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Author Topic: Marvel's Black Panther  (Read 6971 times)
BobtheSomething
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Reply #35 on: February 19, 2018, 06:44:29 PM

I'd be interested in reading your social analysis.  Please post what you feel comfortable with so we can get that conversation started.
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Reply #36 on: February 19, 2018, 07:54:48 PM

Yeah, I don't get the villain complaint.  Of course you have to kill them.  If you make a follow up to the movie, I don't want him fighting the same fucktard again.  It had better be somebody the hero hasn't fought before, so no need to keep whoever locked up.

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SurfD
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Reply #37 on: February 19, 2018, 08:21:43 PM

I do disagree with the common complaint here that Marvel "wastes" its villains. I'm pretty sure that's by design, and it's a good one. Repeating a bad guy weakens that bad guy, until he is just a joke. You know he's going to lose (again) and it just gets harder and harder to suspend disbelief every time you see him. Or you actually start *rooting* for the guy to finally catch a break (Loki).

MCU let's their villains burn brightly and then burn out, and I'm okay with that. Let the antagonism between the "good" guys be the friction that heats things up over the movie arc, and let the bad guys be brief.
The other issue is that the MCU isn't really designed / plotted in a way that allows for the re-use of anything other than a very small handful of villains, most of whom are either going to be "organizations" like hydra, or "Major Bads" like Thanos..  Loki is re-usable because he is as much anti-hero as he is bad-guy, and his on-the-fence chaotic nature allows him to make a great plot device.  Pretty much all of the "big" bad guys however, don't really work for repeat uses in a setting that is likely only to use them, at most, one more time.  The MCU has so many characters, each with their own movies, that you want to see new and fresh things happening in each movie, not a return to a villain we have already covered.  I mean, re-using Killmonger would be awesome the only thing that existed in the MCU was BP and you were expecting to get 4 or 5 movies out of it.  Not quite so much if you are likely to only get 2 over the next 10 to 15 years, and have 6 other major properties to fit in between.

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Reply #38 on: February 19, 2018, 09:07:41 PM

Reusing villains works in TV shows better than movies, though I do feel superhero movies tend to kill their villains more than they should. I'm not saying villains should be reused often but at least from a plot perspective, it's nice if they don't ALWAYS have to die.

BobtheSomething
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Reply #39 on: February 19, 2018, 09:41:14 PM

Kill monger is so human and relatable and charismatic that he pretty much is an antihero.  If his methods were less ruthless or brutal, he could be a good guy.  I didn't compare him to Magneto for no reason.

Velorath
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Reply #40 on: February 19, 2018, 09:56:07 PM

I think Killmonger had a lot more potential for re-use than just about any other MCU villain. There's enough to the character that he could work in situations other than just fighting Black Panther again. He's one of the few that would likely be willing to fight a bigger evil like Thanos, and he'd also be a good fight for Cap or Bucky. Wakandan technology being what it is though, if they really wanted to bring him back later they could explain it away pretty easily.
eldaec
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Reply #41 on: February 20, 2018, 05:46:31 AM



It's also tragically short sighted for Marvel to kill off ...

Every.Single.Time. 

Marvel just does not know how to stop fucking themselves over when it comes to villains.  Hell even Serkis was knocking it out of the park in this movie and nope, can't have that!  Heroes are only ever as good as their villains and if they ever did wanna make a BP2 the chances of them topping these ones are virtually nil.

They are only dead, nothing stops them coming back if the writers want them instead of someone new.

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Khaldun
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Reply #42 on: February 20, 2018, 06:52:12 AM

Mostly I think this is because superhero movies, as opposed to the comics, are actually recognizing what happens to people who are a serious threat to the existing order of things, and a mortal threat to the heroes personally. The Joker in Dark Knight would never, ever be let out of maximum security for any reason; he likely would be executed. Nobody who has just defeated a person or force that could have destroyed the world is just going to say, "we'll be ready next time you almost destroy the world!". It's barely credible that a guy like Klaue would be able to hide, and that's just because he's ultimately only an arms merchant with a supply of vibranium. Step up the threat level and there's no way you make it past a single confrontation.

It's really one of the dumb things about comic-book storytelling--the first time the Joker kills a thousand people or comes close to it should pretty much be the last time. DC humans are radically different than people in our world in their views of crime and punishment, but DC writers never really acknowledge that.
Threash
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Reply #43 on: February 20, 2018, 11:22:41 AM

Bringing back the same villains is lame and dumb, you end up with caricatures of the original character like Loki.

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Velorath
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Reply #44 on: February 20, 2018, 11:25:29 AM

I think if you really look at the list of MCU villains we've seen thus far, there haven't been too many big losses in who they've killed off:

Stane - Dead
Abomination - In Custody
The Leader - never fully introduced
Whiplash - Dead
Loki - Alive
Laufey - Dead
Red Skull - unknown, easy to bring back
Killian - Dead
Mandarin - Fake, with a real one somewhere that we've never seen
Malekith - Dead
Pierce - Dead
Zola - Possibly Dead, easy to bring back
Crossbones - Dead
Ultron - Dead, easy to bring back
Yellowjacket - Dead
Zemo - Alive
Dormammu - Alive
Mordo - Alive
Ego - Dead, easy to bring back
Vulture - Alive
Hela - Dead, easy to bring back
Surtur - Alive

Crossbones and the deaths in Black Panther are really the only ones that seem like potential wastes. Unfortunately that's largely because villains have been one of the weak spots of the MCU. If/when they do a Fantastic Four movie, I certainly wouldn't expect them to kill Dr. Doom off.
BobtheSomething
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Reply #45 on: February 20, 2018, 11:36:25 AM

Bringing back the same villains is lame and dumb, you end up with caricatures of the original character like Loki.

Loki is far more interesting in Thor 3 than he ever was as a villain.

Once again, Magneto has been a villain or antihero in almost every X-Men film, and he always worked well. 
Lakov_Sanite
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Reply #46 on: February 20, 2018, 11:42:52 AM

You can say "easy to bring back" for any dead character in any fiction by virtue of writers being able to come up with any excuse. That doesn't mean it's even remotely likely however.

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Ironwood
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Reply #47 on: February 20, 2018, 11:52:46 AM

Dude died with magic flower in him.  Coming back to life ain't shit.

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Velorath
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Reply #48 on: February 20, 2018, 01:21:12 PM

You can say "easy to bring back" for any dead character in any fiction by virtue of writers being able to come up with any excuse. That doesn't mean it's even remotely likely however.

Sure, but for some the explanation is baked right into the character whereas guys like Whiplash and Crossbones are humans who blew themselves up.

With Yellowjacket, Iron Monger, and Whiplash all you would  really need to bring back are the suits.

Also, I guess Batroc is still alive and kicking.
Threash
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Reply #49 on: February 20, 2018, 01:38:38 PM

Bringing back the same villains is lame and dumb, you end up with caricatures of the original character like Loki.

Loki is far more interesting in Thor 3 than he ever was as a villain.

Once again, Magneto has been a villain or antihero in almost every X-Men film, and he always worked well. 

The guy who's grand betrayal plan consisted entirely of "walk in a different direction" and was outsmarted by Thor? he wasn't the most interesting, he was reduced to a goofy sidekick.

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TheWalrus
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Reply #50 on: February 20, 2018, 02:07:14 PM

This flat out bored me in the middle. Beginning and end were solid for me, but honestly I feel like I've seen this movie enough times that if it's not slightly more interesting/funny/something in the main body, it's going to lose me. Somebody said Black Thor? Yeah. Kids and wife liked it tho, so that's good, I guess.

I also didn't like that Killmonger was the exact picture of every black punk that the right stereotypes all black guys to be, because I don't wanna wade through all the bullshit they're going to bring on that score.. Yeah, he wasn't wrong on his politics, but the look and attitude were awful. I know that's the character, but it rubbed me wrong. I would have preferred a more cerebral character, but that's me.

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Khaldun
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Reply #51 on: February 20, 2018, 02:46:10 PM

The reason nobody minds if most of the MCU villains die is also, yes, because they're not very interesting in and of themselves.

It's a bit odd. I think it might be because we don't have much consensus any longer about what makes somebody evil.

Super-heroes began by fighting gangsters in an era where public organized crime and corruption was a serious menace in cities and even in some rural regions. Then they moved to fighting Nazis. Then they fought Chinese and Russian agents and giant monsters. Then they fought street crime at the height of urban crime waves in the 1970s. And then in that era, their own mythology started to accumulate such weight and influence that the villains were increasingly defined by the genre's own history. When writers in the 1980s and 1990s moved to make "relevant" bad guys, they mostly failed; what worked were reinterpretations of existing bad guys that gave them more depth and personality. The problem is that most of those moves were deeply self-referential and required a knowledge of comic continuity to really appreciate. (Take for example the current writing in Black Bolt's own series--it's really good, but that's partly because it's giving the Absorbing Man a personality and backstory beyond "big bald criminal who absorbs powers and likes to beat up superheroes".)

When you sift through all of that, you only find a few villains who have complex, resonant psychological or sociopolitical reasons to be "bad" who can support many stories and who garner a bit of sympathetic connection with readers. Magneto didn't start that way, but Chris Claremont discovered a genius 'hook' that moved him beyond being a standard Stan Lee conquer-the-world bad guy. Some of Batman's Rogues have acquired deeper, more interesting archetypical or psychological hooks over the years that sustain multiple treatments. But there's almost no supervillain that has an origin equivalent to "parents shot in alley, takes vow to avenge them by fighting all crime" or "doomed planet, desperate scientists, last hope, kindly couple", where the origin is a never-ending story engine.

Doctor Doom in his best writing, yes. Arrogant but with a reason; mother prone to dabble in sinister forces; part of a hounded people mistreated by the local rulers; secretly entitled to the throne of his backward country; dangerous experiment intended to rescue his mother's soul; unable to concede that another man could be better than him; so proud he disfigures himself in order to reign in hell. Essentially conquers the world through mind control or other ulitmate power multiple times only to find that what he really wants is the earned affection and devotion of his fellow humans, and that there's no way to get that other than to be a good man--or to at least make other people's lives better. But Doom can also be utterly cornball or unintentionally comedic--it's a really delicate line, and it explains why the movies have not even tried to do him right so far.

For Marvel, that's almost it. Kingpin only acquired psychological depth very late; the Daredevil series did good work pushing that further. The Red Skull has never really been interesting; the best they can do is make him a more subtle Nazi. Galactus never gets beyond the metaphor of "natural disaster than has a consciousness". Thanos is just dumb--"he's in love with Death and wants all the power in the universe" is a teenager's idea of a motivation for an antagonist. Doctor Octopus has become interesting since the second Spider-Man movie, maybe helped by the film's portrayal. Norman Osborn/the Green Goblin is mostly just a psychopath or a bargain-basement Doctor Jekyll type. Kang the Conqueror is just a hot mess of complete stupidity as a character and utterly unusuable without a fundamental rethink. You can keep rummaging through Marvel's closets and you'll only have a few spare crumbs of interesting ideas to work up for the movies. So no wonder they just keep running through these guys as discardable story McGuffins, because that's what they are.

Killmonger is an interesting model for them to look at, though. Because here they took a discardable story McGuffin and found a resonant motivation and backstory for him. In the comics, he's just been generic dumb bad guy #10012 ever since he was introduced. They very nearly reinvented him completely. So maybe that's a model--just use the names and maybe one or two minor concepts or hooks, and rebuild them from scratch entirely otherwise.
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Reply #52 on: February 20, 2018, 03:45:12 PM

Dear god. Comics are serial. Movies are not. Comics don't need to actually have a beginning middle and end. Movies do even when we expect a sequel or a trilogy "defeat the villian" is in the movie script DNA. Because continuity takes second place to story structure. These movies aren't comics. They succeed and sometimes fail because their movies first and foremost that pay a lot of attention to bringing in the spirit of the comics.

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Reply #53 on: February 20, 2018, 04:22:51 PM

Well, they didn't kill Keaton, so I'm good with it.  He was the best thing about that movie.

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Lakov_Sanite
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Reply #54 on: February 20, 2018, 04:33:09 PM

Think about this, we could have had Jeff Bridges chewing scenery as a minor/major antagonist versus Robert Downey in multiple movies.  That's what good cinema villains bring to the table beyond just being comic book characters.  People are just seeing the character here, the backstory and the 2d comic archetypes.  Mads Mikkelsen was by far the best actor in Dr Strange and not so major a villain they couldn't have just had him be defeated, only to serve a greater villain next movie.

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Khaldun
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Reply #55 on: February 20, 2018, 04:45:49 PM

I think they're setting up Mordo as a way more interesting dude than comic-book Mordo.

Thanos, though, pffft. I cannot imagine a way to make him psychologically or narratively interesting beyond "BIG FUCKING MONSTER WHO STOMPS EVERYTHING".

Anyway, Black Panther! Fucking great movie, I am sticking to that. Really enjoyed it.
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Reply #56 on: February 20, 2018, 05:31:35 PM

The MCU has a lifespan because actors do, and because we're less likely to accept an eternally young Captain America through recasting than we are an eternally young Cap in the comics.

As such, they only need to save the truly iconic enemies to keep them around.  Most of these heroes have enough villains to keep trucking through the lifespan of the character in the MCU.  Then, they can bring back these enemies in different versions when they reboot the MCU in 12 years and people won't be talking about the Obadiah Stane they saw for the last 24 years...

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Lakov_Sanite
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Reply #57 on: February 20, 2018, 05:36:55 PM

I will be waiting to see how captain marvel does to believe the mcu model is sustainable in 12 years.

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Threash
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Reply #58 on: February 20, 2018, 08:41:47 PM

Well, they didn't kill Keaton, so I'm good with it.  He was the best thing about that movie.


I mean... you are still never gonna see him again.

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Threash
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Reply #59 on: February 20, 2018, 08:44:31 PM

I will be waiting to see how captain marvel does to believe the mcu model is sustainable in 12 years.

We've been saying that since Iron Man, not a single MCU character is an A lister (well Spidey, but they had to beg for him back). If they can knock shit like Guardians of the Galaxy, Dr Strange, Ant Man and Black Panther out of the park there is zero reason to believe Captain Marvel is where everything falls to pieces.

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Velorath
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Reply #60 on: February 20, 2018, 08:50:46 PM

I know this X-men movie franchise has been around for 18 years now but once New Mutants comes out next year we'll find out if it really has staying power.
jgsugden
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Reply #61 on: February 20, 2018, 09:08:36 PM

I will be waiting to see how captain marvel does to believe the mcu model is sustainable in 12 years.
Negotiating such a huge deal when the super hero bubble is close to popping would be a terrible business decision. 
The more things change, the more they stay the same...

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Lakov_Sanite
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Reply #62 on: February 21, 2018, 08:07:54 AM

I never thought they'd give transformers 5 movies before scrapping that or that there would be 9+ fast and furious movies either.

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rattran
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Reply #63 on: February 21, 2018, 09:18:05 AM

I liked it as well as any of the Marvel films that weren't GotG or Ragnarok. I saw it in a theater full of very old white people who were mainly silent, the few young and/or non-whites laughed and cheered in the right places.

I laughed at one old shitstain that complained on the way out that all the white people were bad guys.
BobtheSomething
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Reply #64 on: February 21, 2018, 10:38:08 AM

I liked it as well as any of the Marvel films that weren't GotG or Ragnarok. I saw it in a theater full of very old white people who were mainly silent, the few young and/or non-whites laughed and cheered in the right places.

I laughed at one old shitstain that complained on the way out that all the white people were bad guys.

There was a white CIA agent who was somehow a good guy.  But comic book movies don't have to be realistic.
Lakov_Sanite
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Reply #65 on: February 21, 2018, 10:45:37 AM

It's weird he even made the comment because I think if you include the museum lady there are only three white people in the movie with more than one line of dialogue and only one was evil.

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BobtheSomething
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Reply #66 on: February 21, 2018, 11:17:45 AM

Rattan, what city did you see the film in?

Here in OC, CA, there were huge lines for the film.  We saw the first showing on a Saturday, and while most of the audience was white (OC), the film went over really well.
rattran
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Reply #67 on: February 21, 2018, 05:31:34 PM

Mesa, Arizona. Land of the Nearly Deads.
Goumindong
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Reply #68 on: February 26, 2018, 02:49:08 PM

I'd be interested in reading your social analysis.  Please post what you feel comfortable with so we can get that conversation started.

We can take it to politics(where you can't(?) go) if this gets contentious but the general thrust to me was an indictment of hegemony on a moral level.

Killmonger isn't just "an American" he is "one of us", as explained by the the guy they call colonizer. He goes to a top quality American College, he joins the top quality American military institutions and then uses that knowledge in order to destabilize a nation with the intent to make Wakanda the new Hegemon of the world. Killmonger's thesis is that American hegemony isn't working so lets try Wakandan Hegemony. But all the kills he racks up? Besides the ones you see on screen he does this for the US.

The Hero is more or less an Obama/Clinton style democrat. A humanitarian interventionalist, (with the initial isolation being untenable), who is willing to use force if necessary in order to achieve justice for his nation, but also willing to work with others and let them lead when its necessary.
TheWalrus
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Reply #69 on: February 26, 2018, 05:10:55 PM

Shoutout to the Tolkien white guys.

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