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Saturday, 19 March 2016

Editorial: Four More Marvel Comics That Would Make Excellent Films

Editorial: Four More Marvel Comics
That Would Make Excellent Films.

You are correct, we have done an editorial very similar to this before, but given how long Marvel has been around and how many excellent properties it has (not to mention how many sub-par and in dire need of a reimagining properties it has), is it really any surprise?

There's another more serious Marvel editorial I'm meant to be working on, but life has not exactly been conducive to that, so instead here's a happy fun editorial that did not remotely spin out from wanting to include Spider-Gwen in an editorial.

Not even slightly. How dare you even suggest that. I'm not sure if she's even on this list at all.


Spider-Gwen, a series that ran for five issues prior to the absolutely terrible Secret Wars, before being picked up again later, looked at an elseworld in which the established order of the Marvel Universe was turned on its head. In this version of New York, Frank Castle was an NYPD officer, Matt Murdock was the Kingpin, and Gwen Stacy was bitten by a radioactive spider and became Spider-Woman, a New York superhero tangling with various villains.

With a compelling visual style, superb writing, and a concept that really seemed to catch people's interest, Spider-Gwen was phenomenally popular, with its first issue selling over two-hundred-and-fifty thousand issues, outpacing many of Marvel's flagship titles and becoming the third best selling comic - Marvel or DC - of February 2015. While the Secret Wars event put a kibosh on the title, Spider-Gwen would later show up as a central character in the Spider-Verse event, and the series would be renewed following that.

For Marvel, Spider-Gwen would be both the perfect opportunity to introduce other universes, since her world involves several prominent MCU characters in entirely different roles, and an opportunity for them to launch a film series that both had a female lead (and a very recognisable one, at that, given Gwen Stacy's recent showing in the Amazing Spiderman films) and could operate relatively independently of the increasingly tangled skein of MCU shows, films, miniseries, etc.


Luckily, there's an easy way that the MCU could introduce this one, since the Nova Corps have actually showed up - they featured prominently in Guardians of the Galaxy as the military police of the Nova Empire, and the eponymous team's allies in stopping Ronan.

That particular corner of the MCU is looking a little bit bare right now, with the Guardians of the Galaxy essentially operating entirely on their own there, with Thanos floating about nearby, and adding Nova - and I'm imagining a kind of reworked Sam Alexander version here where he's some dude on one of the Nova Empire's planets instead of being from Earth - could increase the potential for crossovers there massively, and give us more films spent in what might be the most interesting part of the shared universe.

The result would be something that combines Farscape, Green Lantern, Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Wars, Superman, and just about every 80s film ever written in which a plucky young thing ascends to unexpected greatness. Could be fun.

Also, the character has already shown up on Ultimate Spiderman and Marvel Disk Wars, so he's had at least some exposure.

Young Avengers.

I mentioned the Runaways in the last editorial I did on this, but I totally failed to mention their law-abiding counterparts, the Young Avengers. The two groups really are mirror images of each other, incidentally, to the point of having several dedicated crossovers and at least one alternate universe story where the Runaways were the Young Avengers and vice versa.

The Young Avengers were, as the title implies, young (about late teenage) superheroes with identities based off the Avengers, with members variously based on Iron Man, Captain America, Hawkeye, Thor (and later Scarlet Witch), the Hulk, Quicksilver, and Ant-Man. Now that all of those heroes have been introduced into the MCU, the way is open for a full Young Avengers roster. 

Much like several of the other entries on this list, the Young Avengers were incredibly popular - popular enough that after their title was stopped, Hawkgirl, Wiccan, Hulkling and Patriot all remained major supporting characters in the Marvel universe, and a second run of the series (taking out Stature, Patriot, Speed and Iron Land, and replacing them with Loki, Miss America, Marvel Boy and Prodigy) was produced and ran last series to critical acclaim.

They're kind of a no-brainer, to be honest.

Journey Into Mystery / Loki, Agent of Asgard.

MCU's Loki has arguably always been a little more of an antivillain than comic books Loki anyway, so this one should be a fairly easy sell for an audience. 

Usually known for focusing on Thor as a main character, Journey Into Mystery gained critical acclaim and a massive expansion of its audience when it switched focus to Loki, reincarnated as a child and trying to reconcile people's expectations that he'll surely turn out evil, his own desire to be good, and his nature as a good of deception and tricks. Ending on a truly gutwrenching twist, the story then continued on in Young Avengers before spinning off into its own title, Loki, Agent of Asgard, depicting a young adult Loki working as what amounts to a supernatural secret agent for Frigg. 

Much like Spider-Gwen, this Loki's story was cut off abruptly by the start of Secret Wars, and much like Spider-Gwen, his popularity saw him sort of come back afterwards, in the form of - actually, is the Loki in The Mighty Thor right now an alternate version? Or the same version aged up? I think it's an alternate version, but he shares a lot of traits with Agent of Asgard!Loki.

Either way, the whole storyline was critically adored and beloved by fans, and written by Marvel's darlings Kieron Gillen and Al Ewing. It's an obvious choice for an adaptation, to the extent that during the big bundle of rumours a while back (several of which turned out to be true, such as Black Panther, Luke Cage, and Captain Marvel), Journey Into Mystery with Loki as the main character was amongst them. It was, sadly, one of the rumours that wasn't true, but the fact that it was a rumour at all shows how interested fans are in the idea.

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