Now I am straying into interesting waters here in terms of some of the terminology I’m using, but I wanted to take a second to think about the direction that the Marvel movie franchise is heading in terms of how ‘Fantastical’ it is. (Yes, I’m going to use words like ‘Fantastical’)
Let me start out by reiterating that I am not a comic book guy. I have read several of the Guardians of the Galaxy issues while I was on a flight, but don’t have the in depth knowledge I know others have gained through meticulous analysis. I’m not opposed to them; I just have not invested time in that direction. I have seen the marvel (as well as DC) film, and enjoyed them. I have read a fair amount of the surrounding information online to be able to hold a somewhat informed conversation on them.
The state of play
The potential problem as I see it is this: The content in the comics are tonally different from what we have seen in the films so far, and the audiences are different too. Let me explain. When we first came across the avenger as we now know them, the characters were (somewhat) relate-able. Iron man for example. A billionaire playboy with an incredible suit? Yes, but fundamentally human with human problems. This was also fundamentally true of Captain America. Watching his awkward romance, physical inferiority and ethical conundrums are all relate-able. Thor threw a spanner on works a little, but he was useful for context. He brought something to the universe.
Recently however, we have seen a rise in profile of characters that I am going to term as more ‘Fantastic.’ Vision is a good example of this. An AI in a clone body. Who cant relate to that right. This conundrum is compounded by the announcement of the next film in the franchise: Doctor Strange. A man with the ability to bend the Astor planes using Magic.
So what’s the issue?
Fundamentally, marvel is moving closer towards their source material. Although this may be what its traditional audience is looking for and loves, is it what the film going audience will engage with. These are blockbuster films after all, and people have loved them for what they have been, in isolation from what the comics are.
My worry is that the films may become to fantastical for the traditional film audience, but never true enough to the comics for the comic audience.
As always, Let me know you thoughts by; DM, @ on twitter, on Xbox Live (GT: IAmFoxGod) or by flagging me down in the street if you can find me.