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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Because it's WRONG."
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April 03 2014

(SPOILER) A little more information on how Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ties in to Captain America. Some information from the film appears in the text and a clip here. Nothing major. Marvel's PR (Agent M) says you can watch one without seeing the other, but they go together "like chocolate and peanut butter." On the other hand, the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. showrunners have a nice interview with TVGuide in the aftermath of this week's episode (many spoilers for that) where they hint at things to come but keep all their secrets. For now.

I suppose I can wait to read the article for 2 days. The question is, as always, "HOW WELL?"

[ edited by BarryC on 2014-04-03 04:14 ]
Watching Cap 2, I wondered how the events of the film were going to impact AoS.
There's an interesting (and somewhat sceptical) article on the television series and the films overlapping here (but watch out for spoilers).
Thank you @Sunfire for these links.

When I first heard of the integration of series with the movies, I was excited. Now I am less so. I'm not sure if it's because I have my own concerns with the show or just the practicality of getting to a movie that my whole family wants to see if I want the peanut butter and chocolate experience.

I think I had assumed it would be more of a rainbow jimmies (sprinkles) on a sundae effect.

No movie in the plans for me due to RL, but I'm going to try and rewatch the week's ep and read Cap2 reviews which will hopefully add to my enjoyment of the show.

Next week's episode looks rocking, esp after the last fifteen minutes of this week's show.

[ edited by hann23 on 2014-04-03 14:13 ]
Don't read spoilers for Cap2 before seeing it hann23. If anything I'd watch the episode next week and then rewatch the episodes again after I'm able to see the film. I think Marvel is trying to follow 'The Avengers' model that Joss had when he did that film where if you had seen the films previous, it enriched the experience, but if you hadn't seen them then you could still enjoy the film for itself.
eddy I hope that's the case, because I certainly can't afford to see all the post-Avengers movies.

I get that they're trying to keep the continuity flowing , but what about people who like the movies but don't watch the show? Are there references/winks to the show in the recent movies? I haven't seen IM3 or Thor 2 - how much are those events referred to in the show? I think it's kind of slippery ground for them to be walking.
The show references the films (Extremis, Thor's hammer, Captain America and the super soldier formula, Abomination/Blonksy, Malekith's attack on London, Lady Sif) but I don't think the films themselves have referenced the show yet. I don' think they can until they find out Coulson is alive.
Not that I don't appreciate your situation, ShadowQuest, but with all due respect I'd hate to see the MCU story be limited because of a need to not alienate those who can't or choose not to follow the whole thing. I've waited a long time for a live action version of the Marvel Universe to happen and I'm loving the increased continuity between the television series and the movies. I don't want the writers to limit that in any way.

It's the same problem I have with people who complain about the comics being too interconnected and there being too many crossovers going on. Marvel is a massive shared fictional universe and it makes perfect sense that the characters interact on a regular basis. To enjoy that properly means having to accept that your favourite characters don't live in a bubble. I realise that makes it an expensive hobby. I buy every Marvel title, every month, so I know it's not cheap, but the enjoyment I get from reading every possible aspect of the MU more than makes up for the cost.

Admittedly I'm lucky to have a job that affords me a fair amount of disposable cash, and of course I realise not everyone is that fortunate. Being a fan of the comic side of the Marvel Universe costs a lot! But the movies are only coming out at two or three a year. Not exactly a massive investment in your time or your money, relatively speaking. I don't think Marvel is being unfair to anyone in creating continuity between all their live action shows and movies. Calling it 'slippery ground' seems somewhat of an exaggeration to me. Done correctly, this could be the way forward for many television/movie franchises. I genuinely hope that it is.
I really don't think there's cause to worry about seeing the movie without seeing the tv show, or vice versa. Each story is supposed to stand on its own.
Five Horizons If I'm lucky, I can afford one movie a year, and that's just the cost of the ticket, no snacks or anything else.

