Comic movies: the origin story


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Berlin's ComicA private investigator searches for a couple’s missing  daughter. In another world, a crime forensics expert  dedicates his life to finding his mother’s killer. A blind lawyer starts a firm with his childhood best friend.

While resembling realistic, mundane tragedies, these scenarios represent pop culture’s latest novelty: superheroes. These heroes come from the popular shows “Jessica Jones,” “The Flash” and Daredevil.

The number of superhero shows and movies has been increasing. Industry powerhouses Marvel Comics and DC Comics have also announced comic book remakes as far ahead as 2020. These movies include “Justice League”, Part 1(2017) and 2 (2019), “Captain Marvel” (2019) and “Green Lantern Corps” (2020).

Most superheroes are average people living mundane lives. They then go through a life altering change, most commonly by a freak accident or a long, complicated backstory. The superhero is now faced with constant action and conflict, giving the story substance and readers a reason to stand by the hero.

The origin of superhero comic books started in the 1930s and boomed in America during World War II. Over time people became more engrossed with the narratives and have requested them to be brought to life with movie and TV remakes. Tien Le (12), an avid reader of comic books since childhood, has seen the rise of the superhero genre in his own lifetime.

“Before, comics were consider a nerdy-type thing, but it’s in popular culture where people enjoy unique stories more,” Le said.

Along with intriguing stories, movie makers are listening to their audiences. As years have passed, producers have been looking at what their viewers are interested in. This can seen in the newest blockbuster hit, “Deadpool”. The producers of “Deadpool” made sure to incorporate the insanity, dirty language and the charisma of the unapologetic anti-hero in the beloved comic book series.

Movie creators also are paying attention to details as well. Character arcs, cinematography and actors seem only to get better as more and more movies are being produced. Popular comic movies such as “Spider-man,” “The Avengers” and “Superman” have all grossed over 800 million to 1 billion dollars each.

White Station art teacher, Charles Berlin is in the finals of publishing his own graphic novel, “Professor Wexler: World Explorer,” but has had the main character since 1998. Like many other classic heroes, his protagonist, Professor Wexler, is anything but Superman.

“He’s into opening the mind, so that’s where his power comes from in that he’s more cerebral and he’s very a-typical,” Berlin said.

The superpowers Professor Wexler possesses are book smarts. With a high level of intelligence, Wexler is no  way a “muscular marvel.” The protagonist carries a thick pair of coke-bottle glasses and an unlit pipe out the side of his mouth. Wexler travels the world trying to find the Babylonian Tablet of Destiny which have been distributed across the planet. This tablet unlocks unlimited power and opens up the cosmic gates, unleashing deities that could destroy the world.

The decision to make a comic book was not a spur of the moment endeavour for Mr. Berlin. He has always been driven to be a cartoonist. As a child, he was inspired by comics in MAD Magazine in the 70s, which can be seen in his artistic style which features similar ways of making his subjects caricatures.

The popularity of comics is something that has been seen through multiple generations, and has taken new forms. The love for superheroes does not seem to be settling down anytime soon as more people are becoming infatuated with the genre.

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