Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Where will Avengers go from here?

I thought I'd save this post for here. I was originally going to post this in my Avengers review but that got kinds long.

Everything we've seen in the Marvel films was only phase one. Time for phase two. Loki got his army from Thanos, the mad god of Titan! We learn this at the closing credits scene when Thanos is told to face the Earth's forces would be like courting death. Thanos simply smiles. Why? Because in the Marvel Universe, concepts like Love, Hate, Eternity, Chaos, Order and Death all exist as cosmic beings. Thanos is in love, nay, obsessed with Death. He wants to court her.

I figured we might see Ultron or Grim Reaper or the Masters of Evil or something more home grown (i.e. Avengers threat that comes from the Avengers themselves) in the sequel. But Thanos? As in Marvel's version of Darkseid? As in the user of the Infinity Gems who, in his obsessed desire to court Death, once destroyed half the universe? That Thanos? Jeeeeze.

We need more heroes! Back up that sequel and introduce new heroes in every movie. Ironman 3, Thor 2, Cap 2, the mystery Marvel movie, all of them. You don't have enough time and to show this big bad's power correctly, you'll need plenty of heroes!

My thoughts on cameos:
Ironman 3: Sure, give us those plans already leaked online, a variation of the Extremis story with Ben Kingsley's Mandarin lurking in the background and Black Widow cameoing.  Maybe set up Ms. Marvel as Carol Danvers. Also make reference to Hank Pym (Antman, etc) and Janet Van Dyne (the Wasp). Reference Wakanda and their mysterious king, the Black Panther. Show the old Stark mansion and we meet the man Tony's computer voice is named for, his family British btler, Jarvis!

Thor 2,: show Loki trying to get into the Hall of Artifacts because his hidden benefactor wants something there. But Loki fails, this time. Make mention through Thanos' off screen voice of the Guardians of the Galaxy and what pests they are. While Thor visits the 9 realms with Jane Foster, maybe have a cameo of Hercules. Sure, he has no reason to be visiting the wrong set of gods, but there is no reason he cant, either. Maybe drop a clue about Earth's magic and show hints to Doctor Strange and the Scarlet Witch.

Captain America 2: While dealing with AIM and MODOK set up in Ironman 2, introduce Falcon, drop another clue about the Pyms, and guest star Hawkeye. Maybe hint at Winter Soldier. Bucky is alive?

Mystery Marvel Movie:
1st choice Antman (showing us Hank and Jan with some foreshadowing of Ultron, following on the prior hints.
2nd choice, Black Panther, following on the hints.
3rd choice Doctor Strange (gust staring Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. She could be his apprentice) following up on hints.

Avengers 2: Do a more character piece like Marvel has said they want to. Stark sets them up with a mansion and his old family butler, Jarvis. Bring in the heroes from before but have Antman, Wasp, Scarlet Witch all join. Maybe others. Have Ultron rise up.Fun robot invasion big time smash up. Vision is unleashed on Avengers and switches sides. More hints to future. Carol Danvers shows up at end of film, been abducted by aliens (the Kree) and now has powers. If Antman isn't the Marvel Mystery Movie, then do something that brings in Doc Strange or the Panther. Maybe a Masters of Evil story that brings in Panther or a magic story that brings in Strange and the Witch?

New Marvel movie 2: One of the other options that didn't get done before complete with above notes.

New Marvel movie 3: One of the other options that didn't get done before complete with above notes.

2016 and 2017 would continue the trend with the next set of sequels, with the purposed Guardians of the Galaxy movie leading into Avengers 3 where everyone has a smack down with Thanos.

Whew! Yeah, cameo heavy. Still, we'd have tons of things ready for Thanos. Those are my 2 cents. What's yours?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Movie Review: Avengers No Spoliers

The following contains no real spoilers. Some bits are mentioned but actual plot points are not. If you're afraid of the bits, don't read.

What did I think of Avengers? Oooooh wow! Yes I saw it opening night a month ago. I would've posted sooner but life is life. Regardless I was out-of-my-seat excited, belly acheing laughter and loudly cherring at all the moments. Yes, like everyone else, I loved it.

There are a lot of films I enjoy. Some I actually enjoy at the theatres and later on DVD I wonder why I liked them. Some I love and can't wait till DVD. But never do I want to have a return visit to the theatre. Budget constraints being what they are, I'm content to wait till DVD to see them again.  Not this one. This one I yearned to go back in and watch it all over again. I'm even willing to watch it over and over when I do get the DVD so I can see the commentary, and I never watch those.

It's good to see Marvel's hard work pay off.  The second Hulk film was OK. So was the second Iron Man. The first Ironman was great. Thor and Captain America both had amazing films. But this one was off the charts. So they're building in enjoyment.

They also build in story. It's nice that all the set up moments are in those other films. No time was wasted in Avengers. Instead of telling us who the big four (Cap, Tony, Hulk and Thor) were, they just continued from their movies, all threading into this one, meeting and crossing over seamlessly until the story is over and they unthread back to their films.

And my hopes for Black Widow were confirmed. She IS a former Russian spy turned agent of SHIELD. Excellent. My favorite Avenger, Hawkeye, could've had more time but where would you put it? Yeah, what happened to him at the beginning could've gone differently but I'm good with it. Especially after the archery skills shown. Said skills put Smallville version of Green Arrow to shame. Plus the tech-bow was a nice touch. Quick note: Ollie on Smallville, then we have Katness on Hunger Games and now Hawkeye on Avengers, with Arrow returning for a new series that looks closer to his comic roots. It's an amazing time to be a fan of archer characters!

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby showed us back in the beginning of Marvel Comics, in the early 60's, that heroes didn't have to be perfect. They showed us flaws. We see that in the separate Marvel films. Heck, we even see that in the films made by studios who are leasing Marvel characters, like Sony's Spider-man and Ghost Rider films or Fox's X-Men and Fantastic Four films. This shows heavily in Avengers, too.

Part of the imperfect hero image Stan and Jack gave us what the "heroes don't always get along" concept. Marvel stars have been beating on each other since the 60's.  I think it's wired in us to want to see which of our fan concepts could beat the other. One of those great Marvel rivalries is Hulk vs Thor and man did they deliver! We also got several other match ups including Cap's shield vs Thor's hammer. It was wonderful. Makes you with Sony and FOX would give up the cash cows and failed ghosts and give all the properties back. Imagine Thing vs Hulk?

I like to watch several shows like Eureka, Doctor Who and Warehouse 13 very closely. I do this to see if I can catch all the wonderful foreshadowing. I do the same for multi-movie serials. So I caught most the clues laid out in the earlier Marvel films. It was a nice touch to see those bits followed up on. Steve learning about the Abomination/failed Super Soldier formula events in Hulk. Coulsen's fan boy crush on Cap touched for two seconds in Ironman 2. That sort of thing.

I could go on to explain how I've always loved the comic, how I learned to read by combing the pages of Avengers and Justice League, how at age seven I mailed away for an Avengers patch and have longed for this film for a very long time. I could say how this film was worth the considerable high hopes I've built up for long decades.

Actually I think I just did say those things. I give it a 20 out of 10. Go see it. It's not just for fan boys, despite my mindless ravings. It's for the average Joe out there who has never watched any Marvel or hero films.