This past Saturday, the
ran a piece about how Marvel, now
the feature-shingle of parent corporation Marvel Entertainment now has to resort to their B-list of characters now that their A-listers, the
have now run their courses as franchises and are only going to become more expensive with the increasing salary demands as the actors who created the onscreen characters are likely only to become more and more expensive.
Sure, there’s an
movie in the works, an
movie and ‘
Fantastic Four II
‘ coming this summer.
But as someone who grew up with Marvel comics and saw their subject matter mature even as I grew older, I look at the cultural landscape and mostly what I see is erosion. Marvel’s breakthrough studio effort was their first ‘
‘ movie, rated-’R’ and intended for an adult audience remains its best effort. Since ‘Blade’ it has been mostly been down-hill, though ‘
‘ was better than expected and an accomplishment in itself for trying to tackle many of the subversive subtexts of the original comic-book – race, class, sexual and ethnic divisions up and down American society. In an expected devaluation we now have ‘Fantastic Four II:Rise of the
Surfer to look forward to, in all of it’s
PG-13 glory. At least the comics were about more than spectacle.
At least it looks as though DC has the right idea, by enlisting
Dawn of the Dead
‘) to execute ‘
‘. During the ’80′s and ’90′s these books all became Swiftian metaphors for their primary audience – the disaffected youth of the Reagan and Bush I eras. To turn the clock back and turn these heroes into cheap, live-action Saturday Morning cartoon characters risks the loss of that original audience.