By Jesse Rice
Summer is almost upon us (since it does not technically start until June 21), and that means superhero movies. Two blockbuster superhero movies are already out: “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and “Wonder Woman,” neither of which I have seen yet. But the theater isn’t the only place you can see superhero movies; you can also catch them on Netflix. So whether you are waiting anxiously for the next one or trying to catch up with the constant release of superhero flicks, here are five superhero stories you can stream on Netflix.
The Iron Giant
“The Iron Giant” was Brad Bird’s directorial debut, the director who also made “Ratatouille” and “The Incredibles.” “The Iron Giant” was Bird’s first step into the superhero genre, and some people claim it is the best Superman film ever made. The film tells the story of precocious Hogarth Hughes who encounters an alien robot in 1950’s Maine. Hogarth befriends the iron giant, but the Cold War makes the American government suspicious of the robot’s intentions. “The Iron Giant” is a marvelous animated film showing that, no matter what, you can still choose to do the right thing.
Captain America: Civil War
What do you get when the superheroes have fought all the A-list supervillains? That’s right: they fight each other. Based on Marvel’s popular story arc, “Civil War” pits Captain America against Iron Man as they argue over whether heroes should be under the regulation of the United Nations. “Civil War” has great action and touches on enough ideas of oversight versus freedom to make it both thought-provoking and entertaining.
Hellboy is a strange creature. Yanked out of a hellish landscape by the Nazis, the demon boy is rescued and raised by the Allies. Sixty years later, a grown Hellboy must prevent the portal to his home being reopened for it would mean the destruction of the earth. “Hellboy,” like “The Iron Giant,” explores every person’s ability to choose good, regardless of their heritage or family.
Scott Derrickson started his directorial career creating horror, so it was fascinating to see his take on the more mystical, spiritual “Doctor Strange.” While I have yet to catch up with “Doctor Strange,” my friends who have seen it say it is a good film that breaks from some of the normal Marvel tropes. Combine that with some interesting themes of victory through self-sacrifice and “Doctor Strange” serves as a welcome addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
While iZombie may not initially come across as a superhero film, it definitely fits in the genre. Olivia Moore is turned into a zombie at a boat party, and the ever-present hunger for brains ruins her career and her relationship with her fiancé. Moore takes up work at a police morgue and solves crimes by eating the brains of murder victims and accessing their memories to solve the crimes. Along with the weekly police procedural, iZombie weaves together a complex plot involving a zombie brain-dealer and the corrupt company behind the creation of zombies in the first place. In the midst of all that, iZombie explores what it is like to lose your humanity while slowly taking on the personalities of a multitude of other people. While not a normal superhero show, the two seasons of iZombie on Netflix will provide hours of entertainment and some room for thought.