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16th Aug 2022, 5:46 PM The Incredible Hulk Retrospective
In honor of achieving my primary goal of making the current chapter longer than the Incredible Hulk chapter and the upcoming premiere of She-Hulk (and having a day off where I feel comfortable procrastinating on everything else that needs doing), it's time for a rewatch retrospective on the second MCU release, The Incredible Hulk!

Stray observations while watching:
  • I'll admit, I do miss these opening credit sequences for superhero movies with stylized fonts and thematically appropriate graphics over dramatic music. I know they've pretty much just moved to the end credits now, but still. Done right, they were really good at getting you pumped up for what was coming (then again, this movie, Spider-Man, and X-Men all proceeded to slow down immediately afterwards if memory serves, so maybe that wasn't a good thing after all?).
  • Quick little references to Stark Industries, Nick Fury, and S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • Also Rick Jones! He's probably never showing up at this point. :D
  • God this first bit's just reference heavy, even Bill Bixby gets in on the action. I wonder if Eric Bana's ever going to get a nod.
  • Portuguese Grover just sounds... wrong to me.
  • Banner has 7 PhDs but struggles with basic Portuguese. I know these two things aren't actually related to each other, but it still strikes me as funny.
  • "You wouldn't like me when I'm angry" is one of those lines where I genuinely can't believe we've never gotten it played straight. Kind of like how long it took to hear "Avengers Assemble".
  • while Bruce pricks his finger for a microscope sample "What happens if he gets some kind of bacterial infection from contaminated equipment? I know Hulk seems to stop him from dying to blunt force trauma and other such things, but does it help with illnesses?"
  • I hope Stan Lee's character didn't die from the gamma blood Pingo Doce. That'd hit too hard now. :(
  • The fact that Ross not only gets away with all the shit he pulls (including but not limited to using military resources and personnel for law enforcement purposes) but gets promoted to Secretary of State eventually is... depressingly realistic.
  • Good thing Blonsky shot that dog or we'd never know he was a bad guy.
  • I feel like after five years on the run Bruce should be... at least slightly better at acting natural than he is?
  • Chase scene is well shot, though. It feels properly constricting and frantic.
  • I wonder how much Coca-Cola paid for all the advertising? I don't really have a problem with it, it's just hard to miss.
  • I think the added body-morphing effects would be difficult, but man. The Hulk's first appearance in this movie is so tinged with monster movie vibes that it makes me want an Immortal Hulk movie yesterday. If you haven't heard of it, it's a 50 or so issue run starting in 2018 by Al Ewing, and it's some of the best Hulk stuff I've ever read.
  • Admittedly Hulk looks a little... PS3-ish now, but he still doesn't look bad, and it completely validates the choice to keep him hidden while still giving us that full-scale environmental destruction you want from a Hulk fight scene.
  • I understand compartmentalization of information, but you might want to warn your guys about the giant green rage monster.
  • Sad walking away music is, I think, just one tier below the Spider-Man theme and the X-Men theme in terms of recognizability, so well done using it.
  • as Banner starts walking home "Does Hulk transformation do anything about starvation or fatigue? These are the questions."
  • As much as I would've preferred to focus on the gamma side of things, I do appreciate how well this movie ties in with Captain America regarding the super soldier serum.
  • You can tell it's early days MCU because as far as I can tell, not one name on the board at Culver University (aside from Betty Ross) is a comics reference. XD
  • Ty Burrell is criminally underutilized in this movie and if they ever get him back to be Doc Samson I will flip my fucking lid with joy.
  • Lou Ferrigno may be immediately recognizable as the TV Hulk, but for me he'll always be himself but beating up Jason Segel in I Love You, Man.
  • Is it standard practice for university computers to just a have an encryption shortcut on the desktop?
  • On the flipside my reaction if Liv Tyler came back as Red She-Hulk would be much more ambivalent. Also I'm curious how many gamma mutates we can combine together namewise. Can we have a Red-She-Hulkling Abomination?
  • The double-edged sword of skipping the origin story is that you're dependent on the actors to sell pre-existing connections, and I'm not sure Tyler and Norton really do that here? I guess it fits with Banner being a more subdued character than Hulk but it doesn't necessarily play the best.
  • Banner's gag reflex (or lack thereof) is pretty fucking astonishing.
  • They definitely do a good job showing Hulk as a pretty much unstoppable juggernaut. Even Blonsky's explosive rounds seem to piss him off more than anything.
  • I know these jeep-mounted sonic cannons are supposed to be the Stark-designed ones, but it seems like they don't do quite the same thing? I wonder if it's a Hulk-anatomy problem or a "they didn't the right frequency" problem. Or maybe both. Paralyzing him outright would've been much more effective, is all I'm saying.
  • I feel a little cheated we didn't actually get to see Blonsky get sent flying from Hulk's kick. But only a little.
  • More proof that Hulk still has a little bit of Banner in him, it'd take more than a little eighth-grade geometry to throw a piece of metal at a helicopter that precisely.
  • We immediately get a reason to hate Samson followed by a reason to love him. Bring this man back!
  • Hulk is mad at Thor for ruining his moment.
  • Forget the Red Skull, Blonsky's the Red Everything after the beating he took.
  • "The circumstances called for a little improvisation." Liiiiiiittle hint of what would become Ruffalo's Hulk in there, so at least it's not entirely incongruous.
  • USB glows green when it's plugged in. Nice.
  • "You know, I know a few techniques that could help you manage that anger very effectively." Okay, two hints.
  • Really, just bring back everybody at some point. Tim Blake Nelson does really well with what he's given for Samuel Sterns.
  • Betty being able to help pacify mid-transformation Hulk is one of those things I've never really thought much about, but not only does it work with the idea of Hulk being connected to (if also still distinct from) Banner, it sets a nice precedent for the "sun's getting real low" thing in Age of Ultron.
  • Move over Dr. Michael Morbius, Samuel Sterns is clearly the superior hematologist.
  • "Why are you always hitting people?" I know the MCU occasionally has a problem with too much humor, but I feel like this one could've used a little more, this line still gets a pretty decent chuckle.
  • "The mixture could be... an abomination". EYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY THERE IT IS!!!
  • Nice job not bringing the clearly unstable super soldier with you and leaving him with all the gamma equipment, Ross.
  • The lack of ear fins is regrettable, but the Abomination design is still solid anyways.
  • Good hero moment from Bruce, being willing to risk a transformation just because he knows they need the Hulk to stop Abomination.
  • We need enough moments of Bruce basically dying before Hulking out to make a montage, funny every time.
  • Oof, I thought it was just Hulk and Abomination that looked a little rough in this final fight but even the helicopter looks like it's from a video game.
  • Have we seen the shockwave clap since Hulk used it to put out the copter fire? I don't think we have?
  • There are some really creative strategies/environmental use here though, however the CGI looks. Ripping out  Abomination's elbow spike and stabbing him with it feels like something out of a Mortal Kombat finisher in the best way possible.
  • Hulk busting out those Spider-Man parkour skills while running away.
  • I think it fits the "monster movie lite" vibe of this movie that the ending is ambiguously sinister, between Bruce purposely inducing a hulk out and the last scene that comes immediately after being Tony showing up to talk to Ross about a vague problem.

