Thor: Ragnarok comes out on November third in the U.S. This movie promises Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo reprising their roles, but another classic Thor character is joining the mix as well. Cate Blanchett, famous for her portrayal of Galadriel in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy, will become Hela, the goddess of death.
Hela: Goddess of the dead
In the original Norse mythology, Hel was a being who presided over a realm of the same name and received a portion of the undead, yet was not allowed to rule the honored dead. She ruled Hel and Niflheim. Niflheim is where the dishonored dead are sent, whereas Hel contains souls neither specially honored nor dishonored. The final place of eternal rest was Valhalla, the place of the victorious or courageous dead. In the Marvel universe, Hela is Loki’s daughter (more on that in a bit), who looks to expand her influence to Valhalla, usually through open conflict with Odin and Thor.
Hela, is not the current Loki’s daughter. Yes, it is confusing. The idea of Ragnarok is one of cycles and incarnations—she is the daughter of a previous incarnation of Loki. When she came of age (unsure how one can survive the entire rewriting of the universe) Odin appointed her goddess of two of the three realms of the dead. As a result she ended up turning into a villain powerful enough to not only kill Thor, but Odin as well.
In addition, her parenthood may give us a clue as to her part in the new movie. As she is from a previous cycle of Ragnarok, she may be aware of its implications. She could have a desire to bring it about, prevent it, or simply survive. Either one of those, or she could also look to expand her power over Valhalla and Asgard. We will know it due time.
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While the current movie team has had a relatively simple history, the comic book version of this classic squad has had more lineup changes than King Crimson. Today we’re going to take a look at all the characters that have joined and left the group since its inception.
The heroes that started the team in September of 1963 are some of the most famous: Iron Man, Thor, Henry Pym (the original Ant-Man), Wasp (Who would eventually become Ant-Man’s wife), and Hulk, of course with Nick Fury. Captain America was found encased in ice in March of the following year, and given retroactive founder status thanks to his real-life age. Hawkeye, Quicksilver, and Scarlet Witch joined in May of the next year, followed by Swordsman in September . . . who was expelled in the same issue, to be later readmitted in 1973. Hercules joined in October of 1967, Black Panther joined in May – and Vision in November – of 1968. Black Knight joined at the tail end, December of 1969.
The seventies’ first addition was the current-member Black Widow in 5/1973. Mantis joined in 9/75, Beast, Moondragon, and Hellcat joined in 9/76. The last three were all on probationary status for a varied number of months. Two-Gun Kid joined in 8/78, Ms. Marvel, now Captain Marvel, joined in 5/79, and Falcon joined in 6/79.
During the eighties, things became more complicated. Wonder man, probationary since ’77, joined officially in 4/80. Tigra joined in 9/81, and She-Hulk in 7/82. Captain Marvel joined in 5/83, Starfox in 5/84, Namor in 12/85, and Doctor Druid in 4/87. From 84-87, Hawkeye left the Avengers and began the West Coast Avengers, recruiting Mockingbird and War Machine in 9/84, Thing (from the Fantastic Four) in 6/86, Moon Knight in 6/87, who would leave quickly, and Firebird in West Coast Avengers Annual #2. After the Marvel universe event Inferno, Demolition Man, Forgotten One, Mister Fantastic and Invisible Woman, U.S. Agent, Quasar, and Human Torch before the decade would be over.
The complications increase in the nineties. In the first year heroes Sersi and Stingray join. Spider-Man, Sandman, Rage, Machine Man, Living Lightning, Spider-Woman, Crystal, Thunderstrike, and Darkhawk are made UN Charter recruits, though some would not last. After the Heroes Return event, Justice joins the Avengers in May of ’98.
Triathlon and Silverclaw join in 2000, Jack of Hearts in 2001, Ant-Man (Scott Lang, the character we’ll see in the upcoming movie) joined in 2002, and Captain Britain joined in 2004. The New Avengers, thanks to a massive super-villain breakout, is formed of Luke Cage, a.k.a. Power Man, Wolverine, Sentry, and Echo. The Civil War, which pitted hero against hero, had the New Avengers become an anti-registration group, and had the following members join the original Avengers: Ares, Amadeus Cho, Jocasta, Stature, and Vision. Only Amadeus Cho and Stature survived, though Stature was resurrected.
The New Tens
After the events of Dark Reign and Siege, Captain America (James Barnes) and Spider-Woman joined in May of 2010, while Valkyrie, Sharon Carter, Nova, and Ant-Man (a third, Eric O’Grady) joined the Secret Avenger at the same time. Power Woman joined the New Avenger in June of 2010, Flux joined the Avengers in September of 2010, Protector (a.k.a. Marvel Boy) joined in December of 2010, while Doctor Strange joined the new Avengers at the same time. Red Hulk joined the Avengers in June of 2011. After the Fear Itself event, the teams were shifted by Captain America. Daredevil, Storm, Quake, Captain Britain (a different one), and Venom joined the Avengers and the Secret Avengers.
