Real Name: Bessie

Identity/Class: Terrestrial bovine vampire

Occupation: Criminal, predator;
    former grazer and milking cow

Group Membership: Vampires of Earth;
    formerly Deadpool, Inc. (Branch, Bruce the shark, Deborah the shark, Husk/Paige Guthrie, Manphibian, Mockingbird/Barbara "Bobbie" Morse, Clay Quartermain, Screwball, Silk/Cindy Moon, Kate Waynesboro)

Affiliations: Branch, Bruce the shark, Chameleon, Deadpool (Jack; aka Wade Wilson), Deborah the shark, Husk (Paige Guthrie), Manphibian, Mockingbird (Barbara "Bobbie" Morse), Clay Quartermain, Screwball, Silk/Cindy Moon, Kate Waynesboro), Spider-Man (Peter Parker);
Hans Ankenbauer (former owner)

EnemiesJubal Brown (victim), Dracula (Vlad Dracula), Howard the Duck, Dr. Kilgore; other unidentified victims
    formerly Chameleon (Dmitri Kravinoff)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: The Bovine Blood-Beast, the Cowled Cow, Farm Killer, the Recreant Ruminant

Base of Operations: Mobile;
    formerly Cleveland, Ohio;
    formerly Kleine Scheidegg, Switzerland

First Appearance: Giant-Size Man-Thing#5/2 (August, 1975)

Powers/Abilities:The Hellcow has the standard vampire abilities and limitations. She has super-bovine strength (enhanced bovine) and durability. hellcow-batform

    She can transform into a winged bat-cow hybrid (her cape apparently transforming into leathery wings) capable of flight, or into mist.

    Hellcow requires regular consumption of blood, which apparently may be animal or human. Her bite, at least under some circumstances (with the subject being Deadpool), could transform a victim, at least temporarily into a vampire (or, at least, giving him or her vampiric powers).
    Hellcow once bit Deadpool, and he developed fangs and vampiric hunger almost immediately, though the effects wore off swiftly due to his healing factor.

    Generally, she has weaknesses to sunlight (at least previously), garlic, religious symbols, and, of course, a stake and/or a steak.

    Hellcow’s vampiric blood-infused milk possesses restorative properties that allow its drinkers to have some life-giving properties, helping its user fight off disease (even temporarily halting cancer progression) and live somewhat longer, though the effects seem to wear off with continued use.

    Hellcow is vulnerable to silver, which burns her flesh if it touches her.

    Hellcow is significantly more intelligent than a normal bovine, able to understand and enact escape and attack plans. She has a distinctive laugh: “hahahamooo.”

    More recently, through unrevealed circumstances (perhaps as a result of drinking Deadpool’s blood), Hellcow began standing upright (bipedal form), wearing clothing, and thinking and speaking with human-level intelligence and social skills. She consumed blood as juice or smoothies, and ate things like rats to quell her hunger. Hellcow was able to use some technology and had the assets of Deadpool Inc at her disposal. She also seemed able to go out in daylight during these times.

Height: 4' 6" at shoulder; (bipedal conformation) unrevealed; approximately 5’10’’
Weight: 575 lbs.; (bipedal conformation) unrevealed; approximately 200 lbs.
Eyes: Red
Hair: Brown

hellcow-gsmt5-p41-pan4-quadruped (Giant-Size Man-Thing#5/2 (fb)) <During the latter half of the 17th century> - Bessie the cow lived a peaceful existence as part of Hans Ankenbauer's herd in Switzerland.

    One night, Dracula came to the town, but all of the doors and windows of the village were locked. And Dracula was very thirsty...but not for milk, and he drank of Bessie's blood.

    Hans buried his favorite cow the next day, but three days hence she rose anew as a vampire.

    `Since that time, Bessie attempted to follow the trail of Dracula -- feasting as she went -- seeking revenge for taking her away from her life of contentment.

(Giant-Size Man-Thing I#5/2 (fb) – BTS) – Hellcow ended up in Cleveland, Ohio, where she feasted on a handful of civilians.

(Giant-Size Man-Thing I#5/2) – Farmer Jubal Brown mistook Bessie for one of his own cows, and she killed the farmer, then flew away on batwings as Brown’s daughter screamed.

