Umm, DC had freakin' BATMAN. I don't think there are many more capable of "getting the ball rolling" than the likes of Batman and Superman, two of the most recognizable comic book/superhero icons on the planet.
Blade was indicative of nothing aside from being a character that could be made into a film with relative ease with relatively little risk (relatively cheap, though its budget was par for the films Wesley Snipes was doing at the time), and it happened to be successful. Whether or not Blade had gotten made, it would have made no difference to X-Men, which was FAR more "comic booky" (and riskier) than Blade.
What DC truly lacks, is a consistent vision. Warner Bros is a departmentalized beaurocratic mess of conflicting egos all wanting to do "their own thing" with the same characters. The movie side doesn't interact with the live action TV side who doesn't talk to the cartoon side who doesn't even get a memo from the comic book guys. There is no unity, no focus to any project beyond the fiscal results. There is no ONE person (like Kevin Feige) overseeing anyone one aspect of their properties (short the cluster eff their comic book arm has become), much less multiple. For good or ill, you can't deny Marvel has done a generally good job of "streamlining" their media so that the Avengers cartoon isn't overly different than the movie, which isn't too far off from the comic book (bearing in mind comics are the LOW end of the totem poll at this stage).
Until DC/WB can get THAT issue sorted (HA!), I sincerely don't believe they'll ever be as well received (commercially or critically) as Marvel is now.