The Incredible Hulk is... not a bad movie. Ultimately I think its long-term reception was hurt by a combination of being a more serious (downright gloomy in a couple points) movie and the lack of follow-up. There are MCU movies that I think are objectively worse in terms of structure, narrative, and tone that I'll still watch more often than this movie, just because they're either more fun, or because I'm doing rewatches for a particular character or something similar. It doesn't even really feel like a crucial introduction for Bruce Banner, since this movie compresses the details of his origin into the opening montage and a quick recap from Ross, the first Avengers movie works about as well as a debut for him anyways.

There's speculation that Marvel might get the distribution rights back for Hulk soon (if they haven't already), and if that's true, I hope we can get some more development for Banner and the Hulk both. With any luck we've got She-Hulk to help dive into the rogues gallery and other gamma mutates, but Banner deserves some more exploration himself, without his character progress being relegated to offscreen in team-up movies. stares at Smart Hulk

Anyways, thanks for reading, feel free to comment with your own thoughts on the Incredible Hulk. The Captain America retrospective will be coming with the end of the chapter as normal.
26th Jun 2022, 11:48 PM Iron Man Retrospective

So yeah, originally I was planning to do retrospective rewatches for Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk after the Avengers chapter was done. Buuuuuuuuuuut the closer I've gotten to actually starting that chapter, the more I've been thinking that it doesn't feel right to tackle these after the Avengers have already assembled. After all, build-up is important, that's the whole reason they did five movies before the Avengers in the first place and why I decided to adapt them each as their own chapters in the first place (even if abbreviated in some cases XD). Once I realized that it just became a matter of when I felt like sitting down and rewatching them, which in Iron Man's case happens to be now. Obviously. So let's get right to it with the usual list of rambling thoughts and observations!
 

  • I already feel like this is just going to turn into me saying things that other people have already said a thousand times before, but starting with almost immediately putting Tony in peril before doing some deeper character establishment goes a long way towards making him less abrasive at the start.
  • Tony's in an interesting position where after three solo movies, four team-up movies, and two major appearances in other people's solo movies, his morals and priorities undergo a huge change, but the character himself doesn't feel like he's changed all that much, if that makes sense? Infinity War and Endgame mellow him out a bit, but for the most part he feels like he goes out basically the same well-meaning but snarky button-pusher he started out as in the convoy.
  • Probably exposing my age range/ignorance of military history and perception here but I can't help but wonder how much different the whole "weapons developer" angle to Tony's character would have gone if this was made pre-War on Terror. I feel like it would've ended... kinda more in line with how I ended the comic chapter?
  • I don't think I ever included a joke about how it should have been obvious Obadiah Stane is the bad guy based on his name being Obadiah Stane. More's the pity.
  • I heavily relate to being unable to remember anyone's birthdays.
  • I'm not sure I can pin down why Terrence Howard isn't as good a Rhodey, but if I had to try, and I feel like I do, Cheadle's Rhodey feels like he's more Tony's equal. To be completely fair, Cheadle had more opportunity to demonstrate that idea even just comparing their first movies, but I really can't see Howard's Rhodey beating Tony up and taking an armor suit.
  • Tony's enunciation and emphasis during the weapons demonstration is absolutely magnificent. It's so awkward and stilted because you know a) he's hungover, b) he only wants to be there to show off his new toy, and c) he knows he doesn't have to be good at doing the speech, the tech speaks for itself.
  • I usually tune out the idea that Tony just has a hole in his chest to accommodate the electromagnet/arc reactor, but every so often I remember, and it is an unsettling thought. Carry on.
  • In the moments where they aren't being threatened by terrorists, Yinsen has the most "I don't give a shit, I'm dead anyway" aura whether he's cracking jokes or relaying sad backstory. No wonder he and Tony get along.
  • Re-imagining the Ten Rings as a terrorist organization is a really smart move. I've seen some takes here and there that this group we see in the first movie were also part of Killian's Mandarin scheme, and... I really don't understand where that idea comes from? Especially after Shang-Chi came out, the timeline is consistent with Wenwu re-consolidating his power after his wife died.
  • "If my math is right, and it always is." - the universe will remember that.
  • Okay you know what, I guess I can see it, if Raza's group are dumb enough to not immediately kill Tony after seeing that he's working on a mechanized leg that is clearly not a missile, they probably could qualify for Killian goons. Still, I maintain they are the real deal, if a little stupid.
  • Booby-trap on the door makes for some handy Iron Man 3-shadowing regarding what Tony can do without the suit.
  • The Mark I Armor is a thing of absolute beaty. By which I mean it actually looks ugly and unfinished and like an obvious prototype, and that's the beautiful part.
  • Another thing that qualifies these guys for apprenticeship under Killian, three of them with guns running from one guy with a gun.
  • There truly is little quite as satisfying as watching an appropriately powered-up hero tear through a room full of mooks.
  • Really, how did that one poor sap end up ricocheting a bullet into himself? I did him a favor making it a misfire.
  • I like the idea that it's not just the loss of control from being held captive that changes Tony's perspective, it's watching other people die for him.
  • I genuinely appreciate the restraint they showed in not playing Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" when he blasted off. That is more than I would have shown. Hell I probably would have had it start when he stepped out of the makeshift lab and started wrecking people's shit. I'm weak-willed, sue me.
  • While I still don't think Tony and Pepper are the BEST couple, and the first couple of movies in particular don't sell me on it as much as I'd like, they at least do a decent job setting it up.
  • Good to see you Phil. Hope you can come back someday. Or somehow get your spinoff show validated, even if it peaked at season four.
  • SERIOUSLY LOOK AT THAT TIE AND THE CIGAR HE IS OBVIOUSLY EVIL WHY DID I NOT MAKE A JOKE ABOUT IT BEING OBVIOUS IN HINDSIGHT?!?
  • Y'know what I take it back the arc reactor replacement scene is dripping with chemistry. And an inorganic plasmic discharge.
  • Eccccccccch I forgot the spring break of 87 joke. Not great.
  • I like that Tony's first inclination when designing the suit is "I am not a hero and should not be wearing this. Rhodey should be wearing this." It is criminal that it took until Armor Wars for Rhodey to actually headline something.
  • Then again, maybe Tony careening into the ceiling was a dexterity problem and not a math problem. Might not be cosmic payback for the brag after all. Either way, him slamming into the ceiling? Priceless.
  • Not every superhero needs a "the hero learns how to use their powers" sequence, but since Tony's designing his powers I'd say that him figuring out the logistical hurdles of flight is not only acceptable here, it's crucial.
  • Apparently the suit freezing at high altitudes was not originally meant to be foreshadowing, it was just a scene that existed. Then they were having troubles getting the final fight with Iron Monger to coalesce and they realized they could bring it back. Just a neat bit of trivia there.
  • Tony's a better man than I for programming his AI buddy... *checks notes* pardon me, his natural-language user interface buddy to give him sass. I don't like it when I perceive my computer as disrespecting me, if I was better with tech not a single one would ever talk back to me.
  • His license plate says "STARK 4". I haven't been paying attention to the rest of his license plates, so I wonder what happened to STARK 1 through STARK 3.
  • Did Coulson guess Tony was going to show up? Or was he staking out Tony's house and followed him to the gala without Tony ever realizing? I choose to believe it's the latter.
  • Thank god the kiss did not happen there, would've been way too soon.
  • "Yeah they just put my name on the invitation I don't know what to tell you." I also make jokes instinctually and increasingly so when panicked. Very relatable.
  • Even if his is an obvious villain based on his name and tie, Obadiah is also a very charismatic fellow. So I guess I can't be too mad at everyone else for being fooled.
  • THE SUIT UP MONTAGE IS SO DAMN GOOD.
  • AND SO IS THE SUPERHERO LANDING.
  • Something that never occurred to me until now, Tony almost never shuts up. But the first two times he suits up to fight the Ten Rings, he hardly utters a sentence. Which not only helps demonstrate how seriously he's taking this, but it also helps set up the secret identity swerve at the end.
  • The military pilot callsigns are Whiplash. Not sure I have anything to say about that, but worth noting.
  • Okay if the cigar and the tie and the name didn't give it away, Stane's uber-sinister pajamas should have.
  • "Let's face it, this is not the worst thing you've caught me doing." I still want to know what topped the list, thanks.
  • Standoffs between bad guys are generally a fun time. This is no exception.
  • I'm kind of surprised this sonic stunner never really comes back except presumably in the form of its larger, truck-mounted cousin in The Incredible Hulk. But I guess you can only use it so many times and have a hero live before it starts to reflect more poorly on the bad guys than anything else.
  • "I shouldn't be alive, unless it was for a reason" 11 years and numerous movies later, that hits hard. Because I feel like that's stuck with Tony ever since he said it.
  • "Now I realize, well, Tony never really did come home, did he? He left a part of himself in that cave." Another absolute banger of a line. Obadiah's right on the mark, even if not in the way he probably meant.
  • In general Pepper having to copy the files and play nice right under Obadiah's nose is suitably menacing. Thank goodness Coulson was there.
  • It's really funny to watch Obadiah menace the lab bois knowing that he's helping start a villainous journey to be paid off 15 years later.
  • I know it's a minor detail, not worth focusing on, but where did Obadiah get the reactor extractor? Did the lab bois build that too? Did he get exact measurements or did he just eyeball it and hope for the best? He's really lucky they were spot-on if that's the case.
  • DUM-E really is the best robot friend someone could ask for. Even with the unnecessary extinguishings.
  • The third act of this film is always the part that drops off for me. Not because it's bad, but because the rest of the film is just so damn good, whereas the last bits are... fine. Perfectly serviceable.
  • Maybe they should've called him Iron Miner. Because he digs up out of the ground you see.
  • A thing I will definitely give them credit for in this third act fight is that the ticking clock is not an actual ticking clock, but his reactor's energy levels. It's both a nice change and means that they don't have to either make the timer too long to matter or break suspension of disbelief by making a "five minute countdown" last longer than it should.
  • I just hear "Mmm whatcha sayyyyyy" every time I watch Stane start tumbling back to the ground, I'll admit it.
  • I like that Stane's total lack of practice with the suit means he can't aim worth a damn without a computer to help him.
  • Ah, a blue sky beam. Bet we'll never see that again. Ever.
  • Really I'm surprised anyone lives through that arc reactor explosion considering how far the explosion spread.
  • So I know per tie-in comics the explanation is that they didn't have the shorter abbreviation for SHIELD at first, but I choose to believe it's just Coulson's way of messing with people to say it the long way.
  • Ditching the secret identity was a masterful call. It's such a huge swerve from typical superhero movies of the time and it opened the door to really free up story-telling possibilities.
  • I feel like the fact that almost every unsuccessful attempt at franchise-building through post-credit teases gets compared unfavorably to Nick Fury's appearance at the end of this movie speaks volumes.

The first Iron Man may be the start of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but I think the thing that gets missed the most (mainly by other franchises trying to duplicate its success) is that it's a very good movie in its own right. It has the SHIELD namedrops and the Nick Fury cameo at the end, but its primary concern is telling Iron Man's story and getting you to care about Tony as a character, and it very much succeeds. I definitely feel like some Marvel movies have gotten a little too jokey and irreverent at times, but even though this movie set the stage for that with its loose script and letting the actors just bounce off each other, the serious moments still actually play as serious, and obviously that's very important. When Tony's feeling the guilt of his past actions and complicity in what his company's done, you feel it too.

Other than that, don't really know what else to say that hasn't already been said. Maybe if the MCU ever does a full reboot we can get Tony fighting the Mandarin like they originally planned, but I think pivoting to Obadiah Stane was definitely the right choice. Thanks for reading, feel free to sound off with any thoughts you have about the first Iron Man, and stay tuned for The Incredible Hulk retrospective coming... at some point later this chapter.
31st May 2022, 12:54 PM Thor Retrospective
We're approaching the end of another chapter, and that means it's time for another look back at the movie I just finished adapting. In this case, 2011's Thor.

