Tag Archives: comics

Let’s talk Marvel.

17 Jun

Hi. Again, it’s been a while since I have not written. Stuff happens.

Anyways, if I am writing today it’s for a very specific purpose: clearing some issues concerning Marvel comics and its various characters TV and movie rights. Because, in my opinion, if you watched the Wolverine, X-Men, Avengers, Thor, Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider, etc.. movies, there are stuff you should know. Especially if you have a thing for crossovers and pray to whoever god you pray to every night for Wolverine or Spider-man in the Avengers movie, read on. Even if you don’t pray for that every night, read on.

marvel-logo-o (1)

There was a time, quite a while ago, when Marvel Entertainment Studios- then called Atlas and then again Timely- sold the movie rights of some of its comic book characters to some other movie studios like Sony and 20th Century Fox. At around that time, Marvel’s main focus was, naturally, comic books and they had probably not well anticipated the success that movie adaptations of the comics could have. Ensued the not very very wise decision of selling the movie rights to Spider-man, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men and the like to the movie studios mentioned above. Anywho, after the raging success of the Spider-man trilogy movies and the X-Men movies at the box office, Marvel Entertainment realised that the future of their studios was in the movies. Movies attract a larger audience, movies awe and dazzle in a way only movies can, movies are the closest we can feel to the superheroes of our childhood, they bring these heroes closer to reality, mais je m’emporte je m’emporte. So, where was I? Yes, Marvel Entertainment comes to the conclusion that they need their movie character rights back. They have to re-create the comic books universe and transform it into their cinematic universe. That is when they get back the rights to Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor from Artisan and the rights to Hulk and Namor from Universal Studios. Now, the big adventure can start. They invested big money and even bigger time to create the Avengers project. It may not seem obvious to everybody but this was a risky venture and it cannot be denied that they played it well, introducing characters like Iron Man, Thor and Captain America in their own movies. Introducing minor characters in those said movies, minor characters who would end up playing huge roles in the movies that would follow.

Okay, this may get complicated so let’s focus on the movie character rights first, then get into, what I like to call, what Marvel did.

I found a very practical and clear image on the web that will definitely clear all the doubts one could have and all the questions one could ask about the characters. Here it is:

There. Doesn't get clearer.

There. Doesn’t get clearer.

So, basically, if Disney/Marvel wanted to include Spider-Man in say the Avengers 2, they’d get sued because he belongs to Sony. Same goes for Wolverine. See, Marvel could not buy back the cinematic rights to all its comics characters, and that is simply because it would be insane(and a teeny bit selfish in my opinion) to let go of a movie franchise that earns them billions.

Let’s talk about the exception in teal. Yes, the colour of the set where Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are in is called teal. Anyway. This is the big exception. Since Fox has the rights to all the characters who appear regularly in the X-Men comics, it seems logical that they would belong to Fox- all with being Magneto’s children and stuff- However, they have been with the Avengers for years also, and thus can rightfully be used in the Avengers franchise. It all looks fantastic, getting the best of both worlds, huh? There are some rules though: In the Avengers franchise they are not allowed to mention Magneto or even “mutants” and in the X-Men they are not allowed to discuss Avengers or Hulk and the like.

For those of us who still nurture the hope of crossovers and Marvel/Disney getting to buy back all their characters rights and create a grandiose universe, it is not time to give up yet. It is important to note that, the contracts of, for example, The Fantastic Four states that if Fox makes no movie including them for so many years, the rights goes back to Marvel Entertainment..erm Disney. However, it makes sense that knowing how much cash can be made from superhero movies, Fox would never let go that easily, and that is why, ladies and gentlemen, a reboot is on its way. There is still hope though, that if Sony, Fox and Disney sat at a table together and discussed how to make the most of it, we may get to see Spider-man and Iron Man high-fiving or Wolverine and Thor grunting together someday. It all depends on the offer.

There is hope!

There is hope!

