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The Marvel Universe

The Marvel Universe

By on Dec 7, 2013 in Featured |

The Marvel Universe has grown a lot since its beginning in the 1950s.  What started as a series of comic books would become one of the most popular entertainment franchises in the world.  Marvel has since expanded to explore mediums such as comic books (of course), short films, feature films, video games, and a television series all based on characters from the Marvel Universe.  While certainly ambitious, having so many entertainment outlets marketed more towards the mainstream can cause inevitable problems with canon.  In addition, new stories that aren’t based on the original comics can disappoint more die-hard fans.  My goal is to discuss how the Marvel Cinematic Universe has expanded and how it branches away from the original roots of Marvel Comics. I am not very familiar with the original comic books, so most of my experience comes from the movies and doing my own research. I do know though that comic book plots can be very complicated, with official canon, non-canon issues, issues dealing with hypothetical plots, and even crossovers with the DC Universe.  People who aren’t completely invested in these plots would naturally be confused.  It is my belief that these intricate plots are streamlined for film to appeal to audiences and fit all of the plot points into a 2-3 hour window. However, film adaptations for anything tend to get mixed reactions out of fans.  The most common complaints I’ve come across are that the adaptations are either too true to the comics and less appealing to the casual moviegoer, or they deviate too far from the source material in an effort to please the average, non-comic book reader. One example I can remember is people complaining that Spiderman didn’t use webshooters in the 2002 film Spider-Man, but instead shot webs out of his wrists directly. Another I found had to do with the order of events that will lead up to the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron and eventually Ant-Man, namely that Ant-Man is directly responsible for the events that happen in Age of Ultron and should go first.  Lots of these complaints are easily shrugged off by people who don’t know about the comics, but comic book fans feel as if their beloved...

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe: Has It Changed Audience Expectations?

The Marvel Cinematic Universe: Has It Changed Audience Expectations?

By on Dec 6, 2013 in Featured |

In 2008, Marvel Studios and Paramount Pictures released Iron Man starring Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. At the end of the credits, there was a post-credits scene with Stark returning home and meeting Nick Fury who tells him that he is there to talk about Stark about the ‘Avengers Initiative.’ For the many fans of the comics who went and saw this movie, they knew what this meant. Paramount Pictures and Marvel Studios were going to shoot for an Avengers movie. They were going to attempt to have an interconnecting universe through six movies over the course of five years. The first five being solo films to focus on one hero and to expand the universe. The Incredible Hulk (2008) was the next film after Iron Man. Like its predecessor, Hulk made many allusions and references to other Marvel properties that were going to be having their own movies (Captain America got many allusions in this film). Iron Man 2 came next in 2010 and it expanded on the presence of SHIELD in the Marvel Cinematic Universe by introducing Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow) in the mix of things. It also expanded on the shared universe by showing an after-credits scene of Thor’s hammer and Phil Coulson (a SHIELD agent introduced in the first Iron Man movie) arriving on the scene. Thor was another MCU movie that had a strong SHIELD presence throughout. It introduced Clint Barton (Hawkeye) very briefly and showed that the organization sometimes didn’t care about the constitutional rights of the civilians they encountered, like with Jane Foster’s equipment (Hawkeye’s scene in Thor). The after credits scene in Thor also introduced Loki as the main villain upcoming The Avengers. Captain America: The First Avenger was the last movie in the MCU to be released before The Avengers. Since Captain America took place in the forties, there was no SHIELD. Instead, the movie introduced the precursor to SHIELD, the Strategic Science Reserve, along with the Tesseract which plays a huge role in The Avengers. The Avengers, which brings Iron Man, the Hulk, Captain America, Black Widow, and Hawkeye together is the film that ends Marvel’s Phase 1 and Iron Man 3 has begun Phase 2, which will lead up to The Avengers: Age of...

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