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Marvel Cinematic Universe (franchise)

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415

Congratulations to the Flat Earthers

Take off your pants and prepare a long scene-setting speech about space mythology, because it’s time to discuss “Thor” and “Thor: The Dark World” as we continue our Summer of Marvel. We praise the excellent casting of Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston, as well as smaller players Stellan Skarsgård and Kat Dennings, while wondering about what went wrong with Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster. (Hint: It’s mostly the writing.) Perhaps most importantly, Jason finally sees what other people see in “The Dark World” that he doesn’t… even if he remains unconvinced.

Jason Snell with John Moltz, Joe Rosensteel, Dan Moren and Dr. Drang

414

Credible Hulk

The Summer of Marvel continues our walk through the Marvel Cinematic Universe with 2008’s “Incredible Hulk,” starring Edward Norton. Released weeks after “Iron Man”, it’s often ignored, and yet it’s a fascinating look at the decisions Marvel did (and didn’t) make as it built its film franchises. Also just for kicks, we compare and contrast with Ang Lee’s 2003 “Hulk” starring Eric Bana, because gamma dogs.

Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, Guy English and Tony Sindelar

413

How Ironic, Tony!

The Incomparable’s Summer of Marvel begins with a look back at 2008’s “Iron Man” and 2010’s “Iron Man 2.” How unlikely was it that a B-list Marvel Comics superhero nobody had ever heard of would end up kicking off one of the most successful film franchises of all time? How did perfect casting and a light touch with the subject matter pay off in this unlikely success? And how does the sequel balance being a second “Iron Man” film and the launch of a much larger franchise?

Jason Snell with Brian Hamilton, Chip Sudderth, Jean MacDonald and Dan Moren

Myke at the Movies 44

"Avengers: Infinity War"

Myke and Jason break down the shocking and surprising events of “Avengers: Infinity War.”

Myke Hurley with Jason Snell

404

Thoughts About Thanos

After seeing opening-weekend showings of Marvel’s “Avengers: Infinity War,” our panelists got together for a quick discussion of our first impressions, favorite moments, key complaints, and thoughts about where the Marvel Cinematic Universe goes from here. (If you haven’t seen the movie yet, don’t listen!)

Jason Snell with Lisa Schmeiser, Alyssa Franke, Tony Sindelar, Dan Moren and Chip Sudderth

397

Mystical Herbologist

It’s already one of the most successful superhero films of all time, but it’s so much more than that. Our topic this episode is “Black Panther,” which dives into issues from feminism to the long-term effects of imperialism to the legitimacy of monarchies. Plus there’s spectacular production design, some amazing action scenes, and one of the most memorable (and sympathetic) villains in recent movie history. Wakanda Forever!

Jason Snell with Cicero Holmes, Mikah Sargent, Lisa Schmeiser and Moisés Chiullan

Myke at the Movies 26

"Spider-Man: Homecoming"

Myke and Jason give their quick reactions to “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”

Myke Hurley with Jason Snell

362

An Old Man With Wings

Despite a lot of trepidation based on previous lackluster film efforts, our panel rushed out to their local cinemas to see “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and came away with a pleasant surprise! They made a good Spider-Man movie! But did Tony Stark save the day, or just get in the way? Does Michael Keaton give a better villain performance than he ever did as a superhero? Did Tom Holland wear the suit, or did the suit (which talks, by the way) wear him? Our very own sinister six take apart the highs and lows of this exciting new chapter in the cinematic life of our favorite wall-crawler.

Jason Snell with Chip Sudderth, Moisés Chiullan, Brianna Wu, David J. Loehr and Guy English

352

Hold My Space Beer

The Guardians of the Galaxy are back, and so we’ve convened our panel of moviegoers to break down the good and bad of “Vol. 2.” Ego’s weird art collection! Yondu’s true status as a Space Dad! Sylvester Stallone being himself! Fighting sisters, deadbeat dads, and Fleetwood Mac. We break it all down, as usual.

Jason Snell with David J. Loehr, Kelly Guimont, Helene Wecker and Chip Sudderth

Defocused 97

A Trunk Full of Captain America Juice

It was all just a big misunderstanding.

Joe Rosensteel and Dan Sturm

299

Stark Differences

Flash! Direct from theaters to this podcast, we convene a panel of recent viewers of the latest Marvel superhero epic, “Captain America: Civil War.” Do the rationales of the two sides hold together in the face of reality? Is Tony a bad dude for recruiting a kid to use against his opponents? How do the new faces, including Spider-Man and Black Panther, fare? And how well does this movie fit into the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe series as a whole?

