#EngKnowledge: History of superhero films

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Avangers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Superhero film focuses on the actions of individuals with superhuman abilities dedicating their life to protect the public.

Most superhero films are based on comic books, though there are always exceptions. RoboCop, Unbreakable, The Incredibles, and Hancock are examples of films that were made original for the big screen. Whilst Green Hornet is an example of a film based on a radio series.

The history of superhero films went back to the 1940s, after the boom of superhero comic books. Before they came to the big screen, they were adapted to TV series aired on Saturdays, originally aimed for children.

Beginning with Mandrake the Magician (1939), it was then followed by big names like Batman (1944).

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Top: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) | Bottom Left: Batman (1944) | Bottom Right: Superman (1978)

Between 1950-60, the comic industry faced a decline. (Decline = penurunan) But it didn’t stop the theatrical release of Adventures of Superman, starring George Reeves.

A big change happened in the 1970s after the success of sci-fi/fantasy film Star Wars. Studios began to release the first major big-budget superhero feature film, with advance technology (for that time).

More success stories happened in 1980s, with films like Superman II (1980), Robocop (1987), and Batman (1989). And the 1990s saw the peak of superhero films with more varieties in titles and themes.

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Top Left: The Crow (1994) | Top Right: Star Wars OT | Bottom Left: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995) | Bottom Right: Spawn (1997)

You might remember Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) or the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995), if you are old enough to watch it.

In 1994, The Crow set a record as the first independent comic superhero to be made a franchise. The film added elements of action to a superhero film, with a darker and more violent story. Unfortunately, here’s a tragic story behind the making of The Crow; the lead actor Brandon Lee died during the shooting process.

The Crow’s success subsequently led to more films by ‘smaller’ comic producers, like Spawn (1997) by Image Comics.

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Top: Men in Black (1997) | Bottom: Unbreakable (2000)

Men in Black (1997) set record as the first MARVEL product to win an Oscar for Best Makeup. In the 2000s, there was an increased interest in superhero films, with MARVEL becoming a top name for superhero films. Many can’t get over Tobey Maguire’s role as Spider-man (2002), one of the biggest blockbuster ever. I personally like Andrew Garfield better, but to each of their own.

Note:

  • To each of their own. Meaning: semua punya pendapat masing-masing
  • Can’t get over. Meaning: tidak bisa melupakan
  • Blockbuster. Meaning: istilah untuk film yang sukses meraih pemasukan tinggi.

Aside from those mentioned above, there are also more interesting alternative styles of superhero films, like Unbreakable (2000).

Why do superhero films become more popular in the 2000s? Expert says it has something to do with social-political climate. 9/11 and the following wars made people crave for a hero to save the day. Films made a great escape for them.

The 2010s saw many successful reboots of successful superhero series.

Note:

  • Reboot. Meaning: Pembuatan ulang.
  • Crave. Meaning: mendambakan.
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Top: The Dark Knight (2008) | Bottom: Spider-man (2002)

Who can forget Heath Ledger’s role as Joker in The Dark Knight (2008)? Sadly, apart from giving him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, the role also led him to his death. The Dark Knight set record as the most Oscar-nominated superhero film ever, with 8 nominations.

How is the future like for superhero films? Well, it seems exciting.

To compete with MARVEL, DC Comics prepared a film universe, started with Man of Steel & the sequel Batman v. Superman (2016).

Question: What’s your favourite superhero film?

batman, superman, the avengers – @arie90skid

Gatotkaca :D the original superhero of Indonesia – @AsriEsti

Question: How about superhero film from Indonesia? – @purwamel

Wiro Sableng. :) – @Kido26

I remember seeing a local comic series called @NusantaRanger . Hopefully one day Indonesia can make its own big budget superhero films.

But some of you might remember this TV series! :D

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Saras 008 (1998 – 2000)

Sources:

  • Wikipedia,
  • screenrant.com,
  • IMDB,
  • comicvine.com

 

Compiled by @animenur for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, 29 March 2015

 

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^MQ

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