Okay, now let’s go down to business and check out what Marvel did.

First let’s establish the timeline of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Movie chronology

20th Century

21st Century

And of course, everything is connected. It all started with Phase 1, also known as, Avengers Assembled. The movies in phase 1 are all those that preceded The Avengers and The Avengers itself. The movies and their after-credits scenes all link to each other and add up to create Marvel’s Cinematic Universe little by little. Marvel has literally made after-credits scenes an art. The first one, after Iron Man, dropped a tease-bomb on all the viewers; we will never forget the “I’m here to talk to you about The Avengers Initiative.” and as Nick Fury announced that “Mr. Stark, you’ve become part of a bigger universe. You just don’t know it yet.” we did not know it yet either, we were not prepared for what was to come. What came was huge. From the wink to Captain America after the Incredible Hulk to finding Mjolnir after Iron Man 2, we all saw it coming, The Avengers initiative. Then comes phase 2, the post-Avengers phase. At this point, the tension builds up considerably and we realise something bigger is coming our way. Even the after-credits scenes are darker, no more hinting at the hope of an incredible team, they tease-threaten. Thanos remains a threat, Loki remains a threat-now he is king of Asgard and nobody knows, Hydra also remains a huge threat- they have Loki’s sceptre, that means they are still within S.H.I.E.L.D’s facilities and they are testing Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. Threats, threats, threats! This time what awaits us is still shrouded in mystery.

Also, a big development in that universe, that I grew to appreciate, is Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, the TV show. We literally got an insight inside S.H.I.E.L.D, got to know some agents, started to understand and love them, and now I realise it was all building up to the events in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D. It kind of created a bigger dramatic event to watch everything connected in chronological order. Not watching everything also means you are missing out, not watching Captain America will probably ensure you don’t understand everything in the coming movies and TV shows connected and not watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D also hides key events from you. I won’t tell you what, I have probably spoiled you enough already. I hope I haven’t. Sincerely.

shield

You may think this is all already a lot, but Marvel is not done with us. In fact, it just got started. They already have a phase 3, consisting at the moment of Ant-Man the movie and the third Captain America movie, in pre-production. And there is more, a second season of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D has been confirmed, together with the new TV show Marvel’s Agent Carter. You think that’s it? You’re wrong, more TV shows are coming your way! Disney-Marvel and Netflix have joined forces to create four drama series based on Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage, leading up to a miniseries revolving around the Defenders team. The Defenders, a bit like The Guardians of the Galaxy, are not very ‘mainstream’ to movie-goers. They are definitely not Superman, they are not very well-known, have a well-known story and a fan-base beyond comics lovers, and yet people are getting excited about them. People who may not have known who the Guardians of the Galaxy were a few months ago, are now feeling the hype, they are impatient to meet the characters, they want to travel deeper into the Marvel Universe. And that, that is beautiful. Marvel is winning its bet; creating a cinematic universe worth being branded Marvel.

And in case you want some more insight into Marvel and its novel idea of ‘shared universe’- something ‘unheard in Hollywood’ according to Tom Russo from Boston.com, you might want to check out the TV special titled Marvel Studios: Assembling a Universe. It is a documentary on the history of Marvel Studios and the making of its cinematic universe. I linked it just here 😉

Until next time, I wish you all well. If you want to discuss, do it in the comments section 🙂

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Young Justice, and my other experiences with TV shows

19 Jul

I am wretched, miserable, pathetic… I can’t believe this is happening again.. I’m watching a TV show, following it loyally and excitedly aaaaand it got canceled. I’ve had it for FlashForward, Hellcats, Common Law and now Young Justice. I know I’m late about this(yes 7 months late) but bear with me, I get the french channels and the french shows in Mauritius so it gets to me a bit later but then I watched the whole 2 seasons online. I.. I.. I’m broken-hearted about this show. The storylines were great, the voice actors were great, the characters were great, the art was terrific. I loved it, it got me so excited. There was even a season 2 so I got all hopeful and then bam! It left me with no warning..shattering my hopes with my heart.. Just when I started to really fantasize on Nightwing~because come on he’s HOT. I already found little Dick cute as Robin, with the ears and all, but dang! puberty did a greeaat job with him!

