A Vampire Hunter
who debuted in The Tomb of Dracula
#10 (July, 1973). Blade grudgingly ended up working with the vampire detective Hannibal King against their common enemy, Deacon Frost and eventually joined up with the other surviving hunters in the book and Dracula
, to defeat Doctor Sun
. From there, Blade made occasional appearances in similarly themed Marvel comics such as Doctor Strange
, Ghost Rider
or in books like Spider-Man
whenever writers remembered him and had an excuse to use a vampire hunter. King became his best friend while Dracula remains one of his most hated foes.
Blade made regular appearances again during the "Midnight Sons" story arc in the 1990s, which lead to the character being featured on the then running Spider-Man cartoon, which gave Blade new powers. That
lead to a mildly successful trilogy of movies based off the cartoon. Attempts to reproduce that success for Blade in the comics failed but the adaptations did permanently change how the character would be used.
Initially he was tainted but mostly human, having a few of the vampire perks with drawbacks so few and negligible they were rarely mentioned at all. He's since gained more of the undead's strengths but has to deal with the issue of blood thirst. Mentally, his detachment from other people was traditionally presented as troubling and something he'd have to overcome. Now it's kind of accepted as who he is. After Marvel's Civil War
crossover event the character has also been prone to show up in stories dealing with government organizations, such as the Vanguard in Marvel Comics Presents
and MI13 that followed in the wake of Secret Invasion
Blade is the new Ronin who debuted in Infinity
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Tropes featured in Blade comics
- A God Am I: Deacon Frost (or rather a clone), uses magic to become something he claims to be greater than a vampire but his new powers weren't anything Blade couldn't handle and he's only saved by the fact that Blade is more concerned with Bible John's safety at the moment. Frost's later eaten by the real thing in his second attempt for more power.
- Abnormal Ammo: Hollow points filled with garlic. His arm cannon could shoot rubber bullets.
- Accidental Misnaming: Stacy Dolan always refers to Blade as "Wesley", even when he threatens her with bodily harm for it.
- Actually A Doom Bot: Deacon Frost has the power to create clones of himself, this is why Blade, Hannibal King and the rest of his enemies have failed to kill him over the years. Blade's also fought the trope namer, Doctor Doom, but in that case the story didn't try to present the broken Doom bots as legit and he wasn't able to stop the real Doom.
- Affirmative Action Legacy: Blade was the most recent holder of the Ronin identity. He even used the same costume that Clint Barton wore during his tenure with the New Avengers.
- And Then What?: Blade gets a job and performs as a trumpeter on the side when all the vampires are killed in the comics. He asks this question to other people who don't seem to have an obtainable goal or just haven't thought of what they'll do when they're done.
- Anti-Hero: Blade not only kills supernatural being with extreme prejudice, but he is no less merciful towards humans who try to be vampires or side with them.
- Apocalypse Maiden/The Chosen One: Blade is believed to be by some by the sheer fact he is a day walking vampire. This was Cilla's motivation for sleeping with him for example, believing it would lead to the birth of the fabled Tryk King Zukajaa (further implications of the plot have not been revealed yet)
- Arbitrary Skepticism: When he first encounters Spider-Man his introduction is summed up as "vampires are real, hero, get over it" before any thing else meaningful is said, suggesting he's run into this trope a lot. He was a blood drinker himself but Morbius initially did not believe in supernatural vampires.
- Arm Cannon: He once resorted to biting off his own hand. While waiting for a replacement or a new one to grow back he hooked a gun where it used to be.
- Asteroids Monster:The white worm summoned by Deacon Frost. The solution? Kill It with Fire. The End... Or Is It?
- Badass Biker: Ghost Rider, the vampire hunter twins Mikado and Mosha.
- Badass Normal: Initially Blade had no powers and survived with his skills, before being bitten by Morbius.
- Bed Trick: Cilla does this to Blade, then tries to eat him, because that's what Tryks do. They usually mate with other members of the colony who willingly become meals for their queen, Blade didn't even want to have sex before he knew he was being tricked and Cilla fled when she realized she bit off more than she could chew.
