I Need A Break From Superhero Movies

This isn’t an all-out assault on comic book movies. It isn’t even necessarily a comment on their quality, lack of or otherwise. This is my own personal thing. This is me calmly requesting a break from comic book movies.

It’s not you, it’s me.

Complaining about the volume of superhero movies seems almost a little obvious at this point but I’m going to do it anyway. Mainly because I suspect we’re all in that same position. We’re all a little tired of superhero movies but goddammit they continue to make money. We continue to go watch them. We watched Ant Man, we watched Guardians of the Galaxy. We'll watch Suicide Squad. We'll march right into that cinema and give Zach Snyder our money all over again when Batman vs Superman is released.

We talk a good game. We tell our friend, "there are too many superhero movies". Then someone flips the switch and we change our minds. A snazzy new trailer comes out and we’re back on board.

We sound like a hollowed out pack of junkies.

“Yeah there are too many superhero movies, bu-bu-bu Deadpool.”

Just one more hit guys. One. More. Hit.

It’s gone far beyond all reason. Take the most recent Suicide Squad trailer for example. I think on some conscious level we are all aware: Suicide Squad will probably not be a very good movie. There's a high chance that movie will properly suck. Yet all it takes is a smart pairing of editing, action shots and Bohemian Rhapsody to transform us from smirking cynics to full-blown believers.

We’re like Pavlov’s dogs with this shit. I think this is me officially requesting a break from all of it. A good, clean break. I need to go cold turkey on superheroes.

It’s been a slow-burn realisation for me, but there was one turning point. I had paid almost $30 to see The Avengers: Age Of Ultron. I loved the first one and absolutely did not hate the second one but I walked out of that cinema thinking to myself, “I really don’t need to see another one of these movies for a long time.”

It was nothing to do with the quality of the movie. It was more about the familiarity of it. The sneaking suspicion that Marvel had developed a formula, that they were chucking all these elements into the cinematic equivalent of a Thermomix instead of cooking up something unique and interesting.

I’d been sensing it for a while. I was even struggling with the more original, unique superhero flicks. I’ve yet to successfully make it through Guardians of the Galaxy without falling asleep and I’ve tried three times.

It’s gotten to the point where I’ve found it tough to watch some of the best Marvel-related television stuff. Jessica Jones – an objectively good show. It barely even feels like a superhero property — more like noir-lite than anything – but I’ve still really struggled to enjoy it on any level. Same goes for Daredevil, a show that's arguably better than anything Marvel has released on the big screen.

I’m just exhausted. Completely exhausted of all enthusiasm.

I’m exhausted by the cycle. The hype, the Comic-Con appearances, the announcements, the rumour mill: WHO’S GONNA PLAY THE GREEN LANTERN IN THE JUSTICE LEAGUE MOVIE? The endless repetition. The talk, the meaningless chatter about the details, LEAKED SHOTS FROM THE WONDER WOMAN SHOOT. The reveal of super villains I’ve never heard of but everyone else has for some reason.

Part of me – the grumpy, old man with no sense of perspective – believes that this endless conveyer belt of superhero movies is harmful for cinema as a whole. There’s room for all sorts and we’ve always had to deal with the spectre of sequels, reboots and remakes – but doesn’t it seem a little more prevalent these days? Doesn’t it feel like less risks are being taken?

I’m not sure I can back that up. I’m not sure it even matters. What matters is that I’m here sitting waiting for the conveyor belt to stop, but it just keeps on trucking. So maybe it’s just time for me to opt out.

I’ll be back in ten years. In time for a whole new line of reboots. See you then.


    I've done a pretty good job of dodging all of the pre-release hype and marketing. /r/movies is a wasteland of shills and sockpuppets flooding the place with that sort of thing. After a while, you become blind to it. Then, when a truly interesting movie comes up, it doesn't matter if it's a superhero movie or just a plain old action movie I can still enjoy it.

    Really, what's the difference between being excited about One Punch Man and being excited about Deadpool?

      Yeah, I don't have a telly, or listen to radio or go to news sites really, and live in a small town so there are no billboards etc. so I miss nearly all of the advertising, and the hype and the stories, and just go see movies. It is way more fun that way, and I enjoy most movies I see.
      I am not all that excited about seeing more characters come down the line though, I'm just not bothered with seeing more comic book characters come out of the woodwork.
      But if the stories, cinematography and score are good, and the movie compelling, I'll go see it whatever the genre is.

