ASK ROB RETURNS: The Rise and Fall of Superheroes

A college student looking for thesis quotes recently tapped into my comic knowledge and over opinionated word salad with these comic book conundrums:

  1. Do you believe the current influx of comic movies or superhero genre films is a fad or something that will continue for the unseeable future. If you think it will continue, do you believe the films continue to adapt over time, fitting the culture and evolving?
  2. Why do you think comic properties are suddenly becoming so popular and profitable?

rob-patey-sad-faceGreat Questions Little Fella,

The superhero has already become passé as we see from the struggle in the big two comic companies to support ongoing continuity of story and character. The Bible never reached issue 900, because as we saw from modern day Jesus, Superman, when a comic becomes that long in tooth the character must change. For the uninformed, Action comics 900 was bemoaned because Superman essentially said America could no longer be his chief interest when the world is so connected. 

While logical, this does break the very foundation of a character who was inspired to give us hope in the face of a great oppressor. In a world where terror reigns supreme, and our greatest fears are the unexpected, a mind reader serves as amore soothing balm than some man in his underwear willy-nilly scouting the skies for danger.

Even the Marvel characters, the baby-boomer contribution to Americana’s new titans, are feeling the buckle of age with their first reboot of time (after many undeclared ones over the years). What was once the hip and cool comic choice with; super-keen Spider-Man, groovy X-men and happening Hell’s Kitchen characters, and awesome Avengers are no longer needed when Nerds are now cool, different is now the norm and the powerful are the object of envy as opposed to inspiration. 

justice-league-new-52

Do collars change the hero?

Superheroes are like zombies, vampires and every other blip on the radar of our existence, a coping mechanism. The cape arose as religion waned throughout the 20th century, to supplant our saviors and inspire the now watered-down term, “hope.” 

These super legends will wane, because if you transform too much, the metamorphosis births them anew regardless of branding.

As for delivery to the masses and a superhero summer movie schedule in the foreseeable future, what do you consider that time period to be? The marvel machine is scheduled into the 2020’s. When the X-Wing flies into a portal and crashes eon Graymalkin lane. hell they could go into the 2030’s. Then Warner Brothers needs to do their half-hearted competitive attempt at thwarting that revenue stream. They will throw at least a trilogy into the fray and given their slow dev times, those movies will chug past the teen years of this new millennium. 

On question two, Superhero movies have taken over the cinema, simply because of technology. For years I have tried to make others see a comic book come alive as I did when I was four and bought my first Richie Rich. Panels, words, images flow seamlessly and scream alive in the minds of comic readers; those of us who also read books and see the world come alive. 

Mormon-polygamy

Example of people with no imagination.

As a being who lives in imagination more than Jackie Paper’s friend Puff; words, images and movies are all the same experience for me. My mind is so jacked, I literally have a movie screen playing all day in my head.  Some, actually many people, can not take the same figurative leaps of imbuing life into story. For the spoon-fed of this world, the stories we have read for years needed computer graphics for the telling. Look at early CG, like the 90s Fantastic Four movies, and tell me if it was at all believable (even in the context of the time). Then look at the Fox attempt a decade later, with better graphics and you tell me which is more immersive and plausible. 

Fantasy is a hard aesthetic distance for many to cross, they keep it at arm’s length because it can never be. For those individuals, superhero movies are new and finally of interest. They are a crutch into a genre that would have been impenetrable when the stories were first coming alive on the page.  

 

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