Tag Archives: Captain America

The Other Kid from Brooklyn

Let me preface this by saying that I have been waiting a long time to write this.

I haven’t read the comics, but those who have know that the plot of Captain America: Civil War will be making major deviations from the Civil War storyline in the comics.  In particular, this version will depict Captain America’s pressing personal crisis of the terrible, tragic fate of his best friend, Bucky Barnes. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo have teased that Civil War will be a psychological thriller.  Having been through so much with Bucky and because of Bucky, Steve Rogers is tied heart and soul to his friend, perhaps so much that Steve could be blind to his dark side. Until the movie comes out, we will have to wait for the details of how Bucky’s situation will divide the Avengers  Analyzing the last two films that Bucky has appeared in, we must ask ourselves the question, what is the appeal of the Winter Soldier to the legions of fans who, like myself, have fallen in love with him, and why is his story making such an impact on the Avengers?

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Captain America: No Plans for Tomorrow

You can reasonably expect as the time draws nearer for the release of Captain America: Civil War that I will write a few more MCU-related posts. As a fan, there is a lot at stake for me in this film.  One of biggest, most burning questions that will be answered of course, is this:  

Will Steve Rogers, our beloved Captain America, die?

In my Captain America post last fall, I said that I expected him to die in Civil War.  Now let me amend that. It would be wrong to not expect anyone to die in this movie—as attached as we are to all of the characters, someone is going to bite it.  Perhaps multiple people. There would be no emotional stakes otherwise.  But I’m going to focus on Cap because he is the obvious choice for a dramatic, show-stopping death. 

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Why Captain America Isn’t Perfect

This is part 3 of the 3-part Road to Civil War series.

WARNING!  SPOILERS FOR ANT-MAN BELOW.  READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

The question everyone seems to be asking is why the Civil War installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe a Captain America movie?  The truth is, we won’t have all the answers until it comes out.  However, here are some of my thoughts from what we’ve heard about the plot and based on my observations of Steve Rogers.

Captain America as a Leader

At the end of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, we see Captain America squarely in charge of a new Avengers team. The actions of this team under his leadership will lead to the debate over the regulation of superheroes. 

If you want to fight with Captain America, you better do it his way Marvel via Film School Rejects

If you want to fight with Captain America, you better do it his way
Marvel via Film School Rejects

Steve Rogers thinks of himself first and foremost as a soldier, but he has always been a leader. I f people expect Captain America to lead them, then he expects them to work like an army does. In Captain America: The First Avenger, he is the unquestioned leader of the Howling Commandos, and even the directors of the Strategic Scientific Reserve look to him to lead the fight against Hydra.  We don’t see much of the men who followed him aside from Bucky, but I think he had a good working relationship with these guys that probably set his expectations for similar experiences a little high.  

When Captain America goes to work for S.H.I.E.L.D., the situation is far from ideal.  What Steve Rogers expects from those who work with him is trust.  He prefers to know what other people are doing and what’s going on, whereas Nick Fury thinks it’s safer to “compartmentalize” assignments and secrets.  Finding out that S.H.I.E.L.D. was controlled by Hydra is the last straw. From then on, Captain America doesn’t want to be in a position where he isn’t calling the shots. Being in control is Steve’s way of coping with the fact that he can’t trust other people’s motives.

Cap in the Age of Ultron

Steve decides to take out the remnants of Hydra, but it is unclear whether he asked the other Avengers for help or if they volunteered.  But destroying Hydra is Steve’s project, so they let him decide what they do.  To an extent they consider him the leader, and he may even think of himself as one.

Tony Stark referred to Captain America as “the boss” at one point during Age of Ultron, but Tony doesn’t treat him the way Steve expects he would if he really thought that. In The Avengers Tony is condescending and even resentful toward him.  After the two work together for some time, there’s a little more respect and even some liking.  Yet Steve expects that the other Avengers follow his directions and not do anything to jeopardize them or their mission.  Tony Stark does his own thing. And Steve mistrusts Tony for this.

Tony wanted to see Cap's dark side: well, he got what he asked for over the cradle. Marvel via Transparent Things

Tony wanted to see Cap’s dark side: well, he got what he asked for.
Marvel via Transparent Things

Steve is more concerned at first about preventing Ultron from causing more problems.  But then Wanda Maximoff warns Steve the being Ultron was creating with the Mind Stone could be put to use by Tony Stark—and Steve takes it very poorly. His only thought is to prevent Tony from creating another Ultron, and he’s offended that Tony’s attitude and behavior are hurting the team as well as the world.  Civil War as good as almost started over Vision’s cradle.

It would be wrong to say that Steve isn’t sad to see the breakup of the original Avengers.  But at the same time I think he’s looking forward to working with the new team that has come together, probably more or less at his invitation. He has an advantage with this new team because he can set new terms for their working relationship. He can teach them how to work together, trust each other, and rely on each other in ways that the original Avengers never could: the way he wants them to.

So one of the hard parts of Civil War will be watching all of Steve’s hopes and expectations for the new Avengers go down the drain.

