Black Superhero Almanac: Blade, Played by Wesley Snipes & Mahershala Ali in the MCU; Ally of Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, & X-Men

Written by: Jeff Williams – April 28th, 2020 11:26pm pst


Black Hollywood Live’s Black Superhero Almanac covers all the great superheroes since the beginning of superhero comics.  Our goal is for fans to remember and get to know these fantastic and powerful warrior creations.  With any luck Hollywood will get to know them, too, so we can see more on screen.  Until then we have the Black Superhero Almanac.

Originally Introduced as a supporting character, Eric Brooks, later known as Blade, made his debut in Marvel Comics’ The Tomb of Dracula #10. Fans of that storyline might remember a very different looking version of the Daywalker. 

Credit: Marvel Comics

Gene Colan, the artist behind Blade, said he based the character’s features on “a composite of black actors’’ including NFL football star Jim Brown. Initially sporting a 1970s style afro hair, and wielded teak bladed knives. 

Credit: Sport/Getty Images

Born in a whorehouse in the Soho neighborhood of London, England in 1929, to parents Lucas and Tyra Cross. His father, Lucas Cross, a member of the secret society the Order of Tyrana, sent his pregnant wife to England before he was taken prisoner. There she took the name “Vanessa Brooks” and found shelter with brothel owner Madame Vanity. 

Credit: Marvel Comics

Sadly things went from bad to worse, because ‘Vannessa’ was beginning to experience severe labor complications. In need of help, they summoned a doctor who ended up being the

vampire Deacon Frost, who would end up feasting during Eric’s birth, and killing his mom.

Credit: Marvel Comics

However, this inadvertently passed along certain vampire enzymes to the infant. The enzymes entered Blade’s bloodstream, tainting him with a vampire’s kiss, but not being fully converted.He became half-human, half-vampire, which gave him a very prolonged lifespan, and the ability to sense supernatural creatures. 

Credit: Marvel Comics

Roaming the streets of London, one night, as a young kid, Eric saw an old man being attacked by three vampires, and ended up saving him. Jamal Afari, the old man, ended up finding out about Eric’s past, and decided to train him in both music and combat to become the Vampire slayer we see today. Unfortunately, down the line, Blade would end up being the one to kill his mentor Jamal Afari, after Dracula himself turned Afari into a Vampire.

Credit: Marvel Comics

Although Blade’s storyline starts in Europe, he is seen teaming up with some of Marvel’s biggest heroes. During the ‘Nightstalkers’ storyline Doctor Strange actually arranges the reformation of Borderline, Inc, also known as ‘The Nightstalker’, which included Blade, Hannibal King, and Frank Drake. This group would go on to team with the likes of Ghost Rider, Blaze, and Morbius. 

Credit: Marvel Comics

Later, in the ‘Daywalker storyline’, Blade follows Morbius to New York. While there, Blade teams with Spider-Man to take on Morbius, but ends up being bit by the Living Vampire. Little did Morbius know, that bite would unexpectedly grant Blade many vampire strengths, while eliminating any weaknesses inherent to a vampire. The most notably the weakness being sunlight, is what made way for the nickname “Daywalker”. 

Credit: Marvel Comics

Blade would go on to fight alongside many others from the Marvel Universe, gaining himself a “gun hand”, to replace his missing one, during the ‘Civil War’ storyline. Assisting the X-Men in capturing a vampire specimen for the X-Club, during the “Curse of the Mutants” (IMG_009_CurseMutants)

Credit: Marvel Comics

Blade’s character has resonated well with the fans, it was only right Wesley Snipes portrayal of the Vampire Hunter in live action that made Blade a household name, eventually becoming an iconic trilogy of films. And now, almost 21 years after the first movie came out, the MCU has finally announced that Blade will be introduced in the MCU, played by Mahershala Ali.

Credit: Disney/ Marvel Entertainment

Credit: Getty Images

If you’re a fan of Blade, other Black Superheroes, and Black Hollywood Live Black Superhero Almanac , pass this on to a friend.  And if I left out anything on Blade, or if there are other Black Superheroes you wanted spotlighted, let me know in the comments below.  I’m Jeff Williams for Black Superhero Almanac.  Videos on AfterBuzz TV.  Articles here on Black Hollywood Live

Tune in daily to Black Hollywood Live and our sister network AfterbuzzTV for articles, aftershows, and all the latest news on the world of entertainment.

About The Author:

Jeff Williams Jr. is a TV Host and Digital Storyteller who shares a passion for learning and bringing people together. With a personal mantra of ‘Create Your Opportunity’, Jeff continues to find new ways to grow and learn, while also sharing that message to the viewers!

More News