The history of humanity is about overcoming its limitations. A man is weak, fragile and mortal. Nevertheless, hundreds and thousands of years we’ve pushed ourselves further and further to improve. People have learned to make fire, mastered flights, conquered lands, and even got beyond it. However, even these achievements are not enough to say that humanity is omnipotent.
To remind themselves that they still can be better, people invented characters and began to create myths – the stories about heroes’ adventures and achievements.
The myth of the hero existed in all ancient cultures. The hero is often sent to the supernatural world and falls into the supernatural situation where he meets opponents and wins over them. There are many interpretations of myths, but really important things are on the surface:
Hercules, Gilgamesh, Rama – they all show the real power of humankind.
The idea of superman deeply rooted in the culture: since ancient times it has been taking different forms, but has never gone and will never gone away. Moreover, in XX and the beginning of XXI century it has returned with renewed vigor!
Captain America, Spiderman, Superman, Batman…over the last century these characters have undergone both external and internal changes. Let’s look at the most catchy of them in the eyes of DesignContest.
He’s the most popular USA superhero during the years of World War II. The story began in 1941; in 1944 and further it continued:
35 years later, in 1979, he returned in ” Captain America” and “Captain America II: Death Too Soon”:
In these films, Captain wears a motorcycle helmet with a protective glass and defeats enemies with translucent round shield.
In 1990, there was released the fourth screen version, so-called B-category film, which was shown on television only, since it was not adapted for wide-screens:
In 2011, after a large-scale cinematic restart of Marvel Universe, “The First Avenger” was filmed:
In 2012, “The Avengers” was filmed:
Hulk firstly appeared not on the big screen, but on television: in 1977-1982, 1988-1990, “The Incredible Hulk” ruled the world. Bill Bixby played a role of Bruce Benner, while his heroic alter ego was played by Lou Ferrigno:
The Second Coming of Hulk was in 2003 in “The Hulk movie on the big screen. Eric Bana played the main role. The interesting fact is that Edward Norton had shown a great interest in this role, but refused after reading the script.
In 2008, Norton played the Hulk (after the restart of the Marvel Universe):
In the “The Avengers” of 2012, Hulk’s role was played by Mark Ruffalo, since Norton abandoned the project because of disagreements with the studio:
The first appearance of Batman besides comic strips and cartoons was in mini-series, released in 1937 with Lewis Wilson starring. The second film adaptation of “Batman and Robin” was released in 1949, and the role of the main character was played by Robert Lowry:
1966 was a year of three-seasoned comedy series about the adventures of the Dark Knight, in which the chief role was played by Adam West. Later, in his memoirs, he would celebrate his dislike for the genre part of the show – a little bit caricature-like and comedy:
Within 49 years after the first movie was released, in 1989, Tim Burton takes a big-screen version, where the main role was given to Michael Keaton. This film became the highest grossing movie in 1989:
Three years later the “Batman Returns” sequel released (again with Keaton in the title role):
In 1995, “Batman Forever” took the stage:
And in 1997 – “Batman and Robin”:
After nearly a ten-year break, in 2005, Batman franchise was restarted under the direction of Christopher Nolan.: “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises” were the two most successful movies!
Tony Stark’s role is constantly played by Robert Downey Jr. The first film was released in 2008:
the sequel – in 2010:
In 2012, we all had looked at the adventures of Tony Stark in “The Avengers”:
Finally, in 2013, the “Iron Man 3” appeared:
The most popular superhero of America changed his image as much as 7 times. In 1948, he appeared on screen for the first time (Kirk Elina):
Then he was played by George Reeves in “The Adventures of Superman” TV series, which were shown in 1951-1958:
Twenty years later, the big screen witnessed the first of four films, in which the role of Clark Kent was played by Christopher Reeves. The sequel was released two years later. “Superman 3” was filmed in 1983; four years later, in 1987, the “Superman 4: The quest for peace” appeared:
In 1993–1997, the main role was given to Dean Cain:
Here’s the picture of Superman in “Smallville” (2001 – 2011):
Over the past decade, the world has seen two more film adaptations of Superman: in 2006 it was the “Superman Returns” (with Brandon Ruth):
and in 2013 – the “Man of Steel” with Henry Cavil:
Peter Parker appeared in “The Amazing Spider-Man” TV series in 1977:
In 2002, there was released the first film of Sam Raimi’s trilogy about the adventures of Peter Parker:
The sequel was released two years later, in 2004:
And in 2007, the final part of the trilogy, “Spider-Man 3”, was filmed:
By the way, Tobey Maguire played the main role in all 3 parts.
2012 was the year when it was decided to restart the franchise, which resulted in choosing of another actor for a Parker’s role – Andrew Garfield:
The interesting fact is that in 2010 there was staged the most successful Broadway musical named “Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark”. The main role was played by Reeve Carne, an American singer:
Thor has appeared i1988 in the “Return of the Incredible Hulk”, where he was the spirit of a dead Viking, not the son of Odin:
In the reissued Marvel Universe, the role went to Chris Hemsworth. He first appeared in “Thor” in 2011:
and then in “The Avengers” in 2012:
In November 2013, there was a premiere of “Thor: The Dark World”:
By the early 2000s, superheroes were already popular, but with an advent of the blockbusters their popularity increased in a few times! It’s now clear that this is one of the most important pop cultural phenomena of modern times.
Of course, comics have many interesting stories too, but cinema audience is much wider. Now films about superheroes back almost to the ancient schemes, telling us the same simple story, but in new words and with a lot more excitement!