Tag Archives: Marvel Comics

Avengers Initiative – Planning Your Marvel Cinematic Universe Movie Marathon

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 3Thor and Avengers before Thor: The Dark WorldCaptain 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?

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The Avengers Initiative Progress Report – Marvel’s TV Efforts

Next week, 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.

Last week, I reviewed the One-Shot short films included on the Marvel Blu-Ray releases. This week, we’re discussing Marvel’s attempts to branch out to television with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., as well as with the upcoming Agent Carter and the Netflix Defenders shows.

More after the jump.

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The Avengers Initiative Progress Report – Reviewing the Marvel Studios One-Shots So Far

In just over 2 weeks, Marvel Studios will release its 10th feature film in the Avengers film franchise – James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy. With that in mind, over the next few weeks I’m going to be taking 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.

Back when Captain America 2 came out, I ranked each of the films by which was my favorite (and after Guardians comes out in 2 weeks, I’ll readdress and update that list). Today, I wanted to start off this series with a look at something that has been very hit-and-miss so far: The Marvel Studios One-Shots.

For those unfamiliar, the One-Shots are short films that started appearing on the Marvel blu-ray releases as far back as Thor. They usually feature a side character from one of the films, and offer some sort of fun little story. Or at least, that’s usually the intention.

Spoilers after the jump.

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Comic Book Tropes: The Circus of Crime

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.

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The Avengers Initiative Progress Report – Ranking the Marvel Studios Films So Far

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With Captain America: The Winter Soldier kicking ass at the box office, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at Marvel Studios’ efforts so far, and see how the Avengers-related movies stack up against each other.

Very minor spoilers after the jump.

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Why Everyone’s Favorite Spider-Man Villain Kind Of Sucks (Except In That Cartoon Nobody Watched)

For those who may not know, Venom is one of Spider-Man’s most prolific villains. Introduced in the ’80s, he has all of Spider-Man’s powers, knows all of his secrets, and looks just like Spider-Man’s black costume, but with a great big shark mouth.

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He has since switched hosts a few times, and is now bonded with Flash Thompson as a hero, but today we’re focusing on his role as a villain.

More after the cut.

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The Superhero Movie Learning Curve – Part Three

Hollywood has been trying to put superheroes on screen since the very beginning. And while they may not all be winners, on the whole they have been gradually getting better, both as stronger films, and as films that are more faithful to the source material. And you can see the stages of evolution, like a child developing through the years…

Buckle up guys, this is going to be a long one.

Maturity (2008 – 2012)

At a certain point, as an adult, you have to get your act together. You have to start planning for the future, making a life for yourself. You start to leave your goofy friends from high school and college behind, and start forming new relationships as an adult. This doesn’t mean you don’t still do stupid things from time to time (your old buddy from college comes into town and you get wasted; you forget to pay your credit card bill on time, and end up deep in debt), but they tend to be less frequent, less severe, and less insurmountable. And more and more, you start to figure out the kind of person you want to be.

In 2008, there were a slew of comic book movies, but two of them in particular ended up completely changing the game. The first of them was Iron Man.

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Continue reading The Superhero Movie Learning Curve – Part Three

The Superhero Movie Learning Curve – Part Two

Hollywood has been trying to put superheroes on screen since the very beginning. And while they may not all be winners, on the whole they have been gradually getting better, both as stronger films, and as films that are more faithful to the source material. And you can see the stages of evolution, like a child developing through the years…

I could easily write 1,000 words about any of these films, even the bad ones (or, some might say, especially the bad ones), but I’ll try to focus on their role in the ever-developing Hollywood Superhero Movie. (But if anyone really wants me to write a whole post about Daredevil, just let me know, I’m ready to go.)

The Teenage Years (2000 – 2007)

When you become a teenager, you start being much more responsible for your actions, both good and bad. And whenever you achieve something, it’s all the more impressive since you have actually accomplished something of merit, all on your own. Likewise, when you make mistakes, you tend to do so in a spectacular fashion. It’s an age where you start to figure out what kind of person you are – and what kind of person you want to be.

The first movie to usher in this era of superhero movies was X-Men (2000).

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Continue reading The Superhero Movie Learning Curve – Part Two

The Superhero Movie Learning Curve – Part One

Hollywood has been trying to put superheroes on screen since the very beginning. And while they may not all be winners, on the whole they have been gradually getting better, both as stronger films, and as films that are more faithful to the source material. And you can see the stages of evolution, like a child developing through the years…

Infancy (1930s – 1960s)

Ever since the movie serials of the ’30s and ’40s, superheroes have been cropping up on the big screen, with heroes like Green Hornet, Batman, Captain America, and Captain Marvel getting their own serial stories. I don’t want to spend a lot of time on this, because you can kind of guess how good they were, or how faithful they were – which is to say, not so much (to both). There’s nothing quite like watching a Batman with a saggy gut stumble around a set and casually toss around ethnic slurs. (It’s okay, they were government agents fighting an evil Japanese scientist… actually, no, none of that is okay.)

I’m also not going to spend a lot of time on television series that have come and gone over the years – but I do want to take a minute to discuss Batman ‘66.

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Continue reading The Superhero Movie Learning Curve – Part One