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We don’t quite know how it happened, but over the past 15 years or so we have become infatuated by superhero films. X-Men is often credited as being the first great superhero movie, but it really kicked into pop culture in 2008 with the release of Iron Man. Ever since (with the notable exception of the DC universe) the movies have moved away from dark and depressing tones and messages to be more irreverent and full of quips, especially in the wake of films like Deadpool and Guardians of the Galaxy. So naturally, if superhero movies are going to get funny, the parodies of them are going to come thick and fast too.
SNL Black Widow
Marvel has come under a lot of flak for their male-centric superhero lineup, so naturally the geniuses over at SNL had to take advantage of it. Nabbing Scarlett Johansson to play the leading role in a skit parody of The Avengers, SNL created a parody trailer that is full of clichés for the generic chick flick with one exceptional circumstance. It’s full of superheroes, and the dreamy boyfriend is actually a robot. The sheer wackiness of the skit, as well as a hilariously camp Thor make for a funny wacky premise that pokes fun at Marvel’s seeming inability to make a female led superhero movie. I’m sure they’ve got the message now.
Batman Vs the Penguin
The funny people over at CollegeHumor bring us a great sketch starring the one and only Patton Oswalt. You may have actually seen some of CollegeHumor’s sketches about Batman before, specifically one focusing around The Riddler which really blew up, but this sketch is full of laughs, too. Everyone knows that Batman’s one rule is that he will never kill people. However, some fans have questioned the logic of the films and how it is even possible that Batman can perform some of his most lethal stunts and not kill anybody. In this parody, we learn that Batman actually does murder just about everybody that he comes across, but he thinks that they are just taking a nap. The charming naivety is endlessly funny.
How Man of Steel Should Have Ended
I’d find it hard to believe that someone hasn’t seen a "How It Should Have Ended" video before, but just in case you haven’t, the talented animators over at HISHE productions have been making small videos about newly released movies for many years now wherein they demonstrate how each movie should have ended. However, the videos have evolved past that point now and they mostly serve to poke fun at a film's plot when it seems to be making illogical choices. The people over at HISHE aren’t afraid to go a little out of the ballpark, and their unique animation style is instantly recognizable. If you don’t know what I’m talking about now, watch any of their videos and you’ll probably realize exactly what I mean.
The Dark Knight Meets Superman
Although this sketch was made back in 2009, it still has some hilarious points to make about the absurdity of these two characters actually interacting with each other and how their villains are so mismatched that it’s hard to believe that a fight between them could actually be a fair contest. Also coming from the people over at CollegeHumor, this parody also makes a point of contrasting the personalities of the two flagship characters for DC. All Superman movies up to that point had been relatively carefree and upbeat, but after the success of the Christopher Nolan Batman films, Batman has been caricatured as an over serious and depressing anti-villain. You can imagine the comedic potential of that. It almost writes itself.
A Toast to Green Lantern
The setup is pretty simple. In 2011 Green Lantern finally got his own movie starring Ryan Reynolds. The other superheroes at the bar propose a toast to the green crusader until Hawkman walks in, who nobody invited. The sketch has actually been proven to be an interesting piece of work to look back upon, as it was making fun of the fact that Hawkman would never get a movie due to his relative obscurity. However, as years have gone by, characters like the Guardians Of The Galaxy and Ant-Man have gotten movies despite their relatively small fan base in pop culture. I find it pretty interesting how attitudes have changed over the course of only five years.
We’re five entries into this list and we haven’t even gotten a good musical entry yet. Time to fix that. This critically under-appreciated video spoofs the Broadway play Alexander Hamilton by rejigging the lyrics to be sung by Alfred, The Joker, and Commissioner Gordon, among others, to sing about Batman as opposed to the legendary founding father.
What could honestly have been a tiring one note joke played out for over three minutes actually proved to be a really fun song with great lyric writing and actually great singing. I’d recommend you all give it a watch.
Marvel Vs DC (Avengers Battle!)
I’ll openly admit it, I’m a massive fan of the New Zealand YouTube channel Racka Racka. They has some viral videos a year or two ago but have been making insanely fun action parodies ever since. They focus on using kinetic camera work and amazing special effects to give a comedic experience. It’s hard to describe what their comedy style is. I don’t want to say violent because that gives off the wrong impression, but they use violence and absurdity to defy what you ever thought was "ok" to watch on YouTube. In this video they pit Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman against The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, and Thor over three tickets to Comic Con. What starts out as some verbal sparring soon turns into a fully fledged bloody fight which absolutely destroys the house they are in. A mixture of slapstick and absurdist comedy make this a must watch.
Saturday Morning Watchmen
Cast your mind back to 2009 when we all heard that the director of 300 was going to direct an adaptation of one of the greatest graphic novels of all time, Watchmen. Everyone was excited, including myself, but the film came out to lukewarm reviews with some critics complaining the over use of violence and dark tone. Also bear in mind this was long before Snyder took control of the DC cinematic universe, of which he has directed Man of Steel and Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. Expectations were high then, but they are even higher now. Personally I loved it, but the talented Harry Partridge on YouTube decided to lighten everything up and reimagine the Watchmen as if they were a Saturday morning cartoon show with a goofy theme song and reliance on innocence and good virtue. A lot of the comedy here comes from knowing that the source characters are incredibly dark, so seeing them put in such a farcical setting makes me endlessly laugh.
Hawk Eye Sings About His Super Powers
Now, Black Widow is one of the more under appreciated members of the Avengers, but I think it’s a fairly unanimous opinion if I say that Hawkeye is the least appreciated out of the lot of them. He spent the majority of the first film under a form of mind control and had turned into a joke. Of course this would bring a toll upon any man, so Jeremy Renner personally came onto The Jimmy Fallon Show around the release of Avengers 2: Age of Ultron to defend the great character. What followed was a tear-inducingly-funny performance by Renner over a solo piano where he laments upon how he always gets ignored while playing a rendition of Ed Sheeran’s "Thinking Out Loud."
Remember when I started this article talking about the X-Men? Bam. Callback. This funny skit follows a conversation between Professor Xavier and Wolverine, and Xavier is having some concerns in regards to Wolverine’s actual contribution to the team. The makers of this clearly had a keen sense of the lore of X-Men and take advantage of it regularly. I couldn’t stop laughing at the jab that Xavier made, pointing out that Wolverine is made of metal and the villain they fight the most has the unique ability to be able to control and manipulate all metals. Which, now that I come to think about it, is a very fair point. But hey, Wolverine isn’t even X-Men: Apocalypse. Maybe he got the memo and decided that he was no longer need it. Time travel will do that to a guy.