The massive Battleworld has seen unlikely teams – including Blade and Howard the Duck come up against a duck version of Dracula.
One of the best things about superhero worlds like the Marvel Universe is the breadth of characters and stories that can coexist – allowing incredibly different characters to compete against each other and even work together on occasion. This has never been so prevalent as in the Secret wars crossover, which featured many reinventions of classical figures and paired them with surprising partners.
Secret wars made for a truly bizarre turn of events – but perhaps strangest of all seemed to be the unlikely partnership between the Blade and Howard the Duck variants, who had to work together to save New Quack City from a vampiric infestation.
Secret wars saw various realities of the Marvel Multiverse – which had been increasingly shattered by the waves of destruction caused by the raids – cobbled together in a new Battleworld by Emperor Doom with divine powers. Each of these worlds became “domains” that remained under his control, full of unique variations of classic characters that might meet due to the shared nature of Battleworld. While the main Secret wars A series focused on the attempts of the last survivors of the original reality to rally the populace against Doom and find a way to restore everything, many links have sunk into these areas.
In Secret Wars: Battleworld # 2, this includes an adventure in New Quack City, which is home to sentient duck characters like Howard the Duck. In the story “A Monster So Fowl” by David F. Walker, JJ Kirby and Matt Milla, Howard finds himself confronted with a visitor to his kingdom that he doesn’t often meet: a human; or rather, a half-human-half-vampire in the form of Blade. A variant of the classic vampire hunter had made it his mission to venture through Battleworld and face the various vampires that filled the many realms, giving him the chance to further eradicate multiple versions of his classic foe. His travels eventually bring him to New Quack City.
Arriving in time to save a woman from the vampire lord Drákula, Blade’s duel with the vampiric mallard takes them straight to a bar where Howard tries to relax. Initially, Howard assumes that Blade is just attacking ducks for fun and attacking him. Howard is no match for Blade, but his mastery of Duck-Fu makes him a surprisingly formidable opponent. Unfortunately, their duel is interrupted by Drákula who summons his hordes of vampires. But luckily, they received some unexpected help in the form of this reality’s Blade – who’s also a duck and inspired by the Wesley Snipes version of the character from the turn-of-the-century film trilogy that focused on the character.
This duck variant of Blade even quotes the movies before it leaves, leaving Drákula’s skeleton to rot. As chaos sets in, Howard and Blade make amends and even decide to have a meal to celebrate – more or less becoming friends as they pass through New Quack City. Even in a setting like Battleworld, seeing a team between Howard and Blade comes as a surprise. But it’s also fitting that two of Marvel’s more mature characters have had the chance to team up, curse each other, and then work together to fight a common threat. With the help of Blades, the vampires of New Quack City have not been able to fully spread and potentially endanger other realms of Battleworld – and in the process complicate the important mission that other heroes find themselves in.
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