Podcast - Episode 151: Avengers West Coast: VisionQuest

Vision Quest Banner.jpg

We are joined this week by our friend Sean Jordan, aka Wordburglar, and also Alex Kennedy, who we unfortunately did not have a microphone for. We had a good time talking about issue #4 of The Last Paper Route, the comic that is made by Sean, Alex and Dave. We also talked about DCAF, which happened this past weekend, Sean's new album, Rhyme Your Business, Ghost Rider (the 2007 movie), and, of course, our book club selection, VisionQuest, by the lovable John Byrne.

Here is the photographic evidence that Dave did indeed pay Sean $5 to settle their bet that Dave would never watch Ghost Rider.


Well, that's over.

On to VisionQuest!

Here is that panel of Captain America excitedly running out the door when he heard the ADVENTURE ALARM!


And here's Scarlet Witch with a hairpin in her mouth, which I am obsessed with:


If you want to read a preview of my upcoming romance novel, Game Changer, you can do so on the Carina Press site. Also, if you want to follow my author Twitter account, it's @akaRachelReid

Next week we will be talking about The Untold Legend of The Batman! Don't miss it!

Podcast - Episode 44: CIVIL WAR!!!!!! (with J.Bone)


We are joined once again by our pal J.Bone to discuss the movie that we've all been, um, looking forward to, Captain America: Civil War (or, as I like to call it BUCKY! BUCKY! BUCKY! BUCKY!).

Look, I'm not even going to write that much this week. Because this episode is LONG. We joke at the beginning about going two hours, but guess what? We completely did. Longer, even!

I cut as much as I can, and the rest, I am sure you'll agree, is solid gold.

Here's the thing though, guys. I got so caught up talking about the actual plot of this movie that I forgot to mention how scorching hot Winter Soldier is in it. And so did J! Like, what was this episode even for?!

So here are some things I forgot to mention in this episode:

  1. Bucky is crazy hot;
  2. Like, so hot;
  3. Like, I could not CUSTOM BUILD a hotter man;
  4. He's so beefy and scruffy and those eyes are so sad but also so smouldering;
  5. I wish he had been shirtless;
  6. What a god damn waste of a jacked Sebastian Stan. I mean, come ON!;
  7. Not for, like, the whole movie, but maybe just an extended shower scene?;
  8. The tank top was nice;
  9. He looked good in white;
  10. I love him and I am in love with him.

So yeah. That's important.

Hey, here's a supercut of that Late Late Show episode clip where Sebastian Stan flirts hard with Sharon Stone until she flirts back with him. Then he turns into a giggling mess. It's VERY CUTE!

I wish that video wasn't edited so heavily. You can probably find that whole episode online somewhere. I would recommend. Zach Woods is very funny. At the end of the episode Sebastian turns to him and says "we should be friends!"

Anyway, enjoy the episode. We had fun recording it. I shouldn't speak for everyone. I had fun recording it, even though it went way past my bedtime.

Now let's start the countdown to the next Avengers movie! 2018! YEAH!!!!

Podcast - Episode 15: Age of Ultron!

Everything has come full circle! This podcast was born from Dave and my write-ups of the Marvel movies leading up to the theatrical release of Avengers: Age of Ultron and now we are talking about that VERY SAME MOVIE the week of its Blu-Ray release! And we are joined by our very good friend, Tiina Johns!

We are keen to get talking about the movie, which we watched together right before recording this episode, so we blow through the news and stuff as fast as possible. In the Renner Report Tiina mentions that Jeremy Renner was on an episode of Angel. Here are a couple of images from that episode:

He looks better as a vampire, right?

We do take some time to talk about Captain America: White no. 2, because of course we do. Here is that ridiculous Namor page that we can't get enough of:


It was nice to revisit Age of Ultron. Dave and I wrote our thoughts out on it in a blog post way back in May. Now we've had months to digest the movie (and a lot of fan hate and backlash on the internet) but we still love it and don't really understand why anyone wouldn't. But we do address the various problems people seem to have with the movie. I honestly can't make a call on how I feel about the Black Widow/Hulk romance. I'm mostly against it, but I don't hate it so much that it ruins the movie. I guess that's it.

