John Kerry: Vampire Slayer

Even though they don’t have access to Google, the Seattle Times occasionally manages to stumble on some interesting news: Kerry fights “Dracula” in Vietnam

Set aside the question of whether all politicians are bloodsuckers, and check out John Kerry in the latest issue of “Sword of Dracula” (Image, $2.95). The Democratic presidential candidate turns up for a sighting of the fanged one in an unusual place: Vietnam, 1968, where Kerry served in the U.S. Navy.

Kerry was in the Navy? And in Vietnam, no less? Why hasn’t this been mentioned previously?

Kerry doesn’t drive a stake through Nixon’s heart, and his appearance as a swift-boat skipper in the Mekong Delta is just a flashback within the modern-day “military horror” story — in which writer Jason Henderson reimagines Drac as the world’s foremost terrorist.

A swift-boat?! That’s positively scary. Didn’t John F. Kennedy skipper a swift-boat? And aren’t Kerry’s initials JFK, too? The coincidence is striking.

Combining Bram Stoker’s source novel with the real Romanian prince, and a drop of Japanese animé influence, Henderson, 32, says from his Austin, Texas, crypt, “This is the guy, who in the 15th century was the greatest war criminal of all time. If he were alive today, he’d be a nightmare of a character.” Issue 5 of the six-issue arc just hit the stands (check your neighborhood comic shop or Vampire-hunter Ronnie Van Helsing has captured her nemesis, but springs him to face an even greater horror. The black-and-white interior pages started as a cost-cutting measure, Henderson says. But producers of the “Die Hard” series and the coming “Spy Hunter” movie have optioned it, and a “Sword” video game is in the works.

Henderson says Kerry will be back, “because we’re going to have to find out what happened in 1968.” But why use him in the first place? “I didn’t put Kerry in to push a leftist doctrine. I just thought people deserved to remember that this man, when he was a young man, actually walked away from a wealthy and comfortable life and went to a place where there were pieces of metal flying around that could tear you apart.”

Indeed. Just think, Kerry could have been wounded and received a Purple Heart! I can’t believe the Democrats haven’t mentioned this until now. I suppose Kerry is just too modest to bring up his military service and doesn’t want to talk about what he went through over there. That’s how most people who’ve seen combat are, really.

It’s amazing what one can learn from comic books.

Hat tip: Rusty Shackleford

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2004, Humor, Popular Culture
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. McGehee says:

    Whereas, back in 1992 the major news media couldn’t mention George H.W. Bush without recounting, in detail, how he was shot down in the Pacific during WW2.

    At least, that’s how it must have been in that Bizarro universe where there’s no liberal media bias.

  2. FetchDawg says:


    Perhaps your military service was greater than Kerry’s. Please tell us about it.


  3. James Joyner says:


    Mine was substantially longer albeit less exciting. Four years active duty, four years active reserve, and ten years inactive reserve. Airborne and Air Assault schools. A combat tour in the first Gulf War.

  4. Tim says:

    I just thought people deserved to remember that this man, when he was a young man, actually walked away from a wealthy and comfortable life and went to a place where there were pieces of metal flying around that could tear you apart.

    …and walked back to that wealthy and comforatble
    lifestyle four months later, ready to pursue the
    next phase in his political journey.

  5. FetchDawg says:


    Hat’s off to you, soldier. You’ve earned your right to criticize on this issue. So having served, you must be disgusted by Bush’s behavior during Vietnam and how he took advantage of his family’s great wealth and connections to avoid serving his full stint in the Guard. You must have great respect for Kerry’s actions in Vietnam and how the men who served under him feel about him to this day.


    Not that he knew he’d walk back into it, did he? Meanwhile Bush, he of incredible wealth and influence… Ah, never mind, you know that story. You guys just choose to ignore it.

  6. McGehee says:

    Fetch, if you haven’t been wealthy you’re not qualified to criticize.

    Same logic.

  7. Attila Girl says:

    Um, FetchDawg . . .? How do the men who served under Kerry feel about him now? Bad enough to write a book condemning him? Bad enough to start a web site that calls him a liar?

  8. Hemi Cuda says:

    What’s what’s wrong with having it both ways? Trumpet Kerry’s war record then say just ignore Clinton’s, I loathe the military letter and draft dodging. Works for me.