With the deserved success of Guardians of the Galaxy it seems that anything is possible when it comes to adapting comic books for the big screen.
I remember when they announced the first Iron Man movie there was some concern that the character was too obscure to be the subject of a blockbuster movie. Sure, Iron Man is an Avenger and a major Marvel property, but he isn’t Superman or Batman. Now, only a few years later we are in a time that long-time comic fans can only describe as ‘surreal.’
I’m not going to pretend that I am any kind of authority on the characters of Guardians of the Galaxy. I honestly pay very little attention to the entire cosmic side of Marvel comics, but when I was in the theater watching the movie last Friday night, I was still overcome with delight and disbelief at the characters and the world that I saw on the screen in front of me. Even seeing some random background players wearing Nova helmets was crazy. Seeing Guardians of the Galaxy trending on Twitter was crazy. Seeing Starlord action figures and Rocket Raccoon masks at Target was crazy.
The promise of a second Guardians movie is crazy. Guys, this movie made $95 million on the weekend! Not a decade ago people felt that if the movie wasn’t called Superman, Batman or Spider-Man there was no hope of it finding a big audience. Now we have at least three major comic book films coming out each year (from Marvel alone, usually), along with movies based on small press comics, and an insane number of television shows. By my count we are getting four new comic book based television series on major networks this year, along with a Netflix Daredevil series. Those will be added to some already excellent and popular comic book-based shows (and also Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.). And I am sure I am forgetting some.
From what I have been hearing the reaction to the Guardians post-credits scene was extremely loud and enthusiastic in theatres everywhere. I am not going to spoil it, but, again, it’s an fairly obscure thing that is making movie goers yell “WHAT?! HOLY SHIT!!!” out loud in a movie theatre. I can’t remember the last time I heard a reaction like that in a theatre. Maybe when the old lady threw the necklace into the ocean in Titanic?
And this might be a bit of a spoiler re: the end of credits surprised, but it seems like Disney is making a point of correcting all of George Lucas’s mistakes.
And here’s the thing: there are a lot of great comic books too right now. That’s the subject for another post, but I want to put that in there because everyone is talking about comic book based movies and television, and very little is being discussed about the awesome source material. How many big comic book announcements came out of San Diego? Two? (Those Star Wars comics look amazing).
I actually feel overwhelmed by the comic book and super hero entertainment right now. I have a constant feeling of anxiety that I am going to die before the next big Marvel movie drops.
It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was watching Smallville out of desperation, and trying to convince myself that those Fantastic Four movies were any good. The stuff that they are making now is the stuff that we used to discuss as fantasy dream projects while working in the comic shop. A Daredevil show? A Winter Soldier movie? A pre-Batman Commissioner Gordon show? Not to mention one of the most popular shows on television is The Walking Dead (get that money, Robert Kirkman!).
I’m just saying a lot has happened since I stopped writing this blog.
Guys, they made a Winter Soldier movie!
It just feels like we are now free to dream up any (Marvel-based) movie scenario and it wouldn’t be impossible. A Heroes for Hire movie, perhaps? Set in the 70s, please? A Namor movie? A Dazzler movie? (I am dead serious about this. They need to make a Dazzler movie. Let’s make this dream a reality. A pop star super hero?! NOW IS THE TIME!).
Meanwhile DC is missing the mark across the board, except in television, where they are crushing Marvel. In the last decade or so they made three great Batman movies, one weird but likable Superman movie, one weird and upsetting Superman movie (that I didn’t completely hate, but definitely it wasn’t the Superman I was looking for), a criminally awful Jonah Hex movie, a pretty terrible and forgettable Green Lantern movie, a weird Constantine movie, an OK V for Vendetta movie, and Watchmen, which I would say wasn’t great or terrible. It just exists. I liked it in the theaters, I never saw it again, and I don’t really feel like seeing it again. There were some other forgettable things in there too, I’m sure. And on the horizon they have a Superman vs Batman vs Wonder Woman vs Cyborg vs Who the Hell Knows: The Dawn of Insanity movie. I have a few concerns about that movie, not the least of which is DC/WB’s baffling decision to just let Zack Snyder direct EVERYTHING.
Anyway, this is a terrible review of Guardians of the Galaxy. It was really good. I can’t adequately review it because I am too full of bewilderment and delight. You can read one of the other gazillion glowing reviews of it somewhere else.