Blade, Marvel’s foremost slayer of bloodsuckers, has faced off against some formidable foes in the past. Deacon Frost, Draconis, and the living vampire Morbius have all gone toe-to-toe with the Daywalker, but none have a history with him quite like the most storied vampyr of them all: Dracula. In the opening pages of Blade #1 the two enemies square-off against each other, with Vlad getting an assist from a newly turned Peter Parker. Fighting a duo consisting of Dracula AND Vampire Spider-Man would spell doom for most heroes but unsurprisingly Blade produces a different outcome.
We open with Blade and Spider-Vamp tussling in the auditorium of a New York City public school. While this monstrous version of the web-slinger could make short work of most, Blade is able to match Spidey’s agility and strength thanks to his own vampiric gifts. Knowing that the hero’s radioactive blood will eventually burn away all traces of the terrible virus given to him by Dracula, the Daywalker spares Peter’s life, choosing instead to incapacitate him with a silver bullet to the kneecap. With his pawn successfully hobbled, Blade turns his attention to the Prince of Darkness himself.
Perhaps due to their history together (Blade debuted back in a 1972 issue of The Tomb of Dracula and has fought the vampire countless times since) he seems relatively bored with this new encounter. “How many times do I have to put you in the ground?” he asks a circling Dracula, who replies sharply “Don’t worry, the last time was the last time.” The undead patriarch of the vampire family then grabs his nemesis by the throat and moves in for the killing blow, but Blade has one more trick up his sleeve. Or, in this case, his boot.
He sends a kick to Vlad’s chest, and as his foot makes contact a wooden stake shoots out from the heel and pierces the villain’s heart. In a matter of moments, Blade has downed a team that could have brought all of NYC to its knees, and he’s barely broken a sweat.
As far as exciting scenes for a series to open with go, this slick two-on-one battle ranks pretty high. It showcases not only Blade’s strength and resourcefulness, but also his encyclopedic knowledge of the pray he hunts and their affliction. Spider-Man’s lucky that a lesser vampire hunter wasn’t fighting him at the time, because they may not have known that interesting little tidbit about his radioactive blood, and the end result would have been tragic. Thankfully, though, he got one of the best in the business.