Cape Crusaders Overpowering Action Man?


For my EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) I am studying the superhero genre linking to me studying media studies. I am only at the early stages of research, but so far a recurring theme of reports I am reading are about the superhero genre replacing the action genre as it ‘fades away’.

Recently, ‘The Avengers’ has been known to be seen as the biggest superhero film of all time, beating ‘The Dark Knight’ and other releases. This film contains many superheroes, such as The Hulk, Thor and Captain America. However, this film does contain action, but is put into the ‘superhero’ genre as it’s a comic adaptation and also the given that there are men in capes flying around saving the world, as usual.

As I point out in my vlog here it is the year ‘OF THE SUPERHEROES’ and will be a genre that will be across the media and magazine covers throughout this year making comic books popular with newbies and even something that inspire my EPQ. (more details in future articles).

Genres do adapt and change over time to fit the audience, I am seeing much evidence of this in my project through the superhero genre specifically with Batman who went from a cheesy light heart adaptation to a Gothic blurred line between hero and villain. So the superhero genre will most likely always appear as having elements of action due to the good VS evil fights, but using hybrid genres these have also contained elements of comedy (*spoiler* In ‘The Avengers’ the fight between Hulk and Loki) and romance (*spoiler* In ‘Spiderman’ (1) the upside down kiss between Peter Parker and Mary Jane).

But does this mean the attachment of action and superhero will make action alone die out? From the looks of things the answer is no, most genres will never fully die out – so it seems. The genre may simply ‘fade out’, as put forward by Sylvester Stallone.

‘As Sly told Entertainment Tonight days ago: “This genre, unfortunately, is becoming… let’s just say it’s fading away.”’ (13/06/12)

Maybe Stallone or ‘Sly’ is right, even though ‘The Expendables’ earned more at the box office than the superhero ‘Green Lantern’.

Personally I feel the superhero genre is as powerful now as it will ever be what we Robert Downey Jr. signing up for six films all together this year: 3 ‘Iron Man’ and 3 ‘The Avengers’. Maybe the superhero genre will fade away for a while after bombarding the media and it’s audience throughout the last year and the next. Hopefully though it is a genre that won’t fade out for to long if it does as superheroes is something we all need in our lives, even if it is just on the screen or a comic book.

By Alice Stansfield.

Alice Stansfield your friendly neighbourhood blogger!

Feel free to Tweet me if you have any questions or feedback  @hislittleemoo

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One thought on “Cape Crusaders Overpowering Action Man?

  1. I think the SUperhero genre is just another subgenre of action movie. All action films have a suspension of disbelief, much like in comic books. In both, you don’t really care whether it’s actually possible, you care whether it’s cool to look at.

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