February 07, 2010

Capt. America -- a USO performer??

Hmmm ... take a look:

"The costume is a flag, but the way we're getting around that is we have Steve Rogers forced into the USO circuit. After he's made into this super-soldier, they decide they can't send him into combat and risk him getting killed. He's the only one and they can't make more. So they say, 'You're going to be in this USO show' and they give him a flag suit. He can't wait to get out of it."

"So he's up on stage doing songs and dances with chorus girls and he can't wait to get out and really fight. When he does go AWOL, he covers up the suit but then, after a few things happen, he realizes that this uniform allows him to lead. By then, he's become a star in the public mind and a symbol. The guys get behind him because he embodies something special."

I think it'll work. Remember, comics fans -- the story has to appeal to the general public, especially those not familiar with Cap other than his name. He couldn't just put on a flag suit after his physical transformation and say "I'm a hero and I'm going to represent America."

I also like how the article plans on making use of the "traditional" Cap suit designed by Jack Kirby, and the more recent uniform:

In the first USO sequences, the frustrated patriot will be wearing a version that is closer to the classic Jack Kirby-designed costume, but then later as the super-soldier hits the war zone he will be wearing a sturdier, more muted version that he makes himself that is more like battle togs. The stripes across his mid-section, for instance, will be straps, not colored fabric.

Sounds promising! But what will be really interesting is how Marvel/Hollywood deal with a character that is supposed to embody the promise of the United States' values. Will Cap be that "traditional American values" type of hero (truth, justice, freedom, hope, etc.), or the modern Left's version utilized by guys like Ed Brubaker and Mark Millar?

In related news, the heirs of comics creator genius Jack Kirby are busy trying to get a portion of the entertainment biz's fortunes -- because they've been made [partially] on the back of their dad's creative wizardry:

Four children of Kirby, who co-created a number of Marvel's best-known superheroes in the 1960s including the X-Men, Fantastic Four, Thor and the Hulk, have served 45 "notices of termination" to Marvel, Disney, Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures. The notices seek to regain copyright control of certain characters.

The children of Kirby, who died in 1994, are being represented by Los Angeles law firm Toberoff & Associates, which has represented the heirs of Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel in a similar claim against Warner Bros.

Kirby served as artist and co-plotter with writer Stan Lee on most of the characters in question. Whereas Lee has been a public face of the company for decades, Kirby is less known.

While I'm usually fairly skeptical of those trying to get an "easy buck" via lawyers, the Kirby case is an exception. I've read enough about "The King" to know that his contribution to Marvel's universe -- and subsequent massive popularity -- is vastly understated. In the 60s, Kirby would virtually map out story plots himself -- via copious notes in the margins of his penciled pages -- leaving [Stan] Lee to just type up some dialogue. But it was Lee who always got top billing in the comics' credits, and Lee was also the "big" public face of the company.

Just keep in mind when you read those back-issues (or the great Marvel Essentials, which collect them) that it was Kirby who was primarily responsible for the outstanding stories you savor.

Posted by Hube at February 7, 2010 10:14 AM | TrackBack

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