Posts Tagged ‘captain america’

Sorry I didn’t do this sooner.  I was also supposed to do the Ant-Man trailer, but I’m just not excited for Ant-Man.  I didn’t do the Ultron trailer because I’m going to do a big post just before the movie comes out, so stay tuned.

So Agent Carter’s next episode grounded the series further.  Not only do we get serious but funny situations (The beginning of the show, where the man is looking for his girlfriend), but we see the chemistry between Peggy and Jarvis deepen.  As the story goes on, Jarvis – still very serious about miniscule things – and Peggy begin to clash a bit, until they realize just how much they do need each other when Jarvis is taken in for interrogation, and Peggy picks a crappy hiding spot.  Peggy realizes Jarvis is hiding something, and then the SSR shows up at Jarvis’ (or Howard’s) door.  After this, we see the two clashing personalities finally come together a bit.

Jarvis is finally forced to reveal a part of himself to Peggy.  After the interrogation – which did his character some justice – he and Peggy talk about his past.  The interrogation showed Jarvis is more than a bumbling yet sophisticated butler.  It showed how fiercely loyal he is, and possibly how fiercely loyal he may become to Peggy.  He, too, is also a bit capable of getting snarky.  Finally, though, those men get fleshed out a bit.  We learn Peggy thinks Souza is a just barely decent person.  Dooley and Thompson get angry at Peggy for compromising the earlier interrogation with Jarvis, and we start to see that “small feeling”.  I will elaborate on that – I am a woman, and I almost felt what Peggy felt like as she was getting yelled at.  I swear, I could relate to that moment so much it hurt.

In the beginning, though, it seemed as though he was just doing it for Stark, but now, we do really see them work as a team, and the chemistry finally melds.  As I said before, Jarvis makes himself feel vulnerable to Peggy by telling her about his wife and how they met.  It’s pretty apparent during this scene that it is almost as if they are equals in a time where women were not equals – Peggy is listening to Jarvis speak, and it’s pretty clear she is blatantly in control of the situation.  It is at this moment, for me, Peggy really seems like a 21st century woman stuck in a time when women were not equals.  All that “girl power” assertion people complained about paid off, and it manifested in this moment.  Jarvis is the one making himself vulnerable to Peggy by telling her about he and his wife and their marriages’ genesis.  She is not pining over her love for Captain America – Jarvis, though, is pining over his love for his wife.

But then, my point about them working together really came together at this moment.  They realize Stark’s technology was stolen, and found the ship.

A thug shows up, though, compromising everything just a bit.

SHE’S WEARING PANTS. THIS IS A BIG DEAL.

I have to say, after learning about the Hawkeye Initiative, I realize her attire was not entirely appropriate for fighting big thugs, but the general comic book alternative (aka basically not having clothes on) is not terribly appropriate either.

But Jarvis and Peggy really work as a team now, and Peggy does most of the fighting – Not Jarvis.  After Jarvis taps into his inner spy and calls the SSR (Peggy is rubbing off, I see) they flee as the men are on the way while the thug is on the floor after Peggy uses one of Stark’s gadgets.  Finally, that “small” feeling has left me as Peggy kicks ass once again. The men are becoming suspicious, and you’re on the edge of your seat – you don’t want Peggy to be found out.  You just don’t.  She’s so likeable much like Captain America.  I want to elaborate on that.

All the people currently saying she is flawless: While her flaws may not be glaring at you – she does have them.  Not only that, though, but I thought about that more.  Peggy and Captain America are like the perfect couple.  She’s a badass, and he’s honorable.  Captain America doesn’t exactly have glaring consistent flaws.  They both have their moments (like kissing another girl in TFA… for shame, Cap), but nothing is relatively consistent.  They are both like perfect people – not just Peggy.  Considering Captain America is practically America’s superhero rep, and Peggy seems to be America’s spy and woman rep, it’s hard to hate on them for that.  They’re also both so much in the public spotlight that they must know by now to try to be as flawless as possible.  (imagine seeing the headline:  Captain America, arrested for driving drunk, speeding, on freeway.. yeah, I don’t think so).

The threats finally hit home, though, as one of the SSR workers (Krzeminski) is taken out by Leviathan.  This is a good touch, though.  It finally makes you feel some remorse for the incredibly-sexist-men.  It’s easy to hate them, but we need to remember they’re also products of their time.  They do feel emotions like the rest of us and like Peggy, who shows her soft side after learning of the death.  This is also a good time to put another rumor to rest: Peggy is not a man hater.  She is sad for a man who objectified her.  She cries.  (Sidenote:  I wasn’t terribly surprised he was the one, because of how awful of a character he was).  It reminds us the threat is growing. She speaks about it to Angie, who, for some reason, I inherently don’t trust.  I’m suspicious of her or Dottie – I feel one of them is going to betray Peggy, and I don’t know why.

Overall, Peggy is very well rounded out, and I expect the crotch kicking to go up in the next episode ten fold.  I think next episode we’re going to see the true wrath of Peggy.  I think instead of Captain America protecting her as would be stereotype – we are going to see how deeply they love each other and how pissed off Peggy is capable of becoming, even toward the people she works with.

No longer feeling so small.

But regarding my earlier “small feeling” comment.  Maybe it’s just my terrible experiences kicking in (not all of my experiences are bad, so do not label me a man hater), but when Peggy was getting yelled at, I had that small feeling coming back.  I hope it was present for everyone, and not just me.  How a strong woman was reduced to seeming child like.  How an adult woman was standing there, virtually unable to defend herself, listening to a man run his mouth on how what she did was so awful.  I hope you felt how small Peggy felt during that moment, because that scene really spoke to me.  It brought me down from the high that was Peggy being able to do things a woman in the 40s could not do.  Boys have done that to me, even now, in 2015 (because I’m not fucking calling them men).  I have been Peggy.  I have felt small because of a man speaking to me as they spoke to Peggy. That small feeling I felt during the scene – I hope you felt it, too.  I hope it gave you a window into some of the issues of sexism on both sides (as in MEN and WOMEN stereotype) going on right now.  I hope it gave you a window into how to treat people of any gender.

Like an equal.

Don’t be small.  Be Peggy Carter.

Advertisements

Where do I start?

I’m a woman in comics.

