As a kid, I watched in awe as Robert Downey JR's Iron Man suited up for the first time in that gold and red suit. If you told me ten years later he'd be fighting alongside Spider-Man, Captain America, and the Guardians of the Galaxy, I would've called you crazy.
With the premiere of the Iron Man film, the MCU(Marvel Cinematic Universe) was born. This would change the way the superhero genre was viewed forever.
Prior to the MCU, there had never been such an elaborate and large movie universe. With crossovers and cameos, Marvel studios accomplished something truly marvelous: one story built with 23 films, all connected and intertwined.
As successful as the MCU is, one has to wonder how this affected the superhero genre, and how it affected peoples perceptions of the superhero genre.
For comparison, we can look at the DC cinematic universe, which has flopped hard in the past few years with releases such as “Justice League" and “Suicide Squad". With fast paced and choppy storylines, these movies are regarded as failures in the eyes of comic book fans who think they are high class movie critics.
When you look at the MCU, there's no wonder that the DC cinematic universe failed. They tried too hard to imitate the MCU instead of finding their own footing. DC comics has some of the best storylines within its comic books, and arguably they are better than some of the Marvel storylines. Comic books such as “Watchmen" and “The Killing Joke" dive deep into the psychology of superheros and super villains, and contain a darker tone than Marvel. These storylines aren't filler storylines(Like some of the MCU movies). They pack punches within the dialogue and expand on character development. Instead of going for the lightheartedness, the DC films should have found their own tone that many fans would have loved.
“Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice" was a point of controversy between comic book fans. To many fans, the movie was too dark and brooding. Well of course it is, it's a movie about Batman going against the man of steel. This film had its flaws, but at the same time it went up against an entire cinematic universe which people loved.
The 2019 movie “Joker" was easily one of the best movies of the year. With stunning visuals and it's targeted sense of uneasiness the entire film throughout, this movie is a perfect example of the direction DC films should go in. A psychological drama with no witty jokes and no CGI, “Joker" in my opinion was better than most of the MCU movies. It was dark, but at the same time encapsulated the satirical tone that the Joker is so well known for. Same thing can he applied to Heath Ledgers Joker, which won him an Oscar.
In my opinion, the MCU has really set a precedent for the superhero genre. If the movie doesn't have witty jokes and CGI fights, then it's not a good superhero movie. That's the way a lot of die hard MCU fans think these days. It's amazing what Marvel studios did with the MCU, but at the same time it constrained the superhero genre to where if its not MCU, then its most likely not going to be good.