Movie Review | The Road to Civil War: Marvel Renaissance (Glasgow Film Festival 2016)

By Sandy Kirchner-Wilson 05.03.2016 5

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The Road to Civil War: Marvel Renaissance

Philippe Guedj and Philippe Roure have spent a long time putting together a loving tribute to the rise of Marvel from its own bankruptcy. The recent showing at the Glasgow Film Festival was the first premiere outside of France. Mark Millar introduced the film at the event, with it running for 52 minutes, followed by a short Q&A session. The producers and directors have really cooked up a pleasantly interesting story and, honestly, it is disappointing to hear that Marvel was not interested in it, especially since at the start Disney was fully prepared to back the project.
Image for Movie Review | The Road to Civil War: Marvel Renaissance (Glasgow Film Festival 2016)

The Road to Civil War: Marvel Renaissance is a cracking financial thriller spanning the time from Marvel's beginnings to its buyout by Disney in 2008. It tells the tale of Marvel's bankruptcy in the mid-1990s and the near collapse of the comic book industry. Featuring big industry names like Mark Millar, Avi Arad, Mark Waid, James Palmiotti, and more, it tells the tale of Marvel's downfall, and then what happened as the company began to recover, eventually growing into the giant entity it is now.

Presented as a sequence of interviews, the story is split by some background exposition about the changes in management. Without official backing from Marvel, the producers were unable to use footage from Marvel films or comics, so they had to cut each scene carefully so that the audience would feel like they were experiencing some views of the products even though they were not. It is a very smart, well though-out documentary, cut in such a way that it is completely absorbing for its entire duration.

It covers interesting tidbits of knowledge that most people would not have known about Marvel, such as the way that Arad and Perlmutter gained control of the company and worked hard to pull it back up out of the ashes as a stronger, more encompassing entity. It is also interesting to find out about the separation of the suits from the creators. The company structure means the suits let the creators work on the comics while they deal with running the company, with very little overlap.

Full English Trailer Link

As Marvel rose again, its creative department also saw growth, with new talent hired to freshen up Marvel's comic book catalogue with books such as Mark Millar's Ultimate Avengers and James Palmiotti's Marvel Knights series. This lent a huge weight to the growth of the company as it brought in new audience members. It was also what led to Marvel Studios' setup, leading to the boom of the superhero film market.

When Disney bought the company back in 2008, the creators only found out when it was publicised on the news and company website. The turmoil took its toll on the hard working staff in the company, with many worried about the stability of their jobs, and not all that impressed by the Disney takeover because it was unannounced. They did come to terms with the merger, however, and realised the security it brought to Marvel.

In technical terms, the short documentary is a masterful production, with fantastic shots of New York City and very clear, high definition interviews. The sound quality is also great, with very clear voices and a good soundtrack to help build tension and keep a nice superhero feeling throughout. There is also a fantastic scene, illustrated in comic book-style by Alexe Lefèvre, about Arad and Perlmutter crashing a meeting to prove how the true value of their characters was a lot higher than the bankers seemed to think.

Image for Movie Review | The Road to Civil War: Marvel Renaissance (Glasgow Film Festival 2016)

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10
This short documentary covers the trials and tribulations of Marvel through a rough time, and how they managed to survive it and come back stronger than ever. The directors do a great job of bringing the story to life, with some very clever production and depth of research. With so much input from previous Marvel employees, it is great to watch The Road to Civil War: Marvel Renaissance as it provides an insight into events most people would not otherwise know about. Truly edge of your seat viewing!

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I didn't know about this, I might check it out at some point. I read a (part) autobiography of Stan Lee once and that was also pretty fascinating. (about how back when Marvel was owned by a traditional book publisher, they didn't really care for comics at all).

Oh, and theres also the BBC documentary "In Search of Steve Ditko" which is also pretty interesting:. <-- Tells some truly terrible tales.
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I just got a tweet from Philippe Guedj the director telling me the comic art sequence was drawn by Alexe Lefèvre.

( Edited 06.03.2016 21:13 by Sandy Wilson )

Hello Sandy :-Smilie my autor's name is "Alexe", thanks for this comment ! :-Smilie 

Alexe Tygra said:
Hello Sandy :-Smilie my autor's name is "Alexe", thanks for this comment ! :-Smilie 

Edited that for you. Smilie

Thanks ^_^

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