It doesn’t get much better than this.

Let me start by saying it is wonderful that girls have something to relate to.  I love male characters as much as the next guy (or girl).  But really, the fact is, its so different when the lead is a female – at least for me.  It’s different when it’s set in a time when sexism is glaring – Because you and I both know comics and traditionally male topics went through that stage.  I refuse to air my opinion on if it still has a hint of sexist, but man, Peggy took some major steps in the right direction.

How is this different for Black Widow for me?
If you read my blog you know I love Black Widow.  Black Widow was different because Captain America and Falcon were involved (mostly cap).  And there were a good few moments she didn’t feel like an equal or she didn’t quite come off as the same caliber as Captain.  And that’s okay to some extent – I mean, the name of the film is Captain America.  She shouldn’t be the main star of the show.

So why do I love Agent Carter?

Simply put, sexism is glaring and she’s the only one who is being put down.  Also, truthfully, originally I had the notion in my head that there was a significant chance that Agent Carter would just be touting a constant “girl power” schtick.  But then, I realized a few things – significant things (I’m just laying some groundwork for a larger point):

(Spoilers)

– Peggy Carter is, quite literally, a woman in a man’s land.  It’s easy to say her constantly punching people and throwing people out of windows is really just making the girl power schtick go too far.  But the fact is, back in the ’40s, a woman probably couldn’t punch a man without getting the crap beat out of her herself.  I totally understand the notion that it’s too much or too far, but she couldn’t casually walk into the room asking for a meeting when she wanted to find the bomb (the glowing orange thing – the name evades me).  He would’ve told her go home sweetheart, this work is for a man.

–  At first, I understood it when people said, “All the males are sexist”.  Google 1940s advertisements.  Have you seen that shit?  Also, like I said before, it might also be done to highlight Steve Rogers and his qualities, putting emphasis on their relationship – he is decidedly not sexist.  If a Good Not Sexist Guy shows up, we might be rooting for Peggy to date him, who knows.

– I’ve seen the argument be used that she makes men out to be stupid (not true), and I’ve seen the argument be used that it takes away from the overall message for the makers to use her as a sexy blonde and using lipstick to get someone to pass out.  Herein lies the problem: While today we don’t need to do that and we *can* ask for a meeting or just kick ass to begin with like Black Widow does, odds are the men consider her to be too stupid to pull off that kind of thing.  They blatantly call her stupid more than once.  They don’t expect her to use her brain and con them out of things via their own sexist desires – it’s not that they’re stupid.  It’s their blatant underestimation and own expectations that lead to that result.  You wouldn’t at all be puzzled over a blonde woman in a low cut dress suddenly appearing in your office?  Well, you would be – turns out they’re not puzzled by it.  They’re that good.  That desirable (Yuck).

– People are saying if it’s a powerful tv show for women – there should be more women.  Except, it’s the 1940s, and they call her a secretary.  It’s hard enough for her to be there and it’d take away from her character.  Also, maybe how this is received will pave the way for other non-ridiculous public relations pitches.  Maybe we can get a Black Widow movie out of this. Maybe we can get Poison Ivy her own comics.  Peggy Carter is, in a way, paving a way, even if she’s in such a sexist 1940s land.

So I still haven’t answered the question:  How has Agent Carter changed things for me?

Focusing on her gender might have a good result in the end.  It might eventually result in us having more female-led comics.  More female-led movies.  More female led anything (sidenote:  exactly 1 grown woman in Ant Man’s trailer if I remember correctly). Things like that are a problem.  I thoroughly enjoy the male leads.  I thoroughly enjoy their acting ability.  But I can only relate to them so much – it reaches a point where I can’t relate to them because they’re guys aside from being superheroes.  It’s hard enough to relate to super soldiers and giant green people, but now you’re changing the gender on me. Agent Carter nips that in the butt for me.  I can relate to her.  I can say I want to be like Peggy Carter.  I can say I want to be Peggy Carter for Halloween (and if I were 12, I would be).  It also appears the next episode is going to let her personality blossom, and yes, she does have flaws (she forgot leaving her tracks behind?).

Not only is she not a superhero, but she’s also one of the characters who used to be put in refrigerators – the killed love interests to rile up the superheroes, or to get revenge.  She is a love interest, but I don’t suggest you try to fridge her – she shot at him, and she’ll shoot at you, too.

Overall,  Agent Carter took one big step in the right direction – in a big, red, high heel.

So I love this show..

Um..

End of review.

Not really, but you should know where this is going.  I will be doing episode 1 and 2 together.  FYI: I knew I would love this show.  I love Peggy.  I loved Peggy in The First Avenger.  Girl is kick ass.

First of all, and probably the best thing about it was the tie ins with Captain America, but not to the point where it feels like all we’re doing is learning about Captain America and Peggy can’t hold her own.  It’s made pretty apparent that Peggy is not a damsel in distress despite her love for America’s hero and we are reminded of that through parts shown of the movie itself.  She moves on but doesn’t forget.  She is a woman who is strong, but is so overlooked nonetheless.  Part of that is because of the Captain himself, but we can’t forget that’s why we know Peggy.  It let’s us know we are smack dab in between the two movies, and sort of forget The Winter Soldier even ever happened yet because it is so immersive.  The time frame is done amazingly – we are reminded she is a woman in a time where man literally thought this about women:

Nope, this isn’t a prop.

The time frame works amazingly, and it lets Peggy shine.  The amount of sexism could get anyone cringing, but the fact is it’s almost necessary for Peggy to ram people with staplers (by the way, that was awesome).  It’d be hard to justify the amount of punching and epic moments she has if she were not in that time frame. Without that time frame, she wouldn’t be able to do some of what she does either – because she’s a woman, they assume she’s innocent and cutesy, but then she’s casually breaking into a drawer.  And that is decidedly awesome.  The time frame and the sexism does something else, though: Everyone else who’s sexist highlight why Peggy won’t date anyone else – good guy Cap doesn’t quite act that way, now does he?  In addition to basically being necessary, it highlights the qualities of not only Peggy, but Captain America, too.

You know what else is awesome?

