Back when my novel Vampires of the Scarlet Order came out, science fiction writer Neal Asher wrote a blurb that described it as, “A novel with bite. An amalgam of Blade and The Name of the Rose with a touch of X-Files thrown in for good measure.” At the time, I was familiar with X-Files and I’d read The Name of the Rose in college, but I actually wasn’t that familiar with Blade, the vampire hunter who cropped up from time to time in Marvel Comics and was portrayed by Wesley Snipes in three movies.
I immediately went out and watched the first movie, and for the most part loved it. I learned that Blade himself is a half-vampire known as a daywalker, fighting to save humans from those vampires who would use them as mere food. In Vampires of the Scarlet Order, the Scarlet Order vampires are brought together to fight human-created vampire super soldiers. It struck me that Blade and the Scarlet Order vampires could come to an accord. Of course, in true comic book fashion, they’d probably have to start their relationship with an epic smackdown fight, but they’d soon come to see they were more similar than different.
Recently, my daughter, home from Tulane University in New Orleans, pointed out that in 2011, four Marvel titles were produced as anime in Japan. One of those was Blade. As a fan of Blade and anime, I had check it out. The series starts off on a promising foot. Blade is in Japan hunting his old nemesis, the vampire Deacon Frost. He teams up with his mentor Noah Van Helsing and Noah’s dog Razor. He also teams up with a Japanese woman who is also a vampire hunter named Makoto. Frost leads our heroes on a chase throughout Southeast Asia. Along the way, we meet such creatures as the Filipino Manananggal which splits at the torso, it’s upper half flying around, dragging it’s entrails behind it. Another disturbing vampire Blade and Makoto must face is the Polong from Malaysia—just add a drop of blood and one tiny, ugly vampiric creature becomes a dozen large, vicious vampiric creatures!
I’m sorry to say that I was a bit disappointed in the ending of the anime Blade. Without delving too much into spoiler territory, nothing much unexpected happens except for one big gut-punch, which actually felt like a cop-out. Despite that, I’m still glad I watched the series. I liked the way the heroes were portrayed and I liked spending time with them. Also, I liked the quest through Southeast Asia.
Watching the anime did encourage me to look up some of the Blade comics I missed and I did find a very nice one-shot comic called Crescent City Blues where Blade battles Deacon Frost, Marie Laveau, vampires and zombies in New Orleans. Here we see Blade teamed up with his former partner and now vampire Hannibal King. So yes, I do think Blade could make peace with the Scarlet Order vampires long enough to work with them!
For those who want to see the book that reminded Neal Asher of Blade, you can find a selection of places to purchase Vampires of the Scarlet Order at my website. The ebook editions are only 99 cents. For those who want a collectible, signed edition, you can get it from the country’s premier shop for vampire merchandise, Boutique du Vampyre in New Orleans!