Hawkeye

SH S4E11: Ranking the Avengers

SH S4E11: Ranking the Avengers
Screen Heroes

 
 
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It’s all Marvel this week as we rank the Top 20 Avengers with special guest, Jerry McMullen of the Worst Comic Podcast EVER!

Before we dive into the ranking, we give our spoiler-free quick take on Kingsman: The Golden Circle which we will be reviewing in full next week.

Then, it’s back to Marvel for our Avengers ranking. Now, we take into consideration several mediums: comic books, TV shows, cartoons, toys, and the MCU films. That means mutants and web-slingers are eligible for the list!

So check out our list and then let us know what you think in the comments or @HeroesPodcast on social media!

Don’t forget to check out our Patreon for a special Patron only clue to our first movie scene.

Also, go to Screen-Heroes.com right now to subscribe to us on iTunes and drop us a review. If you do, we’ll be sure to give you a shout-out in a future episode!

Want to join the conversation? Join us live every Tuesday night at 9PM EST on Twitch to chat with us! We’ll answer questions and note comments live on the broadcast! Follow at: twitch.tv/heroespodcasts

Don’t forget to subscribe to Screen Heroes! The links to iTunes, Blog Talk Radio, Google Play, and Feedburner are below!

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Prefer to watch the show? Catch the recorded Twitch broadcast below!

Screen Heroes Podcast Credits

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Rachel Stewart
Ryan Couture

Special Guests
Jerry McMullen

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Flying Killer Robots

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Screen-Heroes.com

Blog Talk Radio
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/screenheroes

Google Play Subscription Link
https://play.google.com/music/listen#/ps/Iwvfusxqyignwamadhc3viav4qy

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Social Media
@HeroesPodcasts

SH S4E11: Ranking the Avengers

Infinity War 67: Picking the Heroes

Transcribed from Screen Heroes, S1, E6 “Infinity War 67.”

When Marvel Studios announced the two-part Infinity War film, they said that there was an opportunity for 67 characters to be in the film. Since then, they have explained that it was an arbitrary number they just pulled out of thin air, but for fun, we wanted to pick out 67 Marvel characters that COULD make it into Infinity War.

The Veterans

The Newbies

The Guardians

The Defenders

The Back Up

The Agents

The Villains

The Unknown

The Asgardians

 

This episode was recorded before the release of Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Since then, more information regarding  Infinity War has been released as well as the movies leading up to it in the MCU.  Remember to take all of this with a grain of salt and the fun that it was supposed to provide.

To listen to the original episode, click here.

Infinity War 67: Picking the Heroes

Versus #1 – Marvel v DC

Rae pits Derreck and Ryan against each other in our first Versus battle, each having to defend their respective DC or Marvel superhero.

Transcribed from 3/16/16 episode of Screen Heroes: Episode 13 “VS. #1 Marvel v. DC”

Rules:

  1. Each will represent either DC or Marvel. Derreck is defending DC. Ryan is defending Marvel.
  2. You can use any version of the character that exists in canon.
  3. One switch is allowed where Derreck can defend the Marvel character and Ryan can defend DC.
  4. Maximum of 7 minutes total for each fight.
  5. 1 point is awarded for winning the match, 1 point awarded for audience popularity.

Fight 1: Captain America versus Batman

Ryan: Captain America has super strength, shield, and gun (may not even need the gun against Batman). In the comics, he’s been able to throw a motorcycle. Both characters are tactically mindful, but Captain America is a stronger power. Yes, Batman has a lot of toys, but Captain America doesn’t need a lot of toys. In Civil War, he punched a hole in Iron Man’s chest.

Derreck: Batman has a large amount of accessories which help him with every fight.  It wouldn’t be a slug fest. He’d have different suits of armor, his utility belt, and multiple weapons. So Batman is going to come at him from multiple angles and in stealth mode. Fights don’t always come down to strength. Batman is an elite martial artist and can out fight so many people. Captain America is a military brawler; Batman is a ghost.

Rae: Captain America wins! 1 point to Ryan for winning the argument, 1 point to Ryan for convincing the audience.

Derreck: 0      Ryan: 2

Fight 2: Wonder Woman versus Captain Marvel

Derreck: Wonder Woman is a warrior princess, trained from birth to be a warrior with multiple weapons and hand-to-hand combat.  She has the ability to fly in some versions.  With the shield, and the bracelets, she can easily block any projectile from Captain Marvel. Wonder Woman can keep up with Superman and even defeated him before. She is a warrior and her whole society is built on protecting their land.

