Sunday, 29 April 2012

Captain America (3 Stars)

Over the last 10 years there have been some great films based on Marvel characters. The X-Men films, Spider-Man, Daredevil, Thor, Iron Man, the second Hulk film. Then there were the flops. The first Hulk film was the worst, closely followed by Elektra and the Fantastic Four films (though the second film does have some promise). "Captain America" falls into the second group. It's all over the place. It's a mess. I don't know what's worse, the poor screenplay or the dull directing by Joe Johnston.

Normally I accept changes to characters and their origins for the cinema. Films can't be exactly the same as the comics, can they? But this time they took it too far. Look at the poster above. What's wrong? Captain America is carrying a gun. No no no no no! That's just wrong.

Now let's carry on. "The first Avenger"? Hmmm, not in the comics he wasn't. He was the sixth. When the Avengers were first formed the members were Thor, Iron Man, Ant-Man, the Wasp and the Hulk. Captain America joined the Avengers in issue 4 of their comic.

Captain America's body was discovered by the Marvel hero (sometimes villain) the Submariner in 1964, not by a research team in 2011.

Bucky Barnes was a boy, not an adult.

Hydra is a secret organisation that has existed for over 4000 years, first formed in Egypt. During the Second World War they allied themselves with Germany, but the Red Skull was never their leader.

Steve Rogers became Captain America in 1940, not 1942. This small time difference is important, because it means that Steve Rogers became Captain America before America entered the war against Germany!

This is the first issue of "Captain America Comics", published in December 1940 (despite the March date on the cover), written by Joe Simon. Stan Lee's first ever story was published in Captain America #3. This was a controversial comic at the time. Before the attack on Pearl Harbor the American public was divided on the issue of the "war in Europe", as they called it. The large German immigrant community stood solidly behind Hitler and demanded that America enter the war to protect Germany against the English aggression. At this time the German mistreatment of the Jews was still unknown, which led to many other Americans supporting Germany, whatever their ethnic background. With this comic Joe Simon was taking a political stand. It wasn't until a year later, in December 1941, that American public opinion was unified against Germany.

In the film the Red Skull doesn't fully appreciate the power of the cosmic cube. This is correct; in the comics he underestimated its power as well. Thanos was the first to comprehend it when he used its power to make himself a God in Captain Marvel #31 (March 1974).

Click here to view the trailer. But no, I don't recommend it. It's only a film for Marvel completists who want to prepare themselves for the release of the Avengers film.


  1. I see you are gearing yourself up to see the Avengers with this post eh? I saw this movie in theaters (snuck in to see it after the one I originally went to see was finished. Hehe. I'm so naughty. :3) I have to say that I was expecting more because it started off pretty damn slow for me and didn't pick up until the middle which - ugh - wasn't that much of a pick up. I definitely wouldn't have recommended anyone actually pay to go see this in theaters. Maybe buy the DVD when it goes on sale for $5 from the bargain bin or wait till it comes out on cable. It's fine if you want to watch to kill time though.

    I never got into the marvel comics - for some strange reason reading comics gives me migraines and yet I have no trouble reading manga and am obsessed with it. Maybe it's the type of drawing and the fact that American Comics tend to be way too busy for me and my troubling eyesight. My brother knows a crap load about the Marvel heroes and even he was disappointed and pissed off because he DID pay to go see it in theaters. Ha! Sucks to be him. But, yeah, I say all this from someone pretty much completely ignorant of the history of the Marvel character Captain America.

    Let's pray to God that the Avenger's movie lives up to the hype considering this movie and Thor was...less than impressive. At least they can boast about Iron Man I guess. Meh. *shrugs*

  2. I just re-read your post. How the fuck do you consider Thor a good movie? In what lifetime and twilight zone were you living in when you saw Thor 2011? *raises a brow* I'd also take the time to state that Daredevil wasn't anything to write home about either - moderately entertaining at best. ~_~

    You know that you're one of my favorite snow bunnies but I swear sometimes I worry about you. *sighs*

  3. There's one thing I didn't mention in my original post. It disturbs me that Chris Evans was chosen to play Captain America. He's already been used in recent Marvel films, he played the Human Torch in the two Fantastic Four films.

    As for "Thor" (and I'd rather not get too detailed because this thread should be about Captain America) I thought the acting was great. Stellan Skarsgard is one of my favorite actors, and Tom Hiddleston was incredible as Loki. Anthony Hopkins was faultless as Odin, but then again he's good at everything he does. Clark Gregg was outstanding as Agent Coulson, and he's received so much attention from fans that they're considering giving him a spin-off film. My problem with Chris Hemsworth is that in the comics Thor is a very wooden character who speaks with stilted English; in the film he was more human. Natalie Portman (Jane Foster) was the only real disappointment among the main cast.

    I'm a big Marvel fan, especially the 60's comics, of which I collect the reprints. In the 70's to 90's I just like the comics written by Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin. I can't think of any recent comics that I like. They just aren't the same as the old classics.


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