Comic Fanboy Dreams - Captain America and The Avengers!
by Roman Chavez
June 15, 2008
I believe it's safe to say that the majority of us thoroughly enjoyed Iron Man. I felt that it was a fanboy treat. We saw Robert Downey Jr. give an amazing performance as the booze drinking, lady-loving Tony Stark. Terrance Howard made a good James Rhodes, hell we even got to see Harold "Happy" Hogan (Tony Stark's head of security) played by director Jon Favreau himself. There were nods to War Machine and a very possible Avengers movie in the making. I say "possible" because, as you know, we as fans have been given hope in the past about comic book movies that we want to see and it just never happened. I have very little doubt that an Avengers movie will not be made, but I will hold my excitement until I get a teaser. With that, let's take a look at what I think would be the perfect series of upcoming comic book movies.
Let's kick this off with a little back story on The Avengers. They first appeared in 1963 in The Avengers #1 produced by Marvel Comics. The team consisted of the Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Ant-Man, and the Wasp. Mind you, some of these superhero names may sound goofy but all of the characters are pretty cool. Almost immediately by issue #2, the Hulk leaves the team, Ant-Man becomes Giant Man and by the time we get to issue #4, the team gets its most recognizable character - Captain America. It's explained that in the final days of World War II, Captain America was on a mission to stop an experimental drone plane created by the Nazis. The plane explodes and he falls into the icy waters of the North Atlantic. His body, flash frozen on impact, is kept alive by suspended animation. He is found some 20 years later by Prince Namor aka Sub-Mariner, and given to the Avengers. He thaws and the rest is history.
This is when the team really comes together. Captain America eventually becomes the team leader and probably the most respected superhero of all time. The Avengers team changes from time to time, like most superhero teams do, but you always have what's referred to as the "big three" of the Avengers whom of course are Captain America, Iron Man and Thor. We are going to need at least two of those three movies before an Avengers franchise can take place. We got Iron Man this summer, and we already know that Thor and The First Avenger: Captain America are both set to arrive in 2010 and 2011 respectively.
Being a huge fan, I often talk about movies with everyone I know to get a general feel on how a particular film was received by the audience. I must have talked to at least 20 to 25 people about Iron Man and I heard only one negative comment about it. Needless to say, that's a pretty good reception for the film - and I only have about five serious comic book fan friends. While talking about the film with our fearless leader Alex, I gave him some of my hopes and ideas for The Avengers and Captain America films and how I think that they should play out. Mind you, this is just what I think and have no idea what's in the heads of the higher ups at Marvel, but it's fun to dream.
We have confirmation on a Captain America movie set to take place in World War II. It could almost be an epic war movie like Saving Private Ryan with a superhero twist. They could have Cap fighting in the war with his sidekick Bucky Barnes. Maybe the Nazis have been working on their own super soldiers to combat America's growing number of heroes. There are any number of comic book Nazi super geniuses that could be the villain in this film, namely, the Nazi Baron Heinrich Zemo. And of course, it could end with the climactic scene where the Nazi's launch the "drone plane" and Cap and Bucky head out to stop it. The plane explodes and Cap is thrust into the freezing waters of the North Atlantic to be lost in the deep until the fates believe that he is needed once again.
Now, for The Avengers movie, you don't need to necessarily stick to that original team of Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, Ant-Man, and the Wasp to make a good movie because in my opinion, Hulk and Thor really don't need a team to take on villains. My personal line up would consist of other Avengers throughout history like Hawkeye, Vision, and Tigra, along with Captain America, Iron Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp. However, for the first film in the series, I would not have Captain America in it. I know, some might say that's crazy but I will get to why later on. At this point in time, the Iron Man, Captain America, and Ant-Man movies should have been completed anyway, so their origins will already be known. Hank Pym (aka Ant-Man) or Tony Stark could be building a Vision prototype in one of their films or in the first Avengers movie. So that would only leave Hawkeye and Tigra left to do a background story on.
As far as a villain is concerned, I am really not sure who would be the best to adapt from comic book to silver screen. I trust Marvel's judgment now that they have taken the reigns of these franchises. There are so many to choose from that I just don't know who would be best. Obviously the team would take on the villain and win, but I would like it to be a sloppy victory, like they were missing a certain key element of the team. Therein lies the big reveal at the end of the credits. I want to see a S.H.E.I.L.D. vessel or some sort of fishing boat find a big block of ice and have the camera pan over it and all the audience would see is a bit of Captain America's shield. This would be the perfect set up for the second film.
In The Avengers 2, we would see S.H.E.I.L.D. dealing with this huge discovery of Captain America and having to bring in experts like Tony Stark and Hank Pym or maybe even Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four) in to inspect the body. Cap comes back to life, believing that he has been captured by Nazis and fights his way out to see that it is not the 1940's anymore. Cap having to deal with this life in a new time would be a good underlying tone for the film. He would still want to be a symbol for America and strive to uphold our nation's ideals.
I would have Cap observing the Avengers in action and notice their lack of leadership and instinctively jumping in to help out. This would be that missing piece the team needs. But with this I would have some tension build between Hawkeye and Cap. Hawkeye would be skeptical from the beginning, thinking "Who the hell is this guy and who made him the boss?" The villain in this story should be Red Skull. Red Skull is a Nazi madman trained by Adolf Hitler himself. This would be a great blast from the past for Captain America. And it would raise questions like "Is this the same Red Skull from WWII?" and "How did he survive this long?"
These are just a few of the ideas I had for the stories in these upcoming films. I'm sure my choice of Avengers team roster may confuse some people, but it's just what I would like to see if it were up to me. I just love comics and would love to see these films plotted in a cool way that leaves us wanting more in the end. Don't like my Avengers line up? No problem, just leave a comment with your favorite team in Marvel history or create your own fantasy dream team. This has been a thought from Roman's Land, where I don't write comic book universes, I just want to live there.