Stray observations from my rewatch:
  • Do they ever actually explain what the atmospheric disturbance Jane's been tracking is supposed to be? I know it's Bifrost-related, but why is it predictable except for when Thor gets beamed down, at which point it's suddenly not?
  • The MCU just needs more Anthony Hopkins narration. Not even just for the Thor movies, just in general. Anything magic/fantasy/mythology-related, get him to open it with a monologue.
  • For as many problems as I have with Ragnarok, I do like how it forces me to re-evaluate Odin's interpretation of the war with the Frost Giants. Was this after he gave up conquest and decided to become a benevolent protector, or did it just happen the Frost Giants stepped on his turf and he decided to kick their asses?
  • "Both of you were born to be kings" Odin learned much about peace, but very little about parenting.
  • I'm glad they stopped dyeing Chris Hemsworth's eyebrows, they make his face look smaller and squinty.
  • Everything about Odin's coronation speech also deserves a side-eye in the wake of Ragnarok. Calling Thor his firstborn, mentioning Mjolnir's unrivaled power to destroy as well as build, claiming he's defended the Nine Realms from the beginning... obviously they didn't have this whole thing planned out in advance, but it really does add some interesting characterization in hindsight. It feels like Loki really takes after him more than Thor does.
  • Okay so Thor's clearly over-reacting to the weapons vault break-in, but I feel like Odin is under-reacting. At the very least, if someone broke into my personal stockpile of uber-dangerous things, you can bet I wouldn't just be like "Well they didn't actually take anything, no harm no foul". You can bet there would be inquiries at the very least.
  • "BUT YOU'RE NOT KIIIIIING! Not yet." Anthony Hopkins truly is the actor we need, but not the one we deserve.
  • I don't want to say Idris Elba is the unsung hero of the Thor franchise, because I feel like he gets plenty of well-deserved praise, but of all the under-utilized characters in this subset of movies, he certainly does the best with what he's given.
  • The set design of Jotunheim is magnificently gloomy. It really sells the idea that the world itself is crumbling away and decaying.
  • So Laufey is clearly an asshole for invading Tonsberg back in the day and attacking that village, but he's not necessarily wrong about Odin. Honestly him reflecting on the horrors of war and being willing to let them leave hits surprisingly hard.
  • It's hard to tell exactly where Loki's plan spiraled out of control, but I genuinely think it was the moment where that one giant called Thor a "princess".
  • In general the MCU has nerfed a lot of their powerhouses, but wrecking the Jotuns' shit with a single lightning bolt and OHKO'ing the Frost Beast are still very impressive showings from Thor.
  • I had to keep in Odin cutting off Loki with the "HAERGH!", it's just too damn good.
  • Goddammit I really don't want to turn this into a dissertation on Ragnarok but it really does make Odin's banishment speech hit all the harder. This isn't the first time he's had to banish one of his kids, and it is clearly tearing him up inside.
  • I have a lot of issues with how the Thor franchise handles the Earth side of things, but Darcy tasering Thor? Still classic.
  • Making Jane an astrophysicist was a smart move, in theory. Since Thor isn't Dr. Donald Blake in this continuity, it's a good way to give them a point of commonality.
  • Miss you Stan. :(
  • "This mortal form has grown weak. I need sustenance". Do  Asgardians not actually need to eat? Otherwise that's a pretty weird line.
  • Okay I take it back, given what Loki says about having tipped off the guard, maybe his plan actually went out of control once Heimdall actually let them go to Jotunheim? Maybe the plan was just to get Thor in trouble for trying to subvert Odin's orders. It's hard to tell of course, since it's Loki.
  • Loki finding out he's adopted makes me feel bad for him of course, but it also makes me feel bad for Odin, you can tell he did not want to have that conversation today. Props to Tom Hiddleston for carrying his own weight in the scene alongside Anthony Hopkins.
  • I don't remember where I first saw this, just that it's not an original observation, but I think it bears repeating; I appreciate that when Jane chastises Thor for breaking the mug he accepts that things are different on Earth, apologizes, and rolls with it. After watching him be a jerk for most of the movie so far it's a nice indication that he can be agreeable even when things aren't going his way.
  • Speaking of nice indications, good bit of foreshadowing in this movie for Avengers and especially Winter Soldier. S.H.I.E.L.D. is (generally) well-intentioned, sure, but they're also kind of assholes sometimes.
  • In another timeline where Edgar Wright had gotten to make Ant-Man as a Phase One movie as originally intended, I wonder how different things could've been. Pretty sure Hank Pym was supposed to be Selvig's old contact who'd dealt with S.H.I.E.L.D.?
  • Why exactly does Loki automatically take the throne while Odin's sleeping and not Frigga? I mean I know why, because otherwise we wouldn't have a movie, but why? The Odinsleep clearly isn't news to Frigga, what were they doing before?
  • As far as "I'm weirdly intrigued and moderately infatuated with this person who should be sending up a shit-ton of red flags" romances go, Thor and Jane's chemistry in this movie is... okay.
  • Hey it's Hawkeye! ... Crazy how far we've come in terms of "little cameos that only people who read the comics will understand".
  • Not only because Hawkeye is now known the world over and has his own Disney+ series, but because as cameos go, this one is actually super-clunky. The fact that you chose the movie about actual gods to introduce the guy with a bow and arrow as some important thing to pay attention to is honestly kind of hilarious, and it's even more awkward because he only shows up to be a potential obstacle for a depowered Thor who never pans out.
  • The way the music changes when Thor tries and fails to pick up Mjolnir is quite good.
  • In the same way that it's really funny to watch Tony brag about establishing world peace knowing all the crazy shit that's going on, it's really funny to watch Coulson be so sure he has Thor profiled as a mercenary and just... have no idea how off the mark he is. XD
  • Why is Loki in a suit when he shows up to lie to Thor? It can't be for camoflauge, clearly nobody notices he's there or they'd be wondering who this rando is trying to pick up the hammer and not wearing a hazmat suit.
  • Honestly I think the saddest thing about Loki lying to Thor here is that of their entire friend group, Thor is the one who seems... I don't want to say the most supportive of Loki, but definitely the least dismissive.
  • Okay the fake ID scene. As I commented in the section itself, I kind of hate this bit, it raises so many questions. Who made this fake ID (I mean it's clearly Darcy but I'd like to think maybe it was Selvig)? It has to be a fake, it's the same picture she took of Thor in the diner. Why are they so willing to throw Donald Blake under the bus by using his identity? Thor can't possibly actually look like him because otherwise you'd think Jane would have brought it up. Why didn't they just make a fake name if they're already making a fake ID? It wasn't going to fool S.H.I.E.L.D. anyways.
  • Selvig is cool and I'm genuinely sad that the last time we saw him is Age of Ultron. He's my favorite of the Earth trio. Which, in this movie at least, isn't a knock against Jane or Darcy. I will speak at length about Darcy when I get to the Dark World.
  • I'd complain about later installments of the MCU making Loki be bad at schemes, but he's always been bad at schemes. Letting Laufey in only to kill him and gain glory is an involved scheme with lots of steps and that's all very impressive, but like. What's going to happen when Odin wakes up? You think he's going to approve of killing Thor, freezing Heimdall, and destroying a town full of innocent people? Then again, maybe he would...
  • I think if the early MCU had been more willing to say that there were things happening between movies, the Thor/Jane romance might have actually worked better. Him explaining the Nine Realms to her is genuinely cute.
  • The Warriors Three need some kind of spinoff, they aren't bad but they do not get enough screentime to matter much in this or any movie. Here's hoping Love and Thunder hits some kind of anti-Ragnarok reset button or something. They're gods, magic them back, nobody will care.
  • Even Hogun smiles when they find Thor, that's sweet.
  • Heimdall loophole abusing his way into trying to kill Loki is just a perfect example of why he's the best under-utilized character. Which is why he's a player character in this chapter and the Warriors Three are not.
  • Oh no, the Destroyer's wrecking everything! You know who we could really use right now? Hawkeye!
  • What constitutes "destroying everything?" Clearly the Destroyer can't have killed all the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents it encountered, Coulson managed to get away.
  • This fight to keep the Destroyer distracted went way quicker than I remembered. Probably could've stood to be longer.
  • Seriously they make Sif and the Warriors Three look like total chumps next to Thor. They don't even seem to hurt the Destroyer, and they're at full power!
  • Again, I feel the need to stress that Loki and Thor being adversarial doesn't necessarily work here. The fact that Thor's first approach when talking is to assume it's something he did and apologize speaks volumes to what he thinks about his brother. I know Loki's gone a little around the bend because of finding out he's a Frost Giant and all, but it does not do his character any favors.
  • We really don't get enough of Thor's weather powers in these movies, that tornado is sick.
  • I understand the reasoning for having the Bifrost open at specific locations in theory, but it doesn't really amount to anything in this movie and I'm glad future movies moved away from it.
  • I find it really funny that Loki was willing to let Odin live despite keeping all this stuff from him, but Thor? Nope, gotta die, sorry bro.
  • I'd like to point out that after blasting Thor out of the palace, Loki proceeds to... ride his horse all the way down the road to the Bifrost, and yet somehow, Thor doesn't catch up until Loki's already activated it. What the hell is that?
  • It really is tragic that at the time they start fighting, Thor has no idea what discoveries Loki has made. So he has actually zero context for what's gone on and why his brother is doing this.
  • "Is it madness? Is it? Is it?!?" is one of my favorite parts of this movie, it's heartbreaking. You can tell by this point Loki's not even trying to convince Thor that his plan is sound, he's trying to convince himself that it's all justified.
  • Odin can't even wake up from a nap without making a big production out of things, no wonder Loki's so dramatic.
  • I know the sadness of Thor not being able to go back to Earth and Loki being MIA is the big crux of this conclusion but seriously can we at least acknowledge the siutation with Jotunheim?
  • Post-credits scene is... fine? I wasn't as big into comics when I first started watching these movies, so I had no idea what a Cosmic Cube was or why I should care. Loki being able to reach out and control someone's mind from who knows how far out is hella impressive though.

