With so many superhero films coming out, one must wonder if audiences will get any “superhero fatigue.” Captain America: The Winter Soldier just hit the big screen on April 4, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is out May 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past on May 23, and Gaurdians of the Galaxy on August 1. That’s a lot of heroics in such a short span of time. According to POW! Entertainment, in a recent interview with Bloomberg Television, Chairman and Chief Creative officer (and Comic Guru) Stan Lee believes we have nothing to worry about:
“Look at James Bond. I don’t know how long that’s been going on, and it’s still a big event when a new James Bond movie comes out. I think it will be the same thing with these Marvel superheroes.”
Not to be the one to question “The Man,” but I don’t think you can really compare the two properties, except that they’ve both been around for so long and started in another form of media that translated quite perfectly to film. In the fifty-two years that Bond films have been made there has only been twenty-three. On the other hand, Marvel has been making films for seventy years; there have been forty-nine films based on Marvel comics up to and including Guardians of the Galaxy. That number may sound like it’s about the same as the Bond films, but when you break it down it’s really not. The first Marvel film, Captain America, came out in 1944. The next Marvel film wasn’t until 1978 with Dr. Strange, since then Marvel films have been consistently released. That means fans have seen forty-eight Marvel films in thirty-six years. That’s just over a film a year, while Bond has only shown up about once every two years. In fact, there was a four-year gap between the last two Bond films; that’s a lot of time to get excited for a sequel.
Besides the fact that we’re seeing at least one new Marvel movie a year, there’s still another obvious problem that may lead to fatigue: other companies. DC comics has its own brand of movies, which are made alongside plenty of indie comics that get big screen treatments. DC alone has made thirty-six films in the last sixty-three years. Its numbers are not that bad, but when you combine them with Marvels numbers that’s eighty-five superhero films in seventy years. Now sure Stan Lee was only referring to Marvel films, but the average non-comic-reading person doesn’t know that Spider-Man and Green Lantern are not made by the same people. To them, it’s just a bunch of superhero movies every year, and not all of them are very good, which could in turn put a sour taste in their mouths considering how much movie tickets cost today. Seeing two or three mediocre to bad superhero movies could ruin any future interests. Bond films are much less frequent and are usually good or great, so people are going to be understandably excited for them when they do come out.
Despite what I’ve said, as a comic book fan, I love that we can see so many different comics turn into films. It’s something I never really thought would happen, and now that it has I don’t really want it to stop; however, as with anything it will have its time in the spotlight and then slowly fade away. Superheroes and their movies will always be around, I just don’t think they will always be as prominent as they are now.
You can watch the full interview below:
Source: Bloomberg Television