Tag: Avengers

Dream Casting – Fantastic Four

Dream Casting – Fantastic Four

I’m borrowing this idea from Grace Randolph, I’ll imbed the video below. She put out her videos a little while ago now, but as we move into Phase 4 of the MCU, we’re likely to see them start bringing some X-Men into the fold and […]

MCU Movie Rankings

MCU Movie Rankings

First off, this is not what movies are critically the best. I think even that is subjective on some level, but there are some movies that are clearly critically better or more groundbreaking for the genre. This is how much I like the movies. Also, […]

The Avengers – MCU Look Back

The Avengers – MCU Look Back

Today’s post will contain Endgame spoilers, you have been warned.

However, before we get to those, let’s talk about what this article will be covering so that we don’t get spoilers in the blurb on the main page. This article is going to be looking at the character arcs of Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Thor, and Hulk, the original Avengers team and to look at their arcs throughout the MCU.

Image Source: Marvel

I’m hoping that’s enough text, I think it should be, but I want to split up my look at characters into three different pairs. Captain America and Iron Man, Black Widow and Hawkeye, and Thor and Hulk. Not surprisingly, that’s how they’ve generally gotten split up in the movies a well, and for that reason, they’ve ended up in similar points.

Again, spoilers ahead.

Captain America and Iron Man

The big reason to put these two together is because they have had their “end” in the MCU. I put “end” in quotes, because this is comics, there are ways to bring them back easily. I’ll toss out some stuff in the speculation article on Friday. But both of them had very satisfying ends in Avengers: Endgame.

With Captain America, we’ve seen him as the hero and the “man out of time”. However, I think we’ve mainly seen him as someone whose only real story is that of him and Bucky. Him losing Bucky, him finding a broken Bucky, and him defending Bucky. For me, this is a flaw in the development of Captain America. We’re supposed to see him as this person who will always do the right thing and who strongly believes in what he believes, but at times it’s just Bucky, Bucky, Bucky. That said, in Avengers: Endgame, we see him grow from that. He really leans into the man out of time. He can’t save everyone, he failed to live up to his own code by not being able to take out Thanos, and he feels out of place and that the world has passed him by, that isn’t laid out super well though. But he starts to see how kind of silly some of his things are and his hang-up with Bucky. Eventually, at the end when he is returning all the stones, he decides that he’s better staying back in his real time with Peggy Carter and finally getting that dance. What does this do to the timeline, who knows. But this is why I can say it’s the “end” of Captain America, we see him as old at the end of Endgame, but there’s no reason he couldn’t be brought forward again if needed, and also no reason that we couldn’t get Captain America in the 1950’s. But it’s a very satisfying ending for him, and does punctuate the whole out of time aspect for him.

Image Source: Comic Book Resources

With Tony Stark, Iron Man, we get the biggest arc of any character, I think. We get him going from being this playboy style character who decides he doesn’t like arming both sides, but still living a huge life, to someone who has his toys, but wants the simple life. It was fun seeing Stark as a family man, just living in a somewhat humble house for him, in the middle of nowhere, just off by himself. His real arc, though, focuses in on how his families legacy, as he saw it, was destruction, and he wants to keep everyone safe instead. He doesn’t want to be known for selling to both sides, he wants to be known as the man who saved the world, because he feels like he has to make up for everything he’s done. In Iron Man, we see that he’s armed both sides, or his company has that he doesn’t pay attention to. In Iron Man 2, he’s created the bad guy in some ways, and in Iron Man 3, he’s almost directly responsible for the evil that is happening by how he lived his life. Not to add in Avengers: Age of Ultron, he built Ultron. But Ultron is his first attempt to save humanity from itself. It gives him that complete arc by him being the one who does the snap. As Pepper Potts tells him, he can finally rest, because by destroying Thanos, and with how they tried to set-up time travel, the world should be safe from the Infinity Stones for a bit.

Iron Man’s arc is just really well written and whereas Captain America’s lacks depth, and looking at it from a long view, is all about Bucky. I think it’s an interesting thing to look at, because Stark is not always on the right side, but he’s always trying to help, and that is driving him so much. That’s why, though the movie doesn’t say it, just implies it, in Endgame, when he is working on time travel and solves it, the implication is that he’s been doing that already, he just didn’t have everything he needed. In the end, both of them get what they needed. Steve Rogers gets his dance and Tony Stark gets to rest knowing the world is saved.

