Is There a Glut of Superhero Movies?
There are a lot of superhero movies coming out in 2016 (and 2017… and 2018). Marvel has a bunch of superhero movies coming out. DC has a bunch of movies being released too. As much as the general public love superhero movies, at some point the novelty is going to wear off. And when it does, the superhero movie bubble will burst.
As a former comic book fanboy, I would have loved this superhero movie glut 40 years ago. When I was a kid, there were no superhero movies, except for the cheesy Adam West Batman movie that local TV stations played on Sunday afternoons. Other than that, there was only the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman and Lou Ferrigno as The Incredible Hulk. Lynda Carter and Lou Ferrigno were great, but their shows were low budget. I wanted to see Hulk smash cities, and all he did was lift up trucks and throw bikers around. It’s only been in the last couple decades that it was possible to make a superhero movie look good.
Even when comic books started getting turned into movies, most of them sucked. Superman and Superman II with Christopher Reeves were pretty good, but Superman III and IV sucked. Batman with Michael Keaton was okay, but the other ones sucked (to varying degrees). 1990’s Marvel movies (like The Fantastic Four and Captain America) sucked so bad that they didn’t even make it into theaters.
The first Marvel superhero movie to not suck was X-Men. I remember, that was my first comment when I walked out of the theater in 2000(?).
“Jimmy, what did you think?” a friend asked after we had watched the movie.
“It didn’t suck.”
That was my version of a thumbs up. Back in the late 1990’s, the only thing that didn’t suck was the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But I was a very hyper-critical fanboy back then.
Some comic collectors think “fanboy” is a derogatory word. I understand. Fanboy rhymes with manboy, and manboy describes a lot of comic collectors. I was a fanboy for a long time. Then I got married and had kids. I just lost interest in comic books. It wasn’t my wife’s fault. Some fanboys blame their wives (or girlfriends), but I just reached a point where I had read too many comic books. But that fanboy part of me still exists, and I get excited whenever a new superhero movie comes out.
Some non-fanboy moviegoers don’t understand these new movies like Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice or Captain America:Civil War where superheroes fight each other. Superheroes have been fighting each other in comic books for decades. Superheroes love to fight because they have all the testosterone that fanboys don’t. After superheroes are done fighting each other, they team up to beat up the bad guy, so everything is usually okay at the end.
Some fanboys say it’s better to have too many superhero movies than not enough. I understand that. For most of my life, there weren’t ANY superhero movies, and I prefer the way things are now. Still, I remember what happened in the early 1990’s when there were too many comic books. I eventually stopped buying them. And that could happen with superhero movies. If it were just one comic company involved, it would make sense for them to bring out the movies slowly. But with Marvel and DC competing, they almost have to push faster than the other. And that will create the superhero movie glut, and then the bubble will burst.
Every bubble bursts. The stock market bubble always bursts. Energy bubbles burst. Technology bubbles burst. Property bubbles burst. Even comic book bubbles burst. Back in the 1990’s, comic book companies went crazy, publishing way too many titles. There must have been 10 different Batman comics every month, 10 Superman comics a month, 10 Spider-Man comics a month. If a character was popular, he/she had 3-10 comics out each month. It was impossible to keep up. Fanboys started speculating, thinking that these overprinted issues would be worth something. And then the comic bubble burst, and a bunch of titles got cancelled, and all those overprinted 1990’s comic books were worthless. I’m no economist, but even I understood economic bubbles.
When it comes to comic books and movies, I’m not taking sides between Marvel and DC. I’m partial to Marvel, but I don’t care enough to defend my opinion. If a DC fanboy says Marvel sucks, I don’t care. Arguing about comic books is almost as pointless as arguing politics. The only fanboys I argue with are the Rob Liefeld fanboys. I openly mock the Rob Liefeld fanboys when I see them at comic conventions. I don’t go to comic conventions often anymore, but when I do, I make sure to mock the Rob Liefeld fanboys.
Anyway, a Marvel-DC movie team up has to happen. If Hollywood could ever make a Superman/Spider-Man movie, I’d stand in line for it. I don’t even go to movies anymore, but I’d stand in line. I’d even wear a costume. It would have to be a Spider-Man costume because I don’t look anything like Superman, and I’d have to suck in my gut a little bit.
I’m too old to dress like a superhero, though. Maybe I could dress up like Stan Lee. Stan Lee hasn’t written a good comic book since maybe 1969, but who cares? I’d still dress up like him if I was in line for a Superman/Spider-Man movie. I could grow a cheesy mustache and wear corny sunglasses and shout “Excelsior!” every once in a while.
And if Hollywood keep churning out superhero movies at this clip, they’ll have to make a Superman/Spider-Man movie just to keep the public’s interest.
What do you think? How many superhero movies are too many? Which superhero movie are you looking forward to the most?