A Product of War

Captain America was created to fight a war that, for the rest of the world, ended seventy years ago.  But the war never ended for Steve, and the best thing he can think of doing is continuing to fight.

The things we think are temporary may end up being permanent. Marvel via DarlingStewie.com

The things we think are temporary may end up being permanent.
Marvel via DarlingStewie.com

During World War II, all civilian resources—food, clothing, and even entertainment—were redirected to the military and to mustering support for the war effort. It was a time period when people ate, slept, and breathed war.  Cap went on the ice.  The rest of the world had time to transition, but Steve didn’t. So a part of him still eats, sleeps, and breathes war because he didn’t get to see it end.  And whatever closure he thinks he has—Hydra being vanquished, for instance—is an illusion.

When he got up, furthermore, he was asked almost right away to help save the world from Loki. Steve never intended to be Captain America for the rest of his life, but that’s what nearly everyone else wants him to be.  So he has chosen to be a superhero: that is “home” for Steve now.  And if it is his job to keep the world safe, then he will do whatever he thinks is right to get the job done.  His job from the war, stopping Hydra, was left undone, so he is going to finish it. And his mind, it is an army—in this case, the Avengers—that is the best chance of stopping Hydra.

Doing the Right Thing as a Weakness

A lot of people don’t see why Steve had to crash the Valkyrie at the end of The First Avenger.  My explanation is that Steve didn’t want the world to have access to the Hydra weapons or technology that was on that plane: Hydra was so evil that he wanted to destroy it and every evil thing it created.  And, of course, he held Hydra responsible for Bucky’s “death.” 

A good captain goes down with the ship, right? Marvel via cinemablend

A good captain goes down with the ship, right?
Marvel via Cinemablend

Steve does whatever he thinks is right at all costs, and if you disagree with him about what it takes to keep the world safe, then he is not giving you the benefit of a doubt. 

In Captain America: Civil War, Steve will encounter a serious barrier to his goal of fighting Hydra just as Hydra is regaining strength, and his attitudes and choices in that time will put him in conflict with Iron Man and other superheroes.  And then we have the Ant-man post-credit scene. From the dialogue and other inferences about the situation, we know that Bucky Barnes turning up again in this manner only complicates an already difficult situation.  But why did Marvel choose to show this scene in particular?  Steve wants to help his best friend, at whatever cost to himself, and if he has to break the rules—if he has to fight Tony Stark—to do so, needless to say it’s going to get ugly.

How far will Steve go to make sure he doesn't lose his friend again? Marvel via Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki

How far will Steve go to make sure he doesn’t lose his friend again?
Marvel via Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki

Bucky is the only thing Steve has from the life he used to know: before he was a soldier, before ANYTHING.  If Steve can save Bucky, then he will be able, in some small way, to “come home.” It isn’t right this time: it’s personal. 

But Steve, however, will put his personal happiness on the line to do what he thinks is right.  I am prepared at this point to accept the possibility that Steve might even die in Civil War.  What I am really worried about is, can Steve put up with all of this and still be a good person?  

That’s the best speculation I can give you for now.  But of course, it could all change the moment the trailer comes out.

 

Team Lineups for ‘Captain America: Civil War’

This is Part 1 of the three-part Road to Civil War series. 

WARNING: SPOILERS FOR AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, ANT-MAN, AND CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR INCLUDED BELOW.  READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

I would have been perfectly happy if Marvel hadn’t announced anything and we had no idea who was on who’s side until next May.  But now that we have the names, it’s only fair to speculate.  I don’t know much about the comics so this is entirely based on the movies, the discussions of other online fans, and what we know so far. 

Team Iron Man

War Machine

Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes is Tony Stark’s best friend and sidekick.  I did ask a fan website what else would motivate him to take Tony’s side in this controversy.  The response was that Rhodey works for the U.S. government, so he will support whatever the government decides.  This didn’t make sense to me, but then I remembered the scene in Iron Man 2 where Rhodey took the stolen armor to the Air Force Base.  If that doesn’t speak volumes about Rhodey’s priorities, little else will.

Marvel via Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki

Marvel via Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki

Spider-Man

I have never liked Spider-Man, but when they announced that Marvel had bought the rights from Sony to include him in Civil War and reboot him within the existing universe, I decided to deal with it.  In the comics,  Spider-Man plays an important part in the Civil War story.  The film version, however, will differ since we are seeing Peter Parker at the outset of his career.  Tom Holland was cast as the teenage webslinger based on how he performed with Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans, so Parker’s relationship with the heads of these two factions, specifically with Iron Man, might be crucial.  There was also a mock news interview with Scott Lang released as a promo for Ant-Man, and someone on Tumblr mentioned that in the crawl on the bottom of the screen said Tony Stark had established a scholarship for inner-city students.  Peter Parker probably looks to Stark as a patron. Given Tony’s relationship with Harley in Iron Man 3, Tony Stark looking for a protege makes sense.

