Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Punisher

Jon Bernthal!  That is a good frickin choice. I love Punisher.  I think most people do because we want someone like him to exist to right the real wrongs out there.  If you consider the popularity of shows like Dexter, it shouldn't be surprising. A killer of killers. The concept is appealing because it touches our primal instincts. That someone could prey on the predators in society. That there is something monsters of men have to fear at night.

There's this line most vigilantes don't cross because they don't want to become what they fight against. Frank Castle doesn't have that line. At all. He doesn't see mafia henchmen, child murderers, serial rapists or other hired killers as humans, but rabid wolves that prey on the innocent. He doesn't believe in caging a rabid wolf in the hope it'll get better, he puts the animal down so no one else can be hurt by it.  Because of this, he rarely has repeat villains.

I think introducing him in a series format is genius because, while I love the movies, they would never be big. They can't. He is a solid R rated character and parents aren't really thrilled about bringing their kids to see a comic book movie that's rated R.  People not into comics won't be likely to see it cause they won't know who he is. But by introducing him in a successful show that is set in a darker setting, with a great actor that can do intense roles, it shouldn't be hard to spin a Punisher show off of it. 

Punisher plays a role in Civil War in the comics, albeit a small one. Having the option to use him is just one more tool at Marvel's disposal.  There's this great scene between Punisher and Captain America where Cap just beats him senseless and Castle refuses to raise a hand to defend himself. Cap wants him to fight back, he's a killer and he goes against Cap's morales in nearly every way.  Frank on the other hand sees Rogers as a good man and, while Cap wants to believe Castle has no morales and is just a plain killer, he simple states he won't raise a hand against Cap.  He doesn't attempt to rationalize or explain, he just takes the beating.

Of all the characters in the hero catalog, the Punisher is the closest one to reality.  More than one person with high levels of training have talked about how they have given serious consideration to going that route. To actually going out and taking their training to hunt down and stop gangs and other hardened criminals. I will not be surprised if someone finally takes action.

Dawn of Justice

When I watched Man of Steel, I couldn't help but think, 'Dude, they are destroying the friggin' world.' Talking with some friends, we compared notes and everyone was blown away by the staggering amount of destruction. I loved it because it showed, for the first time on the silver screen, just how powerful Superman was. They didn't hold back.

But, that being said, it was a little insane because, there had to be a sequel. Was Metropolis gonna be fine and dandy in the next movie? There's no way. They leveled that fucking place. How many people died? Yes, he saved the world, but there would naturally be a huge swath of people who would blame him for attracting Zod to Earth to start with; blame him for the death of their loved ones if they were in a building that collapsed, blame him for the financial ruin for the billions upon billions of dollars in public and private property damage.  He would be a bitterly divisive figure, even if he was just as 'a friend' here 'to help'. 

“I was surprised because that’s the thesis of Superman for me, that you can’t just have superheroes knock around and have there be no consequences…There are other superhero movies where they joke about how basically no one’s getting hurt. That’s not us. What is that message? That’s it’s okay that there’s this massive destruction with zero consequence for anyone?” - Zack Snyder on Man of Steel backlash reguarding the level of destruction.

Well, that's good at least. That shit drove me nuts when they destroy half a city in the movie and in the sequel, it's all good and nobody is pissed off. There should be massive fallout to deal with. Financial consequences. And it sounds like there will be. That is a very good sign on the direction DC plans to go with their cinematic universe.

Financially, it makes sense as a vehicle to bring Bruce Wayne, Oliver Queen and Lex Luthor.  All for different reasons obviously, but it works as a vehicle for introduction.  For Batman, we all know his story. We don't need another Batman origin story.  Besides, it looks like he'll be making two appearances in the same summer in Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad.  We will get a full dose of Batman and his world. And of course he will see Superman as a threat.

"...And in fact, one of those buildings was Bruce Wayne's building so he knew people who died in that Black Zero event." - Ben Affleck on the importance of the destruction on the first film as a driving cause for Dawn of Justice.

