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Topic: The First Black Superhero at The Movies? (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 23 June 2017 at 9:04pm | IP Logged | 1  

I have seen a meme going around that challenges the assertion that "The Black Panther" movie will be the first black superhero film.


Naturally, it is not. But the meme suggests, wrongly, that "Blade" (1998) was the first. If the meme made a distinction about it being Marvel's first black superhero movie, it might have something, but the meme does not make that distinction.

So, who is the first black superhero to head a feature theatrical film? "Steel" (1997) came before "Blade", if we are talking more or less serious action movies. "Spawn" (1997) was released that same year.

Do we include comedies? If that is the case, there was "Blankman" (1994) with Damon Wayans, and before him there was "The Meteor Man" (1993) with Robert Townsend.

Now "Blade" does beat "Hancock" (2008), but "Hancock" beats "The Black Panther" to the punch, as does Halle Berry's turn as "Catwoman" (2004).

What the "Black Panther" movie will be is the first big budget, mainstream black superhero movie.

I believe that "Blade" does deserve a lot of credit in that it was the first major release superhero film after "Batman and Robin" and its' success helped get "X-Men" made. After "Batman and Robin"'s disappointing box office and critical reception studios were leery about going ahead with comic book properties as film franchises. "Blade" came along and showed that if done more correctly, comic book movies still had some life in them.

Of course, "X-Men" (2000) was a success, as well, and it and "Blade," along with "Spider-Man" (2002) started off the new era of superhero films.

"The Black Panther" is a big thing, though, as it is the biggest budgeted, most mainstream (considering the Catwoman film was not considered related to the "Batman" movies) film to feature a black superhero, with a prominently black cast. It looks to be awesome, and I hope it is a huge success allowing for more diverse superheroes from the comics to get the big screen treatment.

Are there any other movies with black superheroes I am missing? What are your thoughts about these films?



Edited by Matt Hawes on 23 June 2017 at 9:08pm
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David Miller
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Posted: 23 June 2017 at 9:45pm | IP Logged | 2  

Shaft. 
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 23 June 2017 at 10:08pm | IP Logged | 3  

Shaft is not a superhero, unless we are using a relaxed definition whereby any action film hero is "super" because they do things a normal human can't.
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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 23 June 2017 at 11:45pm | IP Logged | 4  

Are there any other movies with black superheroes I am missing?

***

Invisible Boy in Mystery Men (1999) but obviously not a solo film.
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 23 June 2017 at 11:53pm | IP Logged | 5  

Yeah, I am talking about lead roles. That's why I didn't mention Storm or the Falcon.


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Anthony J Lombardi
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Posted: 24 June 2017 at 3:03am | IP Logged | 6  


Are there any other movies with black superheroes I am missing? 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~```````
Abar The First Black Superman - 1977
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Fabrice Renault
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Posted: 24 June 2017 at 4:03am | IP Logged | 7  

How do you define "big budget movie" ?
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 24 June 2017 at 4:30am | IP Logged | 8  

BLANKMAN (1994)
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 24 June 2017 at 6:04am | IP Logged | 9  

Fabrice, I define big budget by money, naturally. ;-)

Doug, I mentioned Blankman in my first post. Meteor Man, whom I also mentioned, beats him by a year.


Edited by Matt Hawes on 24 June 2017 at 6:05am
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 24 June 2017 at 8:14am | IP Logged | 10  

How'd I miss that sentence?
I went from Spawn to Hancock. 
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Joe Zhang
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Posted: 25 June 2017 at 7:07am | IP Logged | 11  

The first Black silver screen superhero of any true relevance has to be Blade. I wouldn't mind seeing another Blade movie starring Snipes. 
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Fabrice Renault
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Posted: 25 June 2017 at 8:04am | IP Logged | 12  

Matt.

Of course, but at what point is a budget, by Hollywood standard, becoming a big budget ? 80 millions ? 100 millions ?...
And I think it also depends on the time it was produced. Today's 50 million budget is not the same as 50 millions in the seventies.
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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 25 June 2017 at 2:09pm | IP Logged | 13  

Does Captain EO (1986) as played by Michael Jackson count?
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 25 June 2017 at 6:10pm | IP Logged | 14  

Matthew W, good question about Captain EO. What does everyone else think?
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Kevin Brown
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Posted: 25 June 2017 at 8:53pm | IP Logged | 15  

Captain EO was only shown in the Disney parks and was about 15 minutes in length.  More of a short than a "big budget movie", IMO.

With that said, The Meteor Man definitely is the first.  The first adapted from another source would be Steel.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 26 June 2017 at 2:02am | IP Logged | 16  

I'm not sure Captain EO counts as a superhero. He was more a sci-fi space captain. With weaponized music that could make his enemies dance. 
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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 26 June 2017 at 12:14pm | IP Logged | 17  

Captain EO was only shown in the Disney parks and was about 15 minutes in length.

***

18 minutes ;)
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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 26 June 2017 at 12:18pm | IP Logged | 18  

He was more a sci-fi space captain. With weaponized music that could make his enemies dance.

***

Everything about that description makes me laugh.

Back on track, surely he is ad much a super hero as the Guardians of the Galaxy (mindful that nobody on this thread has argued that they are),
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 26 June 2017 at 12:47pm | IP Logged | 19  

Again, we'll start sliding into the Definition of a Superhero argument...

But...if someone is from a different planet, and by virtue of that, has "powers and abilities far beyond those or mortal men", and uses said abilities to battle evil and/or save the Earth (and/or other planets)...aren't they a superhero?

So, that would apply to some of the Guardians...

But also...to Spock?

And perhaps to Captain EO. But also, given it wasn't a widely released feature film...I don't think we can count him as the first Black film superhero...



Edited by Brian Rhodes on 26 June 2017 at 12:49pm
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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 27 June 2017 at 6:40am | IP Logged | 20  

If we go back to the original question at the top of thread regarding "the assertion that "The Black Panther" movie will be the first black superhero film", in the broadest sense Captain EO top trumps BP and the rest; however, despite having thrown him into the mix, I'm inclined to agree with Brian's view: it's not a full length feature and it is debatable as to whether he can truly be called a super hero or not.

As a side note, and at the risk of turning this into a Captain EO thread, anyone else remember the 3D comic that Eclipse put out to accompany the film? Has anyone got it?!
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John Byrne
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Posted: 27 June 2017 at 7:55am | IP Logged | 21  

Captain EO was only shown in the Disney parks and was about 15 minutes in length.

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18 minutes ;)

18 is "about 15".

Sorry to jump on this, but this has become one of my leading pet peeves, internet-wise.

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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 27 June 2017 at 10:00am | IP Logged | 22  

Matthew Wilkie, I had the Captain EO comic in the past year, but I have sold it since then.
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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 27 June 2017 at 10:25am | IP Logged | 23  

18 is "about 15".

Sorry to jump on this, but this has become one of my leading pet peeves, internet-wise.

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In truth, I read the post quickly on my phone and missed the "about". Point taken.

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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 27 June 2017 at 10:26am | IP Logged | 24  

Matthew Wilkie, I had the Captain EO comic in the past year, but I have sold it since then.        

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Is it worth very much? I always found those Eclipse 3D comics impossible to read and pretty unspectacular 3D wise.

Sorry - thread drift.
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 27 June 2017 at 11:17am | IP Logged | 25  

The comic typically fetches between $5-$8.
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