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lilacsigil said on May 12th, 2008 at 9:08 am

No, no, no. The Magneto movie has to be set back in time so that he can shred Nazis. And be Jared Padalecki. Actually, this would work for the Captain America movie too – set it in a time when some people liked and respected the country.

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yes, I agree completely. A Cap movie set in WW2 would be awesome, whereas one set in the modern day would struggle terribly unless it tookl strong cues from “The Ultimates” and had Cap actually act like a 1940’s american soldier.

for the manhunter, exposure isn’t such a problem, he’s been on JLU on cartoon network, that’s something. It’s mainly the fact that given halfway competent writing and character intelligence, he just wins. He’s superman+professor x+the vision and that’s just dumb as a main character. Which is why he’s never had a long running solo book.

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My thoughts:

1) Captain America should be awesome if written right, because he’s not “America the government”, he’s “America the country”. He’s a populist hero, a guy who beat the crap out of Nixon on the White House lawn so bad the guy ran into the Oval Office and shot himself. Any good Cap story should have a scene where he reminds the American government that he doesn’t work for them.

2) The solution to Wonder Woman is simple. This is the 21st century, we’re all enlightened enough by now to admit that the things Wonder Woman came to “man’s world” to tell us about were always really a) bisexuality, b) female domination, and c) kinky bondage sex. That’s right, my movie would be about Wonder Woman, Dominatrix Super-Hero. Sure, it’d be NC-17, but every guy would go see it, because they all had dirty thoughts about Wonder Woman when they first hit puberty.

3) I’m sorry. Did you really just complain that ‘Martian Manhunter’ is a difficult character for casual fans to understand? How much simpler do you need to make it? He’s a Martian, and he hunts men. Everything you need to know about the character is contained right there in those two words. (Although I’ll admit, there’d probably be a small contingent of people who expected that film to be NC-17 as well with a title like that.)

4) Hawkman doesn’t fly; Hawkman flies and hits people with maces. If you can’t sell “space cop beats criminals with mace, then drops them 20 stories,” you don’t belong in Hollywood. (Yes, I prefer the Silver Age Hawkman to the Golden Age Hawkman. That is because he is scientifically proven to be more awesome.)

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whereas one set in the modern day would struggle terribly unless it tookl strong cues from “The Ultimates” and had Cap actually act like a 1940’s american soldier.

Yes. Because all American WWII soldiers were assholes that enjoyed kicking people out of helicopters!

Sheesh. This debate already happened once this week.

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Good stuff.

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I agree with everything here except for a few notable exceptions.

1. Green Arrow – I believe Legolas has shown that arrows are indeed, not stupid.

2. Thor – I don’t think I could ever want to think about a Viking god sounding like the Swedish Chef.

3. Ghost Rider – Blaiming Ghost Rider on Nicholas Cage is like blaming Batman and Robin on George Clooney. In both cases, there were far worse problems that should take priority in a fair criticism before any blame can be laid upon the leading roles.

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As for Green Lanterns — there’s been so many costumes on so many lanterns that it’s clear that it’s easy to come up with one that looks good on screen. It’s just a question of do you want to spend the time to establish why he would wear one. The badge — well, if you are using the silver age origin (which seems likely, both because it’s the most familiar and because it works well on screen — spectacular crash, alien who lingers just long enough to infodump background), you have to explain why he’d wear that too. It actually seems *less* likely that an Air Force jock would come up with a button as opposed to a different uniform (given he’s used to wearing one) to disguise himself.

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The working title for the Captain America movie is Captain America: First Avenger. Does that sound like “set way back in the past” to anyone else? If I’m right, it’s the best decision, because then you get to start the Avengers movie with the defrosting scene. Plus, Cap fighting Nazis is never, ever going to get old.

Am I the only one who thinks the obvious solution to the whole “oh, you’re the gay one” situation with Northstar is to have him be in a book with other gay characters? Marvel do have more than one…

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Imagine that previous comment had less em-dashes.

