The second not-all-that-different trailer for Thor: The Dark World dropped recently, along with leaked footage from the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy. Along with news about casting the new Batman, who will soon appear alongside Superman. Along with leaked footage of what appears to be a pretty confusing X-Men: Days of Future Past.
This all comes on the heels of another robust Comic-Con, the annual gathering of the world’s foremost nerd authorities, a demographic movie studios now bow to with the utmost respect.
It is there where most superhero movie news and footage is released, and it is where the frenzy for these properties reaches a startling fever pitch. But isn’t it all starting to feel so familiar?
In the last year and a half, audiences had the chance to see The Wolverine, Man of Steel, Iron Man 3, The Dark Knight Rises, The Avengers, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance and The Amazing Spider-Man. And in 2011? It was Captain America: The First Avenger, Thor, X-Men: First Class and Green Lantern.
2014 is, of course, jam-packed with more superhero titles, and Marvel has seemingly planned its film schedule until the year 2100.
At this point, how many ways can we watch superheroes battle villains? The Avengers and the final installment of the Dark Knight trilogy really put this genre at its apex. What fight sequence could possibly top the last 30 minutes of The Avengers? Ambitious, mesmerizing and – most of all – fun, it was like the movie went off the recommendations of a kid playing with his or her action figures.
With The Dark Knight Rises, it capped a Batman trilogy that evolved to produce the most realistic and deep portrayal of a superhero on film. Christopher Nolan’s Batman films weren’t just superhero stories and, at times, one had to be reminded that they were at all. That is how it’s done.
Now, Marvel insists that we want to see more Thor movies and lesser-known characters from comics most of us really don’t care to get acquainted with. Combined with what is already the best we will see, the quality of superhero cinema has a downhill trajectory in its future.
But that doesn’t mean the money won’t be flowing. The entire world is still obsessed with superheroes, regardless of the quality. And while many of these movies aren’t bad, very few are all that memorable. How many origin stories could you possibly want to withstand for $12.00 a piece?
Superhero films were once a treat, somewhat of a rarity that still felt fresh. And even when these movies were a dumpster fire (i.e. both Fantastic Four films), they were still something new. Nothing is worse than a tired genre going at warp speed.
Obviously, this train of thought is part of a minority, but as the years continue to be inundated with superhero movies, there will come a time when they no longer feel fresh or fun, and audiences will start to catch on.
The superhero genre has an expiration date, and it’s approaching faster than you think.