By. Mitchell Kahl
While it’s not uncommon to see a comic book character on the television screen, there has been a significant increase in the popularity of superheroes and fantasy characters in the late 2000’s. Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight was one leading forces behind this trend. The film won two Oscars and was ranked #4 on IMDB.com’s Top 250 movies list. In the same year, Marvel released the first film in the Iron Man trilogy, which was the first of many films leading up to the box office smash The Avengers. In response to positive praise, Marvel has been producing about two movies a year giving every character in the Avengers their own trilogy (excluding the Hulk). While 20th Century Fox has continued the X-Men franchise with The Wolverine trilogy, and Sony has rebooted Marvel’s iconic web-slinger with The Amazing Spider-Man.
Cinema has not been the only media outlet for these characters. Television shows like Once Upon A Time and Game of Thrones have been captivating fantasy fans for a few years now. FX’s The Walking Dead, has not only popularized zombies again but it has also set ratings records for every premiere and season finale for the past couple of seasons. DC’s Arrow, starring the superhero Green Arrow, became such a hit in 2012 that they made a spin off featuring The Flash. Even shows that do not focus on a main superhero directly are gaining popularity. In the show Gotham, Batman is never mentioned but instead the plot focuses on one of his allies, Detective James Gordon.
A fascination with comic book characters is not new. What is new is how consumers obtain access to these contemporary adaptations. The increase of media outlets has made it possible for these storylines to be developed into more intricate dramas as opposed to stylized computer generated effects.