The superhero genre has come a long way since the jaw dropping days of seventies Superman and the barrel-scraping nadir of the early noughties. Rather than being treated to the odd costumed spectacular once or twice a year, we can now generally expect half a dozen or more high stakes epics from our favourite franchises every 12 months.
It’s a great time to be a fan, as the standard and scope has never been higher. Still, even the most ardent comic head would acknowledge that superhero movies can be somewhat formulaic. There’s a villain that seems insurmountable, a moment of doubt, a life lesson learned, an eventual triumph.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing - these are ultimately feel good films, after all - but when a superhero smash comes along that breaks or reinvents the rules, it’s a breath of fresh air for an increasingly crowded genre.
Aside from being great movies (or at least movies with moments of greatness), these films did or attempted to do something genuinely different. They may have changed the game; they may have stepped too far out of the norm and flopped as a result. But their ambition is to be commended.