Potential spoilers ahead.
So Marvel have let the cat out of the bag and shown us the heroes that are part of the third phase of their movie universe, In my opinion there are a few solid hits in there. And as the self-proclaimed Marvel aficionado that I am I will now give my take on the house of M.
Black Panther: As a key player in the modern Avengers mythos and often cast in the role of the moral compass, the character Black Panther is perhaps not the best known outside of the comics community but have the honour of being the first African superhero in mainstream Marvel comics when he was released back in the mid 60´s. He would later be followed by African-american superheroes such as Falcon, Luke Cage and Storm of the X-Men. Not only a superhero Black Panther is also the de-facto ruler of the small but advanced fictional nation of Wakanda. It is not an uncommon theme in the Black Panther comics that he is beings forced to choose between his duties as an Avenger and as the ruler of his people. But the Black Panther have remained true to his call as a fair ruler and as a hero, never sacrificing his people for the greater good.
So what kind of material for a movie franchise is there in this? Well… A lot I would say. Not only is Wakanda linked to the larger Marvel universe by the metal Vibranium. This fictional material is highly dampening and able to disperse impact force. This is the reason why the comic version of Captain America can block pretty much anything with his shield without breaking... well... everything, since it is made up of a Vibranium and Adamantium alloy. This mythical metal is also the reason why pretty much any villain known to the Marvel universe has at one point or another invaded Wakanda.
But I digress… From a story standpoint Black Panther is something very different from the current roster of the Marvel cinematic universe. He is for a lack of better word... Pure. A real good guy driven by the highest moral fiber. A man who see the good in his people, even the ones who thirst for his power and the throne of Wakanda. But unlike Captain America he is very much in tune with the times and can in the right hands give a fresh take on what in movies often end up as the noble savage. He will also most likely play a important role in the aftermath of the second Avengers movie if the trailer is anything to go by (a hint.. I did mention Cap´s shield is part vibranium) and it is hinted that he will take the role of the mediator in the third Captain America movie.
Captain America 3: Civil War: Following the comic event by the same name this will deal with the fallout of a world being face by beings of unmeasurable power and the horrors they release. It pretty much comes back to the exchange between Nick Fury and crew in the first Avengers movie. When asked why SHIELD was developing hyper-advanced weapons, Nick points to Thor and simply states “because of you”. The comic arc is about superhero registration and take a not very subtle stab at things such as the Patriot act and it´s successors. In the comics the trigger is a very powerful moment. We follow a team of young heroes known as the new warriors that have been given a reality show. But it is not doing very well and to boos the ratings they get in way over their head. The result is that a villain called Nitro detonates and levels a large chunk of the community Stamford. Within the blast radius is a school and among the dead is over half a hundred kids.
This triggers an outrage among the general population and
pushes the politicians to enact the hero registration act. Now exactly how this
will play out in the movie I do not know but at its core Civil war pits Captain
America against Iron Man as the former take a stand against the registration and
the later moves in to a position of power within the government as a result of the act.
|The aftermath of Nitro´s blast|
I think this will be an epic story, I have always felt that parts of Civil war would make for a really good movie and to see it as the conclusion to the Captain´s arc I feel is the perfect choice. It will give heroes a chance to take a stance for what they think is right without being necessarily wrong.
|Let us hope she get a more practical outfit.|
Captain Marvel: Originally known in the comics as Ms Marvel, Captain Marvel will be Marvel cinematic universe first female lead. Based on Carol Danvers, a fighter pilot who gain superpowers after an encounter with the alien Kree race (Ronan from GotG was a Kree… They are blue and very pissed off.) And over the years she has fought off everything from shape shifting aliens to demi-gods and elemental forces. She is also the person from whom the comic version of X-Men´s Rouge got her strength, ability to fly and being nearly impervious to harm. So she is traditionally shown as a flying powerhouse who can toss the Hulk and shoot beams of pure energy from her hands.. At this point there is very little known about the movie and how it will fit in to the larger story. Her powers are very much cosmic but as Marvel them-self pointed out, most of her adventures are with the Avengers on earth.
