It was 2008, on the release of Marvel’s Iron Man, when the Golden Age of Superhero movie truly jumpstart. There had been several attempts to take comic book narratives from paper to big screen but it is just on 2010 where the theater was dominated by this genre of film..
The initial years of bringing the superhero in the silver screen were filled with surprise and spectacle. With the advancement of visual effects, we fell in love more with these heroes. Filmmakers continue to challenge the boundaries of visual effects, making it more realistic. Aside from out of this world visual effects, Marvel built an expansive cinematic universe with an overlapping narrative. These stories capture the comic and movie fans to make theories to the whole cinematic plot.
As Marvel became better at refining their films, a formula began to develop. Origin stories had a distinct feeling and plot structure, Avengers movies were the same. Marvel has a targeted audience that was sustained by making it heroes a humorous yet powerful idols. From time to time, Marvel introduced new hero, introducing a new feel and genre. Meanwhile, DC’s attempts at the superhero genre were fairly limited to Batman and Superman films, but with Marvel blazing the trail, they saw the opportunity to create their own cinematic universe.
DC had a few good attempts in making their superheroes alive in movie screen. Wonder Woman was well received and served as a huge break for DC. However, Batman vs. Superman was considered a flop by some critiques and while Suicide Squad may have won an Oscar, it is considered by many to be a catastrophic failure.
As more superheroes are being introduced, and more films are being shown to theaters, it came to a point that cinemas are now saturated with this genre. With same plot and formula in every film, it was no longer special. Though Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC Extended Universe are trying to make a stand alone superhero film, while injecting a different treatment to each superhero, it does not have the same hype and awe as compared to a whole pack Avengers or Justice League films.
Superhero movie genre is taking its height in this decade. Filmmakers keep on reinventing this art. They put humor on characters to get the attention of younger audiences; they make new twist on the plot with guidance of the original story of the comic book; they make the visual effects as close to real as possible.
There are more superheroes that have not seen in the movies yet. But with over-saturated superhero movies in theater, the next films may not perform well in theater since movie-goers always crave for “something new”. There’s no sign to how long will millenials support their heroes in big screen. Only time will tell, but one thing is certain, the 2010s were the decade of the superhero movie.