Let’s Cast…THE YOUNG AVENGERS

One of the things I like about DC Comics is the concept of the legacy hero, wherein a hero’s identity is passed on to a member of the younger generation. For the most part, this really doesn’t happen in the Marvel Universe. That’s why I really dig the Young Avengers. At a time when the Avengers were more or less disbanded, a group of teens adapted heroic identities based on heroes like Captain America and Iron Man and took it upon themselves to fill the void.

If Hollywood were to make a movie out of Young Avengers, I think the first arc–“Sidekicks”–would make a pretty good story to tell. Not only does it do a great job of establishing the characters, but it even has a few cameos from some familiar faces.

Ladies and gentlemen, your Young Avengers…

Tristan Wilds as Patriot/Eli Bradley

Eli is the grandson of Isaiah Bradley, one of the first Super-Soldiers created by the U.S. military. Claiming to have received his grandfather’s abilities through a blood transfusion, Eli takes the name Patriot and continues the family tradition. I’d cast The Wire’s Wilds as Eli.

Alexandra Daddario as Hawkeye/Kate Bishop

Kate is the daughter of a wealthy publisher. However, she never felt comfortable living a life of luxury, so she dedicated a lot of her time to charity. A skilled martial artist and deadly accurate with a bow, Kate decided to become the new Hawkeye and do even more to help those in need. Daddario faced monsters and gods in Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief…let’s see how she’ll do against supervillains.

Spencer Locke as Stature/Cassandra “Cassie” Lang

The daughter of Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man, Cassie grew up idolizing the life of the costumed hero. As Stature, Cassie joins a long line of size-altering heroes like her father, Hank Pym, and Janet Van Dyne. Spencer Locke played K-Mart in Resident Evil: Extinction…if you can dodge a zombie, you can dodge a villain.

Anton Yelchin as Iron Lad/Nathaniel Richards…

…and Vision/Jonas

Iron Lad is responsible for assembling the Young Avengers. Eventually, his armor becomes a newer, younger Vision (don’t ask, it’s complicated). I’d cast Yelchin because…I dunno, it just feels right.

Kevin G. Schmidt as Hulkling/Theodore “Teddy” Altman

As a Kree/Skrull hybrid, Hulkling has super strength, endurance, and shapeshifting abilities. However, Teddy may be the most “human” of any of the Young Avengers.

Nicholas Braun as Wiccan/William “Billy” Kaplan

Believed to be one of Wanda Maximoff’s twin sons, Billy has abilities that are similar to the Scarlet Witch’s chaos magic. Braun was (apparently) in Sky High and that’s good enough for me.

Max Thieriot as Speed/Thomas “Tommy” Shepherd

Billy’s twin brother, Speed somehow managed to inherit his Uncle Pietro’s speed-based powers and brash attitude. To be honest, I really only picked Thieriot because he played Ned in Nancy Drew

Sasha Alexander as Jessica Jones


and Dina Meyer as Kat Farrell


Jones and Farrell play a key role in the first arc of Young Avengers, as they investigate this new group of “Teen Avengers” for The Pulse.

Ryan McPartlin as Captain America/Steve Rogers


and Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man/Tony Stark

Let’s throw in a cameo by Captain America and Iron Man. Yes, I know that Chris Evans has been cast as Captain America and, while we have yet to see how he’ll do in the role, I really wanted McPartlin to get the gig. So, since it’s my movie, Chuck’s McPartlin will play Cap.

Clancy Brown as Kang the Conqueror

The time-traveling Kang has been plaguing the Avengers for years, so it’s only fitting that he’d also be a thorn in the side of the Young Avengers. Clancy Brown gives good villain. ‘Nuff said.

Presented Without Comment…

ALVIN, SIMON & SIMON, and THEODORE:

Let’s Cast…EXCALIBUR

With this X-Men: First Class prequel slowly rolling forward–not to mention another (crappy, I’m going to assume) Wolverine movie–it looks like Hollywood is doing it damnedest to squeeze every last penny out of Marvel’s Merry Mutants. What I can’t figure out is why they don’t try to mine some of the dozen or so other mutant-related comics in Marvel’s catalog–like the New Mutants. Or Excalibur.