The dynamic between Jarvis and Peggy.  You know, with Howard Stark basically being why this is happening, I actually wondered where he’d run off to… and then he ran off, literally, and we are stuck with two people with the same accent might I add (good touch!) that defy each other.  They work well together but only because they clash to the point where its hard for them to understand each other’s motives in the beginning.  Jarvis doesn’t get it – why the urgency?  He uses fancy words, talks calm even when it’s appropriate to be cursing like a trucker, and then you have Peggy who is casually throwing people out of windows in the kitchen.  If Peggy needed to have a partner in crime, nobody works better than Jarvis, simply because of how oddly detached he is from it.  I mean, he is Stark’s butler, you would think he’d be a little bit more… fired up over this.  But no, he casually asks where to drive as everything is going to blow up.  The humor between them seems to be perfect – a good balance between serious and joking, enough to get something done but make you wonder how they will do it in the process.  Probably what I love about Jarvis, though, is that he’s not overtly sexist.  He does have sexist qualities, though: some of his comments really come off terribly sexist.  He highlights a problem even in present society:  Sexism without even realizing it.

Probably what’s best about Howard Stark, though, is that it does tie into the Iron Man movies with the mention of Roxxon and also (apparently) the showing of Doctor Vanko.  It appears everything that isn’t Captain America is subtle – but it’s there.  Personally, I view those a bit like eggs.  Like, you know, you don’t fundamentally need it to understand the show, but if you understand it it just makes everything a little more awesome.  And, if you learn, you can always re-watch and find out something new.  Finding out something new during a re-watch is just about as good as it gets, for me, because I find very little reason to rewatch basically anything.

But… the villains might have me re-watching it.

I was frequently getting confused on who was who in the beginning.  Who was Peggy’s company, who was the rival agents, etc.  Society is overall something Peggy needs to overcome – it’s a villain in and of itself.  Sometimes they do come off a bit unclear, though, as to who’s who and who’s doing what – but I can imagine that’s because it’s the first two episodes, and if they told you, well, it’d be that they told you too quickly.  There’s just a lot of names to catch and a lot of faces to remember – some without names.  They should develop her co-workers more – not just the necessary ones.  Why is Sousa so nice to her, for one?  Do any of them have ulterior motives? I’m sure that’s next.

The other thing I loved, though, was the radio show.  It was a nice touch, once again making us feel immersed in the time without making us feel like we were bored without the glam of the 21st century.  It seemed to directly contradict events and Peggy’s personality itself – it also makes me wonder how well she can handle constant reminders of her lover, especially as she finds things of his or reminiscences occasionally – things like his file, or things like at the end of the second episode.  Despite her love for Steve Rogers, it doesn’t make her vulnerable.  Her mission itself makes her vulnerable – leaving some tracks behind remind us she is not infallible – they have the license plate.  They saw her foot tracks.  Even the best agent can’t think of everything – and it leads us to root for her.

The teaser for the next episode leads us to question everyone – and clutch our pom poms in anxiety.

Also, kids, when I grow up, I want to be like Peggy Carter.

So I’ve been planning on coming here for months on end. I never got around to it because of schoolwork, life, and well, everything else.  Let me tell you I was so excited for this I could barely see straight.  When I first found it out, I pretty much said I’m getting tickets it and going, crawling if I need to.  So upon entrance, I was so happy to be there, it was crazy.  I felt confident in the exhibit. Well, um.  That wasn’t the case…  Fun fact:  I usually listen to superhero music during these posts.  I am listening to something completely unrelated to superheroes.  It was actually that bad.  I thought for sure, it’d be something to rave about..

That was not the case.

Like, at all.  I’m actually wondering if someone blindfolded the media when they wrote their reviews of it back in July, because I just can’t see how it was so utterly amazing.  (Sidenote:  Any civilian reviews of this is almost overwhelmingly negative).  That, or they were offered a shitload of money.

Upon entering – the entrance sets a really high bar.   First of all, the Discovery Center in NYC does not allow photography, as such, that includes the Marvel exhibit.  Which to me, already, you are setting a really high bar for yourself.  You need to make this exhibit so unforgettable, so amazing, that you don’t need a selfie with the Iron Man suit to remember you went in 2 years.  The fact is, people are surgically attached to their devices.  I’m not saying that’s right, or even that should be the case – it just is.  We also live in a world of complete documentation – our phones document what we see.  To deny people to document is a pretty big deal nowadays, really, and I am not the only one with this sentiment because I looked at reviews of this place, and everyone apparently hated you couldn’t take pictures.  Well, if you are one of those people:  That wasn’t Marvel.  That was Discovery Center, which seems to have a business model of “No pictures +  cool exhibit idea + ???? = profit”.  I have been near or in Discovery Center a few times (I live in NYC), and I have to tell you it’s really more of a tourist trap half the time in my opinion, aside from the fact that if the exhibit is actually good, you can’t take pictures – which to me is a boatload of bullshit.

But let’s get started on the actual exhibits… if you really want to call them that.

You walk in, and they make you make out a SHIELD Agent card.  At first, I thought this was just a cute gimmick.  No. That card ended up being the entire exhibit.  Literally.  I asked to confirm the no photography about a million times, but a Discovery Center employee (not Marvel-specific employee) informed me that they just throw out whoever tries to take any pictures, but told me if you can sneak it do it, because “I love them too”.  She/He told me the employees (Marvel) are a special type of asshole when it comes to any device that could take a picture, no less actually doing it.  Like, if you just take out your phone, more than likely a shitload of employees are just going to turn into some SHIELD police gimmick and take you down for real.  Not to sound nitpicky (although once I hate something, I’ll nitpick it down to the color of it), but, like, maybe people have legitimate reasons to use their phones.  I don’t know.  I went on a vacation about a decade ago, and everything went to hell.  If I was a tourist, and I went into Marvel on that vacation, there was no way I wouldn’t use my phone or at least check it. It was legitimate emergency level stuff, such as emergency sick family members and the like (yes, while on vacation, thousands of miles away).  It’s really not that hard for a vacation to slowly take a really shitty turn, since I know someone probably thinks I’m doing it to be nitpicky – but trust me, I was on that vacation where it just went really bad, and we all relied on our cell phones, and kept them available at all times.

But I made it through making a card.  Yay.

