Top Five Reasons Super Hero Fatigue is Inevitable
Top Five is a show where the hosts categorize, rank, compare, and stratify everything… from cars to gadgets to people and movies. From stuff that is hot, and things that are not nearly as interesting – it’s Top Five.
With the plethora of television shows and movies focusing on the superhero genre, it’s bound to get long in the tooth before long. This week, Bruce shares his tip five reasons super hero fatigue is inevitable.
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I kind of have to disagree with most of this list. Aside from point #1, I see nothing to back up what you’re saying.
5) Origin is a key trope, but it’s hardly the only one. There are plenty of others. Even then I would argue that people still want to see origins, whether they complain about it or not. In Age of Ultron, Marvel seemed to me to largely downplay the origins of every character you mentioned except Vision. Literally all the “origin” we got from SW and QS was a 30 second explanation of why they hate Stark and that Strucker gave them powers. Vision, they explained the creation of, but Marvel seemed to jump right in with the character. “Look, this guy can pick up Mjolnir, fly, phase through solid matter and shoot lasers out of his head. We have been making these movies for over a decade. If you haven’t accepted that this can happen without explanation by now, these movies are not for you.” Honestly one of the biggest complaints I hear about AoU is that they didn’t go into Ultron’s origin ENOUGH. It’s presented in a sloppy editing sequence at the beginning of the film and explained away with a throwaway line about how the mind stone did it at the end of the film. I’ve had to explain to multiple people how exactly he was created because the film cut that story.
4) I would argue that because you’re looking to avoid non-superhero shows in favor of watching the likes of Legends and Supergirl kind of invalidates your point of too much of a good thing. You imply that you will stop watching other genres in favor of the superhero shows. Not the other way around. Even if you account for Supergirl and Gotham sharing a time slot, you are choosing to watch one of two superhero shows over any of the other things airing on other channels. Or at least I assume so as you didn’t mention you’d rather be watching Atlantis or Brooklyn 99. (full disclosure I didn’t check the time slots of Atlantis or Brooklyn, but point was you didn’t say what you’d rather be watching.)
3) There have already been not one, but several downright bombs in the superhero genre. Green Lantern. Cowboys and Aliens. Catwoman. RIPD. 47 Ronin. All comic adaptations that are considered box office bombs. In TV we’ve had The Cape, Blade, Birds of Prey and Nightman. These things didn’t fail be successful because of burnout. They failed because they were bad. Plain and simple. As far as ratings go, news media sites are for some reason still using Neilsen ratings to determine whether shows can be considered “successful”, reporting this weeks Agents of Shield a failure already. Truth is, most networks have been paying little attention to Nielsen the last couple years. It’s why HBO and other networks are creating on demand apps. The numbers that matter now are the VOD and first two weeks of DVR ratings. We won’t know how “successful” AoS was this week until the end of the month, even if it did have the lowest live watch ratings of the season. And apparently ABC agrees, because the have not only renewed SHIELD and Agent Carter, but actually have TWO spin-off series in the works. (They already confirmed the Mockinbird spin-off wasn’t cancelled. It’s just postponed for now, in favor of continuing Agent Carter. And there is a second unannounced spin-off being created by John Ridley)
2) This I have to admit is personal opinion, but it’s unfair to judge the MCU for it’s continuity. The entire universe and production studio was created entirely on the premise of an interconnected universe. You knew what you were getting into going in. Counting that inter-connectivity against them when it’s what pulled in most of the comic fans in the first place is flat out unfair. If the movies didn’t connect more fans would be complaining about that. Hell, considering the whole “Schrodinger’s Coulson” situation between between the film and tv universe, I’d argue that the two aren’t interconnecting enough yet. Do the Avenger’s know that he’s alive yet? Clearly Hill does, but has she told Stark? Did the fact that he was alive get released with the rest of the data in Winter Soldier? Did Sif tell Thor? We still don’t know. And considering how vital his death was to the Avengers pulling together this is a problem.
That said, I consider Marvel a special circumstance and their entire company is geared toward their connected universe. On DC’s side I could concede the points, but they really don’t apply as much as they should. DC supposedly has 7 different universes (Arrow/Flash/Legends, Supergirl (Not in the Flash/Arrow verse), Boostergold/Blue Beetle (with Syfy), Gotham, Constantine (now cancelled) , a live action Young Justice and the DCCU) in various stages of production, none of which are connected. Frankly they would be better off taking a page from Marvel’s book because their universe right now is a total mess.
1) I can totally agree with, but this is common sense. All good things must come to an end. As will the superhero genre. But I hardly think it’ll end in a sudden, inevitable “burnout”.
Sorry if the rant seemed hostile, wasn’t meant to be. I just keep hearing these same arguments, with no actual support besides individual opinions, and those opinions seem to constantly come from the people watching the genre. And usually those people show no intention of stopping themselves. Looks to me like the superhero genre is here to stay (at least for a long while) and we should be embracing it while we can instead of looking for its inevitable doom.