The MCU So Far: What I Know Going Into Ultron

Age of Ultron

As much as I consider myself a completeist, there are actually very few things that I’ve absorbed as fully and as obsessively as I have The Marvel Cinematic Universe.

It’s pretty much just Harry Potter, now that I think about it.

This makes sense, because, Harry Potter opened my world to the idea of fandom, but The MCU, the MCU taught me about nerd culture, and forged unbreakable bonds with characters and a world that I’m thrilled to know so much about.

So yes, I am one of those annoying fans who DEMANDS to know when we will see Skye and Darcy have coffee sometimes. (Oh shut up, you want it to.) I can make detailed cases for everyone that you ship Black Widow with. (If she’s meant to be with Bruce Banner in Ultron, why the arrow necklace in Winter Soldier? WHAT KIND OF GAME ARE YOU PLAYING FIEGE?)

So here’s what I know from watching the movies and from Agents Of Shield and Agent Carter and Daredevil and various 1 Shots, that will make up our status quo for tonight, as far as I can see it:

  • The Avengers are coming together at Coulson’s behest. That’s what Theta Protocol is.
  • Loki’s alive but everyone thinks he’s dead. He has that in common with Nick Fury and Coulson.
  • Thor’s currently living in London with Jane. Remains Thor though. Which is cool.
  • SHIELD has various Hulk containment facilities. These are also useful for Inhumans.
  • Imhumans are a thing.
  • Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver may or may not be Inhumans. Probably aren’t. Joss seems to really hate Agents stuff, which seems mean to his brother and sister in law. I’m just saying.
  • Captain America and Falcon are out Bucky hunting. They will, presumably, stop for a while to fight Ultron.
  • Tony has no Iron Man suits as he blew them all up. Also no more arc reactor in his chest to fuel suits even if he had them. This will assuredly be problematic.
  • The 10 Rings is a real organization that kidnapped and killed The Fake Mandarin and this probably has no bearing on Ultron at all.
  • Howard Stark had a lotta guilt about not saving Steve. This is probably what made him such a lousy father. Also HYDRA killed him.
  • The Black Widow program has been around for a while.
  • New York is really crime ridden after The Battle Of New York. There’s a blind dude with super senses and a crime kingpin. I doubt they’ll figure into the story, but who knows.
  • Maria Hill works for Stark Industries. I imagine she does a great deal of sighing and eye rolling.
  • Natasha Romanov’s covers are all out in the open because she Edward Snowdened herself.
  • Hawkeye is, um around.
  • Captain America lost his shield, but has a new one. Presumably he got this because they got more vibranium, which is from Wakanda, which is where Black Panther is from…
  • Spider-Man is a thing in this universe now. But he’s in high school. And probably not Spider-Man yet. And is definitely not Miles Morales.

So, that’s where we are.

ASSEMBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Rewatching The MCU: Come And Get Your Love: Captain America: The Winter Soldier & Guardians of The Galaxy

As boring as Phase 2.1 is just about everything is forgiven by the glory that is Phase 2.2. (Is Daredevil technically a part of Phase 2? I think it is.) It’s all so beautiful and violent, and fun and interesting.

And recent. It’s hard to reflect on these movies because I’ve seen them so many times and so recently, not that I didn’t love watching them again. I absolutely did.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

The Winter Soldier

There’s not a lot to say about The Winter Soldier that hasn’t been said. It’s a remarkable achievement in super hero fiction, in action cinema and in extended storytelling. It sets up large sweeping changes in it’s universe while telling a compelling individual story.

The Winter Soldier is everything that The MCU does best. Kick ass action sequences, great one liners, an absorbing story and bromances coming out the butt. 

Seriously: Sam And Steve

Nick and Steve

Bucky and Steve

and of course most importantly

Natasha and Steve.

God, I love their relationship so much here. I love it so much it makes my heart all bubbly. I love how they tease each other, I love how they fight together, I love how by the end he’s pretty much the only person she trusts.

This is also, without a doubt, Samuel L. Jackson’s best performance as Nick Fury. It doesn’t really hurt that most of his scenes put him opposite Robert Redford, who, with the exception of RDJ, maybe, is one of the only MCU actors who’s anywhere close to his level.

Sebastian Stan and Chris Evans both do great work as hero and foil and I really hope Civil War answers the questions left by Winter Soldier.

MCU Bits:

  • I remember walking out of this movie with Aless and both of saying almost in unison, “What happend on Agents now?” We couldn’t even know how epic it would be!
  • I’m also excited to see what Winter Soldier’s implications for Age of Ultron will be. Like Thor opening us up to a larger universe, Winter Soldier created an inescapable status quo.
  • Not MCU, but a fun easter egg anyway, Nick Fury’s tomb stone features the “Bible” verse that Jules recites as he kills in Pulp Fiction. (Not a real Bible verse) It’s such a fun nod.