Now I go into another room, where there is a guy with a camera and a green screen.  I’m not getting much of an explanation as to why I am standing in front of a green screen, why this person is telling me to “pose like a superhero”, or why he is here at all.  I already made the card, what are you possibly using my picture for?  The lack of explanation was really quite confusing, so I took one serious one and one not serious one.  Still, I had no explanation as to why I am standing in front of a green screen.

Then this is where they set the bar really high.  You go into this chrome-looking square (as a miserable looking employee escorts you – dude looked like someone told him his pet hamster died), and Agent Felix Blake comes on.  I’m Agent Felix Blake, and this is top secret blah blah blah.  The walls in front of you literally become the screen you are watching, which is really cool tech.  So then that’s all over, and you go into another room, and another series of small TVs tell you the same exact explanation the other guy just did.  It was literally almost verbatim, and you are wondering why you are hearing this again, why your neck needs to fucking crane out like a giraffe over this thing (if you happened to stand relatively normal, it looked like a laptop/flat screen on a bad angle), and when you are actually going to see something.  It was cool technology, please don’t get me wrong, but I just thought they could show something different.

It only looks cool.

(photocred: Timeout.com)
Finally, the meat and potatoes, or the very little meat and potatoes, of the exhibit are after this explanation.  You walk forward, and there are costumes.  Namely, Black Widow, Coulson, Nick Fury, Hawkeye, and that should be it (Also, really, no Peggy costume from TFA either there or in the Captain America exhibit?  Hello? marketing committee, are you sleeping?  She is getting her own show?).  And to accompany these props – which initially really left me in awe, despite the fact I couldn’t take photos – were none other than touch screens giving a brief explanation of the heroes.  I didn’t actually play any of them because I played one and lost interest in about .5 seconds, because all it showed was scenes from The Avengers.  I don’t believe it actually went into the character’s history very much other than perhaps their role in Avengers, but I could be wrong considering my interest instantaneously was lost.

The next exhibit was probably the only reason I went: Captain America.  I am a huge Captain America fan.  I saw pictures of his exhibit and knew I needed to go.  Honestly, for how ridiculously famous he is now, you would’ve really expected more.  There were the cards, his shields, costume, various other props, and that was basically it in props.  Honestly, if you want to see his props, save your money and just Google “Marvel Avengers STATION Captain America”.  You’ll see almost everything if you look hard enough.  Aside from the props, there were “testing” yourself against Captain America machines… Which, really, if you have any interest in actual comic books or are over the age of 5, that isn’t going to be your big thrill.  I don’t know.. considering how famous he is now, a little history in the character would’ve been better than these machines.  Wow! Captain America is stronger than you (spoiler alert).  The machines were also corny enough to tell everyone who used it they made it to the high scores. One machine even told you your height and weight, and Cap’s height and weight, and the differences in both.  You don’t need to pay 30-50 dollars to be told that, and you can just Google Captain America’s height and weight and do basic math without uber-engineering getting involved.

Whatever machines weren’t “tests” against Captain America, it went into the science of Captain America.  Except.. Captain America isn’t science.  I don’t care if he has different hemoglobin oxygen levels.  I don’t care about his liver working overtime – really, I don’t.  They should have had more on Captain America, than literally a room full of “test yourself against Captain America”.  I don’t know…. the fact his debut comic was punching Adolf Hitler?  His past movies?  His past anything?  But, at least I got to see his costume, which somehow got me a dirty look from the employee.  I did not have a phone out, nor did I have a camera (like, with me, at all).  Why enthusiasm warranted a dirty look, I do not know, but, the Discovery Center person wasn’t wrong.

And it only gets worse from here.

Next exhibit is the Hulk.  As you can imagine, unless they custom-make giant shorts, I don’t see what props they could include in Hulk’s exhibit.

Bingo.

It was the biggest, and also probably one of the most irrelevant, exhibits.  The exhibit had nothing to do with the Hulk and everything to do with random scientific information.  The Hulk’s exhibit featured everything from learning about gamma ray radiation in really god damn scientific terms (like, I’m talking words that would not generally appear in the Avengers, a history of the Hulk, or even Bruce Banner; they would appear in your local “radiation” college course).  You quite literally have no idea what you are reading, or why the hell you should read it at all, considering Bruce Banner or Hulk is barely mentioned in one of the machines’ descriptions.  Not to mention, before, on Captain America’s machines, there wasn’t really anything inherently scientific aside from the one prop that explained how he lived though being frozen (once again, in really complicated terms about hemoglobin, liver activity, and thyroid activity).  It was really just corny, so you didn’t need to re-read anything.  Well, the problem is, for all of these machines I’m mentioning, you are using that card.  You scan the card, and then you do the machine.

Seems simple, right?

Except for the fact that the makers of the exhibit expected you to be the Usain Bolt of reading and have a PhD in “Everything Science Related” so therefore you obviously know EXACTLY what they are talking about.

I needed to re-do one like 3 times because 1.  It was too fast and I couldn’t actually fucking read it, 2. it wasn’t explained properly what to do, 3. it went too fast and I couldn’t actually fucking read it.  Did I mention it was too fast?  Captain America’s information/machines were at least a little relevant (but corny), everyone knows he is a super soldier.  But tell me:  Why do we give a shit about the size of Hulk’s temporal lobe?  How about his Frontal lobe and Prefrontal cortex?  Amygdala?  Do you even know what any of those are?  Do you care what any of those are? If you do, don’t go to a Marvel exhibit.  Take a psychology course.

Yes, there was an exhibit on the human brain within Hulk’s exhibit (if you call it that), explaining all of the human brain and what it does.  Except for the fact that this is an Avengers exhibit, not a neuropsychology exhibit.  Tell us how Banner got the radiation.  Tell us his first comic debut. Now we’re really getting desperate: even mention the man who made him, Stan Lee.

And as you went on, it just delved deeper into gamma radiation, and kept ignoring Hulk.  There was an unidentified movie prop – once again, no explanation – along with more explanations about gamma rays.  I didn’t actually bother reading them, and I just kept going.  Next I found Chitaur props and Loki, which were cool.

…And then things hit a new low.  A really new low.

You know how people say Thor is ignored?  Well, Marvel definitely confirmed they ignore him too.

