Avengers (1st series) #366

Issue Date: 
September 1993
Story Title: 
2nd story: Bladeplay

2nd story:
Glen Herdling (writer), Mike Gustovich (pencils), Ariane Lenshoek (inks & colors), Janice Chiang (letters), Ralph Macchio (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

2nd story:
The hunt for Tolliver’s Will continues. Criminals known as the Plug-Uglies rob a bank, which stores several computer disks that they believe hold more clues about the will’s actual location. However, the alarm goes off and the villains have to take a hostage so safeguard their escape. At that very moment, Sean Dolan is nearby. He notices the attack and transforms into his alter ego of Bloodwraith. He attacks the villains and kills them, and even absorbs their souls into his Ebony Blade! Suddenly, Deadpool arrives on the scene, as he is also interested in his former employer’s will, as it is supposed to wield the most powerful weapon on the entire world. He and Bloodwraith start fighting each other. Meanwhile, the Black Knight visits Victoria and apologizes for his recent actions, causing a disliking between the two. Victoria is upset about more than that,, as Dane seems to be more interested than Crystal and Sersi than in her. Dane gets informed by Crystal about the Bloodwraith’s whereabouts and takes off to the battle scene. Victoria overhears the conversation and tags along. As he locates his former squire, Dane takes out Deadpool with his neural disrupter, so he can take care of Sean. During the confusion, Bloodwraith accidentally kills Victoria and her soul floats into his Blade! A recovered Wade takes advantage of Dane’s anger and teleports away together with the Blade, thinking that must be Tolliver’s weapon. Bloodwraith wants his sword back and goes after Deadpool, with the Black Knight swearing he’ll kill his old friend for what he did today. Bloodwraith locates Wade in Sarajevo, where he manages to defeat the merc and retrieves his Blade. However, he fails to kill Wade, because Vicki’s soul can still be felt inside it. Bloodwraith takes off, and disappears into the night skies.

Full Summary: 

2nd story:
The Plug-Uglies are robbing a bank. They have already taken out a security guard. The cashier begs not to harm her and just take the money. Foam corrects that they aren’t interested in money in this venture. No, they simply require the contents of Tolliver’s safety deposit box.

Flame orders his brother to guard the other customers. Foam is glad to do that, since, if they do this right, they will have the ultimate weapon at their disposal, like Tolliver’s will said. Flame just hopes that it will be something better than the guns Emil built. He jumps behind the cashier, and activates his flamethrower gun to make a big hole in the deposit box. He pushes the cashier inside it, ordering her to open Tolliver’s box.

The cashier hesitates, claiming she needs to find the right key. After a while, she finally gets the code right. An impatient Flame pushes her aside but, when he takes a look inside the box, he finds nothing but computer disks! Foam thinks that’s only natural, suspecting that the disks will be their next clue. The cashier notices that the villains don’t pay any attention to her, and presses the alarm bell. As it goes off, Flame shouts that the girl shouldn’t have done that, as now, they’ll need a hostage.

Meanwhile, outside the bank, a lonely figure by the name of Sean Dolan wanders the streets. He hates the fact of how much bad luck he seems to have. Last thing he remembers is pulling the cursed blade from that meteor. After that, it was like watching a movie of himself. He turned into some demon and battled his mentor, the Black Knight.

Sean fears he can’t go back to the Knight after the shame he brought upon him. But, he is starving. He decides to use the credit card the Knight gave Sean when he first came to America to become his squire. He presses his activation code on a bank machine, but then he freaks out when police sirens are heard. Fearing that the police has finally found him, Sean thinks it’s best to escape. But, he stays put when he notices the cops getting out of their cars, but stays put as they are looking past him.

Flame and Foam rush out of the bank, and have the cashier hostage. Flame puts one of the cops on fire, and his partner warns him to roll into the dirt to put out the flames. Foam uses his “foam,” which is made out of organic polymers that multiply when exposed to the air. He attacks the partner, and traps him in a constricting sheet of unbreakable living cellophane.

The cashier begs Sean to help her. He hesitates, but decides to do as she asks. He orders the Plug-Uglies to release her, or else they’ll face the squire of the Black Knight. The Plug-Uglies are unimpressed, and even laugh at Sean’s Irish accent. Flame instead attacks Sean with his flames, but misses. Sean warns the fools that they don’t know with what powers they are messing with. He takes out his Blade, but the brothers still laugh at him. The black Blade starts glowing, and turns Sean Dolan into… the Bloodwraith!