Black Widow and Hawkeye

This one is probably going to be shortest section, as their stories are so intertwined. Black Widow and Hawkeye is really the story of two characters who need each other. Black Widow needs Hawkeye to keep her from slipping away from reality in her work. His family, at the beginning, help keep her grounded. Hawkeye needs her to keep pushing him forward into doing things and trying to save the world, when needed. I think that’s one thing that I really like about Clint Barton is that he isn’t always needed, and he makes space for his family.

When they were sent off to get the soul stone, I think that Marvel did a good job of not telegraphing who was going to die. I was actually thinking that it would be Hawkeye. The primary reason is that he wanted to atone for his sins that he had done after his family had been snapped away. However, I think it would have been much harder to get that feel good moment and then have it torn away when the phone rings after Hulk’s snap of the stones. I also think that it’ll be easier for Hawkeye to join the fight now, because he’s seen what has happened to the world, without Black Widow being there. Whereas, Black Widow, without Hawkeye, while the Avengers are her family, would struggle more on her own. I think this is another sense where they wrapped up Black Widow’s arc really nicely. And if Hawkeye doesn’t show up in anything else, I think that is fine, because it would be hard for Jeremy Renner to top that performance as Hawkeye. He had so much emotion and so much of a shell throughout the movie from the first scene on, that is just hard to explain. This is some of the reason why I’m not all that excited for a Black Widow movie. I do think getting her origin story would be interesting to watch on the big screen, even if it’s more her origin in SHIELD, but her character wraps up so well.

Image Source: Marvel

Thor and Hulk

Finally, we end up on Thor and Hulk, and that’s because I don’t think they’ve had the complete arcs like we’ve gotten from the other characters. I think that there is more for Thor and Hulk to do. Practically speaking, until The Fantastic Four are introduced into the world, Hulk kind of needs to stay around so he can be deus ex science, since Tony Stark isn’t around for that anymore.

I think with Bruce Banner and the Hulk, we’ve had a good arc for him though, so if it’s in a smaller role from here on out for Hulk, I think that’s fine. With Banner, we have the origin movie, which we’ll choose to generally ignore, but going through the movies we’ve seen him in. We’ve seen Banner fight to not be the Hulk in the first Avengers movie, eventually he admits who he is, and he turns into the Hulk and lets the Hulk go as need be. Then in Age of Ultron, he starts to feel like he’s being the Hulk too much, and we get the bit of a relationship between him and Black Widow, and it is clear that both Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanoff do care a lot for each other and really care for each other. I’ll unpack that a little bit, because Tony Stark, less mature at that time, does joke about it, but you really see
Natasha open up to Bruce and Bruce trust her to be able to bring him back from being a monster. There’s the scene early on in the Avengers’ tower where she is making drinks, and she, while she’s able to flirt and seduce people for her job, is having troubles being able to do that with someone she cares about, because she wants the feelings to be real back. Which they are from the Hulk, then there is the moment as Hawkeye’s farm where Bruce calls himself a monster and that he can’t provide her a family like Hawkeye has. Natasha responds with the story that she can’t have kids either and she’s done horrible things and is a monster in her own way. This isn’t a story about not having kids that makes her a monster, which some people took it as, it is that she’s done bad things that she wishes she could take back, and more so, it’s making Banner not feel like he’s an outcast and just a monster. However, Banner still thinks of himself as a monster and that he’s more trouble than good. And he leaves, in Thor: Ragnorak, we see that Hulk h as taken over. Hulks in charge and Banner’s personality and influence is being suppressed. When he comes back to Banner, we still see the struggle between the two halves and Banner being worried about losing himself. The change happens, and I think starts to happen, when Fenris damages the Hulk. Then Hulk loses to Thanos, and then Banner loses to Thanos. Hulk realizes that just as a beast, there is always a bigger fish, and Banner realizes that sometimes he needs more than just his brain, and in Endgame, we get Professor Hulk. I feel like his story isn’t complete though, because while Professor Hulk was able to help, I don’t feel like we got the hero moment for Professor Hulk where both the Banner and Hulk sides come into play fully at the same time.

With Thor, I think we’ve seen a shifting vision for him more than any other superhero. We’ve gone from him being a child who just wants to fight into looking like he’s going to be the new Odin in Thor: Ragnorak. And now we’re not back to him being a child, but to him kind of knowing what his strengths are and knowing that he’s better and leading a fight than he is at leading people. In terms of actors, we’ve gone from Chris Hemsworth just looking like and playing a fairly serious Thor with the jokes being from him not being all that familiar with Earth to a great comedy Thor being The Dude. Hemsworth has amazing comedy chops. It again, feels like we haven’t had Thor’s full arc though. Going back to what I wrote about Thor in my Endgame spoiler review, Thor gets a moment to cut off Thanos head, but in the final battle, Thor, while extremely powerful, isn’t back to the hero that we once knew. I think he still needs that final win, at some cost, more so than he had in Thor: Ragnorak. And with that, we need Thor to be able to have his moment of peace where he doesn’t feel like he’s failed because he hasn’t saved everyone.

