The history of comic books can be traced back to 18th-century Japan. However, it is believed that The Yellow Kid in McFadden’s Flats was the first-ever ‘comic book’ as it was the earliest to bear the phrase ‘comic book’ on its back cover. Of course, the modern-day comic book went on to be a key component of popular culture beginning in the 1930s. As we enter 2022, the stereotypical comic book action hero has entered an age of modernization. FirstComicNews takes a look into how comic books continue to influence and shape modern society.
The most straightforward way in which we can see how much of an effect comic books have had on society is through the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). The Hollywood Marvel film franchise is by far and away from the biggest in the world. Avengers: End Game is the second highest-grossing movie of all time, behind only Avatar which was recently re-released for the Chinese market. Unsurprisingly, the highest-grossing movie franchise of all time is the MCU. In addition, the MCU is as popular now as it has ever been and continues to set new peaks. Several new MCU films are released on an annual basis and there are now almost a dozen separate series hits based on the Marvel universe.
The worldwide spread of comic books from the 1930s onwards paved the way for the many films, TV series, and video games that we now see today. The easy-to-follow good guy versus a bad guy that has been seen in so many films also sprung partly from comic books. Even news channels and journalists often pick up on this same narrative. At the end of the day, these narratives hook human brains, and it is one of the reasons why comic book heroes resonate so well with human beings. Comic books also paved the way for the 1990s cartoons on television that we all know and love. Would we have ever had Cartoon network if it wasn’t for the likes of Will Eisner, Katsuhiro Otomo, and Stan Lee? Perhaps not. Television cartoons are essentially an evolution of comics, and Marvel movies and series are a further evolution of the TV cartoons.
Furthermore, the video game industry has also become successful partly on the back of comic books. The entertainment factor gained from video games in the 21st century must be very similar to what readers of The Beano, for example, must have experienced. In addition, there are plenty of video games based on comic books, some of which are among the best video games of all time. One of the most successful video game franchises of all time is Spiderman. Several Spiderman games have been released with the franchise making hundreds of millions of dollars. In the video game industry, sales mean success. There will never be a poor video game that sells well, it just doesn’t happen.
One of the chief architects at the developer of the 2018 Spider-Man game was Mike Fitzgerald. Speaking about the game to the PlayStation blog, Fitzgerald stated that:
“At times, the whole game feels just like a Marvel movie.” But it is not only AAA video game companies that are taking advantage of superheroes created by comic books. Online slots developers are using their talent to create superhero and comic book-themed slot games. Comic book-themed games can be played at new online slot sites in 2022 with the popularity of these games reaching ever-increasing levels. Some of the best-known and played slot games based on comics include Jack Hammer, which is a game based on a superhero called Jack Hammer who attempts to defeat the evil villain Dr. Wuten.
Overall, comic-themed games and movies have become cash cows for their creators. There is an expectation that MCU films will continue well into the future. Additionally, an ever-greater number of slots games developers are looking to use comic-themed for their games. However, anyone who instinctively says they dislike comic books should be made aware of all the modern pop culture that they have helped inspire.