Well maybe that is becoming a thing of the past (fingers crossed - Aspiring Alpha.) Now before you all start scratching that hair spiral on the back of your head that is commonly referred to as a "cowlick" in a dubious attempt at understanding my vague statement, I am talking about the movie industry's need to steal away whatever popular comic book character they can and capitalize on their success without so much as giving a single thought to the possibility of any future super-hero collaboration movies. To make a seriously long run-on sentence short, most characters from Marvel comics have been adapted to film by different production companies making it almost impossible for the characters to meet on the big screen. This means you won't see Hugh Jackman/Wolverine getting irritated by Toby Maguire/Spiderman in a movie together. You won't see an obvious team-up like Toby Maguire/Spiderman and Ben Afleck/Daredevil fighting the Sinister Six (which could include, but not limited to Thomas Hayden Church/Sandman, Topher Grace/Venom, Alfred Molina/Doctor Octopus and Willem Dafoe/Green Goblin even though it was technically Hobgoblin) any time soon. This has always been an issue (no pun intended - Wise-cracking Craig) for us fans who want to see two majors characters fight side by side, Marvel Team-up style.
Look at the endless possiblities.
As Bob Dylan once said, "The times they are a changing." Marvel comics has developed an "in-house" production studio so that they can produce multiple big name characters in their own respective movies, but leaving the door open for cameo appearances in each other's movies (i.e. Robert Downy Jr. appearing in THE INCREDIBLE HULK - Alluding-to-the-fact Alpha.) This creates the potential for a slew of fanboy wet dreams to come true (granted they wouldn't be our best dreams come true, being with She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel, Poison Ivy, Dawn and/or Medusa from the Eternals will remain only fulfilled in my unconscious hours - Crushing Craig.) The point is that Marvel is finally looking at the bigger picture, and by that I mean the bigger picture they can produce
that would be full of our favorite heroes in one movie.
Ultimate dissapointment to some.
Now there is an obvious trend occurring now with movies released recently, or in the works, for a certain team of heroes. You may be familiar with them, a little obscure group called The Avengers. Well it started off with IRON MAN, followed by THE INCREDIBLE HULK with plans for Ant Man, Thor and Captain America. This raises an interesting question, "Which Earth are these movies taking place on?" I know that statement makes about as much sense as Greedo shooting first (I couldn't help myself - Apologetic Alpha) so allow me to bring you up to speed on what I mean, alternate universes. DC has done it with their whole Crisis On Multiple/Infinite Earths series and Marvel has followed in their footprints. In order to have the same characters go through dramatic changes and retconned origins, they created alternate Earths to explain why one day Wolverine is in upstate New York with the X-Men and the next day he is under-cover in Madipoor as a crime boss named Patch. The following are a few variations of this concept, all of which have great potential for some great movies. Theeeeeeeeerrrrrre grrrrrrrrreeeeeaaaaat!
Main Marvel Universe (Earth-616)
This is the Earth where it all began. Pretty much every issue you see now, unless noted, takes place on this Earth. Avengers Disassembled, House of M, Civil War, World War Hulk and now Secret Invasion are all on this Earth. Interestingly enough the staff at Marvel doesn't even like referring to it as Earth 616.
"I can tell you for sure that those of us actually working on the books virtually never use the term — and I kind of wince inside whenever I hear somebody use it. It just sounds so stupid to my ear, and so counter to the kind of mindset we try to foster in regard to the stories we create and the thinking we try to employ. " — Marvel Executive Editor Tom Brevoort "I never use it, I hate the term pure and simple and agree with Tom's assessment of it. I can't remember ever hearing it in the office and only really see it used online for the most part.
I think the term really came into vogue when the Ultimate Universe came into prominence, but in my world, the language and distinctions are simple, there is the Marvel Universe and the Ultimate Universe. Anything other than that reeks of all that DC Earth 1, Earth 2, Earth Prime stuff which I've never really taken to, but then again, I got into DC when they got rid of all that stuff so it was from and for a different era than my own. " — Marvel Editor in Chief Joe Quesada.
New, but not so much improved.
This is the most common universe so I would tend to think that this I where it is all going down.
The Ultimate Universe (Earth-1610)
This is Marvel's most recent attempt at contemporizing its more popular characters by re-imagining them with origins in more modern times. The list includes Iron Man, Spider-Man, Wolverine, the Hulk, Thor, Daredevil, the X-Men, the Avengers, and the Fantastic Four. The biggest difference between this and Earth 616 is that all of the characters are younger than their 616 counterparts. The origins are more modern too (Peter Parker is a web-master for a site called the Daily Bugle instead of a photographer for a newspaper of the same name - Acting Editor Alpha.) This universe was started right about the time that the movie X-MEN was released so there are a lot of similarities present in the comic book that are also in the movie (the ages of certain characters for one - Contextual Craig.) I would say that X-MEN and its sequels and spin-off movies take place in this universe. This was also meant to replace 616, but it has yet to achieve the success that would make it feasible.
New Universe (Earth-148611)
This unviverse was created in 1986 when Marvel decided they had far too many superheroes/villains. They wanted fewer super-powered heroes so that they would be more unique and special (616 has 3 Spiderwomen, 2 Hulks and 2 Captain Americas as of now for Parker's sake - Clerical Craig.) This universe had its superheroes spawned from what was called The White Event in which the sky became bright white and certain people fell unconscious only to wake up with special powers. They were:
D.P. 7 (Displaced Paranormals 7), Justice, Mark Hazzard: Merc, Nightmask, Psi-Force, Spitfire and the Troubleshooters and Star Brand. This was not only a radical concept in that it had so few heroes, but it also added the concept that the heroes we know, Earth 616 heroes, were just fictional characters in comic books so it suggests that this was a real life universe. Clearly, due to the lack of the popular characters, this couldn't be the movie universe. It also makes it more likely to be a comic book universe that could be adapted into a movie series in its entirety due to that same fact.
Magog willing it will happen.
Amalgam Universe (Earth-9602)
This is the most unlikely, but the coolest possibility reality of all. In 1996 the big two, Marvel and DC, decided to put to rest the rivalry and have an old fashioned throw down (no, not the Bobby Flaw kind - Cook-off Craig.) They pitted their best against each other in the series Marvel vs. DC which paved the way for Avengers/JLA in 2003. This also paved the way for a dork's dream come true, . This happened when a character named Access, whose power was to travel in between the Marvel and DC universes, happened to touch certain heroes at the same time which resulted in an amalgamation of the two. Dark Claw (a merging of DC's Batman and Marvel's Wolverine), Super-Soldier (Marvel's Captain America and DC's Superman), and Spider-Boy (DC's Superboy and Marvel's Spider-Man) were just a few of long list of awesome heroes. This would clearly not be the movie universe, and highly unlikely to ever make it to even the script-writing stage for a movie (short of a fan-fic, but every one of us has those almost literally falling out of our asses these days - Amateur Author Alpha.) It would also be one of the coolest movies/series ever.
There are tons more universes I could name, but I will save that for later columns. Right now I am just waiting for what the verdict is on the WATCHMEN trial. Until that verdict comes thank for reading true believers, EXCELSIOR!
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|The Alpha Craig|
I am the first and the last, maybe not. I'm 31 years old and still spend my disposable income on comic books. Might as well put it to good use.|
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