From the House of Ideas: It’s Political Intrigue With Teeth in ‘Blade: Vampire Nation #1’

While we may be in the middle of November, with Christmas ahead of us and Halloween in the rear view mirror, this week Marvel released a solid one-show featuring everyone’s favourite daywalker doing the dirty work of the legendary vampire, Dracula.

Here’s the longline: A deep dive into Dracula’s new kingdom as established in AVENGERS. Starring BLADE, the sheriff of Vampire Nation! An assassination threatens to unravel the fledgling country and spread chaos throughout the world. But is getting rid of a nation full of bloodsuckers really all that bad of an idea? Blade himself isn’t too sure

Blade: Vampire Nation #1 picks up pieces that have been part of Jason Aaron’s ongoing Avengers run. I know this because the cover explicitly states that this is straight out of that series, though I have read a few issues here and there. However, writer Mark Russell does an excellent job getting us up to speed on how vampires have taken over the Russian city of Chernobyl and turned it into their own bite of heaven. And while you’d think there’d be no place for humans in the nation of Vampyrsk other than as dinner, they do a serve a few purposes, which is revealed in these pages.

Russell and artist Dave Wachter have put together a fun story of vampire politics and intrigue, and what I especially liked about it was how, even though Blade is the lead character, the book didn’t rely on his connections to the Avengers at all. The character in these pages reads darker than a superhero with ties to Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, and his back and forth with Dracula oozes with old school familiarity and contempt.

To be honest, I was a bit bummed to see “the end” on the last page of this one-shot; the vampire nation capital and its machinations seems like excellent fodder for monthly, especially in the hands of Russell and Wachter. Here’s hoping there’s more to come from this concept and creative team, and that Blade: Vampire Nation isn’t turned to dust after just this one issue.

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