Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Daredevil, Civil War and Wonder Woman's Origin

Here's a catch all post on some of the news that came out last week about comics in movies and television and what I think about the news.

First up: The Netflix Daredevil show was previewed at NYCC. Judging by what some of the people who saw the preview are saying, most came away saying they liked what they saw. Unfortunately, the rest of us outside of NYCC only get this image of the new Daredevil costume:

Which sort of reminds me of the Daredevil costume from The Trial of the Incredible Hulk television movie.

And while this costume probably won't please some people, if I've learned anything from Arrow, it's that the costume does not make the show. I was originally turned off by the boring ninja looking costume used on Arrow, so much so that I completely passed on checking the show out during the first season. It wasn't until StevieB and my Father-In-Law recommended the show to me that I watched a few episodes and discovered how good it was.

Also, Ben Affleck's costume in the Daredevil movie was quite true to the comics version and that movie was pretty bad.

Next up comes the news that Captain America 3 (and Avengers 3?) may follow the Civil War storyline.

On paper, this sounds like a no lose scenario. Civil War was perhaps Marvel's most successful event comic of all time and many Marvel movie fans seem to ask for anytime Marvel movies get discussed anywhere. (A bit like how that one drunk guy constantly yells Play Crazy Train at Black Sabbath reunion concerts.)

Here's the thing - the whole premise of Civil War was the superhero registration act which would require heroes to reveal their secret identities to the government. One of the bigger story points in Civil War was the revealing of Spider-man's identity.

So, how would that work in the MCU where no hero actually has a secret identity? I suppose they can find some other reason to divide along party lines, but without the motivation of keeping secret their identities, I'm not sure the us/them plot works as well. (And let's not kid ourselves - the original Civil War storyline was a bit contrived as it was.)

Finally, Blstr has a quote from one of the producers on the Batman v Superman movie about Wonder Woman's background in the movie:

"She's a demigod. Her father was Zeus."

Why this may be significant is that up until now, there was speculation that Wonder Woman (and all Amazons) were going to be descendents of a lost colony of Kryptonians. That they may be going with a more traditional origin with greek gods also suggests something about the world Superman and Batman exist in.

Then again, Zeus could have been a Kryptonian and the term demigod could be getting used liberally here.

Ultimately, I don't think Mom and Pop America  care about her origin. It was never a major concern of the television appearances or the DC animated features. By and large, I think most non-comic book people just see her as sort of a generic female action hero.

Which is how we get stuff like this:

Just like Thor, Wonder Woman _exists_ and that's all most people need to really know to enjoy a Summer Blockbuster.

- Jim


MattComix said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MattComix said...

I like costumes and would rather see them represented than not. But I can agree they don't make the show. But I do get tired of the genre apologizing for them or modifying to the point of being unrecognizable.

The Civil War thing is just..ugh.

For Wonder Woman the Zeus origin strikes me as really on the nose for Xena's tv series alluding that Ares was her biological father. Besides her clay origin was something unique among superhero origins.

Trey said...

Sure, a show can be good and not have a good costume, but I would put it to you this way: Has a piece of superhero media ever not had a somewhat super-ish costume?

I can't think of one. I think you're mischaracterizing Arrow's outfit as "ninja-like" and I would suggest it's a reasonable translation of his current comic book outfit, and as superhero-like as what Ultimate Hawkeye wears (I suppose Hawkeye in the Avengers films might count, but he's in an assemble cast movie).

The fact that Marvel Entertainment (who is so often touted as knowing what to do was these characters to the degree that fans root for Fox's X franchise to fail) can't get right what the 90s Dardevil easily got right, is worrisome.

Reno said...

Releasing the black DD costume is a bit of a risky marketing ploy. Shouldn't the trick be hooking potential viewers with first impressions? If the first image released isn't appealing, then viewers won't tune in even if the show is good.

Much like your example of Arrow. I personally know a handful of people who didn't watch the first season when it aired because of their first impressions of the costume (and also because they dropped the "Green" in the name). But then good word-of-mouth got them to watch the show and they liked it.

But if not enough people don't tune in for season one because of first impressions, you can be sure there won't be a season two for a show, even if it's good.

Jim Shelley said...

@MattComix - yeah, I believe the Xena series pretty much formed the modern interpretations of Wonder Woman in many ways.

And you are not alone in your feelings on Civil War in the MCU. Apparently, ComicsBeat is reporting a lot of people are not pleased with that direction.

Jim Shelley said...

@Trey - offhand, I would say Heroes, Mutant X and Smallville are examples of superhero media that didn't have super-ish costumes.

Jim Shelley said...

@Reno - Y'know, I was also among those who found the dropping of the "GREEN" from Arrow offputting. :D

And yeah, I agree with you - coming out of the gate with the Black DD costume seems a bit dumb to me.

MattComix said...

I thought the dropping of "Green" was off putting as well. The name might be ridiculous outside of a superhero context or something that would be weird for a person to come up with for themselves. But if the things that are left behind at the scene are arrows that are colored green it's plausible that he'd be named after what is basically his calling card. That's how Smallville handled it (starting as "green arrow bandit" by Lois Lane and then being quickly shortened.)

To be fair though, maybe they were trying to keep people from confusing him with Green Lantern which comic fans wouldn't do because they're power sets are so different. But the average person even has a hard time distinguishing between The Flash and Flash Gordon. The former both wearing green and latter both having a lightning bolt motif probably adds to it.


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