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Marvel Cinematic Universe Discussion

It appears that the most common place to discuss the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the post release thread for the most recent film. I'm not going to be anal retentive forum guy, but if people want to keep discussion of how the films meld together, with Agents of SHIELD and the Netflix series, this thread is here if you want it. As hard as the detractors may find it to believe, it is possible to talk about the merits of the individual films without talking about the crossover aspects.

To kick things off, I have codified the "rankings" that erupted in the Thor: The Dark World post release because Schwartz was careless. Rankings to follow after I make them pretty.

ETA: Edited to make it less anal retentive forum guyish

AMikeI, You're right the...Schwartz was not with him. I think this thread is a...Marvelous Idea. It is only 5 Months til Captain America...Throws his mighty Shield.

<br />

Click to embiggen

Interesting things:

Three different movies, Iron Man, Iron Man 3, and Thor 2, are someone's favorite and someone else's least favorite

No two people have the same ranking

Avengers is the clear favorite with no one ranking it lower than 5th, and a solid place and change above Iron Man.

There appears to be some solid space between the top 2 and the middle of the pack. Cap, Thor, Thor 2, Iron Man 3 are separated by less than 3/4 of a point

Incredible Hulk and Iron Man 2 are neck and neck in terms of forgettableness.

ETA: That list is sorted based on the current ranks. D.T. is closest to the CHUD Consensus.


Now THIS is something cool to do with all your precious... listssssssssss.

AI endorse charts like this!
AWow. I am impressed. I will say, as I said in the other thread, Thor 2 could wind up moving up in my ranks. I was afraid to put it higher because I wanted to give it some time to sink in. I didn't want to get caught up in the I just saw it and it was awesome thing, and wind up ranking it higher than I would a year from now, if that makes sense.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

Mike that's fucking brilliant!


Well done dude. Other interesting thing is that, given the way people were talking it up earlier in the year I could have sworn that Iron Man 3 would end up higher than 6th place.

I might have been born yesterday sir, but I stayed up all night!
AI agree about Iron Man 3. 3-6 are really close.

Needless to say, this whole experiment is terribly unscientific as some people think the top 4 are excellent and the bottom 2 middling, while some think the top are ok and the bottom are crimes against humanity. There's no weighting.

What's the Netflix series?  I think I missed something!  Is it on-going?  HALP!

Oh, and very cool idea Mike!


Originally Posted by Teitr Styrr View Post

What's the Netflix series?  I think I missed something!

You did.

AI'm a little late to the party, but here's my rankings (that no one asked for!):

1- The Avengers
2- Iron Man
3- Iron Man 3
4- Thor
5- Captain America
6- Thor: The Dark World
7- Iron Man 2
8- The Incredible Hulk

I must confess that I was a bit drowsy while watching "Thor: The Dark World", so it may move up or down after I give it a second viewing. "Captain America" has moved up my rankings, after initially being my least favorite. It still has an incredibly weak second half, and I won't ever really forgive it for wasting the Red Skull (still hoping he makes a comeback).

Thank you sir!  Whew, I need to pay better attention.

ETA:  To the sexy MrSaxon, of course.

AAh! I intended to make a more refined and detailed list of my rankings and I see someone included my spur-of-the-moment rankings in the chart! But, I'll likely watch all the films in a marathon first before I ever do that, probably in April in time for THE WINTER SOLDIER. So what I'll do is just list the films in chronological order and add comments for each. I'll be getting into some spoilers here concerning THOR: THE DARK WORLD.

IRON MAN - It's enjoyable, I had fun seeing it in theaters, but it doesn't really stick with me. RDJ is obviously the appeal of this film, but other than that... What else? I just feel it's overrated. Too cookie cutter and Jeff Bridges seems wasted in what is a pretty lame villain.

THE INCREDIBLE HULK - Saw this one in theaters too and I remember actually thinking it was better than IRON MAN. Revisiting it only once last year, I enjoyed it as much. My comment for it in 2008 was that it was a very solid entry. I liked it as a chase film, reintroducing this Hulk for the then brand new MCU that was only just kick-started a month or two earlier. I'm still upset Norton did not return, because I found him the most compelling and I like that he's not built as a linebacker as Bana and Ruffalo. Where I call IRON MAN overrated, I call this underrated.

IRON MAN 2 - This is a pretty messy film, but it's kind of an enjoyable mess and I find the story elements in her far more engaging than what was in the first film. Apparently there was some issues between the filmmakers and the studio on what the film was supposed to do. The filmmakers wanted to do their own thing while Marvel wanted to include stuff that would build up for THE AVENGERS, so sometimes it feels less like its own film and more like an AVENGERS set-up, which is why many probably rank it. Despite those issue, I enjoyed most of it. Sam Rockwell is one of the best additions and I really hope to see him pop up sooner in this universe.

THOR - This one took me by surprise. Seeing the trailer in theaters, I thought it looked like a turkey. I kept thinking "come on, no one is gonna buy into this shit, Marvel, why are you even trying?" Months after it was released, I decided to attend a free screening at my college. I enjoyed it in a way I did not expect to. It was incredibly goofy, but it felt earnest and most of all it was a lot of fun. You can tell that by seeing how much the actors are playing it up but not too much so that the story could work. It's like THE LION IN WINTER done as a summer blockbuster, but in a good way.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER - This one definitely tickled my fancy. As a long time lover of THE ROCKETEER, it was nice to see Johnston jump back as a director of a period superhero film. He was a very good fit for something like CAPTAIN AMERICA where the good guy is simply the good guy from the start, no contemplating on whether he should be a hero or not, he just is. It's in bones. I know "character acrs" make it more interesting for many and that this was thought to be boring because never goes through what Peter Parker, Bruce Wayne, or Tony Stark did, but once in awhile I like having a hero that's simply inspiring. The first comic book cover with him is punching Hitler, so right from there you know it's all fantasy wish fulfillment and I think this movie captures it.

THE AVENGERS - Hard to comment on this one at the moment. It's great to see the heroes together and everything, but it really is just one big spectacle that does its job right but doesn't stay with you very much. However, unlike IRON MAN, I think it pulls off the spectacle much better and then of course there's Loki, who just works. Can't make further comments, I'll have to watch it again later though.

IRON MAN 3 - This is an odd one for me. When I first saw it I loved it and thought it was probably the best of all the films. Then I saw it again on DVD, and again later but it started to drop for me. There's parts I really like in it. The Mandarin reveal is very funny and the free-fall rescue is very well executed. Other than that, I'm not too crazy about the rest of the film. Crazy, because I was looking so forward to this ever since I heard that Shane Black was directing and writing it. That automatically meant that it would be my favorite of the Marvel films, but that's not the case. I dunno, I guess I'll need to see how it pans out again next time when I do a full on marathon.

THOR: THE DARK WORLD - Found it to be an improvement from the first, which I did not expect. The villain is a non-entity, and the romance doesn't seem to go beyond "hey, you're hot, I love you", but there's a lot in this film that makes up for it. Loki being one of them. I was surprised when his "death" happened because not only was it ballsy, it could have been a very effective way of writing him off. At the same time however, he's Loki! It's like killing Spock, you may have it work, but at the same time can you really keep moving without missing his presence? Anyway, of course it was all smokescreen so at the end we see Loki at the throne and that immediately intrigues me enough to want to see the next installment.

EDIT: Additional comment

AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. - So far this has been kind of a disappointment for me. Other than Coulson, I really don't give a fucking shit about the 90210 cast. It annoys me that the show focuses more on that hacker, because she's uninteresting while Clark Gregg is kind of wasted in what could have been a potentially new take on Coulson since he's supposed to be the show's lead, even though he really isn't.

Nice job with the chart, Mike.  Makes an interesting summary of a complex universe.

AHaving just watched IRON MAN 2 tonight, I think that pretty much seals the deal for me as being my favorite of the three Iron Man films. People say its unfocused, I say it just has a lot more going on to find and come back to. It rewards rewatching. If I had to rank them right now, I'd probably go with 2, 1, 3. Absolutely.

AThor 2 was horrible , iron man is great cause it's your first look at the suit and tech that goes along with it, three was a one trick pony , in n out of the suit the hole movie........

My current Marvel list, in order of Film I Enjoyed The Most - Film I Enjoyed The Least;

1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

2. The Avengers

3. Thor: The Dark World

4. Captain America: The First Avenger

5. Iron Man 3

6. Iron Man

7. Thor

8. The Incredible Hulk

9. Iron Man 2


Originally Posted by Mr. Stockslivevan View Post

Having just watched IRON MAN 2 tonight, I think that pretty much seals the deal for me as being my favorite of the three Iron Man films. People say its unfocused, I say it just has a lot more going on to find and come back to. It rewards rewatching. If I had to rank them right now, I'd probably go with 2, 1, 3. Absolutely.