Ryan: Captain Marvel has similar powers to Wonder Woman. She has flight and super strength. Wonder Woman has an advantage with the shield and sword. She has a much cooler outfit.  Captain Marvel is almost the Superman of the Marvel universe, because of her endurance and speed. She also has energy beams that are projected. She was Binary, which was a known planet buster, she can control gravity.

Rae: Derreck concedes to the blowing up a planet argument. 1 point to Ryan for winning the argument, 1 point to Ryan for convincing audience.

Derreck: 0      Ryan: 4

Fight 3: Daredevil versus Robin

Ryan: There are some versions of Daredevil where he does have super human strength. His senses are incredibly heightened. Daredevil can dodge bullets, which Jason Todd cannot. He can take a lot of punishment, and with his armor, it’s even more.  Daredevil’s senses are heightened and he is trained by ninjas.

Derreck: Red Hood, used to be a Robin, which means he was taught by Batman, so he knows all the same martial arts that Batman does. He’s been in the Lazarus pit, and that has been known to cause a blood lust in people. He could always set traps. Most of the Batman characters tend to have prep time. Jason Todd also uses weapons, like guns, unlike Daredevil who is not impervious to bullets. All he does is beat the crap out of people for living, so he does that all day long, unlike Daredevil.

Rae: After lethal force is used, Red Hood would win. 1 point to Derreck for winning the argument, 1 point to Ryan for convincing audience.

Derreck: 1      Ryan: 5

Fight 4: Martian Manhunter versus Vision

Ryan: Vision has the ability to change his density which we’ve seen him use in Age of Ultron. He can also phase, demonstrated by how he killed Ultron in the MCU. His vibranium body can withstand quite a bit of destruction. Vision is an incarnation of JARVIS, at least in the MCU, so there could be instant calculations and predictions of what Martian Manhunter will do.

Derreck: Martian Manhunter has an incredible amount of powers. He can shape shift, which he often uses it to change into a dragon. He can telepathically connect to others. He can phase through objects. He’s much more powerful than Vision. He could easily phase through and rip out the gem in Vision’s forehead. Vision does have a body and has to conform to physics. J’onn is very powerful being that could destroy someone powered by a stone.

Rae: Ryan concedes. Moderator point and audience point goes to Derreck.

Derreck: 3      Ryan: 5

Fight 5: Thor versus Superman

Ryan: Superman’s biggest weakness is magic, and Thor’s powers are based in magic. He can wield lightning, similar to Shazam. His durability is similar to Superman’s. He’s also been a planet buster before. But Thor’s magic really tips the battle to him. He was able to end Ragnarok with one blast and defeat reality warping characters.  Rune King Thor doesn’t need his hammer and can defeat Superman that way.

Derreck: Thor’s powers come from the hammer, so if Superman is able to get that hammer out of his hand, not lift it, would just make Thor a normal strong person. To go back to the planet buster theory, Superman could go back in time before the battle even began to a time when Thor isn’t holding the hammer and defeat him by surprise. He’s been able to take on Doomsday, Darkseid, and Brainiac by himself. Thor also has never been known to able to live in space, so Superman could easily take the fight there and win.

Rae: Moderator point to Derreck, audience point to Ryan

Derreck: 4      Ryan: 6

Fight 6: Green Arrow versus Hawkeye

Ryan: The two are very evenly matched. Clint has military training, from SHIELD, as a tactician, which helps give him an edge. Clint has also acted as a mercenary. He’s a more logical thinker under duress.

Derreck: Green Arrow has the same type of training that Batman has, so he’s a skilled fighter in hand-to-hand. He’s an expert marksman in multiple weapons, arrows, knives, and guns, even if he doesn’t like to use them. Hawkeye hasn’t proven that he has any hand to hand combat training.

Rae: Since this was an audience suggestion, one point is awarded to Derreck. No moderator point at this time.

Derreck: 5     Ryan: 6

Fight 7: Zatanna versus Scarlet Witch

Ryan: Scarlet Witch is a reality warper. She could easily blink Zatanna out of existence if she wanted. She has been able to teleport people from planet to planet, so she could take care of Zatanna that way.

Derreck: Zatanna has mental powers. All she has to do is think things, and they happen. Because she is magical, her powers are not just within her, but around her.

Rae: Ryan concedes, one point to Derreck from moderator. Winner of the audience point is Ryan.

Derreck: 6     Ryan: 7

Fight 8: Doctor Fate versus Doctor Strange

Ryan: Doctor Strange isn’t centuries old, but he’s inconsistently one of the most powerful people in the Marvel universe. He’s taken blasts from characters that destroy planets. Doctor Strange has been able to absorb blasts from the Living Tribunal. The Eye of Agamotto can rip holes through eternity. Doctor Strange is still the Sorcerer Supreme, and still has powers without the Eye.  There are gods and then people above gods, and then these guys.

Derreck: Doctor Fate is similar to Zatanna in the way that he is a magic based character in Justice League Dark. His powers are in his helmet. He’s been able to travel from dimension to dimension. He can fly, bend reality, travel through time, mind wipe people, and one version of him he’s grown so powerful, he no longer needed a host body so the helmet just created a body. That version can survive everything because the helmet cannot be destroyed. If Doctor Fate removes Doctor Strange’s amulet, he’s much less powerful. Doctor Fate doesn’t have to worry about any human disadvantages, like mortality.

Rae: Ryan concedes to Doctor Fate’s indestructibility. Derreck wins the moderator point.

Derreck: 7     Ryan: 7

To listen to this episode, click here.

What do you think of the match-ups? Do you agree or disagree with the outcomes? Comment below!

Versus #1 – Marvel v DC

SH S1E13: Versus #1 – DC v Marvel

In the first installment of our new Versus series, Rae pits Ryan and I against each other in a classic battle of DC Comics versus Marvel Comics, hero against hero, power against power. Live streamed on Twitch, we randomly pick superheros out of a jar and have to defend why ours should beat the other. Match-ups include Batman versus Captain America, Red Hood v Daredevil, Wonder Woman, v Captain Marvel, and Doctor Fate v Doctor Strange. Additionally, our Twitch subscribers and followers were able to cast their votes live during the recording to help pick our winner! Was it me? Was it Ryan? You’ll have to listen to find out.

Also, don’t forget to join us live on Twitch next week as we record another episode of Screen Heroes! We continue to take viewer comments, suggestions, and questions at twitch.tv\griddaily.

Prefer to watch our videos over just listening in? Subscribe to our YouTube channel to watch broadcasts of our live streams, unboxing videos, video game streams, and Rae’s I Ship It series. The link is in the top right corner of our website!

Versus #1 – DC v Marvel Podcast Credits

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Rachel 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

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Social Media
Twitch Channel
@GridTalkTweets
Facebook Page

Email
contact@griddaily.com

SH S1E13: Versus #1 – DC v Marvel

Team Cap or Team Iron-Man

Recently I was privy to observe a very clever conversation arguing the true depth to what it means to be Team Cap (#TeamCap) or Team Iron Man (TeamIronMan).   Joining in was yours truly, King of The Grid Derreck, the best Black Panther cosplayer Brent Simpson, resident Ghostbuster Ryan, and our knowledgeable nerd Nikki. The conversation took place over multiple hours through a Facebook chat among friends. Some of the conversation has been edited to remove tangents, typos, colloquialisms. Overall, it was an exciting conversation to take part it and I’d like you to be apart of that too.

 

Captain America: Civil War Team Cap and Team Iron Man

Derreck: So why is everyone on Cap’s side? Seriously though, is everyone on Cap’s for personality reasons and now what they are actually doing/standing for?

Brent: I generally feel that Cap is doing the morally right thing. Even if it is unpopular.

Derreck: You don’t think people like this need to have some kind of checks and balances system? Especially after all that destruction?

Nikki: The world has gone to shit and these bamfs are saving most of us. Collateral damage is better than obliteration.

Derreck: I don’t think Iron Man’s side is: let’s all go home.

Ryan: Nope. How are you gonna check and balance a God and a big green radiation monster?

Derreck: He agrees with accountability.  Ryan, so it’s difficult, it shouldn’t be done? No accountability because Hulk? That’s some lame logic.

Ryan: The government doesn’t need their hand in everything. Look what happened when SHIELD was active. They were a government branch the Avengers were supposed to report to. They got infiltrated and caused all the Winter Soldier shit. Just because it’s the government doesn’t mean it’s any more of an infallible entity than the Avengers as a team.

Derreck: Hence the checks and balances. The same problems could arise within the Avengers. So the Hulkf takes out a city block and everyone should just look the other way because accountability “might” bring problems?

Rae: I don’t believe choosing to protect civilians means they have to become employees of any such government. What happens if the UN is corrupted?

Brent: I think internal checks and balances are different than tacit government sanction. Especially as there is no world governing body.

Nikki: The Avengers need to police themselves.

Ryan: Exactly.

Derreck: I don’t think we know that’s what’s happening. The trailer doesn’t say they are employees of the US military. As far as the UN goes, what if the Avengers are corrupted? And police themselves? That hasn’t worked so far, has it?

Rae: And,if you want to hold them accountable for their destruction you can literally rebuild.

Nikki: They’ve certainly made an effort.

Ryan: If the Avengers are corrupted, having the government involved won’t help anything.

Derreck: I like how the Avengers, a continuously growing group that includes criminals can police itself but the UN can’t.

Brent: If Hulk goes crazy, Hulkbuster and Thor can take him on. If the Security Council decides to clear the way for Hydra, what’s the plan.

Derreck: It’s just like our military today. They don’t have to listen to the President. If the UN becomes corrupt, then the Avengers do something about it. But to claim they can “police themselves” is just not realistic.

Nikki: This movie is coming out at a peak political time. Some people have lost faith in the government, others want to fix it, others think it’s fine as is. We’re just protecting our feelings onto the movie..

Brent: But the moment the Avengers take action, they are terrorists.

Derreck: Brent, I disagree. If our President gives an order that is not constitutional and the military does not obey, that is not a terrorist avct by the military.

Brent: Not obeying an order is not the same as taking an action.

Derreck: Under that logic, it doesn’t matter if the Accords** are signed or not because any corrupt military could just brand the Avengers as terrorists.

Rae: Non corrupt governments have. That’s why they’re there.

Derreck: It’s simple. There are two options: sign the Accords, show the world that you want to make it a better place and protect it. This has the chance to become a problem if the UN (or whatever agency) is taken over. Second option: Don’t sign and you’re automatically a terrorist because you see yourself as above the law and outside rule.

Rae: And that’s the WHOLE plot of the movie.

Derreck: If the UN becomes corrupt, the Avengers have literally the same options whether they’ve signed or not.

Brent: Pretty much.

Derreck: Hence, sign the damn Accords and IF the UN becomes corrupt, deal with it. It’s not like Hulk loses his powers or something if they sign.

Brent: A zero sum argument doesn’t help either argument though.

Derreck: Cap makes it personal and goes after Bucky, who is a terrorist. It’s not a zero sum. One has the possibility of ending badly, the other absolutely will.

Brent: I think it’s an absolute either way. Hydra is still out there and operating. Allowing them oversight of the Avengers means they will be pawns of Hydra. Remaining an independent peace keeping organization means the chance of that is zero.

Derreck: But that’s based on the claim that it is impossible for Hydra to infiltrate a member of the Avengers. That’s not a fair claim. Ant-man was a criminal and Scarlet Witch was a bad guy. Who’s to say Hydra can’t get involved? Add Bucky to the list as a terrorist, programmed or not.

Brent: But then we are back to self policing. If they sign and they are infiltrated, they can do nothing until sanctioned. Especially because Hydra controls the team. If they do not, they are capable of taking action against that individual.

Derreck: That’s just red tape. If Hulk wants to smash, he’ll smash. The Avengers need to be responsible for ensuring Hydra doesn’t take control, yes. But on the flip side, why should they get to dictate what classifies as acceptable destruction and loss of life? Because they have powers or suits?

Brent: I don’t follow the logic that they are able to classify anything. Independent organization doesn’t mean they aren’t required to answer for their actions or explain themselves.

Derreck: But who are they answering to at that point? Is this the whole point of the Accords, accountability? I feel like Iron Man’s whole point is that they should answer to some group. And right now, they don’t. They operate using his money and his technology but on US soil.

Brent: Answer to the government where the loss of life and destruction of property took place. We have international law. You don’t have to be a part of the UN to be tried for a crime or called into a tribunal.

Derreck: So, what the trailer leaves unanswered is, has that happened? Or have they been protected from all of that? It’s not like they can bring Bruce Banner to trial. Or Vision. If they have had to answer to the local governments, then it’s a different conversation because the Accords don’t do much at that point and the scene with the videos seem out of place. It’s a super similar question to what Superman has to answer to after the destruction of Metropolis but at least we know he ends up in court. Should Scarlet Witch be protected after she helped Ultron? And what about Bucky? Does he get a pass because he’s Cap’s old buddy?

