From “Incredible Hulk” Issue #390, by Peter David and Dale Keown.
On Friday, Marvel Studios will release its 10th feature film in the Avengers film franchise – James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy. In light of that, I’m doing a series of articles here where I take a look at the Marvel Cinematic Universe – the One-Shots, TV series, and the films themselves – and breaking down what’s worked and what hasn’t. However, today we’re not reviewing or recapping – we’re talking strategy.
See, anytime I see a movie in a franchise, I have to rewatch the movies that came before it. Before How To Train Your Dragon 2, I rewatch the first; before The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies comes out, I’ll probably rewatch both Hobbit movies, and likely the original Lord of the Rings trilogy as well. I love doing this, because it helps you get in the headspace for the film. Any film in a franchise, by design, builds on the films that came before it.
But this is the TENTH Marvel Studios film, in the ever-expanding Avengers timeline. And for Marvel movies, you can get away with just watching the direct-connection films – the Iron Man films and Avengers before Iron Man 3, Thor and Avengers before Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The First Avenger and Avengers before Winter Soldier – and with that in mind, you don’t really HAVE to watch or re-watch any of them before seeing Guardians of the Galaxy.
But where’s the fun in that?
For this week’s episode of “Because Comics,” I ended up re-reading the original six issues of “The Incredible Hulk” (because they are just so bananas), and noticed something odd… In one of the issues, the Hulk fights an evil gang of circus folk, and I realized that circuses show up a LOT in comic books, and that most of your favorite heroes have fought an evil gang of circus folk at some time or another.