Blade Comics Reading Guide

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Greeting suckheads, and welcome to the Blade comics reading guide!

Cursed at birth when the vampire Deacon Frost bit his pregnant mother, Eric Brooks was destined to become the great vampire hunter he is today. Taking the name ‘Blade’ after his weapons of choice, Blade has traveled the world for over seventy years on his quest for vengeance against vampirekind.

As we prepare for Bassam Tariq’s new film starring Mahershala Ali, here are the most important comics you need to get started with Blade!

Quick start:

Blade origin

  • Tomb of Dracula (1972) #10, 12-13, 24-25, 30, 33, 41-49, 53-54, 58
  • Marvel Preview (1975) #3
    • Blade: The Vampire-Hunter (1994) #6
    • Blade MAX (2002) #3
  • Blade (2006) #1-12 (flashbacks)
  • Mighty Avengers (2013) #11-12 (flashbacks)

Modern Blade

    • Tomb of Dracula (1991) #1-4
    • Midnight Sons: Midnight Massacre (1993)
  • Blade: The Vampire-Hunter (1994) #1-10
  • Blade: Crescent City Blues (1998) #1
  • Blade MAX (2002) #1-6
    • Blade (2006) #1-12
  • Captain Britain and MI13: Vampire State (2008)
    • Spitfire #1 (2010)
    • X-Men: Curse of Mutants – Blade (2010) #1
  • Mighty Avengers: Not Your Father’s Avengers (2013)
  • Avengers: War of the Vampires (2018)
    • War of the Realms: Strikeforce – The Dark Elf Realm (2019) #1
    • Strikeforce (2019) #1-4, 7-9
  • Avengers (2018) #45

Although Blade had a long-running role in the 1970s’ Tomb of Dracula, he really evolved into his iconic character during the 1990s with the Midnight Sons crossovers and Wesley Snipes’ onscreen portrayal in Blade (1998).

Since then he’s been a steady supporting character across a number of teams. Joining forces with the Avengers, X-Men, Midnight Sons, MI13, Deadpool, and even the great-granddaughter of Abraham van Helsing, Blade’s singular area of expertise has made him one of the unifying factors of the Marvel universe.

There are so many great comics featuring the Daywalker, so scroll down, pick some runs, and start your hunt!

Be sure to also check out our Midnight Sons articles and the Morbius Reading Guide for more midnight madness!

“The older vampires warn them about me. I like that.

Blade the Vampire hunter image


 

Tomb of Dracula (1972)

Blade’s first appearance is in Tomb of Dracula #10, created by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan. Young and hot-headed, this early version of Blade joined a team of vampire-hunters on his own vendetta against Dracula.

Although Blade is only a side character, his role gets more and more important as the creatives continued to flesh out his history and future. More importantly, these are just great comics. With godly art by Colan, satisfying plots by Wolfman, and a romantic mix of tragedy, hope, and horror, Tomb of Dracula is one of my favorite series of all time.

  • Tomb of Dracula (1972) #10-61 by Marv Wolfman & Gene Colan
    • Blade features in #10, 12-14, 17-19, 21, 24, 30, 41-49, 53-54, 58, 60-61
    • Deacon Frost features in #13, 25, 33, 42, 44-45, 51, 53
    • Hannibal King in #25, 44-53
    • Safron Caulder in #12, 24, 47, 52-54, 58
    • Starts in London, moves to Boston
    • #13 is the first flashback to Deacon Frost killing Blade’s mom
    • #18 is a Dracula vs. Werewolf by Night crossover! Continued in Werewolf by Night (1972) #15
    • #30 is a flashback to Blade’s 1968 group of vampire hunters in China, and a major run-in with Dracula 
    • #34 features Brother Voodoo!
    • #41-54 is the full saga of Hannibal King & Blade chasing Deacon Frost!
    • #44 features Doctor Strange vs Dracula! Continued in Doctor Strange (1974) #14
    • #58 is a major Blade-centric issue with an old friend from #30
    • #10, 24, 58 collected in Blade: Undead By Daylight
    • #1-70 collected in Tomb of Dracula: The Complete Collection Vol. 1-5
  • Fear (1970) #24
    • Blade meets Morbius!
  • Vampire Tales (1973) #8-9
    • Short solo adventures starring Blade & Safron
  • Marvel Preview (1975) #3, 8
    • #3 continues from Vampires Tales #8-9
    • Chris Claremont fleshes out the complete Blade origin in #3
    • Features Jamal Afari, Safron Caulder, and Dracula!
  • Doctor Strange (1974) #58-62, 67 (“Doctor Strange vs. Dracula: The Montesi Formula”)
    • Blade is in #61-62, 67
    • Hannibal King is in #58-62, 67
    • Blade only has a small role
    • Very important for 1990s vampire status quo
  • Marvel Comics Presents (1988) #64 (“Vampires”)
    • A short story about Blade and Safron’s relationship

