Thursday, April 26, 2012

Marvel's Expanding Universe, Pt. IV

You say you want some more?  I'm not surprised.
        Joe Johnston's (The Rocketeer) Captain America: The First Avenger was a critical and financial success.  Being the last of Marvel Studios' Avengers' lead-in films, it had a lot to live up to.  I think we can for the most part say it more than lived up to expectations.

        I believe the main reason for this is the reason why I actually enjoyed TFA.  As a die-hard Marvel fan, I have to say I'm not a fan of every character.  One of the characters I'm super not a fan of is Captain America.  I think he looks ridiculous, acts ridiculous, takes himself too seriously, and looks ridiculous.
Did I mention he looks ridiculous?     
        Having said that, I think Chris Evans did a fantastic job of making Captain America into everything I just described, but he did it in a way that was appealing and downright awesome.  Of the current Marvel movie heroes, Cap is one of my favorites.  I was worried when I heard The Human Torch was taking up the mantle, but then I saw how insanely buff he got.  I was feeling better.  Then I saw the preview.  I felt way better.  Then I saw the movie.  NOW I LIKE THE HERO, EVEN IN THE COMICS.  Go Chris Evans.  Oh Captain you are my captain.

        After basically winning World War II, Captain Steve Rodgers crashed a giant plane in the arctic, not to be seen for almost 70 years.  After being found and rescued by SHIELD, Rodgers woke up to the modern day.  He is a member of SHIELD, and one of the first Avengers.  So far the story of how he came to be an Avenger is congruent with the comics, with a minor change here and there.

        The Avengers will test Steve Rodgers physically, mentally, and emotionally.  For one, he's in a completely new world, and a completely new time.  Most of the people he loved are ridiculously old or dead, and modern technology has got to be incredibly overbearing.  All of a sudden, men have these crazy armored suits, aircraft carriers can fly, and there's a world peacekeeping organization that isn't called The United States.  Steve comes back to Agent Phil Coulson, who read all the comics about Captain America, and is a huge fanboy.  This is a different side to Coulson, who's generally pretty straight-laced.  Cap will struggle with  Tony Stark's eccentric and self-centered attitude, and with Thor's "you're so petty....and small." attitude towards humans.  We can easily say that Captain America will face a lot of tension in The Avengers.  We know that he will be fighting Thor and Ironman head-on at some point, and that he'll also have to face an alien army.  It looks like he's going to get roughed up (mild spoiler) a bit.

        So what's next for Captain Rodgers?  Will The Avengers' button feature a scene with him and fellow SHIELD members getting ready for their next foe?  We can't say for certain that the Red Skull is dead.  He's the biggest baddie from the Captain America comics, and we can expect him to come back.  People never stay dead in comics because comics.

"There goes another one..." "I give him 3 issues til they bring him back.  Bets?"
        Kevin Fiege, head of Marvel Studios, has talked about what's next for Captain America.  Captain America II has a tenuous release date set for April 2014.  Chris Evans has a six movie-deal with Marvel studios.  Currently the sequel has no one at the helm, after F. Gary Gray's decision to pull out to work on an N.W.A. movie.  Who might we see take the director's chair?  I for one would like to see Gary Ross come in after his retreat from The Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire.  Will that happen?  Probably not, but I can dream!  Expect to hear news within the next couple months regarding the helm of Cap II.

Also better costumes
        In terms of story-arc, Kevin Fiege has also added that for the sequel, Steve will be staying and working with SHIELD.  He doesn't have a better place really in the modern world, and needs to find his place.  This way Marvel can keep some of their continuity (since they plan to let Ironman 3 be it's own thing this time, with nothing from The Avengers), and we can see some of our favorite characters.  Fan favorites like Nick Fury, and new faces like Maria Hill and Hawkeye.  Along with these story elements, expect to see flashbacks from Captain America's past.  His relationship with Peggy was a crucial part at the end of TFA.  She is still alive, however may not be featured in The Avengers.

        No superhero is complete without a supervillain, and Captain America has some good ones.  The death of Steve's best friend Buck Barnes leaves the possibility of Bucky's return as the Winter Soldier.  Eventually Bucky overcomes his brainwashing, and helps out the Avengers with their peacekeeping.  Recently he even took up the mantle of Captain America.  This is a great story that Marvel Studios can use to bring us another moving story with great action.

        Another villain choice of course is the Red Skull.  He never really seems to go away, but I don't think we can expect to see him come back to the future already.  I would rather see him come back to team up with another supervillain in The Avengers II.  Hugo Weaving definitely possesses the acting talent to bring an incredibly menacing Red Skull to the big screen, and could prove a challenge for the Avengers if he gets the right help.  Maybe while he travels around the Nine Realms he'll run into Thanos?  Or someone equally as menacing?  We'll just have to find out!

        My final opt for a villain choice is someone screenwriter Christopher Markus (CA: TFA) has already talked about, and even has a possible casting choice!  The villain is one of Stan Lee's stranger creations, but has become a large villain for heroes like Cap and the Hulk.  MODOK is an acronym for Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing, and is also a Marvel supervillain.  Say hello to MODOK.


        MODOK is just what the acronym says he is.  An organism with a huge brain who's designed to kill and kill and kill.  He's a lot more terrifying than he looks.  Markus had a name in mind when he thought about this villain, and that is Peter Dinklage.
The greatest part of Game of Thrones.
        As much as I don't think MODOK belongs on the big screen yet, I can see where Christopher is right-on about this casting choice.  Dinklage is hilarious, and although he plays a generally good character in Game of Thrones, he can definitely bring the ridiculousness/menace of MODOK to life, and may even be able to do it with very little CGI.  If he did get this role, I think we'd see a re-envisioning of the character, so he better resembles an actually person.

        I mentioned the possibility of a SHIELD loner film in part 1, which would focus heavily on Nick Fury.  As cool as that might be, I believe we can count that mostly out of the running for now.  If SHIELD is to be featured heavily in Captain America II, then don't expect to see a standalone Fury film for a while, if ever.

        I'm managing to keep my articles to a more manageable length, and it helps that this movie is short in the way of news and a long ways off.  It's possible that the post-credits scene will feature Captain America and SHIELD preparing for their next battle, but I feel it's safe to say it won't.  These buttons tie movies together and lead into new films, so I feel like a Thor scene or Ironman scene is much more likely.

Spoiler Alert

Or both?  Because who wouldn't want more of these guys?

        Part V to be released next week or over the weekend.  We'll explore the possibility of new Marvel characters entering the scene, and maybe some of your favorite heroes already on the big-screen getting their share of the Avengers glory.

Your friendly neighborhood Spiderman,


Links to

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

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