- Big Red Devil: Deacon Frost's "god" form resembled the trope only green. It had horns and wings but no tail.
- Blessed with Suck: Blade's initial state of tainted but not turned made even dim sources of light irritating to his eyes and others had it worse. Elliot Flanders's unsuccessful vampire turn left him an amnesiac wild man who ate animals and at times appeared to be brain dead, leading Blade to give him a Mercy Kill. Rank, a man who helped Blade for many years of his vampire hunting career, had to deal with his body literally rotting away as a result of not fully turning.
- Body Surf:Blade had to hunt down a body surfing criminal named Yoosef while S.H.I.E.L.D. had forced him into the Vanguard program.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: After getting his new vampire powers Blade is kidnapped by the Silver Eye division of S.H.I.E.L.D. who do use mind control in an attempt to turn him into a weapon for them.
- Celestial Body: Plokta has one.
- Costume Copycat: Patriot, a super soldier Mikado and Mosha brainwashed into believing he was Blade, they were trying to free the real thing from Silver Eye at the time and thought they were simply undoing "Blade's" reprogramming.
- Demonic Possession: Famously battles a demon who had possessed a mall Santa. It considers possessing Blade but decides it wants nothing to do with a vampire. The spirit of Varnae tries to possess Blade but he resists it, so it instead takes over Night Terror.
- Detect Evil: Blade has the ability to sense supernatural beings around him. A vampires hiding in a crowd? He can find it. A spirit possessing a body? He can sense it's presence right away.
- Disappeared Dad: Lucas Cross claims to be Blade's father, as he was Tara Brook's lover. Given what her profession is though, there is a good chance he isn't. His excuse for not being around is being locked up in Latveria for a crime he did not commit.
- I Hate You, Vampire Dad: Well, Blade doesn't care for Lucas and him becoming a vampire to escape imprisonment did not improve their relationship. Blade doesn't like Deacon Frost or Morbius, the ones responsible for his own vampire state, either. He hates the latter least of the three and the middle the most.
- Dodge the Bullet: Most of the monsters can be shot but most likely will not be hit if just shot at once. Even Blade gets tagged occasionally but it is rare.
- Dhampyr: Started as tainted by a vampire but not actually turned, was thought in fact to be impossible to turn but now Blade is a full fledged vampire.
- Evil Versus Evil: Cyclops's reasoning in bringing back Dracula is that he won't approve of the current vampire lord Xarus and will make dealing with him easier. Blade is clearly not a fan of this, especially since he's seen it play out before with Dr. Sun.
- Expy: Blade in the original comics was an admitted Expy of Blaxploitation characters, particularly John Shaft right down to the afro and brown leather jacket. He picked up the ebonics from Americans later, though - he's native to Britain.
- Food Chain of Evil: There are many types of vampires and "Tryks" use other "species" to reproduce. Naturally a colony targets Blade at one point and mostly regrets it.
- Full-Frontal Assault: Blade's been forced to do this twice. Once after fist getting his powers and once again in his Max series.
- Gotta Kill Em All: It used to be all vampires, now its just every vampire who has given into their curse, disease or whatever and started killing multiple people or spreading their condition around. Vampires who aren't spreading it around and not murdering people are usually left alone, provided they can convince Blade.
- Healing Factor: Not as good as it could be, as he doesn't drink much blood Blade has to will himself to heal and manually kick starting it is very painful. He teaches Spitfire how to.
- Hell Fire: Has a natural resistance to it as a benefit of being a partially undead vampire. Dukes of Hell like Plokta and Spirits of Vengeance like Ghost Rider can still burn him with it, lesser entities are out of luck though.
- Heroic Bastard: as in born out of wedlock, but plenty think he's the other kind of bastard too, due to being somewhat detached.
- Historical Villain Upgrade: Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau.
- Humanity Is Infectious: The reason that Blade doesn't try to keep vampires from getting the Sun Walker Formula and the reason why most vampires would rather risk burning to death or use more complicated alternatives. Lucas's plan is to give all vampires their humanity back.