On paper, Thor is one of my favorite Marvel characters. I love the spin on pre-existing mythology, I love the faux-Shakespeare dramatic speech, I love going out into space and across the realms to vanquish evil and the such. So that being said, the Thor movies as a whole don't really appeal to me all that much. But the first Thor movie is ultimately fine. I think it's definitely the best Thor movie we could have gotten at this stage of the MCU. The scenes with Thor on Earth are more engaging than they have any right to be and actually do a pretty good job making up for the relatively scant action. Asgard and Jotunheim both feel like completely different worlds from each other and from Earth, which is absolutely important. And the things that I ultimately don't like about where the Thor franchise has gone are... not this movie's fault, I think? I feel like the main problems come from either the Dark World doubling down on the wrong areas and then Ragnarok just chucking out the entire toybox as an over-correction, but I'll get to those when appropriate because the first Thor isn't really to blame for either of those points. Ultimately this one just falls into the "it's perfectly acceptable" category for me, definitely not one of my least favorites, but nowhere near the top 10.
10th Jan 2022, 7:59 PM A Look Back At Marvel's 2021 (Potential Spoilers For Marvel Stuff)
Soooooooooo... obviously this is a little bit late. Long story short, had a covid exposure scare ON New Year's Eve, and that really sucked out a lot of my enthusiasm for ringing in 2022. But this was still a pretty big year for the MCU, especially after the drought that was 2020. The start of Phase Four, the first (and maybe only for a while at least depending on how 2023 shakes out) year with four theatrical releases from Marvel Studios, the first year with Disney+ original MCU content, just an overall interesting mix of old and new stuff. So I figured "eh, so what if it's a little late, it's worth talking about I guess". Which brings us to this, my general thoughts on each of the Marvel projects that came out in 2021.
  • Wandavision: I was waking up at three in the morning to catch these episodes live. As a sitcom homage, I absolutely love it. The performances are fantastic, the little nods and effects they use to keep it feeling like an authentic product of whatever time period it's supposed to be are great and only make the points where the curtain peels back all the more unsettling. But once all the sitcom stuff falls away to solve the greater "mystery" of what's going on, I think it goes from being a really great series to just kind of okay, and the ending leaves a really sour taste in my mouth. Then again, full disclosure, I kind of hate the MCU's Wanda, and this didn't really change my mind on that. Still, I think this is probably the most genuinely ambitious MCU project in a while just in terms of genre-busting scope even if it stumbles at the end, and I hope to see more projects... not necessarily like it, but with the same sense of trying to push the boundaries of what MCU installments can be.
  • The Falcon And The Winter Soldier: It's okay. But it really needed either one or two less subplots, or two or more extra episodes. Everything about Falcon's journey to accepting the mantle of Captain America is really damn good, and I'm super-excited to see him again in whatever they do for Captain America 4. It's just a shame that the rest of the plots have to duke it out for resolution. Bucky's arc is woefully understated and I don't think the resolution is as satisfying, Walker's story feels like it's missing a huge chunk in between its hypothetical second and third acts, Zemo's as superfluous as he is completely badass, and honestly I think the villains are incredibly weak-sauce. All in all, this series feels like it got hit with one of the worst cases of "hyping up whatever's coming next at the expense of its own story"-itis of anything this year. I do really enjoy the dynamic between Sam and Bucky though, and they continue to have Sam do some really neat stuff with his apparatus.
  • Loki: Decent show, but I think with the exception of episode 5 it's an honestly terrible Loki show. For a supposed tricksy god of mischief, it doesn't feel like he actually pulls a lot of tricks or really has much in the way of coherent schemes going on, and he feels ridiculously underpowered compared to previous showings. Except in episode 3 for some weird reason, which I actually assumed for the entire week after it aired had to be an illusion because so little of it makes sense. I give them major props for having the finale be mostly a conversation rather than a big drawn-out CGI fight, and for at least using one episode to explore the concept of what it means to be a Loki, but I'm hoping for a little more of that from Season 2.
  • Black Widow: I know there was a lot of corporate BS going on keeping it from happening, but I really think this would have been a much better movie if they had made it for a 2016 release. There's surprisingly little espionage and spywork for a movie based around Black Widow, the stakes of the action feel particularly unconvincing given Natasha's plot armor until Endgame, and even though the family dynamic is cute and gets some laughs, I have a hard time buying that it's such an important part of Natasha's life just from the way it's presented. Taskmaster feels like they used the name just to put butts in seats, which is kind of disheartening because not only do I feel like we should be past that kind of thing, but Taskmaster feels like a deep enough pull that the name was only going to attract nerds like me who were still going to see this anyway because it's the next big Marvel release. Yelena is an absolute delight though, and I look forward to them putting her in as many future Marvel projects as she can stand to be a part of.
  • What If...?: Probably my least favorite MCU release in a while, because I'm a giant nitpicker. Most of these don't feel like they could have organically spun out of the MCU as we know it, and since it all builds to a big multiversal team-up I feel like it defeats the purpose of calling it "What If" in the first place. If you want to make Exiles, that's fine, just make the Exiles. That aside, there's some genuinely great stuff here, Strange Supreme is heartbreaking and very well done, Star-Lord T'Challa is amazing, and the murder mystery episode was very well written, but the show loses some major points for undercooking Marvel Zombies and the less said about Party Thor, the happier I'll be. Honestly I hope maybe they'll try some longer episodes for season 2? It doesn't feel like any of these really get the time they need to flesh their concepts out in 30 minutes.
  • Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings: I think this is the best thing Marvel's released all year. Literally the only real weak point for me is that I wish the final fight hadn't turned into a battle between big CGI monsters, but even then, it's decently well done and the only reason it disappoints me is because I was so enthralled with the hand-to-hand combat in the rest of the movie. Not really much else to say, it's a beautiful movie with great performances, spectacular writing, and awesome fight choreography. I can't wait for the sequel.
  • Eternals: I don't think this movie would have been better as a Disney+ series, but I do think it needed one more pass in the editing room. Kro could've been cut out of the third act entirely and left as a dangling issue to be either resolved in a sequel or handled elsewhere by another party, and Ikaris and Sersi just aren't all that engaging, so maybe some of the screentime put toward enforcing their "epic romance" could've been better used establishing their connections to the other characters/developing them as individuals instead? I definitely respect that this movie was trying to be more of a thinker, but there's some definite weakpoints to be patched up. Also, more Druig and Makkari in the sequel please. That's the real most valuable relationship here.
  • Hawkeye: I hate the LARPers. Other than that, I think this show's really damn good, probably the best of the Disney+ series just in terms of nuts and bolts structure, and tying the whole thing into the Christmas season gives it a surprising amount of charm. Kate's another welcome new addition to the MCU and I'm eager to see where she shows up next. Also I'm not a relationship expert or anything, but I feel like Clint and Laura have one of the healthiest, most communicative marriages I've ever seen in a TV show, and it's just really refreshing.
  • Spider-Man No Way Home: Okay I'm really not going to go into any details on this one because it's still relatively recent and still in theaters, but I feel like it's worth stating: I don't think this is the best Spider-Man movie, in general or live action. Honestly I don't even necessarily think it's the best Tom Holland Spider-Man movie. But god damn if slamming the nostalgia center of the brain doesn't count for a lot, because I definitely had the most emotional reactions to this movie out of any of the other Marvel stuff this year. By this time next year I feel like I'm going to look back at this movie and think it was just "pretty damn good", but there are moments in this that will probably never stop making me tear up just thinking about them.

