Tagged: Nick Fury

A Team Divided – Your First Look at SECRET AVENGERS #1

This March, run the mission, don’t get seen, save the world. The covert branch of Earth’s Mightiest is back with a new mission, new enemies, and even deadlier threats. Today, Marvel is pleased to present your first look at SECRET AVENGERS #1 from the critically acclaimed creative team of Ales Kot and Michael Walsh!

The Earth is in danger. And only the world’s most effective secret squad can save it. Too bad that’s NOT the Secret Avengers! Three missions kick off at the same time: one in the air, one on the ground, and one in…space?! And no one is ready for what comes next – except the attackers! Now, Fury, Coulson, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Spider-Woman, Maria Hill, and even the villainous M.O.D.O.K. must work together if they hope to achieve the impossible. But first, they’ll have to survive!

“A possible strength – and also a possible weak spot – lies in the group’s capacity to work together,” says writer Ales Kot in an interview with Marvel.com. “Unless they learn how to do that, they will be picked off one by one. Because something is coming for them. And not just from one direction.”

Personalities clash as the bullets (and arrows) fly this March when the high-stakes, action-packed espionage comes to All-New Marvel NOW! with a bang in SECRET AVENGERS #!


Written by ALES KOT



Variant Cover by MIKE DEODATO (JAN140680)
Animal Variant by KATIE COOK (JAN140681)

FOC –02/17/14 On-Sale -03/12/14

Check out the Captain America Trailer

Capt2_Teaser2_1-Sht_v9 (2)In the better late than never department, we present to you the just-released trailer for next April’s Captain America: The Winter Solider. In the trailer, you will find Black Widow, Nick Fury, the Falcon, and the Winter Soldier. Not glimpsed is Sharon Carter but she’s in this stuffed tale as well. It looks pretty darn cool.

Genre:                          Action-Adventure
Rating:                          TBD
U.S. Release date:        April 4, 2014

Cast:                            Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Emily VanCamp, Hayley Atwell with Robert Redford as                                                   Alexander Pierce and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury

Directors:                      Anthony and Joe Russo
Producer:                      Kevin Feige
Executive Producers:     Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso,  Michael Grillo, Alan Fine, Stan Lee
Screenplay by:               Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely (credit not final)

After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier finds Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, living quietly in Washington, D.C. and trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off professional assassins sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy—the Winter Soldier.

Based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series, first published in 1941, Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier is produced by Kevin Feige, directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, from a screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, and stars Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Emily VanCamp and Hayley Atwell, with Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.

In Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Steve Rogers teams up with Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, to battle a powerful yet shadowy enemy in present-day Washington, D.C.

Take a look at “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” trailer

Captain America returns! Here’s the official first trailer for Captain America: The Winter Soldier — in US theaters April 4, 2014. The sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger stars Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Emily VanCamp, Hayley Atwell with Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.

After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier finds Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, living quietly in Washington, D.C. and trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off professional assassins sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy—the Winter Soldier.


Based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series, first published in 1941, Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier is produced by Kevin Feige, directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, from a screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely. The executive producers are Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Michael Grillo, Alan Fine and Stan Lee. The film releases April 4, 2014, and is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Mindy Newell: The SHIELD Bug

newell-art-131007-150x155-4553886I’ve been down with what is either an incredibly horrible cold or what technically would be considered a mild flu since last Tuesday, although “mild” is definitely not in the eyes of the sufferer – achy and sore, exhausted just doing nothing but unable to sleep enough to wake up feeling like I slept, coughing up disgusting stuff from inside my chest, a nose that is either stuffed or running depending on the time of day, alternately hungry and nauseous in the same minute…

Anyway, my brain is definitely not completely “there” this week, but here are some thoughts.

