Tag Archives: Captain America

The Golden Age of Comic Book Movies

Today marks a very much anticipated date for me, and that is the release of Daredevil Season 2 on Netflix, the street level epic series about the crime fighting man without fear from Hell’s Kitchen.

Soon enough audiences worldwide will be captivated by Captain America: Civil War, and the decade long overdue Batman v. Superman.

While the Golden Age of Comic Books was from the 1930s to 1950s, it has become evident that the early 21st Century has become the Golden Age of Comic Book Movies. And series. It was in the Golden Age of Comics that many of the most recognizable comic book characters were first published, including Batman, Superman, Captain America, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Arrow, and Aquaman all of whom will be starring in a movie or television series this year.

These original characters were archetypes and set the tone for superheroes to come for decades, unchanged until the Vietnam war brought about a darker, grittier ensemble of comic book characters, often referred to as antiheros, many of which are also enjoying screen time, such as Punisher, Wolverine and the X-Men.

This is truly an incredible time to be alive if you enjoy comic books or the genre. Never having read comics myself as a kid, I have taken a huge liking to comic book movies – and judging by ticket sales and the seemingly unstoppable train of financial success they have enjoyed, it appears the entire world has too.

A genre that largely didn’t exist prior to the year 2000, comic book movies hold three of the top 10 grossing movies of all time, Avengers (2012), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), and Iron Man 3 (2013) all having been released in this century, scratch that, this decade alone. Additionally, CBMs occupy 7 of the top 50 spots. With blockbuster Deadpool breaking all sorts of records, and mega-titans Civil War and Batman v. Superman on the horizon, don’t be surprised if a couple more comic book titles get bumped on to that list.

Almost a year ago I wrote another blog titled What’s Next for Marvel MCU in which I listed various productions that would be coming out from Marvel’s MCU (owned by Disney). Since then we’ve managed to scratch a few titles off that list. But with DC/Warner Bros cranking up the heat with their own DC Extended Universe (DCEU) this summer with not just one, but two films (double doses of Batman!), and Fox’s own Marvel franchise still churning, see this revised list of Comic Book Movie titles stretching all the way out to 2020!

  • 2015-April-10: Daredevil [Netflix]
  • 2015-May-01: Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • 2015-July-17: Ant-Man
  • 2015-Sep-29: Agents of Shield: New Season [TV]
  • 2015 Nov-20 Jessica Jones [Netflix]
  • 2016-Feb-12: Deadpool
  • 2016-Mar-25: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice
  • 2016-May-06: Captain America: Civil War
  • 2016-May-27: X-Men: Apocalypse
  • 2016-Aug-5: Suicide Squad
  • 2016-Sep-30: Luke Cage [Netflix]
  • 2016-Nov-04: Doctor Strange
  • 2016 Unknown: Iron Fist [Netflix]
  • 2016 Unknown: Defenders [Netflix]
  • 2017-Mar-03: Wolverine 3
  • 2017-May-05: Guardians of the Galaxy 2
  • 2017-June-23: Wonder Woman
  • 2017-July-07: Untitled Spider-Man Film
  • 2017-Nov-03: Thor Ragnarok
  • 2017-Nov-17: Justice League Part One
  • 2018-Feb-18: Black Panther
  • 2018-May-03: Avengers: Infiniti War Part I
  • 2018-Mar-8: Captain Marvel
  • 2018-Mar-16: The Flash
  • 2018-Jul-27: Aquaman
  • 2019-Apr-05: Shazam
  • 2019-June-14: Justice League Part Two
  • 2019-July-12: Inhumans
  • 2019-May-03: Avengers: Infiniti War Part II
  • 2020-Apr-03: Cyborg
  • 2020-Jun-20: Green Lantern Corps

The lists ends at 2020, but Marvel reps have previously stated they have films slated all the way out to 2028. With the complex interweaving of movies, TV shows, comics, web series, and even video games, it seems that there is no foreseeable end in sight for comic book movies and the comic book genre in general. While Spider-Man (2002) has since been relaunched not just once, but twice, and one would suspect it must have clearly been a dud, the movie did spectacularly well and started a domino effect that may very well last three decades. Iron Man (2008) introduced the world to something it had (more the most part) never seen before – a shared universe of movies.

