Before I begin this opinion essay, I must provide a warning/disclaimer as a public service announcement. I am not, repeat, not a licensed mental health professional. These are just my observations based on media, personal experience, and written published content. I am in no way, shape or form an expert in diagnosing anyone. I like comics. FInding relationship comparisons with real world people of a certain demographic is a novel way to pass the time instead of going to a comic con. So without further adieu, on to the show….
Many people are familiar with the Movie and television adaptation of Blade. This compariasion is focused on the comic book version. It provides more context versus the screen versions. Blade’s birth name was Eric Brooks and he was born of a prostitute in 1929 in a Soho whorehouse of London, England. His mother Tara Brooks worked at Madame Vanity’s Brothel. When Tara experienced severe labor complications, a doctor was summoned. This doctor was actually a vampire named Deacon Frost who decided to feast on Eric’s mother killing her in the process. However, this inadvertently passed along certain vampiric enzymes to the infant, resulting in Eric’s quasi-vampiric abilities, including a greatly prolonged lifespan and the ability to sense supernatural creatures, as well as an immunity to complete vampirism. Tara’s fellow prostitutes drove off Frost before the infant could be killed as well.
Eric grew up living at Madame Vanity’s. At the age of nine, he returned home from school one December and saw an old man being attacked by three vampires. Eric helped Jamal Afari, an old man who used a silver cane to kill the vampires and fight off the attackers. The jazz trumpeter and vampire hunter then moved into Madame Vanity’s and trained the young Eric in both music and combat. Eric was soon able to defeat many of the weak, younger vampires that he and Afari found in abundance. Eric became an Olympic-level athlete and a formidable hand-to-hand combatant, with an expertise in edged weapons such as knives and daggers so notable that it earned him the nickname “Blade” among both his fellow hunters and the vampires they opposed who began to fear the young hunter.
From birth Blade has known nothing but trauma. Both his mother and father figure (identify father figure for your non comic book readers) were violently murdered. Being half human, half vampire he was rejected by both sides of his heritage. Both either wanted to kill him or didn’t want anything to do with him. To paraphrase The Color Purple, “all his life he’s had to fight.” He was driven and motivated by vengeance. Despite his hatred for vampires which led to hunting and killing them, he rejected his vampire side. Suppressing the thirst for blood like an addict. Many would sympathize, citing his hatred stems from his mother’s death.
To me, Blade is the epitome of a biracial person. Regardless of the ethnic composition of the parents, biracial people often struggle with fitting into the society of both sides and having their own identity that coexists with both sides. This is especially apparent when the ethnic group is homogeneous with minimal diversity within the community. The duality of their identity turns into a form of ethnic betrayal and rejection from the community. So how does a biracial person find their place in a society where both sides reject the other?
Take Away/ Conclusion
Even though the number of bi and multiracial people are increasing, there is still a struggle in accepting the cultural identities of both parental heritages. While diverse countries such as the United States are socially acceptant of biracial cultures. Racism and just plain ignorance still plagues the country and forces the biracial person to identify with the ethic side that is more dominant. While Blade has only known trauma since birth, those who admire and fear him see him as the ultimate weapon — the daywalker with all the strengths of both races, with few to none of their individual weaknesses. In that vein, multiculturalism will allow mankind to transcend the limitations — genetic, cultural, and otherwise — that otherwise limit human potential. Another powerful lesson learned from the beautiful allegory of a comic book.