Why Superhero Movies?

I was flipping through my movie log for the last four or five months and was shocked to see how many action-fantasy movies–especially superhero movies–I’ve watched recently. What’s going on?

Surely the summer movie schedule has something to do with it (’tis the season), but I’ve also sought out older films to watch or to watch again. Clearly I’m interested, but given what I have written I’m also pretty consistently disappointed. What am I looking for that I’m not finding?

(An obvious answer that feels wrong is that I’m overthinking this, that I’m just watching for quick-fix boy-man power-fantasies of the sort that surely drew me to see these films when I was younger. Or if not that, then nostalgia for those fantasies? Or if not that either, then just laziness, that I’m going back to a familiar genre out of habit. But none of these seem right or, at least, completely right.)

There is something in the constraints of the form of these movies that’s eliciting my active, demanding interest. And when I see something that does not disappoint–stay tuned for my thoughts on :::shudder::: Immortals–my response is not satisfaction but excitement. I think it’s time to think a bit about what precisely is going on here.

So, note to self