Bridgeman’s Head of Sales in Berlin, Ute Krebs, reviews Marvel’s lastest addition to the superhero franchise – “Ant-Man”, alongside iconic images of our favourite superheroes.

 

 

Comic Strip (acrylic on canvas on corrugated wood support), PJ Crook / Private Collection

Comic Strip (acrylic on canvas on corrugated wood support), PJ Crook / Private Collection

 

In anticipation of “Ant-Man” I had been thinking about the superhero genre more than usual and so I had a search through the archive for some relevant images and was very surprised to find quite a few. The Bridgeman collections never fail to astonish!

Everybody needs a superhero. Superheroes rock – actually they also fly, scale any kind of surface or transform into great big hulks! Ever since I can remember I have been entranced by the likes of Superman, Batman or Spiderman, probably because my dad is a big fan of comic books and so I caught the bug at a fairly early age. Later on I discovered X-Men and all the other wonderful heroes of the Avenger comics but I have to admit that I prefer them on the big screen rather than on the page.

 

Serie televisee Series X-MEN 1992-1997 superheros super heros super-heros super-hero super hero superhero

Serie televisee Series X-MEN 1992-1997 superheros super heros super-heros super-hero super hero superhero

 

 

I have a rather eclectic taste in movies, as my friends keep remarking – my biggest loves are silent movies, screwball comedies of the 1930s and noir from the 1940s. Where do the super heroes fit in? Well, many of the most well-known ones started their comic book lives in the 1930s, such as Superman, and so there is a fit here of some description.

 

Left: Cover of comic strip magazine Strange may 1973 with Spider Man / Photo © PVDE Right: Batman, Front Cover of 'Detective Comics', July 1940 (colour litho), American School, (20th century) / Photo © PVDE

Left: Cover of comic strip magazine Strange may 1973 with Spider Man / Photo © PVDE
Right: Batman, Front Cover of ‘Detective Comics’, July 1940 (colour litho), American School, (20th century) / Photo © PVDE

 

 

 

A few years ago there was a wonderful exhibition at the Jewish Museum here in Berlin called “Heroes, Freaks, and Super-Rabbis. The Jewish Dimension of Comic Art”. Did you know that one of the first tasks for Superman was to fight the Nazis? The country or the dictator was never explicitly named but for contemporary readers the connection must have been obvious. The ultimate baddie, I suppose. 

 

Poster advertising the film serial 'Superman' (1948), 1948 (colour lithograph), American School, (20th century) / Private Collection

Poster advertising the film serial ‘Superman’ (1948), 1948 (colour lithograph), American School, (20th century) / Private Collection

 

Last week I went to see the much anticipated adaptation of the latest Marvel superhero to hit the big screen – “Ant-Man”. He isn’t really a superhero in the traditional sense; his powers come entirely from a super suit but who cares? I loved it! It also made me rethink my relationship with ants that were the real superheroes of the film. Ahem, maybe not completely – still do not like them on my picnic food.

The film’s more philosophical side reminded me of a 1950s B-movie by Jack Arnold “The Incredible Shrinking Man”. The protagonist of the story is caught in a cloud of radioactive mist and over the course of the film shrinks more and more until he is the size of an atom. Without giving too much away of the story in “Ant-Man”, this thread is picked up in a rather astonishing sequence. Enough said.

 

Left: Serie televisee series L' incroyable Hulk The Incredible Hulk 1996 superheros super heros super-heros super-hero super hero superhero force fort strong strength Right: Cover of comic strip magazine Strange september 1975: here captain Marvel / Photo © PVDE

Left: Serie televisee series L’ incroyable Hulk The Incredible Hulk 1996 superheros super heros super-heros super-hero super hero superhero force fort strong strength
Right: Cover of comic strip magazine Strange september 1975: here captain Marvel / Photo © PVDE

 

Find out More

George Lucas and the American comic strip. Lucas discusses the cultural and personal influences of American comics.

The American Comic Strip 1. Watch a survey of American comic strip art with comments by well-known artists and scenes of them at work.

The American Comic Strip 2

 

Images for Licensing

Contact the Bridgeman team with enquiries about licensing and clearing copyright.

Browse more superhero images.