Monthly Archives: April 2015

Why Marvel Should Keep Things Simple

Marvel is big!
Marvel is big!

Marvel’s most recent silver-screen money-maker, Avengers Age of Ultron, is now out in theaters. I’ve already seen it. I’m not allowed to tell anybody about it, though, and certainly not because I wrote this in advance. So for the remainder of this post, I’ll be pretending I haven’t seen the movie. Don’t worry; it makes everything easier for everyone.

In the original Marvel comic series, Ant-Man (Hank Pym) is the inventor and creator of Ultron. Joss Whedon has already gone on record saying he’s retconning that point (a term that means to change something already established). We don’t know who will be the new creator, though many people have guessed it to be Tony Stark. However, we also know that Marvel’s later Ant-Man film, which comes out in July, will be set partially during Age of Ultron’s climax.

Here’s a question: Will the storylines intertwine?

Hank Pym isn’t the Ant-Man we see in the movie, though that character is present. He’s old now, and he chooses Scott Lang, a thief, to take up the Ant-mantle in his place for an unspecified reason. It’s very possible Pym will have something to do with the Ultron storyline, or that Ant-Man’s plot will affect the Avengers movie. We may not even find out until Ant-Man is released, at which time we will be awestruck by how the events change Age of Ultron. But is that such a good thing?

Imagine you’re on your way to see Ant-Man, but haven’t seen Age of Ultron. You hazard the barbs your friends fling at you, and eventually the movie begins. Things happen, a guy gets punched, somebody makes a witty remark, and then one character shows another character something on a screen, or out a window, and everyone in the theater gasps – except for you. What happened, you ask yourself. Did I miss something?

It’s uncertain – and, hopefully, unintended – but the Marvel movies are getting more complicated. With a titanic Phase Three beginning next year, multiple television shows that fit inside the gaps left by the movies, and crossing storylines such as the possible above, how long will it be for the Marvel Cinematic Universe to become incomprehensible to outsiders? Those that have seen everything will remain in the loop, but miss just one movie, or the Netflix-only Daredevil, or decide Agents of SHIELD isn’t worth it, and you’re lost. Suddenly Black Widow is shacking up with Daredevil in San Francisco, Captain America is black, and Thor is a woman.

Again, hopefully the writers and producers will understand this as a danger, and work to keep outside viewers interested with every movie, but this fan is just hoping it doesn’t go the way of the X-Men comics.

Marvel Phase Three

Marvel's Phase Three
Marvel’s Phase Three

On July 17th of 2015, Ant-Man will be released to the unsuspecting populace of Earth. It’s the final film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s second phase, beginning with Iron Man Three in 2013. So far the movies (not counting Ant-Man and Avengers Age of Ultron) have grossed over three point three billion dollars. Phase Three, recently detailed, has a total of ten films! Let’s take a look:

Captain America: Civil War

To be released in 2016, the third Captain America film takes a famous cross-over storyline from the comic books and brings it to the MCU. The government decides to regulate superhero activity, requiring the members of the Marvel universe to declare their secret identities and register. While Iron Man supports the new law, Captain America is against it, and the two form factions, resulting in the heroes coming to blows. The movie will be the first of the films under a single hero’s name that also has another actor in it, with Captain America, iron Man, Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther, Falcon, Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier, Black Widow, and Hawkeye involved. Joe and Anthony Russo are directing.

Doctor Strange

Also in 2016, staring Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange and with Scott Derrickson directing, Doctor Strange tells the story of a surgeon who is involved in a terrible accident. Discovering powers both mystical and . . . strange . . . Strange must save the world from the Ancient One, who is being played by an as-of-yet to-be-confirmed actor.

2017 Movies

Movies scheduled for a 2017 release include Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on May, which we see a return of all surviving characters from the first movie, including Nebula and Thanos. It will be directed by James Gunn once more. Spider-Man also comes out that year, a reboot of the popular hero after a landmark agreement between Sony and Marvel, though only the release date (July 28th) is known. Finally, on November 3rd, Thor: Ragnarok will be released. Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston will return as Thor and Loki.

