I really enjoy all of the superhero films being put out by the various studios. Well, some of them anyway, even if not most. I've been a diehard Marvel comics fan since I was pretty much a toddler and continue to be so to this very day.
That said, I've had a birds eye view of all the films which have been produced and I must say I've enjoyed them, and even certain parts of some I feel weren't completely up to par. And like many fans of the Marvel film fans, I'm somewhat of an "old purist" who enjoys the concept of the comic books, where the various characters are interacting with each other, complimenting each other's special abilities, etc. And after decades of reading my favorite comics, what I realized was that these comics sell/do really well for a reason. When film studios decide to make a movie about our favorite superheroes, they sometimes tend to alter things a bit about them, whether it be location, as with the "Punisher" film starring the amazingly talented Thomas Jane, moving the character from New York City to Florida and a few other changes made to the character. Although I'd frowned a bit on the change of location, Mr. Jane's talents were truly on point, and the location didn't matter too much to me during the course of the film...not too much. And now that Marvel studios has the rights to the character back, I can foresee another awesome outing for this character, whether it be in another blockbuster film, or even featured in at least one or more of the new slate of upcoming Netflix Marvel comics based series, including Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron fist and a host of other great characters. The Punisher/Frank Castle would be a truly entertaining and unique antagonist/anti-hero to view on the big or small screen, particularly in the sense of his interactivity with the other characters. And that in and of itself is the major point I'm rather fascinated with...the interactivity of Marvel's superhero community. It's just one of the things which magnetized me and so many other fans to the Marvel universe. In fact, it's possibly the MAJOR thing that's maintained Marvel's fans for so very long, enjoying the idea of "what would happen if so & so" would team up? Would they fight each other first? Who'd be the more powerful hero if they did clash? Or would they be like total buddies when they first meet? The idea of Marvel's heroes being interactive is what makes the Marvel Universe so different. And after carefully watching the films being made showcasing Marvel's characters, I think I've come to an interesting observation, that being that Marvel's characters were actually created to in fact be interactive with each other. As the great Jeph Loeb recently said at New York Comic Con during the Daredevil Netflix series panel, "It's all connected!"
First of all, Marvel's characters (as they've been portrayed in the comics), mostly reside here in New York City, a real city, not a fictionalized town created to be a facsimile of a metropolitan city...they reside in the true Metropolis/Gotham of all cities, NYC, the big apple. This allows for them to interact practically constantly, whether it's Marvel's flagship hero Spider-man swinging through Times square on a web line, Ironman flying out of Stark tower and past Four Freedoms Plaza, ect., Marvel's heroes eventually intersect with each other. It's a given. So, from canon, these great heroes will always be connected.
Secondly, one of the biggest issues I feel is that many film makers decide to do away with the source material and do their own take on various characters. This has been sadly even more pronounced due to the "cinematic rights" issues of having various Marvel characters being held exclusively by a number of movie studios (Spider-man with SONY, Fantastic Four and X-Men with FOX, etc.) What they're failing to realize is that these characters were created with the expressed idea and purpose that they are meant to interact with each other. My best example of this is the "Avengers" film directed by the awesome Joss Whedon. With the characters at Marvel/Disney studios at his disposal, he created a blockbuster masterpiece which was not only one of the most lucrative ventures ever, but the sheer fan love of the film (including my own), has made Marvel the true standard of Superhero films to date!
While the film was indeed epic, imagine if they were to have interacted with Spider-man? And as the Marvel Cinematric Universe (MCU), heads into the cosmic realm, could you indeed imagine if Tony Stark and the Avengers were to be able to interact with Reed Richards & the rest of the Fantastic Four? And Galactus? It's be majorly awesome to have ALL of Marvel's characters, especially Spidey and the F.F., "back home!" Imagine the stories that could be told, specifically mega storylines like "Secret Wars", "Civil War?" While these would be awesome projects to produce, having the main chracters which the storyline focused on would be truly amazing. At the moment, most if not all the heroes showcased in the MCU are basically governmant/S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. To have characters like an 'unsanctioned" superhero like Spider-man involved in such a blockbuster project would be absolutely spectacular! He and a few other "secret Identity superheroes like Daredevil (thankfully back within the Marvel family and starring in his own episodic series on Netflix), would truly do such a feature film proud!
In any case, I realized that while watching the FOX based Marvel feature films and SONY's, there in lies the problem...FOX and SONY (primarily SONY with their version of Spider-man, and FOX with their version(s) of the Fantastic Four), will forever be in reboot hell, having to "reboot" their franchises over & over & over again for years to come, because although they've had moderate successes with them, they fall just short of the success which Marvel studios has had with their projects. How many times can you reboot the Fantastic Four? Spider-man? How many times can you reboot these franchises before fans eventually become indifferent and decide not to patronize these projects any longer? It'll get boring after a while to say the least.
I believe that Marvel studios has found the proper formula to make their Marvel based projects work! Not only the interactivity in their films, but also with the advent of their films' characters crossing over into their television projects ("Marvel's Agents Of S.H.E.I.L.D."), this "connectivity simply makes everything done, cinematically AND on the small screen so much more interesting! New fans can even more familiarize themselves with the characters, and old time purists will be pleased to see their childhood characters making since on both big & small screens, interacting they way they're used to seeing them! Look at the HUGE success of the MCU films as compared to the partial successes of their FOX and SONY counterparts...FOX and SONY will forever try to match what Marvel studios has done, but with much less success. Their solution? Just reboot everything over and over again! But fans truly are tiring of this, as well as what some fans call sub par productions featuring Marvel's characters. Unfortunately, SONY and FOX yearn to have a universe where only their versions of Marvel's heroes exist...and it's simply not working. It can't. Truthfully, Marvel very much knows the inside, out and structure of their characters and also realize how interconnected the Marvel universe actually is. And after seeing Jeph Loeb speak at the recent NYCC (not to mention having met Kevin Feige personally), I can honestly say that it's not really about money with Mr. Feige and Mr. Loeb (respectively), they do take a great deal of pride in actually knowing their characters and how their characters and projects are showcased! (Hell, after the stirring speech given by Jeph Loeb at the Daredevil panel at NYCC 2014, I truly am ready to quit my job and get my headshot to him and say "Hey Jeph, I'm a union actor...hire me to play...somebody! LOL!)
Lastly, simply to reiterate the major point, Marvel's characters were created to be interactive with each other! There was never solely a "Spider-man universe", a "Fantastic Four universe", or a "separate Avengers universe"; Spidey, Fantastic Four, The Avengers, The Hulk, Dr. Strange, Luke Cage, even the Guardians Of The Galaxy are all part of the SAME Marvel universe! The fans deserve to see their heroes as interactive onscreen as they are in their literary form. The solution? Either the respective studios (FOX and SONY), can somehow work together (I've recently heard stirrings of SONY possibly being open to "sharing" Spidey with Marvel Studios), or perhaps it's simply time for the rights to come back home to Marvel studios, where proper projects can be produced. Time will tell what will happen. But a true, full Marvel universe would be outstanding!