The Plug-Uglies now start to panic a bit. Foam congratulates Bloodwraith on the nice special attacks, but he starts attacking the man. The attack accidentally hits a police officer, but Bloodwraith quickly takes out his Blade and cuts the officer free. Bloodwraith refuses to let innocent people get hurt. After gasping for breath, the officer thanks Bloodwraith for the help wanting to know how he can ever repay him. With a serious tone in his voice, Bloodwraith orders the officer to leave this instant. As the officer takes off, Bloodwraith mentions he hungers for the souls of the guilty. Flame attacks, but Bloodwraith’s Blade somehow absorbs the flames!

Foam tells his brother not to worry, thinking he’ll just force the Blade from Bloodwraith’s grasp and the threat will be over. Bloodwraith is confident he doesn’t need his Ebony Blade to win. He tries to hit Foam but he quickly dodges, with Bloodwraith noting that the guy moves quickly for a pig. Foam knows that Bloodwraith is nothing, as long as he keeps his Blade away from him, and kicks it out of his hands. Bloodwraith mentions that may be true, because he and his Blade are one. He shouts at his Blade to come back to him, and it does! He quickly uses it to slice through Foam’s throat and he starts bleeding!

Bloodwraith gracefully stands up, mentioning that now he shall reward his blood brother with Foam’s immortal soul and the Blade starts absorbing it. He laughs and wants to know who’s next. Flame panics but still holds his hostage. Bloodwraith moves closer to him, but Flame orders him to stay back or else he’ll shoot her. Bloodwraith jokes that that’s a good thing, as that would mean he can feast on both their souls. Flame throws his hostage away and starts running, not wanting to die like Foam. But then, he is struck down by an explosion.

Bloodwraith is angry, as the explosion claimed Flame’s soul before his Blade could absorb it. And the Ebony Blade still hungers. Bloodwraith walks over to Flame’s former hostage and wants to know what the villains were after. Hesitant, she mentions they were after the computer discs that now lie scattered over the ground. Bloodwraith starts picking them up, wondering what could be on these discs that the Plug-Uglies were so eager to lose their lives over.

Suddenly, a Blade is pointed to Bloodwraith’s throat! The owner of the Blade doesn’t know the answer to Bloodwraith’s question, but hopes the cape won’t make the same mistake. It’s Deadpool! Wade claims that those discs belong to him, but something tells him Bloodwraith won’t give them up without a fight.

Meanwhile, a short distance away at castle Garrett…
The Black Knight mentions to Vicki that he came back to apologize. He would have told her about his relationship with Crystal, and the thing he has going on with Sersi, but his duties as an Avenger always got in the way. He never expected Vicki to learn about it from the lips of the Knight’s former squire, namely the Bloodwraith! Vicki asks Dane to calm down, wanting to know what happened to him. Hesitant, Dane claims he can’t tell her yet. He simply claims he’s got a lot on his mind lately, and shows Vicki the black and red eyes he now has.

Dane apologizes, thinking he shouldn’t have returned home. He starts taking off, but Vicki asks him to wait. She guesses she should be used to playing second fiddle. First by Dr. Strange and now by Dane. She thinks that alongside those gorgeous super-powered woman Dane both surrounds himself with, she thinks she must pale in comparison. Although Victoria mentions she does possesses latent psychic abilities, but can’t control them, except for the night young Sean Dolan heard her psychic distress call. He pulled Merlin’s Ebony Blade from the meteor where Dane had imbedded it to rid the world of its blood curse, which had afflicted both Dane and his ancestors. The Blade somehow transformed Sean into the demon that calls himself Bloodwraith, who vanquished Vicki’s attackers and fed their souls into his blade.

Vicki knows it sounds silly, but she can’t shake the feeling that her fate is somehow entwisted with Sean’s. Dane hopes that won’t be the case, for Vicki’s sake. He explains that Sean is now consumed by the urge to shed blood. It’s like a drug user. Suddenly, the Knight’s Avengers Signal Card goes off. Crystal informs Dane that the Vision monitored a transaction from Sean’s bank account at 13th and F Streets Northwest. Dane thanks Crystal for the help. Vicki noticed Crystal is very pretty. She wants to know if Dane really came to apologize, or did his return ease the pain of Sean’s… rebirth? Dane doesn’t answer the question and takes off. With Dane gone, Vicki remembers the address Crystal mentions, and thinks about it.

Deadpool and Bloodwraith confront each other. Bloodwraith shouts that, if these discs lead to some greater prize, he wants to know why he should give them to Wade. Wade thought Bloodwraith wouldn’t just give them. He kicks Bloodwraith in the face, explaining that his employer set up this mad chase in his will, and the prize is the most powerful weapon in the world! Bloodwraith stands up again, laughing that he doesn’t need any other weapon than the Blade forged by Merlin as it can slice through anything. He tries to cut Deadpool’s Blades apart, but it doesn’t work?! Deadpool mentions that might be the case, but it doesn’t slice the energy field Wade charges his toothpick with. Wade wants Bloodwraith’s Blade, thinking that, if it’s all Bloodwraith claims it is, it could be the weapon Tolliver indicated.

