Where my nerds at?
Marvel has brought an interesting resurgence of popularity to the movie theaters which has been lacking lately. So why are these movies so poplar? What has Marvel tapped into to bring such popularity to their movies?
Their writers are brilliant and timely. Marvel has brought hope in the form of superheroes at a time where apathy and drama are the norm.
So why is it Marvel and superheroes which dominate the market instead of something else? Because we all have a tendency towards nerddom.
The last time there was a spike in, what people would call a movie for nerds, was “The Star Wars”. This movie came about when people were distrustful of their government and life had become so much harder and, frankly, more real. You had Vietnam. You had the Civil Rights movement. You had Nixon and Goldwater. Who could you trust? What could you believe in?
Is it any wonder “The Star Wars” was later re-titled “A New Hope”? This brought a generation of people who were told that hard work could get you where you wanted to go, and to imagine a young farm boy who worked hard and was able to throw over a galactic empire as part of a rebel alliance was what brought them together. It was topical, it was timely. It was something people could hope for.
We’re in a similar time now, except the ideals of the populace are slightly skewed. Now the movie going generation is the millennials. A generation who grew up with the previous disenfranchised generation as parents. These parents wanted the best for their children and they didn’t want them getting hurt like they did, so protection became paramount. Making playgrounds safer. Making food safer. This is the generation who lived in a bubble. And what do they have to think about? What do they have to hope for? The generation who was told that if they just did what they were supposed to do, then everything would work out for them?
This is a brand new world in ever shifting priorities. Now instead of outright war, we have terrorism. We have fear of going to our work, of the movies, of going to dinner and getting killed by some crazy loon with a gun. All the sudden the life the “Star Wars” generation wanted for their kids is in jeopardy. no matter how much they do for them, there is still an outside factor making things tougher. Making life dangerous. So what do they turn to now?
Superheroes. Superheroes who would make sure that the status quo is kept. It’s no longer a plucky farm boy who people can relate to because the feeling is that there is nothing you as an individual can do. You need something more. You need something bigger to make the change. Enter the superhero.
This is the societal fantasy. This is why people who are considered nerds and the things they like are so pervasive. These types of movies are escapist and they lash out against the Kardashian reality. These things strike a chord so deep in the social consciousness that we don’t even notice it as it’s happening, but we can feel that hope in our heart, we feel that rush as these superheroes do what we want to do, to effect the change that we as a culture wish. These are the new difference makers in our culture.