A spiritual retreat might be an unusual place to run into a vampire, but that’s just what happened on the latest episode of Disney+'s She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. The episode 'The Retreat' had Jennifer Walters spend some time at Emil Blonsky’s compound, where she met a group of d-list villains, including a vampire.Warning: Spoilers ahead for the latest episode of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.
Meet the Marvel Cinematic Universe's first on-screen vampire
While investigating a possible parole violation at Blonsky’s compound, Jennifer Walters finds herself temporarily stranded at the retreat after her car gets damaged during a tussle between Man-Bull and El Aguila. During her involuntary stay, she stumbles onto a group listening session filled with some d-list Marvel villains. Along with the previously mentioned Man-Bull and El Aguila, there’s Porcupine, Wrecker, and a vampire named Saracen.
Throughout the group therapy session it becomes clear that Saracen has an obsession with blood. He’s quick to suggest that Jen’s boyfriend Josh was after her blood, and later on he proposes sucking Josh’s blood as revenge. When Saracen’s father is mentioned he quickly becomes defensive. It’s implied that his father was a vampire as well.
Despite his constant cravings for blood, Saracen appears to have some kindness in his heart. After She-Hulk gives an emotional monologue about her insecurities, Saracen reassures her that she’s among friends who value her. Interestingly, his prediction about Josh being after Jen’s blood turns out to be accurate. As the episode closes we learn that Josh has been working with Intelligencia, and is part of their plot to steal Jen’s blood.
It’s possible that Saracen isn’t a real vampire, but a man who suffers from delusions. When he’s introduced to the group, Blonsky suggests that he’s a man who only thinks he’s a vampire. We never see him use any powers, but his constant cravings for blood and references to his father suggest he’s being truthful.
Who is Saracen?
Saracen is an obscure vampire antagonist who only appeared in the first three issues of the 1999 series Blade: Vampire Hunter. Saracen claimed to be one of the first vampires on Earth, along with his cabal of bloodsuckers known as the Ancient. Due to their advanced age, Saracen and the other members of the ancient were stronger and faster than typical vampires. Although Saracen shares a name with a mercenary who has fought the Punisher, there is no connection between the two characters.
Vampires in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has featured all sorts of fantasy and supernatural creatures, from demons, zombies, and witches, but Saracen is the first vampire we’ve seen onscreen. However, vampires have been mentioned throughout various MCU movies and television shows. In Thor: Ragnarok the Kronan warrior Korg points out a weapon that would be good for fighting vampires. Streaming shows like WandaVision and Iron Fist also had characters jokingly refer to vampires. The series Loki also contained a reference to vampires, with the Time Variance Authority official Mobius telling Loki that the TVA has had to remove vampires from the sacred timeline.
The 2022 Sony film Morbius featured two vampires, Michael Morbius and his surrogate brother Milo. However, the film has an odd relationship with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Sony Spider-Man spin-offs are Marvel films which feature Marvel characters, but they presumably take place on another world separate from the mainstream MCU. During the post-credits scene of Morbius, the character Adrian Toomes finds himself transported to the Sony film universe.
Because Toomes was last seen in the 2016 film Spider-Man: Homecoming, this interdimensional travel establishes that Morbius doesn’t take place on the same world as other MCU films. What does this mean? Essentially, Morbius is a vampire in the MCU multiverse, but he’s not an MCU vampire.
One of the most direct references to vampires occurred in the 2021 film Eternals. During the post-credits scene Dane Whitman was preparing to wield an ancient weapon known as the Ebony Blade when a voice interrupted him, asking “Sure you’re ready for that, Mr. Whitman?” That voice belonged to the vampire Blade, played by Mahershala Ali.
While Blade didn’t physically appear onscreen, his post-credits reveal served as a tease for his self-titled movie, which is set to be released on November 3, 2023. Production for Blade was originally set to begin this November in Atlanta, but rumors have pushed the start date to early 2023. Bassam Tariq was originally set to produce the vampire hunter film, but last week it was revealed that he parted ways with the project.
The future for Saracen in the MCU
Vampires have arrived to the MCU, and while Saracen may seem like an unusual harbinger, the implications are fun to consider. She-Hulk: Attorney at Law has already included interdimensional demons and a shapeshifting elf, so we shouldn’t be surprised that vampires are already here. Due to the comedic nature of She-Hulk, it’s possible that Saracen’s appearance was a one-off Easter egg. In other words, don’t expect to see him battle Blade in the upcoming movie. Whatever the future holds, the MCU just had its first vampire sighting, and that’s pretty cool.
This isn't the first MCU immortal She-Hulk: Attorney at Law has debuted. Read up on Mr. Immortal.