Death of Superhero Cinema

If Video killed Radio Star, then 1982 killed Superhero genre.

To be fair superhero genre had pretty much written their death when Flash Gordon turned out to be bad.


However 1982 would be a game changer. Not only Incredible Hulk, one of last superhero TV shows to survive ended but another movie on comic book named Conan The Barbarian was released.


Now you would say why was a comic book movie a killer of “Superhero genre” ? Was it bad ? No. Was it a flop ? No.

So what was it ?

You see Conan the Barbarian was everything against what Wonder Woman(1975-1979), Incredible Hulk(1978-1982) and Superman (1978 & 1980) stood for.

If Superman wore underwear outside pant, Conan only wore underwear.Film Conan the Destroyer 1984

If Hulk had PG-level violence, then Conan had blood and gore.conan-5

If Wonder Woman had strong female lead, Conan had women who wore as much clothes as Conan.


Only thing that remained same was the fact Conan had as much fantasy element as all previous comic book adaptation. It was clear that people wanted fantasy but also more blood and less clothes.


Someone wearing cape could not rip off throats. It would not look good. No wonder Rambo turned into a cartoon by the end of decade. Was it a coincidence that Superman 3 would be panned in 1983 ?


Would DC Empire Strike Back ?


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