The Guardian’s of the Galaxy is Marvel’s Biggest Cinematic Challenge
After the first Iron Man premiered, garnering mass hysteria from fans of the comics and newly bred admirers, I think everyone could tell that Marvel was about to do something big. I don’t think an after-credit scene has ever caused that much madness in the history of film. But that one short, two minute or so, scene was the equivalent of a snowball rolling down the peak of a mountain and creating avalanche.
The huge success that Iron Man fetched for Marvel wasn’t just constructive financially, which never hurts, it led to something even more important, confidence. A strong faith that not only the fans encompassed but all the creators and executives over at Marvel now had it too. Superhero movies had unpredictable outcomes and responses before, not everything was a home run. But if you look at Marvel in the last five years, that is far from the case now. After three Iron Man movies, a Thor, Captain America, Hulk, and Avengers movie, we’re just getting started. With three more sequels including one for the blockbuster hit, The Avengers, Marvel is still cooking up new projects. And each announcement is greeted with crazy amounts of adoration. Who could’ve known that Ant-Man would top the list of everyone’s must-sees?
This undeniable certainty bleeds into ideas that come from places that would probably have gone unheeded without that assurance. As a result we have a Guardian’s of the Galaxy movie.
Despite the popularity and average knowledge of the characters being considerably small compared to the fandom that surrounds the core Avengers, people are still exceedingly excited. I myself had only small, trivial knowledge about these rag-tag renegades. But thanks to their Marvel Now! launch and movie buzz, I went on a relentless search to absorb anything and everything about these characters. Now my excitement is at extraordinary levels as well.
Still, Internet buzz and twitter campaigns do not equal success. Marvel’s movies receive some of the best critical receptions as well. The quality of what’s produced warrants its own consideration as well. But they’re not pulling a rabbit out of a hat. You can arguably say the character’s we’ve already seen are well-known enough to receive the attention they’ve gotten, so when we come upon a group of character’s that don’t even ring the slightest bell, will the result be he same? If they are, we are seeing a runaway train in the making, there will be little to no chance of catching them.
We see great talent attached to these films, but the room for investment from fans is what keeps it moving forward. This is the biggest challenge for Marvel we’ve seen yet. They’re pulling characters from obscurity and shoving them into the spotlight.
Comic book movies have been tricky, it’s a gamble to just throw out characters and expect people to gravitate towards them. Looking back at the last two decades, we’ve had relatively familiar characters like Blade, Punisher and Ghost Rider make their way to the silver screen with limited success for the most part. It’s obvious that things have changed since then, now people are demanding Black Panther and Doctor Strange movies. But Marvel’s reluctance to even make these types of movies is what makes this interesting.
There’s still a bunch of A-list characters out there that still haven’t even been mentioned, but somehow this emerged as the next big thing. It’s the first time Marvel’s taking a risk like this and it might just be a test. If it fails, financial success aside, we might not see this type of risk taken for a while. They can always just hone in on the guaranteed moneymakers. In a way Guardian’s of the Galaxy is a measuring stick. But if it succeeds? Who knows, we might see Squirrel Girl pop up in a movie in the next ten years.