How Marvel Has Evolved

How Marvel Has Evolved - Nerd in the City

How Marvel Has Evolved

As we embark on Infinity Gauntlet Fitness and inch ever closer to the release of Avengers: Infinity War (April 27th, you guys!) it feels like as good a time as any to reflect on the journey Marvel’s taken us on in the last decade. Particularly in the last two or three years, as the MCU has expanded and Marvel has gained more pop culture influence than even company executives (likely) ever dreamed of, it feels like there’s been a great deal of evolution. Once I got to thinking about this, I realized the extent of it is actually pretty great, so I decided to write it all up. 

Side Arcs Have Drifted Away
This isn’t true in all cases. For instance the Captain America series is more or less directly in line with the core Avengers/Infinity War collaborative films. But elsewhere, a lot of the MCU side arcs seem a little bit more separate from the Avengers saga than they once did. Thor films have completely taken on their own flavor; the Guardians movies and Ant-Man series exist largely for MCU comic relief; and Black Panther certainly seems poised to launch almost its own world within the MCU. At this point it feels more like Marvel is in charge of several interconnected series, rather than one big one with a lot of separate chapters. 

The Netflix Experiment Got Huge
Once upon a time the introduction of a Daredevil series on Netflix seemed almost quaint. It was exciting, to be sure, and as it turned out Netflix and Marvel did a wonderful job with it. But it seemed very small compared to the sheer magnitude of the MCU. But even though blueprints were released pretty early as to the plans to expand the Netflix concept, it feels like a surprise just how big it all got, and how quickly. We’ve now seen multiple seasons for multiple heroes, as well as The Defenders, and it’s only been a few years. Oh, and for what it’s worth, the newly released second season of Jessica Jones is as good as any of it! The show is ahead of its time and thoroughly entertaining. 

The Gaming Priorities Shifted 

Aside from streaming and TV, gaming is probably the biggest side branch of the Marvel empire, and it’s actually changed quite a bit. Two years ago most of what Marvel had to offer in this arena existed via mobile app or online casino. Now the landscape is quite different. Playtech, the online developer responsible for the casino games, flushed out all of its Marvel content. And the apps, while still running strong, are taking a backseat as the company looks to develop more high quality console games. A few of these are just around the corner, and should elevate Marvel gaming to new heights. 

Diversity Became A Priority 
To put it bluntly, all of Marvel’s leading heroes for many years were straight, white men. To some degree this was to be expected, since that’s the case with many of the most prominent heroes in the comic books. But the studio took far too long to figure out ways to emphasize non-white, female, or LGBT characters (and we’re mostly still waiting on that last one). But credit where credit’s due, diversity has become a clearer priority in the last couple of years. Black Panther just became one of the biggest hits in the MCU and is a terrific celebration of black culture (with a few fantastic, strong female characters as well). And there are some female-led films coming down the pipe. Things are moving in the right direction, and in a beautiful way the MCU feels different for it. 

There May Be Award Talk
Here we’re looking into the crystal ball a little bit, but why not? There’s a chance that another year from now, when we’ve already witnessed the Infinity War, Deadpool has given us a stash of new quotable lines, and Infinity Gauntlet has whipped you into shape, we’ll be talking about how Black Panther performed at the Oscars. None other than Christopher Nolan has predicted a nomination, and he certainly isn’t alone. Award talk for a Marvel movie would definitely represent an exciting evolution in the MCU.

This is a contributed article from Henry Johns.

The Road to Civil War

Marvel Cinematic Universe Entertainment Civil War #TeamCap blog

Marvel Cinematic Universe Entertainment Civil War #TeamCap blog

We are on the verge of Civil War…no, not the North vs. South kind…no, not the Dems vs. GOP kind. The Marvel-ous kind!! The #TeamCap vs. #TeamIronMan kind!! The kind that will have grown men and women crying in the aisles come Thursday, May 5th (for the early birds) and Friday, May 6th for the rest of the viewing public.

There are those who have already laid eyes on this highly anticipated entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the word is GOOOOOOOD!!!

So get ready for it…if you can. You’ll probably need lots and lots of tissues. Marvel has probably purchased stock in Kleenex cause they know we’re gonna need them!

To prepare for this journey I am watching the entire MCU in order starting today, Wednesday, April 27th and going all the way till the premier of Captain America: Civil War.

Join me over on Twitter every night for live tweets. But be warned…my gif game is hella strong, so if you choose to join…you better be ready to bring it!

