It’s been a heck of a week for us Marvel fans, hasn’t it? Just a week ago we got the release of the first “Age of Ultron” trailer (after an initial leak) and I was all set to write up a reaction to it when the good people at Marvel Studios decided to make my geeky head explode by revealing their Phase 3 slate of movies. As is often the case when Marvel Studios announces a new project, their new slate reads like a nerd fantasy that’s too good to be true, and yet this is what they’re giving us!
I don’t even know where to begin, so I’ll just go ahead and write a messy and rambling post, because that’s how I role. First, some “quick fire” reactions before I jump into what were the biggest announcement for me…
-A “Guardians” sequel was obvious, but I’m still way excited. Plus, James Gunn and the whole cast are coming back, so I expect great things. Frankly, it could be just two hours of Rocket Racoon sitting and watching “The View” and I’d still be in.
-We’ve been expecting the “Dr. Strange” announcement for a while now, so it’s nice to finally get it. Interested to hear when they finally lock in official casting. Benedict Cumberbatch has been recently rumored for the lead, but as Marvel said, if that was a given then they would have announced it.
-In the comics, “Ragnarok” was the storyline that destroyed Asgard and killed off Thor for a while (Thor was dead during “Civil War”). That being the subtitle to “Thor 3” gives me the impression that something tragic will go down. Could it involve Thanos and the Infinity Stones? Either way, we’re getting more Loki and that alone is awesome!
-Black Panther is the other of Marvel’s worst kept secrets. Still, it’s exciting to have him finally in the cinematic universe and I expect we’ll see him in a small role during “Age of Ultron.”
-Inhumans had been rumored before, but I wasn’t sure if it would actually get made because it’s a “out of left field” property. My guess is the success of “Guardians” helped get this one greenlit. I love Blackbolt and am excited to see how this plays out.
-I am absolutely THRILLED that we’re getting a “Captain Marvel” movie!
It’s time for a female led superhero movie and frankly I’m glad we’re getting a heroine that isn’t “Wonder Woman.” I dig the cosmic nature of the book and there are many possibilities of cross overs with the “Guardians” or even the “Inhumans.” I would also hope that this paves the way for some of Marvel’s other female characters to lead their own movies or shows. I like that we’re getting an “Agent Carter” show in January and I’d personally love to see Black Widow in her own movie. It would be like “Lucy,” only good this time.
Now, let’s talk about what for me were the two BIGGEST announcements of the event…
1. CIVIL WAR! OH MY GOODNESS – CIVIL WAR IS HAPPENING!
“Civil War” was one of Marvel’s biggest comic events of the last twenty years. A tragedy results in the government passing the “superhero registration act,” forcing all heroes to reveal their identities and be licensed to operate. This divides the superhero community, with Iron Man leading the pro-registration force and Captain America leading the anti-registration rebellion. Now we’re going to see this play out on the silver screen and that makes me want to cry out like a teen at a One Direction concert!
What’s intriguing is that obviously the cinematic “Civil War” will have to be significantly different than the comics. So then, what is the event that disassemble the Avengers? The Avengers 2 teaser seems to suggest that due to Ultron the team is heading towards a breaking point. Is Ultron the reason Cap and Iron Man split up? Does Ultron crack the foundation but do we not see the full schism until Cap 3? There are a lot of possibilities and I imagine we’ll be speculating until next summer when “Age of Ultron” is released.
Another intriguing question is that in the comics Spider-Man was a massive part of “Civil War.” Spidey initially sides with Iron Man and even unmasks on live television to show his support for registration before joining up with Cap. Could the “Civil War” announcement mean that there is more truth to Sony lending Spider-Man to Marvel Studios than we realize? Did Santa finally get my letter? If not, then it’ll be interesting to see what character they use instead to be the one that’s caught in the middle of both factions.
2. OH MAN – THE AVENGERS FINALE IS “THE INFINITY WAR” AND IT’S TWO MOVIES!
Ever since Thanos was revealed during the credits of “The Avengers,” Marvel has been building towards adapting the “Infinity Guantlet” storyline. In the comics Thanos assembles the six gems that control all of time and space and becomes omnipotent. The entire Marvel Universe has to fight him off and he ends up killing half of them. It’s pretty crazy and you’ll need to read the trade for yourself to see how it all gets resolved.
In the cinematic universe, we’ve learned that the “infinity stones” are the weapons of mass destruction that the villains are trying to control, such as the Tesseract. I originally assumed that Thanos and the gauntlet would be the plot of “Avengers 2” but in an interview Joss Whedon gave a while back he referred to Thanos as being the final boss in a video game in which you fight through everything else before you have a final showdown with him. Since “The Avengers,” reaching Thanos has been a slow burn that we now know will culminate with the Infinity Gauntlet over the course of two movies, separated by one year with a couple of movies in between.
I love that not only is Marvel going big with it’s story, but with how they’re choosing to tell it. I imagine this war will involve every cinematic character and rather than try to cram that all into two hours, I love that they’re taking their time and using multiple movies to tell the epic ending they want to. A good geek friend of mine speculates that the Avengers will still be split heading into part one and that in part two everyone will assemble to take Thanos down. It’s just a thought, but it is an awesome one, huh?
Anyways, that’s what I thought of the Phase 3 announcements. What do you think? What are you excited about? Anything you felt was left out? Are you still holding out for a new Howard the Duck movie? SOUND OFF in the comments below!
This has been a NERD ALERT!