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In Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, a half-dozen characters all donned versions of Spider-Man’s costume and teamed up to prove that “anyone can wear the mask.”
This week, Reign of the Supermen is released digitally, in which that message is turned on its head — and both movies are well-done films with a strong case for their themes.
Shortly after the four would-be Supermen debut in Reign of the Supermen, they all four end up in the same place at the same time, and a melee ensues. It is not long before one character identifies himself as Superman, only to be corrected by another that there is only one Superman.
While the character is suggesting that he is the sole heir to the Superman name — something that is not true — the basic message that there is only one Superman is actually a major theme in the comics on which Reign of the Supermen is based — and to a lesser extent, the movie as well.
The fact that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Reign of the Supermen have opposing viewpoints on their title heroes might seem like fans would have to choose one school of thought over the other, but in fact, it merely illustrates the differences between the characters.
The old adage, going back decades, is that DC’s heroes are the gods on Olympus (heck, look at the “Justice” mural on The CW’s The Flash), while Marvel’s exist in the “world outside your window.” Spider-Man is human, relatable. He has flaws and problems and emotional baggage in a way that “perfect” characters like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman do not.
Superman is an inspirational figure — not just to the people of the city (as Spider-Man is), but to the world. Other heroes are at a loss to keep up with everything he did after he dies, and the four new Supermen cannot fill the gap, either. Superman is, after all, one of a kind. Going back to the “gods on Olympus” metaphor, Superman takes the Greek god archetype and imbues it with a more contemporary character, something Christlike — modest, kind, and with love for all, rather than the fickle and often selfish old gods.
Superman’s humanity is what makes him different from The Eradicator or even Superboy. That is why when “Reign of the Supermen” was happening in the comics, John Henry Irons — a character who never claimed to be Superman, and who had no powers and wore a suit of armor to do his good — made a compelling argument to be a replacement Superman. Of the four, he was the one who felt the most like Clark Kent.
That humanity is what ties him to characters of the Marvel variety and makes him a more broadly appealing character than his many knockoffs or even many of DC’s other heroes — but at the end of the day, there is no one who can step into the role of Superman. As relatable as Clark Kent is, Superman himself is a shining beacon of hope. He is not a “regular” person in extraordinary circumstances but someone whose very existence is extraordinary as the last son of a dead civlization, raised in ideal conditions that even his own birth parents could not have predicted when they rocketed him to safety. Not everyone can wear the cape — in fact, there’s only one Superman.
Reign of the Supermen is available today on video on demand platforms, and will be released soon on DVD, Blu-ray, and the DC Universe app. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is currently in theaters.
2018 was a huge year for movies, especially when it comes to franchises and studios that comic fans adore. Disney, Fox, Sony, Paramount, Marvel Studios, and Warner Bros all put out big films in 2018, but it appears that 2019 will be even bigger, and we’ve got all the movies you need to mark your calendars for in one handy place.
Before we get to 2019 though, those studios all put out some great films just in December alone, which was packed with geeky goodness. If you were a superhero film fan you got Aquaman and Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, while Disney fans got Emily Blunt’s Mary Poppins Returns. If you were a Transformers fan, Bumblebee was right up your alley, making it quite a month for fans.
Speaking of Aquaman, Warner Bros only put out one DC film this year, but boy did they make it count. Aquaman has already sailed past the $1 billion mark worldwide and is already the top-grossing DC film ever. That’s not a shabby way to end the year, but in 2019 DC is upping the ante with 2 films on the slate.
Marvel Studios had the incredibly successful Avengers: Infinity War earlier this year, which surpassed the $2 billion mark, and we expect the same for the even more anticipated Avengers: Endgame in 2019. Marvel Studios actually has two films coming out during the first half of the year, while Sony is following up the success of Venom with a new Spider-Man movie.
As for Disney, well, it looks as if they are going to dominate in 2018 just like they did in 2019, with three live-action remakes on the horizon as well as other anticipated projects, both in live-action and in animation. So yeah, they’re probably going to crush it, especially when you consider there’s that whole Star Wars Episode IX coming at the end of the year. Just a small movie.
20th Century Fox will soon be a part of Disney, but before they are completely moved over they still have a few movies up their sleeves.
Hit the next slides to see all the Disney, Marvel, DC, and Star Wars movies hitting in 2019!
Studio: Marvel Studios
Release Date: March 8th
Up first is the anticipated Captain Marvel, which will officially bring Carol Danvers into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With Brie Larson leading the charge, we couldn’t be more excited to see what Marvel has up their sleeves and how the film will affect the next decade of Marvel films.
Synopsis: “The story follows Carol Danvers as she becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races. Set in the 1990s, “Captain Marvel” is an all-new adventure from a previously unseen period in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.”
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