Marvel Studios rarely leave Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con disappointed, and this year was no different as they revealed the upcoming Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The next phase of MCU films includes new properties like the Eternals and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, along with Disney+ streaming series starring already established characters like Loki and Black Widow.
Of course, it was the reveal of Marvel Studios' developing plans for another property fans have been waiting to see in the MCU for a while - Blade. Marvel Studios announced the upcoming plans with the reveal that Mahershala Ali will be bringing the vampire hunter to life. Of course, he isn't the first time we've seen Blade adapted from the comics, so today we are going to take a look at Blade's various appearances on the big and small screens, from worst to best.
9 HULK AND THE AGENTS OF S.M.A.S.H.
Despite his obvious horror origins and dark themes, Blade has appeared in a few animated series over the years, including Disney's latest forays into Marvel animation for younger audiences. Blade appeared a couple of times on Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., which featured the various characters from the Hulk franchise working together in a reality show-themed format.
Blade appeared alongside a horror monster-themed Howling Commandoes which also featured Werewolf by Night, Frankenstein's Monster, N'Kantu the Living Mummy and Man-Thing. Blade and the Howling Commandoes were an interesting team-up for the character, but a far cry from the bloody vampire killer we know and love.
8 ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN
The origins of Blade and his Howling Commandoes actually happened on DisneyXD's Ultimate Spider-Man, which existed in the same cinematic universe as Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., Avengers Assemble, and Guardians of the Galaxy. He was voiced in both of these appearances by Terry Crews.
The two-part episode first paired Blade with Spider-Man's teen team of heroes (Power Man, Iron Fist, Nova, and White Tiger) before then teaming Spidey with Blade's team of Howling Commandoes. This appearance still doesn't quite hit the proper tones with Blade but does showcase some of his usual grit when dealing with the younger team of heroes.
7 MARVEL DISK WARS: THE AVENGERS
Marvel has been experimenting with their characters in anime for years now, with successes and failures and some huge surprises appearing. One of those surprises is Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers, which when reduced to its most basic concept for our purposes here could be considered a Pokémon/Marvel mashup.
Blade appears in three episodes over the course of the series, though his origins are a little different from the comics. His eternal nemesis is Captain America villain Baron Blood instead of Deacon Frost or Dracula. Blade was voiced by Hiroki Yasumoto for the original anime, with no official English dub having yet been produced.
6 BLADE: THE SERIES
Spike was still a rising new network when they launched a Blade franchise tie-in series that took place after the events of the final film. Unfortunately, franchise star Wesley Snipes did not reprise his role as the character, and musician Sticky Fingaz stepped into the role for the series.
Blade lasted one season and wasn't terrible, but the lack of a martial artist in the lead role led to unconvincing fight scenes and the storyline contradicted events of the films, leading to a disconnect with some fans.
5 BLADE: TRINITY
Wesley Snipes starred in three installments of the Blade franchise from New Line Cinema, which was one of the first successful Marvel movies that would lead to Marvel Studios' eventual huge success. Unfortunately, by the third film in the series, Blade: Trinity, the franchise had lost its luster.
Whether that's due to the alleged problems with Snipes on set, his disagreements with first-time director David S. Goyer (who had written all three films in the franchise), or the film's lighter take on the darker themes from previous films, Blade: Trinity is by far the weakest of the films, and barely cracks the overall top five in cinematic appearances.
4 SPIDER-MAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES
The first animated appearance of Blade happened on Spider-Man: The Animated Series in the 90s and featured a growling and vicious vampire hunter, though this version had more of a leather biker gang motif than his usual trenchcoat and body armor outfit. He was voiced by James Donald Hall.
Blade would appear a few times in the series, usually working alongside Morbius the Living Vampire and the Black Cat as they hunted down Blade's vampiric mother Miriam, the Vampire Queen. Blade's arsenal of weapons got the Saturday morning overhaul as well, as his trusty silver sword was replaced with a solar-powered energy sword.
3 MARVEL ANIME: BLADE
Before Marvel Disc Wars: Avengers, Marvel attempted to break into the anime market with four anime series based around popular characters who they felt would work well in that medium. That led to 12-episode series that included Iron Man, X-Men, Wolverine, and finally, Blade.
The bloody and violent series saw Blade travel to Japan, where he would encounter Deacon Frost, a new clan of vampires known as "Existense," and Wolverine in a nice tie-in to the previously released Marvel Anime. Blade was voiced by Akio Ohtsuka originally, with Harold Perrineau voicing the English dub.
2 BLADE II
Blade II is an excellent sequel to the original film and offers up a visually impressive film from the mind of Guillermo del Toro, who was perfectly suited to explore the Blade universe. Wesley Snipes still seemed to care about the role, and the new vampiric threat ups the ante considerably from the first film.
Unfortunately, Blade II does get bogged down by the numerous characters and their bad decisions, while some of del Toro's own decisions with some of the CG fight scenes also detract from the overall success of the sequel, sliding this fan-favorite film back from the top spot.
1998 saw the release of Blade, which wasn't the first live-action adaptation of a Marvel character but was definitely the most successful at the time. Stephen Norrington directed the film, which introduced Wesley Snipes as the titular vampire hunter and introduced the comic character to new fans who may not have even been aware of his comic origins.
The original debut of Blade is still the best, with Snipes delivering a career-best performance. The film's bloody action scenes and dark themes set it apart from any other comic book adaptation of the time, and fans still hold the film up as one of the best Marvel movies ever made.