Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Re: Iron Man Parte Deux

Conseula is currently seething in a stew of her own making due to the incaluable wrongness of her take on Iron Man. (Actually, I'm not exactly sure what her position is. I'm just poking it with a stick. [Don't tell her])

At this point do I actually have to post SPOILER ALERT? If you haven't seen the movie, and if you're a person who hates to have any portion of the movie revealed before you see it, then I suggest that you leave the room.


Are they gone? Okay, Conseula was excited by the appearance of what seemed to be a partially constructed version of Captain America's shield. I agree. The parts are clearly if not the shield, then they are components of a shield. My problem is that what we saw on screen is clearly not in keeping with the continuity of the Marvel 616 universe (616 is the main Marvel universe in which most of the comic books are set.)


Okay, those of you who know, know that there have been several incarnations of the shield: at least two kite-shaped ones, like this example from Captain America No. 1.

However, the one suggested in the movie is the round, convex one that most people are familiar with. According to Marvel lore etched into the brains of fanboys (and girls) the world over, Cap's round shield was created accidentally in the 1940s by Dr. Myron MacClain out of a vibranium/adamantium alloy.

This shield was presented to Cap by FDR as a replacement for the last of the kite models that was destroyed in battle.

That being said, the shield in the movie does not match the 616 universe's description of Cap's shield. In the first place, there is a problem of the shield's construction. According to canon, Cap's shield was molded in one solid piece, with the star, stripes, and blue field subsequently painted on. The Iron Man 2 shield is not solid, but seems to be made of several components.

A second problem has to do the Iron Man 2 shield's origin. If the movie's Cap actually fought in World War II, did he have the circular shield, or didn't he? If he did have it in the 1940s, then what was Howard Stark doing with an unfinished copy of it? If Tony Stark is close in age to Robert Downey, Jr's 44, then his father would probably be in his sixties or early seventies, which would have made him a child during the war. The government is not in the habit of giving contracts to children, even exceptionally bright ones. This is all to say that I don't believe that the shield the movie shows is Captain America's shield.

So, while I doubt that the shield in the movie is Cap's, there is no doubting the shield's evidence. How do I explain its existence? It's possible, that in keeping with canon, both Cap and his shield are lost in the North Sea in 1944. The shield that we see in the movie could have been an attempt by Howard Stark to duplicate Dr. MacClain's results. However, this raises an difficult question, without a Captain America, why build a Captain America shield? If Stark could produce an unbreakable metal, couldn't he have made countless other objects that would have been more useful than a shield?

It is possible that the Marvel movie universe differs in some ways from universe 616. The movie Cap of the 1940s may never have wielded the round shield, or any shield at all. It's even possible the either S.H.I.E.L.D. or the US government might have been in the process of producing another Captain America while Howard Stark was alive.

In any case, for the record I'll state that the movie shield is not Captain America's shield. We'll have to wait for the movie to for any further explanation.

Until next time, Face Front True Believers, and Excelsior!

1 comment:

Conseula said...

This all goes without saying, but since Brian started...

Iron Man 2 takes place in the Marvel movieverse, not the 616 universe. Nick Fury is a negro for goodness sakes.

Also, clearly Tony's not supposed to be 44. He's 30, 32 at the most, the perpetual age of all mainstream superheroes (if you're guy, at least).

And finally, the best part about it all is that we don't know why tony has the shield, or if it's the shield at all. We just have to wait and see where Marvel is taking this, what the movieverse version of Cap will be. Is Marvel manipulating me? Sure. But it's exciting to see how they'll make Cap's story new.