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Is Hollywood pushing too many superhero stories?
Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) in "Marvel's Ant-Man." - photo by Jim Bennett
Superhero fans are currently suffering an embarrassment of riches on the big and small screens.

Marvels Avengers: Age of Ultron continues to print money for itself at the box office, while half a dozen TV superheroes have just wrapped up very successful seasons with at least two more costumed crime fighter shows on tap for the fall.

For the record, the CWs The Flash was the best of the bunch and much more satisfying than Arrow, which had two stellar seasons and then lost its way this year.

While Foxs Gotham had its moments, it was a bit too unrelentingly grim for my tastes. Although the grim and gritty approach worked quite effectively for Netflixs Daredevil, which was easily Marvels best TV superhero show, even though Marvels "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is vastly improved in its second year over its first, despite being interrupted by a limited run of Agent Carter, which still managed to be fun even though it portrayed nearly all of its male characters as misogynist chowderheads.

Whew. Thats a lot of folks in tights. And there are a lot more coming.

Not content to let the Avengers rule the summer alone, Marvel is releasing Ant-Man to theaters in a couple of months. It kicks off a host of sequels leading to the next Avengers movie where every superhero imaginable will battle an omnipotent galactic titan named Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, Part 1 and Part 2. DC Comics is playing catch-up with its creation of a shared movie universe for its characters with the next entry being the Batman vs. Superman sequel of sorts to 2013s Man of Steel and a prequel to 2017s announced Justice League flick, and a companion piece to next years Suicide Squad movie that will introduce Jared Leto playing another version of Batmans archenemy the Joker in a performance that will undoubtedly suffer in comparison to Heath Ledgers Academy Award-winning portrayal of the Clown Prince of Crime in 2008s The Dark Knight.

Incidentally, while DC may be lagging behind Marvel at the movies, its lapping Marvel on television with Supergirl coming to CBS and yet another "Arrow"/"Flash" spinoff called Legends of Tomorrow hitting the CW that will feature a guy who used to play Superman in the movies playing the far-lesser-known Atom on TV, along with Victor Garber as a guy who bursts into flame by means of nuclear fusion and Caity Lotz playing a resurrected version of a character who was killed in the first episode of this season of Arrow.

So are we exhausted yet? Just how much is too much?

Simon Pegg, the actor who plays Scotty in the new Star Trek movie franchise, thinks weve already reached the saturation point. He maintains that the glut of superhero movies is very childish and represents a dumbing down of audience tastes.

Films used to be about challenging, emotional journeys or moral questions, he recently told Radio Times magazine. Now were walking out of the cinema really not thinking about anything, other than the fact that the Hulk just had a fight with a robot.

I can see his point, surely. I just dont happen to agree with it.

Where does he get the idea, for instance, that challenging, emotional journeys and moral questions are absent in superhero stories? The reason there is such a voracious appetite for this kind of entertainment is that superheroes provide fundamental moral examinations of good versus evil in bright, shiny packages. The robot fights are cool, yes, but we wouldnt care about them if the Hulk and his friends weren't compelling characters on the kind of challenging, emotional journeys that Pegg thinks superheroes dont have.

For my part, I say bring it on. Bring it all on.

I can take it, even if Pegg cant.
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