Sheathing the "Blade": Guggenheim Talks "Blade" Cancellation

He was able to slay his way to millions of dollars at the box office, but it seems like Eric Brooks AKA Blade can't catch a break in the four-color world. Marvel Comics announced today that the latest and longest running "Blade" series would be coming to an end as of August's issue #12. Fans of writer Marc Guggenheim needn't worry, though, as the writer has a number of projects in the works including some that involve Blade. We spoke with Guggenheim about the end of the "Blade" series and some of his other current and upcoming work.

Guggenheim gave his all on "Blade." The book received much praise, but sales ultimately determine whether or not a series continues. "Honestly, I don't know how strong the sales were," Guggenheim told CBR News.   "I wouldn't characterize them as 'god awful,' but nor would I characterize them as 'pretty well.'   End of the day, this was Marvel's call to make. They look at the numbers and they make their call.   It's their book, their company and therefore their prerogative.   With the character's publication history, I pretty much knew what the odds of a long run were going in. I'm just proud we ended up with the longest running book that had 'Blade' in the title."

The "Blade" series ends with issue #12, and fans will be glad to know the Daywalker is going out with a bang and not with a whimper. The last two issues will give Guggenheim a chance to wrap up his major storylines, including a climatic clash between Blade and his father Lucas Cross. "Their confrontation takes place in issues #11 and #12. It's really kick ass," Guggenheim remarked. "The plan was always to wrap up the major storyline by issue #12 anyway.   Issue #13 was going to launch a whole new arc. So I didn't have to compress anything."

Guggenheim wasn't a fan of Blade when he was offered the chance to pen the character's monthly adventures, but now finds he will miss writing the character. "I really loved writing him," Guggenheim confessed. "And I've particularly enjoyed bringing Hannibal King into the book.   The banter between these two guys who work together but hate each other was a lot of fun to write."

Writing Blade proved to be such an enjoyable experience for Guggenheim that the vampire hunter will play a role in some of his upcoming Marvel projects. "I'm writing 'Wolverine' #57 through #60," Guggenheim explained.   "I'm also doing at least three other projects that I can't discuss at present, but two out of those three will involve Blade. So 'Blade' the series is over, but the character is not getting rid of me that easily."

In addition to concluding "Blade," Guggenheim is currently penning the monthly adventures of Bart Allen for DC Comics in the "The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive," which he is also enjoying immensely. "I love playing in DC's sandbox," Guggenheim said. "It's a different kind of sand, but just as much fun.   Flash has been a real blast for me.   I love the character and I love the position I'm put in with writing a book that needs to make a big splash quickly."

Guggenheim also has an upcoming project involving another one of the DCU's iconic characters. "I have a five-part 'Batman Confidential' arc in the hopper," Guggenheim stated.   "It basically asks the question of why a loner like Batman would join a team like the Justice League."

"Blade" was a book that featured a loner character and Guggenheim realizes the reason it stuck around for as long as it did is because of the fans who stuck with it, and for that he's eternally grateful. "It didn't make it into Marvel's solicit, but we have a really special surprise for Blade fans in the works for that final issue," Guggenheim teased. "I hope it all comes together because it's something that's near and dear to my heart, particularly as a 'thank you' for our loyal readers."

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