The new Riddler?

The new Riddler?

Comic-Con in San Diego is the geek pilgrimmage, with everything from smart hip pop-culture geniuses to plus-sized beard-pickers standing in line to get their picture taken with a model wearing Princess Leia’s metal bikini. One writer is not as thrilled as he could be, and you might share his reason:

This year, however, I’m a little less excited for some reason. I was going through the list of all the panel presentations that will be there and I really couldn’t find a handful of things that made me wish this had finally been the year I made the geek pilgrimage to San Diego. I was trying to figure out precisely why that was the case when it dawned on me ... I’m kind of getting burned out on Superhero movies.

It’s touching, in a geek-love kinda way, how he capitalizes Superhero. I don’t think that’s AP style, but never mind. I’m with him on this one. To continue:

I just have incredibly low interest in Captain America, The Green Lantern, The Green Hornet and Thor. I was moderately curious about the last three given their filmmakers — Martin Campbell, Michel Gondry and Kenneth Branagh, respectively — but everything that we’ve seen from those films so far has done little to entice me.

True. The Green Hornet looks campy and awful, and the Green Lantern isn’t one of those properties with appeal beyond the comic-geek niche. Spiderman people can figure out: he’s a man, who has spider powers. Batman, likewise: he’s a man, with this bat-thing going on. The Green Lantern? Who’s his arch-enemy, the Red Flashlight? Captain America I fully expect to contain a gruff cigar-chomping general who turns out to betray everyone; seems unlikely they’d give the character the same unalloyed patriotic shine he had in the 40s. Thor could be good, but . . . well, you know how each of these will go, right?

Yes, you do. Introduce the characters, origin of the powers, initial excitement over having powers, then a nemesis conveniently appears, they fight to a standstill, then the character has a Dark Period, then there’s a big battle at the end. Set up the sequel, annnnnd we’re done.

The genre may be exhausted for a while. The only one guaranteed of a big box-office is Batman 3, because Christopher Nolan managed to touch all the bases but keep it constantly engrossing. Speaking of which: now that Nolan is gearing up for Batman 3, the rumors have begun. Who will be the villain? Chatter now says Joseph Gordon-Levitt, that guy up there on the right, may play the Riddler. I can see it. And will:  IMAX, 3D, the whole deal. The genre’s not over yet.

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