What I'm wondering about superhero comics and movies is -- what is the social and emotional content? What grabs and hold people? The simple answer is wish fulfillment fantasy. But that's not adequate. The situation is more complex. The four movies I've seen recently tell different kinds of stories. Yes, they all end in smash! bang! boom! kapow! But that's kind of like the ballet in an opera. You know you are going to have to sit through it, so you grit your teeth. But the real story -- and the real joy -- is elsewhere.
I enjoy the action in comic book movies more than the ballet in opera. I still enjoy the stories in both more.
This is not entirely idle speculation. I am trying to figure out if there's a way to write science fiction/fantasy that has the appeal of a good superhero movie.