Long time comic combatants bring rivalry to cinema

By: Sean Ray & Corey Fischer | The Duquesne Duke

DC Comics
Batman v. Superman
Despite a late start in comparison to their competitor Marvel, the first Iron Man movie is six years old now, and DC comics is looking to come out swinging with its lineup of films. Starting off with power houses Superman and Batman in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice scheduled for release on March 3, 2016.

Justice League: Parts One & Two
An interesting note is that DC seems to be doing the opposite of Marvel’s film technique. While Marvel had each of their Avengers’ characters have their own film before coming together, many Justice League members will have their films air after the first Justice League movie. Only Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman will have films before Justice League Part One.

Meanwhile, characters like the Flash, Shazam, and Aquaman will have their movies released between Justice League Parts One and Two. Justice League Part One will be released Nov. 17, 2017 and Part Two will be out June 14, 2019.

Green Lantern
Green Lantern, another Justice League founder, will have his movie released after Justice League Part Two in June of 2020. This Green Lantern will not be connected to the 2011 Green Lantern movie, according to DC, which only raked in $19 million over its budget and was panned by critics, scoring a 26 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Aquaman, a character more famous nowadays for being mocked on Family Guy it seems, has been making waves within the comic community ever since it was announced he will be played by Jason Momoa of Game of Thrones fame. Momoa was nominated for several awards for his depiction of Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones and remains a fan favorite, coming in 15th on Rolling Stone’s “Top 40 Game of Thrones characters.” The film is set for release in July 2018.

However, while DC seems eager to get films out about their big characters, there are several lesser-known characters getting involved in DC’s Cinematic Universe.

Suicide Squad
Even before the Wonder Woman movie, DC will be releasing a Suicide Squad movie the same year as Batman v. Superman. Ever wondered how super villains seem to get out of jail so quickly? They work for the government. The Suicide Squad is a rotating team of super villains who perform jobs for the government in exchange for shortened jail sentences and other such benefits. Many famous supervillains have served on the team, including Bane, Harley Quinn and Deadshot. It should prove interesting to see which villains DC picks to be in the film’s line up. The Squad is set to hit theaters in August 2016.

One lesser-known character getting his own film is Cyborg. While Cyborg did feature prominently in the Teen Titans cartoon show that ran from 2003 to 2006, he was never much of a solo hero. DC is looking to change that in April 2020, giving the half-man, half-machine his own movie. This is most likely in line with DC’s New 52, a continuity change in the comics that made Cyborg into a Justice League member and nationally recognized superhero within the comic book universe.

Premiering in October 1980, Cyborg originated as Victor Stone, the son of the scientist Silas Stone. When Victor is injured in one of his father’s experiments, his father rebuilds him with mechanical augmentations, much to Victor’s initial shock and horror. However, Victor soon turns to heroics.

Shazam is another character DC is attempting to put more into the spotlight. While fairly popular for comic readers, Shazam never really caught on with mainstream audiences. Bearing similar powers to Superman, Shazam is able to transform into the superhero by uttering the magic phrase “Shazam” where he gets his namesake. Shazam tends to be much lighter in tone than most super hero stories, taking on a child like atmosphere.

Marvel Comics
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Perhaps the most widely anticipated film on Marvel’s docket, Age of Ultron chronicles the Avengers’ fight against Ultron, a self-aware, self-teaching, artificial intelligence unit that Tony Stark, better known as Iron Man, initiated as a peacekeeping unit to alleviate the caseload of the Avengers and SHIELD. Unfortunately, it backfired.

Ultron decides that mankind is the main enemy and sets out to eradicate us from the planet. It falls to Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, the Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, with help from SHIELD’s Nick Fury and Maria Hill, to stop him. Along the way, two new yet fan-familiar faces, Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, aka Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, join this elite squad fighting desperately to save out skins.

Ultron makes his move May 2015.

Captain America: Civil War
The buzz around this film is unbearable as fans and pundits alike speculate and ponder the direction this movie will take and the impact it will have on the Marvel Cinematic Universe storyline as a whole.

Avengers Captain America, portrayed by Chris Evans, and Iron Man, played by Robert Downey Jr., are pitted against one another in an epic showdown over events presently unknown. In an exclusive first-look at a scene from Avengers: Age of Ultron, critics described the tension between the two as “apparent” and that “the Avengers are definitely headed into a Civil War.”

The war between allies-turned-enemies begins in May 2016.

Black Panther
After being introduced to the big screen in Civil War, Black Panther will become the first African-American superhero to star in his own film, preceding DC Comics’ Cyborg (slated for release in 2020).

The movie will star Chadwick Boseman as the tribal king turned superhero who, in 1966, became Marvel’s first black comic superhero. Black Panther, also known as T’Challa, is depicted as the ruler of an advanced and isolationist African nation, and his film is expected to revolve around that.

One of the most respected characters and heroes in Marvel’s comic universe, Black Panther is often viewed as Marvel’s own version of DC’s Batman. There are actually rumors that Black Panther’s role in both Civil War and his own movie will mirror the new version of Batman and help transition the Marvel Cinematic Universe from the stuff of comic books to a deeper, darker, emotionally rawer and realistic storyline. While many of Marvel’s movies have dabbled in the supernatural and cosmic, Black Panther, like Captain America, has a storyline rooted in a fictional Earth rather than a new world yet to be explored and that viewers may not understand.

Black Panther is slated to hit theatres in November 2017.

Captain Marvel
Continuing Marvel’s “new” streak will be the summer 2018 release of Captain Marvel. Following DC’s lead with Wonder Woman, Marvel is currently making plans to create its first comic-based film with a female lead.

A movie surrounding Captain Marvel, aka Carol Danvers, has been in the works for quite some time and the studio is at long last going ahead with the idea.

The film will focus on the superheroine’s Earthly origins as well as her cosmic adventures, and continues Marvel’s streak of focusing on cosmic and supernatural plotlines. But one thing is sure: her adventures are sure to bring fans to theatres nationwide. No word yet on who will play the cosmic heroine, and the part is still up for grabs.

Captain Marvel’s first film is expected to come out during the summer of 2018.

Almost one year after the release of Black Panther, Marvel has plans to introduce another new set of faces to the big screen: the Inhumans.

Following a race of superhumans present in various comic book series, Inhumans will introduce an entire new cast of dozens of characters never before seen on the big screen with special powers and part of a unique social structure that Marvel hopes will have franchise potential going forward.

This movie will be Marvel’s twentieth in their new cinematic universe, which began with the original Iron Man in 2008, and Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios, sees the introduction of the Inhumans to moviegoers as a chance to “continue to refine what that universe is about.”

Inhumans is currently on track to release in theaters in November of 2018.

Avengers: Infinity War Parts One and Two
Finally satisfying what many fans have been calling for for years, Marvel has announced that, in a two-part saga, the beloved Infinity Gauntlet storyline will be coming to the big screen as the evil Thanos battles our favorite Marvel heroes for the fate of the world.

Although scheduled to come out over a decade after the first chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this Infinity Gauntlet saga has been on Marvel’s mind since 2008, apparently since SHIELD Agent Nick Fury told Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, that he was “part of a bigger universe.”

A culmination of everything preceding it, the Infinity War movies will assure that the latest planned phase of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe will make for one wild cinematic ride.

Infinity War: Part 1 is scheduled for release in theatres in May 2018, and Part 2 is anticipated to be released almost exactly one year later.