You heard that right. Summer 2012 is shaping up to be the best season of comic book movies of all time. Aside from the glorious summer of 1990, few summers have ever come close. And guess what? That’s not even counting DC’s The Dark Knight Rises. My premise is based purely on the onslaught of Marvel trailers released since the Super Bowl. How do I know all this? I’ve got 12 reasons:
1) Marvel could not be featuring a more loaded lineup – With the exception of Wolverine, these are all of Marvel’s biggest guns. Don’t get me wrong, I like Wolverine, Punisher, Daredevil, etc., as much as the next guy/smoking hot lady (smoking hot on account of reading comics and all). But compared to Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk and Spider-Man? I almost feel bad for all the other summers of comic book movies.
Look at it this way: 11 summers are in the park fighting each other with broken Miller Lite bottles. They are doing their darndest to win this battle of Lite Beer bashing and then summer 2012 shows up with a cannon. A literal howitzer in the middle of the park acting like that’s even legal or anything. That’s what we have here – Marvel is blowing away the other summers with stunningly unfair force.
2) They’re finally getting Spidey right – Now this one takes a small leap of faith. After all, how can I already know that director Marc Webb and the minds behind Amazing Spider-Man have gotten the character right? And what does right mean anyway?
In my mind, Spidey done right means three things: humor, intelligence and heart. If Spider-Man is presented with all those characteristics, the story will follow. And from what I’ve seen in the Amazing Spider-Man trailer (below), Marvel fans finally have the Spider-Man movie we’ve always wanted. There are witty jokes, genius-level mathematical equations, and Peter Parker’s one true love, Gwen Stacy.
3) Joss Whedon – I really couldn’t be happier that Marvel hired a comics guy to do their biggest comic book movie. Before Marvel made the announcement I heard a lot of fans clamoring for Peter Jackson. I can see where they’re coming from, but Peter Jackson didn’t write a damn epic run on Astonishing X-men. Joss Whedon did. Not to mention his work on Runaways.
The opportunity to have an established comic book creator who’s spent time in the Marvel universe and who has a fairly remarkable directorial resume (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Serenity) , is almost too good to be true. Plus, Whedon is genuinely hilarious. Fans of his work can already attest to his humorous writing, but if you’ve never really heard of the man before, all you had to was attend his Avenger’s Twitter Chat. Whedon hit every answer with a perfect touch of wry humor.
4) The Strategic Build – Marvel has set up The Avengers in a way that is uniquely unprecedented. Since the release of Iron Man in 2007, the Marvel universe has released individual building blocks providing backstory and anticipation every year. It was a very bold decision by Marvel, to make feature-length motion pictures building towards a movie in 2012. And guess what? It worked.
Although the common movie-goer won’t have quite the same excitement as a true Marvel believer scouring every movie for a whiff of the Eye of Agamotto, Marvel’s strategy has at least established the sense of a universe. This is a significant accomplishment and one that should really help add some enormity to the presence of the film this summer.
5) A perfect blend of comic book minutiae – The Stacys, Oscorp, Peter creating his own webshooters, Thor not changing to Donald Blake every 60 seconds like a schizophrenic cross dresser, Iron Man hitting a balance of womanizing drinking without the alcoholism, Hulk looking Hulkish yet still cooperating with a team…
Both movies seem to be avoiding all of the minute traps from comic book history that could easily unravel them.
6) The All-Time Bar is Not Very High – 2011 was a good year for comic book movies. It was. But even then, you had Green Lantern stinking up the joint like a dump in a warm bath.
If both Marvel movies live up to expectations, and from the trailers my hopes are now that they will, it will be a one-two punch accompanied by The Dark Knight Rises. Holy moly.
7) The Ultimate Decision – This is mildly contraversial, but it seems like the movies are picking up a lot of habits/storylines from the ultimate universe. This isn’t my preferred universe, but I’m open to it enough to recognize Brian Michael Bendis wrote some great storylines for Ultimate Spidey, and some elements of the Ultimates (i.e. badass Samuel Jackson/Nick Fury and fun-loving Robert Downey Jr/Iron Man) are huge improvements. More importantly, we haven’t seen the ultimate storylines played out on the bigscreen. This is particularly huge for Spidey, as all the elements of Peter’s father working for Oscorp and Peter’s genius creating his own tech aren’t stale concepts.
8 ) Aliens Attack – It’s been predicted for a while now that the Avengers will be fighting aliens. It’s not hard to see how Joss Whedon and co. would have decided on an interstellar invasion as the event that brings this team together. But everybody and their mother has been guessing Skrulls (you even had Agent Coulson joking about lunching with Skrulls as he left the Avengers twitter chat), and it seems from the trailer like that’s unlikely.
We’ve seen Whedon create his own alien race before with Astonishing X-Men, so it would hardly be shocking if he played off the available 9 realms from Thor. And frankly, it would be a breath of fresh air. We’ve seen Skrulls in action before and that leads to an immensely tricky movie full of subterfuge. It could be done well, but it could also lead to 110 minutes of the Mystique as Wolverine X-Men scene. And that was just fine once, thank you.
9) The Dark Knight Rises – Ok fine, I couldn’t hold out. Seriously, if Marvel holds up their end of the bargain alongside Chris Nolan’s final installment in his Batman trilogy? How could this not be the single greatest triumvirate of comic book film in the history of mankind?
10) Marvel Needs the Avengers – Marvel has spent years building towards the Avengers. They can not afford for it to be a bad movie. Too many future movies rely on this film being amazing. That doesn’t mean it’s easy to all of a sudden make it a remarkable film. Nonetheless, it would be shocking to me if the quality control at Marvel – who has a great eye for creative talent – wasn’t ensuring a great film here.
11) DC is Perpetually Dropping the Ball – They claim to have no plans to launch a Justice League movie and as a result, it’s entirely up to Marvel’s huge gambit to pull up the comic book movie apex. Even if DC did a great new Superman, they aren’t building something on the scale Marvel built here. It will not get bigger than this year until DC decides to capitalize on their assets. They finally made an effort last year with Green Lantern… but we all saw how that turned out.
12) Nostradamus Predicted It – So be it.
Link to the extended Avengers Super Bowl spot.
Have any thoughts of your own on the Marvel movie trailers or this summer of comic book movies? Let me know in the comments!
- Deconstructing: The Avengers Superbowl Trailer (simonwalters.wordpress.com)
- ‘Avengers’ vs. ‘Amazing Spider-Man’: Marvel Movie Trailer Showdown (screenrant.com)
- Are The Skrulls No Longer in The Avengers Movie? (geekasms.com)