Funny Friday: X-Men, Why So Serious?

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The big blockbuster X-Men Days of Future Past—the 7th installment of the X-Men franchise since 2000—opened last night!

Running solid for 14 years, X-Men has maintained its Marvel reign for longer than any other Marvel superhero movie, including Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor and more. While X-Men has been going longer, Marvel’s The Avenger’s (2012) has been going harder, beating out all of the X-Men films at the box office and grossing over $207,000,000 opening weekend.

Although successful, what’s holding the X-Men back from bringing home the bacon like its fellow Avengers?

Maybe it’s just that Spider-Man, Iron Man and the rest of The Avenger’s are all just funnier… at least on the Internet!

Unlike the X-men, these superheroes have an Internet presence and audience. Spider-Man, Iron-Man and Thor fan bases have spread rapidly though web via Tumblr, Google and YouTube. On the Internet, the Marvel heroes can interact, dance, swear and create catch phrases. This outlet for the Marvel fandom increased the heroes’ popularity—resulting in great results in the box office. Simply search “Spider-man Memes” on the web and countless of classic Spider-Man memes come up. The same goes for Tony Stark, whose “in your face” and “BOSS” attitude took on a perfect virtual Superhero character. Spider-Man, Iron Man and The Avenger’s had the opportunity to create different personas for the Marvel superheroes than the ones depicted in comics and onscreen. In doing so, these hilarious heroes now have a fun and humorous side that anyone can easily access on any computer.

Even heroes that haven’t had a movie yet even have more Internet presence than the X-Men because of their unique twists to the social media realm. Take Deadpool for instance. He is one of the most hilarious Marvel Super Heroes on social media. His crazy and zany personality in the comics translated to other superhero memes and trend, especially the constant comparison to Spider-Man. Deadpool’s Internet phenomenon resulted in a massive fan base for him and tons of anticipation for his rumored movie.

Oddly enough, X-men misses this niche. Even in commercials, other heroes aren’t afraid to be funny or even cute. The latest Evian commercial, “The Amazing Baby & Me,” featured Spider-Man performing very out of the ordinary superhero duties, and the video became an instant YouTube hit with over 17,000,000 views.

 

 

Even The Avenger’s went the adorable route with its comedic Target commercial. However, the commercials for the X-Men franchise have not been known for its cuteness or laughs.

Take the U.S. Army commercial:

 

 

The 20th Century Fox promo wasn’t a barrel of laughs either:

 

 

The Carl’s Jr. spot featuring Quicksilver from X-Men Days of Future Past doesn’t hit the funny bone, even if that was the intention. The ad lacked an out-of- the-box transformation of the hero and simply features the hero using the same superpower he would in the films (just in a different way):

 

 

Of course, the X-Men franchise still has viral hope! Hugh Jackman (who gets a lot more attention because of his personality and singing and dancing skills) offers up more lighthearted X-Men content for fans to share online—an example would be a photo op with PSY. Although Jackman has made a dent for Wolverine and the X-Men to take on an online persona via tumblr feeds, YouTube parodies, and so on, The X-Men still have a long way to go.

Will X-Men have to bring up its game and become Internet sensations like our “friendly neighborhood Spider-Man?” Maybe, sequels eight, nine and ten would do the trick.

Cover Photo Source: Everett Collection / Shutterstock.com

Esperanza is a Junior Executive at SJG. Motivated to be a director at a young age, she graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a BA in Film and Video. While attending Columbia, she studied abroad in Tokyo, Japan, studying Japanese, directing short films and interning at AOI Pro.