Saturday, August 17, 2013

UPDATED AND REVISED: Cosmic Marvel in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Given the amount of writing and, subsequently, thinking I have been doing while writing this blog over the past few weeks it's unsurprising that my thoughts on the future of Cosmic Marvel in the MCU have cleared up a bit.

In my original post, I mentioned that I felt the Annihilation arc would be the first of the Marvel Cosmic stories adapted to the screen.  At this point I no longer feel that'll be the case.  First of all, it is unclear whether or not Annihilus's right reside with Marvel Studios.  Chances are that they sit at Fox with the Fantastic Four.  Secondly, upon seeing and reading some of the Guardians of the Galaxy related news in the past few weeks, I feel that some of the events of the Annihilation Wave will be a part of the Guardians of the Galaxy film, though not, obviously, at the behest of Annihilus.

Xandar, home planet of the Nova Corps, may likely meet its end in the Guardians film as seen in these set photos from last week.  Xandar has been destroyed three times in the comics, the most relevant of those given the current direction in which the MCU seems to be headed was at the hands of Nebula, the space-pirate, tasked in the Guardians of the Galaxy film with hunting down the heroes.  At this point I'm speculating that we will see Xandar destroyed but not before the Worldmind uploads itself into Nova Centurion Rhomann Dey who will end up on Earth before placing the helmet in the hands of a human, hopefully Richard Rider.  I envision this as a stinger or mid-credits scene giving audiences a chance to blow up the internet with their impression of the Nova Corps and how they are depicted on film before Marvel makes the jump to a movie centering on Rider.  Understandably, there may have been some hesitation on Marvel's part to make a solo Nova movie without some fan feedback given the similarities to DC's failed attempt at Green Lantern.  Essentially, the Guardians of the Galaxy movie will be a launching pad for the Human Rocket and, if fanboy feedback is positive, we will see more of Nova in the near future.

The two Kree who feature in the Guardians film are likely to have different fates: I do not see Korath making it out of this film, but I believe that both he and Ronan will part ways with Nebula and Thanos before the end of the film and that Korath may die a hero.  However that plays out, I further speculate that the film will end with an uneasy alliance between the Star-Lord and the Accuser, one that will come into play down the road.

It is the announcement of Ultron as the villain in the Avengers sequel that has given me the greatest cause for consternation about my original post.  Ultron has proven to be a foe that cannot truly be defeated in the long term as he has always found a way, despite being set back by the Avengers, to reconstitute himself and continue his villainous ways.  In this light I do not believe Ultron will be completely destroyed by the Avengers and I can easily envision a stinger in which Ultron's disembodied conciousness finds its way to the Phalanx, setting the stage for Annihilation: Conquest and bringing the rest of the characters mentioned above back together for a Cosmic crossover, one step ahead of the ultimate event of the current MCU when Cosmic and Earth heroes combine to battle Thanos in an Infinity-based event.

Clearly there's a lot of guessing going on here and a lot of holes to be filled.  What would a solo Nova movie look like?  What does Marsellus Wallace look like?  Will the Guardians have a straight-up sequel?  It's my thought that, at least originally, the Cosmic movies are going to piece things together from som of the Cosmic arcs and set up bigger films.  I still believe the Universal Church of Truth is going to make an appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy and that means Adam Warlock.  I strongly believe that Warlock is as tied to Thanos as any character in Marvel and that, ultimately, the two will face off.

Things, though still very nebulous at this time, are starting to take shape.  Kevin Feige has planned his work and will work his plan.  So far he has done so masterfully and that's going to continue.  He's smart and knows he has to be careful with the Cosmic side and with what we've seen so far of Guardians it looks like it's going to entertain people immensely.  Feige is going to let Thanos sit in the background for a while longer yet, whetting our appetite by giving us our glimpse here and occasional action there, but as it is in the comics, The Mad Titan only comes out to play when the timing is right and the prize is worth it.  

We're going to get good Cosmic action if Guardians works.  We will see a human Nova, of that much I am convinced.  We may soon even see a Kree Captain sent to Earth to see just where all these super-beings have come from and just how big of a threat Earth can be if a handful of heroes could dispatch the Chitauri.  The events of the Avengers weren't only noticed by those on Earth.  Phase 2 is going to show us that while things changed on our planet, the Cosmos noticed as well and their attention is going to be focused on us!  

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