Not So Super: Has the comic-book bubble finally burst?

It’s been a rough week for me. As editor-in-chief and majority shareholder of Screenkicker I bore the brunt of the backlash against my Thor: The Dark World review. I’ve been spat at in the street, my dog has gone missing, and my family have had to move house. Ok i’ll admit none of this is true but you get my point. I seem to be the only person who didn’t like the film and I think I know why – I’m experiencing superhero fatigue.

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Superhero movies of the kind that are popular these days were kick started way back in 1998 with Blade, the first film produced my Marvel Studios. It ushered in an age of comic book productions that were faithful to the source material and didn’t look down on the fans of the comics. A big part of the rise of the superhero film was due to advances in special effects technology and a lack of original stories in blockbuster films. Comic book plots filled this gap nicely. This is all good stuff so why am I bored of them?

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I blame The Avengers. It basically gave Marvel the excuse to churn out loads of movies based on it’s books which you need to watch to understand what the hell is going on in the main film. Captain America, Thor, The Hulk, Iron Man, these films are now filling movie theatres and the problem is that they’re basically the same thing. We have an origin story which can be good (Iron Man, Thor) or bad (Captain America) followed by an unoriginal tale of our hero fighting an incredibly dull bad guy.

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You’ll notice I haven’t mentioned my favourite hero – Batman. Well right now he’s been spared my wrath as Christopher Nolan limited his tale to a trilogy. Come back to me when Batfleck spreads his wings and we’ll talk again. Oh and I really like the X-Men movies (apart from the third one naturally). And with that revelation I’ve spotted the problem, it’s Marvel Studios that i’m fed up with. X-Men is still owned by Fox Studios and Spiderman is a Sony property and currently neither have outstayed their welcome yet. Maybe Marvel needs to calm down a bit, give Tony Stark and co. a rest and come up with something a bit different. Maybe the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy will provide a much needed kick up the ass for them.

So we’re all in agreement that Thor 2 wasn’t great? Good, I’m glad we cleared that up. Now can someone please give me my dog back? 😦

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Any of you guys disappointed with Thor 2? Back me up! What about comic book movies in general, do you want more or less? Let me know dog thieves!

26 comments

  1. You know I hate to encourage you BUT after watching Iron Man 3 (which was barely better than dire IM2) I think you’re right. As for Guardians, I’m really sceptical ! And I used to love the comics

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  2. Sorry, I enjoyed Thor 2. I don’t have superhero fatigue yet but with Marvel putting out two movies a year I’m not sure if I’ll still feel the same in a few years time.

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  3. I don’t have superhero movie fatigue yet and I have more right than anyone to claim it. While it is true that there are more superhero movies than there were 10 years ago, quite a bit more, it’s not anywhere near a saturation point. In 2013 by my count there were 25 superhero and/or comic book adaptions released on home video and in theaters. How many buddy cop movies were released? How many generic romantic comedies?

    Even as far as the big tentpole movies go, there is still a wide range for variety. Thor is Sci-Fi/Fantasy heavy, Captain America looks like it will be more grounded in reality with some political/war elements, Man of Steel was much more straight-up sci-fi with some drama. Kick-Ass is a mix of humor and ultra-violence, The Wolverine forgoes almost all trappings of superheroes. And as you mentioned Guardians of the Galaxy will likely be very space/sci-fi heavy quite possibly with a good dose of comedy considering it’s got James Gunn at the helm and a talking racoon with heavy weaponry.

    And I did like Thor 2, but I don’t begrudge you for disliking it.

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    • I go through phases like this. No doubt I’ll go back to loving them soon. Amazing Spiderman 2 could be amazing and I’m really excited about the next X-Men film. Part of me is worried that if they rush out too many movies like this they’ll kill a genre that I love. As long as the quality is kept up then I’ll keep watching 🙂

      Thanks for your comment, its great to hear the opinion of an expert

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      • One thing was getting at with my comment, but might have been a little sideways with it is the fact that “superhero” isn’t really a genre but a category of movies. And I think that having more movies in that category actually forces them to go outside of the typical sci-fi/action genre of the cliche superhero movie and branch out into different genres within the same category. There will still be plenty that try to play it safe in the middle, but eventually those will bomb in favor of the ones that take a risk and turn out an excellent movie.

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  4. Great post Mikey! Well clearly the comic-book bubble hasn’t popped yet, it may be a while before it happens but this genre’s REALLY overstaying its welcome!

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