While there has been a bit of fatigue for superhero movies in recent years — especially seen in 2016 with the releases of the downright bad-to-mediocre entries Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad, and X-Men: Apocalypse — I’d argue that 2017 has not only been a wonderful return to form for the highest-grossing genre in film, but also the absolute best year for comic book-based movies maybe ever. We’ve seen the release of the exquisite, mold-breaking Logan; as well as the unexpectedly good, DCEU-saving Wonder Woman; and, of course, the incredibly fun Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Also, I don’t know about you, but I’d include the hilarious Lego Batman Movie in this list as well…and as a guilty pleasure and total nostalgia trip, let’s put Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie on there, too — cause why not?
But while I’ve enjoyed my time with each of these previously mentioned films, my favorite of all this year’s contenders is the latest, Spider-Man: Homecoming, which sees its home release next week. Being a part of what is perhaps the most tired superhero film franchise since the turn of the century — following 2007’s unloved Spider-Man 3 and the underperforming two entries in the Amazing Spider-Man reboot in 2012 and 2014 — Homecoming had a lot to prove. It seems Sony understood this, as they finally struck a contract with the hugely successful Marvel Studios following Amazing Spider-Man 2 in order to include a new iteration of the character in the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe.
While this deal allowed for a glorified cameo and introduction for the new Spidey in last year’s Captain America: Civil War — and his part was awesome — it almost felt too good to be true. However, after seeing his first solo film for myself, I can say with certainty that Homecoming is the best movie the character has been at the center of since Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2.
It’s been three years since Netflix and Marvel initially connected, striking a deal that netted Netflix four separate full-run series as well as one crossover miniseries, all featuring select heroes from the storied history of Marvel Comics.
It wasn’t until April 2015 that the first series, Daredevil, finally saw its debut. Daredevil was an incredible open to the Netflix-side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), and it set the bar extremely high for what came next. Unfortunately, it was followed by the decidedly faltering Jessica Jones, as well as a second season of Daredevil that had its fair share of good moments, but struggled to juggle too many storylines, overall resulting in a markedly muddled and disappointing season.
The film industry is always adapting and changing. It goes through phases and trends just like anything else. For instance, credits used to be at the beginning of a film. They would only show the main actors and main people behind the film. Now credits are at the end of the film and can be very lengthy. It seems like people don’t really care who is to thank for being a grip or an extra. This could be why everything is at the end in small print and scrolls by quickly. Over the years, some films have gotten creative and put animations or bloopers with the credits. When I was very young, I got to see The Matrix Reloaded. This was significant because it was the first time I saw a film do something different with the credits. There was an after-credit scene that added to the story.
The Matrix is not the first film to add an after-credit scene, it was just the first one I saw. There have been after-credit sequences since the 70s, like in The Muppet Movie. However, there has been a sudden increase in after-credit sequences. The 2000s marked this sudden increase. That’s when today’s current pop culture began, especially with superhero films.
The same year The Matrix Reloaded came out, the film X-2 came out. Since then, superhero films have become notorious for having after-credit scenes. Marvel, Fox, and Warner Bros. have become really successful due to superhero films. They have all also utilized after-credit sequences. Fans have come to expect the surprise that comes after the movie. For the longest time, the extra scene used to provide a clue as to what might come in the future. They would get the hype rolling for the next film in the series. This has become so popular that a few films added an after-credit sequence as well as a mid-credit sequence. Is it getting out of hand?
I know what you’re thinking. “Here we go, nerd man is going to spew more love all over Marvel.” Well, you’re damn right I am! I’ve been waiting years for this to happen, don’t you take this away from me! Excelsior!
Okay. So here’s the haps.
This past week, Sony and Marvel announced a deal that will allow Spider-Man to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In movies. Made by Marvel. And not made by Sony.
For years, Sony Pictures has owned the film rights to the character of Spider-Man. And they chose to remind us of this fact in the most painful way possible: by making movies. And they were pretty whatever. This was before Marvel Studios came and blew the superhero movie into this amazing, enjoyable, perfect little gem. But then they did that. And everything else started to look like garbage. Maybe it isn’t fair to hold everyone else to the same standard as Marvel Studios when it comes to superhero movies, but…actually yes. Yes it is. They’re good at this thing in a way that no one else has been.
So I know this topic seems like a pretty surface-level thing to cover, which doesn’t really fit with the whole “Depth of Field” thing I’m going for here. And it would be! But I’m not just rehashing everything you’ve already read about Marvel’s latest timeline announcement, so just…rest assured, pal.
Okay. So Marvel.
If you haven’t heard about Marvel’s crazy five-year timeline of films announcement due to that coma you must have been in, here’s what’s up:
Captain America: Civil War (May 6, 2016)
Doctor Strange (Nov. 4, 2016)
Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 (May 5, 2017)
Thor: Ragnarok (July 28, 2017)
Black Panther (Nov. 3, 2017)
Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 (May, 2018)
Captain Marvel (July 6, 2018)
Inhumans (Nov. 2, 2018)
Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 (May 3, 2019)
Yeah. Kind of a lot to announce. And so far in advance!