Sunday, 29 August 2010


I'm a writer. No, really, it's true. I write stuff all the time. I wrote this blog you're reading right now. Sure, I'm not getting paid to be a writer at the moment, but that doesn't make me not a writer.

As many writers tend to, I have a number of projects on the go right now, all at varying stages of development. Most of these are my own original works, featuring characters and situations entirely created by me. One of them though, and arguably the one which is closest to actually being out there in the public eye, wasn't my idea.

Stiffs, the comic I've co-written with Drew Davies and Joe Glass, was actually Drew's idea originally. Sure, both Joe and I helped develop the world, created characters and came up with storylines for it, but at the end of the day, the original premise was entirely Drew, as was the character who is definitely going to steal the whole thing. I love writing for Stiffs. I love the characters, I love what we do with them and I love the ideas we've had for their futures. Of all the things I'm working on at the moment, Stiffs is one of my favourites.

I know there are some writers out there who struggle to work on something which was created by someone else, but I'm clearly not one of them. I enjoy creating scenarios for existing characters as much as I enjoy creating my own. I've got ideas for stories featuring, among others, the X-Men, the Hulk, Doctor Who, Death's Head, Buffy, James Bond and the crew of the Starship Enterprise. I also have ideas for some much older, classic characters like Frankenstein's Creature, King Arthur, Captain Nemo, and wait until you see my King Kong vs Hercules idea. Will I ever get to tell these stories? I don't know. I hope so, in some cases, it's unlikely in others, but I'll only do them if I can do them properly. Simply writing fan fiction and posting it on the internet doesn't interest me. I want to actually tell my X-Men in the pages of Uncanny X-Men, or a mini series, or... well, as long as it's published by Marvel, I don't really mind.

The point is, I have these stories in mind for these characters, and would be only too happy to tell them if given the opportunity. But one thing I always said I'd probably never attempt was doing an adaptation. Sure, I'll write a Hulk story, but I won't take an existing Hulk story and try and tell it using another medium.

My main reason for this is simply because I thought that adapting something successfully would be much harder than creating something, and I didn't feel like I was up to the challenge. However, in the last few years, my attitude has changed a little. I still think a successful adaptation is something that I would struggle with for the most part, but there a few stories out there that I've looked at, and it suddenly hit me how it could be done.

This blog isn't intended as a post saying "one day, I will definitely do these", rather, it's more a wishlist of the things I'd like to take a crack at if the opportunity ever arose. With that in mind, here's six adaptations I'd gladly do in a heartbeat.

1. Spider-Man

(Please note, if you've never read Kraven's Last Hunt, then this section will contain spoilers and you may want to skip to number two on the list)

Yep, I wanna write a Spider-Man movie. I don't want to do the first one. Or even the second one. No, I want to write the third or fourth movie. And when I do so, I want to adapt one very specific storyline from the comics. Published in 1987, written by J.M. DeMatteis with art by Mike Zeck, Kraven's Last Hunt ran through six issues of Spider-Man's three monthly comics at the time (Amazing Spider-Man, Spectacular Spider-Man and Web of Spider-Man). It took a previously B-list and, up to that point, pretty rubbish villain and had him do the unthinkable: He beat Spider-Man.

Kraven the Hunter was a Stan Lee / Steve Ditko creation who first appeared in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man #15 in 1964. A big game hunter who decided that beating Spider-Man would make him the best hunter in the world, Kraven repeatedly clashed with the wall-crawler, coming off second best each and every time. He soon became a bit of a joke, never challenging Spider-Man in the same way that bad guys like the Green Goblin or Doctor Octopus could.

Until Kraven's Last Hunt. DeMatteis wrote a dark, harrowing tale of a Kraven driven almost to the brink of insanity by his obsession. Realising that the only way to best the Spider is to become the Spider, Kraven does exactly that. He shoots Spider-Man, and buries him in the grounds of his estate. He then dons his own Spider-Man costume and roams New York, violently attacking criminals and capturing Vermin, a twisted killer that Spider-Man himself was unable to take down. Spidey, having only been tranquilised by Kraven, eventually crawls out of his grave to find that Kraven has Vermin trapped in his mansion. Kraven explains that he didn't kill Spidey, as if he had done so, how would Spider-Man know that he was beaten? Kraven has won, proving himself better than Spider-Man, and that is enough for him. He lets Vermin go, forcing Spidey to give chase. Having realised his lifes ambition, Kraven commits suicide.

Personally, I would love to see this story as a film. It would be a total contrast to any Spider-Man which has come before, and would give us a film where the hero actually loses. How often does that happen? To adapt it would require very little in the way of change. You'd have to introduce Vermin as a new character (he'd previously fought Spider-Man and Captain America together), and you would also need Kraven to appear as a minor bad guy in the movie or two before it, but other than that, this one can survive pretty much intact. Chances are, this one will end up happening one day with or without me, but I'd love to give it a go.

2. Street Fighter

Okay, I've covered this a couple of times before, so I'll try and be brief, but suffice to say, I don't understand why there hasn't been a good live action Street Fighter movie. It should be easy to adapt, and I'd love to try. An international fighting tournament is held. The sponsor, one M. Bison, has sinister motives. And now, some cracking fight scenes. Why is that so difficult?

But I've discussed this enough in the past, so lets move on.

3. Dracula

Alright, this one's been done, and a fair few times, but while there have been some very good adaptations of Dracula (as well as some piss poor ones), most of them have made major changes to the source novel. F.W. Murnau's silent classic, Nosferatu, was the first film to adapt Bram Stoker's novel, and is arguably the most faithful, despite the copyright avoiding name changes. However, it also relocates the action from London to Germany, cuts out many of the characters and gives the Count a completely different death scene.

Other versions worth watching are 1931's Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi, 1958's Horror of Dracula, featuring Christopher Lee and, to a certain extent, the 1979 Dracula starring Frank Langella. While all of these films have something in them to recommend, they all diverge from the novel in a number of major ways.

In this writer's opinion though, one of the biggest crimes came with Bram Stoker's Dracula in 1992. Fancis Ford Coppola promised us the closest version to the original novel yet, but it was anything but. While certainly a very interesting film from a visual perspective, it grafted on an utterly pointless storyline about Mina being the Count's resurrected wife, and couldn't seem to decide if it wanted Dracula to be a reprehensible monster or a sympathetic, misunderstood villain. It just didn't work. It also asked Keanu Reeves to put on an English accent. Bad, bad idea.

So, while I think there have been some very good films based on the story of Count Dracula, I also think we're still waiting for one which puts the novel firmly on screen, and I'd love to have a go. I may find it doesn't work, which is why it hasn't been done yet, but that doesn't mean I can't try. My starting point? Well, after reading the novel again a few times, I'd look at the Marvel Comics adaptation. Written by Roy Thomas with art by Dick Giordano, it is the novel in comics form. You won't find a more faithful adaptation anywhere, so it'd be a good start.

4. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

Of everything on this list, this novel by Michael Chabon would be the hardest to adapt. It's a favourite of mine, about the lives of two cousins who create a comic about a superhero, the Escapist. Covering roughly thirty years of their lives, it's a long book, and a lot would have to be cut to make it into a film. To be honest, I'm not sure where I would start with this one. In fact, it's one of the few things I'd like to adapt without having any plan in place before starting. All I know is, it's a wonderful read, and I would love to give it a shot if the opportunity ever arose. The real question would be, who to get to play the young Stan Lee, who appears in a scene towards the end of the book? Maybe he should just play himself.

5. The Call of Cthulu

The Call of Cthulu was written by H.P. Lovecraft back in 1926, but has only been adapted to film once, as far as I'm aware, in a silent film in 2005 done in the style of films from the 1920's. I've not seen this version, but regardless, I'd love a crack at Cthulu myself. The problem is, the original story is only a short, and in order to make a film, there would have to be padding. This is the one on the list I'd probably take the most liberties with. The short story would mostly survive intact, but my idea would be to throw in other stories from Lovecraft's Cthulu mythos (Dagon, for example, would make an excellent prologue), and bring them together with a plot which culminates in a trip to R'lyeh and an encounter with Cthulu himself. I'd keep the 1920's setting, but make the main character a detective, who is pulled into the world of Cthulu and his followers during a case he takes on. Think a noir mystery combined with a creepy, otherworldly horror, and you get an idea of what I'd be going for. This one would probably have to be co-written with someone else, namely Drew, since, much as I love Lovecraft, Drew's read more and knows it better than I do. So, Drew, you game?