We know where Spiderman stands…and Black Widow and Hawkeye and Ant-Man and Rhodey and The Winter Soldier himself. But where do you stand, nerd?? WHERE!

My feet are firmly planted in the #TeamCap camp!! But there is room for everyone in my nerdy family. (Even those who make bad choices…looking at you #TeamIronMan *wink…just kidding…i love ya…but seriously!)

See schedule below…

Captain America: Civil War Marvel movies watching blog

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Marvel’s Shipyard

Today I’m examining relationships in the MCU. Watching Agents of Shield last week led me to the realization that there are very few functioning or healthy relationships over at Marvel.
Maybe it’s the superhero business…there’s hardly time for love much less relationship counseling. Has to be hard to find time for romance when you’re trying to save lives and save the world.
Let’s see who stands a chance of making their ship sail… (and see how many ship analogies I can possibly come up with!!)

1. Tony Stark and Pepper Potts (aka #Pepperony)
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This is currently the strongest ship in the fleet. Tony and Pepper flirted in Iron Man, were together by the time Whiplash tried to take Tony out in IM2 and have survived not one but 3 other Marvel movies (Avengers, Iron Man 3 and Avengers: Age of Ultron.) It’s funny to think that the most narcissistic Avenger is the one in the healthiest relationship. Shows real growth! Good for you Tony (but we really mean Good for you, Pepper, cause we know who’s the Captain of this ship!)

2. Bobbi Morse and Lance Hunter (aka #Huntingbird)
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These two were on again/ off again all last season, but currently things seem to be on the rise for these two. Bobbi is back in the field and Hunter has let his vengeance against Ward for almost killing his ex-wife cool off a bit. It’s tough to find a happy ending in the line of duty, but these two are really making a go of it. Their chemistry is great and I can’t wait to see where this ship sails off to.

3. Hope Van Dyne and Scott Lang (aka #Scope)
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Coming in third place would have to be the newcomers to the Marvel Universe. From Marvel’s Ant Man, I present Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne. This is a budding romance. So new that it hasn’t even made it through one full film yet. We’ll keep an eye on these two. But seeing as Hope already has title billing in the second Ant Man film aptly titled, Ant Man and the Wasp, chances are that come 2017, this ship will still be floating.

4. Daisy Johnson and Lincoln Campbell (aka #StaticQuake)
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This ship is still on it’s maiden voyage. Having just met last season and surviving some pretty heavy stuff, Lincoln went on the lamb. But he’s back and already making out with our girl, Quake. Definitely a ship to keep an eye on. (Although, am I alone in dreaming of Grant Ward secretly being on the side of good and eventually getting back together with Daisy/Quake/Skye? I’m willing to eventually give up on the dream…but not just yet. Come on #SkyeWard)

5. Thor Odinson and Jane Foster (aka #Fosterson)
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Talk about long distance relationships. These two don’t just have the pitfalls of a ‘normal’ couple, they have entire realms between them. They said goodbye at the end of the first Thor after a couple steamy kisses. Thor was far too busy fighting his brother in Avengers to visit his lady love. In Thor 2, the couple is reunited temporarily because of that pesky ether. But after returning Jane to Earth and heading back up to Aasgard, where he belongs (and returning for a quick, steamy kiss) they are parted again. While Thor does take time to brag on his girl in Avengers: Age of Ultron, I don’t see this ship surviving the long voyage. But hey, you never know. Long distance works for some people. Maybe Thor and Jane can make it.

6. Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter (aka #Steggy)
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Get out your tissues. We all know how this one ends. This ship never had the chance to get out of the dock. Luckily Peggy goes on to have a kick ass career as a spy and Rogers…well, we know that Marvel is pushing Peggy’s granddaughter, as a potential future ship. But for now, Steve has new Avengers to train and old Avengers to war against.

7. Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanoff (aka #Brutasha)
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This is one ship that has split the fanbase. In the comics both of these Avengers have very different love lives that don’t involve each other. Bruce was always destined for fellow scientist, Betty Ross (played by Liz Tyler in the Edward Norton film, The Incredible Hulk…but we won’t mention that one.) And Natasha had a couple ships in the comics including but not limited to Hawkeye, Daredevil and Captain America. So imagine everyone’s surprise when the MCU turns it all around and has Black Widow turning up the heat with Bruce in Avengers: Age of Ultron. A little flirting and a passionate kiss does not a solid ship build. But it gives us something to look out for in the future.

