The Avengers Revisited

(Welcome to Road to Endgame, where we revisit all 22 movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and ask, “How did we get here?” In this edition: The Avengers changed studio filmmaking, though not before ticking off The Pentagon.)

The Avengers is as close as you can get to a quintessential blockbuster experience. Few films before or since have resulted in such widespread global celebration, something even the film’s third sequel, Avengers: Endgame, may or may not match. Only time will tell, but time has been kind to Marvel’s first culmination, despite the series overall fabric favouring entertainment over meaning in the realm of political outlook.

The film changed the way movies were made and watched, affecting everything from industry goals to the mainstream visibility of fandom and “nerd culture.” Its lasting legacy isn’t just the sprawling Marvel Cinematic Universe, which drops its twenty-second entry into theatres soon – its impact can also be felt in almost every other studio’s failed shared-universes. It stands to reason that Marvel was ahead of the creative curve even before its purchase by Disney in 2009. Kevin Feige & co. have been doing it right before anyone else was doing it at all.

While this plan understandably seemed in doubt during its buildup, Marvel Studios marked its arrival with unprecedented financial success, crystalizing on-screen during one specific moment…

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Final Stan Lee Video

Ever since the passing of Stan Lee, tributes have been pouring out all over the place from fans, collaborators, and those who knew the Marvel Comics legend best. But that love went both ways, and a new video of Stan Lee recently surfaced through his official Twitter account that showed how much the co-creator of Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, X-Men, and more cared for all of his fans. This is a candid moment caught in between shooting official video, and it’s such a touching tribute to fans of Stan Lee. Read More »

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 »

San Diego Comic Con

As we prepare for another year at San Diego Comic Con International, I wanted to take a look back at the best moments in Comic Con history. What are the coolest and most eventful things to happen over the last decade while sitting in Hall H? What makes a great Comic Con moment? Lets take a look back at the best comic-con moments of all time.

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Death in the MCU

(Welcome to The Soapbox, the space where we get loud, feisty, political, and opinionated about anything and everything. In this edition: Marvel has no idea how to make death matter in its movies.)

We’ve come a long way since 2008’s Iron Man introduced Marvel Studios’ ambitious Phase One initiative. Ten years, nineteen movies, one sacrificial offering of Kevin Feige’s soul to ward off genre fatigue – but despite critical, monetary, and filmmaking successes that continue to redefine the increasingly iconic Marvel Cinematic Universe, the elemental truth of insufficient stakes remains the franchise’s greatest foe.

Marvel stresses event-level entertainment and exhibits the ability to spectacularly deliver on that promise, proven by my continued desire to witness the Avengers pound tyrant after tyrant into submission. Plucky do-gooder confidence plays into ultimate showmanship, yet it cannot be denied that hero sendoffs are scarce and oddly unaffecting when implemented.

Does death even matter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? At this franchise milestone, I submit that it does not. Warning: spoilers ahead. Read More »

Avengers Infinity War post-credits scene

Avengers: Infinity War is not only the biggest movie Marvel Studios has ever made, it’s also one of its bleakest. This is not a film that sends people out of the theater laughing and high-fiving. It’s more akin to a cinematic concussion grenade, something that knocks the wind out of you. But it’s not entirely hopeless: the Avengers: Infinity War post-credits scene leaves us with the tiniest sliver of optimism.

Major spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War follow.

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Avengers Infinity War Poster

Avengers: Infinity War opens today, and with it comes the promise of an epic storyline that not only represents the biggest assemblage of Marvel Cinematic Universe characters in one viewing, but potentially some canvas-cleaning to up the stakes too. Any one of the key Avengers team members — Captain America, Iron Man and Thor, in particular — could be sacrificed in some dramatic storytelling fashion.

The avid Marvel comics reader will recognize much of this storyline as drawing from the 1991 “Infinity Gauntlet” arc, where mad god Thanos acquires the powerful Infinity gems (stones in the movies) and uses them to wipe out half the universe’s population in order to impress his muse, the Mistress Death, resulting in an all-hands-on-deck brawl between him and scores of Marvel superheroes ranging from Captain America to She-Hulk in an epic space battle.

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Olly Moss Avengers Prints

Starting tonight, fans everywhere are going to have Marvel fever as Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters and blows everyone away. The movie is a spectacle the likes of which you’d never dream you’d see on the big screen. It’s full of jaw-dropping moments, unbelievable action, and it will leave you breathless and exhausted when all is said and done.

But before all that, beloved pop culture artist Olly Moss wanted to deliver some adorable Avengers prints that would be the perfect way to decorate your kid’s room. But they’re also cool enough to frame on your wall anywhere in your house. There’s a total of 12 small prints each featuring one member of The Avengers looking cuter than ever. Check them all out below. Read More »

(Welcome to Road to Infinity War, a new series where we revisit the first 18 movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and ask “How did we get here?” In this edition: The Avengers is a big party of a movie…and a party that may have changed studio movies forever.)

The Avengers is the quintessential blockbuster experience. No film before or since has resulted in the kind of global celebration that followed in May of 2012, something even its second sequel Avengers: Infinity War may or may not be able to top despite bringing together twice as many franchises. Only time will tell, but time has been kind to Marvel’s first culmination, and not without good reason.

It’s a film that changed the way movies were made and watched, impacting everything from industry goals to the mainstreaming of “nerd culture” and fandom. Its lasting legacy isn’t just the sprawling Marvel Cinematic Universe, which drops its nineteenth entry into theatres soon (not to mention its seventeenth seasons of television, if you’re a complete-is)t. The mark left by the MCU can be felt in almost every other studio’s failed shared-universe franchises, from Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man spinoffs, to Paramount’s shared film/television Terminator-verse, to Universal’s The Mummy-led Monsters series, and of course, to Warner Bros.’ own superhero crossover world, which all but fizzled out with Justice League.

And while the failures of its imitators are hardly cause for celebration, it stands to reason that Marvel was far ahead of the curve even before its purchase by Disney. Kevin Feige & co. have been doing it right before anyone else was doing it at all. The proof is in the pudding, and the pudding set to perfection at one very specific moment…

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

All the Marvel Big Bads, Ranked By Badness

Black Panther Trailer

This past weekend saw the release of Marvel’s Black Panther and the debut of Michael B. Jordan’s striking new villain. So you know what that means: it’s time to update our Marvel villain ranking.

If you’re still reading, there are two things to keep in mind regarding this particularly ranking of Marvel’s bad guys. One, I’m judging them all based on Personality and Plan Points. How magnetic are they? How stupid is their plan for world domination (or whatever else they’re seeking)?

Two, Thanos isn’t on it because he doesn’t count. He’s not a villain; he’s a Postmates customer with the munchies. I’m sure we’re all looking forward to Infinity War, when he can legitimately join this list.

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