5 Stories That Need to be Part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe
In 2012, The Avengers achieved the near impossible and affectively expanded the Marvel Movie-verse into a shared world successfully, opening the doors for cosmic and crazy adventures that would have never been dreamed possible before. Now that the bar has been raised for characters like Spider-Man, X-Men or Fantastic 4, they are in a position to further prove that they don’t need these guys to create thought-provoking, fun, and exciting stories. Before these risks were taken, Iron Man was known as nothing more than a B-list hero. Now Marvel is introducing the world to Guardians Of The Galaxy, and Phase Three promises to bring us Ant-Man.
The fact that Marvel has the benefit of a corporate juggernaut like Disney forking the bill for Marvel to properly bring these amazing possibilities to muliplexes without compromising their creative freedom is a major achievement in itself. A big reason Marvel has been ahead of the game in handling superhero characters in film, mostly has to do with the way they’ve managed to capture their rich iconography and completely nailing the casting. What I personally admire, is how the MCU understands that keeping these films exciting for everyone means not being afraid to deviate from the comics. It’s a distraction to constantly check off references and plot points that are familiar, if a balance can be made of defying our expectations while still capturing the heart of actual story arcs while still leaving room for discovery, I say we’re all the better for it.
Five stories that should be used in the Marvel cinematic universe:
MARK WAID’S RUN ON DAREDEVIL
The Daredevil Netflix series is filming this summer and if it proves to be a victory, there’s no reason why Marvel won’t consider bringing him back to the silver screen. Mark Waid found a way to tip the adventure-to-depression ratio more in Matt Murdock’s favor which helped transition him away from being grim and gritty and more towards a fun character piece that fits well in the Marvel Universe. It’s a perfect blend of Silver Age storytelling and modern sensibilities, which truly lends itself to potentially being more cinematic than the 2003 embarassment that we all wish we could erase from our memories, Eternal Sunshine style.
During Waid’s run we found Murdock abandoning his position as a trial lawyer due to a media circus formed as a result of allegations claiming him as Daredevil. Nelson and Murdock then develop a new business strategy as consulting counselors, teaching their clients how to represent themselves in court. Matt is eventually forced to reveal the truth of his identity as Daredevil to avoid being blackmailed and has to re-locate to San Francisco. This would move away from Frank Miller’s “The Man Without Fear” influence that the series will most likely draw from and give the film adaptation it’s own identity. Purple Man, Owl, and Mr. Fear have all been rumored as antagonists in the upcoming Netflix series, but who would make a great baddie for a cinematic adventure? I think it might be a good opportunity to reintroduce Frank Castle as the vigilante lunatic that he was always meant to be and he was often an antagonist, this would also maintain part of the grittier route that will most likely be a focus in the series.
Casting is absolutely crucial for superhero films to work and in this case it could most likely be who they decide on for the Netflix series. The casting rumors so far have been shakey at best, I think someone like Garrett Hedlund could be a solid choice. Hedlund can pull off leading man with good material and can bring his character actor quality to give Murdock some dimension.
THE DEATH OF CAPTAIN AMERICA
As much as I hate to see him go, Chris Evans thinks he’ll be done with Captain America by 2017. Sebastian Stan’s rumored nine-movie contract with Marvel will most likely mean that when Evans’ six movie contract is up, we might have Stan stepping into the stars and stripes. It’s no secret that Captain America: The Winter Soldier is drawing inspiration from Ed Brubaker’s awesome run on the series — I don’t see why they wouldn’t continue to run in that direction. In this story arc there’s a conflict about honoring Rogers as a patriot or hating him for being a traitor. The new Captain America mantle is filled by Bucky Barnes under the condition that he’s guaranteed complete autonomy in this story arc involved presidential conspiracies and major character assassinations. It’s filled with the fun espionage tone that preceded it with a cool sci-fi bent surrounding it. All of the major players in Winter Soldier play significant roles, including Sharon Carter, Crossbones, Black Widow and Falcon, which would make this a plausible continuation in the Captain America mythos. Assuming the other actors are still on board, I’d say that there’s a really good chance that Marvel is on the same page here.
We’re pretty much in universal agreement that Joss Whedon finally got Hulk right and Mark Ruffalo knocked it out of the park as Bruce Banner. Being that this character was one of the major fan favorites in The Avengers,it would be ridiculous to not give him another shot at his own feature film. I love the way Mark Waid writes Hulk and his Indestructible Hulk series is definitely one of my favorites. This is a Bruce Banner that’s much more resembles Ruffalo’s portrayal of a determined and proactive scientist than the depressed mopey figure that we knew before and in this adventure Banner joins S.H.I.E.L.D. and allows them to use Hulk as a weapon in exchange for funding and the chance to build his own legacy, this Banner’s biggest enemy is his own ego. Hulk has access to tech that would make Iron Man blush and ironically a continuing theme in this series is Banner’s seething jealousy towards Stark. There’s been much enthusiasm from fans for a Planet Hulk film, but Feige has previously gone on record as stating he didn’t want to do a Hulk film without Banner and Banner’s not in Planet Hulk at all. I tend to agree that Ruffalo in The Avengers really helped make Hulk an exciting character again and with this story as inspiration we might be able to have the best of both worlds.
THE INFINITY GAUNTLET
Since the post-credit reveal In Thor: The Dark World, where we see the Collector accepting the Aether, which is described as an infinity gem, it’s pretty safe to assume that we’ll get something resembling this storyline somewhere down the road. Thanos mounts the six Infinity Gems on his left glove whis is bad news for the rest of the Marvel universe. You see, Thanos has a bit of a crush on Death and in order to win her heart, he decides to go on bloody rampage across the galaxies. Nebula, who’s featured in Guardians Of The Galaxy, plays a pivotal role in these events and it’s likely to assume that their could be some major build up where that’s concerned. The actual lead up to this cosmic event is thrilling in itself, this is what you would call the icing on the cake. Thanos wasn’t teased during the post-credits of The Avengers for no reason and just because Age Of Ultron doesn’t seem to play into this, they’re most likely saving this for the third Avengers outing.
KAMALA KHAN as MS. MARVEL
There’s been rumors floating that Carol Danvers (former Ms. Marvel) could make an appearance in The Avengers: Age Of Ultron which would be fantastic, but how about taking the big leap and letting a female superhero star in her own feature among the Marvel Cinematic Universe? We’ve come a long way since the Elektra atrocity in 2005, and films like The Hunger Games have proven that well made movies focused on strong female characters can do wonders at the box office. Kahn is a teenage Muslim from New Jersey with shapeshifting abilities who assumes the codename Ms. Marvel from her idol Carol Danvers. What’s awesome about this series is that it not only explores Khan’s conflicts with supervillains but also with her home and religious duties. She’s a nerd who writes Avengers fanfic, which is a really interesting concept and most important, she deals with issues that other people can relate to.
Devin Faraci of Badass Digest spoke to Kevin Feige at the junket for Captain America: The Winter Soldier and is thankfully optimistic about us getting a Ms. Marvel film. If that ends up being the case, I really hope they consider bringing Kamala into the fold. I would love to see Marvel break new boundaries by introducing a great diverse character like Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel into the MCU.