Superheros Take The Movies

Comic book superheros are everywhere in the movies today. “The cachet of comics – and I mean the old, cheap, pulpy kind, not “comix” or “graphic novels” – is all the more remarkable given that for most of their history, they could count on provoking the disdain of literary intellectuals, the panic of moralists and the condescension of mainstream show business, which saw them as fodder for cartoons and campy kid shows. The days when a film critic could wish that comic books would just go away – as Robert Warshow did in a brilliantly ambivalent 1954 essay on his young son’s fandom – are long gone. The superheroes demand to be taken as seriously as they have always taken themselves.”