Via haxword.com

Via haxword.com

Vision

Vision used to be JARVIS, but I have to scratch my head because Age of Ultron did little to establish how much of JARVIS is left inside of the android.  As Vision, however, he might have good personal reasons for siding with Iron Man.   Vision states in Age of Ultron, “I am on the side of life.”  Perhaps Captain America is doing something he finds morally reprehensible.  

In the comics, Vision is in a relationship with the Scarlet Witch, but since they are on different sides I wonder if that relationship is ever going to occur, if it hasn’t already.

Via picnations.com

Via picnations.com

Black Widow

Natasha Romanoff making Team Iron Man was certainly a shock. The fandom is disappointed because after everything that she and Steve went through together in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, they seemed to have earned their mutual trust.  I for one would have expected her to at least fight on the same team as Hawkeye.  We may have to wait and see what Natasha’s motivations are more than for the other characters.

Marvel via slashfilm.com

Marvel via slashfilm.com

Team Captain America

Scarlet Witch

Scarlet Witch was not involved in Civil War in the comics, and her presence alone indicates that the film is going to be very different, Wanda Maximoff was my new favorite character in Age of Ultron, so I am really happy that she is on Steve’s side.  It’s not surprising, though, because if you remember in Age of Ultron she and Pietro volunteered for Hydra’s experiments in the first place because of their grudge against Tony Stark.  A part of me says that Wanda hasn’t gotten over that.  And the twins, if you remember, were close to Clint Barton, it’s no surprise that Wanda is sticking with him.

Marvel via thewrap.com

Marvel via thewrap.com

Falcon

Sam Wilson, of course, is extremely loyal to Steve Rogers.  Considering his role in Ant-Man, Sam will be the one recruiting Scott Lang and he may be the one pulling other people to Cap’s side. He might even be considered a co-leader of the team.  I am interested to see how he will interact with Hawkeye/Clint Barton.  They both have superhero names based on birds of prey and so naturally the fandom thinks they belong together.  In-between all of the other shenanigans there is a chance we might get to see the “bird bros” bonding onscreen.

Marvel via sciencefiction.com

Marvel via sciencefiction.com

Ant-Man

If you haven’t seen Ant-Man yet, go see it!  Those of you who have, you know he’ll be called in to do Steve the ultimate favor.  Scott Lang is a huge Avengers fan to start with.  But what’s interesting is that in Ant-Man, Hank Pym mentioned to Scott that he could never trust Howard Stark with his technology and he doesn’t want Tony anywhere near it either.  That impression probably stuck with Scott.  I think Scott Lang will be Steve’s new go-to man for equipment, since he is burning bridges with Tony, and heaven knows Steve and his teammates are going to need some tech to compete with Stark.

Marvel via moviepilot.com

Marvel via moviepilot.com

 

Hawkeye

This was the surprise for Cap’s team.  I mean, he is a really loyal friend to Natasha so I am surprised and disappointed they weren’t on the same side, but that’s what’s going to raise the stakes, right?  At the end of Age of Ultron, Clint went back to his family at least for a little while, so I wonder what might get him to go back into the field.  The registration act from the comics storyline is not going to work out, but in Age of Ultron the other Avengers except Natasha did not know about his family, so he still had at least some degree of privacy.  Something may be threatening his family and he is siding with Steve in order to protect them.

Marvel via screenrant.com

Marvel via screenrant.com

The Winter Soldier

All signs indicate that Bucky will be getting at least some of his memory and personality back, but his external circumstances will remain less than ideal.  Other people aren’t going to care that he’s no longer Hydra’s brainwashed assassin, and in fact if you saw the Ant-Man post-credit scene you KNOW that he’s vulnerable for it.  The more I hear, the more I think that the resolution of the Winter Soldier’s storyline will be the pin on which everyone hinges.  Steve might take his stance based on how people respond to Bucky, and Steve may or may not trust certain people based on who agrees with him.

Marvel via stitchkingdom.com

Marvel via stitchkingdom.com

The Double Agent

When the team lineups were announced, it was also rumored that one of the superheroes was going to be a double agent.  Everyone thinks (and wants) it to be Natasha, but I think we need to give the other character a look.  To be brutally honest, Bucky fighting at Steve’s side is almost too good to be true.  Spider Man is a new character and his motivations are unknown, but if he’s a young teenager who looks up to Tony Stark I doubt he would do anything that gutsy. Scott Lang/Ant-Man might become disillusioned with his superhero idols after watching them fight each other.  Maybe Tony does something that Vision disagrees with, but once Vision makes a decision I doubt he would go back on it: he is too much pure goodness. 

a safer world

Fan art by Lizy Cole

I would say that Team Iron Man has the advantage as far as technology, but for powers I think they might be even. As for the characters I like I think Captain America’s team took the vast majority of the cool people.  However, much remains to be seen about what the actual conflict is and what will really motivate these characters we know and love to take sides.