Ahem. Need to break my punctuation addiction.

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Oh, one more thing I forgot to add with my post. If we’re inventing time travel to stop Nicholas Cage from becoming an Actor, could we go back a little further and perhaps help marvel come up with a semi-decent rogue’s gallery for Iron Man that doesn’t rely heavily on mysticism.

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bluepard said on May 12th, 2008 at 12:02 pm

Wait, Bart raped who in the what now?

Is it bad that this makes me want to watch Veronica Mars?

(THE FLASH
Problem: The fans are crazy.
Solution: Accept that, hey, you’re making a comic book movie.)

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I think it’s possible to make any of these movies, but not necessarily in the standard Hollywood model of “Origin/villain introduction/climax.” I’d like to see a Thor movie written with its main character being a Gaiman-esque American or British spry child who happens to be saved by Thor several times, with both child and god assuming it’s just coincidence. A Loki plot unfolds from there. Have the child be a harbinger of Ragnarök, and you have Thor’s moral dilemma for the story. Thor’s back story is told all throughout, with the universe of the movie being one where Thor has existed for years. He’s a familiar character – the twist is how this seemingly insignificant child (or the family at large, or a small town) is related to the Norse God of Thunder and modern-day Avenger.

Likewise, the Wonder Woman movie could be about Wonder Girl taking up the mantle and discovering the hero that Diana was. Or it could be set in WWII.

I think a Hawkman movie would be bad-ass if, once again, they eschew a twenty-minute origin and just dive into the fighting. Perhaps a St. Roch cop is chosen to be the partner to these two space cops who have signed a deal with the UN to observe human police procedures? Or go with the whole Egyptian reincarnation angle and have the story told from the perspective of the guy who is the reincarnation of their enemy, Hath-Set. He uncovers that his boss, the museum curator, is Hawkman, and the curator’s (or his own) fiancee is Hawkgirl (with the heroes fated romance being a key point). Have the story told in a fashion where at first the audience isn’t sure if the main character is the villain or the hero in the flashbacks, and may himself be Hawkman (he blacks out at night, as a result of Hath-Set’s persona taking over, but suspects that while he’s out he’s Hawkman).

These are all typical fanboy ideas so I know they have their own problems, but the key is that Hollywood has basically used up all of the familiar heroes whose origins can be explained concisely and whose Rogues Gallery are well-known. In order to market the second tier, or the in-universe first tier comic characters that the general public doesn’t know, they need to allow for more creative, off-kilter or unexpected approaches to film-making. I don’t want to say artsy, because I don’t want someone to overthink a “Green Arrow” or “Cloack and Dagger” or “The Question” movie, but I think a fresh angle on what it means to bring a superhero to the screen will do wonders.

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Yes, that was a typo. But no, I didn’t mean to type “Cloak and Dagger.” I want to see the Roman cloaca maxima team up with Civil War’s transportation deus ex machina.

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Ditto John Seavey on Hawkman. I’ve always phrased Hawkman’s tagline as “A man who flies with wings like a bird and who fights the crimes of today and tomorrow with the weapons of yesterday”. (I hated Hawkworld‘s redesign, for obvious reasons.) Take a production designer and sit him down with a stack of Gardner Fox/Joe Kubert Hawkman stories and you have a film with extraordinary visual potential.

As for Cap, I’ll also ditto MGK’s disdain of the Ultimates approach. For Cap to be a superhero, he can’t be the embodiment of America as we are; he has to be the embodiment of America’s ideals (and hence, almost certainly an FDR liberal/progressive). This plays straight into the displaced 40’s soldier business; there have been few other times in our history when we got as close to actual superheroism as we believe we should be.

And Gil Kane’s GL uniform is a timeless classic, in my opinion. As a superhero costume in a superhero comic. In the real world, all you have to do is make it a real world uniform. Keep the black and green as your basic color scheme, and the symbol, and design formal and battle dress versions. Again, any competent costume designer should be able to make an excellent adaptation.

