Marvel Comics Movies
October 17, 2001 12:55 PM   Subscribe

Marvel Comics Movies It's about time. Being in college and having grown up with action cartoons like he-man and thundercats in the 80s it sickens me now to watch kids having to watch crap like power rangers and japanese anime. Where are these kids heroes??? Now that Michael Jordan is coming back to the NBA and now that these movies are being made, hopefully kids these days will have someone to look up to. A hero...something America could use right now.
posted by ryryslider (45 comments total)
Hey, bub; the Gold Ranger could kick Lion-O's ass...
posted by Perigee at 1:07 PM on October 17, 2001

Ben Affleck to play Daredevil?! God, I hate Hollywood.
posted by starvingartist at 1:09 PM on October 17, 2001

I wouldn't consider the Hulk a heroic figure. Here is a guy who beats up anyone once they get him angry enough. Shouldn't we teach kids to walk away and keep a handle on their emotions?

I still would like to see a Dr. Strange movie though. Or maybe even X-Factor ( remember them? ).
posted by remlapm at 1:13 PM on October 17, 2001

  1. Much of japanese anime is far from "crap", although, admittedly, a lot of what makes it overseas is.
  2. A billionaire basketball player is hardly my idea of a true "hero".
  3. What's so heroic about The Hulk, anyway? David Banner is motivated purely by self-interest, and the Hulk himself is way too in touch with his aggressive side to be a positive role model.
I love(d) Marvel, too, but I don't think these kinds of "heroes" are what the country needs right now. At the risk of sounding trite, we saw last month what true heroes are really like.
posted by jpoulos at 1:13 PM on October 17, 2001

I've never been able to *get* anime. And having grown up partially in the 80's like you, I can vouch for the fact that nothing on the market today even comes close to He-Man and Thundercats. They just don't make 'em like they used to.
posted by tomorama at 1:21 PM on October 17, 2001

Hey, i'm nearing 30 and I grew up on Japanese anime! Did you ever see "Starblazers" when you were a kid? Very heroic.

And I don't think Michael Jordan is a hero really. A very wealthy man, one of the greatest b-ball players of all time, but a hero? Apolitical, not much for causes... I could go on.

Ben Affleck as Daredevil. Yech!
posted by Beefheart at 1:23 PM on October 17, 2001

posted by xiffix at 1:25 PM on October 17, 2001

Having grown up in the 60's and 70's, I can safely say that when we all first saw He-Man, Thundercats, Transformers,, we all said "Ohmygod, what crap! What kind of heroes will these kids have?" You seem to have survived it.
posted by briank at 1:29 PM on October 17, 2001

Speaking of Transformers, check out this Transformer costume... or more specifically, Decepticon. Wow! Picture via Adam.
posted by starvingartist at 1:39 PM on October 17, 2001

I dug the Silverhawks myself.

and thundar the barbarian with his friend Ookla the mok
posted by Mick at 1:46 PM on October 17, 2001

My childhood cartoon heroes can beat up your childhood cartoon heroes. Nyah.
posted by Chanther at 1:47 PM on October 17, 2001

I was careful to title it Marvel Comics Movies, not the Incredible Hulk, because I wouldn't consider him a heroic figure either, I merely wanted to illustrate the fact Marvel is coming out with movies about heroes, and that's a good thing for kids. As for walking away from fights, if I did that in my old neighborhood one of two things would happen, you get beat up anyway, or you get teased for being a wuss. Kids aren't as nice as adults, you can't always walk away from everything so easily. What you want to do is either teach your kid how to fight, or how to run really really fast. You read in to things too much, just because Michael Jordan makes a lot of money doesn't mean he's any less of a hero to kids. Do you think that kids even think about how much money he makes when they see him play basketball? All they see is a basketball player striving to be the best at what he does. I'll agree with you that last month we saw what true heroes are really like... But kids don't watch the news, they watch cartoons.
posted by ryryslider at 1:48 PM on October 17, 2001

John Woo -> Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Ang Lee -> Incredible Hulk

I feel like there is a larger power at work here, one that is far, far beyond my comprehension.
posted by rks404 at 1:49 PM on October 17, 2001

Whether or not what one "wants" to do is teach one's own child to fight is a matter for debate, ryryslider.

