We’re just a few weeks away from what will undoubtedly be Marvel’s next billion-dollar film, “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” but that doesn’t mean that you have to go far for the next big superhero epic. In fact, most of you reading this will only need to open a new tab on your computer or phone.
Comic books are everywhere. DC Comics alone has eight series either currently on the air or with a pilot ordered, with homes ranging from free TV to basic cable. And, for the most part, they are doing well. Arrow, The Flash, Gotham have all been renewed for at least another season.
On Marvel’s end, ABC (co-owned by the same parent company) houses two series set in their cinematic universe with Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter. Starting later this month, the first of four Netflix series will premiere, starting with a reboot of Daredevil. Eventually joined by Jessica Jones, Power Man and Iron Fist, the core group of four will culminate in their own supergroup series, The Defenders.
Independent books are not far behind either; in fact Powers, currently streaming exclusively on the Playstation Network, has beat Marvel to the punch in the streaming arena. Based on the Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming comic, Powers debuted in 2000 under the creator-owned imprint, Icon Comics. Headed by Sharlto Copley of District 9 fame, the show follows the story of a de-powered superhero turned homicide detective and his partner as the investigate superhero related crimes.
This is a huge development. Back when Powers fist came into publication, the notion of Superhero media being more than just a passing fad was unbelievable. To put it in perspective, when the book came out, we were still months away from Fox’s X-Men, the first major Superhero blockbuster since the days Christopher Reeve made us believe a man could fly.
At the start of the century, comic books stories were confined to the printed page, the fleeting live-action television experiment or at best, Saturday Morning Cartoons and those don’t even exist anymore. Likewise, comic book stories are no longer confined to a cinema. Free TV, basic cable, paid cable, your computer, phone, tablet, your video game console, all combine to bring heroes and villains out of the page and into your already crammed viewing schedule. That, of course, is to say nothing of stopping in to your local comic book store for the source material.
Mauricio Machuca co-owns Hi De Ho Comics, 1431 Lincoln Blvd., in Santa Monica.