Movies cause interest in comic books



By Ethan Alonzo, CONTRIBUTOR

Excelsior. With great power comes great responsibility. Trust me, true believer. These sayings were some of the many catchphrases coined by the great Stan Lee before his passing in November of 2018.
Lee was among the greatest comic book writers that ever were, and the films created from those books are proof.
The dispute of which comic book publisher is most superior has been going on for ages. Where Marvel has Iron Man, DC’s lovechild is Batman. When DC premiered gun for hire Deathstroke, Marvel answered 10 years later with Deadpool.
Regardless of which side of the comic book wars you support, one thing can be said: comic book movies have come a long way. The days of cheesy films like “Spawn” or “The Blade Trilogy” have faded away. Bid farewell to the latex wearing George Clooney and ice related puns of Arnold Schwarzenegger. While campy, these films paved the way for greats like “Wonder Woman” and “Into the Spiderverse.”
There has been a rise in sales for the source material due to the success of these films. Sales of comic books rebounded in 2017 after a long period of decline, according to Variety.
Superhero movies have become some of the highest-grossing films of this era. “Iron Man”’s 2008 opening weekend made more than $98 million dollars, according to Box Office Mojo. “Black Panther” made $291 million in its opening weekend, according to Vanity Fair. This is the most successful opening for a black director, Ryan Coogler, an Oakland native.
Currently, two comic book films are smashing the box office, “Captain Marvel” and “Shazam!,” respectively, with another highly anticipated film on the rise. “Captain Marvel” is breaking records as the most popular female lead film globally, and “Shazam!” becoming the number one film in America opening weekend. However, both of these films’ success is dwarfed by the anticipation of “Avengers: Endgame.” Presale for “Endgame” alone caused the Fandango ticket sales website to crash.
For every superhero film, there is an entire universe in the source material. Every superhero has a backstory. The allure of the comic book is that they devote more time to the back story. From Spiderman’s “Superior Spider-Man” story arc where Doctor Octopus takes over Peter Parker’s body, to Batman’s “Dark Nights: Metal” where battles are being waged against the dark side of the multiverse.
The movies can skip over information, assuming the fans already know the backstory. The recent Spider-Man film skipped over the stereotypical origin film and goes straight into the action fans wait for. With the comic books, the origin can never be skipped over.
With the increasing popularity of anything comic book, there are new fans searching for guidance. Crush Comics in Castro Valley has the answer.
“We are right next to Chabot Theater,” Josh Hunter, owner of Crush Comics in Castro Valley said. “We do this thing called Shop Debrief where after opening weekend we would keep the shop open later than usual to talk about the comic books and explain them to newer fans. Since ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Infinity War’, we have definitely sold more comic books.”
Whether you are a fan of DC or Marvel, we can all agree on one thing: comic book movies today are much better than comic book movies of decades past.