Parents’ Guide to a Super Summer

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There’s no shortage of great entertainment in May; with Avengers, Mutants, and Inhumans on every screen, it’s shaping up to be a super(hero) summer. Each month, we round up the hottest, most talked-about releases, and provide you with a guide on whether they’re right for your young ones. We also link you to the Wikia Parent Page for each, authored by superfans to provide the most important information parents need to make smart decisions for their children.

For May, in preparation for the upcoming release of soon-to-be blockbuster Captain America: Civil War, we’ve decided to theme this month’s guide to what else — superheroes. Check out the movies, games, and TV shows this month that will help your family embrace its inner super-ness. No capes required.

Superhero Movies

Captain America: Civil War (May 6) – Ages 13 and up

Captain America and Iron Man face off in the biggest superhero movie yet. The super roster grows with new friends (Spider-Man, in his first Marvel appearance) and foes (Crossbones), and Avengers of all sizes are back to join the fun. Verbal jabs are commonplace in Marvel movies, but this time around, the punches are physical as our heroes choose warring sides against one another in defending superhuman rights. Expect big, explosive action sequences and some heavier issues of morality, which may be a little much for younger viewers to handle. Overall, it’s a must-see for any superhero fan.

X-Men: Apocalypse (May 27) – Ages 13 and up

In another war of the supers, the newest X-Men movie pits mutants against mutants. The first and most powerful mutant Apocalypse awakens after thousands of years, is unhappy with the state of civilization, and recruits four Horsemen (Storm, Archangel, Psylocke, and Magneto) to destroy and rebuild a new world. Professor X, Raven, and a team of young X-Men attempt to stop them. End-of-the-world type of action may scare younger kids, but also look out for scenes highlighting fun mutant powers.

Deadpool (on Blu-ray/DVD May 10) – Ages 17 and up

Everyone’s favorite wise-cracking, red-suited anti-hero with an affinity for chimichangas and revenge shocked his way through theaters and is now coming to homes everywhere. Rewatch every hilariously inappropriate joke and fourth wall breaking moment along with new special features on the Blu-ray and DVD, including a gag reel, extended and deleted scenes, and something called “Deadpool’s Fun Sack.” Definitely for mature audiences only.

Superhero Video Games

Batman: Arkham Knight – Ages 16 and up

With Batman v Superman releasing earlier this year and a standalone Batman movie in the works, we thought we’d jump in on the bat craze by revisiting the fourth and biggest game in the Batman: Arkham series. Batman has to defend Gotham City from Scarecrow and the mysterious Arkham Knight, and the batmobile is introduced into gameplay. Arkham Knight is darker and more violent than its predecessors with a Mature rating, so it’s intended for older gamers only.

LEGO Marvel’s Avengers – Ages 7 and up

Play as popular Marvel Cinematic Universe heroes — Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor, to name just a few — to team up with other characters, fight villains, and solve puzzles. Cartoon violence results in explosions of toy pieces. It’s all the superhero fun of The Avengers and Age of Ultron, with the added bonus of kid-friendly LEGO fun and humor.

Marvel: Contest of Champions – Ages 7 and up

The free mobile fighting game allows players to collect up to 58 champions, including Wolverine, She-Hulk, and Groot, and fight in various arenas such as Avengers’ Tower and Dr. Strange’s Dimension. Players can also join alliances to chat with and help one another gain points. Violence is minimal, making the game suitable for all ages. However, the in-game chat functionality may increase the age minimum.

Superhero TV

Legends of Tomorrow (Season 1 Finale May 19) – Ages 13 and up

The newest addition to the Arrowverse features Rip Hunter, who travels back in time and assembles a team of superheroes and supervillains to prevent the destruction of the world by villain Vandal Savage. Each legend has special skills and abilities, leading to many fight sequences. Ultimately, the team of unlikely heroes has to work together to save the world.

Arrow (Season 4 Finale May 25) – Ages 13 and up

Reformed billionaire playboy Oliver Queen becomes a vigilante archer to protect his hometown of Starling City. This season, Oliver and Team Arrow must fight a new set of assassins that has attacked the city and deal with losing one of their own. Fighting and violence are matched with positive messages of teamwork, love and redemption.

The Flash (Season 2 Finale May 24) – Ages 12 and up

This is most light-hearted and fun of the three CW superhero shoes (see Arrow and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow above). Barry Allen, aka The Flash, is struck by lightning and gains the ability of super speed. He uses his powers to protect Central City from crime and find who is responsible for his mother’s death. Violence is tempered by the fact that The Flash “fights” with his speed. This season, The Flash encounters new threats, alternate universes, and an epic crossover with Supergirl.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Season 3 Finale May 17) – Ages 13 and up

A small-screen follow-up to The Avengers features the inner workings of a secret military organization, led by Agent Phil Coulson and designed to keep peace in a world of superheroes. Season 3 pits S.H.I.E.L.D. against criminal organization HYDRA and a team of dangerous inhumans. The show has violence and medium language, but it also contains good character development and humor.

Daredevil (Netflix) – Ages 15 and up

Blind attorney Matt Murdock becomes a masked vigilante to protect Hell’s Kitchen from injustice. Season 2 was released on Netflix earlier this year, introducing audiences to Murdock’s ex-flame Elektra, and a new and ruthless adversary, the Punisher. The show has a dark and compelling storyline and is binge-worthy for fans of the comic, but the extreme and graphic violence make it unsuitable for young viewers.

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