Every year, Mrs. Dahle brings her pre-schoolers through my classroom before Halloween to show off their costumes and recite a Halloween poem to us. It’s amazingly adorable, and it’s always fun to see what the “hip” costumes might be this year. My favorites are always the super hero costumes; these parents are clearly doing something right by introducing their children to the wonders of comic book heroes at a young age!
This year Iron Man and Batman’s sidekick Robin made an appearance. I also had Star-Lord come to my door, along with a Clone Trooper. There weren’t quite the number of super heroes as in years past, but I would wager that with an Avengers sequel movie arriving next year, Captain America and Thor might make appearances in 2015.
It’s cool to be a geek these days. This is welcome news for old-school geeks like me, who have flaunted our nerdiness for years now. (Funny side note: My computer underlined nerdiness as being misspelled. Suggested word? Neediness…hmm…) I’ve written before about my love of comic books. I enjoyed Spider-Man and Superman long before it was news that they’d be producing movies that would cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Back then it wasn’t really cool to like comics.
Comic book movies are a huge business. To date, five of the top ten grossing movies of 2014 are comic book related: Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America, Transformers, X-Men, and Amazing Spider-Man are all there, with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles just outside at #11. Even more impressive is the scope with which movie companies are competing and planning out movies for the future related to the four-color features. There have been races over who gets what dates for releases!
Here’s the docket through 2020 (!) for super hero movies: three in 2015, seven in 2016, nine in 2017, six in 2018, three in 2019, and two in 2020. So far. Are you kidding me?
I grew up in a time where Christopher Reeve as Superman was considered top of the line awesomeness for a movie. After recent efforts to revive Superman, I still consider Reeve the pre-eminent Man of Steel. Next up is Superman and Batman together in a movie. Will it be any good? I don’t know, but I’m sure I’ll be there to fulfill my inner geek.
I grew up in a time where my friends and I would speculate on IF we’d ever see a Spider-Man movie or why the studios couldn’t make a good Captain America movie. We never dreamed of putting the X-Men or Avengers on the screen. Now we’ve got not only excellent versions of those heroes, but even little-known comics like the aforementioned GOTG breaking records.
I wasn’t a huge Batman fan when Michael Keaton’s rendition hit the screens in 1989, but I thought it was pretty cool. That franchise went quickly downhill, but Christian Bale’s version this past decade was so well done that it’s scary to think of anyone (Ben Affleck, cough) else doing the Caped Crusader justice.
Think about the billions of dollars these movies have made, especially since Iron Man hit the screen in 2008. Marvel built a movie universe by linking all its movies together. DC Comics is trying to follow suit. It’s clearly working since there are many more than just comic book fans attending these movies. I talk to people who have never read a comic book speak with glee about these movies.
Is it bringing more people into comic book shops? I’m not sure. Sales numbers are not super high like they were in the 1990s, but there are also digital comics now, which I would guess would be a more likely route for some of these movie fans. I know that comic conventions have increasing numbers though, since there are often appearances of these movie stars and sneak peeks at whatever comic book feature is next to hit the silver screen.
I’m so happy that my son loves these comics and movies as much as I do. We talk often about what’s coming next. We are even reading old comics of Ant Man since he has a movie next year. Hey, maybe with the shortness of Mrs. Dahle’s stars, that would be a perfect costume for next year!
Word of the Week: This week’s word is rounceval, which means someone that is large, as in, “Bruce Banner became a rounceval when he got angry and changed into the Hulk.” Impress your friends and confuse your enemies!