    Hellcow soon saw Howard the Duck for Dracula and attacked him, the fight soon leading into an auto-body shop. The duck briefly held her off with a tire iron (in the shape of a cross), but when he reached for a hammer and stake, she leapt at him. Howard ducked and Bessie found herself tangled in a pile of tires, with her fangs imbedded in a whitewall. Howard then staked Bessie through the heart, destroying her vampiric life.

    As Howard sent Bessie to her final rest, that great pasture in the sky, she was heard to say, "Mooooooooooooooooo."

(Blade III#12 - BTS) - A fulfilled prophecy involving Blade presumably restored every vampire who ever existed, although Bessie was either not affected, or she was quickly destroyed once again and returned to the same grave.

hellcow-dptu-cover(Deadpool Team-Up I#885 (fb) – BTS) – Hellcow was buried, with the stake in her heart, in a grave.

(Deadpool Team-Up I#885 (fb)) – Terminally ill from cancer, Dr. Kilgore heard about the Hellcow from a gypsy while seeking a means of immortality and followed the bovine’s trail to Cleveland, learning of her destruction at Howard’s hands. He exhumed her body and removed the stake, reviving the Hellcow and capturing her in a silver cage.

(Deadpool Team-Up I#885 (fb) – BTS) –  Wanting to achieve immortality, Kilgore kept the cow confined in a silver cage, and he regularly milked Bessie and drank the milk, helping to stave off his cancer. Though this put his cancer in remission, its health benefits proved temporary, and he had to drink a fresh glass frequently; Kilgore kept this up until the effects of the milk started to wear off.

    Kilgore hoped that taking cells from the regenerating mercenary Deadpool (“Wade Wilson”) could grant true immortality.

(Deadpool Team-Up I#885) – Kilgore captured Deadpool, wanting to dissect him to help further his own immortality, while Hellcow remained caged. Apparently able to communicate with Hellcow, Deadpool formed an escape plan.

    As Kilgore injected himself with Deadpool’s human growth hormone, Hellcow kicked over the table to which Deadpool was confined, allowing the mercenary to free himself. Deadpool released Hellcow as Kilgore mutated into a gigantic, cancerous monster.

    Although a Deadpool from the future arrived to warn them of something related to the sun, Deadpool and Hellcow ignored him. After Hellcow was wounded with the silver bars against her flesh, they were overpowered by the rampaging Dr. Kilgore. Hellcow desperately bit and vampirized Deadpool, and they both fed on Kilgore, who melted away into goo; Deadpool and Hellcow flushed his remains down the toilet.

    As Deadpool’s healing factor purged the vampirism from his body, he expressed  his deep feelings of friendship for the cow, but as they walked outside, Hellcow was incinerated by the sun, leaving only a charred hamburger patty.

    Recalling his future self’s warning, Deadpool somehow apparently traveled back through time to issue the warning to himself, failing numerous times until he finally decided to simply wait at the building’s exit where he ambushed and staked the bovine, removing the stake after dark, restoring her unlife (see comments).

    Deadpool apologized to Hellcow, but could not explain why his 60 temporally displaced duplicates were eating hamburgers.    The angry Hellcow flew away, leaving a lonely Deadpool behind.

(Unbeatable Squirrel Girl II#6 – BTS) – Squirrel Girl studied Hellcow on her computer.

hellcow-deadpoolinc(Spider-Man/Deadpool I#23 (fb) – BTS) – At some point, Hellcow took on a bipedal form and became able to communicate verbally; she further gained a keen analytical mind.

(Spider-Man/Deadpool I#23 (fb) – BTS) – Deadpool recruited a team of bizarre agents to help him in recovering S.H.I.E.L.D. tech, and they stationed themselves on the USS Pool, a retrofitted Helicarrier. Hellcow joined other operatives, including a Clay Quartermain LMD who was bonded with Branch (an off-shoot of Man-Thing), Screwball, Manphibian, Bruce and Deborah (talking sharks), and Dr. Kate Waynesboro.

(Spider-Man/Deadpool I#23) – Spider-Man snuck aboard the USS Pool, where he saw Hellcow standing upright and talking while assisting Waynesboro with a minor repair.