Guardians Of The Galaxy

Guardians of The Galaxy

Guardians isn’t as good as I thought it was initially. It just isn’t.

It’s still like really, really good though. It makes up for it’s flaws, of which there are many, with it’s considerable charm, and in that way, it’s a lot like it’s characters.

None of the Guardians of The Galaxy are particularly good people. They aren’t exactly monsters either. They’re just petty criminals trying to make their way in space. And it’s pretty glorious. Yes, the plot is thin as are the characterizations. (Gamora makes me more angry every time I watch the movie…she’s such vapor and deserved SO MUCH more.) But the performances and Oh God that soundtrack carry the day, and make the whole movie a whole lot of fun to watch.

And I’m sorry if you’re not into “We Are Groot” and Dancing Baby Groot then my guess is that you don’t exactly have a soul and should probably be locked away somewhere.

MCU Bits

  • The Collector explains what infinity stones are. So we’ve got that going for us.
  • Thanos is back. And…still not doing much.
  • I have great hopes of John C. Riley’s Nova character becoming the Coulson of the cosmic set.
  • Howard The Duck! I’m still shocked that they went there but so very grateful that they did. I hope, with his comics resurgence he becomes an actual presence in the movies, but I somehow doubt it.

So that’s that. Tomorrow night I hit Avengers: Age Of Ultron, followed by a review on Friday. I’m really excited for the movie and I hope it lives up to the hype. I probably won’t be exploring the MCU like this in such detail again until Infinity Wars, and that’s several years away.

Tomorrow though, I’ll reflect on the fact that I’ve watched every minute of MCU footage and what that means to me. Mostly, I think that I’m insane?

Here’s The Sitch: Kim Possible Season 2 Episodes 20 & 21

Guys, is it just me or does Season 2 seem interminable? I mean, I love it, but it’s a long season. There are still 9 more SEASON 2 episodes. Again, now that I’m all done with the MCU write ups, this isn’t quite as daunting. (I was also home sick yesterday so got a lot of DVR cleanout done, which is a huge relief and opens up a ton of viewing schedule time too, so this is going to feel less overwhelming going forward.) Anyway, here we are.

Kim Ron Rufus

Season 2: Episode 20 “Go Team Go!”

Kim Possible doesn’t spend a whole lot of time on back story, pretty much everyone gets one episode to establish who they are in relation to the team and other than that, we’re all just sort of supposed to go along for the ride.

But that changes a little bit in season 2, because we start to know more about Kim herself, about the villains, and about how her world operates

So when Kim and Ron go to Go City to visit the first ever Grande Bueno Nacho, it’s really kind of a surprise that they have their own superhero team, Team Go! It’s even more of a surprise that the team is made up of Shego’s brothers and that Shego was once among them.

When Kim, Ron and Hego (the oldest of Shego’s brothers) are attacked by Aviarius, a bird themed villain, and Kim winds up with Hego’s super strength through power transference, they have to get switched back. We also meet the self absorbed Mego and the multiplying twins Wego.

In the end, they team up with Shego and when she gets all of her brother’s powers, she decides to keep them for herself, because, hey, this is Shego we’re talking about. But in the end everyone gets their powers back, and Shego goes home to Drakken.

It’s actually a pretty stellar episode, especially visually, but also skewers the Fantastic 4 in a really loving and fun way. Hego is all superhero bluster and it becomes increasingly clear to Kim and Ron why Shego is estranged from her family, even if she wasn’t evil.

Season 2: Episode 21 “The Full Monkey”

Ron’s monkey phobia is one of his stranger character quirks and it’s also always fun to see the lengths to which Monkey Fist will go to achieve ultimate monkey mastery, and shaking up the match ups is a lot of fun.

Kim and Ron track Monkey Fist to China, where he’s trying to steal a pendant that will imbue him with the powers of The Monkey King, but Kim gets the amulet instead. It’s picture day and she’s turning into a monkey. Also there’s a cheer off, and Josh Menkey is back which is fun, I guess.

When Kim accidentally thinks that an actual monkey is Kim, he is determined that he won’t let this change their friendship. Which is sweet, in a misguided Ron way. Anyway, Kim fights Monkey Fist, which is fun, because Ron normally fights Monkey Fist. And she gets back to normal. But Monkey Kim is sort of adorable. And Ron’s bond with his new monkey pal has cured his phobia.

