Remembering Blade

Going to take a brief break from the gun grabbers’ emotional nonsense to talk about something completely different.  Today’s topic is a movie featuring a comic book superhero in the title role who also happens to be black, involves a combination of science-fiction technology with primitive mythology and melee combat, and concerns an insular society keeping its very existence hidden from the world at large to avoid interference from outsiders.

Yes, that’s right, I’m talking about this guy:

blade

For anyone who doesn’t know, this is Blade (or technically speaking, it’s Wesley Snipes as Blade).  Yes children, there were black superheroes who got their own movies and in fact their own movie franchises long before the current year.  You can pedantically dismiss characters like Eddie Murphy’s Axel Foley as comedic, Laurence Fishburne’s Morpheus or Billy Dee Williams’ Lando Calrissian as a sidekick, or…hell, I’m not going to sit here and rattle off a list of movies with black main characters or heroes, that’s been done plenty.  I bring up Blade in particular because it’s exactly what a recent movie which I shall not name (strictly because this is not about that movie) has been hailed as, except Blade happened twenty years earlier.  And I think I know why.

For those who are not familiar with the first Blade movie (be ye warned, thar be spoilers herein), the story is about the title character whose mother was turned into a vampire just as he was born.  Because of comic book reasoning, Blade became what the movie characters call a “daywalker”–he is a vampire or at least part vampire himself, he has their strength and speed and immortal regenerative abilities along with their need to drink human blood or some acceptable substitute, but he is able to expose himself to sunlight without ill effects.  The story goes that Blade was found by a vampire hunter named Whistler (Kris Kristofferson) when Blade was a baby, and rather than kill him, Whistler raised Blade to be a hunter and protector of humans like him.  In the process, Whistler acquired a serum that Blade could use as a substitute for human blood to keep him alive.  Whistler also happens to be white.

The plot of the movie goes like this: we’re introduced to a lovely young virologist who gets jumped by vampires.  She’s bitten just before she is rescued by Blade and Whistler, who give her the exposition before we move into the subplot.  Apparently there is a society of older vampires with fancy suits and Eastern European accents who try to keep vampire activity on the down low, to avoid needless contact both with humans in general and with hunters like Blade, because for generations they’ve more or less run the world behind the scenes, pulling the strings, getting by doing things like operating blood banks.  There’s also a group of younger upstart vampires who were made vampires through being bitten instead of being born that way, and of course the young Vampire Lives Matter group wants to take over and start running the show loud and proud.  The main bad guy/scuzzball vampire has dug up a legend that the older bloodsuckers want him to leave alone, one that promises to make him indestructible, and all he really needs to finish the magic formula is the blood of the daywalker.  Naturally this involves taking out the older guys and setting up some confrontation with Blade.

The movie sees the friendly virologist come up with a cure for vampirism that has rather explosive effects on vampires that have fully turned.  In their efforts to draw Blade into a confrontation, the bad guys get to Whistler while he’s alone and while they don’t quite kill him, they tear him to shreds and infect him with vampirism.  Blade finds him in time for Whistler to plead with Blade to finish him quickly, and when Blade can’t do it, he leaves Whistler with his gun.  Blade promptly walks into the trap that Vampire Lives Matter sets for him, they get his blood, they do the magic formula, and the vampirism cure ends up being able to kill the head honcho right through the magic.  As the movie ends, the virologist offers to cure Blade and he refuses, asking her for a better serum instead.

The series goes on for two more films.  Whistler returns as a vampire and is cured in the second movie only to die again in the third, and as comic book movies tend to do, they get progressively sillier with each installment.  So here’s why I think the left has decided to forget about Blade.  First of all, easily enough, they really want something to rally around right now, so simple convenience ranks pretty high up there–if they forget this movie existed then they have a wide-open seat for the “historic” first black superhero comic book movie ever.  Add enough adjectives and anything can be a historic first I guess.  Second, Blade fits the leftist definition of an Uncle Tom in every sense of the phrase, in terms of his relation to other vampires.  He’s a race-traitor turned against “his own kind” (which are almost universally scuzzy white guys).  More than that, the old white gun-toting Whistler is not only not judgmental towards Blade or the virologist because of their skin color, but he spares Blade’s life as an infant and raises him like his own son.  Blade rejects what other vampires consider the “real” way to survive in favor of the serum Whistler provides, in order to suppress the very real monster within himself.  Finally, Blade embraces who and what he is for both his strengths and weaknesses.  He understands the unique position his heritage puts him in along with his need to compensate for his innate urges through means of a better serum.  He does not want to be cured.  In other words, he’s not a victim.  He defies what others tell him is simply his “nature” (and urge him repeatedly to fall back into) while retaining his own identity.  Blade, at heart, is an individual.

As for that other movie, I don’t really give a care about it.  It’s a little pathetic how people are insisting that you have to love it and praise it or you’re a racist or something, just like you have to love the new Star Wars or you’re, I don’t know, Wookieephobic or something.  It might be a fine action flick, it might be an amusing comic book romp, it might be unwatchable garbage, but the hysteria around it is just silly.  I think I’d rather just watch Blade again.

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