Blade #11: How Do You Like Your Stake?

Blade sharpens up for his final hunt

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By Eric Drumm

Blade #11

It's tough keeping a good half-vampire down. The Daywalker has been slashing his way through the pages of the latest BLADE series like a man possessed. But with his past finally catching up to him, it looks like he might not be able to shoot his way out of this one. Learning more about his past than ever before, BLADE has shown us just how far back Eric Brooks's legacy of blood goes, and how it's affecting his present. The biggest revelation is his role in the mysterious Tyranna Prophecy being enacted by his "father," Lucas Cross.

Blade #11
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Blade is looking for a little payback, but has to leave Cross alive or else won't have the answers he needs about the prophecy. Always one to slash first and never really ask any questions, its seems to be a real test for Blade to not spill some blood. "I certainly hope so," says BLADE writer Marc Guggenheim. "I like to place characters in situations that force them to come up with new solutions, particularly solutions that go against their instincts. That always makes for the best story." No doubt Blade is squirming to waste somebody, but is fighting it off the best he can.

Blade #11
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Bringing the undead to life is no easy task, and one of the real gems of the current BLADE series is the art by Howard Chaykin. After 10 issues together, Guggenheim says the creative team is really something that he can sink his teeth into. "It's been a dream," gushes Guggenheim. "Howard is incredibly easy to work with and I feel like I have gotten a good handle on what he likes to draw, what he's best at (though he's good at everything) and even the technical stuff, like how many panels-per-page gets the best result." Aside from bringing out Blade's eternal tough guy face and hacked-in-half vampires,

Blade #11
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Chaykin has also gotten to draw some pretty famous guest stars that have graced the pages of BLADE. Wolverine, Spider-Man, Union Jack and Hannibal King are a few of the characters that have shown up, not to mention the Prince of Darkness himself, Dracula. Guggenheim says that this was no accident, and was an attempt to put Blade into the big league slot that he had always deserved. "Marvel Universe guest stars have been an important part of the book's 'mission statement' from the very beginning," he explains. "In the past, Blade was 'ghettoized' in a dark corner of the Marvel Universe where he never seemed to meet anyone else from the Marvel Universe. A big goal of mine and the book's has been to change that. Dracula makes a return in issue #12."

Blade #11
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While making new friends along the way, Blade has also learned more about himself than ever before. Now having a better idea of his genesis and his role in the vampire world, BLADE has had some shocking revelations about what made Blade and how he will end. With issues #11 and #12 being a two-part story, the surprises are sure to drive a stake to the heart. We may even find out what that afro and funky sunglasses were all about way back in TOMB OF DRACULA #10. "All the stuff I teased above an explanation for Blade's original 'costume.' There's a lot more significance to it than people know," teases Guggenheim.

Blade #11
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With the BLADE series quickly coming to a close, Blade ain't going out like no chump. And its likely that he'll slay quite a few vamps on his way out the door. Before he heads into his final hunt, he'll have stop the prophecy and set things right. And of course that means blood, guts, gore and mayhem. Marc Guggenheim left us with only one clue to Blade's final fight: "Gene. Colan," he mysteriously whispers before turning a whirlwind of purple smoke and disappearing, cackling into the night. Blade has had just about enough of this vampire business, and lucky for him, it takes one to kill one. Take a bite out of BLADE #11 by Marc Guggenheim and Howard Chaykin on sale July 11.

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