After The Dark Knight it initially appeared superheroes had nowhere else to go. Here was the zenith of the genre, expertly bringing the graphic novel source to life in a totally legitimate way that almost, gasp, didn't feel like a comic book movie. Surely anything that followed would be unable to escape the shadow of Christopher Nolan's epic.
In the intervening years we've seen comic book movies raise the game to a whole other level. Nothing is yet to hit The Dark Knight levels, but with shared universes now in vogue the genre's only increased its box office dominance. The Marvel Cinematic Universe, which sneakily kicked off with Iron Man mere months before The Dark Knight, took the essence of what made Nolan's Batman work, threw in an overarching continuity and more levity, and became one of the biggest franchises of all time.
The films themselves (the odd misfire aside) are fun outings with mass appeal, but there's enough hidden in there to get established fans geeking out. There's always been an unwritten law to superhero movies and while it looked like the MCU was treading entirely new ground, it too has now fallen into formula. It's a bloody good formula that hasn't failed since well before The Avengers, but even the biggest Marvel fan can see there are some conspicuously obvious elements running through the studio's movies.
Today we turn our eye to ten of the most prominent that, if left unchecked, could really mess up the franchise.