Several Recommendations: Superhero Stuff

Pro: That header image literally says “Superheroes.”

Con: None of those superheroes are in any of the things I’m recommending.

Kind of a slow day on my end, so allow me to take the opportunity to remind you of several of my previous recommendations, and since I’ve got enough (if only just) to do an all-superhero spate of recommendations, here it is.

Spider-Man 2018

Even without taking the gameplay into consideration, this is probably one of my favourite versions of both Spider-Man specifically and the wider Spider-Man mythos.

In a lot of ways, this Spider-Man is a lover letter to the Spider… “Men”? …”Mans”? … adaptations of Spider-Man(!) that came before without being overly beholden to any one of them. All of the characters are still clearly, recognisably themselves while also allowing the writers of the game to put a unique, novel spin on them.

Spidey‘s a little more mature and a little more savvy than the common Spider-Man archetype is. Aunt May‘s is somewhere between the Saintly Old Lady stereotype of the comics and the Sam Raimi trilogy and the younger, hotter, cooler, more active, Marisa Tomei..er MCU version.

While suffering a bit from “Open World Game Since 2010 or So” Syndrome, the 2018 Playstation is pretty solid. The gameplay is at least competent, the story is great, and the characters are well-realised and the cast features both plenty of recognisable Spider-Man characters and more obscure characters getting a chance to shine.

My full recommendation is here:


The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes

in a lot of ways, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes feels in a lot of ways like a dress rehearsal for the MCU movies … For the most part, the aesthetics of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes is based on the comic books: the characters all have exaggerated, comic book physiques.

All that being said, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes is still enough of a post-MCU product that certain influences of the MCU are obvious… Most obviously, Iron Man is clearly supposed to be a cartoon version of Robert Downey Jr.

(But, like, I get it. Iron Man is basically the posterboy of the early MCU, and Robert Downey Jr. is one of the most inspired casting choices in the history of cinema.)

Being more grounded in the comics than the more grounded-in-reality MCU, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, despite taking a few obvious cues from the MCU, feels rather comic-booky: the characters have exaggerated physiques and more comics-accurate costumes, the Avengers are regularly facing more powerful enemies and large threats to either the world or the universe. It’s big, bright, bombastic and colourful. Though, at the same time, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes actually gets into some pretty deep subject matter for a show as cartoony and comic-booky as it is.

My full recommendation is here:


Shazam!

Shazam’s basic gimmick is that Billy Batson is a kid who can turn into a magic superhero. And the movie absolutely nails that part of the character. He does exactly what you’d expect from a fourteen-year-old who can transform not only into an adult, but an adult who’s basically a magical version of Superman…

The movie also manages to say some pretty meaningful things about family and heroism and add genuine emotional depth to the story despite being firmly established in a Silver Age of Comics-eqsue lighthearted goofiness and absolutely hits the perfect tone for that premise, while also managing to present the villains as a genuine threat and give the conflict serious stakes, but still in a way that fits the overall Silver Age style of the film.

The comic book itself was always called “Shazam” (it’s the magic spell he shouts to transform), leading to the misconception that the character’s name was also “Shazam”. It wasn’t (it was “Captain Marvel”; only further complicated by the fact that Marvel also has several of their own Captains Marvel), at least until it was.

If you’re confused by that explanation, the first, like, twelve paragraphs of my recommendation get into trying to explain it.

Also, I make the obligatory “Mark Strong in a rare villainous role” joke. Which, of course, never gets old.

As for the movie itself, it’s probably the only DC movie I’ve actually had fun watching. And I don’t just mean in the current DC film universe, even most of the Nolan Batman movies, while good pieces of cinema, were way too uptight.

My full recommendation is here:


Admittedly, three isn’t exactly a lot, but it’s enough to get one of these “check out these several blog posts” things. And, so, feel free to check out any of those recommendations, or any of my other recommendations here.

And you can stay up to date with any new recommendations, or any other Realmgard stuff by following me on social media or my email list:

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