Brent: He ends up in a congressional hearing, but it’s a fair point. Bucky is such a unique criminal case to me. You have his initial disappearance, which could be construed as kidnapping. Which makes his later actions justifiable as he was under duress, in addition to the psychological trauma he suffered in his conditioning process.

Rae: Should everyone in the MCU who has been tortured and brainwashed immediately demonized without rehabilitation?

Brent: I can’t answer to that point. There are a lot of issues with his case for a direct answer.

Derreck: I don’t disagree with that but what Cap does to get him is illegal. He is operating outside of the law. The Avengers don’t get to be the judges. I’m not demonizing anyone. I’m simply saying if the UN can be so easily corrupted, why can’t the Avengers when it’s actually happened to some of the members? I don’t fault Cap on a personal level but his actions are still illegal.

Brent: Which brings us back to moral vs. legal.

Derreck: Looking at just the existing MCU before Civil War: Hawkeye was brainwashed, Scarlet Witch helped Ultron, Ant-Man was a criminal, and Bucky was a terrorist. That’s not good odds. The issue isn’t about whether or not we understand Cap’s personal feelings, it’s about whether or not the Avengers should operate within international law. I understand Cap’s dilemma and I feel for him but that does not justify acting outside of the law. A law that was, at the time, not a covert Hydra corruption situation.

Brent: Which is very gray. Extradition and detainment varies by country.

Derreck: Agreed. It’s complicated which is exactly why Cap doesn’t get to act as Judge Dredd here without serious reprecussions. Even in the trailer, Cap says you can’t always save everyone. Maybe Bucky is one of those people the Avengers can’t save.

Brent: Which I’m sure he’s willing to face.

Derreck: Does it suck? Yes. Is it sad? Absolutely. But it doesn’t erase the rest of the world the Avengers have to operate in.

Brent: Can we just appreciate how much more nuanced this Civil War is?

Derreck: Oh, absolutely. This is definitely not a punch/smash/bad guy down movie.

Brent: As an independent organization, I think they will be called to ask for their actions. However, I can’t agree that they need to be directly responsible to one organization doesn’t cover everywhere. Strike responsible. Sub accountable. Cap’s “issue” is that he will look at this as a soldier. He will accomplish  his mission, then turn himself in for a court martial. He can explain himself the and accept whatever punishment is proper. As an outsider looking in, his character and morals mean that he will do what is good and right. Even if it isn’t legal. Guns pointed at civilians 24/7 was legal after all.

**In reference to the Sokovia Accords, the fictional documented contract that the Avengers are being asked to sign in the upcoming film.

So what did you think? Did any of this change your mind? Whose team are you on: Team Cap? Team Iron Man? Let us know!

Team Cap or Team Iron-Man

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

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

Civil War and Civil War: A Comparison

I don’t know about you but I’m excited for 2016.  There’s a plethora of films that I’ve been looking forward to before they were even announced, none more anticipated than Captain America: Civil War. The extraordinarily popular Marvel crossover event by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven ran from summer 2006 all the way until winter 2007, giving collectors everywhere months’ worth of highs and lows.  The series pitted the Invincible Iron Man against Captain America in an ethical battle between security and personal freedoms, with the rest of the Marvel characters being forced to choose sides.

Do you choose Iron Man’s pro-registration Avengers or Captain’s band of freedom rebels? Whose side are you on?

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By the time the film comes out, the Civil War comic series will be celebrating its 10th anniversary and its effects are still being felt throughout the Marvel Comics Universe.  Its massive storyline and numerous tie-ins was a phenomenal commercial success, despite mixed reviews from critics.  In fact, it inspired them to attempt a repeat two years later with Secret Invasion (an arguably better storyline, but nowhere near as successful). There’s no doubt in my mind that the upcoming film adaptation will achieve comparable success this time next year.

There will be large differences between both versions of this storyline.  There is no way the film can possibly play out the exact same way as the comic series did, which has its obvious pros and cons.  The biggest pro is that you do not have to read the comic before you go into the film.  In fact, it may actually help you submerse yourself in cinematic enjoyment as I will be too busy counting differences my first go around.  (This is how Marvel breaks records; people like me pay multiple times to see the same movie because we’re that intent on spotting everything!)  The biggest con is you will most likely miss some of the nuanced “Easter eggs,” sprinkled into the film to add depth and winks to the comic fans.

But you’re not completely out of luck! I’m going to quickly catch you up on the comic series and then give you my film predictions because, honestly, why not?

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What happened in Civil War?

-The New Warriors star in a reality TV show where the premise surrounds teenage superheroes tracking down villains. Nitro, in this case.  Nitro is a being capable of spontaneous explosions with minimal damage to himself.  During the New Warriors attack on Nitro, his explosion ends up causing the deaths of over 600 people in Stamford, Connecticut.  This is what the world sees as the event to spearhead superhero accountability.

-Iron Man reveals his identity as Tony Stark and heads the charge for the Superhero Registration Act.  It doesn’t take long before he begins his recruitment of heroes.  Captain America immediately opposes it.

-The superhero community is split down the middle, causing more friction than good. Here’s where the major players stand:

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-Tony recruits Spider-Man (a now 30 year old science teacher) and convinces him to reveal his identity as Peter Parker.  Parker ends up losing his job at the Daily Bugle (J. Jonah Jameson is a jerk in the comics, too, folks! Go figure.) and putting his family in danger.  Stark creates the Iron Spider armor to help keep Spider-Man on his side.

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-The pro-registration heroes slowly become more authoritarian and aggressive.  Villains, such as The Thunderbolts, take it upon themselves to be government mercenaries, hunting down members of the rebellion.  Heroes for Hire are sent after Captain America and Luke Cage.

-A major clash between the pros and antis results in the clone of Thor (a controlled weapon of Tony Stark) killing Goliath, a Young Avenger.

-Spider-Man, Spider-Woman defect and join the New Avengers.  Spider-Man dons the black suit since the first time since the symbiote story.

-The anti-registration heroes have been forced into hiding and their numbers are few.  To spare any more deaths, Captain America surrenders and is arrested.  On the way to his cell, he is gunned down by Crossbones and dies.

-Tony Stark is placed as head of S.H.I.E.L.D., Ms. Marvel is the new leader of the Mighty Avengers.

-After Captain America’s funerals (there were three: public, private superhero, and the actual resting of his body, which Stark and Sub-Mariner were the only ones to know about), Bucky assumes the Captain title.

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What you can expect from Captain America: Civil War

The events of Avengers: Age of Ultron will resonate throughout the world.  Tony Stark, with the help of Bruce Banner, took it upon himself to create A.I. with the sole purpose of keeping peace that inevitably went awry and tried to destroy humanity.  The plots of the Avengers films, along with the destruction from Abomination, Malekith, and Whiplash will add together to create a government need for superhero accountability.

-None of the Avengers possess a secret identity.  Everyone is known to either the public or American government, so the great hero divide will not be a registration but more of a forced government employment for all enhanced heroes. Tony, fearing his Scarlet Witch induced nightmare will come true, will most likely feel the need to atone for his crimes and take a pro stance, and Captain America will inevitably oppose.

-Who will follow suit? Here’s my predictions for where the heroes will stand:

Pro-anti 2

 

-Spider-Man, Black Panther, and Captain Marvel are all wild cards at this point.  Black Panther has been cast for months with the original plan being his character would take the Spider-Man role, forcing him to choose sides among colleagues. This is still the largest possibility considering Spider-Man’s casting announcement hit just a few days ago; however, they’ve already shuffled everything around for him as is, so a little more shuffling to make way wouldn’t be out of place. Captain Marvel has yet to be officially cast, so while I have no doubt they will shove her in this film once that happens, her role will be small. Combining all of that with the fact none of them have any character allegiances/bonds with anyone else on the team, there’s a chance they could all end up taking neutral stances anyway. But where’s the fun in that?

-Captain America may still die.  I don’t want it to happen, you don’t want it to happen, but rumors have been floating around for more than a year that Chris Evans is retiring and someone else (most likely Sebastian Stan’s Bucky) will fill that role instead.  Now Evans has since waivered on his retirement, but his six movie deal is just two away from expiring.  He may die, but he also may come back.

-This is going to break the family apart permanently.  Age of Ultron was the last time we saw our six cinematic Avengers be friends.  Sure, there’s a good chance they’ll all fight side by side in Infinity Wars, but that will not make them friends again.

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These, of course, are only speculations based solely on what I’ve seen from the films as of now.  I’m sure the Russo brothers have some twists and turns in store for all of us.  Either way, the film will bring in the Marvel fans, new and old, in droves.

What do you expect to see in Captain America: Civil War? Comment below!

Civil War and Civil War: A Comparison