Michael Curley is a full-time high school teacher and part-time film aficionado based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Although he is a fan of films of all kinds, he has a particular soft spot for major Hollywood blockbusters done well. Michael's film essays are currently exclusive to PopMatters.com. He can be reached @MCurleyfries on Twitter.
If the best measure of success for a comic book film is how well it captures the tone for the central character, then Ryan Reynold's beloved character in Deadpool makes it among the greatest superhero films of all time.
Joss Whedon defied expectations with his ambitiously muted, psychological approach to Avengers: Age of Ultron but despite his best intentions and genuinely interesting vision, this would be his only effort with Marvel Studios. It was a good effort.
With Guardians of the Galaxy, set to the soundtrack of an Awesome Mix Vol. 1 cassette tape, Marvel Studios adapted a little-known comic book property -- with a raccoon superhero -- into a hugely successful film and launched the next wave of comic book films.
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.
By perfecting the comic book superhero formula and creating the first big-budget shared universe with The Avengers in 2012, Joss Whedon and Marvel Studios came to define this decade of blockbuster filmmaking.