At the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier last Friday, fans of the comic heroes flew into an excited uproar. Flew like the Falcon, a new hero introduced in the movie. The movie has been a huge cinematic success since its opening weekend. Many movie-goers have called it the best Marvel Studios movie yet and that could very well be true.
The movie has a balanced blend of action and plot that will leave movie and comic book fans alike reeling in their seats. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) command the screen from the moment they appear. In addition, a host of minor characters and the mysterious villain, the Winter Soldier, keep the movie engaging. And don’t forget the end-credit scenes, a tradition in all of their movies that keeps their audience seated until the final frame.
Though of the two major comic brand names, DC has historically been the more successful, Marvel is currently dominating the cinematic scene. After recent DC hero movies The Dark Knight Rises and Man of Steel fell flat for fans everywhere, Marvel has stepped in to shoulder the fame. Though not every Marvel movie has been produced by Marvel Studios, all of the Avengers movies can be attributed to them and can be recognized their overlapping characters and consistent storylines.
Marvel releases at least two movies a year and is also working on a series of TV shows to tie in with the movies. They constantly have their fans in mind and never leave them waiting too long for a new installment. Though not every movie they produce gets as stellar reviews as Winter Soldier, they produce enough material that fans are never disappointed.
Perhaps this is the new-age recipe for comic book success. Movies put comic characters in the public eye, even in those that have never scanned a comic book page. Successful movies draw fans to merchandise. Merchandise draws fans to new movies. It creates an on-going cycle of success that is only promoted by new releases like Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Perhaps the most exciting thing about Winter Soldier is that it changes everything that has been previously established in the Marvel cinematic universe, meaning it will affect the TV show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and any following Marvel movies. Two movies still remain in Phase 2: Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Age of Ultron. It’s not hard to imagine that much more is yet to happen before the phase closes.