Hollywood's Fascination with the Comic Book Superhero


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Movie production companies and TV have been creating feature length movies, movie serials and TV shows for years exploiting the public fascination with Superheroes. But as special effect technology and costume designs became better and better, Hollywood kicked it up a notch with feature-length high budget productions. Superman, the Movie and the 3 sequels started in the 1970s and the ‘90s and beyond brought us Batman, The Hulk, the X-Men and the now infamous Spider-Man, to name a few.

Why all this interest in producing Superhero movies? Big bucks!! The two Spider-Man movies alone have netted about 800 million dollars apiece in worldwide ticket sales. That's not chicken feed. This kind of income could not be generated without an avid public interest in Superheroes. So if you feel you are alone in your voracious passion for your own comic book collection, think again.

And now a new twist has been added. Directors, screenplay writers, and even actors are writing for, of all things, comic books now. Big name Hollywood writers are helping to sell more comics. For example, Joss Whedon, perhaps best known for creating Buffy the Vampire Slayer, has written stories for Marvel in the series Astonishing X-Men. Back in the 90s, who would have known that all these fan boys had been hiding in the Hollywood woodworks waiting for comics to gain some cultural credibility?

If you haven't followed some of the comic news of the last several months, Stan “the man" Lee has been fighting his personal battle with His life long employer, Marvel Comics. Stan is probably one of the most well known character creators in the comic book industry. He has characters like Batman, Spider-Man and the Hulk credited to his creative imagination. Seems Stan had a contractual agreement with Marvel for 10% of any revenue acquired by Marvel from movies and TV projects centered on Stan characters. But apparently the high dollar superstructure of the corporate mind doesn't want to part with all their income. Now this is nothing new, but Stan Lee managed to win the first round for the little guy. The judge presiding over Stan's case agreed that Stan should receive his share of the agreed on profits. Now maybe Stan will get his share and maybe he won't. Sounds like Marvel will be appealing the decision. At any rate, if there weren't big bucks involved in the production of comic book Superhero movies, this case would not have been such an issue.

I believe the near future is going to bring many more of my favorite heroes to the silver screen. I have already started my own DVD collection and as more heroes get transferred from the screen to round disc, I will continue to increase the size of my collection. Do you think a DVD superhero collection will be worth as much as a comic book collection in the future? Probably not, but that won't stop me from building my collection anyway.

Dave Gieber, a former rocket engineer, has decided to take up residency on the Internet. He is the owner and editor of several websites, one of which was built around one of his childhood passions; http://www.comic-book-collection-made-easy.com . You can visit here to keep up to date on the world of comic books and comic book collecting. Feel free to sign up for my comic book ezine at http://www.comic-book-collection-made-easy.com/comic-book-ezine.html


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