Read More:

The Casting of Tom Holland as Spider-Man

Sebastian Stan on the Ant-Man post-credit scene

Scott Lang Interviewed by WHIH

 

With Chris Evans, Salt Lake Comic Con is Legit

To be fair, the title of this post is a bit misleading. Salt Lake Comic Con (no dash) has always been legit. From their very first show, up through their most recent FanX, SLCC has done an incredible job listening to fans and bringing them the experiences they want. As of yesterday, though, Salt Lake Comic Con is more legit, maybe even 2 Legit, 2 Legit 2 Quit (I’m sorry, I know that was lame). I’ll be honest, the guest lineup this year was pretty good for some folks, but I wasn’t really feeling it as much as previous years. There were a few guests I was excited about, but it just didn’t seem like there were as many as for me as previous cons. Of course, part of that may be that anything short of a David Tennant or Peter Capaldi feels like a let down after Matt Smith came in January.

Then this happened:

11695780_493338194162221_8686003961386369436_n

 

Yesterday, Salt Lake Comic Con announced that Chris Evans would be attending the convention on the Saturday of the event. This is huge. You know where Chris Evans wasn’t? San Diego Comic-Con (with a dash). You know what he has never done at other conventions, that he’s doing at SLCC? Photo ops and autographs. Do you know how awesome that is? Epic. Oh, and to add to the awesomeness, there was this little bit of information, leaked from Hayley Atwell’s twitter account:

Hayley was asked if she might be joining Chris for the con in Salt Lake, and she said yes. Which would be pretty cool. These are two huge names who are currently in the MCU. I think the fans in Salt Lake would love to see these two together. I know I would.

What is even cooler about Chris Evans coming is the story about how the booking went down. According to an article written by a local reporter for USA Today, Dan Farr made contact with Chris Evans agent in Houston at Comicpalooza (apparently the agent was there with Hayley Atwell, so that might explain why she is also coming to SLCC). He was talking to them about coming to Salt Lake, when Marina Sirtis (aka Deanna Troi), a SLCC alum, came up and told the age that they had to come to Salt Lake Comic Con. She said it was the best event around, and that the fans were the best. That’s pretty high praise. Now, the result is that we are getting these two mega stars here in Salt Lake.

I am so excited about this and how it all went down. We are building a reputation for being a premier spot for celebrities to come and meet their fans. We are building a reputation for being an awesome geeky fan base, and that is pretty cool. The fact that our fans played a role in why this happened seems to just fit. SLCC has always been about the fans and what we want.

I think the other thing that makes me so excited about Chris Evans coming here is that this will open the door for other huge, epic names to come here. Assuming Chris will have a great experience here (how could he not?), he’ll go back and tell his friends that this is the place to come, and then when they get contacted, they’ll want to come because they will have heard how awesome we all are. This is huge, Chris Evans coming, but I have a feeling that this is only the beginning. I can’t wait to see where we go from here. Salt Lake Comic Con is legit.

What did you think of the big announcement yesterday? Was it as epic as advertised, or are you still holding your breath, maybe a little, for someone else? (David Tennant) Let me know in the comments below. Or on my Facebook page or Google +, or send it to my email directly at thegeekymormon@yahoo.com.

 

Captain America in 8-Bit Glory

Have a couple of minutes today? Take that time to lay your eyes on this 8 bit masterpiece from Cinefix. It is Captain America The Winter Soldier in 8bit. So much awesome in one video should be illegal, but it’s not. Enjoy!

Revisiting the MCU: Captain America The Winter Soldier

Captain-America-The-Winter-Soldier-HD-Wallpaper

 

Well, we are less than a week away from Age of Ultron opening in the United States, which means I should be getting close to the end of my trip back through the MCU. Today, it’s Captain America The Winter Soldier, and then there is just one more film left, Guardians of the Galaxy.  I really feel like the best have been saved for last. These last two films are two of my favorite films in the MCU. The Winter Soldier  is not just one of my favorite MCU films, but it might make my overall top ten of all time (which would make an interesting post…hmmm…). This movie has it all. Action, intrigue, comedy, story, really a little bit of everything. It is a solid storyline that stays true to the original source material, without being too married to it that it loses out on being a great film. This is a hard balance for movies to hit sometimes, but his one pulls it off.

One of the best things about this movie is the continuing evolution of Captain America. In First Avenger,  we get his origin story see how he becomes a legend during World War II, and how he ends up in our modern-day. In Avengers,  we see that Cap has not fully adjusted to his role in this new world, in fact, by the end of Avengers, he has barely figured out what his role should be. He is still sticking out like a sore thumb in the modern world. We really see that adjustment in The Winter Soldier, as Captain America realizes how he can fit in, how he can make the world a better place. It’s not just joining in and blindly following orders. He realizes he can make SHIELD better, even if it means starting over like Peggy suggests. At the beginning of the film, Cap is somewhat content with the idea of Fury sending him on missions, and him completing those missions. He is bothered by the fact that Fury seems to keep secrets from him, like giving Black Widow a separate assignment on one of their missions, without telling Cap, but he is still somewhat on board. After everything really starts going down with SHIELD, IE Fury gets “killed,” Cap begins really questioning his role, and SHIELD’s role and how different is SHIELD than HYDRA? There begins to be a shift, as Cap begins to settle into his natural role as a leader. You can see this happening with Sam Wilson, The Falcon, who is simply there to follow Cap. The big scene where the full shift finally occurs is when Cap and Black Widow and Sam and Agent Hill are meeting with Fury (who is not really dead), and they are discussing what they are going to do to take HYDRA out. Fury wants to keep the three helicarriers, but just get rid of HYDRA. Cap says no, they are going to take them out, take out SHIELD as well as HYDRA. Fury protests, but Hill speaks up and is with Cap, and then Black Widow says she is too, and Sam says he only does what Cap does, only slower. Fury then says it looks like Captain America is calling the shots now. That’s the moment when Cap is in charge, where he takes his place as the leader in this new world, and not just a soldier.

