For nearly fifty years, Blade has been Marvel’s foremost defender against vampires, demons, and whatever else arises in the night. In all that time, Daywalker has encountered more than his fair share of various monstrosities with plenty of variations in between. As such, it’s no surprise that he’s come across a myriad of vampires over the course of his adventures, though the fact that one, in particular, hasn’t returned is truly shocking. Not that the vampire priest Draconis was particularly popular, but his whole purpose was to be the only vampire Blade could never kill without giving in to his own inner demons.
2007 Sword #7 (by Marc Guggenheim and Howard Chaykin) found the titular vampire hunter embroiled in a shocking plot that recast his very existence. After being sought out by his long-lost biological father, Lucas Cross, Blade discovered that he was central to Cross’s plan to return his mortal souls to all the vampires in the world. Of course, Blade was less receptive to the cost of such a hellish yet tempting deal, though he still couldn’t help but fulfill his father’s dark prophecy once the vampire priest Draconis stepped out of the shadows.
Draconis was the strongest vampire I’ve ever faced
Despite having nothing to do with Cross’ plot, Draconis couldn’t have made his first appearance at a better time for Blade’s estranged father. This vampire priest was apparently born from an ancient vampire myth, one that foretold the previously unfounded power of a vampire made from someone with impossibly strong faith. Because of this and his willingness to torture himself with crucifixes, holy water, and other methods of harm that would otherwise be fatal to vampires, Draconis was effectively immune to the effects of most of Blade’s tactics.
When Daywalker ran a stake through him through the heart, Draconis revealed that this was also something he had developed an immunity to after staking himself countless times. After multiple confrontations that ended with no real resolution one way or the other, it became clear that neither Blade nor Draconis had what it would take to bring about the other’s untimely demise. At least, that was the case until Blade resorted to the one tactic he has become iconic for shying away from. By feeding on the vampiric blood of Draconis, Blade not only gave himself a terrifying killing advantage over the competition, he also reduced his foe to such a state that ripping his head from his body became an easy way to end the fight. Fight.
Draconis has faded into darkness since facing Blade
Draconis’ story may have been incredibly short-lived at just two issues, but his death came shortly before every monster the Blade had taken down was given new life thanks to Cross’ plan. This was made explicitly clear, as Draconis has yet to return. Considering how powerful the villain is, not to mention his more intriguing origin and power set, he seems like the absolutely perfect villain to take center stage against Blade, even beyond the comics.
Unfortunately, Draconis has been relegated to obscurity in the Marvel Universe. However, this does not mean that he cannot find a new life in the future, as Blade and his monstrous allies have returned to the spotlight thanks to titles like midnight suns and the MCUs werewolf at night. Both have opened the door for all manner of previously unsung Marvel heroes to become household names, and for their enemies to find their own fifteen minutes of fame again.