There’s a lot of obsession with the powers of vampires. Partly it’s down to the various interpretations of the mythology, but a lot of it is an incursion of superpowers.
Sexual prowess is an obvious one. Mythology would mostly suggest that vampires are undead and incapable of sex… or the male vampires, anyway. In modern PNR, however, the male vampire is virile, experienced, possessing expertise and stamina, and able to satisfy most profoundly.
Modern vampires have superspeed, superstrength, supersenses, telepathy and the ability to control minds – rather than the old turn into mist (just daft) or a bat (er, how does such a large human-shaped body shrink down to a bat?) or a wolf (hey! that’s werewolves!).
So, vampires as, er, superheroes? With great power comes great respo-… er, sex. What do you call someone who has superpowers and uses them to feed off humans?
I’m having some difficulty seeing vampires as heroic. Even the nice ones are deeply selfish.
Anyway, back to the powers. As any superhero fan knows, powers need to be balanced by vulnerabilities. So, that’s easy. Vampires can’t go out in the sun, and in fact have to sleep all day, in a coffin, with native earth… Hmm. Okay, ditch the last three, and maybe the sunlight thing as well, or at least don’t make it fatal, and while we’re at it the sensitivity to garlic and holy water and fear of the cross, and the need to be invited into people’s houses… Do we need these?
Hmm. Okay, so vampires are:
- super awesome powerful
- almost invulnerable (just a few awkward allergies)
- free to do whatever they like
Who wouldn’t want to be one?
The thing is… If you’re a member of a small society of vampires, and humans are so inferior as not to really count, they’re basically sheep, and to compare yourself to them is as meaningless as bragging about how you can drive a car but sheep just stand around all day eating grass… then you’re not really special. Everyone in your society has the same powers as you.
And it’s a small society, lacking the cultural wealth and diversity of human society that you despise as inferior.
In fact, isn’t it awfully boring? Not cool after all?
Are you looking forward to eternity in that microcosm?