A Successful or Disappointing Future for Superhero Movies?

Awesome, captivating superhero movies have entertained audiences for many years. Films like The Avengers (2012) and The Dark Knight (2008) have raised the bar of comic book movies and are also known for being the most respected in the genre. Unfortunately, as each comic book film comes out, the focus from making a good, standalone movie is now being changed to expand the universe. More pressure has been added on filmmakers to add scenes, so it will set up for a possible franchise. The addition of these contractually-obligated scenes hurts the quality of individual films because less focus has been taken away from the plot and characters. With Marvel and DC films coming out in the future, will they contain a good narrative with enough focus on the characters, or will they focus more on expanding the universe to make more solo movies?

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

AmazingSpiderMan2Poster

Marc Webb’s second installment in the Amazing Spider-Man franchise was met with a mixed response from fans and audiences. Some people liked it, while others hated it. This reaction came from the film’s jumbled plot structure. The movie studio was too focused on setting up the Spider-Man universe, instead of just focused on making a good movie. While it is great to set up a universe with new characters, however, if the story building element takes away from the main plot of the movie, then it will hurt its structure, and leaves many moviegoers disappointed from the lack of focus from the main characters.

The movie failed in its attempts to develop characters because of the main focus put on setting up the universe. Characters like Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy are given a lot of screen time, but other characters are barely given enough. Newcomers Harry Osborn and Max Dillon are introduced well and have a nice setup, but their character arcs are underdeveloped, mainly because of how the movie switches back between the different storylines. One storyline follows Peter as he tries to maintain a relationship with Gwen Stacy; another follows him trying to find out more about what happened to his parents; a subplot focuses on Aunt May’s attempts to go back to school to become a nurse; and one subplot centers on Gwen Stacy’s goal of going to a prestigious school. All of these subplots are used to develop the story even more and while most of the drama is engaging, it is just too much to digest all in one sitting.

While the movie does have a lot of good action, drama, and onscreen chemistry, one of the flaws of the film is the way the villains are presented on screen. Max Dillon, who later becomes Electro, initially loves Spider-Man, but eventually hates him because he forgot his name. Harry Osborn’s dark transition to The Green Goblin is believable, but feels rushed because of the amount of time we see of Harry onscreen. In addition, the Rhino only has a limited presence in the movie (around 5 minutes), which suggests that he is only there to show people who he is before he possibly makes a return in a planned (possibly scrapped) Sinister Six Movie. All of these underdeveloped character arcs suggest that Sony studios was just focused on setting up a universe—full of new characters—instead of making a great standalone Spider-Man sequel.

The first Amazing Spider-Man (2012) is arguably the best film in the rebooted series. The film succeeded in re-telling the origin story by giving enough focus on the characters. Marc Webb and screenwriters James Vanderbilt, Alvin Sargent, and Steve Kloves used their talent to breathe life into characters, Aunt May, and Uncle Ben, where fans can see them not just as written characters, but as real-life people. When someone takes the time to develop a hero or villain, it is easy for us to feel more sympathy for him. A villain like, Dr. Curt Connors, may not be as popular or interesting as Norman Osborn’s Green Goblin or Doctor Octopus, but it is still easy for us to understand his desire to re-grow his arm, even though the results lead to him becoming a dangerous, violent 9 foot tall lizard. Because Connors is fleshed out and given a good backstory, he is an understandable, believable villain in the movie. In the Amazing Spider-Man 2, the villains were underdeveloped, so it was not convincing that Max Dillon and Harry Osborn transformed into their evil counterparts in such a quick fashion.

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Avengers: Age of Ultron
The amazing Avengers sequel.

Joss Whedon’s Avengers sequel entertained audiences around the world. Many people came out for the Thursday night release of the film that was highly anticipated ever since the first movie graced the movie screen. While this sequel is very entertaining and has some of the best eye-popping visual effects and action scenes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, still, the majority of audience members agree that the first Avengers (2012)was a little better.

