Friday, May 3, 2013
A Fistful of Marvel Wannabes! (Brad's Picks)
Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe begins this weekend with the release of Shane Black's Iron Man 3. It's a brave new world. One that's going to include The Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, & Doctor Strange. W. T. F. Yes, 2014 is going to see Rocket Raccoon blast onto the big screen and if he's received well by the public than we might be entering an unstoppable black hole of super hero cinema. Of course, that's a big "IF" and we may still be a long way off till a proper Howard The Duck adaptation.
Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Captain America 2, and Avengers 2 are sure fire successes. But let's just say they're joined by The Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, & Dr. Strange. Where do you go from there. I say, let's get nuts. Maybe we hold off a bit till we break out the D-Man blockbuster, but I've got a handful of other crazy characters I'd like to see get the Hollywood treatment.
5. The Pet Avengers: Yes, they exist. When the Inhuman's teleporting dog Lockjaw acquires the Mind Gem from the all powerful Infinity Gauntlet, he gathers a colorful cadre of super pets to seek out the remaining gems while avoiding the terrifying violence of The Mad Titan, Thanos. The team includes the X-Men confidant Lockheed, Speedball's feline counterpart Hairball, the central park Thunder amphibian Throg, the falcon Redwing, and Aunt May's Ms. Lion. Special Guest Stars could include the Savage Land's Zabu, Bo the First Dog of the United States, and the Fantastic Four beastie Giganto. Look, Disney needs to partner Marvel with Pixar. It's just gotta happen. DC Comics has had plenty of success with the Direct to DVD animated market, and even if we can't be granted the glory of Pixar, maybe we can get a solid cartoon out of the deal.
4. Namor - The Submariner: Since Captain America didn't quite capture the Nazi threat of WWII, let's travel back to the battlefields of the 1940s where Prince Namor can rise from the Earth's oceans to smash Hitler's blitzkrieg domination. And the best thing about Namor is that when he's done crushing Nazis he's going to inevitably turn on the Allies. After all his finest characteristic is his hatred and contempt for all land lovers, and through that anger we can get some delightful rage-filled social lecturing. Once Adolf gets his Inglourious Basterds just deserts and Namor turns tidal waves upon our shores, the good old U S of A can unleash their Human Torch (of the android variety - never mind the flaming Fantastic Fourer) and the two titans of Marvel's Early Days can go mano y mano in a Kaiju-styled flattening of New York City.
3. Hawkeye: This is not a cheat. As much as I love Joss Whedon's Avengers, Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye was easily the most disposable character in the film. He spent most of the time under the control of Loki & when he finally got free from the pokey stick, Hawkeye spent the rest of the film looking stern as he shot arrows at jet skiing aliens. The Hawkeye film I want to see stems directly from Matt Fraction & David Aja's current comic series. Focus on the wannabe hero when he's not being an Avenger. The guy who passes his time as super of an apartment building, fighting back the small time crime of the track suit mafia, and caring for a pizza scarfing dog. The great thing about the Marvel Universe is that it can house multiple genres, even within the capes & masks. Hawkeye is your 90s, quirky post Pulp Fiction crime tale a la 2 Days in the Valley. And since Marvel doesn't shy away from recasting let's kick Renner outta the picture and bring in Ryan Gosling. Hmmmm...while I'm dreaming why not bring back Shane Black from Iron Man 3 for the snarky buddy cop banter with teenage sidekick Kate Bishop.
2. Devil Dinosaur: Ok, this is just a fantasy. But you know, before you start saying this will never happen remind yourself that ROCKET RACCOON! will soon be a theatrical reality - a talking raccoon from space who kills aliens with an array of laser rifles!!!! Dammit, Devil Dinosaur & Moon Boy can happen! This is not an animated film. I want a dark, brooding, dead serious Quest For Fire saga. Sure, that's not really what we got in the original nine issues from Jack Kirby, but I've been on a 2001 kick lately and it's got me craving the savagery of ape men. Devil Dinosaur could sate that thirst, a boy & his dog story in which DD & Moon Boy go up against the warring clan of the Killer-Folk. This is goofy stuff, but with Pacific Rim nearly upon us & and a new Godzilla on the horizon, I want Marvel to contribute their Monster Mash movie.
1. Luke Cage: Marvel's somewhat pathetic attempt to cash in on the Blaxploitation phenomenon eventually yielded one of their most endearing characters thanks to Brian Michael Bendis's exploration in the pages of Alias & New Avengers. You look at that picture above and you see a goofy dude in disco duds fighting a ridiculous atomic abomination. But the Luke Cage film should be a brutal, mean-spirited crime flick. Think Chinatown PI plot with a 70s Hell Up In Harlem backdrop, and a neighborhood gang war poisoning the citizens with sex & drugs. Luke Cage encounters some small time crime that leads to Kingpin conspiracies and eventual street fighter showdowns. Fred Williamson is a few decades too old , but I'm thinking Michael Jai White can shake the comedy of Black Dynamite and step into the real deal.