Jason Snell with Lisa Schmeiser, Moisés Chiullan, Erika Ensign, Steven Schapansky, David J. Loehr and James Thomson

Phil and Lisa Ruin the Movies 12

Arguing for Epigenetic Inheritance

Phil and Lisa ruin “Jem and the Holograms” and “Ant-Man.”

Lisa Schmeiser and Philip Michaels

Game Show 11

Counterclockwise: All-Father Knows Best

This month’s Counterclockwise topic is the Marvel Cinematic Universe! And joining us to discuss four Marvel-themed topics are superhero aficionados Lisa Schmeiser and John Moltz. We do some fantasy casting, offer our choices for best and worst Marvel Cinematic Universe releases, plan future Marvel films, and try to find the comedy in super situations.

Jason Snell and Dan Moren with Lisa Schmeiser and John Moltz

Defocused 46

The Robot Hand that Rocks the Cradle

Dan and Joe ask important questions about Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015). Like, ‘Why?’ and ‘What?’

Joe Rosensteel and Dan Sturm

Myke at the Movies 3

"Avengers: Age of Ultron"

Myke and Jason do a quick post-viewing review of “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

Myke Hurley with Jason Snell

245

Incomparable, Assemble!

Six members of The Incomparable panel went to see “Avengers: Age of Ultron” together, in person! And afterward we convened at Dan Moren’s house to discuss it over pizza and beverages. This is that conversation.

Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Dan Moren, Tony Sindelar, Serenity Caldwell and Andy Ihnatko

Defocused 45

Asgardian Go-Bag

Dan and Joe talk about an obscure classic: Marvel’s The Avengers (2012).

Joe Rosensteel and Dan Sturm

207

I Am Groot

Put in your mix tape and get ready for a climactic dance-off! We’re talking “Guardians of the Galaxy,” Marvel’s latest hit movie and a real departure in so many ways. What makes the movie work? What are its flaws? We break it all down.

Jason Snell with Serenity Caldwell, David J. Loehr, Monty Ashley and Tony Sindelar

190

The Cloud is Run by Hydra

Grab your shield, steal your old uniform, and hop on your motorcycle, because it’s time for us to discuss “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” It’s the latest Marvel movie, and even though Steve Rogers is the title character, there’s an awful lot of SHIELD in this movie, too. Does the franchise aspect of these films help or hurt? Are the action scenes more interesting than the urban disasters featured in most recent superhero movies? And is the Falcon really Cap’s only friend outside SHIELD? Also, we reveal the Hydra secret handshake.

Jason Snell with Tony Sindelar, Dan Moren, Guy English, Moisés Chiullan and Rene Ritchie

141

Tony Stark Wants the Credit

Put on your high-tech suit of armor and join us for our discussion of “Iron Man 3.” We talk about Tony’s post-traumatic stress, his problematic relationship with technology, and his questionable choice to use remote armor to give a present to his girlfriend. We also discuss the pros and cons of the first two Iron Man movies, analyze how this film fits in as a post-“Avengers” story, and appreciate Tony’s MacGyver moment.

Jason Snell with Lisa Schmeiser, Scott McNulty and Guy English

92

Nick Fury's Google Hangout

Avengers assemble! We discuss Joss Whedon’s Marvel movie, which has been a hit with audiences and critics. But some members of our panel don’t agree. How much do expectations factor in to one’s enjoyment of a movie? Has the bar for summer action blockbusters been set too low by the likes of “Transformers 2”? Should every action-adventure movie aspire to be something more? Why is this the first time that the Hulk has been portrayed properly in a film? Grab your cosmic cubes and prepare for 90 minutes of movie-smashing discussion.

Jason Snell with Andy Ihnatko, Dan Moren, John Siracusa and Ben Boychuk

57

Weird Subplots About Fondue

This past summer’s superhero movies are in the spotlight! Are the gods just aliens? When are mutant strippers unrealistic? Why would you beat up people after costing them their jobs? And why do the Stark boys enjoy themselves—and cheesy foodstuffs—so much? Our esteemed panel breaks down how “Captain America,” “Thor,” “X-Men: First Class,” and “Green Lantern” fared.

Jason Snell with Dan Moren, Monty Ashley and Tony Sindelar