Blade (Eric Brooks) is a fictional character appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by writer Marv Wolfman and penciller Gene Colan.
A human-vampire hybrid, Eric has devoted his life to ridding the world of all vampires, utilizing his unique physiology to become the perfect vampire hunter.
Attributes & Abilities
Hannibal Francis “Frank” Blade
|Place of Origin||Soho, London, England|
|Known Relatives||Tara Cross (mother);|
Lucas Cross (father);
Jamal Afari (foster father);
Possibly Zukajaa (Spawn via Cilla)
Ability to sense supernatural creatures
Highly knowledgeable about vampire lore
Blade possesses superhuman strength, stamina, speed, agility, heightened senses, and a rapid healing factor that attacks any alien substances (chemicals/viruses) in his body. The healing factor also eliminates any chance of him being rendered helpless or maimed from the inside.
Eric is unaffected by daylight and most other traditional vampire weaknesses. He also ages very slowly (although he is not immortal) and can preternaturally sense supernatural activity.
When he was raised and trained by Jamal Afari, Eric learned everything about vampire lore, from their strengths to their weaknesses, and how he could use his powers and skills to hunt down vampires so he could fight and kill them.
Eric is a master martial artist, mastering styles like boxing, capoeira, escrima, jeet kune do, hapkido, jujutsu, Shotokan karate, kung fu, and ninjutsu. He is also a skilled swordsman, marksman, and street-fighter. He is adept in the usage of throwing knives. He is highly knowledgeable about vampire lore as well as the supernatural.
In “Dracula’s Gauntlet”, Eric and Deadpool are surrounded by monsters and Blade threatens to turn into a bat and leave Deadpool there to die. He may have all vampire powers, but feels conflicted about using the ones that make him seem less human.
Brooks was introduced as a supporting character in Marvel Comics’ The Tomb of Dracula #10 (July 1973), written by Marv Wolfman and penciled by Gene Colan. He initially sported 1970s-style Afro hair and wielded teak bladed knives. Brooks appeared in issues #10–21, with additional appearances in #24 and 28 (altogether ranging from July 1973 – Sept. 1974).
Eric Brooks was born in Soho, London. His father, Lucas Cross, a member of the secret society the Order of Tyrana, sent his pregnant wife Tara to England before he was taken prisoner in Latveria. There she took the name “Vanessa Brooks” and found shelter with brothel owner Madame Vanity, another member of the Order of Tyrana.
Experiencing labor complications, Tara was forced to seek a doctor’s assistance. The doctor, Deacon Frost, was actually a ravenous vampire and feasted on the woman as she gave birth, passing on a series of enzymes that altered her baby. The enzymes entered the infant’s bloodstream, transforming him into a being tainted by a vampire’s kiss, but not converted. In other words half-human, half-vampire also called a Dhampir. Frost was driven away before he could slay the child, but Tara perished, leaving the orphaned Eric Brooks to be raised at Madame Vanity’s brothel.
While he was growing up on the street of London, he ran into American veteran Vampire Slayer, Jamal Afari and saved him from being killed by vampires with a grudge against the old man. Afari soon learned about Eric and his origins and decided to take him under his wing, becoming his mentor and foster-father and helping him to control his powers. Afari taught Eric everything he knew about hunting, fighting, and killing vampires.
Determined to avenge his mother’s death, Eric fashioned himself into a vampire hunter like Afari while still a teenager and started calling himself Blade, after the sharp weapons with which he used to kill vampires. Finally, Eric and Afari split up when Jamal willingly took the fall for murder when Eric killed a man (who was suffering from a derangement), whom he mistook for a vampire.
Afari himself later fell prey to Dracula, the first occurrence in an ongoing feud between the vampire lord and Blade. Brooks mercy-killed his mentor after Afari rose as a vampire, and tracked Dracula back to Europe, Asia, and Asia Minor, staking him many times, but never completely destroying him. While in China, Brooks joined Ogun Strong’s vampire hunters, which included Azu, Orji, and Musenda. Together, they staked Dracula again. Dracula survived, and killed all of the hunters except Blade and Musenda, who eventually retired from vampire hunting.
Orji had created a lasting impression on Brooks with his use of wooden daggers to combat vampires, leading to Brooks adopting that weapon as his preferred arms. To honor his fallen comrades, Brooks kept the name Blade, and incorporated elements of each man into his equipment and regular attire, including Afar’s trademark shades, finally becoming the legendary and infamous vampire hunter. Consumed by grief for his fallen comrades, Blade resumed his quest alone.
The character has been substantially adapted from the comics into various forms of media, including films, television series, and video games. Blade was portrayed by actor Wesley Snipes in the films Blade, Blade II and Blade: Trinity, and by Sticky Fingaz in the television series Blade. Mahershala Ali is set to play the character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
IGN ranked Blade as the 63rd greatest comic character, stating that Blade is the most iconic hero to spring from the period of monster-themed stories. UGO Networks placed Blade as one of the top heroes of entertainment, quoting that “Blade has to get props for being the most obscure Marvel character to ever get a film deal…and television deal, too!” Blade was ranked 4th on a listing of Marvel Comics’ monster characters in 2015.