- Hybrid Power: Blade, a classic dhampyr, has all the strengths of vampires, but none of the weaknesses, barring a much weaker desire for blood which he treats with a serum.
- I Cannot Self-Terminate: Apparently most vampires cannot, since after the success of sun walker serium Henry Sage said he would not be able to stop killing people until Blade "did what he needed to do".
- Immortality Immorality: Draconis wanted to live forever, so he joined the church. Everlasting paradise wasn't good enough for him though, he wanted to live in this life forever, so he gave up being a good Christian and volunteered for a vampire's experiments. Marie Laveau also qualifies, as she abuses her talents to retain her youth.
- Improbable Weapon User: While he teamed with Captain Britain and MI 13 he cut up a spell book he found and made a papier-mâché sword out of it.
- Blade once poisoned some vampires by putting garlic in gumdrops.
- Inept Mage: Blades attempts to use magic usually go wrong, the word sword being one of his few if only success stories. One case involved a spell that was supposed to give a vampire its soul back but instead returned vampires he killed back to life. To be fair he was tricked by Lucas Cross, who also thought it would work.
- It's Personal: Deacon Frost killed Blade's mother and is the reason he was tainted by vampire blood. Dracula killed his mentor Jamal. Vampires killed the street gang he rolled with as a kid so he has it out for them in general.
- Jazz: Blade is a very talented jazz player and it is his favorite music. Which makes sense considering he was around when jazz first got popular.
- Joker Immunity: In-Universe. Dracula's died a few times, Blade was involved in at least two cases but since the guy's such a popular figure with cultists, evil religions, demons, vampires and such he keeps being resurrected. One time the X-Men were the guilty party (then again, it was an Enemy Mine situation).
- Knife Nut: One of Blade's weapons of choice are knives made out of wood.
- Known Only by Their Nickname: For a long time Blade was, since the closest he ever was to being a main character was sharing the honor with two other guys until the 90s.
- Mistaken Identity: A young Blade kills a man suffering from porphyria by mistake. Jamal sends him out of the country despite Blade believing he deserved prison for it. He ends up joining a gang in New York not long after.
- Mithridatism: Draconis was exposed to several vampire weakness in small amounts for a very long time until he became immune to them all and was effectively a day walker. He was also twice as strong and fast as Blade, as he was "created" to kill him.
- Monster Progenitor: Varne to vampires, at least those of Dracula's line. As Blade mellows out he doesn't hold a personal grudge against him anymore, he'll still kill him on sight of course.
- Morality Chain: Bible John helped him in his goal to become less obsessed and hate filled.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: A group of vampires were trying to preform a resurrection spell that required a specific day walker, Blade, to drink virgin blood. They tried to force him to eat a little girl and it didn't end well for them. Another group of vampires had created their own day walker named Draconis, to kill Blade. Draconis proves too tough for Blade to beat, so Blade decides to drink him of all his blood so he won't regenerate. Draconis dies... a virgin...
- Not So Similar: He gets compared to Wolverine, both being really old guys who look younger than they are, and Luke Cage, thanks to his relationship with Hannibal King (to Luke's with Iron-Fist), but he doesn't have much in common with either of them. Blade himself thought he was just like the Punisher but found out he was mistaken when he finally met him.
- Older Than They Look: He was born in the 1920s and Jazz is still his favorite form of music. This is due to his slowed aging.
- Our Vampires Are Different
- Blade was human who was immune to vampire bites. However, he was bitten by Morbius (a scientifically-created vampire) and got turned into a vampire similar to his movie counterpart. He was mostly involved with the Dracula-descended type of vampire so it's not too outlandish for his immunity not to cover every other vampire type in Marvel.
- The original 70s version still had superhumanly acute night vision, sensitivity to light (hence the goggles being part of his standard attire) and extremely retarded aging rate (his back story mentioned him being born in the late 19th century). The 90s version got upgraded with an intuitive ability to Detect Evil. Some view this as adaption induced Level Grinding.
