5 things we 'actually' want from the Superhero genre
|LISTS - MOVIE LISTS|
Sometimes, you need a little more than a big budget to appease the fans...
Superhero films are big business nowadays. Generally speaking this is good news, not least because it's not the type of genre that lends itself well to a small budget - The Incredible Hulk throwing a skyscraper across a city wouldn't have the same effect were it made of Lego.
But Hollywood has ways of ruining a good thing. Just take The Amazing Spider-Man for example: “Yeah the first film was good” begins a man in a sweat stained suit, stopping to light a cigar with a 50 dollar bill, “but dontcha think it would have been better if it had some sexy teenagers in it?” It's only a matter of time before they cast Lady Gaga as Iron Man struggling to balance saving the world with her career as a fashion journalist.
And so, in order to convince the general populace that this is not the case, I hereby order Hollywood to give in to the following demands.
5: Give us Nightwing
I didn't know I wanted Nightwing until the end of The Dark Knight Rises, where Christopher Nolan cruelly teased me to a nerd-semi (like a normal semi, but greasier).
For those of you who don't know, Nightwing is the alter-ego the original Robin Dick Grayson adopts after being dismissed by Bruce Wayne at 18. Sure, he isn't the icon Batman is, but that's exactly the point. It's something new. Some people will complain that following up the bat-trilogy with Nightwing wouldn't be true to the original comics, but it still makes more sense than correcting a broken spine by getting some guy you met in prison to punch you in the back.
Tell you what Nolan, you give us Nightwing with Killer Croc as the villain and we'll keep pretending we didn't notice the plot holes in The Dark Knight Rises. We all know you're going to give it up eventually, you slut.
4. Cyclops to kick the shit out of Wolverine
I've always hated Wolverine. Take away the claws and what do you have? A dick who treats everyone else like crap because he has some personal problems. If that's the attitude you need to be a superhero then Fall Out Boy loving teens are our greatest military asset. Aside from that the guy is clearly a moron: Magneto has the ability to control metal; Wolverine's spine is made of metal. And yet, the metallic idiot is still struggling to understand why attacking this guy never works out for him.
Someone needs to bitch-slap him back to reality and Cyclops has more reason than anybody: “Oh leave him alone Cyclops, he's only trying to chisel your girlfriend. Don't you know he's had a tough life you big meany?” Hell no, Cyclops should laser him so hard that his part in the next X-Men film will be limited to scenes of him in physical therapy trying to control his bowel movements.
3. More animated superhero films
Like most people my age I got into comics through the cartoons. Spider-Man, Batman and X-Men were my Saturday morning treat. Ah, those were the days. Life was simpler then, dad was down at the pit, men were men and everyone knew their place. Only joking of course, the pit was closed on Saturdays.
To make sure my memories of these cartoons were not blinded by rose-tinted nostalgia glasses (they're great, the lenses are shaped like mega-drive controllers) I decided to watch them again. They've lost some of the shine my pea-sized child brain gave them, but not by much. Some of them were downright exceptional. Just check out the Two-Face episodes in Batman The Animated Series to see what I mean. Most importantly though, they were fun and had an innocent quality often missing from big screen adaptations.
2. No more political commentary
Long before Christopher Nolan decided to decorate Batman with vague political sentiment nobody really understands or cares about (something about socialism? Whatever, I hope Bane punches some more people) X-Men was tackling racism… sort of.
Casting Professor Xavier as Martin Luther King and Magneto as Malcolm X, the mutants try to find a way to deal with the bigotry and prejudice they face. Noble idea, sure. But hold on a second, isn't it a little bit offensive to simplify an issue that important? I mean, I've never met a black person who can level whole cities with his eyes. Not even Morgan Freeman. Aside from not making sense, it's simply not why people go see superhero films. I think one of the reason The Avengers was so loved is that it avoided such pretensions and just concentrated on making a kick-ass action movie, which is exactly how it should be.
1. New Villains
What really makes any superhero interesting is his arch-nemesis. Take Superman on his own: nice guy... but boring, non-judgmental, yet somewhat superior. You couldn't be friends (I bet he doesn't even know the rules to the Lord Of The Rings drinking game), but add Lex Luther into the mix and you've got yourself an exciting combination.
It's always been this way. Super-villains are unpredictable in a way the good guys never get to be. The problem is that most of the big name baddies have been taken. When Heath Ledger died a lot of people started asking who will replace him as the Joker? My answer is, don't. Not for a very long time it least. Great characters shouldn't overstay their welcome. Besides, there is such an extraordinary wealth of great super-villains that are practically unknown to the casual cinema-goer. Give us Onslaught, Doomsday, Ultron, anything really as long as we haven't seen it before.
If Hollywood is willing to take the risk the possibilities are endless.
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