Volume 6, Issue 27!
“An Embarrassment of Nerd Riches”
We are in a golden age of comic book movies. Sure, that’s not a huge statement to make, since Marvel Studios and other production companies have been pumping out movies for ten plus years now. But has there ever been a wide variety of GOOD comic book movies like we’ve had in 2017? Starting with Logan in March, every single comic book film released so far this year has been a hit both commercially and critically. But it’s not just the box office that’s making me think back and write this column. No, it’s what these films are saying that makes them so important.
Logan, for all of its bleakness, is about heroism and sacrifice for a greater cause. It showcases the power that superheroes and comics have on young and even adult audiences, and not only that, it’s so well made that I actually think it could snag some nominations come award season time. Lego Batman and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 are about embracing friends and family when you need help. Wonder Woman was the inspirational film that DC and Warner Bros (and the world) desperately needed. And Spider-Man Homecoming was a loving homage to John Hughes coming of age films that gave Spider-Man fans the movie they’ve been waiting for for years.
Could any of these films be made prior to this year? Probably, but many of them, Logan especially, benefited from the fact that we’ve had an influx of superhero films to build off of. One of the reasons why Homecoming works so well is that it’s set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and audiences have been watching these films for so long that the studios no longer need to explain much in the universe. Same goes for the outlandish space saga of Guardians of the Galaxy’s second movie. Now that audiences have bought into the idea of a talking tree and raccoon, we can move on to bigger, better, and more varied adventures
There’s always going to be a few people who will try to say that “every comic book movie is the same”. But those people clearly haven’t been paying attention to the movies that came out this year. Comparing Logan and Spider-Man Homecoming would be like comparing Peanut Butter Cups and Crunch Bars. Sure, they both have chocolate, but the insides are completely different. The ignorance to just dismiss this genre as “just for kids and mainstream” couldn’t be further from the truth, and hopefully we’re finally getting to the point where we no longer need to have these discussions. While we’ve still got Thor: Ragnarok and Justice League coming out, even if those two films under perform, 2017 will go down as the year that comic book movies became a real genre, and not just copies of the same two types of movies.