 

Extra reading:

  • Defenders (1972) #148
    • Features Hannibal King
  • Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme (1988) #9 [B Story]
    • Features Hannibal King

blade-covers-1970s-tomb-of-dracula-marvel-preview


 

Nightstalkers (1992)

After the Montesi Formula, Blade was put on hiatus until the 1990s. Reinvented in a bonkers Tomb of Dracula revival by Blade creators Marv Wolfman & Gene Colan, the new rageful lunatic version of Blade was a major character in the Midnight Sons, a comics line of supernatural superheroics maxed out with 90s excess. As a Midnight Son, Blade began hunting more than vampires, expanding his reach to any kind of demonic threat. This edgy era also saw Blade’s partners Hannibal King and Frank Drake undergo their own 90s-style evolutions in Nightstalkers (1992) by Dan Chichester.

Picking up immediately after Nightstalkers, Blade got his first solo book in 1994. Although this run dealt with the aftermath of the Montesi Formula and the end of the Midnight Sons, Blade: The Vampire-Hunter (1994) is able to stand alone as a strong character-focused series. The art is spectacular, Blade’s tragic struggles are well-written, and despite the over-the-top 90s trappings, the series successfully pulls off a new style of mature horror.

While it’s commonly believed that Blade transformed overnight after the Wesley Snipes movie in 1998, the truth is that Blade’s modern characterization actually started in the comics. 1991’s Tomb of Dracula introduced his black leather jacket and short hair, 1992’s Nightstalkers introduced his body armorand 1994’s Blade The Vampire-Hunter introduced a relaxed coolness to his personality. The Snipes version of the character combined these elements with his own unique spin, creating the definitive version of the character for years to come.

  • Tomb of Dracula (1991) #1-4 by Marv Wolfman & Gene Colan
    • Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan return! Trippy horror art, and a modern 90s edge
    • The first appearance of modern Blade (short hair, black leather jacket, extreme vampire paranoia). No more green goggles.
    • Leads right into Nightstalkers #1
    • Collected as Tomb of Dracula: Day of Blood, Night of Redemption
  • Rise of the Midnight Sons (1992)
    • Ghost Rider (1990) #28
    • Ghost Rider and Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance (1992) #1
    • Morbius: The Living Vampire (1992) #1
    • Darkhold: Pages from the Book of Sins (1992) #1
    • Nightstalkers (1992) #1
      • Picks up right after Tomb of Dracula (1991) #4
      • Blade still operating in Boston
    • Ghost Rider (1990) #31
  • Interlude
    • Nightstalkers (1992) #2-7
    • Morbius: The Living Vampire (1992) #10
    • Nightstalkers (1992) #8-9
    • Morbius: The Living Vampire (1992) #11
    • Midnight Sons Unlimited (1993) #1-2 [C Stories]
  • Midnight Sons: Midnight Massacre (1993)
    • Nightstalkers (1992) #10
      • Blade transforms into ‘Switchblade’. A major arc featuring the Darkhold!
    • Ghost Rider (1990) #40
    • Darkhold: Pages from the Book of Sins (1992) #11
    • Morbius: The Living Vampire (1992) #12
    • Ghost Rider and Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance (1992) #13
  • Interlude
    • Midnight Sons Unlimited (1993) #3
    • Nightstalkers (1992) #11-13
      • #11 features a Deacon Frost flashback!
  • Midnight Sons: Siege of Darkness (1993)
    • Nightstalkers (1992) #14-15
    • Ghost Rider (1990) #44-45
    • Marvel Comics Presents (1988) #143-146
    • Darkhold: Pages from the Book of Sins (1992) #15-16
    • Morbius: The Living Vampire (1992) #16-17
    • Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme (1988) #60-61
    • Ghost Rider and Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance (1992) #17-18
    • Midnight Sons Unlimited (1993) #4
  • End of the Midnight Sons
    • Nightstalkers (1992) #16-18
    • Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme (1988) #63, 66
    • Midnight Sons Unlimited (1993) #6-8
      • #6 features a special flashback story drawn by Gene Colan, starring Young Blade, Doctor Strange, and Clea!
    • Morbius: The Living Vampire (1992) #29

