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Merry Marvel Movie Society

June 18th, 2007 · 3 Comments · Books, Comics, Culture, Film, Journal, News

Son of Origins of Marvel ComicsI haven’t even seen the Silver Surfer movie yet — I’m half dreading it — but I came across this little cache of news about what’s in the Marvel superhero movie pipeline:

Iron Man will be heading for post-production in July, and a “reboot” of The Incredible Hulk will go into production in Toronto the same month for release in 2009. A script for a Thor film has been written and a Captain America script is being written as well. Sub-Mariner is in rewrites. And apparently an Avengers film is not out of the question, eventually. Also, “there will definitely be another Spider-Man adventure.” On the X-Men spinoffs front, Wolverine is likely to be released before Magneto, even though Wolverine doesn’t have a director signed yet. (David Goyer has been announced as the director of Magneto.)

Wikipedia says the Iron Man film will be released May, 2008, and stars Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark, as well as Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges, and Leslie Bibb.

Quote from Robert Downey, Jr. on Tony Stark: “”Stan Lee created the character on a dare to see if he could make a wealthy, establishment, weapons manufacturing, hard drinking, womanising prick into someone who is likeable and a hero.” Click the Wikipedia link above to see a promo shot of him in character.

Although X-Men loomed much larger in my comic-reading youth, I have a small sentimental attachment to Iron Man because it was the first Marvel comic I ever read, picked up at some Stuckey’s on a long summer vacation drive circa 1977. Prior to that I think the only comic books I’d ever read had been the kiddie stuff like Richie Rich and Scrooge McDuck.

Within a year of discovering Marvel, I’d worked my way through all of Stan Lee’s Origins books and was completely assimilated. From Iron Man I branched out to The Avengers, Daredevil, X-Men. I had monthly subscriptions to at least half a dozen titles at one point, and would blow my allowance on whatever else I could find at the supermarket. I read every word of the “Bullpen Bulletin” and I was a card-carrying member of FOOM. I had shelves of comics in little mylar bags, the whole shameful business.

Then when I was almost out of high school someone at Marvel decided that Storm, my favorite character at the time, should stop being a gentle plant-whispering earth-goddess type and instead turn into a violent ass-kicking street fighter with a mohawk, and suddenly superhero comic books were dead to me. At least until I was old enough for them to become nostalgia.

After that they weren’t for me anyway — comic books in the mid-to-late 80s turned dark and gritty and “realistic” (read: more violent), and I didn’t want them that way. I liked them colorful and metaphysical and head-trippy the way Marvel was in the late 70s, all Doctor Who and Carlos Castaneda and Harlan Ellison. Characters having surreal conversations with personifications of “Order” and “Chaos.” I was never in comic books for the brawling, I was in them for the magic and the angst and the characters dealing with the impact of being freaks who had secret lives. I liked it when the X-Men took a whole issue to go on a picnic and talk about their personal lives with each other, and the super-villain only popped up on the very last page. I was a funny kid. (With, it must be noted, a serious crush on Piotr Rasputin.)

It’s odd, I don’t always enjoy the Marvel movies — Daredevil was particularly bad and the first Fantastic Four wasn’t much better — but I always go see them. I go for a little glimpse of something that’s gone out of the world now, but sometimes you can catch the shadow of it out of the corner of your eye if you look.


3 Comments so far ↓

  • Steve Sturm

    I agree, Dave. I’ve always enjoyed when the Marvel books gave us an inside look at the personal cost of being “different,” even when the being “different” was cool, or powerful, or popular, unlike the uncool, “unpowerful” and unpopular “different” I felt separating me from the NT’s. (A new phrase I’ve picked up from my youngest’s Down Syndrome groups, NT = “neurotypical,” used in a mildly condescending tone for people who refer to themselves as normal, but are simply boring).

    I’ve never clicked with Superman or the later violent trend because these “superheroes” weren’t people with emotions and flaws further aggravated by their differences, but rather “supernormal” icons unaffected by their differences, or merely dwell in the dark side of their experience.

  • Steve Sturm

    P.S. You can go ahead and safely skip the new Fantastic Four movie. A great opportunity is completely blown to get inside the Silver Surfer, Ian Grouffoud (sp?) has none of the charm of his Horatio Hornblower, Michael Chiklis is underused, and Jessica Alba is perky, chatty and nonessential. In fact, the Four never seem to gel as a team. I’d take a pass on it at the big screen and rent it on DVD.

  • Ocelopotamus

    Hi, Steve!

    Yeah, I’m sure you’re right — I’m sure I could safely wait for the DVD. And yet, there I’ll be, in the theater, sooner or later. Funny how that works.

    Jessica Alba. Words fail me at how miscast she is. It’s like watching a head of lettuce try to act. I would have liked to see someone sharp and brainy, like Allison Janney, in that role. Instead we got The Invisible Sex Kitten.

    I like the term “neurotypical.” It has something of the the sense of the word “muggle” about it.