The impact of comic books goes a long way. It may be hard to pinpoint when exactly the obsession of the people began with these collections of printed strips, but one thing is for sure: it continues to live on to this day, especially now that comic books are not just limited to print but also occupy the big screen and television as well. Nicolas Cage is one big, proud comic book collector, and he recently weighed in on the influence of comics in the industry.
“People are so obsessed with comic books and comic book movies,” Cage told ComicBook. “The interesting thing about it was even when I was all of 11 years old, I had no doubt that when the technology and filmmaking got to a certain level, that the comic book stories and the colors of the characters would overtake the industry and it did. It happened.”
Despite the never-ending debate over whether comic book adaptations or superhero stories can be considered real cinema, it’s undeniable that superhero franchises such as Marvel and DC possess the power to dominate box office numbers as well as streaming service viewership, and sometimes with numbers comes real power, and real power defines the impact on the people.
Comic books emerged in the 1930s. Initially, the books republished amusing newspaper comics, but in 1938 they began to include superheroes to showcase unique content. Marvel Comics began in 1941, publishing popular characters such as Captain America. In the 1960s, the company introduced the Fantastic Four and swiftly expanded to include the Avengers, Spider-Man, the X-Men, and others. Since then, Marvel has evolved to feature thousands of original characters and begun to establish films and TV series.
On the other hand, DC began publishing superhero comics in 1938 with Action Comics #1, which was the first appearance of Superman and is widely regarded as the first American superhero comic ever published. After Superman, there are Batman and Wonder Woman, which eventually lead to the creation of the Justice League superhero team. DC is regarded as one of the "Big Two" publishers of mainstream superhero comics in the United States, trailing only Marvel Comics.
Cage has been linked to several superhero roles over his career. He played Johnny Blaze in Ghost Rider and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance and was considered for the role of Kal-El in the canceled Superman Lives. He also voices Spider-Man Noir in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. His latter character is gathering suspicion if the actor is going to appear in Amazon's upcoming live-action series. While Cage did not confirm or deny his participation, he lauds what the Spider-Man version offers.
“I think it's a wonderful character,” Cage said. “It's a character that lends itself to channelling some of my favorite noir movie stars. Spider-Man, for me, is the coolest superhero. I think having that combined with a noir, like 1930s golden age movie star attitude, makes it one of the most exciting of all the superhero characters.”