Blade (comics)


Blade (comics)

Infobox comics character


imagesize=225
converted=y
caption"=Strange Tales: Blade" #1 art by Brian Hagan
character_name=Blade
real_name=Eric Brooks
species=Dhampir
publisher=Marvel Comics
debut="Tomb of Dracula" #10 (July 1973)
creators=Marv Wolfman
Gene Colan
alliances=Bloodshadows Nightstalkers The Nine Midnight Sons
aliases=Daywalker, Frank Blade, SwitchBlade
powers= Accelerated healing factor
superhuman strength, speed, stamina, agility, and reflexes
Ability to sense supernatural creatures
Skilled martial artist, swordsman, and marksman
cat= super
subcat=Marvel Comics
hero=y
sortkey=Blade|

Blade (Eric Brooks) is a fictional character, a superhero vampire hunter in the Marvel Comics universe. Created by writer Marv Wolfman and penciller Gene Colan, his first appearance was in the comic book "Tomb of Dracula" #10 (July 1973) as a supporting character.

The character went on to star or co-star in several comic-book series as well as a film and . Actor Wesley Snipes portrayed the vampire hunter throughout the film series while Kirk Jones took on the role for the television series.

Publication history

Blade was introduced as a supporting character in Marvel Comics' "Tomb of Dracula" #10 (July 1973), written by Marv Wolfman and penciled by Gene Colan. The artist recalled in 2003, "Marv told me Blade was a black man, and we talked about how he should dress, and how he should look — very heroic looking. That was my input. [...] The bandoleer of blades — that was Marv's idea. But, I dressed him up. I put the leather jacket on him and so on". [http://www.twomorrows.com/comicbookartist/articles/13colan.html Gene Colan interview, "Comic Book Artist" #13 (May 2001)] ] Colan based the character's features on "a composite of black actors" including NFL football star-turned-actor Jim Brown.

Blade appeared in most issues from #10-21, with additional appearances in #24 & #28 (altogether ranging from July 1973 - Sept. 1974). He then fought the scientifically created vampire Morbius in the latter's series in "Adventure into Fear" #24 (Oct. 1974), in a story written by Steve Gerber and penciled by P. Craig Russell.

Blade's first solo story came in Marvel's black-and-white horror-comics magazine "Vampire Tales" #8 (Dec. 1974), in an 11-page story by Wolfman and penciller-inker Tony DeZuniga. This feature continued in the following issue (Feb. 1975), with Wolfman and Chris Claremont co-scripting. Blade then appeared in a 56-page solo story in the black-and-white showcase magazine "Marvel Preview" #3 (Sept. 1975), written by Claremont, with two chapters each drawn by DeZuniga and by Rico Rival. A six-page backup story by Wolfman and Colan followed in "Marvel Preview" #8 (Fall 1976).

Blade next came into prominence in the 1990s, beginning with "Ghost Rider" #28 (Aug. 1992), in the Midnight Sons imprint that included issues of "", "Ghost Rider", "Ghost Rider / Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance", "Midnight Sons Unlimited", "Morbius", and "Nightstalkers". Blade co-starred in the 18-issue "Nightstalkers", and appeared with that team in a story in the anthology "Midnight Sons Unlimited" #1 (April 1993). He appeared in two solo stories in "Midnight Sons Unlimited" #2 & 7 (July 1993 & Oct. 1994).

Following the cancellation of "Nightstalkers", Blade debuted in his first color-comics series, "Blade: The Vampire Hunter" #1-10 (July 1994 - April 1995), written by Ian Edginton (with the last two issues by Terry Kavanagh) and penciled by Doug Wheatley. Blade next appeared in a 12-page inventory story in the one-shot anthology "Marvel: Shadows and Light" #1 (Feb. 1997). He then starred again in two solo one-shots: "Blade: Crescent City Blues" (March 1998), by writer Christopher Golden and penciller co-creator Colan, and "Blade: Sins of the Father" (Oct. 1998), by writer Marc Andreyko and penciller Bart Sears.

Marvel next announced a six-issue miniseries, "Blade" (storyline: "Blade: Blood Allies") by writer Don McGregor and penciller Brian Hagen, but only #1-3 (Nov. 1998 - Jan. 1999) were published. Marvel published a different six-issue miniseries later that year, "Blade: Vampire Hunter" (storyline: "Chaos (A)"; Dec. 1999 - May 2000), written and, except the last two issues, penciled by Bart Sears.

