How Changing Technology Fueled the Rise of New Superhero Content
Throughout this century, movies and television shows featuring classic superheroes have become easier to find and higher quality. While this is partially due to the entertainment industry capitalizing on nostalgia, it is also due to how telecommunications and computer graphics technology have changed over the last few decades. New technology like better CGI and easier access to the content through the internet has helped fans tell companies like DC Comics that they want more movies and television shows about popular superheroes and newer ones like Stargirl.
Computer-Generated Imagery Brings Comics Into Vivid Focus
As far back as the 1960s, science fiction and fantasy genre content has pushed the boundaries of what television and movie production crews can do when it comes to the adaptation of vintage comic books, leading to more sophisticated computer graphics and more realistic-looking computer animation. The 1952 television series The Adventures of Superman relied on practical effects, which seem awkward and clunky to modern audiences. Newer shows such as DC’s Stargirl, based on characters created by Geoff Johns and Lee Moder, can use CGI and green screens to combine computer-generated actions seamlessly with physical actors. No longer will clunky or cheesy graphics kick audiences out of a story because new technology helps filmmakers match their visions.
Streaming Platforms Generate Higher Demand
The rise of streaming entertainment through the internet has fueled a more significant demand for quality content to be immediately available to consumers. This demand has led to media companies, such as DC Comics, creating streaming platforms or partnering with popular ones to access older movies and television shows. By binge-watching older superhero content, audiences signaled to DC that shows such as Arrow would do well and gave rise to the rest of the Arrowverse content. Streaming statistics can sometimes provide a more accurate picture of what the public wants to see than television ratings because before you could watch almost anything online, you were primarily limited to what your tv antenna could pick up at the time.
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Increased accessibility for quality entertainment to stream and better technology-assisted graphics make for a better superhero movie or television series. Bigger audiences showing media companies what shows are popular enough to binge-watch repeatedly have encouraged increased numbers of superhero television shows, films and web series that do not seem to be slowing down. As a more significant percentage of the population gains access to the internet and entertainment streaming platforms, the variety of new and classic media available will likely grow even further.