Students show enthusiasm toward superheroes

By Christian DiMartino

Avengers: Age of Ultron grossed a whopping $191 million dollars last weekend, and it would have made even more if it was not for the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight. However, money was not the only field where the film was successful. The film received positive reviews from critics, and the students enjoyed it as well.

“I thought it was an excellent movie. Ultron was a great villain, and I loved the end credits sequence,” said junior Luke Canter.

Senior Dakota Arnold also showed enthusiasm toward the film.

“It was pretty great,” said Arnold, “I love how the whole universe of Marvel is slowly tying together. I geeked quite a bit.”

Avengers: Age of Ultron is not the only successful superhero film. The Avengers, the film’s predecessor, grossed over $600 million in the U.S. alone. Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy grossed over a billion dollars worldwide, and as did the Iron Man trilogy.

Rarely has a comic book film fell below expectations (if the reviews had been better, Green Lantern may have soared as well). Even with negative reviews, they still rake in a decent amount of money every year. But the question is: Why? What is it about these films that people find so appealing?

Dating back to the late 1930s, comic books have had a wide appeal. Once the superhero archetype was created, the rest is history. Soon came Superman, Batman, Captain America, and so on, and as years went on, the popularity increased, thanks mainly to comic book fans or, simply, fans of the films.

Students had multiple reasons for why they enjoyed superheroes.

“I love superheroes, mainly because their costumes are pretty cool,” said sophomore Tanya Cochran.

Junior John Thwing also shared why he loved superheroes.

“It is simple: I am a huge dorky, geek,” Thwing said.

Senior Andrew Squillante, a comic book reader since elementary school, shared a different view.

“I like how they play off of the nostalgia that a lot of people feel towards comics, like how it’s always been with movie adaptations,” said Squillante.

English teacher Matthew Townsend had a slightly different approach on the topic.

“I like superheroes because I like the idea that we all need to be saved in some way, that we need someone in our lives to be with us and be on our side,” said Townsend.

There may be different reasons as to why superheroes and their films are appealing, but there is something else that has people torn: which hero is the best? There is no clear answer, because some prefer the DC comic books (Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and so on) over the Marvel comic books (Spider-Man, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk, and so on) and vice versa.

Freshman Emily Bible chose Marvel for a few reasons.

“I choose Marvel because my favorite superhero is the Hulk, and because I like Spider-Man, too, ” said Bible

Thwing also sided with Marvel, mainly because he found the characters more likable. However, when choosing a favorite hero, he could not support just one team.

“I love Batman, mainly because he is the most interesting character in the DC Universe. I also love Wolverine because of his regenerative powers and his sass,” said Thwing.

Canter, who has read comic books in the past, sided with DC.

“I prefer DC, mainly because I just like their heroes more. The Green Lantern is my favorite superhero as well,” said Canter.

Squillante also sided with DC.

“I grew up more on DC, and they tend to be a bit darker, which I sort of prefer,” said Squillante. “Plus I will watch just about anything pertaining to Batman.”

While students found a lot to enjoy about the genre, they also had some criticisms.

“They [comic book films] all end just about the same, and sometimes they can be cheesy,” said junior Bessmah Elashawah.

Cochran shared a similar opinion.

“While I like superhero movies, they are basically the same thing over and over again,” said Cochran.

Arnold, a comic book collector, does not have a problem with the storyline, but rather, the production of the films.

“I don’t like how all of these producers are trying to milk money out of their movies. It shouldn’t be about the profit; it should be about the experience and the art,” said Arnold.

Canter could not think of much that he disliked, but there was one thing that stood out.

“I guess every now and then you get one movie that takes the whole superhero thing too far by making them over superior,” said Canter, “But other than that I really like them.”

Comic books and their films may receive criticism, but there is still a loyal fanbase that keeps waiting in line every summer for the next film.

Luckily for fans, it does not seem like comic book movies are going away anytime soon. This summer, there will be two more releases: Ant-Man (July 16) and Fantastic Four (July 30). Next year, there will be at least two: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War. On top of that, there are at least two more Avengers films planned for the near future. So fans of these films, comics, and their heroes, should have enough to chew on for a while.



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