A visual representation of post-Batman superhero movies

Ali Gray

29th June 2014

Tim Burton's Batman was released (more or less) 25 years ago this week. You could argue that it's the first modern superhero movie, the one that jumpstarted the whole movement - Superman: The Movie, let's face it, was a beautiful fluke. How has the superhero genre blossomed in the quarter of a century since Michael Keaton got the chafing of a lifetime? Like a wet Gremlin. Here's a handy visual guide as to how the superhero movie became so ubiquitous.

I'm not sure I believe people when they say that Tim Burton's Batman is the best superhero movie ever made - it's the kind of thing people only really say when a film's anniversary rolls around - if only because of the existence of Batman Returns. However, you can't deny its appeal: the moment Batman stopped dancing and repelling sharks and asked to be taken seriously was the moment the genre truly came of age.

Working from a Wikipedia page of every American superhero movie released post-Batman from 1989 (excluding comedies, spoofs and foreign movies), it's easy to see how the genre exploded in the years that followed. 2008 seems to be the year where saturation point was reached with nine (if you're charitable and include Jumper and Wanted), while we seem to have reached an equilibrium in recent years. With five films per year for the last four years, we've seen as many superhero movies released as the entirety of 1989-2002.

Really though? It's just an excuse to look at all the nice posters and be reminded of the terrible flops we thought we'd forgotten forever. You can't hide here, Punisher movies.

I guess this was the year that every single hack screenwriter in Hollywood started writing superhero movies.

I would chart the next 25 years but I think I'd need a bigger internet.

More:  Superheroes  Marvel  Dc  Batman
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