nightwing is so hot

And I’m being such a fangirl!  I’ve been looking at pictures and gifs for days now…yup, Tumblr and Fanpop are my friends. It’s been a while since I’ve not felt this way about a fictional character-since Nightcrawler from X-Men Evolution~notice my seeming obsession with those whose names start with ‘night’. Is that a coincidence? I think not.

But coming back to the point, Young Justice got canceled… And to think that Cartoon Network’d rather cancel a great DC show and go on airing stuff like Adventure Time, The Regular Show and that stupid Gumball show…we clearly see how morals and sensibility are important values and qualities CN does not want kids to have. Nah let’s just make them see stupid and irresponsible stuff. Bleh. Sorry, I may be biased about it but then no, no I’m not sorry actually. Oh and people should stop fooling themselves, a brightly colored cartoon isn’t necessarily made for kids. Adventure Time and Gumball-thing may look cute and colorful but that’s just it. Wait no, that’s not even it-cute, I mean.

shit cn

Okay so yes I’m broken-hearted and p*ssed off and yes I cried a little(Big lie. I cried a lot) but I’m also making such a big deal about it because I’m scared. I’m scared and quite anxious about my future and my career. Okay I don’t think I’ll be going for animated series or cartoons but concerning TV shows, one never knows 😉 The thing is FlashForward and Common Law were really good shows and their plots were quite original. FlashForward got an 8.2/10 rating on TV.com and Common Law got a 7.6/10 rating on IMDb and if that’s not good I don’t know what is. These shows got canceled due to poor views. So now I’m thinking what if these shows were not that good and I’m the one who’s got poor taste, then maybe I’m not supposed to try my hand at movie or TV show directing. Besides, one can see that a lot of work went through the making of these shows; be it for the special effects of FF, the dance routines and cheer-leading acrobatics on Hellcats or the stunts in Common Law. People have worked their *sses off on these shows, sweat and money were thrown into these projects, only to have them canceled after one season… Now that, that is what scares me. So much investment amounting to virtually nothing. The moment your show gets on TV and you start gathering fans from all over the world is not really a victory then… and when you least expect it you can be cut off, just like that. Okay, maybe I am overreacting. But then maybe I’m not. I’m just a tad bit anxious about my choice of career for the moment.

anxiety

Oh and I’m getting really annoyed with the cancellation of shows I like just like that. And Young Justice didn’t even have a ratings problem, no? Don’t they ever think about the fans? Well maybe if we didn’t live in such a ‘profit is our only motive’-society things would be different but until the time comes when the sales of mugs, toys, t-shirts and iphone cases will stop determining the fate of cartoons I guess I’ll have to bear with it. Let me quote an article from comicbookmovie.com,

“As far as helping bring the show back, Weisman stated that fans needed to support the MERCHANDISE particularly the trade of the tie-in comic book, the upcoming video game Young Justice: Legacy and the official soundtrack to the series. “Honestly, they don’t care if no one watches the show as long as the toys sell,” echoed Phil Lamarr.

The studios are not run by artists anymore, now they are run by suits who clearly only care about the cash. Investors want their money back, that’s all they care about. If they don’t see the return, they will shut the project down. That’s sad. You may say it’s the harsh reality of life but I’ll tell you that life was never about making profit- after all humans are the only creatures on Earth who pay to live here- and that these men in suits are clearly missing the point. Whatever happens the fandom will never disappear because the fandom is not about the money.
Well until what fans and artists have to stay start counting just as much as the businessmen’s opinions , yes I will still be wretched, miserable and pathetic but also determined to make things change!

Alexandra