After ten years, Marvel has completed the most ambitious story in cinematic history. Over the course of 22 movies, Marvel has taken some lesser known superheroes and crafted a roughly 50 hour story using six different main characters.
Marvel isn’t the only franchise breaking the traditional celluloid story telling method. Warner Bros. and DC have tried to copy Marvel’s game plan with the Justice League universe. Horror film, The Conjuring has its own interwoven stories and then there’s Kevin Smith’s Viewaskewiverse.
On this edition of Positive Cynicism, @chadsmart and Eric Bennett discuss the different cinematic universes regarding what works, what doesn’t and what they’d like to see in future film franchises.
If you have not seen Avengers – Infinity War, do NOT listen to this episode. Download it, save it, and listen to it ONLY AFTER YOU HAVE WATCHED THE MOVIE!!!
We seriously pull no punches when talking about the happenings of the movie.
Who is “we,” you ask? Well, that story gets told in the episode, but long story short, I’m joined by my high school classmate Mike Luther, a fellow nerd who a) has seen the movie (obviously) and 2) lives in the same town as me. It’s really convenient that way.
And we drink beer. Just a couple. We’re responsible.
So what happened in Avengers – Infinity War? I’m sure as hell NOT going to tell you here. You need to listen to the show. But if you are listening to the show, you should have seen the movie by now.
That makes sense, right Mike?
[Mike nods affirmation]
So listen to the show, and then head over to the Amazon link and buy something. Anything. They have it.
Don’t forget that this Saturday, May 5, Cinco de Mayo, is FREE COMIC BOOK DAY! So go support your LOCAL comic book shops.
Let’s face it…you hate spoilers. I know this because I too hate spoilers, and I feel like we think alike on this subject.
Avengers – Infinity War has only been in theaters for about a week, and that’s not enough time for everyone to have seen the movie. But I moved Heaven and Earth to be able to watch the newest offering from Marvel Studios this past weekend, and I am sure glad I did.
What I have for you in this episode of Nerds United is a SPOILER FREE review. And truth be told, it’s not even much of a review. I hit a few high points. I don’t spoil anything. And I just say “this movie is amazing, you need to watch it!”
Is that something you feel you can get behind?
Because TOMORROW I will drop another brand new episode where I talk all about the movie and spoil it up the wazoo! So listen to this episode, go give Marvel/Disney your $10-$15, and then come back and listen to the episode all about Avengers – Infinity War!
Now before you start wondering, let me clear the air here.
I’m not giving Marvel an Ultimatum. I’m not saying “put Steve Rogers back in the red, white, and blue” or “for crying out loud, please cast Nathan Fillion in something more than voice work!”
Marvel isn’t handing out ultimatums to Sony or 20th Century Fox or anything lile that regarding any of their properties.
This is about “Marvel Ultimatum,” a five-issue mini-series that was published in 2008-2009. Best I can tell, it takes place in Marvel’s Ultimate universe. Written by the incredible Jeph Loeb and penciled by David Finch, it is a Marvel comic event that, I think, caused everyone to look around and say “well, I think we’re all glad that didn’t happen in the main continuity.”
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
To put it mildly, it’s a damn bloodbath. The story opens with a swell of water that floods New York City. Meanwhile, Eastern Europe is covered in a deep winter that kills man, woman, and child. Earthquakes in Wakanda. Volcanoes in the Amazon. In the first issue, the death toll reaches the millions.
And no one is immune. Throughout the series, heroes are offed left and right. Some from the initial natural disasters, but most from the ensuing conflicts.
Now I fully admit that I only read the core Ultimatum story, without going into the Requiem tie-ins or any other titles. But it was a relatively easy book to digest, and I was able to finish it in one sitting. Truth be told, it wasn’t on my radar initially, and I only knew about it from a YouTube video (I don’t remember which one now). But it did give me a pretty sweet #BOOM! picture I was able to use after selling a car.
But here’s a list of Marvel characters who are killed in Ultimatum:
Spider-Man (he would later be revealed to be alive)
There are more. But it’s almost as if George RR Martin wrote the story. And here’s the thing. There are A-list names above. But what I haven’t told you yet is Thor sacrificed himself and stayed behind in Hel to save Valkyrie and Captain America.
So let’s let the story unfold. It is realized that Magneto changed the magnetic fields at Earth’s north and south poles. That caused all the destruction and devastation. It’s learned that he’s essentially punishing mankind for the death of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. So all the heroes go to his floating fortress for the confrontation. That’s where Angel dies. It’s where Magneto kills Wolverine and where Cyclops returns the favor.
A few days later at a press conference, while Cyclops is addressing the crowd on the steps of Congress he’s assassinated. After that, Doctor Doom has his head crushed by the Thing.
Like I said, there is an unnerving amount of death in these five issues. But the most gruesome death is that of Janet van Dyne aka Wasp. Hawkeye turns the corner and sees Blob feasting on her torso. Blob meets his end when Hank Pym picks him up and bites his head off, then spitting it out and dropping Blob from a very high distance.
I mean…it’s gratuitous. It’s unnerving.
It’s Rated T for Teen.
Now Ultimatum is not the best comic book out there. It’s not one of Jeph Loeb’s best. That’s on the other side of the Marvel/DC aisle:
And that’s just my opinion. But that is a great story.
So where does that leave Ultimatum? Well, I read it out of morbid curiosity. I think we all do that from time to time. But this is a unique story that shows the demise of a good portion of the Marvel Earthly heroes. If you’re curious and didn’t see my [SPOILERS] as a bad thing, I encourage you to seek it out, borrow it from a friend. If you’re not curious, well the good news is that there are a lot of comics out there to scratch almost any itch you might have. Go to your local comic book store, tell them where your interests lie, and then listen and honestly consider their recommendations.
It’s a big beautiful world of comics out there, kids. Go get you some.
Well, let’s get the math out of the way right away, before I catch any grief.
In the Christian calendar, Lent is 40 days. This is Post 41. IT DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE!
But wait, the forty days is from Ash Wednesday to Palm Sunday. Now we’re in Holy Week. We are not yet to Easter, so you still get posts (if you want them…and based on the numbers, you do).
So today we had a little [teaser] trailer drop for Thor: Ragnarok. Now I just talked about Norse mythology on Saturday. I thought the first Thor movie was brilliant, and Thor: The Dark World had its uses, as it brought us another Infinity Stone. Plus, there was more from the fan-favorite Loki, and the Captain America cameo.
The trailer opens with Thor in chains taking a very painful looking, chain–like drop into Hel. Thor’s voiceover says “Now I know what you’re thinking. ‘How did this happen?’ Well, it’s a long story.”
While the voiceover is happening, the scene changes to Thor throwing Mjolnir at an unknown entity. And also, Led Zeppelin starts to play. (Click the link. I swear, it’s all I hear when I think of The Immigrant Song.) So Mjolnir is thrown. But here’s a swerve…Mjolnir is caught. Or maybe the better term “stopped.”
And then the unthinkable happens (see the featured image). She breaks the damn thing.
Now here’s what you need to know about Mjolnir in the Marvel Universe. It’s not just a magical hammer that only Thor and Vision can hold. Paraphrasing Marvel.Wikia.com:
Odin defeats the God Tempest and traps it in a chunk of Uru, then gives the stone to dwarves who star-forge it into the hammer. The forging took seventeen weeks.
So anyway, Hela destroys Mjolnir, and next we see Hela in her full antler regalia about to bring destruction to Asgard. It takes nine seconds. And Thor is cast out of his home, and is found on a new world. He is quickly captured and shown in captivity.
Next we see the Grandmaster, Jeff Goldblum, asking what was brought before him, and the response given is “a contender.”
We see what appears to be Heimdall in the forest fighting for survival. Quick cuts about a second or so apart until the 1:06 mark when we finally get our first look at the prodigal son himself:
I don’t know whose side Loki is on. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was on his own side in this mayhem. As you’ll remember, when last we saw him, he was impersonating the Allfather and sitting on the throne of Asgard.
Fast-forward a few seconds and we see Thor finally entering the gladiator arena.
“Hey Thor, did you get a hair cut?”
“No, I got them all cut.”
His new helmet drops into place. The Grandmaster is introducing the opponent when “BAH GAWD, KING! IT’S HULK! IT’S THE INCREDIBLE HULK!”
Which brings about probably the only moments of levity in this trailer.
