The Challenge of Telling a Superhero's Origin

I think Hollywood spends too much time telling a superhero's origin instead of just jumping right into the action with a good story with the hero already established.  There are exceptions -- Captain America: The First Avenger, needed to be an origin tale.  The audience needed to see the character's beginning to understand what he's all about. 

I still think the most fascinating part of Captain America's storyline is how he deals with present-day America.  He was created during wartime and his return to Marvel Comics in the 1960s was a bold move, enabling them to keep the seemingly anachronistic, patriotic core of the hero during a time of social and political upheaval in the United States.  Even now in 2011 those themes are timely, and I'm looking forward to seeing how Steve Rogers defends his country and upholds the morals he so firmly believes in while being a fish out of water, a man out of time, a guy who will have his beliefs challenged and his good intentions tested. 

Even though the film was a fine period piece and an excellent set-up for future adventures, the most interesting part of the story will be what happens next. 

Do we need to see the beginning for each superhero?  We will have to endure fresh starts once again in The Amazing Spider-man and Man of Steel.    Isn't it possible to just jump right into a storyline with our heroes already fighting the good fight instead of spending time seeing how they first gained their powers and decided to combat evil?  Can't their origins be told quickly through flashbacks or quick montages?

Almost everyone knows how Superman, Batman, the Hulk, and all the rest came to be the superheroes that they are.  The fun now is seeing new challenges and new adventures.  An origin provides motivation for a character and better understanding for the audience, but such details can be provided through simple exposition without being heavyhanded or halting the pace of any story. 

It worked well for Captain America, but I don't know if I want to sit through more and more origins as new heroes make their big screen debuts.  Can't we just skip the beginning and just get right into the action? 

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