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The precursor to Marvel Comics was born all the way back in 1939 under the magazine publisher Martin Goodman, who created Timely Comics. It’s hard to believe, but that was already eighty years ago. Comic books have been a huge part of nerd culture for decades, but things have evolved quite a lot over the years.
The inclusion of more diverse characters is one of the best changes.
With movies like Wonder Woman, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse being significant box office hits and garnering more support among fans, it’s clear that diversity in comics is reaching the place where it should have been a long time ago.
While we can look back and ask why the push for diversity and inclusion didn’t make it into the mainstream sooner, the past is the past. We should all be happy to see more protagonists with different backgrounds, genders, and orientations coming up in comics and their subsequent movies.
The way comics are marketed is completely different now.
Comics are now marketed via social media and in mainstream media outlets. It’s totally common to see an algorithmically served ad about the latest DC comics if you frequently interact with comic book culture on Instagram or other social platforms. By the same token, it’s totally normal to see a commercial on TV about the latest Marvel movie. It’s so normal, we don’t think anything of it now.
It wasn’t always like that.
Back in the day, the main way active nerds learned about stuff was by trolling their local comic book shops. Now you can join groups on Facebook, Instagram, and share either your personal collection or share new finds online with people. It’s not limited to a physical store. It’s gone into the digital age. Subsequently, comic book culture is very digital now.
Streaming services have played a big factor as well.
Comic book culture reaches larger audiences now because you don’t have to pick up a book to get to know the characters. A lot of people would watch shows based on comics on Hulu and Netflix, such as Jessica Jones and The Flash. However, they’re not hardcore comic fans, and a lot of them have no clue what the actual book was about.
And that’s okay; comic books can and should be enjoyed by everyone. There’s a story out there somewhere that will appeal to everyone. With more movies and TV shows popping up every year, these storylines are more accessible to wider audiences.
Merchandise is becoming more accessible.
First of all, there is a lot more merchandise than there used to be. A few decades ago, you were the cool kid in the comic book community if you had a Batman lunch box. Now, the most popular superheroes are well known and mainstream. You can get a whole array of DC and Marvel merch without needing to hunt it out.
The market for collectibles is also stronger than ever. There’s an entire community of vendors committed to buying, selling, and trading valuable comics.
The fanbase changes continuously as new generations get onboard.
Considering Marvel comic books have an eighty-year history, it’s only to be expected that new generations become a part of comic book culture. With each new group, it evolves a little more.
People who are passionate about comics pass it on to nieces and nephews. It’s constantly passed down to younger audiences as parents share it with their children and as the mainstream popularity of Marvel and DC put new movies featuring familiar heroes on the silver screen.
The culture is always changing and some longtime fans might not be excited about that, but it’s exciting to see comic culture grow stronger and larger each year.
Who are we?
Once upon a time in Brooklyn, NY a guy and a girl meet in a local anime and martial arts video back in the mid-90s. After talking in detail, bonding over their love of animation, toy collecting, movies, and more… their friendship slowly grew in a bond that would you eventually become the powerhouse team behind NRG Comics.
Artlee and Anthony Vasquez started this shop to spread their love of all things in pop culture, comics industry and toy collecting with the world. After spending several years touring different conventions and comic book shop, they decided to use their combined knowledge to educate those looking to learn about the comic book culture, for those looking to purchase and trade for their own collections and to travel the world, visiting international conventions, and finding rare items.