Why did the superhero genre emerge now when the material has been floating through the culture for decades? Why, despite the smash successes of "Superman" (1978) and "Batman" (1989), didn't this coalesce earlier? Past genres were often born of practicality (the indoor sets of film noir, for instance). This is no different: Stars aligned. CGI began to allow the impossible about the same time a tent pole-ravenous Hollywood shifted toward a corporate culture that only stomachs the financially probable.
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