REVIEW: ‘The Death of Doctor Strange: Blade,’ Issue #1

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The Death of Doctor Strange: Blade #1

The Death of Doctor Strange: Blade #1 is written by Danny Lore, illustrated by Dylan Burnett, colored by Mike Spicer, and lettered by VC’s Travis Lanham. It is published by Marvel Comics. Doctor Strange’s passing has led to a celebration in the Vampire Nation, where Blade has recently been made the Sheriff as part of a deal between Dracula and the Avengers. Blade’s struggle to hold in his anger is tested when a magical refugee comes to the Vampire Nation— and said refugee turns out to be a psychic vampire from another dimension that feeds on its victims’ emotions.

The Death of Doctor Strange storyline has done a great job of exploring the impact the Sorcerer Supreme’s passing has had on the Marvel Universe, and it turns out that it’s hit Blade especially hard. The Daywalker once helped Strange wipe out all vampires from the world and served as an ally to him on other occasions; and for a guy like Blade, who isn’t really the friendliest hero in Marvel’s pantheon, that’s saying something. Lore’s script digs deep into the Daywalker’s mindset, showcasing the growing rage he has at having to work alongside the creatures he’s had to hunt and also learning to play along with Dracula’s vampire politics, including butting heads with power-hungry vampire Dahlia.

It helps that they’re joined by Burnett, who has illustrated other Marvel titles, including Ant-Man and Cosmic Ghost Rider. Burnett’s stylized style perfectly fits the opening of the issue, which features a rave at a vampire club. Vampires jostle and cheer as blood pours down from the sprinklers, with a single page featuring Blade standing against the wall scowling. Between this rave scene and the set-up of the Darkhold: Blade one-shot, I appreciate that comic book creators are paying homage to the first Blade movie. Blade himself is usually shown in all black, whether it’s his trademark trenchcoat or briefly donning a suit to attend a meeting of vampire leaders; it provides a contrast to the invading forces, who wear pure white robes and have helmets with creepy red eyes.

Burnett also excels at action sequences, especially when Blade engages in conflict with the invaders. There’s an anime-style panel where the Daywalker cuts two invaders in half, represented by a group of shadows. This panel is also a great example of how Spicer utilizes color; since vampires are a race of creatures that thrive in the night, the Vampire Nation is usually depicted in hues of orange and purple that represent a setting sun. Red is also a very prominent color, from the blood that the vampires consume to the bright red lining of Dracula’s cape. And that color even extends to the lettering; when Blade crashes through a window, there is a large “Crash” sound in yellow letters. The narrative captions are depicted in burnt orange as a homage to Blade’s original look.

The Death of Doctor Strange: Blade #1 explores the Daywalker’s state of mind and provides plenty of swordfights and vampire slaying. I highly recommend picking it up; hopefully, these one-shots lead to Blade getting his own series.

The Death of Doctor Strange: Blade #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.


The Death of Doctor Strange: Blade #1
5

TL;DR

The Death of Doctor Strange: Blade #1 explores the Daywalker’s state of mind and provides plenty of swordfights and vampire slaying. I highly recommend picking it up; hopefully, these one-shots lead to Blade getting his own series.

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