As someone who's been a teacher for many years, I can assure you without a doubt that kids know how much money Michael Jordan makes. And not just from basketball - they talk about how much money he makes from endorsements as well.

And as far as heroes go, I'll say this - in my experience, kids learn how to play from their heroes in television and film, but they learn how to act from the adults around them in the real world - unless there aren't any adults who really care about them, in which case they'll turn to older peers before they turn to TV for guidance on how to live.
posted by Chanther at 2:04 PM on October 17, 2001

The Hulk may seem strange now, but in the sixties, he was a counter-culture hero. The hulk was a product of the military, chased by "the man," when really, all he wanted was to be left alone. That kind of thing. These older heros seem a little anachronistic now, and it'll be interesting to see how comics deal with these times. I mean, the Superman is cool and all, but he's a big, imperveous alien. As jpoulos said, we've all witnessed human bravery recently, and it puts supes to shame.
Plus, really, aren't supervillains just terrorists? Like, if Gotham were real, the Joker would have John Ashcroft on his ass, not just Batman.
posted by Doug at 2:06 PM on October 17, 2001

The Hulk is and will always be Bill Bixby. Period.

That not withstanding, slighting anime simply because you don't like it is a bit silly particularly considering that you site Thundercats and He-Man as some kind of shining stars of animation. They were entertaining, yes, but lack much of the sophistication of character and plot development present in modern anime. Spend a little time with Cartoon Network's Toonami and you'll find that there is plenty of stuff to get excited about today.
posted by shagoth at 2:06 PM on October 17, 2001

I merely wanted to illustrate the fact Marvel is coming out with movies about heroes, and that's a good thing for kids.

Yeah, there's nothing more empowering than teaching a kid that it's impossible to solve life's problems without a superpower that nobody actually has.

Just playing devil's advocate. Do carry on...
posted by kindall at 2:10 PM on October 17, 2001

Don't even make me bring up The Herculoids!

Ah, the days when cartoons didn't have to make even the most basic sort of sense.

And speaking of Thundarr, The Barbarian...I always seemed to have this mystical ability to tune into that show at exactly the same episode: that one with the train full of opium flowers or whatever the hell those things were. May go a ways toward explaining my penchant for recreational hallucinogens in my formative years.

Princess Ariel, rrrrr!
posted by Kafkaesque at 2:13 PM on October 17, 2001

I know it's a knee-jerk response, but now more than ever, I don't think we have any shortage of heroes.

Or villains, for that matter.
posted by Sinner at 2:13 PM on October 17, 2001

The Hulk is and will always be Bill Bixby. Period.

Lou Ferrigno, actually.

And what's this that the Hulk™ isn't a role model for these times? To wit:


Panel one: Explosion

Panel two: Hulk: "Hulk SMASH!"



News report: Explosions

Hoi polloi: Nuke Afghanistan!


Seems about right.
posted by ethmar at 2:14 PM on October 17, 2001

Ok, who can help me on this one: as a kid there was a Japanese cartoon on weekday mornings that featured three guys who drove three ships that could combine in three ways to form giant robots. One robot was red, one blue, and the last yellow. Beyond that, all I can remember is that the third (usually the "bottom", but I never considered that at the time) guy was a catcher (again, vaguely homoerotic, but probably irrelevant). A No-Prize to the first right answer.

As for the Hulk not being a hero, someone please turn off the deconstructionist switch: he was an amazingly smart scientist who was too dumb to not run out in front of an A-Bomb test. Go back and take a look at Marvel comics from the 60's-- counter-culture or not, they're chock full of family values and not much else. Read the early Fantastic Four if you can get through them. I'd be more worried about a kid growing up stupid, rather than learning that violence is the answer. No True Believer would ever think that.