Avengers: Age of Ultron serves as a good sequel, but suffers from an uneven plot. The story follows our main heroes (Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye) as they retrieve Loki’s scepter from a Hydra outpost in Sokovia. Once there, Tony Stark finds the scepter along with a lot of hidden secrets kept underground. When caught off guard, Scarlet Witch puts him in a trance, so he can see his worst fears come to life—which is the death of the team. Imagining the death of his friends compel him to use the power hidden within the scepter to build an Artificial Intelligence robot called Ultron. The experiment is a success, but backfires when Ultron turns against the Avengers and seeks to destroy every one of them. After he escapes, the team now has to find this dangerous Artificial Intelligence before he destroys the whole world.

As seen from above, the main plot of the movie is for the Avengers to find and stop Ultron from destroying the world. The plot is well-structured until the team arrives at Hawkeye’s house. When Thor leaves to go find out more about his vision, the plot becomes a little uneven due to the change of focus in the narrative. The cave scene where Thor sees the power of the infinity stones, feels out of place compared to the other scenes in the movie. It sort of sets up the introduction of the new character, Vision, but comes across more as a contractually-obligated scene that was requested to be put in the movie. With the Marvel Cinematic Universe expanding every year, certain things had to be placed in the movie, so it will set up for future films. This is not necessarily a bad thing. However, if these contractually-obligated scenes hurt the quality of the movie, in terms of its structure, then this can affect the financial success and commercial response of future films.

Joss Whedon, the talented director behind the Avengers films, expressed his frustration of making the sequel when the studio wanted him to include certain scenes in the movie. The argument was about the addition of the cave scene. Whedon said,

“With the cave, it really turned into: they pointed a gun at the farm’s head and said, ‘Give us the cave, or we’ll take out the farm,’ — in a civilized way. I respect these guys, they’re artists, but that’s when it got really, really unpleasant.”

This proves that Whedon was forced to include this part in the movie, even when he didn’t want to. Since Marvel movies have been announced and are coming out, more pressure is put on the filmmakers to add things they do not want to put in the movie. With Whedon, it was the cave scene, which has been criticized by many fans and critics for being tacked on; with Edgar Wright (the guy who was supposed to direct before Peyton Reed took over), it was the script changes that led to him dropping out of Ant-Man. Evidently, studio involvement has led to many disagreements with executives and directors.

Whedon’s dispute ended with him trying to add scenes they wanted in the movie, and have them mesh together with the stuff he wanted to include. Nevertheless, it seems that the first movie was more of a success because of how Whedon had more creative control. By giving him more restrictions on the second film, studio execs ruined his chances to make a superior sequel.

The DC Universe

Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy captivated batman fanboys and casual moviegoers alike. Many people love how his movies differ from the other Batman films. Distinct from the other movies in the series, this praised and noteworthy trilogy breathed life back into the franchise. After the critically panned Batman and Robin (1997) came out, many people were disappointed and outraged by the movie’s terrible dialogue, casting, and unbelievable stunts. Joel Schumacher changed the tone of the franchise with his installments, Batman Forever and Batman and Robin, to make the series more fun and lighthearted. Unfortunately, his attempt to go in a different direction from Tim Burton’s take on the Caped Crusader led to the series’ downfall.

Batman and Robin
Batman and Robin (1997)

The studio’s attempt to make money off of toy sales is what caused the movie to be bad. The producers and filmmakers were forced by the studio to make Batman and Robin more family oriented. In an interview with ComingSoon, Joel Schumacher praised Chris Nolan’s trilogy and compared it to his own films. He said,

“I think what’s very interesting about Batman and how brilliant Chris Nolan is, if you look at the last Batman, ours were at a much simpler time. Our job was to entertain the whole family. To make it fun and sell a lot of toys.”