(Spider-Man/Deadpool I#24) – Hellcow sipped on a blood smoothie while Spider-Man and Deadpool completed a mission in Tabula Rasa (a 10 mile diameter region of Montana in which time was accelerated for 130 million years by the Dark Beast) with Husk.

(Spider-Man/Deadpool I#25) – Hellcow smelled blood outside the Helicarrier while they waited. Soon, the whole team entered Tabula Rasa, where Hellcow feasted on the blood of monsters, commenting on how unique it was. Soon, they battled the Chameleon, and Husk shielded Hellcow from a blast; Hellcow promised not to eat Husk later. After Hellcow bantered with Screwball, the whole team was overwhelmed with plant growth when Branch briefly sprouted out of control.

    Later, Hellcow feasted on more blood.

(Spider-Man/Deadpool I#27) – The team continued stealing acquired S.H.I.E.L.D. tech, but Hellcow stated she was keeping the mechanical battle fleas for herself. They informed Deadpool about a radioactive zone called Area 14, where more S.H.I.E.L.D. tech was being kept, and Deadpool planned to investigate, though Hellcow warned him to stay away from the deadly Vault 22 inside.

    Deadpool later returned with all of the stolen tech from Area 14.

(Spider-Man/Deadpool I#28 (fb)) – Hellcow, the Clay Quartermain LMD, and Branch joined Deadpool on a mission to gather more tech in a vault in the sewers, and Hellcow consumed a rat.

    When Chameleon attacked, with a group of controlled LMDs, Hellcow watched as the fight ensued, with Spider-Man arriving to help Deadpool.

(Spider-Man/Deadpool I#28) – Hellcow and the team reviewed the threat of Chameleon with Spider-Man and Deadpool. Hellcow professed her faith in Deadpool, trusting him to guide them out of this mess, but she recommended that he kill Spider-Man next time they saw him.

(Spider-Man/Deadpool I#30 (fb) – BTS) – Hellcow gave Deadpool a blood ‘juice cleanse.’ Deadpool described it as ‘tangy’.

(Spider-Man/Deadpool I#30) – Aboard the USS Pool, Hellcow and the others learned that Chameleon was weaponizing LMDs.

(Spider-Man/Deadpool I#35 (fb) – BTS) – Deadpool’s team started working with Mockingbird, Silk, and Husk to fight Chameleon as they searched for the deadly weapon, the Master Matrix. Hellcow began sending intel to Chameleon in exchange for money.

(Spider-Man/Deadpool I#35) – Hellcow gave intel to Chameleon, who warned that the endgame was coming soon.

(Spider-Man/Deadpool I#36 (fb) – BTS) – The team discovered that Hellcow had betrayed them, and they blamed her for all that had happened, including the seeming death of Branch.

(Spider-Man/Deadpool I#36) – Waynesboro violently questioned Hellcow while hitting her with a cattle prod; Hellcow merely wondered what they had expected from her, given that her name was Hellcow.

    Later, Hellcow and Chameleon were both arrested.

Comments: Created by Steve Gerber, Frank Brunner, and Tom Palmer.

    Bessie's pre-vampirization form is seen in the sub-profile for Hans Ankerbauer below.

    I'll never read the title "Giant-Size Man-Thing" the same way again after reading Peter David's Captain Marvel#21.

    Hellcow has an entries in the Marvel Legacy: 1970s Handbook, the Marvel Pets Handbook, and the Vampires: the Marvel Undead Handbook.

    This blog that posts pre-code Horror comics just featured a story from Strange Tales#21 involving...vampire cattle.
I wonder if Gerber read it in his youth?
--Prime Eternal

     Hans Ankenbauer’s last name was revealed in the Hellcow profile in the Vampires handbook.

    After being killed by Dracula, Hellcow rose with vampiric powers. Later, she was killed by Howard the Duck, who put a stake through her heart, but she was left in a living death in a coffin until the stake was removed and she returned to life; one theory is that she didn’t die because her head wasn’t removed.

    In Deadpool Team-Up I#885, it is unclear how/if Deadpool actually traveled back in time (presumably diverging multiple realities) or whether his delusional mind just imagined those parts.

    Prime Eternal notes that Strange Tales I#21 featured a story involving vampire cattle. Reference: http://thehorrorsofitall.blogspot.com/2008/03/man-who-cried-vampire.html 

    Profile by Snood; updated/expanded by Chadman (with editing/review by Snood).


Hellcow should not be confused with:

hellcow-hansHans Ankenbauer

(Giant-Size Man-Thing I#5/5 (fb)) – 300 years ago, in Switzerland, Hans Ankenbauer tended to his favorite cow, Bessie.

    When he found her dead, he gave her a proper burial; unaware she’d been killed by Dracula, he was nonetheless unable to eat her.

    Three days later, she rose from the grave as Hellcow.

--Giant-Size Man-Thing I#5/5 (5/5 (fb)


hellcow-brown-jubalhellcow - stalking Jubal BrownJubal Brown

(Giant-Size Man-Thing I#5/5) – Jubal Brown was tending to his farm when he saw a stray cow in a cape.

    Assuming it was some sort of runaway show-cow, Jubal offered the beast a stall for the night, but Hellcow suddenly showed her fangs and killed Jubal.

    Jubal’s daughter screamed as the cow sprouted wings and flew away.

--Giant-Size Man-Thing I#5/5


Giant-Size Man-Thing I#5, pg. 38, pan1 (Hellcow logo)
        pg. 41, pan4 (initial appearance)
        pg. 42, pan3 (as bat)
Spider-Man/Deadpool I#23, p11, pan5 (in Deadpool Inc costume)
Deadpool Team-Up I#885, cover (with Deadpool)
Vampires: the Marvel Undead I#1, p20, pan1 (standing)
Giant-Size Man-Thing I#5, p43, pan3 (Hans Ankenbauer)
Giant-Size Man-Thing I#5, p41, pan3 (Jubal Brown)

Giant-Size Man-Thing I#5/2 (August, 1975) – Steve Gerber (writer), Frank Brunner (penciler), Tom Palmer (inker), Len Wein (editor)
Blade III#12 (October, 2010) - Marc Guggenheim (writer), Howard Chaykin and Gene Colan (pencilers/inkers), Aubrey Sitterson (editor)
Deadpool Team-Up I#885 (April, 2011) – Rick Spears (writer), Phillip Bond (artist), Sebastian Girner (editor)
Vampires: the Marvel Undead I#1 (December, 2011) – various writers, Jeff Youngquist (editor)
Unbeatable Squirrel Girl II#6 (May, 2016) – Ryan North, Chip Zdarsky (writers), Erica Henderson, Chip Zdarsky, Joe Quinones (artists), Wil Moss (editor)
Spider-Man/Deadpool I#23 (January, 2018) – Robbie Thompson (writer), Chris Bachalo (penciler), Tim Townsend, Al Vey, Richard Friend (inkers), Jordan White (editor)
Spider-Man/Deadpool I#24 (January, 2018) – Robbie Thompson (writer), Chris Bachalo (penciler), Tim Townsend, Wayne Faucher, Al Vey, Victor Olazaba, Livesay (inkers), Nick Lowe (editor)
Spider-Man/Deadpool I#25 (February, 2018) – Robbie Thompson (writer), Chris Bachalo, Scott Hepburn (pencilers), Victor Olazaba, Wayne Faucher, Al Vey, Liveway, Scott Hapburn (inkers), Jordan White (editor)
Spider-Man/Deadpool I#27 (April, 2018) – Robbie Thompson (writer), Chris Bachalo, Scott Hepburn, Marcus To (pencilers), Livesay, Al Vey, Wayne Faucher, Victor Olazaba, Scott Hepburn (inkers), Jordan White (editor)
Spider-Man/Deadpool I#28 (April, 2018) – Robbie Thompson (writer), Chris Bachalo, Matt Horak (pencilers), Livesay, Tim Townsend, Victor Olazaba, Wayne Faucher (inkers), Jordan White (editor)
Spider-Man/Deadpool I#30, 35-36 (May, August-September, 2018) – Robbie Thompson (writer), Elmo Bondoc (artist), Jordan White (editor)

First posted: 3/31/2002
Last updated
: 3/13/2020

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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