As a fan of Marvel I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like the super hero movie series that started around the same time as my adulthood. They are well written, action packed and generally fun movies. However there is one common aspect that keeps me from ranking them amongst the timeless classics like Indiana Jones and Star Wars: the heroes don’t and seemingly can’t die nor do they seem to be able to sustain any kind of significant injury.
From scene one of any of the Marvel movies there is no mortal concern for any of the protagonists because both they and the audience know with complete confidence that they won’t be harmed and will surely succeed in the end. Whereas in Indiana Jones he’s just a normal guy put into extraordinary circumstances and he as a character looks as though he’s in mortal danger when fighting the Nazis. Also, dead characters stay dead and don’t come back.
Also, there’s no end to the Marvel series. The owners of the brand don’t want the money generating machine to stop so killing of characters caps their revenues. The weight of market demands overwhelms the value of art in this case. The story of Indiana Jones has to end because the character isn’t immortal or magical, there’s a clear beginning, middle and end. With Marvel there’s no end in sight so why should I care what happens in the middle?
I could go deeper into this but maybe in another series of posts so that I can stretch it out longer in order to fully capitalize on this one premise. I guess that’s the main lesson I learned from Marvel.