This admission proves that the movie studio was more focused on making money than preserving the quality of the film. A good example could be seen in the third act of the movie where Batman, Robin, and Batgirl are in Poison Ivy’s lair. Batman is being attacked by plants, Robin is fighting with plants underwater, and Batgirl is fighting Poison Ivy. After all the fights are over, Batman acknowledges that the team has to hurry to stop Mr. Freeze from destroying the city. However, in the next few scenes, we can see that the team has changed their costumes. If they were in a hurry to stop the villain, why take the time to change their clothes? The answer is that the studio wanted to show off the characters in different costumes, so they could market more toys for kids. It is not a bad thing to make a superhero movie enjoyable for the whole family, but the way the studio and filmmakers went about it on Batman and Robin almost ruined the franchise. What this movie needed was a good balance of (funny) comedy and action to entertain audiences.

Recent Marvel Successes

The funny, entertaining Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) movie swooped in and blew away moviegoers with its unique, funny characters. This film was a huge risk for Marvel, considering that millions were used in the budget. Everyone knew about the popular superheroes, such as Iron Man, Batman, Hulk, but not about this group of heroes. This risk turned into a commercial and critical success. Critics and moviegoers loved the action, romance, drama, soundtrack, and humor in the film. All of these elements not only made it one of the highest grossing movies of 2014, but also made it one of the funniest Marvel movies to come out.

Now, movies like The Avengers and Iron Man 3 have humor infused within the plot, and do provide scenes for audiences to laugh at, but Guardians of the Galaxy beats them both because of its consistent humor throughout the movie. This film is so funny it can be considered a comedy. The only other movie that can come close to Guardians is Ant-Man (2015). Ant-Man follows the trend that Guardians has laid out for future Marvel movies, where the movie can be made with funny characters and great action. The reason why these two films are successful is because they tell good stories.

The Guardians of the Galaxy.
The Guardians of the Galaxy (2014).

In Guardians, we get backstories of all the main characters, and a well-focused plot. Throughout the film, we learn more about each character and understand why they act and behave the way they do. Also, a clear plot is laid out at the very beginning of the movie. Everyone wants the orb and will do anything to get it. One of the most dangerous villains, Ronan, wants the orb to use it to destroy Xandar. To save the planet and the universe, the Guardians have to work together to retrieve the orb, and stop Ronan. This plot is clear and simple. In Ant-Man, Scott Lange learns from Hank Pym on how to use the suit to stop Darren Cross from distributing the Yellowjacket suit to Hydra. In their hands, they will use the weapons to wreak havoc and chaos on the world. To stop this from happening, Scott Lange must become Ant-Man. This plot is understandable and easy to follow. Many people liked both movies because of the clear, central plots, great characters, and good backstories. Other films have not been as successful due to their lack of a good plot and character development. When studio executives try to make a good movie, and at the same time set up a universe, their effort turns into an uninteresting film. They lose focus on making a good standalone movie with a clear plot and character development. That is why we must be concerned about the future of these movies. A superhero film with a large budget and good actors attached can still lead to a disaster, if it lacks a good story.

Fantastic Four (2015)

The recent failure of this film highlights a potential problem for comic book movies. With the release of this movie, critics and moviegoers were disappointed by how this film turned out. Critically and commercially unsuccessful, this movie attempts to breathe life back into the Fantastic Four franchise, but did not go as well as planned. With Fox studio trying to set up this film for a possible franchise, they forgot to use critical elements to make the movie good: interesting characters, a good story and action, and character development. Without these elements, the studio made a colossal failure, instead of a fantastic movie.

Fantastic actors and filmmakers worked on this film. Actors Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, and Kate Mara all have a good filmography. Miles Teller, known for his roles in Whiplash (2014) and the Spectacular Now (2013), plays Reed Richards. Michael B. Jordan received attention for his role in Fruitvale Station (2013). Kate Mara is in this year’s The Martian (2015), and Jamie Bell gave a good performance in the cult hit, Snowpiercer (2014). And last, but not least, Josh Trank, the director of this film, gained popularity when he released the movie, Chronicle (2012), which was a surprise hit. All of these talented people worked on this movie, but the film was still a failure because the studio was too focused on setting up a franchise, rather than making a good movie.