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Luke Cage
Problem: Who cares.
Solution: Make it an Iron Fist movie instead.

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Andrew W. said on May 12th, 2008 at 3:57 pm

Because all American WWII soldiers were assholes that enjoyed kicking people out of helicopters!

When did Ultimate Cap ever kick anyone out of a helicopter?

For Cap to be a superhero, he can’t be the embodiment of America as we are

And Ultimate Cap isn’t. He’s much more like a good cowboy than the “never hurt a fly” boy scout we’ve been getting in 616 for the longest time. I mean, cripes, 616 Cap got retconned so he never killed anyone, ever until Brubaker retconned that nonsense out. It’s just ridiculous that this whole sissy “if you kill, you’re no hero!” attitude’s out there.

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GREEN LANTERN
I think that if a green lantern movie is made, it has to be the most off-the-wall zany production ever created. Getting a comedy director to do it (I think right now its attached to one) is probably the right call.

CAPTAIN AMERICA
completely backstory, especially if it factors into the avengers movie (which should open with him getting unfrozen). Ideally it would be 90 minutes of Captain America punching Hitler in the face.

THE FLASH
Use the storyline where deathstroke kneecaps bart, and we get to watch him speed read the library.

WONDER WOMAN
Really doesn’t have a reason for existing. As a comic book fan, I rank her up with daredevil in terms of unlikeable characters.

GREEN ARROW
There was a green arrow movie planned called Super Max (I think, I’m not bothering to look it up), which saw Green Arrow get sent to prison with a bunch of the villains he put there (he has to break out).
Solution: do that.

MARTIAN MANHUNTER
PROBLEM: Nobody outside of comic fanboys knows who he is.
SOLUTION: Never make a Martian Manhunter movie. Or a justice league movie, unless you can do what they’re doing with the Avengers

THOR
PROBLEM: When you say things like “yon Avengers” and “thou art no worthy opponent” out loud, they sound really stupid.
SOLUTION: Use it sparingly because regardless of all the other thor-quotes, I SAY THEE NAY is pretty badass. Also, set in Asgard.

KARATE KID
PROBLEM: Sounds like four movies already made, is set in the future, to confusing to everyone that doesn’t run this site.
Solution: Don’t make one.

GHOST RIDER
PROBLEM: They already made a Ghost Rider movie and it really sucked.
SOLUTION: Have him team up with Blade, Deathlok, and the Punisher. Stay after the credits to watch everyone involved in the movie commit hari-kari.

and a few more…

IRON FIST
Problem: is delayed over and over, and it may not get made.
Solution: freaking make it already. Take all cues in all departments from Matt Fraction’s series.

SHAZAM!
Problem: is a really stupid concept
Solution: Black Adam

SUB-MARINER
Problem: Namor wears panties
Solution: NC-17

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mybloodyzombie said on May 12th, 2008 at 4:58 pm

am I the ONLY comic book geek who enjoyed Ghost Rider? jesus.

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Required Name Here said on May 12th, 2008 at 5:06 pm

Nick Fury
Problem: Has no superpowers, would end up as a bad james bond ripoff.
Solution: samuel l jackson – movie will make 10 million dollars right off the bat.

Spider-Man
Problem: Spiderman 3 was an atrocity.
Solution: hookers? possibly from space?

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ArmoredGorilla said on May 12th, 2008 at 6:21 pm

I kinda liked Ghost Rider too, though a good bit of the criticism sent its way is probably deserved. My major pet peeve with the movie is setting me up to see TWO Ghost Riders kicking ass (one in a flaming trenchcoat on a FLAMING HORSE) and then all of a sudden with the “That was my last ride” and now I’m back to just Nicholas Cage. Bear in mind I have absolutely no familiarity with the comic.

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X-MEN
Problem: Too many characters.

DAREDEVIL
Problem: He’s blind.

HELLBLAZER
Problem: What problem? John Constantine is f*cking awesome!

BATMAN
Problem: Too dark.