There is no lack of stories to pick from and seeing a female superhero in a lead role will be a breath of fresh air. In the right hands this could become a game changer.
Doctor Strange: Another less known character with big impact in the Marvel universe. In the comics Steven Strange is a neurosurgeon with almost a god complex, seeing himself as infallible while holding a scalpel. A car accident robs his hands of the dexterity they need for him to continue his work. Crushed he travels the world to find someone who can restore his hands, and by extension his life. But rather than finding a cure he stumbles in to a world of mystic energies as he seeks out an old mystic. Strange had been told that the old mystic would have healing abilities. The vain and petty surgeon soon find himself studying under the mystic and would later shoulder the mantle of sorcerer supreme, the guardian of magic on earth.
Yes that is about as stupid as it sounds and I was not at all very interested in this movie until I heard who they are in talks to play the good doctor… No other then Benedict Cumberbatch. While he is a little young to play the doctor Strange he most definitely have the chops to pull it off and his particular brand of subdued but powerful delivery would fit the character to a tee, Of course there is still no real confirmation on if Benny is in fact going to do the role, but i keep my fingers crossed.
Inhumans: And then we went off the deep end… The Inhumans are a race of people that live on the moon in a microcosms called the blue area. They are an experiment on how to grant humans superhuman abilities carried out by a race of beings knows as the Celestials (or Kree depending on version... Are we seeing a theme here… ) Very little to say here as I am fairly unfamiliar with the property. But they are a family group, they tend to butt head with different cosmic threats like Thanos and they are led by Black Bolt who is a mute since his voice shatter mountains. It could be a very interesting movie but my bet is that it will end up a dud unless put in to VERY capable hands. Of all the new movies announced it is the one I have the least faith in. It is simply too weird. Then again.. they made Guardians of the galaxy work… so who knows
|Some of the Inhumans. Black Bolt in the foreground|
Ant-Man: The odd man out, a fairly standalone movie if the director is to be believed. The story will focus on the second Ant-Man Scott Lang. The original Ant-Man was Hank Pym, one of the founding members of the Avengers and in the comics the creator of Ultron. For the second Avengers movie Tony Stark have taken over the role of “worst judgement in the history of humanity”. These changes are mostly because all in all Hank Pym is just a more insecure Tony Stark while Scott Lang has a much more interesting story, being a down on his luck guy who steals the Ant-Man suit to get his kidnapped daughter back.
This movie have been through development hell and back. I have the utter most faith in Edgar Wright to be able to produce a funny bit slightly dark story about a man that can shrink to the size of an ant… But I have no idea if one will be a hit or miss. I guess it will come down to marketing. Any way it will be another stand out that is only loosely connected to the other movies in the universe. Not very good odds on this one.
Thor 3 – Ragnarok: Not much to say… it will have more Hiddleston as Loki… I am happy. After Dark World it can pretty much just go up in my mind.
Guardians of the galaxy 2: Literally no clue about what this one will be about. Groot and Rocket I guess… It will most likely tie very closely in to…
Avengers 3 infinity war part 1&2: The “final” chapter of the Marvel cinematic universe and it will probably pitch everyone at Thanos… By all account a loose adaptation of the infinity saga this will wrap up a storyline that started with the Tesseract and will end with Thanos having control over pretty much all of creation… Something you usually do not want a genocidal maniac to have. This will either be ass-kicking awesome or very much MEH depending on how much they have milked the concept and managed to keep the phase three movies fresh. A slight superhero fatigue could be setting in by the time the third Avengers movie comes around. It is also as I mentioned a two part story and I am ok with that even if it r4esults in having to wait an extra year to see all of it. It does give them proper time to tell a story.
That was the long and short of it. All in all it looks like phase three will shape up in to a feast for the fans of marvel superheroes in particular and with DC´s push for the Justice League super hero fans in general.
But next up we have Avengers: Age of Ultron and it looks like it will be bloody awesome.