This summer promises to be an interesting one for Hollywood and for comic geekdom. With a new superhero movie coming out seemingly every week, audiences will have to choose which Adonis they will shell out fifteen bucks to see some ass get kicked. With this in mind, Longbox of Awesome decided to make it easier by holding a battle royale between the movies, with the victor being the most deserved of your lawn mowing profits.
Thor (May 6) vs. X-men: First Class (June 3)
Admittedly, they are being released far enough apart that it really shouldn’t be a problem scraping enough dollars together in between release dates. That said…
Thor’s a god. A Norse god, but a god nonetheless, and one that carries around a giant freakin’ hammer [insert Captain Hammer-esque joke about what the hammer isn’t here]. He is one of the more badass members of the Avengers when he is one, and he always speaks in that cool-as-hell font that must be annoying to letter. A movie about him should be equally badass. However, every trailer so far (and the admittedly lame post-credits scene at the end of Iron Man 2) has been thoroughly meh. Which is an impressive feat unto itself, since Anthony “Always Terrifying, Even in Romantic Comedies” Hopkins and Natalie “Always Hot, Even When Bat Shit Crazy” Portman are in it.
X-men: First Class looks like Marvel realized just how much material they missed out on in the previous X-men movies, and decided to rectify that by starting all over again. Not to say that (two out of three of) the other X-men films weren’t great, but the X-men possess the greatest and most intriguing mythology in Marvel’s line-up, and it would be a shame to see some of it unutilized. With this movie, it may give hope to twenty-somethings who are going bald, as it may show Charles Xavier’s hair loss, letting them feel better about being a young baldy. Also, James McAvoy proved he has comic book movie chops in Wanted, so he is more than capable of carrying torch handed down by Patrick Stewart.
Green Lantern (June 17) vs. Captain America: The First Avenger
Wow. Green Lantern simply does not look good at all. From the trailers, it looks like a series of subpar special effects and lame jokes. It almost seems like the producers snatched the screenwriters and graphic designers from elementary schools across America and forced them to work with promises of candy and Disneyland, only to make them hitchhike home. Ryan Reynolds really should have stuck to Deadpool, as it was shown that (despite a terrible storyline) he is Deadpool. How can a movie that has both Sinestro and Kilowog still manage to look so terrible? Ask Warner Brothers.
During Civil War, Captain America proved himself as the Marvel universe’s answer to Jack Bauer – ruthless, tough as hell, and unapologetically American. He proved himself as something more than just a ripped dude wearing an American flag; rather, he was a badass concerned with protecting everything the free world stands for. By the looks of things, Chris “Flame On” Evans may actually pull off the Captain America look, and the same can be said for Hugo “V” Weaving as the Red Skull.
Winner: Captain America: The First Avenger. For those who can stomach the rampant patriotism, it may be worth it to see Cap toss his shield at Nazis (feel free to use that phrase as a euphemism).
The Third “Odd Ones Out” Round
Super (April 1) vs. Conan The Barbarian (August 19)
Super looks awesome, there is no denying it, and it is a safe bet it will inspire the most Halloween costumes this year (and if that isn’t an indicator of success, nothing is). When you mix Kitty Pryde, Dwight Schrute, and Captain Malcolm Reynolds with the director of Slither, something special happens. With the cult following this movie has already attracted, expect it to be a mainstay on hipster “Best of 2011” lists.
Conan… It’s been done. It’s a bad sign when it is being released towards the end of August, but it is an even worse sign when the only YouTube results for “Conan trailer” feature The Man Who Would Become Governator. But at least Ron Perlman’s in it, so that’s cool. But really, just wait until the next Hellboy if you want to see him that bad.
Winner: Super. No contest. It already has its own catchphrase, after all.
So there you have it – the only critical opinion worth taking to heart. Does Roger Ebert save you money? Doubt it. Stick with us, kid, we’ll save you money.