Spoiler Session: That Last Page Reveal in Avengers #700
Get all the details on that major spoiler at the end of today's Avengers #700!
Warning! This article contains SPOILERS for this week’s AVENGERS #10/#700, so read on at your own risk, True Believers!
Ever since Jason Aaron and Ed McGuinness launched the current AVENGERS series, they've been re-evaluating the origins of the Marvel Universe while working towards celebrating the Earth's Mightiest Heroes' giant 700th issue that hit today. That includes the debut of the Ancient Avengers, the modern team's initial battle with the Final Host of Dark Celestials, agreeing to Wakandan backing. and coming into conflict with everyone from Namor's Defenders of the Deep to Russia's Red Guard!
There are tons of spoilers in this issue—revelations, reveals, returns—but we're focusing in on one in particular...
At the very end of the anniversary issue, readers got to see the Wasp risking her neck in Transylvania to infiltrate Dracula's castle all to ask a certain vampire hunter a simple question: "Hey Blade, how would you like to join the Avengers?"
And he responds, "Get me my swords."
While we wait to find out what supernatural threat stands so strong that the Avengers needed to recruit Blade, let's take a look at his history with the team!
To be sure, the daywalking vampire hunter tends to crusade alone, though he's been known to work with different groups over time, ranging from Quincy Harker's crew in TOMB OF DRACULA to the U.K. unit in CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MI13. However, when it comes to working with the Avengers, Blade does have a few notable stints.
In 2014's UNCANNY AVENGERS ANNUAL, Mojo captured and controlled him along with Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider, Man-Thing, Satana, and Manphibian to form the Avengers of the Supernatural, a sure-fire ratings hit. After capturing the Avengers Unity Squad for the pan-galactic pop culture peddler, Blade and the others broke free of the pernicious producer's control and joined forces to stop an untethered Spirit of Vengeance before returning home and going their separate ways.
Blade's most substantial stint with Earth's Mightiest Heroes secretly began in MIGHTY AVENGERS #1 when he appealed to Monica Rambeau for help in an unspecified missions just before Proxima Midnight attacked New York City. Not wanting his presence known, Blade put on a generic Spider-hero costume at Rambeau's insistence and got in on the fight.
In MIGHTY AVENGERS #4, we learned that he worked with a dark magician known as Kaluu and planned on sticking with the Avengers, but switched guises to that of Ronin to remain under the radar and out of the public eye (though his teammates knew who was under the mask).
During INHUMANITY, Blade informed his squad of the dangers of a group called the Deathwalkers who intended to end the human race. In issue #9, we learned that these evil doers needed a mystical objects called Kamar-Taj to start a ritual called the Merging, but that would prove difficult as our hero had the talisman in his possession. As you can imagine, that quickly lead to an attack by a group of ninja weresnakes who blew up Blade's safe house. After escaping the resulting fire and explosion, he removed the Ronin mask to finally reveal his true identity to the reader.
After being attacked by a number of different werecreatures, a wererooster finally felled the exhausted hunter. With him in their grasp, the Deathwalkers not only claimed the talisman, but also had the perfect sacrifice in hand for the Merging given his half-human, half-vampire blood.
Eventually Kaluu met up with the Mighty Avengers and told them about Blade's capture and the dangers they all faced. Having regrouped, they headed into action in the last two issues of the series. Though too late to stop the four Deathwalkers from merging into one being, the team managed to break free of the monster's control and join together as Avenger Prime to stop it from taking over everything on Earth.
Blade decided not to make the jump to the follow-up CAPTAIN AMERICA AND THE MIGHTY AVENGERS, but has kept up with his supernatural slaying in books like SPIRITS OF VENGEANCE and the recent DAMNATION crossover. But how he got stuck in Castle Dracula and what the Avengers need with him now remain to be seen!
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