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Vlad Plasmius

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Vladimir William "Vlad Plasmius" Masters
Danny Phantom character
First appearance"Bitter Reunions"
Last appearance"Phantom Planet"
Created byButch Hartman
Voiced byMartin Mull
Information
AliasWisconsin Ghost, Vladdy, V-Man, Cheesehead, One Seriously Crazed-Up Fruit Loop, Fruit Loop
NationalityAmerican
Date of birth15 November 1935
Name meaningVladimir: "ruler of the world [or of peace]" (Slavic)
William: "Vehement protector" (Old Germanic)

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Vlad Plasmius, the evil alter ego to Vladimir William[citation needed] "Vlad" Masters, is a fictional character, a supervillain from the television show Danny Phantom, created by Butch Hartman, Shannon Tendell, and Stephen Silver.[1] He serves as Danny's arch-enemy but he also fits the description of a tragic villain. Vlad's primary goal is to kill his former friend, Jack Fenton because he blames him for ruining his life and "stealing" his wife, Maddie, with whom he's madly in love. Because of his formal manners, Vlad sometimes calls Danny "my boy," " Daniel," "child," and twice, "Little Badger." [2][3] He also battles for Danny's affection, trying to persuade him to be his apprentice and son. Vlad Masters/Plasmius is voiced by Martin Mull.

Creation and Conception[edit]

Vlad was created to be the "Lex Luthor" of the Danny Phantom franchise series. He serves as a contrast to Danny where he is older, more experienced, and richer; purposely meant to give Danny a formidable opponent.

Originally devised as a vampire before the developers declared it "too occult", Vlad's current resemblance shares much in common with vampiric traits. His ghost surname, "Plasmius" is devised from plasma which doubly can be a reference to[[blood] or ectoplasm - underlining both the former vampire element and the current 'ghost' connection. Regardless of its influence, it is a surname that stayed in the final production.[1] However, writer Steve Marmel declared the name "Vlad Plasmius" was from a brick he bought in Lambeau Field.[4]

Vlad's love for the Green Bay Packers is attributed and added due to Marmel's fondness for them. Their team color is a reverse gold and green to avoid copyright infringement with the actual team. An original running gag would be that Vlad would lose his manor due to unfortunate luck every other episode.[4]

Character[edit]

Vlad's exterior portrays him as a well-to-do man; rich, debonair, and suave. But inside, he is bitter, irrational, miserable, clever, manipulative, intelligent, and extremely anti-social. Though his motivation is love, Vlad's goals are often forceful and selfish, devising numerous long term plans[5][6][7] to get what he wants, when he wants. He isn't above using others as his pawns in an allegorical reference to Chess.[3]

Though he has no problems handling his own mission, Vlad frequently employs several ghosts to assist him when needed[2][7][3][8] and at one point, Valerie, who at the time, was unaware he was half ghost.[9]

His villainous acts are usually as a means to fill the painful loneliness and empty void in his life and feels his actions are justified.[10] Danny often uses this weakness against him during battle.[7][11] His methods and actions towards Danny get more vile during the last season.[12]

When stressed, he frequently shouts out snack names instead of swearing ("Oh, fudge buckets!").[7][3][12] He is also a devoted Green Bay Packers fan and has spent years trying to obtain them. He commemorates his obsession with Packers merchandises,[2] football statues, and a football stadium in his backyard.[13] Like the Fentons, he is a keen inventor and has created numerous gadgets and Anti-ghost gears of his own.[6][9][11]

Plot Overview[edit]

As a young man, Vlad attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison alongside his best friend Jack Fenton, and love interest, Maddie. All three were heavily involved in paranormal activities, managing to build a portable ghost portal. An accident from Jack's end renders the portal to blast ectoplasmic energy on his face, giving him the deadly Ecto-Acne. Hospitalized for years and gaining ghost powers, Vlad swore vengeance on his former friend.[2] He spent the next twenty years honing his powers and gaining vast wealth through the use (and abuse) of his powers.[2][6]

