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Blade, the Vampire Hunter is the ninth episode of season two and it introduces the half-human, half-vampire known as Blade who helps Spider-Man track down Morbius. This episode also introduces Blade's mother, Miriam, in a flashback. Miriam would be brought back later in the series as a villain

Plot

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As Spider-Man web swings through New York City he says that Mariah Crawford was able to reverse his mutation but has not been cured. On the streets below a man on a motorcycle dressed in black leather reads a Daily Bugle newspaper with an article titled Spider-Man A Vampire? As the man crumbles up the newspaper and throws it on the ground he drives off. Meanwhile at a local park a man who is jogging hears someone call for help. As the man walks over to the bushes Michael Morbius leaps out and drains his blood. Spider-Man quickly arrives and tells Morbius that he must not give in to his hunger for blood or else he can not help him. However, Morbius ignores what Spider-Man says and Morbius picks up Spider-Man and throws him into a tree. Morbius then flies into the air and lands on top of Spider-Man. Feeding on blood has made Morbius stronger and Morbius picks Spider-Man up and throws him onto a nearby rooftop. As Morbius flies onto the roof he and Spider-Man fight. Seconds later the mysterious leather clad man drives his motorcycle onto the roof and throws a grenade which releases a gas. The gas immobilizes Morbius and the man goes up to him and attempts to kill him with a sword. However, Morbius is able to get away. The man then follows Morbius and is even able to drive his motorcycle up the side of a building. The man then fires a hook from the front of his motorcycle which pins Morbius to the wall. As he is about to kill Morbius, Spider-Man arrives and stops him. This gives Morbius enough time to get away.
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The man then fires a garlic gas at Spider-Man. However, the man is shocked when he discovers that Spider-Man is still able to breath. The man in leather says that if he was a vampire exposure to the garlic would have suffocated him. As Spider-Man tries to get answers out of the man his eyes turn red and he picks Spider-Man up and throws him against a wall and drives off. However, Spider-Man is able to place a spider tracer on the motorcycle. Spider-Man's sides then begin to hurt and realizes that his mutation disease is causing him pain. Spider-Man then goes to see Dr. Curt Connors. From afar Morbius watches the mysterious man ride away on his motorcycle and wonders who he is.
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A short time later Debra Whitman gives a description of the creature that attacked her at Empire State University. When the police sketch artist is done he hands his drawing to Terri Lee.

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Spider-Man then arrives at ESU and Curt Connors exposes him to radiation from the Neogenic Recombinator which stops the pain and stops Spider-Man from mutation into the Man-Spider. Dr. Connors then tells Spider-Man that he must do this every twenty-four hours or else he will mutate into the Man-Spider again. Curt also tells Spider-Man that ESU has been getting worried about the dangers of genetic research but he has put more security around the Neogenic Recombinator. Spider-Man then asks if the Neogenics lab will be shut down. Curt then answers that the lab won't be shut down if he gets the grant from the Toomes Foundation.

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As Spider-Man leaves ESU he swings through the city and sees another one of Morbius' victims being taken to the hospital. As the crowd sees Spider-Man they believe he was the one that did this and they began to throw rocks at him. As Spider-Man web wings away he spots Morbius and tackles him. Spider-Man tells Morbius that he can help him find a cure. However, Morbius replies that he now likes being a vampire because he is now immortal. As Morbius drains Spider-Man's blood he is once again attacked by the man on the motorcycle. Morbius then asks who he is and what he wants with him. The man then introduces himself as Blade and says that he wants to kill Morbius. Morbius then picks up a empty oil drum and he throws it at Blade. However, Blade slices it in half with his laser sword. As Morbius attacks Blade, Spider-Man recovers from the blood drain and stops Blade from killing Morbius. Morbius is then able to escape. Spider-Man then tells Blade that he must cure Morbius because he was the one that turned him into a vampire. However, Blade sees Spider-Man as a threat because he created a vampire. Blade then throws Spider-Man over the side of the building but Spider-Man attaches a web line to the roof to keep him from falling. However, Blade uses his sword to cut the web line and Spider-Man begins to fall toward the ground. However, Spider-Man's fall is slowed down when he hits an awning.As the police once again try to arrest Spider-Man he is able to get away. Spider-Man then realizes that he needs help capturing Morbius and he looks at his GPS to find the location of the spider tracer he planted on Blade's motorcycle.

