Marvel, DC, action packed blockbusters and anticipated television shows, all of which host a wide range of superhero stardom that we know from the beloved comic books we read or generated by the directors of the project.

While the golden age of the superhero started in the 1940s with the Adventures of Captain Marvel starting in 1941, the first ever batman in 1943, including the first adaptation of Captain America in 1944. Today’s society of media, the superhero stardom is depicted on a regular cycle in the form of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and the Detective Comic Universe (DCU). However, while the projects aren’t regulated only through the cinematic experience but also through the adaptation of video game consoles and mobile apps. Thereby cementing its identity through popular culture.

While it is a dream come true for so many comic books fans to visualise their most well renowned superheroes, the fatigue comes in the form on the lack of storytelling and the quality of such a film. From pictures to live action adaptations, the superhero franchise has now become an oversaturation of content as the focal point is the lack of quality from the poor use of visual effects.

Resulting in audiences feeling confused and tired of the MCU slate, as they won’t watch any more CGI-heavy, hardcore sci-fi or deep comic-book-lore films. Likewise with the DC universe. During 2017, DC faced this problem when a series of divisive DCEU films resulted in a financial collapse for the Justice League film franchise. As many fans were disappointed with the state of DC and didn't want to participate in the hate campaign, but there were some who took advantage of the situation to divide and hate.

As both universe franchises face their own set of unique problems, the main problem will always reside in the form of a superhero. As the top three most grossing films of all time, Avatar (2009), Avengers: Endgame (2019) and Avatar: The Way of Water (2022) are all confined under the action and adventure genre which remains to be the biggest genre to be portrayed onto the big screen. All of which create a narrative for the hero to embark and exuberant quest and save the day. Which has now become the norm.

While some projects have felt enticing to stir away from the action/adventure superhero identity, their initials ideas have not borne any fruit. For example, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the proposed idea for the sorcerer supreme was for the MCU to create their first ever horror-based film, much to the delight of the fanbase. Why this do not hold to its word, was mainly due to the excessive pressure the studio was undergoing to create the first ever bona fide horror film in the MCU.

This is mainly down to the intrinsic norm the MCU has followed ever since its birth in 2008 with the first Iron Man. As film such as Doctor Strange cannot jailbreak the normality that has always incorporated a beaten down hero, lets fight the villain, save the damsel in the distress, action packed adventure. The feeling of such a project does get tiring and exhausting for fans of the superhero icon.

As the brand of the superhero whether that be a man in cape or carrying futuristic gun, has begun its decent into fatigue. It does not matter if an A List actor plays an iconic role or if they suit the role, the problem will always reside in the superhero norm that always creates the same form of narrative that cannot be broken out of.

While the decent has begun, what prevents the superhero identity from sliding away is the emotional stories filmmakers are able to encapsulate, that create a sense of richness to the film. As the focus should be on the characters and allow their personal stories to be the epicentre of the film. And the not the reliance on adrenaline pumping action and incredible special effects to create a ground-breaking blockbuster.