Dave - Dave Christy loves horror, music, documentaries and more. He is also the co-runner of several fan based groups including Morningstars (THE Lucifer fan group also run by Melanie), and now is a member of the VIPers Spotlight Lounge team for Melanie's Muses. Other than "In The Spotlight" Features -check out his "31 Days Of Halloween Movies"
The comic book superhero movie has a long and storied history. Its not just a recent fad. It had a smaller impact several decades ago. There were actually Batman serials in the 1943 and 1949. I’m guessing they didn’t rake in hundreds of millions of dollars like todays batch does. So anyone saying Adam West was the first and only Batman are wrong. He didn't come along until later. Batman tackled the small screen in 1966. Colorful and cheesy wasn’t enough for a very long lifeline though. It only lasted 3 seasons before getting the axe.
Superman almost changed the superhero fate in 1978. But even that started a decline with the 3rd movie and the rarely even mentioned, blob on the mark of the franchise 4th movie. The late 80’s ignited a spark with Batman. But after “Batman & Robin”, no one was touching it with a 10 foot batpole again. Well, at least for a while.
While DC had their hand in the box office with these movies, Marvel had less success. A handful of cheesy disasters in the early 90’s like Captain America movies and the ill fated 1994 version of Fantastic Four that never actually got released left things up in the air for a while.
Marvel started to strike back in the late 90’s. 1998’s “Blade” was kinda unexpected. Not a huge household name but brought pretty decent bank with over $100 million. (Tame by todays standards). “X-Men” came a couple years later and things started looking up.
Then along came a spider. Umm, a Spider-Man that is. The long awaited, often delayed webhead was finally hitting the big screen. Bringing in over $600 million, you know this would be the start to scrambling up every comic book property people could get their hands on. The next few years would see relaunch of the Batman franchise and a false start relaunch of Superman. (Hey, “Superman Returns” was good in my book. Way better than “Man of Steel” but that's another rant all its own).
Marvel would start its MCU launch in 2008 with an odd choice if you ask me. “Iron Man” was another of those that wasn’t a main hero that everybody knew. And their choice of a lead? Try to think back. Robert Downey Jr was a known actor in the 80’s & early 90's but then had a slew of personal problems. He was virtually washed up and not really in anything big the last several years before Marvel got him. Before Iron Man came out, he was able to walk the floor of a comic con untouched. No one cared. It could have been a big risk. It could have blown up in their faces. But it didn’t. I guess Iron Man was the beginning of their Avengers idea. Introduce each one. Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk (2 so-so movies, 2 different actors and a 3rd actor for this new era). Even lesser knowns like Captain Marvel and Ant-Man were getting their own movies. But everything Marvel touches turn to gold. (::cough cough except MORBIUS coughcough::)
Then of course we have the onslaught of Disney+ Marvel series. I always thought lesser knowns weren’t needed. They weren’t the big household names with the potential to bring the box office. Morbius proved that flaw. But other lesser knowns like Doctor Strange still bring in the bucks.
Although the DC side of things have had its issues, personally I enjoy their titles just as much as some of Marvels and maybe better than some of Marvels. It still goes by each story. If you go into a DC movie expecting Marvel, you will be disappointed. Take each movie at face value. Marvel may be disassociating fans and pushing them away by trying to tie everything together. I feel if you went into the last Doctor Strange without knowing anything about the last Spider-Man, Wandavision, and the What If? series, you could have been left more than a little confused. DC kept things a little more simple. No massive crossovers and cameos in the individual movies. A couple minor ones to bring about Justice League but they didn’t have to keep appearances in every title. (Melanie - except the damn Legends TV show crossovers that made me watch shows I didn't want to lol)
While Marvel keeps cranking out hit after hit so far— except a couple— I have to think the oversaturation of superhero movies will eventually lead to an implosion as they set themselves to self-destruct. One day everyone will get sick of them and tune out. The studio will spend way too much on what they think will be the next huge hit and it will lay a big ol’ goose egg playing to nearly empty theaters. When that happens, the studio execs planning a big "Howard the Duck" trilogy will wonder what they did wrong.
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Melanie's Random Musings About The Entertainment World - From Books to TV and Anything Else That Comes To Mind!