Major studios like Fox, Disney, and Sony have gobbled up every title they can get their hands on. Comic books, once a genre thought to be exclusive to children and virgin computer nerds, have crept into the psyche of the average Joe and Hollywood brass. CBMs have started their own controversial debates over the use of violence, backboards for reflecting real life existential issues like terrorism, security, and freedom and social issues like race, gender, and sexual orientation. To a Spider-Man trailer featuring the Twin Towers being recalled shortly after the 9/11 attacks, to complaints about mass civilian casualties in Man of Steel and Avengers, and racial issues such as the casting of Michael B. Jordan as the Human Torch or Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, it’s clear that comic books are popular, lucrative, controversial, engaging, and here to stay.

Welcome to the Golden Age of Comic Book Movies.

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Actors Who Have Played Multiple Comic Book Characters

Comic book movies are all the rage these days. They aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but there is no denying their commercial success in recent years, especially since the introduction of the MCU in 2008 with Iron Man.

The sheer number of comic book related movies (CBMS) in recent memory is daunting. Numerous franchises have already been rebooted since the current wave of CBMs, with studios not even giving them a decade to cool down.

With so many new CBMS and reboots, and graphic novels being converted to movies, it’s only a matter of time before we start seeing some recurring faces on the big screen. Many actors have dawned the spandex multiple times, even as different characters. Here’s a quick list of actors and actresses who have played multiple comic book characters on film and TV.

Brandon Routh

Roles:

  • Clark Kent / Superman (Superman Returns, 2006)
  • Ray Palmer / The Atom (Arrow, TV)

Aaron Taylor-Johnson

It seems like every actor from Kick-Ass has at one point been in another CMB. Aaron Taylor-Johnson started his comic book fame in the small cult-classic flick Kick-Ass (and it’s sequel) as a wannabe super hero. A couple years later he would emerge as a bona fide superhero with super-speed in the Marvel hit Avengers: Age of Ultron. With the Kick-Ass franchise over, and his MCU character killed off, his CBM future looks bleak.

Roles:

  • Dave Lizewski / Kick-Ass (Kick-Ass, Kick-Ass 2)
  • Pietro Maximoff / Quicksilver (Avengers: Age of Ultron)

Evan Peters

Interestingly, Evan Peters and fellow Kick-Ass co-star Aaron Taylor-Johnson both played different versions of Quicksilver in separate franchises. Quicksilver was killed off in Age of Ultron, but expect to see Evan Peters reprising his super speedy role again in 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse.

Roles:

  • Todd / Ass Kicker (Kick-Ass, Kick-Ass 2)
  • Peter / Quicksilver (X-Men: Days of Future Past)

Nicholas Cage

Ghost Rider was a failure of a movie, but I feel like Cage got an ounce of redemption in Kick-Ass when he played the cop-framed-as-a-criminal turned crime-fighting-Batman-lookalike. You have to admit, this scene is bad ass.

Roles:

Rebecca Romjin

Another Punisher cast member, Rebecca Romjin, is perhaps better known by starring as X-Men franchise regular Mystique, the blue, shape shifting, femme fatale.

Bluuooobbbbs. -Honest Trailers

Roles:

Ray Stevenson

This is the first actor on our list to play three comic book roles.

stevenson

Roles:

  • Frank Castle / Punisher (Punisher: War Zone, 2008)
  • Volstagg (Thor, Thor: The Dark World)
  • Firefly (G.I. Joe: Retaliation, 2013)

 

Vinnie Jones

Despite being one of the lesser known, and less acclaimed actors on this list, Jones actually sported two very cool comic book roles. The first was the unstoppable Juggernaut in X-Men 3, where he actually had some decent fight scenes against the likes of Wolverine and the X-Men. Almost a decade later he finally returned to the realm of comic books and starred as another villain opposite Green Arrow on the small screen as criminal overlord Danny Brickwell. Again, Vinnie Jones delivers a level of physicality to his role, which comes from his background as a professional footballer.

vinnie-jones

Roles:

  • Cain Marko / Juggernaut (X-Men: The Last Stand, 2006)
  • Danny Brickwell (Arrow, TV)

Ron Perlman

You may know Ron Perlman was Hellboy, but you may have forgotten he starred opposite Wesley Snipes in Blade II as Reinhardt.

