Modern superheroes are taking more money from civilians than their super-villains ever dreamt of, but it’s the same few superheroes being recycled more often than the dollars they’re earning. Every Superman movie since 1980 has been a mistake. There are enough Batmen for a Bat-Basketball team; they rebooted Spider-Man and it felt like staring at the blue screen of death for two hours, which frankly would have been better than Spider-Man 3; Iron Man has appeared in more entertainment gossip magazines than the actor who plays him. The fact that all of these select few heroes are all male, should tell you something.
Now - after the new Avengers film, Age of Ultron - Ant-Man is the next Marvel superhero movie.
Ant-Man is one of the worst heroes ever. The film isn't even going to be from the perspective of the original Ant-Man, Hank Pym, as this story follows thief and con man, Scott Lang's timeline. If you're going to make a film about a superhero you could at least make it about the actual superhero, not the guy who steals his suit. That would be like watching a Batman film that focuses solely on Alfred - though to be honest most of us would probably watch that! But still, it's not a Batman movie.
Marvel's strategy seems to be stitching together as many titles as possible. In the '70s, you needed a degree in string theory just to follow all the interlinking issue numbers. They gambled on giving almost every Avenger a movie before the big ensemble, and it’s paid off. So now they're going back to cover any Avengers they may have missed.
And by "go back" they mean "go back 50 years to when someone was stupid enough to think Ant-Man should be on the same team as Thor!"
"Let's see: immortal god, unbeatable monster, hyper-intelligent weapon of mass destruction, really small people. Excelsior!"
(Note hyper-intelligent Tony Stark giving himself a get out clause right from the start.)
The whole point of superheroes is imagining things above and beyond human capacity. “Strong guy hits people” and “rich guy wins over the homeless” are clichéd in the real world, let alone cinema. The movie industry seems so desperate that news of an Ant-Man movie wasn’t followed by laughter at the absurdity of the idea. Ant-Man was invented around the time of tie-dying - and is a worse idea. Comics are stuffed with great characters who would make for better super-film-heroes.
And why do all superheroes have to be male? Why aren’t little girls allowed to be inspired by extraordinary people to become great too? No good reason at all.
The real lesson of superheroes is that anyone can rise to become one. Just look who’s played lead in the single-superhero major motion pictures since Batman Begins revolutionized the field.
It seems super-heroism is secreted by Caucasian testicles. Which is weird - are heroes empowered by prostate control? And we have more green heroes than black, and that's not even a human colour!
So here is a countdown of the top five superheroes who should have had their own movie before anyone thought of touching Ant-Man:
Storm, aka Ororo Munroe was born in New York City, the child of a Kenyan tribal princess and an American photographer. At six months old, she and her parents move to Cairo. Five years later, during the Suez Crisis, a fighter jet crashed into her parents’ house, killing them both. Buried under tons of rubble, Ororo survives but is orphaned and left with severe claustrophobia. Her fear was once so intense that she was known to revert to full foetal position and approach a catatonia, though in recent years, Storm has more or less conquered her claustrophobia, and can freely move in tight spaces, even over long periods of time.
Only this was never mentioned in the X-Men films. Throughout the film series, Jean Grey's timeline is extensively retold, Storm however gets a brief mention before moving along the factory line.
Storm is one of the most powerful mutants on Earth and has demonstrated a plethora of abilities, most of which are facets of her power to manipulate the weather.
People should really learn not to trifle with this powerful lady.
One of the additional positives of this superhero is that she breaks not only the gender barrier, but the race bias too. She appeals to all audiences, except the ones who can't stand girl power or those who can't understand that black is beautiful too.
Superheroes aren’t restricted, so why are their movies? Right now they all boil down to super-Rocky - get beaten, get angry, get own back - and that's awesome, but punching people shouldn't be your only strategy when you've got more electronics than the NSA's Christmas decorations. Superheroes could strike into any genre, and Oracle offers the most intriguing: the super heist.
Barbara Gordon is Oracle, Gotham's ultra hacker, the only mastermind in a city who coordinates action against crime. She has developed one of the world's most complex and powerful computer systems and set to work accumulating all possible information, using her photographic memory to absorb all the information from the world's top daily publications, not to mention other, less open sources such as the CIA, FBI, NSA, and Interpol, all without discovery.
Heist movies make so much money that even Ocean's Eleven got two sequels, and their only superpower was Clooney. Imagine a heist in the heights of Gotham’s spires, retrieving information about an evil kingpin's secret plans, with heroes like Black Canary, Shiva, and Lady Blackhawk. All heist movies have characters who are practically superhuman in their specific skill anyway. Let’s film Oracle and make it official.
Make the bad guy the Riddler and he can finally become as cool in the movies as he is in the Arkham games. The super heist is a huge pile of money on the table just waiting to be taken. Which coincidently, is usually the movie plot.
Barbara Gordon's character appeals to so many people; the computer geniuses; the nerdy girls; and the disabled. After The Joker shot her, causing paralysis, she had to came to terms with the fact that her Batgirl tenure was over, only she didn't stop to play the victim. She forged a new way to help people. She continued to be a hero from the confines of a wheelchair. If that's not inspiring, what is?
