Dio Brando the Invader (story arc)
Dio Brando the Invader (侵略者ディオ・ブランドー Shinryakusha Dio Burandō) is the first story arc in Phantom Blood.
Between the 12th and 16th century, an ancient Aztec ritual takes place in Mexico, where a man wearing a Stone Mask sacrifices a young woman. Her blood splatters onto the mask, causing stone tendrils to shoot out of it and pierce the man's head. Announcing that he has gained eternal life, the man pierces a subordinate's neck with his fingers, draining him of his blood. It is revealed that this Aztec tribe tried to conquer the world with the help of the Stone Mask, only to suddenly disappear from history.
In the year 1880, Dario Brando, an old man on his deathbed, tells his son, Dio, to mail a letter once he dies. He explains that the letter's recipient, George Joestar, will likely agree to adopt Dio, as he owes Dario a debt. Dario then recalls how he met George Joestar: in 1868, Dario and an accompanying woman stumbled upon a crashed carriage that had been carrying a couple and their baby son. Dario decided to steal valuables from the corpses, noting a Stone Mask among the family's possessions. However, the father, George Joestar, had survived the crash, although his wife had died protecting the baby. Thinking Dario had come to save them, George offered Dario a reward for saving his life.
Recalling how he spent the money to start up an ill-fated bar, Dario curses his luck and tells Dio to become rich and powerful. Not long afterwards, Dario dies and is buried. Dio, remembering his father's abuse toward his mother, nonetheless resolves to take advantage of the Joestars in order to climb the social ladder. As a goodbye, Dio spits on his father's grave.
At a different location, two boys bully a young girl named Erina Pendleton, having already stolen a doll from her. Another young boy comes to her rescue, only to be knocked down. With his nose bloodied, the boy pulls out a handkerchief with his name embroidered on it, revealing himself to be Jonathan Joestar. The bullies, spiteful toward the privilege he has as a rich kid, beat Jonathan up before leaving, having forgotten the doll in their fury. Jonathan tells Erina to leave him alone, claiming he helped her in order to become a true gentleman. As he leaves, Erina picks up the dirty handkerchief and admires Jonathan's courage.
When Jonathan returns home, a carriage arrives carrying Dio. Jonathan introduces himself to the boy who will now be living with him and his father, as well as his loyal hunting dog Danny. Dio then knees Danny in the jaw without warning, sending him flying: in truth, Dio has devised a plan to psychologically and physically torture Jonathan in order to become the sole heir of the Joestar fortune.
George Joestar welcomes Dio Brando to his mansion, formally presenting the staff and his son Jonathan to the young man. Seeing Jonathan reaching down to carry his luggage, Dio grabs his hand and forcefully twists it, warning Jonathan to not look down on him. He adds that he hates dogs, considering them nothing more than groveling vermin.
From that point on, Jonathan's life becomes unpleasant: Dio overshadows Jonathan as both a student and a gentleman, causing George to become very severe toward his son. On one occasion, George deprives Jonathan of his dinner because of his bad table manners. Some time later, Dio interrupts a boxing contest among the local youths that Jonathan takes part in. Dio bets his month's allowance on a match between him and Jonathan before soundly beating the latter, jabbing his thumb in his eye for good measure. Having robbed Jonathan of his allowance for the month, Dio denounces Jonathan as a snitch to the impressed audience to further isolate the boy. In this way, Dio plans to break Jonathan's spirit until he becomes too weak to stand up to Dio.
Nonetheless, Jonathan finds solace in his friendship with Danny and later in his burgeoning romance with the girl he saved, named Erina Pendleton. Dio eventually learns of this and confronts Erina, forcefully kissing her. By robbing her of her first kiss, Dio hopes to ruin her relationship with Jonathan, denying him another happy relationship. However, when he sees Erina washing her lips in a muddy puddle, Dio loses his temper and slaps Erina before leaving.
Noticing that Jonathan is at home playing with Danny, Dio learns from George the story of Jonathan and Danny's friendship: brought as a frightened pup, Danny's first act upon meeting Jonathan was to bite him. Jonathan then constantly tormented the dog until one day, Danny saved him from drowning. Since then, Jonathan and Danny have been inseparable. Jonathan soon notices that Erina is avoiding him. A group of boys tease Jonathan for not knowing what happened to Erina, finally bringing out his fury.
Jonathan races back to the mansion and screams Dio's name. The latter guesses that Jonathan has finally heard about his kiss with Erina and has come to avenge her. Dio overpowers Jonathan, intending to beat the youth in a proper fight to put him in his place once and for all. But Jonathan, motivated by his wish to defend Erina's honor and his refusal to live in Dio's shadow, turns the tables and lands a flurry of punches on his shocked opponent. One last punch from Jonathan causes some of Dio's blood to splatter on the Stone Mask hanging on the wall, triggering the mask and causing it to fall to the ground. Humiliated like never before, a crying Dio pulls out a concealed knife. However, George interrupts their battle, having noticed that Jonathan beat Dio while the latter was defenseless. George sends Jonathan and Dio to their rooms, promising to punish them later.
A few days later, one of the mansion's butlers spots a suspicious wooden box inside the mansion's incinerator. Thinking nothing of it, the butler proceeds to burn the trash. However, he soon bears witness to Danny's demise as the dog jumps out of the incinerator covered in flames. Danny's corpse is then buried behind the mansion. Meanwhile, Jonathan is unable to approach Erina, and curses Dio for having successfully separated them. Once he returns to the mansion, Jonathan learns of Danny's demise. While the staff theorizes it to be the work of a burglar, Jonathan suspects it to be Dio's retaliation. As Jonathan mourns the loss of his only remaining friend, Dio reflects on his situation. Having underestimated Jonathan's spirit, Dio vows to not make the same mistake again and instead decides to bide his time. Seven years pass.
- 001. Prologue
- 002. Dio Brando the Invader, Part 1
- 003. Dio Brando the Invader, Part 2
- 004. Dio Brando the Invader, Part 3
- 005. Dio Brando the Invader, Part 4
- 01. Dio the Invader
- 01. Dio the Invader