Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Avengers Assemble! - Marvel Comics' Huge Movie Crossover

 One of the core questions I asked in my Geek Wars post was concerning the great comic book debate was: Marvel or DC? (Yes, I know hardcore geeks will argue that we get better stuff from smaller studios, and on some level I agree.. but I'm not a frakkin' geek-hipster. To most of the world, there's only the Big Two.)

Personally, I've always held strong feelings on this subject. Though the best 4-5 DC Comics characters are my flat-out favorite superheroes (c'mon... BATMAN) if I had to choose an allegiance to one comics book universe over the other, I'm a Marvel fanboy. The sheer number of interesting characters featured in Marvel's comics outweighs the few interesting members of DC's Justice League, for my tastes.

Make Mine Marvel. Excelsior! Yeah... I'm a dork.

This brings me to the Avengers Movie project. Marvel has done a pretty good job in putting the characters in its back catalogue on the big screen these last few years. Not all of the movies have been good, but fan response has taught them a few things. Namely, the more faithful you are to an original property, the better the fan response will be. Since the successful reboot of the Hulk movie franchise and the wild blockbuster that Iron Man turned out to be, Marvel put together a crazy dream. At least it is the sort of dream that geeks like me might have.

What if Marvel's biggest non-mutant superteam got its own movie? The first concern, of course, is that quite a few members of the Avengers have their own solo titles, deep backstories and rich character histories... to put them up on-screen as bit parts in an ensemble piece would do them a grave injustice, as far as fans are concerned. No problem, says Marvel. We'll do individual movies for each of the best characters in The Avengers, lay the crossover angle on thick, then bring all those characters together like a 1960s Supergroup and make the movie that ties them all together.

Better than Cream... but no Clapton.


Did I mention Joss Whedon was directing?

Before I crumble under the weight of a massive nerdgasm, there's a little bit of a reality check. Marvel purists will note that some of the characters are getting unusual rewrites, especially certain elements of Thor, which releases this year. Also, some elements have been taken from the Marvel Ultimates universe, which a lot of old-school comic geeks despise as an unnecessary pandering to the “X-treme” new generation... but since Ultimate Nick Fury was based on Samuel L. Jackson, I'd give that one a pass. Also, Edward Norton won't be coming back on as Bruce Banner after negotiations with the studio broke down.

Remaining films this year in the Avengers Project are the previously mentioned Thor, and then Captain America: The First Avenger. I'll likely do individual articles on each of these once I've seen them for myself, but some of what I've seen so far is at least encouraging.

Aside from Dr. Doom (who Hollywood did wrong by), one of my very favorite Marvel villains.


The studios claim that they've been listening, that they know how to hit the sweet spot between satisfying us hardcore geeks, and the blockbuster-hungry general moviegoing public. I've heard it before and been let down...(Ghost Rider... damn you Nicolas Cage) but this time around... I want to believe.
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7 comments:

Noock said...

I don't know that much from actual comics and can't say if I like marvel or dc more :P
but it's true that companies goes after big money instead of being faithful to originality and quality... like at Ghost Rider :p
Hopefully they come up with good one next time

Christophe said...

I'm not really a comic book fan, but I do love these marvel movies. They've given me access to the genre, without having to read the comic books, which I could never get into. I'm excited about this.

Jay.CA said...

cautious optimism. :)

Jung said...

It's very hard to appeal to both hardcore and casual fans. Also, Marvel.

vashrave said...

looking forward to the "comic relief" I enjoy the characters on the bigscreen. Make me feel like a very young kid. It's so FUN

Chris said...

I am bursting with anticipation

Oliver Bliss said...

They filmed parts of the film in Manchester, UK there loads of clips on You Tube around a car chase scene this is my fav clip of a car explosion:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nW0Zzb7ZGiE

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