In part one of our beginner's guide to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we took a look at the characters and rights issues surrounding them. This week, we're going to delve into the largest part of the MCU: the films. As of this writing, there's 14 movies encompassing the MCU, with many more on the way. This is the definitive list of all 14 films listed chronologically. This is where you start!
Now obviously the movies are the major cornerstone of the MCU. Afterall, it's what everything builds towards. All of the tie in TV shows, one shots and comics would not be as impactful if everything didn't connect. In fact, early on, Marvel ran with the tag line "It's All Connected." Since the split between the film division of Marvel and the TV division, the connections have been less obvious, but they're still there. All of the tie ins are done to support the movies, not the other way around.
What makes this world so interesting is that never before has a company carefully crafted such a massive over arching story where the individual pieces can still stand on their own. You can take any entry in the series and watch it as a standalone and enjoy it. It's when you take them as chapters of one story that you truly get immersed in this fantastic world. Marvel's take on filmmaking has inspired many others to try to start their own "shared cinematic universe." While Marvel wasn't the first (arguably the Universal Monsters series could be considered), they've certainly perfected it.
It all started in 2008 when Marvel Studios released their first major motion picture, Iron Man. Because of the rights issues we talked about last time, Marvel wasn't in a position to use their big tier characters (Spider-Man, X-Men, etc). Instead, they made a film about a 2nd tier hero that while people recognized the name, they didn't really know the character. Thanks to the incredible performance of Robert Downey Jr. in the title role, Iron Man became a surprise blockbuster hit and revolutionized the comic book movie genre. It's obvious that Iron Man wasn't made with the intention of turning it into a multi property franchise. It's a simple origin self contained story. Instead, with the addition of one little post credit scene, the seeds were sown and a tradition was started. When Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury showed up and announced the Avengers initiative, history was made.
|I'm here to talk to you about the Avengers Initiative.|