I Really Like Marvel
I was up last night. Really. Quite late. For me. I couldn’t sleep, and so I started browsing YouTube (as is customary for my generation), and watching Comic Con panel videos of the Marvel group talking about their future plans, or “Phase II” as Marvel Studios calls it. Phase II is the next series of installments into the Marvel Cinema Universe culminating in the second Avengers movie, which is slated for sometime in 2015.
Now, you may have picked up on this blog that there are a few things I love: guitar, theology, film, and comic books. And so I’m going to indulge myself here a little bit and talk about where I see Marvel taking their little cinematic universe in the near future. So feel free to read or not read. It’s really up to you. These ideas are based upon nothing but my knowledge of Marvel comic books and characters, a general understanding of Joss Whedon, and knowing what movies have been slated for Phase II. Here we go.
Firstly, the list of Marvel Studio films that have been announced for Phase II are as follows- in order of release date:
Iron Man III
Thor: The Dark World
Captain America: Winter Soldier
Guardians of the Galaxy
Now, the first three movies I can see you nodding your head, getting maybe even a little smile on your face, thinking, “Yeah. I love those guys.” And then we get to Ant-Man and I see you stop nodding your head, the smile begins to fade, and you think, “Ant-Man? Who’s Ant-Man? He doesn’t sound very cool.” and then there’s Guardians of the Galaxy, and you start to frown, “What in the world is Guardians of the Galaxy? I’ve never even heard of that.” And, well, this is where things start to get interesting.
See, Iron Man, Thor, Cap, we kind of know what to expect from these movies. Their characters have been pretty developed during the Phase I films, and yet at the same time we don’t really know what to expect from these films. We know Iron Man will be fighting The Mandarin in China, that Iron Patriot may show up. We know Thor will be back in Asgard, we’ll probably see (or at least hear about) Loki in Asgardian prison. Captain America will be interesting in its own right, simply because we move Cap from his origin story in World War II to present times, where we assume he will be heading up some kind of mission for S.H.I.E.L.D. I would say this would be where Cap reunites with Bucky and finds out he’s a professional assassin, but, alas… No Bucky was to be found in the original movie.
(EDIT: I guess I never realized when watching the movie that James was supposed to be Bucky… That whole plot line was kind of understated… So… if this ruined the sequel for you… Sorry.)
So we more-or-less know what’s going to go down in these films. Of course, they will all be giving hints as to what the culmination of Phase II will be- we’ll get glimpses of Thanos’ and Loki’s plan after each of the credits roll, and we’ll be introduced to a lot of cameos, since now all of these characters exist within each other’s world- (Bruce Banner working at Stark Industries, Fury, Black Widow and Hawkeye still being a part of S.H.I.E.L.D., and those three not having their own movies in Phase II)- but the real story pushers, I think, are going to come from the last two movies, Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy.
Hank Pym is Ant-Man. And Giant-Man. And Goliath. And Yellowjacket. And Wasp. But We’ll just talk about Ant-Man.
Side note, Scott Lang is also Ant-Man. But for the purposes of the story being told by Marvel Studios, I believe Hank Pym will be the Ant-Man we see in the movie. But just to cover my bases, it could be Scott Lang too.
So Hank is this scientist that has designed a bunch of stuff for S.H.I.E.L.D., their super jails, a lot of their tech, etc. He also has designed a shrink suit/ray that lets him shift size, but still retain his strength (like an ant who’s super small but relatively strong. See?). So, anyway, Hank is important because he invents a lot of tech that will bring in elements to the universe like the Negative Zone, as well as teleportation, etc. Which will be important when everyone has to go to space to fight Thanos later on.
So Hank’s story will be some kind of origin story, it may introduce his wife, Janet, who is Hank’s research partner. She’s also Wasp. So that would be two Avengers for the price of one! I think that will probably be what happens. When we look at what Marvel has been doing with the Avengers cartoon, Hank and Janet have been in the Avengers since its inception. So it’s pretty logical that both of them will be a part of the team in Phase II.
