Should this be the summer of villains instead of heroes?

X-Men First Class: Michael Fassbender & James ...

Image by Lyon & Pan via Flickr

I loved the Thor movie. I thought it was fantastic and finally delivered something comic book movies have been struggling with for a long while.

A classic villain.

Tom Hiddleston delivered a sensational performance as Thor’s brother Loki. Throwing out the tradition of simple minded, undeveloped villains which comic book moves tend to have, Loki was a complex, multilayered villain, who kept the audience guessing at every turn. Thor is just as much Loki’s movie as it is the God of Thunder’s. The same could potentially apply for all the villains in the upcoming summer comic book movies as well.

Starting off with X-Men: First Class, the movie focuses on the relationship between Charles Xavier (Professor X) and Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto), as well as the beginnings of the X-Men. Seeing as X-Men Origins: Magneto was supposedly cancelled, First Class is likely to at some point in the film depict Magneto’s origin as a survivor of The Holocaust. This will surely make for some compelling stuff, and is far more interesting then the rise of a rich telepath in Charles Xavier. Sir Ian McKellen‘s portrayal of Magneto in the X-Men trilogy was probably the best comic book movie villain of all time. His character was multilayered, tormented and it was just as easy to sympathize with him, as it was to hate him. Now we’re getting to chance to see his origin on screen, the rest of X-Men: First Class is just filler. Calling Magneto the best comic book movie villain of all time is no disrespect to Heath Ledger as the Joker in The Dark Knight, I just thought McKellen’s Magneto was much more relevant to the comic book source material.

I’m going to skip over Green Lantern because I don’t know enough about the main villain Hector Hammond (played by Peter Sarsgaard). I’m also not too keen on what they’ve done to the intergalactic fear entity Parallax. It looks like a giant cloud of special effects. Why can’t Hollywood do justice to their galactic monsters? It’s like when Marvel’s world consumer Galactus was turned into a giant cloud in Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer. It’s insulting to the source material.

Sinestro, leader of the Green lantern Corps is where it gets interesting. Hopefully the film will set up the fall of Sinestro so we get a classic hero turned villain story in the Green lantern sequel.

Next up is Hugo Weaving as the Red Skull. Originally created as a Nazi leader, and Adolf Hitler’s right man for obvious reasons the Nazism is likely to be toned down in Captain America: The First Avenger. Instead we will probably see Weaving in charge of a villainous terrorist organization known as Hydra. Whilst I completely understand why the Nazi theme has been toned down, I hope it is not removed completely as it’s an essential part of the Red Skull character. Much like the Joker, Red Skull is the hero’s equal/opposite. Captain America represents democracy and freedom where as the Red Skull represents communism and dictatorship. If the Captain America film establishes this then we should be in for a great battle. The Red Skull is obsessed with world domination, and the film needs to touch on Skull’s origin to make it believable. He can’t just be a supremacist who’s obsessed with Nazi domination, as there needs to be a convincing reason behind his madness.

And if there is, then we may have a villain to rival Hiddleston’s Loki.

  1. June 21st, 2011

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: