Bat BurgerOver the last decade, superheroes have become a very hot commodity who are constantly being used to promote a wide range of products, services, and brands. This can include such purchasable items as fast food, car insurance, clothing, kitchenware, as well as many other niche markets lined-up and ready for the taking. But this wasn’t always the case! No, unfortunately not, because when I was a kid, comic book superheroes were thought of as colorful adventurers rather than bankable salespeople.

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Well, let’s face it! That’s precisely what some of them have now become! They’ve become a broad range of salespeople who are each delineated to sell certain products, items, and services to a predefined target audience. Obviously female characters such as Wonder Woman or Black Canary are aimed at ladies, girls, and people who appreciate the female form, whereas masculine characters like Batman and Wolverine are aimed at men, boys, and people who enjoy the darker and gruffer approach, tonally at least. Then you have a large array of niche characters aimed at a more specific market, like nationality (Black Panther), mysticism (Doctor Strange), technology (Cyborg), and urban and sociological redevelopment (Luke Cage and Iron Fist).

Funny Marvel - Spider-Man, Daredevil, Deadpool
Having said that, though, big corporations also acknowledge that people’s tastes and preferences aren’t always gender or genre specific! After all, tone and style are two additional elements that have to be taken into consideration. Such as in the Thor franchise, for instance, which started off in 2011 as a pretty conventional comic book movie, until Chris Hemsworth, who play's the title character, was given some comedic props for his funny turn in the 2016 reboot of the Ghostbusters film -- yes, that one -- and this led to a tonal shift in the movies starring Thor, changing them from having a serious tone to a more jovial one.

Along similar lines, certain companies aim their wares at an even broader spectrum. Take a look at online gambling, for example, or to be more specific about it, those online slots games with comic book themes! Basically, these games usually conform to a thematic approach when it comes down to developing, promoting, and selling their particular brand of entertainment, doing so by basing them on a character's movie or style, without forgetting to acknowledge the large selection of villains, gadgets, and other paraphernalia they may also have at their disposal. But before they'd commit to such a project, they would first have to carry out market surveys in order to see which selection of superheroes are the most popular. To see what I mean, here, cast your eyes over these two commissioned by Vue Entertainment.

  1. Batman.
  2. Superman.
  3. Spider-Man.
  4. Wonder Woman.
  5. Incredible Hulk.
  6. Iron Man.
  7. Wolverine.
  8. Thor.
  9. Flash Gordon.
  10. Captain America.
  11. Deadpool.
  12. Guardians of the Galaxy.
  13. Robin.
  14. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
  15. The Flash.
  16. Batwoman.
  17. Black Panther.
  18. Batgirl.
  19. Hellboy.
  20. Ghost Rider
Wonder Woman Art
  1. Invisibility.
  2. Flying.
  3. Time travel.
  4. Teleportation.
  5. Super healing abilities.
  6. Telepathy.
  7. Immortality.
  8. Super strength.
  9. Shapeshifter.
  10. Super intelligence.

So what does any of this tell us? Well, for a start, it tells us that heroes like Batman, Spider-Man, and Wonder Woman are very popular at the moment and that most people enjoy the characters produced by both DC and Marvel Comics. We can also figure out that a large portion thematically enjoys watching fantasy and escapist adventures, largely based on what powers they'd like to possess. Other factors these two surveys have produced include:
  • Twenty-two percent of those approached enjoy reading superhero comic books, as opposed to fifty-three percent who prefer to watch their filmic counterparts.
  • Adam West is the most popular actor to have played Batman, whereas Christopher Reeve came out on top when it came down to playing Superman. Although Superman would beat Batman in a fight.
  • Wonder Woman is the superhero most women would want to be, while most men would prefer to take on the role of Superman.
  • Twelve percent of people said they'd prefer to be a villain rather than a superhero, with the Joker, Penguin, and Lex Luthor featuring as the top three villains of all time.
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Anyway. That's what I think about the selling of the superhero. How about you? Do you agree with me or do you think I'm talking a lot of cack? Either way, I would love to read what you have to say in the comment section below.

THE SELLING OF THE SUPERHERO THE SELLING OF THE SUPERHERO Reviewed by David Andrews on May 10, 2018 Rating: 5

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