Let’s face it. Marvel is kind of ruling the world right now.
With their wildly successful film franchise, popular new characters (Kamala Khan fans represent!), and their television enterprise, it all gives the impression that Marvel can do no wrong.
So as a Marvel fan and it being Thanksgiving and all, I want to name a few reasons why I’m thankful for Marvel for this past year.
Taking the hugest gamble ever with Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Most people said that Guardians of the Galaxy would be Marvel’s biggest risk of the year. I agree with that up to a point. Guardians of the Galaxy is, after all, a relatively obscure property within the comic universe.
Still, I feel that CATWS felt like a bigger risk, since it alters the fabric of the MCU so considerably with the revelation that HYDRA was in SHIELD all this time. Why? Well like I said it altered the fabric of the Marvel Cinematic Universe considerably. Every film after that would be changed by this revelation and every one before that you would have to look over with a critical eye to see if you missed something.
Basically, the fact that CATWS did so well was because of how well the revelation was handled. It was deftly written, beautifully directed, and every single actor there played their parts wonderfully.
I think this is one of the best acted, put together moves of the MCU. It’s kind of my new benchmark for really good comic book movies.
Guardians of the Galaxy in general
Okay. So if CATWS set the bar for how really serious and shattering superhero movies could be, then Guardians of the Galaxy set the bar for how fun superhero movies could be.
I would put this up as one of the funniest superhero movies of all time. Unlike purposefully comedic movies such as Superman III and Thor: The Dark World (which I can’t believe is classified as a comedy but whatever), GotG balances the humor just perfectly. You have a bunch of assholes and Groot having to team up to save the galaxy. With a rocking soundtrack and just a superb comedic timing for the cast, this movie was just fun.
It pretty much reminded you of how cool it is to be a superhero. And how cool space is and aliens and all that stuff.
It made it fun and after a gut punch from CATWS and increasingly dark superhero movies this is exactly what the doctor ordered.
KAMALA FREAKING KHAN
Now I will admit that while I can rattle off every detail of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, my actual comic expertise is limited. I tend to go for a bit more indie comics like (Saga, Pretty Deadly, The Wicked + The Divine, you get the picture) then DC versus Marvel. It’s mainly because those are more self contained stories that are just easier for me to follow without going in really deep to most runs.
This past year, however, I did start to stray into the Marvel comics. The current Hawkeye run, Captain Marvel, Sensational She-Hulk, All New Ghost Rider are the titles that I’m following. I have to say that I really enjoy them for the most part.
The queen of these, however, remains Kamala Khan in the Ms. Marvel run.
Kamala is the first Pakistani-American, Muslim superhero, who takes up the Ms. Marvel identity. Carol Danvers, Captain Marvel and the former Ms. Marvel, is her personal hero. For the most part, Kamala’s powers are based in shape and size shifting. She premiered in February of this year to critical and commercial success.
Why shouldn’t she? Kamala is just awesome, a superhero for the Millennial generation. She’s positive, kind, caring, optimistic, and a unabashed nerd. She wants to honor her traditions of her religion and her people while also making a place for herself as an American. Kamala isn’t afraid to geek out over superheroes when she becomes one herself. She’s willing to protect people and wants to affect real change in the world.
Kamala is awesome. She just is.
CAROL DANVERS IS FINALLY GETTING HER OWN MOVIE!
Carol Danvers is just awesome. Air Force veteran, made into a human-alien hybrid, policing intergalactic threats, refuses to be anything less then a badass, and rocks a faux hawk that I aspire to. She is one of the most kickass fictional women characters, period.
Yeah I know we’re getting a Wonder Woman movie in 2017. I’m going to go see it. Mainly because I would like to see more female superhero movies on the big screen. Because let’s be honest here, currently we don’t have many to choose from that are…good. Do I need to bring up Halle Berry’s Catwoman? Yeah I didn’t think so.
Man 2018 can’t get here soon enough.
T’CHALLA IS ALSO GETTING HIS OWN MOVIE!
Now I can admit that T’Challa is a character whom I don’t know much about. I know the character presented to me in the cartoon, Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, and I really liked him. I liked that he was from an isolationist nation and trying to expand his worldview. I loved how self-possessed he was and all with this really dry, witty humor.
I was fascinated by the country of Wakanda, which I can’t wait to see on the big screen.
T’Challa is just a really great character from the little I know. I can’t wait to learn more about him.
Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan Double Act
One of the best decisions Marvel made was casting Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/The Falcon. Not only was his character funny, charming, and the much needed grounding force in the movie, Mackie proved to be really fun in interviews.
This is the man who said that if he was cast in Avengers: Age of Ultron that he would run through the streets of NYC buck ass naked with that tattooed across his chest. What do you say to that? He’s fantastic.
Put him with Sebastian Stan? Oh. Yes please. The two of them just seem to love to egg each other on. Their interviews and panels were equal parts hilarious and just gut busting laughter.
I want Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie to star in buddy comedy together. I have no idea what it would be or how it would happen. It just needs to happen. The world needs this to happen. I will pay good money for this to happen.
Here’s my two favorite videos of them.
First one is their ALS Ice Bucket Challenge vid.
And here’s them addressing Tumblr’s fixation on addressing Chris Evans’s left boob grabbing thing.
ANTHONY MACKIE AND SEBASTIAN STAN BUDDY COMEDY NEEDS TO HAPPEN!
And that’s it. These are the few things that I am thankful that Marvel has given us this year.
There are so much more to come.