The Vulnerable Era
As Spider-Man was preparing to end, Batman began…again.
Batman himself has a more grittier undertone than most superheroes, but Batman Begins took that underlying grit and sucked up any light in its wake. Not only was the darkness more apparent in films leading up to the present, but the pain in each hero was clear.
Iron Man, Wolverine, and even The Hulk were plagued by some facet of their personality, which was brought directly into the plot. There were still explosions galore, but human feelings came into play more than ever before due to the desire for more thought-provoking and emotional films. In hard times, audiences wanted to see icons of strength fall to their knees as well to make them feel better about themselves. If a superhero could rise after being completely broken, so could they.
In The Amazing Spider-Man, delinquent-hipster-Peter was more troubled than the traditional webslinger even with all the snazzy remarks. The heroes of this era also act more independently and are not too focused on what was traditionally “right”. In the end, these superhero films are more about the reality of the situation and the fear of failure, something past heroes dared not fathom.
The female characters were becoming more useful as well due to the ever-narrowing gap of gender roles. No longer do they get thrown off every building in town screaming for dear life. For the most part, they end up providing support even in the face of battle. The villains also have an origin story, though often not as explored as their nemeses. The development of their origins are much like the superhero’s development in the previous era – it’s there, but just to get things started.
Looking into the future, the concept of a superhero will continue to become more human to the point where the audience will actually believe they’re simply watching an action or drama film instead of the sub-genre of superhero film. It would also be of no surprise if villains themselves ended up fronting their own films seeing as how the word “dark” these days has a slightly positive connotation when it comes to critiquing a film.
With a whole line of superhero films on the horizon, we’ll see if these predictions are indeed correct as we go into the inevitable dark era.Previous