Comic books were once considered the preserve of children and geeks, very much a niche interest that only a select few had even considered an artform. Fast forward to today, and things couldn’t be more different. Now very much a mainstream interest, the graphic novel and comic books scene has never been healthier, with millions of people all over the world now sworn fans.
The Internet has helped tremendously, providing access to the medium like never before, as well as encouraging new comic book artists and projects to see the light of day. But no doubt another significant helping hand has been the popularity of major Hollywood blockbusters, based on comic book stories and characters.
One of the most defining of recent times was Black Panther, which smashed box office records internationally in its opening weekend, and is the latest in a series of successive hits to have found their origins in comic books.
Slots games are another genre that has seen an influx of comic book themed characters and game ideas, and like their cinematic brethren, they make for incredible entertainment. But what is it about these stories and characters that makes them such a source of entertainment for slots game developers and fans of the genre alike?
By their definition, comic book characters tend to be superhuman, virtuous and morale – all while masquerading as ordinary people, in an otherwise ordinary world. Depending on the character, it might be incredible strength or speed, or the powers of flight and invisibility that give them an edge, often against incredibly professional and decidedly evil opponents. As a backdrop, there’s already enough in there to make a great story that could probably work for many comic book artists.
People are drawn to superhuman powers, and to the stories that work around them. The intrigue, the suspense, the tension – it all makes for a great on-screen display, not to mention the action shots. This is carried over well in both film and slot depictions of comic book stories – we even has a slot called Super Heroes, and goes some way to explaining their popularity as a theme.
Epic Battles of Good vs Evil
Similarly, these characters and stories often chart epic battles, where often the future of the world depends on the outcome of the tussle between good and evil forces. Only the hero can save us! This appeals to our natural understanding of stories automatically, with most viewers immediately aware of the likely plot arc before experiencing a comic book story for the first time. It’s an idea that is also found elsewhere in slots, like in games based on Norse mythology for example, or in slots games like Cops and Robbers or Jack Hammer.
Good vs evil is a good theme for engaging players and viewers alike, so it works in slots, just as well as it does on film.
Suspension of Reality
As with all great stories, comic books rely on a suspension of reality, and of our inherent disbelief. OK, so we know it’s not possible for warring mutants to battle it out for the destiny of the planet, but that doesn’t stop this from being a great story. People flock to comic book stories and characters when they are looking for a dose of escape, a break from the day to day of their lives. Like any great works of fiction, this is an important part of what makes comic books such a successful medium.
This applies equally to slots as it does film. Who would want to spin a boring 3 reel fruit machine, when you can spin an action-packed, feature-rich comic book slot instead? While each have their audience, it’s unlikely to be much of a contest for the neutral.
Superheroes, comic books and similar stories are very much part of the fabric of our culture, and many of the younger generations are immediately familiar with these kinds of characters and how these stories play out. Having been raised on superhero stories and animations, there are generations of people who find allure in these titles. And when you factor in the accessibility of the stories and the characters, to people from all backgrounds and all walks of life, you have the recipe for a very successful entertainment product.
That’s in short why you see so many comic book-themed movies and slots cropping up – they prove eternally successful with audiences, and frankly, are amongst some of the most entertaining modern examples of their respective media.