When Marvel Met Pixar

6 Comic characters ripe for the Toy Story treatment

 

Some Mickey Mouse organisation has bought Marvel Entertainment.

On the plus side, the Goofy folks responsible also own Pixar Studios, opening the floodgates for Marvel/Pixar loveliness.

John Lasseter, head of Pixar, is a well-publicised comic-book fan, and the two companies apparently had a fruitful and highly energised meeting this week after the takeover was announced.

So where does this leave us? Well most of the main character are either licensed to other studios, or tied up in Marvels plans for Avenger glory.

Sadly, Edgar Wright debunked the rumours that they'd be taking on Ant-Man yesterday.

But with a stable of some 5000 characters at their disposal, Pixar are hardly short of options.

Here are six we'd like to see...

 

Prime

The Character: 13 year-old Kevin Green can transform into a superhuman adult by projecting a liquid flesh from his torso, which gives him the appearance of a muscular hero.

In his Prime form, Kevin retains all the memories and thoughts of his 13 year-old self, a cause of much conflict for the character as he is often placed in adult situations he may not have the maturity to deal with.

The Prime body has superhuman strength, stamina and durability as well as flight capabilities, and can release a concussive blast – but when the Prime energy dissipates Kevin must eject from the flesh casing or suffocate.

Best Story Arc: The genesis story, as Kevin learns to use his Prime power and what it means to be hero.

There are a few risqué elements to the book that separate this from standard comic book fluff.

In the first issue, a teacher feels up one of the female students, a hitchhiker tries to take sexual advantage of Kevin, and his friend’s Mum hits on him.

His crush on fellow student Kelly becomes a problem in Prime form. Though he frequently saves her life, his appearance as a 30 year-old man paying special attention to a 13 year-old girl is controversial to say the least.

Why Pixar Should Adapt It: With the success of Up, Pixar proved they do human characters just as well as anthropomorphic animals.

Prime’s themes of the concepts of heroism and maturity should be right up their street, and will give the a chance to move into more adult oriented stories.

If They Used Animals:
Kevin Green would be a Monkey, Prime would be a Gorilla.

Next: Machine Man[page-break]

 

Machine Man

The Character: A sentient robot, real name Z2P45-9-X-51, or X-51 for short, Machine Man escaped from the research lab where he was created after the army tried to kill him.

He went on the run assuming the identity of Aaron Stack, named after his inventor Abel Stack, who died protecting him.

Initiating contact with humans, Machine Man makes attempts to understand what it means to be human. Realising the difference between good and evil, Machine Man begins to fight threats to humanity, eventually teaming with The Avengers.

Best Story Arc:
Taking Hulk-like on the run approach to the story, with the disguised Aaron Stack moving from town to town, learning about humanity as he travels.

He eventually meets Psychiatrist Peter Spaulding, who teaches him much about human behaviour, morals and values.

Arriving in New York, Machine Man meets another sentient robot, Jocasta, and falls in love. Soon after he is confronted by the evil robot Ultron, who created Jocasta so that he may have a wife.

In a showdown with Ultron, Jocasta is seemingly destroyed. Machine Man beats Ultron, but never recovers emotionally, becoming an alcoholic.

This could serve as prequel to Nextwave, where Aaron Stack is portrayed as a hard drinking, arrogant prink, more that aware of his strengths and with a highly overestimated self worth.

Why Pixar Should Adapt It:
They did such amazing work with a robot that displays humanistic qualities in Wall-E that this should be a natural progression.

An examination of humanity, love and existence, this could be a cerebral approach to the superhero, a philosophical treatise on life perhaps.

If They Used Animals:
A Frankenstein style mix of different animal parts.

Next: The Shroud[page-break]

 

The Shroud



The Character:
Created by honest thief Steve Englehart as a ‘mashup’ of Batman and The Shadow, The Shroud witnessed his parents gunned down when he was ten, and dedicated his life to fighting crime.

Spending seven years training intensively in martial arts, The Shroud was blinded in a graduation ceremony, which gave him super-sensory perception in return, allowing him to ‘see’ through walls, and sense people and movement.

The Shroud also has control of a power called the Darkness, which allows him to summon a thick black cloud around himself. He is an Olympic level athlete, carries bombarangs and has personal, one-man jet craft.

Best Story Arc:
The Shroud arrives in LA and masquerades as a criminal in order to take down their world from the inside.

Forming a group of misfits known as the Night Shift, they infiltrate criminal gangs and relieve them of their illegal earnings, splitting the money between the members of the team.

With The Shroud expanding his false criminal empire, he finds himself involved in a struggle between two rival mobsters, playing them off against each other to ensure mutual destruction.

Throughout the film, we are given insight into The Shroud’s origin story, and his training at the Temple of Kali.

Why Pixar Should Adapt It:
The Shroud is an interesting pastiche of famous comic book characters, much like The Incredibles, and offers a different approach to fighting crime, namely infiltration.

There is also real room for stylistic embellishment, for example a period 1940s setting, done in the style of a hard-boiled noir flick, perhaps even in black and white, would give this a very unique tone.

If They Used Animals:
He’d be a Mole.

Next: Hawkeye[page-break]

 

Hawkeye



The Character: Clint Barton, a highly skilled gymnast and circus performer, able to shoot a bow and arrow with near-superhuman accuracy.

Inspired to become a costumed hero by Iron Man, Barton dons a mask and becomes Hawkeye, though a misunderstanding on his first outing leads to him being mistaken as a villain.

