The History of the Superhero Movies: Chapter 2, The Golden Age


Where we left off, the latest superhero movies were just starting to take their marks. But in 1978 that all changed with the release of the very first big budget superhero movie: Superman.

Historical context

To understand why Superman was created around this time, and how he got the budget he got ($ 55 million, or $ 218,000,000 in 2020), it’s important to understand where super-fiction was at. hero as a medium. It was around this time that the restrictions of the Comics Code Authority loosened and comics began to gain popularity, and would only gain popularity in the 80s and 90s.

It was also around this time that science fiction and fantasy films began to flourish, with Star wars being a factor. There were just a lot more sci-fi movies, so superhero movies could thrive, and they did.


Superman, although dated in terms of special effects, remains a very good film. I saw it when I was a kid and really enjoyed it, despite the camp. The budget was certainly not wasted. It was the second highest grossing film of this year and was nominated for several awards. People loved this movie, and it was not only the biggest hit but also the most popular superhero movie of the time. In the end, it’s no surprise that it gave way to several sequels and many other iconic DC properties.

The 80s

The 1980s were a key time not only for superhero movies, but also for science fiction and fantasy. After all, many classic science fiction films were made during this era, such as Back to the future and AND: the Extra Terrestrial. The decade is so tied to sci-fi works that it even has two linked sci-fi aesthetics: cassette futurism and cyberpunk. This is why many superhero classics came out around this time, including major DC titles such as Swamp thing (We’ll get to Batman in a minute) and several more. There were also comic book heroes such as Flash Gordon getting their own titles, and a few original characters introduced to theaters, including Condorman and The poisonous avenger. In the 1980s, there was at least one superhero movie a year, a trend that was only gaining momentum.

Batman and the 90s

While Superman and all of its sequels came out in the 1980s, the 1990s was the Batman era. Director Tim Burton developed the character in his very first big-budget movie adaptation, and Batman became DC’s primary focus at the time, and arguably until now, including in the animation department (which is the subject of another chapter). because it was able to generate four suites, if you include Batman and robin, which some do not. This is where you saw Jack Nicholson as Joker and Jim Carrey as Riddler, plus many more. It was also a time, like the ’90s, for a lot of non-DC movies to come out, including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This era also made possible one of the very few superhero horror titles, Dark man. Sadly, this reign of the great superhero movies ended with Batman and robin.. This film is one of the few that I will talk about that has had a negative impact. The movie is considered one of the worst of all time, and it was rated so poorly that it almost led to the superhero movie’s death. The purpose of the film, as many were back then, was to make toys (all the kind of mecha anime that dominated the ’80s and’ 90s were created to sell action figures) and toys that they have. ended up manufacturing. But they forgot to do the movie well and made the wrong choice of picking Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze and George Clooney as Batman. The film did so badly that the reputation of superhero films was ruined for years to come.


And it was the golden age of superhero movies. Where superhero movies really started to get popular. Sadly, Marvel had virtually no releases during that time, but that was all about to change over the next couple of years. Stay tuned for the next chapter, which will talk about the animated side of superhero movies.

The History of the Superhero Movies: Chapter 2, The Golden Age

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