Many people forget that Blade was one of the first comic characters to be turned into a fully fledged film character. Blade first appeared in the Marvel universe in 1973 and was originally British, but this changed in the films where Blade became a resident of Detroit, Michigan. The ass-kicking vampire slayer became a successful movie franchise in 1998, with Wesley Snipes taking the lead role.
This was in fact the very first comic book film I saw!
Blade (1998) is the origins story of Blade. After his mother was bitten and killed by Deacon Frost, Blade inherits Frost’s vampiric abilities including super strength, speed and endurance. Blade and Whistler (Kris Kristofferson) work to repress Blade’s vampire tenancies to help put an end to Frost.
This time with Guillermo Del Toro in the directors seat,Blade II (2002) again follows Blade’s mission to protect humans from vampire kind. With a new kind of vampire called Reapers who feed on vampires, Blade must team up with the Vampire council in order to combat them.
The last in the trilogy is the imaginatively named Blade:Trinity. Starring Ryan Reynolds and Jessica Beil, as the Nightstalkers, a group of vampire hunters. Now wanted by the FBI, Blade teams up with them to defeat Dracula.
As a duo, the first two Blade films are brilliant. They show a darker side to the superhero universe, with characters not afraid to swear, injure and kill. It’s safe to say that these films are most definitely not for the faint hearted – those with a fear of blood need not watch! The vampire club scene in the first film is magnificent, will blood pouring from the ceiling whilst Blade does his thing, but could leave you feeling a tad queasy!
The only weak link in the trilogy is Blade:Trinity. Focusing away from Blade and more on new characters even had Blade rolling his eyes. Although Hannibal King (Ryan Reynolds), gets some laughs, it’s off target and can’t really be compared to the other two films. It’s more like Blade-lite, the 15 certificate ensures that.
Blade is a reminder that comics aren’t always for teenagers but for adults too.