The superhero domination of media in the 2010s may be coming to an end, but they will never be completely gone.
Superhero fatigue has been in the conversation because of the concurrent underperformances of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and Shazam! Fury of the Gods.
In Quantumania’s case, a lot of people saw it opening weekend, but the interest severely waned in its subsequent weekends. For Shazam’s sequel, it just seemed like people weren’t that interested and whatever marketing was there didn’t do enough to garner a wider audience.
The next big comic book movies are Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and The Flash which are two highly anticipated films fans are looking forward to. So the interest is still there, but things have definitely changed.
DC became even more inconsistent. For every The Batman there was Black Adam, Shazam 2, and an impending reboot that would “reset” the DC Universe.
Is the superhero era of Marvel and DC movies over?
Top Gun: Maverick and Avatar: The Way of Water definitely demonstrated that people are more than willing to see big films that don’t star superheroes. Both those films took a lot of time and effort to make, especially with their special effects. Meanwhile, Best Picture winner Everything Everywhere All At Once had very inventive uses of special effects and it cost a fraction of the usual comic book fare.
It just goes to show how haphazardly treated these IPs have been. They can’t just throw hundreds of millions of dollars at bunch of things giving less effort and expect everything to be loved and profitable.
And that’s what happened. There was just too much content, and quality always suffers when quantity gets increased.
Is comic book media going to disappear overnight like the Western or Musical? No, but the amount of releases will most likely decrease. Even then there’s still musicals and westerns that come out once in a while.
The biggest reason superhero stories will never die is the fact that it’s rooted in the “hero vs villain” trope that is literally in everything. There will always be a demand for the main hero punching the bad guy in the face but with colorful costumes and dope powers.
With less releases, there will hopefully be time and love given to the ones that do get released.
But whenever a new superhero film or TV show comes out, it essentially has to stand out and justify its existence or else it will fade into irrelevance faster than before with the amount of entertainment options today.
Do you think superhero fatigue is real? Should we have less comic book movies going forward? Let us know in the comments below!