    We’ll march right into that cinema and give Zach Snyder our money all over again when Batman vs Superman is released.

    You're damn right I will.

    But your point is well made. It's not so much the frequency with which superhero movies are made, it's the rate with which consumers are expected to ... well, consume them. I only watched Iron Man in the past few years, but in order to be able to watch Agents of SHIELD, I then felt like I had to mainline the rest of the MCU collection to be up to speed.

    Like your Deadpool analogy, "Yeah, but, but, standalone", that's not how they work. The little snippets from each movies cross over not only to ensure that you keep coming back, but also to make sure that you've had your hors d'oeuvres, soup and entree before you've even thought about having a bite of the juicy, medium-rare eye fillet.

    I gather a ten year break is a throwaway line - but it's probably fairly accurate to have a proper break from the comic-to-film behemoth.

    But, let's be honest, we'll all be back - each and every time.

    I'm the same way, and the Batman vs Superman trailer at the cinema looked awful, so that hasn't helped.
    But damnit, the Captain America trailer looked good, so *sigh*.

    I have only seen the Avengers movies and Guardians, Guardians didn't feel like a Super Hero movie to me, it felt more like a Star Wars movie, and I binge-watched Jessica Jones.

    I think that people are probably getting comic-book-movie-fatigue, even though Marvel has been smart and basically making genre films that happen to have Super Heroes in them.

    Mark, if the comic book films are out, what *do* you feel like watching?

      All I watch right now is documentaries cause I'm old and my imagination is dead.

        Have you seen My Love, Don't Cross That River? It's the most beautiful documentary I've ever seen - and I don't mean visually. I highly recommend it.

        If you're into Fantasy I just finished watching "The Last Kingdom", it's kind of like "Vikings" but more from the English point of view.... I can't enough Fantasy shows at the moment (the shannara chronicles as well).

        I'm ... 36 (had to think about that for a second) and I'm not sure when it happened by at some point in the last 6 years I became incredibly entertained by documentaries. Often times, putting the kids to bed and grabbing some takeaway and curling up with my partner to watch a docco on netflix is the ultimate date night.

          I'm 30 and my girlfriend is 26, but we're the same, though it helps that she's in a field related to social work, so when a doco on binge drinking and it's effects pops up on SBS, she's right into that shit.

        Nothing but "Finding Bigfoot' at the Serrels household, 24/7

        If every documentary was Making a Murderer, I'd have no need for fiction.

        We could always just go see only the super hero movies we want to? Batman and superman don't interest me. Didn't see the last superman one for example, won't see the new one either. Didn't see Antman either.
        I like Avengers so I'll see those ones. I think Deadpool will be different enough and more of a violent comedy (perhaps more like KickAss).
        Guardians are only "super heroes" by name. Just because they are in the same universe and kind of continue the story doesn't mean it's a super hero movie. If that's the case then any movie with aliens or action stars would be a super hero movie.

        It's easy to overload when you watch every single one...

      Guardians didn't feel like a Super Hero movie to me, it felt more like a Star Wars movie.

      That was my exact reaction as well. It's about a rag tag bunch of misfits having an intergalactic adventure.

    There's too many superhero comic books.

    Never fear Mark. We're going to have a tonne of Star Wars over the next decade to keep us entertained and away from Marvel characters I've never heard of.

      Judging by your avatar, you only say that because there isn't a grifter movie. :P

    I'm four years into a similar moratorium on superhero movies, brought on by what I thought were two very average movies: Dark Knight Rises, and Avengers.

    Since then, the only Marvel film I've seen is Guardians of the Galaxy, which felt like a comic book movie, but not so much a superhero flick. I'm claiming this as an exemption from the superhero genre, and maintain my four year streak as unbroken and regret-free.

      See I loved the original Avengers. At the time I thought it felt quite fresh and light. But yeah, Age Of Ultron was the moment where I was like ENUFFFFFFF...

        I watched it again the other night, and realised that I did not remember any of the final act - meaning that I had actually fallen asleep in the cinema for like half an hour. I honestly don't know when that has ever happened before. I'm obviously old and tired and way past their demographic now.

        Didn't think it was any more appealing on a complete viewing, either.

    "I'm on a diet."
    "That's a shame, we're having all the sugar in the world for morning tea to celebrate something arbitrary as an excuse to have all the sugar in the world."
    "Oh... OK. I'll grab my feedbag."