So far not terrifically excited by Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. I thought the pilot episode was basically meh and if it wasn’t for the involvement of the combined powerhouse of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) and Joss Whedon it would never have been picked up by ABC, much less been given a full season of episodes. For one thing the new agents (meaning those we haven’t seen in the MCU) are too homogenously Hollywood; everybody is the same pretty face and body, as though the casting office went to the Paris and New York fashion shows instead of the theaters in their search for new talent. Note to ABC: Marvel’s universe is not DC’s universe. It’s built around imperfect people having imperfect lives, super powered or not. It wouldn’t have been a bad idea to hire a Melissa McCarthy or Kevin James as agents. Y’know, some imperfect people. Imperfect people who can… act.

But maybe I’m being too hard on a new show that has had the weight of high expectations around its neck like the proverbial albatross. Isn’t there anything I’ve liked about AOS?

Of course.

Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson. Oh, and Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson. And then there’s Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson.

I also like Lola, Phil Coulson’s 1961 red Chevrolet Corvette C1. (Phil Coulson is played by Clark Gregg.)

I like that Lola has a little bit of DeLorean in her.

I like Sam Jackson showing up as Nick Fury and dressing down Phil Coulson (who is played by Clark Gregg.)

I liked seeing J. August Richards – Charles Gunn on Angel – on TV again, playing the manipulated and man-made superhero/supervillain of the pilot. Whedon has a good, no, great, eye for talent and he often hires and rehires actors he has worked with and brought to stardom…maybe we’ll be seeing other Wheedon “school” alumni on AOS? Alexis Denisoff – yes, I know he played “the Other” in The Avengers, but so what? – Elisha Dushku, Tom Lenk, Amy Acker, Gina Torres, Nathan Fillion….

Actually, those are the kind of actors I would have liked to see making up the Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D on ABC, Tuesdays at 8 PM, EDT.

Still, the pretty faces of Hollywood might grow on me.




Mike Gold’s Big Fanboy Geek Out

Gold Art 130904Sometimes writing this type of column requires the skills of an experienced curmudgeon – which, lucky for me, is how I got the job. But only a child with a weak bladder pisses over everything he likes, and I am not a child. I am an adult. With a weak bladder, but hey, I’m staring Medicare in the face.

Unlike some of my ilk, I still read comic books – not exclusively, but I read a lot of ‘em. I read a few out of curiosity and a few others just to see what my friends are up to. But I focus on the comics I actually enjoy (hence my annual “Top Nine” list). With comics characters and adaptations proliferating all across the media, the same is true with comics-based movies and teevee shows. And what’s making my little fanboy heart go pitter-patter? Spoiler Alert: look at the artwork up by the headline.

I have enjoyed Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. ever since its debut in Strange Tales #135. This comic book came out in the early summer of 1965. An endless sea of masterful writers and artists succeeded Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (for the record, Kirby plotted those early stories) and the most significant, the most interesting, the most awe-inspiring, was from a relative newcomer named Jim Steranko. He imbued the property with so much raw energy and skill that the property is still running off of the momentum he provided some almost a half century ago.

I love the way S.H.I.E.L.D’s been handled in the movies. It’s so… Marvelesque. It’s been handled by people who get it. So it should come as no surprise that my fanboy anticipation is entirely invested in the new teevee series, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Of course I can be disappointed. This sort of thing has happened before. The right people get it wrong. But given how S.H.I.E.L.D. has been handled by Marvel’s movie division and the fact that Joss Whedon is the show’s overseer and Clark Gregg unsplatters himself from the movie storyline to reappear as Agent Coulson in this new series, I have every right to expect a solidly entertaining experience.

On Tuesday, September 24, nearly three weeks from today, I’ll find out.

And then I can move on to Doctor Who’s anniversary.

After all these years, it’s still fun to be a fanboy. I’ll grow up to be that old geezer at the assisted living center, completely not acting his age.

I’m looking forward to it.




Mike Gold: U.N.C.L.E. S.H.I.E.L.D?

Gold Art 130515Hoo boy. My Uh-Oh sense is screaming its fool head off.

