Tuesday, January 24, 2017

If I Could Write. . .BLADE!

This came about just from some random wishful thinking one day. As I'd come to know and buy commissions from many talented artists over the years, one I wrote a post on Facebook about how if I could pick each artist to collaborate on mainstream comic-book with an established character or character (as opposed to one of my own original creators), what would be the title I'd I'd pick for each artist? With SAMAX AMEN it was an easy choice, I listed BLADE.

I, like most people, first discovered the character of Blade with the 1998 film starring Wesley Snipes. At the time I had no idea that Blade was a longtime Marvel Comics character. I also loved the sequel, (the less-said about BLADE: TRINITY, the better) and even the short-lived TV series, which I own on DVD had its moments.

Anyway, it's a shame that today people seem to have forgotten the Blade films, which could be classified as having start the "comic-book movie boom" before X-Men and Spider-Man came along. One problem is that Marvel Comics has, to date, never really capitalized on the film series' popularity. There have been a few attempts to launch ongoing Blade comic book series' and miniseries over the years since the first film, but,  for whatever reason none of them have managed to catch on with an audience. A couple of years ago there was announcement of an upcoming series starring Blade's daughter, which I don't think is the right idea, but so far nothing has come of that.

In any case, it's a character I'd love to tackle someday. Preferably in a series that would be published under Marvel's MAX imprint, as I believe that this is a character best served when written for adults, meaning few content restrictions. Like the MAX Punisher series, and like the films themselves, which were rated R, this book should not need to hold back from showing bloody violence (and occasional nudity). Plus I don't want to feel compelled to tie my stories to the rest of the Marvel Universe, like being interrupted to include whatever latest company-wide crossover storyline.

And, really, a character like this works best in a world with few other "super" beings. In a Marvel Universe full of superheroes, mutants, aliens, wizards, etc., what makes vampires so strange? Again, like the movies, this series would take place in "the real world", where vampires (and some, but not many, other supernatural beings) exist mostly in secret from the general population.

I will note that Marvel has launched a Blade series under their Max imprint before, but in addition to not being very well-written, I found the artwork to be very mediocre. A character like this will thrive on its visual depiction, and that's where SAMAX comes in, as I believe his unique style would fit Blade perfectly. And thus I commissioned a BLADE image from him, which you can see above, and I'm sure you'll agree that he clearly "gets" this character.

See it in color HERE

As for storylines, admittedly I never really spent much time thinking about exactly what I would do with the character. I only ever came up with two "scenes" which I'd begin and end my first issue with. We'd open with BLADE in the middle of a battle with THE LUGOSIS. This is a Vampire street gang, who all dress up like Bela Lugosi in the original 1931 Dracula movie. I just think that would be a cool visual to immediately hook the reader, seeing Blade in an extended fight scene against 10-12 identical Bela Lugosi Dracula's, as he slices them all to pieces with his sword.

I know my ending sequence would have Blade back at his hotel or something, where suddenly three beautiful Vampire women appear in his room, ala the Brides of Dracula scene in the Gary Oldman/Keanu Reeves Dracula film of 1992. The women appear naked and Blade is awakened and has sex with all of them. When it's over Blade appears to pass out from exhaustion, at which point the women prepare to kill them, as was their plan, but off course Blade was just fooling them, and then Blade proceeds to have an fight with the three women (all still naked, of course) ending when he slices their heads off with his sword.

Of course I know I'd have to come up with some STORY to fill in the rest of the issue in-between the beginning and then end, but I think I'm on to something...

Samax did approach me with the idea of coming with some original Blade-like character that he could draw, but I procrastinated on that and never got around to it (as usual).

I did eventually commission CELINA HERNANDEZ for a Blade image too, and this is what she did for me: