'Captain America: The First Avenger', the latest entry in Marvel's quickly-expanding movie franchise, arrives a month from now, and the marketing is beginning to ramp up in a major way. The film features Chris Evans as Captain America, a 98-pound weakling-turned-super-soldier and patriotic icon. He's going to be fighting Nazis in World War II and, more specifically, Hugo Weaving as the Red Skull.
Judging by the info that's been released thus far, there's a lot to like about this flick. Now's as good a time as any to break down the top five reasons to go and see 'Captain America.'
The supporting cast looks good, and Hugo Weaving plays great villains. While some superhero movies have had weak characters in every role but the starring ones, 'Captain America' looks like it's going to buck the trend. I'm looking forward to seeing how the cast ends up performing, and I'm willing to bet cash money that one of these guys is going to steal the show.
The Howling Commandos are a good example of how comics can sometimes "fix" history by portraying past times as more enlightened than they were. The Howlers were a fully integrated World War II unit who went into action years before segregation ended in the military in real life. They were a mixed up crew of various ethnicities and personality types, and the sort of crew who you could see easily see getting into 'Dirty Dozen'-style missions on a regular basis. As a comics fan, seeing them in a movie is very, very cool. They're a relatively tiny part of the Captain America mythos, or really comics in general, but they're a neat idea and an indicator of how comics can show us something to strive for, instead of just being disposable entertainment.
If they go that route, and they almost have to, considering the source material, expect a number of differences in how the movie scenes play out. There will be a greater emphasis on teamwork amongst the soldiers who make it into the supporting cast, supporting characters who get a brief moment to shine before the big ending, and the action sequences can be much more intricate and lengthy than they would be with just one person fighting another.
Branching out into new genres is going to be essential for comics movies, and a good way to try and head off a possible glut of cape films at the pass.
The only thing that makes it outlandish is the coloration. Evans is wearing subdued shades of red, white, and blue. It looks good, and manages to be both faithful to the original costume while moving that costume into the modern day. It turned out far, far better than I expected.
1. Chris Evans