As an eight-year-old boy, my mother came home and brought me my first comic book, which turned out to be Batman Beyond #2. That is the day my love of comic books started, more specifically my love of the Batman lore. After that day, I read every Batman comic and any other comic I could get my hands on, as I found myself drawn to these well-crafted fantasy worlds. Looking back, it has reminded me of growing up in the era which let me see the boom of comic books being taken seriously by all forms of entertainment. Let’s talk about that
The first form of entertainment they impacted was movies. Many people may begin by talking about the Superman films, but I’m not going to. I feel the first superhero that made an impact in the film industry had to be Batman. Through the late 80s and 90s, we got some really good Batman movies and, unfortunately, a really bad one (looking at you Batman and Robin). However, the Dark Knight Trilogy along with the first two Spider-Man movies changed everything. As a kid, seeing these heroes come to life was the most amazing thing in my eyes. Fast forward to 2019, I’m 25 years old and I see kids, who have never even picked up a comic book, become obsessed with Batman, Wonder Woman, The Avengers, and Deadpool. You can’t go three months without seeing a comic book based movie. It has also spread to TV with great shows like The Punisher, Flash, Gotham, Supergirl, Arrow, Daredevil, to name a few. The movie and television industry has changed all because of comic books. Now how did we go from bad movies, and it not being taken all that serious, to seeing a large array of comic book related media and material. Did we just get better scripts? Better advertisements? The answer is more simple than you would really think. Kids like explosions and action; yeah, it’s that simple. Back in 2001-2005 movies like Spider-Man, Batman and X-Men paved the way with great action and some great visuals. With decades passing, we grew from the black and white Superman and Batman movies to be able to have some incredible and spectacular CGI action scenes. The stories might be what we remember and what we care about now but what draws kids in (those who buy the action figures and older comics that we adults already own)? The real question is: have superhero movies really taken over the media industry or at least Hollywood? The answer is yes, every big actor or actress have seen the success and the fandoms and they want that. I mean do you really think fifteen years ago we would have even seen a Deadpool, Wonderwoman, or Aquaman movie? The answer is no. Earlier movies took advantage of technological advancement to create a whole new fanbase, and in 2019, you do not need to be an avid comic book reader to understand superheroes, their villains, or even their
The other media it impacted had to be the video game industry. Now I have been playing video games since I was a little kid, around the same time I discovered comic books. There have been some bad games: Superman 64, NES Batman games, and the awful Ironman games. When did we start getting good ones? Well, I suppose around the time we got good comic book based movies. Spider-Man 2 is still regarded as one of the best games of all time. However, the Batman Arkham series is what really got people to take notice. Batman Arkham set the standard of what a comic book based game should be. And just this last year, we saw the release of Spider-Man for PlayStation 4, which noticeably took elements from the ‘Arkham’ series, and that was one of the best games I have ever played. The point of this is that comic books have changed the media industry so well that we now expect games based on these heroes to be well done and follow the comic book rules. Now, what is the next step? Where can we go from here in the gaming world? We haven’t even hit the prime of superhero games yet, we saw the foundation with Batman Arkham Knight and we saw the capability with Spider-Man but I predict within the next five years, the whole gaming world will be more familiar with comic books. Batman and Spider-Man have proved that there is a huge game base for the genre, now all we have to do as fans of the original comics, is sit back and wait for our dreams to come true. The whole entertainment industry has benefited from the rise of comic books and even comic books themselves have risen to a level we have not seen in quite a long time. Here’s to hoping that we see the boom continue with the Avengers movie releasing and hopefully we get a new Batman game this year (been waiting four years for it).
Leave a comment on your favorite comic book based movie (Dark Knight is mine) and video game (Batman Arkham City is mine). Before I end this, did we answer the question? If we did what is that answer? Did comic books change the entertainment industry? The answer is yes, but the new question is: how much has it changed it? Every generation, it seems experiences the entertainment industry boom in a certain genre. Whether it was westerns, action, or romantic comedy. We are in the middle of the next boom, but the real kicker has not set in yet. The comic book genre will never end or stop booming because, as I said earlier, it is marketable to kids. Now not only is it marketable to kids, but we haven’t even scratched the surface of the stories that can be told in either the big screen, small screen, or in the gaming universe. I hope you guys enjoyed the read and have formed your own opinion, because I would love to hear them, as would everyone else here at The Nerd Hub.
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