Tag Archives: marvel

Infinity Predictions Outcome

Today I will look at the guesses I made about “Infinity War” a couple of weeks ago and see how I did.  This blog will contain SPOILERS!  Lots and lots of SPOILERS!  If you haven’t seen the movie this is not the blog for you.

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So I actually didn’t do very well with my predictions which surprised me a little.  I am fairly well versed in the Marvel Universe and thought I would do better.  Oh well.

My first prediction was spot on.  Loki did, in fact, steal the Tesseract.  It was the cause of the attack on the Asgardian refugee ship.  I did not anticipate the fact that the attack would lead to Loki’s death and the genocide of the Asgardian race.  Still, I’m calling that a correct prediction.

My second prediction was completely off.  Adam Warlock was nowhere to be seen in the movie.  The Soul Stone had nothing to do with him, the Sovereign, or anything even remotely mentioned in Guardians of the Galaxy.  In fact, if it had not been watched over by the Red Skull, it would have had no connection to any previous MCU movie.  I can’t imagine a way I could have gotten this more wrong.

Finally, my third prediction was partially right.  I was right that Vision would die, but the circumstances I guessed at were wrong.  Rather than the battle for the Mind Stone starting the battle on Earth, it ended it.  Vision’s death was the climactic moment that lead into the death of half of the people in the universe.  I’m calling that prediction a tie.  Correct in result, but completely wrong in implementation.  My high school math teacher would have given me half credit for that so I am too.

Something I didn’t predict officially, but took as a given was that the Avengers would win.  They would defeat or delay Thanos in his objectives.  This would provide the impetus for the second Infinity War movie that would lead to his ultimate defeat.  In that I was so very wrong.  The good guys lost!  I didn’t even know that was possible in a Marvel movie.  Not only did the bad guy win, he remade the entire universe killing half of the population in the bargain.  I’m not quite sure what to do with this.  I know that there is another Infinity War movie.  I know that there are other movies starring characters who are ‘dead’ that have been announced.  But for the life of me, I have no idea how everyone is going to come back.  Or, if I’m honest, IF they are all going to come back.  Since movies have been announced for Black Panther, Spiderman, and Doctor Strange, and the Guardians, we can assume that the three title characters and at least a couple of the Guardians will be back.  But I am skeptical that everyone will return and I actually have a couple good reasons for that.

First,  I think that anyone who died outside the Infinity Gauntlet event is gone.  While there might be some way to mitigate or undo Thanos’ big event, the people who died in the lead up to it are probably gone. Which leaves Loki, the Asgardians, Gamora, and Vision beyond the possibility of help.

Second, it is much easier to destroy than it is to create.  Thanos can think, “Get rid of half of the being in the universe” and it will happen.  Undoing that will require someone knowing who all was undone and recreating them.  Imagine having to recreate a document with only half of it to work from.  While we might be able to get most of it right, it would never be exactly the same.  The only person who might be able to do that is Dr. Strange and he is sadly in need of restoration.  No other character has the necessary scope to rebuild a universe.  So while the casualties may be lower after the second movie, not everyone is going to make it.

So there you have it, my terrible prediction record for the first Infinity War and my fairly depressing first predictions for the next.  It’s a good thing that “Ant-Man and the Wasp” looks like a comedy because we all surely need it.

 

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Infinity Interlude

If, like me, you are anxiously waiting for the next movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe; you may have been contemplating what the deal is with these infinity stones.  Since the upcoming film is subtitled, “Infinity War” we can assume that they will have a significant role.  So today, I’m going to do a short primer on what we know about the stones, where the stones are known to be, and what we might be able to guess about what’s coming.

WHAT WE KNOW:

According to he brief history given in “Guardians of the Galaxy”, Each infinity stone has the power to shape a planet for good or ill.  Individual stones cannot be controlled for long and their power will consume the user.  According to “Dark World”, gathering more than one stone in one place is extremely dangerous and should be avoided.  In spite of this Thanos has not only determined to acquire them all, but has a special glove (officially a gauntlet) designed to hold them.  While this was best conjecture after the last several movies, this theory has been fairly well confirmed by the previews for “Infinity War”.  We also can be fairly certain Thanos’ motivations are not benign.  Not surprising for a character whose name literally means ‘death’.

WHERE THEY ARE:

Space Stone (Tesseract) — This stone has probably gotten the most screen time.  It was introduced in the first Captain America movie where its power was being used to make weapons for the Nazis.  It was also the prime force in the first Avengers movie where it was used to open the gate to bring in an invading army.  At the end of that movie it was taken to Asgard where it remains (theoretically) locked in Odin’s treasure vault.  More on that later

Reality Stone (Aether) — This stone was the prime force in the second Thor movie.  It took up residence in Jane Foster and was removed by Maleketh in order to end all of existence.  After Maleketh’s defeat it was also taken to Asgard, but then relocated for safety and put into the protection of The Collector.

Power Stone — The first stone to be identified as an infinity stone in the MCU when it appeared, it was found by Peter Quill in the first Guardians movie.  Hi-jinks ensued and ultimately it was given to the Nova Corps who locked it away.

Mind Stone — This stone was sneaky.  It was hidden in Loki’s scepter and appeared as such in the first Avengers movie as well as the second Captain America movie.  It is finally revealed as an infinity stone in the second Avengers movie and is embedded into The Vision where it remains presumably giving life and sentience to the android.

Time Stone (Eye of Agamotto) — This stone has also been in stealth mode.  It is concealed in a magical artifact held by the Masters of the Mystic Arts in Kamar-Taj.  If you are not paying close attention to the end of “Doctor Strange”, you might miss its revelation as an infinity stone.  It is still under magical protection.

Soul Stone — MIA.  This is the only one of the stones that has not yet made an appearance in the MCU.