Spending much of his early costumed life a reluctant villain, Hawkeye eventually decides to embrace heroism and applies to join the Avengers… by breaking into their HQ and holding Jarvis the butler hostage.

Best Story Arc:
Follow Hawkeye as he leaves the Avengers, following the death of his wife Mockingbird at the hands of the demon Mephisto.

Looking for a change, he takes charge of start-up hero team Thunderbolts, a group of ex-supervillains freed from the mind-controlling influence of the evil Baron Helmut Zemo, and intent on going straight.

In a climactic third act, he leads the Thunderbolts on a mission to Hell to win back the soul of his dead wife.

Flashing back to his origin story, parallels about the nature of good and evil and the themes of redemption can be explored.

Why Pixar Should Adapt It:
Because Hollywood wouldn’t have the balls to touch it, and a Pixar animated archer would be awesome, let alone a mission to Hell.

The Thunderbolts are also a great supporting cast, featuring the former ‘Masters of Evil’ Natalia Romanova, Ant-Man, Paladin, Headsman, Ghost, Mister X.

If They Used Animals:
Hawkeye would be a fox, carrying on the grand Disney tradition of fox archers, after Robin Hood.

Next: Nextwave: Agents of Hate[page-break]

 

Nextwave: Agents of Hate

The Characters: Created by Twitter-bothering alcoholic and part-time comics writer Warren Ellis, Nextwave are a farcical superhero team made up of minor league Marvel characters.

They are; Aaron Stack (aka Machine Man), Monica Rambeau (the former Captain Marvel), Tabitha Smith (formerly of X-Force), monster hunter Elsa Bloodstone (Daughter of the legendary Ulysses Bloodstone) and The Captain.

The Captain was previously known as Captain ****, the obscured word being so bad that Captain America allegedly beat seven shades of shit out of him and left him in a dumpster with a bar of soap in his mouth.

The series only lasted 12 issues, and was renowned for the mixture of extreme violence and comedy, the parody and celebration of Marvel comics and for having flashbacks of major Marvel names acting grotesquely out of character.

Best Story Arc:
The recruitment of the individual members into the Nextwave team by HATE: Highest Anti-Terrorism Effort, by Dirk Anger (a cheeky swipe a SHIELD boss Nick Fury).

They set about trying to destroy Ultimate Weapons of Mass Destruction around the US, until they discover that HATE is actually a front of terrorist organization SILENT.

Nextwave leave HATE, stealing a tardis-like vehicle called a ‘Shockwave Rider’, and continue their work to destroy UWMD’s around the US.

Why Pixar Should Adapt It:
As an extension of the comic culture subversion Pixar worked into superhero movie The Incredibles, a Nextwave film would bring down all walls of convension and break into full satire.

Able to explore the Marvel Universe and take potshots at the pomposity of existing characters, Pixar could make the Spinal Tap of comic book movies.

If They Used Animals:
The Nextwave team would all be Meerkats. 

Next: Armless Tiger Man[page-break]

 

Armless Tiger Man

The Character: We are not making this up. Gustav Hertz, is a machinery worker from Munich, Germany, who, as a youth, got both arms caught in a machine causing them to be ripped off.

After months in hospital, Gustav embarked on a stringent training program to learn to use his feet and teeth, has developed incredible jaw strength and toe-dexterity as a result. He also sharpened his teeth into points.

Armless but not harmless, he can swing on ropes and bend steel bars with his teeth, catch heavy weights with his feet, hurl knives from his toes and perform other tasks of My Left Foot-esque agility.

Best Story Arc:
Once he’s trained to armless perfection, ATM declares a hatred of all machines and vows to destroy them all. After making a good start, he is caught by the Gestapo. Realising his potential, they send him to the US.

Once on American soil, ATM goes about trying to get access to the Johnston’s Defense Plant, using every foot and mouth related skill he can muster, only to be stopped by WWII-era hero The Angel.

That’s where the comic ends, but it would be more interesting to pick up from here, and take the character on a journey where he ultimately makes peace with machinery and finds his place in the world.

Perhaps a buddy comedy featuring machine-hating Armless Tiger Man and cyborg hero Machine Man? It’ll be like Crockett and Tubbs all over again.

Why Pixar Should Adapt It:
Read that name again; Armless Tiger Man. How can they not adapt it! The greatest name since Stabbity Jones requires filming, hell it should be a rule.

A redemptive tale about one man’s journey from machine-hating owner of an atrocious haircut to mech-loving mullet-hater, this will be the first Pixar film to win Best Picture.

If They Used Animals:
Um… a tiger?

Excited about the possibility of Pixar/Marvel offspring? Comment. Do it.

 

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Comments

    • SCQ47

      Sep 11th 2009, 16:55

      I hope at some point fanboys will get over this fear that everything Marvel will get a Disney touch. I've got two words for that: Miramax Films. Ring any bells? Weinsteins? Hello? I clearly don't remember any Disney influence on their films. I'm pretty sure Zed was the rapist in Pulp Fiction and not Mickey (although Zed did look a little like Goofy).

      Alert a moderator

    • Bojangles17

      Sep 12th 2009, 2:44

      "Yeah, Bob, that's great, we want you to carry on giving this Tarantino kid as much money as he needs. We need a subconsious tie-in, though. We got this buck coming down and we think he should play the racist. Looks just like the dog with the stupid laugh. Our Audience feedback has been telling us something's dodgy...almost goofy about the dog so we'll see if we can draw in the adult crowd with something edgy."

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