5 Hard Truths About the Marvel Cinematic Universe

As we get more movies from the popular Marvel Studios, we find that there are some things that are evolving faster than we can process them. Some things are beautiful, some things are not so great, and both casual fans and comic book nerds will have to learn to accept these things. The Marvel train is going full speed and there’s no stopping it now. Here are five hard truths about the MCU, whether you like it or not.

Everything begins and ends with Iron Man (Tony Stark).

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When Marvel announced an Iron Man movie was coming out, People weren’t sure what to expect, as Iron Man wasn’t the poster boy (it was a tie between Wolverine and Spider-Man). Thanks to Robert Downey Jr.’s performance and influence, the world of Marvel was born and now Iron Man is at the crux of everything. Building Ultron instead of Hank Pym, becoming the first public hero, and leading the Avengers, Iron Man will have a part in every major plotline in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

There will be humor.

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DC movies (and shows) have been on a streak of seriousness, aside from CW’s The Flash. On the other hand, Marvel seems to work humor alongside the action and drama. Avengers Age of Ultron may have as many humorous moments as it did incredible action sequences, and even Guardians of The Galaxy incorporated humor into its very conclusion.

Everyone is hanging out together.

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Both Steve Rogers and Tony Stark have sidekicks, but Tony Stark is also known to hang out with Bruce Banner. Nick Fury is in everything and knows everybody. Much like in the comics, these characters appear in each other’s stories and with Captain America: Civil War’s casting list, the cameos are endless.

No movie will ever match the comic that inspired it.

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This is both a good thing and bad thing. While Captain America: The Winter Soldier mirrored the comic that inspired it, the movie took some liberties to make sure it fit the time frame of the movie universe. There’s also the case where not so great comics inspire the movies, and the differentiation between the two is a good thing (see 2013 AGE OF ULTRON event).

At least 10% of the movie is setup for the future.

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The initial fun of the Marvel movies was the endings. After the credits rolled, audiences were treated to a small scene that would give a slight nod to the future of the movies. No moment was greater than seeing Nick Fury in Tony Stark’s house to talk about the Avengers initiative. However, as Thor’s cave scene in Age of Ultron was any indicator, these movies also have to make sure everything ties in together. The problem I have is that some scenes, like Thor’s little side-story, seem to detract from the main plotline that was being built over the course of the Phase 2 Marvel movies. In my opinion, these moments may seem more fitting in one movie, at the end of the credits, or to be completely removed altogether. The end scenes used to be fun and surprising, but now they feel expected and the fun seems to be gone.

Going into Ant-Man in July, we’ll see how he fits into this strange new world where everybody knows everybody.

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Things I’ll Miss About Marvel’s Ultimate Universe

Secret Wars hits the shelves this month, and this week marks the release of Ultimate End, the final issues left of Marvel’s Ultimate Universe. For those who don’t know, the Ultimate Universe is an alternate reality that updated many of the Marvel mainstays for modern readers. Back in 2000, Ultimate Spider-Man and Ultimate X-Men launched the characters in a new way. As the universe formed, so did the titles, as Ultimate Fantastic Four and The Ultimates (aka Avengers) came to the forefront. With this year being the 15th and last year of the universe, I’d like to note some things I’ll miss about the beloved alternate reality.

Costume Design

Ultimatum05FinchWraparoundCoverWhile some characters maintain similarities to their main universe counterparts, the Ultimate Universe allowed for some much-needed redesigns. The main avengers cast had great updates, with Thor being one that truly separated him from his legacy. The Ultimate Nick Fury is what brought about casting Samuel L. Jackson in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as his likeness was used for the design. The designs used for the Amazing Spider-Man movie were closer to the Ultimate designs, and that was a great thing, especially for Electro. Hawkeye, Captain America, Iron Man, and Moon Knight all had different designs that were used as influences for the main universe’s updated designs. Even the X-Men sported more manageable and realistic outfits that fit just right.

Keeping Things Close

Spider-Man. Fantastic Four. X-Men. Ultimates. While there were plenty of mini-series featuring single heroes, these four books carried the whole Universe. It was much easier to jump into these titles to get a grand sense of the Marvel world. Ultimate Spider-Man alone introduced Hulk, Daredevil, many of the street level heroes, and his whole world on top of all that.

