|“||I have experience, my child, and the money and power attained through using those powers for personal gain, you'd say. I could train you, teach you everything I know. And all you have to do... is renounce your idiot father!||„|
|~ Vlad Plasmius to Danny Phantom.|
|“||I am not a villain. All I wanted was love.||„|
|~ Vlad Plasmius|
Vlad Masters, better known as Vlad Plasmius, is the main antagonist of Nickelodeon's animated series Danny Phantom. He is Danny's main arch-nemesis, Jack Fenton's former best friend, and Maddie's former love interest, the former two's rival. He later becomes one of the most hated men on Earth after he finally reveals his true nature as a ghost.
He was voiced by Martin Mull.
Vlad Masters was the childhood friend of Jack Fenton, the father of the series' protagonist, Danny Fenton. They were working together on a science project, trying to create a portal to the ghost world, when the project exploded and infected Vlad with "ecto acne". Believing himself to be hideous, he assumed he was unworthy of his true love, although Maddie never truly loved Vlad as revealed in Masters of All Time. He held a grudge against Jack Fenton since, believing his infection to be Jack's fault. In the final episode, a TV special titled "Phantom Planet", he gets hit by an asteroid. It is unknown if he survived, though since it was rather comical it was implied that he did.
Aside from trying to gain a family by winning back his college love and even get Danny to be his adopted son, he tries to gain power, in all ways he can. Throughout the series he makes life hard for Danny, hoping to break his will. Vlad had even made attempts to clone Danny as well in order to sate his desires for a family. At the beginning of the third season, Vlad seems to lose interest in having Danny as a son and simply sought to torment Danny. He even goes so far as to become mayor of Amity Park and start a campaign against ghosts despite being half-ghost himself. In "The Ultimate Enemy" special, he accidentally creates Dark Danny in an attempt to help ease the emotional pain Danny had been going through.
As a human, Vlad has gray hair tied into a ponytail, as the result of being infused with ecto-acne, and a matching goatee. However, he has black eyebrows and a pointed nose. He has midnight blue eyes and his eyes are heavily outlined in black, showing his evil nature and implying that he maybe wears eyeliner. He typically wears a black suit with a red handkerchief in his left breast pocket and a matching red bolo tie.
The suit has three rows of white buttons, a total of six. He also wears a white undershirt and black pointed shoes. In his alter-ego of Vlad Plasmius, he retains little resemblance to his human form, although some features remains the same.
Plasmius is more vampiric than Masters, as this was the producer's original intention, although it was rebuked by Nickelodeon, who considered it too "occult."
He is more muscular in this form, has sky blue skin, and pointed ears and fangs. His hair is black and pointed in a U-shape and he has a black goatee. He wears a mostly white outfit consisting of white trousers and a white long-sleeved shirt covered in black gloves. His shirt is connected via a black belt and stems up to his neck. There is a black collar on his shirt like Danny's, although it does not extend up the neck. He wears black boots. Finally, he accessories with a high collar cape connected around his neck that has a white exterior and a red interior lining.
Vlad's general outer appearance showcase him as a well to do man: rich, debonair, obsequious, charming, suave, creative, diabolical, manipulative, knowledgeable, intelligent, and mysterious, but deep down he has narcissistic personality disorder as he shoes all of the signs such as being highly entitled . He plans out his well-strategized ideas to get what he wants, when he wants it, showcasing patience as well as a slick side. He isn't above using others as his pawn in his well-played game of chess to reach further into his goals, never giving up when he is down and going into another phase of his multiple plans. To compensate for his losses, Vlad savors the small personal victories (such as in "Bitter Reunions" where he lost the battle but pointed out Danny's blackmailing before leaving). When under stress, he frequently shouts out snack names ("Oh, butter biscuit", "Oh, sugar cookie", etc) instead of curse words. He usually works alone but has required help from Skulker several times, as well as the vulture ghosts, ectopusses, and the failed clones of Danny he created, like Danielle Phantom. It is also probable that he struck a deal with the Fright Knight.