Here’s the inevitable backstory. In the late spring of 1965, Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. replaced The Human Torch in Marvel’s Strange Tales monthly. I liked the Human Torch in Fantastic Four, but this series was sadly second-rate. I also liked Nick Fury and his contemporary appearance in the just Big-Banged Marvel Universe. But I really loved the teevee series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (damn; typing all those damn dots is gonna wear real thin) so the new Nick Fury was met with a minor adolescent fangasm.

Timing is everything. U.N.C.L.E. was just ending its first season, and the next two would suck the chrome off of a mid-sixties Buick. Over at Marvel, Stan and Jack were just warming up. A couple years later Jim Steranko would take S.H.I.E.L.D., and comics, to a whole ‘nother level. My feelings towards U.N.C.L.E. remained positive, but in a more hopeful sense. That hope actually paid off in the show’s final half-season, and the series remains iconographic to this day.

Meanwhile, S.H.I.E.L.D. became a critical part of the Marvel Universe – but attempts at maintaining it as an ongoing series proved unsuccessful. It attracted some great talent, but not great sales. I doubt most humans were aware of the organization until Iron Man 1 came along.

Maybe it was the success of the Marvel movies that finally got the Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie off the ground. I hope so, as that appeals to my sense of Cosmic Balance. Guy Richie is directing it, and Tom Cruise and Armie Hammer are starring as Napoleon Solo and Ilya Kuryakin, respectively.


I can’t say anything about Mr. Hammer except that his great-grandfather, Armand Hammer, became the world’s wealthiest man by selling lots of stuff to the Soviets. This appeals to my Cosmic Balance thing. Nonetheless, he is barely noticed in the trailers to the upcoming movie The Lone Ranger, in which he plays the lead but Johnny Depp plays the Star. But I can say a lot about Mr. Cruise.

Tom Cruise is, in my opinion, a good actor. Sometimes great. He stars as the continuing lead in the Mission: Impossible series. He stars as the continuing lead in the Jack Reacher series. In both series, as well as most of his movies I’ve seen, he doesn’t play the character, he makes the character Tom Cruise. That’s fine for M:I – his character is original, even though the series is not. But, as noted, I have a fondness for Napoleon Solo, the human being spy who kidnapped other human beings to engage them in adventures that even Alfred Hitchcock would find amazing. If the movie is called The Man From U.N.C.L.E., I want to see Solo on the screen and not Cruise.

I also have a fondness for S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson, who earned those feelings in a whole lotta recent Marvel movies. The same guy, Clark Gregg, is playing the character in the new teevee series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Perhaps that Cosmic Balance can be described by the old sawhorse “What goes around comes around.” But I gotta tell you, my fanboy reaction to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is one of great anticipation.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie? Not so much.

But I hope I’m wrong.

THURSDAY: Dennis O’Neil

FRIDAY: Martha Thomases


Ultimate Spider-Man: Avenging Spider-Man Comes to DVD Next Week

Over the past year, Peter Parker has been saving New York City from evil villains as the masked hero, Spider-Man while balancing his heroics with homework and friends. When S.H.I.E.L.D. Director, Nick Fury, offers Peter the chance to raise his game to the next level…to become The Ultimate Spider-Man, Midtown High becomes a secret operations base for young heroes under the watchful eye of Fury and the school’s new principal, Agent Coulson. Spidey takes on S.H.I.E.L.D. missions across the Marvel Universe, encounters new villains, and battles his biggest threat yet…teen high school drama, in this funny and action– packed new series!

