Comic Strip: ‘Captain America 2,’ the Future of the Marvel Universe, and New DC TV Details
ScreenCrush’s Comic Strip is a weekly roundup of the hottest superhero movie/TV news items. From Marvel to DC and points in between, if it pertains to costumed comic book heroes, we’re covering it here, bringing you our expert analysis. This week, NBC's 'Constantine' TV series reveals some tantalizing details, 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' builds the path to 'Avengers 2,' and a young Riddler journeys to FOX's 'Gotham.'
'Constantine' Spills Blood at Demonic Altar
Marvel may rule the big screen right now, but DC is working on total domination of the television landscape with 'Arrow,' 'Gotham' and 'Constantine,' the latter of which could very well be the network show to keep an eye on in the near future. If your knowledge of John Constantine begins and ends with the middling Keanu Reeves movie from awhile back, you should do yourself a favor and dive into the iconic Vertigo series, which produced some of the best horror comics of all time over the course of 300 issues.
Although a network version of the character will undoubtedly have to ditch many of the traits that make Constantine and 'Hellblazer' so fantastic, the recently leaked details of the pilot script actually sound fairly promising. Like in the comic, Constantine is an emotionally scarred basket case who cloaks his cynicism with sarcasm and humor. His sidekick, Chas, will be present and far more similar to his comic book counterpart than the Shia LeBeouf take from the previous film. Iconic villain and occasional ally Papa Midnight will be on hand and "doing lots of cocaine" to counteract some kind of dark magic. There's even a character named Manny, who's described as an angel who has been assigned to "ease" Constantine's soul into damnation, which sounds like an interesting update on John getting infected with demon blood in the original comics.
The biggest question mark seems to be the inclusion of a female love interest/partner, but Constantine always had plenty of love interests and allies throughout the series. Unfortunately for Liv, most of them didn't survive long in his company. If they really want to stay true to the comics, she probably won't see the end of the first season.
'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' Is Here, But the 'Age of Ultron' Is Approaching
Well, the new 'Captain America' movie is here and it's awesome, earning rave reviews and tearing up the box office. Critics like it. Geeks like it. Normal people like it. It's a win-win-win! Marvel supposedly having a tentative schedule of films set through 2028 actually doesn't sound too crazy!
But this is Marvel Studios we're talking about, so things have to keep moving forward! The seeds of 2015's 'The Avengers: Age of Ultron' are actually planted in the mid-credits teaser of 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' -- SPOILERS -- giving us our first glimpse at the Aaron Johnson's Quicksilver and Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch as prisoners of Hydra baddie Baron von Strucker. If all of those names make you go "Huh?", we've got you covered with this handy guide.
In addition, we know that the events of 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' will drastically affect the adjoining 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' TV series. Those of you who already saw the film are probably nodding your heads in agreement, and ABC released more teasery bits of what to expect from the show moving forward:
While the finished films tease the next Marvel epic, reality follows suit. Thanks to cameras on hand in Seoul, Korea, we already have our first look at Captain America's cool new 'Avengers 2' uniform, which looks like a slick combination of his 'First Avenger' gear and his more colorful 'Avengers' outfit. If you want a closer look at every stitch and piece of armor plating, this gallery is your new best friend.
Black Widow herself, Scarlett Johansson, spoke about the tone of 'Avengers 2,' saying that it will be "muckier" and avoid tying things up neatly. Since writer/director Joss Whedon is the kind of guy who likes to put his characters and his audience through the wringer, you can fully expect the team to come out the end of this movie worse for wear.
And, finally, with the events of 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' irrevocably changing the landscape of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you've got to wonder how future films and shows will deal with the fallout. I think the evidence is hiding in plain sight, right in the pages of Marvel's 'Secret Warriors' series, which seemingly provides an excellent blueprint for future 'Captain America' movies, but, more importantly, it provides an outline for how ABC's 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' can potentially continue to exist, given the events of 'Cap 2.'
