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I didn’t realize when I walked into the theater to see Wesley Snipes’ Blade on opening night 20 years ago that I was watching history in the making. After suffering through Warner Bros./Time Warner Inc.’s horrific The Avengers the week before, I watched the New Line actioner and was just grateful that it was a solid piece of three-star pulp fiction. While the Stephen Norrington-directed and David Goyer-penned vampire action flick is (justly) credited with kickstarting the second wave of modern superhero cinema, it was also groundbreaking in another equally important fashion. By being a star-driven horror action flick first and a comic book superhero adaptation second, it paved the way for what would be the natural evolution of the modern comic book superhero movie.

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