After reading my title you're probably saying to yourself, 'Duh! Comic books have been "in" for quite a while now, dummy.' Well, you're half right. Yes, there have been a prolific amount of movies based on comic books that have come out lately, BUT we have never had this many comic book movies being directed by award-winning/critically acclaimed directors before. Usually you'll get your bottom feeders like Louis LeTerrier or that Czech MMA fighter lady that directed Punisher War Zone that are directing comic book movies, but lately we've had people like Kenneth Branaugh attracted to directing comic book franchises.
Do you realize that three out of the five nominees for the Director's Guild Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film in the year 2010, are directing comic book movies this year? That list is Christopher Nolan working on The Dark Knight Rises; Darren Aronofsky working on The Wolverine; and now David O. Russell working on 2 Guns. So what exactly does this mean?
Does it mean that comic book movies are finally being looked at as legitimate literature and source material? Well, yes and no. Part of it is people jumping on the "what's hot now" bandwagon, while the other part is people realizing that there are viable stories out there that are fun, exciting, and different. The different part is where you'll attract the curiosity of a quality director like Branaugh, Nolan and Aronofsky. While the "what's hot now" bandwagon are going to be populated with your David O. Russell's and Matthew Vaughn's.
Hopefully comic book movies keep attracting quality people to work on them and who actually respect the work and characters that have entertained countless people for generations. Because if you respect the medium, and do it right, people will respect you even more.