The first of many things the movie lacked was interesting characters. Unfortunately, the team, Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Johnny Storm, and the Thing didn’t come off as interesting, but dull. There are many scenes where nothing happens. Most of the runtime of this movie shows one character alone in a scene. If this is a movie about a team of superheroes, shouldn’t it show them working together more? Even, the scenes where the team is together come off as dull because the dialogue is poorly written. In addition, this film has only two main action set pieces. One in the middle and one in the end. The rest of the runtime shows the characters working in the lab, or just talking. The experience of watching this film comes off as disappointing because it is uneventful due to the overabundance of exposition. The studio executives were too focused on setting up a franchise for the Fantastic Four, which led them to lose sight on putting all their efforts on making this film the best it can be.

What is the Future of Superhero Movies?

Future movies, Captain America: Civil War and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice are coming out in 2016.

captain america iron man civil war

Batman Vs. Superman Logo

Future movies, Captain America: Civil War and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice are coming out in 2016. With the huge casts in these films, it is unclear how the movies are going to turn out. In Captain America: Civil War, the cast of characters include: Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, Black Panther, Vision, Spider-Man, War Machine, and Winter Soldier. In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the cast of heroes include: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Lex Luthor, Aquaman, and Cyborg. With many superheroes in both films, it is uncertain if every hero will get enough character development. At this point, it looks like the studios are more focused on building the character universe, instead of taking the time to develop these characters.

Guidelines for Future Superhero Movies

1. Good, Clear Story: If a studio is making a reboot or an origin story, they need to focus on the backstory on the main character.

2. Character Development: Give all attention to the characters where we can learn more and develop a connection with them.

3. Fair Amount of Action: Action doesn’t have to be in every scene of the movie, but must happen occasionally in the film.

4. Consistent Tone: Pick a tone for the movie and stick to it. Don’t change tones throughout the movie. It will cause the movie to be a little confusing. Good movies set up a tone in the beginning and remain consistent until the end. Example: Guardians of the Galaxy has a fun, optimistic tone, while The Dark Knight has a somber tone.

5. ONLY HAVE SCENES THAT BELONG IN THE MOVIE: In many Marvel movies, scenes are added to set up and prepare audience members for future movies in that universe. By doing this, the plot becomes uneven.

6. More Creative Control for Directors: Allow directors to have more control over the writing process and the production. If a director feels he doesn’t have control over the production, then there is a good chance of him leaving the franchise. Joss Whedon is not directing another Avengers movie because he is tired of working with Marvel. On the first movie, Whedon had more control. Since we are in Phase Two of MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) Whedon was forced to add things he didn’t want, and was limited to what he wanted to include in the movie. With more movies coming out in the future, will directors stay on or leave the project?

Works Cited

Evry, Max. “Joss Whedon Describes Battles with Marvel Over Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Superherohype.com. May 5, 2015. Accessed October 5, 2015.

Langshaw, Mark. “’Batman & Robin’ Joel Schumacher: ‘Christopher Nolan Is Brilliant’” Digital Spy. 5 Dec.2012.Web. 15 Oct.2015.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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35 Comments

  1. I think you provide a very well-articulated argument as well as some helpful criteria for success in future super hero cinema. What is especially important is your sixth point about allowing directors to have more creative control in their work. The benefits of this guideline ring true in Guardians of the Galaxy. Though certainly not as graphic as his earlier work with Troma, this James Gunn movie feels like a James Gunn movie, and that is part of its undeniable charm. It combines a sharp sense of humor and wit with incredible action, and I would argue that it exceeds even The Avengers in terms of its fun factor. All of this because the studio took a risk and allowed some wiggle room to the man who brought the world both Slither (2006) and Super (2010).

    One other point to consider is how the scale of modern super hero movies has become so bloated because of this concept of the shared universe. It seems like every super hero movie these days has to contend with cataclysmic conflicts that put the universe in the balance, rather than allowing the chance for filmmakers to tell smaller, more intimate super hero stories. The alien invasion in The Avengers was an appropriately grand threat because it had been set up over the course of several films. However, if Superman was able to prevent the terraformation of the entire planet in his first feature, where is the proposed DC cinematic universe to go from there? How are writers meant to top that?

