(Welcome to Great Moments in MCU History, where we fondly recall great little bits that made us fall in love with the MCU.)

Once upon a time, Guardians of the Galaxy was not a beloved corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe featuring characters that would become eventually become Avengers. If you’d told me back in 2014 that both Rocket Raccoon and Nebula would be major players in the fourth Avengers movie, I would have had to look up who Nebula even was.

In its sixth year of existence, Marvel was not yet so bulletproof that a team of new characters would automatically succeed at the box office. This is especially true of a team with a talking raccoon, a sentient tree, and only one human. Movie fans waited nervously for Guardians, wondering if Marvel – having put their fate in the hands of known weirdo James Gunn – would finally make their first major misstep.

The answer was no. A very big no. Guardians went on to become one of 2014’s biggest films. But more than that, its emotional story of found family built a stronger than normal bond between the audience and its characters. To say we were hungry for a sequel would be an understatement, particularly given how the first film ended with the death of Groot and his resurrection as an adorable baby twig. We couldn’t wait to see the team again (or learn more about Star Lord’s mysterious father), but more than anything, we just needed to learn more about this new Groot.

James Gunn obliged with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and the cockiest victory lap in opening credits history.

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Will Smith and Tom Holland Do an Escape Room

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, watch as Will Smith and Tom Holland do an escape room as a bit of promotion for their new movie Spies in Disguise. Plus, listen as stuntmen react to action sequences from movies like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and go on a journey through time as Jack Black looks back at some of the most memorable roles in his career, from Orange County to Jumanji: The Next Level. Read More »

The 20 Best Movie Posters of the Decade

Best Movie Posters of the Decade

(This article is part of our Best of the Decade series.)

While movie posters seem to get worse every year, there’s still artwork released every year to promote movies that blows us away. The best ones are illustrated, but sometimes Photoshop jobs can turn out pretty well, too. And now that we’ve reached the end of the decade, there’s no better time to look back at some of the best movie posters released over the years. Below, I’ve rounded up what I think are the 20 Best Movie Posters of the Decade. Read More »

NYCC 2019 Funko POPs

New York Comic-Con is coming in just a few weeks, and along with all the usual news that comes out of the convention about blockbuster movies and your favorite and newly anticipated TV shows, there is also plenty of exclusive merchandise. Since this is one of the biggest pop culture conventions in the United States, exclusive Funko POPs will be there in full force, and we’ve rounded up some of our favorite reveals that will be on sale at the convention. Check out the NYCC Funko POPs below. Read More »

Hot Toys Stan Lee Figure - Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

There aren’t many companies that make high-end, detailed action figures on the same level as quality as Hot Toys. The people behind these figures painstakingly recreate the most meticulous details of characters from Star Wars, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and various other blockbuster franchises, and they give them incredibly lifelike head and face sculpts too. Now the Marvel Comics legend who created many characters turned into Hot Toys figures, is getting (another) one of his own.

The new Hot Toys Stan Lee figure brings the late legend to life in the form of a 1/6 scale figure modeled after his cameo appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. It’s kind of the perfect meta version of Stan Lee to bring to life as what might be one of the last collectible tributes to the man himself. Check out photos of the new Hot Toys Stan Lee figure below. Read More »

Matt Ferguson Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Print

Pop culture artist Matt Ferguson already gave Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 the perfect poster with a nod to the classic art for The Empire Strikes Back. It went perfectly with his first poster for the original Guardians of the Galaxy designed in the style of the classic Star Wars poster artwork. But now he’s delivered something entirely different for the Marvel Studios sequel.

Bottleneck Gallery and Grey Matter Art have teamed up with Matt Ferguson for a new Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 print that goes on sale today. The good news is that there’s a timed edition that you have a few days to order, and it has some awesome glow in the dark elements too. Check out the Matt Ferguson Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 print below. Read More »

Summer is pretty much in full swing, and even though there are plenty of movies hitting theaters for blockbuster season, there are even more you can watch at home on Netflix. However, some of the titles in Netflix’s library won’t be around much longer, especially when it comes to Disney titles leaving now that the deal with the streaming service is coming to an end. This time one of the more popular Marvel Studios titles is heading out, as well as a couple Quentin Tarantino favorites, a modern sci-fi classic, and more. Read More »

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Revisited

(Welcome to Road to Endgame, where we revisit the first 22 movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and ask, “How did we get here?” In this edition: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 deals with cycles of abuse, and becomes unintentional commentary on its director’s firing.)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 occupies a noteworthy place in the Marvel Universe, thanks to both its unique dramatic focus and to the real-world firing of James Gunn. The returning writer-director had, by this point, carved out a unique blockbuster space to discuss thoughtful ideas. The rest of the Marvel series was largely Earth-bound and linear; it focused on men who needed to come to terms with non-specific paternal grief, and whose arcs, more often than not, culminated in punching bad guys. Here, Gunn was given the freedom to tell a story that, while Thanos-adjascent, had little to do with the larger narrative of the Infinity Stones. The only ways it set up future installments were rooted in character.

While Gunn was recently re-hired for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, his haphazard ousting by Disney last year over decade-old shock humour (initially dug up by bad-faith actors upset at his political opinions) was inadvertently reflected in the themes he explored with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The film is oodles of fun, but its first three scenes dramatize a complex mission statement.

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Marvel Film Festival

We all know Marvel Studios is currently celebrating the 10th anniversary of the launch of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And while Avengers: Infinity War was one hell of a way to celebrate the unprecedented crossover of all these film franchises, the comic book movie studio has another treat for fans to enjoy this year.

Marvel Studios has announced that all 20 of their movies, from Iron Man to this year’s Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man and the Wasp, will return to IMAX screens for a limited run at the end of August through the first week of September. But there’s a specific schedule for the movies that will make it rather difficult for even the most hardcore Marvel fan to see all of them. Find out more below. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 VFX

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 visual effects breakdown shows off the digital work that went into creating a variety of elements during the climactic third act. Plus, Robert Rodriguez and Jon Landau talks about the inception of the upcoming James Cameron produced sci-fi movie Alita: Battle Angel, and Bill Hader shows off some of his more obscure impressions. Read More »