Greetings from the Odinson,
Last week’s 2013 San Diego Comic Con was an explosion of big announcements not the least of which were the announcements by the Big Two – Marvel and DC Comics. DC and their parent company, Warner Bros., announced that the sequel to the Man of Steel movie in 2015 would feature an unprecedented Big Screen team-up of Superman and Batman. And Marvel Studios revealed the title to their biggest franchise’s sequel will be Avengers: Age of Ultron.
A Big Screen Superman Batman team-up is a movie comic fans have been waiting for since 1989 when Tim Burton helmed Batman starring the great Michael Keaton and incomparable Jack Nicholson. One is the Man of Tomorrow and the other is the Dark Knight Detective, two heroes seeking justice in two completely different fashions. Separately they are the greatest heroes in the DCU, together they are unstoppable…they are The World’s Finest.
These are THE Top 5 Superman/Batman Tales Hollywood should draw inspiration from:
5 – Action Comics Annual #1 – When Batman investigates a trail of murder that leads into the back bayous of New Orleans, he discovers a horrible truth that threatens to turn the Man of Steel into a supernatural force for evil.
4 – Superman Annual #11 – In this classic tale by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, the creative team behind Watchmen, Batman and Wonder Woman arrive at the Fortress of Solitude to discover that the Man of Steel has been enslaved by a diabolical adversary whose monstrous power they cannot hope to defeat without the help of Superman.
3 – Superman/Batman: Public Enemies – President Lex Luthor has declared Superman and Batman Public Enemies #1, forcing the Caped Crusader and the Last Son of Krypton not only to run a gauntlet of the world’s most dangerous super villains but face down the world’s greatest super heroes as well. This amazing tale beautifully illustrates why Superman and Batman are the best of the best in the genre of super hero fiction, as they unite to topple the greatest criminal mind of our time.
2 – The Dark Knight Returns – In the not too distant future, the Dark Knight has become a symbol for hope in a dark dystopian Gotham City that has none. However, his vigilante actions have marked him as an enemy of the state, and this pits him against the Man of Steel who has become (later revealed in The Dark Knight Strikes Again begrudgingly) a puppet of the U.S. government. This Must Read tale features the ultimate showdown between the two biggest DCU and Comic Book Icons in history.
1 – Batman and Superman Adventures: World’s Finest GN – Hands down, this is one of the Odinson’s all time favorite Superman/Batman tales and is just a beautifully crafted and executed super hero tale. It is the first time that the worlds of the groundbreaking Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series cross over, and not only does this gem pit the World’s Finest against their greatest foes – Lex Luthor and the Joker – but it lays the groundwork and sets the stage for Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, the animated series that set the standard for super hero cartoons in the New Millennium.
Ever since the ending credits sequence teased the ominous visage of Thanos, speculation of the Mad Titan as the Avengers next opponent has been running wild. But when Marvel Studios announced that Thanos would be plaguing the Guardians of the Galaxy in their triumphant Big Screen debut, the question became who would be the villain in the next Avengers movie. From day one there could be no other answer than Ultron.
Ultron is the ultimate Avengers foe. He’s as powerful as Thor, as indestructible as the Hulk, as cunning as Captain America, and even smarter than Iron Man. And for months now the clues have all fallen into place to set the stage for the ultimate Marvel movie showdown. Joss Whedon announced that Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver would be joining his cast of heroes. Vin Diesel has been announced as accepting a role in an upcoming Marvel movie, and it doesn’t take a genius to match his distinctive profile and unique voice to the Vision. Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are brother and sister. Scarlet Witch and Vision are husband and wife. Vision was created by Ultron. Vision and Quicksilver can’t stand each other. Throw the diverse personalities of the Avengers into the mix and all the pathos and drama that come along with that, and the story almost writes itself.
Thankfully Joss Whedon has confirmed that the upcoming movie will not be an adaptation of the Age of Ultron storyline that just ran through the Marvel Universe. Even though that tale was terrible time-traveling nonsense it did beautifully capture the threat of Ultron. It showed why he is a foe to be feared. NOTE: Even though Days of Future Past is also time-traveling nonsense it is the first of its kind in the modern era of comics and therefore is awesome. 😉
Another tale that truly captures just how big a threat Ultron can be is Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars. Even as the mindless bodyguard of Doctor Doom, Ultron proves over and over that he is Doom’s single greatest weapon against the heroes of the Marvel Universe. He murders Kang the Conqueror (one of the Avengers most dangerous foes), repels the Mighty Thor (when all other villains have fallen before the Viking hero’s hammer), and cripples the Incredible Hulk (the mightiest warrior on the battlefield). In fact, Ultron can only be defeated when the Human Torch risks life and limb to get close enough to the killer robot and unleash the power of the sun on it at point blank range.
These are THE Top 5 Ultron Tales Hollywood should draw inspiration from:
5 – West Coast Avengers #7 – Hank Pym is confronted and caught between two Ultrons – MARK, a benevolent version of Ultron that wants nothing more than to love and protect his creator, and Ultron-11, the malevolent killing machine that wants nothing more than to see humanity wiped out.
4 – Avengers #57-58 – Ultron creates the ultimate weapon, his ultimate “VISION”. The Vision is a sentient android with enough power to challenge and destroy Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and enough soul to know right from wrong. In this Mighty Marvel Classic, the world will learn that “Even an Android Can Cry!”
3 – Avengers #201-202 – In this startling tale, Ultron proves that even the most brilliant mind in the Marvel Universe, Tony Stark, is no match for his diabolical mechanical schemes.
2 – Annihilation: Conquest – Ultron usurps control of the Phalanx, a techno-organic, parasitic alien race that has plagued the X-Men and New Mutants for years. Ultron uses the Phalanx to smash the Space Knights of Galador, swat aside the Nova Corps, and cripple the Kree Empire. It takes a Herculean effort by the greatest heroes and villains in the galaxy to finally thwart the mad robot’s bid for universal control.
1 – Ultron Unlimited – Ultron has one agenda, the utter eradication of mankind, and in this harrowing tale and instant modern day classic, he exterminates an entire country of innocent human beings before the Avengers can assemble and barely stop his mad scheme for global genocide.
I could really even see Vin Diesel playing double roles as both the Vision and Ultron. With his voice and modern day Hollywood FX, that could be pulled off nicely. Something else I’d like to see in the near future when they do start making solo Batman movies again. One, I absolutely do NOT want to see another origin story. And Two, from the Joker to Ra’s Al Ghul, the Riddler to Two-Face, we’ve seen every major Bat-Villain conceivable (some of them twice), how about for his next adversary we challenge the Dark Knight like never before and at the same time give fanboys a new treat on the Big Screen and pit Batman against the ultimate adversary – Deathstroke the Terminator!
Here’s a bold prediction. Mark it down now and tell all your friends you heard it here first. In 2018-2020 when the third Avengers movie hits theatres, we are all going to witness an unprecedented event. Major Hollywood studios will do something on a scale not seen since Marvel vs. DC and JLA/Avengers and team-up to present the most epic super hero movie ever seen. Walt Disney, 20th Century Fox, and Columbia Pictures will do the unbelievable and unite their exclusive characters in one major motion movie. We WILL see the Avengers, Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, The X-Men, Wolverine, Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider, and Daredevil all in the same movie, united to battle the biggest threat the comic book multiverse has ever known – The Infinity Gauntlet! Mark my words, True Believer.
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell