BySean Erickson, writer at Creators.co
Exploring the area between movie geek and film nerd.
Sean Erickson

It may have started all the way back in Batman Begins. During the climactic ending, a good chunk of downtown Gotham is destroyed which caused more than a few people to put themselves in the shoes of the average Gothamite (is that the right word?) and say, "Um, thanks, Batman?"

Even the Batman logo implies property damage!
Even the Batman logo implies property damage!

Since then, things have only gotten worse for citizens living with superheroes. Instead of just a downtown block being taken out by a superhero's battle with some evil maniac, your lucky if the majority of Metropolis is still left standing. Now I'm not necessarily blaming the superheroes here - I know the ending of [Man of Steel](movie:15593) is a touchy subject for a lot of people, but we're definitely reaching the point in superhero movies where this issue is being directly addressed.

There's a little bit of Metropolis left just for us
There's a little bit of Metropolis left just for us

Lex Luthor is rumored to be stoking the flames of anti-Superman propaganda in Batman vs Superman, which will be picking up right where Man of Steel left off, due in large part to the amount of property damage left in the wake of the battle against Zod. The titular fight of the film could very well come down to which superhero thinks they can do a better job of protecting their citizens.

Superman surveys the damage and he's not happy.
Superman surveys the damage and he's not happy.

Next year we'll also be seeing a movie that is entirely based on the negative public reaction to superheroes in [Captain America: Civil War](movie:994409). The destruction will inevitably include an unforgivable body count and lead to government intervention. And a lot of these anti-superhero flames are expected to be stoked in this year's Avengers 2: Age of Ultron.

Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver take to the streets.
Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver take to the streets.

If you've seen the trailer for Avengers 2 - and why would you be here if you haven't? - you've noticed the protesting and the picket signs and the people, okay mostly Scarlet Witch, standing amidst rubble and giving the old "wwwhhhhyyy?!" scream. I'm already starting to wonder if we'll find out that Scarlet Witch was an innocent bystander who was somehow injured during the climatic battle at the end of the first Avengers movie.

The Avengers team up to clean up the town.
The Avengers team up to clean up the town.

There used to be a time in the world of superhero movies when there wasn't any sort of direct sequel guarantee and if you left half a city in ruin after a battle against evil, the clean-up would be left to the viewers imagination. It would appear that those times are behind us and no matter how fantastic a world with green monsters or Norse Gods may get onscreen, real world consequences are not being forgotten.

You might say this is all due to the maturing of the superhero movie genre. The more films that come out the more difficult it becomes to simply have someone say we're evacuating the city and have whatever follows be okay. It does feel inevitable that the consequences of superhero related mass destruction would factor into these movies eventually. If this really is the golden age of the genre, there isn't a better time to tackle the issue.

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