Be sure to check out the Morbius reading guide to read this era from Morbius’ point of view!

  • Blade: The Vampire-Hunter (1994) #1-10 by Ian Edginton & Doug Wheatley
      • Continues after Nightstalkers #18
      • Features Deacon Frost, Varnae, Marie Laveau, and a new redesign of Dracula
      • Moves Blade to Greenwich Village in New York City
    • Cinephile Blade says he learned some of his fighting technique from kung-fu movies
    • #6 is an origin flashback issue where Blade joins the Bloodshadows gang
    • The series was cancelled at #10, but the unpublished ending is sort-of canon [spoilers]: this version of Dracula was actually a fusion of Hannibal King, Frank Drake and the Dracula “Bloodstorm” clone from Nightstalkers; Crossbow was a Blade variant from an alternate future; and after Blade saves Hannibal and Frank, the real Dracula returned. (Source: the letters page of #10, Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Horror 2005 and Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Marvel Knights 2005)
  • Blade: Crescent City Blues (1998) #1 by Christopher Golden & Gene Colan
    • Continues after Blade: The Vampire-Hunter (1994) #10 and Marvel Comics Presents #64
    • True finale of early Blade. Explains the fate of Hannibal King, Frank Drake, and Safron
    • Moves Blade from New York to New Orleans
    • Features Brother Voodoo and Marie Laveau!
    • Collected in:
      • Blade: Undead By Daylight
      • Blade: Black & White
      • Blade: Blood and Chaos

 

Extra watching:

  • Spider-Man: The Animated Series (1994) S2 E9-10; S4 E6-7; S5 E7, 10
    • Tie-in comic: X-Men ’92 (2016) #4

Extra reading:

  • Marvel: Shadows and Light (1997) #1 (“Into the Tomb”)
    • Cool little Blade vs. Dracula story told in black and white
    • The first story to suggest Blade’s history with New Orleans
    • Introduces another redesign of Dracula
  • Marvel Team-Up (1997) #7
    • Blade/Spider-Man team-up by Marv Wolfman! His final issue with Blade
    • Establishes that Blade operates out of New Orleans now, continuing after Crescent City Blues
    • Collected in Blade: Blood and Chaos
  • Journey into Mystery (1996) #520-521
    • Features Hannibal King
  • Spider-Man Unlimited (1993) #20
    • Features Hannibal King

blade-covers-1990s-nightstalkers-vampire-hunter-04


 

Blade (1998, 1999, 2002)

Excited by the Blade movies, Marvel Comics pumped out a series of short runs, half of which are worth skipping. The most continuity in this era is that Blade sometimes operates out of New Orleans – everything else changes from run to run.

Blade (1998) presents a 100% standalone story that ignores all previous continuity. Compared to the character-rich, continuity-heavy series from 1994, this is an easier place for new readers to jump in, but it’s so safe that it might be a bit boring.

