We’re entering a new generation of what it means to be superhero movies. Deadpool, Logan, Legion, and others are paving the way for something different. Ultimately we win.
(Photo Credit: scifimoviepage.com)
The superhero genre is changing before our eyes. What Marvel and the X-Men films have done for two decades running was a pretty remarkable revelation. Each film used movie stars upon movie stars to peddle a story that everyone was already familiar with. These movies built franchises and made hundreds of millions of dollars – and often much more – per shot. Yet there wasn’t much substance to the entertainment, other than simply watching the characters we already knew and loved.
That formula may finally be changing. Superhero movies and entertainment are not going anywhere, but the delivery mechanism seems to be shifting. Last year, it was Deadpool that flipped the narrative on its head. Of course, that was the point of Deadpool. Nevertheless, the movie cleaned up and sparked a revolution.
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A sneak peek of Deadpool 2 is in theaters now, being offered up to viewers of Logan, the latest Wolverine movie. Logan seems to have taken Deadpool to the next step. It isn’t a joke or a mock on the genre. It almost takes the genre extra seriously and delivers an incredible product as a result. I have yet to personally see the film myself, but critics love it; some even deemed it the greatest superhero movie of all-time.
The R rating has something to do with its ability to tell a compelling story with necessary action and gore, but that isn’t all of what’s going on. Instead, it seems like Logan is better because it avoids all the boring tropes of what superhero movies had become.
A similar thing is taking place on the small screen as well. FX’s Legion is a superhero television show in name only. Its style, story, and action are far from what fans would expect when hearing it is a Marvel and X-Men project. Instead of an action/adventure romp through a world with super strength, Legion is a trippy horror drama that happens to be about a person with superhuman abilities. That person’s father happens to be Professor Charles Xavier, but again, in name only. There has yet to be a single mention of Professor Xavier or X-Men in the four episodes of Legion.
There is also NBC’s superhero comedy, Powerless, to consider. While not about superheroes specifically, Powerless is about everyone else who lives in a world with superheroes, and early reviews like what the show is doing with its scope, even if it often falls short of reaching great heights.
Maybe this will simply be a blip on the radar of the superhero freight train. After all, more Marvel and Avengers movies are coming down the pike, and they all continually follow the same blueprint.
Or maybe the tides are shifting. Everyone loved Deadpool to the point that it is now clearly quite overrated. Critics adore Logan, while Legion is the opposite of superhero-type, causing few to talk about it in that vein at all. Powerless is literally about the people who inhabit these superhero worlds who we have never heard of or considered before. These offerings are stepping stones to a revamped and interesting genre. Superhero movies and entertainment don’t all have to be the same. They can be quite new and varied, and can even offer stories we don’t already know.
Todd Salem is a Contributing Editor at BuzzChomp. He’s also the New York Giants Lead Writer at Pro Football Spot, a Staff Writer for NFL Spinzone, and a Featured Columnist at College Sports Madness, among others. Follow him on Twitter.
Additional photo courtesy of comicbook.com