How the Death of the MCU’s Most Powerful Avenger Triggered Marvel’s Bloodiest Team-Up

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WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for The Death of Doctor Strange: Blade #1, on sale now from Marvel Comics.

While the Marvel Universe is filled with plenty of rivalries, vendettas, and feuds, some run deeper than blood, with the Daywalker Blade having a particularly contentious dynamic against Marvel’s Lord of the Vampires, Dracula. Blade and Dracula have crossed swords and stakes on more than one occasion, with the undead supervillain often managing to stay one step ahead of the iconic vampire hunter. However, in the wake of Doctor Strange’s recent murder, the fallout forces Blade and Dracula to do the unthinkable: fight alongside one another in one of the most unlikely team-ups the Marvel Universe has ever seen.

While Dracula may have no love lost for Blade, he similarly has a deep grudge against Doctor Strange, with the Sorcerer Supreme and vampire having their own longstanding feud that began in 1976’s Tomb of Dracula #44 (by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan) and Doctor Strange #14 (by Steve Englehart and Colan). Dracula preyed upon both Stephen Strange and Wong, leading both sorcerers to use their magic to avoid dying and rising as vampires. This bloody feud culminated with Strange teaming up with Blade in 1983’s Doctor Strange #59-62 (by Roger Stern, Dan Green and Steve Leialoha). Using the magical Montesi Formula, Strange and Blade were able to destroy all vampires on Earth, including Dracula, for a time.

RELATED: Doctor Strange Killed a Universe before What If – And It Was Way More Disturbing

In the wake of Doctor Strange’s death, extra-dimensional monsters he had kept at bay are beginning to invade the Marvel Universe, poised to overwhelm the Avengers and other heroes that have since taken up the slack since Strange’s untimely demise. One of the regions targeted by a magical invader is Chernobyl, which has since been established as a vampire nation-state led by Dracula in exchange for the their assistance against the invading symbiote army during the recent crossover event King in Black. To ensure that the vampires stayed in line, the United Nations assigned Blade as the new nation’s resident inspector and peacekeeping force, with Blade keeping an especially close eye on Dracula’s activities.

With the invading monsters threatening Dracula’s domain, it becomes a question if Blade will allow the vampires to be completely overrun and potentially eradicated for good or if he will live up to his UN-appointed responsibilities and step in to save the day. And as deep as Blade may hate Dracula and vampires, he is also a hero with a code of honor, and as much as it frustrates him, he agrees to temporarily join forces with his mortal enemy and save the fledgling vampire nation by repelling the extra-dimensional monsters that Doctor Strange had long kept at bay in The Death of Doctor Strange: Blade #1 (by Danny Lore, Dylan Burnett, Mike Spicer and VC’s Travis Lanham).

RELATED: The Obscene Horrors of Marvel’s Most Powerful Avenger (and Why He Hid Them), Explained

In fighting against a common foe and successfully preserving Chernobyl from its extra-dimensional invaders, it’s clear there’s still no love lost between Blade and Dracula and there likely never will be. The Daywalker is too committed to eliminating any bloodthirsty vampires that step out of line and Dracula is already secretly plotting his next moves to extend his power base beyond the Ukrainian city, in shadowy violation of his UN mandate.

Blade and Dracula’s surprise team-up was never going to last, but it did offer a glimpse at what would be possible if the two lifelong enemies actually set aside their differences in the interest of a common goal.

KEEP READING: Doctor Strange’s Murderer Is Exactly Who You Think – But Is That a Good Thing?

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