MUSENDA

Real Name: Musenda

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

Occupation: Vampire hunter

Group Membership: Orji Jones' vampire-hunters (Blade (Eric Brooks), Orji Jones, Azu M'Dammen, Ogun Strong)

Affiliations: Blade (Eric Brooks), Safron Caulder, Quincy Harker, Orji Jones, Azu M'Dammen, Ogun Strong, Rachel van Helsing, unidentified doctor

EnemiesDracula, Eric Guy, Kuai Hua and her handmaidens, vampires in general

Known RelativesLorraine (wife)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Boston, Massachusetts;
    formerly China

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

Powers/Abilities: Musenda was an experienced vampire hunter. He usually wore eyeglasses

History:
(
Blade III#11 (fb) - BTS) - Musenda joined Orji Jones' vampire-hunters, including  Azu M'Dammen and Ogun Strong.

(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).

(Tomb of Dracula I#58 (fb) - BTS) - Musenda's wife, Lorraine, suffered from a malady in which she became vampiric, growing fangs and developing bloodthirst, during the day, but then returned to normal at night though she remained virtually comatose. Though her doctor at Boston General Hospital refused to believe she was really a vampire, he did call in an expert on vampirism, Rachel van Helsing, to consult on her condition.

(Tomb of Dracula I#58) - Alongside a doctor, Musenda watched with distress as his semi-vampiric wife struggled with the restraints holding her in a hospital bed during the day. After Rachel arrived, Musenda began explaining his wife's condition (which was something Rachel had theorized could happen), and he and Rachel were surprised to discover they had a mutual acquaintance, Blade.
    Musenda then traveled to Blade's (or Safron's) apartment and shared his problem. Blade accompanied him back to Boston General, only to find that Lorraine had broken free from her restraints, overpowered Rachel, and attacked the doctor. As the vampire spoke through Lorraine, Blade leapt to the attack, but she hurled him across the room, then collapsed in pain and reverted back to Lorraine (presumably as the sun set). Rachel theorized that Lorraine had been both psychically and symbiotically linked with a vampire such that as he slept during the day he transferred his powers to and controlled her; and that the only way to cure her was to find her symbiotic master and kill him.
    Blade and Rachel then visited Quincy Harker, who gave them a device he had designed which could act like a radar unit and hone in on bats (and therefore vampires), as well as a radioactive iodine they could use to track a vampire in mist form. At 5AM, 40 minutes before dawn, Blade returned to Musenda and Lorraine and dabbed her with the iodine. At dawn, Lorraine turned into a vampire and then into a bat and flew out the window. Blade and Musenda tracked Lorraine cross-country by motorcycle, but then a car -- the driver apparently having been hypnotized by a vampire -- ran them off a road and over a cliff. They fell into deep water, and Blade and Musenda swam to shore but lost track of the vampire. After getting a ride back into town from police, they returned to Blade and Saffron's place for some hot coffee and a change of clothes.
    Recalling that the bat had been heading out to sea when they lost it, Blade and Musenda returned to the cliffside, then dove back into the ocean and swam to the nearby lighthouse. No sooner had they entered than they were confronted by the vampiric Lorraine, and Blade stabbed her in the heart with a wooden stake. Musenda was distraught, but Blade (though he had panicked and staked her by reflex) calmed him, and they took Lorraine back to his apartment. Just before  the sun set, Blade had Musenda pull the stake, and Lorraine revived as a vampire seconds before returning to normal after the sun had set.
    As Blade had anticipated, the involved vampire had sensed their interference and arrived to stop them, but Blade fought and eventually staked the vampire, destroying it. With the vampire dead, Lorraine regained consciousness, her affliction resolved.

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?

    I'd name that unidentified vampire "Cole Marvin" (after Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan).

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
No KNOWN connections to:


