|“||Your upbringing made you a villain, you say? It didn't! You've been evil since your birth!||”|
—Speedwagon, to Dio
Dio was born the son of Dario Brando, an alcoholic and abusive father who he secretly despised—in part for having caused pain to his mother. On Dario's deathbed, he told Dio of his encounter with George Joestar twelve years prior, instructing Dio to go to the Joestar house and use his wiles to become wealthy. He was then adopted into the Joestar household and subsequently began undermining his new adoptive brother Jonathan at every opportunity. Dio was resolute to shatter Jonathan's spirit and take his place as the favored son, even going so far as to arrange for Jonathan's dog, Danny, to be burned to death.
Phantom Blood (1888-89)
|“||I'm going to extinguish your life!!||”|
—Dio, to Jonathan
Determined not to be stopped and understanding the potential to enjoy power over all things instead of just the Joestar estate, Dio plans to subtly kill Jonathan by using the mysterious Stone Mask the latter had been researching. However, during a live experiment, Dio realizes that the mask is not a torture or killing device; it is capable of turning the wearer into a nearly unstoppable vampire. The man he had tested the mask on nearly kills him, but he is saved by a timely sunrise which obliterates his attacker. Returning to the Joestar estate, Dio is confronted by the recently-returned Jonathan, a recovered George, and an ensemble of policemen set to arrest him for attempted murder. Cornered and with nothing left to lose, Dio wears and activates the Stone Mask by stabbing George Joestar, who prevented the knife from reaching Jonathan, and becomes a vampire himself. The policemen shoot him repeatedly, sending him crashing through a window. Though he is at first presumed dead, he soon reappears and attacks those present.
Seven years later, both boys attend Hugh Hudson Academy, where Dio intends to graduate as a top law student. During that seven-year span, he had acted brotherly and friendly toward Jonathan to lull the latter into a false sense of security. Dio's plans to take over the Joestar household are discovered by Jonathan, who comes to realize that not only had Dio poisoned his biological father to death, he was doing the same to his adoptive father, all to take the Joestar estate for his own.
In the battle between him and Jonathan which ensues, the Joestar mansion is set aflame and Dio ends up impaled on a statue of the goddess of love. The combination of such a severe injury and the surrounding flames overpowers Dio, who seemingly burns away to a mere skeleton. However, a few days later when Wang Chan visits the charred remains of the house to find items to sell for profit, Dio resurfaces and drains his blood while vowing vengeance against Jonathan.
Dio, now with burns across his face and body, turns Wang Chan into a vampire and the pair hunt down others to become Dio's underlings - Jack the Ripper, Bruford, Tarkus, and Page, Jones, Plant and Bonham, among others. With these, he continues his fight against Jonathan et al. In his climatic battle with Jonathan, Dio's lower body is destroyed and he severs his head to prevent the Ripple from taking his life. He decides to kill Jonathan and take over the latter's body, ultimately managing to kill him while on a boat sailing the Atlantic Ocean. Together, they sink to the bottom of the ocean and Dio succeeds in removing Jonathan's head and taking over his lower body, giving Dio the same star birthmark as the members of the Joestar family. He remains there inside his specially-prepared casket until 1983, when divers salvage the casket.
Pre-Stardust Crusaders (1983-87)Dio's casket is recovered off the coast of Africa by fishermen, who are implied to have been killed by him shortly after. Dio then seems to travel a great deal, ranging from Egypt to Japan. Around July-August of 1984, he impregnates a Japanese woman who goes on to give birth to Giorno Giovanna. The following year, he meets Enya the Hag and gains a stand power (The World) as a result of the Bow and Arrow. Later that same year, he encounters Polnareff and brainwashes him.
In 1987, he first meets Enrico Pucci while hiding in a church waiting for the sun to set. July of that year, he goes on to encounter Avdol in Egypt and around the same time, his Stand is first able to stop time. In August, he meets Kakyoin while the latter is vacationing in Egypt and fights and brainwashes him as well.
Stardust Crusaders (1987-88)
|“||Don't you Joestars ever give up!||”|
—DIO to Jotaro after showing The World's superiority
The awakened Dio Brando, now referred to as simply "DIO", begins his next moves within the later months of 1987. For much of this time, DIO remains in shadows, and the question of exactly what his stand "The World" does is a mystery to the Joestars and their companions. DIO's ambition is to create a perfect world for him and his servants. In the interim, he seeks to drain for himself the blood of the Joestar lineage, which will help him to fully fuse with Jonathan's body and take better control of The World.
