Was Blade the First Marvel Movie?

A lot of people think that Blade was the first Marvel movie, but that’s not actually the case. Here’s a look at the real first Marvel movie.

Checkout this video:


What many people don’t realize is that Blade, the 1998 movie starring Wesley Snipes, was actually the first Marvel movie. It was distributed by New Line Cinema, which is now a part of Warner Bros., but at the time it was an independent studio. Marvel had sold the rights to the character in order to get the movie made.

What is Blade?

Blade is a superhero movie based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. The film was released in 1998 and stars Wesley Snipes as Blade, a vampire hunter. The movie was a commercial success, grossing over $131 million at the box office, and is often credited as being the first Marvel movie.

The History of Blade

The history of Blade begins in 1973, when Marvel Comics editor Stan Lee and writer Marv Wolfman created the character for the comic book “The Tomb of Dracula.” Blade was originally conceived as a supporting character in the series, but he quickly became popular with readers. In 1977, Blade was given his own comic book, “Blade: The Vampire Hunter,” which ran for four issues.

Blade made his film debut in 1998’s “Blade,” which starred Wesley Snipes as the title character. The movie was a critical and commercial success, spawning two sequels: “Blade II” (2002) and “Blade: Trinity” (2004).

While “Blade” is not technically a Marvel movie (it was produced by New Line Cinema, which is now a part of Warner Bros.), it is widely considered to be the first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is because the MCU did not officially begin until 2008’s “Iron Man,” but many of the events that take place in the MCU are mentioned or alluded to in “Blade.”

The First Blade Movie

The first Blade movie was released in 1998, two years before the release of 2000’s X-Men. This makes Blade the first Marvel movie.

The Impact of Blade

While Blade may not have been the first Marvel movie, it was certainly one of the most influential. Blade was released in 1998, at a time when superhero movies were not nearly as prevalent as they are today. The film was a critical and commercial success, and is credited with helping to revive the superhero genre.

Blade tells the story of a half-vampire, half-human who must fight to save the world from vampires. The film stars Wesley Snipes as the title character, and features supporting performances from Kris Kristofferson and N’Bushe Wright. Blade was directed by Stephen Norrington and written by David S. Goyer.

The Legacy of Blade

The character of Blade first appeared in a Marvel Comics title in July of 1973, created by writer Marv Wolfman and artist Gene Colan. He was a dhampir – a human with vampire blood running through his veins – who fought against vampires and other supernatural creatures. The character proved popular, and would go on to star in his own comic book series, as well as appearing in numerous other Marvel titles over the years.

While Blade did not make his big screen debut until 1998, he was not the first Marvel character to get his own movie. That distinction goes to another popular superhero, Spider-Man, who starred in his own film release in 2002. However, Blade is considered by many to be the first true “Marvel movie” due to the fact that the studio behind the film – New Line Cinema – had secured the rights to the character from Marvel Entertainment prior to the release of Spider-Man.

Blade was a box office success, grossing over $130 million worldwide on a budget of $45 million. The success of the film would lead to two sequels – Blade II (2002) and Blade: Trinity (2004) – as well as a television series which aired on Spike TV from 2006 to 2008.

The Future of Blade

The release of Blade in 1998 was a turning point for comic book movies. It was the first big-budget superhero movie that was based on a Marvel character, and it was also a critical and commercial success. This opened the door for other Marvel movies, such as X-Men, Spider-Man, and Iron Man.

However, Blade is not technically the first Marvel movie. That honor goes to Howard the Duck, which was released in 1986. Howard the Duck is based on a Marvel comic book character, but it was produced by George Lucas (of Star Wars fame) and released by Universal Pictures.

Despite Howard the Duck being released 12 years before Blade, it is not considered as influential as Blade. This is because Howard the Duck was a critical and commercial flop, which made studios hesitant to produce more comic book movies. It wasn’t until Blade proved that comic book movies could be successful that other studios started to invest in them.

So while Howard the Duck may have been the first Marvel movie, it is Blade that is considered the pioneer of modern comic book movies.


No, Blade was not the first Marvel movie. The first Marvel movie was actually Howard the Duck, which was released in 1986. However, Blade is often considered the first “modern” Marvel movie because it was released in 1998, after the comic book company had been bought by Disney and was beginning to produce movies that were more faithful to the source material.


In order to figure out if Blade was the first Marvel movie, we must first look at the history of Marvel movies.

Marvel comics were first published in the 1930s, and they quickly became popular. In the late 1970s, Marvel Comics Group was bought by Cadence Industries. Around this time,Marvel Productions Ltd. was formed as an animation studio. The studio produced many successful cartoons, such as Spider-Man, X-Men, and Fantastic Four.

In 1986, Marvel Productions was sold to New World Entertainment. New World had plans to produce live-action films based on Marvel characters, but these plans never came to fruition.

In 1996, Marvel Comics Group was bought by Toy Biz, a toy company. The following year, Toy Biz bought the live-action film rights to several Marvel characters from New World Entertainment. One of these characters was Blade, a vampire hunter.

Blade was released in 1998 and was a huge success. It is often credited as being the first Marvel movie. However, it should be noted that the film rights to Blade were actually owned by New World Entertainment before they were sold to Toy Biz. Therefore, technically speaking, Blade is not the first Marvel movie.

Further Reading

There are a lot of great articles and blog posts out there about the Marvel Cinematic Universe and whether or not Blade was the first movie in the franchise. We’ve collected some of our favorites for you to check out.

-Forbes: “Blade Was The First Marvel Movie, And Here’s Why”
-The Mary Sue: “Actually, Blade Wasn’t the First Marvel Movie”
-Gizmodo: “Nope, Blade Was Not the First Marvel Movie”

Scroll to Top