Bold Choices

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The Ultimate universe was a playground where characters can be reworked, within reason. A big change that came was the event titled Ultimatum, which saw Magneto trying to destroy the world when it was thought his children, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, had died. The whole world was affected, and our heroes fought to save a flooded New York. It may not have been the most well-received event, but the writers stood by it and continued on, with the event having lasting effects in every book. Plus, if it wasn’t for Ultimatum, we wouldn’t have J. Jonah Jameson give the best apology to Spider-Man ever.

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Mixing Things Up

The Ultimates hate each other. Wolverine gets ripped in half by a Hulk who eats people. Deadpool hosts his own “The Most Dangerous Game” by hunting X-Men on a deserted island. The Watcher pops up all over the world. Kitty Pryde dates Spider-Man? These are a few things that kept the universe fresh and unexpected. The fun of the Ultimate Universe is that it kept things moving and expanding, never stagnating.

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Ultimate Spider-Man

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If nothing else, the Ultimate Spider-Man series is by far the greatest contribution the Ultimate line gave to comics. Ultimate Spider-Man revitalized the hero as a high school student and kept him there. This Spider-Man faced the sinister six, the Ultimates, the X-Men, Venom, Carnage, an actual Green Goblin and everything under the sun, while still doing his due diligence with his Aunt May, in school, and with friends. He passed the mantle to Miles Morales, who made his own impact as a fantastic, if not better, Spider-Man. Both of these heroes made their mark like no one else, and the world they leave behind will be missed. It’s a touch personal for me because my first time reading Spider-Man from start to finish was the original Ultimate Spider-Man run, and for that, I’m forever grateful to have enjoyed it as it came.

I am happy that Mark Bagley and Brian Michael Bendis will be helming the Ultimate Universe’s final moments, as they are the team that created this world that I’ll forever cherish. Thank you for 15 great years.
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The 5 Best Comic Book Shower Thoughts

If you’re wondering what a shower thought is, it’s something that you think of in the shower or really anywhere and you end up having this face. REvelation It makes you think, makes you laugh a little bit, and sometimes pondering your very own existence. And of course reddit being the site that it is (the front page of the internet!) they had to have some comic book shower thoughts.

5. If the Flash was really good at chess, he would be Grandmaster Flash

by TheTwentyTwo character_bio_576_flash     This is just kind of a funny coincidence really.

4. When The Hulk gives up and reverts to Bruce Banner, he just rage quit.

by wildxlion bannerhulk Pretty straightforward, but still pretty funny. Consider a Hulk playing games and getting mad about campers and throwing his controller down through the ground and it coming out in China.

 

3. If Green Lantern smoked some Green, he’d have a lot more creative constructs.

by TheTwentyTwo character_bio_576_greenlantern I mean guns, walls, and jetpacks are cool, but imagine the super psychaledic and hilarious constructs he would make if he were high.

2. Spider-Man is just a boy going through changes shooting white stuff all over the city.

by cmonkey9876 spider-man That’s quite an interesting complex that Spider-Man is going through. Puberty is tough, man.

1. Batman and Daredevil should switch names.

by Skiddle1138 Batman_Daredevil Matt Murdock is blind and relies on his incredible sense of sound to orient his surroundings, something bats are known to be very apt at. Bruce Wayne is constantly grappling hooking around and jumping around off of buildings and just in general doing adrenaline junky type activities (base jumping, driving at incredibly fast speeds, etc) or done by someone you might call, a daredevil.

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Thoughts About Stuff: What if a Male Character was the Hero in Captain Marvel?

We’re not asking what if Captain Marvel was a guy, she is going to be Carol Danvers. When I say hero, I mean the person that saves the day at the very end with the city/country/world/universe in danger. So then what would happen if Carol Danvers was in a situation where she went toe to toe with her villain, and almost won, but ended up in a dangerous situation, and was saved by a supporting male character?

