With the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Studios did the unthinkable: it recreated the shared continuity of superhero comics on the big screen. Just like in the source material upon which it’s based, the MCU feels like a cohesive reality, complete with a rich history.
Unfortunately, the MCU also has something else in common with the comics: namely, the timeline is a bit of a mess. It’s easy to see how this has happened – thanks to the growing number of films and TV shows in the franchise, it’s virtually impossible to make these competing stories fit together neatly.
Of course, for most viewers, this isn’t much of an issue – all they’re interested in is watching an entertaining story. This stance is shared by the studio itself, which – as illustrated by the Phase Three slate of movies – is clearly interested in storytelling first, and accurate time-keeping second.
While this is the right approach to take, part of the MCU’s appeal is its interconnected nature. When the overall sequence of events in the franchise doesn’t add-up, it’s a bit disappointing.
With this in mind, here are 15 Things That Make No Sense About The MCU’s Timeline.
Unlike in the real world, in comics, death is rarely the end. Over the course of nearly a century of superheroics, almost every crimefighter who ever slapped on a mask or pulled on a cape has died (or appeared to die) – only to return from the grave further down the line.
Indeed, we’re at the point now where the very concept of death has lost virtually all meaning within the confines of the genre. After all, why bother getting upset over the death of your favorite do-gooder, when they’re almost certain to be back on their feet again in a year’s time?
And so it is that we find ourselves in the unusual scenario where it’s only when a superhero bites the bullet and doesn’t recover that we consider it remarkable. It’s easy to forget that this does happen from time to time. Sadly, it turns out not every hero gets a do-over. Conversely, there are some heroes that have undertaken the death/rebirth cycle so often that even their allies barely bother organizing a funeral!
With this in mind, here is a round-up of 12 Superheroes Who Died And Stayed Dead (And 8 Who Won’t Stop Coming Back).
Comic books have a proud tradition of inventing incredible substances that possess unique properties real-world manufacturers can only dream about. Of these, one of the most amazing is vibranium, one of the rarest and most precious metals found in the Marvel Universe.
Used in the fabrication of such iconic items as Captain America’s shield and Black Panther’s suit of mesh armor, vibranium is quite literally an out of this world material. Crashing to Earth as a meteorite millennia ago, this extraterrestrial metal comes in several varieties, each with its own remarkable attributes.
Of these, the most well-known (and highly coveted) is that found in the African nation Wakanda, the home of Black Panther and his people. Other types include Antarctic vibranium (also known as “Anti-Metal”) and artificial vibranium – man-made substitutes like NuForm and Reverbium, both of which are far less stable than the real deal.
With Black Panther pouncing into cinemas – and vibranium playing a key part in proceedings – we thought now was as good a time as ever to pull together a handy primer on the properties of this fantastic metal.
To that end, here are 15 Things You Didn’t Know Vibranium Could Do.
The prevailing wisdom among movie fans is that a big-screen blockbuster lives or dies based off the quality of its main villain. It’s not hard to see why – after all, if the baddie in question isn’t a memorable or credible threat, watching our heroes triumph over them isn’t particularly satisfying.
There are exceptions to this rule, of course. With the exception of Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, the rogues gallery of the wildly successful Marvel Cinematic Universe have largely proven a disappointing bunch. But even so, the marketing machines behind virtually every blockbuster film – including those released by Marvel Studios – put a significant amount of effort into generating pre-release excitement around the supposed awesomeness of their villains.
Sometimes, these big bads really do live up to the promotional buzz. Brilliantly twisted creations like Heath Ledger’s Joker have since gone on to become iconic examples of what a cinematic antagonist should be, far exceeding audience expectations along the way. But more often than not, the hoopla surrounding these nefarious characters turns out to be grossly exaggerated.
Check out our list of 15Major Movie Villains That Didn’t Live Up To The Hype.
Over the course of nine years, 22 films (including shorts) and 10 TV shows, Marvel Studios has wowed fans by creating a shared cinematic universe to rival its comics counterpart. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is – much like its source material – built around telling interconnected, ongoing stories that branch across several franchise installments. Sure, some MCU entries fit into this bigger picture better than others, but broadly speaking, all of Marvel’s properties are tied together, and regularly introduce (or further develop) narrative threads designed to pay-off further down the line.
To its credit, Marvel has done a pretty good job of making everything fit together, considering how many different sub-franchises are in production at any given moment. Even so, cracks in this supposedly unified front have started to show as the MCU has expanded – heck, not even the in-universe timeline makes sense anymore!
That’s not the only thing that’s gone awry, either. While Marvel has done a great job of keeping its major, predominantly Avengers–related narrative elements bubbling along nicely, the studio has also ditched several others along the way. The reasons for this vary – maybe the filmmakers involved convinced the studio to go in a different direction, or perhaps the actors required were no longer available.
Regardless, here are 15 MCU Plotlines That Were Completely Abandoned.
When it comes to costume design in movies, it used to be the case that filmmakers were limited by what could be achieved using real-world fabrics and prosthetics. Basically, if a design couldn’t be made using existing materials – and even if it could be made, if it was too unwieldy to actually wear – it was back to the drawing board!
Following the advent of computer generated imagery, however, all of that changed. Now, whatever costume designers can dream up can theoretically be made a reality, thanks to the magic of visual effects. Indeed, in a post-CGI world, actors regularly find themselves attired in the most otherworldly clothing imaginable, especially those starring in fantasy and sci-fi outings.
However, while the current trend towards CGI costumes has yielded some truly breathtaking results – bringing to life characters we never expected to see in a live-action film – more than a few have fallen flat.
Typically, this is because either the digital “tailoring” and “make-up” involved failed to convincingly portray whatever it was intended to mimic, or it’s because the end product wasn’t aesthetically pleasing. Either way, this usually suggests that the filmmakers might have been better off going down a more traditional route!
Here are 6 Terrible CGI Costumes That Ruined Movies (And 9 That Are Amazing).
Given comics is a largely serialized medium, it’s not surprising that its history is filled with brilliant – and not-so-brilliant! – plot twists. After all, what better way to entice readers to read the next chapter than with an earth-shattering last page cliffhanger that leaves them thinking “How are they ever gonna resolve this?!”
There’s also few things more rewarding as a fan than seeing a meticulously crafted – and cleverly hidden – plot twist come to fruition. It’s the thrill of being surprised, combined with the satisfaction of knowing that the writer involved has played fair by providing ample little hints in the lead up to the big reveal.
Of course, some comic book plot twists are better executed than others. Indeed, more than a few have fallen flat, often because they either made no sense, or actively damaged decades worth of stories that proceeded them.
In instances like these, it sometimes seems like the twist was designed more from a shock value point of view, rather than as a payoff designed to enrich past and future adventures. Still, regardless of whether a major comic book reveal was outstanding or underwhelming, they’re almost always memorable.
With this in mind, we’ve taken a look back at 20 of comic’s biggest narrative surprises, in order to round up this list of the 10 Best (And 10 Worst) Comic Book Plot Twists of all time.