Kevin Feige arguably saved the best surprise for last at last summer’s San Diego Comic-Con when he introduced two-time Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali as the new face of the Daywalker, Eric Stokes Brooks, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s eventual reboot of Blade.
We’ve yet to see much more than Ali wearing a ball cap emblazoned with a stylized red Blade log, but earlier this month, digital artist ApexForm got the fanbase’s blood freshly pumping by giving us a taste of what might be when he posted a piece of fan art rendering the Moonlight and Green Book actor as Marvel’s human/vampire hybrid to his Instagram page.
The artwork features Ali against a stark red-and-black background, wearing reflective red glasses that look borrowed from a certain Hell’s Kitchen attorney, his acid-etched sword of tempered titanium upraised at his side. It’s a compelling image of a character who was previously played in three films on the big screen by Wesley Snipes and in twelve episodes of the Spike TV series by Kirk “Sticky Fingaz” Jones, and who is now expected to debut somewhere in the MCU’s fifth phase along with Black Panther 2, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and Captain Marvel 2.
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In fact, some fans suspect that the introduction of Blade is meant to set the stage for a supernatural-themed Avengers-style team-up with Daimon Hellstrom (who was, at one time, meant to have a show along with his sister Ana), Ghost Rider (the Robbie Reyes version of which has already appeared on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), and Werewolf By Night (who, Geeks WorldWide claimed last August, is reportedly set to appear in the MCU as well) in a story based on the Rise of the Midnight Sons event.
And with the revelation that Morbius will include a cameo by Michael Keaton’s Vulture, thereby vicariously placing Sony’s vampire film within crossover distance of the MCU, Marvel might really be gearing up to deliver that Midnight Sons project we told you about last year. Assuming, that is, that Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios can continue to play nice for their own mutual benefit, and for ours.
In any case, Blade has no release date as yet, but we’ll update you with more news as it breaks and keep you entertained along the way.