This is a very strange time for movie mutants. With the Disney/FOX merger nearly complete, the X-franchises, which ushered in the modern age of superhero films with 2000’s X-Men, are in limbo. New Mutants and Dark Phoenix will likely wrap up the FOX-era X-Men films, and you could see Xavier and Co. in the MCU in the next three years. Where does that leave the insanely successful Deadpool franchise? That’s a really good question.
The MCU is traditionally PG-13, something that Deadpool never has been…until this Christmas. The release of Once Upon a Deadpool, essentially a PG-13 recut of Deadpool 2, may be an audition for a more family-friendly Merc With a Mouth…or it could just be a naked cash grab to squeeze just a little more money out of Deadpool 2‘s run.
One thing that is dead is the X-Force spinoff that Deadpool 2 sets up. That is a crying shame because for the problems I did have with the film (and I did like it very much overall), the introduction and execution (literally) of X-Force was the best thing about ‘Pool 2. Deadpool is at his best when he’s just allowed to be the unhinged, manic id of the Marvel Universe. It’s why the character is better off without PG-13 shackles. A huge part of Deadpool’s appeal is the anticipation that he may say or do absolutely anything at any given moment, and you lose that if you bring him down a rating level.
If you were a comic book fan in the 1990s, you could not avoid X-Force. Rob Liefeld’s supergroup of pouty-lipped, barely-footed mutants was a sales juggernaut. They could also be…well, I don’t currently have the mental bandwidth to get into Rob Liefeld, but suffice it to say that there are few things that made me as happy and laugh as hard as watching Shatterstar’s demise. The entire sequence, from Deadpool’s open casting call, to his inspirational plane speech, to the shortest outing in super-team history is sheer brilliance. Special recognition to Brad Pitt for one of the most unexpected cameos in recent memory and to Rob Delaney’s Peter. Oh, Peter. I miss you the most, too.
We have, at this point, dozens and dozens of superhero films. I think you could stack the overall quality of the genre against any other in filmdom, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t had our share of devastating missteps along the way. Watch Mojo has two videos categorizing the most egregious times comic book movies deviated from the source material or were poorly received by fans. The greatest hits are here: Spider-Man 3’s disco striding evil Peter, Iron Man 3’s Mandarin switcheroo, Superman II’s amnesia kiss, and Batman vs. Superman’s Martha madness. Some of their entries feel like stretches. Yes, The Killing Joke was an abomination, but were people overly upset Thor: Ragnarok was funny? X-Men Origins: Wolverine’s treatment of Deadpool was awful, but did anyone actually expect more than what we got out of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (the Bay edition)? What moments are missing from WM’s lists?
Venom’s second full trailer focuses less on the film’s plot and more on showing off Spider-Man’s morally ambiguous doppelganger. The Venom teaser took a lot of heat for not really showing the symbiote (a word I have apparently been mispronouncing for 30 years). The first Venom trailer was more story-based but did show a lot of Venom. The second Venom trailer has more Venom than Tom Hardy. Aside from the lack of a spider-symbol on his chest (given the absence of Spider-Man from Sony’s Spiderverse, that wouldn’t make sense) Venom looks pretty much exactly as Todd McFarlane drew him when he debuted in Amazing Spider-Man. There is a ton of Venom fanservice going on in this film, which if nothing else, seems like it is going to be a very different type of comic book movie. We’ll see if that’s a good or a bad thing when Venom hits theaters October 5, 2018.
Comic-Con 2018 has come and gone, and while we got some good trailers out of it, the convention is probably more remarkable for who wasn’t there. For a San Diego Comic-Con, this is the lightest news and trailer weekend of any in recent memory. Warner Brothers and DC Comics pretty much had the weekend to themselves, though the biggest news of the weekend, arguably, came out of Marvel & Disney as Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn was fired right before his scheduled appearance in light of offensive tweets from the filmmaker’s past. The DCEU was rebranded “The Worlds of DC” and the first trailers for Shazam and Aquaman debuted as well as new trailers for DC’s six live-action TV series. I thought the best trailers of the weekend were Glass and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. I was really excited to hear that Star Wars: The Clone Wars will be returning for a proper send-off (finally!). I think my favorite story out of SDCC 2018 though was Marvel running a grief counseling booth for people still traumatized by the end of Avengers: Infinity War (you can read more here). The convention was also lighter on posters and promo art than years past, but I’ve put together a gallery of the best below. See you next year, San Diego! Continue reading Comic-Con 2018: Recap Plus Pictures and Posters From The Convention!!!→
DC has premiered the trailers for its six live-action fall shows. Arrow, Black Lightning, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, and Supergirl return to The CW this fall. DC’s future plans for TV are centered around their DCU Streaming Service. The new service was unveiled at Comic-Con and the trailer for the service’s first show, Titans, was unveiled. DC plans to add live-action Swamp Thing, Doom Patrol, and Stargirl shows next year as well as animated series featuring Young Justice and Harley Quinn. The only DC show that wasn’t trailer-ready for Comic-Con was SyFy’s Krypton. The Superman prequel show announced it would be returning in early 2019 and that season two’s big bad would be intergalactic bounty hunter Lobo.
Arrow Season Seven (The CW, Returns 10/15/18)
Black Lightning Season Two (The CW, Returns 10/9/18)
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow Season Four (The CW, Returns 10/22/18)
The Flash Season Five (The CW, Returns 10/9/18)
Supergirl Season Four (The CW, Returns 10/14/18)
Titans Season One (DC Streaming Service – Fall 2018)