Home > Your Turn > Superheroes Round 19: The Superhero Name Movie

Superheroes Round 19: The Superhero Name Movie

While reflecting on the movies I’ve seen lately, I’ve realized there’s an odd phenomenon: every single superhero movie uses either the name of the central hero, or the name of the super team.

All of them.  And most of them use only that name, perhaps with a number or a subtitle.

It seems odd.


Sure, there are plenty of other movies not in the genre that follow a similar convention — Citizen Kane, The Godfather, Buck Rodgers, and Flash Gordon come to mind — but there’s an immense set of movies with more interesting titles that aren’t driven by THAT ONE COOL HERO — The Matrix, anything with Star Trek or Star Wars, all the silly rom-com titles, most of the stuff by Pixar…

As far as the big comic-based movies go, the DC movies seem to allow a little more creativity than Marvel, but that’s not really saying much.  I suspect this is due to their inheritance from the comic book medium: a series of comic books is generally centered around that one cool hero, so keeping that name in the title is a useful signal to get fans to go consume the medium.  It also makes it somewhat clear who the film is about and what it will be like… even if it’s a little boring.

So, I’m going to go through the entire list of superhero movies that I’ve seen (or know enough about) and make up more-interesting titles for them.  In order, from oldest to newest:

  • Dhampyr (Blade, 1998)
  • Xavier’s School for Gifted Youth (X-Men, 2000)
  • Great Responsibility (Spider-Man, 2002)
  • (Blade II, 2002)
  • The Sound of Justice (Daredevil, 2003)
  • Repeating History (X-Men 2)
  • With Great Power (Spider-Man 2, 2004)
  • (Blade: Trinity)
  • (Fantastic Four, 2005)
  • Kryptonite (Superman Returns, 2006.  This movie was awful, by the way.)
  • The Dark Phoenix (X-Men: The Last Stand, 2006)
  • (Ghost Rider, 2007)
  • A Fly in the Web (Spiderman 3, 2007)
  • The Herald of Galactus (The Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, 2007)
  • Arc Reaction (Iron Man, 2008)
  • When He’s Angry (The Incredible Hulk, 2008)
  • Arc of Vengeance (Iron Man 2, 2010)
  • Mjolnir’s Fall (Thor, 2011)
  • The First Generation (Captain America: The First Avenger, 2011)
  • The Trickster’s Game (The Avengers, 2012)
  • Regeneration (The Amazing Spider-Man, 2012)
  • Arc of War (Iron Man 3, 2013)
  • Mjolnir in Darkness (Thor: The Dark World, 2014)
  • The Enemy Within (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, 2014)
  • The Corruption of Power (Guardians of the Galaxy, 2014)
  • (The Amazing Spider-Man 2, 2014)
  • Ultron’s Dawn (Avengers: Age of Ultron, 2015)
  • A Little Theft (Antman, 2015)
  • (Fantastic Four, 2015)
  • (Superman: Man of Steel)
  • (Batman Begins)
  • (The Dark Knight)
  • (The Dark Knight Rises)
  • (The Incredibles)
  • (Batman vs Superman)
  • Who Watches the Watchers (Watchmen)
  • Wonder Woman (Out of Themiscara)
  • The Uncloaked Kingdom (Black Panther)
  • Touched by the Kree (Captain Marvel)
  • The Practice of Deception (Black Widow)
  • Some Superhero Movie (Deadpool, referencing the traditional talks-to-the-narrator thing)

Yes, I know there isn’t really a Black Widow movie planned… but I totally want to watch it.  Also, I’m keeping that title for my next spy thriller.

I’ve also actually seen nearly all of these films, which is terrifying.

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