Blade: Vampire Hunter (1999) is a very weird series set in a 90s-extreme sci-fi future. Although it’s a cool change of setting for Blade, it’s probably the weakest of all the solo series. The story gets slightly better as Blade connects to his familiar past, but it’s never coherent enough to matter.

Blade MAX (2002) is easily the best of the solo series. Being totally standalone makes it great for new readers, and the gritty R-rated style matches Wesley Snipes’ portrayal well. Like the other solos, it tries to rewrite Blade’s canon a little bit, but the changes aren’t too egregious. Most of all, this series is refreshing because it focuses on Eric’s humanity, the true mark of a good Blade story.

Tomb of Dracula (2004) is another great series from this era. Now matured with experience, Blade joins an all-new generation of vampire hunters led by Noah van Helsing as they try to stop Dracula from rising out of his tomb yet again.

  • Blade (1998) #1-3 by Don McGregor & Brian Hagen
    • AKA Strange Tales, Blood Allies
    • Features Morbius!
    • Cinephile Blade sharpens his knives while watching daytime TV. He makes a joke about Mario Bava’s Giallo movies
    • Blade operating in New Orleans
    • Collected in Blade: Blood and Chaos
  • Peter Parker, Spider-Man (1999) #7-8
    • In #8, Morbius bites Blade, giving him physical vampiric attributes
    • Blade still operating in New Orleans
    • Ignores some of Spider-Man’s previous history with Morbius, Blade, and vampires in general
    • Collected in Blade: Blood and Chaos
  • Blade: Vampire Hunter (1999) #½, 1-6 by Bart Sears
    • Features Deacon Frost and a new vampire language in a strange futuristic setting
    • Blade drives a black 1969 Shelby Mustang (in the 1998 movie, Blade drives a 1968 Dodge Charger)
    • Collected in Blade: Blood and Chaos
  • Blade (2002) #1-6 by Christopher Hinz & Steve Pugh
    • AKA Blade MAX (for mature readers)
    • Introduces the idea of vampire clans, Blade starts studying vampire languages
    • Retcons Safron with a different past girlfriend named Yathalea
    • States Blade’s birthday is October 24, 1929
  • Tomb of Dracula (2004) #1-4
    • Features Deacon Frost!
    • Introduces a new Dracula redesign
    • Continues fleshing out different vampire clans

blade-covers-2000s-crescent-city-blues-vampire-hunter

  • Marvel Knights: Millennial Visions (2001) #1 (“Blade: Humanity’s Last Hope”)
    • Alternate universe
  • Marvel Universe: Millennial Visions (2001) #1 (“Champions: United We Stand”)
    • Alternate universe
    • Blade is part of the Black Champions team, alongside Falcon, Brother Voodoo, Misty Knight, Luke Cage, and Goliath

 

Extra watching:

  • Blade (1998)
    • Tie-in comic: Blade: Sins of the Father (1998) #1 
  • Blade II (2002)
    • Tie-in comic: Blade 2: Bloodhunt – The Official Comic Adaptation (2002) #1
  • Blade: Trinity (2006)
    • Tie-in comic: Blade: Nightstalking (2006) #1
  • Blade: The Series (2006) S1 E1-13

Extra reading:

  • Gambit (1999) #4
    • Collected in Blade: Blood and Chaos
    • Blade still operating in New Orleans
    • The first time comic Blade was based on Wesley Snipes and wore sunglasses
  • Marvel Team-Up (2005) #8
    • Blade and Punisher!
    • TV fan Blade admits he watches Court TV (probably while sharpening his knives during the day)
  • Alternate universes:
    • Supernaturals (1998) #4
    • Spectacular Spider-Man (UK) (1995) #53
      • Same universe as Marvel Heroes (UK)


 

Blade (2006)

In the 2000s, Marc Guggenheim & Howard Chaykin teamed up to launch Blade (2006). This 12-issue series is not only the longest Blade solo in Marvel history, but it’s also the best version of Blade’s origin in modern comics. Although there are several weird plot twists and canon contradictions that could have changed Blade forever, the most offensive changes have been thankfully ignored by later writers.