Excalibur was a great series about a team of mutants that drew its roster from both the Marvel UK Captain Britain series and the X-Men. For a very long time, Excalibur was my very favorite series…then it was canceled and replaced with numerous sub-par relaunches. For an Excalibur movie, I’d (more or less) use the roster from the later issues.

Kevin McKidd as Captain Britain/Brian Braddock

Between Rome and Journeyman, something tells me that McKidd could handle any kind of weird that a movie like this would throw at him.

Georgia Moffett as Meggan

Moffett’s got the pixie-ish look that I’d want to see in the actress cast as Braddock’s girlfriend and teammate, Meggan–the mutant elf shapeshifting elemental. (Also, the fact that just mentioning Moffett’s name sends the David Tennant fangirls into a suicidal rage fills me with glee.)

Natalia Tena as Psylocke/Elizabeth “Betsy” Braddock

Although usually a member of the X-Men, I’d want to have Brian’s sister on this team…mostly because I think Natalia Tena is made of awesome.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Nightcrawler/Kurt Wagner

I like JGL. If he can pull off a passable German accent, I think he’s got the right body type and facial features to play Nightcrawler. Also, he kind of owes me for G.I. Joe.

Mekenna Melvin as Shadowcat/Kitty Pryde

Kitty matured a lot during her time with Excalibur. As Casey’s daughter on Chuck, Melvin gave the impression that–despite her age and inexperience–she could, very easily, become a part of Team Bartowski.

Alexander Nevsky as Colossus/Piotr Rasputin

Nevsky is a huge Russian dude, I think that’s enough. (He was also in a movie called Moscow Heat…which just really tickles me.)

Lindy Booth as Marvel Girl/Rachel (Summers) Grey

Rachel was there from Day One. Booth’s got sass. Rachel’s got sass. I like sass.

Dylan Moran as Pete Wisdom

Go watch Black Books…I’ll wait…

Karen Gillan as Wolfsbane/Rahne Sinclair

Scottish? Check. Redhead? Check.

Jesse Eisenberg as Douglock

Okay…Douglock is (essentially) some strange amalgam of Warlock and Doug Ramsey (aka Cypher). Now, while I had originally cast Chris Colfer as Cypher in my New Mutants movie, I decided to go with someone different to be the fake Doug.

Gina Bellman as Dr. Moira MacTaggert

Moira had a long history with the X-Men–as friend, associate, and lover of Charles Xavier–before Excalibur started using her mutant research center on Muir Island as a base of operations. Why Bellman? Why not?

To Me, My X-Men!

Do you know what the world needs? An all-ages, continuity-free X-Men title. A title where characters don’t die horribly (over and over again), where they don’t carry on lurid telepathic affairs, and where they don’t form blood-thirsty, baby-killing death squads.

To be honest, I’m kind of shocked Marvel doesn’t already have an X-Men title in their Marvel Adventures line. Good thing I’m around.

Time to fire up Cerebro and find us some mutants…

Cyclops (Scott Summers)

I know a lot of people don’t like Cyke because he’s all about rules and strategy and that’s just not “sexy.” But, y’know, every team needs this guy. Where would the Ninja Turtles be without Leonardo?

Marvel Girl (Jean Grey)

Can’t have Scott without Jean. Besides, I like Jean. Not a fan of the whole Phoenix identity…but I’m not sure that “Marvel Girl” is an appropriate name for Ms. Grey, either.

Beast (Hank McCoy)

No cats. Ever.

Wolverine (Logan)

I’d keep Wolverine the cranky, fly-in-the-ointment character he was meant to be. The title is X-Men…not Wolverine and Some Other Folks.

Storm (Ororo Munroe)

Despite the laughably horrible performance by Halle Berry, I do like Storm and always save a spot for her on any incarnation of the X-Men.

Rogue

I’ve always liked Rogue. It could be the accent. Personally, I like the original recipe Rogue, before she went and permanently absorbed Ms. Marvel’s powers.

Shadowcat (Kitty Pryde)

Shut up!

Nightcrawler (Kurt Wagner)

I refuse to live in a world where Kurt is dead. This way,  I wouldn’t have to.

Colossus (Piotr Rasputin)

I think Pete, here, has the same kind of “he’s not a bad boy so he ain’t cool” stigma that Scott has. Too bad being (or, at least, trying to be) a good person doesn’t get the same kind of respect that being a douche gets.

Iceman (Bobby Drake) and Angel (Warren Worthington, III)

This roster is kind of out of control…and, even though I like Bobby and Warren, I’m not sure they need to be on the team.  Of course, with 3/5 of the original team here, I’d feel bad leaving them out.

Professor Charles Xavier

And, behind it all, I’d have Professor Charles “Hope You Don’t Mind if I Live Vicariously Through My Teenage Students’ Hooking Up With Each Other” Xavier. 

#FridayFlash: Dave

Dave

The first time it happened, Dave Warrick nearly scared himself to death.

He was two days shy of his fourteenth birthday and, like nearly every other day of his young life, he was running home from school. If his father hadn’t run out on him and his mother three years earlier, Dave was sure he would have told his son, “Don’t run. Fight. Stand up for yourself!” But Dave was lacking a strong paternal influence. All he had to fall back on were his mother’s assurances that his high school tormenters were just “jealous of your good grades” and “one day you’ll show them all when you’re a lawyer or a doctor … or president.”

After he had received his third bloody nose of the school year, Dave quickly decided to ignore any and all of his mother’s future pep talks. She couldn’t seriously believe what she was telling him. His mother had to be reciting from a list of platitudes in a chapter of The Handbook for Parents of Terminally Awkward and Relentlessly Bullied Children.

It would be nice to believe that, at some future date, he would encounter one of his high school classmates and that they would be genuinely penitent for all they had done to him when they were younger. Maybe they’d try to enlist his aid in finding a job–“starting quarterback” was nice in high school, but it didn’t exactly stand out on a resume. He would nod and smile and promise to “try my best,” promptly forgetting the encounter.

Sure, he thought. That would be great! Of course, he added, tumbling back to reality like a skydiver denied a parachute, success will be beyond my grasp if my next beating–and another beating was inevitable–leaves me a drooling, incontinent mess living solely for my next serving of lime Jell-O.

None of his mother’s kind words or her hopeless optimism that he had, on rare occasions, found himself believing could remove him from his current situation.

He was still that scrawny kid with long, skinny arms and legs and feet that seemed too big for his body. The kid who, if he wanted to see more than five or six inches in front of him, had to wear glasses whose thick, Coke-bottle lenses made his brown eyes look almost bug-eye. The kid with acne and braces. The kid who found comfort in the fact that his last name granted him a seat in the back of class, safe from the spitballs and paper airplanes: The preferred classroom arsenal of his tormenters. The kid who was, again, running for his life.

Why you botherin’ to run, Davey?” a voice called from behind as, for some reason known only to his primitive, reptile brain, Dave turned onto the narrow path that led from the school’s courtyard to the athletic field.

His heart was pounding in his chest; his blood roared in his ears. Sweat poured from his tousled sand-colored hair and stung his eyes. He gasped, his lungs burning, his adolescent muscles starving for oxygen. Then, like the instinct of a hunted animal, an idea materialized: If he could get into the gym, maybe he could double back through the locker room and make his way back to the courtyard before his pursuers figured out where he had gone.

It was a pretty good plan; it was a plan worthy of Hannibal or Caesar…or Braveheart. It was, he told himself as his skinny arms and legs pumped, propelling him around a bend in the path, quite a cunning ruse. He continued to revel in his strategy as his sneakers squeaked on the gym’s polished parquet floor.

Dave continued to mentally pat himself on the back even as he slammed his right shoulder into the unyielding locker room door. He shifted his knapsack to his right shoulder and tried the door again with his left. It was no use; the door was securely locked from the other side and, even if he used every ounce of his eighty-five pound body, that would not change.

Dave swore, stringing together a sentence using every monosyllabic, guttural word his mother had told him did little to illustrate his intelligence.

The gymnasium door flew open, banging against the wall with a hollow thud that echoed off the tiled walls of the gym, and the three boys who had chased Dave Warrick from eighth period history stepped through–each one his physical superior.

It woulda worked Davey,” the boy in the middle said, shaking his head, “if Coach didn’t lock that door every day.”

The three boys advanced–Eric Slater, broad-shouldered and blond, was in the lead. He was flanked by stocky, dark-haired Mike Burnett and Jason Grey, who wore his red hair in a ponytail and had a sparse teenage goatee. Each boy was the epitome of what it meant to be popular and successful in high school. They were each on the baseball and the football teams–Eric was the captain of both teams. Each boy wore the latest clothes and sneakers, had perfectly styled hair and wouldn’t know a pimple if one reached up and bit them on the nose.

Dave pressed his back against the locked door, bracing himself for his daily beating. He hoped it would be quick–yesterday, Mike decided to give him a lecture as he was punching him in the stomach; it was some ridiculously tedious James Bond-villain speech about why they beat him up every day. He hoped it would be painless. But, most of all, he hoped that tomorrow he’d be able to make it home before they caught him.

Home: That was all he wanted. To just be home. In his kitchen; in his living room; in his own bed.

Dave felt a tingle run up his spine and down his arms, radiating out to each of his fingertips. This tingling, not entirely unlike the numbness of pins-and-needles, was a part of his daily ritual. He called it the “anticipation tingle.” Most likely, and biology was not his best subject, it was a reaction to a release of adrenaline or some other hormone. However, the strange light that was creeping across his field of vision was a new phenomena.

The white light seemed to envelope him as Eric Slater reached out to grab him. Shit, Dave thought, I must be having a heart attack! Or a stroke! I’m dying! He closed his eyes and braced for the first punch. He felt a warm tear trickle down his cheek.

When he opened his eyes, Dave thought he’d find himself sprawled on the floor of the gym, the metallic tang of his blood mixing with the vile taste of the lemon and ammonia mixture of the wax used on the gym floor. As the blackness subsided and the white spots blinked out of existence, the last thing Dave expected to see were the poster-covered walls of his own bedroom. A million questions bubbled to the surface of his brain but they were all swept aside by an inescapable desire to close his eyes again and sleep.

He took off his glasses and, after dropping them over the side of his bed, closed his eyes and let the darkness of unconsciousness embrace him.

Dave was willing to write the whole experience off as some kind of neurological post-traumatic defense mechanism. Until it happened a second time. The third time Dave Warrick warped space and time, he realized something interesting was happening to him. He would lie in bed and think of getting a snack from the kitchen downstairs; his arms and legs would start to tingle, the white light would slowly cloud his vision and he’d be standing in front of the refrigerator. If he were running late for school, he’d just think of the deserted stairwell next to the cafeteria and, in a blink, he was there.

He wasn’t sure exactly what was happening, but he knew one thing: Eric Slater was never going to beat him up. Not. Ever. Again.

Browncoats Assemble!

A few days ago–April 1, to be precise–I saw a story about Joss Whedon’s name being thrown around as a possible director for Marvel’s upcoming Avengers movie. Given the date, I refused to believe it. Until this morning, when I saw this story.

I like Joss Whedon. I like Buffy. I like Firefly and Astonishing X-Men and Dr. Horrible. I know there’s a lot of Joss-hating going on these days, but I still like the guy. So, I’m going to remain excited that maybe…just maybe…Joss will get a shot at directing Avengers

How the Hell Do I Get Myself Into These Things?

No, this isn’t exactly earth-shattering news, I get that. But, I’ve somehow* managed to find myself re-watching four–Count ’em. Four!–shows on DVD.

We’ve got two of my all-time favorite sci-fi shows (I’d be willing to say all-time favorite shows, period) Farscape and Babylon 5. Look! Spoilery videos!

Then, we have Veronica Mars…a show that not only has one of the best TV dads ever (it’s true…even Joss Whedon says so), but also introduced me to my future wife:

And, finally, we have the underrated sci-fi/action/comedy The Invisible Man:

*: Actually, I’m pretty sure it’s all Ashley’s fault. Even if it isn’t, I’m just gonna blame her anyway.