Marvel Movies Infographic Gets You Ready for The Avengers

Okay, so you've seen all of the Marvel Studios movies that lead up to The Avengers, which has already opened in some countries and will open in the U.S. on May 4. You know that both Iron Man movies, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger, comprise what is known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. You're ready to see all those heroes finally team up in one spectacular movie, but (if you're like me) you're still kinda sketchy on the exact timeline in which all of those flicks take place.

Marvel Studios
Thanks to Patrick Casey Bennett at CBM, we now have an infographic that puts the Marvel movie events into perspective. Before you check out Bennett's work, here's a few key points to remember -

  • The infographic mentions Fury's Big Week - this was an eight issue comic book series by Marvel that tried to tie the movies together. It showed Nick Fury's attempts to complete the Avengers Initiative - bringing all the superheroes together. Some of the events in the infographic did not appear in a movie, only in the comic book. Fury's Big Week is available to purchase from Comixology.

  • The artifact known as the Tesseract is a major plot point in The Avengers. The Tesseract is what powered the Red Skull's weapons in Captain America: TFA and what Loki needs to conquer our world.

  • Most of the events in Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, and the last five minutes of Captain America: TFA, occurred during the same week. This shows why it was critical for Marvel to have Samuel L. Jackson signed on for all of these flicks. This timeline also illustrates the meticulous planning that must have gone into all of these films in order for The Avengers to make sense chronologically.

*Note - I included the infographic below, but in order to read it, go to CBM for a larger version.

Thanks to SlashFilm

The Avengers Speak - Quotes from the Stars of the Superhero Blockbuster

Marvel Studios
With The Avengers set to open in the USA on May 4 (and a week earlier in the UK, April 27), what better time to hear what the key players in this epic have to say? I've compiled some quotes that you might have  missed in the last few weeks that will get you primed and ready to go on opening day. Both the writer/director, Joss Whedon and the film's stars have given a ton of interviews over the past year, but sometimes the good bits got lost in the flood of hype surrounding the long-awaited team-up. Check out the quotes below and let me know if you have any Avengers news you'd like to share.

Here's how Whedon described his take on the characters -
"It goes back to the very first incarnation of The Avengers, it goes to The Ultimates (an updated comic book version of The Avengers - CoF), it goes to everything about it. It makes no sense, it's ridiculous. There's a thunder god, there's a green "id" giant rage monster, there's Captain America from the 40s, there's Tony Stark who definitely doesn't get along with anybody. Ultimately these people don't belong together and the whole movie is about finding yourself from community. And finding that you not only belong together but you need each other, very much. Obviously this will be expressed through punching but it will be the heart of the film."via io9

Robert Downey Jr.
In the early stages of the production, Robert Downey Jr. wanted Tony Stark/Iron Man to be the lead character and the driving force, but he changed his mind. He explained his first meeting with Whedon this way -
“Well, I said, ‘I need to be in the opening sequence. I don’t know what you’re thinking, but Tony needs to drive this thing.’ He was like, ‘Okay, let’s try that.’ We tried it and it didn’t work, because this is a different sort of thing, the story and the idea and the theme is the theme, and everybody is just an arm of the octopus." via EW

Watch The Avengers trailer here 

Mark Ruffalo
Mark Ruffalo, who plays scientist, Bruce Banner, talked about Banner's struggle with his alter-ego, the Hulk -  
"He's a guy struggling with two sides of himself—the dark and the light—and everything he does in his life is filtered through issues of control. I grew up on the Bill Bixby TV series, which I thought was a really nuanced and real human way to look at the Hulk. I like that the part has those qualities". via EW
Ruffalo on how the Hulk fits into the team - 
"He's like the teammate none of them are sure they want on their team. He's a loose cannon. It's like, 'Just throw a grenade in the middle of the group and let's hope it turns out well"! via YouTube
Scarlett Johansson talks about her character, Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, and fellow assassin, Clint Barton/Hawkeye, played by Jeremy Renner -

Scarlett Johansson
"Our characters have a long history, they've fought together for a long time in a lot of battles in many different countries. We're the two members of this avenging group who are skilled warriors – we have no superpowers. Black Widow is definitely one of the team though. She's not in the cast simply to be a romantic foil or eye candy. She's there to fight, so I never felt like I was the only girl. We all have our various skills and it feels equal". via FilmInk  
Chris Hemsworth, who plays the demi-god, Thor, showed how seriously he took on his role when he explained Thor's motivation -
Chris Hemsworth
"I think [Thor's] motivation is much more of a personal one, in the sense that it’s his brother that is stirring things up. Whereas everyone else, it’s some bad guy who they’ve gotta take down. It’s a different approach for me, or for Thor. He’s constantly having to battle the greater good and what he should do vs. it’s his little brother there... I’ve been frustrated with my brothers at times, or family, but I’m the only one who is allowed to be angry at them. There’s a bit of that." via EW
When I read these quotes, I'm struck by how much thought and preparation was put into the making of The Avengers by all those involved. It seems like Whedon and company strived to elevate this superhero movie way beyond previous films, in terms of character and story. That's fitting, because the source material - the comic book written and drawn by Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, Don Heck, and many others, set the standard for superhero team books.