Bloodwraith punches Wade, refusing to give up his Blade. He thinks it would be easier to cleave the moon from the sky than it would be to separate from his blade. Deadpool notices his adversary is really good with the thing. But he wonders if he can match his skills, and they start Blade fighting with each other. Bloodwraith dodges all the attacks and Wade admits he’s impressed. But it’s time to end this game and Wade mentions he’s going to win it. Wade threatens with his gun to get his prize. But then, the gun is destroyed by a beam. Wade surprisingly looks over his shoulder, and recognizes the Black Knight! Dane declares that if the Blade belongs to anyone, it means him.

Wade thinks the cavalry arrived. Bloodwraith corrects his former mentor that he lost all claim to the blade when he buried it back into it’s birth-rock. Dane tells Sean he doesn’t want to fight him; he’s there to help. Nevertheless, they do start fighting, and Bloodwraith smirks that Dane has a funny way of showing he wants to help. Besides, Bloodwraith recalls he already told the Knight he doesn’t need any help. Wade doesn’t agree with that and kicks Bloodwraith on his head!

Deadpool introduces himself to the Black Knight, explaining to him he recovered quickly, thanks to his healing factor. He jokes that, earlier, he didn’t make it into the Knight’s rogue gallery, but he’s certain it won’t remain that way. The Knight and Deadpool start their battle, and Bloodwraith cuts in, ordering the Knight to stop calling him Sean.

The Knight has had enough of Deadpool and sticks his neural disrupter weapon through his chest, causing Wade to fall down. Bloodwraith manages to hit Dane down and is ready to kill him. Suddenly, a voice begs him not to do it. Bloodwraith thinks it’s Deadpool talking again and sticks his Blade out, but it isn’t Wade: it’s Vicki! Her soul starts floating into Bloodwraith’s blade, but he doesn’t want an innocent soul and starts crying. A furious Black Knight hits Bloodwraith into his face and picks Vicki up, apologizing to her.

Deadpool doesn’t care about Vicki’s death and picks up Bloodwraith’s Blade. He manages to get the teleportation matrix in his uniform together and teleports away! Dane asks Bloodwraith if he is happy now, as this loss means they are both losers now. Bloodwraith refuses to let it end this way, and calls out to Valinor! Bloodwraith’s black horse gracefully descends from the skies and is eager to battle. Bloodwraith climbs up on it and soars away, promising he shall strike their opponent for what he did. Dane angrily shouts that, when next he and Bloodwraith meet, he shall kill him. Sean disappears, and Dane isn’t sure but it looks like he teleported away, something Sean didn’t earlier reveal he could do.

Meanwhile at his hideout in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, Deadpool is admiring the fine workmanship on the blade he stole. But even though it appears to wield a great power, Wade doesn’t think it’s Tolliver’s weapon. He hears something and panics. On that very moment, he gets blown to the other side of the room! Bloodwraith takes his Blade back and wants to kill Deadpool. Upon looking at his blade, Bloodwraith can still see Victoria’s soul in it and hesitates. Bloodwraith mentions that his blade has been sated, and because of this won’t kill Deadpool. For now. Deadpool thanks him for that.

Bloodwraith returns to his horse, leaving Wade with a warning: he explains that he and his steed are more than mere extensions of the Ebony Blade… they are one and the same! Sean climbs back up onto Valinor, and they disappear into the night skies.

Characters Involved: 

2nd story:
Black Knight, Crystal (both Avengers)


Bloodwraith (Sean Dolan)
Valinor (Bloodwraith’s horse)

Flame & Foam (the Plug-Uglies)
Victoria Bentley

various citizens (all unnamed)
Bill and other, unnamed police officers

Story Notes: 

1st story:
The first part of this issue is about an assembled Avengers team, consisting out of Captain America, Vision, Giant-Man, Black Widow, Sersi and Magdalene, trying to rescue their kidnapped friends, Black Knight, Hercules, Crystal and Deathcry from Atlantean warriors.

2nd story:
This story takes place after X-Force (1st series) #15 and before Deadpool (3rd series) #1.

The hunt for Tolliver’s Will began in Deadpool (1st series) #1-4.

Sean Dolan became Bloodwraith in Avengers Annual (1st series) #22.

First appearance of the Plug-Uglies.

Victoria’s misunderstandings with Dr. Strange can be found throughout Dr. Strange (2nd series) #35-37.

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