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Half the nerds you know have never read any Guardians of the Galaxy comics, so why are they so excited?

August 1, 2014

My family and I are counting down the hours until we see Guardians of the Galaxy tonight.  Despite the fact that we are hardcore nerds, all three of us, between us we have read only one Guardians comic book, and it was released this year during Free Comic Book Day.  So why are we so excited so this movie?

1) We trust Marvel/Disney.  After a disappointing Superman movie (good movie, bad Superman movie), a well-cast and -acted Spider-Man with an atrocious script, and an X-Men film that seemed focused on the tradition of killing off characters gruesomely in a “What If” almost more than cared about the actual story (not that I didn’t love it–I cried like a baby!–but, UGH, superheromurderporn), superhero fans are more than ready to give Marvel/Disney a chance with anything they throw at us. Here’s the thing: the big nerds know who owns the rights to which characters, and place their dollars accordingly. Marvel’s been playing a long game with the rights to their films, and unfortunately, the viewers get stuck with movies like The Amazing Spider-Man because of rights issues. For Sony/Columbia Pictures to keep the rights to Spidey, they have to use him or lose him. Having lost Raimi for Spider-Man 4, it was easiest to reboot to get the next picture out in time to maintain the rights. Or so I’ve heard. More about Spidey rights here. But for fans, non-Marvel/Disney movies are hit or miss, whereas Marvel/Disney has hit it out of the park even with their weakest movies.   Comic book nerds and geeks are highly territorial, and if you give us something we enjoy, we won’t forget you.  Give us a lot of things we enjoy, and we’re yours for life.

2) The trailer looks fantastic.  When I first heard they were making a Guardians of the Galaxy movie, I was like “…Who?”  And this from someone who’s like “My favorite Marvel character is Jessica Jones!”  I like to believe I have more than the common pop culture knowledge of superheroes.  When I first read an article on the characters, I said, “Oh, THOSE guys.”  Although I’d never read a comic book with Star Lord, or Rocket Raccoon, or Groot, I recognized them the same way I would, say, Amethyst of Gemworld or whatshisface, Nova.  Sort of in the same way you remember a character actor who pops up here or there.  You see them.  You don’t retain knowledge of them.  But I was still wary.  Like many fans, I was appalled that Marvel could say, “Ant-ManSecond tier Marvel characters?  A space raccoon?  No problem!” while DC still hasn’t made a Wonder Woman movie.  What one has to do with the other isn’t much, but there was a part of me that was desperate to rebel against space raccoons and living trees while the big names got sidelined.  But I set that aside the second I watched the trailer.  I watched the internet light up with people who were saying the same things I was thinking: It looks hilarious.  It looks fun.  It looks NEW.

3) We’re ready for new now.  As the Marvel Cinematic Universe hits its second phase, we’re seeing a Tony Stark with post-traumatic stress, a Captain America who has to deal with the realities of a corrupt government, and Thor–well, Thor’s doing whatever Thor does, being the most forgettable of the characters.  But in general, it’s darker, more detailed.  Guardians may or may not be the light to balance out this dark, but the trailers are certainly giving us that impression.  Although it will tie in with what’s going on with the Avengers, like the first movies of each Phase One character, it can create itself with humor and light before we get hit with the hard stuff.  But even if this isn’t what happens, Marvel has banked enough with us with the previous movies and the trailers to prime us for something new.  The fans who love the more obscure Marvel characters can gloat about being their favorites on the screen, but for the rest of us, we’re ready for the unknown, because we’re comfortable enough in the universe that something completely unknown can be handed to us and we’re like


4) Nerds love space operas–and, frankly, soap operas.  They may mock daytime soaps and CW dramas, but everyone knows that X-Men?  Basically a soap opera.  Arrow?  It’s a CW show, for God’s sake!  They spend as much time in the first season  talking about their relationships as they do killing people.  (Oh, Ollie, if Huntress is crazy, it’s at least partially your fault, considering how many people you kill and then tell her not to kill.)  And space operas?  We adore them.  Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who, Firefly–heck, there’s even SPACE OPERA in The Fifth Element.  Like, the woman sings opera in space.  Get it?  Set something in space, and nerds perk right up.  “Space?  Okay!”  We like The Future.  We like Aliens.  We like Space!  It may not be an automatic slam dunk, but it’s an attention-grabber.  We were raised on Bradbury and Asimov, Card and Heinlein.

So yeah, we’re all going to see a movie with a talking tree and a space raccoon.  And we’re thrilled about it.  We have hours to go before our show, because we’re going with another family with kids and we had to wait for everyone to be free.  What should we do in the meantime?  Hmmm, maybe watch Avengers again??

4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 1, 2014 4:18 pm

    My friends wanted me to go with them to see this tonight. I live in a bubble with no cable and had never heard of it. Thanks for the post!

    • bookslide permalink*
      August 1, 2014 4:33 pm

      Go forth and geek out!

  2. August 1, 2014 4:43 pm

    Hi Alana, good post!
    Hope u enjoyed the multi-million-dollar raccoon n tree show tonight!
    U might b interested to see this:

    • bookslide permalink*
      August 3, 2014 9:33 pm

      Ha! I did enjoy it! Thanks for the link.

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