Ranking has become a fun, new tradition I do with all the other fellow geeks whenever a new movie from a series is released. While Kevin Feige of Marvel Studios has declared the upcoming “Spider-Man: Far from Home” to be the official end of Marvel Phase 4, it’s safe to say that I can list this ranking (inspired by “Birth.Movies.Death”) without altering much once the film is released in theaters. I think “Far from Home” will be great, but my top five MCU movies still remain basically the same, even after “Endgame.”
With “Avengers: Endgame” and the Mighty Marvel Cinematic Universe winning the box office and grabbing rave reviews, geeks of all walks of life are currently trying to deal with the emotional level of what unfolded in to the epic finale of the Infinity Gems arc. Now that you’ve seen “Endgame,” here are five animated Marvel movies that will keep the Mighty Marvel high going a little longer.
“Endgame” accomplishes a grand feat. It’s not only a sequel that resolves just about every question we had with “Infinity War,” but it also acts as a wonderful book end to the first ten years of Marvel movies. This movie is a kind of “What If?” if you will, and I loved how the Russo Brothers don’t just make good on closing the epic saga of the infinity stones, but also have some fun tinkering in the Marvel Cinematic Universe established by folks like Joss Whedon, and Jon Favreau prior. It’s a marvelous and brilliant compilation of everything we love about this cinematic universe, plus a dramatic pay off for folks that have come to fall in love with these heroes and villains for of all these years.
Despite Thor, The God of Thunder being one of Marvel’s most iconic characters and virtual co-founder of The Avengers, making him a compelling action hero has been a tough task. Even with some great directors and sleek scripting, “Thor” hasn’t quite been as exciting as Iron Man or Captain America. He’s barely risen to the Hulk who, so far, has only had one movie and a hand full of appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With “Thor: Ragnarok,” Marvel has reached the point where audiences are familiar enough with the character that they can begin to change his identity a bit. In the end, he’s still Thor, the God of Thunder, but he also comes in touch with his god like abilities when he allows himself to embrace humility once and for all.
Even after “Superman: The Movie” and its somewhat successful franchise, the idea of turning comic books in to movies or a TV show was a rare prospect. Studios considered it a gamble as then comic books were considered a kids medium, so it was an anomaly for something like the Incredible Hulk to be adapted in to a successful drama that stayed in syndication for a long time. Six years after the end of the series, Bill Bixby returns to the role of David Banner, a scientist now living in a seaside town with his girlfriend. He’s mostly lived a quiet life and is helping to create a machine that can decay gamma radiation. Though he’s helping the local lab to create it, he’s also hoping to use it as a means of killing the hulk and end his curse.
With “Age of Ultron,” Marvel and Joss Whedon essentially pave the way for a series of films that will make “The Avengers” the enduring franchise that fans have always wanted. It’s made abundantly clear that not only is the movie series here to stay, but we can expect a roster of rotating superheroes in the future that will create new conflicts and brand new dynamics. While “Age of Ultron” sags in certain places, it’s a superior follow up to “The Avengers” which was much more simplistic and aimed more to establish the crossover. “Age of Ultron” garners higher aspirations, constructing new story lines and setting up foreshadowing for future films. It also greatly raises the stakes for our team of flawed superheroes, all of whom are still learning to work as a unit. Set almost immediately after “Iron Man 3,” and “Winter Soldier,” we meet the Avengers, all of whom are back in combat fighting Hydra and taking on the elusive corporation’s hideout.
Thankfully, the follow up to 2011’s adaptation of Marvel’s “Thor” really seems to be intent on fixing the original film’s mistakes. While I really enjoyed the first installment, “Thor: The Dark World” is thankfully more fantasy based, and less a fish out of water action film, this time around. The writers have to work hard to bridge this tale in to the new “Avengers” movie, so we’re left experiencing the fall out from “The Avengers.” After Thor left to fight Loki, Thor has to face Jane who resents him never coming to ensure he was safe, and Loki is viciously angry toward Thor for imprisoning him.
I guess with the not so stellar ratings of the fantastic “Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes,” Disney figured it’d be a good idea to lay the ground work for another “Avengers” vehicle. This time, “The Avengers” are much closer to their cinematic counterparts, taking off from the first movie, and including superhero The Falcon, who is slated to appear in the upcoming sequel. What’s sad is, when you think about it, “Avengers Assemble” is actually a spin off of “Ultimate Spider-Man.” Marvel has laid the ground work for this new series with guest spots from the movie versions of the Avengers since the show started, with appearances from Iron Man, Thor, and the sun glasses donning Hawkeye.