8. Jemma Simmons and Leo Fitz (aka #FitzSimmons)
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Grab those tissues again, cause so far this is a ship that could rival the Titanic. At the end of season 2, Fitz and Simmons were on the verge of exploring their feelings for each other. Then along came the Kree Monolith that held a portal to another realm where a dark, handsome stranger and his arms were waiting for Simmons to cling to. (Not cool, Marvel. Not cool!) Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is currently in season 3. So the jury is still out on this ship. But given the givens, a happy ending is a long way off for these two.

9. Melinda May and Andrew Garner (aka #Meldrew)
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Tissues…you may as well hang on to them. (Are you sensing a trend here?) After the events of season 2, the future looked bright for Andrew and May as they rode off into the sunset. But come season 3 and this couple is not living happily ever after either. Agent May is busy fighting bad guys and Andrew…well, he’s a little busy being a bad guy. I’m still keeping hope alive for these two.

10. Agent Colson and Rosalind Price (aka #Coulsalind)
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I don’t know if anyone was really on board with this one. But I never was. Coulson is very special to the Marvel Universe and he deserves a lady love who is equally special. Rosalind does not fit the bill. Plus…after last week’s episode it seems like she may not be on the side of good after all. It’s only a matter of time before this ship runs a ground. (Thank goodness.)

Which ships are you hoping will get a little work done in the MCU? Let me know in the comments below or connect with me on Twitter: @nerdinthecity

44 Reasons Why It Is Good To Be a Nerd

It is so darn good to be a nerd right now. And if you don’t consider yourself a nerd, let me go ahead and give you your very own, personal invitation. It is never too late to join our tribe.
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We may come off a little strong at first, but we love when people come to the Dark Side (or the Light, if you’re into that sort of thing.) Don’t mistake our passion and zeal for anything other than just that.

Sure…there are trolls. But trust me when I say, we take care of our own! Here are 44 reasons why right now is the time to join us…and together we can rule the fandom!!!
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1. STAR WARS EPISODE VII: THE FORCE AWAKENS (tickets have been purchased!! Internets have been broken. This is the big leagues.)
2. Star Wars Episode VIII (ok we don’t know what it’s called yet, but the script is written and the funds are already designated!)
3. Star Wars Episode IX (we don’t even know who’s directing this one, but trust us…we’ll be there!)
4. Star Wars: Rogue One
5. Rumors of a young Han Solo film (rumors are our bread and butter. Get used to it.)
6.Star Wars Rebels (It’s only on season 2, plenty of time to catch up!)
7. Anything else Star Wars that is in the Disney pipeline. (If you aren’t sensing a trend then there may not be hope for your induction into our society.)
8. Ok…we do like some other things too…try Star Trek (anything with Star in it makes the short list!)
9.New Star Trek TV show in the works
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10. Any and all things Marvel (ie: the next 14 items on the list)
11. Marvel’s Jessica Jones (this one premiers in 7 days so you better catch up and watch all of Daredevil on Netflix stat!)
12. Marvel’s Captain America Civil War (trailer will be dropping very soon.)
13. Marvel’s Doctor Strange
14. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy 2
15. Marvel’s Spider-Man
16. Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok
17. Marvel’s Black Panther
18. Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War Part 1
19. Marvel’s Ant Man and the Wasp
20. Marvel’s Captain Marvel
21. Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War Part 2
22. Marvel’s Agents of Shield (currently in season 3 on ABC)
23. Marvel’s Agent Carter (season 2 starts in January)
24. Marvel’s Luke Cage and Iron Fist (both coming to Netflix along with season 2 of Daredevil.)
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25. DC has a lot of exciting things coming to our eyeballs soon as well (they just haven’t all earned their own number slot in this nerd’s estimation, but some are worthy like…)
26. DC’s Suicide Squad
27. DC’s Justice League
28. DC’s Arrow (currently in season 3 on The CW)
29. DC’s The Flash (currently in season 2 also on The CW)
30. DC’s Supergirl (kicking major butt in it’s first season on CBS)
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31. The Walking Dead
32. Once Upon a Time
33. Doctor Who
34. Game of Thrones
35. More Jurassic Park
36. Word of more Indiana Jones is in the ether.
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37. A little thing called Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (translation: more Harry Potter)
38. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (translation: even more Harry Potter)
39. Netflix and Hulu are making it easier than ever to catch up on your nerd. In my day you had to wait for DVD sets to be released and either rent from Blockbuster (yeah that was a thing) or just spend the $29.99 to own it. You’ve got no excuses anymore! LOST, Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Heroes, Supernatural, X-Files they can all be yours!)
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40. Speaking of The X-Files, you better get started cause new X-Files is coming our way in January. Jump on it and believe!
41. Star Wars Battlefront (if you aren’t a gamer yet, why not let Battlefront pull you in!)
42. Any and all things Disney (they make things other than Star Wars and Marvel movies as well. I know…crazy!)
43. Oh, speaking of Star Wars…there is so much amazing expanded universe literature coming out. (Start reading! Reading is cool! There’s a lot to catch up on!)
44. There are plenty of other awesomely nerdy things coming out before and after and in between all that’s listed above. But I’m trying to think past December 17th, 2015 and I’m finding it very hard to do.

