Well, I am already fairly behind in my weekly blog challenge. This should have been my fourth blog, but sadly it is only my second. I had started on one, two weeks ago. But as you may recall that week the world was shocked about what had happened in Paris. Since this also had a big impact on me, I wanted to write about this, but the blog started to turn in a more political direction and that I’d prefer to avoid on this blog.
But now that I am finally back blogging, I do like to dive into thsi theme of war, for one, because last week gave me three more war related topics, that I will try to connect in one blog.
One of the first comic books I bought, which I also mentioned in my previous post, is the Marvel Civil War event – Iron Man. I had two reasons for getting this: first of all the fact that the third Captain America movie is dubbed Civil War and the Nerd Sync Productions podcast, which explained to me what the Civil War was all about. The fact that the Iron Man issue also featured Captain America, made my choice for it very easy. I recently posted a review of this comic on my youtube page (click here to watch it).
This concept, and keep in mind I am new to comics, feels very strange to me. People, superheroes, that have been working and fighting together, to keep our world safe, suddenly are on opposite sides and are fighting eachother. The reason: the wish of the government, to have every person with extraordinary powers register, in other words, put your life in teh hands of the government, to be held accountable and to get training. To some extent this sounds reasonable, especially the training part. Because let’s be honest, most superheroes aren’t exactly professionals.
But they do put their life on the line for the people. They do go out there and fight the bad guys, the criminals and save the innocent, wherever and whenever they can. And despite they are not professionals, they often prepare themselves well. To include a few movie examples: What about Captain America himself? He was pretty much conceived and trained by the US Army, by Howard Stark. But even Peter Parker, and I’m going with the Andrew Garfield one, even though he got his powers by accident, he practised, worked on his webshooters to make them better, with his adversary in mind. Granted, he couldn’t save Gwen. But would he have safed her if he was professionally trained?
And that is just one aspect of this Registration Act. I am not even talking about the whole identity issue. I do however, take a side in this Civil War and that is with Captain America. I am against government involvement. After all, how many examples of corrupted governments can we find? While most superheroes are selfless heroes.
Last week Marvel hosted a live stream press conference, which to be honest, looked rather amateuristic (especially that it cut off while they clearly weren’t done!) and they had been building up to this event. In this press conference they announced a huge event in the comic book universe, where, please correct me if I understood this wrong, pretty much every comic book universe will merge together to one huge comic universe. The event that will lead to this is called Secret Wars.
Great…more war in the comic book universe and maybe also in the cinematic universe. Now, what the exact impact of this will be, I do not know. I had been under the impression that the Marvel comic book universe was not the easiest to get into, as starting comic book reader. It was mentioned that the Secret Wars will have casualties. Some say this might also have to do with the fact that the rights to certain characters in the cinematic universe, are not with Marvle, but with other companies: Sony has the movie rights to Spiderman and 20th Century Fox has the rights to the X-Men. Killing off a character in the comics, might have effects for the movie characters…at least, that is what I understood from it.
So the question is: will secret wars make this easier for starting (and experienced) comic book readers or more complex? I think we will have to wait and see.
Now I could add one other war to this blog, as Marvel also announced The Avengers Infinity Wars part 1 and 2, but I won’t do that…for the record, they are mentiond.
Battle of the Five Armies
Away from comic books, but still staying with movies: Last night I unexpectedly went to see the last part of The Hobbit trilogy, Battle of the Five Armies, in the cinema. Not just any cinema, but the most advanced cinema in Europe, which happens to be located in my hometown. Luck me, yay! Here I got to experience the movie in crystal clear 3D (not Imax) and with very impressive Atmos sound. And I have to say, it was indeed very impressive!
Now, the title of the movie was quite clear on what to expect: more war. Peter Jackson is of course *the* man to bring this in the most amazing visual style. He had shown with the earlier Lord of the Rings movies that he can bring a huge battle on screen. I’m wondering if he wanted to end with a really massive battle, but I’d have to re-visit the LotR movies for comparisson.
I know there is a lot of discussion about the fact that despite the fact that The Hobbit book is not nearly as long as the LotR book(s), Jackson still made three just as long movies out of them. Now having seen all these movies I have to give my honest opinion and say that I couldn’t care less if the original The Hobbit book wasn’t as long. I haven’t read it, so I cannot talk about things that Jackson might have added or dragged on, but in my experience he made another great trilogy of movies that I very much enjoyed.
When I was sitting in the cinema, taking in the final chapter of Middle Earth, I felt a bit sad. The reason i don’t mind Peter Jackson creating three long movies out of a small book, is the fact that I feel very much at home in Middle Earth. When I see places like Lake Town, Erebor, The Misty Mountains and the Shire, they feel like I have been there before. And when I see Lord Elrond making a brief appearance, I go like “hey, cool, he’s there too!” And when I see Saruman telling Lord Elrond and Galadriel to leave Sauron to him, I know how that will play out.
So yes, maybe Jackson dragged it out too long, but I don’t mind. And that last battle…that was impresisve. But most of the time I felt sad, as they good guys were looking at this massive Orc force, not one but two armies of Orcs, against one army of Elves and one of Dwarfs, with a group of humans fighting with them. Also the final battle between Azog and Thorin! I was so happy to see thorin come to his senses and take on Azog.
War…what is it good for?
Wow, I was really going up in this Middle Earth battle. Way more than the Civil War of Secret Wars. But of course those are stories, made up stories, for entertainment. And yes, with current technology, these wars and battles can be brought very convincing. But in the end they are not real. In the end, the film ends and you go home, in peace.
Talking about a realistic war scene in a movie, what about Saving Private Ryan? Ok, I just had to mention it.
Now this brings me, yes, I have to mention it, to events from roughly two weeks ago. And this time it is not on the big screen, it is not directed by Peter Jackson or told by Marvel. This time it is the grim reality. Seemingly out of the blue two men gun down twelve people from tghe French magazine Charlie Hebdo, a magazine that is known for publishing very satyrical cartoons. As reason the gunners said they avenged someone who was very important to them and they were offended by these cartoons.
This shocked the entire world. I can tell you, I was glued to my screen, when the police found the gunners and in the end killed them. Later there was a march, where nearly 4 milion people walked through Paris. Shortly after there was an incident in Belgium where also two men were killed, that were planning to carry outa terrorist attack. And various headlines read our world was at war. I take it, at war with radical terrorists.
Sadly this is not a war we can walk away from, by leaving the cinema, shutting down the TV or closing the comic book. This is a war that can touch pretty much all of us. All it takes is being at the wrong time, at the wrong place, which these days can happen faster than you could ever imagine.
And now, more than two weeks after these events, where are we now? The news on Charlie Hebdo is fading. It is old news again. The march, what was it for exactly? That is still not clear to me. As I said in the beginning, I am not looking for a political or even religious debate, but at the same time I am not for political correctness, as thid threat is too real and too dangerous to ignore. I hope it will not come to an actual war, because in a real war, nobody wins. In a real war everybody looses. well, save maybe the weapons manufacturers and dealers.
I hope we can stick to a war in our comic book universe or Middle Earth and be safe.
Ok, this blog turned out a bit longer than I thought it would. But then again, I had to catch up a bit…hahahaha…next time I will not take up so much reading time. And yes, I still am aiming for a blog next sunday. In the mean time, enjoy some of my videos that I will bring before then and I hope you’ll be back here next week.
Stay safe and enjoy a good comic or movie!