Literally, the exhibit consisted of a black room with Thor’s costume, and a hologram of his hammer.  It’s supposedly like, the world’s biggest hologram or something.  Why that would really matter to a comic book fan, I couldn’t actually tell you.  But it get’s worse.  Thor’s exhibit happened to be his suit, a hologram hammer, and… NASA.  That’s right.  Hubble Space Telescope, Kevlar, Wasp-2b planet, Constellations, Northern Lights.  How is that relevant to Thor?

Not explained either.

Yeah, I get it that he’s from Asgard and space and references, but literally, the entire screen had NASA information as if you just went to a space museum.  Thor’s costume had two screens that didn’t work next to him.  I normally love astronomy, but the fact is, I wasn’t there for astronomy.  They kept up the Avengers movie gimmick, but didn’t actually mention anywhere that Loki is the brother of Thor.  Bringing their A-Game, in other words.

Then you went around the back, and there is another giant screen explaining more astronomy, and suddenly something Thor related actually gets a mention – mind you, the screen is blocked by the NASA exhibit, so it’s not even near Thor’s costume.  Jane Foster is mentioned, as well as more scientific jargon.  I don’t have a lot to say… partly because there isn’t a lot to say.  There wasn’t much to see, therefore, there is very little to talk about.

Next, is Iron Man.

Iron Man gave me the finger.

I knew he was rough, but… wow.. Really..

Iron Man didn’t actually give me the finger.  They just had more gimmicky machines, and one of those machines was an Iron Man arm.  Except, the middle finger must have stopped working, and the ring finger only worked on the top (otherwise known as the phalanges, because apparently this is about anatomy and not comic books).  So you put your hand inside a sensor, and begin making hand movements… except for the fact the middle finger didn’t move.. And as such, Iron Man gave me the middle finger.

But it gets worse.  There was one machine that was so bad, I just stopped using it.  It was about how Howard Stark did engineering or something.  There were typos in each of these machines, somewhere, but this just topped it all.  It didn’t just have typos, but it didn’t explain Howard Stark.  It explained… types of rocks.

Gold is a soft metal.  Iron is a hard metal.  Titanium is found here.  Agent is bored to tears. Abort mission.

If I wanted to learn about metals, I’d take a geology course.  Ideally, if you want to know about Iron Man, you go to a Marvel exhibit… apparently, that is not the case, here.  His costume looked gorgeous, but really, more gimmick machines.  It was supposed to be “being Iron Man”, but like I said, if you actually like comic books, this is not the place to go.  I actually didn’t even bother finish looking at everything, just because I just wanted to leave.

But then, it abruptly ends.  And there is a gift shop…

… with items almost exclusively for children.

For adults, there’s a gray metal water bottle (Iron Man taught you about that.. Pop Quiz time), and really expensive shit.  For example?  There were canvas’.  They were nice.

They were over a thousand dollars.

There were child banks.  Child t shirts.  Child everything else. Thor’s hammer and Captain America’s other shield was in the gift shop, and those two things were literally the only things you could get a picture of.  (I took a Shield Selfie (TM)).  The only mention of comic books was the gift shop… with exactly two story arcs being there.

Everything else sucked, simply put.

Oh?  Remember that green screen?  Well, at the end, they put a picture of the Avengers behind you, and you could buy the pictures for a ridiculously overpriced amount and have them e-mailed to you (yet again for a price).

Turns out, still no pictures in my inbox.

Way to go, Marvel.

So, Cap: TFA.   I did a story in the earlier Captain America: The Winter Soldier review, so no story this time.

So basically the premise is – this is Captain America’s origin story.  The Captain introduces us to himself, and he does become the Captain.

Don’t doubt this guy.

We see Cap kick ass.  We see Cap rescue the people nobody wants to.  We see Cap decide he’s not some guy in a Star-Spangled-Spandex-Suit.  We see Cap decide it’s up to him to do his own mission – nobody will help him and people will only stand in his way.  We see him still help the people who stand in his way.  We see him do amazing things – and happily so.  This movie really does Cap’s good nature and past justice.

But really, the entire movie has a very upbeat tone.  Once again, Marvel dazzles us with their usual superhero formula. Marvel pretty much makes everything be sort of the same while being different with their superhero origin stories.  Everyone sort of overcomes some kind of personal challenge.  It was a good way to introduce us to Captain America.  As a once member of the general audience, especially when I first saw this movie, it was a good way to set the stage for The Winter Soldier and also introduce us to Captain America.  Overall, it felt like it was about time we got a serious film about a character that is basically known because he exists.  I mean, it was only fair to assume America would enjoy a movie about a guy named, I don’t know, Captain America.

The movie, unlike a lot of superhero movies, had a very light tone to it.  I mean, we see this scrawny sickly kid trying to get into the army with his best friend urging him to forget it.  I mean, obviously, we know he’s going to get in even if you’re unaware of him being a living science project.  We all know he was in the military even before it needs to be said.  I guess I liked that about it – that it was lighthearted.  Nothing was imminent to blow up, nothing was like really crazy tense and dark.  I guess it was a step back from what we usually see – The Dark Knight was dark, The Winter Soldier was dark, the entire Batman trilogy was dark, and Superman even was dark.  Captain America gave us a break.  If everything is dark, it just eventually get’s old.  It feels like everything is always going to be in ruins.  And I like Captain America for giving us a break.

But sometimes, we get too much of a break.  The plot was decent, especially the juggle between origins and plot.  However, it really felt like it dragged.  I mean, I watched this movie with non-comic book people, and toward the end they just were pleading with me for the movie to end.  While I don’t consider it quite that bad, I think for the time it spent on the screen we could’ve gotten a bigger bang for what we sat through.  It did feel long.  The acting was great, especially Tommy Lee Jones, Hayley Atwell, and Evans himself – but there were just some parts of it that felt like you were doing the army exercises yourself.  Loooooong.  The movie as a whole could’ve been paced better and I think part of that problem was trying to weave in all the information they were.  They were weaving in a plot, weaving in HYDRA information, weaving in Captain’s origins, weaving in Bucky, weaving in the future of Cap, weaving in Peggy, and so on and so on.  It was a lot to take on.  It felt a little bit jumbled to see all that stuff thrown in, and I think as a result, some things were lacking.

HYDRA.