Not my favorite of the Iron Man films or of the Marvel universe. However for all of it's problems I do think it works pretty well, especially after a couple viewings. Micky Rourke is solid and Don Cheadle actually has something to do. Actually to me that is the biggest misstep of the movie. Less time on Tony looking for some element that his father knew about for some reason even though I doubt he could have predicted Tony needing it for such a thing....and more on the friendship between Tony and Rhodey would have been nice.


IRON MAN 2 is a complete chore.  I'm at a point where I can't even sit through it.

Anyway, my list for future chart purposes:




4. IRON MAN 3 (B+)

5. IRON MAN (B+)

6. THOR (B-)



9. IRON MAN 2 (D)


It should be interesting to see what happens to the chart after Winter Soldier releases here in the US. Anyway, my list is:

1. Avengers

2. Iron Man

3. Thor/Captain America/Iron Man 3 (too close to call for me)

4. Incredible Hulk

5. Iron Man 2/Thor: The Dark World (ditto)

6. Agents of SHIELD


Originally Posted by Mr. Stockslivevan View Post

 I know "character acrs" make it more interesting for many and that this was thought to be boring because never goes through what Peter Parker, Bruce Wayne, or Tony Stark did, but once in awhile I like having a hero that's simply inspiring. The first comic book cover with him is punching Hitler, so right from there you know it's all fantasy wish fulfillment and I think this movie captures it.

There is nothing wrong with the protagonist not going through an arc/change.  What matters in those cases is that a character has convictions and has to fight/suffer for those convictions in a way that get the world around him to change.  That is an arc that can be just as interesting.

AAnd that's why in some alternate universe, the same one where Milius directed King Conan and Verhoeven directed Crusade, Whedon had the X-Men films instead of the status quo Avengers.

Anyone hear the rumor about Michael C. Hall playing Daredevil? Damn, that's actually really good casting. Like, hard for me to think of an improvement casting. He's a bit old for an origin story, but DD's origin is no great shakes--he really gets interesting once it's been a few years, his girlfriend's come back as an assassin, he's in a war of attrition with the Kingpin, and Karen Page is doing porn. The Daredevil movie actually had a good idea (if ripped off from Batman '89) of ol' Hornhead having operated for years in the shadows as an urban legend, the execution was just... Affleckicious. O

But anyway, a few other options, keeping in mind that it's for Netflix, so we're thinking TV stars or film stars who are in a position to slum. I actually think Jensen Ackles could be a good choice; Matt Murdock fits into his wheelhouse of comedy and angst, but the character is different enough from Dean Winchester to not make the show Supernatural With Superheroes.

Chris Pine, maybe? I haven't really seen him do a lot of heavy lifting, acting wise, but clearly the guy's phone isn't ringing for This Means War 2, so why not? I'd definitely buy his Matt Murdock as getting around as much as the comic book Matt Murdock, whose tragic heterosexuality is the only thing that has kept him from literally fucking every single person in the Marvel Universe.

But my number one draft pick would be Aaron Paul. He's young enough for the origin story, he tried the movie star thing with Need For Speed but through no fault of his own it didn't really work out (America just didn't want another Fast & Furious series. Sorry, dude. You didn't bring enough DIESEL POWER to the table). Like imagine season one of Daredevil with him as a cocky, rakish, college-aged Daredevil in an adaptation of Miller's Man Without Fear. He strikes up this great relationship with this chick Elektra Natchios, but things don't work out. Season two rolls around, it's a couple years later, she comes back--boom, ninja assassin. Imagine Aaron Paul ACTING that shit. Marvel would basically be paying him to stab people in the heart via Netflix Instant, and I would eat it up like Hannibal's cooking.


In discussion on this and other forums that Warner Brothers NEEDS the next Man of Steel / Batman movie to make bank and launch some kind of DC renaissance. I thought I would look at it in some kind of mathematical way, so I did some numbers comparing the Fox Marvel properties, the Sony Marvel Properties, the Marvel Studios properties, Marvel (other) properties, and Warner Brothers.

For reference, I am only doing superhero films based on works by those two publishers. I will list the movies included below. I chose 2000 as a starting point because X-Men marked the launch of the contemporary superhero movie era, in my opinion. At that point it had been three years since Batman and Robin.

