We are living in the golden age of superhero movies.
There, we said it. After two-plus decades of a few good ("Batman," "The Crow") but a lot more bad ("The Phantom," "Batman and Robin" and -- shudder -- "Steel") films based on comic-book characters, the 2000s have been a bountiful time for men and women in tights. Part of that has to do with the fact that movie-making technology has caught up to the fantastic feats authors and illustrators have been dreaming up for decades, but even more than that, filmmakers are taking superheroes seriously.
Not everything is a hit -- we're looking at you, "Jonah Hex" -- and you could argue that the average superhero movie is at least as much about commerce as about art. But the good of the genre has outweighed the bad for some time now. Here's a look at how we got here.
-- Rick Porter, Zap2it