The supporting cast in this movie are fantastic. In the middle of everything that is going on, we have the appearance of the Winter Soldier, who we find out is really Bucky with a metal arm. His memory has been wiped (numerous times it looks like), so he doesn’t remember Cap or his previous life during World War II. The role is played very well by Sebastian Stan. He doesn’t have a lot of lines, to make his character dark and mysterious, but that can sometimes be harder to play a role with no lines. He does it well, playing the part of not recognizing Cap, and wanting to kill him. He also plays the part well at the end of the movie when he saves Cap, and then goes off to find himself, as it were. He is supposedly locked into a contract for multiple future films, so I assume we will be seeing the Winter Soldier again.

The highlight of the film, however, is Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/The Falcon. He was fantastic from his first scene where Cap keeps lapping him as their jogging, to when he puts on the wings and becomes Falcon. Mackie has great timing throughout the film, and offers a lot of heart when Cap is trying to figure out his place in the world. In fact, he is the moral compass in the film, which is one of the most important roles of any sidekick, or partner as the case might be. I am hoping he is in Age of Ultron (that’s the rumor) and in Civil War, and in any number of future MCU films. He was just so good, I came out of the film thinking he was one of my favorite characters in the MCU now.

Overall, Captain America The Winter Soldier is one heck of a film. Marvel’s best to date, in my opinion. Age of Ultron  looks good, but it will be tough for it to top this movie. When I sat down to watch it earlier today, I was thinking that I remembered it being really good, but as I watched it again, I was surprised by how good it was. That’s the sign of a good movie, I think. If it surprises you with how good it is each time you watch it. It’s rare for me to give a movie 5 stars across the board, but this is a rare movie.

What did you all think of The Winter Soldier?  Did it live up to the hype? Is it one of the better MCU films, or are there others you would rank above it? Let me know in the comments.

Revisiting the MCU: Captain America: The First Avenger

Captain-America-The-First-Avenger-captain-america-the-first-avenger-19352794-1920-1200

 

As we move through the Marvel Cinematic Universe, our next film is Captain America: The First Avenger. As I sat down to watch this movie, I was going to try to be as unbiased as possible, but it’s hard because Cap is my favorite of the Avengers, and there is a lot I like about this movie, even if there is a lot that I don’t. The hard part is that the stuff I like I really like, and it can out weigh the stuff I don’t like and maybe I don’t notice it as much.

I really like Chris Evans as Captain America. I wasn’t sure at first, because I couldn’t get past him as the Human Torch in Fantastic Four, and Johnny Storm and Steve Rogers are two totally different personalities. Once I saw the movie, though, it’s hard for me to remember him as the Human Torch at all. He does a great job pulling off the clean-cut, always do the right character of Steve Rogers, and equally as Captain America.

I also like how they built up the character of Steve Rogers as he is becoming Captain America. The scenes during his boot camp are some of my favorites in the movie. Particularly when he brings down the flag pole to give the flag to his drill sergeant so he doesn’t have to keep running, and when they throw in the dummy grenade and he throws himself on it. Those are moments that define who Captain America is before he is Captain America. It shows that there is more to him than his powers that come from the super serum. I also chuckle when he is trying to enlist and he meets Dr. Erskine for the first time, and he thinks he has been caught lying to enlist. And of course, another defining statement is when he is asked by Dr. Erskine if he wants to go over to Germany to kill some Nazis. He responds by saying he doesn’t want to kill anyone, but he doesn’t like a bully. That’s Captain America in a nutshell.

Overall, I always enjoy this movie, it is fun, it is exciting in parts, and I love Captain America, so mostly it’s a win. However, there are a few plot details that drive me nuts. The US government, and especially a US government that later has an organization like SHIELD, would never spend that much money and time and resources to create a super soldier, have it be successful and then not use him for combat. It’s just kind of silly. I struggle with that every time. When Tommy Lee Jones says he was promised an army, and all he got was Rogers, and he wasn’t enough, it’s almost laughable. So, basically, you didn’t get your army, so your still going to go and try to win the fight against Hydra without the one weapon you did get. Seems reasonable. No, the reality is that Rogers would have been on the first boat to Germany and sent to the front lines. Of course he only gets there after spending time as a glorified dancing Uncle Sam, and then going awol to find his missing friend. That’s when the army realizes, “Hey, you know this super powered guy we have that can do almost anything? Maybe we should use him to do stuff.”

