Superhero Movies & Why We Don’t Need Anymore

Superhero

I recognize and anticipate the backlash I will receive for writing this article and am totally prepared, but I feel that it still needs to be written.

Hollywood is overrun with the next reincarnation of a superhero, that has already been exploited and been made into action figures, lunch boxes, belts, wallets, coats, shirts, shoes, even appears on children’s and ADULT underwear. Apart from this being a multi-billion dollar marketing scheme, why do I oppose the release of yet another superhero movie? Is it because I just don’t get it? Is it because I’m a girl? Is it because I didn’t grow up with it? No, it is because I’m calling you out Hollywood and you mass consumers of recycled bullshit.

“There aren’t that many Batman movies.” Oh Yeah?

How about all these:

Batman (1943)
Batman and Robin (1949)
Batman (1966)
Batman (1989)
Batman Returns (1992)
Batman Forever (1995)
Batman & Robin (1997)
Batman Begins (2005)
The Dark Knight (2008)
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

What about Superman?

Superman and the Mole Men (1951)
Superman (1978)
Superman II (1980)
Superman III (1983)
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)
Superman Returns (2006)
Man of Steel (2013)

And lets not forget about the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

Why am I calling you out? I’m calling you out because you need to BE ORIGINAL! BE CREATIVE! There are so many true stories out there that are begging to be written. The mother in Idaho who works 3 jobs in order to support her children in college. The man who is inventing the next great space exploration drone. Read the news and be inspired by real life superheros. Every day people struggling to survive and thrive in this world.

Apart from the true stories, there are so many stories in your imagination or in the imagination of generations yet to come, but if we continue on this parade of recreating something over and over and over again, what are we teaching the next generation? Originality? No, we are teaching them to use pre-processed and produced characters, storylines, and interactions instead of expressing their emotions through stories and characters. Good stories are no longer represented by creative characters and storylines but by exploding cars and people with super strength who were creating 30 years ago by a comic book artist. What are we teaching children by idolizing these impossible versions of humans? Shouldn’t we be teaching them to be inspired by the everyday person who is hardworking and responsible?

What movies in Hollywood are being made and getting picked up by studios and making lots money? Certainly not the thousands of independent films made every year. The billion dollar franchises that we have come to accept as good representations of our society are taking over. An anthropologist 100 years from now will be studying our culture and what will they think? Will they think we are a society that worshiped superheroes and comic books and plastic toys? Will our numerous scientific and technological advances be a footnote in the pages of history underneath the next DC Universe film? I certainly hope not.

Many of you will now be arguing and saying how wrong I am or how I just don’t get it. I’m not saying that I don’t like superhero films or that I’m not a fan of Doctor Who or some other random pop culture franchise, but what I’m saying is that there needs to be a balance. We need to praise original work just as much, if not more than superhero and huge franchises. The original work created by the unknown film maker that tells the epic story of love, tragedy and imagination is what needs to be representative of our culture. We need to be seen for what we are; flawed and average people, capable of amazing things; not what we wish we were on a distant planet in another galaxy.

Disclaimer: This does not mean that I don’t like superhero films. 

Written by
Ashley Menzel is an avid film lover and lives in Los Angeles, CA. She loves foreign films and dramas and reading books that have film adaptations. Her favorite movie of all time is One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. She loves Doctor Who, Supernatural, Arrow, iZombie, Blacklist, and Grimm.

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