Marvel Team-Up (3rd series) #8

Issue Date: 
July 2005
Story Title: 
Master of the Ring part 2

Robert Kirkman (writer), Jeff Johnson (artist), Studio F (color art), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), Schmidt, Moore & Lazer (assistant editors), Tom Brevoort (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Two gangsters on the up are waiting to make a deal with a group of vampires. They are offering cash in exchange for weapons. Watching the deal go down from the rooftops is the vampire hunter, Blade. He is soon joined by the Punisher, who happens to be there in order to take the two wise guys down. They don’t know each other, and an impasse is soon reached as they try to size each other up. Blade is the first to crack, as he doesn’t have time to waste on pointless stand-offs. As soon as Blade’s back is turned, Frank shoots him in the back, which annoys Blade, but doesn’t do him any lasting damage. He is more concerned that the gangsters and vampires below don’t hear them. They chat, or rather Blade speaks and Frank listens, about how their respective lives are turning out. Blade figures, with his longevity, his goal to kill all vampires is achievable. He thinks Frank’s idea to kill every gangster is slightly delusional, but Frank simply doesn’t care. When an explosion alerts the vampires to trouble, they don’t hesitate in murdering the two gangsters. Frank is shocked by their ferocity, but Blade takes it all in his stride. Frank asks if he needs any assistance, but Blade has the situation covered, and he leaps into action. Meanwhile, Titannus has to think of something to get Earth’s super heroes’ attention. He heads to the city, where he is confronted by Sunfire and the Japanese military.

Full Summary: 

(New York City)

It’s dark in the city, as Antonio Seghetti and his companion, Vinny, wait to do a deal. It’s Antonio’s first big score, and he wants things to go perfectly. He tells Vinny that his father will kill him if he messes this up. Antonio calls the people he’s doing business with on the phone. They’re sitting in a car behind them. This is a risky deal for Antonio, as the people he’s dealing with are vampires. Vinny hands Antonio the briefcase full of money, and the lead vampire calls for the truck. It’s time for a show and tell.

Up above them, standing on the edge of a rooftop is Blade. He’s carrying a sword, as well as an assortment of other weaponry. A shadowy figure creeps up behind him, but Blade already knows he’s there, and who it is. He tells him he smelled him the second he stepped off the fire escape. He turns and holds his sword out at arms length, millimeters away from the Punisher’s neck. In response, Frank Castle holds his pistol at arms length, aiming at Blade’s face.

After a silent impasse, Blade finally asks, “You a bettin’ man?” He’s sure he could slit Frank’s throat before he can even think about pulling the trigger. He’s not even sure the gun would do any damage. Frank replies that he has more. Blade likes that, but doesn’t have time for a pissing contest anyhow. He suggests Frank pull the trigger. Those guys down below would love a heads up that he’s arrived on the scene. Another impasse follows, with Blade having lowered his sword and Frank maintaining his focus. Finally, Frank lowers the pistol, and Blade tells him he was really playing it hardcore there. He can respect that.

Frank asks him what he’s doing up there. Blade tells him he’s here to kill the vampires. Doesn’t Frank know who he is? Frank doesn’t care, and shoots Blade in the back anyway. Clearly, Blade’s not happy about that, and asks why he had to go and do something stupid like that. Frank smirks. “Kevlar, huh! Nutjob? You got some in your head, too? Doesn’t look like you’re wearing a helmet.”

Blade grits his teeth, and replies that he ain’t going to tell Frank again. He should sit down and shut up. They really don’t need to call attention to themselves. He asks if any of this is getting through. Frank doesn’t reply. “And where do you get off calling me a nutjob, mister gun-toting-trigger-happy-killer?” adds Blade.

Blade asks Frank if he thinks he’s crazy. Does he think vampires are a myth? Does he think he’s wearing Kevlar and isn’t half-vampire himself? That’s rich, he adds. He’s seen a special on Frank on Court TV. Frank says that was grossly inaccurate. Blade asks him to fill in the blanks. Why is he out there spying on wise guys instead of getting fat and watching TV like everyone else in the city? Frank replies that they killed his wife and kids, so he kills them. “That’s it?” asks Blade. “Simple as that?” Frank doesn’t reply, and Blade figures he’s not one for talking.

