AFTER THE SUCCESS of “The Avengers” and all the individual superhero movies that built up to the assembling of it superheroes, Marvel Studios’s “Phase 1” was a certified success. The only question was whether “Phase 2” could match the expectation and hype.
Once Phase 2 plans were revealed, it looked as though Marvel’s streak of hits would continue:
1. “Iron Man 3”? It’s a certified blockbuster that had a huge $175-million opening weekend.
2. “Thor: The Dark World?” It appears a “Game of Thrones” director in the realm of Asgard should be a good mix.
3. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier?” Bucky’s back? That certainly bodes well.
4. But if there was one wild card in the bunch, it came in the announcement that Phase 2 would also feature a film called “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
The hardcore fanboy might be familiar with Marvel’s multiple comic-book versions of GOTG, but the casual comic-book fan? Even non-comics readers know who Steve Rogers, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner are. But what about Peter Quill/Star-Lord, Gamora or Rocket Racoon?
Although Marvel could easily just trust the success they’ve had adapting multiple properties to the big screen, they’ve taken a smart approach with GOTG, accounting for the fact that the characters in this space tale aren’t as recognizable as their big guns. So they turned to one of their real-life big guns: Brian Michael Bendis.
Bendis (who in his stellar career has written one of the all-time takes on Spider-Man (Ultimate Spider-Man), and is writing multiple X-Men books, has been given the task of giving GOTG a modern fanboy relevance. After the first two issues, it’s looking as though by the time the “Guardians” film hits theaters in the summer of 2014, GOTC will have a strong presence in the Marvel comics universe.
Bendis seems up to the task, providing a new origin story and carefully making sure each member of the team gets a proper introduction by writing individual digital comics for each character (which are free to download on the Marvel comics app).
But in case that’s not enough GOTC prep for you, Marvel is making sure the film packs starpower along with modern comics. Chris Pratt (from “Zero Dark Thirty”) has signed on to play Peter Quill; Zoe Saldana was recently announced to be playing Gamora; and Dave Bautista will play the muscle of the team, Drax the Destroyer.
Cast and comics in play, GOTC seems to be in good hands, regardless of the medium.