Sunday, February 28, 2021

Order in the (Marvel) Universe (part II)

 Last post I mentioned that I was distracting myself from the horrors of the real world outside by marathoning all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in chronological order of events, including the TV series. 

Phase One was pretty easy to get through, working through from Captain America: The First Avenger, through Agent Carter, and onto the individual characters' origin stories (including Captain Marvel) building up to the first big Avengers movie.

Agents of SHIELD Season One Promo Image

Then it was onto Agents of SHIELD. Oh lordy had I forgotten how cool that series is. I mean, I watched it all and loved the later series - ranting at people for not watching it from when it started - but rewatching Season One, especially punctuating it with Thor: The Dark World (in between episodes 7 & 8) and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (my favourite Marvel movie. It fits between episodes 16 & 17 if you're keeping track), it really hits home how great Agents of SHIELD is. Awesome stuff. Absolutely loved it.

Had that realisation, rewatching it, that the late, great Bill Paxton's character in SHIELD is Garrett from one of my favourite comic series - Elektra: Assassin. Not sure if I twigged that reference first time around. Only shame is they didn't give him the Hawaiian shirts and big shoulder pads, but Paxton is so cool in it. 

After Season One of Agents of SHIELD, it was onto a double-bill of Guardians of the Galaxy. 

Guardians of the Galaxy Promo Image

I have a distinct memory of going to the press conference and the early screening of the first Guardians movie. I came out of the screening in tears as it was so darn good - that sequence at the beginning with Quill's mother that echoes in the final conflict against Ronan the Accuser does me in every time. It was everything I hoped the Guardians movie could be and more. 

Photo from the Guardians of the Galaxy press conference, before the cast appeared (July 2014)

And the press conference was great too (though it was a shame Vin Diesel was a no-show - Debs was so looking forward to being in the same room as Vin). 

The first one was always going to be a tough one to match when it came to sequels. 

We finished the Guardians double-bill today, and now we're back, firmly footed on Earth, and back in New York for the first season of Daredevil on Netflix. I honestly can't remember if I've watched this twice already, but I do remember loving the Netflix series - especially Daredevil

For those of you who want to keep up, I'm using the order that DigitalSpy produced a little while ago. If you want to join in, here's the list we've worked through so far...

1 - Captain America: The First Avenger

2 - Agent Carter (Season One)

3 - Agent Carter (Season Two)

4 - Agent Carter (Marvel One-Shot - on Iron Man 3 bluray)

5 - Captain Marvel

6 - Iron Man

7 - Iron Man 2

8 - The Incredible Hulk (on Netflix)

9 - The Consultant (Marvel One-Shot - on the Thor bluray)

10 - A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to Thor's Hammer (Marvel One-Shot - on the Captain America: The First Avenger bluray)

11 - Thor: The Mighty Avenger

12 - Avengers Assemble (the first Avengers movie)

13 - Item 47 (Marvel One-Shot - on the Avengers bluray)

14 - Iron Man 3

15 - All Hail The King (Marvel One-Shot on the Thor: The Dark World bluray)

16 - Agents of SHIELD (Season One, Episodes 1-7)

17 - Thor: The Dark World

18 - Agents of SHIELD (Season One, Episodes 8-16)

19 - Captain America: The Winter Soldier

20 - Agents of SHIELD (Season One, Episodes 17-22)

21 - Guardians of the Galaxy

22 - Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

23 - Daredevil (Season One)


coming next...

24 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Two, Episodes 1-10)

25 - Jessica Jones (Season One)

26 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Two, Episodes 11-19)

27 - Avengers: Age of Ultron

Should keep me out of trouble for a bit...

Stay safe everyone. 

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Order in the Universe

Lockdown has been a bit of a strain on everyone, especially mentally. While I've been grateful not to be out in the public, being exposed to the threat of the virus, it has been hard to concentrate on things. Luckily, I've had plenty of writing to keep my occupied, with both WILD and something else (that I'm not sure if I can talk about yet).

But when I haven't been writing, I've wanted as big a distraction from the real world as possible. Thinking about the virus, what it has done to everyone, all the people we've lost, those who deny its dangers. Heck, I ended up with counselling last year from having to go out among people for work.

So, to distract myself from the real world, I've been watching a lot of movies and TV. When I mean, a lot, I mean A LOT...