Other than that, the film is pretty watchable. It runs a little cheesy and over the top at times, but Captain America was originally cheesy and over the top. This isn’t really our introduction to the modern Cap, it’s our introduction to who Cap was during World War II, and it gets him to our time with the whole freezing thing. Really, it’s a 2 hour set up for later jokes, like in the Avengers when he gets excited because he got a reference to Wizard of Oz. We laugh because we know he just barely got thawed and was stepping out go 1945. It is a film to establish frame of mind, so we understand who Cap was and who he is. In Winter Soldier, we get the modern Cap, and he is awesome, but that is a review for another day.

What did you think of First Avenger? How does it stack up tot he preceding Marvel films like Iron Man and Thor? Let me know in the comments. Always love hearing from you.

The Mount Rushmore of Superheroes

mount_rushmore

This is Mount Rushmore. It is basically a mountain that has 4 massive Presidential mugs carved into it. 4 Presidents that were not selected by accident. The sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, selected each of these men based on what they had accomplished and their impact on our nation. Today, people will refer to the Mount Rushmore of Basketball Players, or football player, or actors or even superheroes, as a way to discuss who were the greatest of all time. I saw someone post an image of their Superhero Mount Rushmore, and I began to wonder who would be on mine? Who would I consider the greatest 4 superheroes of all time, and I thought that would make for an interesting post. Then my wife suggested I pick four heroes and tie them in with the Presidents that were selected, which I thought sounded even more interesting. So, here is who would be on my Superhero Mount Rushmore. I am not saying these are my 4 favorites, but each played a role in the history of Superheroes, somewhat similar to the Presidents who are up on the mountain. (Some of it might be kind of a stretch, but it’s all for fun anyway).

George Washington-Superman

f_washingtonGeorge Washington was selected because he was the original. He was the first President of the United States, he started it all. His place on the mountain was assured because of that, if for no other reason. However, he was also the general that led the colonists against the British and helped us gain our independence. He seems to stand for everything we think of as making America great, and if all the Presidents were to ever sit down and have a meeting, George Washington would be the head of that meeting.  I always liked the legend of George Washington refusing to be crowned King. He had just fought a war to liberate us from a king, he didn’t want us to return to that. The people gave him all the power, and he could have taken advantage of that, but he didn’t.

3605753-1936874063-31646Similar to George Washington, Superman was the first Superhero, or at least the first one that really caught on. For me, this was the easiest connection to make. Without George Washington, there wouldn’t be the other Presidents, and without Superman, there wouldn’t be the other Superheroes. Superman has the power to be a god over the people of Earth, and it’s a good possibility that id he asserted that power, people would follow him willingly, and he could be king of the Earth, but he doesn’t do that. Like George Washington, he acts responsibly with the power he has been given. You may not agree with all of my entries on this list, but it would be hard to have a superhero Mount Rushmore without Superman.

Thomas Jefferson-Batman

Mount-Rushmore-Natl-Monument-Thomas-Jefferson-SD-1-2011-09-14_496x684It seems like Thomas Jefferson is always stuck in George Washington’s lofty shadow. George Washington was the 1st President, Jefferson was the 3rd. George gets the $1 bill, Thomas gets the $2 bill, a bill no one ever uses. Yet, it would be hard to argue that any one man did more to frame the foundation for the liberties we enjoy today. Thomas Jefferson is credited for writing the Declaration of Independence, a document that is probably more important to the history of our country and our world than almost any other document. Jefferson was also a big proponent of the government stepping in and being more involved, where as Washington was a little more hands off. Plus, it is only proper that Jefferson be up on this mountain, since his Louisiana Purchase bought the actual mountain and made it part of the United States.

3084172-2727164-batman_by_el_grimlock_d4sntu0Batman and Superman are opposites in a lot of ways, but they both have similar goals, to protect the innocent and all that stuff. This is similar to Washington and Jefferson. Each performed their role as President very differently, but each had the same end goal: to prosper and protect our young nation. Batman continues to sit in Superman’s shadow, at least in the mainstream, but I think he likes it in the shadows, so it’s ok. Batman, as we have seen in many story lines, is ok with stretching his influence as much as he can to bring order to Gotham, where as Supes seems to want to minimize his. One thing that you have to credit Batman for is his story which has become the ultimate Superhero archetype. Plus, Batman has spread the popularity of comics further than Superman ever could have on his own. If Superman gave us the Superhero model and laid that foundation, then Batman expanded and built it up to what it is today.