Most importantly, Blade (2006) was also a test-run for Guggenheim’s style on Arrow. The series intercuts a modern storyline with flashbacks, telling Blade’s origin story coherently and cohesively in one place for the first time. Treat this like Blade: Year One”.

Captain Britain and MI13 (2008) is a great series starring a British team of superheroes. More than just a fun comic, Captain Britain also pushed Blade beyond his serious Wesley Snipes persona when he starts dating Spitfire, another British Vampire superhero. The whole series culminates in “Vampire State”, one of the best Dracula arcs in the modern era. After this, Blade and Spitfire’s story continued with the charming Spitfire one-shot in 2010.

X-Men: Curse of the Mutants (2010) was a strange crossover that clashed with much of Marvel’s vampire/Dracula continuity. Even though Blade has a big role in the series, I can only recommend the X-Men: Curse of the Mutants – Blade one-shot at the beginning of the event. Featuring an all-new vampire hunting team, Blade’s one-shot is a hilarious mix of comedy and tragedy, and a really fun way to take advantage of a character who is nearly 100 years old.

Mighty Avengers (2013) is also really good (and it’s short)! It picks up from Captain Britain and Deadpool: Dracula’s Gauntlet. “Not Your Father’s Avengers” (#11-14) is the main Blade stuff. This run also continues building Blade’s softer team-based character, including major flashbacks to his Young Blade years! 

If you only read 3 titles from the modern era, Blade (2006), Captain Britain and MI13, and Mighty Avengers make for a great trilogy of runs.

  • Black Panther (2005) #12-13
    • Black Panther, Blade, Brother Voodoo, Luke Cage, and Monica Rambeau team up to fight vampires in New Orleans. A brilliant hidden gem.
  • Blade (2006) #1-12 by Marc Guggenheim & Howard Chaykin
    • Introduces another redesign of Dracula
    • Flashbacks feel like a “Blade: Year One” book
    • Features lots of fun cameos including Dracula, Doctor Doom, Doctor Doom’s mother, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Morbius, and demons!
    • Jamal Afari in #1, 3, 10-12
    • Hannibal King in #8-12
    • Collected as:
      • Blade: Undead Again (#1-6)
      • Blade: Sins of the Father (#7-12)
      • Blade by Marc Guggenheim: The Complete Collection (#1-12 and Wolverine vs. Blade Special (2019) #1)
  • Captain Britain and MI13 (2008) #5-15, Annual #1 by Paul Cornell & Leonard Kirk
    • Features Captain Britain, Black Knight, the sword of Excalibur, and a major vampire invasion by Dracula!
    • Returns to the classic design of Dracula
    • First appearance of Blade’s ‘bald’ look
    • Collected as:
      • Captain Britain and MI13: Hell Comes to Birmingham (#5-9)
      • Captain Britain and MI13: Vampire State (#10-15, Annual #1)
  • Spitfire (2010) #1 by Paul Cornell & Elena Casagrande
  • X-Men: Curse of the Mutants – Blade (2010) #1
    • Collected in X-Men: Curse of the Mutants – Mutants vs. Vampires
    • Reveals a new side of Blade’s history!
  • Mighty Avengers (2013) #1-14 by Al Ewing
    • #11-13 feature flashbacks to the Young Blade years!
    • Parallel to Deadpool: Dracula’s Gauntlet
    • Collected as:
      • Mighty Avengers: No Single Hero (#1-5)
      • Mighty Avengers: Family Bonding (#6-10)
      • Mighty Avengers: Original Sin – Not Your Father’s Avengers (#11-14)

blade-covers-2000s-2010s-guggenheim-captain-britain-mi13-mighty-avengers

  • Ultimate Avengers (2009) #13-18 by Mark Millar
    • AKA Ultimate Avengers 3 (2010) #1-6
    • AKA Ultimate Comics: Avengers 3 (2010) #1-6
    • Collected as Ultimate Comics Avengers: Blade vs. The Avengers
    • Blade vs. the vampire Avengers!
  • Ultimate Avengers vs. New Ultimates (2011) #1-5
    • Continues from Ultimate Avengers #18

