The viability of the Marvel film world begins with the story of a man; one strong-willed and resolute in his vision, obnoxiously unshakeable in his confidence, and so driven by purpose that one wonders whether he cares about anyone beyond himself or his ambition. If you think I’m talking about Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark/Iron Man character, you’d be mistaken. Rather, I’m talking about the first Marvel hero to establish the notion of a blockbuster Marvel movie series. Wesley Snipes’s Blade series was a powerful proof of concept featuring an American Black hero with an undeniable urban Black story, starring one of the most prominent and unabashed Black actors of the 1990s.
This realization came to me with particular force as Marvel raked in an impressive $1.2 billion in opening weekend receipts for Avengers: Endgame, a movie that is meant to conclude a 10 year, 22…
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