The Small Lebowski:
Marvel Preview #3
Issue(s): Marvel Preview #3
The twist in this story is he's tricked into staking a human by a group of vampires called the Legion of the Damned...
...and he becomes wanted by the police. But the British police are aware of London's vampire problem and they actually don't believe Blade killed anyone on purpose. The police include Dai Thomas, later a mainstay in the Captain Britain and Excalibur books...
...and Kate Fraser, who Claremont recently introduced in Giant-Size Dracula #2.
Kate is a psychometric, and she discovers that Blade didn't really kill the human in question.
But since there's no solid evidence to back that up, she decides to help Blade herself. Her clothes get torn off pretty much immediately.
However, as Walter notes in the comments, the Legion are forbidden by Dracula from harming Kate, due to the events of her first appearance.
Blade and Kate manage to rescue Blade's girlfriend Safron (who was nearly turned into a vampire and will have to take blood tranfusions to prevent the transformation). And they learn that the vampires are trying to develop a process to walk in the daylight.
The villains of the piece are Anton Vierkin, who Blade has fought before, and Marguerite D'alescio.
Blade stakes Vierkin at the end of this story.
And Kate gets evidence from Marguerite that Blade didn't really kill the human girl. But they learn that Dracula was really behind the entire scheme.
Blade kills Anton Vierkin and stops the Legion of the Damned from developing a Sunlight Serum that would have allowed vampires to appear in the daytime. Marguerite D'Alescio, a human, is apparently too rich and powerful to be brought to justice.
Nice dense plotting by Claremont in this 56 page story, and the art (which switches off between Tony DeZuniga & Rico Rival) has a Gene Colan-esque feel to it.
Apparently Blade is also a jazz trumpet player, according to a flashback in this issue.
And that's worked into a later flashback where Blade tells his origin to Kate. It seems that after Blade's mother was killed, Blade was found by a man named Jamal Afari, who was a jazz musician in addition to being a vampire hunter...
...but unfortunately Jafal was later turned into a vampire himself.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This takes place after Kate Fraser's first appearance in Giant-Size Dracula #2. It takes place concurrently with Tomb of Dracula #34, since Blade being wanted for murder is referenced in that issue.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (6): show
Kate Fraser first appeared in Giant-Size Dracula #2. The reason "the Master" wants her alive in this issue is because in that GSD tale she reminded him of his wife and helped him against the demon Y'Garon. She next appears in some early Captain Britain stories, as well as GSD#3.
The first GSD story has a line that suggests her psychometric ESP power might qualify her as a mutant. (I'm reminded of the early uncertainty about Mentallo, Psylocke, and other ESPers.)
Posted by: Walter Lawson | September 4, 2014 8:47 PM
Apparently Chris Claremont has some very specific beliefs about reincarnation, or at least likes to use those recurrently in his stories. When I first read the Dark Phoenix saga I saw Cyclops thinking about the past-themed daysdreams Jean was having as being about "past lives" and I was all wtf?!? about it. Now I see that he used the same idea in previous comics as well.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | September 5, 2014 3:30 PM
If Marvel Studios does a reboot of Blade, they oughta integrate those mad jazz skills into his character!
Posted by: Brian Coffey | September 13, 2017 10:04 PM
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