Click Communications: Marvel Ultimate Spider-Man: Avenging Spider-Man on DVD 2/5/13! &emdash; Nick Fury & Spider-Man

Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man: Avenging Spider-Man 2-Disc DVD


Genre:                                   Animation/Action-Adventure

Rating:                                   TV-Y7 FV

US Release Date:                            February 5, 2013

Feature Run Time:                          Approximately 135 minutes each disc (six 22-minute episodes) – total: 270 minutes

Suggested Retail Price:     2-Disc DVD = $26.99 (US only)


Disc One: Great Power, Great Responsibility, Doomed, Freaky, For Your Eye Only, I Am Spider-Man

Disc Two: Flight of the Iron Spider, Exclusive, Field Trip, Home Sick Hulk, Run Pig Run, Not a Toy

Voice Cast:

Drake Bell as Spider-Man (Drake & Josh), Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson (The Avengers, Thor), Logan Miller as Sam Alexander/Nova (I’m in the Band), Caitlyn Taylor Love as Ava Ayala/White Tiger (I’m in the Band), Greg Cipes as Danny Rand/Iron Fist (Teen Titans), Ogie Banks as Luke Cage/Power Man (Fatherhood), Tara Strong as Mary-Jane (The Fairy Odd Parents), Steven Weber as Norman Osborn (A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up Timmy Turner! Brothers & Sisters), Tom Kenny as Doctor Octopus (Spongebob Squarepants, Dan vs.), Chi McBride as Nick Fury (Human Target, Hawthorne), J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson (Spider-Man 3, The Closer).

Executive Producers:                    Alan Fine (Marvel’s The Avengers, Thor, Iron Man 2) Dan Buckley (The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Iron Man: Armored Adventures) Joe Quesada (Ultimate Spider-Man) Jeph Loeb (Lost, Heroes).

Martha Thomases: Judi Dench Is Not A Bond Girl

Like so much of the world, I went to see Skyfall this weekend. I went with my friend Karen, who hadn’t seen a James Bond movie in a few decades. We both had a fantastic time, and if you haven’t already gone and you like action movies, you should go, right now. This column will still be here when you get back. And, if you can’t go right this second, I shall do my best to avoid spoilers.

There are all kinds of reasons to enjoy this movie: Daniel Craig is a terrific Bond; the locations are exotic and beautiful; the set pieces, including the opening scene and the fight in the glass building, are inventive and exciting; the cinematography is glorious.

For the purposes of this column, I want to talk about a feminist reason to like it: M. Or rather, Judi Dench. Dame Judi is 78 years old, and, in this movie, she looks it. Her hair is gray, almost white. Her face is wrinkled. Her body, at least as it appears in the wardrobe assigned to her, is slack.

None of this makes any difference, because she is not a “Bond girl.” She is M. She is the head of MI6, and she is determined to do the best possible job she can. Her dedication is to her mission and her country. Because this is a James Bond movie, the emphasis is on her relationship with James Bond. However, this relationship, while cordial, is never less than professional, even when both of their lives are at stake. And it is the most compelling relationship in the whole movie.

Have we seen a female character less sexualized in a modern mass movie? The closest I can remember is Helen Mirren in the comic book-inspired movie Red (and also probably everything else she has done for the last decade). And even she is as famous for how she looks in a bikini (and at her age!) as for her formidable talent.

Both Skyfall and Red fail the Bechdel test because neither film has enough fully-realized female characters for either actress to have a significant conversation with another woman. Still, I think the success of both films bodes well for the acceptance of complicated, adult women in pop culture.

Unfortunately, I can’t say the same thing about comics. For the most part, older female characters at the Big Two, like Aunt May or Martha Kent, are mothers or mother-figures. Heavy women like Etta Candy are comic sidekicks.

The worst travesty is what has happened to my pal John Ostrander’s creation, Amanda Waller. Originally a tough, no-nonsense,solidly professional woman (see M, above), she was re-cast in The New 52 as a babe. Instead of wearing sensible suits appropriate to her job, she is no flaunting the tits and ass, with high heels that accentuate her long legs, which look even longer in her short, short skirts.

I suppose it’s possible this re-design was planned in advance of the Green Lantern movie, in which Angela Bassett played Waller in a role that was clearly supposed to mimic Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury. However, Angela Bassett is in her mid-50s. Amanda Waller in the DC books? Not that I can tell.

