What. The. Wingdings.
You guys. The Special Marvel Event that I just got to attend, sweet god almighty. There are no words. I should just stop writing this article now.
But, then I wouldn’t have an article, so I’ll attempt to put into words their announcements, my experience and…
…what everything means and what we can expect.
The big announcement, in all reality, is relatively simple; it’s just their film slate for the next five years, more or less: 2015-2019. Some people will refer to these as the Clinton years, but nerds like us, we will call it Marvel Phase Three.
And WHAT a film slate it is! For those of you who missed it, here it is again.
1. Avengers: Age of Ultron in May 2015
2. Ant-Man in July 2015
3. Captain America: Civil War in May 2016
4. Doctor Strange in November 2016
5. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 in May 2017
6. Thor: Ragnarok in July 2017
7. Black Panther in November 2017
8. Avengers: Infinity War in May 2018
9. Captain Marvel in July 2018
10. Inhumans in November 2018
11. Avengers: Infinity War May 2019.
I mean, just look at that beautiful line up. The order of things immediately begs so many questions! Like, is the Civil War fought, won and figured out by the time we get to Doctor Strange in 2016? Or does he have to pick a side? Or is he like, “pick a side? I’m the Sorcerer Surpreme…get out.”
And, Captain Marvel comes out in-between the two Infinity War movies, as does the Inhumans film? How do THEY fit in to that greater story!? When do we actually get to meet all of these new characters? Well, we have an answer to one of them, Black Panther, as Comic Book Resources quoted Feige, in a press junket afterwards, saying “he (Black Panther) is definitively a big part of ‘(Captain America:) Civil War.’ We will meet him for the first time in ‘Civil War,’ in costume.” Did you hear that? IN. COSTUME. That’s almost as exciting as just knowing T’Challa will be there!
Also, along with these announcements, they revealed that, not only are they doing a Black Panther film, but they’ve already cast him! Chadwick Boseman! Are you even kidding me? That’s awesome!
By the by, here’s a great shot of the Black Panther suit, complete with what I can only imagine is Vibranium claws and some weird Wakandan Kevlar…
Okay, anyway, so let me give you a quick breakdown of everything and what it could mean for the MCU at large.
AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON
May of 2015
The Ultron threat, perpetrated by the pre-emptive nature of the Ultron program, rebooted by Tony Stark, splits the team down the middle based purely on their ideology. The world is left utterly destroyed and in a heap at the feet of the Avengers. (again, my speculation, but it makes sense that this is where it’s all going.)
We’ve already seen the trailer, we all know some crazy nonsense goes wrong in this film, that the team rosters change up, and it leads in to whatever is happening in Captain America: Civil War.
But, for now, on to…
Not much was made of this film at all (and by not much, he didn’t talk about it) and I’m really confused about HOW he might fit in to the greater universe in a post-Ultron world. However, we know from the comics that Hank Pym actually created Ultron, and the official summary from Marvel Studios about Age of Ultron says, “When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes… are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance.”
I think it’s possible that the original program was in the hands of Henry Pym and that maybe, just maybe, Tony’s dad worked with him in some way back in the day, that maybe Tony knew about it, knew the risks involved, etc. So, in some ways, maybe some of the ripples from the Civil War Post-Ultron first wash up against Pym Industries and that’s where we find our heroes in this film.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR
After it was announced that Robert Downey, Jr. was signed on to be in the film, there’s been speculation that this would be a Civil War film, but now it’s confirmed. Not only that, but it was done in true style. When they first announced Captain America 3, they subtitled it “Serpent Society.” Then, 3/4 of the way through the event, Feige made a joke that he had “buyer’s remorse” at that Serpent Society title. It then changed to the Civil War logo, but man he had the whole audience scratching their heads for a good 25 minutes. “Serpent Society? Seriously? THESE guys?”
Thank God for buyer’s remorse…
Anyway, the big problem with adapting Civil War to the screen is that its’ all about the government forcing the heroes to reveal their secret identities to the government. Tony Stark believes this is fair and an issue of public trust; Steve Rogers believes that it’s a Draconian violation of those hero’s civil liberties. BAM! WAR!
But, in the MCU, there are no secret identities. Feige (again, thanks to CBR) said, “The generalities of the Act (Registration Act) are the same… Something happens — perhaps it’s cumulative of things that have happened in all of the movies up to this point— that has made the governments of the world say, ‘We need some oversight of these guys.’” Finally, Feige says about secret identities, “It’s not about the secret identity thing as much as it’s about ‘who reports to who.”
We’ve already seen aspects of this with Nick Fury at the end of the Avengers film when Maria Hill asks how they get a hold of them, how they’re set loose on the world now, and Nick Fury is all like, They’ll be there when we need them to be there. Calm down…
But, this sentiment leaves them with no oversight, free to police the world as they see fit, so, that’s where Civil War will take us.
(possible SPOILER— beware)
They showed a brief clip of a scene from the movie with Stark and Rogers having a civil argument while chopping wood, with Rogers already mentioning “his team” and insinuating that Stark kept secrets, etc etc, and that supposedly takes place half way through the movie.
(end possible SPOILER — un-beware)
I don’t even know where to start with this one. This one is going to change everything in the MCU, complicate everything and show us entirely new worlds and power sets. I mean, In the current Avengers run, written by Jonathan Hickman, he summons a Lovecraftian entity from a dark dimension after selling the entirety of his soul in a demon market to gain ultimate power. I mean, WHAT? That’s awesome and it’s that sort of wacky, WTF mysticism and darkness that a character like Doctor Strange will bring to the MCU.
Kevin Feige said at the event,
“The Ancient One, who helps (Doctor Strange) tap in to… the Supernatural, and in the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Supernatural, that involves everything from Quantum Mechanics to String Theory to Parallel Dimensions all of which, if you meet the Ancient One and train to be a Master of the Mystic Arts, maybe even Sorcerer Supreme one day, you can manipulate with your hands and your thoughts.”
He goes on to say, “The idea of this film is to open up an entire new corner of the cinematic universe… we want to enter in to this world of Parallel Dimensions through Doctor Strange. Scott Derrickson (the director) is working very hard creating visuals the likes of which we’ve never seen in any Marvel movie before, and the likes of which, we hope, you’ve never seen in any movie ever.”
The good Doctor is an important part of the Infinity Gauntlet story, which is what Infinity War comes out of, lending mystic support to take out the various sundry threats presented by, not only Thanos, but Thanos WITH the Infinity Gauntlet. It will take ALL of the powers of the Marvel universe to really take this Cosmic asshole down.
Also, just a guess, but I think there’s a solid chance Doctor Strange has the Soul gem. Unless he doesn’t and Adam Warlock has it in Guardians of the Galaxy 2.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2
This was originally schedule for a later slot, but they decided that the world just could not wait for this movie, so they’d do us all a favor and release it even earlier. The funny thing is that I think they might be right: the world will probably actually be better off because of this film.
My guess here is that we’ll really get going on where Thanos is coming from, what his endgame is, and if his motivation is truly to kill the entire universe all because he’s in love with the physical manifestation of Death.
Also, we’ll get to meet Star-Lord’s dad, who will most likely play a pivotal role in defeating Thanos, either through knowledge he has or through actually providing might to take him down.
ALSO, my guesses for who is Star-Lord’s dad: it’s either Starhawk or Adam Warlock.
Sincerely. What the living frak? Ragnarok? Really? That is one of the most epic storylines Thor’s ever faced. Written by the legendary Thor artist/writer, Walt Simonson, the Ragnarok storyline crossed a lot of realms and saw a big fight come to both Midgard (in the form of Malekith and his Casket of Ancient Winters) and Asgard, where the Lord of the Fire Giants, Surtur (basically the Devil) brings the Twilight sword (more powerful than Mjolnir) to the gates and takes on all of Asgard.
I cannot overstate how epic this is. To me, this news was almost as epic as the Infinity War news. Of this, Kevin Feige said, first of all, “(Ragnarok) is a very important word which essentially means ‘the end of all things.’” He went on to say, “this is a very important movie for us” and that, much like what the Russo brothers did with Captain America in Winter Soldier in that it “changed everything that came after it,” Marvel’s plan is to “take Thor to another level of his own franchise and, in fact, picks up right after we leave him in Avengers 2 and will impact everything to come afterwards.”
All that to say, Thor and the Nine Realms will hold clues of what’s to come with Thanos, what he’s capable of, as well as holding the keys to how to defeat him.
We get another new character! Of note, at least to a die-hard Marvel fan like me, is that Black Panther will be the first movie, between Marvel and DC, to have a black hero in the lead, as it’s coming out a full 3 years ahead of DC’s Cyborg movie, which is slated for 2020.
I’m a bit in the dark on this one as I’m not too familiar with Black Panther-centric stories. However, Feige said at the event that T’Challa is one of the “the most unique, interesting, fascinating, and integral characters in the entire Marvel Comics history” and that, “We have already started seeding things in the films leading up to this moment” and that, in fact, “something I already showed you today contains an easter egg” about Wakanda and the Black Panther.
The only thing they’d really shown us up to that point, other than a video with James Gunn, was the Age of Ultron trailer, so you can expect me to pour over that for the next year trying to piece it all together.
The film itself will center on “…the advanced African nation of Wakanda and all that comes with it, the family drama, he’s a bit of a Prince, he may become a bit of a king, but it’s also about how this isolationist country of Wakanda needs to meet the world, maybe it goes well, maybe it doesn’t.”
So, wait. Why does this country NEED to meet the world? Are they in need? Under threat? Or does the world need their technological participation in order to save itself?
Whatever it is, for my money, it won’t go well for quite some time.
AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR
So, in the press event, Master Feige didn’t talk about Avengers JUST yet. He actually skipped over this date to talk about Captain Marvel and the Inhumans first, but since I’m going in order of the films, trying to demonstrate how they may fit together, I’ll talk about this now.
First things first, they showed this epic teaser for the title.
Then, he went on to talk a little about it, though not too much. What he did do, though, is acknowledge that this is where they’ve always been going with their franchise, that it’s all been leading up to this.
Also, take a good hard look at that Infinity Gauntlet in the video.