I was thinking more about the Steve Rogers 'home' theme throughout the movie and I realized how many places we either see him in, or are mentioned, throughout the movie where he's not comfortable or not at home. Avengers Tower isn't home, Brooklyn isn't home anymore, he's weirded out when he's back in the 1940s in his vision when Peggy talks about going home, the farmhouse is very uncomfortable for him, he gets really upset when Tony talks about going home when the Avengers are no longer needed...and then he's at the new Avengers HQ at the end and he seems very much at peace. He's finally home. I love it. Now go find Bucky!

Here's that looks of pure respect and platonic love that Steve gives Natasha after she bravely suggests they go down with the flying city:

All I want is for Captain America to look at me like that.

Well, this is a short blog post. But it was great having Tiina on! We'll do it again sometime. Hope you enjoy listening to it.

Watch Dave's Tumblr for horror movie drawings and write-ups! Coming soon!

Hey I did it! No Sebastian Stan pics!

Podcast - Episode 12: Costumes with Special Guest J.Bone!

Happy Wednesday! New comics are out today and we are here to talk about...last week's comics? Yup, that's what this podcast is. A thrilling glimpse into a few days ago.

Hey, this week we have a guest! A really GREAT guest! J.Bone joined us all the way from Toronto! It sounds like he's joining us from space! It's via Skype and it sounds like it's via Skype, but still completely awesome. We apologize for the sound quality. We had some technical difficulties and eventually just had to go with the best sound we could get. I think it gets better as the episode goes on? We'll work on it for future episodes.

J talks about being nervous meeting famous people. I know the feeling! I was nervous talking to J.Bone!!! He's my favourite! Remember when he drew that sexy Peter Parker in response to that super sexist Mary Jane statue?! He made me a crochet Batman once! It's the first thing you see when you walk into my house! He's the best! And he's on our show this week!!!

The theme this week is superhero costumes. J happens to be VERY good at re-imagining superhero costumes. Check out this Wonder Woman fashion plate!

Awesome, right? Ok, here's the episode:

Right off the bat I want to say that Dave and I FUCKED UP because we forgot to mention The Rocketeer when we were talking about awesome costumes.  Not only is it the best costume, J.BONE DREW ROCKETEER COMICS! I mean...yeah, we failed.

Ok, we'll get back to superhero costumes and our shortcomings as hosts in a second.

I talked quite a bit about Planet Hulk, which wrapped up with issue #5 this week. As I mentioned many, many times on the podcast, I LOVED this crazy thing. But I also mention that it seemed like there was some backpedaling in this final issue as far as the whole Steve-and-Bucky-are-totally-completely-crazy-in-love-in-a-romantic-way thing goes. There was one panel in particular that seemed to be a lot less cute in the final book. Here's the side by side of Mark Laming's original, which he posted on Twitter some time ago, and the final panel:

Not cute, Marvel. Not cute. Extra weird because holding hands at the end of a gladiator battle victory isn't really explicit. But the way they were holding hands is so adorable I want to die!

To be honest, the issue/series was still pretty romantic. And awesome. I bought a beautiful Planet Hulk print from Marc Laming. Check it out! I believe he'll be selling them at New York Comic Con. You should get one!

Also in the 'what we're reading' segment, J recommends Head Lopper by Andrew MacLean, I recommend Virgil by Steve Orlando and JD Faith, and Dave recommends Nailbiter by Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson. So we give Image Comics a lot of love this week.

Because you have to see this thing, here's that Jeremy Renner tweet we were talking about:

Ugh, let's wash that taste out of our mouths with some pictures of Sebastian Stan at TIFF:

Yes. Yessssss. Those pants are way too tight.

Like, come on. Just stop. It's rude to look like that if everyone can't have some. It's like eating a bag of candy in front of me. Does he have a hair elastic on his wrist? Oh my God...

