by Ken Parker
This imaginary battle between Marvel and DC felt like it could have gotten a lot closer this year. After seeing Captain America: Civil War, I feel the battle is over. Its as if DC is playing a game of cards with Marvel and earlier this year they showed their hand with a pair of Jacks. Nice. Then Marvel comes out and has a Royal Flush. DC throws their cards down and exclaims “What can we do to beat Marvel?” The answer, you can't.
Captain America: Civil War - Marvel has done it again with an incredible movie that does virtually everything right and it doesn't matter what the Marvel haters or DC fans think. Don't get me wrong, I was half thinking that Marvel could mess up with Captain America: Civil War. First off, Avengers: Age of Ultron was not up to the usual standard for Marvel. It wasn't bad but it just didn't reach the standards we had seen with Guardians of the Galaxy, The Avengers and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It is possible that Civil War was going to be a mess. Not even close.
First off, the movie had all those characters and still managed to handle them perfectly. Ant-Man and Spider-Man were perfect as the supporting characters that added a level of humor we all expect in these movies. Introductions of Spider-Man and Black Panther were near perfect and have really set things up for their individual movies. The rest of the characters were near perfect as well. The story made perfect sense and was logical. There was no odd “My mother was named Martha” moments. Also the bad guy was a simple almost generic but focused man who underplayed his part in trying to destroy The Avengers from within. The villains in Batman v Superman were a maniacal lunatic Lex Luthor whose motivations need to be explained by defending DC fans in comic book stores around the world. The other villain was an Cave Troll that escaped from Middle Earth. But enough of Batman v Superman.
Captain America: Civil War was over 2 ½ hours long but felt more like and hour and a half. That movie could have another half hour added to it and it would have been fine. The pacing was perfect and not once did I check the time. The story was not over complicated nor bloated with useless plot.
I left the theater with a smile and while I do like dark movies I feel that DC's decision to make the character of Superman dark a bit off. I felt Batman v Superman needed to right the DC ship and it certainly didn't make it worse in my opinion but it didn't do much to correct the situation. But enough of Batman v Superman.
Captain America: Civil War is all good. First, it gave the Marvel Cinematic Universe something new – a division of heroes. We probably won't see too much of the fall-out of this and we can guess that all differences will be put aside when Thanos comes to town. One would guess that November's Doctor Strange won't deal too much with happenings of The Avengers and Thor: Ragnarok and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 are both far removed from these puny Earth happenings. Spider-Man: Homecoming might deal with it to a degree but will Peter Parker sign a document handed to him by Tony Stark? I should think not. Probably in 2018 Black Panther might deal with the Sokovia Accords to a higher degree and then right around the corner that year we have the next Avengers movie.
Actually, I think the biggest dealing with the Sokovia Accords will be the Inhumans and SHIELD in Agents of SHIELD. They have already woven the plot from Captain America: Civil War into the final couple of episodes this season and you can bet next season will continue to deal with it. The fact that Captain America: The Winter Soldier injected much needed excitement into the first season of Agents of SHIELD perhaps the fall out from Civil War will do the same.
One of the sadder moments of Civil War was the passing of Peggy Carter. This was a bit sadder as the Agent Carter series will not be renewed. It is a shame because Agent Carter has been one of the best network 'superhero' shows this season. Marvel's Most Wanted, a proposed Mockingbird spin-off is not happening as well. I would say the biggest potential hit for Agents of SHIELD has been Marvel's removal of The planned Inhumans movie from their schedule. AOS has been steering their product toward a collision with the movie universe with Inhumans and now it is up in the air.
My feeling is that Marvel is still hitting home runs with The Avengers and both Robert Downing Jr. and Chris Evans seem onboard for more appearances. The fuel is not running out on these characters and now Marvel has Spider-Man, Ant-Man, Black Panther, Captain Marvel and potentially a Black Widow film (it is about time).
Back to Civil War for a second, while all characters were excellent in the film and Spider-Man practically stole the show, Black Widow was amazing. Scarlett Johansson continues to be an incredible presence in the movies and she should be fine as the lead.
I feel that I will like Civil War more and more in repeated viewings. I didn't think it could possibly be as good as Guardians of the Galaxy, The Avengers or Captain America: The Winter Soldier but it has come really close to being that good. Wow Marvel. Wow.
Upcoming Marvel and DC Superhero films
Here is an updated list of the DC and Marvel films coming up and a few remarks.
May 27 – X-Men: Apocalypse – Fox is doing two things right with their Marvel products but just so-so early reviews for this film may not help. Also, is this film coming out to soon after Captain America: Civil War?
August 5 – Suicide Squad - The dark DC universe (Murderverse) may be a perfect place for Suicide Squad and so I expect this film to do well.
November 5 – Doctor Strange – this is the next Marvel film that is a bit of a gamble. It is a bit different from the other characters and may not do as well as the rest of the Universe, just like Thor, Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man, so.... no problem.
March 3 – Wolverine – not sure if this is the proposed R rated Old Man Logan movie or if Fox will be brave enough to put Deadpool in the movie.
June 5 – Wonder Woman – The best part of Batman v Superman. Yet again, DC is relying on this to right their ship or at this point, at least keep the movie franchise afloat.
July 7 – Spider-Man: Homecoming – will Spider-Man's appearance in Civil War be enough to shake off any preconceived reservations about yet another Spider-man film? Probably.
October 6 – An untitled Fox film – I would have to imagine Deadpool 2 needs to be placed in one of Fox's holding slots.
November 3 – Thor: Ragnarok – I think Thor 2 might have been one of my least favorite Marvel Universe films but this one has a lot of set up including Loki in charge and , of course, The Hulk.
November 17 – Justice League Part 1. Ummm.. Really, DC, you are really not going to bring out this movie in November and you are really not dumb enough to put it up against Thor? I expect this film to potentially be bumped. When, I have no idea. August 2017 would be the best move because 2018 is crowded.
January 12 – Fox Marvel unconfirmed movie – probably Deadpool 2.
February 16 – Black Panther – should do good but a very crowded schedule.
March 16 – The Flash – It all depends on how well Wonder Woman does.
May 4 – Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – I would have to imagine that either this film will not have a cliff hanger and continue directly into part 2 the following year since there are two Marvel films in between the two parts. If course they could fit into the Infinity War somehow.
July 13 – Another Fox Marvel – really? Maybe this is a Fantastic Four reboot. Expect this to get booted as it will probably get buried this month.
July 27 – Aquaman – okay, we shall see.
October 5 – a DC film – could be a stand alone Batman film perhaps?
December 21 – Animated Spider-Man – Sony – Okay, Sony, if you follow the Marvel blueprint, use Tom Holland as the voice and don't screw anything up then you should be okay.
March 8 – Captain Marvel – long wait for this.
April 5 – Shazam – DC, do you really think all these 'new' characters are going to do well?
May 3 – Avengers: Infinity War part 2 – could see many characters for the last time.
June 14 – Justice League part 2.