Overview

Blade #12

Review

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Blade #12

Credits

  • Words: Marc Guggenheim
  • Art: Howard Chaykin & Gene Colan
  • Inks: Howard Chaykin & Gene Colan
  • Colors: Edgar Delgado
  • Story Title: A Stake Through the Heart
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Aug 8, 2007

Blade goes out with a bang, not a whimper, in this explosive conclusion to the vampire-hunting Marvel series.

Blade’s vampiric father Lucas Cross, head of the Order of Tyrana, has been conspiring over the last few months to see the fulfillment of a prophecy that will restore the souls of all vampires. In this month’s gripping finale Blade, having just killed Hannibal King to stop said prophecy from coming to pass, finds himself up against both his father and that perennial Marvel supernatural favorite Dracula, the Lord of the Undead.

As plotlines finally converge this issue marks a satisfying ending to what feels like Season 1 of Guggenheim’s Blade. Sadly, as the cover makes abundantly clear, this is actually the last issue of the book. Some months ago, in a review here at Broken Frontier, I said something along the lines of if this version of Blade didn’t make it then no version would. Although Guggenheim’s run lasted two issues more than its longest-lived predecessor, it still couldn’t make it beyond its first anniversary.

The cancellation is doubly sad as there’s a very clever twist to the ongoing subplot of the prophecy we’ve been following over the last several issues that just screams to be followed up on. It’s no exaggeration to say that the place of vampires in the Marvel Universe is changed dramatically in Blade #12 and it’s frustrating in the extreme that there will be no issue #13. I can say no more without giving it away but if you’re a fan of the old Seventies stable of Marvel horror characters then you’ll be excited indeed at the possibilities the denouement of this title provides…

Howard Chaykin gives us another sterling job on the art front. I wasn’t too keen on Dracula’s new look but it does emphasize his rebirth and is an interesting contrast with his more classic appearance in the flashback sequences. The real visual highlight of the issue, though, is the two page epilogue from Gene Colan that provides something of an "origin" for Blade’s 1970s goggles and leather coat ensemble. A wonderful moment for the long-term fans.

It’s disappointing indeed that Blade failed to find the audience it deserved. Guggenheim succeeds however in tying everything up neatly while opening up a whole wealth of future story possibilities in the darker corners of the Marvel Universe. Let’s hope this isn’t the last we’ve seen of his interpretation of Eric Brooks.

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