His first couple of attacks were sent in secret[8][14] to test Jack's skills.[2] He makes his full appearance by inviting the Fentons to their twentieth college reunion, held in his manor. There he plots to humiliate Jack. He discovers Danny Phantom is Jack's son and attempts to force him to join his side with no success.[2]

He has met substantial rejection from both Maddie[11] and Jazz[13] throughout the series as well. In a bitter irony, only Jack has ever continued to warm up to him, though he has combated and beaten Plasmius without figuring out the two are the same.[7]

Vlad's plan stretches throughout the run of the show. One of his major plans involves tracking the elusive Skeleton Key[7] in order to obtain the Ring of Rage and the Crown of Fire, both worn by the once King Pariah Dark, the ghost King. His actions brought forth the powerful ghost who briefly ruled over both Earth and the Ghost Zone until Danny defeated him. Vlad made off with the Crown of Fire, a potential ally in the Fright Knight, and the Fenton Ecto Suit,[3] the last of which he loses later on.[13]

His other major plan is trying to gain Danny as a son. Predicting his numerous failures to get him, Vlad gave Valerie Gray her ghost hunting suit in secret,[5] revealing himself to her later on, much to her respect and awe.[3] She is unaware that it is equipped with hidden spy cameras designed to spy on Danny's ghost powers which Vlad studied to create a series of Danny clones. The one before the perfect clone is the free-willed Dani Phantom who sides with Danny when she finds out the harsh truth that Vlad views her not as a daughter, but as a tool for his personal agenda. They both destroy the clone lab, causing Vlad to briefly lose his sanity and retaliate, only to lose when Danny's friends intervene.[6]

The end results forced Vlad to give up on Danny's affection and instead turned to malice. He successfully runs for mayor (by overshadowing the voters) and spends the remainder of the series tormenting Danny.[12][15] His final plans involve creating a trio of ghost hunting teenagers named the "Masters' Blasters" to create superior competition against Danny. He wins and gains the favor of Amity Park, but loses it once he reveals himself as Plasmius demanding money and the world in exchange for his service to save the planet from an oncoming Ecto-Asteroid. After he fails to do so, as the asteroid is impossible for ghosts to touch, Vlad is abandoned in space by Jack after the latter realized his best friend was "lost" twenty years ago. In his final scene he is seen pondering about the benefits of being a "free roaming space nomad" until he is struck and presumably killed by the Ecto-Asteroid.[16]

Vlad has had two alternate versions of himself. An old man in an alternate dark future where he accidentally took part in Dark Danny's creation. Powerless, Vlad spends the ten years in solitude, reflecting and guilty on his past evil deeds.[17] The other alternate is Vlad of a different present timeline, accidentally created by Danny. There, he is married to Maddie, but remains forceful, vindictive, and as jealous as his canon counterpart.[18] And he speaks in a thick Russian accent.

Powers[edit]

Having twenty years more experience, Vlad starts off the series as Danny's superior.[2] He possess all the abilities Danny has (flight, Ghost Rays, intangibility/invisibility, overshadowing) and has mastered powers Danny has not—the most prominent being duplication of which he easily splits in four.[7] He is also able to construct various shapes from his ectoplasm, from a rope to a swatter with ease. Vlad has mastered the ability to teleport.[7][3] Like Danny, he gains super strength and enhanced agility his human self does not possess. When he transforms, two black rings intersect his body, opposed to Danny's white rings.[2]

Vlad gains new and stronger powers later on, least of all an Ecto tornado. He is shown several times using what appears to be electrical abilities, some of which seem to have been 'inherited' by Dark Dan in the alternate timeline. [17] During this season his duplication extends from four to dozens.[12] He is able to create a duplicate of his human or ghost half despite whatever form he possess.[9][12] Vlad's Ecto Rays often take on a disk-like shape during this time as well. It is thought widely due to the character development, that Vlad did not gain new powers, but was simply holding back.[19]

