The buzz surrounding Black Panther is palpable, and much of the cultural commentary is rightfully focused on the fact that we are long overdue for a superhero film led by a black actor. Backtrack through the years, though, and you’ll find something notable: the trail that Black Panther is blazing has been traversed already. Long before T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), there was another black superhero, one who just might have started it all: Blade. In 1998’s Blade, the titular vampire-slayer (portrayed by the one-and-only Wesley Snipes) played an integral role in resuscitating the then-stagnant superhero genre and helped put Marvel Studios on the map. Twenty years ago, he gave us the first successful comic book film to focus on a black actor. As we sing Black Panther’s praises, let’s not forget to pay homage to Blade. After all, he’s surely the reason why T’Challa won’t have to confront any vampires in his quest to take the throne of Wakanda.
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Before "Black Panther" There Was "Blade"
Let's not forget how Wesley Snipes owned the 90s.
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