I am not a comic reader at all. I read a few of the old comics my mother & her siblings had, but that's it. I didn't even know who Iron Man was when the first movie came out. I only "know" Black Widow & Hawkeye from the Avengers movie. (And I had no idea who Fury was until Xander made the reference and I looked him up.)

And that's my point - not everyone who goes to see these movies is going to be a die-hard Marvel fan. There are some of us who are just casual fans, and if there are too many wink-wink-nudge-nudge instances we're going to feel left out, like we're not "good enough" to "get it." That's the slippery ground I was talking about - if "They" (The creators of the show & movies) want to only cater to the die-hard fans, that's fine. If they want to make it accessible to those of us who like some of the characters, but don't follow them religiously, that's great, too. They have to find that balance, though. Which is going to be difficult - how do you please the loyal fans, as well as the "I really only like Character X" crowd?

This is a massive undertaking for the MCU, and I wish them all the luck in the...well, universe.

It's actually not that different from Peter Jackson taking on Tolkien - you can't please everyone, but you can sure as hell try!
I don't see how its any different from being a fan of Buffy and not Angel and vice versa ShadowQuest. Or following the comics and not following the comics.

I know there are fans who watched Angel but never have seen a episode of Buffy. There are things in Angel that you would enjoy more if you saw both shows but you don't have to in order to 'get' the series.

[ edited by eddy on 2014-04-03 20:54 ]
eddy And that's what I'm asking - do you have to watch both in order to understand what's happening in one? Apparently the answer is "Not necessarily, but it'd help improve your enjoyment."

Sadly I have to wait for the movies to come out on DVD and then get my mother to add it to her Netflix queue so I can borrow it. On the other hand, at least I'll be able to hear everything because I turn the captions on, and have my DVD player set to enhance dialogue, so the music & effects don't overpower like they do in the theater.
"And that's my point - not everyone who goes to see these movies is going to be a die-hard Marvel fan. There are some of us who are just casual fans, and if there are too many wink-wink-nudge-nudge instances we're going to feel left out, like we're not "good enough" to "get it."

I think that's also kinda my point though. Without wanting to sound selfish, I feel that these movies should be made primarily with the more dedicated Marvel fanbase in mind.

As you said yourself, you're not a comic reader, and so I'm going to assume that you're coming into this fictional world on the basis of being a Joss fan? Which is fantastic because I'm all for more people finding the Marvel Universe through any means possible. But at a guess I'd say that you would have been just as happy for someone else to have been given the responsibility of running the MCU and Joss to currently be concentrating on another project of his own. Which is a perfectly fine opinion to have. I'm wanting to see what his next solo creation ends up being too.

But first and foremost, I'm in this to see what a live action Marvel Universe can look like, and for me that involves as much interaction between the various characters as possible. I'm already having to accept that Spidey, the FF and nearly all things X related are never going to be showing up at Avengers Tower, which is a shame, especially as Fox have already massively messed up the properties they hold (although the new Spider-Man movie series is actually incredibly good... Thank you, Sony), so I'd hate too see any further limitations on making a true three dimensional Marvel Universe.

Again, I know that is going to sound selfish and not remotely inclusive of the more casual fan, such as yourself, but I think for a lot of Marvel fans this has been a long time coming and we don't want it diluted down just to suit the people who won't watch the movies more than once or twice anyway, y'know? And in fact, as Sunfire has said above, even with all the interconnected concepts and references, you really can enjoy the individual stories as separate entities. At least so far anyway. But if they ever did decide to connect them all to a larger degree (and I get the feeling that the Netflix deal will see exactly that happen) I can't say I'll be unhappy. Going on thirty years of being a Marvel fan now. I feel like I've waited long enough for them to get this done, and so far I couldn't be happier with the result.

Short of Fox giving up the X-Men and FF and the Andrew Garfield Spider-Man movies being retconned into the MCU, obviously! ;)
Five Horizons Joss has nothing to do with my watching the Marvel movies. I watched the first Batman series (the ones that started w/Michael Keaton) and enjoyed them. Well, the first two, then it started getting a bit too comic-bookish for me. A little too ridiculous. Kinda gave up on superhero movies for a while after that.