    One of my favorite super hero stories of all time is Batman: The Killing Joke, wherein the Joker tortures Commissioner Gordon in an attempt to put him through the “one bad day” needed to drive him insane while Batman rushes to stop him. It has its problematic elements – including one of the most infamous “Women in Refrigerators” moments of all time – but it is still a personal, powerful, and all around fantastic story that deals with moral and philosophical quandaries about the human condition. It is, unfortunately, difficult to imagine an adaptation of that work being green-lit in today’s cinematic climate.

  2. Still no Black Widow solo movie? Or Scarlet Witch? Or at the very least Wasp?

    • scole

      the closest we’re going to get to a solo movie is the wasp and ant-man and even then i believe it’s called ‘ant-man and the wasp.’ literally the closest we’re going to get to any solo wasp movie. Black Widow hopefully soon, since DC is coming out with a WW movie and we tend to battle with them on that forefront, we might make one just to spite DC. Scarlet Witch i’m not sure, I don’t think Marvel thinks she has enough depth and dynamic even though the fans sure as heck do!

  3. Burton Laws
    1

    I want a real Hulk movie, not a Bruce Banner movie where Banner transform into Hulk only during the action scenes. I want to see his personality, like we saw him during the Len Wein, Roger Stern and Bill Mantlo run.

  4. I must admit that I’m looking forward to the forthcoming Alien & Predator & Godzilla & Cloverfield Monster & King Kong versus Adam Sandler film.

  5. I enjoyed the last third of your article. However, I think the first 2/3’s of this article are unnecessary in terms of length. I was eager to read about your deeper critiques of the superhero movie genre/industry, but instead I felt like I was mostly reading a number of film reviews with opinions I (and most people reading this article) am already aware of. Be sure to get to your point quicker, and don’t hold off the primary analysis of your topic until the very end.

    I agreed with your last bit, where you give critiques and guidelines for superhero movie makers to follow. However, per constructive criticism, I think it’d be really neat for you to tackle the larger issue with superhero movies: why should studios have to follow shared universes, and how is it bad for superhero movies? Everything that goes up must eventually fall down, so it’ll be interesting to see exactly how the superhero film bubble will crash. I saw that you included this approach in little bits throughout your article, but its importance cannot be overlooked, and needs to be given more attention (not just for your article, but generally for film critics who analysis these cash grabs).

    Thank you for your article! Great piece. 🙂

  6. Diego Santoyo
    Diego Santoyo
    0

    You have a great article. I also think it is important to take the time to develop these characters more. Developing them well will provide a better character universe.

  7. Great article! I always wondered why I am starting to dislike superhero movies. I guess it’s because they lack character development and a good story line.

  8. Prentice
    0

    Marvel characters are always popping in and out of each others stories, while DC characters pretty much need to get transfer papers signed in triplicate at least 3 months in advance in order to appear in another character’s comic. I’d say both approaches are equally valid.

  9. ‘Gotham’ is the best superhero origin TV series ever!

    • Montalvo
      1

      Gotham is a train wreck. I only watch it because it is so beautifully terrible. Gotham is a lot like watching The Room.

      I am very surprised that people like it because it is a quality TV show. It is terrible. It just happens to be the right kind of terrible that is very enjoyable to watch.

  10. There are only so many times you can sell the same old crap. In two or three years time when they are looking to reboot Batman and Spiderman AGAIN I think you’ll start to see how big movies falling on their asses.

    • SouthParker
      1

      There are always new teenagers. Maybe they can get away with rebooting every 10 years, forever….

    • scole

      that’s how i feel about Spider-Man and every 5-10 years they remake the same origin story over and over and over again like we don’t know where peter parker came from and the two chicks he dated. i just want them to stop making them and start somewhere else in the comics, make a deadpool and spider-man movie, that would be killer!

  11. If Marvel is gonna make a movie about a female character, I would personally prefer one with Carol Danvers, She-Hulk (if done right) or Kismet. Maybe even Shanna. I also like Jocasta, but don’t see it as much likely that she will get her own movie.