The only abilities he does not have or isn't shown with are the Ghostly Wail, a ghost sense, and ice powers.[6][16][19]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Butch Hartman Interview, March 30, 2006 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Interview" defined multiple times with different content
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 "Bitter Reunions. Director: Butch Hartman, Wincat Alcala, Juli Hashiguchi; Writer: Steve Marmel, Sib Ventress.". Danny Phantom. Season 1. Episode 7. 2004-05-08. Nickelodeon.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 "Reign Storm. Director: Butch Hartman, Wincat Alcala, Juli Hashiguchi; Writer: Steve Marmel, Sib Ventress.". Danny Phantom. Season 2. Episode 24/25. 2005-07-29. Nickelodeon. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Reign Storm" defined multiple times with different content
  4. 4.0 4.1 Steve Marmel Interview
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Shades of Gray. Director: Butch Hartman, Wincat Alcala, Juli Hashiguchi; Writer: Sib Ventress.". Danny Phantom. Season 1. Episode 10. 2004-09-24. Nickelodeon.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 "Kindred Spirits. Director: Butch Hartman, Daniel De La Vega, Gary Conrad; Writer: Steve Marmel, Sib Ventress.". Danny Phantom. Season 2. Episode 40. 2006-04-07. Nickelodeon.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 "The Million Dollar Ghost. Director: Butch Hartman, Ken Bruce, Gary Conrad; Writer: Sib Ventress.". Danny Phantom. Season 1. Episode 19. 2005-06-03. Nickelodeon.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "One of a Kind. Director: Butch Hartman, Wincat Alcala; Writer: Butch Hartman, Mark Banker, Steve Marmel.". Danny Phantom. Season 1. Episode 3. 2004-04-10. Nickelodeon.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 "D-Stabilized. Director: Butch Hartman, Wincat Alcala, Gary Conrad; Writer: Amy Heating Rogers.". Danny Phantom. Season 3. Episode 51. 2007-08-24. Nickelodeon.
  10. Vlad: I am not a villain; all I wanted was love., Kindred Spirits
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 "Maternal Instinct. Director: Butch Hartman, Gary Conrad, Juli Hashiguchi; Writer: Sib Ventress.". Danny Phantom. Season 1. Episode 16. 2005-02-18. Nickelodeon. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Maternal Instinct" defined multiple times with different content
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 "Eye for An Eye. Director: Butch Hartman, Wincat Alcala, Gary Conrad; Writer: Sib Ventress.". Danny Phantom. Season 3. Episode 41. 2007-08-20. Nickelodeon.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 "Secret Weapons. Director: Butch Hartman, Wincat Alcala, Kevin Petrilak; Writer: Marty Isenberg".". Danny Phantom. Season 2. Episode 31. 2005-12-09. Nickelodeon.
  14. "Mystery Meat. Director: Butch Hartman; Writer: Butch Hartman, Mark Banner, Steve Marmel".". Danny Phantom. Season 1. Episode 1. 2004-04-03. Nickelodeon.
  15. "Torrent of Terror. Director: Butch Hartman, Wincat Alcala, Gary Conrad; Writer: Sib Ventress, Butch Hartman.". Danny Phantom. Season 3. Episode 44. 2007-07-11. Nickelodeon.
  16. 16.0 16.1 "Phantom Planet. Director: Butch Hartman; Writer: Butch Hartman.". Danny Phantom. Season 3. Episode 52/53. 2004-10-08. Nickelodeon.
  17. 17.0 17.1 "The Ultimate Enemy. Director: Butch Hartman, Wincat Alcala, Kevin Petrilak; Writer: Marty Isenberge, Steve Marmel, Sib Ventress.". Danny Phantom. Season 2. Episode 28/29. 2005-09-16. Nickelodeon.
  18. "Masters of All Time. Director: Butch Hartman, Wincat Alcala, Kevin Petrilak; Writer: Marty Isenberg.". Danny Phantom. Season 2. Episode 36. 2006-03-24. Nickelodeon.
  19. 19.0 19.1 "Infinite Realms. Director: Butch Hartman, Gary Conrad, Wincat Alcala; Writer: Butch Hartman.". Danny Phantom. Season 3. Episode 42. 2007-07-09. Nickelodeon.