Darkhold Blade #1 This Ain't No Lost Boys… – Comic Watch

Author(s): Daniel Kibblesmith
Artist(s): Frederico Sabbatini
Colorist(s): Rico Renzi
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Genre: Action, Comedy, Drama, Horror, Magic, Mystery, Psychological, Sci-Fi, Superhero, Supernatural, Thriller
Published Date: 10/27/2021
THE KING OF DEATH! Are you fanged, or are you food? The world is divided into humans and vampires—and Blade, the one who walks between them both…and kills with equal impunity. After reading from the cursed Darkhold, Blade and a cadre of other heroes were meant to enter Chthon’s dimension and stop the ancient god from destroying the Multiverse. But reading the book has changed all their lives and histories…and for Blade, the consequences are far-reaching. Vampires rule the world, and he rules over them all. But there are some heroes left—and Blade is not as omniscient as he thinks.
The Darkhold, and Ch’Thon continues to wreak havoc on the Marvel Universe, and Blade ends up in a New York City overtaken by vampires, with a vamp Wilson Fisk. This is clearly an alternate reality, which has become a pretty monotonous trope that Blade has been dealing with over the last year and a half, as he was the outlier between what was real, and what was the unreal Heroes Reborn universe. Jason Aaron used him in the same capacity as Scott Lindell used Bishop in the now classic Age of Apocalypse event from the X-books. This story, written by Daniel Kibblesmith, with art by Frederico Sabbatini,uses a vamped out version of Amadeus Cho, the current Bo-Hulk character from the Champions, and Agents of Atlas, pacific rim version (If you haven’t read the three minis written by Greg Pak, I suggest you do so. Really stellar stuff featuring characters rarely used in Marvel). 

This issue is a fun little adventure into chaos (cause you know, that’s what Ch’Thon is, the avatar of Chaos), featuring some alt reality heroes and villains (the Kingpin looks like a comic version of that huge blob of a vampire from Blade’s first film, as well as a new band of Nightstalkers, composed of Citizen V, Silver Sable and the Prowler, (they call themselves the last Avengers here—another nod to an alt-reality story from the 90’s). Kibblesmith’s characters are fun and quippy, and a joy to read as Amadeus and Blade take us on this journey where mutants no longer exist, and vamps are running things. There’s a few shocks, because with all alt reality stories, things gotta be an alternative to what’s in the 616, otherwise what’s the point? 

Frederico Sabbatini is the artist here, and it’s a style that’s reminiscent of Cian Tormey’s (lots of angular faces, and exaggerated body proportions), that lends itself to some continuity in this story (in a story about chaos, I wouldn’t be adverse to a style that’s the exact opposite of Tormey’s, but I like Sabbatini here). The action scenes are the best because Sabbatini has the chance to cut loose, and his style has a motion of its own to keep things moving, with the best part being the showdown between Blade and Citizen V (whose identity was not expected), and the ending seems to be pointing at a big story involving Blade in the future. I’m not sure if this will be touched on after this event is over, but if it is, I am very intrigued by it. 
Unfortunately this suffers from a lot of Marvel tie-ins with their events recently, as it doesn’t seem to tie into what we’ve seen so far from the main book, so the need for it seems very but why tho? The story’s a fun done in one, but the lack of ties to the main storyline just diminishes the need to get it. If you’re looking for more of what Ch’Thon is up to, you can skip this, but if you’re looking for a fun, and funky Blade story, this might be your bag of O positive.
Just in time for Halloween, Marvel drops a spooky tale in a world with no mutants, and vampires are running things. It’s a fun, yet dark issue that plays with the vampire trope in a superhero setting, giving us a glimpse of something familiar, yet also very different from everything else. This story doesn’t really relate to the main story about the Darkhold, Ch’Thon, Doom, or the Scarlet Witch, so the inclusion in this is kinda eh. It seems like it could tie into the broader Vampire nation story that’s been playing out in various titles across the Marvel Universe.
Lifelong comic fan, I grew up all over Michigan, but currently live in the metro Detroit area. I’m an intersectional feminist, who has always championed for equality. Aspiring comic writer, and currently reviewing Wonder Woman, Wonder Girl, Catwoman, Robin, Captain Marvel, Spider-Woman, Black Cat, Black Widow, Avengers, Eternals, Amazing Spider-Man, Non-Stop Spider-Man, and Shang-Chi for Comic-Watch.
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