Mike Gold: Our Superhero Summer

I’ve decided the summer is over. Yeah, I know. School hasn’t started yet, the dandies can continue to wear white for a few more weeks, and the metaphor-challenged will remind us the Autumnal Equinox doesn’t happen until September 22nd – and quite late in the day at that.

Screw them. I say summer is over because the summer movie season has pretty much ended. Yeah, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For happens next week, but we’ve had Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Amazing Spider-Man 2, X-Men: Days Of Future Past, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, and The Guardians Of The Galaxy and, clearly, my definition of “summer” is pretty quirky.

I haven’t mentioned the latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie because I haven’t seen it. Or its forbearers. In my world, I guess talking raccoons are good but talking turtles stretch the imagination. Go figure.

The day after the Sin City sequel (say that five times fast) appears, the 2014 – 2015 television season begins. Oh, really?, you might ask. Yes: I define the beginning of this coming season as the debut of the newest round of Doctor Who. So there.

When it comes to superhero-based movies (and I’m putting Dawn of the Apes in with the others because I believe it belongs there) I don’t think the average comics fan has much to bitch about… unless he’s one of those screaming asshole naysayers than mindlessly shits on everything anybody else likes under the protection of the shield of anonymity that the Internet gleefully provides. Of the five released movies I noted above, only one – in my opinion – actually sucked.

That would be Amazing Spider-Man 2, a needless sequel to a useless remake, made by clueless people. It was a waste of a handful of fine actors. I enjoyed all of the others, and really, that’s more than I would have expected. As a group, they’ve raised the bar for heroic fantasy movies.

I’d even toss the quirky Lucy in with the rest. That one was clearly heroic fantasy, and it was damn good. So was the equally-quirky Snowpiercer, based upon the French graphic novel of the same name (but in French). Lucy didn’t have comics cred to fall back on, but Scarlet Johansson most certainly does. That one just might make it easier to get a good superheroine movie made. And wouldn’t that be nice?

So… is this all a fad? Yes, probably, but just in quantity. Quality rules and if “they” continue to make movies that are well-written, well-directed and well-performed, we’ll continue to see more – just as we have ever since the early days of film and vehicles such as Tarzan, Tailspin Tommy, Dick Tracy, Flash Gordon and Joe Palooka.

When it comes to the movies based upon the comics media, quality rules.

Isn’t that amazing?