Infinity War or Infinity Bore: Are we getting burnt out in the superhero genre?

Don’t get me wrong. I love the explosion of superhero movies and TV shows that we’ve been ever so blessed with over the last few years. But, sitting in the car the other day, a friend of mine, who isn’t particularly into nerd culture made the point of, “Yeah, we get it, superheros are cool, can we move on yet?”

From left to right: Wonder Woman, Superman, The Avengers, X-Men: First Class / Credits: Marvel and DC

Now, I’d like to say that I totally respected her point of view and thanked her for sharing her insight, but her statement could only be partially true. The inner bullied nerd in me felt–oh what’s the term the Millennials use? AttackedAll of a sudden, I felt the need to jump to the defense of every great superhero movie or TV show or graphic novel I could think of. But was she right? No, really? Is she kinda right?

We had just previously talked about the CW and Netflix deal and how upsetting it was to people like me (those who don’t have traditional cable). I used to be able to watch all my DC Universe shows the day after they aired, in chronological order, which was great because when the incredible crossover events happen, I’m not stuck in the dark…

I started to actually look at it from a, for lack of a better term, “non-nerd” perspective. When all the great action movies and TV shows are so geared toward a certain genre, people get burned out. And how much time do most people have to really devote themselves to these incredible superhero universes? With shows like Marvel: Agents of Shield crossing over with the Marvel movies, you almost live in the constant state of “fear of missing out.”

I have to watch Flash tonight because Supergirl shows up from a different Earth and is looking for the Arrow because the White Canary sent her a message about Superman’s best friend’s brother’s boyfriend’s cousin…

Ok, so just typing that out made me exhausted, but stick with me here.

Trends will be trends, and favorite genres come and go. But now, access to so many forms of media are popping up everywhere. Between the traditional means, like the cinema and the premium cable channels, we now also have streaming studios such as Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube, making content available.

Just in the superhero genre, we’ve got mainstream Marvel Universe movies, mainstream DC Universe movies, DC shows on standard cable (bless you, the CW, I love all your programming), and on top of the mainstream media, we have Netflix Marvel shows, Hulu Marvel Shows, and CW Seed also has DC-based content (again, thank you, CW, I love you).

When talking to my sister-in-law about all the “superhero-ness” (not a word, but I’m rolling with it), at one point she said, “The Avengers movies have become the comfort food of superhero movies,” specifically in regards to “Infinity War.” And, she’s not wrong. We do fall in love with certain characters, and we get to a point where we want to follow them on their journey. There is something to be said for the fact that, in my opinion, we have been blessed with so many great portrayals of our favorite heroes and villains.

Loki-mocks-Phil-Coulson-Avengers Marvel
Tom Hiddleston’s Loki mocks Phil Coulson in The Avengers / Credit: Marvel

First one that comes to mind will always be Tom Hiddleston as Loki. Between an already great legend, obviously incredible writers, directors, and so on, it was still Hiddleston’s pure talent in the role that made it the most memorable for me. But, I suppose that’s one of the reasons why these movies and shows are so great to us. They fill that little nerd-sized space in my heart.

So, is it really such a bad thing? People (or maybe just me) are obviously still loving it. After spending most of my life growing up being a closeted nerd, it’s so amazing that I live in a time that I can be 33 and letting my nerd/geek flag fly. These characters I fell in love with as a young girl are coming to life on the big screen and I can dress up like it’s Halloween, go to fan conventions, and just be me. Why wouldn’t we want to share that with future generations? I can name at least five new movies coming out this year from Marvel and DC, but that right there might be the problem. There’s countless amazing stories to be told in both Marvel and DC universes (plus countless other worlds), but do they all need to be told … right now?

In fact, in further investigating the claim, I discovered an article by Charles Bramesco, written for back in 2016, entitled “10 Sign You Have Superhero Fatigue.” I mean … this was written before Suicide Squad, before Luke Cage, before Defenders, and … you get the idea. I’m curious to find out if Mr. Bramesco has written an updated article. A few of his points still hold up, even more so now with the boom we’re seeing.

In conclusion, if you don’t like superhero movies, I won’t judge you. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea. But, if you’re not burned out, you are not alone, I’m not quite there either. So, here are some movies to get excited about…

  • April 27 – Avengers: Infinity War
  • May 18 – Deadpool 2
  • July 6 – Ant Man and the Wasp
  • October 5 – Venom
  • December 21 – Aquaman
  • 2018 – Titans (possibly, if they can figure it out)
  • March 18, 2019 – Captain Marvel

What do you think?

Is it better to retire the same old plot lines? Should our heroes hang up their shields? Or is there a fresh take on them that we’d be missing? And what types of movies would you want to fill that inevitable void that the Marvel and DC universe has been filling in our hearts? Let me know what you think in the comments section below.


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One thought on “Infinity War or Infinity Bore: Are we getting burnt out in the superhero genre?

  1. Just read it, good stuff! My $0.02; the volume of new content cannot be kept up with by many, myself included. I just don’t have the time. However, the quality of the work being done these days will stand the test of time and will be available for consumption in that mythical someday when I have more time on my hands. Same goes for comic books, btw. There’s literally just too much good stuff being made. And to those who say there’s just too much superhero stuff, I say the same could be said about basically any genre. There are so many media options now that there is a glut of content across the spectrum. Enjoy it while it lasts, fellow nerds!


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