However, he is a complicated soul, often a double-edged sword as he uses the wrong methods (killing, stealing, etc.) to gain the right, namely his painful loneliness and wanting acceptance of love which he frequently shares with Maddie and especially Danny or to try and gain the things that he can't have (Maddie and Danny). Unfortunately, this is also used to his disadvantage when his emotions were often used to trick him into losing a battle. However, the fact that he retains such emotions shows that he is not above redemption.
Though he is completely influential and powerful, (having more than 20 years of ghost experience as compared to Danny), Vlad is not invincible. Like other ghosts (and half ghosts), Vlad is emotional and vulnerable to the various (Fenton) ghost gadgets. Danny's Ghostly Wail (a sonic scream) and Ghostly Ice (Cryokinesis) are also clear advantages, seeing as these are powers that Vlad seems to lack, giving Danny a substantial edge, while Vlad's powers have remained consistent throughout the series, but only grew a little bit. His arrogance has also proven to be a significant disadvantage; on one occasion when he fought Jack as Plasmius- Jack, naturally, being unaware of his identity as Vlad Masters- part of the reason for his defeat was the fact that he was so surprised at Jack's ability to successfully battle him that he didn't launch any effective attacks as he assumed that Jack wouldn't stand a chance. He (like all ghosts) is also powerless against the anti-ghost element Ectoranium, which ultimately leads to his downfall and the realization of his own foolishness. However, despite showing remorse after his actions almost destroyed the Earth, Vlad shows that he is incapable of letting go of his grudge against Jack. Furthermore, while he claims that he loves Maddie and has respect for Danny, it is merely because he detests Jack for having a family of his own and out of sheer entitlement. That said, it is possible that he did care about them deep down. Interestingly when Vlad attempted to create the perfect clone of Danny out of loneliness despite his massive amount of wealth which resulted in the creation of Danielle Phantom, the only clone of his to be given a mind of her own, he faked his parental behavior as he would eventually dispose of her when he managed to create the perfect clone as he still saw her as a failed experiment despite her being the closet thing to a perfect clone that he desired, his arrogance once again here brings him down as when he furiously snaps at her to overshadow Danny, this only causes Dani to turn her back on him, free Danny and destroying everything in his lab, including the prefect clone resulting in Vlad attempting to kill her but is stopped by Sam and Tucker's rescue at the exact moment. Thus that shows that had Vlad actually treated her like an actual daughter instead as a pawn he would of had succeeded in one of his most ultimate goals, which is creating the loving family he wanted.
Powers and Abilities
Human-Ghost Physiology: Vlad has all the same powers that Danny has, but his powers are far more developed because he had been using them for years. He can perform techniques that Danny has yet to learn (like duplication, until the episode Torrent of Terror), and for all the feats that Danny can perform, Vlad can perform them better, possibly due to the 20-year experience in which he has had more time to develop new abilities, improve his existing ones, and patch up any weaknesses he might have, but Danny is slowly catching up to him. Furthermore, it's been shown that Vlad lacks Danny's Ghostly Wail and doesn't have a ghost sense or by extension, hasn't developed ice powers as Danny did. Vlad's powers eventually grew (creating more duplicates of himself, a Ghost-Tornado, etc.). A possible reason Vlad increased in power a bit through the series is that he never really had any worthy opponents to train to defeat until he became Danny's archenemy. Even then, because of Danny's own training, he starts losing more often.
- Transformation/Going Ghost: Vlad's rings are black, as opposed to Danny's, which are white, extend from his waist and pass over his body. Unlike Danny, Vlad does not have a battle cry. Vlad's ghost form is similar to a vampire, unlike Danny who just has a "negative image" of himself. The reason for this is that Vlad Dracula from Romania was thought to be a "vampire" for his blood lust, therefore, when they're names crossed the makers decided him to be a vampire. While in his ghost form he can use all his ghost powers. He showed once that he can transform his eyes to glow red to use some of his ghost powers.
- Intangibility & Invisibility: Vlad can phase through solid objects and turn invisible to be seen by others. He has used this often to steal money before the start of the series. As with other ghosts, however, he can still get hurt when intangible when other ghosts are so as well, and Anti-ghost gadgets that can get past it.
- Overshadowing/Possession: Vlad can overshadow any human and control their actions. He has used this ability to increase his wealth and get rich tycoons to give their companies to him. He also used this in Eye for an Eye with his duplication power on multiple people to vote for him for mayor.