 

Video games:

  • Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (2006)
  • Ghost Rider (2007)
  • Spider-Man: Friend or Foe (2007)
  • Marvel Super Hero Squad Online (2011)
  • Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds (2011)
  • Marvel: Avengers Alliance (2012)
  • Marvel Heroes (2013)
  • Marvel Puzzle Quest (2013)
  • LEGO Marvel Super Heroes (2013)
    • LEGO Marvel’s Avengers (2016)
    • LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 (2017)

Extra watching:

  • Marvel Super Heroes: What The–?! (2009) S1 E8, 14, 45-46
  • Marvel Anime: Blade (2010) S4 E1-12
  • Ultimate Spider-Man (2012) S2 E21-22
  • Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. (2013) S2 E9, 26
    • Tie-in comic: Marvel Universe Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors (2014) #11
  • Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers (2014) S1 E42-43, 51

Extra reading:

  • Marvel Comics Presents (2007) #5-12
  • Doctor Voodoo: Avenger of the Supernatural (2009) #4-5
  • Spider-Man vs. Vampires (2010) #1
    • Published digitally as Spider-Man vs. Vampires (MDCE) (2010) #1-3
    • Spider-Man/Blade team up!
  • X-Men: Curse of the Mutants (2010)
    • Death of Dracula (2010) #1
    • X-Men: Curse of the Mutants – Blade (2010) #1
    • X-Men (2010) #1-6
  • Alternate universes:
    • Marvel Zombies: Dead Days (2007) #1
      • Same universe as Marvel Zombies (2015)
    • Marvel Heroes (UK) (2008) #28
      • Same universe as Spectacular Spider-Man (UK)
    • Marvel Universe vs. The Avengers (2012) #4
      • Alternate universe with a cannibal virus!
    • Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe (2012) #4
    • Deadpool Killustrated (2013) #1
    • Superior Spider-Man (2013) #17
  • Ultimate universe
    • Ultimate Spider-Man Super Special (2002) #1
    • Ultimate Spider-Man (2000) #63, 95
    • Ultimate Avengers (2009) #13-18
    • Ultimate Avengers vs. New Ultimates (2011) #1-5


 

Guest Appearances (2010s)

After Mighty Avengers, Blade spent a couple of years without a stable team. But he made several fun guest appearances across the Marvel universe, from Falcon to Gwenpool, and even joined a Midnight Sons revival with Moon Knight, Elsa Bloodstone, and Man-Thing!

My major recommendations here are Deadpool, the Uncanny Avengers annual, the Secret Empire short story, Falcon, and Wolverine vs. Blade.

  • Deadpool: Dracula’s Gauntlet (2014) #1-7
    • Published digitally as Deadpool: The Gauntlet Infinite Comic #1-13
    • Parallel to Mighty Avengers
    • When Dracula’s fiancee falls in love with Deadpool, a massive monster war breaks out across New York!
    • Not a lot of Blade development, but a recurring side character
    • A great introduction to the monsters of the Marvel universe.
    • Features Dracula and the Legion of Monsters in major roles!
  • Mrs. Deadpool and the Howling Commandos (2015) #2, 4
    • Continues the story from Deadpool: Dracula’s Gauntlet, but in a different timeline
    • Features Dracula and the supernatural Howling Commandos in major roles!
    • Features a Blade variant who became Thor!
  • Deadpool: ‘Til Death Do Us… (2016)
    • Deadpool (2016) #28-29
    • Spider-Man/Deadpool (2016) #15-16
    • Deadpool & the Mercs for Money (2016) #9-10
    • Continues the story from Deadpool: Dracula’s Gauntlet in the main timeline
    • Blade is in Deadpool #28 and Spider-Man/Deadpool #15
  • Uncanny Avengers Annual (2014) #1 by Rick Remender
    • Fun standalone story featuring a series of alternate TV-based realities.
    • Blade has a small role but gets a few great moments
  • Secret Wars: Battleworld (2015) #2
    • Alternate universe featuring Blade the Duck vs. Drákula in New Quack City!
  • Giant-Size Little Marvel: AvX (2015) #1-4
    • Alternate universe
  • Secret Empire: Brave New World (2017) #5
    • Great short story where Blade becomes a substitute teacher
  • Doctor Strange: Damnation (2018) #1-4 by Donny Cates, Nick Spencer, and Rod Reis
    • Return of the Midnight Sons! Blade, Doctor Voodoo, Moon Knight, Elsa Bloodstone, Ghost Rider, Iron Fist, and Man-Thing
    • Blade joins an exciting new supernatural team, but doesn’t get much to do
  • Falcon (2017) #6-8
    • Strong recommendation!
    • Great short arc with Falcon, Blade, and Misty Knight teaming up against Deacon Frost
  • Wolverine vs. Blade Special (2019) #1
    • Blade vs. Wolverine, featuring Xarus, son of Dracula
    • Marc Guggenheim returns, but the real highlight is the excellent art by Dave Wilkins

