ORJI JONES

Real Name: Orji Jones

Identity/Class: Human warrior (pre-modern era)

Occupation: Vampire hunter

Group Membership: Led a band of vampire hunters (Blade (Eric Brooks), Azu M'Dammen, Musenda, Ogun Strong)

Affiliations: Blade (Eric Brooks), Azu M'Dammen, Musenda, Ogun Strong

EnemiesDracula, Kuai Hua and her handmaidens

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    formerly China

First Appearance: Tomb of Dracula I#30 (1975)

Powers/Abilities: Orji Jones was an experienced vampire hunter. His particular area of specialty was in the use of wooden (teak) knives.

History:
(
Blade III#11 (fb) - BTS) - Orji Jones formed a group of vampire-hunters of some experience, including himself, Azu M'Dammen, Musenda, and Ogun Strong.

(Blade III#11 (fb) - BTS) - Over the years, Eric Brooks worked his way up the vampire food chain, eventually learning that Dracula was in China.

(Blade III#11 (fb)) - In China, Eric Brooks encountered Orji Jones and his vampire hunters. When challenged, Orji and Musenda threw a pair of wooden knives at Blade who caught them in mid-air and then caught Ogun and Musenda off guard and put the knives to their throat. Impressed with Brooks' use of blades, Orji suggested that they call him Blade from now on.

(Tomb of Dracula I#30) - Orji encouraged the other vampire hunters to adopt his wooden knives as weapons.

(Tomb of Dracula I#30 (fb)) <Late 1968> - Blade met with Dracula, telling him he represented a group of people who realized that vampires were destined to overrun humanity within 60 years and wanted to become vampire assistants -- "day watchmen," preparing things for vampires while they slept -- in order to have their lives spared.  Dracula was initially suspicious, but when Blade told him his people could speed up the vampire timetable 10 years, Dracula agreed to met with his group. Certain he had nothing to lose as the people could pose no threat to him, Dracula followed Blade to a campsite within a cave. As soon as he entered, Dracula was stabbed with a wooden blade, and Blade revealed that the help he was offering was to help him die. Dracula smashed Blade against a wall, but then Ogun tackled him, and Orji tossed Ogun one of his wooden knives, which Ogun used to stake Dracula, destroying him.
    Musenda was impressed with Orji's wooden blades, and Blade noted that he would try them in the future.

(Tomb of Dracula I#30 (fb) - BTS) - Unbeknownst to the vampire-hunters, in Dracula's final moments he psychically summoned Kuai Hua and her handmaidens. After the hunters went out to prepare a grave for Dracula, Kuai Hua and her handmaidens arrived and removed the stake, reviving Dracula. Dracula waited in the dark cave for the vampire-hunters to return.

(Blade III#12 (fb) - BTS) - (Possibly) Musenda and Ogun fell before Dracula.

(Blade III#12 (fb)) - Dracula hurled one of Orji's wooden knives into his chest, then grabbed Blade's hand and shoved his wooden knife into (possibly) Azu's chest.
    Thirty seconds after the battle had started, only Dracula and Blade remained standing. Dracula then decided to leave Blade alive, knowing that living with this knowledge would be torture for him. Dracula further instructed him that one day Blade would be in a position to spare his life and that honor would require that he would spare him.

(Tomb of Dracula I#30 (fb) - BTS) - Two of the vampire hunters died that night in battle with Dracula.

(Blade III#12 (fb)) - Blade honored his former comrades by taking up some of their equipment as his own: Ogun's wrist band, Musenda's boots, Azu's belt, and Orji's wooden daggers (as well as his mentor, Jamal Afari's sunglasses).

Comments: Created by Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan, and Tom Palmer.

    In the original stories, Orji's band of vampire hunters were said to have encountered Dracula in late 1968. That would initially seem like a likely topical reference, meaning that it was just two years before Tomb of Dracula I#1, but since Blade and Dracula are effectively immortal, there's no real reason it couldn't have happened in 1968 at a fixed point in time. That would make Musenda much older than he appeared in Tomb of Dracula I#58, but if he were 18 years old in the initial flashback seen, he'd still only be 57 years old as of 2007. That would work for a a number of years into the future, plus there's no real reason that Musenda couldn't have gained some reduced aging as a result of his experiences with Blade and other vampires.
    The more recent Blade appearances are consistent with that initial encounter being in 1968 as well.

    In the Blade series, Orji's name is misspelled "Orij."

    Azu's last name was revealed in Tomb of Dracula I#58.

    In Tomb of Dracula I#30, Dracula noted that two of the vampire hunters died when he attacked them that night.
    In Tomb of Dracula I#58, Blade noted that the rest of the vampire-hunters, besides himself and Musenda, had all went to vampire-hunters' heaven. And Musenda was seen in that issue, alive and well.
    In Blade III#12, it looked like only Blade was left alive after the skirmish with Dracula.
    The out to all of this would be that two of the vampire-hunters died that night. The other two were gravely wounded, and one of them, Musenda, recovered, while the other died sometime after that night.
    The comments about vampire-hunter's heaven would make it seem unlikely that he was vampirized by Dracula.

    And how frickin' stupid of Dracula to allow a man who once destroyed him to live, with the intent of calling in a favor from him in the future. Not bright.
    And then I'm pretty certain Blade destroyed Dracula at least twice before, so why wouldn't have Dracula called in his favor from him those times?

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
No KNOWN connections to:


Azu M'Dammen

    One of Orji Jones' vampire-hunters, he was present when the ambushed and destroyed Dracula, noting that it didn't look like Ogun needed any help against the vampire lord. He was slain by Dracula upon his revival, however.

    Blade adopted Azu's belt in his honor.

--Tomb of Dracula I#30 (Blade III#11 (fb), ToD#30 (fb), Blade III#12

 

 

 

 

 


Ogun Strong

    One of Orji Jones' vampire-hunters, he was present when the ambushed and destroyed Dracula, tackling the vampire lord and staking him with one of Orji's teak knives. He was slain by Dracula upon his revival, however.

    Blade adopted Ogun's wristbands in his honor.

--Tomb of Dracula I#30 (Blade III#11 (fb), ToD#30 (fb), Blade III#12

 

 


Kuai Hua and her handmaidens

Chinese servants of Dracula, they attended him in China. As Dracula was stabbed by the vampire-hunters, he psychically called to Kuai Hua, and she and her handmaidens rushed to the cave and removed the stake, reviving Dracula

--Tomb of Dracula I#30

 

 

 

 

 


images: (without ads)
Blade III#11, p11, panel 1 (vampire-hunters)
Tomb of Dracula I#30, 3rd story, p4, panel 3-4 (Ogun Strong body and face)
        p5, panel 2 (Orji face)
            panel 3 (Kuai Hua and women servants)


Appearances:
Tomb of Dracula I#30 (1975) - Marv Wolfman (writer), Gene Colan (penciler), Tom Palmer (inker), Len Wein (editor)
Blade III#11-12 (September-October, 2007) - Marc Guggenheim (writer), Howard Chaykin (artist), Aubrey Sitterson (editor)


Last updated: 10/17/07

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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