I mean it. Just look how happy he is. That is one jubilant God of Thunder. It’s almost like he forgot that time Hulk punched him in his head!
After a triumphant “YES” from Thor, the crowd and the Grandmaster are puzzled. Thor calmly, coolly explains “We know each other. He’s a friend from work.” Because…#Avengers.
Hulk straight up doesn’t care, and quickly engages Thor. Thor runs at Hulk. Our “teaser trailer” (that lasts almost two minutes…so I’m calling it a trailer) ends with an awesome, 1980’s Saturday Morning Cartoon style graphic.
So that’s the trailer. Or should I say “Here’s the trailer.”
I’m digging this trailer big time. I’m pumped for another Thor movie. I’m pumped for another MCU movie. And I’m excited to see the only two guys not invited to Captain America: Civil War to do battle with each other before restoring order in Asgard (speculation…they don’t tell me anything, obviously).
Thor: Ragnarok is in theaters in November!
What’d you think? Sound off in the comments on the Facebook page.
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It’s been awhile since I did an audio commentary track…going all the way back to Episode 16 (October 2014, for what it’s worth) when I was joined by guests Joe Dodd and Justin Holman to provide a commentary track for Justice League War. By the way…you have asked and I have heard and I do hope to get some of these guys together for Throne of Atlantis and more DC Animated movies.
But we’re switching side and getting to the beginning of Marvel’s cinematic universe, the one that started it all, 2008’s Iron Man. And I’m joined by my friend and past guest RJ Gallucci for a commentary track. Grab the movie, queue it up, and hit play when we tell you. It’s all the conversation you’d punch people for if they were in the theater with you. But it also has with it the knowledge of nine years of cinematic universe that we didn’t know about back in 2008.
Want more episodes like this? Leave a comment telling me what movie you want us to tackle. We plan on hitting the entire MCU and in the order they were released.
But what movies outside of the MCU are of interest to you? Let me know.
For years we heard “give Spider-Man back to Marvel.” Let’s face the facts...we hear the same for Fantastic Four, especially after last summer’s gamble that did not pay out. But as respected as comics’ first family is, Spidey is the most recognizable (or at least profitable) superhero in the world.Captain America: Civil War is where Spider-Man will make his Marvel movie debut after five Sony pictures that have been met with mixed reactions.
And we all know you can’t have Civil War without Peter Parker.
Here’s the thing – there’s no way they’ll be telling this portion of the story in Captain America III. It has nothing to do with Spider-Man being an established in the Marvel Universe. It revolves primarily around the story Marvel wants to tell in Civil War.
The trailer (shown below) opens with Steve Rogers speaking over some images of the Winter Soldier. Cap is talking about the hazards of the job. Then you see news footage or damage assessment from the events of The Avengers, Captain America: Winter Soldier, and Avengers 2. The events lead the bureaucrat to exclaim that “People are afraid.”
Enter Tony Stark, who as he does in the comic book, is a champion for regulation and oversight. “We need to be put in check.”
So there you have it…#TeamCap vs #TeamIronMan.
Now we don’t know how Spider-Man enters into the movie, exactly. We know how he enters this scene:
But is there a scene before this where Tony Stark goes and recruits Peter Parker to the cause? I imagine there would have to be. Or as Ricky Ricardo would say “Lucy, you got some ‘splaining to do.” They’d be retconning the crap out of that. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m certain the characters in the MCU are aware of Spider-Man. They might wonder where he was during “the event” in New York City a few years prior. But you catch my drift.
I get the feeling based on what little we’ve seen that perhaps Spider-Man is a “diamond in the rough” type of discovery by Tony Stark. That’s a stark (pun intended) contrast to the comic, where of course Spider-Man was a long-time character whom everyone knew. In the events leading up to Civil War, and in the story itself, Peter Parker/Spider-Man works for Tony Stark/Iron Man. Stark rewards Peter with the Iron Spider suit.
Not even close.
I always perceived that Peter Parker as sort of a pawn in Stark’s agenda. Cooperate and you get to keep the shiny toy.
Something always struck me odd about that pairing. I always felt that Peter was no longer an autonomous hero who does things his way, but someone who had to answer to a higher authority. In short, a microcosm for the entire Civil War story-line. The role of the government and the registration act is played by Tony Stark. The hero community is being portrayed by our favorite wall crawler. When they out themselves, adhere to the law, bad things happen.