- Flight/Fly: Vlad can fly, float, and hover, presumably at the same speed as Danny. This is never noticeably seen before or again as Vlad does not use flying as an advantage as much as Danny does. He can even fly in his human form. As well as Duplication and Teleportation this is one of Vlad most often used abilities.
- Ghost Tail: Vlad’s lower half became a wispy tail as he quickly tries to escape Pariah Dark.
- Spectral Body Manipulation: Vlad can be able to shape-shift his body at any position he desires. He usually doesn't use this power as much as Danny does.
- Superhuman Strength: Vlad is stronger than Danny. He punched away a giant dragon-like ghost with ease, though he didn't hurt him and he used an Energy Strike. However, we can assume that his strength is about 40 to 50 tons. Even after been weakened by having duplicated himself in hundreds of duplicates, he was still strong enough to punch Danny hard enough to pierce through a brick wall.
- Superhuman Durability/Pain Resistance: Vlad is highly resistant to all forms of external physical damage. He is able to withstand higher amounts of damage than Danny. In his ghost form, Vlad's body is incredibly resistant to damage. His ghost tissues and bones are considerably harder and more resistant to physical injury than those of an ordinary human. He also demonstrated a high threshold for pain. There are many moments where he gets up and runs off after near-fatal wounds. His ghost tissues and bones are considerably harder and more resistant to physical injury than those of an ordinary human. A noticeable example of this is in Kindred Spirits where he was hit by Danny's Ghostly Wail, only being knocked back and momentarily without showing signs of the attack hurting him.
- Healing Factor: Vlad can be able to regenerate quickly like Danny. When Pariah Dark effortlessly knocked out both Vlad and Danny, who both healed very quickly in a small period of time.
- Superhuman Speed/Reflexes & Agility: Vlad has built on these skills during the 20 years of practice he has had to hone his ghost powers. Vlad's agility, balance, and bodily coordination are enhanced to levels that are beyond the natural physical limits of even the finest human athlete. His reflexes are heightened in a similar manner and are, likewise, are superior to those of the finest human athlete. Given that he also outclassed Danny in this regard, one could argue that he is faster than most ghosts as well.
- Superhuman Stamina: In his ghost form, Vlad's musculature produces almost no fatigue toxins during physical activity. He can physically exert himself at peak capacity for hours before fatigue begins to impair him.
- Superhuman Endurance: In his ghost form, Vlad can endure attacks much more than a ordinary human. A great example is Vlad briefly (for only a second) held against Danny's Ghostly Wail before being blown back and forced to revert to human form.
- Ghost Ray: His blast consists of pink ectoplasm; however he is seen using green, turquoise, violet, and blue, with each color presumably being at a different power level. He can also fire ghost rays from his eyes in human or ghost form. His full-powered ghost ray is enough powerful to dig a crate of 4 meters.
- Energy Disks: He can also fire his ghost rays in the form of explosive disks.
- Energy Strike: Vlad can concentrate his ecto-energy within his fist, in order to enhance the strength of his physical attacks. He does this when he was fighting Behemoth. His Energy Strikes can break the solid concrete of the street.
- Ecto-Energy Absorption & Redirection: Vlad can absorb energy attacks from his enemies and use them as his own. This is considered one of the rarest Ghost Power for any ghost or half-ghost. Though he's the only ghost/half-ghost in the series to be known having this power. For unknown reasons he only used this power once.
- Power Augmentation: He can increase his physical strength, becoming strong enough to destroy the Fenton Ghost Fisher.
- Ecto-Energy Constructs: Vlad can create solid objects with ectoplasmic energy; from shields to nooses/ropes, even a racket, and a cage, or a sword capable of great damage. He can also trap people in ectoplasmic bubbles which are a domed-shaped Ghost Shields.
- Ghost Shield: His shield consists of pink or green ectoplasm. He has been shown to shape his shield in the form of a wall, a barrier, or a mirror shield.
- Mirror Shield: Also known as reflecting shield. He can create a pink ghost shield that can reflect any attack, including physical attacks.
- Force Field: He can create a ghost shield shaped like a dome to protect himself from explosions.
