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Conner, Shawn. Superheroes Smash the Box Office: A cinema history from the serials to 21st century blockbusters. Jefferson: McFarland, 2023. 
Added by: joachim (10/3/23, 1:25 PM)   
Resource type: Book
Language: en: English
ID no. (ISBN etc.): 978-1-4766-7666-1
BibTeX citation key: Conner2023
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Categories: General
Keywords: Adaptation, Film adaptation, Historical account, Superhero, USA
Creators: Conner
Publisher: McFarland (Jefferson)
Views: 22/260
In 1997, the superhero movie was all but dead. The last Superman flick had been released a decade earlier to disastrous reviews and ticket sales. The most recent Batman film was a franchise-killing bomb. And an oft-promised Spider-Man feature was grounded. Yet a mere five years later this once-derided genre would be well on its way to world domination at the box office and even critical respectability. How did this happen? And why, two decades later, does the phenomenon show no sign of abating?
Here, for the first time, is an extensively researched soup-to-nuts history of the superhero movie, from the first bargain-basement black-and-white serials to today’s multiverse blockbusters. Chronicling eight decades of stops and starts, controversies and creators, good guys and bad guys—onscreen and off—this entertaining account explains how and why our entertainment universe came to be overpowered by costumed crimefighters and their nefarious counterparts.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Chapter I: It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s … a Serial (3)
1941–1958: Adventures of Captain Marvel, Batman, Captain America, Superman, Batman and Robin, Atom Man vs. Superman, Superman and the Mole-Men
Chapter II: Biff! Bam! and, of Course, Pow! (12)
1966–1968: Batman
Chapter III: Hulk Fights a Bear (20)
1970s, Pt. 1: Wonder Woman, The Incredible Hulk, The Amazing Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, Captain America
Chapter IV: This Looks Like a Job for Two European Film Producers (30)
1970s, Pt. 2: Superman: The Movie
Chapter V: Marvel Gets Its Wish (36)
1981–1987: Superman II, Superman III, Supergirl, Howard the Duck, Superman IV
Chapter VI: How One Batfan’s Dedication Transformed the Movie Industry (46)
1989: Batman
Chapter VII: In the Shadow of the Bat (53)
1990–1992: TMNT, Dick Tracy, Darkman, The Rocketeer, Batman Returns
Chapter VIII: Marvel’s Woes, and a Dark Horse Enters the Race (60)
1990–1995: The Punisher, Captain America, Fantastic Four, The Crow, The Mask, Tank Girl
Chapter IX: Batnipplegate, and Marvel Scores a Hit (69)
1995–1999: Batman Forever, Batman & Robin, Spawn, Steel, Blade
Chapter X: Born That Way (79)
2000–2002: X-Men, Spider-Man
Chapter XI: Hulk Throws a Tank (86)
2003–2005: Daredevil, X2: X-Men United, Hulk, Hellboy, The Punisher, Spider-Man 2, Catwoman, Elektra
Chapter XII: Batman Begins, Superman Returns and the Silver Surfer Rises (96)
2005–2007: Batman Begins, Fantastic Four, Superman Returns, X-Men: The Last Stand, Ghost Rider, Spider-Man 3, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
Chapter XIII: The Year Marvel Broke (106)
2008: Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, The Dark Knight
Chapter XIV: Summer of the Superhero (and a Winter of Discontent) (113)
2008: The Dark Knight, The Punisher: War Zone, The Spirit
Chapter XV: Alternate Histories (118)
2009–2011: Watchmen, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Kick-Ass, Thor, X-Men: First Class, The Dark Knight Rises, Captain America: The First Avenger
Chapter XVI: Avengers Assembled (129)
2012–2013: The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Dark Knight Rises, Dredd, Iron Man 3, Superman Returns, The Wolverine, Thor: The Dark World
Chapter XVII: A Raccoon and a Tree Walk into a Bar (137)
2014: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Guardians of the Galaxy
Chapter XVIII: High Hopes (142)
2015: Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Fantastic Four
Chapter XIX: Ask Not for Whom Dawns the Justice (147)
2016: Deadpool, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Captain America: Civil War, X-Men: Apocalypse
Chapter XX: Let the Amazons Have Some (157)
2017: Logan, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, Justice League
Chapter XXI: Peak Superhero (167)
2018: Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Deadpool 2, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Venom, Aquaman
Chapter XXII: Endgame (174)
2019: Glass, Captain Marvel, Shazam!, Hellboy, Fast Color, Avengers: Endgame, Brightburn, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Spider-Man: Far from Home, Joker
Chapter XXIII: After the Snap (180)
2020–2021: Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), Wonder Woman 1984, Zach Snyder’s Justice League, The Suicide Squad, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, The New Mutants, Black Widow, Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings, The Eternals, Spider-Man: No Way Home
Epilogue (189)

Chapter Notes (191)
Bibliography (207)
Index (225)

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