The next ongoing series, "Blade" vol. 2, by writer Christopher Hinz and artist Steve Pugh, ran six issues. "Blade" vol. 3, by writer Marc Guggenheim and penciller-inker Howard Chaykin, ran 12 issues (Sept. 2006 - Aug. 2007). The final two pages of the last issue were drawn by co-creator Colan.

Blade also starred in two promotional comic books: "Blade ½" (1999) by writer-artist Sears and inker Bill Sienkiewicz, bundled with issues of "" #2000; and "Blade: Nightstalking" (2005), a 22-page story by writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray and penciller Amanda Conner, based on New Line Cinema's "Blade" films, and bundled with the "Blade Trinity Deluxe Edition" DVD. Additionally, the second "Blade" movie was adapted as the Marvel comic "Blade 2: Bloodhunt - The Official Comic Adaptation" (April 2002) by writers Steve Gerber and David S. Goyer and penciller-inker Alberto Ponticelli.

Blade is currently appearing in "" by writer Paul Cornell, pencillers Leonard Kirk and Pat Olliffe and inkers Jesse Delperdang and Paul Neary, beginning with issue #5 (September 2008).

Fictional character biography

Early life and career

Blade was born in a whorehouse in the Soho neighborhood of London, England at some time in the late nineteenth century."Marvel Preview" #3 (Sept. 1973), with story panels at [http://members.aol.com/Erommel43/bladeorigin1.htm "The Origin of Blade", by Mike Rickard] .] Blade's mother, Tara Brooks, was a prostitute at Madame Vanity's Brothel. When his mother experienced severe labor complications, a doctor was summoned who was in actuality Deacon Frost, a vampire who feasted on her during Blade's birth and killed her. However, this inadvertently passed along certain enzymes in his own blood to the infant. This resulted in Blade's quasi-vampiric abilities, including a greatly prolonged lifespan and the ability to sense supernatural creatures, as well as an immunity to complete vampirism. Brooks' fellow prostitutes drove off Frost before he could kill the infant as well.

Blade grew up living at Madame Vanity's, and at age nine, returning home from school one December, he saw an old man being attacked by three vampires. Blade helped the old man, who used a silver cane to kill the vampires and fight off the attackers. The man was Jamal Afari, a jazz trumpeter and vampire-hunter who then moved into Madame Vanity's and trained the young Blade in both music and combat. Blade was soon able to defeat many of the weak, younger vampires that he and Afari found in abundance. ["Marvel Preview" #3 (Sept. 1973)] Blade became an Olympic-level athlete and a formidable hand-to-hand combatant, with an expertise in edged weapons such as knives and daggers.

However, Blade's victories made him cocky. He joined a street gang, the Bloodshadows, [ [http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix3/bloodshadowsblade.htm Bloodshadows] at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe] headed by a much older and more powerful vampire than any Blade had met before, named Lamia. Blade barely defeated Lamia, and, in doing so, lost his girlfriend Glory.

Afari himself later fell prey to Dracula, the first occurrence in an ongoing battle between Dracula and Blade. [The first battle between Dracula and Blade's original band of vampire hunters recounted in "Tomb of Dracula" #30] Blade slew the vampire. Afari and tracked Dracula back to Europe, Asia Minor, and Asia, staking him many times, but never completely destroying him. ["Tomb of Dracula" #10] In China, Blade joined Ogun Strong's vampire hunters,Fact|date=September 2007 which included Azu, Orji, and Musenda. Together, they staked Dracula again. Dracula survived, and killed all the hunters except Blade and Musenda (who eventually retired from vampire hunting). Orji had created a lasting impression on Blade with his use of wooden daggers to combat vampires, leading to Blade adopting that weapon as his preferred arms. Consumed by grief for his fallen comrades, Blade resumed his quest alone.

Quincy Harker's vampire-hunters

Blade eventually located Dracula in Paris, where he first encountered the vampire hunter Quincy Harker (son of Jonathan Harker), whom he knew by reputation, and Harker's vampire hunters: Rachel van Helsing (great-granddaughter of Abraham Van Helsing), Taj Nital, and Frank Drake. ["Tomb of Dracula" #12-14] Because of his mercurial temperament, Blade had a strained but steady relationship with the group, allying himself with them on several occasions.

