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Superhero Films, Not brought to you by MARVEL & DC.

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“How many times did you watch the latest Avengers flick?!” That’s the million-dollar question than, “did you watch the latest Avengers flick?!”

Everybody is talking about the Avengers: INFINITY WAR. It’s the talk of town among the movie films. Unfortunately, you must be living under a cave, if terminologies and phrases such as “Infinity Stones”, “Thanos” and “I’m sorry, Earth is closed today!” feels like Latin to you.

Now, here comes the slobber-knocker; Superheroes are more than just the “Big Two.”

2018, a sensational year for this genre of films. Black Panther was a spectacular success, and Avengers: Infinity War gave us an actual comic book event turned to film, with over thirty characters. Let it be DC or Marvel, with a latest release comes the never-ending “It felt like nothing like the book!” debate. But outside of the DC and Marvel universes, you find films not based off intellectual property—movies that can focus on telling their own story instead of adapting one that was already told.

Robocop (1987)


A film that redefined 1980s action movies, this modern classic manages to balance ahead-of-its-time messages of corporate fascism and a super-cop. Long before Robert Downey Jr. put on the suit of Iron Man, this was the best part human/part killing-machine superhero.

The Incredibles (2004)


Sure, one could argue that this is a Fantastic Four wannabe, but what a great wannabe! The plot predated Marvel’s “Civil War” comic book storyline, where superheroes are forced to give up their secret identities. Then, there’s the film treatment that’s deeply inspired by James Bond and other spy thrillers from the 1960s. Plus, mid-life crisis is not a preferred topic in today’s superhero films.

Chronicle (2012)


Before Josh Trank decimated Fantastic Four and lost Star Wars direction gig, he teamed up with Max Landis to deliver a found-footage superhero origin story. The movie was a critical and commercial success, and the mix of the superhero and the found-footage genres worked like a charm. And a pre-Creed and pre-Black Panther Michael B. Jordan plays one of the leads!

Unbreakable (2000)


M. Night Shyamalan made this just before the superhero boom into the mainstream, but more than a decade later even this movie turned into a franchise with pseudo-sequels Split and the upcoming Glass. A deconstruction of the entire comic book genre where a man is born with unbreakable bones crosses paths with a man with bones as fragile as glass. This is as much of an origin story as you get without the comic book tie-in or the Stan Lee cameo, and the director injects the story with enough sense of fear and PG-13 violence to satisfy fans of the genre.

Darkman (1990)


In this R-rated movie directed by Sam Raimi (pre-Spider-Man), Liam Neeson plays a disfigured superhero who is as horrifying and dangerous as the bad guys. Darkman pays tribute to horror genre of the 1930s, at the same time manages to absorb the look and style of superhero comic books. The shee success paved the way towards a comic book.

Sky High (2005)


Besides this film’s outstanding cast (Kurt Russell as the world’s mightiest hero? Lynda Carter as the school principal? Come on!), this Disney movie depicts a perspective of the superhero genre which is quite outlandish and rolls with it. A high school for people with superpowers? Check. A twisted rank system where those with weaker or weirder powers are immediately assigned as sidekicks and therefore losers? Check. A ridiculous power of being able to shapeshift into a guinea pig? Check.

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