He doesn’t fault Frank for killing the mobsters that killed his family, but they’re dead now. Why does he keep on going? He informs Frank of his own situation. A vampire killed his mom and turned him into a half-breed. He got him, but it’s still open season on his kind. It’s something that has to be done, and he’s the most qualified. Frank looks at Blade with skeptical eyes.

Blade assures him that he’s the real deal. He explains that the guys below them are full-blooded vampires. They exist. The stories are true – some of them at least, and Frank needs to come to terms with that. What he’s saying is, they both got their revenge, and yet they keep on going. This has become their life. The difference, as Blade sees it, is that, with his lifespan being what it is, he has the chance to succeed. He could eventually rid the world of vampires and he’s doing good every step of the way. Ultimately, there is a goal he can reach.

Frank, on the other hand, is fighting a losing battle. Blade adds that for every two wise guys he bumps off, there’s ten more waiting in the wings. He’s already getting up there in years. “It all seems kinda futile, you now?” Frank again doesn’t have a response. “Well? What do you think of that?” prompts Blade. Frank tells him he doesn’t care. What he sees are piles of bodies, and to him, that’s all that matters. Frank notices movement down below, and asks Blade to shush.

The vampires’ truck backs up, and the back is opened to reveal heavy duty artillery; boxes of it. The vampire trusts Antonio likes what he sees. Antonio smiles. His people will be very pleased. The vampire asks for the money, and Antonio asks him to relax. It’s only a phone call away. The Punisher and Blade watch everything that goes on, and Frank is itching for some action. Blade wants to see how this plays out before they go jumping in there. He promises Frank that if he starts firing now, he’ll need his help against Antonio’s business partners.

Blade remains calm. He reminds Frank that these guys aren’t going anywhere until he sends them somewhere. Besides, they’re having a good talk. It’s refreshing for Blade to talk to someone so consumed by what they do; so dedicated, so driven… like him.

Suddenly, a huge explosion rocks the area. The vampires think Antonio is somehow involved, and it provides them with the excuse to turn on him. The lead vampire explains that they never actually intended to give them the weapons anyway. He grabs Antonio whilst his friend grabs Vinny. The two men are ripped apart. “It’s dinnertime, boys!!”

Up above, even Frank Castle is horrified with the viciousness of the attack. Blade folds his arms, nonchalantly. He tells Frank his job is done now. His boys took out Frank’s. “Looks like you got the night off.” With that, Blade offers a friendly grin, and leaps into action. Franks offers his help, but Blade doesn’t need it. With daggers drawn, he wades into the crowd of vampires like he was born to do it.


Titannus sits inside his craft, contemplating the future. With the planet Earth as their stage, the heroes of this planet prove themselves time and time again, surpassing insurmountable odds and never accepting defeat. At the smallest sign of unrest, they leap into action, setting right what is wrong. It seems he admires them. He looks at his beloved in her stasis booth. She cannot hear what he says, and is oblivious to his plans, but he speaks to her anyway. He tells her that her father’s armada would be no match for the assembled might of these beings. It is as though they were meant to encounter them, as if no other force in the galaxy would serve their purpose better. The time of their reunion draws closer. These heroes will be their salvation. He has but to devise a method of getting their attention.

Titannus heads to the city to stir up some action. He succeeds. Waiting for him is Sunfire, and he’s brought the military with him. He asks Titannus if he though he could stray far from his sanctuary without being detected. He underestimated him before, but he will not make the same mistake twice. This time, he’s brought a little help. Titannus informs him that he assures him it will make no difference whatsoever.

Characters Involved: 



Antonio Seghetti and Vinny


Titannus and his beloved


Japanese soldiers


Story Notes: 

The explosion is Spider-Man’s webbing exploding, as seen in the previous issue.

Issue Information: 
Written By: