Avengers

I Ship It Ep. 02 – She-Hulk & Daredevil

Rae, co-host of our weekly podcast series Screen Heroes, continues her quest to ship fictional character couples. In Episode 02, she switches gears from the DC Universe to Marvel Comics and looks at two superheroes who were both, at times, members of the Avengers, She-Hulk and Daredevil. Daredevil has been made very popular recently with the launch of his highly successful Netflix series but She-Hulk hasn’t had the same stint on the center stage. Check out Episode 02 of I Ship It as Rae talks about why She-Hulk and Daredevil are the perfect couple while also discussing some of the other love interests both characters have had over the years both in comic books and on screen.

So what do you think? Did Rae make the case for shipping She-Hulk and Daredevil? Do you think either one is better suited for someone else? Comment below with your thoughts and don’t forget to send us couples you’d like to see Rae ship for a chance to win some goodies like t-shirts and 3D printed stuff!

Stay tuned for next week’s episode of I Ship It. Rae will be shipping two more Marvel characters, Ms. Marvel and Spider-Woman. Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you get a first peek at our latest videos.

I Ship It Ep. 02 – She-Hulk & Daredevil

SH S1E6: Infinity War 67

After taking a week off due to snowstorms, Screen Heroes returns to discuss what we are all wondering… who will be in Marvel’s Infinity War films set to close out Phase 3 of the MCU? The Russo brothers are responsible for directing not just Captain America: Civil War but also both parts of Infinity War. In an interview, they threw the number 67 out, as the number of characters they are currently working with. Now, they did clarify and say they just threw out a random and generic number but hey, let’s have some fun! Join us as we try to come up with 67 Marvel canon characters that Marvel Studios owns the rights to who could show up in the massive ensemble films!

Once you’ve listened to our list, comment or reach out to use with anyone we missed or who would make your list!

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes at screen-heroes.com and leave us a review!

Infinity War 67 Podcast Credits

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Rae Stewart
Ryan Couture

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Michael Wallace (Flying Killer Robots)

iTunes Link
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/screen-heroes-grid-dailys/id1071922623

RSS Feed
http://griddaily.com/feed/podcast/screenheroes

Social Media
@GridTalkTweets

Email
contact@griddaily.com

SH S1E6: Infinity War 67

MCU Phase 2 – Unboxing

This week, Marvel Studios’ released their MCU Phase 2 Collector’s Edition box set.  If you remember back a few years, Phase 1 was released in the metal briefcase with the glowing Tesseract inside, most popular from Avengers. This time, we get the Orb from Guardians of the Galaxy, complete with glowing purple Power Stone, plus a ton of extra content featuring goodies from all the Phase 2 MCU films. That means bonus swag from: Iron Man 3, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Thor: The Dark World, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Ant-Man. The MCU Phase 2 box is filled with so much more than the Phase 1, it gets me even more excited for what Marvel continues to bring to the table. Some of the stuff even alludes to what’s to come in the first Phase 3 movie on Marvel’s docket: Captain America: Civil War.   Will Phase 3 be the Infinity Gauntlet?!?! (Hint: IT BETTER BE).

Join me while I break down the entire set including the box art and every little piece of fun content inside the mysterious envelope!

 

 

Rae’s Unboxing of MCU Phase 2 Collector’s Edition

What did you think of my unboxing? Did you pick up the MCU Phase 2 Collector’s Edition set? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Is there something else you’d like us to unbox? There are tons of subscription services out there! Tell us if you have a favorite.

Also be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and give us a thumbs up if you liked my unboxing!

MCU Phase 2 – Unboxing

SH S1E1 – MCU: The Good with the Bad

Welcome to the first episode of Screen Heroes, a new superhero themed podcast series from The Grid: A Sci-Fi Frontier. Screen Heroes will cover everything we see on the big and small screen dealing with superheroes. That means the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), the DC Comics Extended Universe (DCEU), and anything else production companies throw at us.

The premiere of Screen Heroes is being dual published on Grid Talk’s feed, so everyone who listens in to our original series will also be able to listen to our first episode of Screen Heroes. While we are not on iTunes yet, we will be soon!

In our first episode, we’ll kick things off by discussing the pros and cons of the MCU. What is good about the massive connected universe? What are the pitfalls of such a far reaching group of franchises?

After listening, contact us letting us know your thoughts on the MCU. What do you like most about it? What do you dislike about it? You can reach us on Twitter, Facebook, email, or you can comment on the article on our website.

We’ve got a lot in store, so listen in, stay tuned, and thanks for joining us for Screen Heroes.

UPDATED 01/07/2016: Add iTunes link in the credits. Please subscribe!

MCU Podcast Credits

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Rae Stewart
Ryan Couture

Executive Producer and Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Michael Wallace (Flying Killer Robots)

iTunes Link
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/screen-heroes-grid-dailys/id1071922623

RSS Feed
http://griddaily.com/feed/podcast/screenheroes

Social Media
@GridTalkTweets

Email
contact@thegridscififrontier.com

SH S1E1 – MCU: The Good with the Bad

Captain America: Civil War Poster and Trailer

We’re finally getting our first look at the first Marvel’s Phase 3 films: Captain America: Civil War.

First up, the newly released poster:

Captain America: Civil War

But as gorgeous as that poster is, the first trailer is even more amazing:

I was excited for this movie before, but now I can hardly wait.  And what about that soundtrack?  It sounds absolutely fantastic.

This film comes on the heels of Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man but follows a very important story to Captain America himself, his old friend Bucky. We weren’t sure what the motivation for the division between heroes was going to be in the MCU but this trailer gives us a much better idea. We also get a better look at the sides, even though that information was released a little while back. How about Bucky and Cap just beating down Tony? Seems like a pretty intense scene. I wonder if Tony is holding back.

What do you think of the the poster and trailer? Let us know in the comments!

Captain America: Civil War Poster and Trailer

Marvel Announces Ant-Man and the Wasp

This just in! Marvel Studios has announced a new Phase 3 MCU film, Ant-Man and the Wasp which is slated for a July 6th, 2018 release. This is very exciting news for those looking for move superhero films featuring female heroes as this film marks the first time Marvel Studios will release a film with a female hero in the title. This does affect the release dates of two other Phase 3 MCU films, Black Panther and Captain MarvelBlack Panther has been moved up to a February 16th, 2018 release date while Captain Marvel will see a March 8th, 2019 release date.

This means that Black Panther will release a month before DC Comics The Flash, while Ant-Man and the Wasp will release a few weeks before Aquaman and Captain Marvel will release a month before Shazam.

The decision comes on the back of Ant-Man’s financial success, bringing in $410 million globally with $178.5 million coming from the domestic box office. While this falls short of Avengers: Age of Ultron’s nearly $459 million take, it is a solo film and an origin story of a character many were not familiar with. Now that it was successful, a sequel that features Wasp in action seems viable.

Meanwhile, DC Comics’ Wonder Woman is still slated for a June 23rd, 2017 release, putting their first female-centric superhero flick a year ahead of Marvel’s.

Marvel Logo

Marvel Studios also announced dates for three unknown films all in 2020 as part of Phase 4 of the MCU:

  • May 1st, 2020
  • July 10th, 2020
  • November 6th, 2020

Additional information on the announcement can be found at Marvel’s site.

I know I’m very excited for this new film as well as so many more in the superhero genre. What do you think of the latest news? Comment below!

Marvel Announces Ant-Man and the Wasp

MCU Civil War Sides are Chosen

Two months ago, we brought to you our picks for how we thought the Civil War sides would fall.  Recently, Jeremy Renner (better known to you all as Hawkeye) posted on Twitter some very interesting concept art that clearly divides our favorite heroes.  Before we show you that, let’s remind you where we had our heroes stand:

Pro-anti 2

Now, here’s Renner’s post:

https://twitter.com/Renner4Real/status/636950538777702400/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

As you can see, we weren’t far off at all!  The major difference between the two lists is obviously Hawkeye himself.  We had him slotted for Team Iron Man, along with the rest of the S.H.I.E.L.D. members.  It would seem that whatever is about to go down between the Avengers, Hawkeye has been deeply affected by the events in Avengers: Age of Ultron and will be suspicious of Tony for the time being.

Now, there’s another aspect of this poster that we have to talk about:  there’s a blonde woman siding with Captain, and consequently, there’s no Scarlet Witch.  Being as it is  just concept art at this point, it definitely doesn’t mean we won’t see Scarlet Witch at all (she was cast in the movie already.)  However, there is a Sharon Carter in the poster.  She had a small, but important role in the comics version of Civil War that would cause so many spoiler issues we dare not even write it.  Her part, though, in both Captain America:  Winter Soldier and the comics, should in no way constitute an image on the poster.  We already have many issues with Marvel’s current treatment of their female characters; this does nothing but make it worse.

A huge surprise is the addition of Black Panther fighting for Team Iron Man.  Rumors, and even allusions in Avengers: Age of Ultron, lead us to believe that Black Panther would be sitting this fight out, avoiding all of the American superhero politics.  How he will be introduced and developed in this film will be a huge plot point and one that we’re all interested in  seeing.  On the bright side, it does mean his character isn’t completely being phased out by Marvel’s introduction of Spider-Man into the MCU.

Lastly, there’s no Hulk.  He was cast and yet he’s not here.  Well, there could be several reasons behind that.  He may still be on the lam, not willing to join the fray and take a side any time soon.  He may not be ready to stand with or against Natasha in another battle. Despite their feelings, she did end up forcing him back into Hulk mode, which he was clearly unwilling to do at the time.  His part may be so small that he’s merely there to set up something in the future.  While Planet Hulk is still a pipe dream (thanks, Universal), the possibilities of Hulk’s future aren’t as limited as they seem.  Marvel can get pretty creative when they want to be.

Did your predictions get it right?  What do you think of all the new costumes?  Be sure to comment below with how you think the Civil War will change the MCU! Whose side are you on?

 

MCU Civil War Sides are Chosen

Marvel Studios Reshuffled

According to an article in The Hollywood Reporter, Marvel Studios, the film branch of the company headed by Kevin Feige, has been restructured so as to report directly to the Disney studio chief Alan Horn instead of the Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter.

On one hand this seems like a good idea.  Kevin Feige has been heavily involved in every Marvel-created movie since the first Iron Man, and it’s easy to see that those decision have paid off.  The Marvel movies are, generally speaking, runaway successes.  Some, like Ant-Man, haven’t performed as well as might have been hoped.  While others, Guardians of the Galaxy for example, far exceeded expectations.  I think a lot of credit has to go to Kevin for the direction he’s taken the company.

With that said there is one piece of the article that gave me a moment of worry.  Marvel’s TV division, headed by Jeph Loeb, is not included in this restructuring.  Up until now one of my favorite things about Marvel, though admittedly less important in the grand scheme of things, is that their film and television endeavors were explicitly connected.  The world on display every week on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is the same world that is being saved in Captain America: Civil War.

Marvel Cinematic Universe

It’s one of my biggest gripes about the DC/Warner Bros. film efforts: despite the success of Arrow and Flash on television, they are determined to build their films that are completely separate from the television properties, to the point that they’ll have a TV Flash and a movie Flash played by completely different actors, and supposedly the film branch began interfering in the TV plans for certain characters because they had been earmarked for use in films already.

So that’s my biggest fear at this point.  I have loved that the Marvel films and television shows were tightly coupled together.  Now I worry about what might happen since, from a corporate standpoint, the two endeavors report to completely different people.  Hopefully nothing changes in regards to how they work together, but the potential is there so I can’t help but worry about it a little.

What do you think of this restructuring? Does it cause any concern for future MCU films? Comment below!

Marvel Studios Reshuffled

MCU Ranking – Where Does Ant-Man Land?

Marvel_Cinematic_Universe_logo

A few weeks ago, we ranked all the films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  We had some people agree and disagree with us, but have stuck by our rankings.  Since then, the release of Ant-Man has come and gone (you can check out our Ant-Man review here) and now the time has come for it to take its place among our ranked films.