Something interesting to note is that in the Avengers cartoon that Marvel has been putting out, although Hank is only ever referred to as Ant-Man, he has both his Ant-Man powers and his Giant Man powers at the same time. This may be a route Marvel Studios takes to make the character a little more interesting. It worked out pretty well in the cartoon.
Ok, so now we have Hank and possibly Janet as additional Avengers. Cool. But who the crap are the Guardians of the Galaxy and why is Marvel making a movie with them? Is that guy a raccoon??
Yes. There is a raccoon in the Guardians. Also a tree. But here’s why this little known team is important to Phase II:
Guardians of the Galaxy was a little team created in 1968 of time/dimension traveling fighters of crime- Galaxy Cops, if you will. However, after the announcement of the members of the team to be in the Marvel Studios film, we quickly realized that the 1968 series is of little importance. What IS important is the reboot of the Guardians that happened in 2008.
If you watched the Avengers cartoon, you will remember in season 2 the Guardians showed up for an episode or two. It is this exact team (minus one important person) that will be in the Marvel Studios film:
Rocket Raccoon (yes, he’s a raccoon)
Groot (an ent)
Gamora (maybe the most important member, and I’ll tell you why)
NOW. This is a team of select members from a pool of members that were active in the 2008-09 reboot run of the series. And, as I mentioned earlier, the exact team that made an appearance in the Avengers cartoon, minus one member. The point of all of this being two things:
1.) Almost the entirety of the Guardians reboot in 08-09 revolved around Thanos. That’s important, because, as we learned at the end of the first Avengers film, Thanos is revealed to be the main “bad guy.” Or, at least, that’s what Marvel wants us to think.
2.) Gamora is part of the Infinity Watch, along with the missing member of the team. Who is that missing member, you ask? None other than the leader of the Infinity Watch and the most powerful magic user in the whole Marvel Universe, Adam Warlock.
Why is that important, you may be asking. Well, I’ll tell you. In the early 90’s, I was given a comic book. It was #1 in a series of 8 called “The Infinity Gauntlet.” I read that first issue over and over. It was so cool. It had all of my favorite super heroes all in one book- Iron Man, the X-Men, Spidy, Cap, EVERYONE. But I never read the rest of the story. At least, not until I was much older and bought the graphic novel form which also included the “Infinity Gems” series, which was a prequel. Why this matters is, I believe that Phase II is going to revolve around the Infinity Gauntlet.
What proof do you have, you may ask? Well, for starters, the Infinity Gauntlet has already been introduced. Kind of. It was in Thor for about half a second. What, you don’t remember? Well, here, let me help you out. It was in Odin’s treasure room where he kept the All Spark- I mean Tesserat.
There it is. Now, here’s the other thing: the Infinity Gauntlet needs the Infinity Gems to work properly. In the picture it looks like the gems are in the gauntlet already, and I’m pretty sure that was just so we knew what it was we were looking at. Point being, the Infinity Gems are kept by the members of the Infinity Watch, two of whom are Gamora and Adam Warlock- members of the Guardians, one of whom are about to be introduced to us in the last film slated to be released in Phase II. Furthermore, the only way Gamora is as powerful a magic user as she actually is is due to the Infinity Gem, which she wears on her forehead. So, yeah, we’ll hear about it. The plot will become clear, and mark my words, Adam Warlock will show up eventually in some kind of cameo, and Phase III will involve the rest of the Infinity Watch.
I assume Marvel’s hoping to have the rights to Spiderman and the X-Men by then, too. I mean, heck, I’ll be like 35 by the time this is all over. So they better make up for Spiderman 3 and X-Men every-one-except-the-first-one.
Anyway, so that’s why these movies are important. That’s why Marvel’s doing what they’re doing. And I’m excited. And have to wait several years to say “told you so,” and by then we’ll probably have a new internet and no one will even remember this. Either way… It was fun to write. Peace out, nerds.