Last night’s Oscars broke down a lot of barriers. Although it may seem minor to some the fact that both Black Panther and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse picked up as many Oscars as they did changes the landscape of pop culture forever.
Having spent time among hardcore film fanatics it is clear that comic book movies have always been seen as something that is culturally frowned upon. Regardless of how much you actually enjoy the movie, simply telling people that you did enjoy it is means you’re not a true cinephile. Hopefully, all of that changed last night.
For those that haven’t followed the history of comic book movies they have come a very long way in the past two decades. There was once a time not too long ago when a comic book movie being released was not just a rare thing but you had a 50/50 chance that it would even be watchable. Just look at Steel or Spawn or the early attempts at Captain America and Howard the Duck.
But then things started to change in the industry. What began with Tim Burton’s Batman really took shape with Christopher Nolan’s interpretation of The Dark Knight. While all that was going on the Marvel Cinematic Universe was ramping up as well. The combination brought superheroes into the spotlight and proved that not only could the medium be translated well on film but people really wanted to see them.
Since then we’ve had a slew of amazing comic book movies that continue to redefine the genre: Deadpool, The Watchmen, Black Panther, Logan…What was once considered low-brow is now one of the driving forces in Hollywood. And yet respect still did not come. If anything the success of the genre only proved that it was destroying Hollywood, or so the argument went.
But after last night’s Oscars the genre now has a slew of statues under it’s belt. Not only did it win Best Animated Feature but a comic book movie was nominated for Best Picture, the industry’s highest honor. Whether it won or not is immaterial, a barrier has been broken.
So the next time someone gets on you for liking a comic book film just remind them, Hollywood respects the genre and they should too.