Tag Archives: The Avengers

Superhero Movies Face No Kryptonite as They Soar into 2018

A great year ahead for superhero movies.

Author: Anna Galich

When it comes to fighting for the share of a film audience, the battleground is extremely tough. However, amidst the blockbusters, period pieces, and Oscar fodder, one genre has risen above all others and against all odds reigned supreme both in terms of commercial success and cultural reception. That’s right, superhero movies provide us with some of the most lucrative and successful films in recent years, and their star is only going to continue to rise. But what does the future hold for superhero films? And will the current trajectory ever slow down?

Super Success

2017 was a good year for superhero flicks. According to Box Office Mojo Wonder Woman grossed $412,563,408, and was the 3rd highest grossing film of the year, while Thor: Ragnarok achieved $312,641,320 and 7th place, and Justice League closed out the Top 10. The success shows that superhero movies are still drawing in the public and achieving box office targets. As long as the targets are being met, the studios will still continue to produce films about superheroes. The first female-led superhero movie bolstered the position for DC, with Gal Gadot’s performance as Wonder Woman being highly praised – and with that success comes a possible new subgenre for countless other female superheroes who may have been overlooked over the years.

Hope for the Future

2018 looks to continue the rise of the superhero movie genre, with Avengers: Infinity War, Deadpool 2, and Ant-Man and the Wasp providing sequels of previously successful films. Based on the eponymous villain, Venom will offer an alternate view of the Spider-Man series – which itself received a revamp in 2017, replacing Andrew Garfield with Tom Holland for the Spider-Man Homecoming origin story. Revamps are common in the genre and actually in fitting with the comic books they are based on, which regularly kill off characters, such as when Spider-Man was killed in 2012 only to be revived again. The trick the studios have to pull is to stick to the genre’s roots while finding new and exciting ways to explore superhero backstories and mythos.

Fresh Meat

But with the regurgitation of heroes in sequel after sequel (Iron Man and Captain America both have 3 films each, with appearances in crossovers and the everyone-involved Avengers films), and the retelling of the same story (Spider-Man has had 3 different actors; Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland in only 15 fifteen years), there leaves little space for new superheroes to change the genre up. However, one hero, whose exploits were documented in the 1986 movie Highlander, is in the pipeline for a remake. The remake will introduce newer fans to the character, who already has a fan base and in niche areas even appeared as a popular game on the homepage of Betway Casino, featured as an online slot game. The game features content from the classic franchise and can give you a sense of how popular the movie (directed by Chad Stahleski of John Wick fame) will be.

Superhero movie franchises abound.

Franchise and Fans

The superhero movie continues to see a positive return at the box office due to the franchise nature of the genre. The films are based on premises, not plots, which are conducive to expanded arcs, backstories, and fleshed out worlds of characters long forgotten in comic books. As many are based on comic books, which have established audiences, and come from a genre, which also has dedicated fans, studios are more likely to produce superhero movies due to the likelihood of a higher turnout. The established fan base could explain why so many superhero films are given the green light, but easy fans wouldn’t account for the genuine financial success the films achieve.

Marvel vs DC

The Marvel vs DC battle, which dominates the comic world, and has begun to dominate the world of cinema, is another factor that keeps superhero films alive. If only one franchise existed, filmmakers could grow complacent and produce subpar stories knowing people will watch them. The healthy competition and so-called battle the companies are involved in helps keep each franchise fresh in order to stay ahead of the competition. With DC’s release of the Wonder Woman film, Marvel are already considering further exploring Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow in her own feature. The character starred in many of her own comics, which explored the backstory revealed in Age of Ultron. The opening of major action movies to female leads provides a wealth of avenues that the superhero films can go down – just don’t mention Halle Berry’s 2004 flop as Catwoman!

The Comic Book Industry

The superhero genre of films also helps keep the comic book industry alive. By introducing fans to a character, they can then delve into the entire back catalogue of that character, and everything they have done before. Given that many started in the 1950s, fans potentially have a large amount of material to sift through, helping to build the franchise effect that keeps audiences interested film after film.

The superhero genre, after years of hard work and failed attempts, has finally solidified itself as the head of the box office and a creator of sure-fire hits. The future of the genre looks bright, and filmmakers have to just decide which aspect to focus on. While flops can still occur, the unwavering success of the last spate of films shows just how successful the genre actually can be.

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Filed under Comics, Commentary, Guest Column, movies, superhero movies, Superheroes, Superman

COMIC-CON 2013: Marvel Comics vs. DC Comics at the Box Office

Writer/director Joss Whedon gave “Marvel LIVE!” the exclusive first interview after the announcement of Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” during Marvel Studios’ Hall H presentation. You can expect a new spin on the Ultron origin story and a global outlook.

“Machinima” provides a recap on the news coming out of Comic-Con about a Superman vs. Batman movie. The news is very brief amounting to a quote from a confrontation between Superman and Batman from Frank Miller’s “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.” However, there is no indication that this story will be the basis for the new movie.

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Filed under Batman, Comic-Con, Comic-Con 2013, Comic-Con International: San Diego, DC Comics, Disney, Joss Whedon, Marvel Comics, movies, Superman, The Avengers, Warner Bros. Entertainment

THE AVENGERS: See The Movie; Read The Comic Book

Scarlett Johansson is reason enough for me to see a movie. So is Robert Downey Jr. and the rest of the stellar cast of “THE AVENGERS.” And what if you’re new to comics and would like to dip your toe into the Marvel universe? Well, there are quite a number of titles to choose from. Lucky for you, I have a suggestion for a fine place to start.

Marvel Comics delivers a credible movie tie-in with their three-part limited series, “BLACK WIDOW STRIKES.”  The first issue finds our title character, Natasha Romanoff, undercover at a gentleman’s club in Moscow as she seeks out a bootlegger dealing in Starktech. This is written by Fred Van Lente, with pencils by Neil Edwards, inks by Rick Magyar and colors by Nick Filardi. It is basically a solid little piece of noir with a nice hard edge drawing style mixed in with the right set of garish color contrast and moody monochromes.

What’s cool about Black Widow is that she’s a babe with no regrets. We see a lot of sexy assertiveness, not just cheesecake. Black Widow is intended to be a sexual and powerful character. From what I’ve read, she never comes across has someone hobbled by her sexuality in the way, for instance, Catwoman seems to usually be. And that’s what we get in this opening issue. Natasha gets in over her head momentarily with the bunch of mobsters but soon sets things right again. She pulls off her enormous beehive wig to unleash a huge gun that knocks the bad boys out of the game. She kicks. She struts. She kicks again. And, before her life is yet again in danger, S.H.I.E.L.D. finally comes through and supplies her with a flying contraption for her big escape.

But she’s safe only for a few moments. Scantily clad, she must do battle with a bunch of ninja commandos. One close call after another, and she’s safe again, for the moment. There are few words to exchange during these passages. The art and the attitude are energetic. We believe in Natasha. Once all the damage has been done to her penthouse suite, she regains order and bribes the bellman to keep quiet.

The only mistake that Natasha makes is one and it is huge. She engages in conversation with the very person responsible for trying to get her killed. “Sofia” assures her that it was only business and that, well, given a chance, she’d like to explain herself. She also claims to be a fan, the sort of fan who would like to take her place. For some reason, this is too much for Natasha to resist and she agrees to meet with Sofia. This does not look good for Natasha but it sounds like the start of a pretty good little tale. The next issue is out May 16. Visit Marvel Comics.

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Filed under Avengers, Black Widow, comic books, Marvel Comics