All in all, I'm pretty happy with how this past year of Marvel content's turned out. There's a bit of an awkward "finding the footing again" feel to the whole sandbox again, but after Endgame I feel like that's actually pretty fitting. We're not just in Phase Four, we're in a new Phase One for whatever's following up on the Infinity Saga, and the most intriguing thing, I think, is that there's things building up across a whole bunch of different corners. And even while trying to plant seeds for whatever's coming next, most of these installments still work very well as entertaining and fulfilling experiences on their own, even if they're also keeping the hype machine running in the meantime.

Thanks to all those who decided to humor my ramblings by reading this, feel free to comment on what you thought about any of the Marvel stuff that came out this past year. And here's to an even better 2022 (hopefully)!
12th Nov 2021, 6:54 PM Marvel's Disney+ Day Announcements
It's funny, ever since I started this comic every Marvel rumor/announcement/release fills me with a weird combination of anticipatory hype and creeping dread. On the one hand, I don't want to jinx anything or come off as super-full of myself presuming that there's going to be any major continued interest in reading this comic in the however many years it's going to take me just to get through Phase Three. But on the other hand, I do have at least a basic outline for just about every project that's currently out, and honestly, seeing how far out in advance I can connect the dots has been a lot of fun. Still, some of their more off the wall announcements tend to elicit a reaction of "Oh man that's super-cool!" followed by "Oh man how the actual hell is that gonna work?!?". To wit, my increasingly panicked reaction to all of Marvel's Disney+ announcements today went something to the tune of:

--> Marvel: ECHO
--> Me: Oh, that's official then? Guess she's gonna need to be a PC. No problem, Hawkeye comes out soon, I can figure this out.
--> Marvel: AGATHA HOUSE OF HARKNESS
--> Me: Okay, that one was trade-confirmed a while ago, already have the Wandavision outline mostly adjusted...
--> Marvel: MARVEL ZOMBIES
--> Me: Echhhhhhhhhhhhhh, alright, I kinda had What If figured out, I think I can spin this one out into something possibly-
--> Marvel: SPIDER-MAN FRESHMAN YEAR
--> Me: Aggggggh, this is a prequel? But I already... I thought No Way Home was going to be the pain in the-
--> Marvel: X-MEN 97
--> Me: ... Nope. I ain't even think I'm touching that one. But maybe-NO. STOP IT. GET TO PHASE TWO, THEN WE'LL TALK.

Anyways, there wasn't really much of an underlying point to this whole thing, now that I've realized blog posts are a thing I just figured "hey this might be a halfway funny thing that doesn't give away too many future plans. Definitely not anything in the immediate future". Hopefully it is that thing. Anyways, thanks for reading, feel free to comment and let me know what you thought about the announcements. 
6th Nov 2021, 10:31 PM Iron Man 2 Retrospective

So now that Iron Man 2 the chapter is winding down, I thought it might be fun to sit down and actually rewatch the movie in one sitting, instead of rewatching bits and pieces over and over again for weeks to gather screencaps and figure out how I wanted specific scenes to be paced. Going forward I might try to do this with each movie, and maybe I'll even go back and do Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk at some point, I dunno. Maybe after the first Avengers.

Anyways, on to Iron Man 2. I have here a list of some stray thoughts and observations I had while watching it:

  • Ivan Vanko doesn't look all that much younger than his dad, I think?
  • I like that the movie starts off with a sort of dark reflection of Tony's "building in a cave with a box of scraps" montage. That being said:
  • While I feel bad for all the work Mickey Rourke put into crafting this character that never came to pass, I also feel like no amount of additional scenes or backstory was going to make Whiplash all that much more interesting. All I have to do is remind myself how many people were killed during the F1 race and then all I can think is "cool motive, still murder". Apparently there was an idea earlier in the process to have Hammer be backing several different villains, and I feel like that would have worked better.
  • It's genuinely hilarious watching Tony brag about establishing world peace knowing all the crazy shit that's happening in the background. SHIELD has already encountered aliens, they had a guy in a shrinking suit on payroll, Bruce Banner has been the Hulk for five years, and Wakanda's pretending to be a nation of humble goat-herders like they aren't sitting on the world's biggest pile of vibranium.
  • We get a Stan Lee cameo, a future Psylocke cameo, and a future Invisible Woman cameo all in rapid succession.
  • Tony seems to do all his best work half-assed and without really meaning to. Case in point, running circles around a HYDRA agent without even knowing it.
  • I'll touch on Hammer more in a bit but suffice it to say that I appreciate that Sam Rockwell brings a real "used car salesman" vibe whenever Hammer's trying to be a professional.
  • I don't know if this is a particularly hot take, but even when they each had just one movie apiece Don Cheadle proves to be the best Rhodey. He feels more like someone who can stand on Tony's level? I don't know, maybe I'll talk more about it if and when I get around to the first Iron Man.
  • Robert Downey Jr. is really good at... I don't know what to call it beyond "understated mania"? Like he isn't bouncing off the walls with hyperactive motormouth energy, but he really sells the idea that there's 50 things firing in his brain at once and he only has time to deal with whatever's pushed itself to the forefront.
  • In a similar vein to why Don Cheadle is a better Rhodey, I feel like Tony and Pepper's chemistry in this movie is... not great? It gets better in future movies, but I feel like in these first two you can really feel the "one of these people is the main character and the other is the love interest" imbalance.
  • Everything about Natasha's introduction as "Natalie" is really weird and uncomfortable now. I know it's "haha, Tony's an incorrigible rascal", but still.
  • Oh hey speaking of weird and uncomfortable, it's an Elon Musk cameo! Gross! :D
  • I don't know a lot about Formula 1 racing but I feel like Tony would have died if Whiplash hadn't shown up and derailed the entire event.
  • Feeding into the idea that multiple villains might have worked better, the racetrack fight is an awesome scene, but nothing Whiplash does afterward even comes close, and it's criminally short.
  • This is a weird observation but I actually really like that they didn't make Whiplash's arc reactor glow red or some other "obvious bad guy" color. It's one of those little obnoxious things that I feel like we would have had to deal with if this movie had been made in the late 90's/early 2000's.
