Countdown to Infinity War: Fun Facts celebrating 10 Years of Marvel Movies Part 1.

Countdown to Infinity War: Fun Facts celebrating 10 Years of Marvel Movies Part 1.

Posted by on Mar 20, 2018 in Home, News, Source Material, Uncategorized

Avengers: Infinity War
comes out April 27th, 2018 and it is a big deal. The second trailer recently dropped and just increased the hype tenfold. It’s not just the entire Marvel universe coming together to battle the omnipresent threat of Thanos and his Infinity Gauntlet. It’s not just one of the biggest blockbuster superhero films in recent memory. It’s not just the 19th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s all of that and more! This movie celebrates 10 years of Marvel movies that have captured the imagination of the world and made many of these Marvel Comics characters household names. So as we countdown to this much anticipated debut, lets take a look back all the Marvel movies that paved the way for this movie and future movies like it and fun facts about the movie or its process that’ll make us appreciate them even more. EXCELSIOR!

1. Iron Man (2008): Burger King changed Robert Downey Jr’s life
In an interview with Empire Magazine, Robert Downey Jr. thanked the fast food restaurant Burger King for helping his decision to go straight from drugs in 2003. One day he stopped to get a burger and the burger was so disgusting that the overall experience made him rethink his life and what direction it would go. Afterwards he proceeded to dump all the drugs he had in his car into the ocean. He would re-enact this moment of revelation in the movie when he returned from captivity and ate the burger during his unorthodox sit-down with the press. Speaking of, those four hundred extras who were a part of the press conference were to be filmed standing but Robert thought they should be more comfortable and relaxed sitting down. Considering the impact this burger had on Downey Jr’s life, I can only imagine what might have happened if he went to Wendy’s instead.

2. Incredible Hulk (2008): Ed Norton got recommended by the other Hulk for the part.
Edward Norton was recommended to play the role of Bruce Banner by Lou Ferrigno, who famously portrayed the angry green superhero in The Incredible Hulk (1978). Ferrigno stated that Norton reminded him of the late Bill Bixby who had played Bruce Banner alongside him on the show. When approached, Norton turned down the offer despite being a huge Hulk fan as he was concerned about how the film would end up. After meeting director Louis Leterrier and Marvel Entertainment to discuss the movie in depth, he signed on. Ironically, Leterrier originally wanted Mark Ruffalo to be Bruce Banner but Marvel insisted on Norton being cast. Ruffalo would be re-cast as Bruce Banner in The Avengers (2012) and continue to portray the role to this day.

3. Iron Man 2 (2010): The Mandarin helped Whiplash get to Monaco to confront Iron Man
According to director Jon Favreau, the Asian man who hands Anton Vanko aka Whiplash the false papers that enable him to get to Monaco where he confronts Tony Stark was a member of the Ten Rings. The Ten Rings is the organization whose membership consisted of Raza, the leader who captured and demanded Tony Stark make them weapons which lead to him creating the first Iron Man suit. Most importantly, the Ten Rings leader is the Iron Man nemesis known as the Mandarin so even from the beginning, the Mandarin’s fate was intertwined with Tony Stark aka Iron Man’s life.

4. Thor (2011): Thor’s banishment brought tears to almost everybody involved.
During filming, director Kenneth Branagh asked Sir Anthony Hopkins to improvise his reaction to Thor yelling at him during the scene where Odin strips Thor of his power and banishes him to Midgard/ Earth. He agreed and by the time the scene was finished, most of the cast and crew were sobbing, even Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston said it was difficult to keep their emotions in check during filming. When complimented later on it, Hopkins gave credit where credit was due by saying “ Ken’s fantastic, isn’t he?”

5. Captain America First Avenger (2011): Peggy couldn’t resist touching Cap.
Looking’s free but touching almost cost Hayley Atwell while filming The First Avenger. When Steve Rogers first appears from the pod transformed into Captain America, Peggy Carter spontaneously touches his chest and looks surprised and a little flustered at his significant physical changes. That touch was very much improvised and the look on her face was genuine as she admitted to being attracted to Chris’s physique. That attraction had her not only break character for a moment but also ruined the take that made into the film’s final cut. Fortunately, we couldn’t blame Peggy or Haley for such a reaction because thousands of women in audiences all over the world would have done the same and probably more.

