Monday, October 13, 2014

(Pre) Grudgement Day: Captain America Three

It was reported today that Robert Downey, Jr. is in final negotiations to join the cast of upcoming Marvel sequel, Captain America Three.  It's rumored that the role would only require a few weeks work but RDJ requested his part be expanded upon in the threequel that will tackle the comic book inspired Civil War.  In Marvel's cash grab mini-series, Iron Man and Captain America find themselves on opposite sides of a new Superhero Registration Act that requires all costumed heroes to reveal their identities and work for the government at their beck and call.  Of course Cap thinks this imposes on his and society's civil liberties and refuses while ol' Shell Head attempts to put him in his place.  We've already seen Cap-Iron friction in The Avengers so looks like we'll see a few rounds between the two in 2016.

On paper, it makes sense, RDJ has been coy about a fourth Iron Man up until now and in my opinion, has shitty villains cinematically speaking.  In part One he faced a bigger version of himself, in part Two he fought a bigger version of himself and a bunch of drones then in Three he took on a Mortal Kombat style, fire breathing villain in lieu of comic staple The Mandarin.  So shoving him into Cap Three gives audiences more of the character, adds some heat to the project and gives RDJ another fat payday without being center stage and not having to work the entire production.  This rubs me the wrong way because I honestly don't feel like Captain America has gotten to be the star of either movie in his own franchise.

Let's rewind a few years.  At seven years old, my mom bought me a copy of Roger Stern and John Bryne's collected run of Captain America: War and Remembrance.  That spectacular 9 issue run forever ingrained Cap in my brain as my favorite hero.  I've long been annoyed by the fact that writers portray him as some flag waving, boring, football playing meathead.  The guy was a sickly youth in the Depression that took to books and art then lost both parents at a young age.  That doesn't make you a jock douchebag, that makes you sensitive and complicated.  When his body catches up to his mind and ideals thanks to a bath of vita-radiation and shot of Super Soldier Serum, Steve Rogers becomes the embodiment of the man who can stand up and fight back.  Not because he's told to, because he wants to and now has the power to do so.  With every heart breaking event that happens to him, the passing of his mother, watching his best friend die, fighting in World War II, losing 50 years of his life in suspended animation, etc, Cap never loses the ability to learn from his experience and move on.  Never becoming jaded or cynical, his resolve is resolute.  He's not some flag waving propaganda tool, when a KKK like group demonstrates in Central Park, Cap doesn't automatically go after them, it may pain him but it's their right to speak their mind in a legal, non-violent fashion.  If they were to get out of line, he'd also be the first one to punch them back into shape.

So it's really frustrating that Cap can't even star in his own film.  Sure, sure, I liked the use of Peggy Carter, the Howling Commandos, Bucky, whoever Tommy Lee Jones played, the Red Skull, Arnim Zola and Howard Stark in the first film but part Two was literally the SHIELD movie.  It's like Cap has to be the place holder of the Marvel Movie Universe.  Want to know what happens after The Avengers?  Here ya go.  Think there should be a Black Widow movie?  This is a nice warm up.  Gotta keep the struggling television show relevant?  Ok we'll just go ahead and destroy the whole thing while hanging out with Robyn, Robert Redford and Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury.  Correct me if I'm wrong but pretty sure Iron Man only teamed up with a little kid for 20 minutes while that annoying blonde love interest showed up for a few scenes along with Don Cheadle's War Machine in their third installment.  Then in Thor Two, Loki had a part to play but was far from close to stealing the show or runtime from the God of Thunder.  Heck, they even got some family drama and light love triangle stuff in.

I'd be interested to see Cap going on an actual solo journey with familiar faces popping up along the way.  If we're talking comics, remember the time Cap shot a guy at the airport then gave up being Captain America when the Government tried to make him their lackey?  Steve goes underground, ends up fighting crime under a new moniker while the government enlists a mentally unstable, roided out patriot named John Walker who goes crazy and Steve has to take the mantle back, with his fists.  In the comics, former partners The Falcon and Bucky assume the Cap mantle and there's already fans clamoring for that.  Why is Cap the only hero in the Marvel Movie U that you could replace as an actor or character?  Fans would shit a brick if tomorrow we found out RDJ was being replaced by Zac Efron or if Liam Hemsworth picked up the hammer for Thor Three, I'm sure we'd all notice.  While DC's big blue boy scout, Superman, one of the most uninteresting characters out there due to his god like power but constant exploited weakness, Cap just can't seem to get no respeck as writers and creators keep treating him like a one note superhero when he is a whole lot more.

And where the heck is the Got Dammed Infinity Gauntlet already?!

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