  • How do multiple hits with a car not immediately cripple Vanko? Is he fully armored underneath his pants?
  • Suitcase armor is one of the most badass things ever put to film and I squee with joy every fucking time. It's one of those utterly ridiculous things that, again, probably wouldn't have gotten in if this movie was made earlier. Some studio executive would've cut it out for being too silly.
  • I know I mentioned this in one of the comic comments but I really do find it interesting that Tony never incorporates arc reactor whips into his own designs, and no one else ever uses them again.
  • Tony takes three hours to make an omelet because of course he does.
  • RDJ is also really good at giving off vibes of "Maybe there's something big and worrisome on my mind, or maybe I'm just an eccentric asshole? We'll figure it out on the day".
  • For someone who's really good at killing people with his bare hands, I think it's kind of weird that Vanko not only uses long-range whips, but later makes a big bulky suit that's presumably hard to move around in.
  • Everything about Hammer is just super-fake, and I love it. The obvious spray tan, getting "Italian" ice cream flown in from San Francisco, spending over 100 million each on prototype drones that are apparently just for show. The man is just obnoxiously extra.
  • There seems to be an Agent Carter continuity error here. This movie says Vanko defected to the US in 1963 but we see him working for Stark Industries in the mid-late 40's? Funny enough, the only reason I even noticed is that I rewatched the first episode of Agent Carter a week ago. I bought that "Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe" book set a bit ago and there were enough mentions of that show that I thought I might want to rewatch it. Since it's the only show from the Marvel Television era that gets more than a fleeting mention, maybe I'll do something with it after all? Who knows, we'll see, 2015's a long ways off.
  • This is very much an "in hindsight" thing, but I think it would have been way cooler if they hadn't told us who Scarlett Johansson was playing ahead of time? Imagine that whole exchange between her and Tony right before the party, but you don't know who she is or if she can be trusted.
  • Where did they get a watermelon for Tony to unibeam?
  • Tony's "plan" is absolute garbage. At least I think it was meant to be a plan? I feel like the implication is that he wanted to give Rhodey an excuse to take one of the suits, but there's no reason he needed to get drunk for that. What would he have done if he had actually hurt someone with his shenanigans?
  • "Give me a phat beat to beat my buddy's ass to" is still one of the greats in terms of lines.
  • I know they aren't out to seriously injure each other but it still makes me laugh that for as advanced as the Iron Man suits are, Tony and Rhodey's fight consists almost entirely of slugging it out and finding random things to hit each other with.
  • The moment SHIELD actively enters the plost is the moment this movie takes a nosedive. You really mean to tell me Nick Fury has nothing better to do than show up and give Tony a pep talk?
  • Adding to the "SHIELD subplot kinda sucks" rant, Coulson shows up seemingly just to remind us he exists? Thanks to the pacing of the scene Tony leaves the house with no issue, and Coulson doesn't even leave any other agents to keep an eye on Tony when he leaves for New Mexico. What if Tony had dropped dead in the middle of remodeling his house and building the synthesizer?
  • Everything about the "new element" plot is stupid. I don't have a fix for this one, I just know it's all stupid. Howard Stark already having discovered it is dumb, hiding it in a display is stupid, they threw in that "it is impossible to synthesize" line for no reason other than to make Tony look even more impossibly awesome when he immediately disproves it. Just inane from start to finish. Maybe have an alternative solution like an improved arc reactor design? A discharge tank maybe? I dunno, like I said, I don't really have a way to make this less stupid and I know we need to resolve the palladium poisoning problem, but. Ugh.
  • More reasons I love to hate Hammer, not only is he a hapless phony, he's also hilariously petty.
  • The War Machine design is on point, “bulkier Iron Man with more actual guns”, as it should be.
  • I hate to keep harping on about this one but genuinely, the whole Natasha subplot would have been great if we didn't know who Scarlett was actually playing until the drive to Hammer Industries.
  • Props to Peter Parker for standing up to a drone. I don't know what he thought he was gonna do, but props.
  • Who's actually paying for all the property destruction at this point? Is it S.H.I.E.L.D.? Does Hammer end up having to pay for it?
  • Natasha's fight contrasted with Happy's fight is both really funny, really awesome, and helps sell the difference between an average decently tough person and a SHIELD Agent. They may not be superhuman, but they may as well be.
  • By contrast I feel like the aerial dogfight goes on too long and yet at the same time the drone fight and Vanko attack on the ground is too short. Imagery when they're surrounded is phenomenal though.
  • When Hammer has his final spiel they do Pepper a disservice by not letting her get in a barb at him about “not being the competition” or something like that. Hammer is not competent, and he is not threatening, and it's a little late to try to make us think otherwise.
  • I like how Vanko, easily one of the more intelligent people in the movie, didn't think to put his helmet up when the repulsors converge. Probably wouldn't have helped, but it also probably couldn't have hurt?
  • I also like how this exploding repulsor thing only ever comes up in this movie and never again. Seems like it would have been useful.
  • Lt. Colonel James "Date Peeper" Rhodes
  • Fury just staring at Tony daring him to disagree with “textbook narcissism” is what I live for.
  • Tony's entire assessment report is ass-backwards. You'd think “Iron Man Yes, Tony Man No” would mean they were looking at War Machine instead, but they just hire Tony on as a consultant, aka “to NOT be Iron Man, the only reason we'd want to put up with him in the first place”.
  • This post-credits scene is super-hype. So far we've just been dealing with super-science in some form or another, and then they decide BAM! GODS AND STUFF!​​​​​​​
So yeah, overall this movie is... kind of a big mess? I have a lot of fun with it, I like to call it "the bad Iron Man movie I really like" in opposition to Iron Man 3's "good Iron Man movie I really dislike", but it's a mess. And as easy as it is to say they should have cut this or added that, as I've been doing this whole time, it's really hard to actually draw a solid line.

