Evolving the Superhero: How The Genre Is Changing

Evolving the Superhero: How The Genre Is Changing

With several "different" takes on the superhero genre, it's notable that now they are beginning to try a new style within the films.

Recently, I wrote about Black Panther and the irrational fears over it being a hit. But at the core, Black Panther is basically just a regular superhero movie, keeping within the confines of the genre. I also wrote a while ago about Logan and Wonder Woman leading the charge into a new era for comic book movies. However, the genre itself is being reworked and reinvented, trying new takes and ideas. Of the countless projects in development, they range from run-of-the-mill heroes like Captain Marvel and Flash, there's movies in production that are doing their own spin on the superhero movie, combining the best parts of the formula with the best parts of another genre. It's a rather new take, really only being within the last couple of years or so, but it is looking to be the new direction for the multi-billion dollar comic book movie industry. While not all the projects in the works have been released, they are being worked on, so within the next few years, we could see a total overhaul in terms of the range the films can have.

DC and Marvel/Fox both have horror type movies in the works – Justice League Dark (at one point called Dark Universe but Universal got that name already) and The New Mutants respectively, though each explores a different take on “horror.” New Mutants tells the story of young mutants in the X-Men world being experimented on and kept in a prison/asylum, or so the trailer appears. This is a much more grounded and dare I say realistic view of how mutants would be observed and tested, like a modern day Nazi experimentation group (a concept touched on in X-Men: First Class). Meanwhile, Justice League Dark is based on the 2011 comic of the same name, which is a team formed of the occult and paranormal characters of the DC universe, such as John Constantine, Swamp Thing, and Deadman. The project was first proposed by Guillermo del Toro, best known for films like Pan's Labrynth and The Shape of Water, as an R-rated horror superhero film, as a loosely connected part of the DCEU. While production on the film has come to a bit of a halt, there is an animated feature film based on the comic, using a similar plot to the original pitch. Fox previously attempted horror with Fantastic Four in 2015, but come on, the Fantastic Four is not a property that leads itself to having horror elements, especially in the first movie. Sony Pictures is also attempting a horror film, based on the Spider-Man villain Venom, though that is likely to be less of a cross between genres and a mix of alright action and a strange take on the character, considering it has already been stated that Spider-Man himself will not be in the film. So if you want horror and comics, check out New Mutants or Justice League Dark.

We also have movies like Logan, that are more Westerns than superheroes, and the coming-out-sometime-soonish The Batman, which is said to be more of a grim detective film. Logan is notable for not using the name of the hero in the title, especially considering it is the third and final film in the Wolverine trilogy, as well as Hugh Jackman's final performance as the character. Nowhere in the film does Logan wear the costume, and for the most part, he's got a beard and is practically unrecognizable as Wolverine. It also deals more with heavy subjects like death, suicide, and human experimentation. On the opposition side, not much is known about The Batman beyond what the tone will be. We do know that it will be more self-contained, not relying on big appearances from other Justice League characters (so no Superman or Aquaman cameos), not unlike Logan, which only really had two characters from previous films. Of course, we cannot be certain on what the end result of The Batman will be, but we can at least hope that it will play itself as a noir/detective type story, as per the way the hero is portrayed in the other DCEU films. Logan on the other hand, we've seen to be a hit, and it is one of the highest reviewed X-Men movies, if not superhero movies in general. Giving it a tone and tropes often seen in Oscar nominees or other more “serious” films, combined with the mainstays that people know and love, created a Wolverine movie that wasn't seen as just a decent action movie, rather a film that could easily be a wild card at the big award shows.

Spider-Man: Homecoming is equal parts John Hughes high school movie and MCU installment. Wonder Woman is a Greek myth, a WWI film, and an origin story. Deadpool and The Lego Batman Movie are comedies and parodies of the genre as a whole. In order to fight off “superhero fatigue,” it's only the natural progression that the studios would want to try new things within their franchises – even Lucasfilm is doing that with the Star Wars movies. To keep a popular style going, one must not be afraid to take risks and see where else they can take it. And if that's how the next generation will get to see a continuing strong superhero market, then by all means try new things. If it doesn't work out, then that's how you know there is a wrong approach (again, Fantastic Four). And if movies like Logan and Spider-Man: Homecoming are any indication, we could be in for more movies and more stories of our favorite heroes on the big screen.

Cover Image Credit: 20th Century Fox

Popular Right Now

A Playlist From The iPod Of A Middle Schooler In 2007

I will always love you, Akon.

Something happened today that I never thought in a million years would happen. I opened up a drawer at my parents' house and I found my pink, 4th generation iPod Nano. I had not seen this thing since I graduated from the 8th grade, and the headphones have not left my ears since I pulled it out of that drawer. It's funny to me how music can take you back. You listen to a song and suddenly you're wearing a pair of gauchos, sitting on the bleachers in a gym somewhere, avoiding boys at all cost at your seventh grade dance. So if you were around in 2007 and feel like reminiscing, here is a playlist straight from the iPod of a middle schooler in 2007.