Ant-Man Poster

For those of you who have missed it, our list prior to Ant-Man was as follows (you can see the full article here):

11. Iron Man 2
10. Incredible Hulk
9. Iron Man 3
8. Thor: The Dark World
7. Captain America: The First Avenger
6. Thor
5. Avengers: Age of Ultron
4. Iron Man
3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
2. Guardians of the Galaxy
1. Avengers

Ant-Man Poster

It was a close call, but Ant-Man has officially taken the number 5 spot!

The film was a solid addition the MCU as a whole and brought to the table what Avengers: Age of Ultron just couldn’t, heart.  Paul Rudd brought such an endearing humor to the character, Scott Lang, that should cause both positive and negative ripples in the Avengers as a whole. The parallels between Hank Pym and Scott Lang were well done without being in your face.  The romance between Hope and Scott wasn’t necessarily inevitable, but it worked.  How great was Corey Stoll’s Yellowjacket? The man was out of his mind! And Michael Pena stole the show as Luis. The film was missing some of the charm that the made Guardians of the Galaxy and Iron Man such big hits (I blame it on them not letting Hope suit up too), but Ant-Man’s future in the MUC is looking bright!

Overall rating: 5 brave trips to the Quantum Realm

MCU Ranking, Now with more Ant-Man

ant-man-bullet-poster12. Iron Man 2
11. Incredible Hulk
10. Iron Man 3
9. Thor: The Dark World
8. Captain America: The First Avenger
7. Thor
6. Avengers: Age of Ultron
5. Ant-Man
4. Iron Man
3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
2. Guardians of the Galaxy
1. Avengers

What do you think of our placement of Ant-Man? Should it be higher? Lower? Let us know!

 

MCU Ranking – Where Does Ant-Man Land?

DC v. Marvel – Merchandise Wars

With all the superhero movies, television shows, and comic books out there, finding merchandise that is geared to women is still absolutely a struggle in 2015. And it really shouldn’t be. I think it’s fair to say that as a woman and a geek all in one, I should be able to pick up an Avengers shirt with a female on it. Maybe a Guardians of the Galaxy poster featuring Gamora? Or how about a Justice League anything with Wonder Woman? Honestly, it’s a little insulting.
Lack of female-centric comic book merchandise

While Marvel has all but written off their leading ladies, DC is doing whatever they can to rectify that situation. By teaming up with Mattel, DC has rebranded some of their most iconic female characters, both heroes and villains, into accessible characterizations for both young and teenage girls. Beginning in Fall 2015, DC and Mattel will be launching DC Super Hero Girls, a multi-product effort to expand both on the characters themselves and the growing female market.

DC Super Hero Girls merchandise

Following in the footsteps of renowned young girls franchises as Monster High and My Little Pony, popular characters such as Wonder Woman and Batgirl will be featured at an adolescent age, discovering their individual identities and how their super powers grow. Each character will have her own story line, shedding light on both major and minor characters. While 2015 will see the release of a web series, dolls, and the first set of DC female only action figures, 2016 is already planned for the release of TV specials, books, apparel, and other merchandise. LEGO has also been brought in on the deal to create super heroine-centric building sets in order to help its brand also reach out to the widely ignored demographic: girls.

This, however, isn’t the only effort that DC is attempting in the next year to market to women. The new Gal Gadot incarnation of Wonder Woman, scheduled to make her first appearance in March’s Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice has been front and center in the last few weeks. We got to see her in action, finally, in the trailer, she was the focal point of the new Entertainment Weekly issue, and coming Spring 2016 will be her likeness in the form of a classic Barbie doll.

DC Comics Wonder Woman Barbie merchandise

Barbie has been attacked for many years because of her body, her professions, her outfits as being a poor role model for young girls. However, many neglect to remember just how important Barbie dolls have actually been to pop culture and women’s history in total. They were some of the first dolls to feature non-white women, incarnations of athletes, and social crusaders. For the new Wonder Woman to get the Barbie treatment is a huge step for DC, proving that they value the female market and can adapt to products that were already geared to them. I know I’ll be buying at least one.

Even more, DC is rolling out a new companion web series to their CW universe including Arrow, Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow featuring their first female lead: Vixen. A Justice League favorite among fans but mostly unrecognizable character to the public, Vixen is an African hero in possession of the Tantu totem, giving her the ability to call on various animal traits in battle. Megalyn Echikunwoke will voice the leading character and will be joined by CW favorites Stephen Amell and Grant Gustin. The series has yet to be given a definitive start date, but will most likely debut in the fall on CW Seed. Check out the trailer here.

DC CW Seed Vixen merchandise

They may still be quite behind in film numbers, but DC is dominating Marvel when it comes to marketing and merchandise. You can’t forget an entire half of the population! Where’s the Black Widow Barbie? Where’s the Gamora web series? DC’s efforts may not all be successful, but at least they’re trying. Get it together, Marvel.

 

DC v. Marvel – Merchandise Wars

Box Office Numbers: July 17-19, 2015

Not surprisingly, Ant-Man, Marvel Studios’ newest MCU film, won the box office its opening weekend, beating out Minions which saw a nearly 57% drop from it’s first week. Check out the list of the Top 10 highest grossing films from this weekend’s box office below.

Before we dive into the specific numbers, let’s take a deeper dive into Ant-Man. While it did win its opening weekend with an estimated $58.04 million, those numbers pale in comparison to Marvel Studios’ previous hitters. In fact, the first of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, Iron Man, brought in $98.62 million in it’s opening weekend way back in May of 2008. The first Thor made $65.72 million in May of 2011 while Captain America: The First Avenger made $65.06 million in July of the same year. In fact, only one film brought in less during its opening weekend, The Incredible Hulk with $55.41 back in June 2008 and to be fair, we had just seen a Hulk-centric film in 2003. Now, we are only talking about official MCU movies here. Ant-Man did beat out other Marvel films including X-Men, X-Men: First Class, The Wolverine, Fantastic Four (2005), and Big Hero 6, just to name a few of the more popular movies. What does this mean for the newest hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Probably not much. Many expected Ant-Man to fall short of previous Marvel Studios films simply because people don’t know the character as well and we haven’t had an origin story in this universe for a while. We do expect to see Scott Lang join up with the Avengers in Captain America: Civil War. To see what we thought of the film, check out our review of Ant-Man.

Also breaking into the list with their opening weekend, Trainwreck starring Amy Schumer. She also wrote the film. It’s directed by Judd Apatow. Our limited release film is Mr. Holmes, starring Ian McKellen.

  1. Ant-Man ($58.04 million in opening weekend across 3,856 theaters)
  2. Minions ($50.2 million in second weekend, totaling $216.69 million)
  3. Trainwreck ($30.2 million in opening weekend across 3,158 theaters)
  4. Inside Out ($11.66 million in fifth weekend, totaling $306.36 million)
  5. Jurassic World ($11.4 million in sixth weekend, totaling $611.17 million)
  6. Terminator: Genisys ($5.4 million in third weekend, totaling $80.64 million)
  7. Magic Mike XXL ($4.5 million in third weekend, totaling $58.64 million)
  8. The Gallows ($4 million in second weekend, totaling $18 million)
  9. Ted 2 ($2.7 million in fourth weekend, totaling $77.457 million)
  10. Mr. Holmes ($2.489 million in opening weekend, limited release across 363 theaters)

Did you catch a movie over the weekend? What are you most looking forward to seeing on the big screen? Comment below!

Box Office Numbers: July 17-19, 2015

The Grid Ranks: Marvel Cinematic Universe

We at The Grid have ranked the Marvel Cinematic movies from favorite to least favorite.  There were arguments, folks. Hair pulling, fisticuffs, the works. We may not be friends anymore.

Nah, just kidding.  It was a fairly easy consensus for all of us. Disclaimer: None of the MCU movies have been bad. It’s not like we’re talking Daredevil here (the Ben Affleck film, not the new Netflix series, of course).  All of them were impressive feats of cinema and will most likely continue that into Phase 3!

Marvel_Cinematic_Universe_logo

Now! On with the list!

Iron_Man_2_Poster11. Iron Man 2 – If any other movie had been its predecessor, this film would be much higher on the list, because, like we said before, it wasn’t bad.  The few missteps taken were just enough, though, for us to lose our hype from Iron Man.  We all just wanted it too much for it to be amazing and when it didn’t live up to Tony Stark’s first outing, we were all just a little disappointed.  The film scores points for being a prologue to Avengers and introducing us to Black Widow.

Overall ranking: one Ex Wife missile

 

10. Incredible Hulk – This movie just was not handled well. The great ideas behind it seemed to get masked by the overall theme of sadness.  We all know the Hulk is a pretty sad guy, butMV5BMTUyNzk3MjA1OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTE1Njg2MQ@@._V1_SX214_AL_ he’s also a brilliant scientist with a sense of humor who’s actually pretty easy to love…wait, that’s Banner. The Hulk is about the smashing! The balance between Banner and the Hulk was so off and poor Edward Norton just didn’t have it in him to be as interesting as his counterpart.  It was a very smart move to not have another origins film.  Even though everyone can agree the Ang Lee film never did any justice to the Hulk, redoing the origins of a character we already know is questioning the fan’s love and knowledge.

Overall ranking: two Hulks hulking out on the hulking streets

 

MV5BMjIzMzAzMjQyM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzM2NjcyOQ@@._V1._SY317_9. Iron Man 3 – It was the ending to this film that places it so low on the list.  We had been promised Mandarin.  We had been promised Ben Kingsley’s Mandarin.  Tell me there is better casting for that role (at least that particular interpretation)?  There really isn’t. But to pull the worst bait and switch in comic cinema to date made every single movie-goer say “WTF” out loud. This act was so egregious that the only thing that saved this from being last on the list was the All Hail the King one shot available on the Captain America: The Winter Soldier home release.  That made us all feel so much better inside. It made the bad things go away.

Overall ranking: take three shots of Extremis and call me in the morning

MV5BMTQyNzAwOTUxOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTE0OTc5OQ@@._V1_SY317_CR4,0,214,317_AL_8. Thor: The Dark World – Let’s get one thing straight: it’s the title of this film that is the worst part about it.  You could have named this anything else and it would have worked out much better. Seriously. Thor and Loki’s Excellent AdventureStraight Outta Asgard. Weekend at Malekith’s. All of those are better options.  They also managed to make Jane Foster annoying, which is really bothersome considering how much they improved the character with the first film.  The film also cut out a major missing plot point, which was the true motive behind Malekith’s actions. A director’s cut of the Dark World would most likely bump this up a few notches. Thank goodness we got to see much needed depth to Thor and Loki’s characters, major damage to a city that is not New York, and deserved respect for the great side characters of Asgard.

Overall ranking: four lightning strikes to Malekith

MV5BMTYzOTc2NzU3N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjY3MDE3NQ@@._V1_SX214_AL_7. Captain America: The First Avenger – This movie may have lacked the depth of Iron Man and the glory of Thor, but it made up for it by grasping the true nature of what a hero is.  Evans’s first go as Captain America continued Marvel’s trend of perfectly casting their characters. He also managed to uphold everything that makes Captain America interesting and special.  But the best reason to watch this film was unarguably Hugo Weaving as The Red Skull.  His interpretation of the character was everything it needed to be: imposing, misguided, and terrifying.  It’s the reason why his death is debated constantly among fans.  We’re all overtly hoping he returns again despite every shred of evidence he will not.

Overall ranking: five shields to the Red Skull’s red skull

MV5BMTYxMjA5NDMzNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTk2Mjk3NA@@._V1_SX214_AL_6. Thor – Asgard was beautiful.  The costumes were beautiful.  The effects were beautiful. Chris Hemsworth was beautiful.  Okay, maybe not everyone is on board with that last bit, but everything else is true.  This addition to the MCU brought us the first look into a world away from Earth, something that resonated throughout the MCU since.  Director Kenneth Branagh took his Shakespearean background and elegant wit and baked it into a two hour long spectacle that was incredible to behold.  It also introduced us to a man who has become the pride and joy of the MCU: Tom Hiddleston.  His work as Loki has really been impressive. Not only has he gathered a fan base all on his own, but he has managed to take that popularity and force himself into other movies in the overall universe.  No other villain has done that!

