This week, as part of playing catch up with all the 2016 Marvel news, and in light of Deadpool being released, I’m focusing on the Marvel movies and TV shows. Next week, I plan on refocusing on the comics.
So, like all the best stories, let’s get started with the sad, wind our way towards WTF, but end happily.
Today is Half-Price Chocolate Day, and if you’re like me, you’re in dire need of some chocolate after the Agent Carter cancellation rumors. The reason for these rumors are twofold–first, that the numbers haven’t been very good this season, and, even more damning, that Atwell has been cast in a new ABC pilot, although this article by Variety implies that ABC would be able to accommodate Atwell in both shows should Agent Carter be picked up for a third season.
But never fear! After the last episode of Agent Carter airs on March 1st there is only a two week break before the new series of Daredevil gets released on Netflix. I was late to watch the first season, but I am so excited about season two, and the promotional artwork and videos that we’ve gotten aren’t just exciting–they’re gorgeous. Yesterday, a teaser went out for a new one today, because Marvel likes to fuck with me on Mondays.
— Daredevil (@Daredevil) February 14, 2016
So before we get to that, let’s review the one that came out a few weeks ago.
And here it is, in poster form:
Netflix’s Daredevil has never shied away from religious iconography or religious symbolism with Daredevil, and that’s something I appreciate. Matt Murdock is Irish Catholic in a way that we never get to see Steve Rogers being. It’s cultural as much as spiritual, and I love that with these promos, so evocative of the Sistine Chapel, they bring another layer of that Catholicism. This article is a pretty good breakdown of some of the imagery, and potential spoilers, but what I’m taking away from these promos is that this season will explore Catholic morality more explicitly. In Season one, they dabbled. Now they’re going for it.
Also, the second season is being released during Lent, about a week before it ends, during what is traditionally a time of self-reflection and self-denial. Based on the teasers, on Matt’s struggle between himself and the self he could be, personified by The Punisher. The other major development we know of involves Matt with Elektra, and Matt with Karen. Self-denial indeed. Although I really hope they set up the romantic triangle in a way that doesn’t end up with a hurt Foggy. Protect Foggy. See, Foggy and Trish aren’t just beloved characters in Daredevil and Jessica Jones because they’re funny. They complement Matt and Jessica. They’re not comic relief. They’re necessary. And Matt and Jessica appreciate them for that reason.
Also, I don’t need every Marvel cinematic and television adaptation to be like Daredevil. That’s the trap that DC fell into when the Nolan films redefined Batman, which it is only now getting out of via Supergirl. Which is why reviews like this one about Deadpool annoy me enough to make an informal review.
FYI what follows is a mini-review that is mostly spoiler-free. If you have a fear of spoilers, please skip to below the poledancing Deadpool gif.
Full disclosure: I don’t enjoy violence in movies. I don’t enjoy body horror. I enjoy comedic violence that utilizes body horror even less. Deadpool has all three, in addition to masturbation jokes, child abuse jokes, and a transphobic joke that should have been cut. But I expected those things going in because it’s a Deadpool movie. It is, as the review suggests, faithful to the source material in that sense.
It is also faithful to the source material in that other sense, that I hinted at last week. I found the movie, like the character himself, to be way cooler than the alleged fanbase. I also think the movie’s target audience is not millenials but the lost generation between Generation X and Millennials. My generation. There’s a 90s nostalgia, punctuated by “Shoop” on the soundtrack and solidified for me by the post-credits scene. There’s a colorful grittiness. The movie itself could have been a lot less bright. A lot less graphic. Gen X was characterized by apathy and cynicism, and the millennial generation by activism and optimism. I am part of the generation that knows it should be cynical like our cool older siblings, but just can’t shake that hopefulness and even admire it in our cool younger siblings. We love John Hughes movies unironically, even as we are self-consciously aware of the unreality they present.
Deadpool is also all of these things, both on the narrative level and on the level of the character himself. Deadpool also deals with consequences in a way that the MCU proper never will. He may have a regeneration ability similar to Wolverine’s, but when Deadpool regenerates, it’s ugly, and painful. Deadpool also manages to situate itself in not just one but two universes where it sort of exists although not really, through the borrowing of two X-Men (Fox), and utilizing the wreckage of what could be one of the helicarriers that went down in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (MCU) as the location for the final showdown.
All in all, the movie has more heart, and blood, and guts, than any other movie in both Marvel franchises. It’s smart and self-aware of superhero movie tropes in a way that only Ant-Man comes close to being. It’s also as graphic and dark as the other adaptations outside of the MCU proper, and with a hero who swears they aren’t a hero. It’s Daredevil and Jessica Jones with poop jokes, unicorns, and Hello Kitty backpacks. It’s exactly what a Deadpool movie should be. And the fact that Reynolds wants to explore pansexuality in the sequel (possibly with Cable?) is amazing.
Oh, and Colossus is a precious Russian cinnamon roll, and Negasonic Teenage Warhead is such a great character–and provides body positive representation for teens.
Like most people I think, I had forgotten that Fox was trying to make not one but two Marvel TV shows of its own. Apparently they are still trying to do that, since there’s been several casting announcements for its show Legion. I don’t know much about the premise, although it’s been touted as having a premise to make it “the Breaking Bad of superhero shows.” We shall see. I can tell you that the description of David, which invokes the manic pixie dream girl trope, makes me very wary.
DAVID (Dan Stevens) – Diagnosed as schizophrenic at a young age, David is a haunted man, trying to find his way back to sanity, but he’s getting tired and is about to give up when he meets the girl of his dreams.
I really don’t want any part of that.
One more juicy casting rumor for this week! Apparently Iron Fist has already been cast, but Netflix isn’t talking about it. Curiouser and curiouser.
There’re many interviews with Ryan Reynolds that I want to share, but this one is particularly relevant today:
He gets it.
Gif credit to Gamora.