Tag Archives: The Incredibles

How we got to Civil War

One of the more highly anticipated movies of the year (now that Deadpool is out…) is the next Marvel movie, and the beginning of their Phase 3: Captain America: Civil War.

And there’s a lot of reasons to be excited: not only a bunch of returning characters from throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe (like most of the newly-expanded roster of Avengers), but also the first appearances of Black Panther, Spider-Man (who hasn’t shown up in any trailers yet!), and maybe more.

Add to that the fact that Civil War was a big deal in the comics, showing up regularly as a top storyline for Marvel. It ran as a massive crossover (hitting pretty much every title) from 2006-2007. So, before I got back into comics – not one that I got into when it was first out. Indeed, I only got to it for the LitFlix for Winter Soldier – and after seeing that movie, and reading the comics, I knew that Civil War was coming next.

But Marvel’s Civil War was by no means the first time that this storyline was seen – the decision that superheroes had gone too far, that they had too much free reign. Indeed, not the second time. Not the third. I would say at least the fourth – so let’s look through these titles before we get back to Civil War!

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier – A LitFlix

Cover from Captain America #11 by Ed Brubaker

Cover from Captain America #11 by Ed Brubaker

Okay, I’m over a month late on getting out a Captain America: The Winter Soldier LitFlix, and for that I am sorry. I can blame the A to Z Challenge and all the things we put off writing about in April, but that’s not it entirely. I think the problem is, there’s just too much to say about this film.

I was also left with a question: what was it about this movie that made me love it so much?

After seeing it another two times, I think the answer is quite simply that it is a good movie. It works internally with itself. It works as a sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger. And it works within the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe, the characters and events fitting in with the larger happenings in other films. It did the things it needed to, and did them well.

My goal however is not to present you with a review – though I will provide you with a list of solid reviews to the film. My goal is to compare this film to the comics it is based on, in the full fashion of our LitFlix. So needless to say, all sorts of spoilers to follow! Continue reading

When the Villain thinks they are the Hero – A Character Study

Spirits of Venom Heroes?

Apparently Google found this on http://comicbookrealm.com/report/comic-event/62/midnight-sons-spirits-of-venom On this cover, who is the hero and who is the villain?

Many villains are forgettable. Some just want money, or power, or control. Some had a hard knock life and are just taking it out on the world. Some men even just want to watch the world burn.

But some villains are very memorable, and a little harder to cope with. Because some villains think they are the hero.

I explore three such villains here: one who does not necessarily think he is the hero but wants to be seen as such, by basically being his own villain; one who is the total and complete foil of the hero, and thinks fully that he is the hero; and one who spends the entire story stating again and again that he is the hero of the piece, and that you are the attacking villains. Read along as I explore Syndrome, Venom, and Handsome Jack.

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The Hero’s Progress

The damsel in distress – part 2

Now I get to oversimplify some plots a little bit, and provide a broad stroke for you of what I am calling The Hero’s Progress. I am naming this after the famous Eighteenth Century works, The Pilgrim’s Progress, the Harlot’s Progress, and the Rake’s Progress. I lack the artistic skills to make images for you to match them, however. Maybe one of you can do so.

  1. Something precious is taken (our Damsel, perhaps)
  2. Show up to save it, and find out you are outclassed by the Villain or situation
  3. Find a teacher or Master to train and lead you
  4. Journey around and train up against increasingly difficult situations
  5. The Master is lost or dies
  6. The Hero surpasses the master, kicks butt, and saves the day

So that’s my take on parts that we seem to see a lot in the Hero’s progression, in leveling up, in game story telling, in super hero stories, in a lot of things. It’s certainly the sort of overall story we see with a Damsel in Distress.

Holly argued yesterday about how the Damsel in Distress is problematic because it seems to always be a weak woman and strong man having to save her. From a feminist standpoint, this is absolutely the case. You have a female character who, in the story outline I have here in the Hero’s Progress, shows up basically towards the beginning and then right towards the end.

I am going to take a storytelling approach to the problems here, however. In terms of motivation, we have several problematic aspects to this Hero’s Progress, and ways that they do not match reality – meaning that this story progression ends up making us feel like this is how things should be, without them actually being this way. Like Holly said, if a woman sits around waiting to be rescued, or a man feels he is worthless if he is not the one making more money, we have a problem. And it doesn’t match the reality in front of you then.

So, I am going to mainly deal with the first two aspects of the Hero’s Progress, because that is where there is overlap the most with Holly’s argument – and, as you see from my points, it makes the later stuff kind of moot. Continue reading