Would the internet explode in a huge rage? I’m pretty certain it would, but why? In the very first movie of the Marvel Cinematic Universe it’s Pepper Potts that kills Obadiah Stane, not Tony Stark. In Thor: The Dark World, it’s Jane who creates the weapon for Thor to use to kill Malekith, in Iron Man 3, it is again Pepper Potts who actually kills the villain Aldrich Killian, and Black Widow closed the wormhole in The Avengers and certainly had a lot more to do with killing Alexander Pierce than Cap himself did in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

So why would it upset people if Captain Marvel was saved by a male supporting character? It’s a question I’ve given a lot of thought, because recently there is an e-mail going around from one of the CEOs of Marvel listing unsuccessful female-lead movies.

If you haven’t seen it, this is what it says:

“From: “IP” 
To: “Lynton, Michael”
Subject: Female Movies
Date: Thu, 7 Aug 2014 05:32:50 -0400

Michael,
As we discussed on the phone, below are just a few examples.  There are more.

Thanks,

Ike

1.  Electra (Marvel) – Very bad idea and the end result was very, very bad. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=elektra.htm

2.  Catwoman (WB/DC) – Catwoman was one of the most important female character within the Batmanfranchise. This film
was a disaster.  http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=catwoman.htm


3.   Supergirl – (DC) Supergirl was one of the most important female super hero in Superman franchise. This Movie
came out in 1984 and did $14 million total domestic with opening weekend of $5.5 million. Again, another disaster.

Best,

Ike

I have not seen other e-mails in this conversation or the context, so if they are out there please correct me, but I don’t see anything in here about not doing female movies because those were movies were unsuccessful. This could just as easily be an e-mail about what to avoid doing when working on Captain Marvel. Like I said, I absolutely admit, I haven’t delved into deep research about the context, so if there is more to it proving that this e-mail is an argument against female lead movies, please let me know. But as of right now, it appears a lot of assumptions are being made.

The reason I’m discussing this in relation to the question posed in the title is that I’m just wondering if maybe, just maybe people are looking for a reason to be mad with Marvel sometimes. I understand getting behind Mark Ruffalo’s comment about the lack of Black Widow toys (a totally legit complaint), and Scarlett Johansson’s spoof on Marvel’s lack of a female lead movie, because Black Widow has proven she is incredibly popular among fans.

But why is it assumed that everything Marvel does now is in some way anti-feminist? This article about the e-mail above is one example, I’ve seen tweets where people are upset that Ant-Man has only one female character (even though it is slated to also have Haley Atwell and Judy Greer), and the anger over Black Widow being captured in Age of Ultron. And if Captain Marvel doesn’t deliver the finishing blow to the villain and is saved by a male character, I’m 99% there would be an internet rage shitstorm, even though Iron Man has never defeated any of his villains on his own, and twice where he was saved by Pepper.

All I’m saying is that there are reasons to be mad with Marvel like I mentioned earlier, the lack of apparel/toys for Black Widow is really disappointing and having no solo movie is also a letdown (it is worth noting Hawkeye doesn’t have one either though). But there are also things that people probably need to dial it back a bit on, the e-mail above is one example (again, if there is proof that this is an e-mail about not greenlighting female movies, let me know), and being mad at Ant-Man for only having Evangeline Lily on the poster seems pretty grumpy for the sake of being grumpy.

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Spider-Man Is Joining The Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Welp. Here we go. The prayers of fanboys and fangirls everywhere has been answered. Here is the press release in full if you want to read it.

The deal basically goes to say that first Spider-Man will be introduced in an MCU film and then have a standalone film that will be co-produced by Sony and Marvel in 2017.

Most of the wording and phrasing in the press release would suggest we will be getting a brand new Spider-Man and creative team (sorry fans of The Amazing Spider-Man). This will be especially fun to follow to see who we may see cast as a new Spider-Man. #DonaldForSpiderMan coming back maybe?

The common and easy speculation is that he will appear in Captain America: Civil War. However, it would not surprise me if Marvel wanted to get Spider-Man in the game as soon as possible. An Age of Ultron end of credits reveal/appearance doesn’t seem out of the question. Afterall, if there is so much global fighting, surely someone is defending New York right?

We’ll await more news as it comes out, but there is definitely a perfect panel to describe what’s going on here.

MaryJane

Obviously, we’re all excited, but we have to pause and really commend Sony and Marvel for coming together on something I never imagined happening with the way the deals were structured.

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Cool Stuff: Batmobile Phone Case

I’m sure everyone has wondered what it would be like to have a batmobile cell phone that has incredible features with LED lights and such. Oh, just me? Maybe you’ll change your mind after this video.

While I could do without all of the over-the-top dubstep, and while it is definitely a novelty and not practical at all, it is pretty dang cool. Phones are getting pretty big anyways, whats a little bit more lost pocket room?

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Roundtable: Cosplay in 2015.

With a new year it means new cons, and with new cons you can definitely expect some pretty incredible cosplay, and with that Nerd Swole wanted to talk about what to expect in 2015.

What cosplay did you see in 2014 that blew your mind?

Brian: 

Hulkbuster
’nuff said.

Alex:

Even more terrifying when you see this in person.
Even more terrifying when you see this in person.

Yeksson: 

Jessica Nigri, primarily because she cosplay as my 2nd favorite Eeveelution, Umbreon.
Jessica Nigri, because she cosplayed as my 2nd favorite Eeveelution, Umbreon.

What cosplay do you expect to see the most of in 2015?

Brian: I’d expect to see a lot more Star-Lord, considering the smash success that Guardians of the Galaxy was and the relative ease with which the costume could be made/obtained. I’d also expect Flash to be pretty popular considering the success of the TV show.

Alex: I’d say the Star Wars fan-base is about to triple due to the new comic, new trailer for Episode VII, and new projects such as Rebels and the upcoming Battlefront.

Yeksson: I honestly have no idea.  Maybe Little Mac will be up there due to the recent release of Super Smash Bros 4.

Which cosplay would you like to see in 2015?

Brian: Seeing a close to scale Ultron would be pretty dang cool.

Alex: I hardly see a few of these guys alone, let alone together, but a unified Green Lantern corps with all 5 lanterns, plus any of the other corps, would be incredible.

Yeksson: Seeing a CW Network inspired Flash would be really cool.

Sometimes a celebrity walks around on convention floors dressed up (Maisie Williams as Spider-Man, Bryan Cranston as Walter White), what celebrity-cosplay combo would you like to see?

Brian: It would probably make my life if Danny Pudi (Abed from Community) was dressed up as Batman.

Alex: It’d have to be Kevin Conroy as Batman. The voice alone is fanboy worthy.

Yeksson: Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean and him being in character would be a plus!

If the Nerd Swole team were to do an ensemble cosplay, what should it be?

Brian: As Team Nerd Swole, where we just wear our Nerd Swole shirts. Or maybe the non main 7 of the Justice League, considering I have an Arrow costume.

Alex: It’s more of a game than the costume, but if the Nerdswole team dressed up as sneaking characters in gaming (Batman from the Arkham series, Ezio from Assassin’s Creed, Joel from The Last of Us, Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid, Sam Fisher from Splinter Cell, etc) and tried sneaking around the Con floor, trying to get the jump on each other.

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Yeksson: 

For trolling purposes
For trolling purposes

…or three members of the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers,

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5 MORE NERD NIGHTMARES COME TRUE!

Halloween may have passed, but there’s still scary stuff out there for us nerds. A doomed Fantastic Four comic with a controversial movie on the way! A world where consoles will always keep their online worlds separate, forever perpetuating console wars! With so much goodness in the world, there’s bound to be plenty of bad. And if history is any indicator, we’re doomed. Here are 5 more nerd nightmares that came to fruition!

1. “Wolverine is Dead. At least we’ll let the man rest.”

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The Death of Wolverine was an event a few years in the making and as previously covered, he had earned some rest. However, in comics, the only one who really stays dead is Uncle Ben. Here’s a few of the titles that accompanied Logan’s passing.

  • Death of Wolverine: Deadpool and Captain America
  • Death of Wolverine: Logan Legacy
  • Death of Wolverine: Life After Logan
  • Death of Wolverine: Weapon X Program
  • Wolverines ( A new weekly title following all of these)

Just let the man be out of the limelight for 2 minutes. Sheeesh, Marvel.