Even more impressive is how many comic book characters he’s voiced over the years. Perlman has a rough, unmistakable voice that makes him well suited to voice a wide range or characters, especially villains. Other smaller acting and voicing roles and projects include Jax-Ur (Superman, TV), Clayface and Orion (Justice League, TV), Static Shock (TV), Emil Blonsky / Abomination (The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, Game), Slade Wilson /Deathstroke (Teen Titans, TV), Killer Croc and Bane (The Batman, TV), Sinestro (Green Lantern: The Animated Series, TV). He’s even voiced Batman in a Justice League video game.

perlman

Roles:

  • Reinhardt (Blade II, 2002)
  • Hellboy (Hellboy, Hellboy II: The Golden Army)

Ryan Reynolds

Like Stevenson, he’s the only other actor in this list to play three comic book characters, but they were all very important characters in their respective stories. He’s snagged some great roles, unfortunately under the leadership of some shitty directors. He might also be one of only a handful of actors to ever play the same character twice, under two different continuities.

In my opinion, Reynolds is the first heavy hitter on this list. Cage and Perlman certainly had their time in the sun, but Reynolds has had some memorable roles in the last decade or so, and he’s popular. He’s also had some total flops. Green lantern bombed at the box office, and is the shame of the CBM crowd. I will still always remember Reynolds as Van Wilder, and Monty from Waiting.

Luckily, his cinematic future is bright. Reynolds career will kick into 6th gear when he stars as Wade Wilson / Deadpool in 2016.

Roles:

  • Hannibal King (Blade: Trinity, 2004)
  • Wade Wilson (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, 2009)
  • Hal Jordan / Green Lantern (Green Lantern, 2011)
  • Wade Wilson / Deadpool [different continuity] (Deadpool, 2016)

Chris Evans

Now we’re really moving into the big leagues. Evan’s first CMB role as Johnny Storm was good, not great, but put his foot in the door for the comic genre. Thought Fantastic Four was a memorable movie that has since been relaunched, it won’t be the movie Chris Evans is known for decades from now. His role as Captain America however, is already at legendary status alongside Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man.

His role as the Human Torch couldn’t be more different than his current role as Captain America. Johnny Storm was a young, arrogant, loud mouth, womanizer, and Steve Rogers is an old, humble, and reserved, and possible a 95 year old virgin.

Roles:

Ben Affleck

Rounding out the list is Ben Affleck who has starred as two very important characters from DC and Marvel.

Many claim that paying Daredevil was basically a warm up to play Batman. The two characters actually have a lot in common, both in regards to their character and their origins. While Bruce Wayne dresses like a bat, Daredevil is blind as a bat. Both patrol their cities, almost exclusively at night, and cover their face to protect their secret identities. Both characters are considered to be among the best male martial artists in their respective universes.

Frank Miller played a pivotal role in both of these characters current success. In 1986 Frank Miller injected a new level of blood, grit, and darkness into the Daredevil comic book series, Daredevil: Born Again. Miller took this same story telling recipe and used it to rejuvenate the Batman comic book series, which up until the late 80’s had always been campy and goofy. Frank Miller’s reboots of both characters in the late 80’s is now considered to be the definitive story in each series.

Another interesting factoid, is Affleck will be playing Batman in not just one, but TWO movies in 2016, which might be a first.

Roles

What’s Next for Marvel MCU

When I speak of Marvel in this blog, I am speaking exclusively about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which encompasses the movie/film franchises owned by Disney.

Just Happened

Just this month, Marvel released their Netflix original series Daredevil which focuses on Matt Murdock, the lawyer turned vigilante who fights crime in Hell’s Kitchen, New York. Just several days old and the series already has a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes (certified fresh) from critics, and a 98% from audiences. After binge watching the entire series myself, I give the show a 9 / 10, and you can read my review here.

About to Happen

But an entire series being released in one day isn’t enough, not for Marvel and Disney who have quite the roller coaster planned for fans over the next several months, and years.

