Genres and Sub-genres -- Redefining the Superhero Movie

Genres and Sub-genres -- Redefining the Superhero Movie

Genres and Sub-genres -- Redefining the Superhero Movie

Where do superhero movies fit?

Genres and Sub-genres -- Redefining the Superhero Movie

Let's talk about movie genres. Where do superhero movies fit in? Some would say that they are a sub-genre of Science fiction, or a sub-genre of fantasy, or a sub-genre of action adventure. Believe it or not, some would place it as some off-beat sub-genre of comedy. Others would say that it doesn't really fit into any category; that it's the red-headed step-child of the film industry that nobody wants.

There are still those, who when they hear of superhero movies, think of the 1966 Batman movie with the Caped Crusader running around aimlessly while holding onto a big round bomb. They remember him running back and forth between a couple of nuns and a woman with a baby buggy. But superhero films have come a long ways since those days.

Many today would well argue that superhero movies are indeed a genre and that it deserves to take it's place among the other genres of the film industry. But if all genres can be divided into sub-genres, can the same be said of superhero movies? Some would say no - that all superhero movies are the same. But is Superman (1978) really the same type of movie as Batman (1989)? Each of those movies were distinct and different. Unfortunately, back then, Hollywood was still not taking superhero movies seriously and the sequels to both of those franchises became campier and campier; leading fans to cringe as they listened to Batman tout his much vaunted credit card.

In 2000, X-Men came to the big screen and Hollywood began to look at superhero movies as more than ludicrous mindless fantasy. Bryan Singer, whether you like his work or not, brought a new approach to the way superheroes were seen in the theaters. And although this genre has struggled at times during the last decade, films such as Spider-Man, Iron Man, Dark Knight, and The Avengers, have shown the great promise of the diversity that this genre has to offer. Referring to Marvel's movies, Kevin Feige explained, "There's an opportunity to graft most sub-genres onto them. Our first Captain America film was a World War II picture, and the next is a political thriller. They all have their own textures and patinas, and that's what is exciting about it."

Some of the sub-genres could be listed as:

ANT-MAN (2015)
Sub-genre: Spy

THE AVENGERS (2012)
Sub-genre: Science Fiction/Alien Invasion

BLADE (1998)
Sub-genre: Vampire

CAPTAIN AMERICA: The First Avenger (2011)
Sub-genre: Science Fiction
Sub-genre: World War II

CAPTAIN AMERICA: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Sub-genre: Political Thriller

DOCTOR STRANGE (2016)
Sub-genre: Sword and Sorcery

GHOST RIDER (2007)
Sub-genre: Action Horror

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2014)
Sub-genre: Science Fiction/Adventure

THE INCREDIBLE HULK (2008)
Sub-genre: Science Fiction
Sub-genre: Thriller/On the Run

IRON MAN 3 (2013)
Sub-genre: Terrorism

THOR (2011)
Sub-genre: Fantasy

So, as you can see, there is quite a diversity. And this diversity and range will give stamina to the superhero genre, and will give us fans a wide variety of superhero movies for many years to come.
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