- Ghost Shield: His shield consists of pink or green ectoplasm. He has been shown to shape his shield in the form of a wall, a barrier, or a mirror shield.
- Teleportation: Vlad can disappear from one location and reappear elsewhere by wrapping his cape around him and vanishing in a cloud of green or pink mist.
- Ghost Stinger: An attack that utilizes electricity, it has been used against Danny drain him of energy until he was forced into his human form. It is unknown if it will have similar if any, effects on full ghosts.
- Ghost Tornado/Ecto-Twister: By waving his cape around, Vlad can spin himself at high speeds, creating his own ectoplasmic energy tornado, similar to a real tornado. It is capable of cause mass destruction, deflecting any incoming ectoplasmic energy attacks, and causing huge wind gusts that can suck his enemies in and throw them to other places. This is arguably Vlad's most powerful technique and he only used it once in Eye for an Eye. This is also the only power Vlad has that Danny currantly does not have.
- Duplication: Vlad can split into duplicates that share all of his ghost powers. This is one of his most commonly used and advantageous techniques. He manage to create well over a hundred shadows of him that possessed many people to make them vote for him in the city mayor elections. Creating that many duplicates still weakened Vlad to the point where Danny could easily defeat him in combat and seem to indicate that there might not be a limit to the number of duplicates that he or possibly Danny would be able to create. It's been shown that when Vlad creates a duplicate, he can make them invisible in the process. He can also transform back to his human form while forming a ghost duplicate of himself, which explains how he's been able to get away with some events that may link directly to his footsteps.
- Vacuum Resistance: Like Danny, Vlad has been shown to survive the vacuum of outer space without any form of protection beyond his normal clothing and a helmet connected to an oxygen tank. This is only shown when trying to stop the Disasteroid. Near the end of the episode, he appeared he didn't need the helmet or oxygen tank as he probably needed it to incase he reverted back to human form.
- Self-Sustenance: Despite first entering the voids of space with a helmet and oxygen tank, Vlad can be seen sitting on the Disasteroid without said equipment. This indicates that Vlad either: doesn't require oxygen to survive while in his ghost form, or that he can utilize a form of self-sustenance while in his ghost form; either way, Vlad has shown to be capable of surviving in low-pressure, low-temperature environments.
- Paranormal Immunity: As Half-Ghost Vlad is immune or resistant to several effects that can hurt a ghost or a human. Like Danny, he's is immune to some Fenton Ghost Weaponry like the ghost shield when he is in his human form and it's possible that he is immune to some powers meant to affect humans like Ember's music.
- Genius Intellect: Vlad is one of the most intelligent characters in the series. He has created hundreds of devices and various equipment to hunt ghosts, all of them being of high standard technology. He even created a secret lab better than the Fenton's own lab and improved the Ecto-Skeleton so the suit wouldn't drain or kill the wearer. Furthermore, he managed to find a way to prevent anyone from knowing that he stole money from various businessmen and cover up his own evil deeds while serving as Mayor.
- Master Strategist: Vlad has a cunning mind and over the series, he has developed complicated plans in order to get what he wants such as power or vengeance. However, most of them are spoiled by Danny's interference or unexpected problems. Furthermore, Vlad sometimes lets his ego get in the way resulting in him losing even when Danny was less experienced.
- Gifted Businessman: Vlad is one of the most shrewd businessmen in the world, a trait that has earned him an immense fortune. However, he is not above using cutthroat tactics, unethical practices, and illegal operations to maintain the success of his business empire; he has admitted to overshadowing other businessmen.
- Skilled Combatant: Although he has had no formal training, Vlad is considerably skilled and very formidable in hand-to-hand combat, as his powers enable him to execute punches and kicks with superhuman force against his opponents. This mostly due to the fact that he has had over 20 years of experience, using his powers. He is able to hold his own with his battle with Danny. He was considerably more skilled than Danny in their first battle, effortlessly overwhelming Danny and knocking him out. He fought Danny using an ectoplasmic sword with ease. Even as the series continues, he is clearly the more skilled fighter of the two.
- Swordsmanship: He demonstrates some ability with the sword when fighting Danny despite once again, having no formal training.
- Vlad appears to be the opposite of Danny with several differences:
- Danny is good, Vlad is evil.