  12. Captain Marvel sounds very exciting.

  13. The important philosophy that I think would keep these movies fresh would be not to look at the super hero movie as a formula. It should only be a vessel to tell unique stories through the use of super heroes. This is why Guardians of the Galaxy succeeded. It felt like an entirely different genre from the traditional hero flick. I also am really disappointed that you failed to mention Dread 3D on this list. Dread 3D is an under-rated film by far carrying on the kind of heroics that made Blade such a hit before even the Spider Man franchise. Viewers are becoming increasingly aware of the repetitive nature of super hero movies. Its time for some creativity.

  14. Marvel have successfully gone further than anyone’s gone before, but I’d be surprised if they can keep it up for another five or ten years once the original stars leave. I dunno if it’ll kill off the genre but I think there’s a built in cycle of interest that’ll probably start dipping once Downey Jnr leaves/the stories have got too complicated and far from origin stories…

    • Yea, I feel that the history of the superhero movie already points to a problem with the genre’s longevity, namely that the series have to be rebooted every three films or so to keep the public interested, and stars age and leave.

  15. I don’t know how much Superman vs Batman will take from the Dark Knight Returns, but it’s a Zack Snyder movie so I certainly won’t watch to find out.

  16. I agree. I think the Marvel Universe had a good idea to do teasers at the end of their movies to show what the audience is to expect in the next years. I do think they bit off too much. Studios should pressure their film directors to include off-the-wall scenes because they want future audiences to come to a film that hasn’t even been creating. I love foreshadowing. Absolutely love it. It needs to be done right. You pointed this out. If filmmakers and studies try to include to much, the plot become convoluted and difficult to follow. That’s the thing about foreshadows. They need to be simple, unobserved and intricate details. It makes fanboys and fangirls alike reread their favorite books or rewatch their favorite movies to see what they missed before.

  17. Good article, well informed on the state of Marvel Universe trying to make as much bang for their buck by making all these superhero sequels and now we have a more superhero content thrown being aired as T.V series. I hope Marvel will not get too greedy and lose sight of detailing great stories from these comic characters; particularly with the “Avengers Infinity War’s” movies coming out in another 2 years or whenever it premiers because that was definitely a great story written.

  18. I can’t wait for Captain America Civil War. It will be based on source material that wasn’t written for Hollywood. The thing that will split the heroes is the never ending debate of security vs privacy. I think it will be one of the better superhero movies.

  19. Marvel movies are definitely becoming more and more recycled with the same character concept, same story structures, and witty slap-in-the-face sarcastic humour. That being said, they are still top grossing films no matter when they’re released, but the downside, It’s becoming backwash.

  20. Punisher
    0

    I couldn’t care less about Black Panther. I have never liked the character (or similar characters). If they want to make a movie taking place in Africa, I would prefer to see Brother Voodoo (the original version, not the updated one).

  21. Often in Hollywood the goal of the studio is to create an enduring brand that will generate revenue. If the integrity and overall quality of the movie has to be sacrificed a little bit, they are willing to do so.

  22. Brandon T. Gass

    I predict a disappointing future in superhero movies. Many suffer from the same criterion: poor casting in small roles that propel the film’s environment and tone, unoriginal story lines, dull/unclear purpose of events that propel the characters, and little substance covered in layers of over-stimulating dynamic shots of explosions and close-call punch-lines.

    Christopher Nolan gracefully re-shaped the superhero genre with his magnificent Dark Knight Trilogy, showcasing what superhero films are capable of when beautifully written and executed. This was also reflected in Man of Steel, which was co-written by Nolan.

    A prime example of the bland side of hero films is Joss Whedon’s The Avengers. This film, like many modern super hero flicks, held the cliché of having risks so high, that there was no tension in the plot whatsoever, that no amount of mindless one-liners could save.

    There seems to be a growing appeal with darker superhero films (with Captain America: Civil War and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice coming out in 2016). I have mixed feelings for these films. While they are leaning toward a new light, the writers are my primary concern.

