True Believers, it’s never been a more perfect time for the ‘Great Lakes Avengers’ to make their grand entrance into the MCU! Ok, I know many of you casual Marvel movie fanatics out there are likely wondering just who and what the hell I’m talking about, but the “GLA” as they’re also referred to have been around since the late 80’s and have on a couple occasions attempted to actually replace The Avengers, most notably when they tragically disassembled in 2004 in the comics. The Milwaukee, Wisconsin based team are most well known as the ultimate gang of blundering misfit superheroes and when the Avengers disbanded they figured they’d simply take the mantle of the team for themselves to reap all the glory for themselves. Of course they quickly found out they weren’t quite qualified when it came down to taking out major threats to the planet. So why introduce these guys now into the MCU huh?
Well at the current moment in the movies The Avengers aren’t really a thing anymore, at least for the moment. With Cap old & retired and Tony Stark dead, it’d be the perfect time to check out the origin story and rise of ‘The Great Lakes Avengers’. In fact with the ‘Disney+’ streaming service there’s the platform needed to tell their ridiculously madcap story. Since 1989 when writer/artist John Byrne introduced the underdog team to the Marvel Universe (West Coast Avengers #46), I’ve been a big fan. In fact I listed them before as one of the obscure Marvel teams I thought would make a great movie or better yet today a comedic Disney+ series after the success of the D-listers The Guardians of the Galaxy. To me the team has so much more potential than GOG, with their origin story alone being a helluva good adventure, if even at times more of a dark comedy.
The name of the team alone would spark immediate interest and originally back in the comic books they’d even been coached by Hawkeye and Mockingbird who desperately tried to whip them into shape. You could even have Jeremy Renner make a cameo in an episode as Hawkeye to do just that. Considering the team’s ranks were filled from a classified ad in the newspaper would open the door to so many great comedic scenarios as well.
Then there’s the team themselves, which consists of Mr. Immortal, a mutant with a super-superhuman healing factor and the ability to survive the most gruesome deaths, Bertha who’s the most popular fashion icon in Milwaukee WI who has the ability to bulk up like the Blob, Dinah-soar the flying female reptilian, Doorman a mutant who can create doorways using alternate universes to pass through solid objects and finally Flatman, the team’s current leader & openly gay two dimensional version of Reed Richards. But wait the team was also home to the now iconic Squirrel Girl and this would be the perfect place for her to make her official MCU debut!
This team and their story would make for the perfect superhero series, there’s so many interesting angles to explore. From forming the team, to training to be the new “Avengers”, to their many failed missions and their attempt to square off against a real superhuman threat. There’s something truly charming about exploring an underdog group of down on their luck superhuman characters. The comedy practically writes itself and they’d be a surefire win in a series of their own as there’s nothing quite like them out there yet. So what do you think? Do you think now’s the time for this weird-o gang of midwest superheroes to enter into the fold?! If I’ve peaked your interest a good launch point of the team is the six issue mini series from Dan Slott from 2005 called “GLA: Misassembled”, I think that would be a perfect blueprint for a Disney+ series….
Damn! Nostalgia is running rampant today, but first I wanted to report my thoughts quick on Brightburn, which is currently in theaters! I checked this one out yesterday at a matinee and was pleasantly surprised by this nasty little supervillain origin story. If you’re a fan of Superman you’re sure to find this one quite intriguing. If you’re a horror buff you’ll just might get a kick out of this unique creepy “superhero” tale. Brightburn is essentially the origin story of Superman but instead of him growing up to be the beacon of good we’ve grown to love he goes the opposite direction and gets real nasty to the human race. Once the main character kid realizes (around puberty) that he’s got superhuman powers developing, he quickly decides he’s superior to all humans and sets off on a villainous path of small scale destruction. Playing with people like an evil kid with a magnifying glass on a sunny day around an anthill.
Raised on the farm with his step parents just like good ol’ Clark Kent, he starts off as an innocent nerdy kid right up until his 12th birthday, basically deciding to go on a killing spree, off-ing nearly anyone who gives him a dirty look with his new found ass kickin’ abilities. I wasn’t sure what to expect here, but luckily this is a pretty sweet “smaller budget” mainstream horror movie, unlike anything in the genre I’ve ever really seen before. I guess it might be a good companion piece to say, ‘Split’ which turned out to be a supervillain origin story in disguise. However unlike ‘Split’ this one’s R-rated, so there’s some pretty disturbing gory moments sprinkled about that really took me by surprise & some pretty nice visual fx work as well. It’s tense, well acted and deserves a sequel, as I’d love to see what happens to this evil little maniac next. It definitely exceed my expectations and if they do make a sequel hopefully humankind can figure out some way to put this pint sized supervillain in his damn place!
Next we got a new trailer for the final installment of Rambo! Titled “Last Blood” we get to see just what the hell John Rambo’s been up to since the last extra bloody installment from 2008! Yeah Stallone is back again as the iconic anti-hero and this time it looks as if he’s single handedly (of course) going to battle against a powerful drug cartel. The trailer looks promising, maybe not quite as wild as the last go round, but still, for his age it seems Rambo’s got one more damn fight left in him!
