Cinema

A Requiem For The Superhero Genre: When Cinematic Universes End

It's sad seeing Dark Phoenix end, although more film franchises should. Here's a requiem for the superhero genre, and how it was once great.

Here’s a requiem for the superhero genre. How I loved you, and how I miss you.

About Dark Phoenix

Dark Phoenix - a requiem for the superhero genre
Time To Say Goodbye

Watching the reactions regarding Dark Phoenix has been an experience. The final X-men film that does not belong in the MCU, I am feeling bittersweet at the moment. Bitter, because I think this obsession with the Marvel Cinematic Universe is unearned and goes overboard. Sweet, because we finally have a cinematic universe that has the good sense to end. Sure, we’ll see the X-men again with different actors in different plotlines. Yet the fans of the originals and the prequels can finally move on.

Cinema vs Comics

a collection of comics- a requiem for the superhero genre
Comics are often vibrant and brimming with life. Superhero movies today, sadly aren’t.

And I think that’s significant, because a cinematic universe needs the good sense to end. So while the future may be bright for Disney- it’s abysmal for storytelling and the art of film. We need diversity within movies. I’m not talking about race, gender or sexuality- I’m talking about having more than one singular voice. Disney have a disturbing monopoly over cinema- just look at this chilling chart. In regards to superhero movies, sure- the comics often have no end. Yet that’s a different medium all together with differing rules and expectations. The price of a comic book is far lower than a movie ticket. I’d also argue that constant reboots and continuation for the sake of it hasn’t done the comic industry any favours, either.

We’d all rather reread The Killing Joke, than anything DC has produced in the last decade. My point being: we reach for the classics, not the new stuff. We are also experiencing a boom regarding graphic novels and longer forms of work. Because of that, I’d argue that what was acceptable in comics thirty years ago does not translate into good, modern cinema.

And I Hate The Marvel Cinematic Universe

Could Disney have made a movie that’s just as good as Logan?

I’ve voiced my happiness with the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the past. And I stand by my words, because I can’t stand stories that have no ending in sight. We all eventually stop watching The Simpsons eventually- yet if we give $20 per MCU film every year, and there are 3 released, that’s $60. If I do this for a decade, I’ve given $600 to Disney. Yeah, excuse me. There’s vomit circulating in my mouth. That’s the crux of cinematic universes: they make you commit to the same product, over and over again. If you miss a few MCU films- you will have no bloody clue what goes on in the next one you check out.

There’s a nasty psychology trick at play here. You feel you have to see the next MCU film because ‘you’ve seen them all already, you have to see the next one.’ Well, you don’t. Disney fully know what they are doing, you can’t convince me otherwise. To many fans, the Fox X-men movies represented something different from the standard MCU product. It gave us Logan, for crying out loud! A wonderful film that showed us what the superhero genre was capable of. Could Disney produce a film like Logan? No, they can’t.

Conclusion… I guess.

It's sad seeing Dark Phoenix end, although more film franchises should. Here's a requiem for the superhero genre, and how it was once great.
The DCEU deserves its own post, but I hope it doesn’t irritate me in the future as much as the MCU.

Dark Phoenix represents the end of an era that was far from perfect. Yet from 2000- we got masterpieces such as The Dark Knight. We also enjoyed Wonder Woman and I at least, loved Watchmen.

So that’s it, my attempt at a requiem for the superhero genre. Oh well. Here’s hoping HBO’s Watchmen turns out good.

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