Comics
Published April 12, 2023

Meet Safron Caulder, Blade's Longtime Love

Mother. Lover. Vampire killer. Learn more about Safron Caulder, the woman raising the next dhampiric vampire slayer, just in time for her next appearance in 'Bloodline: Daughter of Blade' #3!

Beneath the cosmic forces, gods, and technological wonders of the Marvel Universe, there lies a darker territory. Marvel Horror is home to vampires, werewolves, zombies, and other scary creatures—but what about the human characters who don’t have powers and are just trying to survive? What’s their story?

May we present Safron Caulder DeVille, or Safron Caulder.

Safron was the love interest of Eric Brooks, better known as Blade, during his early adventures in vampire hunting. Now, in Danny Lore and Karen Darboe’s BLOODLINE: DAUGHTER OF BLADE (2023), she’s raising the next generation of dhampir: her daughter Brielle. In celebration of the third issue’s release, let’s take a look back at Safron’s comic history!

ORIGIN

Created by writer Marv Wolfman and artist Gene Colan, Safron debuted in TOMB OF DRACULA (1972) #12. In her first appearance, she and Blade were preparing to go to dinner, but he received a call that prompted him to track down and confront Dracula. None too happy with her boyfriend for taking a rain check on their date, Safron threw one of his stakes with such force it stuck in the door. To reiterate: she was not pleased about playing second fiddle to vampire hunting.

So, how exactly did the two meet? The backstory was revealed later on via flashback in MARVEL PREVIEW (1975) #3

For a time, Blade played trumpet at a London jazz club called Slow-Boy’s, and Safron was so enamored with him that she saw him play “eight nights running.” Talk about dedication! One night, while Safron was watching Blade perform, she was harassed by Ponce, a local pimp, to work for him “on the street and hustlin’ tricks.” Blade intervened, reinforcing Safron’s “no” with a punch to the face. Safron and Blade ended the night with a kiss that kicked off their romantic relationship.

Fun fact: Safron received her first surname, Caulder, in MARVEL PREVIEW (1975) #3 from Chris Claremont and her second surname, DeVille, in TOMB OF DRACULA (1972) #52 from her original writer, Marv Wolfman!

FROM LONDON TO BOSTON

Safron moved to the United States to live with Blade in TOMB OF DRACULA (1972) #47, noting that London was “a downright drag without you.” (Surely, she did not miss being kidnapped by vampires nor the thought of being turned into one, like in MARVEL PREVIEW (1975) #3…) 

He definitely continued to keep their relationship interesting! For example, Blade was killed by Dracula in TOMB OF DRACULA (1972) #51, and she attended his funeral in the following issue. However, the Daywalker was resurrected by Daimon Hellstorm during his hero phase in issue #53.

After Blade defeated longtime nemesis Deacon Frost (who was also the man responsible for killing Blade’s mother and, subsequently, his dhampir physiology), Safron tried to convince Blade to leave the slayer life behind and start a normal one. Of course, as we know, that didn’t happen, leading Safron to be pulled into more dangerous and supernatural occurrences. For instance, in TOMB OF DRACULA (1972) #58, a vampire got too close to home—or, more specifically, her apartment!

DRIFT APART

At some point, Safron could no longer deal with the world of fangs and blood, so she left Blade. During this time, she moved to New Orleans and worked at Garwood Industries, a well-known coffee company. Unfortunately for her, the Crescent City was teeming with vampires, and where there are vampires, Blade is not too far behind. 

Safron met her former beau again in BLADE: CRESCENT CITY BLUES (1998) #1 after a newly revived Deacon Frost formed an alliance with Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, to reign over organized crime in the city. Safron was wary of Blade’s arrival at first, but at the end of the one-shot, they gave their relationship one more chance.

During this reunion, Safron became pregnant with Brielle. Sadly, in FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2022: AVENGERS/X-MEN (2022) #1, it was heavily implied that things didn’t work out between Safron and Blade, and the couple split once again.

PRESENT TIME

Safron moved to Atlanta, where she raised Brielle as she worked at a local hospital. She had an inkling that her daughter had a brush with the supernatural (call it mother’s intuition) in FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2022: AVENGERS/X-MEN (2022) #1, but it wasn’t until BLOODLINE: DAUGHTER OF BLADE (2023) #1 that she saw her daughter in action—and vice versa! Safron might not have superhuman strength and speed, but she is very familiar with how to use a stake. It’s like riding a bike!

Safron (and Blade) took extra precautions for Brielle to keep her safe, in the hopes that she wouldn’t have to live in a world of monsters. However, instead of forbidding Brielle from following in her father’s leather-clad footsteps when she discovered her own dhampiric powers, Safron handed Brielle one of Blade’s swords from her hidden arsenal, which was previously shown in FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2022: AVENGERS/X-MEN (2022) #1. Safron asked Brielle to promise her two things: “that you’ll trust me to tell you everything if you give me a little time” and “that you will stay safe.” Translation: wait and don’t do anything crazy. 

Both of those promises were quickly broken, as Brielle took receiving the sword as the green light to do the exact opposite, inadvertently putting herself in harm’s way. As a result, Safron grounded her in BLOODLINE: DAUGHTER OF BLADE (2023) #2. Not even budding vampire hunters are immune to curfews and discipline!

Safron Caulder is an understanding, intuitive, and protective woman. At the end of the day, she just wants Brielle to have a “normal high school experience” and will help her child in any way she can. But will that be possible to achieve as her daughter faces supernatural changes and the return of Blade, Brielle’s father? You’ll have to find out in BLOODLINE: DAUGHTER OF BLADE (2023) #3!

See Safron's reunion with Blade in BLOODLINE: DAUGHTER OF BLADE #3, on sale now!

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