Warning: The following article contains justifications, backronyms, and head-canon. Reader discretion is advised.
The moment when the scales fell from my eyes was about midway in the first Iron Man (2008) film. Tony Stark has escaped his captors, the Ten Rings, and has returned home. Pepper Potts is approached by a well groomed civil servant type who’d like a few words with Tony Stark.
But here’s the thing. He introduced himself as Phil Coulson, agent of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division. That was an ingenious acronym in a storytelling sense. By 2008 the word “homeland” had been abused so much that it would make anyone’s brain shut down. Okay, I picked it up, but for the majority of viewers it wouldn’t have meant anything.
Coulson leads a strike force against Obadiah Stane (that doesn’t turn out so well), and eventually he asks Pepper to just call them S.H.I.E.L.D. Then we get the post-credits sequence. Spoiler: Nick Fury shows up.
Follow me after the jump where we’ll take a closer look at S.H.I.E.L.D. through its ever-changing state in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
Biff Bam Pop’s It’s All Connected: Golden Glitter & An Underlying Darkness-The Legacy of Tony Stark In The MCU (Part 2)
Part one of Biff Bam Pop’s It’s All Connected: Golden Glitter & An Underlying Darkness-The Legacy of Tony Stark In The MCU took a close look at the similarities between father and son, Howard Stark and Tony Stark, including their personalities, business interests and shared legacies. At the same time, it laid the groundwork for the younger Stark’s role as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s greatest purveyor of malice.
Tony Stark and his Stark Industries conglomerate create weapons of mass destruction. This is known.
Midway through the first Iron Man (2008) film, after being tortured and, after seeing his company’s products sold to terrorist organizations and used for evil purposes, Stark comes to a marked and important turning point in his life wherein he states: “I don’t want a body count to be our only legacy.” An altruistic statement, to be certain, by a man who’s bravado is only surpassed by his bank account. Still, it’s a significant distinction to make that, at this time, Stark truly sets out on the path to becoming heroic.
But in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, everything that Tony Stark creates for noble, upstanding and heroic purposes always gets twisted in ways that transform that sense of benevolence into objects of mankind’s destruction.
Avengers: Age of Ultron opens tonight across America, and has been out in most of the world for a week now. Not only the Avengers, but also their adversary Ultron, are everywhere, but what do we really know about Ultron? Who is he, what is he? Ultron has been called the Avengers’ greatest enemy, and he is, because it’s personal, he’s family. Meet me after the jump for the meltdown on Marvel’s malevolent machine messiah, Ultron!
Biff Bam Pop’s It’s All Connected: Golden Glitter & An Underlying Darkness-The Legacy of Tony Stark In The MCU (Part 1)
The main purveyors of superhero stories are, of course, the comic book publishers, large, medium and small. Marvel Comics, arguably the most globally successful of those creators, has birthed no fewer than a grandiose thirty-four films over the last decade and a half, with two more set to be released later this very calendar year. The most eagerly anticipated of those yet-to-be seen films must be Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), a film whose original garnered over $1.5 billion in box office receipts in 2012.
That’s a tidy sum for movie that had an approximate budget of $220 million. And that bottom line doesn’t include the lucrative franchise offerings of licensed toys, video games, magazines and all the ancillary products featuring the Marvel Comics characters of Captain America, the Hulk, Nick Fury and Thor.
Yes, everyone loves a superhero. And these days, everyone loves the character of Tony Stark, the superhero known around the globe as Iron Man.
Brilliantly played with zest and aplomb by actor Robert Downey Jr., Tony Stark, the Iron Man, is known as the quick thinking, fast-talking, faster acting, mustachioed playboy with a golden ticket in the form of his parentage, as well as an all-important golden suit of high-tech armor.
But beyond his humorous quips, his intrinsic glamour and his numerous heroic deeds, there lays a dark lining to the legacy of everyone’s favourite, shining character. It is a legacy that Tony Stark has both inherited and, in fact, cultivated, through his own personal failings.
And so much good and bad in the Marvel Cinematic Universe exists because it.
Good guys, bad guys, S.H.I.E.L.D., Hydra, sometimes it’s hard to tell who’s who, and it’s even harder to tell that when you’re talking about the deadly world of espionage and double agents. Everyone lies for a living, no one tells the whole truth, so who can you trust? On this series we have seen more than a few turncoats and double agents, and it’s not over. Meet me after the jump for my review of the aptly titled “Nothing Personal.”
Change just for the sake of change. I hate it. I’ll counter it with another cliché. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This is why “Avengers Assemble” irritates me so much. The source material is terrific. The source material produced a bestselling comic book franchise, and a billion dollar movie blockbuster – why muck with it? Those were my very thoughts when I first saw the teenaged Molecule Man in this newest episode of “Avengers Assemble,” but things are not always what they seem, as you’ll see in my review of “Molecule Kid,” after the jump.
The worst has happened. The Avengers’ greatest enemy, Ultron, has won. The Earth is conquered, the human race decimated and enslaved, and the Avengers on the run. In a last ditch effort to stop the evil artificial intelligence, our heroes turned to time travel for salvation.
Wolverine and the Invisible Woman traveled back in time and thoughtlessly murdered Avenger Hank Pym before he created Ultron, but this only made things worse when they returned to the present. How can our heroes reset time and save us all? Can they? Find out in my review of Age of Ultron Book Nine after the jump.
Here is a very special Trailer Time for Mighty Marvel March here at Biff Bam Pop! Ladies and gentlemen, Avengers and civilians, super-villains and metahuman terrorists, may I present the new trailer for Iron Man 3!
Wow. We get a better look at the Iron Patriot, at the Mandarin, a whole bunch of different Iron Man armors, and was that the Hulkbuster??
Iron Man 3 stars Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, and Ben Kingsley. The film opens on May 3rd, 2013, and that day just can’t get here fast enough!
What do you folks think?