Next month, one of the most anticipated movies of the year comes out, Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. Audiences have waiting three years for the big four to team up again on the silver screen, and Marvel is repaying that anticipation with interest. The next Marvel cinematic installment will have Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Nick Fury, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and Maria Hill from the previous Avengers, and they’ll be adding to the roster Quicksilver, Scarlett Witch, Vision, War Machine, Falcon, and let’s not forget Ultron. And these are just the ones we know about. Who knows what tricks Marvel has up its’ sleeve.

And Then…

Then just a few weeks later Marvel is broadening the MCU with the theatrical release of Ant Man starring Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas. While the name is not very inspiring, and most non comic book fans won’t know who this is, Ant Man is a very important keg in the Marvel machine. In the comics, the original Ant Man, Hank Pym, is responsible for creating the maniacal villain Ultron.

The commonly accepted narrative right now is that the story is being rewritten so that Tony Stark is credited for screwing over the world. However with Ant Man the movie following so closely on the heels of Age of Ultron, I suspect there might be more to the story than we’ve been told. My guess is that the central Ant Man characters will be revealed in Age of Ultron and somehow tied into his origins – meaning Marvel isn’t simply broadening their universe, they are entangling it.

Let’s Not Forget About TV

Enough with the silver screen, let’s get back to TV land for a second. If you’ve learned anything about Marvel over the past decade, it’s that they don’t flash and fizzle. Daredevil is the first Netflix series they’ve made, but it is by no means the only one. In fact, a quick look at IMDB would reveal that Charlie Cox will be reprising his role as the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen again in another Netflix series The Defenders – Netflix’s shot at their own Superhero team up.

By 2016, Netflix and Marvel intend to release four series in total – I am sure with more on the way. The first three shows are Daredevil, Luke Cage, and A.K.A. Jessica Jones. The title characters of those shows will then join up and form The Defenders – Marvel’s television comeback to the Avengers – a group of heroes starring in a fourth Netflix show of the same name. This is huge news, because in the next year, the number of Marvel/Disney franchises will mushroom 50% from the current tally of eight, up to 12.

Risk Taking

Marvel is doubling down on a recipe that has already worked for them when they tied together four franchises for 2012’s Avengers. Will it work out for them on TV like it did in theaters? Time will tell.

But all of this is working towards something even bigger. As we all know, Captain America: Civil War is just around the corner which will focus on the fictional Superhero Registration Act from the comics several years ago. With only about a year to go, can audiences expect all the familiar faces both old and new to take sides in the divisive and controversial tug-of-war between Captain America/Steve Rogers and Iron Man/Tony Stark?

Audiences will get tired of the same old routine of splitting apart and bringing back together the four Avengers every couple years to fight the Bad Guy of the Week. My guess is Marvel is well aware of this, which means that in order to keep the party going they’re going to need to up the stakes. Expect to see an ever increasing number of heroes flying around and blasting their way through Earth and the cosmos.

Spider-Man

And to top it all off, Marvel and Sony have reached a nail biting agreement, which will allow Marvel to feature Spider-Man in their movies. Fans are happier than ever that Disney magic can breathe some fresh life into the Spidey saga that thus far has inspired no awe even after two relaunches in the past decade. The big question on nerds’ minds now, is will there be enough time to write Spiderman into the Civil War moving coming out in 2016? In the comics Peter Parker played a huge role in the events of the Civil War story arc, so fingers crossed Kevin Feige can work the web slinger in artistically.

Distant Future

Here is a timeline of recent events and events to come in the Marvel Cinematic Universe:

  • 2010-April-10: [Netflix Series]Daredevil series airs on Netflix
  • 2015-May-01: Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • 2015-July-17: Ant-Man
  • 2015-Sep-Late: [TV Series] Agents of Shield: Season 3
  • 2015 Unknown: [Netflix Series] A.K.A. Jessica Jones
  • 2015 Unknown: [Netflix Series] Iron Fist
  • 2016-May-06: Captain America: Civil War
  • 2016-Nov-04: Doctor Strange
  • 2016 Unknown: [Netflix Series] Luke Cage
  • 2016 Unknown: [Netflix Series] Defenders
  • 2017-May-05: Guardians of the Galaxy 2
  • 2017-July-28: Thor Ragnarok
  • 2017-Nov-3: Black Panther
  • 2018-May-4: Avengers: Infiniti War Part I
  • 2018-July-6: Captain Marvel
  • 2018-Nov-2: Inhumans
  • 2019-May-3: Avengers: Infiniti War Part II

And with Marvel brass saying they have plans out to 2028, we can expect years – no – decades of more fun.

Who are your Favorite Marvel MCU Characters?

Everything You Need to Know about Age of Ultron

The comic book world went berserk last week when the official trailer for Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron (AOU) was released. It went even crazier when the extended trailer showing the Big 4 of the Avengers and all their comrades gathered at Starks pad, drunkenly trying to lift Thor’s hammer, Mjölnir.

Let’s start with the extended trailer, which you can view below:

At 2 minutes and 30 seconds, this is most definitely an extended trailer. 150 seconds of lure and reeling, attention grabbing, blue balling amazement.

Let’s start from the beginning.

The Avengers New Robes, I mean Headquarters

In the opening scene, it’s safe to assume the Avengers are hanging out at Tony Stark’s pad, or somewhere in Stark Tower. This doesn’t seem like a huge deal, except that in the comics, Stark Tower was one of the official Avengers’ Headquarters. In the comics the most well known of the Avenger’s headquarters is Nick Fury’s flying fortress, formally known as the Helicarrier. The Helicarrier made its first appearance in The Avengers (2012), and then again in Captain America: Winter Soldier (2014).

Helicarrier in Comics vs Movies
Nick Fury’s Helicarrier in the comic books vs. in Avengers

In the comics, the Avengers then relocated to Stark Tower as their primary base of operations. Again, who cares, right? Wikipedia concisely summarized it nicely, by saying “The Avengers have relocated to Stark Tower, although it is unknown how permanent this move will be, especially in light of the events of Marvel’s Civil War storyline,”

Boom! Right there! Did you catch that?! No? Basically, this is foreshadowing Marvel Civil War, which is a huge story arc in the comic book. On top of that, Marvel has confirmed that that Civil War will be introduced into the MCU in Captain American 3, set for 2016. How close Marvel will stick to the comics is yet to be known, but we’ll definitely get a taste of it in AOU.

The Who’s Who

Get ready for one of those most star-studded casts ever. Marvel brought their A-team for this movie, and the who’s who is going to be there, including: Captain American, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye, War Machine, and Nick Fury, plus we’ll be adding Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, and The Vision to the mix. Even Agent Hill (Cobie Smulders) is making an appearance.

The Avengers partying at Stark Tower
The Avengers partying at Stark Tower

If IMDB is to be trusted, we’ll also get to catch glimpses of Loki, Agent Peggy Carter, and Heimdall. Internet rumors also mention Natalie Portman reprising her role as Jane Foster. So whereas the first Avengers merely brought together the title characters of the respective franchises, the second Avengers will be bringing together secondary and tertiary characters as well.

Whether or not Falcon will make an appearance is yet to be confirmed. I enjoyed his character in Winter Soldier, and hope he at least makes an appearance, if not suits up entirely. I’m also crossing my fingers that Agent Coulson will break away from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for a moment and finally come back onto the silver screen.

Captain America is Worthy

Were you paying close attention to the opening scene at Stark Tower? If you blinked you may have missed it. Hawkeye believes that the whole “being worthy” thing is some kind of a parlor trick. In an attempt to punk Thor – and rule Asgard – Tony Stark attempts to lift the hammer, followed by the remaining ensemble. For a brief moment, Steve Rogers (Captain America) actually managed to slightly move Mjölnir and the look on Thor’s face is priceless.

Captain America Lifting Thor's Hammer
You are (kinda) worthy!

Yeah, so what? This is tantamount to moving the sword in the stone. Remember, you have to be worthy. Say what you will about Cap, he’s a good guy, and certainly worthy. In fact, it is official Marvel canon that Steve Rogers did lift Mjölnir in the comic books. Will we get to see some Captain America -Mjölnir action in Age of Ultron? This screenshot from the trailer of Thor dropping his hammer foreshadows that maybe we will.