- Possibly Lampshaded by Deadpool, who claims Blade is stronger than the trading cards say he is. After all, they do say vampires get stronger with age.
- Parental Substitute: In addition to Jamal, Blade also had Madame Vanity, who owned the brothel his mother worked at.
- Physical God: The demogorge was the Elder God responsible for killing off or chasing away all the others because they had become corrupt. Blade starts to become a second demogorge when he takes a page out of the Dark Hold and set out to kill everything related to magic in the Marvel Universe. The Midnight Sons are eventually able to reverse this and they had too since the Ghost Rider, the spirit of vengeance, would have been his first victim. The demogorge was that powerful.
- Power Copying: In the Midnight Sons crossover Midnight Massacre, Blade in his obsessive quest against all occult reads a certain page from Darkhold and turns into Switchblade the Demogorge, a being who obtains powers of anyone he kills. This power proves to be his undoing when kills Ghost Rider, and feels the power of his Penance Stare as he obtains it, buying enoug time for Prof. Hastings of the Darkhold Redeemers to fix things up.
- Pro-Human Transhuman: Not that he is fond of many of his fellow humans, but he will do what he can to rid them of their vampire problems regardless.
- Psychic Powers: Some people get them when they become vampires. Eric Guy psychically tormented the wife of a vampire hunter into getting blood for him while he slept, giving Blade extra motivation to track him down. Freak was used by Silver Eye to help them brainwash their operatives. When Blade destroyed Jared Amundson in Midnight Son Unlimited, he temporarily sent Blade's mind into the past as a parting shot.
- RetCanon: Blade originally had an immunity to vampire bites and hypnosis, but was otherwise a Badass Normal. After the first movie gave him superhuman strength, speed, agility, a Healing Factor, and heightened senses, Blade gained these powers in the comics thanks to a bite from Morbius.
- Reverse Grip: How Hrolf, a vampire turned by Deacon Frost, holds is weapon. It looked pretty cool until Blade started cutting him up.
- Scary Black Man: In the comic, Blade's Mentor, Jamal, was a Jazz musician from Harlem (a far cry from Whistler), which is why someone from Britain like Blade would use American slang, that and the gang he joined was made up of New Yorkers. Orji Jones's and his vampire hunters were a group of them, especially Ogun Strong, who was big and strong enough to restrain Dracula! Also, the vampires Steppin' Razor and Night Terror count.
- Blade himself qualifies, especially towards the supernatural.
- Selective Obliviousness: Blade refuses to admit Morbius's bite did anything to him and insists he was always the way he is when S.H.I.E.L.D. sends the latter to bring him in. In fact, Blade denies it whenever it comes up so much a reader could be forgiven for believing him. A look at an older comic where he lacks fangs and an urge to drink blood or a peep in a Marvel handbook will set them straight.
- Sole Survivor: Blade is the only one to survive in a few groups, Orji Jone's vampire hunters in particular. In the original telling Blade survived when Dracula killed everyone else because of his immunity to vampire bites but this may or may not have been retconned as Dracula leaving him alive for a future favor.
- Son of a Whore: Blade's mother was drained by a vampire as she gave birth but the other prostitutes eventually drove it off and took care of him.
- Stout Strength: Varne is not the ideal picture of fitness but is stronger and faster than Dracula unless he is artificially powered up by something. Steppin' Razor too, if not to the same degree.
- Summon Bigger Fish: The Reaper was a legendary creature summoned by an ancient vampires Maracen and Saracen to deal with Blade's new superpowers, but proved difficult to control. If Blade hadn't defeated it, it could have easily displaced him as their problem.
- Sunglasses at Night: Both Blade and Night Terror are known for it, Blade does because of light sensitivity and Night Terror for probably the same reason, as he didn't even go through the "not full vampire" stage.
- He can also see just fine in the dark, so his vision isn't hindered.
- Super Registration Act: After this one is passed in Marvel USA, S.H.I.E.L.D. wastes little time in legally forcing Blade to work for them.
- Super Speed: After getting his powers, its noted that's he's uncannily quick, even among other vampires. Draconis and Spitfire are possibly even faster.
