While She-Hulk episode 7 didn’t deliver the Daredevil cameo fans imagined it would, it did manage to deliver the unexpected by connecting to the MCU’s upcoming Blade movie and showing the importance of Werewolf by Night.
Titled “Just Jen,” this week Jen was forced to take a silent retreat at Emil Blonsky’s health and wellness center where she was introduced to a group of quirky characters. At first glance, it’s easy to classify them as Marvel’s D-list, but it turns out they may serve a purpose that fits into the larger picture Marvel Studios is trying to create. A picture that is tied to a vampire movie, a 1940’s horror fest presentation and mutants.
Porcupine, Man-Bull, and El Aguila all have a deep, rich history in the Marvel comics that stretches beyond a cameo planted for laughs, and the introduction of Saracen, the moody goth guy who believes he’s a vampire and just might open the floodgates to Eric Brooks aka Blade.
In Marvel Comics, Man-Bull, aka William Taurens, was transformed by his former boss Mr. Kline, after Daredevil stopped him from kidnapping people off the street to be Kline’s test subjects. El Aguila is a mutant who has been an adversary to both Iron Fist and Power Man. Then there’s Porcupine, of which there have been three versions of the classic Ant-Man villain throughout the years. But it was Saracen’s cameo that raised a lot of eyebrows.
During Jen’s therapy session with the group, it’s explained that Saracen “thinks” he’s a vampire. Even though there’s no confirmation of his vitals, Saracen is more than willing to suck someone’s blood. Seems like Jen would have been safer around Saracen than Josh (but that’s for another story).
People also collectively lost their minds when Saracen mentions his father. Could Saracen be Blade’s son? Gasp! No, not all black people lookalike or are related. But…Marvel Studios is known to pivot away from the comics ( Thor: Love and Thunder). For now, Saracen is not Blade’s son, because in the comics, Blade’s only known child is his daughter.
Cue Papa Was a Rolling Stone!
First appearing in 1999’s Blade: Vampire Hunter #1, Saracen is a mercenary who fights the Punisher but is also one of the first vampires to roam the Earth; belonging to a group of other ancient vampires known as the Ancient, alongside Nosferatu, Verdelet, Maracen, Lamia, and his servant Boy.
In other comic books, Saracen lived in Rome, beneath the Vatican and has an ancient demonic servant, Reaper. Saracen has the same powers and abilities as traditional vampires and loves to casually snack on people while summoning Reaper to do his bidding, something Blade detested, which led to many fights and feuds.
Knowing there’s a new Blade with Mahershala Ali on the way (even if it’s delayed) to the MCU is exciting. A half-hour office comedy is slowly starting to prove itself as Marvel Studios continues to lay the groundwork for Blade’s appearance from a voice cameo in Eternals to maybe or maybe not Blade’s son in She-Hulk. This is cinema.
One could argue vampires were always there, lurking in the corner, hidden away in the shadows (or daylight, since Saracen was not affected) where no one had encountered them.
While Saracen might be the first vampire to appear in the MCU, thereby setting up Blade’s imminent arrival, this technically isn’t the first time She-Hulk introduced the idea of vampires.
She-Hulk episode six, titled “Just Jen,” included Mister Immortal, a Great Lakes Avenger from the comics who dated Baroness Cromwell aka Lily Cromwell from Werewolf by Night. Due to Mr. Immortal’s healing abilities, it’s hard to know just how old he is (unless you count the countless women he married or dated), and its possible vampires already exist in the MCU…which brings us back to Blade as he could similarly operate in an Earth-based realm that is hidden from view.
Baroness Cromwell / Lily Cromwell is a woman of many titles, but in the beginning, she was an innocent person born to Dr. Jacob Cromwell. It was because of her father she was introduced to the world of blood and vampires. Under Lily soon finds herself a vampire under Dracula’s control, (we’ll keep the events spoiler-free in case Werewolf by Night uses this origin story).
Kevin Feige revealed a featurette for the inaugural Marvel Studios Special Presentation of Werewolf by Night isn’t just a random thematic special but will play a larger role in the grand scheme of the MCU. In fact, he notes, going forward, it will prove increasingly important to the overall narrative. “We’re introducing a world that will ultimately become quite important to the future of the MCU,” Feige said.
Werewolf by Night is an exploration of new characters and a corner of the MCU that has only been touched a small handful of times in other recent Disney+ projects like, WandaVision, Moon Knight, Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness and What If…?‘s Zombies episode. The introduction of Baroness Blood in the coming weeks further explores themes of magic, horror and darker tones in the MCU.
Baroness Blood could possibly be a larger threat. The events of Werewolf by Night can’t be contained and, according to Kevin Feige, the events and characters introduced will play a larger role in the grand scheme of the MCU and its overall narrative. I’m looking at you, Dane Whitman!
Disney+’s Werewolf by Night will premiere on October 7th and Blade will premiere whenever Feige can allegedly find someone who writes a script longer 90 pages with more than two lackluster fight scenes.
Save us, Beau DeMayo!