6. Stiffs

Yes, I want to be involved in the movie adaptation of our own comic. Someone's gotta make sure they get it right!

So, there you have it. The properties I'd love to have a go at adapting. Will I ever get the chance? Well, Call of Cthulu and Dracula are in the public domain, so there's nothing to stop me writing those two then trying to sell the screenplays... Wait, why the hell aren't I doing that instead of faffing around with this blog? Fuck this, I'm off to write Call of Draculu! No, wait...

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Hollywood, Press Start

Name a good film based on a book. Go on, there are loads. Lord of the Rings. Let The Right One In. Jurassic Park. Jaws. Atonement. Those are some of my personal favourites. You've probably got your own, but it doesn't end there. Now, think of some good films based on comics. Superman. The Dark Knight. Men In Black. The Losers. Spider-Man. Iron Man. Again, these are just a small sampling of films that I personally like which were adapted from comics. Yes, there are plenty of bad films that originally started out as books or comics, but there are also a fair few good ones as well.

Right, now name a good film based on a computer game. Um... Yeah.

The thing is, there's no reason why you can't make a good film based on a computer game, so why does it keep getting screwed up so completely whenever someone tries? Ya know, aside from the fact that they keep asking Uwe Boll to direct them, but that's a whole other thing. There are plenty of video game movies which Boll had no hand in, and for the most part, they're still pretty shocking.

Let's look at Super Mario Bros as a good example. The games upon which they're based are brightly coloured romps featuring a chubby, yet strangely athletic, Italian plumber who runs around collecting coins and stars in order to save Princess Peach from the clutches of Bowser, a large turtle / dinosaur thing who can breathe fire and likes kidnapping princesses. Sometimes his brother, Luigi, pitches in too. The film though? Mario (Bob Hoskins) and his younger brother, Luigi (John Leguizamo), go to a drab, colourless, distopian kingdom which is ruled over by the tyrannical Kooper (Dennis Hopper), a Tyrannosaurus Rex which looks like a human. This version of the Mushroom Kingdom is populated by other dinosaurs turned human, goombas (walking mushrooms in the game, giant lizard men in the film) and a velociraptor named Yoshi. Take out the names, and a fleeting appearance by a bob-omb, and there is nothing at all to connect the awful, awful film to the game on which it pretends to be based. The only thing they got at all right was the casting of Bob Hoskins, who would be a fine Mario if there was ever a good film made based on the franchise.

But there won't be. Mario is one of those properties which it's next to impossible to make a good film out of. The games plots are kept deliberately simple (Bowser kidnaps the princess), and are merely another excuse for you to control Mario as he runs, jumps, flips and butt-stomps his way through another series of colourful levels. The games are, for the most part, excellent. No one's denying Nintendo know what they're doing when it comes to crafting a wonderful platform game. But it doesn't lend itself to a proper movie. The Super Mario Super Show, the old cartoon from the late eighties got it right, because it revelled in the bright colours and simplistic plots, and also had a sense of humour which crops up in most Mario titles. But a live action film just isn't able to do that.

And that's the thing with the film industry and the computer games. They're either picking the wrong ones to adapt, or when they do get the right ones, they're ignoring the source material almost completely.

Two other Nintendo properties are currently rumoured to have films based on them in development. One of these, if done properly, could work very well. The other probably won't.

The Legend of Zelda is one of the most popular and enduring series of computer games around, with N64 effort, Ocarina of Time, often held up as the greatest game of all time, even to this day. The Zelda games follow the adventures of Link, a young hero who usually (though not always) sets out on an epic quest to save the Princess Zelda and free the land of Hyrule from the King of Evil, Ganondorf. Unlike the Mario games, there's usually a very definite story running through a Zelda game, with Link's quest bringing him into contact with a cast of bizarre characters, and fights with screen filling bosses. Throw in time travel, twilight worlds, lands beneath the ocean, alternate realities and dreaming fish (no, really), among other things, and you might think that there's plenty there for a scriptwriter to be getting on with. As long as they're faithful to the games, then surely the Legend of Zelda is ripe for adaptation?

