Comics : Blade (Vol. 2) #10

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This review was first published on: 2008.

Background...

I've always found Blade to be one of those characters who are too "kewl" to ever be taken particularly seriously. The fact that he has recently chewed off his own hand (in order to escape some particularly fatal trap) and had it replaced with a "gun-hand" hasn't done anything at all to change my verdict.

In Detail...

"Web"
Blade (Vol. 2) #10
Aug 2007 : SM Guest
Summary: Spider-Man appears
Editor:  Tom Brevoort
Writer:  Marc Guggenheim
Artist:  Howard Chaykin
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Review

Blade is on the trail of some destiny thing involving his long-lost father. Or at least a guy who claims to be his father. There's some vampire cult of Tyrana involved, too. But I don't know the background, and I think it's still being revealed. Suffice to mention that his father has some powerful political friends, and also possesses a forehead big enough to make you think he's also partly related to The Leader.

Blade goes to investigate the crash site where a SHIELD heli-carrier went down in LaCrosse, Kansas. That's the carrier that Blade helped crash back in Blade (Vol. 2) #1. A farmer saw a guy in a green and black cloak floating around investigating, and that sends Blade back to New York to seek out some information from Spider-Man.

It's night time, and Spidey is out and about fighting crime in his black and white suit, making this prior to the events of One More Day. The web-head is confronting a bank robber named Fracture, who has a shattered face, and has the power to shatter rocks. And people's heads too, probably. Blade fills Fracture with tranq darts, finishing Spidey's work for him. What a nice guy.

Cut back to "Then". Way back in Blade's past, in the 50's or so from the look of things. A couple are being mugged in a dark dingy back alley somewhere in... England? New York? In any case, it's a very special mugging, because the criminal is a vampire. Blade crashes in and saves the two newlyweds. The couple's names are "Ben" and "May". Ben says "I told you we should've honeymooned at Niagra Falls."

Hang on a minute here. This is supposed to be Ben and May Parker? And they had their honeymoon in a dark refuse-strewn alleyway? What kind of dumb-ass game does writer Marc Guggenheim think he's playing here? In any case, he's smart enough not to run with that concept, and we get back on topic.

Now, you need to have a quick review of Blade (Vol. 2) #1 here. Blade turned up at an elementary school where Spidey had become vampirized. Blade shot the web-head in both knees, knowing that given time his blood would both reject the vampiricism and Spidey's healing factor would repair his shattered kneecaps. Yeah, right.

That story never explained what Spidey was doing at the school. Being issue #1 it presumably wasn't carried over from a previous issue, and none of the Spidey titles that I read every explained it. But we get an explanation now. Seems that Spidey followed a guy in a green and black cloak into the school, thinking that guys wearing cloaks are suspicious. He must have mentioned the green and black cloaked guy to Blade at some stage, though it's not clear when or how that would have happened, since he didn't talk to Blade before he went vampiric, and wasn't in any condition to say much after he was shot twice.

But Blade somehow knew that Spidey followed a guy in a cloak into the school, but for some bizarre reason didn't inquire about the rest of the story, which is that Cloaky met Dracula in the basement and were digging around in the dirt for an amulet. Spidey crashed the scene and fought the two bad guys for four pages, until Cloaky bit Spidey and turned him into a vampire. Spider-Man ran away, bumped into Blade, got shot in the kneecaps, and that was that.

Did we mention that some of the SHIELD guys who came to clean up after the elementary school thing were vampires? But anyhow, Spidey heard Dracula address cloaky as "Jamal Afari". The "Then" flashback sequences reveal that Jamal was the vampire mugger who mugged "May and Ben" back in the fifties. He's also a friend of Blade's. Before he became a vampire, of course.

In General...

Take a pile of corny, throw in some stupid, and cap it off with some ghastly-looking pencil work, and you have Blade (Vol. 2). The events of issue #1 were pretty daft, and this isn't doing much to improve them.

The story-telling completely fails to grip me. Any dark/edge/noire feel that this book might have had is completely undone by the sheer silliness of it all. Spider-Man should be embarrassed to be cross-overing into this title, and I hope he learns to politely decline next time he's invited back.

Overall Rating...

Nothing really to recommend it on any level. This one's purely for the completists out there. One and a half webs.

Footnote...

I presume that gun-hand is detachable, since he seems to travel by air a lot, and airport security is generally pretty fussy about things like that. Even if you're a card-carrying vampire.