Characters swooping off the pages of comic books and onto the silver screen is a major genre in Hollywood, with the latest being “The Batman” directed by Matt Reeves.

It’s hardly the first time onscreen for The Caped Crusader, but the audiences keep coming back for him and similarly heroic colleagues.

“It’s an inspiring story, but it’s also a story about how far the human condition can go,” said film major Alex Eaton.

“I think that’s why we keep coming back,” said the student from Atlanta of billionaire Bruce Wayne’s latest turn in his bat costume.

Superhero films have become a large part of the movie industry, with several of the highest-grossing movies from the last 15 years being Marvel properties.

Of course, COVID closed theaters and has otherwise affected the box office, but that didn’t stop the superheroes: “Spider-Man: No Way Home” made over a billion dollars globally and is the biggest domestic debut since the pandemic began over two years ago. 

Comic book rival DC has not surrendered the box office to Marvel. Justice League, Wonder Woman, Superman and, of course, Batman, aka The Dark Knight, keep returning to the screen and streaming services for DC.

Audiences are looking for heroes, according to Eaton.

“These are characters who stand for justice in the right way,” Eaton said. “I think the success of characters like Batman and Spider-Man ties back to the idea of normal people taking it upon themselves to help the innocent.”Dr. Christopher Bailey is a professor in the College of Entertainment and the Arts who last month released his own superhero film “Incognito.”

Bailey said he was drawn to the genre for many reasons.

“We all long for a supernatural ability to help others and ourselves,” Bailey said. “As we age, these movies appeal to the kid playfulness that we all have and grew out of to some extent.” The comic book series on which “The Batman” is based is also contributing to audience attendance. Batman was first released as a comic in 1939 that has continued in different iterations to this day. 

As for Bailey, well he’s sure he’ll be making it to a theater soon for “The Batman.” “Yes, we will be seeing the film. Absolutely.”  

Photo Credit: Jonathan Olley/™ & © DC Comics

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