      More like:

      "I'm on a diet" *opens a bag of chips*
      "Ok, your next meal is in 6 hours, should you be eating those?"
      "Yeah, but I have chips and they're pretty tasty."
      "You don't have to eat them right now."
      "So tasty though."
      "Well, your call."
      "Uuuugh, why am I so faaaat."

        Six hours is a long time between meals. I say the chip eating is justified.

          Well that's a matter for you and your belt size.

    Stop watching them. Solved your problem. Mail me money.

    I always feel like half the problem here is that you guys complaining about too many superhero movies feel the need to be enthusiastic about the entertainment items you consume. It's almost like you guys feel obligated to gush about any movie you enjoy. You can't just like watching Mad Max or The Martian, you have to agree before entering the theatre that if you like the movie you're going to work it into your social life.
    I get the impression for extroverts a string of similar movies is a bit of an overload. You see the trailer and know that it's going to be reasonably well received, which means you have to go see it and like it and talk about it for the next two weeks. Even if you thrive on social interaction it's a bit like getting a pile of work dumped on your desk. New Avengers? If it's even half decent it's going to dominate your casual conversations for a few weeks.

      Really? I just go to see stuff that interests me. I like discussing movies, the bits I really loved, or "man, I really teared up at the bit when.."
      I've never felt like I *had* to go see something, unless it is just that I don't want to be hit with spoilers that might tarnish an otherwise fun experience.

      I don't get to go to too many movies, 4 kids from 3yrs old to 16 kind of makes it tricky, so I really only see stuff I really *want* to see, or that I get the opportunity to see.

      Movies are a pretty social experience, it isn't about working it into one's social life, just that I tend to like talking about things I enjoy doing. I don't really see conversations with friends about stuff I enjoy as 'work'.

      I'll talk a lot about programming too, but no-one will be listening.

      Last edited 21/01/16 1:22 pm

    Less Super Heroes more crowdfunding and tracking down Wes Anderson to make a Wu Tang and Bill Murray team up heist movie to steal that Album back from Martin Shkrelli

      I've been listening to Giant Bomb discuss this very topic and it's been quite fascinating.

        They stole my idea!! Which was a team effort with Saturday and Rocket

    I need a break from people moaning about all the superhero movies.

    It honestly doesn't feel like there's that many movies to keep up with. And especially since they just seem to keep getting better and better. Was anyone disappointed by winter Soldier? Weren't we all fucking astonished when Ant-Man turned out to not suck? Hasn't the Deadpool marketing been weirdly on point?

    I've skipped most of the DC movies like the critically mixed Superman reboot and I feel like Nolan's Batman movies peaked with Heath Ledger's Joker portrayal but I might make an exception for Suicide Squad. I'm even considering watching Batman vs. Superman, despite everyone thinking Affleck will be the worst Batman since Val Kilmer.

    But even ignoring DC, some people reckon there's been so many MCU movies that it's too much. Really? Ok so since 2010 there's been 3 Iron Man movies, 2 Avengers movies, 2 Captain America movies (the seoncd of which was more of an ensemble movie akin to Avengers, with the next one being even moreso), 2 Thor movies, and Guardians of the Galaxy which surprised everyone by being not as shit as the trailer made it look. Ant-Man came along and surprised us again. Meanwhile on TV there's Daredevil and Jessica Jones knocking shit out of the park.

    That's a lot of media to consume, but it's not like these movies and TV shows follow you around. They come along a couple of times a year, entertain you for a couple of hours (and let's make no mistake, the MCU content has been consistently entertaining, even in the weaker entries like Iron Man 3) and then go away again. What is there to take a break from, exactly?

    Apparently, it's all the breaking news about casting and wardrobe and VFX and awards and schedules. Well yeah, if you keep touching your ding dong it'll probably fall off too. Limit yourself. Everything in moderation. Watch a trailer, watch the movie, then walk away until the next one. Maybe instead of throwing your hands up and saying "fuck this" until your cynicism was worn off in 2026, try taking breaks between movies. You might notice there's a whole lot more time where you're not watching movies than time you are.

    Last edited 21/01/16 1:23 pm

      It's kind of hard to take a break from seeing posts about it though, especially on social media. While I may not actively be searching for Marvel movies, leaked photos or trailers etc will inevitably appear on my Facebook newsfeed for example. You can't really just "walk away" unless you just don't use the internet at all.

        I'm highly active on Twitter and check Facebook a couple of times a day and see nearly nothing about these movies apart from maybe trailers. I stay out of subreddits like /r/movies, because major subs like that are a cesspool.

