Marvel Podcast: MCU Recap
10 Years of the MCU, recapped in preparation for Marvel’s Infinity War!
Ten years and 18 FILMS have brought us to Avengers: Infinity War. Don’t have time to watch 18 movies? The Story Geeks have got you covered!
Daryl and Jay are joined by Bobby Nash to dig deeper into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) in order to get ready for Marvel’s INFINITY WAR! We break down some of our favorite moments leading up to the next epic installment in the MCU.
Make sure you follow along by commenting below! And check out Ashley’s blog post below for her own answers to our INFINITY WAR-inspired questions!
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ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE: Ashley’s Take on 10 Years of the MCU
What are some of the most emotionally impactful moments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)?
Wow, this is a tough one. There have been a lot of really emotional moments in the first decade of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, the two that stick with me most are both from the original “Guardians of the Galaxy,” actually. Even though it’s probably the funniest movie in the MCU, it also has a surprising number of moments that really tug at the heartstrings. The first is when Starlord convinces everyone that they should team up to defeat Ronan and comments that “I look around at us and you know what I see? Losers… I mean like, folks who have lost stuff. And we have, man, we have, all of us.” It’s not the most eloquent of quotes, but it’s really touching, when you think about it. The Guardians are a bunch of misfits with messed up lives and no real friends, and they’ve all experienced a crushing amount of loss. The galaxy has rejected them, yet when they’re given the chance, they prove their value and end up becoming heroes. They find friendship and a sense of family with each other. Also, kind of along the same lines, the scene when the Guardians join hands to stop the Infinity Stone is really emotional for me as well. Alone, none of them could have done it, but by standing together they truly are capable of saving the galaxy.
Some my other favorite emotionally impactful moments from the MCU include:
- The fight between Tony and Steve in “Civil War,” where Cap explains why he helped Bucky, saying, “He’s my friend,” and Tony replies, “So was I.”
- When Cap says goodbye to Agent Peggy Carter as he’s getting ready to crash the Hydra ship in “The First Avenger.”
- Yondu talking about Ego in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and telling Peter, “He may have been your father, boy, but he wasn’t your daddy.” (Man, I’m tearing up now just writing about that!)
What are some of the funniest moments in the MCU?
One of the things the MCU does so well overall is creating films that have an authentic emotional core but also are an absolute blast to watch. It’s hard to narrow down the funniest moments, but, here goes:
- Iron Man’s snarky quips — I just adore Robert Downey Jr., and Iron Man is my favorite Avenger. There are too many quips to count, but a few favorites are when he decides to just ignore the orders he’s been given at the press conference at the end of the very first “Iron Man” and tells the whole world that he’s a superhero; his banter (okay, more like bickering) with Captain America in the first Avengers movie; and his interactions with Spider-Man in “Homecoming.”
- I feel like I could put the whole “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1” on here. 😉 The entire movie is just hilarious.
- The fight on the toy train set in “Ant-Man” is both funny and awesome. Plus, Michael Peña is fantastic as Scott Lang’s friend Luis. I loved how they filmed his rapid-fire storytelling technique.
- Aunt May discovering that Peter is Spider-Man in “Homecoming.” Peter’s friend Ned may also very well steal the award for “best sidekick.”
Who do you believe are the THREE most important characters in the MCU?
My first pick would be Iron Man, although of course I’m a little biased, since Iron Man is my favorite Avenger. 😉 I don’t think the MCU would have grown into what it is today without the leadership/involvement of Iron Man (and Robert Downey Jr.’s performance). Which is interesting because Tony is not really a stereotypical mentor character — he’s not wise or patient, or particularly understanding. He’s a deeply flawed person and has made a lot of mistakes, some of them with very serious consequences. However, I’ve really enjoyed getting to watch him grow as a character and seeing how he has learned to accept responsibility for his mistakes.
My second pick is Captain America. He serves as both the heart and the moral compass of the Avengers. This character could have easily come off as a one-dimensional “goody two shoes,” but he doesn’t, thanks to Chris Evans’ layered performance. Steve is willing to serve selflessly and do the right thing, even when it costs him. He also knows what it’s like to be bullied and overlooked, and he takes time to stand up for “the little guy.”
