I get Tony Scott's point about the genre, and in the main, I agree with him. Furthermore, eff the stereotype, my love of comic-books makes me pine for the end of this wave. All that said, I think Tony misses something here:
to paraphrase something the Joker says to Batman, “The Dark Knight” has rules, and they are the conventions that no movie of this kind can escape. The climax must be a fight with the villain, during which the symbiosis of good guy and bad guy, implicit throughout, must be articulated. The end must point forward to a sequel, and an aura of moral consequence must be sustained even as the killings, explosions and chases multiply. The allegorical stakes in a superhero are raised — it’s not just good guys fighting bad guys, but Righteousness against Evil, Order against Chaos — precisely to authorize a more intense level of violence.
Hmm, those seem likee rules developed by executives who see comic book movies as huge summer blockbusters. They aren't inherent to the genre at all. One of the best things about comic books is that, in the proper hands, you can do incredibly detailed character development, and deal with some really major themes. No movie could give you the character development that Chris Claremont pulled out of Storm during the years when she had no powers. If anything the problem with comic books today is they live in this era where we just go from event to event. Writers rarely stay with a book for more than a couple years and everytime you turn around some editor is trying to generate "buzz" by killing a major character, or almost literally invoking deux ex machina. In other words, while some may pine for a day when movies aren't dominated by superheroes, I pine for a day when comic books can stop trying to be like movies.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.