Theodore Roosevelt- Wolverine

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATheodore Roosevelt has always seemed like the odd man out to me on Mount Rushmore. He was wildly popular in his time, and he did establish the National Parks, and Rushmore is a National Park, but really he didn’t do anything especially mountain worthy. Looking into it a little for this post, I realized that when this sculpture was started in 1927, Roosevelt was a pretty big deal still. He brought our nation into the 20th century and into an economic boom. He was feared and respected as President, especially by those who would threaten our country. He coined the phrase to “talk softly, but carry a big stick.” It seemed to work for him as President. Plus he was a world traveler and renowned hunter. Then there was the Panama Canal which offered a quick connection between east and west. Then there were his days with the rough riders- he was a man’s man, which made me think of…

0147…Wolverine. Also a world renown hunter, and survivor of multiple “military exploits,” Wolverine is a man’s man kind of Superhero. He may not carry a big stick, but his 6 adamantium claws are a pretty good substitute. Wolverine became the face of marvel comics during a boom time as well: the 1990’s. Since then, his face has been everywhere. He may not be as old or as iconic as the others on this list, but for the modern generation, he may be just as important, similar to Teddy. Wolverine goes his own way, not really fitting into the traditional Superhero mold. Similarly, Theodore Roosevelt felt like he didn’t fit into the traditional mold of his political party, so he started his own, the Bull Moose Party. Because of his past, many may have thought that Wolverine was not really leadership material, but as of late he has taken over as the head of the Jean Grey school, and has done alright, proving to be more of a leader than some gave him credit for.

Abraham Lincoln- Captain America

4861843101_074edf2665_zThe thing that Abraham Lincoln is best known for is abolishing slavery and holding our country together through the Civil War. He knew what was right and what was wrong, and he wasn’t going to let anyone tell him differently. He would not back down, and believed that the Union would prevail in the Civil War because it was on the right side of the debate. After the war was over, Lincoln’s plan was to be very forgiving with the former confederate states to help speed along the recovery and peace of our country. Unfortunately, he was gunned down before he could move too far into his reconstruction plans. As a result, our country was left in quite a mess. More than almost any other man in history, Lincoln seems to embody everything America is about or what it should be about, especially considering he had political loss after political loss before becoming President and stepping into his shoes as one of the greatest leaders in the history of the world.

1163159-80_marvel_adventures_super_heroes_3There can be only one Superhero that embodies all of that, and it would be Captain America. He stands for everything good about our country and he sometimes has to stand for it all alone. He also led one side of a civil war in the comics, knowing his side would prevail because they were right. In fact, Steve Rogers has found himself in quite a few of those kinds of conflicts, and he always seems to find a way to bring everyone back together again.  Sometimes, that’s no easy task. In addition, he was also gunned down by an assassin’s bullet, leaving the Marvel fictional world to figure out where to go next and what to do next. I think the biggest reason I thought to connect these two was because like Lincoln, when Cap knows something is right, he knows it and that’s where he stands, even if he is all alone.

There you have it, my Superhero Mount Rushmore. Just to be clear, this is all in good fun, and by no means do I mean to belittle anything any of these 4 great leaders have done by comparing it to fictional characters. It’s just not the same, and I recognize that. Just for fun, i thought I would include 2 more Mount Rushmore lists, with just the names, not descriptions. One is the DC Universe Rushmore and the other is Marvel.

DC

Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern

Marvel

Captain America, Reed Richards, Hulk, and Wolverine

Who would be on your Mount Rushmore of Superheroes?  I am sure our lists would disagree somewhere.  Let me know about it in the comments.

Can the New DCCU be Better Than the MCU?

In case you missed it because A. You’re not really a geek, or B. You have been living under a rock somewhere, DC made a major announcement involving 12 films between now and 2020.  They even managed to one up Marvel by not just revealing the dates they have marked and set aside for the movies, they have also told us which titles will be released on which dates.  It is clear, they are stepping up to go toe to toe with Marvel.  This leads me to ask the question: Which is going to be better in the long run, the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) or the DCCU (The DC Cinematic Universe)?  First of all, I don’t even know if the new DC movie world will be called the DCCU.  I just did that because of MCU.  I saw it called the DCCC or the DC Cinematic Continuum. That’s a lot of C’s, so I like the DCCU better, but of course they will need to be different from Marvel, so maybe the DCCM-The DC Cinematic Multiverse.  Or maybe the DC C52-The DC Cinematic 52, because we all know how much DC loves the number 52.  In any case, the question remains, will DC be able to compete with the Marvel on the big screen? Or is it too late?  Marvel has been doing this for a few years now, and it seems like they can do now wrong, with Guardians of the Galaxy blowing up the box office this summer, after being a title that no one had ever heard of over the last 30 years.  The truth is, I don’t think that is going to happen with every random title Marvel might try to ram down our throats, and I think DC really has an advantage to be more successful in the long run.  It may not seem like it now, but trust me, it’s going to happen.  Let me tell you why, I think, DC is going to outlast and eventually take down Marvel at the box office.

