Well it finally happened, just as was foretold in the ancient scrolls: Disney paid $52 billion for a metric fuckton of 20th Century Fox properties, and now the Marvel Universe is mostly compete. All of the most the beloved comic book characters can play in the same cinematic sandbox! The possibilities for match-ups and crossovers are endless! And by that, I mean there are at least five.
Captain America is a red, white, and blue ass-kicker, Wolverine is both an X-Men babysitter and a walking cutlery set, and Deadpool is a cult comic book icon turned blockbuster wisecracker. Together, they were the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in a 2014 comic which totally needs to be movie-fied.
I assume that Cap is Good, Logan is Bad, and Deadpool is Ugly (which is a little mean, but makes for a smoother title than The Good, The Bad, And It's What's On The Inside That Counts). It's three men who were experimented on, three men who have cheated death, three men who have dealt with all of that in very, very different ways. Captain America become Steroid Scout Leader, Deadpool went utterly insane, and Wolverine calls everyone "Bub."
The backstory sees Deadpool trying to figure out who's been secretly stealing his organs and why, but it's also a deep dive into who Deadpool is and also how he fits into the world. Plus there's a ton of abominable half-assed mutant knock-offs who are super gross and weird, like Deadpool! But not! Because they mostly get eviscerated. Eat shit, lesser mutants. If you wanted to live, you should'a been in the title of the book.
The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly also helps to expose the rough side of the Captain (up to now, cinematic Steve Rogers has shown his dark side by throwing his shield extra hard), and with Human Bicep Muscle Chris Evans playing him, this movie could very well win the coveted Oscar for Best Spine-Breaking.
Hugh Jackman has already said that he would snikt his way back into our hearts one last time if he could be an Avenger, despite Logan having clearly been crafted as a poignant send-off for the character. Sure, Jackman has been attempting to walk back his earlier statements, but you should take every mutant-related "I think I'm done" statement with a Juggernaut-sized boulder of salt these days.
Fans know that Wolverine has actually has been an Avenger in the comics, and Hulk was literally the first character Wolverine ever met. The pair have had a number of epic dust-ups, like the time in Old Man Logan when Hulk ate Logan, and Logan wasn't having any of it, so he just clawed his fucking way out of the Hulk.
Now imagine Wolverine dealing with Iron Man's unstoppable smugness. The X-Men films have shown that Hugh Jackman is a master at portraying a man who is silently thinking about decapitating any nearby smartass. Tom Holland's tiny tyke Spider-Man is a great fit as well, since the pair have run into each other in the comics about as often as sitcom characters who don't realize they're destined for love by the season finale. He's like the hilarious big brother who stabs everyone!
Scarlett Johansson and and MCU mastermind Kevin Feige have both said that a Black Widow movie is in the works for a while now. But here we are, Black-Widow-movie-less. Well that needs to change. And a good option for that change would be with a story that contains Wolverine. Two birds, one adamantium stone. "Wait, is this just a list of other movie series you can cram Wolverine into?" No, of course not. Don't be ridiculous.
Anyway, in the comics, a young Black Widow was brainwashed by the Hand (the villains in some of Netflix's Marvel TV shows), and it was Wolverine who rescued her, because all he does is roam the countryside being heroically grumpy. Wolverine, having some ninja dabbling in his background, trained Black Widow, and had given up his wily Wolveriney ways for her. The man has a soft spot for helping out young ladies in need, but he also has a soft spot for ramming his fist into bad guys faces, which he and Black Widow go on to do to HYDRA with impunity. The comic is called Black Widow: Deadly Origin, but if they want something that goes better on a movie poster, why not Black Widow And Wolverine Become Buddies And Punch The Everloving Shit Out Of Nazis, But Please, Hold Your Applause?
Wolverine is the loner sort, and Black Widow is known to keep a secret, so the concept of mutants in the MCU could retroactively be explained as something that was kept under wraps. Hell, mutants have already been introduced in the MCU (Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch), but maybe the X-Gene is so unfamiliar that no one ever calls them "mutants." So it would be very easy for Marvel to toss in a MacGuffin to explain their sudden appearance. Maybe Thanos and the Infinity Stones have triggered the latent gene and caused sudden widespread mutations around the world, so there are a handful of old mutants (like Wolverine) and a buttload of new ones. Or maybe they all ate some bad Chipotle and got concussive-blast eyes and blue fur, whatever works. And it would all stem from the Black Widow origin that the MCU desperately needs.
