Top 2008 Heroes of Super Proportions
Posted by freddysetiawan on December 30, 2008
Like Superman and Lois Lane, superheroes and the Internet have a classic love affair—but passion wasn’t found online for the Man of Steel in 2008.
The honor of most popular superhero on the Web in 2008 goes to the dark defender of Gotham: Batman. Take one part sequel hype, one part tragic death, and one part comic book icon, and you get massive interest in the Dark Knight. Mouses clicked for film spoilers, rumors of a third installment, and just about everything concerning the late, lamented Heath Ledger. Prepare for 2009’s great Web gossip blockbuster, “Who Will Play Catwoman in Batman 3?”
It’s hard to say whether the fervor for “Iron Man” had more to do with Robert Downey Jr. or with the armor-plated hero, but the film’s popularity spilled over to the Web. Costume sneak peeks and casting controversies helped keep interest alive even after the movie left the theaters.
All of the drama involving Spider-Man this year was off-screen, but there was plenty of it. After Peter Parker’s marriage was magically erased in the comics, a mini-crisis spread across the Internet. And high stakes Hollywood negotiations over whether Toby Maguire and Kirsten Dunst would return as the hero and the damsel in distress in movie sequels “4” and “5” captivated gawking Web viewers.
While people focused on Spider-Man’s future, the Incredible Hulk’s new version of his past raised eyebrows online. A second movie try at the green guy’s origin got people’s attention, with people searching for everything from what the new hulk looked like to whether Captain America was hinted at in a small scene.
If you forgot to buy Superman a birthday gift in 2008, you still have a few days. His 70th birthday sparked all kinds of searches including speculation on when he would rejoin his friend with the bat wings at the cinema. But just as significant to Web surfers was a lawsuit regarding who owns the rights to Superboy. Sometimes a legal battle can excite Searchers just as much as a super villain with Kryptonite.
Hype for movies (“Hellboy,” “Ghost Rider,” and the notorious “Watchmen”), rumors of wild casting (Beyonce as Wonder Woman), and just plain old love of characters (Wolverine) kept the once-cult realm of comics in the mainstream. Even the drama of the 2008 presidential run for the White House got a graphic treatment.
What remains to be seen next year is whether 2008 was too much of a good thing for masked avengers. Will too many “Dark Knight” knock-offs ruin audience appetite for heroics? Then again, a rough economy could easily increase the desire to see rich men in cool outfits fighting societal ills. Maybe in “Iron Man 2,” Downey should take on America’s greatest foe yet: the nefarious Recession.
Top Superheroes of 2008
2. Iron Man
9. Wonder Woman
10. Ghost Rider