In Which Dan Talks About Comic Con

I am a geek with opinions and I have a blog, so we’re talking about Comic Con now. That’s what’s happening.

Age of Ultron, you say?

So at the end of their panel, Marvel brought out Joss Whedon to announce that the full title of the Avengers sequel will be Avengers: Age of Ultron. For those who don’t follow comics with the same unhealthy intensity I do, Age of Ultron was a recent event comic Marvel put out in which Ultron has successfully conquered the world and the few remaining heroes need a desperate plan to stop him. It was pretty clear, from the word go, that Joss was only going to be using the title “Age of Ultron” rather than the story. The actual miniseries couldn’t work as an Avengers sequel, since A) it hinges on Ultron being a long-term established threat; B) Ultron is barely in it, and non-comic readers would likely respond poorly to announcing a villain who doesn’t actually appear; and C) it’s not even about the Avengers. It’s a Wolverine story. Even moreso than most Marvel events.

So, Ultron’s our villain for the next movie? Interesting, should work out. Still, does kind of make a liar out of that end-credit tease of Thanos, doesn’t it? “Hey! That spooky boss of Loki? It was this guy! Maybe we’ll put him in a movie some day! Just not soon!”

And this is not the first time they’ve set up a future villain and then dropped him. Iron Man set up the Ten Rings, a terrorist organization named after the signature weapon of the Mandarin, Iron Man’s biggest enemy. Iron Man 2 had Sam Rockwell’s Justin Hammer, evil corporate rival from the comics, dragged away by the police promising to return and seek revenge. And Iron Man 3 dropped all of that to take its own angle on the Mandarin and bring in a new corporate rival in Aldrich Killian and AIM. I mean, Ben Kingsley’s Mandarin was neat, and putting Guy Pearce in a movie is never the wrong choice, but still. That was a lot of build-up tossed out.

Incredible Hulk had Banner-blood leak into fellow-scientist Samuel Sterns’ head to set him up to be the Leader. But that would have required them to make another Hulk movie.

So is that Thanos tease going anywhere? Who knows. The other examples come down to changing creative teams (Iron Man 3) and lack of sequels, but in this case Joss Whedon decided to include the Thanos tease, and Joss Whedon decided to make Ultron his next villain instead. Maybe he’s planning on using Thanos for Avengers 3, but that is still five years away. I’m all about the long game but that’s really pushing it.

Superman/Batman? Go on.

Warner/DC’s big announcement? The sequel to Man of Steel coming in 2015 will be a Superman/Batman movie. This one announcement has generated enough attention that a legitimate website actually asked who won Comic Con, DC or Marvel, despite the fact that Marvel had footage from three movies (including one that had been shooting for less than two weeks) and trotted out enough stars to have a pickup soccer game in the parking lot, and DC announced one thing with at best tentative plans for two more, hasn’t cast the new Batman yet, and said more about what Batman/Superman won’t be than what it will (it won’t be an adaptation of Dark Knight Returns or a follow-up to Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy).

So, yeah, Marvel wins because their panel had Amy Pond and The Piemaker on one panel, but there’s still something important in what DC had to say. Producer Emma Thomas confirmed that this is not going to be a continuation of the Nolan/Bale Batman. It’s a new Batman, a Justice League friendly Batman.

And they’re not introducing him in an origin story.

How is that not the conversation? How are we not excited that they’re actually going to trust us to remember what Batman’s deal is rather than start over at his parents dying again? And once they’re done fighting each other, who will they be teaming up against? Come on, this is cool. This could be super cool. Plus, how about some credit for trying to expand the universe in a different way than the Marvel model? Huh? That worth something?

And, let’s be real, summer of 2015 they’re up against the sequel to the most successful superhero movie ever made. Putting Superman and Batman in the same movie puts Warner Brothers back in the running.

Final thoughts

There are two things that are truly important from this year’s Comic Con announcement. First, and most important… Summer Glau is on Arrow next season. They… they get me. They really do.

Second… DC is aiming to have the Justice League on screens by 2017. Thanos will not be in any Marvel movie before 2018, if that. Warner Bros, this is your chance to get Darkseid in a movie and not be accused of ripping off his pale imitator Thanos.

DO. NOT. FUCK. THIS. UP.

Thank you and good day.

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