The only hurdle here is the tragic march of time. Hugh Jackman's Wolverine is no spring chicken, and Scarlett Johansson is going to have issues plausibly playing her 18-year-old self. Are we going to be forced to use Tom Hardy as Logan and someone like Chloe Grace-Moretz as throwback Widow? It's either that or spend a ton on CG to de-age everybody. Whatever works.
The other big property that Disney gets from Fox -- aside from Die Hard, which will cross over with Ghost Rider one day if I have anything to say about it -- is Fantastic Four. Four very unfantastic movies into that franchise and it's all but dead, but the Four were a pretty important keystone to the comics universe, and predate titles like X-Men, Spider-Man, and the oft-underappreciated Man-Man, who has the strength of two men. They deserve a better, less explosively sucky intro, and you may as well make it a slobberknocker with Ruffalo's Hulk, since in the comics, the Fanastic Four's Thing and the Hulk can't seem to stop pile-driving each other whenever they get in the same room.
Spider-Man: Homecoming proved you don't need to reboot your characters with every single first solo movie. No one needed to see Uncle Ben die again, just like no one needs to see the Four become fantastic again. Just give them to us, and better yet, give them to us in relation to someone else, like the Hulk and his human half Bruce Banner, making for both an ally and a foe for the Thing in the same body. It works out for the Hulk too, as the Hulk can't have a solo movie thanks to some weird problem with Universal's rights. And if you've seen Thor: Raganarok, or any other movie with the Hulk in it, you know that Hulk is best suited to the classic role of "Side character who could beat the cape off of the main character if he wanted to."
Funnily enough, that's the role that the Thing tends to play in the Fantastic Four as well. So let the other 75 percent of the Fantastic Four ignore the origin story bullshittery and butt heads with the rest of the Avengers. Ben Grimm / the Thing is both connecting and wrestling with the Hulk, who, as a fellow scientist/borderline unlovable monster, could potentially help cure him, and also potentially crush his skull.
It would be oddly touching, as both characters are perceived as monsters, both are constantly lamenting their loss of humanity, and both can throw a truck like Uncle Rico rocketing that football right over a mountain. Imagine it like a coming of age story, only instead of adjusting to growing pubes, the heroes adjust to being rage-beasts. And then imagine the Thing being played by someone like Ron Perlman, whose voice already sounds like it's coming out of a gravel megaphone. Imagine that. No, everyone. Thank you.
I know that the title Deadppol Kills The Marvel Universe sounds confusing. What could it mean? Is it, like, a riddle? No, wee children. This storyline is about the X-Men trying to cure Deadpool's insanity and instead exposing him to a villain who wipes out the only normal voice in his head, causing him to fall prey to a worse one that tells him to kill everyone. So he does. He slits Human Torch's throat, roasts Howard the Duck, shoots Spider-Man in the head, kills Hulk as a sleeping Bruce Banner by lopping his head clean off, kills the Avengers by using Ant-Man's tech to put shrunken grenades in their coffee, and manages to take out Wolverine with some fancy metal blade that destroys his healing factor. When Deadpool kills the Marvel Universe, he literally kills the Marvel Universe.
At some point, the only question about this movie becomes "What's the point?" Why make it if everyone dies and it doesn't matter? Maybe because sometimes a movie is just fun, and sometimes you just need to let a psychotic antihero with a sock on his head and horrible tumors all over his body utterly destroy your childhood heroes for 90 minutes.
It's not like it ruins the canon forever -- Days Of Future Past gave us alternate realities and timelines, and fans didn't seem to mind. Disney is also not opposed to letting Pool get dirty, apparently. And for once, it would be a film that doesn't take itself too seriously. Marvel's movies are good at being light, but there's still this overarching seriousness, this deadly importance of "the mission" which links them all. Well, this brutal, clearly R-rated movie can ignore all of that and just uppercut the entire MCU -- the same thing Disney is now doing to DC's hopes of ever having a competing universe again.
The Marvel Universe is only going to keep expanding -- catch up as much as you can with a Marvel Expanding Universe chart for your wall.
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