New ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Poster Provides Proof We’ll See Another Old Face… Or Four


Though we’ve seen no sign of him in the trailers (like Vision) and his mug isn’t on the New Poster  (unlike Vision who flies above our classic team), said poster still proves that this fan-favorite from ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ made the cut when it comes to the new, almost overfulling roster of Avengers this summer.

I’m talking about Anthony Mackie who plays Sam Wilson/Falcon. Look at the poster below, courtesy of Cinema Blend.

Check out that highlighted name. Yup, that's Anthony Mackie alright.
Check out that highlighted name. Yup, that’s Anthony Mackie alright.

Falcon Poster for 'The Winter Soldier'The poster is crowded as hell, which could be why we don’t see Falcon along with his best friend Steve Rogers aka Captain America. Wilson is not even in the released scene where James Rhodes/War Machine/One-Time Iron Patriot (Don Cheadle) tries to helps team Stark lift Thor’s Hammer. Of course, none are worthy, except for Rogers who pulls the hammer just a few inches… so imagine if he had future-Captain America helping him lift that sucker.

Since we haven’t seen Falcon at all yet, the other explanation is that he is barely in the movie, which is the safest bet. He’ll likely have a small role like Nick Fury, and the Asgardian’s ALSO listed on the poster.

You can also see Tom Hiddleson (Loki), Idris Elba (Asgard’s Gate Keeper), and Stellen Skarsgard (Scientist gone mad in 2012′ ‘Avengers’) made the cast list at the bottom of the poster as well. So more fun from Asgard and Thor’s world!

Hayley Atwell as Agent Peggy CarterFinally, even Hayley Atwell makes the cut. A recent fan favorite who premiered in ‘Captain America: The First Avenger,’ appeared as an old woman with CGI make-up magic in ‘The Winter Soldier,’ finally landing her own Marvel One-Shot and mini-series based upon it.

Atwell’s Agent Peggy Carter seems to be  tightly intertwined with the early age of S.H.I.E.L.D. It is assumed that Scarlet Witch messes with the minds of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, controlling the Hulk and sending Captain America into a flashback to what was or what could have been in the 1940s.

Or, Peggy Carter could be used for some exposition on the ‘Ultron Program’ which was dormant before Tony Stark kick-starts it in ‘Age of Ultron’ After all, her show ‘Agent Carter’ delves into the earliest years of the MCU and she is also in the cast for ‘Ant-Man’ which should fill in some gaps around the years of a younger Hank Pym and middle-aged Howard Stark.

Peggy Carter will fill in some blanks in Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man’s origin. Above: Paul Rudd as Scott Lang and Michael Douglas as an older Hank Pym.

Whatever the case, watch for fan favorites Falcon, Loki, and Peggy Carter in ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ on May 1st!

Robert Downey Jr. Will Be In CAPTAIN AMERICA 3! What It Means for the Flick and the MCU


Robert Downey Jr. has been hinting for a while now that Marvel Studios has big plans involving his trademark character Tony Stark; he who kick-started the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) in 2008’s ‘Iron Man.’

Speculation about ‘Iron Man 4’ has been thrown around for weeks, with RDJ accidentally(?) sending the impression that he would do a fourth film in the franchise that saved his career, even though he has been denying interest in said project for several years now.Iron Man 3

Instead, the other day RDJ confirmed at least part of Marvel’s master plan for the ‘Avengers: Phase 3’ solo films, announcing he is in negotiations for a rather large role in ‘Captain America 3,’ set to be released May 6th, 2016.

We’re not talking a cameo, we’re talking a Black Widow in ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ sized role.

Continue reading “Robert Downey Jr. Will Be In CAPTAIN AMERICA 3! What It Means for the Flick and the MCU”

Podcast #6: This Is CAPTAIN AMERICA’S Podcast, Dammit!