No, it isn't. The problem isn't with the lack of story, but with its central protagonist. While Zelda and Ganondorf both have well defined characters, Link himself really doesn't. This was done intentionally by his creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, the man responsible for most of Nintendo's biggest franchises. Shigsy made Link a silent hero, wanting the player to put their own view and character into him. Link is supposed to be you when you're playing a Zelda game, and while the more recent games have fleshed him out a little (there's a clear playfulness about him in Wind Waker, while in Twilight Princess, he carries himself with an almost grim determination), he's far from being a fully realised, three dimensional character. Any screenwriter attempting a Zelda film is going to have to fill in the blanks himself when it comes to Link, and with almost every player having a slightly different take on who Link should be, it's going to be impossible to make him a character that people are happy with.

The other Nintendo franchise currently doing the rounds is Metroid. Concerning the adventures of space bounty hunter, Samus Aran, and her battles against space pirates, rival bounty hunters and the evil Mother Brain, as well as the dangerous and nearly extinct Metroid species. The first game, way back in the eighties on the NES console, had a twist in the ending, when it revealed that this armoured space adventurer you'd been controlling was actually a lady. With that out of the way, in subsequent sequels (and prequels), Samus has gradually had her back story revealed, to the point that the upcoming Metroid: Other M on the Wii is tied heavily into her history and how she became the bounty hunter we all know and love.

Done properly, a Metroid film could be an epic space opera with a no nonsense heroine, space marines galore and a host of ugly, alien creatures getting blasted to pieces. But one with an actual, proper storyline. It also helps that Metroid has a cracking theme tune, which would sound pretty good done by a full orchestra on the score. Fingers crossed on this one, if it gets out of development Hell, it could be the film to finally change the fortunes of computer game movies.

The recent Prince of Persia film was an interesting example of a computer game movie. The original game saw you play the titular prince as you struggled to escape a dungeon and rescue a princess. And you only had an hour to do it. It's renowned for being one of the most fiendishly difficult computer games of all time. Later sequels introduced time travel elements and had the Prince struggle with his own dark side, as well as introducing Parkour elements which have now become a mainstay of the series. The modern Prince of Persia games have an element of fun, which, in fairness to the film, it captured. The film was a lot of fun, with Jake Gyllenhall running around a lot and Gemma Arterton looking very pretty. But it wasn't what you would call a "good" film. The story was... well, there wasn't one. The characters... well, they didn't have any. It was a piece of enjoyable fluff, but the Prince deserves more than that, and it's a shame that they couldn't deliver. Jerry Bruckheimer was the producer who managed to make a decent film out of a Disney theme park ride in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, so it was a shame he was unable to do so out of a computer game, something which actually had a story they could adapt in the first place. More surprising was the fact that one of the writers on the film was Jordan Mechner, one of the Prince's original creators. Maybe he should stick to the computer games.

The Street Fighter series of games should be easy to adapt, yet twice now, Hollywood has got it disastrously wrong. The games large cast of characters all have their own, interweaving storylines, but the primary focus is usually on Ryu, a martial artist who seeks to better himself through fighting, and his best friend and sparring partner, Ken. The two are targeted by M. Bison, the head of Shadaloo, an international crime cartel, who seeks to claim Ryu's untapped power for his own. Bison himself is being hunted by Chun Li, an agent for Interpol, and Guile, a United States Air Force officer, who both have their own personal reasons for wanting to bring him in. Throw in Akuma, the brother and killer of Ryu and Ken's master, Gouken, who succumbed completely to the dark power that their chosen martial art can provide, and you should have enough to make at least one decent movie. Instead, we first got a ridiculous film in which Bison (played the late, great Raul Julia in his final ever acting role. Tragic, in several ways) plans to hold the Queen of England hostage until the bank of England agree to replace the pound with his own Bison dollars. The UN send in Guile (Jean-Claude Van Damme) and his team to bring Bison down. The film mangled many of the characters. Chun Li, played by Ming Na, becomes a reporter rather than an interpol officer, Ryu (Byron Mann) and Ken (Damian Chapa) become con men, Balrog (Grand L. Bush) is a good guy, Zangief (Andrew Bryniarski) is a bad guy, and Dhalsim (Roshan Seth) is a scientist working for Bison who mutates Guile's friend Charlie into Blanka (Robert Mammone). Right.

