THE GOLDEN AGE OF ‘GEEK-DOM’

Photo Credit: Latino-Review.com

Batman, Superman, Iron Man, oh my!

These are the names of (some of) my childhood heroes. Nowadays, these cats are all the rage, but once upon a time (way) back in the 90’s, things weren’t so awesome for comic book kids like me.

Many folks today forget the embarrassing on-screen antics of George Clooney in his glossy, nipple-clad bat-suit in the 1997 bomb, “Batman & Robin”, or the twisted weirdness of Tim Burton’s goth-thriller, “Batman Returns” in 1992. Sadly, at the time, that’s all we had to look forward to, and as fans, we bore the the brunt of the laughter as we stubbornly refused to hang up our Batman pajamas.

For years, the comic book community yearned for Hollywood to stop treating our idols like cheap cartoons, but it seemed our prayers had fallen on deaf ears.

Then in 2005, along came a filmmaker named Christopher Nolan (or St. Christopher, to some bat-fans). Nolan’s aim was to take the character seriously and expose the gritty nature of the caped crusader’s war on crime. The result was the mega-hit, “Batman Begins“, which gave way to film classic, “The Dark Knight“.

Considered by many to be one of the greatest films of all time, TDK stars Heath Ledger as one of the most sinister villains in the history of pop culture; Batman’s arch-nemisis, “The Joker”. Not to be overlooked, Christian Bale’s performance as a more soulful Bruce Wayne/vengeful Batman also gave credibility to the now exploding genre of superhero cinema. There was a time when Christopher Reeve and Michael Keaton weren’t proud of their stints as on-screen heroes. Now? A-List actors are chomping at the bit to wear a cape.

Thanks to the critical success of Nolan’s Bat-films, major studios are green-lighting some of the comic book world’s biggest names for their moment in the sun. Just one look at this year’s lineup is undeniable proof that the golden age of comics is experiencing an unfathomable renaissance. As Iron Man would say, “let’s do a headcount”:

Iron Man 3 – May 3rd
The Wolverine – July 26th
Thor: The Dark World – November 8
The Lone Ranger – July 3rd
Kick Ass 2 – June 28th
Man of Steel – June 14th
Star Trek: Into Darkness – (Not a comic book film, but still a cornerstone of nerd culture) May 17th

So kids, dust off those Superman pajamas and wear them proudly! Bust open those old comic books and recall those epic tales! Put on your costumes! Ignite your lightsabers! Skip work to go to Comic-Con! Why?

Because geek truly is the new chic!

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