- In humans form, Vlad has white hair (black hair as a teenager) and wears a black tuxedo, while Danny has black hair and wears a white T-shirt in humans form. Vlad's ghost form has black hair and his suit is white, Danny's ghost form has white hair and his suit is black.
- Vlad has wealth and power, Danny has friends and family. Danny values them while the one other person Vlad cares about, Maddie, is because he feels entitled to have her and that he resents Jack for "taking her from him.”
- Danny has potential, Vlad has experience.
- Danny has white rings, has white hair and green eyes in his ghost form, and green ectoblasts (blue ones are the strongest), while Vlad has black rings, has black hair and red eyes in his ghost form and pink ectoblast (blue ones are the weakest).
- Whereas Vlad's love interest ultimately chose another man due to him believing that his ghost powers would draw her away from him, Danny successfully managed to hook up with Sam despite her being aware of him being half-ghost. Furthermore, Danny learns to overcome his jealousy while Vlad shows many signs of using his lust for Maddie as an excuse as he commits many crimes unrelated to his jealousy.
- Danny always stopped himself from giving into corruption while Vlad kept falling off the deep end and embraces his evil side.
- Danny was branded as a criminal while Vlad was hailed as a hero while they kept their true identities secret. But after being exposed, Vlad became an outcast to humanity to the point where he couldn't return to Earth while Danny was hailed as a hero.
- Despite Vlad gaining money through possessing millionaires and getting them to sign over their assets to him, he has yet to achieve one of his goals legally or illegally, to own the Green Bay Packers. Apparently, Vlad has been unable to possess or bamboozle the Packers' shareholders into surrendering ownership, or he could view it as a challenge to legitimately acquire the football team.
- He began robbing banks to make himself rich since June 1983.
- Vlad's first name, noble status, and vampiric appearance while in ghost form are references to Dracula.
- Vlad's food-based outbursts is very similar to Mr. Lancer's literature-based outbursts.
- Vlad was created to be the "Lex Luthor" of the Danny Phantom series. He serves as a contrast to Danny where he has the same powers but is older, more experienced, and richer, purposely meant to give Danny a formidable opponent. A running gag planned during development was that Vlad would lose his manor due to unfortunate luck every other episode.
- Vlad's origin is also eerily similar to that of Marvel's Doctor Doom, in that, much like Doom, he was working on a portal that would lead to an alternate universe whilst in his college years (In Vlad's case, it was to help Jack and Maddie enter the Ghost Zone, and in Doom's case, it was Hell in order to rescue his mother), and the ensuing accidents disfigured both of their faces. On top of this, Vlad also resents Jack for reasons similar to why Doom hates Reed.
- Creator Butch Hartman originally conceived of Vlad as a vampire. Vlad's appearance, including his outfit, hairstyle and fangs, greatly resembles popular depictions of Count Dracula. His ghost surname, "Plasmius" is doubly a reference to blood plasma and ectoplasm - underlining both the former vampire element and the current ghost connection. On the contrary, writer Steve Marmel said that the name "Vlad Plasmius" was from a brick he bought in Lambeau Hartman got rid of the vampire idea because he, being a devout Christian, and Nickelodeon thought
- In a video of future concepts for characters, Hartman depicts Plasmius as possibly having been found and enslaved by aliens after the events of "Phantom Planet." He speculates that after ten years of being prisoner, Vlad escaped, yet still wears a broken chain on his wrist and is more driven than ever to get revenge on Danny.
- As of "Phantom Planet", Vlad now lives in space for all eternity. Creator Butch Hartman said that Vlad survived the Disasteroid impact in the final episode and he was soon abducted by aliens In a video of future concepts for characters. Hartman depicts Plasmius as possibly having been found and enslaved by aliens after the events of "Phantom Planet." He speculates that after ten years of being prisoner, Vlad escaped, yet still wears a broken chain on his wrist and is more driven than ever to get revenge on Danny.
- It is unknown on who will be Danny's new arch-nemesis if the series got renewed. Vlad does not return ever again afterwards.
- He appears in the mobile game Nickelodeon Pixel Town (only available in Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines), you can get him if you merge Tommy from Rugrats and Eliza from The Wild Thornberrys in the memory cent.
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