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What is the future for the superhero?

The future of the superhero is up to the fans and the industry to decide. Since 2000, the superhero genre became part of a more advanced transmedia experience. Cartoons, video games, backpacks, lunchboxes, schoolbooks, movie sagas, and classes are now dedicated to various forms of the history and future of the superhero.

The recent trend for the 90s generation has brought back some relevance to the superhero market. "Geek Chic" has influenced people (usually in their college years) that intelligence actually has a comedic or sex appeal, and the comic book culture along with superheroes has made a comeback. The summer of 2011 was dominated with new Marvel-based movies that have set the basis for other movies to cone, namely the Avengers. Other characters from both Marvel and DC are set to have movies of their own by summer of 2012. Lastly, DC's "New 52" has provided advanced art forms and plot-lines to open up to a new audience. Like Marvel, they plan to publish their comics online to provide to those without access to a comic store. Video games offer the opportunity to tell a different story in which the person is thrust into the world of the hero, which has a major appeal in terms of the superhero and to an increasingly virtualized world.

International comics have also become a part of the "Geek Chic" fandom, with the inclusion of British comics such as "Watchmen" and "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" in the U.S. market. Anime and mangas are the Japanese form of cartoons and comics, which were also popular in the 90s. Mangas like Dragonball Z and Sailor Moon were examples of amines that were popularized in America, and appealed to both male and female audiences. Supernatural characters have also made a tremendous comeback, some more heroic and intense than others.

For the newest generation, it is unclear if comic book superheroes will survive, but the reception is mostly positive. The industry has lasted for almost one hundred years, and it is doubtful that the industry will slow down any more. Spin-offs were another way of manufacturing the superhero genre without the superhero costume. Heroes was a popular show on NBC within the first two seasons, but ratings steadily declined as it continued. The British TV show Misfits is a spin-off of Heroes, and acts as almost a parody. The approach, however, is different from the morals of a grown superhero and points to the teen audience. The amount if fans grows each season, even with the removal of favorite characters. Star Wars, Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Justice League and Teen Titans have been merchandised and ultimately turned into successful cartoons, capturing the minds of the younger generation. The biggest question is the future of comics, and whether the younger generation will be as interested in the backstory that is more in-depth on paper than what could ever be on the screen.


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