To say that the comic book movie is here to stay may seem like a glib understatement. In 2014 alone there are no less than five massive scale mainstream blockbuster movies being released based on Marvel Comics properties alone (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Big Hero 6). Yet it was barely a decade ago that film critics, audiences and analysts perceived the raft of contemporary big screen comic book adaptations as a passing fad, a bubble that would soon burst.
Of course films based on comic books (or comic strips) are nothing new, but just how did we get from a time when movies and TV were strictly y’know for kids, cheap and throwaway, to the current dominance of comic adaptations as the blockbuster form? Just as paper comics have their own ages, from