There’s so much to unpack when you really look through all of the movies. I think that they did an amazing job from the beginning. While there are a few hiccups along the way, we’ll see those tomorrow as I go through my Marvel movie rankings, generally, they’ve written such as tight and arching story throughout all that movies, it’s just impressive. Marvel, I salute you. And I can’t wait to see what stories and arcs you take Spider-Man, Scarlet Witch, Falcon, The Guardians of the Galaxy, and the rest through.

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Revisit, Rewatch, Review – Avengers: Endgame (Spoiler Edition)

Revisit, Rewatch, Review – Avengers: Endgame (Spoiler Edition)

Yes, we now have a spoiler review up. I’m now going to write some text so that we don’t get a spoiler in the blurb. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Mauris laoreet eros eu velit feugiat condimentum. Quisque commodo vitae urna vitae […]

Revisit, Rewatch, Review – Avengers: Endgame

Revisit, Rewatch, Review – Avengers: Endgame

First off, this is going to be a spoiler free review, you are safe. Tomorrow will not be, so be warned. Avengers: Endgame, what to say about it. It’s the movie event that I’ve been working towards since Iron Man came out in 2008. It’s […]

Spoilers Sweetie

Spoilers Sweetie

That title might not make a lot of sense, but it’s from Doctor Who. In Doctor Who, the Doctor keeps on crossing paths with River Song who is experiencing the Doctor’s life in a different order than the Doctor is, so she has a diary with information and she tries not to spoil what is coming in the future for him.

So besides the cute title, what am I getting at in an article about spoilers?

Part of me wants to try and define a set of rules for when something is still a spoiler or not. When has it been around long enough that it’s fair game and when should you talk in hushed tones about something.

Image Source: BBC

This comes up with Avengers: Endgame coming out in a week basically and people, for good reason, not wanting to be spoiled on what happens. It also comes up right now because there have been massive spoilers posted on Twitter, including leaked footage at this point time, and it’s still just over a week away.

I’ve defined a little bit of what a spoiler is, but let’s nail down a definition.


spoiler is an element of a disseminated summary or description of any piece of fiction that reveals any plot elements which threaten to give away important details. Typically, the details of the conclusion of the plot, including the climax and ending, are especially regarded as spoiler material. It can also be used to refer to any piece of information regarding any part of a given media that a potential consumer was not intended to know beforehand. Because enjoyment of fiction depends a great deal upon the suspense of revealing plot details through standard narrative progression, the prior revelation of how things will turn out can “spoil” the enjoyment that some consumers of the narrative would otherwise have experienced.

Wikipedia

That’s a pretty long definition from Wikipedia there, but I think it covers it really well. To cut that down, it is spoiling anything related to the plot that is shared with the consumer of the plot by an outside point prior to the consumer getting to that point of the plot. Generally, I think that does spoil the anticipation for something knowing information about it head of time.

By that definition, technically any time someone is consuming that plot for the first time, no matter when the plot was created, you can spoil it for the person. However, in order for people to be able to converse and discuss the book, movie, show, audio drama, whatever it might be, you can’t worry indefinitely about spoiling the plot for people. I think that is where the tricky point in setting up rules around spoilers is, because, the joke of Bruce Willis seeing dead people in The Sixth Sense is actually a spoiler for me, but I don’t care, and probably a spoiler for some others, but because of how long ago that movie came out, that has to be fair game at some point in time to discuss.

Let’s talk about two upcoming/ongoing things and what sort of time frame they have on spoilers. The two things are Avengers: Endgame and then Game of Thrones. Both of these have a massive focus in the public eye, and because of that there will be spoilers but more so, there will be a ton of people wanting to talk about them. So how do you handle talking about things like that?

Firstly, I would always ask if everyone is caught up on Game of Thrones (or any sort of show) or has seen the movie before diving into the discussion. And this is talking about the immediate time frame. Especially close to when the episode or movie has come out, because some people aren’t able to see it immediately, even if they do really care about the story. And then respect that if people haven’t seen it or read it yet.

