Monday, July 16, 2012

Spider-Man and the Modern Comic Book Movie

Comic book movies - why are they so popular and are they here to stay...forever?!

From a piece in the New York Times...

A O. SCOTT Our superheroes have been around for a very long time — Superman and Batman were born in the ’30s; Spidey and many of his Marvel brethren are children of the ’60s — but they appear to be more powerful than ever. That is partly the result of corporate strategy and canny marketing, but it’s also clear that these serial narratives about regular folks gifted (or cursed) with extraordinary abilities and menaced by diabolical enemies exercise a powerful hold on the popular imagination. Some of the movie world’s most talented actors, directors and writers have succumbed in the past decade to the pulpy, allegorical allure of comic books. Critics have too. 

MANOHLA DARGIS On one level the allure of comic book movies is obvious, because, among other attractions, they tap into deeply rooted national myths, including that of American Eden (Superman’s Smallville); the Western hero (who’s separate from the world and also its savior); and American exceptionalism (that this country is different from all others because of its mission to make “the world safe for democracy,” as Woodrow Wilson and, I believe, Iron Man, both put it). Both Depression babies, Superman and Batman, were initially hard-boiled types, and it’s worth remembering that the DC in DC Comics was for Detective Comics. Since then the suits have largely remained the same even as the figures wearing them have changed with their times. Every age has the superhero it wants, needs or deserves. 

Comic book movies are also fun (except when they’re not) and often easy viewing (except when they make your head hurt). They’re also blunt: A guy in a unitard pummels another guy — pow! — and saves the day, the girl and the studio.

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