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, the new Deadpool movie looks great, plus lots and lots of Marvel movie updates.

Deadpool, Fantastic Four and a Quick Lesson in Winning Over the Fans

A new trailer for the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot arrived this week. More specifically, an international trailer comprised of much of the same footage as the last one arrived this week. Outside of a few, tiny new snippets (the Invisible Woman can fly?!), it’s more of the same. For whatever reason, 20th Century Fox has decided to keep everything about this movie on the down low, even though it’s only a few months away from release. Fans are frustrated. Normal people barely seem to realize that it exists. Not even those “it’s all part of the plan!” interviews with director Josh Trank from a few months back seem to be giving anyone good feelings about this.

And that makes the early explosion of candid information about Deadpool all the more interesting. While Fox is starving the internet with Fantastic Four details, the studio has been perfectly cool with information about the upcoming X-Men spin-off arriving on the internet every single day. While we still haven’t seen a proper image of Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch and the Thing standing side-by-side, Fox hasn’t even tried to fight the Deadpool set pics that keep arriving.

Including this one, our first confirmation that Ryan Reynolds’ Wade Wilson will have his trademark scarring. Deadpool isn’t a tragic character by any means, but one of his greatest traits has always been how the Marvel universe’s quippy jokester is none-too-pretty under his mask. Thankfully, everyone on Deadpool decided that Reynolds’ good looks were worth ruining:

While fan response to all of these initial images (including the hilarious first look at Deadpool himself, as seen at the top of this article) has been positive, nothing has made fans happier than confirmation that the film will be rated R. Deadpool comes from a grimier, bloodier and weirder corner of the X-Men and Marvel world and a sanitized version of the character would be a letdown after that uber-violent test footage that got everyone so excited. Of course, semi-confirmation of the R-rating came in an amusing video where an awkward interview between Reynolds and Mario Lopez ultimately ends in murder. If nothing else, the production is definitely selling the goofy comedy that has been a trademark of Deadpool comics (which was completely absent in X-Men Origins: Wolverine).

But how much of a sure thing is that R-rating? On his Twitter feed, Reynolds implied that he’s still fighting to ensure they don’t get chopped down to something a bit more family-friendly:

At the very least, the production already has one important fan: Deadpool creator and social media maestro Robert Liefeld, who went on and on about what the movie is doing right on his Instagram page:

Congrats to Team Deadpool on each and every victory along the Deadpool highway! The R rating ensures the film will be unique and faithful to the amazing vision of the filmakers Tim Miller, Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick and Ryan freakin' Reynolds!! DEADPOOL RANT....So you're thinking, "of course Liefeld, you brought Deadpool to life, what else are we to expect but you to cheer, homer." Let's get something straight, after Wolverine:Origins I went on the apology tour, for those many umpteen thousands of you who came up to me at the bazillion conventions I do and asked me "Hey, Liefeld, what did you think of Deadpool in Wolverine:Origins?" you saw me smile through gritted teeth and give a very deliberate response "Well, it's a good start.." Because I already knew that there were plans underway to restore Deadpool and that given the opportunity, the new team that Ryan was assembling would produce the film we all wanted. But I knew that I couldn't apologize twice, I couldn't smile through gritted teeth any longer, this one would have to be earned. Rhett Rheese and Paul Wernick came on board and wrote the most amazing, exciting, unique comic book script I'd ever read. Even my Marvel pals have confided and said, "Wow, that Deadpool script...That's spectacular..It should get made" but it didn't. And years passed and management at Fox passed and executives came and went, each unable to move it forward. During this time, the outstanding Tim Miller stepped into the directors chair to guide the film and from the word go, he started making things happen. I saw storyboards, costume designs and animatics. The vision was becoming a reality and that amazing test reel footage was shot and I thought for certain that the film would be on its way to a green light. Then...more waiting. And here we are, this outstanding vision is being filmed and prepared for a Feb. 12th 2016 release date. I can tell you that you are in for a cinematic comic book experience unlike any you have experienced! Deadpool is all that you've been waiting for and a round of applause to Tim, Rhett, Paul, Ryan and Simon Kinberg for seeing it through! #robliefeld #deadpool

A photo posted by Rob Liefeld (@robliefeld) on

Costumes and Shaved Heads in the DC Movie Universe

There is no superhero costume designer who gets questioned about his work as much as Michael Wilkinson, who always seems happy to chat about designing the outfits for director Zack Snyder’s DC universe movies. And since he’s responsible for the iconic duds of both title characters in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, he has more to say than usual! In a new interview, he doubled down on the controversial decision to go with a more “realistic” look for these films, which has definitely separated the new DC movies from the competition at Marvel while annoying some longtime comic book fans:

(Zack) really wants these characters to connect directly to our world. So if you were walking down the street and you came across Superman or Batman — of course it would be startling and powerful — but it could actually happen in our world rather than in a stylized version of our reality.

