The success of Marvel’s Avengers saga and Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy cemented the transformation of super heroes from a rather geeky pastime to mainstream, big money entertainment.
But with cinematic adventures needing to be carefully spaced out, studio bosses are planing to fuel the public’s newfound love of caped crusaders, heroic billionaires and angry scientists with a series of small screen spin-offs.
Set in the same world as its Avengers films, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD is set to be followed by a Batman spin-off set around Commissioner Gordon while streaming service Netflix has bagged the rights to four live-action Marvel series, including one focussed on Daredevil.
While Agents of SHIELD hasn’t excited viewers quite as much as Marvel and owners Disney might have helped, a recent poll commissioned by online casino and bookmakers Ladbrokes suggests the super hero genre is likely to do well for broadcasters and cinemas.
According to the poll: “The Dark Knight (21%) and The Dark Knight Rises (19%) were selected by men as the best superhero films ever. Women also enjoyed The Dark Knight Rises (16%), but named Avengers Assemble (17%) as their favourite. The Dark Knight (18%) took the overall title.”
That preference for Avengers Assemble may explain Robert Downey JR’s Iron Man toping the list of preferred male super hero dates – 20% wanted a night out with Tony Stark’s alter ego, closely followed by Wolverine (19%) and Batman (18%).
Meanwhile, despite the Halle Berry Catwoman film being voted the worst superhero film of all time, 30% of men named the character as their preferred date.
She was closely followed by Wonder Woman, due to be played by Gal Gadot in Batman vs Superman, who was the choice of 25% of men.
The big screen adventures of their most famous heroes seems to be guiding comic buying choices – 59% of those surveyed said they’d prefer to read a Marvel comic over a DC title while 41% of men would be happy to give up DC Comics in favour of Marvel.