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Every decade is synonymous with a particular film genre.
The 1960’s belonged to the spy films like James Bond, the 1970’s to the crime dramas like Brando’s The Godfather and who could forget the spine-chilling, nightmare inducing horror films of the 1980’s?
Thanks to the spike of several other genres like drama, action and romantic comedy, the film industry became a mixed bag of genres. There wasn’t a specific genre that dominated the scene for the entirety of the ’90s and most of the 2000’s.
That year, the world was shocked to hear that not only had actor Robert Downey Jr. had cleaned up from his various addictions, but he had been cast in a live-action adaption of the classic Marvel superhero, Iron Man.
This was the start of the MCU, the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That was over sixteen films ago and with the introduction of the DC Comics Extended Universe, the cinematic juggernaut that is the superhero genre has been almost unstoppable.
Unfortunately, just like the spy, crime dramas and horror genres before it, the superhero genre has started to die. Sean Connery’s exit from James Bond and poor ratings of his later films killed the spy genre. Hollywood’s failed attempts to top The Godfather and Taxi Driver took the fun out of crime dramas, and the dime a dozen Elm Street sequels put the horror genre into a sleep that not even Freddy Krueger could navigate.
And as much as it pains me to say, the superhero genre is facing the same grim fate. Yes, it is not glowing green Kryptonite or homicidal AI robots that are bringing down this titanic genre, but the fact that it has gone on too long, that barely ten years after the superhero genre has kicked off, superhero fatigue has already begun to set in.
We’ve all dealt with toxicity; be it toxic friendships, relationships or even one drink too many at the local club. But when it comes to the superhero fandom, toxicity is taken to a whole new level. This might be the starting point for this article, but is perhaps my biggest gripe with the comic/superhero community: their sardonic fan-bases.
I’m talking about the kind of people you see all over Facebook and Reddit forums, the Keyboard Warriors that throw a cataclysmic tantrum not because a film is bad or good, but because a character was shorter than their comic book counterpart, smashing their furniture because the actress/actor is too ‘old’ for the role or whinging that Batman’s bat symbol is too ‘fat’.
It can be said confidently and without bias, that it is these kinds of people who contribute to the poor regard that all comic book aficionados are held in. No-one wants to see a grown man stomping his foot on the floor like a three year old because they gave Jared Leto’s Joker some tattoos or sending a psychotic death threat to Joss Whedon because his take on a comic character didn’t match their astronomical expectations.
Countless actors from both film universes have copped an insurmountable amount of flack from disgruntled fans over such minor alterations and not just the big films. CW DC stars like Arrow‘s Stephen Amell and Supergirl‘s Melissa Benoist have all spoken out against these misanthropic ‘fans’ and how their hate-spewing is corroding generally positive fan bases.
Seriously guys, just grow up.