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FOX BYTE: Does Fox have plans to bring their Marvel Comics properties to the small screen? Considering they own the rights to the fantastic Four and the X-Men, one would tend to hope so. But, what story would they tell? Obviously the front-line characters wouldn’t be the focus, but certainly on the mutant side there are several options. I think my first choice might be The New Mutants circa 1982, you know the Claremont/McCleod versions. Yeah, I know, it’s a pipe dream. They would likely be looking for something more state-of-the-art like perhaps the All-New X-Factor which is geared to today’s generation and values. Either way, I’d love to see a serialized X-show. On the Fantastic Four side the most obvious choice would be the Future Foundation. Jonathan Hickman wrote the stories revolving around Reed Richards’ idea to create a better future through philanthropic pursuits. With characters like Artie Maddicks, Leech, Zero-G, Dragon Man, a group of evolved Moloids, and Bentley 23, a clone of the FF’s long-time foe the Wizard) such a show would certainly have something for everyone. Writer/producer Simon Kinberg, who knows the X-Franchise better than almost anyone outside of comics, was signed to a three-year deal in December to help develop the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises had this to say in a recent interview;
“We’re still in this place of figuring out what the future of the franchise will be, but when you look at S.H.I.E.L.D. to some extent and what Marvel is doing now with Daredevil and other shows on Netflix, it makes sense to tell some of these stories in TV partly because there’s just not enough screens to do all these characters, and also because the serialized format of comic books is better suited for TV. Because that’s it, every week you come back to the same characters different story, and in comic books every week it’s the same characters, different story. I think what [Fox is] seeing now is with the proliferation of new kinds of visual and special effects, there’s a way to make these stories that doesn’t cost $300 million every time you have to make a huge movie.”
MARVEL BYTE: So Marvel Studios, ABC Television, and parent company Disney have launched a multimedia assault like no other. They have great movies of course, evidenced by Captain America: The Winter Soldier setting records for April releases, and the highly anticipated Guardians of the Galaxy. This one is a bit of a surprise since the mainstream fans must have no idea who they are. Netflix has joined the act with series revolving around Daredevil, The Defenders, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Jessica Jones (realistically these last three should have shared a series called Heroes for Hire). Does this mean that Daredevil and the rest could appear in the movies, specifically Avengers 2 or Avengers 3? Well, according to Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada its an unequivocal YES! Quesada recently appeared on the Fatman on Batman podcast and told them;
“Although these are superhero stories, this is different now. This is the street level…this is the street level noir side of the Marvel Universe. Something that you haven’t really, really seen in any of our Marvel movies, and probably more ground level, than I think you’ve seen. This is not like us doing Batman, Dark Knight or any of that stuff. This is very Marvel doing street level superheroes.”
This is very good news, although not very surprising for fans of recent Marvel Comics. As you might know all of the Netflix based characters have been, or are currently Avengers. Cage, his wife Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist currently appear in Mighty Avengers, which has been a surprisingly good book from Al Ewing. Daredevil was a member of the Brian Michael Bendis New Avengers, under protest. Teams are not his style. It seems right now that the Netflix incarnation of The Defenders may be an amalgam of these characters and not the Dr. Strange led group from the comics. I still think that they should have left The Defenders name for the supernatural super-team to be brought together following the rumored Dr. Strange feature, but I’m fine with the way Marvel/Disney does business. Nerd Bytes will keep you posted!
AGENTS OF SHIELD BYTE: The first and possibly only season of Marvels Agents of SHIELD is quickly coming to an end with only two episodes left. The penultimate episode, “Ragtag” will partly focus on the traitorous Agent Ward’s back story. Jeph Loeb, Head of Marvel TV said of the episode;
“Every villain in the Marvel Universe has a reason for what they do and this is the episode where you learn just what makes Ward tick – and then go boom. We knew this job required someone special to bring this tragic and brutal backstory to life and Emma Rios was our first choice to interpret the hardships of Grant’s past and what is to come.”
Rios does have a haunting style that is perfect for the man who had everyone fooled including all of us. We will finally get to see the real story behind Ward’s decision to serve Hydra. The show has been fantastic really since the mid-season break but low ratings in the early part of the season may have lost too many viewers to win them back in time to save the show. ABC TV has yet to announce a renewal for a second season, which is a shame, this is not the same show that you were watching in October. Give the last two episodes a shot and you’ll want more. Agents of SHIELD airs on Tuesday nights at 8pm Eastern time on ABC.