Later, after an unsuccessful battle with Dracula, ["Tomb of Dracula" #17] Blade realized he was immune to turning from a vampire's bite. ["Tomb of Dracula" #19] Armed with this knowledge, he parted company with Harker ["Tomb of Dracula" #21] and went after Deacon Frost alone. Blade later battled Dracula in London, ["Tomb of Dracula" #24] as well as Morbius, ["Fear" #24] and the Legion of the Dead, ["Vampire Tales" #8-9] who framed him for murder. ["Marvel Preview" #3] Blade also destroyed a band of vampire children. ["Marvel Preview" #8]

Blade's hunt for his mother's killer led him to Boston, Massachusetts, where he again encountered Harker's crew,Fact|date=September 2007 now temporarily allied with Dracula against a larger threat, Doctor Sun. Following this battle, Dracula withdrew, and Blade again set out on his own. ["Tomb of Dracula" #41-42]

He eventually encountered Hannibal King, a private detective whom Deacon Frost had turned into a vampire. ["Tomb of Dracula" #45] While initially distrusting King, Blade teamed up with him to hunt Frost. Blade and King fought together against Blade's evil doppelgänger, who absorbed the real Blade. King enlisted the help of Daimon Hellstrom, the so-called Son of Satan, who exorcised Blade from the doppelgänger and killed it with King's help. Blade and King eventually caught up with Frost, who had created an army of vampiric doppelgängers, one for each of his victims. Together, they shut down Frost for good, destroying Frost, and forging a lasting friendship. ["Tomb of Dracula" #48 - #53]

Blade, Rachel Van Helsing, and Harold H. Harold later confronted Dracula. ["Tomb of Dracula" #54] Blade also saved Musenda's wife from becoming a vampire. ["Tomb of Dracula" #58]

The Nightstalkers

In later years, Blade, along with King and Drake, became a frequent ally of the Doctor Strange, and the three assisted Strange in battles with Dracula and the Darkholders and assisted in the casting of the Montesi Formula, which for a time destroyed all vampires on Earth. ["Doctor Strange" #59-62] Blade, King, and Drake then formed the private detective agency Borderline Investigations Inc., to combat supernatural threats. Alongside Doctor Strange, the three detectives battled the Darkholders again. ["Doctor Strange" #67] Blade also rescued his close friend Safron Caulder from the Darkholders. ["Marvel Comics Presents" #64]

The agency discontinued after Drake left and Blade was committed to a psychiatric hospital following a battle with a temporarily resurrected Dracula. Doctor Strange later arranged the release of Blade so that he could join Drake and King in reforming Borderline Inc. as the Nightstalkers. Blade, King, and Drake were hired by the demonic Lilith to kill the second Ghost Rider and the non-powered John Blaze. The three Nightstalkers battled Meatmarket. ["Nightstalkers" #1] The Nightstalkers then teamed with Ghost Rider, Blaze, Morbius, Doctor Strange, and the Darkhold Redeemers to battle Lilith and her Lilin. ["Ghost Rider" Vol. 3 #31] The Nightstalkers also battled other threats, such as HYDRA's DOA. ["Nightstalkers" #2-4]

Upon the eventual weakening of the Montesi Formula, and the return of vampires, Blade encountered and staked a former ally, a now-vampiric Taj Nital, and survived a battle with the vampire lord Varnae in which Drake and King appeared to have been killed. ["Nightstalkers" #18 (April 1994)]

Daywalker

A solo vampire-hunter once again, Blade briefly joined forces with the mystic Bible John Carik, and encountered a vampire impersonating Deacon Frost and a once-again resurrected Dracula. Later, in New Orleans, Louisiana, Blade discovered that Hannibal King had survived, and the two joined forces to defeat a genuinely resurrected Frost. Blade remained active in New Orleans, defeating the vampire Ulysses Sojourner and his own former ally, Morbius, the Living Vampire, who was under Sojourner's mental thrall. Blade followed Morbius to New York, where, while teamed with Spider-Man, Blade was bitten by Morbius. ["Peter Parker: Spider-Man" #8] Blade's blood enzymes reacted unexpectedly with Morbius's unique form of vampirism to grant Blade many vampire strengths while eliminating weaknesses inherent to a vampire, most notably the weakness to sunlight. It was at this time that Blade assumed the unofficial title of "Daywalker" among his prey.

The United Nations-sanctioned espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D. sought to use Blade's blood for Project: Silvereye, an attempt at cloning vampire operatives. Blade and the vampire-hunting twins Mosha and Mikado shut down the project. Blade later joined Noah Van Helsing (actually Noah Tremayne, Rachel Van Helsing's adopted cousin) and several vampire hunters worldwide to stop Dracula from becoming a genuinely god-like vampire lord. Blade then returned to New Orleans.