GUESSES:

So there are some things that I have guessed.  They may or may not be correct.  Take them with a grain of salt.

First, as Loki was hurrying through Odin’s Vault at the end of “Ragnarok’ he saw the Tesseract.  While not shown on screen, there is no way he did not grab it and put it into whatever passes for pockets in Asgard.  He has the first stone and I’m fairly certain that’s what prompts the encounter with the very large spaceship at the end of the film.

Second, the being (Adam) created by the Sovereign at the end of the Guardians Vol 2 is in some way connected to the Soul Stone.  Either it was used to create him or, like The Vision, it is a part of his essential being.  The character, Adam Warlock, has a history with the Infinity Stones in the comic books and this seems like a natural leap.

Third, The Vision is going to die.  It has been made clear that not all the characters are going to survive the Infinity War.  The Vision literally has the mind stone in his head.  It is not protected by armies, magical wards, or whatever weirdness exists in Knowhere.  It is in the open and relatively unprotected.  My theory is that Thanos will head to earth for that one after picking Loki’s pocket.  I do not see The Vision surviving this.

So, there you have it.  A quick guide to what has been and a couple of guesses as to what might be.  I promise to return to this after the movie is released and let you know how I did with my predictions.

“Ragnarok”: You should see it

I am going to do my best to let you know how much I enjoyed “Thor: Ragnarok” without ruining the movie for those few of you who haven ‘t seen it.  But you should really see it.  You might be able to find it lingering in some theaters still, but you can buy it digitally now and own the disk in a few weeks.  Watch it!

I have been a fan of Thor since the first movie, which surprised me at the time.  Thor was far from a favorite character in my comic books.  He was uninteresting, he talked strangely, and just flew around with a hammer.  He was a character that was in things I read, not a character I sought out on his own.  When the first movie was announced, I was curious at best wondering how anyone was going to make this unapproachable hero interesting for two hours.  I was impressed.  Straczynski & Branagh did a wonderful job crafting a movie that retained the epic scope of who Thor is while quite literally bringing him down to earth.  The story was a classic coming of age story, despite the fact that the main character was centuries old.

The second movie shifted focus.  It was somewhere between a war story and a save the princess story.  There was less work on the individual characters and it felt (like many of the movies often do now) like a cog in the machine that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Hints were dropped, the world was saved, but we already knew Thor was in “Avengers 2” so there was no real jeopardy.  It was good, not great, and definitely felt like a set up for other things.

“Ragnarok” was once again different from its predecessors.  There was a return to classic storytelling with Thor embarking on a hero’s journey to save his home and reclaim his power.  However things did not unfold in the way we have come to expect.  The heroes aren’t that heroic, the villain has a valid point of view (although is over the top in enforcing it), the happy ending isn’t happy, and the finale has no conclusion.  It wasn’t what I expected, but I liked that it felt different.  I liked that the story wasn’t cookie cutter with predictable movements from one act to another.  The film obviously sits within a wider universe with stories that are woven together, but it does not feel tied down to the universe.  It was also funny which is a big plus for me.

If you are at all invested in the Thor character or the greater MCU, “Ragnarok” is a must see.  Fortunately, it is also enjoyable and unpredictable.  It may not be the best of the MCU movies, but it is far from the worst.

Enjoy!

Guardians of Grace?

************************ MINOR SPOILER ALERT*************************

I’m writing about the two “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies today.  There are no major plot points revealed from either movie.  However, if you haven’t seen them and are a movie experience purist and want to see them with no preconceived ideas, you may want to skip this blog today.

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One of the more wacky additions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe has to be “The Guardians of the Galaxy” films.  The characters are not those that we might expect to get their own movie, let alone a franchise.  They are definitely, third tier characters or lower.  Even those of us who read more Marvel comics than those that had mutants or spiders, had no idea who these people might be.  Going into the first one I was confident that #1: The soundtrack would be good and #2: The MCU hadn’t let me down yet.

“Guardians of the Galaxy” was a surprise and a delight.  It was funny and irreverent without having to descend to “Deadpool” levels of funny and irreverent.  There was action, adventure, an origin story, and the overarching plot of the whole MCU was advanced.  At it’s heart, however, none of that was what the movie was about.  “Guardians” was really about what makes a hero. A hero isn’t necessarily the best person, the most talented person, or even  someone inspired to help others.  Sometimes a hero is simply the person who is willing to do what needs to be done in spite of his or her flaws and imperfections.  Which, of course, means that we can all be heroes.  Audiences responded to these misfits and rooted for them even though most of us had never heard of them before.

“Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2” came out a few weeks ago and to my mind was not as strong.  The soundtrack was not as good, the action was repetitive, and it just felt like they were trying too hard to recapture the magic of the original.  There was a strained quality to the first half of the movie.  The humor felt forced rather than organic.  There was still action, adventure, and an origin story, but the overarching plot of the MCU was not advanced.  Like the original, however the larger message of the film was more than the sum of its parts.  “Vol. 2′ was ultimately about what makes family.  Family isn’t about who we may be related to, how we are raised, or what is considered ‘normal’ family structures.  Family is about who we love and who loves us.  It is about those we choose to share our life and those who put up with our faults, foibles, and rough edges.  Perfection is held up as a negative example and forgiveness is what brings people together.  Again, this gives us hope than even our flawed lives can be of worth to the right people.  Call me crazy, but this sounds like grace to me.

Grace is love in spite of flaws and finding courage in spite of fear.  Grace allows us to see the best in ourselves and know that we are of value.  Grace tells us that we are forgiven even when we don’t deserve forgiveness.  Through grace we find hope, love, and the strength to be our best possible selves.  And we find evidence of it in the most unexpected places, like sci-fi movies about a group of outsiders.

All of that is why grace is so amazing.