By Travis Trombley
If it’s not obvious already, superhero movies aren’t going away. Not soon, at least. In fact, Marvel Studios, Warner Brothers, Fox and Sony -the four studios between whom the various Marvel and DC superheroes are currently split – released tentative schedules for their upcoming blockbusters as far as 2020. And if The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which cost Sony 255 million dollars to produce, according to Forbes, is any indication, these studios will continue to invest obscene amounts of money in these franchises in the hopes of hooking audiences for sequels and sequels to come.
When confronted with such numbers, even the most ardent fans can’t help but wonder if these films aren’t over-saturating the market. Along with the growing numbers of reboots and novel-to-film adaptations being split into multiple installments, it takes no significant degree of cognitive wherewithal to question whether producers are simply taking advantage of the pop culture craze to milk the genre – and fans – for all they’re worth.
Yes, I’m interested in the seeing the phenomenon of a cinematic universe growing installment after installment, but not if doing so requires complacency with a system that equates lazy adherence to the “good guy find purpose and can therefore punch harder and defeat bad guy” formula and flashy third acts with success.
Fortunately, Summer 2014’s superhero successes set an excitingly new precedent for narrative integrity in the genre.
Warning: major plot spoilers ahead. Though, to be honest, if you’ve read this far, you’ve more than likely already seen the movies herein discussed.