Lorraine

    The wife of retired vampire-hunter Musenda, she at some point was targeted by a vampire who established a psychic link with her, enabling him to transfer his powers into and controlled her as he slept during the day; at night, her fangs would vanish and she would return to human form, but she would remain in a trance-like state, much like a regular vampire did during the day. Musenda kept her restrained and had doctors examine her, and after a physician brought in Rachel van Helsing to consult, he was reunited with Blade and recruited his aid. Lorraine, however, broke free from her restraints, overpowered Rachel, and attacked the doctor. As Blade arrived, the vampire spoke through her, and Blade leapt to the attack, but she hurled him across the room, then collapsed in pain and reverted back to human form (presumably as the sun set). Rachel theorized that what had happened and announced that the only way to cure her was to find her symbiotic master and kill him.
    Via a bat "sonar"-tracking unit and an application of radioactive iodine from Quincy Harker, Blade and Musenda released Lorraine just before dawn, then tried to track her back to her master as she turned into a vampire bat and flew off. Apparently sensing them following her by motorcycle, she mesmerized another driver to run them off a road and over a cliff, and they lost track of her.
    Recalling that the bat had been heading out to sea when they lost her, Blade and Musenda later swam to the nearby lighthouse. No sooner had they entered than they were confronted by the vampiric Lorraine, and Blade stabbed her in the heart with a wooden stake. Musenda was distraught, but Blade (though he had panicked and staked her by reflex) calmed him, and they took Lorraine back to his apartment. Just before  the sun set, Blade had Musenda pull the stake, and Lorraine revived as a vampire seconds before returning to normal after the sun had set.
    As Blade had anticipated, the involved vampire had sensed their interference and arrived to stop them, but Blade fought and eventually staked the vampire, destroying it. With the vampire dead, Lorraine regained consciousness, her affliction resolved.

    In vampiric form, Lorraine had superhuman strength, razor sharp fangs, and the ability to turn into a bat or mist. She most likely had standard vampire powers, including the need to consume human blood to survive, immunity to aging and conventional injury, and vulnerability to sunlight, religious symbols, wooden stakes, etc., and possibly the ability to transform into a wolf, and/or to control the weather.

--Tomb of Dracula I#58 (58 (fb) - BTS

 

 


Eric Guy

    Targeting Lorraine, the wife of retired vampire-hunter Musenda, he established a psychic link with her, nurturing their symbiotic relationship until he could fully control her. This enabled him to transfer his powers into and control her as he slept during the day; at night, her fangs would vanish and she would return to human form, but she would remain in a trance-like state, much like a regular vampire did during the day. He sometimes spoke directly through Lorraine.
    Musenda kept her restrained and had doctors examine her, and Rachel van Helsing correctly theorized what was going on and that the only way to cure her was to find her symbiotic master and kill him. With the aid of Blade and Quincy Harker, Musenda released her just before dawn in hopes of tracking her back to her master, and she traveled to his lighthouse base off the coast of Boston, where Blade and Musenda confronted her and Blade staked her. They then took her back to Blade's apartment and, just before  the sun set, Blade had Musenda pull the stake, and Lorraine revived as a vampire seconds before returning to normal after the sun had set.
    As Blade had anticipated, the involved vampire had sensed their interference and arrived to punish them. Slapping Blade aside, the vampire planned to vampirize Blade's lover, Safron, to make Blade suffer, but Blade recovered, tackled the vampire, and slashed its face with a wooden stake. Apparently stunned by the ferocity of Blade's attack, the vampire was then hurled across the room by him and stakes through the chest. It collapsed into ashes, which Blade intended to flush down the toilet.

    With the vampire dead, Lorraine regained consciousness, her affliction resolved.

    The vampire had superhuman strength, razor sharp fangs, and the ability to turn into a bat or mist. He most likely had standard vampire powers, including the need to consume human blood to survive, immunity to aging and conventional injury, and vulnerability to sunlight, religious symbols, wooden stakes, etc., and possibly the ability to transform into a wolf, and/or to control the weather. It is unknown how he developed the ability to establish the link with Lorraine, though it would seem likely that he bit her without killing her at some point.

--Tomb of Dracula I#58 (58 (fb) - BTS


images: (without ads)
Tomb of Dracula I#58, p4, panel 4 (face) & 9 (full body, with Blade)
    p14, panel 2 (Lorraine as vampire)
    p17, panel 1 & 4 (vampire body & face)
    p18, panel 5 (normal Lorraine)
Blade III#11, p11, panel 1 (alternate 1968 appearance)
 


Appearances:
Tomb of Dracula I#30 (1975) - Marv Wolfman (writer), Gene Colan (penciler), Tom Palmer (inker), Len Wein (editor)
Tomb of Dracula I#58 (July, 1977) - Marv Wolfman (writer, editor), Gene Colan (penciler), Tom Palmer (inker)
Blade III#11-12 (September-October, 2007) - Marc Guggenheim (writer), Howard Chaykin (artist), Aubrey Sitterson (editor)


Last updated: 01/04/08

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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