I did cover Marvel way back in 2015, back when this was just little one page blog over at Wayne-wonder.com but I think with the passing of Stan Lee and now that we have so many more great characters to have fun with it’s time to delve deeper and expand on what we had already.
Now I know the man wasn’t perfect, I know he took quite a lot of credit that wasn’t his to take and some ummm “inspiration” from DC characters, look nobody is perfect but he did keep Marvel going, he didn’t sell it to Michael Jackson and he did end up creating something truly unique, truly remarkable and something that is the envy of Hollywood.
He allowed and encouraged the creation of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe which I think will be ultimately what he will be remembered for by the masses. We are going to have lots of fun with this series of Marvel posts, As I write this I don’t know how many posts I am going to write but its going to be a whole bunch, I think I am going to try and team up different hero’s and create some fun games, crafts activities and party ideas around them in each blog post. As we build on our Marvel ideas I will add more links here but make sure you check out these great fun ideas all based around different Marvel Characters.
At this point with 20 films, most of the world has heard of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU for short) and many people have questioned why the MCU continues to thrive and bring in more and more people when other cinematic universes go belly up.
A Cinematic Universe is something no-one ever thought possible, let alone to become the biggest franchise the world has ever seen. You may be able to argue that some others have attempted it like The Cornetto Trilogy, Tarantino or maybe even Godzilla but I don’t think any of them match what Marvel has created. One of the key differences between a regular franchise, such as The Fast and the Furious or Pitch Perfect films, and a shared universe is the amount of planning and interweaving that goes into each individual film. Its all too easy to make a film that exists solely for the purpose of setting up future installments and expanding a world, rather than a film that stands on its own merits while deftly hinting or winking at its place in the larger mythos.
There are many reason for the success of the MCU, but I think two names come too mind for me straight away and they are Kevin Feige and Joss Whedon. Kevin Feige’s planning and adaptation of the source material has been second to none, there is no way this would have been a success if it wasn’t for him.
Joss Whedon, I think has had the biggest impact to the look and feel of the universe, he wrote the film treatment for X-Men, co-wrote Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor: The Dark World, co-wrote and directed of The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron. He also co-executive produced and co-created Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. with his brother Jed and sister-in-law Maurissa Tancharoenand co-wrote the "pilot" episode.
One of the elements I love so much with the MCU is the planning in Phases. I don’t know if this was planned marketing or it just happened to work but Marvel up to this point keep telling everyone what their plans are (kind of) for each phase. They will announce which characters and films they are working on for every new phase, this then generates a huge buzz and excitement from the fans wondering how these characters will fit into the MCU and what will their relationships be with the other characters. For me it was the announcement of Antman, now I have to make a confession. Growing up I was always more of a DC fan and would mainly read DC comics, I preferred the darker story lines and I’m a big Batman fan so I had never heard of Antman until Marvel announced phase 3 and I was thinking oh well that’s that, its been a good ride but Marvel has run out of steam. I was wrong, Paul Rudd is perfect casting and I think after Guardians of the Galaxy it’s probably my favourite film. Oh and I loved Thor Ragnarok and Spiderman Homecoming and Civil War and the Avengers films oh I just love the MCU.
When watching Marvel movies from their Phase One, movies coming out between Iron Man (2008) and The Avengers (2012), you notice something that is extremely different than the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) and Universals Darkness Universe — they weren’t planning for the future.
Christoper Nolan’s Batman Begins came out in 2005, showing everyone that superhero movies can be cool and Kevin Feige took this chance to produce the start of a new era of superhero movies. With a budget of 140 million, I don’t think anyone expected it to make 4 times that amount back with a total gross of 585.2 million dollars.
I am super excited about the future of the MCU with Captain Marvel, Spiderman Far From Home, Avengers 4 End Game, Black Panther 2 and hopefully Guardians of the Galaxy 3 sadly without James Gunn at the helm.
Hopefully this gives you a good introduction to the MCU, some history of it and where it’s going over the next year, I think this first post is long enough but make sure you come back soon for our first superhero team which is going to be Thor and Iron man, we are going to share some great fun ideas for them and then we are going to keep adding more fun with more characters until you tell me to stop.
Now if you are new to the MCU or you may be introducing your little one to the awesomeness of the MCU? I have included below a brilliant timeline for all the films so far, I hope that I am able to update this as new films come out and I can’t wait to see where Captain Marvel fits in. This order, I think is the best way to watch the films. I have also included the Agents of Shield TV show because it features characters that also appear in the films and it sometimes deals with situations and events from the films too but don’t forget all the Marvel shows on Netflix too.
We have also included below two brand new invites to add to our Party invite Library, we have the Marvel Movie Marathon (Stan Lee alliteration) invite for having some friends round to eat snacks and watch Marvel Movies plus we have the great Marvel Party Invites for kids Birthday Parties too.