Next is the big one, the trailer for ‘The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance’! I never thought I’d ever really see the day we’d actually get a prequel to the beloved 80’s Jim Henson puppet masterpiece. I’m pretty impressed with what we’re seeing here, as it does feature some stunning puppetry. As great as it all looks I’m going to say honestly I’m a bit surprised with how CGI heavy it is as well. I’m not disappointed because I think practical fx and CGI used together tastefully is the best way to pull things off. Also it’s 2019, I hardly expect any mainstream production to go fully practical. Anyway this looks great if haven’t seen it yet check it out and if you have watch it again!!
So ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ director James Gunn was fired by Disney/Marvel over the weekend when a questionable right wing personality himself, Mike Cernovich, outed him for his trove of highly offensive tweets he’d made between 2009 & 2012. This, like the Twitter inspired firing of Roseanne, has got many people on both sides of the political spectrum up in arms. Many are defending Gunn, who was quite vocal in his disapproval of Donald Trump, saying he should never have been fired as his tweets were made years ago when he was in his 40’s. Gunn now 51, has responded, apologizing, basically saying he was merely trying to be provocative and doesn’t think they are funny anymore. The tweets were made before he’d been hired to helm the now mega millions Marvel movie franchise ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’. Most of his offensive tweets involved bizarre “jokes” and “witty” banter involving highly disturbing sexual topics involving rape and pedophilia. His supporters say he’s a changed man but it’s important to note he stopped tweeting about this type of thing when he’d been hired by Disney, we all know money talks sometimes. I’m sure he knew at this point more tweets of that nature wouldn’t be good for his newfound high profile directing career with a family friendly mega corporation.
This all really doesn’t come as much of a surprise to me as Gunn’s background as a filmmaker was rooted in the Troma movie universe. Most Troma stuff is intentionally outrageous and meant to shock and offend. Back in the 80’s it was the kind of stuff your parents would likely be outraged over, meanwhile teens would giggle about. It’s always seemed to me like James Gunn for the most part was a pretty cool guy, who shares a lot of the same interests in oddball cinema as I do. He’s a bit of a Hollywood misfit and most definitely NOT your average Hollywood director. I’d compare his background to say Peter Jackson & Sam Raimi who both came from indie style schlock/horror cinema and later became highly paid Hollywood blockbuster directors. I however didn’t know until recently what he’d spent his time tweeting about in his recent past. What’s surprising to me is that the old weird ass tweets were never deleted by him in the first place when hired by Disney/Marvel.
Many of his supporters have rallied behind him with a new petition, to demand he be rehired to continue the franchise. In my personal opinion I agree with Disney for dropping him. I’m not sure Gunn is quite the monster the ‘right wing’ is painting him out to be and I’m also not so sure he’s the saint that the left seems to think he is. I think it’s their right to fire him, I also think they should have checked a little further into his past before giving him the job if they really are the family friendly company we’ve been led to believe they are.
I really do think Gunn is a pretty unique & talented filmmaker, I Iove ‘Slither’, thought ‘Super’ was good & really enjoyed the first GOTG. However, with that being said, as I read through his tweets, it certainly does leave me a bit perplexed as to why a man in his 40’s would waste his time continuously tweeting on subjects of this nature? The tweets aren’t funny and neither is this type of humor to me at least, and I’m a bit surprised he’s getting all of this support from fans to get his job back. To me it seems to prove the lunacy of people these days now on both sides of the political spectrum, it reminds me a bit of the right wing people who defended Trump during the 2016 election, when a decade ago he made his sick comments about grabbing women. I’m not sure Gunn is truly a bad guy, but I honestly don’t know what goes on inside people’s heads either. I’m totally satisfied at the fact that Roseanne was canned, I think Gunn getting fired was a totally reasonable decision and I also would love to see the President fired as well…
The verdict is in! The Guardians of the Galaxy have moved from C to D list superheroes to A list superstars literally overnight! I had my doubts about it, I mean who wouldn’t considering their previous popularity or should I say unpopularity in the comic books. But the movie was a ton of fun, it had great effects, a neat-o story, excellently executed characters and a ton of laughs! It also had another thing going for it-it stood on its own with out needing to constantly reference The Avengers!! It was honestly a breath of fresh air to see a Marvel flick that wasn’t (at this point) trying to tie in or crossover into The Avengers. I like the whole crossover cinematic movie universe that Marvel has created but does everything always need to tie into something else? The answer is no even though it seems now everyone is getting the idea that they want to crossover and create one big movie universe for their separate franchises.
Don’t get me wrong I love The Avengers-it was awesome. But I can’t tell you how happy I was that this had nothing to do really with Thor, Captain America & Iron Man! I hear the plan is to have the Guardians meet The Avengers. When I think about that, it really doesn’t excite as much as I thought it might. maybe because I simply enjoyed The Guardians so much that I’d just love to see them hit space on their own, Avenger free so to say. I think they should tie in a little bit with Thanos but do we really need a movie jam packed with ten plus superheroes crammed into space? I don’t think so! Right now I’m just excited to this movie again and I’m this close to saying I like the Guardians movie even more than The Avengers! Nice work Mr. Gunn!!!