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.