Still, bad as it was, it looked like a work of genius compared to the more recent Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li, which featured Kristen Kreuk of Smallville fame as the wussiest version of Chun Li ever. This film seemed to stray even further from the games than the first one. Chun Li herself is a concert pianist, Rose (Elizaveta Kiryukhina) becomes the daughter of Bison (Neil McDonough) and Charie (Chris Klein) is nothing more than an annoying American agent. To be fair, both films did get some of the casting right. In a good film based on Street Fighter, Ming Na would've been a good Chun Li, and Michael Clarke Duncan as Balrog in The Legend of Chun Li was also a good call. Likewise, either Raul Julia or Neil McDonough would've been an excellent choice for Bison if they'd had a half decent script to work off.

Thankfully, we do have the animated Street Fighter movies, which are actually rather good. Street Fighter II is the closest to the game, in tone, storyline and character, and if you are a fan of the games but haven't seen it, your missing out. Street Fighter Alpha takes some liberties, introducing an annoying younger brother for Ryu and creating its own villain instead of using Bison, but it still has enough in it to recommend it to Street Fighter fans. Street Fighter Alpha Generations is slight in comparison (it's less than an hour long, and only features Ryu, Sakura, Akuma and Ken), but is again respectful to the source material, dealing with Ryu's clash with Akuma. All three are a damn sight better than any of the live action attempts. If Hollywood ever tries a live action Street Fighter film again, and if they don't hire me to write it (I would happily take that gig), then they should look to the anime, or the recent Udon comics, for their inspiration.

The Final Fantasy series is a bit different when it comes to adapting it to film. At first glance, with its impressive CGI cutscenes and complex, epic storylines, it seems like a natural fit. However, every game in the series features an entirely new storyline, with new characters, new worlds, new bad guys, and on and on. Certain elements crop up repeatedly, such as Chocobo's, the large yellow birds you can ride around on, and Bahamut, a dragon you can summon in combat, but that's the extent of it. So how do you make a film out of a game which is different every time? There are three options. First, a straight adaptation of one of the games. The problem with that is, the Final Fantasy games are pretty immense. To faithfully adapt one, you would need at least two films, preferably three, in order for it to make sense and to avoid short changing fans. Making a trilogy is going to take at least three years, but Final Fantasy games are released every two years or so, so by the time your trilogy's done, then you're already a game or two behind everyone else.

So what's your second option? Create something entirely new, but give it the feel and some of the repeating elements from the game world, and call it Final Fantasy. Which is what they did with The Spirits Within. In fairness, The Spirits Within looked incredible, and was ground breaking in terms of showing us what an animated movie could be. But the story wasn't good enough. I'll be honest, I do have a soft spot for The Spirits Within, and own a copy of the DVD, but it isn't everything you would hope. The lack of a proper villain (James Woods as General Hein is just misguided, doing what he thinks he needs to to save the world, while the spirits are simply following their instincts), no magic spells, and, criminally, no Chocobos, mean it lacks most of the elements which the Final Fantasy games are known for.

So what's the third option? Make a sequel to one of the games. Which is exactly what Square did with Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. A film set a few years after Final Fantasy VII (widely regarded as the best Final Fantasy game of all time), it featured all the main characters, arranged music lifted straight from the game and continued the story excellently. Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children is a very good film for fans of the game. But that's also its problem. If you haven't played Final Fantasy VII through to the end, then Advent Children will look very pretty, but you'll be totally lost. It'll raise more questions than anything, and of course, not every film fan is also a gamer. Many people don't want to sit through forty or more hours of a video game just so they can understand an hour and a half long film.

It's unlikely there'll be any more Final Fantasy films, except maybe a few more direct to DVD sequels which Square put together for the fans.

I could go on, with film and computer game franchises galore, but if I do, we'll all be here for days. However, there are two others I would like to briefly mention.

