American cinema mines Greek myth most strongly at times of profound social anxiety. In the age of Trump, we are already seeing key political battlegrounds framed as underworld quests in film.
Because they're mass-produced and written in a serialized format, comics can be seen as historical documents that reflect the political moment.
Forget Wonder Woman and Batman. The Maid of Orléans - an uneducated, teenage girl who led armies to victory - is a hero for our times.
Peter Parker knows the formula for angular acceleration of a pendulum, and applies his science knowledge with gusto in the latest Spider-Man movie.
The new mummy film is the latest foray into 'shared universes', the seemingly critic-proof movie juggernauts that have come to dominate our cinemas.
As DC and Marvel battle for movie domination at the box office, older people are being left out.
The Marvel superhero directly confronts a 'war on terror culture' that regards Muslim-Americans as threats.
It ain't all biff, bang pow.