In 2012 the Marvel event Avengers vs. X-Men took place, and following that the teams were again shifted, along with a number of new additions. Havok, younger brother of Scott “Cyclops” Summers, joined in October of 2012. In December, Cannonball, Sunspot, Manifold, Shang-Chi, Captain Universe, Smasher, and Hyperion joined. In January of ’13, Rogue joined. In February, Sunfire. In July, Doombot and Victor Mancha. In the Infinity storyline (which might find itself drawling parallels to the upcoming Infinity War movies), Abyss, Ex Nihilo, Nightmask, and Star Brand joined in October of ’13. Alexis the Protector joined about the same time, as well as: Ronin, Blue Marvel, Power Man, and White Tiger. Finally, Kaluu joined in November of ’14, Doctor Voodoo in December, and Sabretooth in January of this year.
And you told us all that because:
I could write more. I could write forever. Marvel’s history is long, complicated, and difficult. There are side-teams, spinoffs, betrayals, evil teams, and more deaths and resurrections than most soap operas. Hopefully you’ve stayed though until now, because there is a point to all this: Even for me, someone who spent a long time reading comic books as a kid, the Avengers are too dense. Marvel in particular is too dense. Have you ever seen a timeline of the X-Men? There are just too many characters to have anything be meaningful. At the end of Age of Ultron, the Avengers’ B-team is just short of assembled: Scarlet Witch, War Machine/Iron Patriot, Falcon, Vision, all of which you can find in the list above. While these characters were at least partially set-up, how can we be sure that Marvel won’t continue to add new characters without giving them the time they need to become something the viewers can connect to?
By the movie’s climax, there were 12 heroes: Captain America, Iron man, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Nick Fury, Vision, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, War Machine, and Falcon. That’s not even counting villains or non-heroic personnel. Who will we see in the next Avengers? Spider-Man? Doctor Strange? Black Panther? The entire cast of the Guardians of the Galaxy? It’s impossible to have a story when there are two dozen characters to deal with, and I hope Marvel realizes that.
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Age of Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Thor 2 spoilers!
What are the Infinity Stones? Constant readers of the Avengers comics can probably tell us in greater detail. They were once known as Soul Gems, until Thanos decided Infinity Gems sounded cooler. The Marvel Cinematic Universe refers to them as the Infinity Stones.
The Stones are indestructible; not even the most powerful weapons can destroy them. If someone had the power to combine their forces, that person would become unstoppable – but no one who has even attempted this has survived. They were created by “cosmic entities, and each possesses unique capabilities. Contact with the stones in lesser beings results in illness or instant incineration, such as when Jane Foster became ill in Thor 2, or when Carina was blown apart in Guardians of the Galaxy.
How many have the movies encountered so far? Thor tells us in the Age of Ultron. He says that the Mind Stone (The item held inside Loki’s staff and the item used in Vision) is the fourth Infinity Stone encountered lately – a hint at the greater conflict that has been building between the good guys of Marvel and Thanos.
But wait. Four? The first was the Tesseract, seen frequently in Marvel’s Phase one. The second was the Mind Stone, as seen in Age of Ultron. The third was the Reality Stone (The red goop from Thor 2), and the final one was the Power Stone in Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s easy to see how Thor would know about the first three . . . but how did he know about the Power Stone?
In Guardians of the Galaxy, the Power Stone (better known in the movie as the Orb), is given to Nova Prime Irani Rael at the end of the movie by the Guardians. In the movie we neither hear nor see any mention of the Asgardians, Thor, or the other Avengers. We are aware of the relationship between Taneleer Tivan, better known as the Collector, and the Asgardians (Sif and Volstagg give him the Reality Stone at the end of Thor 2), and of course Tivan hired Gamora to retrieve the Power Stone for him in Guardians. Other than the fact Tivan knows both groups, we see nothing to indicate information has been passed.
Is this a plot hole? Possibly. At the end of Thor 2, Thor renounces his claim to the throne, choosing to go to Earth and spend his time with Jane Foster and the Avengers. If the release of the movies coincides with the time they take place, then it is at this time the Guardians of the Galaxy encounter and hide the Power Stone. So why does Thor know of its use and appearance in Age of Ultron? Likely, it is a nod toward unseen events, and future movies, but that doesn’t explain how Thor is aware of the events from Guardians of the Galaxy.
We can look at the options for the line: Thor discusses the three stones that he knew about, leaving out the purple Power Stone and, possibly, telling a less-attentive audience there have only been three stones revealed so far. Or, he says the line that we hear in the movie, which contains factual information that he couldn’t know. It falls to a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t situation, and the filmmakers ultimately went with the one that keeps the audience from thinking something false. This of course ignoring the possibility of changing the line altogether.
So what of it? I don’t think we’ll see anything explaining the hole in future movies, thanks to its rather small importance. Still, it’s interesting to see a hole in such a tightly-written series. However, that isn’t the only plot hole people have noticed – though a number of those are “Why didn’t X scientific fact come into play?” which is a different creature.
Anyway, we hope you’ve enjoyed this little treatise. Come back soon for more information about comics, movies, and costumes!
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.
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.
Kids have the same wide variety, including a few extras, such as the Hulkbuster Iron Man armor:
Trying to make your costume even better than before? We have lots of new ways to make that possible.
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!