The vampire slayer known as Blade has been many things: reluctant member of a Dracula-hunting crew, co-founder of a monster hunting firm, leather jacket enthusiast. But next February, he’s set to take on a new role — proud papa of marquee Marvel superhero.
At the Marvel Voices panel at New York Comic Con 2022, the publisher announced a five-issue miniseries called Bloodline: Daughter of Blade. Starting next February, the book will feature the first full-length spotlight for Brielle Brooks, the titular daughter of the notorious shade-sporting daywalker. Written by Danny Lore with art by Karen S. Darboe, the series will follow Brielle as she discovers her half-vampiric heritage, and has to grapple with that pesky combination of puberty and unexpected monster brawls.
Brielle first made her debut in a short feature in this year’s Free Comic Book Day 2022: Avengers/X-Men. That story introduced Bri as an average teen girl growing up with her mother in Atlanta, only to find herself not-infrequently running afoul of local vampires. That story’s concluding twist — that Blade had left Bri to live with her mother in order to keep her safe from their dangerous heritage — sets up a probable reunion in this upcoming series.
Blade, for his part, had something of a rough upbringing of his own. First introduced by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan in their 1970’s Tomb of Dracula series, the London-born Eric Brooks (yes, Wesley Snipes fans: Blade canonically sounds like a chimney sweep) was born to a mother fatally attacked by the vampire Deacon Frost while giving birth. With his half-vampire blood, Eric found himself sensitive to sunlight (hence his trademark black shades) but otherwise immune to vampiric attack, and swore vengeance against all vampire-kind.
That status quo lasted until the late ‘90’s, when, in a move to better resemble Blade’s movie adaptation, Blade found himself bitten by the sort-of-vampire Morbius (it was, indeed, Morbin’ time) and transformed into a Daywalker: a semi-vampire able to walk in sunlight, but still resisting an insatiable bloodlust.
But one thing Blade has always been is a sullen, self-consciously no-nonsense loner, so pairing him with a hitherto unknown teen daughter adds a new, and potentially very funny, wrinkle to both characters’ lives — kind of like the Burt Reynolds vehicle Cop and a Half, except the kid is in high school, and the killer they arrest is Dracula. As Marvel Entertainment gets set for a big push for a new Blade movie reboot, rumors have swirled that a casting call for a teen actress indicates that Brielle, or a character like her, will co-star in the film. That was back in 2021, and the movie won’t hit theaters until 2023, but it would continue a major trend in Marvel’s Phase 4 and 5. Brielle could find herself poised for some major attention. Better practice her best fang-toothed smile.