SUPERMAN
Problem: Too powerful. No credible threats.

HULK
Problem: Good stories all take too much exposition. All other storylines generally amount to “Hulk Smash!”

FANTASTIC FOUR
Problem: None! This is a can’t-miss!

IRON MAN
Problem: Too much backstory. Mediocre rogues gallery.

HELLBOY
Problem: C’mon, like they’re ever gonna make a Hellboy movie.

SPIDER-MAN
Problem: Actor cast as Peter Parker would probably get annoying/grating pretty quickly, because let’s face it, Peter Parker’s kind of a dick.

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They already made a THOR movie.

It’s called Adventures in Babysitting

:pbpb

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I always thought a variant (ie., you’d probably need to use different pants) of Guy Gardner’s costume would look OK on film. In fact, make it a Guy Gardner movie, with Hal recruiting him & covering a lot of the exposition of the concept.
Also, a little bit of a secret: Ghost Rider was never that great a character in the first place. It’s not as though the movie defiled this wonderful work of art. The movie was at about the same level of quality as any Ghost Rider comic you’d care to name.

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Ghost rider never held up as much past a bitchin visual concept. because lets face it, what’s cooler than a flaming demon riding a motorcycle?

Aside from a zombie cyborg, of course (Hollywood, please please please make a deathlok movie).

JONAH HEX
Problems: None, except that he’s not really a superhero.
Solution: don’t treat it as a superhero movie, and let the guys who wrote/direct crank to do it. Preferably make it happen before Crank 2 comes out and they lose all credibility.

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zombie, I enjoyed Ghost Rider and Daredevil and both Punishers…but, I draw the line at Hulk, Captain America, and Electra…

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Heh. I don’t think emphasizing the fact that Northstar could throw down and have his way with any guy in the audience is going to help the fandudes unclench at all.

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Aulayan said on May 12th, 2008 at 9:01 pm

I’m amazed at everyone thinking the Avengers movie should open up with Cap defrosting…

Have Cap discovered by SHIELD in the credits of the film, with the after-scene being Nick Fury. Why? Because you can’t have Nick Fury in the main plot of a WWII Hitler-Punch movie and Marvel movies are now demanded by me to have Nick Fury.

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sure you can, nick Furyw as around in World War two. Although If Marvel’s smart, they’ll retcon that for the sake of the movie (infinity serum? really?)

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Character does not really have a defined reason to exist beyond being “pre-eminent female superhero.”

Oh, god bless you, sir. As someone who’s expected to adore Wonder Woman simply by gender affiliation, I appreciate your candor. Greg Rucka made her a mythological badass while he was writing her book, but it’s hard to see her out of camp and fighting for my rights in some satin tights.

Also, that’s sexist.

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“Green Arrow – I believe Legolas has shown that arrows are indeed, not stupid.” What? I thought Legolas was the one who proved how fucking lame arrows are. Add that to the blonde douche stash and you’ve got a big old plate of kthanksno.

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Katzedecimal said on May 12th, 2008 at 10:19 pm

Northstar = not a problem. Gay is ‘in’ right now. To the bankmobile!

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motteditor said on May 12th, 2008 at 11:33 pm

Bluepard — Kyle Gallner, who played Bart in Smallville (IIRC), also played a character on Veronica Mars. (And he also appears with Lily, Mac and I think yet another VM actor on Big Love, which is just strange.)

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The solution to a Wonder Woman problem given is easy: ignore it and it goes away. The real problem with Wonder Woman is that her rogue’s gallery makes Firestorm’s rogue gallery look cool. And I say this as a person who likes Giganta.

Also,

Booster Gold
Problem: Early Booster is a jerk that nobody likes, late Booster doesn’t make sense without a lot of continuity.
Solution: Cast Tom Cruise as Booster and steal blatantly from the plot of Jerry Maguire.

