Comic book movies have transcended their role as pure entertainment in our society; they have become, in more ways than one, a national obsession. The new millennium brought with it a plethora of industry juggernauts, which have consistently dominated the domestic box-office year after year, breaking numerous records in both revenue and attendance along the way. The Dark Knight, Spider-Man, and Iron Man are prime examples of films that have entered the public consciousness and have virtually redefined the role of the comic-book hero in our culture.
What is it about comic book movies that have made them so insanely popular in recent years? Is our post-9/11 society in need of a hero? Have we become disillusioned with perpetual lies, false hope, and empty promises? Are we unconsciously aware of our imminent destruction, of our greed and intolerance, of the bleak future that may await us in the cold, dark unknown? Is our pessimistic world in dire need of an escape, of a new hope for peace, justice, and love? Do we eagerly anticipate the resurrection of the American dream? What is certain is that on occasion, we must take a plunge down the rabbit hole; we must enter a fantasy of optimistic faith, where a simple man, like Bruce Wayne or Peter Parker, can rise up and overcome those that oppress and betray the people of the United States.