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Old 04-05-2015, 08:36 AM   #31
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Join Date: May 2013
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Default Re: How about a Beta Ray Bill spin-off?

I would love to see a Beta Ray Bill story set before he ever comes across Thor.

Beta Ray Bill, grotesque, macabre alien cyborg, is manning his ship Skuttlebutt. Skuttlebutt alerts BRB that there is a strange gravitational anomaly that is threatening their precious cargo (the audience doesn't know it yet, but that cargo is Bill's entire race, hibernating on his ship). BRB, as the guardian of his race, has been designed not to sleep. He vigilantly spends endless hours awake, aware, and alone.

As Bill and and Skuttlebutt try to pull out of the gravitational anomaly, there are flashbacks to Bill on his home planet Korbin, his excruciating transformation into Beta Ray (and, in parallel, the construction of one-of-a-kind ship Skuttlebutt), the destruction of his planet, and the start of his mission. Eventually, Bill and Skuttlebutt are pulled close to a small planet, which turns out to be Ego, the Living Planet! Using a universal translator, Skuttlebutt helps Bill communicate with this sentient planet. They recognize the long suffering of loneliness in one another, and Ego offers to provide a home for the wayward Korbinites.

Before Bill releases his race to Ego, however, he investigates the surface of the planet. Bill discovers that there have been other ships marooned here, who were destroyed and their crews consumed by Ego. Ego manipulates his gravitational field to pull nearby ships from their course and onto his surface, where he feeds on their energy to survive. As Bill attempts to flee, he must fight against the planet itself to get back to Skuttlebutt, and once on the ship he must break its gravitational bonds and escape. As he escapes, Bill places a massive explosive charge on the surface of the planet that will change its orbit through space so that it is far from any intergalactic travel routes, condemning Ego to further isolation and loneliness, and possible slow starvation. The story ends as it began, with Bill alone as he travels through the cold expanse of space.

This thread has been long dormant, but it's been on my mind since I recently watched Alien for the first time in decades. (The opening shot of Alien, for those who might not remember, is of a grimy, well used and industrial looking spaceship control room. It is dark and and empty, when the control panel lights up suddenly, and the crew is awakened from stasis.)

That just screamed Beta Ray Bill to me. If I were to introduce BRB into the MCU, the tone and images evoked in that opening sequence would be my inspiration: loneliness and isolation, both for the ship being in empty space and the lone crew member inside the ship. I would love to get a gritty sci-fi film set before he ever meets Thor. BRB's ship Skuttlebutt would be a 'character' much the same way JARVIS was in Iron Man, and Skuttlebutt would not be one of those clean, sterile environments (like some sci-fi movies have), but well used and dirty. I am certain that Marvel would never make a movie like this, but I would love for a BRB film to be like the great sci-fi films that explore deep psychological themes, and that are almost claustrophobic because of the time the characters spend in isolation: Solaris (1972), 2001, Moon, etc.

I know some people hate Beta Ray Bill because he's a Thor-clone character, and I totally get how those types of characters can diminish a hero's uniqueness. However, I personally love BRB, his relationship with Thor, and what BRB's existence highlights about the character of Thor. All that is topic for another thread, though. As for a BRB appearance in the MCU? Set it before he gets Stormbreaker or forms a bromance with Thor. As much as I love the oathbrother relationship the two characters share, BRB is a bad@ss all on his own, which I would love to see explored (it hasn't been explored well in the comics either, IMO). If you've never read BRB's account of his origin, here it is:

While I never expect to see Beta Ray Bill in the MCU (honestly), I would love for the above story to be put on screen. If not in his own feature, I'd love to see elements of that (maybe the lone-voyager aspect, minus the conflict with Ego) in a One-Shot--if those were still being made--or to introduce BRB in another movie, like GOTG or whatever other cosmic movies we get after phase 3. Since there are no human characters in the above story, the whole thing could be CG, which might be cheaper without having to blend it with real environments (I have no idea about that).

FYI: I took some story elements from a BRB story called "World Gone Mad" in Thor Annual # 16. In that story, BRB already has Stormbreaker, and his race has been awakened and travels as an entire fleet. The confrontation with Ego is the real similarity.

Thoughts? (hopefully about this story idea, not about "I hate Beta Ray Bill"... that's cool if that's how you feel, but I think that's been expressed here already).

The World Still Needs Heroes

Read my Thor 3 plot pitch or how I would use Beta Ray Bill in the MCU

Read my Tales of Asgard mini-series pitch or my Son of Asgard flashback style Netflix pitch

Last edited by seahammer; 04-05-2015 at 09:01 AM.
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