The Superhero Golden Age Continues

Superheroes in movies. Superheroes on television.  Superheroes everywhere! I've said it before, I'll say it again, we are living in the golden age of the live-action superhero genre.  While some might complain of comic book adaptation overload, I'm enjoying every second of it.  As long as the movies and TV shows are entertaining, keep them coming.

On the big screen, Marvel can do no wrong.  Avengers: Age of Ultron is another blockbuster success and the Cinematic Universe will continue to expand with Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange, Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, The Inhumans, and a two-part Avengers: Infinity War.  (Whew!) DC Entertainment is hoping for similar rewards with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, followed by Suicide Squad and hopefully a string of other promised films: Wonder Woman, two Justice League movies, The Flash, Aquaman, Shazam, Cyborg, a new Green Lantern, and Sandman.

On television (traditional and streaming), we already have Arrow, The Flash, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Marvel's Daredevil, Powers, and Agent Carter, with a bunch more coming up, including Supergirl, DC's Legends of Tomorrow, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, The Defenders, and TNT's Teen Titans series. I'm sure I'm leaving out a bunch.


Different genres dominate and fade away, whether they be Westerns, Science Fiction epics, Horror flicks, Romantic Comedies, etc. The current Superhero bubble will surely burst eventually, but as long as they keep doing it right, the fans will continue to support them. Marvel's secret to success has been to stick to the source material with just enough tweaks to attract the necessary mainstream crossover appeal. Marvel Entertainment takes its comics book roots seriously, sometimes overly faithful to what's familiar with the fanbase. Seemingly obscure characters like the Vision and Guardians of the Galaxy have been realized perfectly.


Superheroes have been on the screen since the early days of the Superman movie serials and the George Reeves and Adam West television shows. Superheroes have scored at the box office decades ago, thanks to Christopher Reeve and Michael Keaton. Now is the time, however, for ever-more faithful adaptations, thanks in part to improved special effects and filmmakers (and studios) not afraid to tell the types of superhero tales fans have grown up reading in the comics.  In the old days, Wonder Woman and The Incredible Hulk were ratings hits on TV, but their budget limitations (and often uninspired creative direction) made the heroes battle run of the mill adversaries in cookie cutter plots week after week. Now the only limit is the screenwriters' and directors' imaginations.


I want to see the superhero trend continue.  For that to happen, the movies and television shows need to deliver consistent fun and adventure, with characters who earn our cheers and stories that keep us coming back for more, just as those comics did when we were kids.

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