerful forces against each other for his amusement — and his reward. It’s a good reminder of how threatening Dracula is even beyond being a supernatural threat strong enough to keep up with the likes of Doctor Strange. It’s also a good hint about how what kind of damage he could bring to the Marvel Cinematic Universe if he were to appear in something like the upcoming Blade film — and how devious the lord of the vampires really is.
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Brandon Zachary is an Associate Writer with Comic Book Resources and has written for CBR since 2018. He covers breakouts on comics, film, television, video games, and anime. He also conducts industry interviews, is a Rotten Tomatoes certified film critic, and knows SO MUCH about the X-Men. For requests, comments, or to hear his pitch for a third Avatar series that incorporates robots, you can contact him through [email protected].

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