For those of you who've seen 'Captain America 2,' you'll want to read another interesting 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' theory from the folks over at Badass Digest, who suggests the identity of the mysterious Clairvoyant may be hidden in plain sight.
'Batman Babies' (aka 'Gotham') and Marvel's Ant-Man Add Villains
A lot of what has been revealed about FOX's upcoming 'Gotham' sounds fantastic, but there's definitely something inherently amusing about a young Jim Gordon, a young Bruce Wayne, a young Catwoman and a young Penguin all managing to exist at the same time in the same show. So, yeah, I'll make jokes about this being 'Batman Babies,' but I make those jokes with love. The latest youngster to join the cast is Cory Michael Smith, who'll play a forensic investigator named Edward Nygma.
Of course, everyone (well, at least nerds) know that Edward Nygma is the actual name of the iconic Batman villain known as The Riddler. Our guess is that 'Gotham' will follow the path of the current DC Comics "New 52" take on the character, presenting him as a slightly creepy genius who plays one the right side of law, biding his time and waiting for the perfect time to strike and reveal his new (green) colors. I'd place good money on Ben McKenzie's Jim Gordon going head-to-head with Smith's fully costumed Riddler sometime in, oh, season 2 or so.
Elsewhere, Marvel's 'Ant-Man' continues to bulk up its cast and has added a villain of its own. Matt Gerald, who you may vaguely recognize as one of the prisoners confronting Ben Kingsley's Trevor Slattery in Marvel One-Shot 'All Hail the King,' joins the 'Ant-Man' cast as an unknown villain, according to Deadline. No word if he's reprising his role from the One-Shot or portraying an entirely different character.
Here's Your Hot, Sexy, Smoldering Dr. Doom
Dear Toby Kebbell,
I'm sure you're a nice guy. I know you're a talented guy. I've seen you in movies before and thought you were good. But I'm writing this message you'll never read for one reason: you've been cast as Dr. Doom in the upcoming 'Fantastic Four' reboot, and I'm going to watch you like a hawk because he's the best villain in the Marvel universe and I've been burnt before. I'm not opposed to a young and attractive man like yourself being cast as the hideously scarred, megalomaniacal dictator of Latveria, but I do ask that you don't walk the same path as Julian McMahon's disastrous 2005 take. The news that you'll have a fleet of telekinetically controlled Doombots is a great start. I hope you ride the fine line between silly and terrifying that Doom constantly rides. I hope you actually get to wear a massive metal mask and wear a badass green cloak. I hope you really get to cut loose and play Doom as the narcissistic supervillain he is supposed to be.
'X-Men: Days of Future Past' Isn't Very Good at This Marketing Thing
Twentieth Century Fox has been making 'X-Men' movies for 14 years now, and yet they still haven't figured out how to market them. Even the best movies in this franchise are preceded by atrocious posters and baffling marketing materials, so we're not holding the latest round of truly jaw-droppingly awful posters on 'X-Men: Days of Future Past.' That's just the Fox way. You can check an entire gallery of them HERE, but below are the two that deserve a special brand of derision. The first one looks like a PC game from 1996 and the second one is just a nightmare of Photoshop and cliches.
Holly Hunter Cast in 'Batman vs. Superman,' Will Probably Class Up the Joint
Despite its fair share of flaws, 'Man of Steel' managed to maintain its dramatic gravitas, thanks to a cast of terrific actors capable of making even the silliest dialogue and concepts sound like the most important thing in the world. It looks like director Zack Snyder is looking to continue this trend by casting Oscar winner Holly Hunter, Callan Mullvey and Tao Okamoto as characters "newly created" for the still untitled 'Batman vs. Superman' movie. Although she voiced Elastagirl in Pixar's 'The Incredibles,' Hunter feels like one of the last people you'd expect to pop up in a massive superhero movie and that's kind of perfect. You can't say Snyder isn't taking some pretty crazy chances with the casting in this film and I love that we're getting a movie where Batman and Superman will duke it out while the likes of Jesse Eisenberg and Holly Hunter watch from the sidelines. That's just crazy.