There are lots of reasons that movies make more money than comics. There are a lot more places to see them, for one thing. We would do well to remember that another reason is that they portray a much broader perspective on reality, one which attracts more fans.

No sane person would claim that Hollywood isn’t a sexist, patriarchal boys’ club. The difference is that it’s a sexist, patriarchal boys’ club that wants to make a profit, and they are smart enough to know the best way to do that is to sell more tickets.

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman


Keep Joss Whedon’s “S.H.I.E.L.D.” from being cancelled!

English: Joss Whedon at the 2010 Comic Con in ...We would like to get ahead of the curve and start the first official campaign to keep Joss Whedon’s S.H.I.E.L.D. on the air and avoid premature cancellation.

Never mind that the show was just announced yesterday. Ignore the fact that there has been no casting for the series yet. Forget that Whedon has a contract with Marvel for the next three years. This is a Joss Whedon television show. The clock is already ticking down to its inevitable demise.

We don’t know how it will happen this time. It could be a remade pilot, or a pilot put in at the end of the season. It could have its budget cut. It could be put on Friday night, always a favorite. It could have the network shot out from under, but it’s unlikely that could happen to ABC (although not impossible). It could be a combination of all of them.

But this time, we can get a head start! Because we know that people are going to be trying to strangle this show as soon as humanly possible, we can prepare months, nay, years in advance. We can create cool social media campaigns! We can start making t-shirts, and buying up eyepatches in bulk for the inevitable mail-in to executives claiming that if they’re so blind as to cancel a show as brilliant as this, they should have Nick Fury’s eyepatches! (However, threatening to pluck out network executive eyes, while fun to contemplate, should be saved for later when we start sending telegrams.)

So we’re calling on you, faithful ComicMix reader. Retweet this post! Like it and share it on Facebook! Digg it! Put it on Reddit! Use StumbleUpon! Heck, even use LinkedIn, even though it’s supposed to be for work! There’s no time for work! This is important! This is your new job now! Click all those buttons below this article! Joss Whedon’s vision depends on you! If you don’t do it, he won’t be able to take your favorite characters and emotionally torment them… and mess with their heads… and then gratuitously kill off your favorite one, just because he was in a bad mood that day…

…nah. Joss wouldn’t kill off S.H.I.E.L.D. agents just for the heck of it, would he?

Emily S. Whitten: Marvel Movies: Are They Going Too Far?

I suppose we could call this a follow-up or at least sister piece to last week’s column, in which I interviewed the fantastic Cleolinda Jones, author of Movies in Fifteen Minutes, about her experiences with comic book movies. Cleo noted that she tends to be more interested in Marvel characters because “Marvel has been so much more pro-active about getting movies made and characters out there;” which is true. Let’s look at some numbers for live action comic book movies, just for kicks.

Marvel Movies: 37 (33 + 4 from other Marvel imprints)

DC Movies: 33 (23 + 10 from other DC imprints)

Marvel Movies since 1998: 31 (28 + 3 from other Marvel imprints)

DC Movies since 1998: 18 (8 + 10 from other DC imprints)

Forthcoming Marvel Movies: 16 (8 announced – Iron Man 3; The Wolverine; Thor: The Dark World; Captain America: The Winter Soldier; The Amazing Spider-Man 2; X-Men: Days of Future Past; Avengers 2: Guardians of the Galaxy; Ant-man. 8 speculative – The Amazing Spider-man 3; Deadpool; Doctor Strange; Nick Fury; Runaways; The Hands of Shang-Chi; The Inhumans; Fantastic Four)

Forthcoming DC Movies:   9 (1 announced – Man of Steel. 8 speculative – Constantine 2; The Flash; Green Lantern 2; Justice League; Batman reboot (again); Wonder Woman (maybe?); Suicide Squad; Lobo)

Sources: Wikipedia’s Marvel and DC movie pages; IMDB; tooling around the Internets for all the announcement mentions I could find.

