Saturday, August 2, 2014

Thalen Goes to the Movies

Guardians of the Galaxy hit theaters this weekend.  It takes some doing to get me to watch a movie in the theater, but so far anything from Marvel Studios is pretty much a lock.  As mentioned yesterday, I'm a long-time comic collector, and the Marvel Universe is my first and strongest love.  Beyond that, I tend to develop a particular attachment to the more minor and obscure characters, so a Marvel movie outside the traditional super-hero mold was right up my alley.  Guardians of the Galaxy was great fun, and the best space opera I've seen in years.

As an aside, I've seen confusion about when the Guardians were created in the comics.  This version of the team originated in 2008, yes.  But the individual characters have been around much longer.  Apart from Groot, whose first appearance was in 1960, they all hail from the early to mid 70's, a time when some seriously high-concept stories were coming out of the House of Ideas thanks to creators like Jim Starlin, Steve Engelhart, Steve Gerber, Bill Mantlo, and more.  I don't think it's any accident that the soundtrack for Guardians of the Galaxy is made up of songs from that same era.

The 70's also gave us most of the key plot elements that Guardians of the Galaxy uses. (Minor spoilers here, though most of this you would know about from the trailers.)  Thanos, the Infinity Gems, Xandar, and the Celestials all entered the Marvel universe in the 70's.  Speaking of the Celestials, can I say how much joy it gave me to see a full-on Kirby-style Celestial appear?

My hope now is that if this movie does as well as it seems poised to, and if the Ant-Man movie succeeds, that this could open the door for more of the weirder and less 'traditional superhero' aspects of the Marvel Universe to show up, and even headline.  Just coming out of Guardians, there are easy paths for Marvel to introduce Nova, the Eternals, or Adam Warlock.

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