I’m a Demon in a Bottle, You Gotta Rub Me the Right Way

by Michael Vlachakis

131913_320-197x300 I'm a Demon in a Bottle, You Gotta Rub Me the Right Way

Let’s raise a glass and have a toast to the New Year!  Ok.  How about another? Maybe a double?  ALRIGHT!  Quick cocktail with a floater.  Now we are ready to blog because Stark and Iron, robot waffles amrldr tttttttttrrrrrrrrrr……Whoa.  Sorry, passed out from a little day-drinking nap.  Nothing a little hair of the dog won’t fix right up.  This is really starting to affect my work.  Well, I might have a problem.  Let’s blog!

The famous Tony Stark “Demon in a Bottle” cover appeared in Iron Man #128, in 1979.  Marvel was looking to develop its characters in a more mature and sensitive way which would lead to stories of drug use, alcoholism, and other topics that seemed a bit too taboo to discuss in a comic book.  Marvel would push hard against the Comic Code Authority (CCA) to publish stories that had adult themes that would be risque for their characters and help humanize them to an audience trying to relate to super characters.  These messages would resonate and help Marvel develop some of the most popular characters in the comic industry.

The story of Tony Stark’s drinking was alluded to throughout the Iron Man movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).  Scenes like Tony drunk at a party in his armor, or being too wasted to remember a speech he gave, and even brushing off a future enemy like Aldrich Killian were lightly glanced over to help stay true to the character without making him seem too broken to sell to Disney.  A broken superhero is more in tune with the everyday viewer, but you don’t want them to be too broken.

Marvel has been hesitant to put too much gritty content into their movies, while the Netflix series (like Daredevil and Punisher) were dark, intense, and a bit more “real” than their cinematic counterparts of the MCU.  Will we continue to see Disney skirt around issues like alcoholism, drug abuse, and violence?  Or, will they try to incorporate more adult themes in upcoming movies to drive a more realistic universe.

If history is a guide of things to come, I assume we can expect the equivalent of Ewoks (or at worse Jar-Jar) to show up before we get a more adult-themed grouping of Marvel content.  We like Hulk as a mindless rage monster, not taking selfies with kids.  Make a Sentry movie with the concept that the MCU is a bit perfect and there is a dark reason hiding behind it.  Unleash the Marvel Zombies as a stand-alone movie.  Make a movie centered around a villain instead of the standard superhero movie…I know Dr. Doom is just sitting on the bench waiting to tell his side of the story.  It doesn’t all have to interconnect as long as it is good content.  It is time for some creativity.  Not just the same old crap we are accustomed to.

After all that, I need a drink.

What would be your ideal content from Marvel to break the norm?  Do you want your heroes more broken?  Drop your comments and join the speculation!

 

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