Editorial: Will Superhero Movies become a fad?

Daniel Maron, Staff Writer

The last ten to fifteen years have seen superhero films and tv shows dominate the box office and airwaves respectively. This is primarily due to the Marvel Cinematic Universe which is a self-contained universe of films and television series based on the characters from Marvel Comics. 

Even before the MCU, superhero film series like Sam Raimi’s Spiderman trilogy and the original X-Men film series dominated the box office. But everything popular there will always be detractors and flaws with it. Academy Award-winning filmmaker Steven Spielberg said that superheroes would go “the way of the Western” and enjoy a “finite time in popular culture.

To some, he may seem like a boomer who is behind the times, however, he is not wrong with his assertion. 

For context, in the golden age of cinema, Westerns primarily dominated the movie theaters since those movies reflect the era of World War II and more on the discovery self. In the post-war era, man was beginning to explore the stars and tensions. Hollywood began making movies about monsters and aliens soon the ideal Western Hero began to feel outdated. To quote the movie Toy Story 2: “Once the astronauts went up, children only wanted to play with space toys.”

So how does this relate? Most Marvel movies follow similar tropes and formulas: being interconnected and having the bad guy be some jerk in a suit. These tropes, while not bad, definitely will become stale over time if they don’t reinvent the wheel. Marvel can avoid these by going back to what made their heroes successful which was by making them both relatable and realistic. There is a saying that DC heroes are characters you look up to and Marvel heroes are people you can relate to. For example, the X-Men comics reflect themes of prejudice and identity using super-powered mutants as allegories for either the LGBTQ, African-Americans, or any oppressed group in history. Marvel could also branch from traditional action stories and use their superheroes to explore different genres. The recent Disney+ series WandaVision already is proving this to great success.