All of our favorite comic book movies have strong ties with the publications that spawned them. While not exactly the same, story elements and characters are taken repeatedly from the comics for the movies and given a slight, if not extreme, twist. Rarely will you see completely original characters and/or storylines created for these, with some rare exceptions (Agent Coulson of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and Avengers fame being a prime example). A number of comic book movies are coming down the pike and we’ve put together a primer to fill you in on the origins of the characters and storylines you’ll be seeing in Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Hit the jump for a breakdown.
Malekith the Dark Elf
The antagonist of the upcoming, much anticipated sequel, Malekith was created by famed Thor writer/artist, Walter Simonson, as an evil elf with a desire to obtain a weapon known as the Casket of Ancient Winters. Aside from having one of the most “metal” names ever created, the Casket, when opened, blankets the world with a never ending winter and grants the user powers beyond their wildest dreams. Malekith is a trickster very similar to Loki, disguising himself in order to fool his enemies and generally cracking wise as he torments his enemies. While the footage released for Dark World has been tight lipped with Malekith’s character and motivations, tending to focus more on Loki and smartly so as he’s becoming more of a selling point overall, we can expect the elf, played by Christopher Eccleston of Doctor Who fame, to be just as much of a threat as he was in the comics.
While all of the details for the story of Dark World have not been released, there are a few elements that we can expect to see. First off, Thor teaming up with Loki to fight a bigger threat. This often happens more in the comics then you would expect, as typically, Loki would create a problem for Thor to deal with that would backfire that he would then need the assistance of his God of Thunder brother to deal with. The two along with Jane Foster, played by Natalie Portman, will travel across the Nine Realms to battle against Malekith’s plans. The Nine Realms, which include Earth and Asgard, are, and stay with me on this one: Musphelheim (Fire Demons), Alfheim (Elves), Asgard, Midgard (Earth), Jotunheim (Frost Giants), Vanaheim (Sorcerers), Nidavellir (Dwarves), Svartalfheim (Dark Elves), and Nifleheim (Home of the Dead). Trying saying all of them three times fast.
The Winter Soldier
Regarded by many to be one of the greatest Captain America stories ever created, the Winter Soldier is the name of the mysterious antagonist that befuddles Cap as he struggles to find his place in post World War 2 America. The storyline, written by Ed Brubaker and illustrated by Steve Epting, introduces the Winter Soldier as an assassin who is periodically woken up from deep freeze by a rogue KGB agent for the sole purpose of taking out targets. He also happens to have many ties to Captain America’s past and the mystery of his identity will be a selling point of the movie. If you want to go onto Google and find out who WS is, feel free as his identity has long been known in the comic book world, with Winter Soldier even recently having his own series but we’ll keep that secret tight to our chest in case readers want to be surprised.
The Falcon is a winged superhero who has long been a partner to Captain America in the comics. Sam Wilson was originally a social worker who has the ability to communicate with birds and donned his alter ego to help Cap fight the Red Skull. Falcon’s costume has been radically altered for the movie, with a more modern take akin to the S.H.I.E.L.D uniforms we’ve seen so far. Also, don’t expect Falcon, played by Anthony Mackie in the film, to be communicating with birds at any point during the film as, in the comics, this is actually a mutant power and considering Fox Studios and the X-Men franchise has a tight grasp on mutants, I wouldn’t expect Sam to be talking to his bird, Red Wing, any time soon.