Friday, September 19, 2014

CFP: Marvel Feature Films / essay collection (Nov. 15)

Call for Papers
Marvel Feature Films
edited by Robert Moses Peaslee,
Matt McEniry, and Robert G. Weiner

The recent release of Guardians of the Galaxy marks the penultimate film in the so-called second “phase” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a group of big-budget tentpole films that include Marvel’s The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Solider, Thor: Dark World, Iron Man 1-3, and the Incredible Hulk. Meanwhile, other studios like Sony and Fox have had success with films based on Marvel properties such as the X-Men and Spider-Man.

Feature films and full-length television movies based on Marvel characters go back to the 1970s, however, and very little scholarship has been produced on these films. The editors of this volume seek essays that discuss Marvel feature length films, and while we will consider essays that deal with the Marvel Cinematic Universe and more recent films, we are particularly interested in those films that have not received a lot of scholarly attention (including television and animated features).  We are also interested in work dealing with films produced when certain characters were Marvel properties (like Transformers, G. I. Joe, and Conan). Please note we are not interested in television series, per se, but rather the full-length films produced from them. We are also interested in the business aspect of Marvel Films and Marvel Animation.  We will also consider essays on those unauthorized foreign films based on Marvel characters like Turkish Captain America/Spider-Man, etc.

We are particularly interested in considering essays dealing with:
Transformers (1986), G.I. Joe (1987), Howard the Duck (1986), Captain America  (1979, 1990), Inhumanoids: the Movie (1986),  Trial of the Incredible Hulk (1989), Man-Thing (2005), Ghost Rider (2007, 2011), Spider-Man: The Dragon’s Challenge (1979), Dr. Strange (1979), Generation X (1996), Power Pack (1991), Punisher (1989), Nick Fury: Agent of Shield (1998), Blade 1-3 (1998, 2002, 2004), Elektra (2005), Thor: Tales of Asgard (2011), Iron Man: Rise of Technovore (2013), Planet Hulk (2010), Fantastic Four (1994) and Next Avengers (2008).

A brief but by no means conclusive list of interesting questions to consider:

  • How has Disney’s acquisition of Marvel changed the blockbuster landscape?
  • Why were certain television or direct to video films like Captain America (1990), Captain America: Death Too Soon or Spider-Man: The Dragon’s Challenge released theatrically overseas?
  • Why did Howard the Duck fail to live up to its hype, and what are we to make of his recent reappearance in the CMU?
  • How can we think more deeply about the use of legend and myth in these films?
  • What was the production history of Transformers (1986) and how did the film eventually factor into the continuity of the Marvel comics series? 
  • Cyberpunk influences, particularly in films like Iron Man: Rise of Technovore
  • Faustian influences in the Ghost Rider films and the use of the original Ghost Rider, Carter Slade, in the first film.
  • How Daredevil and Thor were used in the Hulk television films?
  • While Blade was moderately successfully in 1998, why did it take the 2000’s X-Men to kick start the current wave of Marvel and superhero films?
  • Generation X as an example of X-film?
  • Has Marvel Animation been successful compared to DC in producing high quality animated films?
  • Planet Hulk as Greek/Roman myth?
  • Traditional vampire lore in the Blade series.
  • Spider-Man as a villain in the Turkish 3 Dev Adam, also featuring Captain America.
  • The Bollywood 'Tu Mera Superman featuring a mash-up of Superman and Spider-Woman?
  • Production history of producer Roger Corman’s ill-fated attempt at the $2 million Fantastic Four film.

Please submit a 200-500 word abstract by November 15th to Rob.weiner@ttu.edu and Matthew.mceniry@ttu.edu

Upon acceptance final essays will be due on Feb 15th.

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