We're about to meander a bit on the controversial side. You see, whenever you mention superhero movies, you immediately see the factions preparing for battle about what constitutes superhero movies. Sometimes the arguments are based off of the idea that source materials were completely ignored and that the hero in question was given the Hollywood treatment. Others argue that movies are meant to be enjoyed and not broken down on spreadsheets for the sake of accuracy to source materials – it's all about entertainment.
The bigger goal here is to talk to the comic book lover who's hoping to get the most out of the flood of superhero movies hitting theaters. In other words, it's time to let your guard down. No one is going to call your fandom into question or negate your years of loyal source material worship. This is about getting you to put down the comic books once in a while and go see a movie based the characters and storylines you know and love.
If what we've described sounds like you, then here is a quick guide to superhero movies and getting the most out of them:
Accept the Differences – Creative license is a part of writing movie scripts. Even with source material at your disposal, sometimes you have to create story arcs that help the pacing of the movie. Elements will be left out, and entire characters might not be a part of the story being told. It's Filmmaking 101.
Series vs Sequel – You may not be big on the tidy ending leaving room for a sequel, but remember that a comic that's run for decades has the freedom to hold a storyline for a long time. Movies have to end or at least be successful enough that they keep the masses wanting more.
Embody the Suspension of Disbelief – Sometimes you just gotta let go of the fandom and watch a movie. Barring any atrocious mishandling of characters, go into the theater knowing you've got an upper hand on everyone there & just kick back for a couple of hours.
If you happen to be one of the casual movie fan that just likes movies based on comic book characters but aren't committed to the material, please see this guide as a bit of a concession by the other side that's all about wearing their comic knowledge on their sleeve. Don't hate and certainly don't look down on these folks. Since they may be willing to just watch a movie to be entertained, maybe you could make an effort and ask for some character background. You may just find that you've missed some serious nuances that make your favorite characters much more dynamic and have greater depth.
Superhero movies stoke some serious emotions in people, especially comic book lovers that have dedicated themselves to understanding the ins and outs of the characters & their backstories. While it may be ambitious to call a truce between the casual superhero movie fan & the dedicated comic book lover, being able to share the same space to watch an entertaining movie might be a good first step.