Hulk

SH S1E1 – MCU: The Good with the Bad

SH S1E1 – MCU: The Good with the Bad
Screen Heroes

 
 
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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

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

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?

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?

images

 

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:

Pro-anti

 

-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