Boo-Yas And Nacos

  • Mego is voiced by Christopher McDonald! You know, Shooter McGavin! He does a great job with the voice. Fred Savage is Wego. I’m not sure how in a Kevin Bacony way that relates him to Will Freidle, but they’re basically brothers right?
  • The Go City Bueno Nacho does not serve the Naco. Ron is very upset about it.
  • Kim using super strength is very fun, but the episode pretty much belongs to Drakken, who does not understand what’s going on with Shego, at all, but does save her.
  • This is actually one of Monkey Fists’s more reasonable plans, which is saying something.
  • It’s always interesting when they bring Menkey out again, and when Ron tries to push the Monkey he thinks is Kim onto Josh, it’s beyond amusing.
  • This is the second time that Ron has befriended a monkey, and yet he still fears them…strange.

Game Of Thrones Winner: “High Sparrow”

“The North Remembers”

There is literally not a more important concept in Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire than that one. There’s a reason why most of the, you know, good people, are from the North.

Or at least morally consistent people.

I mean, Jon Snow.

Jon Snow is from the north.

Yes, two weeks in a row, Jon is our winner.

Woo?

Woo?

For a guy who knows nothing that’s quite a victory

The problem was that there wasn’t a lot of triumph in this episode except for the ickiest wedding night ever between Margaery and Tommen. (12 HE’S SUPPOSED TO BE 12 YEARS OLD…ick) So Jon standing his ground and executing Jonas Slynt is the closest we’ve got to a win.

Runner up goes to Sansa: Because there’s nothing “winning” about having to marry Ramsay Bolton, but striding into Winterfell like she owns the place, because she does and then that servant welcoming her back as “Lady Stark” was Bad ASS.

The North remembers.

Missandei and Grey Worm Watch

No Khalessi storyline this week, so no Missandei and Grey Worm.

Bummer.

*CLINK*

This week was an exercise in exhaustion and overkill for me. I stayed up later than I like to watching movies and TV shows that I like, but that I could barely invest my brain in.

I was snapping at my family, friends and coworkers.

I didn’t even enjoy my mid Scandal glass of wine last night, not really, at least.

But in all of that craziness, this sort of weird fog, there was a shining beacon…

Beyond Belief #1 came out on Wednesday.

Yes, I was exhausted, frustrated and more than a little bit mad at the world.

But do you want to know what’s stronger than any level of ennui?

It’s two people, who love each other more than anyone else in the world, throwing on black tie and going to defeat some ghosts, all without spilling their martinis.

Frank and Sadie Doyle, the toast of Park Avenue, trekked out to the suburbs to take care of the ghosts in their friend Donna’s house. (Donna, not yet married to her werewolf husband, and not yet turned into a vampire, and certainly not yet impregnated to with Harbinger of The Apocalypse.) They also kind of cast out my demons and I’m so grateful for that.

Of course when The Thrilling Adventure Hour ends in a few months I’m going to miss Paul F. Thompkins and Padget Brewster’s actual performances as these characters, I’m so glad I’ll still get to hang out with them once a month.

Because when it comes down to it, who cares what ever lurks in the hearts of men?

Unless evil’s carrying the martini tray, darling.

Sailor Moon Check In: Catching Up

God, this week’s been busy, and sleepy. But I managed to get Sailor Moon in, which is great. The good news is that after next week, my viewing time is back to normal, what with not having to watch Marvel movies all the time.

Anyway, not the point.

Sailor Moon

Manga

Yeah, right, and monkeys might fly out of my butt. – The Immortal Wayne Campbell

The Best Cartoon I’ve Ever Watched, Sorry Korra

There was a lot of, “oh yeah, that makes sense” in these four episodes.

Like duh, Makoto has a crush on Haruka, because, that’s what Makoto does, she gets crushes.

And Ami isn’t sure whether to focus on school, or being a Sailor Senshi or being a good friend, because seriously, if you were Ami, that would be a tough choice.

And Haruka’s in a motocross tournament because it’s the 90’s and EXTREME SPORTS! Also, like duh, Usagi totally doesn’t get the concept of detachment, because she’s Usagi.

And Yuchiro is, a character.

I sort of forgot he existed.

Anyway, that’s what I took away. It was slightly better in terms of content, filler wise, and I really can’t get get too mad at any run of episodes that features Michiru LITERALLY PLAYING THE VIOLIN IN THE MOONLIGHT WHILE ROSE PETALS SWIRL AROUND YUCHIRO, but I’m also ready to see Saturn, and I miss Chibi-Usa…

Didn’t think I’d ever miss Chibi-Usa, good thing she’s hanging around in…

Crystal

Seriously, I love time travel shenanigans so freaking much and this episode fulfills all that fun stuff. As Sailor Moon, Sailor Venus & Tuxedo Mask learn all about Crystal Tokyo and Chibi-Usa and the future there’s all kinds of good stuff. Plus a decent battle with The Black Moon and the first hint of Prince Diamande and his creepy rapey intentions.

