The first generation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – now officially “The Infinity Saga” – has come to a close with Avengers: Endgame. While I’m only beginning to process all the film had to offer, I still can’t help imagining what will come next. More Black Panther! More Captain Marvel! More Dr. Strange! Plus we know there are movies in the works for new characters like the Eternals and Shang-Chi. But, as the name “Infinity Saga” implies, it’s not all about the heroes. The name points towards the reality that the past eleven years and twenty-two films all led to our heroes’ iconic encounter with the Mad Titan Thanos, in an attempt to stop his destruction of half of all life with the Infinity Stones. So, thinking of the future of the MCU naturally begs the question…what villain comes next? Who can possibly follow Thanos?? My (first) guess? Annihilus – the Living Death that Walks. BOOM. Continue reading
In the weeks leading up to Avengers: Endgame, I did what any conscientious fan has to do now – I got off social media, stopped reading any and all articles online, and stopped viewing video clips and interviews with the cast and the Russos. I didn’t want the conclusion of a story I’ve watched unfold for a decade inadvertently spoiled for me. In the days leading up to the film and the days following its release, the hashtag #DontSpoilTheEndgame began to trend as the stars of the film and the Marvel Studios/Disney marketing machine urged people not to ruin anything for the fans who hadn’t seen it yet. Of course people still did. Then Marvel Studios/Disney did. Apparently the whole “don’t spoil it” thing’s cutoff is two weekends. Then the spoilers came fast and they were BIG. It leaves me asking, what is wrong with people?? Why must we publicly discuss twists/the end at all? Continue reading
“Genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist” – with four words Joss Whedon defined the character of Tony Stark for a generation. But it was never the words alone that transformed a b-level character into a worldwide icon and the anchor for a groundbreaking interconnected cinematic universe. It was the man inside the armor delivering those lines. While it’s easy to forget, eleven years and twenty-two films in, back in 2008 Marvel Studios was far from a sure thing. Marvel had sold their most successful characters (Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four) to other studios and was left to make their own movies with their second tier. Robert Downey Jr. made it work. He incarnated Tony Stark perfectly, seamlessly blending cockiness and charisma, arrogance and vulnerability, snark and heart. He presented a character who resonated and who meant something. He carried the world of comic books into the mainstream on his armored shoulders, all but single-handedly paving the way for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. No matter how much brilliance followed in his wake, this is why Tony Stark will always be Marvel’s cinematic masterpiece to me. Continue reading
This is a sequel of sorts, to one of the earliest pieces I ever wrote on this site. However, it isn’t a piece I was planning on writing now or, if I’m being honest, ever. I wasn’t planning on writing tonight as I’m in D.C. for the PCA/ACA National Conference on Popular Culture. My week’s focus is attending exciting panels and presenting my paper on The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. So writing wasn’t on the agenda. However I HAD to write because something’s been gnawing and I had to express it. You see, last night my pre-Avengers: Endgame marathon came to Captain America: Civil War and, well, something struck me – something I never thought I’d see or say or believe. But here we are. Continue reading
It’s that time of year again. It’s time for me to add stress and pressure to my life by trying to wrap all daily obligations around a now TWENTY-ONE FILM movie marathon before seeing the twenty-second entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Avengers: Endgame. Last year I said the MCU was getting too large for this. I can’t marathon their entire catalogue three times a year with each new entry. But I also admitted I’d have to do this at least once more because Avengers: Endgame is the closing chapter of the MCU’s first generation. If I marathoned it all for Avengers: Infinity War, then I had to for Avengers: Endgame. I figured I’d discuss my preferred viewing order now too. Why is it the best? Um, well it’s the one I’ve chosen for myself and why wouldn’t I pick what I like best for myself? Do you agree, dear reader? Well, there’s only one way to find out…read on and let’s get our Mighty Marvel Movie Marathon on together! Continue reading
I went into Captain Marvel with pretty high expectations. While I felt the marketing Marvel did for the film was subpar, this was still the Marvel movie I was most excited about this year. It was also the one I had the highest expectations for. Yes, I will be in line for Avengers: Endgame with everyone else, ready to see how the first generation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes to an end. But Captain Marvel’s the movie I was waiting for. With that in mind, I wanted to talk a little bit about the film (no spoilers) but also about the MCU in general After my first (and second) viewing of the film, I found myself contemplating how Carol Danvers was brought to life on the big screen and also what the future of the MCU will look like with her and Black Panther at the fore. Continue reading
The brilliant new podcast Pods & Ends – “the junk drawer of pop culture” – asked me to write a piece for them about Spider-Man movies. Hot dog! I excitedly agreed and I think you should excitedly read this. In the post, I reflect nostaligically on everything from this Spidey movie whose name I cannot find no matter how hard I try from the ’80s up to and including the MIND-BLOWINGLY AMAZING Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. I was honored to write for this great show and would love you to check it out.