Saturday, November 9, 2013

Marvel Hype: Cinematic Universe Phase Two

(...And Maybe A Little Bit of Phase Three?)

I'm not sure how necessary this is to constantly reiterate, but for those of you just joining or with the attention spans of Labrador Retrievers: I am a Marvel fan. I love the comics, I love the cartoons (erm...animated features, I mean), I love the movies. I love Marvel.

And right now, I am excited.

Why am I excited? Well first of all, this past week was Thor's day. No wait--that's not just a terrible pun/allusion to the etymological origins of the word Thursday--it's the night of the US release of the second Odinson movie, Thor: The Dark World. Apart from being a mega awesome sequel title (woot for sequels without numbers in the title!), the trailers for this film have had me totally stoked. I really liked the first movie, and this one looks poised to amp up many of the elements I loved about the first. Plus, with Jane Foster getting thrown into the thick of things for this movie, odds are good she'll get elf-kacked and replaced by Lady Sif--booyah! Either way, expect a movie review to be posted early tomorrow.

Most importantly, though, is the revelation that 3D screenings of Thor: The Dark World will have an exclusive peek at Captain America: Winter Soldier. Not only does this movie look poised to hit all the right notes in this first trailer, (Robert Redford?! Booyah!) but Winter Soldier is one of the coolest Cap-related storylines, and one of the greatest overall plots in the Marvel Universe. If you haven't read it, you owe it to yourself to check out the story arc--it's the first twenty issues or so of the Captain America series that began in 2004, written by Ed Brubaker--fantastic plot that brings back classic elements of Captain America and brings them to the fore with a shiny new appeal. It's like meeting your first crush years later and finding out she's just as cool as before, only now more clever, passionate, and into yoga. All-round win.

Throwing further fuel onto the fire of my enthusiasm, Marvel cinematic news is that James Spader is going to be portraying Ultron in the Avengers sequel, Avengers: Age of Ultron. What?!


I mean, first of all, I want to throw a Marvel-fan hissy-fit over Ultron being the main villain in the next Avengers movie, which will come out before Ant-Man. I mean, Ant-Man is the creator of Ultron, and a lot of his (really really compelling) character quirks as a villain are directly precipitated by Ant-Man's personal character. This is totally putting the cart before the horse. (I wanted to say 'literally' there for emphasis, but the grammarian butt-hole living in my head wouldn't allow it) So clearly Ultron isn't going to share a remotely similar origin story to the comics, but does that mean that Hank Pym is going to be fundamentally changed as a hero in Ant-Man? Pym is very much defined by his world-threatening failure in Ultron's creation, and it's often as depicting his more self-destructive character flaws. The suggestion, then, is that those demons won't exist. What's next, are they going to make him a decent guy who treats his woman nice, is loyal, and always takes it slow?

Bah, who am I kidding? This is Joss Whedon we're talking about. You can say what you like about his creative choices, but he makes really interesting bad guys. Heck, if they made a Whedon Villains special like a Disney Princesses video, I'd buy it. And James Spader, too? I mean, they've already let slide that they scanned his face for VFX, so it's safe to say we're going to see some awesome acting from the man who is the pillar of Blacklist's early success. But I also used to be a big Stargate fan, so the role I'm really wanting to see him channel is Daniel Jackson, the rambling archeologist outcast.

Most recently, Marvel announced last week that they'll be partnering with Netflix to create four 13 episode serials over the next two years. Focusing in turn on Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage, the four mini-mini-series will culminate in a cross-over mini-series that will be called The Defenders. I already jumped the gun getting excited that Luke Cage would feature in Agents of SHIELD, so getting to see Power Man doing his street tank thing will be awesome. Not to mention the prospect of Daredevil being redeemed from the Affleck treatment he got in 2003. If they feature the lawyer aspects of Matt Murdoch, the Daredevil serials should be really engrossing--that pseudo mundane aspect of his character has always appealed to me. Same goes for Jessica Jones' wry private investigator angle and the post-tights drama that defines her. And Iron Fist's handwaved wushu business should be a fun splash of highly choreographed action to contrast the other three.

"Heck, if they made a Whedon Villains special like a Disney Princesses video, I'd buy it."

Oh, the next phase of Marvel's cinematic universe is already shaping up nicely with Thor and Captain America, and even Phase Three should be killer with The Defenders adding a lot of street-level mysteries and small-screen drama.

No comments:

Post a Comment