Wait, so you’re telling me, Kevin Feige the Marvel CEO claims that he and the company have planned Marvel Cinematic universe movies well in to 2025? So by the time I’m in my forties I’ll still be watching superhero movies? And you’re also telling me that FOX is expanding the X-Men movie line? And you are also telling me that Sony is planning to make more Spider-Man movies, and a Venom movie, and a Sinister Six movie? Also, Netflix is going to have three series based on overlooked Marvel heroes like Daredevil soon?
Have I died and gone to heaven? It has never been this good to be a superhero fan. Never. You can argue that there was a time before this, but you’d be wrong.
For the last three years I’ve read nothing but whiny articles on my various online haunts about the superhero movie overload, and how the studios are saturating the market. I’ve also read how eventually there will be nothing but bad superhero movies in the theaters, outnumbering the quality ones. Well, I say bring it on, guys. Bring it on, and don’t expect me to hate this overload any time soon.
For too damn long Hollywood has ignored the gold mine of fantasy and science fiction material from Marvel, DC and Image comics, and for too long we’ve been pushed to the side. I’m going on thirty one this year, and all I keep thinking is, “Man fifteen years ago I’d have been skipping and jumping back and forth with absolute joy.” I have been a comic book fan since I was a child, and that fandom has sadly waned over the years. DC and Marvel comics are terrible these days, and the comic book medium is dying.
But I needs my superhero fix somehow, so I turn to the superhero movies and adaptations to get my fill. Am I saying they’re all good? God no. Utter trash like “Batman and Robin,” “Catwoman,” “Elektra,” “Green Lantern,” and “Kick Ass” are still arousing odd smells from their respective presences in online stores, but there is so much superhero cinema to choose from, it’s amazing.
Back when I was a kid, we didn’t have this much superhero cinema. And that’s not an understatement. You wanted a live action Captain America? You had to watch the Reb Brown TV movie, or the 1990 version. You wanted Thor? You had to sit through his appearance on the Incredible Hulk TV movie where he’s depicted as a blond oaf who gets drunk and fights in bars. Are you a fan of Daredevil? You had to sit through “The Trial of the Incredible Hulk” and he wasn’t even in his signature costume.
Fancy some live action X-Men? Settle for the “Generation X” TV movie. Want to see Nick Fury and SHIELD fight Hydra?! Well, you have the 1998 action comedy starring David Hasselhoff as the classic Nick Fury. What about Spider-Man? Go watch the Nick Hammond TV movie and series where he can barely fit in his costume. Hey, I can go on folks. During the nineties, the Science Fiction channel in America used to have a weekend marathon of Marvel superhero TV movies, and it was the only way I could get my fix of Live action Marvel superheroes.
And back then if you told me I’d be seeing live action “The Avengers” movie, and that Iron Man and Captain America would be the coolest big screen superheroes around, I’d have laughed in your face and rolled my eyes at you. I was a smug little shit.
Hey, you can moan and groan at the overflow of superhero movies out there, and how it doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon. And it’s not. But for me, this is a good time to be a superhero fan. I love the Marvel superheroes, I love most of the DC superheroes, and I’ve always loved the concept of the battle of good and evil, and good conquering the forces of darkness. I’ve also always rooted for the good guys and will always because I’m just one in millions of fan boys that have always fantasized of being a superhero.
Not just that, but people tend to miss the bigger picture.
Back in the beginning of cinema, movie fans would go to the theaters every week to watch the latest adventures of The Phantom, or The Shadow, or Flash Gordon. They had their movie serial heroes to look forward to. This is our generation’s movie serials, where Marvel and DC have connected their moves together as one cogent universe.
And while I’m normally hard on movies that have to be watched altogether to be complete, I love that you can either just watch “Captain America: The First Avenger,” or you can run down the entire list of Phase One of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, if you want. These are our modern serials, and the comic book companies have re-invigorated that atmosphere whether they intended to or not.
I know, I know, it’s all about money, and merchandise and foreign marketing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the ride. You don’t have to watch everything out there, but you can still enjoy that Captain America is finally a cool hero with a great movie series. We can bask in the fact that Iron Man, once considered a third tier Marvel character is now the big icon for the new generation of superheroes. It’s not all great, but when it really taps in to a vein with an excellent story and incredible action, it’s a fantastic feeling.
Twenty years ago we barely had any kind of superhero cinema, and what was there was kind of embarrassing. Now we have an entire library of superhero cinema, and I intend to enjoy the ride until the very end.