FROM INFINITY TO BEYOND
Avengers Infinity War was the perfect culmination of ten years worth of Marvel Cinematic goodness. It was always going to be a difficult task to please everybody, but I really haven’t heard much negative feed back so I guess it succeeded. Firstly I am going to briefly review the fill with no spoilers.
Then I am going to talk about how the MCU moves forward from here. Again I will do this without spoilers , any mentions I make of potential team line ups is merely hypothetical. For me the movie played like the greatest event comic brought to life. I loved how each character was introduced to the story. Having the big white lettered locations on screen each tome we met up with a familiar face made it very much feel like turning the pages of a trade paperback. It was great seeing how the Russo brothers handled characters they hadn’t used before. Of course there were complaints not everyone got sufficient screen time. But that is the reality of a blockbuster movie. I liken it to a star player for your favourite sports team. If he begins to believe his own hype he wants a move away or more money. No player is bigger than the badge and in this case no character is bigger than the story being told. If someone has to wait till Avengers 4 to get their moment so be it!
So what does the future hold? And I mean not just Avengers 4, I mean Phase 4, 5 and beyond? To be honest I lost track of what movie was part of what phase years ago! Lets start with what we do know. Next on the slate this summer is Ant-Man and The Wasp. We are truly into comic book territory with this movie as it takes place between Infinity War and Civil War. I suppose that gives this sequel a chance to breath as it doesn’t have to lay any ground work for the coming of Thanos. Judging by the trailer it dials up on the fun action adventure feel of the first movie and I am all down for that. Then that is it for the first ten years of the MCU. 2019 brings something long overdue. A female led movie! The MCU rewrote the record books with Black Panther a movie led by an African American. I expect Captain Marvel to hit the big screen with similar effect. When the release date for Captain Marvel was announced I was intrigued. It would be strange having an origin story taking place between Avengers 3 and 4. The Kevin Fiege and all involved hit us with the bombshell it will be set in the 90’s. I’m really looking forward to getting a period piece, our second in the MCU after the first Cap movie.
I am a 90’s child but then again 90’s England was very different to 90’s America. We got everything months later! Perhaps most fitting off all we will see the big screen return of Coulson. The rest of what we do know for certain is all sequels nothing new yet. It will be interesting to see how Infinity War and Avengers 4 impacts both Spider-Man 2, Guardians of The Galaxy 3 and Black Panther 2. I personally don’t want them to deal too much with said impact but of course it will be an elephant in the room. I think they should have room to breath be their own thing again. The team up is over. Let Spidey face another villain we haven’t seen on the big screen yet. What made Black Panther such a success was it didn’t rely at all on any previous MCU movie. The follow up should do the same. The Guardians have undoubtedly been the breakout stars of the MCU. The movies are so enjoyable I think they have built a fan base wider than just comic book readers. For a younger generation Guardians one is their Star Wars Episode 4. Even with the events of Infinity War I have no worries about how their trilogy will reach its climax. As for what is going to happen in Avengers 4 I’m not even going to try to second guess. Since Infinity Wars release and until next May I am ignoring every article with Avengers 4 in the headline. There are only two things we need to know going into the fourth instalment, one which will probably/hopefully answered in Captain Marvel and the other will be answered in said instalment.
I want to briefly talk about the potential of the Disney/Fox deal happening. Only briefly as I have already done a whole blog on the subject. Firstly do people think the X universe should be kept separate or integrated in at later Phase? I mean no matter how good the story they come up with is it will still be weird there being no mutants then there being mutants! A big part of the X-Men history is they are all born like it. Maybe they could do some reverse on Wanda’s famous “No more mutants.” line from House of M. Then there is the matter of the Fantastic Four. Three failed movies to date can the MCU really save Marvel’s first family? I believe FF type stories are better suited to the episodic format. So with that in mind it would make sense to me to make them the jewel in the crown of the proposed Disney streaming service. On the subject of the FF if the deal does happen Galactus seems an obvious choice to be the big climax of a future phase. ‘The Coming of Galactus’ in Fantastic Four comics is a very different story to Jim Starlin’s Infinity Gauntlet. But to your average movie goer the Avengers and Co. fighting to save Earth from an alien being may be a tad repetitive. If however they do go down the Devourer of Worlds route I suggest taking their cues from the Ultimate Galactus trilogy by Warren Ellis. In a perfect world where the deal happens and everyone is perfectly cast I would love to see House of M as a future Phase climax.
Time to play devils advocate on future phases without spoiling the events of Infinity War. Comics have the advantage of one issue every month to tell a story, develop characters and create a fan base. Movies have 2 and a half hours minimum. After GOTG 2 James Gunn hinted that in the future the line up of the team will be very different. Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan have both expressed an interest in playing Captain America one day. The Russo’s have been quick to say Avengers 4 is a definitive end point. When you read a comic your in it for the long haul. I know it doesn’t apply to everyone but most people who were reading Cap at the time Sam Wilson took the mantle stayed around to see him in the role. This is a long winded way of me wanting to ask is the average movie goer going to go to a movie titled Captain America without Chris Evans as Steve Rogers? Remember they only have two hours to sell this idea to viewers. Will people take to a Guardians line up of very C-list characters the same way they have taken to Star-Lord, Rocket and the rest? There is no denying a Cap movie with either Sam or Bucky in the lead role is a bold direction and will keep the franchise fresh.
I personally would love to see it some day. The important thing is the story has to be good and the movie goer has to be entertained by it. Entertainment and good story telling should always remain the key. A writer/director should never make changes to team line ups for self indulgence. Or just for the fact that we’ve made this much money we can do whatever we want! With that in mind sure a Avengers line up missing any or all of the original five should in theory work. At some Phase down the line this could very much become a reality. I think Chadwick Boseman’s portrayal of Black Panther makes him a prime candidate to lead Earths Mightiest Heroes on the big screen. Maybe in this utopian future I am painting if someone wanted to tell a more darker Spider-Man story Punisher/Daredevil could make the transition from Netflix. Or vice versa. I don’t think Tom Holland would protest about stepping into Hell’s Kitchen for a few episodes or an entire season. Perhaps one of the most recent announcements from Kevin Fiege is one of the most exciting. Black Widow is finally getting a solo movie! The question is do they set it after Avengers 4 or pre Avengers Assemble?
In conclusion who knows what the future really holds and who cares. As long as we are entertained along the way. With each Phase we will get answers but we will get a shit ton of new questions too. Make Mine Marvel.
0About Ian Wells
Ian currently runs the THEBLOGOFCOMICSHOTTOPICS blog. Check him out on Twitter @IanWells87.
About Language of Bromance
Together Richard and Shawn formed the podcast The Language of Bromance and from there it has been nothing but fun. The duo laugh about things they go through, stories in the news and even getting serious discussing net neutrality along with other issues. Every so often their friendship turns to a bitter rivalry with their nerdiest creation the draft episodes. An original take on a best of or a top 10 list. The draft episodes are done like an NFL Draft 7 rounds where Richard and Shawn flip-flop picks on various topics.
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