Blade reencountered Dracula, and appeared to fully destroy the vampire once again, aboard the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier "Pericles V". Unbeknownst to Blade, his wealthy father, Lucas Cross, had been responsible for Dracula's most recent resurrection. Cross later kidnapped Blade and attempted to force Blade to feed on a virgin girl; in an attempt to fulfill a prophecy. Blade escaped after biting through his own hand. Later, Blade would feed on a virgin after biting an evil vampire priest, Draconis.

In exchange for undertaking a time travel adventure for the supervillain Doctor Doom, Blade received from Doom an that would purportedly cure a vampire of thirst for human blood but would also remove the bloodlust vampire hunters get for killing the undead. At the end of the series, Blade gave Hannibal King the elixir. During this time travel mission, Blade fulfilled another part of the prophecy by freeing his imprisoned father.

Civil War and Beyond

During the events of the "Civil War" over the registration of super-powered individuals, Blade registers and begins cooperating with S.H.I.E.L.D. ["Civil War" #5] This alliance allowed Blade access to S.H.I.E.L.D. tech, gaining himself a "gun hand" to replace his missing one.

The series ended with Blade forced to complete a prophecy he believed would give all extant vampires back their souls, but which instead brought back into existence every vampire that had ever been killed. Blade was next seen working with a group of vigilantes, called the Vanguard ["Marvel Comics Presents" vol. 2, #5] . Blade is shown with a cybernetic replacement hand, and after the group disbands, Blade is taken hostage and tortured. Blade is next seen returning home to England in order to join in their fight against supernatural evil. [ [http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=17106 MI:13 Agent Profile - Blade? Cornell talks "Captain Britain"] , Comic Book Resources, July 7, 2008] However, when Blade first joins the team he stakes the vampire hero Spitfire ["" #5] .

Powers and abilities

Comics

Due to an enzyme in his blood stream resultant from his mother's being bitten by a vampire while giving birth to him, Blade possesses a number of superhuman powers. Blade possesses superhuman strength, stamina, speed, agility, heightened senses, and a rapid healing factor. He is immune to the supernatural effects of normal vampire bites, ages very slowly, and can preternaturally sense supernatural activity.

Blade is an extraordinary martial artist, swordsman, and marksman. He is a skilled street-fighter and adept in the usage of throwing knives. He is highly knowledgeable about vampire lore. He is also an accomplished jazz trumpeter.

Film and television

In the films and the TV series, Blade is depicted as having all of a vampire's strengths and none of the weaknesses except for blood-thirst. Blade has superhuman strength, speed, stamina, agility, reflexes, and senses. He also has a healing factor. He can walk in sunlight, as well. He also ages like a mortal. He is a master of martial arts and weaponry ranging from his acid-etched titanium sword and glaive to a MAC-10 automatic pistol. Blade can speak Czech, Russian, and to a degree the Vampire language, and he has a great deal of knowledge about hunting vampires.

Equipment

According to his earliest appearances in the original "Tomb of Dracula" comics, Blade relied on teakwood daggers which he used to impale opponents, and a variety of mahogany s. He was an excellent hand-to-hand combatant and knife-fighter. Later comics upgraded his arsenal significantly over the years, including a variety of different bladed weapons ranging from long swords to katanas, as well as guns, flamethrowers, and UV and silver-based weapons. He has also had some success with improvised weapons such as stakes made from snapped brooms and, after losing his hand, a replacement appendage made from duct tape and a pointed stick. Blade also had an arsenal of EMP grenades.

Other versions

Ultimate Blade

An alternate universe Blade of the Ultimate Marvel imprint appeared in "Ultimate Spider-Man" #95, and had a cameo in "Ultimate Marvel Team-Up Super Special". This version, called "The Daywalker" by the Bugle, has numerous small scars across his eyes and cheeks.

In other media

Television

pider-Man: The Animated Series

Blade appeared in a 1996 episode of the Spider-Man animated series, "Neogenic Nightmare: Chapter 9: Blade the Vampire Hunter". This episode also introduced Whistler, a character (who would later be introduced into the New Line Cinema movies) not previously seen in the "Blade" mythos. Here Blade hunts Morbius, and in this version of his origin, he was the son of a vampire man and a human woman, whose mother left him in foster care after she was bitten by a vampire. Blade and Morbius both also appear in the following episode, "The Immortal Vampire". Blade is also shown to have a slight love interest in Terri Lee, a detective who frequently works with Spider Man, though he usually abandons this out of his need for the hunt.