 

Video games:

  • Marvel Contest of Champions (2014)
  • Marvel Future Fight (2015)
  • Marvel Avengers Academy (2016)

Extra reading:

  • Wolverines (2015) #14-15
  • Unbelievable Gwenpool (2016) #11, 25
    • #11 is cartoony fun but not essential
    • #25 features Blade in an alternate future!
  • Spirits of Vengeance (2017) #1-5
    • Features Johnny Blaze, Daimon Hellstrom, and Satana!
    • Blade joins an exciting new supernatural team, but doesn’t get much to do
  • Alternate universes:
    • Original Sins (2014) #5 (“The No-Sin Situation”)
    • Marvel Zombies (2015) #2
      • Same universe as Marvel Zombies: Dead Days
    • Ghost Racers (2015) #3
    • Despicable Deadpool (2017) #290
    • Cosmic Ghost Rider (2018) #3


 

Avengers (2018)

In 2018, Jason Aaron (superstar writer of Thor) took over the Avengers series and quickly brought Blade along for the ride. AlthoughAaron’s Avengers has been controversial among readers, his mix of action and introspection has actually given us some of the best Blade content since the 2000s. By giving Blade a new partner, a new purpose, and a new relationship with Dracula, Aaron has finally given Blade a fresh direction for the modern era. Aaron also set the stage for a new wave of vampire stories, by establishing an actual “Vampire Nation.” If you don’t want to read the whole run, the Blade highlights are “War of the Vampires” (#14-17) and Avengers #45.

Strikeforce (2019) is another strong pick. It’s a fantastic team of B-tier characters like Blade, Bucky, Spider-Woman, Hellstrom, and Monica Rambeau. The brilliant and weird character pairings make it another hidden gem. My only note is that the quality drops in #5-6 (filler issues), but #1-4 and 7-9 are definitely worth reading.

War of the Realms: Strikeforce – The Dark Elf Realm (2019) is a really good nightmare story about Blade’s psychology that continues the introspective quality of Aaron’s Avengers.

Marvel Comics #1000 (2019) has a wonderful short one-page story that gives one of the purest looks into Blade’s weekly routine.

  • Avengers (2018) #10-57 by Jason Aaron
    • Blade in #10, 12-32, 35-45, 48, 55, 57
    • Most important Blade issues: #14-17, 22, 24, 27-30, 32, 45
    • Minor Blade appearances in #10, 12, 19, 21, 23, 40, 42
    • Collected in:
      • Avengers: War of the Vampires (#13-17)
      • Avengers: War of the Realms (#18-21)
      • Avengers: Challenge of the Ghost Riders (#22-25)
      • Avengers: Starbrand Reborn (#26-30)
      • Avengers: The Age of Khonshu (#31-38)
      • Avengers: Enter The Phoenix (#39-45)
      • Avengers: World War She-Hulk (#46-50)
      • Blends Dracula’s 2010 redesign with his classic design
  • War of the Realms: Strikeforce – The Dark Elf Realm (2019) #1
  • Strikeforce (2019) #1-9
    • Features Angela (Thor’s sister), Blade, Spider-Woman, Wiccan, Bucky Barnes, Monica Rambeau, and Daimon Hellstrom
    • Parallel to Avengers #22-31 (after War of the Realms)
    • Collected as:
      • Strikeforce: Trust Me (#1-5)
      • Strikeforce: Fight Me (#6-9)
  • Marvel Comics (2019) #1000 (“A Week in the Life”)
  • Marvel’s Voices: Legacy (2021) #1 (“Nighttime Bodega Run”)
  • Death of Doctor Strange: Blade (2021) #1
    • Continues the story from Avengers #45

