Welcome back to our trip via the “Wayback Machine”, all the way back to the year 2005, a world before iPhones (and before you had any idea what a Kardashian was), as we revisit Wizard Magazine’s “55 Comic Book Movie Things We Can’t Wait To See” article, and see whether or not we got our nerd wishes granted after all these years. For those of you who missed yesterday’s first part, check it out here and then come back, as we hit numbers 12-22 on the list.
#12. A Hulk Movie (with the Hulk Actually In It)
What Wizard Said: “We’re big on character development in comic book movies, but 2003’s Hulk laid it on way too thick, taking an hour for Eric Bana to Hulk out and start whaling on tanks.”
Did We Get It? I’m gonna say yes we did.
Was it Satisfying? While I’d say that 2008’s The Incredible Hulk starring Ed Norton wasn’t the greatest comic book movie ever made, it was a much better Hulk movie than Ang Lee’s 2003 version, at least from an action movie standpoint (although the best action sequence in the movie, Banner’s chase through the favelas of Brazil, was Hulk-less.) I’d say it delivers on Hulk vs. The Military action as well in a much better way than the original film.
#13. The Danger Room
What Wizard Said: “The X-Men’s state-of-the-art training facility was slated to make an appearance in X2, as designed by Marvel penciller Adam Kubert, but was scrapped due to budget restrictions.”
Did We Get it? Yes, in X-Men: The Last Stand
Was It Satisfying? Like most things in X3, I’d say no. The danger room scene barely lasts three minutes, and it’s just a generic action sequence that is supposed to be a version of the Holodeck from Star Trek. In the comics, the hologram danger room came from alien Sh’iar technology. Here, the X-Men have wildly futuristic tech with no explanation. But I totally wouldn’t care if it was a cool sequence, and this was fairly lame and very brief.
#14. The Original Superman Theme Plays Once Again
What Wizard Said: “Imagine sitting in the theater on the opening day of Superman Returns. You’ve sustained the long wait, the massive line, the many previews. Your chest tightens with anticipation… then, as a black screen washes over a dead silent crowd, the opening trumpet notes to John Williams’ original Superman theme fill the auditorium in surround sound.”
Did We Get It? Yes, we most certainly did.
Was it Satisfying? Look, Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns is maybe the most polarizing comic book movie ever made, to this day. I get some of the reasons why, while others continue to baffle me. But I know that one that day back in 2006, hearing the John Williams Superman score ring loudly through the theater nearly brought a tear to this GenerationX-er geek.And I know I wasn’t the only one. So I’d say it was worth it.
#15.To Finally See The Man Thing Movie
What Wizard Said: “Who doesn’t want to see a train wreck?
Did We Get It? Ummm…. I think so? It did come out, right?
Was It Worth It? No idea, I’ve never seen it nor has anyone I know ever seen it. Were fans really waiting to see this back in 2005? I certainly don’t remember anyone being excited to see this ever. Kinda shocked it made it on this list at all.
#16. A Superman and Batman Crossover Movie
What Wizard Said: “It’s probably four movies off, but every fan knows that they want Christopher Nolan’s Batman franchise and Bryan Singer’s Superman franchise to crossover. A big budget epic pitting the two DC Icons against each other or their greatest foes could be the biggest comic book movie of all time.”
Did We Get It? Not yet, but as you very likely know if you’re reading this, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is coming in 2016. But it most certainly won’t be a crossover between Nolan’s Batman and Singer’s Superman. Which is probably for the best. Wizard was pretty close though in guessing how many movies it would be before we saw a crossover-they thought it was four movies off, but it was actually five (Nolan’s Bat trilogy, Superman Returns and Man of Steel.)
Was It Satisfying? Get back to me in two years, and we’ll talk.
#17. Another Evil Osborn
What Wizard Said: “Harry Osborn’s growing evil in Spider-Man 3 will lie entirely in Jame’s Franco’s performance… and it’s already begun. Now it’s up to Franco to complete the transformation.”
Did We Get It. Yeah, in Spider-Man 3, Harry Osborn becomes a Green Goblin of sorts.
