As I put together this list of characters, I had to decide what kind of list this would be. I knew it would not be a countdown type list. Sometimes it’s hard to do a countdown and rank something. It’s hard to quantifiably say this character is better than this character. At different times in my life different characters have meant different things. What was important to me in high school is typically less important to me now. A few characters still mean the same to me, and some characters mean a lot to me now, but for different reasons than when I was a kid. Today’s character fits in that category- he meant a lot to me when I was younger and means a lot to me now, but for totally different reasons.
I love Spider-Man. For a long time he has been my favorite Marvel character. He’s not the strongest, smartest, or most powerful, but he just seems like the most relatable. He is the average Joe in a world full of super powerful beings. He has felt like the tie between me, the little guy, and the rest of the Marvel Universe. Out of all the versions of Spider-Man we have seen on the big screen, this version seems to most embody everything I love about the character.
Today, April 28, is National Superhero Day. Right now, it is one of those made up holidays, but it should be a real national holiday. To celebrate, I have put together a list of 10 of my favorite superhero characters. Read on to find out who made my list this time around, and then let me know what your list would be.
The Summer is right around the corner, and that means it is movie time. A couple of years back, it looked like this year was going to be epic. It looks like it is set up to not disappoint. In the past few weeks, we have been graced by the arrival of a number of trailers for some upcoming Summer movies. Some have looked amazing, some have not. The following list is by no means comprehensive, but it is a list of trailers for some of the movies coming out this summer (year).
Yes, I can make this list work. I can come up with 17 reasons that the year 2017 is going to be a good one that are all geek-related. Can you? Is there anything on this list you didn’t think of? Anything I didn’t have room for?
We are just a couple of weeks away from the premier of Captain America: Civil War, so I thought it would be fun to make a few predictions about what will happen in the film. I’ve done this in the past with other films, and one time, my crazy theory was even right. We’ll see how I do this time around. Let’s get to it.
I think our kids live in an amazing time as far as how they watch and what they have available to watch. Streaming has changed the world of content consumption, mostly for the better. I was thinking about this as my daughters were sitting down to watch yet another episode, in a row, of Doc McStuffins (Ugh…I guess I’m just not the intended audience). They can watch this show any time they want, thanks to services like Hulu and Netflix and Amazon Prime. It’s amazing. But, you know what they are missing out on? Saturday morning cartoons. Was there anything better than waking up on Saturday, knowing there was no school and then sitting down and watching something totally epic? I submit that here was nothing better than that. That got me thinking about some of my favorite cartoons from growing up, so I put together a list. This list. This is not a ranking, so they will not be numbered (trust me, there’s 10), and it is by no means a comprehensive list. In other words, your favorite may not be on here. Share with us what your favorite was, if that’s the case. Mostly, this list was just for fun. I am not saying these were the best. These were simply 10 cartoons I have fond memories of, hopefully you do too.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Team Captain America
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The year was 2008, and there wasn’t much good going on in the world of Marvel movies. Spider-Man 3 had soured the franchise, the Fantastic Four movies were definitely not fantastic, and Hulk was lousy at best. It seemed that Marvel was doomed to have lackluster movies produced by third parties.
Then came Iron Man.
Everything felt right with this movie. The costume was spot-on, Robert Downey Jr.’s performance was spectacular, and the post-credits scene revealed that a larger, connected universe was on its way. Marvel was a David in the world of movie producing, and it showed that it could compete with all the Goliaths in the industry.
Even with some of their most popular characters, such as Spider-Man and the X-Men, in the hands of other companies, Marvel began building an incredible, connected universe in the movies that followed Iron Man. There could be little that was more exciting than the idea of seeing individual heroes coming together and Phase One culminated in The Avengers. Marvel continued strong during Phase Two, with Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy being huge hits. While not every movie has been a shining example of greatness and fantastic storytelling, all of them have been financially successful. Even the movie that people seem to complain about most, Thor: The Dark World, did financially well at a little over 200 million.
Marvel has bulked up and is no longer a heroic David, but rather a hulking Goliath, (pun intended), and I think people are getting tired of it.
When Age of Ultron came out, I read dozens of articles that pointed out every flaw and shortcoming. It seemed like everyone was wanting to bring Marvel down from their now legendary status. This only increased when Ant-Man was getting close to release. With the Edgar Wright problems and Ant-Man considered a B-list hero people were anticipating an Evel Knievel style crash and burn. But Ant-Man did well both financially and critically, and Age of Ultron was still well received even with all the nitpicking people have done.
At some point Marvel will have a flop, since no franchise or company can have success infinitely. But until that flop happens people are going to be looking and waiting for it. Watching a Goliath win again and again gets tiring, and so many people hope to see it fail. And maybe a single fail would be beneficial, since right now people are so anxious to find flaws that they’ll tear apart good movies and magnify any flaws disproportionately. Despite the financial and overall critical success of Age of Ultron, there have been a huge number of complaints about things ranging from stereotypical storylines to nitpicking whether or not Black Widow’s portrayal is anti-feminist.
I recognize that Marvel’s movies aren’t perfect. There are a number of different ways that the movies can be improved, but that’s true for almost any movie out there. The difference is that with Marvel being so incredibly successful with their movies, people love to cry out “See! They’re not so great! Look at all of their flaws!” All because people hate to see a Goliath go so long without losing at least once.