Sony (6) Fox (10) Marvel Studios (9) Marvel Other (5) Warner Brothers (8)
Box Office Gross $3,609,865,398











Avg. RT Score 61% 54% 79% 41% 62%

Notably, all nine of the Marvel Studios pictures were released in the last 6 years and thus their numbers benefit from inflation, 3D, and an explosion in overseas markets. But given that they have taken home more in "profit" than WB has taken home in revenue, and that they have at least three movies coming out before the next WB entry, one of them an almost guaranteed billion dollar entry... holy crap.

Now obviously box office and the entertainment industry are not zero sum. A dollar earned by Marvel Studios is not one taken away from WB or vice versa. But the fact remains there is nothing keeping Warner Brother from replicating what Marvel is doing except... what? Desire? Will? Competence? What is it? They had (and STILL have) a huge lead in name recognition for their characters.

And anything said about Warner Brothers goes triple for Fox. Holy crap, Fox, get your shit together.

Warner Brothers and Sony are tied for the highest rated movie via Rotten Tomatoes (The Dark Knight, Spider-man 2, 94%), followed by (Iron Man, 93%) (Avengers, 92%) and (Winter Soldier, 89%)

Warner Brothers also has the worst received movie (Catwoman, 9%), followed by (Elektra, 10%), (Spirit of Vengeance, 18%), and a three-way tie (Ghost Rider, Blade:Trinity, Green Lantern, all 26%). Those two dogs are what pull WB down.

(For the record, I am a huge Marvel fan as many here know, but before accusations of fanboyism fly, the Dark Knight is the best superhero movie of the modern era, Batman '89 is a defining moment of my adolescence, and I really liked Begins.)


Numbers in parentheses denote number of films released

Box Office Gross = Unadjusted worldwide income

"Profit" = Unadjusted worldwide income - production budget (as listed on (If any one can point me to a source for marketing numbers, I will gladly update)

Sony: Spider-man (1,2,3, Amazing), Ghost Rider (and Spirit of Vengeance)

Fox: X-Men (1,2,3, First Class, Origins, The Wolverine), Fantastic Four (and Rise of the Silver Surfer), Daredevil (and Elektra)

Marvel Studios: Iron Man (1,2,3), Cap (1,2*), Thor (1,2), Incredible Hulk, Avengers   *Winter Soldier is obviously still rolling

Other: Punisher (and War Zone), Blade (2,3), Hulk

Warner Bros: Catwoman, Dark Knight Trilogy, Superman Returns, Watchmen, Man of Steel, Green Lantern


I put this together to take a look at some of the "trends" for Marvel movies of late.

If you look at the films in total, you can see three things:

1) as a whole, Marvel has not relied on the Chase the MacGuffin plot but they have relied on it heavily since the Avengers.

2) The stakes are getting... bigger, but less palpable since the Avengers.

3) Villain motivations are really all over the board and stuff.

When you lay it out, it's kind of easy to see why Thor: The Dark World is left holding the bag in terms of actual quality story telling. It's got the chase the MacGuffin plot, the broadest (and therefore least specific and palpable, stakes, and the villain with the least motivation.


I thought more than nihilism, Malekith's motivation was to return the universe as it was when the Dark Elves existed, going back to the old state of the world and perhaps make it something they found livable/acceptable/conquerable?




I always try to rebump it when people start ranking the damn movies.

It never works.


Marvel Ranks as culled from the Guardians of the Galaxy thread.

Click to embiggen

Apologies if I missed your rankings. After four pages with none I stopped looking. Once again, no two people have the same rankings, and none match the CHUD consensus. There are a pretty clear Top 4, Middle 4, and Bottom 2 (or possibly a Middle 2 and Bottom 4).

I do not like manipulating ordinal data for any number of reasons. I wonder if I could persuade people here to score the MCU movies from 1-10 via a Google form? I'd like to be able to actually dig into the board's perceptions and correlate them to critic ratings, box office, etc. Rankings just won't be helpful for that. I'd like at least 30 people to fill that out. Doable, ya think?

ETA: Please note, the list above was done just after The Dark World's release and at that time it was ranked 3rd in the MCU (out of 8). Now it is 8th (out of 10).

Where it belongs.

Asick aberrant behavior!!'

Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post

sick aberrant behavior!!'

So.... that's a no?
AHahahaha no. Don't listen to me.
AYeah, that's funny about Thor 2. I remember folks had a lot more fun with it than they seem to remember in the Guardians thread.

I'll do your Google form Mike.
AYou're all I need bucho!

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