There’s a spectacularly interesting conversation between the two chief movie critics at the New York Times about the dominance of super-hero movies, why it happened and what it means in the NYT today, and it includes this great bit from AO Scott:
What the defensive fans fail or refuse to grasp is that they have won the argument. Far from being an underdog genre defended by a scrappy band of cultural renegades, the superhero spectacle represents a staggering concentration of commercial, corporate power. The ideology supporting this power is a familiar kind of disingenuous populism. The studios are just giving the people what they want! Foolproof evidence can be found in the box office returns: a billion dollars! Who can argue with that? Nobody really does. Superhero movies are taken seriously, reviewed respectfully and enjoyed by plenty of Edmund Wilson types.
We’ve made it, people. It just might not have been the “it” that people were expecting, is all. Seriously, go read the back-and-forth.