Calling himself Switchblade to further distance himself from his pre-Demogorge existence, Blade went after the Midnight Sons, a loose-knit group of mystically abled individuals that included his former teammates the Nightstalkers, destroying them all one by one. Eventually, the spell was disrupted by Darkhold Redeemer Louise Hastings, who sacrificed her own soul to return Blade to his previous status quo. The damage he wrought was undone, but not erased from his memory. Wracked with guilt about how far his quest had pushed him, Blade used a mystical knife known as the Edge of Intrados to summon and revisit visions of his life. He finally began to see how dangerous he was when ruled by his obsessions, forging forward with a new perspective on his purpose.
A battle with the child of Lilith known as Short-Circuit soon followed and the growing rift between King and Blade was seemingly set aside forever, as the latter swore to prevent Hannibal from ever losing control of his vampiric self. Unfortunately, the Montesi Formula had begun to weaken. Varnae, the original Lord of Vampires, returned to life and Hydra created a Dracula clone called Bloodstorm. Dracula’s wife, Domini, came seeking aid to retrieve her kidnapped son, Janus. While the rest of the Nightstalkers embarked on a plan to track down Bloodstorm, Blade took on the task of finding Janus. His investigation led him to Kennedy Airport where the man behind the kidnapping was boarding a plane headed to New Delhi. Blade’s heart was broken when he discovered that his old ally, Taj Nital, had been transformed into a vampire and was now serving Varnae, who had orchestrated the abduction.
During a massive struggle between Varnae, Bloodstorm and the Nightstalkers, all save Blade were seemingly annihilated. Blade felt extreme guilt over the fact that his only friends were now dead, leaving him to carry on his war alone. He swore to continue the search for Janus, but never found the child, who resurfaced transformed some time later. He soon acquired a new ally in Bible John Carik, a member of the mystical Cathari sect, guardian of an ancient mystical library. Alongside Carik, Blade battled a strangely reborn Dracula and a false Deacon Frost. He also attempted to forge a normal life for himself outside of vampire hunting. Befriending a woman named Julia Suarez, he rented an apartment from her under the name Frank Blade. He clashed with Marie Laveau, Steppin’ Razor and Night Terror while the trio was reviving Varnae once more. Blade’s spirit briefly traveled back in time, experiencing the life of 17th-century vampire hunter Jonas Cray. Laveau later sent her agents, the Vampz, to kill Bible John, but Blade once more halted her plans.
Meanwhile, Carik’s visions of Hannibal King and Frank Drake eventually culminated in the revelation that the two men had somehow merged with Bloodstorm to form this new Dracula. Carik, Blade and a future version of Blade known as Crossbow were instrumental in helping King and Drake return from this state, though Dracula’s true soul retained possession of the body they had once shared. Blade was soon summoned to New Orleans by the enigmatic beauty Dominique Levant, who led him into the midst of a vampiric coup of sorts involving the living vampire Morbius and the powerful Ulysses Sojourner. Sojourner sought to unify all vampires on the East Coast, but Blade halted the scheme. Remaining active in New Orleans, Blade teamed with Brother Voodoo to thwart Marie Laveau and Deacon Frost’s attempts to build an undead army. Later, Blade and Spider-Man encountered the vampire Henry Sage and learned of the development of the Daywalker formula, an evolution of the Sunlight Serum.
Continuing to refine his techniques and equipment, Blade helped Spider-Man try to capture their former ally Morbius, who had fallen under the sway of a vampire known as the Hunger. During their confrontation, Morbius bit Blade, who soon realized that his blood enzymes were not enough to protect him from his foe's unique form of vampirism. Though allegedly a daywalker since birth, Blade now transformed fully into the thing he hated most, manifesting vampiric fangs and a bloodthirst.
Not long after this Blade was captured by Silvereye, a S.H.I.E.L.D. sect devoted to developing its own cadre of vampire soldiers. The Silvereye division was partially a front for a scheme engineered by Darius Venginian, a vampire who sought to gain political power in the USA. He also sought to program Blade into becoming a Silvereye pawn, but this plan failed when the vampire hunter broke free of his programming with the aid of twins Mosha and Mikado. The siblings aided Blade against Silvereye, as well as the vampiric demon known as the Reaper (Gracul), summoned by one of the Ancient Saracen. Misha and Mokado accompanied Blade when he fled the scene, swearing to have nothing more to do with S.H.I.E.L.D. in the future. Blade’s partnership with the twins was brief, and he was alone again when he faced a terrifying breed of multi-stage vampires known as the Tryks.
Blade found himself thrust into a complex conspiracy when his father reemerged, having become a vampire ages ago while in Latveria in order to save himself from a terminal disease in hopes of one day reuniting with his wife and son. Still working with the Order of Tyrana, Lucas Cross hoped to set in motion a prophecy concerning his son which hinted that vampires could regain their souls. Allied with Cross, Dracula, revived the vampiric Jamal Afari from the grave. Afari and Dracula clashed with Spider-Man, with the former biting the Wallcrawler, briefly granting him vampiric powers. Blade appeared and bested Spider-Man then slew Dracula again. He was unaware of Afari’s involvement, instead distracted when a team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents altered into vampires attempted to revive Dracula aboard the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier; Blade destroyed the entire craft to be rid of his enemies.
Blade was recruited by Dr. Doom to go on a time travel mission and rescue his mother, Cynthia von Doom, from prison while she was pregnant with her son; during his trip to the past, Blade released Lucas Cross from a Latverian jail, unaware the man was his father. When Blade returned to the present, Doom rewarded him by giving him a potion that he claimed could cure him of his bloodlust; the daywalker was uncertain that he wanted to use it, but kept the potion nonetheless.
As the superhumans of the United States were forced to sign the Superhuman Registration Act (SHRA), Blade found himself among those confronted by S.H.I.E.L.D. forces. He willingly submitted to the new law, seeing value in being able to leech S.H.I.E.L.D. resources for his own means.
Lucas finally revealed himself to Blade by chaining him and placing him in a cell with a girl; the captive vampire hunter’s manacles were long enough to reach his fellow inmate, but not the door. Lucas hoped that his captive would feed on her to fulfill part of the prophecy, which said his son would feed on virgin blood, but Blade surprised him by instead gnawing off his right hand to remove the manacle. Blade escaped Lucas, and soon found himself up against Draconis, a vampire who had rendered himself invulnerable to most traditional forms of destruction. Draconis seemingly slew Blade in their first clash, but our hero found that an amulet he had earlier taken from a vampire rendered whoever bore it immune to being staked.