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Off My Mind: The Use of Stunning Visuals to Sell Comic Book Movies

Check out these rare studio photos that make comic book movies seem better than they actually are.

Comic books continue to invade Hollywood. The idea of adapting a comic for the big screen isn't a new idea. We've seen it done many times over the years, sometimes successfully and other times...not so much. While movie studios are looking for the next big franchise to develop, attempting to make one based on an existing property is clearly easier than starting from scratch.

Simply taking a beloved comic character and throwing them into theaters isn't a guaranteed success. A lot of time and money is needed to ensure the character's popularity carries over from readership to movie viewership. Translating the character sometimes requires tweaks and changes but the biggest selling point is the visuals.

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Comic books are a visual medium. Of course a large of a comic's success depends on the writing but it's the look and the art that will draw the immediate attention. The same can be said for movies. A comic book movie can't simply rely on the comic book status of a character to drive in crowds to theaters. The reality is there are many more movie watchers than there are comic book readers. The easiest way to catch the attention of potential ticket buyers is by creating an amazing and unforgettable movie poster. One man responsible for creating more movie posters than you probably realized is Michael Muller.

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Looking over the works of Muller is shocking on two fronts. For one thing, his visuals and eye for marketing a movie are phenomenal. Second, it's surprising how many comic-related movies he's been involved in.

With today's marketing, creating a movie poster is almost an on going job. In the old days we would see a teaser poster and one, maybe two regular movie posters. These days, there are numerous one-sheets produced and plastered all over the place. Again, each has the task of selling the movie. The desire to journey to a movie theater and see the movie is the goal.

Muller does his job very well. As much as we love comic book movies, we can admit that some of them have been clunkers. When you look at the images Muller has captured, he makes even the bad movies look good. Is that deceptive marketing? Not really. It just shows that, visually, Muller has an eye for what makes a stunning image.

Here are some examples from Muller.

Captain America: The First Avenger

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Iron Man

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Iron Man 2

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X-Men: The Last Stand

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X-Men Origins: Wolverine

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Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

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These are just some of the images Michael Muller is responsible for. Be sure to check out his website for more.

A picture is worth a thousand words and a professional photograph speaks volumes. Not all of the movies above have been widely accepted or praised by comic book fans but you have to admit the images are amazing. As much of a fan I am, there are some even I want to forget about. Seeing some of the images that I hadn't seen before has renewed my faith in the concept of comic book movies. They won't all be stellar. But so many times as we read our favorite comics, we're left wondering what a real life version might look like.

Seeing the way the characters were captured shows that superheroes can be translated properly onto the big screen. Filmmakers simply have to take care in ensuring the imagery is right. You can't just slap special effects together and hope to create a new franchise. For those movies that didn't quite achieve what they set out to, at least we have these spectacular images to show us how things could be.