Gadzooks! SPOILERS be poppin’ as Nick and Andrew dive into The First Avenger’s Second Fight (aka CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER). The two use their Marvel and comics know-how to examine the film and what it means for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER – First Thoughts


Captain America is my favorite Avenger. He has the most interesting origin story… a man out of time constantly fighting Hydra, I enjoy watching him in combat with his shield on the ground as opposed to watching Iron Man or Thor fly about, and he’s just damn likeable as played by former Human Torch, Chris Evans.

In THE AVENGERS INITIATIVE: PHASE TWO (starting with IRON MAN 3 and ending after GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY with AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON in summer 2015), Marvel Studios has really found the heart and soul of each of their A-List Avengers in their individual pictures.

Iron Man 3 CreditsIRON MAN 3 wrapped up that franchise with an explosive (pun very much intended) finale fit for the boisterous Tony Stark. Even the credits exploded with a 3D 1970s style befit the franchise with a great, punchy score by Brian Tyler.

THOR: THE DARK WORLD sent us on LORD OF THE RINGS style epic fights amongst sword carrying soldiers in outer space, with lots of myth and everyone’s favorite Marvel villain, Loki. Brian Tyler again did the score, this time befitting the magnitude and epicness of the God of Thunder alongside great comic-esque paintings of the characters.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER also brings Captain America further into his own subuniverse within the official Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

Now that the origin films are gone and there is little to set up for the AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, each hero is free to play in his own universe, with less (even after credits) sequences that set up AVENGERS 2. Rather, these days the post-credit sequences set up the next film within the THOR or CAPTAIN AMERICA franchises… not that WINTER SOLDIER doesn’t tease AGE OF ULTRON characters…

The Falcon Winter SoldierAs each sub-franchise takes on more of a unique feel, all under the Marvel Studios banner of combining light heartiness and jokes to the films to avoid Marvel becoming DC’s DARK KNIGHT or MAN OF STEEL franchises, the good Captain moves out of WWII and into a modern day espionage thriller… with just a few super soldiers, crazy living computers, and a winged soldier.

If Iron Man is the most classic superhero formula, and Thor is more a space saga (as I assume GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY will be… only more lighthearted and joke filled than any other MCU film yet), then Captain America is the aforementioned thriller. Continue reading “CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER – First Thoughts”

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER Trailer! Helicarrier Down!


Before I say anything else, I must put forth this fact! The Russo brothers (Anthony and Joe) who I most love for directing countless episodes of my FAVORITE PIECE OF MEDIA EVER, ARRESTED fucking DEVELOPMENT have directed this film! (I also love the pair for directing some great eps of COMMUNITY.) Now…

Captain America: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The Good Capt. in his new threads with Nick Fury.

Seems like it could have been an alternate title for the film, considering the trailer has very little of the Winter Soldier in it.

I’m just pleased as punch that we have a trailer for my favorite Avenger, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans)… aka Captain America’s second lone outing. And it is fucking sweet! Less superhero antics, more thriller/spy type action… with 2 superbeings and an agent with custom made wings…

Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce
Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce

As stated previously, Captain America’s not that alone with Agent Romanov (Scarlett Johansson), Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), The Falcon (Anthony Mackie), and Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce, all along for the ride. A big S.H.I.E.L.D. fiesta.

The Captain's New Clothes
The Captain’s New Clothes

IMDB also lists Emily VanCamp as Peggy Carter descendent and longtime comic ally to Steve Rogers,  ‘Agent 13.’

Even Peggy (Hayley Atwell) and young Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) are listed, leading the the awesome conclusion there will be at least a few flashbacks to Captain America’s WWII days.

The world has changed, and Steve Rogers is still getting used to it (though he does have his updated suit of stars). Rather than punishing evil after it happens, S.H.I.E.L.D. and Nick Fury are all about preventing terrorism. Is Rogers too idealistic? Because Nick Fury says that S.H.I.E.L.D. sees the world as it is, not as they want it to be.

“This isn’t freedom, this is fear.” – Steve Rogers

Continue reading “CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER Trailer! Helicarrier Down!”

CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER – New Poster! (Teaser Poster #2)


The first CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER Teaser... which also hangs in my office! Splush!
The first CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER Teaser… which also hangs in my office! Splush!