1. "Bad Day" — Daniel Powter

2. "Hips Don't Lie" — Shakira ft. Wyclef Jean

SEE ALSO: 23 Iconic Disney Channel Moments We Will Never Forget

3. "Unwritten" — Natasha Bedingfield

4. "Run It!" — Chris Brown

5. "Girlfriend" — Avril Lavigne

6. "Move Along" — All-American Rejects

7. "Fergalicious" — Fergie

8. "Every Time We Touch" — Cascada

9. "Ms. New Booty" — Bubba Sparxxx

10. "Chain Hang Low" — Jibbs

11. "Smack That" — Akon ft. Eminem

12. "Waiting on the World to Change" — John Mayer

13. "Stupid Girls" — Pink

14. "Irreplaceable" — Beyonce

15. "Umbrella" — Rihanna ft. Jay-Z

16. "Don't Matter" — Akon

17. "Party Like A Rockstar" — Shop Boyz

18. "This Is Why I'm Hot" — Mims

19. "Beautiful Girls" — Sean Kingston

20. "Bartender" — T-Pain

21. "Pop, Lock and Drop It" — Huey

22. "Wait For You" — Elliot Yamin

23. "Lips Of An Angel" — Hinder

24. "Face Down" — Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

25. "Chasing Cars" — Snow Patrol

26. "No One" — Alicia Keys

27. "Cyclone" — Baby Bash ft. T-Pain

28. "Crank That" — Soulja Boy

29. "Kiss Kiss" — Chris Brown

SEE ALSO: 20 Of The Best 2000's Tunes We Still Know Every Word To

30. "Lip Gloss" — Lil' Mama

Cover Image Credit: http://nd01.jxs.cz/368/634/c6501cc7f9_18850334_o2.jpg

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Movie Marathon Options For Your 'Galentine's Day' This Year

I'd rather be with my girls than on a fancy dinner, anyway.


We all know that, with Valentine's Day being on a Thursday this year, the day is going to become more of a Valentine's Weekend. This means from February 14th to that Sunday (and maybe a few extra days for those couples who cannot manage to meet up for the holiday), we will all be bombarded with candy hearts and artificially-dyed roses whether we want to be or not. For some of us, the weekend includes scrambling to find a romantic gift, trying to arrange dinner reservations, figuring out if your significant other prefers caramel or cherry chocolates. For me, on the other hand, I will be treating myself on my own, perhaps with my own decadent dessert that I won't have to share with anyone.

In my mind, this is an ideal scenario, but I will admit that it would be nice to have some company on the day to restrain myself from scrolling through my Instagram feed and seeing the myriad "relationship goals" posts. I figured the perfect plan would be to gather my fellow single friends together and binge watch some romantic films, either to make fun of the cheesy scenes or to live vicariously through the characters.

Whether it's with your friends or your beloved pets, there's nothing harmful about a genuine movie night where you can be thankful that you don't have to dress up in some fancy outfit for a pricey restaurant with small portions. Today, you can take solace in your sweatpants and a never-ending bag of popcorn.

1. The Twilight Series


This is the best option if you're looking for something that implements both romance and thrill. If you haven't watched the heart-wrenching scenes of "New Moon" or the excitement of "Breaking Dawn: Part One and Two," it's time to settle down and break out the tissues. Plus, there's nothing wrong with a little shirtless Taylor Lautner turning into a werewolf. Now you can see who your real friends are based on if Team Edward or Team Jacob.

2. Mamma Mia!


With a mixture of love, comedy, and catchy songs that will be stuck into your head for the rest of the month, you can never go wrong with Mamma Mia! This is the perfect movie to bring everyone together, as you and your friends rejoice in an off-key rendition of "Voulez-Vous" after you have all just finished crying during "Our Last Summer." And we can never forget the incredible voice of Cher during "Fernando."

3. Bridget Jones


When you want to revisit the innocence of the early 2000s, this compilation is the one to choose. You can watch the transition throughout the years, as Bridget begins by somehow having to choose between Colin Firth and Hugh Grant, to ending up pregnant by the third movie. All three movies provide at least a little eye candy, including Patrick Dempsey in the last film.

4. Pitch Perfect


So technically, this isn't all about love, but that might be a nice change if you're looking to just watch a few movies that are simply entertaining. However, this does still have the hint of romance you need for a fun get-together with some girlfriends. You can enjoy a hysterical movie while simultaneously listening to some killer a cappella renditions. Watch the girls grow throughout the years and marvel at the sweet sounds of Skylar Astin's voice.

5. Before Sunrise/Before Sunset/Before Midnight


This trilogy brings us back to a simpler time, with the first movie coming out in 1995. Taking place in Vienna, the story follows a love affair between an American man and a student returning from Paris. See their love progress throughout the sequels while admiring the beautiful scenery featured in the film. Even though you may not be able to experience Europe yourself this Valentines Day, buy yourself some fancy chocolates so you can feel like you're right with them.

Whether or not you're feeling lonely this holiday, hosting a movie night with some friends is the best way to de-stress and forget about that awful Tinder date you put yourself through last week. And if you'd prefer to spend the night alone in your room, as long as you have your own personal box of heart-shaped chocolates, the day can't be too bad.

Related Content

Facebook Comments