With Hollywood milking more and more money out of comic-book adaptations -- with X-Men: The Last Stand the most recent cash-grab to come down the pike -- any non-comics fan may very well be left scratching their head: What's all the fuss about? Why should they care about spandex-clad uber-humans with bizarre abilities? Well, when superhero cinema works, it's because those characters aren't just power fantasies for kids and adolescents; it's because they're great ways to explore archetypes, allegories and cultural signifiers.  If you're wondering why you should care about the X-Men -- or any of superhero cinema's successes and failures -- here's a handy cheat sheet to guide you through the symbolism and secret meanings of seven superhero cinema sagas past, present and (in one case) future.
categories Cinematical