But seriously, I can’t decide which made me laugh more, Luna and Artemis’s reaction to finding out that Diana was their daughter or Minako’s reaction to finding out that Chibi-Usa was a result of Usagi and Mamoru doing the nasty in the past-y. (All possible Futurama references must be made at all times.) But all reactions to these pieces of news are adorable.

Next time around I’ll probably be a little more engaged, but I can’t promise anything. The next few months, and specifically the next few weeks are really busy for me. I’m doing my best to push through everything I do regularly though.

The Moon is The Messenger of Love

Rewatching The MCU: Phase 2.1: Iron Man 3 & Thor: The Dark World

Sigh, as I rewatched these  movies on Monday night, I realized how, not into Phase 2.1 I am. I mean, I loved the movies when I saw them, and Thor: The Dark World is actually one of those movies that gets better when you watch it a second time, because it’s, actually pretty complicated. Which, given Thor is probably the least complicated movie of Phase 1, is something, I guess.

Iron Man 3

Ironman 3

I like Iron Man 3 a lot. It’s one of those movies that I just grin through, it’s just so much damn fun. Change is the watchword as Tony works through his PTSD, Pepper runs Stark Industries and Happy, um, is generally listless.

Rhodey’s the same, although the paint job and rebranding are such a fun run in the movie. Particularly when Tony mentions it to Harley who thinks, “The Iron Patriot” is “so much cooler,” than “War Machine.” Tony responds that “it’s really not.”

And speaking of Harley, let’s just talk about this kid for a minute. I love this kid. I’m so excited to see this kid fight dinosaurs in Jurassic World this summer. Watching RDJ with this kid is so much fun, and so very worth the price of admission on this movie.

As is Pepper’s arc here. Yes, Pepper Potts has always been the gold standard for how superhero significant others should be written in any movie. With their own agency, and goals, but still solid supporting characters, lending everything to the main narrative. (Amy Adams’s Lois Lane in Man of Steel is also an excellent example of how to do this.) But there’s nothing in the world as amazingly satisfying as watching Pepper, infected with extremis kick the crap out of Killian. It’s a really great moment, followed by the excellent explosion of all of Tony’s suits.

MCU Bits

  • You feel the lack of Coulson here. It’s sad really. I wish they’d subbed Maria in, just for some lightness, you know?
  • It’s revealed in the post credit that the movie is just Tony recounting these events to Bruce Banner and it’s awesome, I’d like to think that Rhodey is talking to Steve at this point, detailing how impossible trying to run a mission with Tony is.
  • I hope we see more of Harley, I once heard someone suggest a Power Pack story centering around him. I think that could be fun. I also wouldn’t mind seeing a certain um, New Jerseyian teenager team up with him. (Kamala, I mean a Kamala/Harley team up.)

Thor: The Dark World

thor the dark world poster

Snore…..

Seriously, the first time I saw this movie I wasn’t sold on it, the second time I got why it was the way it was and now I’ve seen it enough times, that I don’t really care. It’s a beautiful film, visually though, so we can focus on that.

Every costume, every inch of Asgard, every battle sequence, is stunningly crafted.

Also there’s Tom Hiddleston, who as I mentioned last week, is still pretty GD amazing in this role. I mean, look, I get why people are sick of the Loki Love (I mean, assume they are, I don’t see how, he’s awesome!) Loki’s journey in this movie from arrogance, to despair and back again is something to behold. Which shouldn’t take away from Chris Hemsworth.

Thor is a pretty flat character, there’s just not a lot of there, there. But Hemsworth gives him something, a heart, among other things, but it’s a pretty remarkable performance with all things considered.

MCU Bits

  • Loki’s Captain America impersonation remains my favorite thing in this movie.
  • Renee Russo, Natalie Portman, Jamie Alexander and Anthony Hopkins are all also great. I feel like Russo doesn’t get enough credit for Freyja. She did such a wonderful job with her, really and truly.
  • Darcy and Jane talk about SHIELD a lot, and this make sense, as they’re probably two of the only non agents to work for the organization that we’ve ever seen. (Jane was sent to a SHIELD observatory during Avengers, I assume that Darcy went with her, for fun.)

Can you believe that we’re just over a week away from Ultron? I’m really freaking out about it.