Was It Satisfying? Like almost everything in Spider-Man 3, no it wasn’t. When Harry first appears as the Gobin, he has a pretty cool fight with Spidey, but then he gets a knock on the head and gets amnesia and is annoying for most of the movie, before suddenly turning bad again when the plot needs him to. His Goblin is still less lame than Dane Dehann’s in Amazing Spider-Man 2 though.
#18. Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor
What Wizard Said: “If there’s anyone to fill Gene Hackman’s shoes as Lex Luthor, it’s the man who terrified everyone in Seven, charmed you out of your seat in LA Confidential, and made you weep in American Beauty. Kevin will play Lex as both diabolical and charming. Expect him to become the new standard for comic book bad guys as reviews star pouring in.”
Did We Get It? Well, we got Spacey as Luthor. That much is a fact.
Was it Satisfying? If you wanted to see a slightly more evil version of Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor from 1978, then yes. If you wanted a more modern take from the comics, then you probably left very unsatisfied. Even though Superman Returns actually got mostly decent reviews when it was released, no one really think that Spacey’s Lex set the new standard for comic book villains. That would come two years later with a certain Heath Ledger as the Joker.
#19. The Gwen Stacy/Mary Jane Watson Love Triangle
What Wizard Said: “After finally getting Mary Jane at the end of Spider-Man 2,there’s no better way to put Peter’s love life back through the ringer, by bringing in the other girl next door-Gwen Stacy.”
Did We Get It? Yeah, in a sense, in Spider-Man 3.
Was It Satisfying? Man, I hate to keep picking on Spider-Man 3, but it half-assed so many classic Spider-Man stories. There’s the Venom saga, the Harry becomes the Green Goblin saga, and then the Peter/MJ/Gwen triangle, which as presented in Spider-Man 3 is trite as hell and has no weight to it, despite Bryce Dallas Howard doing her best as Gwen Stacy. At least she wore Gwen’s signature headband.
#20. The First Time the Bat-Signal Is Lit
What Wizard Said: “what better way to culminate a return to the light (after the “dark times” of Joel Schumacher) than the glow of the Bat-signal against the cloudy Gotham sky?”
Did We Get It? Yes, we see the first time the Bat signal is lit in Batman Begins.
Was it Satisfying? Like most things in Christopher Nolan’s excellent (dare I say classic?) Batman reboot, the lighting of the Bat-signal the first time is a pretty powerful moment, especially since he uses mob boss Carmine Falcone to create a makeshift “bat”. When we saw that the first time in theaters, we all gasped and whispered “that’s bad ass.”
What Wizard Said: The Fantastic Four movie is still a ways away, but we’re nervous that they won’t include one of the most hated robot sidekicks in comics – H.E.R.B.I.E! As the Jar-Jar of comics, we are kind of hoping the little spud cameos in the background of the Baxter Building in a pile of abandoned gadgets.”
Did We Get It? Not in the theatrical cut of Fantastic Four, but in the extended edition (which is available on DVD) we actually DO see H.E.R.B.I.E…. and just like Wizard predicted, he was in a pile of abandoned junk. They must have had Miss Cleo working on the writing staff then.
Was It Satisfying? Probably to someone, somewhere.
#22. Magneto Vs. Nazis
What Wizard Said: “We get a brief taste of his rage in the opening parts of the first X-Men movie, but Magneto doing his worst to Nazi scum would be, well, pretty damn cool.”
Did We Get It? At the time that Wizard made this article, the rumor was that Magneto was going to get his own “X-Men Origins” film like Wolverine did. Instead, Magneto’s backstory was incorporated into the plot of X-Men: First Class, including the Nazi hunting.
Was it Satisfying? A resounding yes; Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class is arguably the best X-Men film, and the best parts of that movie are in fact the Magneto killing Nazis scenes. A whole movie of this might have been too much, but we got it in just the right amounts in First Class with Michael Fassbender in his best revenge mode.
Come back tomorrow, for items 23- 33 in 55 Things We Can’t Wait To See In Comic Book Movies- Revisited, and sound off on your thought’s about this installment in the comments below.