WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Avengers #17 by Jason Aaron, David Marquez, Erick Arciniega and VC's Clayton Cowles, on sale now.
In the latest storyline of Avengers, Earth's Mightiest Heroes found themselves in the middle of a vampire civil war. They faced off against a new and frightening enemy by the name of the Shadow Colonel, who came with his own Legion of the Unliving. The Shadow Colonel quickly set himself apart thanks to his mysterious costume and the presence of a curious creature on his shoulder.
This creature, we would come to learn, is called Boy-Thing, and it came into being after the Colonel trimmed off a piece of Man-Thing in combat. Holding the little creature prisoner, the Shadow Colonel used Boy-Thing's special powers to give him an infinite supply of wooden stakes -- something that comes in handy when one is waging a war against endless hordes of vampires.
In the latest issue of the series, however, the vampire war reaches its end -- and the Boy-Thing finds himself a new master: Blade.
In Avengers #17, the Shadow Colonel and Blade finally face off. Their battle is quite brutal, and it reaches another level when Blade rips the Colonel's right arm off, taking the Boy-Thing off him in the process. As soon as the little creature is off of his former master, it seems like Blade establishes a sort of connection with it. He starts saying that it's clear it doesn't like the Colonel -- but he's cut off before he can finish his sentence.
In retrospect, it's now apparent that the Boy-Thing didn't appreciate being used by the Shadow Colonel, and it explains why, every time we saw him in prior issues, his eyes had a sadness to them.
However, once Boy-Thing bonds with Blade, his eyes are angry, and it doesn't hesitate to supply the vampire hunter with lethal wooden stakes. After Blade uses his new (wooden) blades to relieve the Shadow Colonel of his head, the battle is won, but the war is far from over.
For that reason, Blade decides to make his Avengers membership permanent (for the time being), and he moves into the Celestial mountain. But he's not alone -- no, the Boy-Thing is now attached to him, seemingly happier than it's ever been. Surely, the little creature didn't appreciate being used by vampires, and in Blade, he has found a master who hates vampires as much as he does.
Now, Blade not only has a new kid sidekick on his shoulder, he's also got a new source of powers. As long as the Boy-Thing is at his side, the vampire hunter has an endless arsenal at his disposal -- something that just might make all the difference when Dracula makes his next move.