Overall ranking: six more shirtless scenes, thank you!

MV5BMTU4MDU3NDQ5Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTU5MDUxNTE@._V1_SY317_CR1,0,214,317_AL_5. Avengers: Age of Ultron – The newest MCU addition lands right above the halfway point in our list.  While many critics (most notably fan critics) take issue with the film, we don’t.  For many reasons, the film achieved its purpose of being bigger, better, grander and it did all of that with the odds stacked against it. Since then the movie and director Joss Whedon have taken multiple beatings for complaint this and complaint that, which to us seem unnecessary.  The Avengers faced challenges previously unknown to them and came out with more respect for each other and the world around them.  While rumors of a three hour long director’s cut swirl, we were happy with what we got and what this film did to set up films to come.

Overall ranking: seven Ultrons on a floating city

Ironmanposter4.  Iron Man –  While it is often lauded as the best Marvel film to date, Iron Man remains special because of its individuality.  Never before had we seen such perfect casting.  Never before had we seen such a well-thought out superhero movie.  This movie proved to more than just the fans that comic book films could be taken as seriously as its sci-fi, drama, and action peers.  This was the film that got the rest of the world watching superheroes.  The credit for this film goes to everyone involved, but none more so that Robert Downey, Jr. Every minute that man was on screen, he loved it.  And we all could tell.  It makes the movie that much more enjoyable when an actor is just as big of a fan as the collective audience is.  Not to mention this is the film that brought us Agent Coulson, which could have been enough.

Overall ranking: eight arc reactors built in a cave

MV5BMzA2NDkwODAwM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODk5MTgzMTE@._V1_SY317_CR1,0,214,317_AL_3.  Captain America: The Winter Soldier – There’s not really anything negative one can say about this film.  This movie made Captain America more than the boy scout.  It made him a bona fide superhero.  Of course, he was heroic before, but this film made his character stand above the others.  Watching Cap in his predecessor films was pleasing, but this one made him seem as if he legitimately can go toe-to-toe with Thor and Iron Man, something which neither The First Avenger or Avengers had done before.  He was and always will be the fearless leader (it’s why everyone follows him so quickly, why we put our trust in him), but this film raised the bar for the Marvel movies to come.  We now hold Captain America to a higher standard than he has been before and Marvel plots must match that standard too.

Overall ranking: nine Hydra agents exposed

MV5BMTAwMjU5OTgxNjZeQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU4MDUxNDYxODEx._V1_SX214_AL_2. Guardians of the Galaxy – The movie that was considered by so many to be Marvel’s first guaranteed flop came out of the gates kicking ass and destroyed box office numbers (it’s apparently a Chris Pratt thing).  This epic ensemble took the overall ridiculous premise and ran with it, never looking back.  From the beginning, viewers are strapped in and ready to adventure into the unknown with five of Marvel’s oddest characters to date. (Yes, we read comics. Yes, we know there’s weirder. Yes, we know the difference between weird and dumb.)  Then without any warning, Sean Gunn brings us an emotional overload that no one was expecting.  Who knew we’d ever get so attached to a tree?  We’ve all got high hopes for that sequel!

Overall ranking: ten Groot hugs

That means that the number one spot goes to…

MV5BMTk2NTI1MTU4N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODg0OTY0Nw@@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_AL_1. Avengers – That’s right. It totally had to be and you know it.  This film was every nerd’s dream come true.  This film was the culmination of our hopes and dreams (as far as movie magic goes; let’s not get ridiculous here).  We got captivating characters who had come together in a logical, respectful, and interesting story.  We got cheeky comic moments and nudges to fans of every hero of every medium.  Joss Whedon, along with every actor, producer, and extra, poured his soul into making this film the glorious spectacle it needed to be, and we can’t thank him enough.  It’s because of this movie that a Phase 2 was possible and why we’re going to finally see DC films create a universe of their own.  This movie made it possible for ensemble action films to exist without lengthy exposition or dull segues.

Overall ranking: eleven more Avengers films!

Did we hit the nail on the head? Did we have things out of order? Tell us how you’d rank the Marvel films!

The Grid Ranks: Marvel Cinematic Universe