Before I start, I want to clarify that I am not a “true” comic book fan. I love the various depictions of the characters on screens big and small, but there are very few comic books I’ve actually read. So I am not a “fanboy” (I think that’s the right term) who salivated at every obscure lesser known character who’s popped up randomly in the various Marvel Cinematic Universe Films.
So maybe that is why I move forward with trepidation as Marvel continues Friday with its run of lesser known comic book hero films. When you look at the slate of Marvel movies coming out that don’t include Captain America or Thor, I sometimes wonder if the executives of Marvel aren’t throwing darts at pictures of the thousands (at least) of characters in their universe to determine where they will hit their next jackpot. And the lottery winners being rolled out over the next three years (not including the various characters getting Netflix shows) include Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel, Black Panther, and Ant-Man.
I remember awhile back looking up the original lineup of the Avengers and seeing all the principal characters we’ve seen on the big screen. There was IRON MAN, THE HULK, THOR, and CAPTAIN AMERICA: epic superhero names and personalities. But there were also these two random characters, little tiny blips when compared to those previously mentioned: the wasp and ant-man. And I joked about how funny it was that the two miniatures were mixed in with the same group as the epic household names mentioned previously. No way either one of them gets their own picture.
But yet here we are at that point with one of those lesser known original Avengers getting their own picture as Marvel turns on that machine at their office that prints the money while everyone flocks to see another superhero movie. I really think this skit from this past season of Saturday Night Live sums it up perfectly (sorry for the poor quality. Hulu Subscribers can probably find a better version of it).
Now, this does not mean that Ant-Man will be a bad movie. If Marvel maintains the standard they’ve held up over these last 7 years, then it will surely be entertaining. Paul Rudd’s casting as the hero is a definite mark in the plus column for this picture. And “Guardians of the Galaxy” proved last summer that Marvel can make magic even with its most obscure characters.
But the burning question for me is at what point will we tire of these Marvel movies? Is going to see Ant-Man, Civil War, Guardians 2, (another) Spider Man, Thor 3, Infinity War 1, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and Infinity War 2 (not to mention Inhumans coming out after Infinity War 2 or the other Marvel pictures not related to the Avengers) going to finally oversaturate us with the top brand name of comics so those concluding movies just don’t matter to us like they should? Will all these obscure Marvel character pictures tire us before the main event of the Infinity War arrives?
I sure hope not. But each Marvel picture is another dance with the unfortunate possibility of overexposure.