Titans’ New Dracula Character Has A Shocking Meaning



The following contains spoilers for Titans Season 4, Episodes 1 & 2, “Lex Luthor” and “Mother Mayhem,” now streaming on HBO Max.

Titans Season 4 seems to be all-in on the supernatural. From Lex Luthor embracing the occult to Beast Boy’s increasingly lycanthropic transformationsthe first two episodes were loaded with theme. Brother Blood officially makes its debut in the season premiere as well, and indeed the dc the vampire slayer a limited comic book series was released in paperback form a few weeks before the new season started (featuring an undead Dick Grayson no less).

Apparently, Halloween has received a significant extension in the Titans universe. This includes a very unusual supporting character introduced in Season 4 Episode 1, “Lex Luthor”. Arthur Holmwood – who appears here as a mysterious “medical expert” – has his roots in Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula. With the World’s Greatest Vampire officially a DC character, Holmwood’s presence could speak to the nature of the new season’s big badand in any case makes surprising sense.

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Who is Arthur Holmwood in Bram Stoker’s Dracula

In Bram Stoker’s original novel, Arthur Holmwood is a nobleman who becomes engaged to Lucy Westenra, winning her hand over a pair of friendly but devoted romantic rivals. Count Dracula seduces Lucy soon after, draining her blood and turning her into a vampire. Holmwood assists in its destruction, then joins the other vampire hunters under the leadership of Dr. Van Helsing to hunt down Dracula himself. As a wealthy aristocrat, he provides the team with the resources they need to pursue the vampire to his castle in Romania and defeat him for good.

Holmwood has a surprisingly spotty record in the various film and television adaptations of Dracula. The Court of Lucy subplot is often dropped for convenience, with Holmwood either eliminated or combined with other characters. His most memorable screen appearance came as Cary Elwes in 1992. Bram Stoker’s Dracula: a film that made a conscious effort to stay true to the novel. Michael Gough plays an amalgamated version of him in the 1958s dracula horror, playing alongside Christopher Lee’s legendary first appearance as the Earl.

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What Arthur Holmwood could mean for the Titans

“Lex Luthor” posits a mysterious medical figure by the name of Arthur Holmwood: the world’s foremost expert on kryptonite poisoning. Apparently it’s a coincidence. The character is related to Lex Luthor, who dies from repeated exposure to kryptonite and consults Holmwood for a cure. But the doctor’s methods signal something more. Starfire mentions one of Holmwood’s theories known as “radical mass transfusion”, which involves the transfer of blood and vital organs to a host subject. Season 4 Episode 2, “Mother Mayhem,” involves him in the shocking murder of Luthor, meaning he’ll almost certainly return. Given the overtly supernatural content of Season 4, a direct connection to the Stoker figure isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

Count Dracula even has a DC Comics version, officially created in Beowulf #4 (by Michael Uslan and Ricardo Villamonte) in 1975. The Vampire became the public domain in 1962, and with the rise of horror comics in the 1970s it was fairly easy to tell stories about it. His DC incarnation, however, struggled against a better-received Marvel version, and he only appeared a handful of times before meeting his fate in Superman #180 (by Jeph Loeb, Geoff John, Ian Churchill, Norm Rapmund, Tanya Horie, Richard Horie and Comicraft) in 2002.

Regardless of Holmwood’s true identity, her appearance says a lot about the new season. It is clearly part of the bloody goal of the season, and with Luthor plunges headlong into the occult“kryptonite poisoning expert” becomes likely thread to something much bigger. Time will tell if the name means anything more than a tip of the hat, or if Dracula – or some replacement – is also on the way. For now, however, Holmwood is a quietly smart way to signal what the new season is all about.

New episodes of Titans air every Thursday on HBO Max.

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