And that was just his afternoon attire! He got all GQ for the actual red carpet premier that night, looking all young European royalty. Here's a gif of him smiling while meeting fans, looking not at all terrible:


J did an AMAZING Winter Soldier sketch cover commission that he posted in a few places. It's so good. Here it is:

So nice. I think I've looked at this on my phone like fifty times over the past week. I want him to draw a Winter Soldier series! Come on, Marvel!!!!

Dave politely suggests that we wrap up the Winter Soldier segment, AND THEN we get into the actual topic, which is costumes. I feel like I need to post a lot of images here. It's a very visual topic for an audio podcast. I am not going to post an image of every costume we talk about, but here are some highlights.

J names the Cheeks Galloway Spider-Man design from the Spectacular Spider-Man animated series as his favourite Spidey costume. Interesting and cool choice!

J also had Flash Thompson's Venom costume on his list of favourites, which I wholeheartedly agree with! Sexy Venom is not something I ever thought would exist, but here we are.

Also getting love from all three of us, Taskmaster! And after the podcast, J brought this Cheeks Galloway rendition of the character to our attention! Rad!

Dave surprises no one by naming the classic 1970s Wonder Man off-the-rack affair as his favourite. Dave should be this for Halloween.

He also mentions Doctor Mid-Nite, who is indeed awesome. Moon-shaped buttons? Forget about it!

I give props to Ted Kord's Blue Beetle costume, which might be my very favourite?

Also, Daredevil. I guess I just really like tone-on-tone colour schemes.

Magnus Robot Fighter is obviously wearing a perfect costume for fighting robots:

So much upskirt. "It's head" is right!

I also love Iron Fist's H&M-looking costume:

Cloak has the most comfortable super hero costume, Dagger has the least comfortable super hero costume:

I said that Tim Drake ditched the yellow on his Robin costume as a tribute to the recently deceased Superboy, but really it was the green he did away with. He still kept a bit of yellow. Oops. Just pretend I'm saying 'green' every time I say 'yellow.' It's a lot of times.

Getting into some of the more ridiculous costumes, here's that badass Bon Jovi looking Nomad and Baby Bucky:


What on Earth is going on there? I think I have a new contender for 'thing I show my kids if they ask me what the 90's were like.'

Of course we love the Steve Epting Winter Solider character design, but are not so crazy about the Alex Ross Bucky-as-Captain America design:

Man I fell hard for that imaginary man in 2005. Well done, Mr. Epting. You ruined my life.

Now I've lost my train of thought.

We talked about Gambit and 90's Cyclops, but you guys know what they look like, right? (I will always kind of love 90's Cyclops). We also mention some of Nightwing's less good costumes. I'm getting so tired of looking up images, guys. But I think it's important that I include this one of Thunderbird:

And maybe this image so you know which Scarlet Witch costume J is talking about:

That looks very hard to put on. You can read the story of the crazy messed up John Byrne thing between Scarlet Witch and Wonder Man in West Coast Avengers here.

Let's wrap this up with a picture of Clock King and his insane homemade costume:

You can read more of my thoughts on Clock King here.

Costumes are fun. They were always an important component of my Rating the Super Hunks series.

Thanks again to J for being on the show and generally being a very nice guy, and being very patient with our technical difficulties. You can check out his blog or his hotter blog to see his older artwork. And you really, really should. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter too to see new stuff!

If you want to hear a really good conversation with J.Bone that actually includes questions about his work and other things that would be smart to ask about, you should check out episode 15 of the Weekend at Burgie's podcast with SJ the Wordburglar. It's really fun.

My son Mitchell makes his debut on the podcast this week in a little segment we like to call 'Hey, Guess What?' with Mitchell. Here is a picture of him dressed as Speedy for Free Comic Book Day this year (I can't sew):

Yeah! I'm one of those parents now! My kid is so interesting!!!

