5 Comic Book Heroes Ready for Their Closeup
2016 may be the year the super-hero movie lost steam. While Deadpool and Captain America: Civil War were high-points, Batman v. Superman, X-Men: Apocalypse, and Suicide Squad feel less like leaping tall buildings and more like jumping the shark. When times are tough, you gotta dig deep, so here are 5 Comic Book Heroes Ready for Their Closeup.
Created by Mike Baron (Nexus) in 1983, Badger has was published by multiple comic companies including Capital, First, Dark Horse and Image. Perhaps that’s apropos for the story of a Vietnam vet whose multiple personality disorder manifests in a 9 year old girl, a dog, and the titular Badger, a costumed vigilante and karate master whose more than a little nutty. Can you imagine the right actor sinking their teeth into this?
With a posse that includes Ham, the Weather Wizard, and Badass, the Demon Hunter, the series is chock full of characters large enough for the big screen and small enough for basic cable.
Man-Thing made his debut in Marvel Comics back in 1971 within months of DC’S Swamp Thing. While movies have already been made for both, it’s high time for another take on Man-Thing.
The Florida Everglades ain’t exactly Hell’s Kitchen (neither is Hell’s Kitchen anymore) but a change of scenery might do the genre good. Just imagine a Jim Henson Company puppet version, or a full-blown CGI creation of this muscle-bound vegetable-based antihero whose powers are best conveyed by the catch-phrase “Whatever knows fear burns at the touch of the Man-Thing.”
Sasquatch was introduced during bronze age X-Men (1979), and then properly as part of John Byrne’s Alpha Flight (1983). Kind of like a Canadian Hulk that retains his genius and ability to communicate after controlled transformations into a 10 foot orange beast.
Heck, do a proper Alpha Flight series where Peter Dinklage play his diminutive side-kick Puck and you’ve got must-see TV.
2. Machine Man
Created by comic book legend Jack Kirby, Machine Man is an android from the Marvel Universe not unlike The Vision but with more obvious moving parts. The character was introduced in the comic series based on 2001: A Space Odyssey, so it’s something of a spin off. A movie based on the 1984/85 limited series could see a lot of interesting characters, including a cast of cyberpunks that put this reservist Avenger back together from component parts.
He’s got go-go-gadget arms and legs, and all the philosophical ponderings of a sensitive robot raised by humans. Amazon and Netflix should be fighting over this property and they probably don’t even know it exists.
1. Moon Knight
Every year there are more rumors that Netflix is making a Moon Knight show. I’ll believe it when I see it. Moon Knight is another hero with multiple aliases and a touch of schizophrenia whose superhuman strength is dictated by the phases of the moon – or by his own twisted belief in that possibility. While he can certainly carry a series, you can also shoehorn him into other shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. or Daredevil.
Moon Knight has had several different costumes, including a mechanical suit that comes together like Iron Man‘s does. With the right design, Marvel could finally get this character to break-through after 36 years.
If you had told us during the seventies that someone would make a successful Guardians of the Galaxy movie, we’d have thought you were crazy. Kudos to whomever realized such an obscure team would make for intriguing viewing. Let’s use some of the same out-the-box thinking for the heroes above.
Review: Godzilla vs. Kong
Godzilla vs. Kong reminds me that I was an idiot as a child. I allowed the 4:30 Movie too significant a piece of my brain pie. I existed in a headspace where The Planet of the Apes and Gamera were more science than fiction. I was certain skyscraper-sized monsters lived in the woods a few blocks away, and that ghosts were under my bed. Somewhere in possibility-land, a black and white Lon Chaney slowly becomes a werewolf in a handful of dissolving frames.
Cut to my final form, and I can’t help but think these movies are just a total waste of time and resources. Sure, the effects can be impressive but often they have as much weight as a video game. Buildings smash into dust, an actor says a line against a green screen, then Kong sits on a throne like a stereotypical king. Ah doi!
Sure, the hollow Earth with upside-down mountains in the sky is cool – but where’s that sun coming from? The MechaGodzilla fight has some great effects, but you can watch those on Youtube without having to sit through a bunch of lines like “Kong bows to no one.”
Maybe I just can’t enjoy normal human things anymore.
Now that Captain America is Black…
Now that Captain America is Black
- Bucky Barnes will change his name to Summer Soldier Buckquan because “Nah son! we ain’t doing sh*t in the winter!”
- Fearing for their lives, Police officers will fire 751 shots at Cap in the 4th of many incidents to come.
- In a new altered timeline, Thanos will win due to Cap being detained by a routine traffic stop. “How can you afford Vibraniun on a government salary? Please step out of the vehicle sir.”
- Captain America will form a Rap group with Black Panther called “Black-America.” The group will not be received well but will eventually have all their intellectual property stolen for decades to come without any due repar… I mean royalties. #MESSAGE
- Racists will be utterly confused when they tell Captain America to “Go back to where you came from.” Equally confused, Cap will pack up all his belongings and stay put.
- Cap will be accused of stealing Thor’s hammer the next time he picks it up.
- Cap’s shield will be replaced with a Vibraniun PlayStation Controller since black men are more comfortable throwing that.
- The battle decree will officially be changed from “Avengers Assemble” to “Yerrrrr! It’s on sight!”
- After 40 years of service, Cap will travel back in time to 1998 to finally get that last dance with his true love, Laura Winslow. They will Cha Cha Slide to “Before I let Go” as the credits role.
- Upon retirement, those jaded with having an Af-Am do such an amazing job will appoint a failed real estate charlatan to take up the mantle. The New Cap will immediately try and grab Scarlet by her “Johansson” and declare himself the best Captain America that ever did it during his inauguration.
Chadwick Boseman Forever!!
It is clear that Chadwick Boseman chose iconic roles like Thurgood Marshall, James Brown, Jackie Robinson and Black Panther with deliberate intent and for a specific purpose. In an age where positive roles for Black actors is often sparse, Chadwick managed to land and portray historical figures that made most respect his talents if not revel in his ability to transition effortlessly for one character to another. Even I had to give his African accent a solid B+ (It’s the highest grade the Nigerian Standards Bureau can give for an African accent to a non African FYI.)
Holding out and preparing for these dynamic roles came with both great frustration and incredible resolve I’m certain. Not to mention the taxing ordeal of battling Colon Cancer as the grueling scheduling of filming and increasing responsibility for positive representation loomed. Even under extreme duress, Chadwick’s commitment to others appeared to outweigh his own tribulations, unbeknownst to us all.
Black Panther may have been just a movie to some and that may be because some can easily rattle off 10 movies with a king of non Af-Am origin. It represented a lot more to others. Albeit imagined, imagery on cinema often accomplishes more to augment the social narrative and society itself than actual reality. If negative stereotypes influence perception then positive ones absolutely have the same converse effect.
Even in jest, the cultural misappropriation of raisins in potato salad on SNL skits directly spoke to the tampering of black culture to which T’challa championed, represented and aptly responded “Oh hell Nah Karen!”
If you don’t understand the relevance of representation, it’s probably because you are thoroughly represented. After all, no one is ever grateful for every breath they take until they are gasping for air.
R.I.P Chadwick Boseman. Thank you for breathing life into the possibility of Black excellence.