But, despite all the perks to riding the pine, there is a downside. Once, I was put into a close game right at the end of the second quarter. Much to my chagrin, someone passed me the ball right before the half was about to end. As I spastically dribbled down the court, the crowd began counting down, “eight...seven...six,” etc. Just before they shouted “one,” I launched the ball from half court and watched as the ball bricked off of the backboard. I waited for the buzzer to go off as the ball rolled back toward half court, but it never did. Confused by the sound of laughing around me, I looked up at the clock; there were still 10 seconds left. The ball did a slow, pathetic roll out of bounds as the buzzer sounded for real.
The crowd of the opposing high school at which we were playing had collectively punked the shit out of me.
Now, what is the moral of this story? Always distrust large crowds of teenagers. But also, this shameful tale tells us what happens when you toss an untested player into an important situation.
Imagine that the Marvel roster of heroes is a basketball team. Coach Xavier's starting five would be as follows: Captain America at point with twenty assists a game, Iron Man at power forward shooting 100%, Wolverine at small forward with the all-time record for flagrant fouls, defensive player of the year Spider-man at shooting guard, and the Hulk with the most and only full court dunks in history, at center. They play every minute of every game and they haven't lost in about seventy years.
Now, you can't just go tossing an untested Dr. Strange, or Black Panther into that mix during an important game situation. That'll mess with with team chemistry and it's a recipe for embarrassment. You've got to get their feet wet by putting them in when you're up by fifty points in the fourth quarter.
Luckily, that's exactly what the suits in the front office at Marvel are rumored to be doing. It was recently reported that Marvel may be looking into introducing some of its secondary characters (a.k.a. “The B Squad”) via ten minutes shorts at the beginning of their feature films a la Pixar. We may be getting heroes such as Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Black Panther playing the role of the acorn chasing squirrel whose “nutty” adventures—yeah, I said it—take place before the Ice Age movies.
This is an extremely cool idea in my opinion. Not only is it a relatively cheap way to gauge fan interest in some of these lesser known characters, but it also gives moviegoers more for their dollar when they pay for a ticket: Two Heroes for the Price of One!
I'm not to sure how a Luke Cage or Iron Fist movie would turn out, but I would definitely be interested in seeing what could be done with the Black Panther. There is also a rumor floating around that Dr. Strange might get his own feature length film in the future (Grey's Anatomy's Patrick Dempsey is rumored to be interested), so we may see him in a short to test the waters as well.
What do you think about this idea? Are there any heroes you'd like to see get their own short film? Anybody want to expand on this sports metaphor?