However, if I were going to play your silly little game, I might say that Bruce Banner is the hero, trying to use his great intelligence to overcome his all-to-human rage.
posted by yerfatma at 2:22 PM on October 17, 2001

I can't wait to see the Hulk do one of those flying and kicking at the same time while running up the side of a wall moves...

Has anyone heard anything about From Hell? I was really looking forward to it but from what I've seen in the trailers it looks royally bastardized. Why can't all comic to movie adaptations work out like Ghost World?

As far as animated heroes of today vs. yesterday goes the Powerpuff Girls are definitely better than anything I liked as a kid.
posted by SuperBreakout at 2:23 PM on October 17, 2001

Is that Voltron, yerfatma?
posted by Kafkaesque at 2:31 PM on October 17, 2001

Batman (As featured in the animated show made for WB) and Batman Beyond (the show) were well made. I love 'em
posted by riffola at 2:46 PM on October 17, 2001

it sickens me now to watch kids having to watch crap like power rangers and japanese anime

you can't even compare the "throughly engaging storlyine" of thundercats to shows like cowboy bebop, neon genesis evangelion, and escaflowne.

maybe your experience with anime has been limited to pokemon..

and another thing... skeletor was an idiot. there! i've said it, and i don't care what the consequences are! give me a real villain like Millions Knives, or someone with some depth at least, like Treize Kushrenada.

(for people looking for quality animation... tune it to cartoon network on sundays or thursdays at 10-1, for their Adult Swim block. nothing is even touching it in terms of humor and dopeness.)
posted by lotsofno at 3:00 PM on October 17, 2001

marvel just came out with heroes a benefit book.
posted by kliuless at 3:01 PM on October 17, 2001

Xiffix is now my hero.
posted by norm at 3:18 PM on October 17, 2001

Is that Voltron, yerfatma?

Unfortunately, no. This was a show where the three robots turned into the red one about 80% of the time, 15% blue and 5% yellow, so the episodes had more than one stock conclusion. Voltron was the show where it took 5 people from a society capable of building incredibly complex robots 28 minutes to figure out the cat things weren't working and that they should probably form the larger, deluxe-size robot and use that damned deus ex machina of a sword that ruined every good fight.

Why did they even build the cats that formed Voltron? Gas milage? Just build the robot with the sword glued into his hand and take the decision making out of the addle-brained clowns driving.
posted by yerfatma at 3:58 PM on October 17, 2001

Grandizer? Tranzor Z? Too many giant robot shows!!!!

Most anime certainly kicks the crap out of He-Man... Cowboy Bebop, Trigun, 08th MS Team, Outlaw Star, etc., etc.

Please note most doesn't include Pokemon
posted by davros42 at 5:05 PM on October 17, 2001

Growing up in the 80's you must have missed out on the classics like Robotech and Voltron. Thundercat's and He-man? Really, even kids thought those were stupid.
posted by skallas at 5:44 PM on October 17, 2001

The only part of He-Man I ever thought stupid were the last couple of minutes when Ram-Man or whomever would take a break from cracking heads to tell you the value of cooperation. I always thought Jerry Springer cribbed his "Final Thought" from that.
posted by yerfatma at 5:52 PM on October 17, 2001

He-Man wasn't the only show to tack a moral on the end of the show. Among contemporaries, at least GI-Joe and Silverhawks did the same thing. So now you know.
posted by sudama at 6:10 PM on October 17, 2001

In the UK we didn't even get Robotech. We got Battle Of the Planets and other excrement. And, obviously, cool french/japanese coproduction Ulysses 31 in which 2 blokes sod about in Ireland for a day. But in the 31st century and with lasers. Or something.

Hey are you sure the three robots where different colours? BomberX/Star Fleet (notable for Brian May's soundtrack tribute thing) had a big robot made up of smaller...things. But that had puppets.
posted by davidgentle at 6:25 PM on October 17, 2001

He-Man wasn't the only show to tack a moral on the end of the show.

