There are examples of Billy perceiving Cap as himself from the Golden Age. There were hundreds of stories featuring the character, done by different writers.
|Posted: 27 July 2018 at 8:53am | IP Logged | 4
What remained consistent, however, were the speech patterns of the Marvels in reference to Billy, Freddy, and Mary. Had the writers of that time intended for there to be no ambiguity (ha! amBIGuity...!) as to the magical nature of the Marvels, Billy turning into Cap would say, "Wow! I'm Captain Marvel now! Better take care of this emergency before I'm due back in the studio!" the way he has been since Thomas turned him into a 12-year old man-doofus back in the 80's.
Instead, Cap would say, "Good thing Billy called on me! Best take care of this quickly! Billy needs to be on the air in a few minutes!"
Even with this, I'm certain those of a mind to do so can find examples where this isn't true and Cap thinks of himself as Billy or vice versa, but the overwhelming majority of stories feature a conscious separation between the identities, beyond Spidey's melodramatic need to refer to himself in the third person.
The situation is closer to that of the Hulk, wherein the newly created character sees himself as different than the person from whom he originated. In the case of Cap, it's more pronounced and actualized because he is a magical champion built from the template of Billy and six legendary or mythical figures. You wouldn't send a young boy out into battle as anything but cannon fodder even if he did possess the wisdom of Solomon. You would use his innocence and perception of right and wrong, as well as his physical reality on this plane, in this case, to inform and create the basis of your magical champion, but that champion wouldn't just be a jumped-up version of Billy.
And even if you somehow feel that the Wizard would do just that and that Cap is just Billy writ large (appearances of an adult Billy and a teenage Cap in stories argue differently, but whatever), the speech patterns referring to the two as different individuals are still there, and in no way resemble the way the character is written today, as a kid in a man's body, putting one over on the dumb adults around him; a kid sidekick walking around in a grown-up ventriloquist dummy disguise.
It hardly matters anymore. This film will codify and cement into place every simplistic, fanboy notion about the character that has come into being in the past 30 years. The character has been done wrong now for longer than he was done right.
What saddens me is that the more complex version, the better version, wherein Cap was a sort of secret companion to our boy hero, a magical helper who exemplified the possibilities and potential we all feel we have as children, has been written out. Cast aside. Eliminated. The appearance of Cap now belongs to either an infantile dope or, more recently, and the version this film seems to be going with, a smartass punk with the world's best fake I.D. who's gotten a five-to-seven year head start on all the bad-ass stuff he was going to get to do once he exited puberty. Oh, and hey, super-powers, too! So watch out, world! Yeah, you'd better run! You better!
Whatever... (shakes head.) It isn't just the disrespect for the property or nostalgia that makes me wish for the original version, the one that Filmation, Jackson Bostwick, and Michael Gray understood. This new approach is lame.
So is the premise of Spy Kids, for that matter*. But hey, no one cares if what they watch is lame anymore. Bring on Spy Kid 2018, the Kid in the Grown-Up Suit. Even if its good (and what are the odds of that, really?) it's not going to be what it could have been.
* Spy Kids features Carla Gugino, and I still have no plans to see it. Carla Gugino, people. You can't put a more powerful inducement for my viewing dollar into your film.
Edited by Brian Hague on 27 July 2018 at 9:04am