It’s here!

It’s HERE!

IT

IS

HERE!

The new poster for CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER is here… and it is S.H.I.E.L.D. heavy.

The good Capt. is in a S.H.I.E.L.D. aircraft, overlooking the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier… and Washington D.C.

Early word on the movie is that it is more of a “thriller” than your typical superhero film, just as CAPTAIN AMERICA: FIRST AVENGER was more of a war movie.

Did I mention Captain America is my favorite Avenger? Well, he is. He most definitely is.

We’ll know even more when the first Teaser Trailer hits the web tomorrow (Thursday, October 24th).

Check out the full poster after the jump!

Continue reading “CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER – New Poster! (Teaser Poster #2)”

AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. “The Asset” – Coulson Creates His Own Demons


Tony Stark isn’t the only one in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) who creates his own demons. In the third episode of AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Phil Coulson ends up accidentally creating his own super-villain.

But just like the narrative of IRON MAN 3, let’s track this from the beginning…

If the “Pilot” was  an NCIS knock-off and “0-8-4” was a mini-Marvel action movie, then “The Asset” is basically Marvel’s version of MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE.

You gotta' drop that shit in the ocean, son!
You gotta’ drop that shit in the ocean, son!

Starting with the most impressive special effects I’ve seen on a network show (surely part of the budget is borrowed from the AVENGERS INITIATIVE: PHASE TWO films), this globe spanning episode involves infiltrating an incredibly secure compound and ends with a device that would make SPIDER-MAN 2’s Doc Ock jealous.

Continue reading “AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. “The Asset” – Coulson Creates His Own Demons”

Breaking MARVEL NOW!… Now! – Where Best To Start Your MARVEL Adventure


Marvel presents... THE AVENGERS... NOW!
Marvel presents… THE AVENGERS… NOW!

If you’ve always wanted to read comics but never knew where to start, the time is NOW! Marvel NOW!

Or, if you already read comics and are looking for a few more good comics, I have sampled most the new Marvel books  and have recommendations for you, Now! Marvel NOW!

In 2011, DC Comics relaunched its entire universe, all 52 titles including Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman, as well as all their friends & enemies, in a reboot fitted with the brand “The New 52.”

Batman New 52This semi-reboot – some universes were partially reset while others like Batman kept his complete continuity (according to current BATMAN scribe Scott Snyder on Smodcast’s FAT MAN ON BATMAN podcast) – while still incredibly confusing, served as the perfect starting point for me and my roommate to finally give into our prepubescent urges and become full on geeks, frequenting Mile High Comics every Wednesday at 11 am (right when it opens).

By the time Marvel launched MARVEL NOW! last December, its own version of THE NEW 52 (which it is still rolling out) designed to bring in new readers following AVENGERS becoming the biggest fucking movie off all time (okay, it isn’t officially, but it is a “game changer” in a way AVATAR never was), I was over a year into comics. I subscribe to all the NEW 52 titles with BATMAN in them (except BATMAN BEYOND UNLIMITED – I tried it, but it didn’t stick), my roommate covers SUPERMAN and his two friends (SUPERBOY & SUPERGIRL), while also spending the past year exploring Batman’s pre-NEW 52 greatest hits from THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS to KNIGHTFALL to PREY to my personal favorite, LONG HALLOWEEN.

All this time, I also subscribed to many Marvel titles at Mile High Comics including nearly all AVENGERS (yes, including AVENGERS VS. X-MEN), and any title with Spider-Man (including the Ultimate Universe’s Miles Morales), Captain America, Deadpool, & countless other characters. (I also covered a little IDW with some STAR TREK & JUDGE DREDD).

Yet, while I feasted on Batman, I read almost none of my Marvel titles, as all carried too much baggage, too many years of backstory and strange twists that bogged me down as a noob comic reader.

But now, MARVEL NOW!

