Empire (Australasia) - - Comment -

Ev­ery­where I look these days I see peo­ple re­fer­ring to Black Pan­ther as “the first main­stream black su­per­hero movie”. Has ev­ery­one for­got­ten the Blade tril­ogy fea­tur­ing Wes­ley Snipes? I am aware he isn’t a mu­tant, al­though some could ar­gue he sort of is a mu­tated vam­pire. He is def­i­nitely a comic-book hero though — others may say anti-hero, but then if we cat­e­gorise who is what in these movies, should we stop call­ing them ‘su­per­hero’ movies al­to­gether? Su­per­man is an alien, Batman is a rich ninja-de­tec­tive, Spi­der-man an in­fected school kid, the X-men are mu­tants, Cap­tain Amer­ica a sol­dier science ex­per­i­ment, Thor a god etc. Ev­ery­one has their thing. Does that mean Blade, who pro­tects peo­ple and kills mon­sters, is not a su­per­hero? Let’s not also for­get Blade was the first movie to have the Marvel Stu­dios logo at the be­gin­ning of the movie. I hear Wes­ley Snipes was also in talks with Marvel to orig­i­nally play Black Pan­ther too. I think some re­view­ers need to think back to the good old days, re­spect those flicks for what they were and re­tract the Black Pan­ther com­ments. Punchy headlines only have real punch if they are in fact true.


Very good point, Adam — we def­i­nitely think Blade de­serves the (non-wakan­dan) crown as the first ever black su­per­hero movie. Al­though, a quick Google also turns up some other re­sults: the come­dies The Me­teor Man (1993) and Blankman (1994), plus 1997’s Steel (with Shaquille O’neal) and Spawn. And is it pos­si­ble Will Smith’s Han­cock (2008) makes the grade? Over to you guys…

Above: Blade is cut. Left: an Em­pire-ised Man-cave.

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