Avengers dissemble! Transmedia superhero franchises and cultic management

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Taylor, Aaron
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Through a case study of The Avengers (2012) and other recently adapted Marvel Entertainment properties, it will be demonstrated that the reimagined, rebooted and serialized intermedial text is fundamentally fan oriented: a deliberately structured and marketed invitation to certain niche audiences to engage in comparative activities. That is, its preferred spectators are often those opinionated and outspoken fan cultures whose familiarity with the texts is addressed and whose influence within a more dispersed film going community is acknowledged, courted and potentially colonized. These superhero franchises – neither remakes nor adaptations in the familiar sense – are also paradigmatic byproducts of an adaptive management system that is possible through the appropriation of the economics of continuity and the co-option of online cultic networking. In short, blockbuster intermediality is not only indicative of the economics of post-literary adaptation, but it also exemplifies a corporate strategy that aims for the strategic co option of potentially unruly niche audiences.
Sherpa Romeo yellow journal. This is a pre-copyedited version of an article accepted for publication in the Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance following peer review.
Marvel Comics , Superheroes , Post-cinematic adaptations , Fandom , Transmedia , Cult cinema
Taylor. A. (2014). Avengers dissemble! Transmedia superhero franchises and cultic management. Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance, 7(2), 181-194