Despite his knowledge that Joseph and allies are looking for him, he does not make any effort to go confront them himself and instead chooses to remain in his mansion reading or feeding on the blood of women. DIO spends a fair amount of time philosophizing in his mansion with Pucci while the protagonists battle their way toward him.When Hol Horse reports on the defeat of Alessi and Mariah, DIO questions him about his inability to fight, which makes the cowboy turn against DIO. DIO surprises him with his power, leaving a fearful Hol Horse to return to his side. Not long afterwards, when Vanilla Ice comes to inform him of Telence T. D'Arby's defeat, Vanilla volunteers his life to complete DIO's assimilation of Jonathan's body and subsequently slices off his own head. DIO then utilizes his own blood to revive Vanilla as a vampire. After Vanilla's defeat, DIO's face is reveals himself before the Joestar group for the first time when he confronts Polnareff on a set of stairs. He toys with Polnareff for a while but when it becomes clear that Polnareff won't rejoin his ranks, DIO prepares to kill him - only to be interrupted by Joseph, Jotaro and Kakyoin breaking down a wall and flooding the stairs with sunlight. DIO then flees to higher ground. With the sun setting, the remaining Joestar companions split up into two groups and DIO follows Joseph and Kakyoin, who have commandeered a truck. DIO does much the same by taking over a limousine and forcing the senator inside, Wilson Phillips, to act as a chauffeur. During the car chase, DIO is attacked by Kakyoin's Hierophant Green but comes out unscathed thanks to The World, which he uses to counterattack. In order to get close enough to Joseph and Kakyoin's truck, DIO launches the senator at them, thus resulting in their truck crashing into a building. He then follows them as they use their stands to flee across the rooftops, and ends up battling Kakyoin in the process. Kakyoin is able to use his Stand to make a barrier from which DIO can't escape without getting hurt. DIO uses The World to stop time and destroy the barrier, punching Kakyoin through the stomach and back. Before dying, Kakyoin realizes the nature of The World's time-stop power and uses his last strength to give Joseph a message. DIO wastes no time in catching up to and attacking Joseph, who is able to pass Kakyoin's message to Jotaro before he is also killed by DIO's Stand. After a long and bloody battle between DIO and Jotaro, the latter is able to stop time just before DIO drops a steamroller on him, and wounds DIO's leg. Jotaro plans to keep on breaking DIO's leg whenever it regenerates until the sun comes up and kills him. DIO, determined not to lose, squirts some blood out of his leg and into Jotaro's eyes. He then attempts to escape but to no avail. In the end, Jotaro lands a punch which connects with a kick from DIO. The kick connects at approximately the same point on The World's leg as where DIO broke his. Because injuries to a stand and its user echo each other, this is where The World's own structure was weakest. Jotaro's hand breaks but DIO's upper body starts to crumble, and his head shatters. Jotaro and doctors from the Speedwagon Foundation are able to do a blood transfusion between Joseph's body and the lower half of DIO's body. The transfusion is able to revive Joseph, and later they lay DIO's remains in the middle of the Sahara Desert to evaporate with the rising sun.
Diamond is Unbreakable (1999)
After DIO's death, it is revealed that he, along with Enya, had more affiliates beside those discovered by the Joestar group. The Nijimura Patriarch, like others, sold his soul to DIO and had a flesh bud implanted on his forehead, similar to Polnareff and Kakyoin. However, it bursted after DIO's death, mutating him for life. Sometime before Enya died, she gave the Nijimura Patriarch one of the Arrows in their possesion which one of his sons used to create Stand users in Morioh. Yoshihiro Kira was also revealed to have been given an Arrow before his death. Kira used this Arrow to create more Stand users in Morioh as well, including his own son Yoshikage.
Vento Aureo (2001)
Around twelve years after their battle in Egypt, Jotaro Kujo learns that DIO had at least one child, utilizing Jonathan's body, after his casket was pulled up from the ocean. It is later discovered by Koichi Hirose that this son was Giorno Giovanna. After Dio's defeat, Polnareff took the stand arrow from his mansion.This then lead Polnareff to go to Italy and track down Diavolo after finding out about the arrow in his possession.
Stone Ocean (2012)
In the year 2012, the Joestar family learns that Enrico Pucci encountered DIO shortly prior to and during their journey to Egypt. DIO "healed" Pucci's disfigured foot and gave him a Stand Arrow, speaking about the gravity which draws people together. He then told Pucci to seek him out using the Arrow if he wished to learn more. After a series of unfortunate events which led to Pucci being stabbed by the Arrow and gaining a Stand, he turned to DIO. The two spent a considerable amount of time together, mainly philosophizing and plotting ways to turn their philosophies into reality. DIO questioned Pucci's loyalty to him, wondering why the latter didn't use Whitesnake to remove The World from him. Pucci explained that he loved DIO as he loved God, and thus worshiped him too much to betray him. Ensuring that he wouldn't completely fade, he left one of his bones in Pucci's care.This bone becomes vital to Pucci's plan when one of his underlings, Sports Max, uses his Stand to reanimate it. This results in the incubation of a "Green Child" (which also possessed the Joestar birthmark) that would later merge with Pucci to give him C-Moon and finally Made in Heaven. Aside from Pucci, several other figures emerge, shown to have ties to DIO: Johngalli A is one of DIO's underlings who bears a grudge against the Joestars for DIO's demise, and Ungalo, Rikiel and Donatello Versus are, like Giorno, DIO's illegitimate children.