HYDRA definitely came off more as a threat in The Winter Soldier.  It felt underdeveloped.  Red Skull was semi assumed to just know who he was, same with various other HYDRA officials.  It was just somewhat assumed that we know who they are.  Aside from that, they just didn’t get developed enough as a villain or villains.  A lot of it was Cap’s origin story, and Cap and Peggy.  At least, though, we learn something about them for their big debut in The Winter Soldier.  At least we get a taste of Bucky.  It’s hard to not view this film, solely, as the predecessor to The Winter Soldier.  As a standalone, it’s a little harder to appreciate this film for what it is.  I mean, yes, it’s still a fantastic film, infinitely better than The Amazing Spider-Man ever could have been, but when you do put it in perspective that this was truly the first of the trilogy, you sort of realize why HYDRA itself can’t be terribly developed.  Maybe Red Skull still could have used it, especially since he is such a harsh enemy toward Captain America, but not HYDRA, otherwise thunder would’ve been stolen from the sequel.  I generally like the plot, and the acting.  Out of all the films I’ve seen, I probably love the underdog tone the most in this movie.  It’s not hard to relate to a scrawny kid who can’t live his life’s dream.  I mean, maybe none of us are entering an Insta-Buff (TM) machine, but even so.  How many people do you know can’t do their dream job?  Whether it be illness, location, or just rejection, it’s an easy thing to relate to.

Especially if you happen to be a dermatologist.  You are screwed.

But, perhaps that’s what I love about this movie.

Even after Captain America get’s the Instant Buff treatment, he still is true to the character he was before.  Like, for example, being awkward around women.  He just doesn’t get it, despite the fact in the movie women are throwing themselves at him (the cheating scene).  I’m going to be honest.  I didn’t consider a lot of things memorable about this movie.  I mean in the sense of one liners or particularly really strong scenes.  But the part I will not forget about this movie – ever – is the tension and affection between Steve and Peggy.

I just loved it.

I wish I could explain why, but probably because in movies like The Dark Knight we see a slightly feeble Rachel be taken.  We see a Rachel split between Dent and Batman who obviously hides his identity. Gwen Stacy proves to be just as passive. I just loved seeing how strong of a character Peggy was.  Peggy shot at a super soldier.  And made him cower.

She’s a badass.

She’s the badass I needed in a movie.

And she’s not even a superhero.  She’s a love interest.

I needed that.

I don’t think we need absolute bombardment of women in media to get equality.  And I am a woman.  I don’t think we should make an All-Female version of Avengers (I don’t mean different female Avengers.  I mean a female Iron Man).  We need more like Peggy.  We need more like Black Widow.  We need more like Wonder Woman and Batgirl.  Peggy is totally aware of this whole spandex thing.  She doesn’t hide from it.  She’s so snarky even just when we first meet her.

The dynamics between them, for me, literally made the movie.  And it also made Captain America.  Captain America still managed to seem human despite being a technical superhuman.  Seriously, no other superhero than Captain America is so human.  Everything about him is so down to earth, like his “kid from Brooklyn” line.  Like rescuing the men they wanted to give up on.  I will say it again – Captain America is The Man (TM).

Overall, the music was good, the plot was good, the effects were great, but things needed improvement, especially Red Skull and his development.  Red Skull felt almost childish at some points.  Captain America, though, not only saves the day, but his movie from his villain.  And his relationship saves it too because it’s adorable.

Overall, it’s just a good movie. It’s just one of those movies you just sit and decide to watch because you can.

And where is the fun in anything else?

A good segway from Captain America.  A review on what is probably considered one of the best superhero movies to ever happen.  The Avengers.

I’ll admit when I first watched it (the reason this review is so late is because I insist upon watching a movie literally directly before I write a review – and I don’t watch it once, but twice in total, so the viewing before the blog post must be the second time) I was a little on the confused side in the beginning, but then things became clearer (the scenes particularly right before Loki got the tessaract).  You realize who Loki is, what the hell that glowing cube is, and why suddenly everyone is frantically driving away from a building.  Now, the film has a very stereotypical premise to me.  It’s about this guy who wants to take over the world and rule, and even gets compared to Hitler.  He’s an alien, but of course looks like a regular person, and then this team of mega-superheroes is called in to save the day.  At the end of the movie, they’re hailed as heroes despite destroying basically everything around them. Hooray, everything has been burned!

Despite the stereotypical nature, though, it works, also because if you had every character running everywhere you’d eventually lose track and just think Loki may as well be an Avenger too.  The reason why this film works (for me) is because as the movie goes on we are presented with the characters, their histories, and to some extent conflicting viewpoints on them.  Everyone knows Bruce Banner turns into a big green angry rage monster, but there he is, exiled and working with sick patients in India.  Of course, either way he might be exiled, but, that doesn’t mean he needs to do anything for anyone.  He’s soft spoken and helps the little girl with her dad.  I know the scenes drew criticism, but there is basically bad parts of every country.  The worst parts of the United States don’t represent the city, state, or country or even area as a whole because there is more to it than just what we see in a film or even documentary.  It is only up to the viewer to distinguish the difference.

Look guys!  Thor’s a man again!

Regardless of that controversy, it was just something I mentally noted about Banner.  It’s a stark contrast to his huge green angry form.  The other Avenger that stood out was Black Widow again, who acts as Fury’s personal assistant to some extent gathering all the Avengers.  We see everyone be introduced.  It should go smoothy, minus the part where Thor just decides to land on their plane with dangerous amounts of lightning around them.  That wasn’t such a good introduction.  Iron Man is perhaps most famous for his acceptance and welcoming attitude, though.

Yet again, I realize some people ragged the Genius, Billionaire, Playboy, Philanthropist and his divisive nature and how much of an asshole he is to the other Avengers, but the film wouldn’t work without Iron Man being an asshole.  Iron Man being condescending, constantly prodding people, believing he is better than everyone, is why this film works.  I already said it was mildly stereotypical of a plot, so for all the Avengers to be like Bob the Destroyer (see the amount of damage they did) and start chanting “Yes We Can!” it would’ve been so incredibly cheesy.  In fact, if you didn’t like that, you should just cut out a significant portion of the film, and jump right to the army of aliens toward the end.  You are throwing all different people who have never met before into one flying ship they don’t understand, and on a mission they don’t necessarily want to do.  They don’t even like each other, and somehow you expect everyone to get along like they were in Kindergarten?