As we can see from the numbers, Marvel consistently beats DC overall in live action movies and soundly whups DC’s behind in live action movies (released and upcoming) from 1998 forward, which I think of as the current/modern comic book movie era (it started with Blade and gained momentum thanks to X-Men and Spider-Man in 2000 and 2002). In the upcoming movies department, not only does Marvel have almost twice as many movies as DC, but at least eight of them are pretty definitely moving forward; as opposed to the one DC has in the can and ready to go. Although DC has announced or sort-of announced several more, they have been much less forceful in confirming their future line-up, and most are not yet locked in.

The Dark Knight Rises (and Christopher Nolan’s trilogy in general) was a huge success; but The Avengers is currently ranked third overall  in box office sales, and Marvel is pushing full steam ahead with a long list of upcoming movies to expand on that success. But is their current success making them go too far? With future movies pulling from somewhat second-string characters like Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, and The Runaways, is Marvel stretching itself too thin and being too ambitious? Are they going to burn out moviegoers with a plethora of new movies about characters people might not know?

Actually, I’d say the answer is no; Marvel is doing exactly what it should to continue producing quality comics movies, and to continue beating the pants off of DC. There are two reasons Marvel’s exuberance in greenlighting all kinds of characters is going to pay off. The first is that Marvel’s attempt to interlock its movies and continue to build off of its shared movie universe, as it has built off of its shared comics universe, has been a resounding success; and if the quality of upcoming movies is consistent, there’s no reason why that should change. In fact, if the future movies are quality, things can only get better for Marvel. Everyone loves a good series, and Marvel’s movies promise to be an ongoing and expanding series like nothing we’ve ever seen in mainstream cinema. They will pull in, if they haven’t already (and dollars to donuts they have) those who don’t read comics but love sci-fi and fantasy series’ like Lord of the Rings, or even those who just like stories that keep on giving. As long as the overall weight of the expanding universe doesn’t drag down the individual movies, love for the whole series will increase exponentially.

The second is that making movies about possibly second-string-ish but still fully developed characters gives Marvel more creative freedom. Despite Ant-Man being a member of The Avengers, he doesn’t have the pull and wide recognition of Iron Man or Captain America. And while Brian K. Vaughan’s Runaways was a great series, since it doesn’t often cross paths with a lot of the more enduring characters, even core Marvel readers may not have picked it up before. By greenlighting some less familiar faces, I’d say Marvel has the leeway to be a bit looser with the source material if it will result in a better movie. Similar to what DC has tried to do with the New 52 comics, Marvel can make these characters accessible to the modern audience, but in an easily digested format in which it’s already accepted that stories may be adapted to serve the medium. I see this as a strong benefit, because often being too enmeshed in the sometimes complex source material can drag a movie down. Thanks to the successful movie platform they’ve built, Marvel now has a great opportunity to introduce some less known characters, including to casual or even serious comics readers, for the very first time through the movies, as they continue to build a more and more of a “realistic” and layered movie world that viewers can lose themselves in.

So I predict that Marvel’s method of movie-making (say that three times fast!) is going to keep working for them. And with that in mind, even though Marvel’s got a super-awesome and full line-up in mind already, here are some other (slightly more minor) characters I’d love to see greenlit for movies:

Taskmaster – He’s a villain, he’s a hero, he’s a villain, he’s a…oh, who knows. Probably not him. All I know is that his backstory is already intertwined with S.H.I.E.L.D. (and Deadpool!) so he could be woven into the overall movie universe; and that he’s fun to read about. And that I’d like to see those photographic reflexes at work on the big screen.

