Comics Reviews

Venom’s Ravencroft Used Captain America Science to Make… Super Vampires?!


The dark history of the Ravencroft Institute from Venom: Let There Be Carnage extends to using the science that created Captain America on vampires.

The Ravencroft Institute, despite existing to help those with mental health issues, has become a fixture in the Marvel Universe as a breeding ground for dark events. It’s history of twisted moments stretches back well over a century, to the time when Captain America was active during World War II.

During that period, Ravencroft had been commandeered by Weapon Plus, the same group responsible for funding Project: Rebirth, which turned Steve Rogers into a Super Soldier. But instead of continuing that work, Weapon Plus forged an alliance with Dracula to create vampires devoid of their standard weaknesses.


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The goal wasn’t simply to get vampire super soldiers on the side of the Allies, but rather to secure an entire section of Europe for their side of the war. Dracula had agreed to put Transylvania’s resources at their disposal if the scientists of Weapon Plus could engineer a way to remove a vampire’s aversion to the sun. The potential consequences of such an action were apparently ignored by the scientists as they took over Ravencroft and began using its patients as guinea pigs in their experiments. The result was the creation of the Unwanted, mutated creatures that were locked beneath Ravencroft for fear of what they could unleash.

Fortunately though, these experiments were stopped by Captain America and Bucky. After trying to locate an old friend of his who had been admitted to Ravencroft, Steve stumbled upon Dracula’s experiments, triggering a fight. The ensuing chaos was interrupted by the arrival of Jonah Ravencroft, who attempted to take back his institute by unleashing the Unwanted. The massacre that followed ended Weapon Plus’ goals and Dracula’s ambitions, but left a dark stain on the building’s history.

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It is horrifying to imagine that Weapon Plus would employ such horrifying tactics in hopes of defeating their enemies. Had Jonah Ravencroft not freed the monsters they had created, then the chance exists that they and Dracula would have killed Captain America and irrevocably altered the course of history. But this is just one link in a long chain of horrors that continue to occur at the institute.

It seems that Ravencroft can’t escape these roots even in cinema. In Venom: Let There Be Carnage, the institute was introduced as a hidden location used to secure the depraved metahumans who would inevitably use their powers for violence. This follows the footsteps laid out by their comic book counterpart, and underscores how deplorable the location is in any medium.

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