It’s just not going to happen.

The ending feels so good because all of them manage to shut up and fight together even though they bicker as much as they do.  Speaking of that, I loved the end fight scene just because it felt so good, despite the confusing and tense beginning.  In the ending, Iron Man proves something to Captain America as well – he proves he is willing to risk his life, and suddenly the Old Man (aka Captain America) is really concerned about Iron Man (as long as he doesn’t kiss him, it’s all good).

But, things got a little bit clearer despite the tense beginnings, and as it turns out Marvel started The Conversation again.

Because if Fury just wanted windmills, this would’ve been a lot different.

(photo credit: Wikipedia)

The plot says Fury wants the Tessaract for renewable energy originally – just as Iron Man says he is working on renewable energy, surprise surprise.  Now, obviously, he also wants it to create a nuclear arsenal as mentioned by the intense bickering, but it does again bring a very political issue into the spotlight.  The Tessaract is from the middle of the ocean – before we see it, it was hanging with anglerfish, the Titanic, and dolphins – at least they’re cute.  It literally embodies what we do not understand and what environmentalists are trying to save or improve – the earth.  They don’t know how to operate it, but they try anyway, because I guess trial and error of a glowing cube that harnesses the power of earth isn’t at all dangerous.  The Tessaract seems to almost take on a character itself when one SHIELD worker notes it’s “misbehaving”.  It’s a glowing cube, and it’s misbehaving. Loki probably has a greater understanding of the Tessaract because he is from Asgard, but was the explosion the Tessaract misbehaving or Loki knowing how to use it?  He only just got his hands on it at that point, and it doesn’t come with a User’s Manual.  It’s practically it’s own character because nobody really truly gets it, and even Thor just wants it gone.  Thor doesn’t even like it, while his brother just wants to destroy things with it.

You know he was amused during this.

It is probably even more down to earth than the superheroes themselves in the beginning – Fury is a guy with an eyepatch who everyone realizes has ulterior motives (because SHIELD does not exist to save the ozone layer), all the superheroes are bickering, Loki and Thor fight over their childhoods, and Coulson has a heart attack because of Captain America.  They’re all pretty all over the damn place despite calling themselves a team, included with insults, to defeat Loki, who is standing there smirking, and you know he finds this funny.  I’ll admit it came off a little weird for them to be fighting and then suddenly Loki is captured, but he wanted to be captured, so I won’t rag on it too much. I mostly just find it strange three seasoned superheroes did not realize that was a possibility sooner.

And the mention of Loki brings me to my next point.

Loki is such a psychological character despite his “I want to rule you!” attitude.  He uses the Avengers’ powers against them.  He gets the Hulk to turn into “an enormous green rage monster” without needing the help of Tony Stark to get him to do it.  I consider him more psychological than brute power, because, well, he is a bit puny.  Loki was able to set the stage to bring all of these heroes together though, because you know if this much arguing happened during someone else who happens to be a villain, we’d all be dead.  Fairly quickly.

You can only imagine how that would go.

Until the end, Loki doesn’t really do much direct fighting and even when he does he’s using an army.  A lot of it is just turning the Avengers against each other while scaring Germany, and just bringing them together for the first time is enough to get them started.  Captain America and Iron Man bicker, Iron Man keeps poking “the other guy” (Hulk), Iron Man and Thor fight, Black Widow is nearly killed by Hulk,  Hawkeye is taken over by the Tessaract, and so on.  Just even putting them on the same flying ship is enough to amuse Loki, and even get Loki and Thor bickering.  Ah, yes, the battle of the Teenage Heart Throbs.  Despite all this, Good Guy Thor still looks after little bro Loki at the end.  Aww.

Loki’s psychological nature and utilizing power as opposed to possessing it set the perfect stage for the next film, and if I need to tell you what the next film is, you have been under a rock for the last week.  Loki turning Iron Man into an asshole sets the perfect stage of Age of Ultron, because Iron Man is sort of why Ultron even exists.  Way to go, Iron Man.

Iron Man is yet again the odd man out, and there’s not one set good or bad with what he was trying to do.  Ultron was created because SHIELD was destroyed.  He had good intentions.  Unlike Loki, it’s pretty apparent his motives are clear cut bad.  It’s debatable whether or not he should have attempted to do it, but either way his intentions were good, and I can imagine Iron Man is going to come under fire for being unable to control his own creation.  Still bickering to some extent, but over more serious matters than whether or not a worker is playing Galaga.

You can tell from the trailer that the Avengers are going to get pushed to their limit.  We see a broken Captain America shield, Hulk actually fighting something that is the size of him, and a severely beaten up Thor dropping the hammer.  Loki looks like child’s play and a guy who is just deluded, and it pretty much feels like Loki even happened just so that way Ultron could happen because of how inherently psychological he was.  He got the Avengers to work together before Ultron happened.  If anything, we should be thanking Loki.  We got a lighthearted, hilarious, fun film from him.  Now we’re going into a much darker realm with a robot even it’s creator does not understand.

I have had a terrible cold, hence the delay.  I am aiming from here on out to create a platform for a comic book I am also aiming to launch.

This movie is actually a move close to my heart, and I’m sure everyone and their mother (or Hydra) has seen a review of this movie.  And I just gave it away!

A little story for you first.  In the 7th grade, I needed to do a project to create my own superhero.  I chose a superhero by the name of “Miss America” to create.  Hilarious, because I’d become the biggest Captain America fangirl some amount of years later (hopefully this review won’t be too skewed).

Let me start off by saying I watched this movie without actually being into superheroes at the time.  I mean, I was, but I was only into Batman.  Captain America was still a corny blonde guy who was the epitome of The Man (TM) society has the perfect idea of.  Society has it’s ideas of what is right and wrong too, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier turned it on it’s head.

Without messing up that perfectly done blonde hair of his.

But let’s face it – this is a comic character that even a fan admitted to me has died in the comic books more than the amount of years he has been alive (in The Winter Soldier, he’s 98).  Things got dreary for Captain America.  Yeah, we get it, democracy.  Now shut up and let the big shots take over, kid from Brooklyn.