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I think the Green Lantern costume problem is potentially tractable. Turn the Hal Jordan costume into a flight suit. It makes sense if Hal is the Lantern used, and it makes sense if Abin Sur is putzing around in a space ship that he might wear something like a flight suit. Take your standard issue gray air force flight suit (but maybe a tighter and made from alien material from the power ring), put some green safety crap on it, maybe even just a vest, or any of the random crap on a flight suit you see if google “flight suit” and pictures of Bush pop up. Green hoses from the anti-g-force system might be cool.

The mask is problematic. I wouldn’t go so far as to insist that he wear this funky helmet for F-35 pilots: http://brainwerks.net/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/44229147-helmet-pa300b.jpg

though maybe it could make a joke in the movie (in the same vein as many of Iron Man’s jokes0 that Hal tries to wear a mask and eventually just tosses it as a nuisance.

The Jack T. Chance idea even falls into place if instead of a button, the power ring just does a default hologram logo floating above the wearers chest, whether the flight suit idea is accomodated or not. It makes sense that at the very least the Lanterns would have an immediately recognizable symbol.

Under no circumstance should white gloves and boots enter the picture though.

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Tornado Ninja Fan Nr. 1 said on May 13th, 2008 at 8:37 am

Superhero Movie
Problem: Spandex
Solution: Normal, but colorful clothes

Established Superhero Movie
Problem: Origin Story is not the best story or too complicated
Solution: Ignore Origin, every member of the audience knows how these things work, even if they only saw a couple of “Spider-Man and his fantastic friends” episodes as kids.

Superhero Team/Big Crossover Movie
Problem: Lots of characters with different origins, powers, motivations, etc.
Solution: Ignore most of the cast and concentrate on the key players. Do we need the family history of every soldier in a WW2 movie?

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WW is easy, just write it as militant feminism with superpowers. Wonder Woman arrives from Amazon Island to beat nine hells out of The Patriarchy. She beats up an abusive husband, then a fundamentalist preacher, then a corporate CEO who sexually harasses his underlings, then the US military.

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Green Arrow – I believe Legolas has shown that arrows are indeed, not stupid.

in a setting where it’s the only ranged weapon anyone can lug around and use whenever he wants, sure. in a setting with guns? not so much.

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Zenrage said on May 14th, 2008 at 1:21 am

Ok Peppy, use that same argument against Batman.

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why? does Batman use nothing but arrows?

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[…] a more serious vein considering superhero movies (as opposed to previously), some random thoughts about where the origin story is appropriate for a superhero movie, and where […]

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Green Arrow after the 60’s hasn’t been restricted to just arrows. He has major stealth skills, decent swordplay (but I agree, that has to be downplayed – easy enough, he grabs a sword and takes a villain by surprise, and quips: “What, you think I only do arrows?”), athletic ability, technology.

Green Arrow needs to be a modern Robin Hood in the film. Which means his hands will get dirty, and his politics will appear left-wing.

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>PROBLEM: Really stupid costume nobody would actually want to wear in real life.
Not to mention that anyone they’d choose as hal would have to be built. And the last time a director chose the lead based on pretty, we got Superman Returns.

>SOLUTION: Death camps.
I support this.

>SOLUTION: Magical de-aging ray turns Magneto into Jared Padalecki.
Ah, the Greg Land solution.

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I notice you didn’t include the Wolverine movie, but that’s because they don’t really need any tips. Wolverine is AWESOME.

Not to mention they’re giving my favorite Marvel character, Deadpool, a part. YESSS!

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I could see a good Captain America movie being adapted from the “Man Without A Country” storyline. Facing a charge of treason for supposedly divulging military secrets, Cap is stripped of his rank, his citizenship, and deported. He and Sharon Carter globetrot a little to figure out who set him up and why. Turns out, Nazis used mind-reading to steal those military secrets out of his head, along with the command codes for the nuclear arsenal controlled by that suitcase some guy is always lugging around after the President. Framing Cap for treason was the perfect way to get him out of the way and leave the President–and more importantly, control of America’s nuclear arsenal, less guarded.

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Loving this.

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