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Captain Marvel & The Superhero Genre

Captain Marvel & The Superhero Genre

As a non-mega comic book adaptation fanboy, I still appreciate the high levels of style most of these movies bring. But by no means am I an aficionado.

It seems another month, another superhero film swashbuckling across the silver screen. Although Wonder Woman of the DC comic arena beat the Marvel Universe to the punch, it seems Captain Marvel will highlight the often out of the mainstay female justice fighter for good against evil.

Among others, including Gamora (Guardians of the Galaxy), one could argue the enormously popular triple Oscar recipient Black Panther, accelerated diversity including girl power. While Avengers fighting maestros Black Widow or Scarlet Witch stand tall amongst testosterone intergalactic crimebusters.

Academy Award winner Brie Larson (Room) slips into the spandex as US Air Force pilot and extraterrestrial Carol Danvers for an origin tale of sorts – and set up for further instalments of not just this character arc, but multiple individuals linked within the Marvel canon past and present. Always a comic fan favourite, the Captain dates back to 1968 coming through various incarnations leading up to this ultimate portrayal by irresistible athletic comical subjective Larson.

Suicide Squad (2016) became a hit (I appreciated the opening 30 minute stanza more than the rest) but critics did not unanimously approve. Wonder Woman (2017) caused a massive surge in female love for this kick ass character, guys too appreciated her strong will, confidence and take charge style helping it to massive global box office success or credibility that the DC empire kind of needed.

Stumbling in the same year with Justice League (I actually liked it giving it a mostly positive review), the recent success of Aquaman and impending Shazam, have Warner Bros suits gasping in hope they will rival the Disney Marvel juggernaut. I am not so sure.

Already described by many as a feminist movement film, Captain Marvel is certainly released in a time of hope, change, equality surging through Hollywood and creative arts industries. As an action film, it works. It’s funny too with a soundtrack sure to be remembered long after the end credits (in which there are two extra scenes so stick around). And as an added bonus, Australia’s own Ben Mendelsohn (Year my Voice Broke, Rogue One) redeems himself after appearing in Robin Hood (although he was the best thing about that unnecessary misfire) popping up as an extremely important role to the eventual ‘bigger’ picture.

Once shunned in the ‘80s and ‘90s as fodder or mostly parody material, it is without a shadow of a doubt the swirling superhero genre isn’t going anywhere just yet. The Avengers Endgame leads the charge as most anticipated instalment to all that has come before it within the last decade which includes the who’s who of the Marvel Universe. These include newcomer Captain Marvel, she of course was unseen, only beckoned in desperation by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) in the closing stages of Infinity War. Another Avenger also has a new stand alone story, another friendly neighbourhood Spiderman adventure looms, going into Europe to spin his web on this occasion.

There is a lesser than enthusiastic response to an addition to the X-Men adventures, this one based around and called New Mutants. I am certainly intrigued by the impressive casting, especially Anya Taylor-Joy (superior in comic related thriller GLASS) however after something like ten X-Men movies, it will take a horror element which it teases or a simple mind blowing movie for anyone but die hard fans to overtly care. That said, Dark Phoenix (another separate X-Men epic) looks to be terrific and worthy of fanfare.

DC brings us Shazam, looks to focus on comedy, possibly how Marvel’s Ant-Man combined slapstick, continuous PG rated light hearted banter within high concept action. Paul Rudd is perfect as the Ant Man, so jury still out on Zachary Levi as lesser utilised Shazam, they are different so we will see.

One of the lower budget non-blockbuster status superhero stories on the way is BrightBurn. The little I know about it is that it is (but isn’t) a dark Superman style story. What a trailer it is to gain momentum. Can’t wait.

Just when many thought there would be no more Hellboy, a new beginning of that flaming sarcastic big armed freedom fighter from the depths of purgatory returns after an extended hiatus introducing popular Stranger Things police chief David Harbour as the big red guy with attitude and a big heart. It also looks to be ‘Adults Only’ on the rambunctious level of Deadpool (I may be wrong)!

This is only scratching the surface so only time will tell if the ever growing money maker that is comic book adaptations of a large scale keep interest levels up…or superhero burn out occurs. The latter I doubt.

Starring Brie Larson, Jude Law, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Annette Bening, Lee Pace.

Shane A. Bassett

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