No, I know. I just think Springer's whole show was very much influenced by the early work of Prince Adam, Teela, Orco, et al.

As for trying to preach morality to hyperactive kids hopped up on sugary cereal, you forgot to mention NBC's "One to Grow On." Maybe you weren't convinced by some alien transvestite like Orco, but when Mr. T told you not to solve problems with violence, you knew you'd better straighten up and fly right. Or get smushed.
posted by yerfatma at 6:42 PM on October 17, 2001

Springer use to do a commentary at the end of every 11 o'clock news. It always ended with, 'and remember, don't pay for hookers with a check.'
posted by Mick at 7:41 PM on October 17, 2001

when Mr. T told you not to solve problems with violence, you knew you'd better straighten up and fly right. Or get smushed.

Or pitied...
posted by owillis at 8:04 PM on October 17, 2001

I don't know, personally I think something like Thundercats - The Movie would be really cool, but maybe that's just because I grew up with these cartoons, and being that they were my favorite I enjoyed them more thoroughly then the japenese anime. Being a kid I was all into the ninja fighting, the tai kwon do classes, etc. The wimpy japanese fighters were tiny, so being a kid I thought they were weak. I liked big fighters because I associated size with strength and they had ninja skills too. Like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, they had the best of both worlds [strength, size, and ninja skills] but they were American. I was all about that.
posted by ryryslider at 9:22 PM on October 17, 2001

Re: GI Joe
To this day, I still say "...and knowing is half the battle" whenever anyone says "Now I know..."

Speaking of comic books, there was a freakish prediction in X-Men 184 (from 1984/85) of the WTC. One of the characters (Rachel Summers) is from the future and is comes back in time to "today" (1984/85) to try and stop the future from happening. She is standing on the Statue of Liberty and this is comment box about her:

"In a sense, Rachel Summers hasn't even been born yet. The New York she remembers is that of the 21st century. And the memories aren't pleasant. In her mind's eye, she sees lower Manhattan burning. The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center lie in ruins. Thousands are dead, many more injured."

It was quite the jaw-dropping moment when I read that comic again (going through my old collection).
(I'd scan the picture and put it on filepile, but I can't get my fiancee's scanner to work properly.)
posted by Grum at 9:59 PM on October 17, 2001

Grum, the apocalyptic future has nothing to do with terrorism and has everything to do with giant mutant killing robots (sentinels) and super villians. Prophetic? That's pushing it. It's about as prophetic as a quatrain from Nostradamus.
posted by skallas at 12:56 AM on October 18, 2001

I agree it has nothing to do with the actually attack.
It's just that the devestation it describes (specifically mentions the WTC being destroyed but not other buildings), plus the time line (21st century) it uses was very similar to what has happened.
Believe me, I know the X-Men comic saga pretty well.
posted by Grum at 5:39 AM on October 18, 2001

Yerfatma - was it "Force Five"?
posted by Beefheart at 7:26 AM on October 18, 2001

Well, if you look at it that way, Thundarr the Barbarian was prophetic too. The beginning of that show had buildings lying in ruins, and of course the moon breaking in two...and I've definitely noticed an increase in Moks in general.

Excuse me while I burst my bonds to fight for freedom!
posted by Kafkaesque at 9:27 AM on October 18, 2001

I preferred anime even in the 70's when nobody called it anime. Activate the Wave Motion Gun!
posted by Foosnark at 10:35 AM on October 18, 2001

Anyone remember "The Mighty Heroes"? One of my favorite childhood memories..

posted by tetsuo at 11:26 AM on October 18, 2001

was it "Force Five"?

Yes! Hooray for Captain Beefhart-- specifically, it was Starvengers.

I'd like to thank everyone who tried to help combat the onset of my Alzheimer's, along with the Academy.
posted by yerfatma at 3:33 PM on October 18, 2001

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