The third one is harder to narrow down. I was tempted to say Nick Fury, because he’s the one who brought all the Avengers together, but I’m actually going to go with Spider-Man. Even though he has superpowers, Peter Parker still feels like a regular guy, and as audience members it’s easy for us to relate to him. He doesn’t have everything figured out, but his heart is in the right place. He represents the new generation of superheroes that will eventually take over after the current Avengers have retired.
Which MCU film has been the most impactful to you personally? Why?
Although “Iron Man” is still my favorite MCU film and probably always will be, the film that has impacted me the most on a personal level is actually “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1.” As I’ve mentioned already in this blog post, I think the movie is really, really funny but it’s also surprisingly moving.
I really wish I could travel back in time and give a copy of this movie to my teenage self, because I think it would have meant even more to me then than it does now. I spent a lot of my high school years feeling like a misfit and wondering if I had a place in the world. I desperately wanted to feel like I was part of a group and that I wasn’t just a mistake. That’s why I love this movie’s message that we’re all worthy of love and capable of greatness, quirks and all. The Guardians embrace the factors that make them unique and show the galaxy that they really can be heroes.
What do you think are some of the most nagging unanswered questions in the MCU?
One question I’m still chewing on is who was actually right in the whole Iron Man vs. Captain America debate in “Civil War.” Were the Sokovia Accords a bad idea or not? I tend to think that having oversight of superheroes is a good thing; although heroes with a strong moral compass like Captain America don’t necessarily need to have someone looking over their shoulder, not every superhero is going to be as ethical as the Cap. Accountability is, generally, a good thing.
Still, would a document like the Accords provide TOO much oversight, giving one government or another the means to control superheroes and use their powers for their own devices? Could the Accords also be used to persecute people who happen to be born with superpowers?
I don’t know if the MCU will return to this topic or not, but I’d like to see them explore it more, if possible.
The MCU has been criticized for not having enough character deaths. What do you think was the best death throughout all the films?
Although Agent Phil Coulson has technically been resurrected for the TV show “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” his death was an unexpected gut-punch in “The Avengers.” Like Nick Fury, Coulson showed up in many of the early MCU films, helping tie the whole story together. He always came across as an “everyman” who just happened to work for this top-secret organization. He was a little bit starstruck when he met the big-name superheroes, which was very endearing. It was cool to see how much he meant to the Avengers, even though they sometimes gave him a hard time about his job.
The other death that really got to me was Yondu in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” I wasn’t expecting Yondu to have as big a role as he did in the second Guardians film, but I really appreciated the layers they added to his character. Yondu may still have been a flawed person, but through this movie, you get to witness just how much he cares about Peter, even though he sometimes struggles to find a way to communicate that. Sacrificing his life for Peter’s was a poignant end to the film.
What characters/stories do you think were most successfully adapted from the comics?
I don’t feel like I can fully answer this question, since I haven’t read many of the original comics. As a big fan of the MCU, that’s something I feel really bad about, and it’s definitely on my list of reading goals for the future. However, even though I haven’t read the comics, I appreciate all those who have read them, both now and in the past, because without you we wouldn’t have the comic book industry and, in turn, we wouldn’t have the MCU as it is today. So from this superhero movie fan, thank you to all those who first fell in love with these characters and have made today’s MCU possible!
What films would you like to see Marvel make after phase 4?
Since I’m not as familiar with the comics, I don’t know all the as-of-yet unadapted characters and storylines that are still out there, but I’m sure there are plenty of interesting ones! As much as I love the original Avengers lineup — Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, etc. — I’d like to see the next phase branch out and cover more of the newer characters (like Doctor Strange and Black Panther) and even introduce some new heroes we haven’t seen before in the MCU. It will be hard to say goodbye to franchise staples like Iron Man and the Cap, but if the MCU is going to continue growing and evolving, I think it’s necessary to invest in some interesting new characters. Also, we still REALLY NEED that Black Widow solo film!