Over the weekend, an exciting piece of news reached my desk about an upcoming Marvel Studios release. What I have heard is that Blade, the effortlessly cool world-famous elite vampire hunter, is expected to return to our screens in the Werewolf By Night Halloween special. While this is not officially announced, and we have yet to confirm with other sources*, this source has been previously very reliable with insider information like this, and so we felt this exciting information was worth sharing.
This isn’t a surprise to any of us who have been speculating on the future of the supernatural side of the MCU. Already introduced by voice in Eternals, Mahershala Ali’s Blade could fit naturally into the short special in a number of ways. The simplest explanation is that he could be brought in to take down Vampire By Night (a relative of Werewolf By Night and rumored casting for Laura Donnelly).
Or more interestingly, Blade could be recruiting the Werewolf to join a supernatural strike force (possibly the Midnight Sons) against a major threat, which would connect to Dane Whitman’s recruitment scene in Eternals. This would appear to give Blade an ongoing Nick Fury-style role in the supernatural MCU.
The first connection between Blade and Jack Russell I thought of was the Darkhold. A book of dark magic previously seen in WandaVision and Agents of SHIELD, the Darkhold is responsible for the creation and destruction of vampires and werewolves across Marvel’s comics universe. In fact, Russell’s grandfather inscribed the Darkhold’s anti-vampire curse into his personal diary and his father later bound the original complete scrolls into a book, creating the current version of the Darkhold.
The Darkhold also factors into the crazy Midnight Sons crossover “Midnight Massacre,” where the Werewolf is recruited to save Blade from being possessed by the dark book. With Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness expected to feature the Darkhold yet again, and Werewolf By Night expected to introduce both werewolves and vampires into the MCU, it is possible that the upcoming movie could use the Darkhold to plant the seeds for the special and Blade’s potential role.
Darkhold Blade vs Werewolf By Night
Yeah, the 90s were weird.
But in the comics, Russell and Blade have only interacted twice. They clashed briefly in 1993, during the Midnight Sons story mentioned above, then crossed paths again in the 2010s when Deadpool’s failed marriage caused a series of NYC monster wars. That’s not a lot of source material to speculate on their relationship in the MCU. But then, crucially, I realized that Blade and the Werewolf are both enemies of Dracula.
As we detailed in an earlier article, Count Dracula is Blade’s number one enemy in the comics, having killed his mentor and countless friends throughout the decades. In turn, the Werewolf and Dracula have a long history as well.
Not only is Dracula responsible for the werewolf curse falling upon Jack Russell’s family generations ago, but Russell himself has clashed with Dracula several times, starting with the Tomb of Dracula/Werewolf By Night crossover in 1974 and continuing into Deadpool’s monster marriage storyline in 2014-2017. In fact, most of their modern conflicts have come through Russell’s role as leader of the Legion of Monsters, a team he is more closely aligned to than the Midnight Sons.
Beyond werewolves and vampires, it will be interesting to see if Marvel Studios takes advantage of the Werewolf’s story potential to unlock maximum monster mayhem across the MCU. In the meantime, it seems like all signs are pointing towards Blade recruiting team members to face Dracula in the upcoming Blade movie.
As filming on Werewolf By Night gears up this month (expected to be under the direction of acclaimed musical storyteller Michael Giacchino), we hope to find out more information about this highly anticipated project very soon, as well as what role Mahershala Ali’s Blade could serve. Blade’s own movie is still planned to begin filming this summer, with pre-production and casting in full swing now.
How excited are you for Werewolf By Night? From music to monsters to Mephisto, what are your crazy theories for the special? Let us know on Twitter @MyCosmicCircus!
- Tomb of Dracula/Werewolf by Night
- Tomb of Dracula (1972) #18; Werewolf by Night (1972) #3, 15
- Doctor Strange: The Montesi Formula
- Doctor Strange (1974) #58-62
- Midnight Sons: Midnight Massacre
- Setup: Nightstalkers (1992) #7-9, Morbius: The Living Vampire (1992) #10-11
- Event: Nightstalkers (1992) #10, 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
- Deadpool’s marriage
- Deadpool: The Gauntlet (2014) #1-13
- “Deadpool: Til Death Do Us Part”: Deadpool (2016) #28-29, Deadpool & The Mercs for Money (2016) #9-10, Spider-Man/Deadpool (2016) #15-16
All images courtesy of Marvel.