WOLVERINE BYTE: It has been reported by several outlets that the next X-Men movie will be the last for Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. I will hate to see him go, he was an example of perfect casting. He absorbed the character, making him the big-screen anti-hero that made Wolverine Marvel Comics’ most popular character almost since his inception in The Incredible Hulk #180 circa 1974. This is not the end-times that many are making it out to be. People are acting like this is the end of the character on the big screen. Not a chance. His popularity has never been greater. I would suggest that it’s time for some new stories for the character. How about introducing Origin. Comic book readers waited decades for the true story of Wolverine’s origin. Origin II is being produced by Marvel Comics as we speak. This movie or movies would start with a young James Howlett (Logan) and would allow a new actor to be introduced as the character grew up. The movies could then proceed into the Weapon X era in a more detailed and well-written way than what we have seen so far. After that you could explore his time in Canada with Alpha Flight. The character is rich with history. Losing Jackman is definitely a blow, but certainly not a fatal one.
MOVIE ROUND-UP: A rumor has been circulating about a character expected to be in X-Men: Days of Future Past being dropped. Many speculated that it would be Rogue, but they were wrong. It was actually a character who was never intended to be in the film. That character? Scarlet Witch. Fans assumed that with Quicksilver in the film, even in a small role, that his twin sister would be as well. According to Bryan Singer that was never the case. When he was asked, presumably prior to his recent legal problems, if a character appearing in a recent television spot was the mutant sorceress, he answered, “No, that’s his [Quicksilver’s] little sister. I even had a line which I cut, where Quicksilver’s mother says to the little girl, ‘Go up and bug your sister,’ and the little girl says, ‘She bugs me!’ You never see the older sister, but it was to imply that there is an older sister for comic book fans. I ended up cutting it.” What the WHAT? Wanda’s mother died of exposure shortly after birthing the twin mutant progeny of Magneto. Is this supposed to be Lorna Dane, aka Polaris, their half-sister? I guess we’ll find out. Amazing Spider-Man star Andrew Garfield said recently that he thought Miles Morales should be Spider-Man after his trilogy ends. If you’re not familiar with the character, Miles Morales is a bi-racial (African-American/Hispanic) character who takes on the mantle of Spider-Man after Peter Parker’s heroic death. This happened in Marvels’ Ultimate Universe, not in the company’s main continuity. Producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach do not agree with the actor. In a recent interview they were asked;
“Are Miles Morales (Ultimate Spider-Man), Ben Reilly (clone Spider-Man) or Miguel O’Hara (Spider-Man 2099) on the table? If you want a Spider-Man movie every year why not bring in some of the other variations?
Arad: No. The one thing you cannot do, when you have a phenomena that has stood the test of time, you have to be true to the real character inside – who is Peter Parker? What are the biggest effects on his life? Then you can draw in time, and you can consider today’s world in many ways. But to have multiple ones… I don’t know if you remember, but Marvel tried it. And it was almost the end of Spider-Man.
So Spider-Man in the cinematic realm will always be Peter Parker?
Tolmach: As far as we’re concerned. The guys who take it over after us… Who knows…”
That’s fairly definitive, isn’t it? I’m fine with the decision. Peter Parker is Spider-Man and should continue to be in the movies.
NERDITORIAL: This weekend is a particularly NERDtacular one for a bunch of reasons. First, Saturday May 3rd was FREE Comic Book Day. This event becomes bigger and more fun every year as fans new and old flock to their local comic shops to get copies of free promotional comics from many big publishers. This year’s offering was rather large and diverse. Marvel and DC focused on events and promotion. The former offered Guardians of the Galaxy and Rocket Racoon to familiarize the fans with the focus of their next bi movie release. The latter offered a peek into their next comic event with DC The New 52 Futures End Special Edition. It wasn’t all about the big boys though as every company participated with titles from Archie Digest to Spongebob to 2000AD Special. For the older fans there was Project Black Sky and Fubar: Ace of Spades. It’s a great time to get out there, get some free swag and support your local comic book shop, like my favorite shop, COMIC RELIEF, in Flint, Michigan. I hope you had a great time!
Sunday is a holiday of sorts as well for nerdy fans of Star Wars lore. All I have to say to you, my fellow nerds is, “May the 4th be with you!”
Lastly I’d like to mention a lesser known and unpublicized anniversary. This episode of Nerd Bytes marks a year of bringing you the nerdy news that you all want to hear. It has been my honor and privilege to bring you these stories. I’d like to thank the staff at Word of the Nerd for all of their support, contributions, and comments, especially the editors who get the “pleasure” of editing a 2000 word article every Sunday. I look forward to continuing to bring you the news you really want to hear. Aren’t you tired of hearing about Lebron’s day on ESPN? Aren’t you tired of hearing about Obamacare, which politician sent lewd selfies this time, and how many murders and burglaries there were in your neighborhood last night? I am. I’d rather hear about movies, books, comics, and other outlets that allow me to disappear into a fantasy world for a while and forget the ills of the world. I’m happy to help provide all of you that brief escape! See you all next week, and thank you so much for reading Nerd Bytes!