Blade, Marvel’s vampire hunter, has found himself in some wild predicaments before, but perhaps none more than an adventure with Doctor Doom’s mother!
Blade, Marvel’s resident daywalking vampire hunter, once saved the life of Doctor Doom’s mother. This incredible scenario plays out in the pages of Blade #2, from 2006. Written by Marc Guggenheim (X-Men Gold) with art by Howard Chaykin (American Flagg!) this issue sees Doctor Doom summon Blade to Latveria with a most unusual request—Blade must travel back in time and save the life of Doom’s mother from a vampire attack. And as fans know, you do not say “no” to Doctor Doom, even when you’re Blade!
The two represent different corners of the supernatural side of the Marvel Universe. Doom, always a contender for the title of Sorcerer Supreme, wields both fantastic magic and advanced science to advance his agenda of control and conquest. Blade is a daywalker, a human/vampire hybrid who hunts other vampires. This has brought him into conflict with a number of vampires in the Marvel Universe, Dracula among them. Doom has also come into conflict with Dracula (and the two have since enjoyed an uneasy alliance), but despite this, Blade and Doom’s paths never crossed before this issue.
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Blade is brought to Doom’s palace in Latveria, where Doom informs Blade he remembers, when he was in her womb, his mother fighting vampires – and Blade was there with her. Blade is skeptical and tries to blow Doom off, but Doom will not be denied, and he ups the ante: he offers Blade a chemical that will cure him of his bloodlust in exchange for performing the task.
Watching the hard-line, take-no-BS approach of Blade run up against a haughty monarch like Doctor Doom is one of the highlights of the story. Doctor Doom is never once phased by Blade’s attitude and abrasiveness. There is also a sense that Blade is potentially out of his league with someone like Doom, and sure enough, Doom is able to cast a “simple holding spell” on Blade thanks to Blade’s vampire blood. Blade still rises to the challenge and is successful in his mission.
It is this clash of styles and power levels that give the story its edge. It adds layers to both characters: readers learn more about Doctor Doom’s mother, and in terms of magical power, the apple did not fall too far from the tree. With Blade, fans get to watch him in a situation where he knows he is out of his league and yet never backs down. Seeking out Blade wasn’t the first time Doctor Doom needed a superhero’s help with his mother, as he also sought out Doctor Strange in the famed Doctor Strange and Doctor Doom: Triumph & Torment in order to rescue his mother from Hell. It’s notable that this family loyalty is generally the only thing that can push Doctor Doom to accept help from Marvel heroes, but when he does, he always contacts the best, and when your problem is vampiric, there’s no-one better than Blade.
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