Of all his characters, Sir Walter Scott's outlaw Rob Roy appealed most to the public and has paved the way for outsider heroes ever since.
Jason Mamoa as Aquaman and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman are the best things about Justice League.
Atlas Entertainment, Cruel & Unusual Films, DC Comics
The makers of Justice League embed the film in a post-9/11, post-global warming, post-Brexit, post-Trump context. But it is loud and disappointing with some genuinely unimaginative action sequences.
Thor: Ragnarok sees Thor do battle with Hulk.
The new Thor: Ragnarok movie out today tackles some of the superhero issues fans have long questioned. But how does the science stack up?
Joan of Arc depicted on horseback in an illustration from a 1505 manuscript.
Forget Wonder Woman and Batman. The Maid of Orléans - an uneducated, teenage girl who led armies to victory - is a hero for our times.
From shapeshifting octopi to acid-firing beetles.
A scene from The Mummy: the first in a Dark Universe multi-film franchise that will include characters such as Frankenstein’s monster, and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
The new mummy film is the latest foray into 'shared universes', the seemingly critic-proof movie juggernauts that have come to dominate our cinemas.
Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart depict something unusual for superhero films in Logan: ageing.
Marvel Entertainment and 20th Century Fox
As DC and Marvel battle for movie domination at the box office, older people are being left out.
Ursula Dorada/Angela Sprecher/MSCSI
Superheroes are either men, or women drawn by men. Couldn't there be another way of creating a 21st century superheroine?
Kamala Khan is a Muslim, Pakistani-American teenager who fights crime in Jersey City.
Jamie McKelvie/Marvel Comics
The Marvel superhero directly confronts a 'war on terror culture' that regards Muslim-Americans as threats.
Superheroes – and villains – are more popular than they’ve ever been.
From Wonder Woman to Doctor Strange, superheroes are at peak popularity. As political orthodoxies across the world fall away, these flawed, but good-hearted characters speak to modern anxieties.
© Warner Brothers
The superhero film currently appears to be the closest thing to that ever-elusive cinematic holy grail: the guaranteed box office hit.
Koen West, played by Hunter Page Lochard, is the Cleverman.
Australia's first Indigenous superhero can heal like Wolverine and hear the voices of the Dreamtime. Superhero expert Dr Liam Burke sat down with Cleverman cast and crew to talk powers and politics.
Captain America (Chris Evans) takes on a political crisis – and some beautifully choreographed fight scenes – in Captain America: Civil War.
Superhero movies – at their best – reflect the political concems of our time. Captain America: Civil War is a two-and-a-half hour, action-packed critique of post-9/11 government overreach.
© Warner Brothers
The Amazons of Greek mythology usually were seduced or subdued by male heroes. Wonder Woman finally overcomes this legacy.
The ubiquitous superhero finally seems to be growing up and moving on.
Eneas De Troya
It was the year of the grown-up superhero. Dark, witty and complex, superheroes on the big and small screen have – mostly – matured past mindless violence.
Doc Savage, the Man of Bronze.
House of Retro
An inspiration for Batman and Superman has faded into obscurity. Can he experience a revival?
Superman’s over the hill.
'Superhero' via www.shutterstock.com
The flop of the Fantastic Four seems to suggest that viewers are more eager to embrace characters who reflect our inherently flawed humanity.
Captain America was one of several nationalistic superheroes created during the Second World War era.
Speaking with Jason Dittmer on superheroes and fascism.
America's flirtations with fascism in the 1930s and the influence of the Second World War gave rise to nationalistic, quasi-fascist superheroes who are still relevant and popular today.
Black Widow, in Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, released this week.
Jay Maidment ©Marvel 2015
Avengers: Age of Ultron, released this week, is one of many superhero films destined for the multiplex in the coming months and years. What's behind this trend? And what kind of villain would be powerful enough to stop it in its tracks?
Michael Keaton in Birdman.
20th Century Fox
Birdman is awash with in-jokes, but laugh and then forget about them. And forget about the fact that Birdman is a backstage comedy set in a crappy 800-seat theatre in New York. Because this is really a…