Superhero throwback film "The Avengers" is a mega-hit, according to box office ticket sales. The film, which opened earlier this month, made $200.3 million in its opening weekend, a record-breaking figure. "Avengers" was five years in the making, although its release is perfectly timed with this summer's other impending super hero releases, such as "The Dark Knight", and is right in line with the current popularity of the super hero genre overall. Featuring a team of Marvel Comic heroes who have already had their individual big screen debuts, like Thor, Iron Man and The Hulk, "The Avengers" opening weekend had movie theaters quickly selling out every seat in the house. Hollywood.com analyst Paul Dergarabedian said, "'The Avengers' kicks off what looks to me to be the summer box-office equivalent of the 100-year flood. This is perhaps the most perfect summer lineup in box-office history." Inspired by the film, comic book fan and art student Calvin Lin has exploded onto the superhero scene through amateur artist website DeviantART with a series of posters featuring a minimalist-style depiction of a number of comic book characters like Superman, The Flash, The Green Lantern, Black Widow and more. His latest work features posters with characters from "The Avengers," minimalist-style. Related:
Superman debuted in 1932 as an alien baby who crash-landed on earth and was raised by human parents. He quickly grew to become heralded as an American superhero and icon. The character is credited with launching the superhero genre. Over the decades, Superman's abilities have grown to include the ability to fly, and he developed a weakness to Kryptonite. He has also been killed and resurrected.
"Black Widow" is the code name for several female heroes in modern Marvel Comics series. The most well-known and first character to officially use the code name is Natalia Romanova who first appeared in 1964's "Tales of Suspense #56." Later, Yelena Belova and Monica Chang were characters who also donned the moniker.
The Hawkeye character first appeared in "Tales of Suspense #57" (Sept. 1964), and he officially joined the Avengers in 1965. He is a master archer, known as "The World's Greatest Archer" and falls in love with the elusive Black Widow.
Hulk, the angry alter ego of mild-mannered physicist Dr. Bruce Banner, was introduced in "The Incredible Hulk #1" (1962) after Bruce Banner was exposed to gamma rays in a bomb. Strong emotions trigger the transformation, and the saying goes, "The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets!"
James "Logan" Howlett is Wolverine, a mutant with animal senses, extreme physical capabilities and the ability to self heal. Although he later joins the Avengers, he was initially introduced as a member of the X-Men Marvel Comic series. Set apart from the typical larger-than-life heroes, Wolverine is considered an "antihero" because of his willingness to use deadly force and because of his often brusque demeanor.
Peter Parker was written by creator Stan Lee as a reflection of modern-day teens, struggling with rejection and identity during a time when comics mainly featured teens as sidekicks. After being bitten by a radioactive spider, Parker became Spider-Man a hero with super agility and spider sense who crafted his brand of heroism from his own experiences.
The Green Lantern character was first introduced in 1941; however, it was short-lived. Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern's alter ego, appeared in 1960 and has been the main protagonist in this DC Comics series after he was given the power ring of the Green Lantern Corps from a dying alien. Although he has mainly been portrayed as a good guy, he was once written as super-villain Parallax.
DC Comic hero The Flash has been cancelled and restarted several times and centers around "Barry Allen," a forensic scientist who is gifted with super speed after a freak accident in a police station lab. He uses his ability to fight super-villains who plague his city. Later, "Wally West" was drawn as The Flash and was presented as a more flawed, relatable character who had a hyper-metabolism to feed in order to stay speedy.
Robin is the other half of DC Comics' "Dynamic Duo/Caped Crusaders," also featuring Batman whose alter ego is the unassuming Dick Grayson. His original costume was inspired by the character of Robin Hood.
Robin first appeared in 1940, but in the 1980s, Grayson set aside "Robin" to fly solo and became Nightwing. Several other fictional characters also played Robin including Stephanie Brown, the girlfriend of Tim Drake, who was Robin before her.
Batman debuted in 1939 in the "Detective Comics" series (#27) and was an immediate hit with fans. The Batman persona was created by billionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne who was tired of the crime and degradation plaguing his home of Gotham City. Considered somewhat dark, the comic series often explores the evil of humanity in the form of villains like the serial murderer The Joker.
Thor, based on a god of Nordic mythology, was created by Marvel Comics master Stan Lee. Thor was written as a god needing to be taught a lesson, placed into the body of a disabled medical student who had no memory of his godhood. He once again became Thor when he found his hammer, Mjolner, and struck it against a rock.
DC Comics heroine Wonder Woman is known in her Amazonian homeland as a princess, Diana of Themyscira. She has super speed and stamina and is trained in hand-to-hand combat and tactical warfare. She also posses tools such as the Lasso of Truth. Wonder Woman was created during World War II as a feminine role model and was intended to stand in contrast to the ways that men managed the world and waged warfare.