Marvel Week: The Films -The Good, The Bad, and Some Ugly – Part 1

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Welcome to NotSafe4Werk.com’s Marvel Week, our loving tribute to the company that dominating the box office like no other! We’re starting off with the Crunk Panda’s two-part look at the history of Marvel films! Enjoy and excelsior!

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Oh…what a journey.

For as long as there has been film, it seemed as though the marriage of comic books and movies is a match made in heaven.  For the fans of comics, they for the most part are a very loyal group of people, we find ourselves…or at least hope to find ourselves, in the characters presented. We want to know them, we want to believe in them, and sometimes, maybe more often than not, we want to be them.

The point I am trying to make, is, when you move these comic book heroes and heroines to another medium, you already have an established fan base. For movie studios and distributors, it just makes sense. While they market the hell out of these movies now to make sure they get every potential dollar and to lure the casual fans in, the films would likely do relatively well with a minimum amount of advertising. Why? Because we want and, dare I say…need to see these movies.

I remember being a young cub in the late 80s and early 90s and passing around the Wizard magazine, seeing the articles about how they should cast films and who they would like to see play the roles. While I can’t recall any of the names off top, it was something we would debate, and, on a larger scale now…many of us still do.

We want to see these characters come to life, and we’ve have some good and some bad. Sticking with Marvel this week, I won’t dive into the Superman and Batman Films, which, in turn had their fair share of good and bad, but let’s switch to Marvel. Early on, it is little secret, Marvel didn’t really know how to translate these characters to another medium such as film. Cartoons and games, for the most part…yes, but, movies are a whole other beast.

Seeing opportunity though, and with financing issues of their own, Marvel did what many companies would and continue to do, they licensed out some of their best characters and brands.  Early attempts were…well, less than stellar. The Punisher, Captain America, and The Fantastic Four all had opportunities in the late 80s and early 90s, but, by an overwhelming consensus flopped and are just, well…bad movies.

In 1998, seemingly out of nowhere, and much to my delight, Blade comes to screens. Say what you will, but, as far as a comic movies go, it’s one of my favorites. It was dark, it had some pretty good effects for the time, and Wesley Snipes in the lead was just absolute perfect casting.  The movie was very successful and spawned sequels and a TV series. Again, some hits and misses. What it did though was make people pay attention.

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Soon, X-Men came to the screen and we all geeked out a bit. Superb casting in so many ways, honestly, could you really see anyone besides Patrick Stewart as an older Professor X? By most measures, to include box office numbers, X-Men did amazingly well…and more studios wanted a piece of the pie.

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As Spider-man, Hulk, Daredevil, and more began to hit the screen, initially there was the same buzz. The excitement from that loyal fan base was seen and heard, box office records broken left and right…and then, we realized a lot of these movies just aren’t good. Marvel’s characters continuing to be watered down. Entirely too many origin stories, definitely too many love stories thrown in the mix. While the ladies have really come out in force in past several years and proven their fandom, the genre was primarily testosterone fueled for so many years. Dudes want to see Hulk SMASH, not deal with his feelings. I want to see Spidey talk shit and bust some heads, not become some weird brooding emo kid who makes a scene to try and impress bae. It doesn’t work. Sure, these characters dealt with love and marriage…and so many things that resonate to so many of us, but, it is hard to do all of that in a two hour window, but…the studios kept forcing it upon us.

At what point is enough, well…enough?

To be continued…

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Half man, half amazing...all panda

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