        It's not that hard. Social media platforms have plenty of ways for you to curate the content that reaches you.

          I have a lot of geeky friends so I find it hard to miss superhero movie related news, which is good and bad I guess. Currently, the downside is that everyone is sharing the crap out of the Suicide Squad trailer..

            So did they click on the link to the trailer for you as well or did you decide to do that yourself?

              I still haven't watched it.

                Great! That means you'll be slightly less tired of hearing about this movie by the time it comes out.

        That is why I am not on Facebook or Twitter, well that and the whole evil thing.
        I use the shit out of the internet though, just not social media, so I miss 99% of it.

      I saw the trailer for Deadpool the other night. It was... kinda weird. Like, felt like the whole thing just fell flat. Killed my interest a bit.

    I'm a bit over the Marvel pervasiveness at the moment. If it's not a movie coming out, it's a TV show or some other thing. I'm definitely not enthusiastic for any of it anymore, though I'll still probably tag along when people I know inevitably want to see them.

    DC is different for me and I think it's a combination of a number of things. I grew up with DC so I feel like I'm more tolerant of what they're doing. In terms of movies, they're only at the beginning of their cinematic universe and so I haven't had a chance to get sick of the marketing. And finally, while they actually have more TV shows, I'm not as exposed to friends frothing at the mouth over The Flash or Gotham, whereas everyone just doesn't shut up about Daredevil or Jessica Jones.

    However, I will say, if there's one thing I'm sick of when it comes to superhero movies (or just movies in general really), it's the amount of bulls*** 'news' and posts on social media about photos being leaked from the set. It was the same when Star Wars TFA first started filming. I'd rather wait to see that stuff when I'm actually watching the movie.

      I'm a bit over the Marvel pervasiveness at the moment. I work in a department store and I agree with you but I extend Marvel to Disney. I'm a life long Star Wars fan but I've become totally numb to the brand because of the sheer amount of merchandise they hock. Literally every department in my store from lighting to DIY to cosmetics has at least one star wars product. When I see Star Wars product I feel absolutely nothing inside.

      Last edited 21/01/16 12:52 pm

        I'm aware :P

        Having said that, I want to find a black beanie that just says "Star Wars" on it and I can't find that soooo....

        (Hoping it will exist come winter).

          Should email Disney marketing. Someone will probably get fired and lose their home and family for not having thought of it, but I'll bet you'll see beanies inside the month!

        Despite bring a lifelong Star Wars fan I feel nothing for Star Wars merchandise either. Somehow, even though I don't own a Kylo Ren talking bottle opener or BB-8 pyjamas, I was still able to enjoy the new movie.

        Last edited 21/01/16 12:57 pm

    It's so weird - I'm completely the opposite. Right now is the most hyped I've ever been for superhero movies, and I've even plotted out all the days for each one this year.

    Maybe it's because that's pretty much the only movies I ever watch. Dunno, but I'm super keen to see this phase 3 deal with Marvel and also get right into the DC stuff.

    Yeah, I'm the same. The last superhero movie I watched was The Avengers and it was at that point where I realised I had enough. They've become so common that they've just lost their appeal and excitement now which is a shame as I used to love them and eagerly await their release.

    We’ll march right into that cinema and give Zach Snyder our money all over again when Batman vs Superman is released.

    Speak for yourself - the hack dumbarse won't ever get my money again.

    I'm at a similar point but I think the real point being made is that there are too many DC and Marvel superhero movies. I'll gladly go see a superhero movie that isn't Marvel or DC tomorrow if someone told me about it but I'd show a distinct apathy if it was.

    There hasn't been much else at the movies I've been interested in, so... *Shrug*

    I'm happy with going to the movies every couple of months.

    I am sorry but you point is all but made void by the fact you arent even giving Jessica Jones or Daredevil a chance. While in theory yes they are superhero shows/movies in no way do they feel like they share the same universe of writing/composition as the Marvel universe or even the DC shows they should be more closely compared to.

    There is currently a lot of diversity between a whole lot of different types of superhero films and tv shows. No one is forcing you to watch them all. Their existence isnt forcing other things from being created. This article is like you walking into a comic book store and complaining that the only thing they are selling in comics... all the while you have you back to the non-fiction section, graphic novels, novels section. Maybe if you are over watching them and cant tell them apart maybe its time for you to do your shopping in a different bookshop. The problem doesnt lie with the comic book shop, as it doesnt lie with Hollywood. There are a universe of other tv shows and movies you CAN choose from.

