5 Ways Superhero Comics Need To Change To Stay Relevant

Posted on: September 13th, 2012

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Comic’s have been around in some format for a very long time; originating from the Greek  komikos, though words and pictures as a means to tell a tale have been part of human culture since pre-Babylonian times, since we existed as cave dwelling hominids at the dawn of human history, maybe before.


Origins And Onwards



The birth of the Superhero in 1938 with Siegel and Shusters Superman, a parallel to the Moses story of an infant sent in a basket, now a rocket ship – to a new family who would raise him humbly to be a saviour – began a new modern mythology that much like the biblical tales and myths of our ancient cultures gone before – captured the imagination of their respective populaces and have endured – at times tenuously, and continue to prosper into the 21st Century.

Jump forward 70 + years and modern comic’s, due to our contemporary advance in technology have captured the zeitgeist with a grand proliferation across multi-media formats such as computer games, films, fashion etc. Suddenly the characters that were once marginalised in a former era of simple paper and ink soft back titles are now available on-line, in cinemas and on games consoles. They are as 3D in reality as they ever were in the imaginations of their original audience.

But like all things niche, this current fad for superheroic’s is a fashion. And fashions inevitably go out of style. Comic books and comic book movies primarily, while currently at their pique are also victims of a corporate dependence that has a tendency to recycle what’s popular and spit out the same repackaged material ad nauseum. This is promoted to a return audience that often feels disenchanted and gypped when their favourite characters are altered, rebooted, rejigged, reinvented and churned out again and again. But also to a new generation (with the hopes that the original consumer will come back as a readership) that comics companies are hoping to attract as new potential consumers.

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  • Big Nasty

    I agree with a lot of this. I’m tired of seeing spider-man and wolverine (to name a few) appear in so many teams. There’s a tongue in cheek two page panel showing where Wolverine is every day of the week. As strange as it seems, I’m comfortable with accepting the character has healing abilities and claws made from a fictional indestructable metal but I can’t accept he’s in Singapore when he’s supposed to be in Mexico at the same time.

    I also can’t stand what the death of Superman caused in comics. I’d like a death to mean something more than just a four month period.


    Agree with a lot that was said.
    Marvel has started moving forward by using the offspring of some heroes would like to see these move more main stream.