6. Avengers (2012): Even in real life everybody answers Cap’s call to Assemble.
During the filming of The Avengers, there were a few times that the entire cast were in town at the same time. During one of these rare moments, Chris Evans sent them all a text with one word: Assemble. They all got together and had a night out on the town. While we don’t know the details of what went down, Clark Gregg who plays Agent Coulson in the MCU has said this is the best text message he has ever received.

7. Iron Man 3 (2013) : Iron Man was to Join the Guardians of the Galaxy
The original ending of the Iron Man trilogy was going to introduce another upcoming Marvel movie: the Guardians of the Galaxy. At the end of the film, Tony would have blasted off into space to meet up with the Guardians. He would have had a cameo in the Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) which was a reference to his then recent membership in the comics. This idea was removed when Robert Downey Jr. discussed that he may step down from the role of Iron Man in future films. So they went with Downey Jr.’s idea about a post credits scene with Tony re-telling the story to a heavy-eyed Bruce Banner.

8. Thor: The Dark World (2013): Jane Foster had to slap Thor just right
In cinema, sometimes you must film the same scene more than once to get the perfect take. In Thor: The Dark World, the part where Jane Foster slaps Thor had to be filmed repeatedly because Natalie Portman kept fake slapping Chris Hemsworth. After the thirtieth take, she stopped caring and was slapping him for real. Funny enough the scene where Jane meets Loki and punches him for his role in the Battle of New York during The Avengers (2012), it only took her five takes before she was actually hitting Tom Hiddleston.

9. Captain America : Winter Soldier (2014): Falcon likes to cut the check!
Anthony Mackie who played Sam Wilson/The Falcon liked to say “Cut the check!” whenever something had gone well or a scene had been completed during The Winter Soldier. The phrase caught on and eventually everybody in the cast and crew were saying it. Unfortunately, according to the Russo Brothers, Mackie overdid it so much during the filming that it eventually lost its appeal.

Well cut the check for Part 1! Stay tuned for Part 2 in a few days and remember, Thanos is coming…

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DC Producing Animated Death and Return of Superman in 2 Parts

DC Producing Animated Death and Return of Superman in 2 Parts

Posted by on Feb 26, 2018 in Source Material, Uncategorized

Announced last year at San Diego Comic Con, a teaser image has been released for the first film in a two film series detailing the iconic 1992 storyline where the hero fought and died from injuries inflicted by the unstoppable creature dubbed Doomsday during the battle that killed them both. This image was posted courtesy of Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay’s Itunes Extra page via

After his funeral, several heroes stepped forward in “ Reign of the Supermen” to fill the void left in his presence, all of them wearing his iconic S on their chest and one or two hinted at being Superman returned from the dead. We would later know these characters as Cyborg Superman, Steel, Superboy and the Last Son of Krypton. We would also learn Superman’s body had been placed in a Kryptonian healing matrix and he would eventually appear alive, with a mullet and slightly reduced powers, to save the day as only Superman can.

The Death of Superman was a massive moment for DC Comics and comics in general as Superman, one of the earliest comic book heroes who was thought to be invulnerable, was gone. The sales of the issues were excellent and Superman #75 where Superman died sold out quickly but the failed investment of the issue would lead to the speculator’s market to dry up and a decline in the comic book industry. Superman’s death and resurrection would change how death would be portrayed in comics as countless other heroes in both DC and Marvel would die and eventually return to life. The character Doomsday continued to be a legendary threat in DC Comics to this day and the anniversary of Superman’s death is a day that the DC Universe remembers those who have passed in superhuman community regardless if they were hero or villain.

These storylines have been adapted or referenced in multiple formats before. They were loosely adapted in Superman: Doomsday (2007), episodes of the Justice League cartoon such as “A Better World” and “Hereafter (Part 1 and 2)” featured references from both storylines and elements of their stories influenced Young Justice’s portrayal of Project Cadmus and Superboy. Superman’s death and return was a focal plot point in Superman vs. Batman (2016) and later in Justice League (2017). Considering how other adaptations portrayed or adapted the stories, DC Animated Films has promised a more faithful adaption of both stories. Considering these storylines featured such characters as the 1990s version of the Justice League, Booster Gold and Blue Beetle, and the Guardian it’ll be interesting seeing them balanced with story techniques popular in Nineties comic books. Death of Superman’s official release date has yet to be announced but we know it will be released later in 2018 and Reign of the Supermen will follow in 2019. Until then, I’ll be looking forward to when Doomsday is here and Superman says “Nobody tears my city apart and gets away with it.”

