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Created by: Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan
1st appearance: The Tomb of Dracula #10 (July 1973)
Alias: Daywalker, Frank Blade, SwitchBlade
Team Affiliations: MI: 13, Nightstalkers, Vanguard, Midnight Sons, Shield’s Howling Commandos
Legal Status: UK citizen with criminal record.
Height: 6’2 Weight: 215 lbs
Eyes: Brown Hair: Black
Relatives: Tara Cross (Mother), Lucas Cross (Father)
Skills and Abilities: Blade is a master martial artist proficient in practically every form of weaponry known to man having trained in since his birth in the early nineteenth century.
Powers: Initially the enzymes in Blade’s blood originally made him immune to normal vampire bites, uniquely attuned to sensing the supernatural and resistant to aging.
After being bitten by Morbius the living vampire Blade has gained many of the traditional powers of the vampire without developing their weaknesses. He has superhuman strength, senses, speed, agility, stamina, durability, an accelerated healing factor.
Weapons: He uses a small arsenal of weapons: teakwood daggers; titanium, acid-etched and other kinds of swords; Kevlar body armor; automatic and semi-automatic firearms converted to use hollow point, garlic-filled silver bullets; and a variety of portable, custom-designed weapons that employ silver garlic, sunlight, ultraviolet rays and anti-coagulants.
The man who would one day come to be known as Blade was born in 1929 to Lucas and Tara Cross. Lucas Cross was a member of the secret Order of Tyrana located in England before he was taken prisoner in Latveria [Vampires-The Marvel Undead #1 (2011)]. Tara while in Latveria took the name Vanessa Brooks and took shelter in a brothel run by Madame Vanity. It was here she started experiencing labor pains. Experiencing labor complications she was forced to seek a doctors assistance. What she found however was the Vampire Deacon Frost. The creature feasted on her as she gave birth, passing on a series of enzymes that altered the baby [Marvel Previews #3, 1973]. These enzymes entered the infant’s bloodstream, transforming him into a Dhampir – a being tainted by a vampire’s kiss, but not converted [Vampires-The Marvel Undead #1 (2011)].
Luckily for the baby Deacon Frost was driven off before he could be killed. Eric found himself raised in madame Vanity’s brothel. At age 9 he protected a trumpeter, and vampire hunter, Jamal Afari from a vampire attack. Afari took Eric under his wings and taught him music and combat. When Brooks mistakenly kills an innocent man while out on patrol he is sent to New York to escape the Authorities . In America he finds shelter with the order of Tyrana, represented by a gang called the Bloodshadows. After slaying their leader in a contest he took control of the gang and took them to England [Vampires-The Marvel Undead #1 (2011)]. Upon his return he realized that his mentor Jamal Afari had been made a vampire by Dracula and was forced to slay his mentor. When the Bloodshadows and Brook’s girlfriend Glory Anah were slain by Lamia he hunted the creature down. It was after this that he dedicated his life to the destruction of the undead [Vampires-The Marvel Undead #1 (2011)].
The Vampire Hunter
He tracked Dracula to China where he joined Oriji Jone’s Vampire Hunters. It was here that Oriji suggested he take the name “Blade” due to his proficiency with bladed weapons [The Tomb of Dracula #30]. The hunters were defeated by Dracula who spared Eric. Dracula told him one day he would be in a position to spare his life and would be honor bound to do so. To honor his fallen friends he officially adopted the title “Blade” as his only alias. He also took some of their equipment as his regular attire; Ogun’s wrist band, Musenda’s boots, Azu’s belt and Oriji’s wooden daggers and well as his mentor Afari’s sunglasses. He would travel the world and train as a solo hunter until joining with Frank Drake, Rachel Van Helsing, Taj Nital and Quincy Harker to destroy Dracula [The Tomb of Dracula #30 (July 1973)]. While battling Dracula he came to realize he was immune to vampire bites [The Tomb of Dracula #19]. Armed with this knowledge he began to focus on finding his mothers killer, Deacon Frost. Forming an alliance with Hannibal King and battling an evil doppelganger created by Frost. The duo would kill Frost [The Tomb of Dracula #48-53].