Though not an actual reboot, just like the NEW 52’s Batman line, Marvel NOW! introduces all the characters at a point where things are changing: at a new starting point, as it were. Though there is still 50 years of history behind characters like Spider-Man, Marvel NOW! introduces every team and character to us , not necessarily from their point of origin, but from a spot where no background is needed. Marvel knows there are noobs like me and have therefore made their labyrinth of a universe easy to digest.

Issue #1 of CAPTAIN AMERICA
Issue #1 of CAPTAIN AMERICA

Never understood the difference between NEW AVENGERS & regular AVENGERS? Marvel NOW quickly and simply differentiates the two teams’ roles. Characters like Captain America don’t have their origin repeated, but we do get flashes of Steve Roger’s childhood life along with a storyline with no prior Capt. knowledge required.

Marvel NOW! is simply the best way to get into comics, whether you haven’t read them for years, have never read them, or have left Marvel previously due to the universe’s extreme complexity.

I’ve listed the titles I’ve read thus far (I can’t afford to read them all, fwiend), following said list with my favorite five titles, so that you can get started on the road to Marvel NOW!

NOTE: I’m only including titles that started with Issue #1 for Marvel NOW! Any titles continuing their numbering system and not adding the “NOW!” of Marvel NOW!, like VENOM, AVENGING SPIDER-MAN, or AVENGERS ASSEMBLE, will not be considered on this list.

All New X-MenMARVEL NOW! issues I’ve Read…

A + X #1

INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK Issue #1
INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK Issue #1

ALL NEW X-MEN 1-3

AVENGERS 1-4

CAPTAIN AMERICA 1-3

DEADPOOL 1-4

FANTASTIC FOUR #1

INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK 1-3

IRON MAN 1-5

NEW AVENGERS 1-2

SAVAGE WOLVERINE #1

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN 1-2

THOR: GOD OF THUNDER 1-4

THUNDERBOLTS 1-3

UNCANNY AVENGERS 1-3

YOUNG AVENGERS #1

Find out which five you shouldn’t miss after the jump! Some of my choices may surprise you.

Continue reading “Breaking MARVEL NOW!… Now! – Where Best To Start Your MARVEL Adventure”

Better Class of Criminal (IV) – 2012’s Terrible 3, Featuring Bane and Silva


EXTREME SPOILERS AHEAD FOR AVENGERS, DARK KNIGHT RISES, AND SKYFALL.

Possible SPOILERS for any other films referenced.

We’ve finally reached 2012, a year full of great villains! Perhaps the best year for antagonists in this modern age!

Some 2012 Villains spent their time in glass cages...
Some 2012 Villains spent their time in glass cages…

All of 2012’s “Terrible 3” fit the mold I discussed in previous posts of “A Better Class of Criminal” (Part IIPart III). All 3 deserve to be on the list of 100 greatest villains ever; any other year, each would be the highlight due to less steep competition from the other 2.

Loki (Tom Hiddleson), THE AVENGERS

Only one way to keep Loki from grinning at you.
Only one way to wipe that grin off his face…

Loki is the weakest of the 2012 “Terrible 3,” yet he is still fan-diddily-tastic and miles above most antagonists on the silver screen (technically, billions of miles above, since he is from Asgard…).

Let’s tick the boxes off for the traits we’ve already covered ad nauseum…

1) Loki has a mastermind of a plan. The demi-God is always on step ahead of S.H.I.E.L.D., the Avengers, and even his own brother, Thor. More specific, like great villains past (think the Joker), his plan involves being captured in order to destroy the Avengers from the inside. In his case, he wants a shot at the monster S.H.I.E.L.D. brought on their own Hellicarrier, Bruce Banner aka the Hulk.

Glass cages are all the rage in 2012!
Like I said, the glass cage is all the rage in 2012!

Even past his capture and escape, Loki is a step ahead of Captain America and team, setting up at Stark Tower before even Tony Stark realizes it.

Loki grins as he "stabs" a man in the eye.
Loki grins as he “stabs” a man in the eye.

2) Loki loves his work. He smiles so often, with such evil and glee, even when things look there worst for him. My personal favorite is the smile Loki pops off while “removing” a man’s eyeball before he first encounters Captain America in Germany.