    Christopher Markus and Stephen McFreely (responsible for the previous Captain America films and the catastrophe that was The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe) have written the screenplay for Captain America: Civil War, leading me to suspect nothing good.

    While Chris Terrio (Argo screenwriter) and David S. Goyer (Dark Knight Trilogy/Man of Steel screenwriter) have teamed up on the screenplay for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. I have high hopes for their talent to collide and bring something new and audacious to the bland screens of theaters.

  23. Age of Ultron’s plot was disappointingly derivative and clearly was only setting the stage for Civil War.

    I think the actors playing the heroes make a difference. Chris Pratt is the reason Guardians was a huge success. Even if he is not quite a superhero in Jurassic World, he is definitely one reason the movie was a success.

    As usual though there is a huge lack of female superheroes. Why is that? Anyone want to weigh in on that or is it too much of a hot potato?

    That is one reason why I love TV’s Marvel Agents of Shield. Promisingly diverse superheroes, well developed back stories and even an interracial couple with May and Dr. Andrew. Equity in the Marvel Universe…I guess there is a first time for everything.

  24. emilyinmannyc

    Very interesting article, I really like how your analysis of the recent superhero productions, and end with guidelines for future superhero movies. I agree with all of them! I hope the new films adhere to them.

  25. I’m sorry but I totally cannot agree with the sentence: “The first Amazing Spider-Man (2012) is arguably the best film in the rebooted series.”
    I’m not completely sure what you are comparing it to because it is possible that it is better than the second part but that doesn’t make it less catastrophic. It’s completely obvious that these series are trying to draw young bimbos in for the franchise. Really ugly move. There is nothing believable about the story – who would consider the main guy a loser or a nerd anyway? He’s the dream boy of every second teenage girl age 12-17. Oh, wait – but he is a total swot and unpopular. Yet, he also happens to be the prettiest boy in class who also happens to be a skater. Because that is so uncool! Am I watching Twilight?
    The support cast was not out of flesh in my humble opinion and Spiderman’s character is totally ruined by this arrogant snot. If you want to see any action in the movie – actually the reason I decided to give it a go (I wanted to watch some Spidey action there!) – you won’t find any. Instead, they are focusing on the love story (it’s all about the bimbos after all). I mean, I actually admit I could not stand throughout the whole movie the first time. It was more than the half and there had been only one action scene (in the school) and sooo much unpleasantly corny sweetness or arrogancy in between. Spiderman is funny and likes to crack jokes, but he isn’t the self-obsessed, self-immersed, egocentrical individual they portray. So I didn’t watch it to the end that night. It took me a long time before I actually finished the movie only for it to end as corny as it was during the whole time.

    I’m sorry. It’s the worst. I recognized it since the trailer. But I am an open person, I thought I might be wrong. I wasn’t.

  26. Superhero movies will be around forever, because we all want a hero to look up to. I love them all, but Guardians of the Galaxy seemed to break new ground and be almost irreverent to the “rules” that Marvel and DC Comics had followed for years. The characters were flawed, yet endearing and the comedy in the film kept audiences returning to watch it over and over again. Since then, it seems like superhero films to follow have tried to lighten up a bit and audiences seems to be responding favorably. What do you think?

  27. Tatijana

    In my opinion setting up a universe should always be secondary. The fanbase will exist with our without the setup of a franchise. And new fans are more likely to stick with a franchise if the movies are actually good and not garbage… so I don’t get it. Why would you intentionally make garbage which forces your fanbase to be disappointed and forces potential new watchers away.

  28. You make very good points regarding all these movies, especially regarding the second Avengers movie. They focused way too much on both setting up the movie for another sequel as well as injecting romance into the movie. I felt like the sudden romantic relationship between Natasha and Bruce was not really believable. Though their scenes were cute, their chemistry really wasn’t there and I think the writers were trying to force a relationship that involved Natasha rather than let her be a stand alone character.

  29. Emily Deibler

    Good article. Here’s hoping the future superhero movies do well. I’m both wary yet excited, especially for Civil War and BvS.

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