Jun 28, 2015

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Views on Phase 2, Ultron, Ant-Man and Daredevil

Hello all fellow Marvel fans!

The journey has been amazing, hasn't it? It had all started off with Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk in 2008. Now Marvel is owned by Disney, and they have made themselves probably the largest superhero franchise in the history of cinema!

There is a reason for this blog post, and it is an awesome reason. I had written about the Avengers, what seems to be ages ago. My thoughts on all the movies that were before, before building up for the big release that was "Marvel's The Avengers" in 2012. You can check out that blog post here http://santhosh-geneva.blogspot.in/2012/04/avengers-2012-im-part-of-hype-oh-yes-i.html

Since that epic release in 2012, Marvel entered what they called "Phase 2" of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

Just a quick recap of Phase 1 for those who are totally lost:

  • Iron Man (2008)
  • The Incredible Hulk (2008)
  • Iron Man 2 (2010)
  • Thor (2011)
  • Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
  • Marvel's The Avengers (2012)

So Phase 1, got done and dusted. Then comes Phase 2.


Iron Man 3 (2013)

Phase 2 was kickstarted into by yet another awesome Iron Man movie. How awesome is Roberto Downey Jr.! He IS Iron Man! The movie had tons of loopholes, but it is all forgiven when you see him suiting up into that awesome metal armour.

Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Also not the best one of the lot, but I personally loved this one. Thor was always among my favorite characters, since the first Thor movie in 2011. A Thunder God who knows what is right for his people and also for Earth.

But more than Thor, it was Loki who stole the show in this one! That love-hate relationship between Thor and Loki, was portrayed amazingly by Tom Hiddleston and Chris Hemsworth.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

My favorite one of the lot.

Irony is, when "The First Avenger" and "Avengers" both had released, Captain America was by far my most favorite character. He was a great leader, knew how to lead a bunch of conflicted characters, and came from a different era.

I was seriously hoping for a great movie, when I saw the trailers of The Winter Soldier. And I owe a big thanks to the Russo brothers! They made one heck of a movie, and boy oh boy, now Steve Rogers was not only MY favorite character, but a character loved by one and all!

He does what HE feels is right. For his people. Because that's what Dr. Erskine wanted.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

My second favorite of the lot. Yet again, I had this feeling this would be an awesome movie. When the first trailer had released, everyone hated the trailer. Somewhere, the Marvel fanatic in me knew this would be good. And boy oh boy, I was not disappointed!

Bradley Cooper voicing an awesome raccoon, Vin Diesel playing a tree that says only 3 words, Zoe Saldana playing a warrior alien, Dave Bautista playing a maniacal assasin who wants to avenge his past... and then Chris Pratt. This human raised by Aliens and who also leads his own bunch of misfits!

The movie may sound serious, from what I just described above... but best part is, it is a laugh riot! Great writing, amazing dialogues, and super VFX. And TONS of references from the 80s and 90s!

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Then came the biggie. The one we all waited for. The second Avengers.

So we had a few new inclusions. Vision, Scarlett Witch and Quiksilver. We had a powerful and maniacal enemy, Ultron.

And here again, my "favorite characters" list got shuffled. Captain America was at the top. But now Thor, is by FAR my most favorite Marvel character in the MCU.

Coming Soon: Ant-Man (2015)

I am super excited for Ant-Man! And I will be watching it in a Bangalore theater (hopefully in IMAX!)

Here too, the trailer was received with mixed reactions. But are you kidding me? You guys panned the trailer of Guardians of the Galaxy, now you are going to judge this one too? I just cannot wait for this one! Releasing soon... next month, I think.

Phase 3 line-up

There is going to be a biggie in 2016. Captain America: Civil War. Where Iron Man will be going against Captain America, due to some major conflict.

There onwards, Phase 3 will just take this superb movie franchise to bigger heights! And did you notice Spider-Man's name in there? Well yes, Sony struck a deal with a Marvel, and now Marvel will be mostly trying to reboot Spider-Man (again). But if Spider-Man is in the MCU, then it SHOULD be a good movie this time, hopefully!

Doctor Strange will be played by the amazing Benedict Cumberbatch. Black Panther will feature a "black" superhero". Inhumans will be an expansion of what was introduced in Agents of SHIELD. A second Guardians of the Galaxy. A third Thor movie.

And a TWO-PART Avengers in Phase 3! What else!

The TV Shows

ABC Series

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (Season 1 in 2013-2014, Season 2 in 2014-2015)

It was the very first TV show I followed from beginning till end. The first season started off very slowly, but it picked up amazingly towards the end. And then Season 2 was a different ball game together! Highly recommendable!

Marvel's Agent Carter (Season 1 in 2015, 8 episodes - renewed for Season 2)

It was an incredible and CRISP season of 8 episodes. Taking place in the 1940s, following the events of Captain America: The First Avenger, this series follows the story of the shattered Agent Peggy Carter, who seemingly lost the love of her life. And how she takes up the mantle, in an era where women were only seen as "useless creatures". Super inspiring, and very empowering!

Netflix Series

Marvel's Daredevil (Season 1 in 2015)

By far my MOST favorite TV Show till date! It is like Nolan's Batman, but rebooted in a Marvel version of it.

Warning: unlike all the other Marvel shows and movies, this one is extremely violent. But that violence is necessary.

This series packs a punch, and Matthew Murdock is now even bigger than Bruce Wayne in my eyes, as controversial as I may sound. It's a personal choice, but I can relate more to the character of Mathew Murdock than I can for Bruce Wayne, if I look at both their characters.

Murdock's vulnerability, his compassion, the mere fact that he is a blind lawyer who stands for justice... and his constant conflict with his own faith. Yes, Murdock is a Catholic. And he does not know what is right or wrong. He does not know whether he is justified in being a vigilante or not.

Watch Daredevil, if you feel like watching Christopher Nolan's Batman movies in a Marvel format!

Future for Netflix shows

Marvel is now building a Netflix movie franchise. How awesome can this get!

Check this out:

So now we will have the Avengers in the movies... and the Defenders on Netflix! I will not say anything more than this... Because I am an eager beaver!

Concluding Note

Phew! So from a simple Marvel franchise, it became a Disney acquisition. From comic books, we now have living people, mortals, portraying these iconic characters.

The only reason I am so attached to Marvel as a movie franchise, is because I see a lot of ideologies and layers behind each of these characters. For Iron Man, it is about doing what he is good at. For Captain America, it is about standing for what he feels is right, for people. For Thor, it is about bringing order in this chaotic Universe. For Groot, it is about always being there for others, however they need him. For the Hulk, it is about not letting others get affected by his anger management issues, but using the same "weakness" to help others. Matt Murdock may be blind and handicapped, but he believes in service. Service for his community, and taking the form of a Devil, because that is what his city needs from him.

These characters have a lot of  "human" elements in them, despite being superpowered or strong beings. And I believe this is something we can learn from - to go beyond our struggles and do what we can to serve others!

And here's hoping the future movies, TV shows (or future seasons of current shows) keep entertaining and inspiring the happy viewer in me! :)

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