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Blade – Marvel’s Vampire-Hunting Vampire Explained

4 Minute Read
Aug 18 2022
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Blade is joining the MCU next year. You know the name, but do you know the Daywalker’s origins?

Blade aka Eric Brooks made his entrance in 1973, hunting down the Legions of Dracula and battling the old bat himself. For decades after the Latverian dhampir has fought against vampire (and other) invasions. But where did this vampire-hunting vampire come from, and how old is he really?

Tomb of Dracula #10 (1973), via Marvel

Blade in the Comics

First Appearance: Tomb of Dracula #10 (April 1973)
Creators: Marv Wolfman & Gene Colan

Eric Brooks was born in London in 1922. His parents are Lucas Cross, the leader of the Order of Tyranna (an ancient occult organization that deals with vampires), and his wife Vanessa. When Cross was imprisoned, a pregnant Vanessa had to seek refuge in England. She was forced to seek out a doctor when her labor became dangerous. Not great for her – the doctor (Deacon Frost) she found was a ravenous vampire that fed on her while she was giving birth. This passed enzymes on that gave Eric vampire powers without many of the downsides.

Vanessa died and Eric was raised in a brothel till he found a vampire slayer to learn from. Jamal Afari took the young(ish) Daywalker under his wing, becoming a mentor and father figure. Everything Blade knows about hunting, fighting, and killing vampires came from Afari.

X-Men: Curse of the Mutants art by Dave Dave Wilkins, via Marvel

Mission: Stop the Vampire Invasion

After the two parted ways, Blade’s main mission was to kill vampires and find the one that took his mother’s life. His first outing had him join the Secret Invaders and take on Vampire Luftwaffe during WWII. In the late 1960s, he joined a band of slayers out to get Dracula by playing to the ancient vamp’s desire to take over the world. They nearly killed him. Dracula is a recurring nemesis of Blade’s – he’s been killed and resurrected multiple times. Blade even battles members of Dracula’s family.

On his many missions over the years, Blade has hunted vampires, the mother of all demons, Hydra’s D.O.A., and tangled with the Darkhold. He’s dealt with his family history, including fighting his father and Deacon Frost. The Daywalker has partnered with the Mighty Avengers, the X-Men, and Vanguard among others. His most well-known team-up is with the Midnight Sons.

The 100-year-old Daywalker has been around.

Blade #2 (1998), via Marvel


Eric Brooks was born half human and half vampire, making him a dhampir. He’s immune to normal vampire bites, is able to sense the supernatural, has an acute sense of smell, and doesn’t age. Due to being a dhampir, he has superhuman strength and stamina. He also heals at an accelerated speed. While he has a bunch of vampire powers, he is not affected by sunlight. Blade gained some more traditional vampire powers after being bitten by Morbius – he didn’t develop the common weaknesses like garlic, however.


Outside of his dhampir powers, Blade is a master swordsman, weapons expert, and martial arts master. The Daywalker is also a skilled driver and speaks multiple languages. He uses all of his skills and powers to scare the hell out of his opponents, making them hesitant to challenge him at all.

Fear #24, via Marvel

Blade in the New Line Movies

New Line Cinema, David S. Goyer, and Wesley Snipes thrust Blade into the spotlight in 1998. The trilogy of movies made him Marvel’s most famous horror character with impressive box office numbers (for the purpose of this explainer, we are ignoring Morbin’ Time). Blade went from a side comic book character to a household name. The first movie single-handedly saved Marvel from bankruptcy and paved the way for the MCU.

The first movie is about Blade’s hunt for Deacon Frost, the second tells the story of vampires clan wars, and the third… it’s a movie that stars baby Ryan Reynolds. All worth watching.

via New Line

Blade in the MCU

Mahershala Ali will be taking on Eric Brooks in the new take, which is set to come out on November 3, 2023. The actor approached the execs at Marvel with the idea, which was already on their wishlist. According to Kevin Feige back in 2019:

[It] came about, frankly, quite a while ago, and I’m very happy that they never leaked so that we could unveil it today at Hall H. It came about from the passion that we had for Blade, and had for years. Mahershala, coming off his second Academy Award this year, said he wants to come and meet. And I was like, “I hope he talks about what I think he’s going to talk about.” And he brought up Blade, and we were like, “We’re in. We’re doing it.”


There’s been no word about what the story is going to focus on or if it’s a new tale altogether – but based on the Eternals post-credits, it’s going to include the Black Knight.

Author: Mars Garrett
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