BAD Girls, Inc. – A group with ambiguously good/bad members, Diamondback, Asp, and Black Mamba have crossed paths with Captain America, Iron Man, and more. They could eventually be folded into the wider universe, but given that there are three of them with great interplay and distinct personalities, and given their eventual status as reformed criminals, I could first envision a great mostly standalone strong female action/adventure/crime-related movie with solid and engaging character arcs and redemption. Unfortunately, one of the three, Asp, has been revealed to be a mutant, so I’m not sure if there would be rights issues; but then again, Marvel is doing Runaways, and in that group, Molly is a mutant; so maybe FOX only owns the rights to mutants who have been tied to the X-Men.

Hawkeye/Mockingbird/Black Widow – Marvel’s teamed these three S.H.I.E.L.D. agents up in the comics before, and Hawkeye and Black Widow have already been introduced in the movie universe. I definitely want to see a movie featuring those two, but I like the idea of bringing Mockingbird in as well. I’d love to see a movie that casually establishes that she was already a known entity with an established history with Hawkeye in The Avengers but was just not part of that particular fight; it adds to that “layered universe” feel to have characters who have been presumably going about their lives offscreen before being brought in to the event we’re watching. Plus there’d be some great interplay between those three, and I feel like a S.H.I.E.L.D.-focused movie would benefit from a small team of fairly equal major players.

Ms. Marvel – Okay, she’s not actually a minor character. She’s a major character, an Avenger, and a fucking badass powerhouse. Despite the horrifyingly fanservicey costume, she’s a super-strong (literally) female character, and we need to see her on the big screen. Like, yesterday.

Black Panther – He’s got an interesting backstory and eventually does a stint with The Avengers, but is also powerful and important in his own right. There’s a lot to choose from in his history, since he’s been around since 1966. Also, obviously, it’d be great to see a minority character getting first billing.

…And after Marvel does all of these movies, when we’re all eighty-five years old and hobbling to the movies on our walkers…then they can finally wrap it up by thumbing their noses at us with a Nextwave: Agents of HATE movie. And then maybe close out with X-Babies to make us feel better about everything. Because awwwwwwww, X-Babies.

After all this talk of Marvel, one obvious question is: what can DC do to be more successful in the movie arena? One answer is that they can build up an interlocking universe like Marvel; and it looks like that’s what they’re now planning to do. But as they’re developing that, there are a couple of other things I’d recommend for them. One is to put a lot of energy and love into making a Wonder Woman movie a staple part of that interlocking universe, and do it right. There have been several attempts to get a modern Wonder Woman something off the ground, but the proposed TV series never came to pass, and although the modern animated movie was fun, it didn’t reach a wide audience. Wonder Woman is a major and much-loved DC character, and perfect for the current climate of successful strong female character movies. For whatever reason, though, adaptations seem to struggle with what part of her giant backstory to tell. I’d advise DC to simplify things by deciding how Wonder Woman would be living today, and picking up only the threads of her long-running story that will play with modern audiences. Look first at what makes the best contemporary story that embodies who she is, and second at how faithful each individual bit is to the preceding comics.

Another thing DC can do is to stop rebooting Batman. There have been three versions of Batman to date, and now there’s talk that Christopher Nolan will eventually be helming another Batman reboot. Now, it could be that this rumored reboot is actually going to continue the story Nolan left us with at the end of The Dark Knight Rises and connect it to Man of Steel and other DC movies. If so, great. But if it is indeed a fourth iteration of a character that just wrapped a super-successful trilogy…well I don’t even know what to do with that. DC should be focusing on characters it hasn’t featured instead of relying too heavily on continuously reimagining its two staple stars, Batman and Superman. I hope it does.

Whatever happens, I’m looking forward to the movies that are in the works, and continue to cross my fingers and hope that they’ll all be amazing.

Until next week, Servo Lectio!

(And thanks to my friend @wmslawhorn for inspiring this topic while in a WSFAn’s kitchen eating brownies and drinking beer.)

WEDNESDAY: Mike Gold’s Cold Ennui