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Monday, January 11, 2016 

Marvel emphasizes the demise of a major character in Civil War sequel

Just what one could've expected, the umpteenth crossover Marvel has the gall to foist upon everyone builds itself upon the death of yet-to-be-named character:
Cackling like a cabal of super villains, a group of 50 shady characters recently met in a Manhattan conference room to secretly plot the demise of a major Marvel superhero.

While Doctor Doom and the Green Goblin regularly fumble their evil plans, this group will actually succeed and kill off their intended victim. And it will surely shock fans of the Marvel comics and movies, since it comes at the hands of a fellow costumed hero in a storyline from the upcoming event series, “Civil War II.”
What's really disheartening is that Marvel's staff will succeed in pushing this newest embarrassment to the top of the charts, boosted in part by speculators and so-called fans unconcerned about story merits.
“If you want to really see a road map of where our movies will be (going) in the next five, 10 or 20 years, read the comics,” says Joe Quesada, Marvel’s chief creative officer. “Because they’re almost always a precursor to what’s on the horizon in our cinematic universe and our television universes.”
If this is how they're crafting their movies, then honestly, their whole screenplay development process is a joke. From a moviegoer's perspective, I'd feel bewildered if I found out that the films were drawing from some of the poorest, most uninspired premises back in the comics.
The top of the agenda: to plot out details for “Civil War II,” a sequel to the best-selling 2007 event series that pitted Iron Man against Captain America in an allegory about national security versus personal liberties. That original story is being turned into a movie, “Captain America: Civil War,” that hits theaters on May 6, a month before the first issue of the sequel will hit stores.

So the stakes are high not to disappoint.

“You want it to be ‘The Godfather, Part II,’ but for every ‘Godfather II,’ there’s a ‘Godfather III,’’’ Marvel publisher Dan Buckley tells The News, referring to the weakest link of the mob trilogy.
But even the weakest Godfather movie was far better than these very weak crossovers. In the long-term, these "events" do disappoint, and don't hold up well over time.
During the retreat, however, optimism abounds among a group that includes The Atlantic correspondent Ta-Nehisi Coates, who is making his comics debut writing the “Black Panther.”
Oh yeah, the optimism that they can get away with all this, even as they sell so little compared to movies and music tapes. Any group that includes people like Coates can't be a good one.
“A mysterious new Marvel character comes to the attention of the world, one who has the power to calculate the outcome of future events with a high degree of accuracy,” according to the synopsis. “This predictive power divides the Marvel heroes on how best to capitalize on this aggregated information, with Captain Marvel leading the charge to profile future crimes and attacks before they occur, and Iron Man adopting the position that the punishment cannot come before the crime.”

Captain Marvel is a female super hero character that Marvel is looking to showcase more with her own movie slated for a March 2019 release.
This is beginning to sound like one of Steven Spielberg's post-911 movies. I believe it was called "AI" (artificial intelligence), and the premise was somewhat similar, and was just as politically motivated, possibly an early attack on policies like the Patriot Act.

Their superficial description of Captain Marvel obscures how it all really began, with a male hero born of the alien Kree race, Mar-Vell, who initially performed good deeds by changing places between dimensions with Rick Jones after he got stuck in the Negative Zone. Carol Danvers, the heroine they remain fuzzy about, began as an army security expert who befriended Mar-Vell and later gained powers by accident during one of his scuffles with a villain. How come that doesn't matter, even to Marvel themselves? If we don't know the original premises, how can we appreciate the newer ones?

Towards the end of the article, they say:
Comic fans, though, are cynical about publishers killing off their heroes. Once-dead heroes like Captain America and Spider-Man have made miraculous recoveries. Rival DC made headlines in 1992 by killing off the mostly indestructible Superman – and then promptly brought him back in a single bound a year later.

“The death is the marketing hook,” admits Buckley. “The thing that’s really compelling is whether or not there’s a story afterwards that’s going to connect with readers and sustain it.”
"Cynical"? That's more like putting down decent fans' complaints as illegitimate. A better description would've been disappointed, that this is all they care about, and not about meaty character drama that could make the characters they want to wipe out more their own agencies, instead of just plot devices. It makes no difference whether the death is reversed, that doesn't mean it was ever called for to start with. To me, the death of a character - at least the way they do it - is not a hook at all. Only developing the cast as their own agencies is. And for years now, it's been clear there's no compelling story afterwards that connects with that many readers at all, nor sustains much of an audience to speak of.

Whoever the character is they want to knock off in the latest crossover makes no difference, because that's not what I find interesting. Killing off heroes and villains - especially the former - has become so commonplace these days that even if it isn't done offensively, it's still as insulting as it's boring.

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The Spielberg movie you are thinking of is "Minority Report", not "AI".

"Cynical" might be too strong a word, but anyone with any understanding of the medium will be skeptical. Yet another over-hyped Big Event with a line-wide crossover and Death of a Major Character. To be followed by another Big Event with the character getting revived.

And coverage in the MSM will attract suckers who usually don't buy comics, and who have little or no understanding of how these things work. They will buy the "death" issue (and maybe the whole crossover series) expecting it to become a valuable collector's item. Then they will never be able to sell it at a profit, since they won't be able to find any collectors (or dealers) who (1) want it, and (2) don't already have it.

But the speculators (and some naive collectors), especially if they buy multiple copies, will artificially inflate sales, and make the series look more popular than it is.

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