When Disney+ started, we had this ridiculous idea of rewatching all of Star Wars in chronological order of the events. Okay, so we didn't re-jig the episodes of The Clone Wars into event order, but we watched everything...

Starting with Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Episode II: Attack of the Clones, The Clone Wars (all seven seasons), Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Rebels (all four seasons), Rogue One, Episode IV: A New Hope, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, The Mandalorian, Episode VII: The Force Awakens, Resistance (season 1), Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, Resistance (season 2) and finally, Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker.

Was great to watch everything in this order. Took a long time, we didn't marathon it or anything, and after many months, we finished the Star Wars rewatch about a week ago. The highlights were definitely rewatching The Clone Wars and Rebels. Rebels is such a good series. Seriously, why haven't you watched it yet?

Anyway, that was Star Wars done... so what do I watch to distract myself next?

The X-Files is going onto Disney+ in a few days, despite me already having it on VHS and DVD (but not Bluray, much to my disgust... and can you get it on Bluray now without a lottery win? No. Why have they discontinued it? - I know, probably to make you get Disney+). 

After watching the weekly episode of WandaVision there seemed to be one really obvious rewatch to do... the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe... in chronological order. 

Now, I'm not going to be pedantic - I know some of the episodes of Agents of SHIELD involve time travel, but I'm going to stick with the time the team should have been in if they weren't knocked out of time, or in an alternate dimension, alternate future, etc... So we're sticking to the order that DigitalSpy recommended.

So, we started with Captain America: The First Avenger, (my second favourite movie in the MCU... you'll have to wait if you want to know my favourite)... followed by the fantastic Agent Carter (seasons 1 & 2). Why did that ever get cancelled? Great series, and great to watch it again.

Okay, so you know I said I wasn't being pedantic? Well, maybe a little. Agent Carter is followed by the strange 'alternate version' with Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter (found on the Iron Man 3 Bluray). Peggy's back in New York and being treated like crap, before Howard Stark gets her to start up SHIELD. The beginning is like a prequel to the TV series, but it definitely ends afterwards with Carter's big new assignment. 

There's a big time-jump in the timeline from the 1940's to the 1990's, as the 'one-shot' is followed by Captain Marvel (may have to look into what happened to the Tesseract between Howard Stark finding it at the bottom of the ocean to Lawson using it to power the lightspeed engine), Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk (not on Disney+ to due rights issues, but it's on Netflix if you want to keep up and don't own the disc), and then onto the 'one-shots' again...

Marvel One-Shot: The Consultant is next (on the Thor bluray), explaining the appearance of Tony Stark at the end of The Incredible Hulk in a great bit of retconning. Along with Marvel One-Shot: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor's Hammer (on the Captain America bluray). You could so tell they were testing the water for Agent Coulson to get his own spin-off series. This leads in nicely to Thor (The Mighty Avenger), and the big team up movie The Avengers (or Avengers Assemble as it was called over here). A movie I have a bit of a history with as it was my first big press conference (yes, I was in the same room as 90% of the Avengers) but it occurred just as my mother was hospitalised. Anyway, that's another story...

It's been really cool watching these all again, despite us having watched them dozens and dozens of times before. Heck, I can probably recite huge chunks of Captain America and Thor off by heart. 

Topping off MCU Phase 1, we squeezed in Marvel One-Shot: Item 47 (which again, was so setting up a SHIELD spin-off, which can be found on the Avengers bluray) before making a start on Phase 2 this morning. 

We started Phase 2 with Iron Man 3, and the Marvel One-Shot: All Hail The King (which I do think is Ben Kingsley's finest performance, found on the Thor: The Dark World bluray). 

And now we're onto a rewatch of season 1 of Agents of SHIELD. Must admit, I love Agents of SHIELD, though I know a lot of people gave up on season one for it being a bit slow. Did they ever miss out! The whole Agents of HYDRA series and the time travel seasons? Awesome. Love it. Of course, we're starting slow, and stopping at the right time to insert the movies and more from Phase 2. So we're going to keep watching until the end of Episode 7, then onto Thor: The Dark World. We're on Episode 3 at the moment (with Ian Hart appearing, looking identical to a very good friend of mine). 

I'll let you know how we get on. It's been a great distraction from the impending doom of returning to the outside world. 

Stay safe everyone,