Beard: Marvel heats up superhero film warWritten by Jim Beard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
In a splashy Hollywood event, Marvel Studios responded to a projected slate of superhero from rival Warner Bros. with a new four-year line-up of their own, one that offers scope and scale, as well as diversity of characters and themes.
Though fans had guessed at a few of the announced films, many were impressed and pleased with the surprises on the list.
Captain America, Thor, and the Guardians of the Galaxy all predictably receive further sequels. “Captain America: Civil War,” out in May of 2016, boasts of Iron Man’s participation in adapting a popular 2006 comic book storyline, while “Thor: Ragnarok” seems to portend the infamous mythological “war of the gods” – a fitting counterpart to Marvel and DC’s theater tussle, perhaps. The Avengers receive not one but two more sequels, subtitled “Infinity War Parts 1 & 2,” presumably echoing a sprawling 1992 comics saga that centered around the Infinity Gems already seen in recent Marvel movies. Arguably, though, it’s within the other Marvel films that the most fan interest lies, fostered by the studio’s success with the dark horse “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
“Inhumans,” out in November 2018, will most likely tap into the same type of oddball vein as “Guardians of the Galaxy,” as it concerns an unlikely team of larger-than-life heroes, but “Black Panther” and “Captain Marvel,” November 2017 and July 2018 respectively, stand out for two things that no other superhero film has yet attempted: minority and female leads.
Marvel’s Black Panther character is widely considered the first black comic book superhero, having debuted in 1966, and while the first Captain Marvel in 1968 was male, more recently his title and powers have been bequeathed to a woman. DC intends to include their own black hero, Cyborg, in their upcoming Justice League movies, but the character’s solo outing looks to be a long way’s off. And while DC’s “Wonder Woman” film will beat Marvel to the female superhero punch when it’s released in 2017, fans’ imaginations have already been captured by Marvel Studio’s hints that “Captain Marvel” will take on cosmic scope after its earthbound origins.
In all, the two giant film firms will release close to two dozen superhero films over the next six years or so, begging the question of whether or not an audience saturation point can be reached and exceeded. But that’s a whole ‘nuther discussion.