For Green Arrow, thanks to the success of the TV show, an origin story isn't necessary. DC has decided to keep their TV and Cinematic universes separate, but also retain the rights to its characters and are planning to recast movie versions of characters with active TV shows. Oliver Queen may, or may not, be among them.  But as a fiscal contributor to the reconstruction of Metropolis, very easy introduction.

And then there's one of Sup's main villains, Lex Luthor.  You can bet that he had money wrapped up in Metropolis and suffered heavy losses. It's not hard to picture Jesse Eisenberg as a young, successful tech entrepreneur after Social Network, and he would have a vested interest in both rebuilding what he lost in the destruction of Metropolis and capitalizing on its renovation.

Works as a way to bring Aquaman and Wonder Woman in too because now their kingdoms and people are threatened.

That World Engine landed in the ocean changing the atmospherics and gravity which would also have major impacts on ocean life.  And with the amount of destruction in Metropolis, you can bet there's going to be unintended consequences from debris and pollutants in the water.  As someone who has a vested interest in the Sea Realm, Aquaman would have to show up. Based on the poster they released with Jason Mamoa titled 'Unite the Seven', it may be a hint at uniting the Seven Seas, meaning he's not the king yet, and foreshadowing the direction of the movies. It could also mean uniting the 7 main heroes to form the Justice League like he did in the comics. Twice. Maybe it's both. Zack Snyder and Chris Nolan love layered meanings.

Wonder Woman, as an Amazon, has an interest in protecting humanity. After the events of Metropolis, how could she stand on the sidelines? The world nearly ended because of the existence of one being. As a protector, she would have to come forward and take steps to ensure humanity's safety. There would be no alternative for her.

While Amazons had chosen to leave mankind to learn to take care of itself, in the same way you eventually have to take the training wheels off your child's bike, an outside threat beyond humanities ability to defend itself from is altogether different. 

And Amazons, unlike Atlanteans, do ultimately care about what happens to humanity, where Atlanteans just want to be left alone. That dynamic in itself sets a pretty interesting stage for a huge battle later when Atlantis, a place of myth even to the ancient Amazons, finally has had enough of the surface dwellers and launch all out war on the surface world, placing the Amazons, as the protectors of mankind, on a warpath with Atlantis. 

And all of this has been covered in various comic runs, so I'm not making stuff up here. A lot of source material to reach back on. 

AND, everyone seems to forget, Supergirl is already out there!  Wha?!  How?  Man of Steel prequel comic bruh.  Yeah dude. That's where the spaceship comes from. And it addresses who is onboard. Who's dead. Why there was an open capsule.  And, in case you miss it in the comic, they reference the Thanagarians, paving the way for Hawkman and Hawkgirl. 

In addition to all this: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Suicide Squad, Lex Luthor... A cinematic Flash has been cast, as has Cyborg, Dwayne Johnson is going to be Black Adam,  Metallo is one of the next bad guys followed by Braniac (finally!)... It's hard to keep up with it all. It seems like we get a new casting every other day. They've green lit friggin everything.

And unlike Marvel, who had to do a slow build towards their utterly amazing Avengers world that ties in movies, TV, Netflix series, one shots and online comics, DC's characters are really well known and iconic. This isn't a jab at Marvel. I love Marvel and what they are doing. It's just, DC can actually do the exact reverse of Marvel and have it work. They can actually jump in with everyone and split off to solo and team up movies because their characters have well known origins.

I don't even see this as a DC vs Marvel. I want them both to succeed because that means more badass superhero movies for everyone. With the exceptions of Spiderman and Captain America, DC has just always had more iconic characters. Marvel cornered the market on anti - heroes with Wolverine, Ghost Rider,  Punisher, Deadpool, Venom and the like, where DC stayed away from that dark territory until the Red Hood. 

All in all, I'm excited to see what they do. The great thing about movies is, even if they suck, the money they make can finance something else that might turn out awesome.