Blade assembling his trademark original suit from Blade v3. #12, 2007
Later Blade joined with Dr. Strange to cast the “Montessi formula” which wiped out all vampires on Earth, leaving Blade without purpose [Doctor Strange #59-62]. Seeking direction he formed the “Borderline Investigation” firm with Drake and King [Doctor Strange #67]. The duo would join the Nightstalkers and battle Lilith and her Lilin numerous times [Ghost Rider v3. #31, Nightstalkers #1, ]. They also battled Marie Laveau, the voodoo queen of New Orleans [Nightstalkers #18 and Blade #4,#5]. The firm soon fell apart as Dracula returned and the Montessi Formula weakened [Nightstalkers #18].
Becoming the Daywalker
In later years by protecting New Orleans he was bitten by the living Vampire Morbius. His already altered genes reacted to the unique form of vampirism giving him the full powers of a vampire and none of their weaknesses, even sunlight [Peter Parker Spider-Man v2. #8]. He is then referred to as “Day Walker” by his prey. When SHIELD tried to use his blood to make vampire operative he joined with the vampire twins Mosha and Mikado to put an end to it. During the ordeal he again faced Dracula and thwarted his plans at godhood [Blade (1999) #1-7].
Blade was then pulled into conflict with his father, the Latverian Lucas Cross. From his father he learned the true history of his mother and how his father planned to use him to full fill a vampiric prophecy. Blade rejected his father and bit off his own hand in order to escape. Eric later unknowingly full filled the prophecy anyway. Around this time he was given a “cure” by Doom after completing a mission on the villain’s behalf [Blade (2006) #1, #2, #4, #6, #8, #10, #11 and #12].
During civil war Blade registers making him pro-Registration and becomes an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. [Civil War #5]. After hurricane Katrina when New Orleans is nearly destroyed and vampires literally take over the city he is aided by Black Panther, Doctor Voodoo, Photon and Luke Cage to aid the city [Black Panther v3. #12-13]. Even after the makeshift team disbands he continues to protect New Orleans.
When word of Dracula rising in the UK reached Blade he quickly departed to the United Kingdom [Captain Britain and MI: 13 #5]. Here he joins M.I: 13 and helps them fend off a vampire invasion lead by Dracula. At the end of the battle he shares a brief romance with Vampire teammate Spit Fire [Captain Britain and MI: 13 #9].
Curse of the Mutants and Mighty Avengers
When he returns to the states he aids Storm and the X-men fend off a vampire invasion of San Francisco. This Invasion occurred after Dracula had been killed by his son Xarus who had united all the different Vampire sects of the world into one huge imposing army. Despite joining with the X-men he had a clash of ideals with their leader Cyclops who planned to resurrect Dracula [X-men v3. #2] and refused to kill a now Vampiric Jubilee [X-men v3. #5].
Blade disappears after the battle and next shows up in New York to Monica Rambeau during the INFINITY EVENT. seeking help in saving the world. Before assisting the gathered heroes he hid his identity in a Spider-themed costume [Mighty Avengers #1, 2013 and Mighty Avengers #2, 2013]. His advice was instrumental in defeating Shuma Gorath with the aid of White Tiger and Power Man [Mighty Avengers #3, 2013]. After the team make’s their public debut he switches to the Ronin costume once worn by Clint Barton and Echo. Blade is also now allies with old Dr. Strange foe searching for “The Walkers” [Mighty Avengers #4]. Journeying to the fallen city of Attilan with Monica Rambeau, Power Man, Falcon and White Tiger in hopes of finding an artifact [Mighty Avengers #4 and Mighty Avengers #5]. Upon securing the artifact he abandoned the team [Mighty Avengers #5, 2013].