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Marvel's Blood Hunt: The 7 bloody, disemboweling differences between the first issue and its 'explicit' Red Band edition

Blood Hunt: Red Band #1 contains some new material you won’t find at bookstores or the digital comics apps.

Blood Hunt: Red Band #1 and Blood Hunt #1 at an LCS
Image credit: Marvel/Popverse

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If you’re reading Blood Hunt #1 (written by Jed MacKay and penciled by Pepe Larraz) at a bookstore or a digital comics store, then you aren’t getting the full story. According to Marvel, the original version of their vampire invasion epic was so graphic that they had to remove some of the content. However, the original pages are available – but only at comic book stores. No large chain booksellers or Comixology, if you want to see the unrated version of Blood Hunt, you need to head to your local comic book shop.

The unrated version, known as Blood Hunt: Red Band #1, is part of an initiative to help comic book stores. Speaking at a recent retailer meeting, Marvel publisher Dan Buckley laid out the strategy. "To get these bloody takes, fans need to pick up comics in your stores," Buckley said.

So, what’s the difference between Blood Hunt #1 and Blood Hunt: Red Band #1? How much extra stuff is there? Popverse has gotten their hands on both books, and here is what we found…

Warning: Spoilers ahead for Blood Hunt: Red Band #1!
  • The first (and most obvious) difference is the cover and title page. The title page is red (the standard edition is white), and it contains an explicit content sticker. In case you still haven’t gotten the message, there is a warning telling readers that the comic is only approved for appropriate audiences.
  • Page 12 (after the key players page) includes severed heads and mutilated bodies. People are being thorn in half, and vampires are chewing on body parts. The standard edition has this scene edited to remove all the extra gore.
  • Page 13 is almost identical to what we see in the standard edition, but there is more gore, and the water in South Korea is now filled with blood and floating corpses.
  • The Avengers battle against the Structure vampires contains an extra page that isn’t in the standard edition. The extra page is placed after page 28 when the vampire known as Bloodstorm One impales Black Panther. We get a closer look at Thor’s injuries, and we see Wanda struggling to maintain her concentration as her face is splattered with blood. The page ends with Bloodstorm One impaling Black Panther for a second time (OUCH).
  • After Sam Wilson teleports away (page 29 of the standard edition) we get an extra page that isn’t in the standard edition. We see New York City engulfed in chaos, as vampires rip apart a human corpse, heads paced on pikes, and the streets are filled with blood. An unseen figure narrates the carnage, stating that this has “always been my work.”
  • The narration continues into the next page, which is page 31 of the standard edition. We get an extra caption of the mysterious mastermind’s narration, otherwise the Red Band edition page is identical to what you’re seeing in the standard edition.
  • The cliffhanger page in the standard edition (page 35) is a lot tamer than what you get in the Red Band edition. In the standard edition Blade impales Doctor Strange through the back, with the sword exiting Strange’s body through his chest. The Red Band edition has a completely new version of the page, with Blade slicing Strange’s mid-section, cutting the sorcerer’s body in half. You see blood, and you see entrails. It’s gory.
Blood Hunt #1 and Blood Hunt: Red Band #1 comparison
Image credit: Marvel/Popverse

I’ve included a comparison image here in the article, but only for that page. If you want the rest, you’ll have to get the comic from your LCS. Oh, and you read that correctly, Blade has betrayed humanity and is leading the vampire invasion! I hope you were paying attention to that spoiler warning!

Marvel will be releasing Red Band editions for each issue of Blood Hunt. If the experiment is successful, I wouldn’t be surprised if they did this more often. A Werewolf by Night Red Band comic will go on sale in August. It’s a great way to get readers into their comic shops more often. Blade’s vampire invasion could destroy the Marvel Universe, but maybe it will save local comic shops!

An advance copy of Blood Hunt #1 was provided ahead of release by Marvel.

Keep up to date on Popverse's Marvel coverage, with these highlights: Marvel Comics' return to fun, how Marvel Comics' boss said it was lost in 2023 (and how its finding itself again), How 2024 is a pivotal year for Marvel Comics & Marvel Studios, the 3 big challenges facing Marvel Studios in 2024 (and what they could learn from Marvel Comics), Inside Marvel Comics' plans to fix its pricing issues, Overgrown children of the atom: Marvel's X-Men can't evolve past their '90s commercial peak, and the biggest outstanding questions of the Marvel Studios' movies & TV shows.