They may have dominated the box office in recent years, but we’re now starting to see evidence that superhero movies were always doomed. Though they may have gotten off to a fairly rocky start, but by the time 2008’s Iron Man came around, the superhero movie was ready to become a cultural phenomenon. The blossoming MCU cemented the superhero movie as a cinematic force to be reckoned with, and the rest is history.

On paper, there’s a lot to love: big, character-driven stories with larger-than-life action and groundbreaking visual effects don’t come along every day. Adapting well-known source material into a new medium proved incredibly popular, and so it just kept happening. Again and again. And again.

Though the superhero movie spent a number of years at the very top of the food chain, times are changing. Films like Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and Thor: Love and Thunder failed to capture audiences as MCU movies once did. The films of the DCU have been languishing in controversy since the franchise’s inception. And, strange though it may seem, superhero movies were always doomed to suffer exactly this fate.

Superhero Movies Were Always Doomed To Become Either Stupid Or Boring

The Avengers in the MCU

Though Marvel seemingly perfected the formula for modern superhero movies, there was always going to be a problem. Repeatedly making variations of the same stories was never going to work forever, and quickly began to feel stale. The idea of a franchise-wide interconnected narrative was initially an exciting idea. However, like with many other innovations, the novelty quickly wore off.

The tide of popularity has been gradually slipping away from superhero movies for some time now. Sad though it may seem, the excitement has just faded, as the market for superhero media has become ridiculously oversaturated. With a new release almost monthly, the genre has started to seem trite and vaguely ridiculous.

This was always going to happen, though. Finding something that works proved profitable for Marvel (less so for DC), but taking their success and running with it also sealed their fate. In truth, superhero movies are running out of new stories to tell, and now feel like variations on a theme. Though they’ll always likely draw a crowd, their glory days appear to be behind them.