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(p.221) Conclusion
Bending Steel
Aldo J. Regalado
University Press of Mississippi

This concluding chapter reflects on the various market strategies used by comic book companies to survive the decline of the comic book industry as well as the emergence of superhero films in the twenty-first century. The major comic book companies managed to survive the setbacks of the 1990s by catering to their traditional fans while simultaneously drawing in new readers through the publication of non-traditional superhero fiction inspired by the deconstructionist trends of the 1980s. This mix of innovative storytelling and more traditional approaches produced comic books that both earned critical acclaim and generated a modest rise in sales, keeping the industry alive into the first decades of the twenty-first century. Despite the uncertainty of the future of comic books, superheroes themselves seem more relevant today than ever before. Moving off the comic book page, they have transitioned to other media with increasing success, most notably in the American motion picture industry.

Keywords:   comic books, comic book industry, superhero films, non-traditional superhero fiction, deconstructionist trends, American motion picture industry

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