How Superheroes Went Mainstream - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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How Superheroes Went Mainstream

The classic comic book has been a part of geek culture for generations. Famous Funnies, widely regarded as the first modern comic books, were released to American readers in 1933 and featured reproductions of newspaper strips.

The traditional home of the superhero, there have been several milestones in the history of the comic book since then, while the science fiction genre has also evolved markedly since the days when it was restricted to mere literature.

But it is arguably only during the last 20 years that superheroes have become a major part of mainstream entertainment culture, with almost innumerable fantastical characters featuring in many of Hollywood’s biggest and most successful franchises.

In this article, we will explore two of the factors that have contributed to this trend.

Advancing film-making technology
Superheroes in major films is nothing new, although the genre was far less common than it is today. One of the major factors behind this changing trend has been the advancing film-making technology that allows producers and directors to create fantastical action scenes that look incredible.

In the old days, film-makers relied on puppets, props and very basic special effects to create the illusion of superpower, with the results being unsurprisingly not very convincing. However, rapid advances in CGI have made creating lifelike sequences a reality.

Movements can be modeled on real human actors and delivered on screen in CGI, meaning that there is no loss of authenticity when attempting an ambitious special effect or fight scene. These advances have made the films less 'comic' and helped them garner a more widespread appeal. The future is perhaps even more exciting.

Media crossovers
Speaking of courting a widespread appeal, the action film genre and the wider aesthetic of science fiction has become more commonplace in wider entertainment. Marvel’s purchase by Disney in 2009 was a major milestone in the genre’s recent history and superhero films have grown in popularity ever since.

The result of that popularity is more media crossovers and spin-offs than you can imagine, including in sectors such as the world of online casino. Many of the platforms listed in the website, which aggregates some of the sector’s best providers, feature games built around a superhero or science fiction theme.

These include The Final Countdown, featuring a male-female hero partnership, and The Guardians, which stars a cast of female characters modeled on modern Hollywood superheroes. The adaptable nature of the online casino means it’s likely we’ll see more crossovers in the future, and this relationship has certainly helped to broaden the genre’s mainstream appeal beyond the cinema.

Elsewhere, you’re very likely to see the stars of the latest releases appearing on TV talk shows, while their social media followings often run into the millions. It’s certainly true that the higher profiles of the actors themselves is helping to underpin the films’ growing popularity.

These are just two of the catalysts behind the superhero genre’s recent charge into the mainstream. Study any recent top films list and you’re certain to find at least one of the titles released by Marvel or DC. And if the rate of new releases is anything to go by, it’s unlikely that we’ll see that trend slow down.

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