Well…you have a lot of homework to do so you better get started now. See you on the other side where I’ll be waiting with your Nerd membership card*. We will engage in an obligatory lightsaber battle and a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock. It’s what we do!

*Membership card not guaranteed.

Ant Man

I’m currently on a blog hiatus for the month of July, but I just had to break it to talk about Ant Man! So many thoughts about it!! If you are into hard hitting criticism, this is not the review for you. This blogger LOVES Marvel and usually just takes time to sing it’s praises. This will be no different.

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I’ll keep this one SPOILER FREE. But I will have to go in depth later, cause the spoilers are really good ones and I wanna talk about them!! Here we go…

1. The Hype

I don’t usually listen to the hype or the critics or anyone, because I like to inform my own opinions about a movie. But the news was good from the early screenings and I have to say that it started to make me even more excited to see it. What’s more, the hype was well deserved!

2. The Cast

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Ah-Maze-Ing. Once again Marvel proves that it knows it’s properties and it’s fans very well. Paul Rudd did a wonderful job as Scott Lang’s Ant Man. He has a Tom Hanks charm about him that you just can’t help but love and root for. And I could literally go on and on about how amazing he is as Ant Man. He’s just one of those actors that is so dang likable. Add serious action moves and a surprising set of abs and he just belongs in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Perfect choice!!

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Michael Douglas plays Hank Pym, the original Ant Man and mentor to Scott Lang. I forgot how much I love Michael Douglas! And whatever they did to make him look young again was really convincing! Really good makeup or CGI? I didn’t care. I believed that somehow they found a time machine and brought back a younger Michael Douglas to play a younger Hank Pym. Cause if anyone has a time machine it’s Disney/Marvel/Star Wars!

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Evangeline Lilly has already reached nerd royalty status with her roles as Kate in LOST and as Tauriel in The Hobbit Trilogy. Lilly plays Hope, the daughter of Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne. Rocking a serious bob and some majorly bad ass martial arts moves. No spoilers, like I said, but they take her character to a wonderful place and I can’t wait to see her future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe!! Anyone who has been upset by the lack of ladies in the MCU will not be disappointed with what they do with Hope’s character!!

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Michael Pena, T.I. and David Dastmalchian play Luis, Dave and Kurt. A trio of crooks who are friends with Scott Lang and get roped into helping with Ant Man’s heist. Special shout out to Pena who is completely hilarious and delightful!! i hope they all have a future in the MCU cause they were really funny!

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Cory Stoll rounds it out as the villain of the movie, Darren Cross aka the Yellowjacket. I really enjoyed Stoll’s turn as the wounded baddie. All he wants is for Hank to show him his secrets and share his technology, but he doesn’t. So he has to make his own way and he kills a lot of lambs in the process. He will probably be compared to other bad guys in the MCU, but he doesn’t deserve the comparison. I think he’s a good villain and the antithesis to Ant Man in every way.

3. The Laughs

The entire theater was in stitches throughout the whole film! Every single joke landed and then punched you in the funny bone!

4. The Effects

The visual effects team should just go ahead and take some high fives for themselves. Ant Man requires heavy effects because of all the shrinking and getting big again stuff. The fights were so good!! Not only the parts when he is little and beating people up, which basically looks like they are mental. But also the parts where he is normal sized and fighting bad guys too. The action is really hard hitting!

5. The Cameos

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I promised I wouldn’t give any spoilers! And I won’t. But there is a spot on TV that does tell you that an Avenger does make an appearance. I won’t tell you which one. But it is awesome!! Epically awesome. Not only that, but there are some other familiar faces that make it into the movie, setting up some interesting plot points for Ant Man’s return in the future! Can Not Wait for that.

Ant Man’s release brings an end to Marvel’s Phase II. Now we have to wait till May 6, 2016 for the next installment. Captain America: Civil War will start Phase III.

I will definitely be seeing it at least 2 more times in the theaters. It’s that good! But don’t take my word on Ant Man… go see it for yourself! Give Marvel your money.