Look! It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's another Superhero Film

A breakup letter to a genre that I used to love

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by Dan Meyers on September 5th, 2017

Dear Superhero Films,

It's not you it's me. I must admit it's been a wild ride filled with highs and lows. Here I am penning this letter with a heavy heart, while George Michael's Careless Whisper plays in the background. Where do I start? From menacing super villains to damsels in distress you've thrown every plot point you could muster in my direction. I believe it is time I must say goodbye, as I'm ready to move on. I suppose I'm just tired of the same story arcs, action set pieces with low stakes and repetitive third acts. You're set in your ways and there is no changing it. The box office numbers back up your model and I'm apparently in the minority. Or am I? I know there must be others out there like me, which is why we must go our separate ways. How could we have fixed this you ask? Simple...

Chapter One: Pump the Brakes

Warner Bros. / via comicvine

Maybe if you weren't so smothering things would've been different. I need my space and with an average of what feels like five to six films released per year I never had time to breath. How can one maintain an appreciation for something that's constantly tossed down their throats? Especially something that never seems to change. Looking back at every comic book film released since Tim Burton's Batman, the formula has been the same. Some have been better than others, much better. I suppose the straw that broke the camel's back for me was a third reboot of the Spiderman franchise in just fifteen years! They say absence can make the heart grow fonder. Sound advice that I wish some studio execs would listen to. Unfortunately, so long as the money keeps rolling in there is no incentive to slow down. The comic book film burnout is coming Master Wayne, so you all better batten down the hatchets...

Chapter Two: It wasn't all bad, some of it was good, even great

Warner Bros. / via pinterest

There is no denying that this genre has the potential to produce some of the greatest action-adventure films of all time. I still rate Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight as not only the best comic book film of all time but a top-class crime drama. The problem is the genre is becoming over saturated with films that feel all too similar. I love a majority of the characters created by the legends Bob Kane and Stan Lee and believe there will always be stories to tell. Maybe, just maybe with a little more restraint on green lighting film after film and some quality-control the flame that went out will reignite for me. You almost won me back with 2017's LOGAN...almost.

Chapter Three: If it's Meant to Be...

Sony / via Daily Mail

I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I'll be keeping tabs on future films in development like a scorned ex on social media. I'll be waiting for that one film that reinvigorates the genre proving that there are still fresh ideas out there. I have one eye on Avengers: Infinity War and the other on Matt Reeve's The Batman. Hell, even Mr. Scorsese is getting in on the action with a rumored standalone origin story of everyone's favorite Joker. It's only a matter of time until the box office totals decrease and studios back off. It tends to happen with any genre that catches fire. I can only hope this hiatus comes sooner rather than later. No matter how much I pout over the endless barrage of caped crusader films the kid inside me will always yearn for a great adaptation. I'd be happy to look back at this letter when I'm older and (hopefully) wiser knowing the best was yet to come. It's only fitting that I leave you with some wise lyrics from John Legend

'Cause all of me'

'Loves all of you'

'Love your powers and all your outfits'

'All your perfect super villains'

'Give your all to me'

'I'll give my all to you'

'You're my Robin and Commissioner Gordon'

'Even when I lose I'm winning'

'Cause I give you all of Gotham'

'And you give me all of Krypton'


Thats how it goes, right?


Comments (7)
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I hear you! I used to love the novelty value of a great big screen adaptation but it is rapidly becoming a case of too many soups. I will still check them out as the big screen is so much better, but I miss the sense of childlike anticipation that I used to feel back when Batman Begins was first released.


Completely agree. Especially with Spider-Man. Over the past years, we've had Tony Parker, Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland. It's crazy.


I love superhero and I admittedly watch all of them in the theaters. I get why people are tired of these, but movies like Logan, Deadpool, and hell Batman v Superman are going to keep the genre alive because of how ambitious they are with breaking genre conventions. New Mutants is going to be a horror flick


these movies are trash and they have allways been and always will be trash...


I loathe superhero films. It seems as if the only films that are released are prequels, sequels, remakes and superhero films. I have completely given up on Hollywood. No more Star Bores, No more X-Men, No more CGI rubbish or any of that type of garbage.
Signed a disgruntled (former)film fan


It's overkill for me. I love comics and superheroes but the last 5 years is just a blur of flames and explosions and very few moments of real excitement. I would also say that The Dark Knight trilogy was the apex.


I don't know how much longer they can keep doing these things before everyone gets sick of them. I haven't seen one since Iron Man 2 but they keep pumping them out every few months. There are too many to keep track of now.