I saw the first X-Men and Fantastic Four movies in the theater (Back when I could afford to go to more movies) and enjoyed them. I'd heard of the characters, but didn't know them until I watched the movies. I have the X-Men trilogy & Wolverine: Origins and both FF movies on DVD. I can't even tell you if I rented Iron Man or just bought the DVD and watched it. But I liked it a lot. Fairly sure I saw the second one, but all I can remember about that was some crazy car race and the bad guy and his electric whips. Never saw any of the intervening movies (I did catch Cap & Thor on Netflix...after the Avengers came out) because they weren't something I was interested in.

Same goes for LotR - never read the books until after the movies - the previews looked good, and my friend wanted to go. We ended up seeing each of the original trilogy at least twice in the theater (Ah, I miss those days!) and I have both theatrical & extended versions on DVD (and theatrical on VHS) and am hoping to do the same w/the Hobbit movies.

For me the appeal of The Avengers wasn't so much Joss as it was this (pardon the pun) heroic effort to bring all these characters who'd had their own (in some cases multiple) movies into one adventure. Joss was just the icing. True, I didn't know more about most of the characters than just their names, but that didn't stop me from wanting to see the movie. I knew of the Hulk (never saw any of the movies), I came to know Iron Man, I'd heard of Cap & Thor - I wanted to see how they'd play (or not) together.

I'm not saying MCU should cater to one type of fan or the other. I'm saying it's a huge challenge to appeal to both camps, and deliver a quality product. Be that theatrical releases, made-for-Netflix series or the TV show; they'll gain or lose fans based on the quality. And so far, they're delivering.

I've said my piece, I'm out.
The early Batman movies weren't exactly my cup of tea either. Especially the latter two which, as you say, strayed far too closely to the cartoon side of comic books. I struggle with DC characters in general, but Batman has always been an exception to that rule. The fact that they somehow managed to completely turn me off from the character for years after with 'Batman and Robin' says a lot for just how bad that movie really was. It made the first Hulk movie and Fantastic Four 2 seem like Oscar worthy material by comparison. ;)

Apologies for the assumption as to the reason behind your interest in the MCU, by the way. With you saying that you'd never been a comic fan and us having this conversation at this particular website, it didn't seem like too much of a stretch, but obviously I was mistaken.

Oh, and completely agreed as to the success of this franchise being based upon the quality of the product. A fact I really wish had been taken into account by Fox. Given the brilliance of the first two X-Men movies and the... erm... lesser brilliance of the later attempts, quality really should have been considered over quantity there.
Five Horizons Ok, one more, then I'm finished. We can continue this off-site, if you'd like.

Yes, the last two Batman movies were stinkers. I always liked Batman because he was just a "regular" person, no superpowers, who wanted to fight crime, and did what he could to make his city safer. More of an "everyday" hero than Supes or Spidey, who had powers. But they got far too corny after Batman Returns. I saw the first two of the recent reboot, and...didn't really care for them. Seems like they were more for SFX than plot. (Although Heath Ledger's Joker is creepy as hell!)

Joss isn't my only interest in Marvel. I liked some of the earlier movies long before he was involved. As I said, I read some old comics, so I had an idea of who the characters were. But I watch movies based on trailers and how interesting/unique the plot sounds, not who wrote/directed/stars in it. (I learned the hard way it's not always a good idea to watch something just because you like an actor. I'm looking at you, Lord of Illusions, Shocker, Intermedio and Gryphon, and Blue Iguana.)

But, if you really want people to find the Marvel Universe, shouldn't all aspects of it be "user friendly," and not just geared towards die-hard comics fans?
We probably should wrap this up to prevent dominating this thread, I agree, but just as a final word to address your last question, I don't see the two things as being mutually exclusive.