For example, it's easy for me to say “cut the Avengers recruitment” subplot, but then you don't have a reason for Natasha to be in most of the film unless you ALSO retool the Vanko subplot so maybe they know he's alive, and you still would have had to explain the end of Incredible Hulk only now you wouldn't have “Tony's a consultant for SHIELD” as an easy explanation, so then you'd have to take even more time from the beginning of the Avengers to set THAT up. And I have way too much to do to spend time rewriting this entire movie, much less any of the other movies.

Still, as uneven as it gets, I have a really good time with it. We get at least one really engaging (if incompetent) villain, and this film does a really good job fleshing out Tony's personal relationships a bit better and really enforcing one of Tony's key traits: Tony does not ever learn his lesson. Or at least, not the right one. He decides on a course of action based on impulse, charges full steam ahead, and only when it comes crashing down around him does he learn to think things through/lean on others/whatever the proper lesson is supposed to be. And then he does the whole thing again. It happens in Iron Man 3, it happens in Avengers, it happens in Ultron, in Civil War, arguably even in Homecoming, and definitely in Infinity War.

But it actually feels endearing instead of tiresome, most of the time at least. I really get the impression that Tony spends the rest of his life from escaping the Ten Rings to fighting Thanos feeling the weight of how close he came to dying, and he doesn't know when it might happen again, so he's determined to make the world better and make up for everything he was complicit with, even if inadvertently, with however much time he has left. For as much as people like to point at how Captain America's arc is ultimately about learning to seize things for himself every once in a while (and honestly I'd argue he's way more selfish than they maybe intended to make him even before that point, but then I'm #TeamIronMan), Tony has almost as much of a problem stopping to actually live his life, even to the point of periodic self-sabotage. No wonder he and Peter got along so well.

In hindsight this back half turned into less of a look back at Iron Man 2 and more an analysis of Tony as a whole, but I guess you can only avoid that so much when you've watched this movie enough times and you know what comes next. Feel free to post your own thoughts on Iron Man 2 if you want, I love getting other people's takes. As with the comic itself, thanks for reading, and I hope you got at least some small modicum of enjoyment from this little experiment. More than likely, I'll be back to do this again at the end of Thor.
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