2018 Movies

Avengers: Infinity War Part One will be released May fourth of 2018, the film will revolve around Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet. The big four, Thanos, and Loki are cast. On July 6th, 2018, Black Panther will be released starring Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/Black Panther, the first black superhero in mainstream comics. On July 6th, Captain Marvel, with an unknown actress starring as Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel, will be released.

2019 Movies

A mere two movies are scheduled for 2019, the first being Avengers: Infinity War Part Two on May 3rd, and the second being Inhumans on July 12th. This second film will likely focus on the Inhuman Royal Family, leaders of a race of superhumans, as many people associate the name “Inhumans” with the family.

We won’t hesitate to post new information as it becomes available; be sure to check back soon for more fun information!

New Superhero Costume Images

Big news! We can now post images of our new Avengers: Age of Ultron costumes online! With the movie releasing in only two weeks, now is the perfect time to get an outfit for the biggest movie release of the summer. While the new costumes may not be available at the moment, there are plenty of other great looks to make up your superhero team.

Costumes

Of course costumes are the big draw for the new season, and we have tons of new looks based on the upcoming movie.

For adults, you’ll be able to find all of the big four, Ultron, Vision, Hawkeye, and Black Widow.

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Kids have the same wide variety, including a few extras, such as the Hulkbuster Iron Man armor:

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That’s not all, of course. We also have Groot.

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I am Groot

Accessories

Trying to make your costume even better than before? We have lots of new ways to make that possible.

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Wigs, gloves, weapons, facial hair, and more for kids and adults will all become available and perfect for Halloween outfits or new movie releases. Check back regularly for new costume announcements and fun fan information!

Daredevil: The Man Without Fear

Daredevil
The Guardian Devil

Today Netflix released all thirteen episodes of the Marvel television series Daredevil, staring Charlie Cox as Daredevil, Vincent D’Onofrio as the villainous Kingpin, Elden Henson as Daredevil’s law-partner Foggy Nelson, Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page, and Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple, a nurse and new character. On the Character Corner this week we’ll take a look at the classic Daredevil story.

Original Version

Matt Murdock was raised by his father Jack, a boxer and a man that insisted Matt do better in life than he had. This prompted a lifetime of study instead of play, earning Matt the nickname “Daredevil” from the other children. Unbeknownst to them, the boy regularly exercised in his father’s gym. While still young, Matt saw a blind man walking across the street in front of an oncoming truck. Matt ran to the man and pushed him out of the way, and the truck swerved, releasing a radioactive isotope that struck Matt in the eyes, blinding him – this isotope, in-universe, is also the material that mutated the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. However, he quickly realized his other senses had become super-humanly strong, and gave him radar of sorts that was able to create a picture of his surroundings.

Following this incident, Matt would receive training from a ninja master named Stick. He was able to hone his abilities and study acrobatic arts. At the same time, Matt’s father worked with a crooked fight promoter named Fixer to become a rising heavyweight boxer. Fixer set Jack up to take a dive, which Jack refused to do. He was found and killed by Fixer’s gang, urging an enraged Matt to search out the killers. A prostitute was killed in the melee thanks to Matt’s actions, and Stick refused to train him further due to his actions.

Matt Murdock, able to get into Columbia law school as an orphan, met and fell in love with Elektra Natchios, the daughter of a Greek ambassador. After her father was accidentally killed, she retreated from the world, and Matt. After graduating and joining a law firm, Matt later missed an appointment while saving the life of a young girl, and was fired. He and his friend Foggy Nelson opened a law firm, and Matt made a yellow-and-black daredevil outfit out of his father’s old boxing uniform, committing himself to the Daredevil name.

Daredevil found success both as a lawyer and a crime-fighter, working to clean up the Hell’s Kitchen area of Manhattan. He fought alongside Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four frequently, and battled the Atlantean Sub-Mariner, a difficult test of his abilities. He moved to San Francisco after entering a relationship with the Black Widow, but the relationship didn’t last and he returned to Manhattan.

Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock
Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock from the Netflix series

Shortly thereafter, Matt Murdock was reunited with his love Elektra, though under the worst circumstances. She had become an assassin, trained by the evil and violent cult called the Hand. She had left the hand, but remained cold and angry, until she was murdered by the violent killer Bullseye, said to be the world’s deadliest assassin himself. She was brought back to life by magic, and the love Matt Murdock had for her. Her spirit was cleansed, and she retreated to live with a more heroic ninja clan.

Daredevil’s adventures were many and varied, involving murder, betrayal, having his identity revealed, and even being sent to prison by the FBI for his actions. After defeating his longtime rival Kingpin, his mental state began to deteriorate. The hero Iron Fist impersonated him, he believed his friend Foggy was killed, and Vanessa Fisk, wife of Kingpin, helped him regain his life by framing the FBI director that had him sent to prison. He became the leader of the Hand, moved to New Mexico to escape his past, and nearly gave up being a hero at all, after believing he had done little more than get his friends and loved ones hurt. The latest adventure was a tense battle against Iron Man, after Tony Stark began charging for Extremis, a chemical that causes changes in the human body. Iron Man removed the memory of the battle once it was finished, leaving Daredevil none the wiser. As of now, Matt Murdock resides in San Francisco once more.

Daredevil was a man of great morals – which influenced his decision to become a lawyer — but prone to anger. If pushed, he won’t hesitate to cripple or even kill dangerous enemies. He also suffers from depression, which can affect his judgement. His super-powered extra-sensory abilities, along with his great strength and agility, make him a formidable foe. He can even tell if a person is lying by listening to their heartbeat and breathing. While his powerful senses help him fight, they can become overloaded quickly thanks to strong smells or very loud noises.

Stan Lee has stated that Daredevil’s radar sense is “better” than Spider-Man’s Spider-Sense. A 2003 live-action movie starring Ben Affleck failed to gain acclaim, but the recently-released Netflix series is seen as a return to glory.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this Character Corner; come back next week for more fun fan superhero information!

The Man Without Fear
The Man Without Fear

April Fools Superhero Pranks

April Fools Superhero
He’s ready!

It’s a few days past April Fools now, and we’re lucky enough to have only been pranked once. The Star Wars FB page put soy sauce in our Seven-Up so we thought it was Coke. Everything’s been cleaned up now, but the process got us thinking about April Fool’s day pranks, specifically how some of our favorite superheroes would celebrate:

Spider-Man is sure to be the first out of the gate with a prank, but what will it be? Fill J. Jonah Jameson’s car with web? Nothing so mundane. Peter Parker is sure to have found the perfect prank, involving Ben Grimm from the Fantastic Four, the SHIELD Helicarrier, Six dozen pounds of fresh eggs, and a killer whale.

Meanwhile, Thor has found out about April Fools day and – believing it a plan forged by his mischievous brother Loki – is on guard for pranks. No fools will April the God of Thunder this year! His day goes well, or as well as a confused deity’s day can go, until he gets home and finds to his dismay that Captain America smeared petroleum jelly on all of Thor’s doorknobs.

The Flash is ready to prank absolutely everyone in the entire world, but Superman is here to stop him. The Flash’s pranks have become dangerous in past years, and Clark Kent wants to put a stop to them. The battle is fierce, and gives great joy to all the other heroes watching. By the end of the day, Superman’s fortress of solitude is full of Kryptonite powder, and the Flash is suspended in a pool full of jello.

The Falcon, as he’s trying to find a fun way to hit some of the other avengers with water balloons from safe in the sky, looks out his window to see Ben Grimm riding a killer whale covered in scrambled eggs, suspended from the Helicarrier. The Falcon decides to leave it for next year.

Can you think of any better pranks? Leave a comment with these, or fun real pranks to pull on your friends!