X-Men: the popular superheroes that live between the humans, Once just a comic, but now valuable IP in multimillion deals.
Chris Claremont, publisher at Marvel Comics, wrote comics and came up with dozens of new superhero characters. Characters that are becoming movie personas in rapid pace: Spiderman, Wolverine, Hulk, Captain America, X-Men.
Many of these characters came to live between 1975 and 1991, when Claremont had the freedom to do whatever he wanted at Marvel. The comics weren’t selling well. Until Claremont gave the superhero’s a backstory, a motivation for their behaviour and ‘superheroness’.
It turned out to be gold! Now the superheros are more that just characters, they are corporate assets that serve as collateral in million dollar transactions.
The fan base from the strip era is very large, and thus also are the number of potential visitors for the movies. The names are often trademarked and all under copyright. IP is what turns these superheros into cold, hard cash.