Few superhero scholars, if any, are discussing physical age or definitions of maturity. It seems Hollywood and consumers are reluctant to associate "adult" content with anything other than pornography, immature language, and excessive violence—a reluctance that should be explored by scholars and critics alike. Most superhero characters only reflect the insecurities of audiences who are currently undergoing the transition between adolescence and young adulthood. There are very few older, middle-aged, or retired superheroes depicted juggling the demands of a family along with their daring rescues. It is possible that superhero films could continue to enjoy longer, lasting success if they include more than the previously targeted immature audience. Live-action superhero films can target all ages more efficiently by avoiding the static "mature" audience narratives and presenting relatable and realistic adulthood with novelistic maturity along with adolescence and childhood.
College and Department
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Hubbard, Ariel Elizabeth, "Stagnant Supers: Amplifying the Superhero Genre Through Novelistic Maturity" (2018). Theses and Dissertations. 6755.
live-action films, novelistic maturity, superheroes, superhero narrative cycle