Marvel’s Blood Hunt Villain Revealed, Blade Red Band Coming, Jerry Bails Birthday Celebrated | Comic Book Club News For June 26, 2024

comic book club news june 26 2024

The latest issue of Blood Hunt has revealed the series’ true villain. Blade Red Band to follow up Blood Hunt. Today would have been the 91st birthday of Jerry Bails, the father of comic book fandom. All on Comic Book Club News for June 26, 2024.

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Episode Transcript:

Blood Hunt villain revealed!

Blade Red Band title coming.

It’s Jerry Bails’ birthday.

This is Comic Book Club News for June 26, 2024.

Blood Hunt Reveals Its True Villain: Varnae, The First Vampire:

Since the first issue of Marvel’s Blood Hunt revealed that Blade, the half-human vampire hunter, was behind a plot to let vampires take over the world, the general fan reaction has been: yeah, right. And as of today’s Blood Hunt #4, the true villain of the series has been revealed. Spoilers past this point.

In the issue, after raising a dark temple in the center of New York and explaining that his plan is to take all of the world’s Darkforce energy into himself, Blade also confesses that he’s not really Blade at all: he’s Varnae, the first vampire.

So, who is Varnae? And am I pronouncing that correctly? Created by Steve Perry and Steve Bissette, Varnae was first introduced in 1982 in Bizarre Adventures #33. In those original issues, he was introduced as an acolyte of Conan the Barbarian villain Thulsa Doom, as part of a cult that worshipped the Darkhold. After turning into the first vampire, he battled Conan, Red Sonja, and more, before Marvel lost the license to the property. That wasn’t a story point, it’s just a thing that happened in the real world.

Over the years, he’s appeared in 17 comics total, battling Doctor Strange among other characters. The last time Varnae was seen in the pages of Marvel Comics though was Blade: The Vampire Slayer #6 from 1994, where he possessed Blade until one of his allies blew up the villain.

And now he’s back! So there you go. Only ’90s kids will remember this one, I guess.

Blade Red Band Comic Coming From Marvel:

Following up on this reveal, post-Blood Hunt Marvel will be spinning Blade off into his own Red Band miniseries. The adults-only line has been expanding rapidly when it comes to Marvel’s more violent characters, including Werewolf By Night, and Wolverine. And now, Bryan Edward Hill and C.F. Villa will establish Blade’s post-Blood Hunt continuity with a bloody mess of a comic.

While Marvel is still being cagey about the exact plot of the title, per PR provided to Comic Book Club, “after the harrowing events of Blood Hunt, what’s left of Marvel’s most infamous vampire? Did any of the vampire within Blade survive? Did any of the man? Find out here, at the skin-searing dawn of a bloody new Blade saga!”

With only a Red Band version of the book available, chances are this will not be available digitally — only in a polybagged version in comic book stores. Blade: Red Band slashes its way into shops on October 9, 2024.

Happy Birthday To Jerry Bails, The Father Of Comic Book Fandom:

Today would have been the 91st birthday of Jerry Bails, so happy birthday, Jerry Bails! But who is Jerry Bails? And why are we celebrating him? Well, without Bails we all wouldn’t be here, listening to this podcast, because Bails is considered the father of modern comic book fandom.

Born in 1933 in Kansas City, Missouri, Bails was a fan of comic books from a young age — particularly DC’s All-Star Comics. From there, he would frequently write into letters pages, and correspond with editors and other creatives. He even would sometimes write in under multiple pen names, mailing letters from different locations to dominate the letters page.

While multiple fanzines were already in publication before Bails began his own, his study of what he called “panelology” led to the publication of a zine called Alter-Ego, then The Comicollector, and On the Drawing Board, the latter of which morphed into The Comic Reader, one of the high standards for comic book reporting in the ’80s.

Bails also created one of the first legitimate comics awards shows, called The Alleys after Alter-Ego, and launched what might be the first comic convention, called the Alley Tally, which was held at his house.

He spent most of his life figuring out new and innovative ways to analyze and categorize comics. And while both the zine scene and comic book reporting have changed dramatically, it wouldn’t have had the initial shape it did without Bails. So thanks, Jerry, and happy birthday!

For Comic Book Club News, I’m Alex Zalben. And I invented comic book podcasts, I think?

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