The concept of the shared universe is the heart of superhero media. Superhero pop culture is one of the most rapidly changing genres in media, with new trends aesthetics being introduced almost yearly in order to keep up with the massive financial powers that control them. Shared universes have always had an appeal on comic book buyers. Readers can see all of their favorite characters come together and interact with one another. This also allows for new, broader storylines and more detailed content. In more recent years, shared universes have gone beyond cameo appeal and have delved into telling stories that can relate to the real world of the readers within the fantasy world of the comic. The 1980s-90s ushered in an era of socially relevant characters and issues, most prominent with the X-Men comics.
The horror genre is one of the most diverse genres in cinema. Underneath the umbrella of horror are multiple sub-genres including slasher, body horror, and creature feature just to name a few. But in the modern era, horror films that try to fit a classic mold often fall short of expectations. The main reasons for this are cliches. We’ve seen the same tropes redone so many times that it becomes difficult for them to fulfill their purpose—to scare us. In recent years however, many horror films have found a way to overcome this. Over the past decade, horror films have become increasingly meta. They are self aware of the tropes they are are expected to fill and often play around with these expectations in creative, even humorous ways. But by using these fun premises, they use their subject matter to speak on real life issues that are often far more frightening than any demon or serial killer. Two recent films that perfectly exhibit this idea are The Cabin in the Woods (2012) and Get Out (2018).
Many would say that we are currently in the middle of a new black renaissance in terms of film and television. Black artists like Jordan Peele, Lena Waithe, Ryan Coogler, Issa Rae and Ava Duvernay have built platforms that have put them on the same level of consideration as white artists through films such as Get Out, Black Panther and Girls Trip, and shows such as Insecure and The Chi. They have proven that black creativity can generate just as strong numbers as white creativity, if not stronger (as seen with Black Panther). However, many might also argue that this isn’t the first black renaissance that we’ve experienced in American media. The blaxploitation era in the 70s is often considered to be the birth of African American cinema. The 1990s are also frequently mentioned as a black renaissance for television in particular, with so many iconic sitcoms produced by notable black figures in entertainment. But the black renaissance of the 2010s might be the most important black renaissance in American history.