Next, I would set aside space and time when you can talk about it. You won’t be able to talk about it with everyone, but create a time, with people who have seen it at a mainly private location to talk about it. There’s always the temptation to go out after watching a movie and grab drinks and talk about it, you will spoil something for someone one. It is important to discuss and talk about pieces of media, but be considerate of where you do that, even if everyone in your group is up for talking about it, those around you might not be, and in that short time frame, it’s very possible that you will spoil something for someone else.

This one is especially true in movie theaters. I haven’t had it happen, but I have heard of it happening. Someone coming in for the next showing has the end of the movie spoiled by someone leaving. Wait until you are in your car before talking about it. If you can’t contain your excitement with the movie, talk about it generally. “That was amazing.” or “That was underwhelming” are fine, but saying that Captain America kissed Wonder Woman as they flew the Millennium Falcon into at the Reaver ship and just escaped the explosion by hopping into the TARDIS and going to Vulcan, just a bit too detailed. However, if I heard someone saying that when leaving Avengers: Endgame, that would be hilarious.

Finally, do give it some time before talking about it freely. Something like Game of Thrones and Avengers: Endgame, I would say when the DVD/Blu-Ray’s come out for each of them respectively, then they are fair game to talk about. At that point in time, someone who couldn’t make it to the theater, for whatever reason, is going to have more options to watch it and less excuses for having not watched it. Even then, I would still be respectful and keep an eye out for people who might not have seen it yet, because there are plenty of reasons why someone might not have seen a movie yet.

What I didn’t talk about in here was social media and online. How do you deal with spoilers then? For social media, I’d say it’s simple, don’t post spoilers publicly for the movie/show until it’s after the DVD/Blu-Ray is out. There isn’t a good way to really tag them as spoilers so that people can avoid them. On forums, I know one that I’m on will have two threads. One for general thoughts on the movie, and another for spoiler filled thoughts. I even, in my review of Avengers: Infinity War, did a non-spoiler and spoiler review, and I’ll be doing the same for Avengers: Endgame. And one important thing will be for me to remember to put enough header section at the top so that in article blurbs, spoilers aren’t shown.

So how do you deal with spoilers? Do you have any additional rules that I haven’t talked about? Do you think you should always ask before spoiling something no matter how long ago it was?

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2019 Nerd Preview

2019 Nerd Preview

This is going to be different from my resolutions and those for Nerdologists, because these are some of the big things in 2019 that I’m really looking forward to. Tainted Grail: The Fall of Avalon -This board game I kickstarted in December but should have […]

Holiday Gift Guide: Super Heroes

Holiday Gift Guide: Super Heroes

I’ve been told by some wise people sometime long ago, that there is more to this world than just board games and RPG’s. That might be the case, but I find those interesting, so I write about them. Another thing I love is Super Heroes, […]

Revisit Rewatch Review: Avengers Infinity War Spoiler Edition

Revisit Rewatch Review: Avengers Infinity War Spoiler Edition

Alright, I’m back with a review that is going to be full of spoilers, so you have been warned by the title, you have been warned by this paragraph, and you will be warned by the gif below.

I’ve had time to mull over this film and think about it, I’ve had a chance to talk with a bunch of people about it, geek out about it, and see arguments take place online about what Doctor Strange can do and what he can’t do.

Let’s start by talking about Doctor Strange’s plan to stop Thanos. Strange looks at over 14 million different possibilities and finds one that they win in. Considering that, it’s fairly obvious that Star Lord messing up the plan and getting mad at Thanos for killing Gamora is part of the plan. It’s human nature that Doctor Strange saw and was part of the plan that he could actually control. Most likely, the only situations that Star Lord didn’t end up getting mad at Thanos were ones where he was dead already. I feel like Strange would understand and see that Star Lord is pretty predictable. But beyond that, the part that I found interesting was Strange’s trading his life for Tony’s. Mainly, because how I look at it, he knows that Thanos is a being of his word, he has a specific set of rules he follows (more on this later) and that if he agrees not to kill Tony now, he won’t kill Tony in the wiping out half of the galaxy. Most likely this is important because Tony has to be alive to beat Thanos or play some role in that in the future. Because, I doubt Strange’s end game was to stop the event, but saw that it was inevitable and therefore was cool with it happening if it could be set-up that they’d win later. Hence, why Doctor Strange went against his previous statement that he’d sacrifice Tony Stark or Spider-Man to protect the stone.