Interestingly, Wilkinson found himself facing an issue that has plagued every single Batman costume since 1989: that damned cowl. While The Dark Knight partially solved Bruce Wayne’s head mobility issues by transforming the mask into more of a helmet, the stories of uncomfortable Batman costumes across the decades are legendary. Wilkinson doesn’t go into detail about whether or not he cracked the problem and finally delivered a cowl that doesn’t torture the wearer, but at least he’s aware of the issue:

That’s actually one of the first things that Snyder mentioned to me in one of our initial meetings. It’s a very important thing to Zack that the Batsuit would be comfortable and very flexible, but then would be able to perform in a very natural and forceful way. So a lot of incredible engineering went into the development of the new black cowl…It’s no longer a designer just in his workroom pushing a costume out into the world and that’s it. There’s a real sense of a conversation and engaging in a dialogue about this stuff.

While we’re on the subject of Wilkinson’s costumes, Jason Momoa was recently asked about what it was like to suit up as Aquaman for the first time and he had little to say. As usual, Momoa is all about how AWESOME everything is, which masks the fact that he’s not contractually allowed to say anything more than that:

Michael [Wilkinson], the head costume designer, he created all of that. I basically just showed up and he made it happen. And It's all Zack, through his genius mind. I'm going to be in one of the biggest movies in history in a minute, playing a superhero. And I have kids so that's cool. My kids can finally see something that I'm in.

Speaking of actors talking about their new looks in Zack Snyder-directed superhero movies, Jesse Eisenberg had a fun chat with Seth Meyers about shaving his head to play Lex Luthor. Since he’s also not allowed to say anything substantive, he could really only talk about how Superman’s arch-nemesis probably has a really cold head in the winter.

Batman v Superman will arrive with
Mad Max: Fury Road. With that announcement came the news that composers Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL (who will be providing music for Superman and Batman respectively) will have new music ready for the preview. Most importantly, Junkie XL took to Twitter confirm that the trailer is “so awesome,” so fret not, superhero fans!

A Week’s Worth of Marvel-ous News

Fret not, true believers. Just in case you were worried that the Marvel Studios machine would begin to slow down for any reason in the near future, know that director James Gunn has confirmed that Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will begin shooting in February, 2016. The only thing to do between now and then is, uh, finish the screenplay:

I turned in my treatment. I’m going in to meet about it Friday and we will start working on the screenplay next week.

And just in case all of the sequels and the TV shows and the one-shots weren’t enough for you, know that the next wave of Marvel animated series may be the first to directly tie into the MCU. Speaking from a panel at Emerald City Comic-Con, Marvel VP of Animation Development and Production Cort Lan dropped this very intriguing quote when asked about the prospect of animated shows tying in with the movies:

I can't announce anything, but things are in the works.

So there you have it. It turns out that Marvel Studios does have a tactic for making us watch every single thing with their name on it. After all, the cartoon show that explains what went down between the events of select Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episodes will be must-see-TV!

In all seriousness, we certainly wouldn’t say no to an animated Damage Control series that wryly comments on the events of the movies and shows. Nor would we stick up our nose at the thought of a series set on Asgard following Sif and the Warriors Three.

But before we can watch shows that haven’t even been announced yet, we have to watch the shows that are premiering on Netflix in less than week! More importantly, we have to discuss how the shows premiering on Netflix in less than a week may or may not tie into future movies! While participating in a Reddit AMA, Daredevil star Charlie Cox was asked if Matt Murdock will ever join the Avengers and anyone who knows how Marvel actors answer questions could have predicted his answer:

I really think Chris Evans does an amazing job as Captain America and I happen to think him and Daredevil would work well together ... I have no idea if this is even a possibility but I can tell you that I would love nothing more. I don't see why the character from our show couldn't fit in with the Avengers, if he was invited.

Cox also spoke with great enthusiasm about the series and the character of Daredevil. He hasn’t been shy about his extensive research for the part and you can see it in the way he name-drops minor issues and C-list villains. We like this guy. But is his show any good?

According to our own Kevin Fitzpatrick, it is very good. Heck, the early reviews have all been positive, which only makes these slightly dull new trailers easier to handle. Everything we’ve heard claims that the show is so much better than the the advertising, so we’ll cross our fingers and hope for the best.

And finally, that brings us to this Audi commercial, which is spliced with just enough new Avengers: Age of Ultron footage to make you suffer through a stupid car ad. At least the video segues directly into a brand new Ant-Man TV spot.