In the season four episode "Partners in Danger, Chapter 7: The Vampire Queen", Blade hunts the Vampire Queen, who he then learns is his mother. Blade made his final appearance in the show in the season five episode "Secret Wars, Chapter 2: Gauntlet of the Red Skull", where he teams with Morbius and the Black Cat against the Vampire Queen.

In all these appearances, Blade was voiced by J.D. Hall, and wore a costume based on his appearance in the "Nightstalkers" comic book series. The "Spider-Man" incarnation of Blade is seen as white due to notably lighter skinned than in the comic and lacked most, if not all, of the racial characteristics common to the show's African American cast.

Blade: The Series

A television series, based on the films, aired on Spike TV and stared rapper/actor Kirk Jones as Blade. The series dealt with Blade fighting an evil vampire named Marcus Van Sciver in Detroit, which is also Blade's birthplace (in the series). As seen in the movies, Blade's birth name is Eric Brooks and his mother was named Vanessa. It is revealed that Blade's father is named Robert Brooks, and that he raised Blade until he was twelve and elements of his vampiric nature such as his "thirst" for human blood became more apparent.

Conflicts often come up between Whistler's explanation of Blade's origin in the movie and the explanation of Blade's origin in the television series.

Films

In 1998, the New Line Cinema film "Blade" starred Wesley Snipes in the title role; Kris Kristofferson as Abraham Whistler, Blade's mentor; and Stephen Dorff as Deacon Frost. The film was written by David S. Goyer and directed by Stephen Norrington. The film diverges slightly from the comic Blade in the demeanor of the character. Traditionally, Blade was often presented as loquacious and boastful, yet in the film he is stoic and nearly silent. The nature of his abilities is based more on his later titles rather than his original appearances, with him having vampiric powers but none of the inherent weaknesses. The movies Blade is portrayed as an African American born in Chicago, Illinois. In the Blade TV series, his activities take place in Detroit, Michigan.

Written by Goyer and directed by Guillermo del Toro, a sequel followed in 2002: "Blade II". Blade joins forces with his vampire nemesis Eli Damaskinos to defeat a powerful new breed of vampire called Reapers. The 2004 film "Blade: Trinity", written and directed by Goyer, introduced heavily modified versions of Hannibal King (played by Ryan Reynolds) and the Nightstalkers. Blade reluctantly joins forces with the group of vampire hunters (led by Abigail Whistler, the estranged daughter of his old mentor) to finally destroy the first vampire, Dracula ("Drake").

Video games

* Blade is playable in "Blade" (for the PlayStation) and "Blade II" (for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox).

* Blade is an unlockable character in action role-playing game "" voiced by Khary Payton. He is playable once you save him from a toy machine in Arcade's Murderworld. His costumes include the Classic, Ultimate, Nightstalker, and Daywalker variations. He has special dialogue with Mandarin (when Mandarin is defeated) and Volla. A simulation disk has Blade defending Storm from Dark Spider-Man in Mephisto's Realm.

* Blade is an unlockable character in the "movie-based "Ghost Rider video game voiced by Fred Tatasciore. He is unlocked after you beat the game on the "forgiving" difficulty level.

* Khary Payton reprises his role of Blade in "". He is seen in a costume similar to that in the live-action Blade TV series. Spider-Man encounters him in Transylvania decimating the P.H.A.N.T.O.M. troops. Upon joining up with Spider-Man, Blade tells Spider-Man that Venom is guarding the Meteor Shard.

Books

* Blade briefly appears in the Anno Dracula series story "Andy Warhol's Dracula: Anno Dracula 1978-1979".

Notes

References

*gcdb|type=character|search=Blade|title=Blade
*gcdb series|id=4992|title="Blade: The Vampire Hunter"
*gcdb series|id=16569|title="Blade: Vampire Hunter"
*gcdb series|id=21541|title="Blade" (2006)
* [http://www.maelmill-insi.de/UHBMCC/SELBD.HTM#G14 Blade] at the Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators
* [http://www.marveldirectory.com/individuals/b/blade.htm Blade] at the Marvel Directory
*comicbookdb|type=character|id=1753|title=Blade
* [http://www.comics-db.com/Marvel_Comics/B/Blade/index.html Blade] at the Big Comic Book DataBase

External links

* [http://marvel.com/universe/Blade_%28Eric_Brooks%29 Blade] at the Marvel Universe
*
* [http://members.aol.com/KingMo69/bladetvs.htm Blade Fan Website]
* [http://www.comicmonsters.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=801 Comicmonsters.com: Blade Timeline]
* [http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix3/crossbowblade.htm Crossbow] at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe


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