Dreamcasting Five

I think we're living in a golden age of comic book movies, and I hope it's not winding down any time soon. The Golden Age of comics in the ‘30s and ‘40s spawned the popularity of superheroes, who thrived in the Silver Age with both brand new characters and new takes on legacy characters. By the time I was born, comics shifted into the Bronze Age and things got a little more “real”, with colorful characters facing death, drugs, crime, and other issues reflecting society at the time. In the Modern Age, things got even darker, and anti-heroes became incredibly popular. Lasting new creations from that period include Cable, Venom, Deadpool, Apocalypse, Gambit and Spawn, to name a few. But, for the most part, the iconic pantheon of heroes spanning multiple mediums and resonating in the pop culture consciousness can be traced back to the Golden and Silver ages. A recent Geek Friends™ Discussion tackled the subject of very few strong new characters who weren't successors carrying on a legacy being created in the last 25 years. I think the success of a character extends beyond comics. As a child, I only knew who Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man were because of various movies or television shows. Maybe the spandex-clad adventurers are on the verge of being replaced, just as they once replaced Western heroes. I don't know what might be next; I just hope it's not emo vampires. But with all the great movies coming out, especially all the solo hero movies setting the stage for The Avengers, I have hope that the comic books I loved in my high school and college years aren't quite done yet. A new Heroic Age may be just around the corner. So what better time for me to do a little Dreamcasting, and jump well ahead of the studios to the inevitable team spin-off:

The West Coast Avengers

The Avengers' roster had grown large over the years, and reached a point where they had enough heroes to support two active teams. With the main team located on the East coast in Manhattan, a new team was based on the West coast, and the “Whackos” were born. They had a good run before the series folded and the characters were either folded into new teams or the original Avengers, but if a film about the Avengers proves successful, why not try the same concept with a different cast of characters and actors?

Hawkeye: Josh Holloway.
Hawkeye was always the cocksure wiseguy of the group, but the archer proved he had what it took to lead his own team when the West coast branch was established. Holloway is physically fit and has the right swagger and charm to play someone smarmy and confident who's heroic at the core. More importantly, the dude is going to have a lot of free time once LOST ends, and his involvement might make it easier for comic geeks with wives or girlfriends to have their significant other in the seat next to them.

Mockingbird: Yvonne Strahovsky.
Hawkeye's wife was a beautiful acrobatic blonde and former secret agent. On Chuck, Strahovsky portrays sexy CIA agent Sarah Walker. She's lithe, beautiful, and does well with fight choreography. She routinely beats up bad guys every week, so why not alongside costumed heroes?

War Machine: Terrance Howard.
Howard was the original James “Rhodey” Rhodes in the first Iron Man. When the West Coast Avengers began, it was Rhodes, not Tony Stark who wore the Iron Man armor while Stark battled alcoholism. Stark become Iron Man again shortly thereafter, while Rhodes would rejoin the team some 80 or 90 issues later in his new armored guise as War Machine. Howard never got the chance to portray War Machine, as he was replaced by Don Cheadle in the Iron Man sequel, but by the time they get around to making a WCA movie I'm sure Howard will be more affordable than Cheadle. I'd love to see him get a second chance to don the armor. If nothing else, besides paralleling the switch in Iron Men in the original comics, they could make a bunch of ”Becky Conner jokes....

Tigra: Nia Long.
After her turn as a blue-skinned cat-like alien in Avatar, I could totally see Ms. Long as the furry feline female Avenger. She's got the moves, and looks good as an animal lady.

Wonder Man: Tom Welling.
At first, it might seem strange to have the long-time Smallville star step into the boots of another company's red-eyed, raven-haired hero. But, as no stranger to a red jacket, he has the right look and build for the part, and I could see him doing interesting things playing a guy who splits his time between being a superhero and being a movie star. Basically, he almost wouldn't have to act at all, and that's kind of his specialty.



Blogger Spockgirl said...

Great pic of your dad with the heart pillow.
Then your latest blog got me thinking to back when I was a kid. I recall reading the Justice League of America, Legion of Superheroes, Tarzan, Conan, and later, Warlord and John Carter of Mars. I don't remember the Marvel comics as well, but I have a lot of blank spots in my childhood memory. I do recall looking at comics and practicing drawing.
I know I stopped reading comics before they became dark, cynical and often gory "graphic novels". As an adult, the last TV shows I watched on a regular basis were Dark Angel, Buffy and Alias. I just happened to stop watching TV as "reality shows" were becoming the latest thing.
As for movies, it is a great time for comic book heroes to be coming to life or being brought back to life, as the movie industry now has two generations as a target audience.

4/16/2010 2:51 AM  

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