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As Blade returns to his hideout he talks with his friend and armorer, Abraham Whistler about Morbius' attacks at Empire State University and how Spider-Man told him that he created the vampire. As Spider-Man arrives Blade tackles him. However, Spider-Man is able to trap Blade in his webbing. Blade then cuts himself free and grabs Spider-Man but Whistler stops Blade and tells him that Spider-Man might be able to answer their questions. Whistler then convinces Blade to go work on his motorcycle. Whistler then tells Spider-Man that he and Blade are vampire hunters. Whistler goes on to tell Spider-Man, Blade's story. Whistler says that Blade is the child of a vampire man and a human woman. Blade's mother was later turned into a vampire against her will and she gave Blade up for adoption to spare him from her dark world. As a child Blade ran away from the orphanage and discovered that he was half human and half vampire. Whistler goes on to say that he found Blade living on the streets and he took him in and trained him to be a vampire hunter. Spider-Man then mentions that Morbius was turned into a vampire by a device called the Neogenic Recombinator. Upon learning that this machine can turn people into vampires Blade demands to known where it is so that he can destroy it. However, Spider-Man refuses to tell him. This makes Blade angry and he tries to kill Spider-Man. However, Whistler saves Spider-Man and he is able to get away. Whistler says that maybe they could use the device to turn Blade back into a normal human. However, Blade refuses. As Blade and Whistler leave the room Spider-Man grabs a vile of the garlic gas and takes it with him.

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As Peter Parker returns home he examines the garlic gas through a microscope. At that moment Aunt May walks in and tells Peter that Mary Jane is on the phone and wants to talk to him. Peter then thinks to himself that he has been dreading seeing Mary Jane because of the way she reacted when he was Man-Spider and that he is afraid to bring that monster into her life again. As Peter answers the phone Mary Jane tells him that the police want to meet at Empire State University with friends of the victims of the blood draining disease. Peter then thinks that he could get a clue to where Morbius is and tells Mary Jane that he will meet her there.

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As Peter arrives at ESU he, Mary Jane, Felicia Hardy, and Harry Osborn listen to Terri Lee talk about how she thinks Morbius's disappearance, the blood draining disease, and Spider-Man are all somehow connected. Terri Lee then walks up to Peter and asks where she can find him Spider-Man. Lt. Lee believes that since Peter is always able to pictures of Spider-Man he knows where he is. Peter answers that he doesn't know where to find Spider-Man. However, Terri Lee believes that he is just protecting his income. Terri Lee then walks up to Felicia Hardy and says that she knows they dated before she met Michael Morbius. Terri Lee then says that Peter seems to be benefiting from Morbius disappearance because now Felicia is single again. Felicia then runs out of the room saddened by what she has heard and Peter follows her. However, Peter is stopped by Terri Lee who says that she isn't finished talking to him. Peter then says that legally he doesn't have to stay and walks out. As Peter walks up to Felicia he comforts her. From afar Mary Jane watches as Peter embraces Felicia and gets jealous. Harry Osborn then walks out and Mary Jane asks him to go to dinner with her. Harry agrees and they walk off together. Unknown to Peter of Felicia, Morbius is watching them from a tree. Morbius watches as Peter and Felicia hug and he says that he will kill him. However, Morbius looks at his reflection in a window and sees his terrifying vampire appearance and decides that Felicia can not see him like that. 

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Morbius then breaks into the ESU Neogenics lab and steals the Neogenic Recombinator. However, as Morbius flies to the roof of a building he is confronted by Blade who uses a light on his motorcycle that produces artificial sunlight to weaken Morbius. However, Morbius picks up a nearby brick and throws it at the light and breaks it. Morbius is able to overpower Blade and Morbius uses Blade's own weapons against him. Morbius then picks Blade up and he flies into the air. Morbius then reveals that he plans to use the Neogenic Recombinator to turn everyone in the world into vampires. Morbius then drops Blade into a smokestack but Spider-Man arrives webbs up Morbius and rescues Blade. Morbius then breaks free of the web and flies away. As Spider-Man and Blade catch up with him Morbius picks up the Neogenic Recombinator and flies off. Blade notices that Spider-Man's webbing held Morbius longer than before and Spider-Man tells Blade that he mixed garlic gas into his web fluid. Blade then tells Spider-Man that he has a lot to learn about catching vampires and that he will teach him a few tricks. Spider-Man is reluctant to work with Blade but realizes that to keep him from turning back into the Man-Spider he must recover the Neogenic Recombinator. Blade and Spider-Man then start their search for Morbius.

Cast

Actor Role
Christopher Daniel Barnes Spider-Man / Peter Parker
J.D. Hall Blade
Malcolm McDowell Abraham Whistler
Nick Jameson Michael Morbius
Linda Gary May Parker
Liz Georges Debra Whitman
Dawnn Lewis Terri Lee
Sara Ballantine Mary Jane Watson
Jennifer Hale Felicia Hardy
Gary Imhoff Harry Osborn
John F. Beard Newscaster
Joseph Campanella Curt Connors
Jim Cummings Man-Spider

Cameos

Locations

  • Louisiana
  • New Orleans Orphange

Items

Continuity

  • At the beginning of the episode Spider-Man says that Mariah Crawford was able to reverse his Man-Spider mutation. This happened at the end of the last episode.
  • When Spider-Man first fights Blade, Spider-Man says "Great, another weirdo with an arsenal." This is a reference to Spider-Man fighting Punisher in the previous two episodes.
  • Morbius draining Flash Thompson of blood is mentioned. This happened in Duel of the Hunters.
  • Curt Connors briefly alludes to when Herbert Landon transformed into a giant mutant monster. This happened in the episode Mutants' Revenge.
  • Peter Parker mentions Mary Jane being scared after seeing him as the Man-Spider. This happened in Duel of the Hunters.

Trivia

  • The word blood is used several times in this episode. Usually the word blood was replaced with plasma because of the censorship put on this series by the television network.
  • John Semper Jr. wanted used Blade because he wanted an African American superhero to appear on Spider-Man: The Animated Series.
  • After John Semper Jr. was finished writing the script for this episode Avi Arad read it and then gave the script to screenwriter, director, and producer, David S. Goyer. After reading the script for Blade, the Vampire Hunter, Goyer wrote a script for a movie adaptation of Blade. The Blade movie was released two years later in 1998 and it starred Wesley Snipes as Blade.
  • John Semper Jr. has stated that he feels that if he had not brought Blade to the attention of Avi Arad then there may not have been a Blade movie.
  • The character Abraham Whistler was created by David S. Goyer for the 1998 Blade movie. When John Semper Jr. learned of Whistler he rewrote the script for Blade, the Vampire Hunter to include the character.
  • Blade's clothes in this episode are designed after what he wore in the Nightstalkers comic book series.
  • Blade says that his garlic was made from a plant in the allium family. Allium plants include garlic, leek, and chives.
  • The license plate on Blade's motorcycle reads BLD-20.
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  • At the theater that Blade uses as his base the 1958 movie, Dracula is playing. This movie starred Christopher Lee as Count Dracula, Peter Cushing (who is best known for playing Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars: A New Hope), and Michael Gough (who is best known for playing Alfred Pennyworth in the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher, Batman movies). The movie was directed by Terence Fisher.
  • The theater sign wrongly spells the directors name as Tfrrence Fisher.
  • Dracula was an actual villain in Marvel Comics. He often fought Blade in the comics book series The Tomb of Dracula.
  • During the episode Whistler referrers to vampires as Nosferatu. Nosferatu is a word of undetermined origin from Romania. It traditionally stands for vampire. Nosferatu was also used as the title of the very first vampire movie, Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror which was released in 1922.
  • After Whistler says Nosferatu, Spider-Man asks if that is the name of a German rock band. Nosferatu is a real life rock band that was formed in 1988. The band played gothic rock music.
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  • One of the kids that picks on Blade in Whistler's memories looks like a young Peter Parker. The bully has short brown hair and wears a green shirt with a white and purple stripe which is just like the clothes that the adult Peter Parker wears. However, this more then likely was just an animation mistake and is not meant to really be a young Peter Parker.
  • When Spider-Man saves Blade from Morbius, Spider-Man says "Spidey's first rule of vampire hunting, never let 'em see ya sweat." Never let 'em see ya sweat was the slogan for the Dry Idea deodorant. 

Episode review

A review by Amazing Spidey from Marvel Animaton Age

The whole Morbius angle was wearing a little thin at this point for me personally, and the introduction of a new character didn't really help it at all. This was the pre-Wesley Snipes Blade film, BTW, so he hadn't quite defined cool yet. If you're watching this episode expecting a cartoon version of Snipes, you're out of luck.

The mutation angle was still kicking in, however it shifted back to Dr. Conners rather than Dr. Crawford, which I personally liked, The Lizard's alter ego is a far better character than Kraven's main squeeze. It also helped convert the story back to Neogenics which allowed Morbius to play a greater part. Again, the censors made Blade a pretty useless character. He could barely use his sword or act violent in anyway. He resorted to fancy lasers and garlic bombs. His bike was cool and they got a great voice in J.D. Hall, as well as the excellent Malcolm McDowellas Whistler, but at this point in the series, I felt I had seen far too much of Morbius and his embarrassingly bad plasma draining motives. FOX made it clear they wern't allowing vampires on their network. Even Batman wasn't allowed to do vampires properly and that show got away with 1000 times more than Semper was allowed to.

Again, I still thought Morbius was overexposed in this show. The next episode unfortunaly suffers from the same fate as this one. They really should've ended the Morbius saga after he was hit by sunlight in his first episode [1].

Quotes

"Dr. Crawford reversed my mutation but she didn't cure me."

-Spider-Man

"I can transform into the Man-Spider at any time. Doc Connors said he's found a way to control my problem. I sure hope he's right."

-Spider-Man

"Morbius, stop giving into this blood lust! You have to or I can't help you!"

-Spider-Man

"Where'd that flying blood bank go too?"

-Spider-Man

"The cries of the nightstalker are like music to my ears."

-Blade

"Who's the samurai on the chopper?"

-Spider-Man

"That sword swinging biker wants to destroy Morbius! I can't let him do it!"

-Spider-Man

"Great, another weirdo with an arsenal."

-Spider-Man

"Garlic? You sprayed me with garlic! Are you some kind of nut?"

-Spider-Man

"He's got fangs too. There a vampire convention in town?"

-Spider-Man

"Who are you my dangerous friend? You know weaknesses of mine which I am unaware."

-Michael Morbius

"That's it. He looked like a vampire."

"A vampire? Great. I need this like Spider-Man needs vitamins."

-Debra Whitman & Terri Lee

"Remember, you must get these Neogenic treatments every twenty four hours or you'll mutate again."

"No problem. Just remind me next time to bring my sun block."

-Curt Connors & Spider-Man

"It's surprising how quickly the public will turn on you when they think your a blood draining monster."

-Spider-Man

"Something tells me they don't want my autograph."

-Spider-Man talking about two police officers that attempted to capture him

"Listen to me Michael. You have to end this nightmare. I can help."

"I don't want your help! When I awoke this evening I felt different. I like this life now. I can not be hurt, can not be destroyed. I am immortal!" I have no desire to be turned back into a pitiful human. Now I am so much more then human. I am the king of the night!"

-Spider-Man & Michael Morbius

"You again! Who are you! What do you want with me?"