First, Mortal Kombat. The games seem to have largely lost momentum these days, though DC vs Mortal Kombat was fun, but back in the nineties, the first live action Mortal Kombat film actually wasn't bad. It wasn't a work of genius, by any stretch of the imagination, but it did capture the feel and spirit of the games quite nicely.

And finally, there's one game which would make an excellent film. Back in the early days of the N64, a first person shooter was released, and is still today one of the best multi player games out there. Goldeneye concerns this spy, goes by the name of James Bond, who... Hmm? It was what? Oh.

Well if they can make good games out of films, they should be able to do it the other way too then!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Avengers Assemble? part 10

Okay then, in this run down of what you might expect to see in the upcoming Avengers movie, we've looked at every single member of the Avengers themselves, some of their villains and a few supporting characters. What to look at in this, the final part of my series of blogs on the Avengers movies? Locations? Weapons? Vehicles? Nah. Let's be honest, a whole blog about Quinjets and Avengers Mansion isn't going to be the most interesting. So how about instead, I use this one to focus on things we definitely won't be seeing? Sure, I've already established that we won't see any Fantastic Four, X-Men or Spider-Man characters because of rights issues, we won't be seeing Living Lightning because he wears massive shoulder pads, no Deathcry because she's really shit, and no MODOK because he's TOO awesome. Well, that and he looks like this:-

So, what or who else will you almost certainly never, ever see in an Avengers movie?

The Mitey 'Vengers

Yes. Child versions of the Avengers. So, a while back, the X-Men villain Mojo, a character who lives in a universe which revolved around television where ratings were everything, found that the ratings for his shows skyrocketed when they included the X-Men. So he would frequently try to kidnap the X-Men and force them to be fight for their lives on television. On one of these occasions, the X-Men were turned into, I shit you not, the X-Babies. The X-Babies were an even bigger hit than the X-Men, so when the X-Men inevitably escaped, Mojo created his own X-Babies, and put them on television. Until the X-Babies escaped. They set up their own X-Mansion and lived in the Mojoverse, having many grand adventures, and meeting their grown up counterparts on more than one occasion. Of course, Mojo didn't like losing his biggest ratings draw, so often tried to get the X-Babies back. And how did he do this? Baby versions of the Avengers, dubbed the Mitey 'Vengers. Who of course ended up turning on Mojo and working with the X-Babies. Ain't they the darlingest?


In What If? issue #105, Marvel introduced the character of Spider-Girl. In a story set roughly fifteen years in the future, the daughter of Peter Parker inherited his powers and followed in his webbed footsteps. The story proved so popular that Marvel launched not only an ongoing Spider-Girl comic, but other comics set in the same future. One of these was A-Next, or Avengers Next, chronicling the adventures of the future Avengers. The team included Thunderstrike (son of the original Thunderstrike), Stinger (Cassie Lang, the daughter of the second Ant Man), Mainframe (a robot created by Tony Stark), J2 (the son of the Juggernaut), American Dream (the daughter of Sharon Carter) and, eventually, Spider-Girl and Sabreclaw (the son of Wolverine). It wasn't an amazing comic, but it was fun while it lasted. It's not the only possible future of the Avengers that Marvel have shown us (Earth X, The Last Avengers Story, the Avengers Next animated movie and a lot more), but it was probably the one which lasted longest.

The Squadron Supreme

For decades, the most requested team-up or crossover in comics was the Avengers vs DC's Justice League of America. Obviously, with the two teams being owned by two seperate companies, it was unlikely to happen. Didn't stop Marvel though. They created their own thinly veiled version of the JLA in the Squadron Supreme. Hyperion is Superman, Nighthawk is Batman, Power Princess is Wonder Woman, the Whizzer is the Flash, Doctor Spectrum is Green Lantern and on and on. Unexpectedly, the Squadron Supreme proved so popular that they returned time and again, eventually getting their own mini series. They continued to appear regularly, as did their evil counterparts, the Squadron Sinister. Recently, J. Michael Straczynski has taken the basic idea of the Squadron Supreme (or the JLA) and completely revamped it in Supreme Power, an excellent comic which asks "What if Superman was raised by the government, rather than kindly farm types?" If we ever see the Squadron Supreme on film, it's more likely to be based on this version. They will never meet the Avengers in a movie.

