It is an unprecedentedly special summer for me and my fellow comic book geeks! Thor, X-Men, Green Lantern and Captain America are all on the big screen this summer. I can’t remember a summer movie season that has had this many super hero movies.
And thanks to the creative use of CGI, leather and overall better costume design, no more Spandex!
As a long time fan of the DC Universe, I’m especially excited to see the Green Lantern (with its Father’s Day weekend opening!!). It’s about time the suits at DC branch out beyond their bread and butter characters – Superman and Batman. As far as the Marvel comics side of the aisle, I didn’t read too much Thor or X-Men, so I’m content to catch these releases on DVD. However, as a history buff, I’ve always dug the Captain America story, particularly the way the original (and this movie) uses the World War II era as a backdrop.
I’ll be accompanied on these cinematic adventures by my youthful sidekick, Zoe. There was a time a few years ago I was reluctant to expose my future Tween Titan to too many of these super hero movies. Even comic book movies can be a little violent. Yet despite my concerns, there has been no negative impact. What I have noticed is that these comic book films have given her a better awareness of right and wrong, good guy vs. bad guy – which ain’t a bad thing for an eight-year old to understand.
Comic book films usually make big bank, which is why I suppose the studios keep producing them. As the father of a young heroine, I only wish we would see move female super leads on the big screen. For years, we geeks have been teased with the possibility of a Wonder Woman feature film (In a related story, DC’s number three character almost made it to the small screen – even though there will never be another Lynda Carter – in her satin tights, fighting for her rights and the old red, white and blue – but that’s the topic for another day).
The ladies unfortunately have been limited to supporting roles (The Fantastic Four’s Susan Storm and the X-Men’s Storm and Jean Grey). Back in the day, Supergirl flew onto the big screen, but Kal El’s Kryptonian cousin came nowhere close to matching Superman’s popularity and success. In recent years, the one big release featuring a female comic book character was Catwoman, which – despite Oscar winner Halle Berry ’s best efforts – didn’t do so well at the box office.
It’s just sad that there’s a greater chance of a space traveling baby landing a rocket ship in Kansas than there is a female comic book character carrying a big budget feature film.