Thor drops his hammer
Thor drops his hammer

Trivia: When offered to try her luck at wielding the hammer, Black Widow replies “That’s not a question I need answered” assuming she would fail, but in the comic books she is one of the few people who has lifted it, alongside Cap.

There are No Strings on Ultron

This trailer was chock full of obvious Pinocchio references, for those who didn’t have a good childhood and steady dose of Disney movies growing up. When Ultron makes his first appearance as a ravaged Stark prototype, he says “How could you be worthy? You’re all puppets… tangled in strings.” That’s the pot calling the kettle black, as Ultron walks hunchbacked, tangled in electrical cables himself. Of course, I think he was being metaphorical.

Ultron tangled in cables
Ultron tangled in cables

But later in the trailer we see a more advanced, personalized version of Ultron, string free. In the final scene, Ultron says “There are no strings on me” which is a direct quote from a song on Disney’s 1940 animated film Pinocchio.

In fact, if you have an ear for it, you will have noticed that the creepy music playing in the background of the entire trailer actually is a rendition of “I’ve Got No Strings” from the animated Pinocchio film – albeit incredibly altered. Additionally, Disney owns the rights to Marvel and of course Pinocchio, so this is a clever injection of cross-branding.

Ultron Face Shot
“There are no strings on me.”

Who’s Pulling the Strings?

What was Ultron referencing when he made his crack about puppets and strings?

This was a jab at the Avengers, who have been toyed with frequently throughout the movies to do someone else’s dirty work, whether by Nick Fury, S.H.I.E.L.D., or HYDRA. Recall a couple events, such as when Loki tells Black Widow “You lie and kill in the service of liars and killers”, or in CAWS when Captain America claims “I’m getting a little tired of being Fury’s janitor”, or even all the way back to Iron Man, when Tony found out he had been designing weapons, that due to Obadiah Stane had been falling into the hands of terrorists. All of our heroes are starting to learn that it’s getting harder and harder to tell the good guys from the bad guys, and to know if you’re doing the right thing or not.

Thanos from Avengers
Thanos from Avengers

We’ve had some big baddies like Abomination, Red Skull, Hydra, Obadiah Stane, Justin Hammer, Aldrich Killian, Loki, Ronan, and now Ultron. But let’s not forget that Thanos, first revealed at the end of Avengers 1, has been quietly working away in the background. Thanos was the character behind Loki’s attack on New York, and Ronan’s quest for the 4th Infiniti Stone in Guardians of the Galaxy. We know he’s pulling their strings, but is there anyone else in the Marvel Universe doing his bidding?

We also get a brief glimpse of Loki’s staff, which has the Mind Stone he used to possess Hawkeye. If there is an Infiniti Stone on Earth, Thanos or his goons won’t be far behind. Is it possible that Hydra is on the payroll? Probably not, but it’s a curiosity.

HYDRA's Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, sneak peak
Hail HYDRA!

The one thing we can almost be sure of, is that of all the villains, Ultron has no ulterior motive. He’s acting on his own.

Ultron Then and Now

In the comics, Ultron was created by Hank Pym, AKA Ant Man. In AOU, it’s commonly accepted, and quite obvious, that Ultron is the creation of Tony Stark. This was a huge leap for comic book purists, but from a movie stand point, and from a practical story telling standpoint this was the logical decision to make.

Ultron from the comics

Ultron from the comics

Recall Iron Man 2, in which Justin Hammer created an army of un-manned suits, inspired by the Iron Man armor. Then in Iron Man 3, Tony Stark created his own collection of un-manned suits, each with a different purpose or specialty. These suits also had a slight degree of autonomy and decision making abilities. A common thread in all the films with Iron Man has been the presence of Tony’s artificial intelligence personality, Jarvis, or J.A.R.V.I.S. My guess is that Tony attempted to make more suits based on his own, with autonomy and AI based on Jarvis. Some how, the programming became self-cognitive and manifested itself into Ultron.

Ultron Full Body Shot
Ultron besides Scarlett Witch and Quicksilver

To the best of anyone’s knowledge, Hank Pym/Ant Man does not make an appearance in AOU, but Marvel has in fact confirmed that there will be an Ant Man movie starring Paul Rudd and Michael Douglass, slated for theaters July 17, 2015.