- Super Strength: On the lower end of the scale but still there. He can lift about one ton at his peak according to Marvel's official handbook and website. This is really depending on the writer though as some feats of his are well above that (Pulling the reaper out from underground and hoisting above his head so it could not avoid the rising sun) while at other times suggest it is even lower than that (such as when he had to trick S.H.I.E.L.D. agents into shooting at him to break a pair of handcuffs).
- Terror Hero: Type 3 and 5. Vampires whisper his name in the same way as Dracula's. Blade's mere presence, even among massive gangs of vampires is enough to send half running. The unintelligent other half usually die.
- That Man Is Dead: During his time as The Demogorge Switchblade.
- The Assimilator: Blade was once absorbed into the body of one of Frost's creations when he tried to kill it. Daimon Hellstrom manages to exorcize him from it then kill it properly.
- The Dreaded: Especially among New Orleans Vampires, who Blade states see him as some kind of Boogeyman.
- The Kleptomaniac: Jamal encourages Blade to loot the vampires he fights, as many Vampires Are Rich.
- The Musketeer: He's got UV grenades and cutting boomerangs too nowadays but the sword and gun are currently his most used weapons.
- The Nose Knows: Of his super senses, his sense of smell is the most notable as that's how his ability to detect supernatural activity manifests.
- The Rival: Joesph Chapman, aka Union Jack (not that Union Jack), another vampire hunter who believes Blade is a "foreign amateur" and goes as far as to blame him for the continued existence of vampires(see nice job breaking it hero and inept mage for his reasoning).
- There Are No Therapists: Not so, when he develops an obsessive hatred and detachment from the world in general over Dracula's inability to stay dead Blade is committed to receive treatment. He's let out early by Dr. Strange but it does lead to him mellowing out a little.
- Time Dissonance: When T'challa was in possession of the Black Knight's Ebony Blade, our hero Blade asks him to give it to him in his will. Luke Cage tries to explain to him why that's rude but he doesn't care. Also, anyone who claims Blade can't kill all the vampires will be intimately corrected, he really doesn't care how long it takes.
- Transhuman Treachery: Not the case for the most part, feeding on humans just comes naturally to vampires. Because of this, the sunwalker formula which can give them resistance to sunlight, is not very popular among them because it also brings back their sense of humanity and brings the severe Horror Hunger that comes from eating your own kind alive and not being able to stop yourself. Using it drove Henry Sage to Suicide ByBlade in Marvel team-up #7.
- Vampire Detective: He was a part of Borderline Investigations, but was really more involved in the Nightstalkers, what the same group was known as when hunting vampires and other occult elements.
- Weapon of Choice: Two teakwood daggers were his preferred vampire killing weapons in the beginning, as he was impressed by Orji Jones, who used them as his weapon of choice before him. Blade didn't limit himself to them though, also carrying things like crossbows. While working with the Nightstalkers, Frank Drake gets him some more dangerous weaponry and his arsenal continued to expand with S.H.I.E.L.D. and when he met the twins Mikado and Mosha.
- What Measure Is a Mook?: When Rotwrap of Hydra's D.O.A. sends a swarm of stinging insects at Blade he quickly cuts them to pieces with two knives but laments that he really had nothing against those bugs and that he was sorry for them. He had no problem cutting Rotwrap herself to pieces though, Pyre had to save her before he could do too much damage. When 'god' Frost covers him in a swarm of insects he doesn't even attack them, stating worse things have bitten him.
- Wrecked Weapon: Blade's blades tend not to be as durable as he is as seen in his battle with Plokta, or in the case of his battle with the Taker Of Heads, can't repair themselves after being broken like he can. After a sword gets broken by Spitfire he is seen with an Adamantium weapon.
- You Kill It, You Bought It: While in New York, Blade killed a gang leader named Cyrus Cutter in a knife fight. This caused Cyrus's gang, the Bloodshadows, to see Blade as their new leader, to the point of following him back to the Britain.
- Youkai: "The snow vampires of Nippon" are based on Yuki-onna, except they are not all female.