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Taika Waititi's Thor: Ragnarok takes a refreshingly iconoclastic approach to Thor, throwing out the old, bringing in the new, and packaging the story in a colourful, gorgeously trashy aesthetic that perfectly captures the spirit of the comics.
The teen-focused, John Hughes-inspired approach not only makes Spider-Man: Homecoming feel fresh in the realm of Spider-Man films, but in superhero films in general.
In Mangold's Logan, an elderly, sick surrogate father and a young, estranged, emotionally-scarred "daughter" come to rely entirely on the aged Wolverine who is now but a haunted, battered, suicidal husk. It's nothing like superhero films that came before.
Why, despite all the knowledge we've gained and the technology we've harnessed, do we cling to our mythologies?
The filmmakers' attempt to mask X-Men: Apocalypse's lack of purpose and thematic unity with a stunning density of characters, plot lines, and fan service. But we see behind the mask.
In the Russo Brothers' Captain America: Civil War, friend turns on friend, and no easy resolution is reached. It's rather like the toxic online fan culture that followed the film's release.
A temperamental director and meddling suits at the studio squandered the long-running Fantastic Four comics series' first foray into film. It could, however, be done again -- and done right.
Dark Phoenix makes it clear that the X-Men, as socio-political commentary, must take their own metaphor more seriously and evolve, already.
In both The Avengers: Endgame and Game of Thrones, the key conflicts are not between good and evil, as one might think, but between the beginnings and endings of their stories.
More than any previous X-Men film, Days of Future Past engages in deeply geeky, comic book-inspired elements resulting in the best cinematic representation of X-Men comics to-date.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a contrived mess of four disparate competing plots and set-up for a shared cinematic universe that would never come to be. Why did Sony Pictures blow it?
Taking Superheroes Seriously: Three Implications for Society Based on Travis Smith's 'Superhero Ethics'
How do we move from the tribal shouting to a more humane discourse with one another? Travis Smith's Superhero Ethics finds surprising solutions in the world of conflicting superheroes.
In Thor: The Dark World there's a dangerous villain, a universe-ending threat, and a star-crossed romance -- but none of it makes sense.
Captain Marvel is a solid start for a strong, compelling character that will grace the big screen for years to come.
Perhaps it was redundant after the previous Spider-Man trilogy, or was overshadowed by more high-profile summer 2012 superhero films, or was lumped in with its truly awful sequel, but The Amazing Spider-Man is a fine superhero film.
James McAvoy's impressive acting and fleeting moments of powerful imagery dazzle in M. Night Shyamalan's Glass, but that can't make up for the film's shattered second half.
Flashy directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor attempted to make Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance more exciting than its predecessor, but their style sapped the energy that fueled the flame.
Marvel Studios recognized that by mining other genres through the superhero lens, it could continue to keep comic book films fresh and entertaining to audiences and sidestep the constant predictions of imminent superhero fatigue.
Jean Grey and Cassandra Nova have their final showdown in a war of ideas, wherein Jean applies a different tactic to quell the conflict.
Despite a long history of live action films with wildly varying tones, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is still the only theatrically released Bat-film to truly understand the character and how best to build a story around him.
Cable's death doesn't bring much drama in Marvel Comics' X-Men: The Exterminated #1, but it will have a dramatic impact on future X-men comics.
Matthew Vaughn's X-Men: First Class refocuses the series onto its political and socially conscious origins, as well as the philosophical debate at the core of Magneto and Xavier's relationship.
Old Man Logan's time is almost up, but he's prepared to go down being the best he is at what he does.
Mere mediocrity on the part of the superhero sidekicks doesn't seem a high enough bar for inclusion in a tome such as The League of Regrettable Sidekicks.
Many of Jon Morris's characters in The League of Regrettable Sidekicks are proven to be a reflection of their times not only culturally but in terms of the evolution of the genre, as well.
A new kind of existential threat strikes the X-men, but it has little to do with hatred, fear, or killer robots.
Kenneth Branagh's Thor (2011) took the largely Earth-based, sci-fi genre into the realm of supernatural space fantasy, leading the way for a wider array of comic book superhero films.