2. “Secret Wars was a classic. There’s no way to mess it up!”

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…unless Marvel announces that the whole event leads to the wiping out of the Ultimate and Main Marvel Universes. So are all the comics leading up to Secret Wars meaningless? Was AXIS all for naught? Will Marvel just stick with one reboot (Marvel Now!, All-New Marvel Now!, Avengers Now!)? It just seems like Marvel can’t keep on track to let a series run past 50 issues without changing up everything. The constant need for change is a problem. I’m not saying that jumping on points aren’t great for inviting new readers, but if you keep the rebooting, eventually everything that made the story initially great will falter. I trust in Jonathan Hickman’s writing and scope of his works, but Marvel’s plans will outweigh writer’s creative ideas and this direction is quite frightening, especially with Spidey’s return, Wolverine’s death, new teams assembled, and even the AXIS shifts all being relatively recent developments.

3. “This movie is parodying a real life issue. I can’t wait to see it!”

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This one made national news, and it’s a doozy. Regardless of your opinion about the movie The Interveiw, the movie and the theaters playing the film were threatened by a hostile nation. Backlash has followed films such as American Sniper, Zero Dark Thirty, and even Iron Man (to a lesser extent) for countless military, terrorist, and political controversies. When freedom of expression is taken away in filmmaking, the creators are robbed and we, as a culture, are the victims. While I’ll not try to get too politically vocal, I do not agree that films should be cancelled due to content. It is the public’s choice to view or not view the content in any film and every film that has gone through the proper legal channels to get a final product should be allowed to show the created product. After all, it’s mostly all entertainment (at worst, commentary), and not destructive to any person.

4. “I have the definitive version. I’m so glad I invested in this.”

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How many consoles and versions of each game do you need to have the full story? Kingdom Hearts, you’re too high maintenance. Not even every HD remix can make up for stringing me through 5 different consoles (and growing). I just want to play Kingdom Hearts III already, not 358/2.

5. “TV Shows are so popular nowadays with streaming and DVR. There’s no way they’ll cancel my favorite shows.”

Unfortunately, nothing that is good is safe in this world. Constantine recently has suffered due to mediocre ratings, and will most likely be airing its last episode this year. Some shows are destined for greatness, and all you can do is watch (legally), show it to friends, support the show via social media, and pray to the TV gods. We’ve covered it before and it’ll keep happening to the best of these great shows.

And there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it.

Pure shock and horror.
Pure shock and horror.

Suck it up and keep pushing forward, brave nerds.

And with those terribly disturbing thoughts, don’t forget to check out the first 5 Nightmares that have already come trueMake sure to check out our Nerdswole store, in which we feature our own picks as Amazon Associates!

News Roundup: Suicide Squad, Green Lantern, The Last of Us, Civil War, and More!

Sometimes there are just too many awesome and interesting things going on during the week, and we can’t comment on all of them. This is one of those times, and we have to hit you with a barrage of links to get ourselves and you all caught up!

Karl Urban might be in talks to replace Tom Hardy for the role of Rick Flagg in Suicide Squad. /Film has got the story. 

Tyrese Gibson REALLY wants to play Green Lantern.

Tyrese
via BossLogix

 

Chris Pratt is currently being eyed for an Indiana Jones reboot.

Indiana
Pretty good photoshop.

The Last of Us movie is coming along, with some “big changes” but Neil Druckmann says the story and feel remain faithful.

The_Last_of_Us_Logo

 

 

The all-female Ghostbusters has been cast and has a release date.

Ghostbusters

Robert Downey Jr. talks about why he chose to do Captain America: Civil War and some details on the film. Via CBM.

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Nerd Swole Mailbag #1: Batman, Star Wars, and Other Randomness.

Well you guys seemed to like it and we went along with it. We’re sorry it took so long, and we’re hoping to streamline the process to make more of these to keep up with all of the questions being asked. Thanks for being so patient.

Let us know your thoughts! Please check out our Amazon Store, full of items that we recommend as Amazon Associates! 

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