#3. Scarlet Witch
With Scarlet we could get a taste of whatever history Marvel has made up for her and her brother in the highly anticipated Avengers: Age of Ultron, but with the rights to all X-Men characters and the word ‘Mutant’ safely clenched in 20th Century Fox’s hands, Marvel has limited responsibility for that.
Wanda Maximoff, and brother Pietro, are the spawn of the great and mighty Magneto. Wanda has the ability to tap into mystic energy that can alter reality. Awesome, but also fairly catastrophic when she goes insane.
While these siblings tie into the Avengers, they have their own solid storyline. One suggestion a lot of fans rather like concerns the way Wanda goes crazy after the death of her children and uses her 'Chaos Magic' to try to destroy the Avengers and end the planet. Empowering, right?
#2. Black Widow
So we getting Ant-Man <Seethe> worst Avenger ever! Yet we get his story before Black Widow? She’s the elite Russian superspy who's already featured in two major movies. This Avenger has killed more bad guys than Captain America. Hell, Hulk got two movies before he had to team up with anyone else, and his entire character arc is "Boo hoo, I don't wanna hit people" while he's HITTING PEOPLE. If there was any justice in the world, Black Widow would have stolen James Bond's franchise by now, never mind earned her own.
Black Widow could deliver a super-espionage movie we’d queue up for. A story of intelligence trumping extraordinary humanity, where all-powerful idiots are countered by cunning instead of by someone with a big hammer.
#1. Wonder Woman
Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are DC's holy trinity, the mainstay of the Justice League, representing bright and shining justice, dark and brooding vengeance, and... being a girl. And if you think that's a little unbalanced, check out how many cinematic releases they've had.
Right now you should be seeing red.
Bat-nipples have had more major motion picture time than Wonder Woman. Superman's ridiculous logo-throwing has more airtime than Wonder Woman's entire existence.
After watching it, most people do something similar with the DVD.
Are we really prepared to watch the worst possible hero, Ant-Man, before the most Wonder-ful Woman? Why do we have a hero famous for beating women before a hero famous for being one?
And is she really surprised? It’s this exact kind of bigotry she came into our world to fight.
Sure, Gal Gadot has been cast as Wonder Woman in Batman vs. Superman. But take another look at that title. Scream supporting character anyone? It’s not even just a sequel, it’s a sequel so far down the line it’s a nightmare to count. That's the same billing as Harvey Dent and General Zod, whose only purpose was to expose the hero. We should already be bracing for the inevitable super-dick-waving of "Who's she going to bang? OH SNAP she turns them both down, which is meant to make this empowering even though the woman's entire character interaction is still defined by whether she'll have sex with someone." Somehow the nebulous possibility of a solo movie after “completing her chores” in every other (male) superhero film, doesn't quite cut it for Wonder Woman in my world.
Fans are so ready for a Wonder Woman movie, that they're already making their own. They're not just offering their money, they're spending months creating awesome videos about how much they want to hand the cash over.
There's a lot of rubbish spouted about why Wonder Woman hasn't already been on the screen. They tell us there isn't a market for her, it's not a good investment. What would Hollywood know about a good investment? Two titles - John Carter, and Waterworld. (They'll take a risk on a man peeing off a raft than the Amazonian of Greek descent, the demi-goddess of ass-kicking?)
Nostalgia harvesting has gone so far that we even got a board game movie – Battleship. We have a movie based on a kids spatial awareness game but we don't have Wonder Woman? Lynda Carter alone should've ensured a generation would pay to watch this movie.
Movie makers think that, after growing up, people now care more about what’s on the left than the right?
While Superman fights such incredible menaces as "a bald guy" and "his buddies from back home", and Batman beats up the mentally ill, Wonder Woman's villains are the entire Greek Pantheon of gods and monsters. That's spectacular cinema just waiting to happen - worked for Percy Jackson.
And DC needs something more spectacular to catch up with Marvel. They might even try something really crazy, like noticing the female half of the human race!
While I have stuck with DC and Marvel here, look further and there's a plethora of strong, powerful heroines that could do the job as well as any white guy. Just look at Witchblade and Fathom from Top Cow. Witchblade is the story of NYPD detective Sara Pezzini, who melds with a symbiotic, sentient gauntlet which requires a female host and provides a variety of powers in order to fight supernatural evil and maintain the balance between Good and Evil. Fathom follows a marine biologist who, during a failed experiment, discovered that she is actually a water being, able to live, breath and thrive beneath the water, a princess of the Blue.
Fathom Vs Witchblade
Comics and graphic novels are so much more diverse than they used to be. They are catching onto female liberation. Women are strong, women are powerful, as the previously mentioned heroines prove - even with their ridiculously sexy outfits. But hey, they had to have something that appealed to the male audience and backers, didn't they.
So come on Hollywood, bring on the girls.
Having grown up in a dungeon it isn't any wonder that Tyrell is a little bit weird, though her mother (Gail) would say she's a big part of the occasionally wonderful too. Knowing her ranking against the world's most demanding cat, Tyrell manages to slip the manacles off to run barefoot through a world worth ranting at.