This post is going to be a bit of an indulgence to my inner fan-boy, but with the awesomeness that’s coming up in the next few months I hope you can forgive me. If you’re not a fan of the existing Marvel franchise then you probably won’t sympathise with anything that I’m about to say, so it’s really up to you whether you continue reading. But if you are a fan of the existing Marvel franchise, particularly the films, but the comics as well. Then I know that you’ll be sharing my excitement about what’s going to be happening from next month onwards.
Four films. That’s right. FOUR. And I have the feeling that every single one of them is going to be awesome. What are those four films, you ask. Well, dear reader, these are:
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (March)
Trailer 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLWsK1ZFunA
Trailer 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4LVE9OUTfw
Amazing Spider-Man 2 (May)
X-Men: Days of Future Past (May)
Guardians of the Galaxy (August)
So we’re going to have two more films that fit into the Avengers universe, an X-Men film that looks set to blow all the previous X-Men (and Wolverine) films out of the water and a sequel to Sony’s reimaging of Spider-Man after their first slightly-better-than-average trilogy.
Let’s start with the Avengers Phase 2 films (for those not familiar with the ‘phases’ each phase of the Avengers films ends with the actual Avengers film. So phase 1 was Iron Man to Avengers Assemble and phase 2 is Iron Man 3 to Age of Ultron). I was disappointed with the first Captain America film. For me, Cap was a wooden, two-dimensional character, the Red Skull was a bit of a damp squib and the supporting cast was average. This film looks a whole lot better. Since seeing the first film I’ve gotten myself into comics, and so await the appearances of characters like Agent 13 and Crossbones eagerly (not to mention the Winter Soldier himself). For those who don’t know the identity of the Winter Soldier, do not fear, I shall leave him unnamed. On the whole, this film looks grittier and more intense than the first, with Cap forced to question his values and beliefs. This may mean that we actually get a Captain America who’s more than just your ideal patriot, the Captain America of comic-book arcs like Civil War, with passion and a will of his own. It certainly looks like the perfect film to carry the torch lit by Iron Man 3 and stoked by Thor 2.
Later on in the year will be Guardians of the Galaxy. Star Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket Raccoon and Groot do not make up Marvel’s best known superhero team, and I have to confess that my actual comic book knowledge of them only comes from the 2013 graphic novel (though I eagerly await Volume 2 later this month), but through wider knowledge of the Marvel universe and by looking at iMDB’s cast list to see which characters have made it in, I can see that there’s enough there to get me excited. First off, all the characters have a connection to Thanos. For some, like Gamora and Drax, the connection is direct (though I won’t give it away in case you want to be surprised) and for the rest it’s more obscure, but the indications are that we’re going to see a bit more of the purple-faced Eternal whom we caught a tantalising glimpse of at the end of Avengers Assemble. Given that Age of Ultron presumably focuses on Ultron as the main villain, will we see a resolution to the Thanos story here? Maybe. But this movie looks exciting and the character list intriguing, so I look forward to it greatly.
Now for Amazing Spider-Man 2. Personally, I very much enjoyed the first film, released in 2012, and thought it was a vast improvement on the previous trilogy (which was by no means terrible, just not, er, amazing). I have to say, though, the first trailer I saw left me underwhelmed (I couldn’t find it on YouTube to put on here), but the second trailer, which I only saw yesterday, got me a lot more hyped up. Sony are really ramping it up with this one. We have a reimagining of Electro as a vivid blue electric thing (he looks better than I make it sound), the Rhino appears in a metal suit that would make Iron Man’s have a nervous breakdown, and glimpses of Harry and Normal Osborn suggest that the Green Goblin will also be making an appearance, though perhaps not as a major part of this film. Furthermore, we have the continuation of Peter’s search for the truth about his father, hinted at by the mysterious figure in the cut scene at the end of the last film, and the continuing prominence of Gwen Stacy of Mary Jane, who was apparently cut at the last minute from this film. There’s a lot going on, and I can’t help but feel that this film will not be an end in itself, but a set up for an even bigger Spider-Man 3 (Sony have 4 planned). Still, I’m looking forward to it (though maybe this is my least anticipated of the 4) and I still hope that Sony are planning on bringing Venom into this series, because, let’s face it, he’s awesome.
And finally, the big one, my most eagerly anticipated film of 2014: X-Men: Days of Future Past. That trailer gives me shivers. It looks insane. And I don’t say that lightly. As with the original Spider-Man trilogy, I was underwhelmed by the original X-Men trilogy (though I know that the first film in particular was a significant breakthrough in the world of superhero movies), and though I like First Class and the Wolverine films, I’m yet to be really blown away by a film from this little family. Days of Future Past looks set to remedy that. I don’t think I can really put my excitement into words. I love that Fox are dabbling, more than dabbling, in the X-Men of the comics’ tendency to do bad things to the space-time continuum (see the latest X-Men line: All New X-Men, as well as Age of Ultron and House of M). This film is going to be huge: the cast, the characters, the magnitude of the story, everything! And I don’t even know what the main plot is. Ah man, it’s going to be incredible. The only downside is that it’s being released in my exam period.
Well there you have it. 1000 words of me being a fan-boy. I don’t do this often, so forgive me this once. I had to get it off my chest. But yeah, wow, 2014 is going to be a good year for superhero films.