Image Source: Forbes.com

Next, let’s talk some more about Thanos. As I said in my spoiler free review, Thanos has a very well thought out plan for saving the universe, whether or not it’s a good plan or the only plan to save the universe from overpopulation is another question, but it is his fan and his focus. It would have saved his planet of Titan from death, and he wants to save the universe, even if every planet isn’t to the point that Titan was. For this reason, I put Thanos in the realm of Dungeons and Dragons alignment as Lawful-Evil. He works in his set of rules, including sparing half the people, not randomly killing everyone on a planet or playing favorite with races. He kills all but one of the dwarves because they are a threat to him, but it’s a level of mercy for him to spare half of the people. It also comes to keeping Tony Stark alive, because he made the deal with Doctor Strange, he isn’t going to go back on his word when he wipes out half the beings in the universe. I also think this is tied into the depth that he feels like he needs to sacrifice Gamora to complete his mission, but it is a very difficult decision for him. As compared to the comics, I think that he’s the “Mad Titan” not because he’s crazy but because his plan itself is mad. In the comics, he’s more unstable than he is in the movie as he’s trying to impress Death.

That’s a pretty good transition into differences from the comics and the movie. In the comics, the Infinity War is much more of a cosmic event. Not only that, the X-Men/Fantastic Four/Silver Surfer all play into the plan. Doctor Strange is still very key to everything as he appears to be in the movie. The movie also has a very different focus for Thanos wiping out half the beings in the universe. As I was saying in the previous paragraph, in the comics, he’s trying to court Death and get her to fall in love with him. And he has a devil on his shoulder egging him on, literally a devil, not literally shoulder. That wouldn’t have played as well as a film because they would have needed to spend a lot of time setting up Mistress Death as a character and that’s probably too far out there. I think the changes in motivation and lack of some characters is fine for the movie and it updates what was an older comic book. One thing that I’ll be curious about in Avengers 4, and this might be too much of a spoiler, so be warned, is if they wrap up the story in a similar way. Nebula is still alive, and that is key for undoing some of what has happened. I don’t know that they’ll copy it, but it would make sense with the story that they’ve been building.

Now another not so smooth transition, we were talking about Mistress Death before, so let’s talk about death in the movie. Who all is going to remain dead? They “killed” off a lot of characters thanks to Thanos snapping his fingers, and they “killed” off characters with announced sequels. So, obviously not everyone is going to remain dead. That’s the complaint that one friend had about the movie is that these deaths that were supposed to matter so much seem to matter less. I think one can say that Loki is likely dead for a while and anyone who died prior to snap of the fingers probably won’t come back. Simply because someone can try and undo what Thanos did with the gauntlet as an option, and those who didn’t die at the snap likely wouldn’t be undone. Sure, they could keep the gauntlet around, but the power for it is too dangerous and too powerful for one person to have. One guess of mine is that Captain America might get the gauntlet, put it on and be destroyed it while undoing everything, then the gems are split up because of the danger before Loki can be brought back.

Finally, who might be coming for the next movie? Or what might happen in it? One interesting idea I’ve seen and I could see happening is that there are two parallel story lines going on. One being the heroes who weren’t erased are trying to find and defeat Thanos in our universe. Those who were wiped out are either in a parallel universe or more likely trapped in the soul stone and fighting to get out from that. There are some things to hint that might be coming. When Thanos interacts with the young Gamora the second time, the colors are similar to that of the soul stone. The other thing that might suggest that is in the comics Adam Warlock, whom they’ve hinted at, has been trapped/lived in the soul stone before. It seems possible that they’d use him as kind of guide/aid inside the soul stone for an awesome nerd out moment without him having to then also be a character who recurs in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). Let me go back to the Nebula comment I made earlier. I feel like if you’re reading at this point, you are fine knowing about the comics for speculation purposes. In the comics, Nebula is being tortured by Thanos, saw that in a different way in the movie, and she hates Thanos, we see that as well in the movies. She’s unstable so won’t fully take on the power of the gauntlet herself, but wants to undo what Thanos has done. I could see them doing something similar to that in the movie, but I doubt it will be exactly the same as in the comics.

Hopefully I’ve given you more to think about with Avengers: Infinity War. I know that I want to watch it again in theaters just to see what I missed the first time. And as, the end credits said, I’m ready for Thanos to return.


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Revisit Rewatch Review: Avengers: Infinity War

Revisit Rewatch Review: Avengers: Infinity War

Avengers: Infinity War But, but, but, but this is new, it isn’t an old movie, this is a brand new movie. Well, we can still review them, and with something as nerdy as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we clearly need to do a review on […]