Up, Up & Away: The Superhero Phenomenon

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It seems like every time you turn on the TV these days, another superhero movie is being released soon.  From Spiderman to Captain America and all those in between, Marvel and DC comics continue to come to life on the big screen and College Magazine examined why that might be the case.

Superheroes, since the beginning of time, have given people a sense of safety and hope.  With the stereotypical “good always prevails over evil” ideology, superhero movies allow viewers to relate to the characters’ desire to know everything will be okay.  A spin-off of the good versus bad debate, superhero movies can provide morality lessons for younger audiences.  If they see Spiderman helping out New York City, they might start to see helping as interesting, worthwhile and even cool.

When you think about it, there haven’t been many truly original movie plots recently, either. Even the beloved Harry Potter series isn’t exactly fresh (don’t get me wrong, I will forever be a Potter kid). A lot of movies have been adaptations of books, and even two movies with eerily similar story lines (No Strings Attached and Friends With Benefits) have graced the theaters.  

“I think everything is just getting stale. There’s no new ideas out. We’re just recreating stuff. This year has been all about the “retro revival” stuff,” Frederick Community College student Stefan Sandman said.


Especially evident from The Dark Knight, people have also become increasingly accepting of darker story lines. While the state of the country (and world) becomes more ominous, screenplays that have a grim atmosphere become more relatable to audiences. And when your audience can connect with the characters, their attention remains with the movie.

Adding to this, acceptance of superheroes not being perfect (actually human) and having faults like most everyone has helped make these movies more realistic. Again, the idea of making your movie relatable proves to be important. Not to mention, with the large technological advances making special effects look plausible, movies in general find solid footing and success in connecting with their viewers.

Sophomore > Visual Communications and Psychology > Penn State University

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