    Sounds like the reason you cant like Jessica or Daredevil is perhaps you are too busy trying to make them fit into your anti-comic thing, when they should be judged on their own terms. When i first watched Jessica Jones, the first few esposides didnt really rate with me because I was judging it on what I expected from Daredevil. It was only after and much further into a series that I truly loved it. It style was more of a novel than a tv show. Very few gotcha moments per episode, the point was where it was leading to ultimately towards the end of the series. It was playing a 'long' game like novels do. it was really breaking the mould of how Americans make tv shows.

    Last edited 21/01/16 1:18 pm

    I think it's much more to do with the hype than it is with the movies themselves, to be honest. I don't give a shit, and it's freeing. I feel no obligation to these movies, because if they can't operate standalone, they're still bad movies, no matter how many little easter eggs they want to work in for the fans. (I'd argue that the only movie you actually needed to see to follow Avengers 2 was Avengers 1, and even then only so that you knew who the characters were. I think you can work out Hydra taking over SHIELD from context.)

    A movie has to sell itself to me to be worthy of further interest; I'm on board for Captain America because the last one was good and they have the same director. Doctor Strange has more work to do, although the Marvel Studios movies have a decent strike-rate. Batman vs Superman is not doing a good job of convincing me it will be good. A movie has to prove to me that it will work before I care about it, and most of the time, the only real way to know a movie worked is for other people to see it.

    I mean, I don't understand the people who went to see Star Wars a billion times, either, so maybe I'm weird.

    I treat comic movies and UFC events the same way. There are too many of them, trying to keep up with them all means that I'm just exhausted and bored, even in the good ones.

    So just.. Don't watch the ones you're not super pumped for. It's fine, you won't miss much. Check the brief synopsis on Wikipedia and move on. It makes the ones you do watch seem much better.

    Yeah, but the thing is, superhero movies ares starting to cover a wider genre so it's not like they're all the same. So when I hear someone say they're tired of superhero movies, to me it sounds as silly as saying they're tired of hot food.

    I'm just here to say how bad the Thor movies are. Truly terrible.

    Also, Jessica Jones was great, but only because of David Tenant, best of luck to them continuing without him.

    Last edited 21/01/16 1:22 pm

      you only liked Jessica Jones for David Tennant? thats as bad as those (apparent) Doctor Who fans who refused to the watch the show when he left, or those who stayed around and complained about it ever since. No you arent a Doctor Who fan, you are a David fan, thats its. Hell in this case its worse: you only like the story of a killer/rapist and the mayhem he caused, not the story about all the damaged he caused and all the broken people he left is in wake. Kinda the complete opposite of the point of the whole show.

      Last edited 21/01/16 1:31 pm

        He was an interesting villain, much better than secret super government soldiers or 'aliens'.

        You only like the story of a killer/rapist.

        Assumptions much? Am I on Polygon? Calm down superstar.


          have this for that polygon joke.

          what do you think the whole point of the show was? many episodes looked towards that in many different ways and you certainly must have missed the episode where they faced the topic head on and in no uncertain terms.

          At least Polygon looks at these issues in gaming and movies/tv unlike so many of the big name site are too worried about upsetting idiot gamergaters and loose traffic, and pretend thats its not 2016 and a large percent of the population are smart enough to discuss such topics and not get upset or feel like they are being picked on

          Last edited 21/01/16 9:51 pm

            You sound quite upset yourself and I'm not sure why my post made you so angsty. I liked the show, but the way they seemed to be setting it up for season 2 looked like the same old stuff we've seen from Marvel over the years. Trish, Luke Cage and Roid Policeman just arent very interesting characters imo.

    I dont see the fascination with Superhero movies.

    Dont get me wrong. If its a good film then its a good film like Nolans take on Batman.
    but the rest are PG cash cows.

    I made a conscious effort to start "ignoring the hype" last year.

    It's really helped with going to see films I'm interested in, but it's also made me skip a couple too. I didn't bother with ANT MAN at the cinema because of it (watched it on bluray around Christmas... it was OK).

    Yeah, just ignore the hype. Then when you do see a movie, you'll know its because you want and not because you were told to.

    I think the issue is the stuff around the movies, the toys, merchandising and constant bombardment of these types of movies. You can escape Marvel these days, and Star Wars is just as worse now.

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