It’s not coincidence that Scarlett Johansson guest hosted SNL on the same weekend that Avengers: Age of Ultron opened in theaters, so of course the show had to do a Marvel sketch of some kind. And unlike the previous Avengers sketches cooked up for Chris Hemsworth and Jeremy Renner, this one is actually a pretty effective dig at the Marvel movie machine. More importantly, it’s very funny.
With the arrival of Avengers: Age of Ultron this week, we are officially 11 movies deep in the wildly ambitious and massively popular Marvel Cinematic Universe. Not including TV shows like Daredevil, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter, that’s approximately 23 hours of superhero content, or 1,384 minutes to be exact. When you have that much content and so many recurring characters, patterns start to emerge. You begin to see the habits and tropes that define any franchise played out on an unprecedented scale. It encourages some genuine nerdery. Just how many times does Captain America throw his shield? How many times does Thor boast? How many alcoholic beverages does Tony Stark consume?
By the time you read this, I will be on my way to “The Ultimate Marvel Marathon.” It’s 11 films back to back to back; all the official entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, from 2008’s Iron Man to this week’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. By the time the final credits roll, I will have sat through — and hopefully written about — approximately 27 hours of superhero movies.
The comic book movie craze may have exploded in recent years, but there have been movies and TV shows based on our favorite comics for decades. For all the action we see on screen, however, we hardly...
One of the main reasons so many people have taken to the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the interconnectedness of it all. At the same time, the attention to continuity and building a new superhero canon has wreaked no small amount of havoc on the creative end, where producers and writers and directors have all butted heads in various ways. The latest bit of weirdness comes via the increasingly honest Joss Whedon, who hasn’t been shy about his friction with Marvel Studios while he’s been promoting Avengers: Age of Ultron. According to Whedon, Marvel Studios wasn't very happy with the decision to make a TV show starring a character (Agent Coulson) they had just killed off in the movies.
At some point, we’re not sure when, Sesame Street stopped being a low-key educational children’s program and started being an educational children’s program that finds time to create internet-friendly parodies of whatever pop culture event is huge in a given week. So yeah, of course the show has made an Avengers-themed sketch and of course it’s called The Aveggies: Age of Bon Bon and of course it recasts Cookie Monster as the Hulk.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has performed an impressive amount of legwork setting up The Avengers: Age of Ultron, but for many a Marvel fan, it always comes back to Coulson standing side-by-side with his fellow Avengers. That reunion may yet take awhile, as Joss Whedon apparently still considers Phil Coulson dead, as of the Age of Ultron.
The moment Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was announced, fans wondered if any Avengers might pop in on Coulson’s new adventures. Recent rumors suggested Netflix’s Defenders might instead cross over to celluloid in Avengers: Infinity War, but a new report offers surprising insight on which MCU TV characters may make the leap, and what it would take to see Avengers on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
When an actor signs on to play a superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, they typically aren’t signing up for a single movie. They’re signing up for a whole bunch — sometimes as many as nine films — so Marvel can plan ahead for years, scoping out where a character can go over the course of several appearances. But contracts run out and some actors managed to finagle their way in without signing up for a bunch of movies in advance. So superhero movie fans always wonder just how many more times they’ll get to see Chris Evans play Captain America or Robert Downey Jr. play Iron Man. How many movies are left on their contract? What’s next?
Without a great adversary, what good is a superhero? Without someone to punch in the face, Batman would just be some rich schmuck driving around in a weird-looking tank. Without someone on the receiving end of his shield, Captain America would just hang out at the V.F.W. all day. So let’s celebrate the villains. Let’s bring on the bad guys and give them their moment in the sun. With Avengers: Age of Ultron introducing another memorable baddie in the form of James Spader’s titular metallic menace, let’s take some time to run down the 10 greatest superhero movie villains of all time.