The early reviews of The Avengers are arriving as I write this, and it sounds like fans and critics alike think the movie has likewise raised the bar for cinema superheroes. Here's to many more awesome installments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe!

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Iron Man and Thor Face Off in New 'Avengers' Clip

Marvel Studios
It looks like The Avengers will include that time-honored comic book tradition of having the heroes battle each other before realizing they're on the same side. Not that I'm complaining. That's always been one of my favorite gimmicks that superhero comics use to grab our attention. Marvel was especially adept at pitting their most popular characters against each other for epic battles. Often they were under some sort of weird mind control by a villain or one of them turned out to be an imposter trying to lure the other into a fight for some nefarious reason. I don't know if one of those scenarios is the backstory of the latest clip from The Avengers, but I can't wait to find out.

Check out the clip below showing Iron Man and Thor in an old-fashioned throwdown and start laying your bets on who'll be the last hero standing. I'm not saying Iron Man has met his match, but you might see Tony Stark actually have a rare look of panic on his face. As my friends across the pond might say, Tony appears to be in a "spot of bother".

The Avengers opens April 27 in the UK and May 4 in the USA.
Thanks to SHH for the heads up.

Watch a Livestream of the Red Carpet at the World Premiere of 'The Avengers'

Tonight (April 11) at 6:00 pm Pacific Time (9:00pm on the East Coast) you can watch a livestream of all the stars of The Avengers arrive for the world premiere of the movie - thanks to Entertainment Weekly. See Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, and Mark Ruffalo as they kick off the biggest superhero movie ever. This is the one red carpet event that every fan in geekdom can't miss! 

The Avengers: Tom Hiddleston Talks about the Villainous Loki

Marvel Studios
If you're like me, there's no such thing as too much Avengers news - what with the movie only a few weeks away (opening April 27 in the UK and May 4 in the US). We're starting to get more info from Marvel about the heroes and villains of their Cinematic Universe who will be sharing the screen for the first time this summer. I couldn't be happier, because I've always thought epics like The Avengers are more fun if I know a little about the characters and their motivations before seeing the flick. I don't mean anything spoilery - just some info on the main players' backstories and what the actors hope to bring to their roles.

Take Loki, for example - we all know he's the main villain who will be battling the combined might of Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, and Hulk, but big fight scenes alone don't make for a great movie. We've got to care about why anyone, even a god, would want to take on a team of A-list heroes. Fortunately, we have a new article on, with none other than Tom Hiddleston giving us some deets on Loki's psyche. As you probably know, Hiddleston is the classically trained British actor who helped make 2011's Thor more than just another superhero movie.

Check out a couple of highlights of the article and for more Loki info, hit that link.

“He’s a shape shifter, he is intelligent, he has strategic gifts, but he also has reservoirs of pain,” explains Tom Hiddleston, who reprises his role as Loki in “Marvel’s The Avengers.” “There’s [also] a degree of disappearing and reappearing, mind control, and self duplication, which throws a spinner in the works of people." 
“The Loki of ‘Thor’ is a confused, damaged prince, and the Loki of Avengers is somebody who understands his own power, understands his own anger, and is able to probably suppress it,” he revealed. “Loki is the God of Mischief, and someone whose actions are very, very difficult for the Avengers to pin down."

More on

Any ideas about how Loki will fare against Earth's Mightiest Heroes? We already know he'll be back for Thor 2, but will he return for revenge or to finish what he started?

Batmobiles Go on Parade in Prep for 'The Dark Knight Rises'

Batman (1943) - DC Comics
One of the things that sets Batman apart from his superhero compatriots has always been his inexhaustible supply of badass wheels. Whether it's in the comics or the movies, the Batmobile has played a major part in defining the Dark Knight as the epitome of caped cool. How Bruce Wayne gets those ultra-high-tech rides designed, built, and maintained without arousing suspicion requires just a little suspension of disbelief, but we'll let that go for now.

All Star Batman and Robin (2005) - DC Comics
While comic book artists have designed some great Batmobiles, it's in the movies where the cars have really taken center stage and grabbed the public's attention. In a way, our fascination with the Batmobile makes sense - a car, even one as tricked out as Batman's is something we can all relate to since we ride in one every day. I think I've deduced part of the psychology behind our Batmobile infatuation. Maybe we all harbor the fantasy that if we had a super-car like Bat's, we too could kick some serious criminal ass. Either that, or we'd just like to blast the hell out that guy who cut us off in traffic. Whatever, both fantasies work for me.

Now, while we're on the subject of Batmobiles, check out the brief video below for a recent "parade" of the cars that the Dark Knight has used in every Batman movie (not counting the 1940s serials) - starting with the hot-rod styled 1966 version, all the way to Christopher Nolan's radical re-design for Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Warner Bros. staged this gathering of Batmobiles last month (March 2012), in Burbank, California as a promotion for the upcoming release of The Dark Knight Rises (opening on July 20). After watching this, I couldn't help wonder what the designers have in store for future movies, when the Batman franchise is eventually re-booted. Any ideas?

Thanks to EW for the heads up.