How will Marvel Cinematic Universe tie Ant Man into the Ultron story line is any one’s guess. We’ll just have to wait and see on that one.

Another piece of trivia for the road: In the comics, Ultron at one point constructed himself of adamantium, the same nearly indestructible metal used in Wolverine’s claws and skeleton. Disney does not have the rights to the X-Men, and Fox does, so it is very likely that Marvel will tweak the story and substitute adamantium for vibranium, the same material found in Cap’s shield.

Hulkbuster

I mentioned Iron Man 3 and Tony’s extensive collection of custom suits. It was rumored when IM3 was released that one of those suits could have been the notorious Hulkbuster Armor. In the comics, Tony Stark devised a special suit of armor that was incredibly strong, for the sole purpose of being able to subdue the Hulk, should his rage ever become uncontrollable and pose a danger to the public.

Marvel finally blew its load and gave audiences what it has been begging for, and they didn’t fail to impress!

The long awaited Hulkbuster armor!
The long awaited Hulkbuster armor!

This is cool and all, but it poses as many questions as it answers. Comic book fans finally got to see the Hulkbuster armor, so the next question is, will we get to see the World War Hulk story line played out?

Long story short, in the comics the Hulk goes berserk and endangers a lot of people. To prevent similar tragedies from reoccurring, S.H.I.E.L.D. sends Banner/Hulk into space with the intention of marooning him on an abandoned planet, where he can’t harm anyone. As fate would have it, Hulk accidentally crash lands on a planet called Sakaar with intelligent life. There, he is thrown into a gladiatorial type slave fighting arena. He fights his way through the ranks, leads a rebellion, and eventually becomes king of that planet.

World War Hulk
World War Hulk

The story may seem farfetched, but with Marvel releasing the interstellar Guardians of the Galaxy, blowing the lid off Thanos, and diving deeper into the space bound realm of Thor/Asgard, a spacebound Hulk story might be workable. Especially if they could use the story to intersect the Guardians and Avengers franchises, for an eventual team up against Thanos in Avengers 3 or Guardians 2.

Everyone Hates Tony Stark

Movie audiences love the fast talking Tony Stark. But comic book fans historically do not, and neither do the fictional characters of the Marvel Universe. MCU seems to be on par with the comics in this regard.

Thor grabs Tony by his throat
Thor grabs Tony by his throat
Rogers and Stark get into Argument
Ripping phonebooks in half is so lame.
Iron Man vs Hulk
Hulk SMASH metal man!
Tony can't lift Mjolnir
Even Mojilnir hates Tony Stark

Looking Past Ultron and the Avengers

Ultron may be a bad ass villain, and off the charts compared to his villainous predecessors, but he is hardly the last of the Avenger’s concerns. Avengers: Age of Ultron is not the last Avengers movie Marvel will make. It’s not even the second to last Avengers movie they’ll make. Marvel has at least 10 more movies set for theaters between now and 2028, all part of the same continuity/canon known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe or MCU.

We’re going to see a lot more of the current lineup. Captain America, Thor, and Guardians all have sequels coming up. Marvel is also going to be introducing a lot of new characters, and it’ll be interesting to see if they pop up in the upcoming Avengers. The list of potentials is Steven Strange / Dr. Strange, Hank Pym / Ant Man, Black Panther and even The Inhumans, all which have been officially confirmed movies. Might one of these heroes come out of the wood work to help save the world from Ultron?

In all likelihood, Marvel will tie in to Ant Man, somehow. He might not be credited with creating Ultron, luckily for him, but considering his movie is coming out just two months after AOU and will still be fresh in everyone’s memories, he should at least get an honorable mention in AOU which then leads into his backstory.

The Long Haul

One thing is for certain, Marvel has pulled out all the stops. This will be the first time since the last Avengers that audiences will get to the Bruce Banner Hulked out. This movie is also paving the way for the Captain America-Iron Man fueled Marvel Civil War. And we’re almost doubling the number of heroes we’ll get to see in a single movie.

We’ve got 7 nail biting months until Avengers: Age of Ultron hits theaters in May 2015. In that time I have no doubt we’ll learn more about the movie by way of trailers, posters, interviews with Marvel insiders/actors, and of course the occasional leaked video.