What’s more troubling is that “Ant-Man” shows that even with the strongest brand in comicbook movies behind it, audiences won’t show up to see just any costumed vigilante. Marvel may have felt emboldened by the success of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which took marginal figures and fashioned them into film stars, but James Gunn’s pop culture-infused direction helped elevate that material. There simply wasn’t enough to distinguish “Ant-Man” from the onslaught of origin stories and superhero films.
Standing out from the pack will only get harder. In the coming years, Marvel is delving deeper into the comicbook archive, backing movies based on more obscure heroes like Black Panther and Doctor Strange.
At the same time, the studios it licenses its characters to, such as Fox and Sony, plan to raid the recesses of the X-Men and Spider-Man universes to produce movies based on niche figures like Deadpool and Venom. That’s to say nothing of DC Comics, which is about to embark on its own ambitious cavalcade of superhero movies with the 2016 releases of “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Suicide Squad.” All these movies will beget an endless array of spinoffs, prequels and crossover films, testing enthusiasm for the genre. It’s a slate that has the Comic-Con crowd in a state of euphoria, but the rest of the public, not versed in the fruits of Stan Lee’s off-days, may need convincing.
Right now, it feels like Marvel is trying to have it both ways, trying to cater to new fans by remaking the MU in the MCU’s image, which means they’re also trying to cater to Disney — the massive entity that purchased the company because of it’s character library and has seen great success with it on the big screen. It’s also catering to hardcore comic book fans by publishing some of the most artistically inventive superhero comics on the shelves today. This is the company that gave us a nearly all LGBT team in Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s “Young Avengers.” This is the company that let Fraction, David Aja and Annie Wu do “Hawkeye” on their own terms. Marvel Comics gave Dan Slott and Mike Allred “Silver Surfer” and said “Go nuts!” This is why these efforts to shoehorn elements from the films into the comics feel disheartening.
With all that went down in the last episode of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D,” it might be a little difficult to remember that “What We Become” was only a mid-season finale. Daisy Johnson! Terrigenesis! Inhumans! The episode just brimmed with revelations. Needless to say, many of the questions asked at this season’s opener have been answered. I’ve talked a little about how the show could use the Inhuman angle, but — with the Inhumans officially confirmed by name — where do we go from here? What happens on “AoS” now that their best-kept secret has been revealed?
It’s been a very eventful week for Marvel as a whole — what with Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige announcing a slate of films all the way through the year 2019 — and Alonso discusses what excites him about the upcoming Marvel movies, and the especially significant impact of both 2017’s “Black Panther” and 2018’s “Captain Marvel.” Plus, Alonso talks what he likes about the new “Deathlok” series that launched this week from writer Nathan Edmondson and artist Mike Perkins, from his perspective as both Editor-in-Chief and a major fan of the original ’70s incarnation of the cyborg antihero. All that and more insight on the rapidly unfolding Marvel event-based teasers, Alonso’s take on his hometown San Francisco Giants beating the Kansas City Royals to win their third World Series in five seasons, plus answers to your questions, straight from the CBR Community!