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It might seem like Marvel has some amazing stuff coming our way, especially with the announcement that Captain America 3 is bringing us the Civil War story line. And that is probably true, but this announcement brings up what I believe are the two biggest issues facing the MCU right now.  Let’s look at issue number one.  Civil War is going to be massive and huge and change everything, and then what?  Cap will be dead, it looks like Robert Downey, Jr. is planning on playing Tony Stark forever, we don’t know if Hemsworth will be back as Thor, and for whatever reason, Marvel has zero plans to do a really good Hulk movie.  The four biggest names and most marketable characters Marvel has in the MCU will be gone.  The Iron Man movies were all huge hits, and Cap and Thor did alright on their own, leading to the massively successful Avengers movie, leading to more successful sequels, that will be followed by another huge Avengers movie, which will lead to another round of successful movies for the big four (minus Hulk, sorry big guy) that will lead to a huge, epic Avengers 3, followed by nothing.  Talk about a let down.  The good news is that Marvel has plans to expand their universe with the likes of Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, Daredevil, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage.  These characters are popular with hard-core comics fans because their titles typically had some of the premiere writing and stories, but they are not that marketable.  Marvel led with the biggest names they had, and like it or not, they will be on their way out, just as DC is hitting their stride.

The lack of back ups for the big four brings us to issue number two.  Quick think of your favorite Marvel super hero not named Thor, Iron Man, Cap, or Hulk.  Did you think of this guy?

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Or maybe this guy?

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Or maybe these folks?

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Or maybe even this guy?

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Well forget about all of them.  While each of the above referenced characters will be appearing in movies, none of them will be appearing in the MCU.  Way back in the day, in the time before RDJ became Iron Man, the idea of a combined cinematic universe for Marvel’s characters just didn’t exist.  Marvel believed their characters were marketable, and could draw in big crowds, but they didn’t have any way to put it out there.  There wasn’t a Marvel Studios, and at the time, marvel wasn’t doing so hot. They did what seemed like the only smart thing at the time.  They sold off the rights to their more popular characters.  Spider-Man went to Sony, X-Men went to Fox along with the Fantastic Four.  Other characters were sold off too, like Daredevil, The Punisher, and Ghost Rider.  Their movies were so horrible, that we won’t mention them here again.  The point is, this was the only way Marvel saw to get their product out there, so they sold the rights, and those studios all still have the rights, and they’re not giving them up.  The only reason Marvel still had the rights to the Avengers is because nobody wanted them.  That worked out well and lucky for Marvel, but the time is quickly approaching when the Avengers as we know them won’t be around, and having properties like the X-Men or Spider-Man would be nice when that happens.  Plus, now that they are doing these major events like Civil War in the movies, it is going to hurt to not have those properties.  Spider-Man played no small role in the Civil War story.  I’m just saying.

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These are the two major issues why I think in the long run, DC will do better and outlast Marvel. When it comes to forming one unified Universe in the films, DC just has the upper hand.  Yes, DC is leading out with their two most well-known characters to start things off, but they have a lot of interesting, main stream characters that they can throw at us as well.  I mean, Yes, Superman and Batman are as big as it gets, but the Flash and Green Lantern and Aquaman and Wonder Woman are all pretty well-known as well.  The movies that they have announced are all heavy hitters, minus Suicide Squad, which will end up being DC’s version of GOTG, incase you were wondering why the rush for that title.  There is not really an Ant-Man in the bunch.

Of Course, the reason why this is the case is because all of DC’s characters have been owned by Warner Bros. for a while.  They have always had a medium for their films, so they haven’t sold off the rights to their characters like Marvel had to.  Not only does this mean that all of their popular characters are available, it also means that there is zero crossover issues that they will need to overcome as they start making the films.  If they want to throw together a “phase” that focuses on one of the Crisis events, they can, and they don’t have to worry about who they might sub in to take Barry Allen’s place to save the world and die for 30 years, since some other studio owns his film rights.  They own the rights, so he’ll be in the movie. No problem.  They have a whole universe, nay, a multiverse available to them.  No legal barriers to stand in their way.

There are a lot of different directions DC can go too.  Unlike Marvel, not every DC character or title revolves around New York City.  Each Hero has his own distinct city with its own distinct feel to it.  Gotham is very different from Metropolis, which is different from Coastal City or Central City.  Plus, Green Lantern can be his own whole spinoff universe, going throughout the cosmos and involving the other Green Lanterns and the other corps.  It is a limitless supply of backdrops, expanding way beyond just New York City.

Don’t get me wrong, I have at least one major issue with the new DCCU.  Well, maybe a couple of issues, that are really rolled up into one issue:

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There will be no crossover between the DC shows and the DC movies.  In fact they have already announced that the guy playing Flash is not the same actor playing him currently on TV.  They haven’t even announce Green Arrow having any kind of presence in the upcoming films.  That makes me sad.  I have enjoyed the Flash so far, and I love Arrow.  Plus there is also news that TNT maybe picking up a Teen Titans pilot involving Nightwing, which may be existing in the same world as Arrow and Flash.  DC is really putting together a nice little universe on TV, but it will have nothing to do with the movies.  Maybe the TV shows will serve as practice for the movie universe.  Who knows?  But this is the saddest part of the announcement this week.  I would love to see Stephen Amell show up as Green Arrow in one of these films, but I won’t hold my breath.

So what do you all think?  Does DC stand a chance, or will Marvel always rule supreme at the box office?  All I know for sure is that both studios will be getting a lot of money from me over the next 5 years.