The Infinity Stone in the middle? The big one? There’s a swirling galaxy in it. In the comics, it’s the green one, which is the Soul Gem, which is the only on to house a whole other universe inside it. What’s awesome, to me, is that on screen, that gem has a galaxy swirling in it. God in heaven please tell me you’re doing something with that Marvel!
I’m not certain which gems (stones) pertain to what in the films, but I know that we’ve seen blue (Loki’s Staff), purple (in Guardians) and red (the Aether in Thor: Dark World) in the films. Presumably, the Tesseract is another stone though I’m not sure which one it’s supposed to be here unless it’s the one in the center.
So, after the Chitauri hits the fan (see what I did there?) in the first Infinity War movie, we then go to who Feige referred to as “a very very important character.” Captain Marvel.
Of her, Feige first said, “I want to make it very clear that this Captain Marvel’s name is Carol Danvers.” He went on to say that they’ve been working the story and the script and how to deal with her for a very long time, “almost as long as Doctor Strange” and that “the key thing was figuring out how to do what we really wanted to, which was introduce one of, if not the, most powerful hero into the entire MCU.”
Also, for all of you Guardians fans, Captain Marvel “straddles two worlds; her origins are earthbound and yet her adventures, at least her power base, comes from the Cosmic realm.” meaning that we might possibly get to see her on some of those same planets, with some of those same people, fighting similar aliens, etc.
It’s also entirely possibly that, as a point of access to the character, we’ll have a couple Guardians co-star with her or something. Also, since Marvel’s gone on record saying they don’t want to do ANYMORE origin stories, it’s likely we’ll see her already in action, with just a couple flashbacks to the damaged Psyche-Magnitron, a damaged Kree device that makes imagination into reality…turning her into a half-human/half-kree superhuman who can fly, has super strength and can shoot photonic blasts from her hands.
ALSO, my guess is that this will not be her first introduction to the MCU. It’s more likely that they’ll introduce her much earlier, maybe even in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 where it would make the most sense. This would make her a better known character/property and allow her to then more fully participate in the events of Infinity War, which is absolutely where her powers will be needed.
AHAHHHHAA! I cannot wait to see Steve Rogers look at both her and Doctor Strange and be all, “whut?”
Alright. I’m not gonna lie. This is a weird one. But, that’s what makes it so awesome and so exciting. Remember about three years ago when Marvel was at SDCC and they were all, “We’re gonna make Guardians of the Galaxy” and everyone was like, “What? Why?” I think this is another one of those moments for them. It is a very little known property with not a lot of fans clamoring after them, but, look, here’s the deal. Marvel Studios does not have the rights to their mutants or the X-Men, so they have to have something to explain genetic mutation and other such stuff, so this is the next best thing for them. Look to see A LOT more about the Inhumans start popping up in their comics and on TV, etc etc.
As our Lord God and Savior, Kevin Feige, said at the event, “(Inhumans) introduces not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, but dozens of new heroes into the cinematic universe. It’ll be our 20th film, it seemed time to open the flood gates a little bit wider.”
Flood gates? Here’s my suspicion. Infinity War, more or less, brings to a close everything that Marvel Studios has been working on since 2007, starting with Iron Man. “You ever heard of ‘The Avengers Initiative?'” That being said, they’ll need a new direction to take things when that’s over. BAM! Inhumans is that direction. They’ll bring them in during all the wackiness of an Infinity Gauntlet-powered Thanos and then let them loose on the Marvel world at large. It’ll be sort of like Seinfeld being the lead in for Caroline in the City. “Hey, you like this awesome show, maybe you’ll like THIS one too?”
(Except, in this instance, Inhumans is actually really awesome).
The Inhumans are sort of like tragic, cosmic orphans. They are a race of people started on Earth eons ago when the Kree (blue aliens in Guarians) experimented on, like, Cro-magnons and early homo sapiens back in their caveman days. The experiments were intended to make hybrid human/Kree people that could then act as soldiers for the Kree. But it didn’t work out and they were left behind on a planet where they don’t really belong, but left with no other place to go. They’ve kept themselves secret up until now.
Hmmmmm. Kree/Human hybrid? Sounds an awful lot like Captain Marvel. I think we can expect some crossover here in someway.
Also, the whole secret society thing is reminiscent of Black Panther’s Wakanda, so there could be some parallels there too.
Here’s what Feige had to say:
“We really do believe that the Inhumans can be a franchise, and perhaps a series of franchises, unto themselves… they have dozens of different power bases, they have an amazing social structure in which you go through these Terrigen mists and you don’t know what you’re going to become on the other side, which gives amazing character drama we want to play with.”
Honestly, though, you guys, this is awesome. I mean, King Blackbolt, the leader of the Inhumans, can level mountains with a whisper.
That’s his power. That’s AWESOME and I cannot wait to see that on screen!
AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR II
And then, it’s all over. Most likely Thanos is defeated, and we’re off in to uncharted territory.
That’s it. Sorry it’s so long, but there’s just SO much to talk about!
If you wanna watch the shakey fan footage of the Marvel Event, you can do so here.
Follow Matt Key on twitter, here!
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