Everything we expected about Marvel's Blood Hunt event just got turned upside down by the shocking reveal of its secret villain

Blood Hunt #1 interior art
(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Blood Hunt is officially here, and while the first issue of the much anticipated (and massive) Marvel summer event delivers on its promised vampire invasion and subsequent bloodshed, it also includes a final reveal so shocking it may have some Marvel fans in disbelief.

Because Blood Hunt has a secret villain at its heart, pulling the strings of the vampires - and who it is may turn everything we expected about Blood Hunt on its head.

Spoilers ahead for Blood Hunt #1

Blood Hunt #1 by writer Jed MacKay, artist Pepe Larraz, color artist Marte Gracia, and letterer Cory Petit opens with a countdown to something called "Sundeath" - an event that turns out to be exactly what it sounds like. 

Across the Earth, numerous heroes and villains with the power to manipulate darkness including Cloak of Cloak & Dagger, Blackout, Darkstar, Dusk, Shroud, and Silhouette are suddenly transformed into living portals to the Darkforce Dimension, a realm of pure, tangible darkness which stretches across the sky, blotting out the sun and trapping the world in endless night.

This creates, as you may imagine, the perfect moment for a huge force of vampires to start invading different cities across the Earth. While some heroes work to fight them off, others, such as Scarlet Witch and Iron Man, try to determine whether magic or science may have a way to close the Darkforce portals.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Down in New York City, which becomes the heart of the vampire invasion, Blade begins to mount a response to the vampire invasion. He meets with Miles Morales, tasking him with an unrevealed mission. He then makes contact with the Avengers, asking them to meet him in their orbital headquarters, the Impossible City, as he has a plan to deal with the vampires.

But when Blade's van is transported in, he's not in it - instead, it's the Bloodcoven, the crossover's previously revealed new all-vampire villain team.

They manage to use their strange and unpredictable powers to capture the Avengers, with only Sam Wilson/Captain America escaping the Impossible City, which is also locked down by the vampires.

Back on Earth, Blade resurfaces at Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum, where Strange and Clea are researching a spell that, if cast, could destroy all vampires. Blade balks at Strange's willingness to commit vampire genocide, explaining that the vampires have a new leadership council known as the Structure, and there's a new leader at the top.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

No, it's not Dracula, as Strange and others speculate throughout the issue…

It's Blade.

Blade is the actual villain of Blood Hunt, and the architect of the vampire conquest of the Earth.

And before Strange can even react to the revelation that his old ally and staunch vampire killer Blade is now leading the very bloodsuckers he once made it his mission to slay, Blade stabs Strange through the chest, seemingly mortally wounding him.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

The story picks up in May 4's Free Comic Book Day Blood Hunt special, and then in Blood Hunt #2 on May 22.

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George Marston

I've been Newsarama's resident Marvel Comics expert and general comic book historian since 2011. I've also been the on-site reporter at most major comic conventions such as Comic-Con International: San Diego, New York Comic Con, and C2E2. Outside of comic journalism, I am the artist of many weird pictures, and the guitarist of many heavy riffs. (They/Them)