And that brings us nicely on to...

The Justice League of America

The Avengers did eventually meet the JLA in one of the biggest and best intercompany crossovers ever. Written by Kurt Busiek, a man who wrote one of the best Avengers runs ever and had also done good work with the League, and drawn by George Perez, widely regarded as one of the best Avengers artists out there and one of the best Wonder Woman artists going as well, it pit the two teams against each other before having them come together to face a common foe. It also featured every single character who had ever been a member of either team up to that point (even featuring all of them togeter on the cover of issue #3. That's around two-hundred characters on one cover). So, fans finally saw Superman fight Thor, Batman take on Captain America, Hawkeye versus Green Arrow, the Flash against Quicksilver, and many more. It was brilliant fun, and more than lived up to the expectations. It's a shame that a film of this will never happen, since DC seem to have given up on the idead of a JLA movie. The rights thing though, that's less of an issue. With DC owned by Warner Brothers and Marvel owned by Disney, all it would take would be a Who Framed Roger Rabbit? type deal to make it possible. Well, a geek can dream.

Jarvis as the Crimson Cowl

Yep, the Avengers faithful butler once became the villain the Crimson Cowl because his mum was sick and Ultron offered him money to help her. Yes, there was some hypnosis involved as well, but to be honest, while this storyline came during a classic period of Avengers history, the idea that Jarvis would ever go to a villain before confiding in the Avengers themselves just never sat right with me, and certainly doesn't seem in character for the Jarvis who has been appearing in comics ever since. This won't ever happen.

The Great Lakes Avengers

Mr Immortal! Flatman! Doorman! Big Bertha! Squirrel Girl! What? You've never heard of them? But... But... Squirrel Girl was created by Steve Ditko! She's beaten Doctor Doom and is friends with the Thing! Seriously? Oh, well. That's probably because the Great Lakes Avengers are rubbish. Intentionally so, don't get me wrong. Marvel uses these guys strictly for laughs (often teaming them with Deadpool these days), and they've been in some truly hilarious comics, but even though Hawkeye was once a member (very, very briefly) they won't be lighting up cinema screens any time soon.

Mutated Wasp

I don't know who at Marvel thought it would be a good idea to mutate the Wasp into some kind of freakish giant bug creature. They were wrong. Bad, bad idea. Thankfully, not long after, Heroes Reborn happened and Wasp went back to being a human woman. Who could shrink. And grow wings. And fire stun blasts.

The Thunderbolts

We've actually already covered these guys. The Thunderbolts first appeared soon after the Avengers were presumed dead after Onslaught. They were a new team of heroes who were attempting to fill the void left by the loss of the Avengers and the Fantastic Four. Only they weren't. They were the Masters of Evil in disguise. Baron Zemo had a plan for world domination which began with the Masters masquerading as heroes and gaining the publics trust. Only it backfired. After playing hero for a while, the other Masters of Evil actually found they preferred it, and began genuinely trying to reform. Thunderbolts is a great concept for a movie, and don't be surprised if Marvel do end up trying to get them on screen somehow, but despite the number of times they've clashed with the Avengers, a crossover is very unlikely.

Thor Frog

Thor got turned into a frog one time for an entire issue of his comic. It was brilliant. And while it should definitely happen in an Avengers movie, it won't.

The Pet Avengers

Yes. The Pet Avengers. A team of Avengers. Made up of animals. Thor Frog. The Inhumans dog, Lockjaw. Devil Dinosaur. The Falcon's falcon, Redwing. Even Aunt May's dog, Ms Lion. The comic is actually quite funny and worth a look, but it shouldn't happen on film. Wait a second... Disney own Marvel now... oh, God, this is going to be an animated movie, isn't it?

And on that note, we're finally done. That's it. The end of my Avengers blogs. Hope you've enjoyed them, and if you didn't.... well, fuck you. I enjoyed writing them. Okay, I'm off to start work on my next project. I'm gonna write something so awesome that Marvel will have to make it their next film! It's time for...

MODOK: The Musical

Because MODOK is awesome.

The Ever-lovin' End.