Do We Really, Truly Need Another Superhero Movie?

Captain Marvel Poster

I noticed the Captain Marvel promotional items at the supermarket yesterday, heralding the impending release of “one of the most anticipated”–by who?–“movies of 2019,” which is expected to “rescue the box office from the worst February in years.”

Captain Marvel isn’t a man anymore. They killed off the original Captain Marvel and now it’s a woman named Carol, “one of the universe’s most powerful heroes.” The universe? Gee. And her task is to save Earth from being destroyed in a “galactic war.”

Ah, fanabla. The nearest galaxy to our own Milky Way is the Andromeda Galaxy, a mere 2.5 million light years away. For the college-educated, that means that if you traveled at the speed of light, it would take you two and a half million years to get there. So really, the prospect of any kind of intergalactic unpleasantness is not on the cards. Does nobody know these things anymore?

“Entertainment” is a passive but powerful form of self-education. An uncritical consumption of superhero comic-book movies can’t possibly be good for you. Besides which, the whole idea is inexpressibly boring.

Y’know, there is such a thing as a real hero: someone to be admired for his or her greatness of character, to say nothing of achievements. Someone who stands up to evil and won’t back down. And it is possible to create fictional heroes who demonstrate goodness, courage, faith, integrity, and all the other virtues. We watched a movie-length Endeavor episode the other night that displayed and celebrated genuine heroism–ordinary men going up against evil, fighting off the powerful temptation to join it and get rich, putting their lives on the line against it… and winning! And they did all that because they were police officers and that was what it was their duty to do: they carried out a public trust, cost them what it may. What a splendid thing that was to see!

And of course history, and especially the Bible, is full of heroes. Hebrews Chapter 11 celebrates godly heroes–Abel, Moses, Abraham. “And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthah; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens” (verses 32-34).

Now that turns me on! And all without a single superhero in the list.

14 comments on “Do We Really, Truly Need Another Superhero Movie?

  1. I have thought that these super hero movies are another means of preparing the unsuspecting to welcome the anti Messiah, who will seen to be such a great, wonder-working person.

    1. I’m more inclined to think they reflect the staggering unoriginality and paucity of creative ideas in Hollywood.

  2. I totally agree with you! I just don’t understand why people get so excited by these superhero movies. I know someone who always goes to see each new superhero movie at least 3 times then buys the DVD and Blu-ray and all the novelty items that go with it. Amazing.

    1. When I was a liquidator, I always found it surprising, how sharply the value of those promo items plummeted. You reach a point where you can’t give them away.

    2. He’d be surprised at how difficult it was to unload a bunch of Star Wars action figures, even when offering to sell them at a nickel on the dollar.

  3. There is an over saturation of super hero movies. It seems we they go through cycles. There was a period of end of the world movies, then they were on a Vampire kick.

    The issue I have with Captin Marvel is they are really pushing a feminist slant with this one, or at least the lead actress is. She seems to not like men in particular, and white men specifically.

  4. My concern is that these superhero movies blur the line between reality and fantasy, at least for the impressionable among us. I’ve seen milder forms of this in youngsters; young boys that through they were ninjas. Just average, undisciplined kids, that somehow convinced themselves they were the fictional heroes with whom they identified. This was a generation ago and, IMHO, things have gotten much worse since then.

    1. You’ve got to be a real huckleberry to take those movies at all seriously. But I’m afraid we’ve raised a bumper crop of huckleberries.

Leave a Reply