All about Avengers – I: Meet the important characters

In the smash, bang and wallop world of comics, impossible is a word banished from the universe, although it is non existing.

Marvel is quite the example of making the impossible happening, for they had the guts to make a film where the heroes were defeated and still made it successful.

If that reference did not strike a chord, then the reader of this article is presumably one among millions who watched Avengers: Endgame directly, skipping 21 previous movies unceremoniously.

This three-part series (because Marvel movies came out in three phases and hence the reference) will encapsule every possible reference of the movies, and it all started in 2008.

Kick-starting an universe is something that cannot be done easily. If it were easy, most filmmakers would have done it already.

That is why Iron Man was chosen as the first movie in phase one. It was important that the universe started off at earth and not in some galaxy far away.

Apart from the climax sequence that had to be changed because of an Audi R8 supercar that refused to break, the Iron Man was a trouble free movie to make for Marvel.

Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) is an arms-trading billionaire who turns into a hero after he finds out that his weapons are used to kill people(!). He fights with the baddie and after announcing to the world that he is the person under the armour, he finally meets a man with an eyepatch to be revealed that he is part of a bigger universe.

After the success of the movie, Marvel came up with the Incredible Hulk. The phase one of the franchise deals with introducing characters slowly but steadily by giving them ample screen time.
For instance, Natasha Romanoff or Black Widow (played by Scarlett Johansson) is introduced in Iron Man‘s second instalment while Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Chris Evans as Captain America get their own movies.

In each movie, the plot is set so that the heroes meet one another and make acquaintance in either a fight or through friendship. But the most important thing the movies established was that it made the audience accept that there are alien races and different forces that govern the universe.

The films also deal with science and magic at the same time. In Thor, Marvel would have conveyed what earthlings call magic, other advanced alien races call science.

The movie Captain America: The First Avenger is significant in the first phase for it reveals the first infinity stone – the space stone, in the form of a blue cube that is the tesseract.

This set-up what would turn out to be an epic adventure next time around for the superheroes in the first Avengers movie.

The movie once again deals with infinity stones with the space and mind stones used to cause chaos and wreak havoc on earth-dwellings by none other than the brother of Thor, Loki who is also called the god of mischief. Also, Hawkeye is introduced in this film, apart from the entire SHIELD crue.
With Nick Fury (the eye patch man) kindling the spirits of our broken heroes, the film showcases one of the most epic action sequences ever made in cinema history. Of course the heroes win. But before deeming it as clichéd, one must understand that the heroes won the battle and not the war itself.

In many ways the first phase of movies from Marvel Cinematic Universe or MCU is mostly about redemption. Iron Man, aka Tony Stark redeems himself as a human with a heart, while Thor regains his ‘God of Thunder’ power after being banished by his father as unworthy. Bruce Banner finally controls the Hulk in him and then there is Cap.

Captain America or Steve Rogers on the other hand tries to redeem himself for sleeping for 70 years under a thick sheet of ice! He could be forgiven for forgetting that he saved the world from Hydra after he sacrificed himself, for he is old despite what the looks would lead one to presume.

With phase one over, it was upto Marvel to go one up in the next phase, the unimaginatively named ‘Phase Two’. Watch this space for more on that.

Fact file
The MCU in total has released 22 movies and has grossed close to $21 billion in box offices globally, making it one of the biggest franchises ever to have been created. Apart from the released films, Marvel has one film up for release soon and eight others in different stages of development

(to be continued…)

 

This is the first post in a three-part series summarizing phase 1, 2 and 3 of Marvel Cinematic Universe.

To read part 2 of All about Avengers click here

To read part 3 of All about Avengers click here

Praveen Kumar S