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SOURCE MATERIAL – The Justice League Movie

SOURCE MATERIAL – The Justice League Movie

Posted by on Nov 27, 2017 in Home, News, Opinion, Source Material

By Drew Mollo

SPOILER ALERT  (Fair warning if you haven’t watched the movie)

I just saw Justice League recently and honestly I enjoyed most of it. Sure there were certain things about it I wasn’t fond of or things that are more results of the well-publicized re-shoots but that’s not what this article is about. This was a comic book movie and upon watching the film I could see elements that were inspired by DC Comics story arcs about the famous superteam. So if you enjoyed the film and you’d like to read stories to give you an idea of what happened or who the heck Steppenwolf was, I recommend you checking these out.

1. Justice League by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee: The comic series that basically ushered in the New 52 in 2011 tells a new origin story of how the team got together set five years in the past. Batman is chasing a Parademon and runs into Green Lantern. After the creature explodes, they decide to ask Superman before they all realize these creatures are merely scouts for a bigger invasion. Meanwhile, a Mother Box provided by the Flash decides to go haywire in S.T.A.R. Labs around the same time Silas Stone is having an argument with his son Victor. When the Mother Box opens a Boom Tube full of Parademons, the explosion mutilates Victor’s body while fusing it with all sorts of alien technology (thus eventually making him into Cyborg). The appearance of Parademons attracts the attention of Wonder Woman and later Aquaman as well. The heroes battle back the Parademons and eventually their master, the Lord of Apokolips known as Darkseid. The film had many references to this storyline especially with the use of Parademons, Mother Box’s, and even a direct reference to the evil God himself but its primary influence was that the upcoming invasion was catalyst for getting the Justice League together.

2. Jack Kirby’s the Fourth World: Created by legendary writer/artist Jack Kirby in the 1970s, Kirby imagined a group of entities he called the New Gods who lived on two separate planets. The Gods in New Genesis lived in an idyllic paradise ruled by the Highfather and the Gods in Apokolips suffered in a mechanical polluted dystopia ruled by the tyrant Darkseid. Once beings of a single world, these two worlds were constantly in conflict over Darkseid’s quest to find the Anti-Life Equation which would gain him complete control of all living beings thoughts which was opposed by Highfather and his forces. Although it was intended to be limited series, Kirby’s characters were so successful that DC Comic’s eventually had them interact with other well-known superheroes. Darkseid and his forces including his son Kalibak and his uncle Steppenwolf would become foes of Superman and the Justice League and other New Gods like Orion or Mister Miracle would become allies and eventually members of the Justice League. Characters like Steppenwolf, Parademons, Darkseid and others would not exist if not for the incredible imagination of Jack Kirby. Although Steppenwolf was the main villain and Darkseid was only mentioned in Justice League, the fact that Steppenwolf and his ravenous Parademons were teleported away instead of destroyed suggest this war is far from over.

3. The Return of Superman by Gerard Jones, Dan Jurgens, Karl Kesel, Jerry Ordway, Louise Simonson and Roger Stern : After Superman was killed by Doomsday, the world mourned their loss and eventually four new characters appeared all claiming to be Superman. As the multiple Superman comics explored and played with the idea that one of them could be a new Superman, it was revealed that Superman’s body was taken by the Kryptonian robot called The Eradicator and placed in a regeneration matrix. While the four Supermen’s identities were revealed, the original Superman emerged alive although greatly depowered. When he revealed his presence and helped the other Supermen fight Cyborg Superman and Mongul who destroyed Coast City, he revealed his true identity to Lois Lane by referencing something only the true Clark Kent would know. After they defeated the villains, Superman’s powers had returned and he used the black Kryptonian battlesuit that had earlier protected him to fashion a new take on Superman’s traditional costume. While some of his powers were the same or stronger than before, Return of Superman is also famously known for giving Superman the mullet that he was portrayed with for most of the 1990s until his wedding to Lois Lane in 1996. Its central influence to Justice League was the idea of using Kryptonian technology among General Zod’s ship along with the Mother Box to revive Superman body to help unite the League and give them an advantage against Steppenwolf and his forces. Thankfully Superman’s mullet did not translate over to the big screen and remained an unfortunate comic book footnote.

