The 1989 Avengers West Coast Annual featured an unusual short story by Mark Waid and then-newcomer Amanda Conner called "Rate The Hunks," in which Wasp and She-Hulk offered their expert assessment on the sex appeal of their male Avengers colleagues. Almost thirty years later, we've assembled our own experts to repeat the exercise, with an updated twist.
There may never be a Hollywood talker like Robert Downey, Jr. Even in his fifties, the actor possesses a nervous energy and patter that makes him seem like the youngest man in the room, barraging his co-stars and audiences alike with a flurry of self-deprecating jokes and unbridled enthusiasm for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. His success as Tony Stark is synonymous with the success of the Marvel movies as a whole; while it’s technically possible to picture an Avengers movie without Downey, Jr. in the mix, there’s no denying it would probably be a whole lot less fun.
When you’re in the business of making movies as large as those in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, even the first few days of production are a pretty big deal for fans. This is doubly so when you’re launching Avengers: Infinity War, a superhero crossover event unlike anything audiences have ever seen before on film. So last night, when Marvel released a brand new production video complete with new cast interviews and some key concept art, people rightfully lost their minds. You think you’ve seen movie hype? You ain’t seen nothing yet.
We already know Avengers: Infinity War is going to be huge, with the current MCU arcs building toward a crossover event that promises to be the studio’s biggest yet — even bigger than Captain America: Civil War. According to previous comments made by directors Joe and Anthony Russo, Infinity War will feature dozens of characters from the Marvel universe, including Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord and Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel. As for the rest of the lineup, we can only make educated guesses, but a new casting call may have spilled the beans.
With the advent of technological helpmates like Siri and Alexa, it’s probably not long before we’re all living in a version of reality that feels a lot like Spike Jonze’s Her — or Iron Man, if you’re Mark Zuckerberg. The Facebook founder has been working to build his own A.I. system similar to Tony Stark’s Jarvis, and now that he’s ready to give it a voice, one Marvel star is eager to provide his services.
Joss Whedon quit Twitter back in 2015 after he decided that the social media platform’s pervasive negativity, anger, and outright hatred was too toxic to endure. (Where could he possibly get that idea from?) But this morning, like a phoenix or vampire slayer rising from the ashes, Whedon returned to Twitter with a new handle, and a new project: A get-out-the-vote campaign called Save the Day.
Of the many bonus features included in each new Marvel Blu-ray / DVD release, the gag reels are always the most special of the bunch, especially when the whole MCU gang gets together. You won’t be able to purchase Captain America: Civil War for another couple of weeks, but thanks to Marvel, you can watch the hilarious outtakes featuring Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr. and the rest of the Avengers crew right now.
In other words, this movie is crowded. Maybe overcrowded. Marvel and Sony’s new Spider-Man (Tom Holland) steals the show with his wisecracks and web-swinging, but serves almost no narrative purpose. Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) is only slightly more important to the story; his main function is to introduce the character to a broader audience before he gets spun off into his own standalone movie in 2018. The subplot involving the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) ties up some loose ends from the last Captain America movie, but it’s not really crucial to the film’s central conflict between Cap (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) over governmental control of the Avengers. (The Winter Soldier barely appears in the original Civil War comics.)