Then Joe Johnston came along and showed us how epic he could be in The First Avenger.  But, even that movie had a bit of a historical tone that overtook it.  It was sort of like Titanic – we all know Hitler happened, we all know World War II happened, and we all know science played some role in World War II (as evidenced by Einstein and the Manhattan project, although that is quite obviously not related to the Nazis quite as much).

I don’t blame Iron Man for not taking him seriously.

But then we met Bucky.  And the obvious political nature about The Winter Soldier, which very few movies do effectively.  A superhero commonly regarded as “Good Guy Cap” suddenly seemed to strike very political and dividing conversations once formerly in that ridiculous star-spangled suit of his.  Suddenly the dancing girls of The First Avenger became girls who you didn’t know and didn’t know where they stood.  Suddenly you started looking at Nick Fury and whoever Robert Redford’s character is named 5 different ways.  Everything seemed to have a double meaning, including Bucky.

Bucky, in every way, regardless of your opinion of him (hailing Hydra, and all that) is in itself a debate.  He is the perfect example of a good guy-gone-terrorist, regardless if you attribute that to Hydra taking him or not.  It’s a debate in Congress even now if we should allow people who have joined terrorist groups to remain citizens of the United States.  Although it had the obvious political tones of surveillance, that was a tone overlooked.  It was overlooked that Cap refused to kill Bucky, still believing he is inherently good, while Falcon seemed to basically question Cap’s sanity and if he was still experiencing brain freeze.  The same rings true for people who join such societies and groups.  Can they be like Bucky?  Or are they a Robert Redford? (hopefully not because Redford is hideous… and then they need an awesome Black Widow to knock them out).  Everyone noted the obvious political tone of surveillance – it really is not hard to catch.  But that is looking at the bigger picture of the terrorist – Hydra.  What about individuals?  What about Bucky?

Bucky in of himself is something I can respect, just like Cap did.  He treated Bucky as an individual.  Black Widow treated him as just some nut who hides in the shadows (like real life Slenderman), Falcon treated him like an actual nut, and Captain America treated him like a person.

But what about everyone else?  Everything else?

Now, remember, I went into this movie without even knowing who Bucky was because I did not see The First Avenger until after The Winter Soldier.   That said, the only real confusing part was when Cap just suddenly showed up and looked lovingly at a woman so much older than him, but then you realize that was his past love and it’s suddenly a little less weird.  Unlike many people, I don’t think that scene did Peggy any justice.  I don’t really know how you give a 90-something-year-old justice, but I just felt it was cheesy and it could’ve been executed better.  It felt as though Steve Rogers was visiting his grandma as opposed to his ex-lover, but then again, I don’t have any experience there (thankfully), so I wouldn’t know any more than you do.  But otherwise, the plot was obviously fantastic for a superhero newbie to follow it so effectively, aside from having a mild heart attack at the “Let’s-All-Slam-Into-Nick Fury’s-Car” scene (which as terrifying as it was, was awesome).

And I will admit, the violence and action was completely paced, in between the weaving of Captain America’s humanity.  Yeah, he was frozen and all, but oh my God, date the nurse!

I have watched superhero movies before and after this movie, and I will say, nothing has struck a cord like this one and how the Captain was portrayed.  I’ve seen both DC and Marvel, and never has anyone seemed so human about themselves and other people.  Batman was always trying to rescue people because he is the goddamn Batman.  Superman rescues people because he has super-senses and super-strength and does super-things.  Iron Man is cocky and Thor talks like Shakespeare, and the Hulk turns into the violent version of the Green Giant vegetable guy.  But Captain America came off like that kid from Brooklyn.  Captain America came off like that really awkward kid who doesn’t have much experience with girls.  Captain America came off as that guy who is so caught up in work, he forgets how to interact (despite his stellar good looks).

And dating the nurse brings me to my next point.

Yeah, so, I LOVE her now.

Marvel.

You did it.

At first, I thought Black Widow was a bit too much of a sidekick to Captain America and seemingly the very stereotypical second in command girl who occasionally needed the guy to save her ass.  But then I realized something.

Nick Fury admits she has her own mission when she goes with Steve Rogers.  They start off almost bickering (as a result of all that “compartmentalization”), and then eventually team up.  Black Widow uses her own set of superhero skills, and I don’t just mean being a master of martial arts.  She is cunning.  She makes up for Captain Awkwardness’ awkwardness.  He doesn’t know what to do when the corrupt SHIELD agents are in the mall, so Black Widow does the logical thing.

You know, kisses him, to make everyone uncomfortable.

She adds a certain aspect to the film that just is unmatched by any female role I have ever watched.  And to those who say that she needed to be rescued by Cap a good few times:  Well, she asks if he would trust her to save his life, and he says absolutely yes.  They are in every respect a team, and then she goes on her own way, knocking the crap out of Robert Redford, who on his own is a good enough villain without needing any powers to make you at least somewhat afraid of him.  He managed to infiltrate something meant to protect America.  He had The Winter Soldier in his house and asked him if he wanted milk.  Does he seem like the kind of guy who just want’s milk? I am just saying.  The score for The Winter Soldier is absolutely amazing, by the way, and it is good enough to give you chills when you see that metal arm come onto the screen, as with all of the soundtracks in general.  The movie quality itself was utterly fantastic, and it didn’t look cheap.

But then, you know, there’s that third team member… what is his name?

Oh yeah, that guy who had like, 4 minutes of screen time in his actual costume.

I kid Falcon’s screen time, but I do feel as though he was a bit underused in the main “Destroy ALL the Helicarriers!” main scene.  I think even when he went down they could have done him a bit more justice (although, he is funny).  I just.. I don’t know.  It felt lacking to me with Falcon.  I can only hope they use him a bit more in the next film (if at all), because he felt like a guy we just got to know, and then, oh shit… his wing is broken.  Well, there goes that.  Overall, though, he was an awesome addition to Captain America and thrusted a little known superhero into the national and international spotlight.

It’s filled with humanity, twists and turns, and starts the conversation in the present day.  Captain America finally takes us through real America and the real issues we face.  But the question remains: What would Cap do?

If you enjoyed this post feel free to follow my Twitter:  Twitter.com/FictionalPlanet.