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Latest Articles

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Superheroes - up, up, and away

Since the early 2000s, the superhero genre has saturated our screens with no intention of slowing down. And I wonder why this is. Why are Marvel and DC superhero movies the front runners in the current cycle of action cinema? What might be the cultural conditions which boosted the popularity of this genre? Is it simply a matter of evolved special effects adding a more realistic spectacle to the narrative, or does our love of superheroes expose a wider cultural anxiety about the need for national protection (an after-effect of 9/11, perhaps)?

  • I've always wondered this myself. A great source for this piece would be Robert Kirkman's Secret History of Comics, because viewers see just where these superheroes came from and how they affected society at that time and continue to do so now. Everyone wanted to BE Superman or HAVE a Superman. Marvel comics took a step forward from black-and-white "bad guys" to villains with complex backstories and motivations. I believe that the heart of superheroes continues to be so relevant and prevalent nowadays because we still have that yearning to see good triumph over evil, as well as see these comic book characters come to life. – EJSmall 5 years ago
  • On top of all the factors which you have mentioned, part of me (the optimistic side) believes that the superheroes genre provides a fertile ground for experimentation especially with diversity. Though it is not perfect, superheroes movies tend to make an effort to be inclusive with diverse casts and I believe, rightly or wrongly, that it has contributed to the success and appeal of the cycle of those movies. – kpfong83 5 years ago

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Latest Comments

Interesting! Because my parents were nerds and involved me with ‘geek’ media at a young age, I always figured that all adults were into nerd stuff. It was a shock to realise that we were the ‘weird’ ones!

Is "Geek Culture" Embracing Our Inner Child, or Infantilising a Generation of Adults?

I personally cannot stand fidelity discourse. If people are going to gush over ‘books that are better than the movie’ then the same appreciation needs to be made for movies that are better than the book. What about the Exorcist? Amytiville Horror? Jaws? Die Hard?

The Art of Adaptation: From Book to Film

What an insightful article! The exploration of Eleven as a kind of monster as she simultaneously fights monsters is really intriguing. I think it’s really interesting how young girls are positioned in current pop culture as such a source of anxiety for adults, particularly men – think Laura from ‘Logan’ or Ellie from the recent remake of ‘Pet Sematary’. I wonder if audience reception to these young girls in media has any relation to ‘real life’ threats of exceptional young women – just look at what is going on in real life currently with Greta Thunberg!

Analyzing Stranger Things Using James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction