Here are the earliest versions of the Action Draculas from 2014:
Draculeader’s pose is an homage to GATCHAMAN, my all-time favorite anime and an inspiration for Action Draculas. Note that this was before I gave him sneakers.
Misty originally had a capelet and fog “hair.” Now I don’t know why I did away with those elements. I also added some structural lines to her waist. The top is, of course, pure STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION.
Lon’s pose is lifted from a cover of Dell Comics’ short-lived superheroic version of DRACULA from the 1960s. The striped pants are another homage to GATCHAMAN: team members Jun and Jinpei wore striped pants in their civilian identities.
After looking at some actual bats, Rennie gained a top portion of his wing which runs from top of his wrist to his deltoid. It looks like his left ear might be notched, here? Foreshadowing? HMM…
Ah, back before he was Great Lord Dracula, a name which is supposed to evoke anime and videogame Japanese-to-English naming. Count Dracula was the vampire from the novel; Great Lord Dracula is a manifestation brought about by the fusion of the Action Draculas, inspired by FOREVER PEOPLE’s Infinity Man, TEAM AMERICA’s Marauder (Team America the old Ideal toy line and Marvel Comic, not the puppet movie) and even Captain Planet.
Principal Van Helsing was probably my guess at how anime artists might render an old white authority figure.
The Draculizers are inspired by the the medallion (or possibly two different medallions) worn by Bela Lugosi in Tod Browning’s 1931 DRACULA. (Here’s an interesting article that talks about Lugosi’s medallion.) Visually, it needed to work both as one unit and four separate pieces.
Here’s the original description:
I’m BRAD STOKER. On a dare, my friends MISTY, LON, RENNIE and I went to a haunted house and found the skeleton of the legendary vampire DRACULA. When we touched his magic amulet, we each gained one of his special powers!
MISTY can become MIST and controls the WEATHER!
LON can change into a WEREWOLF!
RENNIE can become a BAT!
And I became DRACULEADER, and I have Dracula’s SUPER-STRENGTH and HYPNOTIC POWERS!
Together, we use Dracula’s abilities to FIGHT THE FORCES OF DARKNESS IN OUR TOWN!
When faced with a foe our individual powers can’t defeat, we join our DRACULIZERS together to form GREAT LORD DRACULA. We can only use his powers for five minutes at a time– any more and we’re DOOMED!
Only PRINCIPAL VAN HELSING at Harker High suspects who the ACTION DRACULAS really are!
Can we use evil to do good?
ACTION DRACULAS, let’s DRACULIZE!