Moviegoers have come a long way since the X-Men franchise ushered in a new era of superhero films way back in 2000. It’s hard to believe that the studio was so sure that the vast majority of viewers wouldn’t be able to embrace the marvelous mutants in costume that they chose to forgo them altogether.

While it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when it happened – whether it was Sony’s Spider-Man franchise or The Dark Knight trilogy – by the time Marvel Studios released Iron Man in 2008, audiences were ready for a faithful comic book ...

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