Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Reel Facts & Opinions: Marvel Phase 2

Now that their very own AVENGERS film has made a ka-zillion dollars worldwide, Marvel Studios is not about to rest on their laurels, and is launching a new campaign officially titled Phase 2, which will carry on the solo adventures of their established core while digging deep into their catalog to introduce some new, albeit questionable characters.
FACT: Recently announced is the green-light for GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, an adaptation of a Marvel comic which will coincide with the ongoing Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Guardians are a superhero team consisting of Star-Lord, Drax the Destroyer, Gamora, Groot, and Rocket Raccoon. In the comics, the Guardians shared a common villain with the Avengers in Thanos, who made a cameo at the very end of THE AVENGERS.

Marvel’s core base will continue to plod along, with IRON MAN 3 due for next year along with THOR 2 (subtitled: THE DARK WORLD). Also on the horizon is a second CAPTAIN AMERICA film, with a subtitle of THE WINTER SOLDIER. Marvel is currently casting for the role of Falcon, Cap’s ally/superhero pal who has a winged suit which makes him fly, and is able to communicate telepathically with birds.

Bringing up the rear is another new (movie) character in the form of Ant-Man. Ant-Man, a Marvel character who would be a part of The Avengers, is a superhero who can change his size. The film adaptation is on the way with Edgar Wright (director of SHUAN OF THE DEAD) helming.

OPINION: Raise your hand if you think all these new characters are way too kooky for the big screen.

Every superhero film requires a fair amount of suspension of disbelief. They are, after all, extraordinary beings with extraordinary abilities. Even Christopher Nolan’s gritty and grounded BATMAN films manage to defy real-world logic and physics. Marvel thus far has done a tremendous job in making their core characters believable; people in the form of Norse Gods, raging monsters, and those who wear spangled outfits. A lot of credit goes to the actors, but even more goes to the great writing which has humanized every extraordinary hero. But that was Phase 1. With Phase 2, they really have their work cut out for them.

Phase 2 looks to push just how much we can suspend our disbelief, for we will be dealing with a bird-man, an ant-guy, and a goddamn talking raccoon. Such characters seem better off in animated movies, but Marvel, with all their confidence (and maybe a touch of arrogance), feel they can pull this off the same way they triumphantly and historically established their current consistent movie-verse. But they have to realize the tough task at hand…these characters are not very well-known (this Blogger had never heard of the GUARDIANS) and their abilities (and existence) really push believable science fiction.

The good news is Marvel seems to know what they are doing. They have thus far knocked it out of the park with every casting choice, and every character has been humanized into our hearts. Again, no one has done before what Marvel Studios has, and the feat is likely not to be repeated (DC Comics is in deep shit post-Nolan’s BATMAN). Marvel is at the tippity-top of superhero films, but all it takes is one misstep to make it all come crumbling down.

Or even a raccoon.

What say you?


  1. If only they would bring back Captain Marvel!
    The success of these action heros also makes me wonder if it's time to revive the old Chapters that brought us back to the theater every Saturday without fail!

  2. I get the feeling Captain Marvel can't be far behind!

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