He smiles when he arrives on our planet, as Thor threatens him, as he watches Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America clash, as he passes Banner’s lab in cuffs, as he threatens Black Widow, and even when Tony Stark taunts him in the third act. Loki’s having so much fun he can’t contain himself.

Loki Smiles
Smiles All Around

As a result, so do we! A lot of credit has to go to the actor, Tom Hiddleson, on this one. As written, Loki could be played more seriously, but Hiddleson nails Loki’s playfulness.

3) Speech! Speech! – Loki may not have a unique voice like his predecessor, The Joker, or his successor, Bane, but he can still deliver quite the evil speech.

To the people of Germany:

“Is not this simpler? Is this not your natural state? It’s the unspoken truth of humanity, that you crave subjugation. The bright lure of freedom diminishes your life’s joy in a mad scramble for power, for identity. You were made to be ruled. In the end, you will always kneel.”

To Black Widow:

“I won’t touch Barton. Not until I make him kill you! Slowly, intimately, in every way he knows you fear! And then he’ll wake just long enough to see his good work, and when he screams, I’ll split his skull! This is my bargain, you mewling quim!”

To Hulk:

“Enough! You are, all of you are beneath me! I am a god, you dull creature, and I shall not be bullied by…”

Ok, so not all Loki speeches end so great...
Ok, so not all Loki speeches end so great…
No one fucks with Phil Coulson... except Loki.
No one fucks with Phil Coulson… except Loki.

4) Loki is unique. Sure, we’ve seen many super-villains over the years, but Loki is a God/Alien. He considers himself a fallen king, driven mad by the power of the Tesseract and envy of Thor. He sees the human race as ants, something very few to no villains mentioned previously feel. After all, even those like Norman Osbourne aka the Green Goblin, who sees himself as above regular people,  was human himself before experimentation.

5) Loki makes it personal. He attacks the Avengers “where they live” (according to Tony Stark), killing friend of the team Agent Phil Coulson.

Bane as painted by Casey  Calllende.
Bane as painted by Casey Callende.

Bane (Tom Hardy) , THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

I argue that Bane is an even stronger Nolan Batman baddie than Joker… and most people call me a fool.

Joker may have tested Batman’s one rule… and corrupted Gotham’s White Knight, Harvey Dent… but BANE BROKE THE BAT! And held Gotham hostage for months, keeping the entire US government at bay.

The original comic panel from KNIGHTFALL
The panel from KNIGHTFALL

My favorite scene in Nolan’s entire DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY is Bane and Batman’s initial fight in the sewers. Not only is the action perfectly brutal, leading to the destruction of Batman – the final moment true to the exact panel from the comic – but every line Bane utters during the fight is gold; instantly classic. Both the writing, and the all important delivery by the extraordinary Tom Hardy make the scene the best of the comic-book-movie crop:

“Not as serious as [your mistake], I fear…

Let’s not stand on ceremony here, Mr. Wayne.

Peace has cost you your strength. Victory has defeated you!

Theatricality and deception. Powerful agents to the uninitiated. But we are initiated, aren’t we Bruce? Members of the League of Shadows. And you betrayed us!…

I am the League of Shadows! I’m here to fulfill Ra’s al Ghul’s destiny!Bane - Theatricality

You fight like a younger man with nothing held back. Admirable, but mistaken.

Oh, you think the darkness is your ally. But you merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn’t see the light until I was already a man. By then it was nothing to me but blinding!

The shadows betray you, because they belong to me!

I will show you where I have made my home whilst preparing to bring justice to Gotham… Then I will break you.

Your precious armory, gratefully accepted. We will need it.

Ah yes, I was wondering what would break first… your spirit… or your body?!?!”

CLICK “READ MORE” BELOW FOR MORE BANE GOODNESS! NOW WITH SILVA FROM SKYFALL!

Continue reading “Better Class of Criminal (IV) – 2012’s Terrible 3, Featuring Bane and Silva”