In other words, Captain America was right.
Okay, back to Spidey, because I’ve been working on this post off and on since about 11am, and I really just need to wrap it up.
We were told Spider-Man would have a “classic look.” This Spidey suit has Steve Ditko written all over it.
Re-watch the trailer and you’ll see Spidey can be expressive with his eyes again. It’s not just head and neck movements and hand gestures. The eye black gets thicker and thinner as necessary. It’s the same technology that they used with Deadpool’s mask. Totally not worried. Also, that’s a small black spider on the front and a large red spider on the back, much like the one drawn above.
So yes, Spider-Man has arrived in the MCU. But that’s not all we got in the new trailer. We also saw a bulletproof Black Panther, Winter Soldier appear to be locked away deep in the heart of a frozen bunker (which is odd, since the last time we saw him he was pinned to a table with Cap and Falcon), and we saw this this, which I’m officially labeling the Marvel Azkaban.
I know what it is. It’s a prison for super beings. But what I don’t know is a) who funded it and 2) when it was built. Seems like a pretty massive undertaking since the end of Age of Ultron…a year ago.
But I digress.
Here’s the trailer. This movie looks great, and it will have the longest run time of any Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. So maybe people will stop complaining that Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice will be too long at 2.5 hours.
What are your thoughts? Share them in the comments section here or on Facebook. Also Twitter, email, smoke signals, or text messages (if you have the Nerds United hotline number).
You’ve seen his amazing creations in works of pancake art. Now learn about the man behind all that pancake batter: Dan Drake.
Learn about Dan’s beginning and how one pancake design changed his life. Hear about how his first pancake design brightened a stranger’s day. Dan has also been on The Today Show and has taken his talents around the country and across the globe.
A photo posted by Dr. Dan The Pancake Man (@drdancake) on
So enjoy the show, tell your friends about it, and if this is your first time and you enjoyed yourself, go back and listen to some of the other shows. And remember: Dr. Dan did all this with pancake batter. It’s beautiful and delicious!
Meet Jay Peteranetz, a lifelong comic book reader (mostly Marvel) and artist who has helped take comics to an unprecedented medium – playing cards.
Welcome to Magicians Must Die:
Jay grew up reading a ton of Marvel, including X-Men and the Cosmic Marvel books, including Guardians of the Galaxy. So naturally we talk about the marvel Cinematic Universe and OMG DID YOU SEE ADAM WARLOCK?
There is a lot covered in this episode, and I’m pumped for future conversations with Jay, who will be appearing at the Denver Comic Con in May. So go check him out there.
ALSO – if we get Jay to 250 Twitter followers in the next two weeks, he’ll hook me up with all four issues (sets) of MMD, autographed, and ready to giveaway on the show. He wins, we win. GET IT?!?
Merry Christmas and Welcome to the 2nd Annual Very Special Christmas Special.
This year I’m bringing back a guest from an earlier episode and giving her HER OWN SHOW! Ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for Alice Harvey, pastry chef and artist with the Stache Publishing Crew.
Alice and I talk a little Stache business, but also cinematic and television adaptations of comic book properties. We also talk baking and Christmas memories.
Alice has a sure-fire recipe for all of your holiday gatherings:
Here is the recipe:
1/2 tsp. Active dry yeast
1c warm water (not hot)
2 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 c nutella
1 egg beaten with a Tbsp water to brush over braid before baking
-dissolve yeast in 1/4c water and let sit for ten minutes to activate.
– combine flour, salt, sugar in bowl of a mixer. – when the yeast is bloomed (it will be bubbly) add to flour mixture with remaining water.
– mix on medium speed with the paddle attachment until a dough is formed.
-switch to a dough hook and let mix for another 5 minutes until the dough has formed a supple ball.
-Place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic and let rest for a half hour.
– remove from bowl and roll the dough into a large circle.
– spread nutella over it.
– roll like a cinnamon roll.
– cut the roll down the middle to form two long strips.
-twist them together into a spiral (they will fan out a bit and start to look like a braid.)
-place the twist into a baking sheet and brush with the egg wash.
-bake at 350 degree until golden brown.