Are We Going Into Superhero Overload?
When you visit the cinema now there’s a good chance you might mistake the experience for inadvertently wandering into Comic Con. Right now it seems like we’re caught in the fray of a cape and spandex fiesta. In fact, at the time this was written, there were around four comic book trailers currently doing the rounds on the big screen. That leaves a single slot for the throwaway romantic comedy or, if you’re the kind of lucky individual who’s prone to seeing sasquatches, an independent indie film.
Now, there is of course a reason why superheroes are grabbing so much cinematic attention. It’s because they are so damn popular and, setting aside the occasional misstep – ahem, Green Lantern – pretty damn cool as well. That being said, though, there has to be a point when this wave breaks and finally rolls back, taking an assortment of sodden X-Men suits and broken weapons with it. Maybe then we’ll get a better understanding of how we’re currently being inundated with CGI-heavy super-romps and predictably cathartic good vs. evil narratives, in which the franchise-elite are never in any real threat of danger, unless they’ve recently been invited onto the hulking Marvel or DC bandwagon.
However, until that fateful day which we’ll call the breaking of the wave, we’re going to surf this dipping crest and get the most out of it while it still feels good. After all, it’s not every day that an underground cult becomes a worldwide phenomenon.
Let’s see what the next few months have in store for us:
Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice
(March 25, 2016)
A few mediocre reviews notwithstanding, Batman v. Superman was heralded as a stormy blockbuster, wearing the ultimate grudge match as its titular crown. Fresh from another macho epic, Superman: Man of Steel, Zack Snyder has brought the seasoned horns of Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill together with a high-flying clash of two iconic origin stories, both dressed in the grim, discoloured hand-me-downs of Christopher Nolan. Expect the first low whisperings of the long-awaited Justice League. Oh, and keep your eye out for a little known Amazonian warrior, played by Gal Gadot, who seems to be stealing the show.
Captain America: Civil War
(May 6, 2016)
Next up, on the spring/summer list of films you’ll pretend you’re intellectually sick of, although really you enjoy bathing in their glow, weeping fresh nerd-tears and clenching the armrest, is the return of Captain America. Ripped straight from one of the most exciting comic narratives, in which our favourite superheroes suddenly get a little claustrophobic and start tearing each other limb from limb, Civil War is to the Marvel story what Guardians of the Galaxy was to space-racoons. This is the jolt that makes you sit up straight and reassess what you thought you already knew. It also looks like we’ll be getting a taster of the brawny feline, Black Panther, as well as a comical cameo from Spiderman, and, of course, Captain America finally giving Iron Man an overdue whipping.
(May 27, 2016)
With possibly the highest stakes of any superhero movie so far, the X-Men are being forced to face their extinction, in the form of a villain of biblical proportions. That’s right – Magnet… oh, no, wait – Mapocalypse. That’s the one, yeah? Well, whoever he is he’s big, blue and sick of humankind turning all God’s natural fine china into pretty little fragments. Enter Charles Xavier, newly bald, and joined by his trusty mutant army/worst students in the world. With Bryan Singer back at the helm, this could be an effortless continuation of the relentless high standard set by the Hoult, Lawrence, Fassbender and McAvoy generation. Just don’t expect to feel good about the future of the human race.
(August 5, 2016)
Last, but by no means least, we’ve got the bad meets evil Suicide Squad, in which the closest things we’ve got to heroes we can root for are a cannibalistic Croc, a flaming bruiser who looks like he belongs in a Death Squad, a psychopathic ‘harlequin’, a soul-sword wielding mute, Will Smith the red-eyed assassin, a cranky Australian, a bedraggled witch, a reckless special operative, a heavily-armed mercenary and, of course, everyone’s favourite anarchist, the Joker. It’s a chance for DC to prove, once and for all, that they really do have the best villains – a surmise that surely would’ve never come up if it wasn’t for the Joker. Just bear in mind that this might not be what you’re expecting when you take your holiday dose of caped chicanery, especially if you’re hoping for another feel-good frolic about demigods with perfect squared jaws and skin that never scars.
‘…bear in mind that this might not be what you’re expecting when you take your holiday dose of caped chicanery, especially if you’re hoping for another feel-good frolic about demigods with perfect squared jaws and skin that never scars.’
Finally, we thought we’d seize this golden opportunity to have a go at inventing our own all-powerful mutant. Meet the spawn of one of our extended coffee breaks. We like to think of him as being the Ultimate Superhero, equipped with:
Batman’s terrifying ears,
Superman’s looks and lazer eyes,
Colossus’s bullet-repelling metal body,
Beast’s blue-furred right arm,
Hulk’s green-skinned left arm,
Wolverine’s adamantine-clawed right hand,
Spiderman’s web-firing left hand,
Nightcrawler’s nimble left leg
And, finally, The Thing’s stony tree trunk of a right leg.
Admittedly, we took a handful of our favourite superheroes, threw them into a jumbled pile and tried to assemble a super crusader with what we had. In the end he did come out a little top-heavy and maybe the Nightcrawler leg will cause some hopping issues, but, he’s still a force to be reckoned with.
So, now we’ve dreamed-up our ultimate ‘Good Guy’, it’s time for all of you to come up with his arch nemesis. We want to see the most death-defying, great-white-shark-flinging ‘Bad Guy’ you can imagine. Just think: Helmet, Face, Body, Right Arm, Left Arm, Right Hand, Left Hand, Right Leg and Left Leg.
Please leave your suggestions in the comments below and we’ll fashion another bizarro-superhuman using all of your favourites!