Friday, May 1, 2015

A Change from the Comics I'd Be Okay with in the New Avengers Movie

I'm going to be away for the first two weekends of the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron.  I'm fine with this.  It's not like I think the movie looks like it holds that many surprises for us comic nerds with a passing knowledge of Marvel Comics lore.

I'm pretty much a fan of fidelity to the comics, and I think Marvel can attribute a lot of their success to sticking with the core conflicts and traits of their characters and universe.  But...

By just using his voice for the villainous Ultron, aren't we wasting James Spader?

Now, bear with me - but I think most of us have seen Pretty in Pink and realized the only character who isn't kind of a loser in the movie is Steff played by the incomparable James Spader.  I mean, sure he went about courting Molly Ringwald poorly and maybe got mad when she rejected him.  The guy has feelings, too, you know.  And when you watch it again - she's kind of an idiot in this movie, isn't she?  She unwittingly strings along Ducky from the age of 5 like she can't read human interaction any better than an ATM, and then goes for this Blane guy who clearly isn't comfortable with what passes for class differences in a John Hughes movie.*  But he is rich, so....  he's better than Ducky fersure.

Steff, meanwhile, moves on, throwing parties, hooking up with ladies who appreciate him, belittling anyone and everything in his path, and beating up Ducky when the need arises.

To my point, Steff is awesome.

The secret hero of "Pretty in Pink"

I mean, seriously.  If I ever go super villain, I'm not modeling myself on Ultron or Thanos or something like that.  What use do I have for ruling over people or destroying whole planets? It all sounds like a lot of work.

Nope, I'd be Steff.  Perfectly coiffed, immaculately dressed, possibly banging Gina Gershon and not particularly caring about it, and just going around making people feel bad about themselves.  I mean, THAT'S some serious super villain stuff.  It's not illegal to make innocent bystanders feel terrible and spoil their whole year with a withering comment from behind your overpriced sunglasses.  It ruins their lives as much or more as a good destroying of their property, if you, you know, really just cut to quick with the right wry observation.

The important thing is that you make it clear:  I am genuinely better than you.

could not even be bothered to stand up in his suit.  Or to put on socks.  Deal with it.

Does anyone really care about some shiny, creaky AI that's clearly going to get taken out by the combined might of the Avengers?  Or do you want to see Steff make Thor cry?  Take down Iron Man a peg or two?  Smoke on the bridge of the Helicarrier?  Point out how cool it is that Fury wears a trenchcoat at all times like a moody teenager?

Steff has the power or a thousand Lokis, because he's not trying to take over your kingdom or set up an alien armada to attack mid-town.  He just knows he's cooler than you, doesn't have to even try to prove it, unlike Tony Stark who is, let's face it, clearly over compensating.  Steff's condescension is honest, effortless and heartfelt.  He's trying to help you.

Steff is really impressed that last night's episode of Arrow gave you "all the feels".
Now just imagine, instead of 1000 Ultrons attacking, we had a single Steff.  And while every word out of his mouth made you want to punch him, it was worse because he was right, and he was just trying to be honest with a friend.

There's no abstraction or cold comfort of knowing you're going up against an evil you can punch, like Ultron, or outwit and send away like Loki.  You're not fighting some non-specific "other".  The guy actually knows your name, and you know that if he invited you, you'd go to his party, because it would rock.

God, you're so obvious.  That's what's so hard about watching you.

*Bear in mind, the original ending of the movie featured Molly Ringwald realizing that Ducky was the right guy for her and that Blane was a wishy-washy asshole, but the test audiences could not stand the thought that Jon Cryer was actually a better choice than Andrew McCarthy, missed the whole point of the movie, and probably all ended up marrying spineless asshats who never would appreciate them the way a Ducky would have.

I also assume Steff drove off in a cigarette boat with Gina Gershon where they were both incredibly cool together.

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