Think you've got what it takes to be an Avenger? Or an X-Man? Maybe even a Teen Titan? Take this quiz below to find out!
I recall a conversation that I had with my mother. I just returned from Barnes & Nobles with the final The Walking Dead compendium under my arm, and he asked me how I, an individual she considers quite well read in the classics of literature, can read something intended for children. While that may be a paraphrase of how exactly that interaction occurred, the implication of her inability to understand the value of a comic struck me.
It didn’t take me long to realize why my mother thought this way. She was born in the 60’s, the height of Betty and Veronica, the time when the only place you saw comics were on the magazine rack in a drug store, not amongst the works of great novelists in a bookstore. It was the time of Adam West’s Batman and, as she grew older, Lou Ferrigno’s The Incredible Hulk. In short, comics and comic characters were seen as nothing short of mindless children’s entertainment with nothing substantial to provide a grown adult with. They weren’t taken seriously.
Yet are they taken seriously now? Most definitely. You only have to look at Marvel Studios and see how influential their movies have been to modern pop culture. People openly wept when Tony Stark sacrificed himself at the end of Endgame. People furiously petitioned to shut down Rotten Tomatoes because they gave a negative review to Batman v. Superman. People even started using the “Wakanda Forever” salute from Black Panther as a symbol to celebrate black excellence, influencing the future of an entire political movement. I think it’s safe to say that people take the comic world very, very seriously.
But what about the books? Do those hold the same substance as the movies? Does Marvel Comics have the capacity to elicit the same emotions from their readers as Marvel Studies does with their audience? I believe firmly that the answer is yes. In Hulk: The End, Bruce Banner (and, by extension, the Hulk) is the last survivor of a nuclear holocaust. An old man now, and with only a floating camera left by an alien race to document the demise of the human species to talk to, Bruce aimlessly wanders what’s left of the world. Not only does Hulk: The End provide the reader with a beautiful character study of Bruce Banner, Hulk and the relationship the two have, but it also evokes the legend of Prometheus at the end (I won’t tell you why, though, so you go find the comic online for yourself!)
Yet are comics books taken as seriously as the movies? While, over the years, the comic book industry has been booming (In 2015, the comic book industry in North America was worth over one billion dollars), there’s still a stigma attached to the medium, especially for the older generations. Despite this, comic books still hold just as much substance as novels, and are, most definitely, literature.
featured image via verge
Marvel Studios has some big plans for its future releases. With the Infinity Saga having ended with a bang, fans have been waiting excitedly for Phase 4 to officially begin, and with it a whole new cast of characters that will expand the MCU even further than it already has been. There’s a lot to cover so let’s not waste time with any more preamble. Here are the next few years of official Marvel titles that have been announced for Phase 4 and 5.
Black Widow – November 6, 2020
For years now, fans have been demanding that Black Widow be given her own solo movie, and that day is now finally almost upon us, with Black Widow set up to be the first title of Phase 4. Following the events of Captain America: Civil War, Natasha Romanoff herself alone and forced to confront a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Romanoff must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger. Filling in the gap of time between Civil War and her appearance in Infinity War, fans are finally going to be able to see their favorite Marvel heroine in her own starring role.
The eternals – february 21, 2021
When it comes to exposing the cosmos of the Marvel Universe, Marvel Studios has only scratched the surface, but with their upcoming film The Eternals, we’ll be introduced to a whole new cast of godly aliens, who will set the stage for Marvel’s vast library of hundreds of otherworldly superheroes. Taking place after the events of Avengers: Endgame, the Eternals – which are an immortal alien race created by the Celestials that have been secretly living on Earth for over 7,000 years – reunite to protect humanity from their evil counterparts the Deviants. Starring actors such as Kit Harrington, Kumail Nanjiani and Angelina Jolie, The Eternals is slated to be released during Marvel’s Phase 4.
shang-chi and the legend of the ten rings – may 7, 2021
From the spy thriller that was Captain America: Winter Soldier to the action comedy that was Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel has explored a wide variety of genres, and during Phase 4 Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will be the studio’s first kung-fu movie. Shang-Chi first appeared in Special Marvel Edition #15 in December of 1973, and while the plot for the film has yet to be released, it’s known that the Mandarin, played by Tony Leung, will be making an appearance, however, they will incorporate the English actor that was seen in Iron Man 3 is still anyone’s guess.
thor: love and thunder – february 11, 2022
Taika Waititi’s next Marvel project, Thor: Love and Thunder is going to be the fourth installment in the Thor series, and will be released during Phase 4. While, again, it’s currently unknown what the film’s plot is going to be, fans are curious to see how the return of Natalie Portman as Jane Foster is going to play out, especially because she’ll be wielding Mjolnir, effectively becoming the next God of Thunder. Valkyrie will also make an appearance, yet it’s unknown whether we’ll be seeing the Guardians of the Galaxy, since we last saw Thor taking off with them in the Benatar.
doctor strange in the multiverse of madness
One of the last films that will be released during Phase 4, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will take place after Endgame, and will not only be a sequel to Doctor Strange but also a tie into WandaVision, the TV series that will be released n Disney’s streaming platform Disney+, having Doctor Strange team up with Wanda Maximoff against whatever cosmic threat they will be up against. While there are rumors that Sam Raimi will be directing, it has yet to be confirmed.
Black Panther II – may 6, 2022
With the unfortunate and untimely death of Chadwick Boseman, we won’t be seeing the return of T’Challa, but that doesn’t mean that we won’t be seeing the Black Panther, as, like the case with many other Avengers, “The Black Panther” is a ceremonial title, given to whoever earns the place of chief of the Panther Tribe. Hopefully, the title is given to Shuri, as not only is she a fan favorite from the 2018 film, but she did take the title of “The Black Panther” in the comics when T’Challa was put in a coma by Doctor Doom. It should be noted that Black Panther II is not the official title of the film, nor has anything been officially released regarding the film’s antagonist (though I’m still hoping that it’s Namor the Submariner), Black Panther II is the first scheduled film of Marvel’s Phase 5.
While there are plenty of other films that we know are going to be released, these are just the ones who so far have a set scheduled debut. A new saga is approaching, one (hopefully) with a new villain that will be faced at the end (I’m not a betting man, but I’ll wager five dollars that we’ll be seeing the Avengers defeat Galactus in ten years).
featured image via animated times
With the sudden passing of Chadwick Boseman, a man who not only influenced pop culture, but also black culture, I thought it fitting to share my thoughts.
The book is titled It’s All Love, and it’s a reflection on Ortega’s life so far.