Claremont previews his future - normanby
Looking back at this 4-part monochrome Blade story. it is interesting to see how this early Chris Claremont effort foreshadows many familiar tropes from his long reign on the X-Men. Blade's jive-talking, ruthless anti-hero had already been established from TOMB OF DRACULA but Claremont clearly establishes him as a proto-Wolverine in his stroppy, anti-establishment stance, his low-life background, and savage attitude to getting the job done by any means necessary. But it is the two main female characters that clearly anticipate Claremont's recurring themes on the X_Men. The chief villainess - a human working as Dracula's proxy quite willingly without any supernatural enticements - clearly looks forward to many of his uberbitches who violently order men around while wearing very little - she goes from elegant evening dress to skimpy supervillainess costume between episodes without any explanation. But it is Inspector Kate Frazer in who one can see the likes of Storm, Rogue and Psylocke taking embryonic shape. A tough feisty female detective who takes a vampire on in hand-to-hand combat (and slays him) while stripped down to her undies and who takes no crap from Blade, she is probably the first of a long line a ballsy chicks Claremont would develop in the X-books (and fulfill a few unhealthy dominatrix fantasies). The horror line proved to be a dead-end in Marvel's family but, without question, it pointed the way to the more violent anti-heroic approach of the 80's and beyond.