"Call me Blade, and all I want vampire is to destroy you!"

-Michael Morbius & Blade

"You created that creature? And now you want to save him after all he's done!"

"He didn't want to be one."

"He must be destroyed. . . and so must you! I won't make the mistake of letting you live this time!"

-Blade & Spider-Man

"Don't touch him! He might have spider cooties."

-Bystander

"Can I get your autograph? If you get the chair it'll be worth a fortune. Hu, fame it always goes to their heads."

-Civilian

"Hard to admit but I can't do this alone. I need help. But can I trust a vampire hunter to help me?"

-Spider-Man

"You must be calm. Weather we defeat the enemy in one battle or by degrees the consequences will be the same."

"This vampire is different. Spider-Man told me he created it. How is that possible?"

"Many things are possible. As much as we have learned Blade we are still charting a course through darkness."

"All the attacks have occured near Empire State University. Why Whistler?"

(Spider-Man arrives at Blade's hideout.)

"Well maybe he just likes the cafeteria food."

-Whistler, Blade, & Spider-Man

"Forgive Blade if he's not very social. We have worked by ourselves for a long time."

"Your work, what is it you do? Are you garlic wholesalers?"

"Blade and I are vampire hunters."

"Vampire hunters?"

"There's always been a dedicated cadre of people who hunt nosferatu."

"Nosferatu? Isn't that the name of a German rock band?"

"No no. It's an ancient term for vampire. In my youth I was trained to fight them and now I pass those traditions on to Blade. He is the son of a vampire man who fell in love with a human woman. His mother was later turned into nosferatu against her will. But she wanted Blade spared from her dark world. It was her final act of love. Blade ran off and soon discovered that he was blessed or cursed by being part vampire. But not all vampire. The transformation was not total. He has the quickness, the strength, the agility but is unaffected by sun lightand and he is immune to the venom of his blood sucking brethren. Now he aches to destroy all those who condemened him to a life as a freak of nature, and he yearns to find his mother again."

"I know what it means to be different. It's not an easy thing."

"I found Blade and I raised him. I focused his anger to where it belonged, protecting innocent people from the vampire scourge. He can match any nosferatu in a way no human ever could."

"Are you saying there are more vampires out there?"

"Every country in the world has those who carry the mutant gene responsible for this disease."

-Whistler & Spider-Man

"You must show me where that machine is. I have to destroy it!"

"Wait a minute fang face. I need it to make Morbius human again."

-Blade & Spider-Man

"Telephone Peter. It's Mary Jane."

"Oh thanks Aunt May. No I've been dreading this."

"Ah young love."

"She looked at me with such horror when I was Man-Spider. I'm affraid to ever bring that monster into her life again."

-May Parker & Peter Parker

"I feel terrible. It was my blood that turned him into a vampire."

-Peter Parker

"This is a game you can not win Mr. Parker. I will drain away the very marrow of your being. No! Felicia can not see me this way."

-Michael Morbius

"How does it feel Morbius? It's only artificial sunlight but it'll do the job. I only planned to destroy the Recombinator. How fortunate I get to destroy you as well."

-Blade

"You have underestimated my power!"

-Michael Morbius

"I have fed well tonight. I am now stronger then you and Spider-Man combined!"

"There are others like me Morbius! You will never be safe!"

"And soon thanks to the Recombinator there will be many more like me! The whole world will become vampires! You and your kind will be the freaks, the hunted!"

-Michael Morbius & Blade

"Spidey's first rule of vampire hunting, never let 'em see ya sweat."

-Spider-Man

"Your webbing almost held him this time."

"I borrowed some vampire repellent gas from you and mixed it into my webbing. But I watered it down because I want Morbius alive. I thought it would hold him a little longer."

"Good try Spider-Man but you've got a lot to learn about catching vampires. It's time I taught you a few tricks."

"I have no choice but to work with this hunter. I have to get that Recombinator back. My life depends on it."

"Stay alert web slinger! It's gonna be a long night!"

-Blade & Spider-Man

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