SPIDER-MANDATE: The Lowe-down on "Secret Wars," Tie-Ins and Stacey Lee
The new rumors about what might be happening in Marvel’s Avengers movie – brought on by reports of an already-filmed teaser trailer that may accompany either Thor or Captain America in theaters – underline the ongoing problem with superhero sequels (and, for that matter, Joss Whedon films). Potential spoilers ahead!
For those who haven’t heard the rumors, there is apparently a Loki-starring Avengers teaser already filmed and ready to be released, and it cues up an Avengers movie where Thor’s half-brother uses the Cosmic Cube from the Captain America movie to bring the Skrulls to Earth and cause chaos. And on the one hand, I really like this idea – it gives both Thor and Cap a reason to be involved in the Avengers, and keeps Loki’s place as the guy responsible for bringing everyone together in the first place. But on the other… Loki and a Skrull invasion? In one movie? A movie that was already going to be pretty busy just finding facetime for at least three leading characters? Ouch.
(It’s been awhile since I read The Ultimates, but isn’t this relatively close to the first couple of volumes of that series? I can’t remember if the Skrulls-in-all-but-name there were Loki’s doing or not, though.)
I mean, there’s a chance that director/writer Joss Whedon will find some way to make it work – most likely by cutting Loki’s role down considerably to something akin to “Guy who starts trouble then beats a quick retreat as it gets out of hand,” sadly – but even with that, I can’t help but feel that pushing an alien invasion story into Avengers does one of two things:
– Reduces the role of the villain to faceless, generic threat so as to allow more screentime for the headliners from the other movies, or
– Fills the movie with too many characters, and a scale too large, to fulfill everyone’s expectations of their favorites getting screentime.
I don’t know why I’m surprised that the latter is a possibility, because, hey: Serenity. But you’d hope that he would have learned from his mistakes, not to mention the mistakes made by almost every single superhero movie that isn’t an origin story (including, importantly, Iron Man 2), wouldn’t you? People: Less is more, when it comes to “number of characters people expect to spend some time with in a big budget summer movie.” Don’t work against your own best interests.
(Of course, this is all based on rumor and conjecture. But haven’t we heard the Skrulls rumor enough now for it to have some glimmer of truth to it?)