  • Free Comic Book Day 2022 (Avengers/X-Men) #1 (“Bloodline”)
    • Safron’s first appearance since 1998
    • Introduces Brielle (“Bloodline”), the daughter of Blade and Safron!
  • Crypt of Shadows (2022) #1
    • New Halloween special coming in October 19, 2022!
    • Features Brielle (“Bloodline”), the daughter of Blade!
  • Blade: Vampire Nation (2022) #1
    • New Blade one-shot coming on November 2, 2022!
    • Continues the story from Avengers #45 and Death of Doctor Strange: Blade

 

Video games:

  • Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order (2019)
  • Marvel Super War (2019)
  • Marvel Duel (2020)
  • Marvel’s Midnight Suns (2023)

Extra reading:

  • War of the Realms (2019)
    • War of the Realms (2019) #1-5
    • Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (2015) #43, 49
    • War of the Realms: Strikeforce – The Dark Elf Realm (2019) #1
    • War of the Realms: War Scrolls (2019) #3 [C Story]
    • Avengers (2018) #20
  • Free Comic Book Day 2019 (Avengers) #1
  • King In Black (2020) #2-5
  • Marauders (2019) #21
  • Thor (2020) #15, 17
  • Avengers: Curse of The Man-Thing (2021) #1
    • Continued in Spider-Man: Curse of the Man-Thing #1 and X-Men: Curse of the Man-Thing #1, but Blade has only cameo roles
  • The Darkhold (2021)
    • The Darkhold Alpha (2021) #1
    • The Darkhold: Blade (2021) #1
    • The Darkhold Omega (2022) #1
    • In order to stop Doctor Doom, Scarlet Witch assembles a team to read from the Darkhold. But things go south when the Darkhold turns each hero into a nightmare version of themselves!
    • Features two alternate versions of Blade
  • Heroes Reborn (2021) #1-7, Heroes Return (2021) #1
  • Ghost Rider (2022) #5
  • Ghost Rider: Vengeance Forever (2022) #1
  • Alternate universes:
    • Infinity Wars: Weapon Hex (2018) #1-2
      • Elsa Bloodstone + Blade = Elsa Bladestone!
    • Secret Warps: Ghost Panther Annual (2019) #1
      • Misty Knight + Eric Brooks = Misty Brooks!
    • Crazy (2019) #1
    • Savage Avengers (2019) #24
    • Marvel Zombies: Resurrection (2020) #1-4
    • Dark Ages (2021) #1-6


And that’s everything you need to know about Blade’s comics so far! What is your favorite interpretation of the Daywalker? What are you excited to see in the MCU? Let me know on Twitter @vinwriteswords and remember to follow the site @MyCosmicCircus for more Midnight Sons content coming soon!

Doctor-Strange-Damnation-Midnight-Sons-Connecting-Covers-Greg-Smallwood

 

In the meantime, get a head start on your Midnight Sons collection with some Elsa Bloodstone comics before her MCU debut in Werewolf by Night!

Elsa Bloodstone Reading Guide

elsa bloodstone reading-guide

 

All images courtesy of Marvel Comics.

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Reviews, reading guides, and crazy theories. Currently obsessing over Moon Knight, Blade, and Doctor Strange. Find me on Twitter @vinwriteswords!
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