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What If Then Was Now?

When Civil War comes out in 2016, it will have been ten years since it was released as comics. What if this was always how Marvel made movies? Because it is.

For the last year or so, the pieces have been slowly coming together across the Marvel Cinematic Universe so that filmmakers can ask- what happens when something bigger than superpowers comes along and politics is how humanity tries to fix things? Who benefits? Spoiler Alert: the book came out a decade ago. If you want to find out if things will go badly for our heroes, just ask Norman Osbourn (but not the one from the movie I’m about to mention) for the last ten years. Now I know this is going to sound funny given how many superhero movies are origin stories, but using a plot from so long ago, I just can’t wrap my mind around it. So my mind rejected it, and instead turned to the world of speculation and fantasy. What if all the other Marvel movies followed this model- borrowing from 10 year old comics? Well, True Believers, some of it would look like this.


Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man came out in 2002. What was Spider-Man up to 1992? Carnage. Carnage is one of the more polarizing characters of the Marvel Universe, a Venom Most Extreme. People either love him or think he is incredibly stupid, Cletus leaves very little room in the middle. His backstory is pretty painful, his character evolution includes being Silver Surfer kind of (The Carnage Cosmic) and getting cancer. I’m not sure where you take Carnage as a character in a couple hours aside from the guy who is the killiest, though I suppose that is the vogue these days (I’m looking at you, Joker). But not really in 2002.

Well, the next year, you’ve got Daredevil. Daredevil in 1993 was Frank Miller’s Man Without Fear. So a fresh take on an origin story, you do have that similarity between comic and movie going. If ‘03 Daredevil was based on Miller’s from ’93, then it was also a decade ahead of its time, as Daredevil’s extra-mystified origins (and his “costume”) would be used again in the Netflix television series.


Ok, Civil War, Daredevil, so maybe it’s a Marvel Studios thing. 2008’s Iron Man was the first proper MCU movie. What was going on with Iron Man in 1998 in comics? Kurt Busiek.

“I’m a little surprised at just how much of what I did with Iron Man turned up in the movies,” Busiek added. “I don’t think Jon Favreau was looking to my run as source material, really — just that we were drawing on the same inspirations for a lot of what we did. So I brought back Happy and Pepper after years of disuse, and so did he. I used Whiplash and War Machine, so did he. That’s just us having similar tastes in cool Iron Man material. Some of the stuff, I introduced — the smart house, Stark Tower in Avengers, the flying armor-pod — and it was nice to see stuff like that turn up onscreen.

“But mainly, I think the guys doing the movies and I were simply appreciating the great strengths of the character and cast, and we drew from a lot of the same stuff. It was fun to see such a familiar-feeling Iron Man, whatever the reason.”


Oh. Well, that works I guess. Civil War being based on a comic from a decade ago isn’t that weird after all. In fact, this ten years thing really may have something going for it...


Fine. Guardians of the Galaxy was a game changer for Marvel and that was based on a team that was a six year old reboot of a series from 1969. I now believe time is meaningless. You win again, Marvel.

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