The Year in Superheroes

And the Rest

A few thoughts that didn’t fit above, and on the movies that didn’t warrant a full entry.

Deadpool 2

It was funny. Quite funny. As we knew it would be. The twist involving X-Force was particularly well-done.

I am, however, glad that Once Upon a Deadpool didn’t manage wide release. That was… it was such a naked, obvious cash-grab, trying to milk some money out of people who hadn’t seen the R-rated version(s?) or who were that curious about the Fred Savage-starring Princess Bride reference bits. Apparently six million dollars worth of people fit that description, but personally, I’m fine waiting for a YouTube of all the Fred Savage bits to show up, rather than watch a bleeped-out clip show of Deadpool 2.

Some people think Once Upon a Deadpool was an attempt to show Marvel Studios, and their Disney overlords, that Deadpool can, in fact, play at a PG-13 level, and there’s no need to let the Fox buyout end the Deadpool gravy train, the way it’s almost certainly killing the rest of the current X-Men franchise so that Kevin Feige can reboot it. To which I say… whatever, man, do what you need to, but maybe Marvel shouldn’t be afraid to make an R-rated movie now and again. Hell, DC made the Titans series and the world didn’t end.

Venom

Didn’t see it. The first trailer was a goddamn joke, the second trailer involved the “turd on the wind” bit, not to mention the mispronunciation of “symbiote,” and none of that inspired me to, you know, spend money on it. If/when it shows up on Netflix or Amazon Prime, maybe I’ll give it a whirl when I’m in the mood for something stupid. Can’t be worse than Assassin’s Creed.

Aquaman (again)

While there’s nothing in Aquaman to rival the emotional masterwork of the No Man’s Land sequence from Wonder Woman, it’s still one of the prettiest DC movies. There’s a shot in the climax that I want as a poster. One of those moving posters from Harry Potter.

That said, though, I must agree with comedy superstar and Spider-Man enthusiast Daniel O’Brien…

And another thing about Ant-Man And the Wasp

Some Marvel fans say people shouldn’t sleep on or underestimate Ant-Man And the Wasp, because elements of it might be crucial to Endgame. Some Marvel fans are determined to do the Marvel marketing team’s work for them, saying “Who cares if Thor: The Dark World is bad, they introduce an Infinity Stone!” like that excuses the movie for being so aggressively mediocre. Or “Just think, somewhere in the background of Defenders is Spider-Man stopping bank robberies” as though there was still a chance they’ll ever bump into each other.

As the man once said, I call that getting swindled and tricked. I call that getting tricked by a business.

Which is not to say that all DC fans are better. No, we’re stuck with the idjits who think that the “Snyder Cut” of Justice League a) exists, and b) would fix everything. As though the movie wouldn’t still be held back by its word-salad villain plot.

We also have the idiots who declare jihad on critics every time a DC movie doesn’t rate “fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes. Frankly I’d rather align with the suckers doing Marvel’s marketing from a place of love and joy rather than DC’s through spite and idiocy.

Or in other terms…

I’m not sure that means anything but if it does, it’s probably relevant?

Coming in 2019

Was a time I was sure Wonder Woman 1984 was going to be my superhero highlight of 2019, but once Marvel gave up their May 2020 spot to appease a rape advocate and his fake outrage campaign, Warner Bros. decided to push Wonder Woman 1984 back seven goddamn months. why not. So here’s what we do have coming.

Glass: It’s out basically now, read a review if you want to, I don’t have one yet.

Captain Marvel: Well there’s no chance this doesn’t make a giant pile of money. It’s not like women saw Wonder Woman and said “Thanks for that, we’re good now, go back to just doing movies about burly men.” And Disney’s spent years perfecting their de-aging CGI so that Samuel L. Jackson can spend an entire movie looking 20 years younger. It’ll be good. I’ll be there opening weekend and millions of people will join me. Also Lee Pace is back as Ronan the Accuser and Lee Pace was the Piemaker in Pushing Daisies so I’m obligated to love him forever, an obligation I take on willingly and devotedly.

Shazam!: There is now officially no movie in 2019 I want to see as much as Shazam. There is clearly love for the source material coming from the director, David F. Sandberg, whose Instagram has been endlessly entertaining from pre-production through to now; Zachary Levi is playing the adult version of Captain Marvel Shazam, and I’ve loved his work since the pilot of Chuck (ditto everything I said about Lee Pace just now); they appear to have embraced a light and fun tone which the DC movies have sorely needed since Batman V Superman, to the point that they did a hack job on Suicide Squad to cram it in. I’m gonna watch it five times.

Avengers: Endgame: Like we have a choice at this point. Either you’ve never watched Marvel movies (I know at least one person who hasn’t), or you’re watching this Marvel movie. No way around it.

Spider-Man: Far From Home: The very existence of this movie gives some stuff away about Avengers: Endgame, but there was nothing to do about that except, oh, I don’t know, not put three movies out in one year, but given how much Sony wants to be in this business, even if Marvel were willing to take a step back for artistic reasons, they still might have had to deliver a Spider-Man movie this year.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix: So in 2003, at the end of X-2, Bryan Singer teased a cinematic take on the big jamoochy of all X-Men stories, the Dark Phoenix Saga. And then signed on to direct Superman Returns, and Fox punished him by handing X-Men 3 to Brett Ratner instead, a move that’s aged as well as Neville Chamberlain’s policy of appeasement. I regret that, I immediately regret comparing X-Men: The Last Stand to handing Czechoslovakia over to Hitler, but here we are. So now, 13 years later, after having taken a shot at X-Men: The Last Stand in X-Men: Apocalypse (which ended up being a self-own), Fox is taking a second swing at the Dark Phoenix Saga. Which will also, no doubt, be the last of the current X-Men franchise, which has survived since 2000 with only one soft reboot and a bunch of canonically questionable spinoffs of dratically varying quality. Again, Bryan Singer won’t be at the helm, which is only a bad thing if you don’t believe his many accusers, but it might be worth seeing how Fox wraps up this 19-year-old franchise before handing the keys to Kevin Feige. Except…

New Mutants: …Except there’s one more spinoff. Like Dark Phoenix, it was determined that reshoots were in order, and like Dark Phoenix, said reshoots had to wait until after Game of Thrones season eight was done shooting, due to having a Stark sister in a prominent role. They have a fun cast, with notable horror franchise faces… Anya Taylor-Joy, Masie Williams, that older brother from Stranger Things who looks 30 years older than he is… but if any movie next year looks doomed to fail, well it’s gotta be this one. They didn’t get the simple additional photography, the standard, minor reshoots that Captain Marvel, Shazam, and Infinity War all received, but the “complete overhaul” reshoots that almost never lead anywhere positive.

Hellboy: You better bring something special, guys. The last two Hellboys were great and you have huge shoes to fill, so… do something cool.

Joker: I’m not super happy about this but I’ll be there opening weekend. I don’t really agree with this movie’s existence but I’m getting kind of interested in what they’re doing.

Next time… two comic TV shows deal with teens in crisis, and the results are very different.

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