As I said, as a longtime fan I want to see this franchise be every bit as interconnected as the comics are, and as such I do think the movies and television shows should be created primarily with the die-hard fan in mind. That said, I don't believe doing exactly that prevents the casual viewer from enjoying each individual movie or episode entirely on its own merits. Thor 2 makes several references to the Avengers movie, but the basic story is entirely self-contained. You don't need to have seen the Avengers, or even the first Thor movie, to enjoy the sequel, but it would give added dimension and enjoyment to the story if you had.

So what I mean is that as long as each segment of the larger story of the MCU gives the casual viewer a beginning, middle and end, there's no reason to limit the references to the larger story that are there for the die-hard Marvel zombies. The casual viewer can either choose to look more deeply into what they heard reference to, or simply ignore it and enjoy the movie for what it is. What I was getting at to begin with is that given these movies actually are all part of a larger whole, it seems unfair to expect the writers to ignore that fact, just so the casual non-comic fans don't feel like they are left out in the cold. If they want to read up or watch more of what's on offer, they can. If not, then so be it. As things are being done right now, I do believe they are walking that fine line of pleasing everyone as well as can be expected. Which, as you say, must be a huge challenge.
FWIW, I was completely new to the Marvel-verse prior to "Avengers" - I was going into it primarily because it was Joss, although my friends did encourage me to get caught up on everything which led up to "Avengers" so at least I had some awareness, some backing in it, as it were.

And, yes, there may have been things in them with which I wasn't necessarily immediately familiar (for sure I asked my friend about Thanos, after that first post-credits stinger scene, but I of course waited until *after* the movie was over - LOL!); I didn't count that a bad thing, or in any way a negative about the movies, however....in fact, it only encouraged me ever more to delve deeper, to see what 'twas truly all about!

Basically, what I may not have entirely known then only intrigued me to find out more....first asking my friends, say, for some general bits of info, but then I just delved deeper into it, researched it ever more on my own and that's what inevitably drew me in, until here we are today....ardent, passionate, devoted, loyal Marvel (MCU) fangirl to the core, and proud of it! :D

I guess I mention all this simply to say that....I too entirely love it that Marvel has built such an expansive, rich-in-scope, profoundly deep and, ultimately, interconnected universe - in which the events of one show or movie may be touched on in another, or tie into it in very much a meaningful and involved way....I was well enough able to keep track of it before, and now, of course, only ever more so....

But just because I didn't know anything about the Marvel-verse prior to "Avengers" (or getting caught up on some pertinent things beforehand) didn't at all mean I was lost or confused on it....not in the slightest! Indeed, I haven't really heard from anyone who was. :) It's all about paying attention, I feel, and then look at how we're rewarded for it! :D
I would guess that one character in the AoS team will learn of and then explain to the others the pertinent parts of "Captain America: Winter Soldier," so that a) the audience will also know, b) we will also know how the AoS characters view these events and c) the AoS writers' room will (we hope/assume) rise to the challenge of presenting exposition in a very entertaining way.
I just watched Captain America last night and

I didn't mention anything specific above but still spoilery.
Well. They weren't kidding about the movie changing things for our Tuesday Night crew.

As for the movie itself - highly recommended. A very confident, mature, and well crafted thriller. Action in tone is very different - less "pew pew" and more bruised knuckles. Black Widow gets A LOT of screen time and it really fleshes out the character. Terrific cameos. Redford owns the screen and brings the gravitas. Hard to say "best" Marvel movie, but can't imagine a discussion where it's not part of mix

Joss wrote/directed the mid-credit teaser. Can't say it was very "Jossian" but it delivered what it needed to for set up

Looking forward to next AoS episode (if that's what they'll still call it) :)
After seeing the Winter Soldier I am more psyched than i have ever been to see an episode of agents of shield.
So am I, Cap. I just watched the last three episodes again to see where the seeds have been planted for TWS and subsequent AoS episodes.

Destructo Girl: The preview for the next AoS bills it as AoS: Uprising. I think we might have a clue, there. I doubt they are going to fix it all with one episode, either.

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2014-04-05 00:29 ]
Oh, of course not. I just meant that eventually we might see them trying to rebuild.

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