Welcome to Marvel Cinematic Tuesday, where we watch a Marvel movie, or tv show, or something. Today, we are going to talk about 1 of 1: Genesis. The MCU is on hiatus until July 6, when they return with Ant-Man & Wasp (cue eye rolls). Last time, we watched a tv show, The Runaways. Today, we are watching a kind of Marvel-related documentary. This is a Marvel and ESPN collaboration directed by Eric Drath. Let’s get started with a little about the show.
Heroes among us
The 2014 documentary draws comparisons between athletes and Marvel heroes. It breaks down what makes a super athlete, and how those same qualities are found in our favorite heroes. We talk to Marvel folks, ESPN folks, and psychologists. The athletes come from all sorts of sports: hockey, baseball, football, pro-skateboarding, basketball, racecar driving, and boxing. They talk to Tony Hawk, Russell Wilson, Danica Patrick, and many more.
The Best Stories
All of the athletes are pretty inspiring in this movie, but some really standout. The story of skateboard legend Tony Hawk doing a 900 spin in 1999 is an amazing story of determination. NBA star Dwight Howard’s story about getting screws in his leg while in high school was another triumphant story. But the one that really moved me was that of soccer goalie Tim Howard. He is an elite soccer player even though he has Tourettes. The movie draws comparisons between him and Daredevil, in that they overcome adversity by using something that is supposed to be a weakness as a strength.
Needs more Marvel in the Genesis
One thing I did have a problem with Genesis is there is not enough Marvel. They touch on Captain America, Iron Man, Daredevil, Hulk, and Black Widow. They talk quite a bit about Spider-Man and him being the underdog but still a hero. That’s about it other than the comic book background and images that flashed on the screen. For me, there are not enough comparisons between the athlete and the Marvel characters. They talked more about the characteristics of a super athlete which are the body, determination, practice, muscle memory (they call it mind to muscle), adversity, mentors, confidence, and rage to master (which is long-term passion about the sport).
Instead of having 12 athletes and 8 characteristics, they could have had 8 athletes, matched them with a characteristic, and dug deep into how they are like a particular hero who possesses that characteristic. They did it with Tim Howard and Daredevil, I wish they would have done that more. Marvel Games creative director William Rosen and ESPN’s Jemele Hill was doing a great job in making those connections. Everyone else was kind of sticking to their own field, ESPN talking about the athletes, Marvel talking about Marvel.
Another issue I have is that there was a lot of Russell Wilson (NFL QB). Something about his attitude or voice just rubbed me the wrong way. But, that’s a personal hang-up.
Overall, the documentary is okay. When I decided to watch it, I thought I would give it the side eye for pretentiousness. But, it wasn’t that bad. It needed more Marvel, but the stories are inspiring. It’s on Netflix if you want to watch it, but I do not think it is something you need to go out of your way to watch.
Wrapping it up
Well, that’s it for 1 of 1: Genesis. The way I figured, we have some Tuesdays to fill before I will be ready for the foolishness that is Ant-Man. So, we are going to fill our time with other Marvel characters. For the next six weeks, we are watching Daredevil, Elektra, The Punisher, and all three Blade movies. Keep in mind I’m watching the movies and not the TV shows. So until then, be sure to join me for anime Thursday, where I will talk about one of my first anime experiences.