Back in 2015, when the All-New, All-Different Marvel books were being announced, there was one that was written by Tim Seeley and drawn by Logan Faebar: Blade the Hunter. This book would not just focus on Blade, but also his daughter, Fallon Grey, and her experience fighting vampires in high school.
Tim Seeley: [Laughs] it feels like those twelve years of writing teenage girls fighting monsters is finally being recognized. It’s like Marvel is saying, “Congratulations on your double PHD in ‘Adolescent Female Angst and Monster Stabbery.’ Have a job!”
However, the All-New, All-Different Marvel books came and then went without any mention of the all-new Blade book. New Marvel book after Marvel book came out and there was still no announcement. Even when the Marvel NOW! books were announced, with long awaited books like Gamora and CAGE!, there was nothing about Blade the Hunter.
Until recently, that is: now that Tim Seeley has signed an exclusive contract with DC Comics, he’s free to say what happened to the book:
Nrama: You mentioned that the DC exclusive contract disallows working for Marvel, but we talked last year about the relaunched Blade series. What all happened there?
Seeley: The short story is I quit. The long story is when Marvel hired me, I had just written ten years of a horror comic starring a female lead so I seemed like a good fit. So we threw around ideas of doing Blade’s daughter and when they announced it, Marvel was in a weird place because they had announced the hip-hop covers and a lot of people saw “here’s another black lead with an all-white creative team” and you know it’s valid and definitely the case. Once the announcement hit, it was just one bad week. I kinda felt that it was completely fair and never something we hadn’t considered, but everybody at Marvel was totally cool about it and wanted to find a way to make it work. After a while, I felt like it was me screwing this up. I couldn’t help but feel like a black woman might write this stuff better than me and saved them from me. In the wake of Black Panther launching so well, maybe Blade is the book they find new talent on.
Seeley’s answer is refreshing honest: he quit because he felt he couldn’t write the book as well as it should be written and felt a black female writer could do it better.
As for having any black female writers, at the time that ANAD Marvel was announced, there had been no black female writers for Marvel at all. Marvel is obviously trying to diversify their lineup of characters, but their lineup of writers stayed almost the same, with only a few new additions. It’s only with the upcoming book Black Panther: World of Wakanda that Marvel is getting two black female writers, Roxane Gay and Yona Harvey. But it should be noted that both of those are famous prose writers that are writing their very first comics for Marvel, rather than comic book writers that happen to be black women.
I hope we get a new Blade book soon, because Seeley’s idea wasn’t a bad one. I wouldn’t even have minded reading the book if he wrote it. But allowing a black female comic creator to write the series is an even better one.