Considering DC Comic’s track record over the last few years, I can more than understand everyone’s skepticism and debate over this film. While it’s not fair to compare it to other comic book team films like Marvel’s The Avengers, I thought the film established these characters and had them work together against a common enemy. Hopefully plot threads and questions for some of these characters can be answered in any of the upcoming solo films so I hope you enjoyed the film and if you didn’t, hey at least it wasn’t as bad as Batman vs. Superman, right?

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THOR RAGNAROK: Source Material

THOR RAGNAROK: Source Material

Posted by on Nov 3, 2017 in News, Source Material

Thor: Ragnarok

Many viewers often leave a comic book movie with the question: “Is that how it happened in the comics?” Here at, we have the answers! Let’s look at the real comics storylines that influenced Marvel’s latest blockbuster hit – THOR: RAGNAROK.

Walter Simonson’s Ragnarok and Roll
Few creators have contributed to the Mighty Thor like writer/artist Walter Simonson. One of his iconic stories features Thor and his allies Lady Sif, Beta Ray Bill, and Loki battling the fire demon Surtur, who sought to massacre both men and gods at the end of the world. Since Surtur and Hela the Asgardian’s Queen of the Underworld are the movie’s antagonists in this film, I suggest picking up the Thor by Walter Simonson Omnibus which contain more of Simonson’s epic stories.

Jason Aaron’s Thor: God of Thunder/Mighty Thor
Director Taika Waititi admitted that Jason Aaron’s Thor storylines inspired his film both in appearance and in content – especially the storyline featuring Gorr: The God Butcher. Appearing in Thor: God of Thunder #2- #11 drawn by Esad Ribic, the otherworldly Gorr lost his family at a young age – a loss that cemented his belief that the gods did not exist. Upon learning that a variety of deities do indeed exist, he sought the Necrosword and spent centuries killing

any god he could find as his revenge for unanswered prayers. He nearly defeated Thor several times but Thor managed to outsmart him with the help of a Godbomb and successfully ended his campaign of terror. Hela’s appearance and abilities were also based on Aaron’s storyline with Ribic. Jason Aaron is known for his Original Sin story which had Thor declared unworthy to lift his hammer and the title of the Mighty Thor would be

maintained by Dr. Jane Foster. Aaron’s Thor run has been widely accepted as a commercial and critical success.

Greg Pak’s Planet Hulk
In Greg Pak’s Planet Hulk, Bruce Banner aka The Hulk is jettisoned from Earth by Marvel heroes who believe Hulk is too dangerous to live on Earth. The plan to send him to a peaceful planet is coincidentally changed and Hulk ends up on the planet Sakaar, where he is forced to battle in gladiator-like games for the planet’s ruler, the Red King. He bonds with his fellow gladiators, eventually usurps the Red King and decides to remain on Sakaar with his new love, Queen Caiera. Gladiator Hulk is definitely one of the smarter Hulk personalities we’ve seen recently, capable of strategy while still channeling Hulk’s rage and strength. As this is first time we’ve seen Hulk since 2015’s Age of Ultron, the atmosphere and change in personality is a welcome evolution of Bruce Banner and his famous green counterpart. If you’d like to see more, you can check out the Planet Hulk animated film or read the Planet Hulk Omnibus written by Greg Pak and illustrated by Carlo Pagulayan and Aaron Lopresti.

Movie interpretations usually end up straying a bit from the original comics. But with these titles, you might better appreciate the characters you’ve seen and have a better perception of the events that unfold within the film. Most importantly, this movie is the final piece in our understanding of the Infinity Stones, the last of which will be revealed in Thor: Ragnarok, and their importance to Thanos in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War. Hope you enjoy the film!

-Drew Mollo is a freelance writer specializing in comics media and has had Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” stuck in his head since April.

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