I don’t know when Marvel will finally have a failure. Their lineup for the next few years seems pretty strong, so I can’t pick anything out in particular as the next target. But I honestly think that a flop can only help them, because instead of saying “look at the strained relationship between Banner and Black Widow”, we can finally say “that movie may have had some rough spots, but at least it wasn’t another Howard the Duck.”
Hey everybody, I got a really good comment the other day from a reader that was just full of questions, and I thought it would be fun to answer the questions here in a blog post. Hopefully she won’t mind. I am sure if she has questions, other folks out there may have questions as well. Her comment was on my crazy Spider-Man theory post from a little while back. Before we get to her comment, I just want to remind everyone that the post was simply a really crazy theory, and most of the rumors are now panning out to be not true. This was written a month ago, and since that time, it has been clear that Marvel is committed to bringing Peter Parker back to the big screen and they seem to have little interest in Miles Morales appearing in the role. That’s ok, as long as they can make this one stick this time. I just want to answer some of the questions in her comment because I want to show the dots I was connecting in my theory, and why my theory made sense even though it probably is never going to happen.
The comment came in just yesterday, March 28, from a reader named Maryam. I am going to paste her exact comment in this post, and then address her questions. Maryam says:
OMG! This post totally put it into perspective, though I’m not sure Garfield is done. I think they might pull an Avengers on us for the new Captain America movie (when Tony came down from the portal and our poor selves thinking he was dead) or they might do the same thing they did in Captain America Winter Soldier when Nick Fury supposedly “died” to save his cover. [Or maybe by some miracle spidey recovers from the shot. I doubt he would die from a bullet because in all the other spider- man films he dodged bullets with ease. I really don’t think cap would let him die anyway, he’s been shot before and survived… Garfield is an amazing spider-man, so I doubt they’d get rid of him in a movie that isn’t even a spider-man movie… Though I did hear the death of spider-man rumor, I don’t think it will happen, plus tony stark is supposedly in the new captain america, how could spider-man die with those two on his side? Plus how would they incorporate a new spidey without getting rid of the whole previous cast who have contributed so much to the success of the films? And what are the chances of another spider-man just waltzing in another movie if he hasn’t come to help the original sometime in the previous movies… I mean shouldn’t he have been included in the other spider-man movies helping out Peter? Anyway, I hope this comment has been somewhat useful, even though it is really long…
First of all, Maryam, thank you for the comment, I love seeing reader feedback, and the length just shows that you were putting a lot of thought into the comment. I am going to try to address each part of your comment and see if I can answer each of your questions. You first mention that you’re not sure Garfield is done. Unfortunately for all the Andrew Garfield fans out there, he is through being Spider-Man. Sony and Marvel are moving forward with casting a brand new Spider-man and the Spidey we will see in the MCU will be a rebooted Spider-Man. I understand that many folks out there think Garfield was an “Amazing Spider-Man” ( I like what you did there, even if you didn’t mean to do it), but Sony wants to move away from ASM 2, which was a disappointment in a lot of ways.
The rumored death of Peter Parker was going to be a real death, in order to open the door for Mile Morales to step in as Spider-Man. This follows a similar path as the Ultimate Comics version of Spider-Man, although not exactly. In the Ultimate Comics, Peter Parker dies as Spider-Man in a heroic effort to basically save everyone. Part of what ultimately brings him down is a bullet he takes trying to save Captain America. In my theory, I thought it might be cool to combine this with the Civil War storyline, and Pete could take a bullet for Cap, and this leads to his death. Of course in my theory, Toby Maguire would be playing a seasoned Spider-Man. It looks like recent rumors are pointing to a much younger Spider-Man. This still could follow the Ultimate storyline since Peter’s death occurs just after his 16th birthday, so we could still see a Miles Morales Spider-Man in the near future. I doubt it, but this just shows that the young age doesn’t rule out the possibility. I know Spider-Man has dodged bullets in other films, but in this case, he wouldn’t be dodging a bullet as much as protecting someone else.
As far as Iron Man being in the next Captain America movie, it’s true, but don’t think of it as a team up. It is following the Civil War storyline, that, in the comics, put Captain America and Iron Man on opposite sides of a debate over the Super Human Registration Act. That is similar to what is going to happen in the movies, so although they will both be in the movie, they won’t be on the same side, and if Spidey is helping Cap, he won’t be on Iron Man’s side, so the two of them will not be working to protect Spider-Man.
As far as replacing the whole previous cast, that is going to happen as this next Spider-Man, whatever story it ends up following, will be another re-boot. A whole new Peter Parker, a whole new MJ or Gwen, a whole new Aunt May, a whole new everybody. It will be all the characters we know from the previous two versions of Spider-Man, but they will be a completely new cast. That is going to happen regardless of what happens to Peter Parker. The next Spider-Man movie will not be Amazing Spider-Man 3. Maybe The Spectacular Spider-Man?
Having another character just waltz in and take up the Spider-Man Mantle is not unheard of. Miles Morales has done it in the Ultimate Universe. Ben Reilly did it for a while in the mainstream universe. This also happens with other comic book characters all the time. I know usually these characters have a past of helping the main character out, and that’s a fair point, but in the ultimate storyline, Peter Parker and Miles Morales didn’t know each other. Miles takes up the title of Spider-Man in honor of the fallen, dead Spider-Man. It could work It’s not unheard of.
I hope those answers helped to clarify your questions, Maryam. If any of you have any questions about a post, please feel free to ask in the comments section, and I will always try to reply.