Minorities in comics and animation: Blade

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In light of a Halloween theme this month, here’s this week’s entry, the character Blade from Marvel Comics. Blade (real name Eric Brooks) first appeared in Marvel’s “Tomb of Dracula” #10 in 1973. He was created by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan.

Background

Blade is a half-vampire, half-human African-American man, who’s dedicated his life to hunting vampires.

Eric’s backstory consists of him becoming a vampire/human hybrid at birth. His mother was killed/bitten by a vampire while giving birth. Growing up, Eric eventually encountered other vampires, and met a master vampire hunter who trained Eric in the art of vampire-slaying. Blade’s made sporadic appearances/gotten the occasional series in Marvel’s books over the ensuing decades.

Blade’s powers as a half-vampire/half-human include most of the usual generic vampire-stuff (enhanced reflexes, strength, and stamina). He also possesses the ability to see supernatural creatures and resist being fully turned into a vampire. Thanks to his training, he’s also an expert vampire-slayer and possesses martial arts skills.

Other media

Our hero only became well known to the general public when the first of a trilogy of movies were made in the late 90s. The films starred actor Wesley Snipes as Blade.

The films did fairly well, and resulted in a few other media spin-offs (some video games, cartoons, etc.).

Blade also starred in a short-lived TV series on cable channel Spike TV.

(Updated 11/14/16)

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