Marvel kisses its own ass, but—HOLY SHIT SO MUCH COOL STUFF

Last night ABC, which is presided over by the same Disney overlord as Marvel Studios, aired an hour-long commercial for upcoming Marvel titles Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy, in which Marvel also patted itself on the back for a job well done on that whole Iron Man and Avengers thing and then tossed a few—admittedly very cool—breadcrumbs to the fans by way of concept art for the 2015 slate of The Avengers: Age of Ultron and Edgar Wright’s Ant Man.

Ant Man. Seems silly, but I wouldn't bet against Edgar Wright.
Ant Man. Seems silly, but I wouldn’t bet against Edgar Wright.

The ABC special “Marvel: Assembling a Universe” was just a marketing tool, but it was a really good one, given the Ultron and Ant Man goodies socked away at the end. It was basically just Marvel going through their junk drawer saying, “Oh this? It’s just something we had lying around. Here, you can have it.” And then Marvel sat back, cracked a beer, and watched the internet lose its shit over new Hulkbuster armor. Later Marvel intends to bang DC’s mom then never call her back.

hulkbuster
Hulkbuster what?!

The ABC special was basically just a clip package made up from DVD extras from previous Marvel movies, plus some footage from The Winter Soldier featurettes, also destined to be DVD extras. It wasn’t particularly illuminating, unless you’re in the 1.7% of people who didn’t know that once upon a time, casting Robert Downey, Jr. as a superhero was a big risk. Much more interesting than the special was a comment made by Marvel Studios co-chief Kevin Feige during The Winter Soldier’s press conference in LA over the weekend.

The relevant bit comes at the eighteen minute mark, when Feige is asked about what, if any, influence he has over the Marvel titles housed at other studios, such as Spider-Man at Sony, or X-Men and Fantastic Four at Fox. “It’s limited,” Feige says. “Very limited.” Of course, it’s Anthony Mackie’s (amazing) comment about Marvel making “better fucking movies” that everyone repeats, but Feige’s response is worth noting.

scarlet_witch
The Scarlet Witch, aka, everyone’s Halloween costume in 2015.

Everyone’s all over the ongoing DC vs. Marvel flame war, but really, I find the Marvel vs. Marvel IP conflict much more interesting. People always say things like Spider-Man should be in The Avengers, or the Avengers and X-Men should make a movie together. But that is NEVER going to happen. Marvel’s involvement with their own IP can be confusing, because the Marvel banner gets stuck on anything produced with a Marvel character. But Marvel Studios, as a production entity, has nothing to do with X-Men, Spider-Man, or Fantastic Four. They sold those rights back in the 1990’s and those characters are under other studios’ management.

Fans saying a way to “improve” Marvel is to combine franchises is impractical and essentially a waste of time. It’s not legally possible, it’s never going to happen, enjoy it in the comics because that’s where it’s going to stay. They couldn’t even get Sony to sign off on putting the Oscorp building in New York City’s skyline in The Avengers, let alone getting the actual character into a team-up movie. Now, if you want to talk about the myriad problems with Agents of SHIELD, I’m in.

quicksilver
Marvel’s Quicksilver.
Poor Fox. Poor, poor Fox.

But speaking of DC vs. Marvel. Sorry, nerds, the Superhero Apocalypse of Summer 2016 won’t happen. If you don’t know, currently both Batman vs. Superman and Captain America 3 are scheduled for the same opening day in May 2016. Right now it’s a staring contest and as entertaining as it would be to see that go down, there are a lot of reasons why it won’t. One of them will blink.

The chief reason is financial cannibalization. DC and Marvel share the same audience, and there’s no way a dual opening won’t put a dent in BOTH their profits. There can be only one and all that, but they would BOTH lose. The vast majority of people won’t double-down and “just see both”, they would pick one or the other and then neither movie would be able to maximize their audience, because they’d be poaching from each other’s dinner. So yeah, one of them is going to blink. Which will it be? Well, Marvel is fronting with maximum confidence right now, but seeing Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman on screen at last will very, very hard to top. Although if you ask Sebastian “Winter Soldier” Stan, Marvel wins because Green Lantern. Which, really, is a good point.

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7 thoughts on “Marvel kisses its own ass, but—HOLY SHIT SO MUCH COOL STUFF

  1. Yas

    Doc is really flattering itself by think ( at the current casting and storyline rate ) batman vs. Superman will have a shot at captain America 3. Really, captain America writers could run the script through a paper shredder and glue random pieces together and it will still be better than that mess they call superman 2. Sorry Ben Affleck and Jeremy irons

      1. On quality control, at this moment, I’d hand it to Marvel, yes. But Batman/Wonder Woman/Superman…that’s going to be seriously hard to resist. WB/DC would have to make the worst, most piece of trash-looking movie to blow it.

  2. Agent K

    “Marvel wins because Green Lantern. Which, really, is a good point.”

    Really? I thought is was a weak point. Kind of like saying “DC wins because Incredible Hulk movie or Agents of SHIELD”. Match up your big players if you’re going to play.

    Love the images except Wanda, she looks like a 14 year old Mallrat.

    Look at this point I think I’ll probably enjoy Cap 3 more than Sup v. Bats (I miss the Nolan brothers!) but I’m not crazy enough to think one great trailer showing Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman doesn’t end this battle before it starts. Also why Captain America? It’s their lowest grossing except for Hulk.

    1. I actually think Green Lantern is a microcosm of what’s wrong with WB/DC’s thinking, which is basically style over substance. They get big splashy names, throw a ton of money at it, but no one really thinks about story and character and content.

      Re: Wanda. The key is that her costume is homemade. Imagine that next to the super sleek and sexy Avengers, with all their money and official government support and Tony Stark building all their shit.

      I don’t know why Captain America. Marvel wants it to take over as the cornerstone of the MCU since Iron Man is out of franchise right now, but let’s be honest. If Guardians of the Galaxy is a big hit this summer, that spot could easily become GoG 2’s. Marvel is not going to give up that date, but they can shuffle a number of titles there. WB/DC is limited to just the one option, which is why they’ll be the ones to blink.

    1. I think we’ll see Carol Danvers for sure.

      If I remember right the first couple of Blade movies did okay. I doubt Marvel will be in a hurry to reboot it, though.

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