As strange as it sounds, this small budget film is almost single-handedly responsible for the resurgence of superhero movies, as well as helping save the comic book industry as a whole. Think about it, before Blade, superhero projects were being cancelled left, right and centre, movies abandoned because Hollywood felt there was nothing to be gained. On the comic book side, sales were down, businesses were declaring bankruptcy, and even the major publishers were in serious trouble.
The success of Blade changed all that. This movie made enough money and was well-received enough that people were starting to take superheroes seriously again. I’m not truly qualified to talk about this time as I was still in elementary school during that period, so I reached out to comic-book creator Gail Simone, and asked her about how important Blade was, stating,
“Huge. HUGE. And for some reason, very much underrated and forgotten. I believe the Blade’s success led DIRECTLY to the X-Men film getting made, which was the big precursor to comics films, specifically MARVEL films, getting made. I’m going to stress this, MARVEL WAS BROKE. They couldn’t afford good PAPER for their own comics. They gave away the rights to their major characters in terrible, ridiculous business deals. If not for X-Men, there would be no Marvel resurgence, and THAT happened because of BLADE.”
Simone’s words ring incredible true. Marvel was in bad shape in the late 90s, and the X-Men film was in all likelihood the last thing that could have turned it around. The movie was a massive success, leading to several sequels along with the Spider-Man films, all of which were hugely successful as well. The success of those films helped Marvel get their business back on track, and since have launched them to the very top of the mountain in the comic book world. Today, supermovies are a fact of life, more and more films and tv shows being produced every year, topping the sales charts and breaking records again and again. But if it weren’t for Blade, X-Men might never have been made, and Marvel would have faded away, their properties sold off, and their business failed. Their death may have lead to the death of other publishers, leading superheroes and comic books to become things of the past. Blade changed all that, and that is a fact that should be neither ignored or forgotten.