By BEN LANE
Sorry DC. Marvel’s got it. After DC’s announcement a few weeks back that sent the nerd world into an online storm, Marvel has matched (and exceeded) it with a staggering set of new releases. DC got the blood pumping a little bit with their announcement of forthcoming movies like a new Green Lantern movie, a Shazam movie, and a two-part Justice League movie. I’m still stoked, don’t get me wrong, but yesterday’s announcement from Marvel, dubbed the Marvel Event, is more than enough to write an article about.
After teasing fans with the trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron, Kevin Feige made his way to the stage to announce the entirety of Phase 3. And my god, is it worth crying over. Right off the bat, he announced what we already knew was coming in a third Captain America movie. For the majority of the event, it was called Captain America: Serpent Society; which is why it was a joy to eventually to be told that the title would actually be Captain America: Civil War (May 6, 2016). This is enormous news, but not surprising news. We have been hearing rumors of this popular storyline being adapted in coming films and we also knew that Robert Downey Jr. has been contracted to co-star in the third Captain America movie. Still, though, it’s amazing that this is the official title because we can rest easy knowing that this is exactly what the series of films is going for. If you aren’t familiar with the Civil War storyline in the comics, it involves a government operation called the Superhero Registration Act, led by Captain America. In the comics, this act is to control superheroes so they only operate within their legal bounds. This doesn’t go over well with Tony Stark and the story climaxes with a monumental battle of hero against hero. And with the Russo brothers back to direct, I can’t see this movie being less than awesome.
Feige continued into Doctor Strange (November 4, 2016), which we all knew was coming as well. This one is a pretty big deal because it’s opening this universe up to the supernatural, something that hasn’t been explored yet. It will be interesting to say the least, but I trust Scott Derickson (Sinister director) with the material. Also worth noting is the fact that Feige didn’t mention Benedict Cumberbatch’s casting as the character, which means that isn’t quite safe to think he is playing Strange for sure. As far as Cumberbatch himself playing the character, I can’t say I’m upset because I know that he will knock it out of the park, but I think it’s a bit too safe of a choice. He’s the go to guy for everything. I mean, he’s played Smaug, Sherlock, and Kahn. Do we really need him as a Marvel character too? Please don’t think I’m hating on Cumberbatch because I love the guy and he is one of my favorite actors right now, one that seems to make everything he touches turn to gold. All I’m saying is, maybe make a name for someone new.
In addition to Strange being announced as a new character we have some more introductory movies coming in the forms of Black Panther (November 3, 2017), Captain Marvel (July 6, 2018), and Inhumans (November 2, 2018). I’ll go ahead and admit that I know nothing about the Inhumans so it would be unwise for me to attempt to know anything, but I can say that I am very happy about the other two. In my review for Get On Up, I said that Boseman gave a star-making performance. So it’s no surprise that he has been cast as Black Panther. Truth be told, I can’t wait to see it. I’m also pretty excited to check out Captain Marvel, whom Kevin Feige hinted will be the strongest of all the heroes. It’s interesting to discuss just who will be cast as Captain Marvel herself.
Of course James Gunn will be returning to write and direct Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (May 5, 2017) so that is coming, but nothing much is known. How about this though? Thor: Ragnarok (July 29, 2017) is coming. Ragnarok, meaning “the end of all things” may just be the film to kill Loki. And maybe even Thor. Feige called it “an important film” and to me it seems that it will impact the entire universe in different ways. And this is something I’ve been thinking about recently. Everyone is so hyped up about the second Avengers movie and now there is Civil War coming and that’s all fine and good, but it seems that people have forgotten the excellent ending to Thor: The Dark World. Loki either killed Oden or has him hidden somewhere, and is currently ruling Asgard. No one is talking about this! I really want to know what this means for the universe and how Ragnarok will treat it.
And then there’s the big one. The third Avengers is going to be epic. It’s colossal. It’s so big that I don’t even want to think about it for the sake of getting a headache. Remember a few years ago when our heads were trying to adjust to the idea of having Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and Hulk together on screen? Well try having them, plus the Guardians, plus whoever else. Because in Avengers: Infinity War (Part I coming May of 2018, Part II coming May of 2019), everything culminates. Thanos is coming. Let us prepare ourselves.
This is enormous news, and it’s a great time to be a geek. This event exceeds what DC tried a few weeks back (and DC’s was effective and awesome, for sure) and I cannot wait to see what they have up their sleeve, but this just amazing. Marvel has outdone themselves. Let’s just hope the movies themselves are as good as the impact of this event.