Seriously, he told me he yesterday that he wants to be Starfire for Halloween. #blessed

Alright I'm done! Thanks for listening/reading! Rate us on iTunes!

One more picture of Sebastian Stan at TIFF.


Age of Ultron!!!!!

As you may have guessed, Dave and I were more than a little excited for Age of Ultron. We wanted to take a little time after seeing it on the 30th to allow for everyone to see it before we take them to Spoiler City. Also, we both wanted to see it more than once before we recorded our thoughts. I am pleased to announce that we both LOVED IT.

This is the easiest game of MFK ever.*

This is the easiest game of MFK ever.*

There's a lot to unpack with this movie, so I thought it would be easiest to break it down by character, and then leave room for some general thoughts at the end. I could only use screencaps from the trailers for this post, obviously.

Iron Man

Still lovable!

Still lovable!

RG: We've said a number of times in our reviews of the Marvel movies that Tony Stark was a perfectly realized character pretty much from minute one of the first Iron Man movie. We also noted that Iron Man 3 did a lot to make him more human and more heroic. I was worried that this movie would start to shift Tony into a bit of a villain. That his arrogance would take over and he would do something irredeemable that would be built upon in the upcoming Civil War movie. We knew going into Age of Ultron that Stark is responsible for Ultron's existence, so it wouldn't be surprising to have him be at odds with his teammates for this entire movie. I can't tell you how happy I was that it wasn't the case.

DH: It’s one of my few beefs with this movie that, even though Tony seems to have quit being Iron Man at the end of his last movie, he’s still wearing the armour here with no explanation. I guess you could read the conclusion of that movie as more like, he doesn’t need the armour anymore, but is happy to pitch in if his pals need a hand.

RG: I think maybe he doesn’t do solo Iron Man gigs anymore. But he’s now filling his time building a custom Avengers tower for all his friends to hang out in. Because he’s totally sane.

I like that Tony got help from his science bro, Bruce Banner, creating Ultron. Yes, his teammates were rightfully pissed about those two secretly building an evil robot, but Tony admitted his mistake pretty much immediately. It was clear he knew he screwed up, and the fights and arguments between teammates that we saw in the trailers and preview clips turned out to be a lot less tense than they would lead you to believe. Yay!



DH: The ad campaign and the publicity leading up to this movie made me feel like it was going to go a lot darker, and probably end with the team splitting up and Tony and Steve hating each other’s guts or something. And that was not the case. I mean, who knows what the future (and Captain America: Civil War) holds, but I left the theater on a high note when I expected things to be much more bleak.

RG: And of course Banner and Stark’s tight friendship led to a truly awesome fight scene between Hulk and Hulkbuster Iron Man. It was not only fun to watch, but it was full of funny Tony quips. I liked that he was trying to chat with Hulk like he’s still Banner.



DH: That Hulkbuster fight is really something. There’s a bit where Iron Man is blasting Hulk with a laser from his hand, and it’s making a really cool laser sound, and...I dunno, it just reverts me to childhood somehow. I mean, Iron Man is inside another giant Iron Man armour and he’s blasting a mind-warped Hulk with a crazy hand laser! Who the hell ever thought we’d see stuff like this in a movie?

Also, this scene is one of many where even though a giant superhero battle is taking place, and entire city blocks are being flattened, the safety of innocent civilians is always priority number one for these guys (well, maybe not for the Hulk in this scene). For me, the primary function of superheroes isn’t just about fighting bad guys, or each other--it’s about saving lives, usually in a way that unfortunately isn’t realistic, but then again, that’s what makes it escapism. And I love that the Marvel movies are reclaiming that.

RG: Yes, that was huge. There was so much attention to protecting civilians.

I really loved Tony’s interactions with Steve Rogers in this movie, starting with him calling Captain America on his objection to Tony's swearing. You could tell that there is still a lot of tension between them, but definitely mutual respect as well. I LOVED the wood chopping scene, obviously. Not only because I loved the conversation between them, and I loved fantasizing about having those two men chop wood for me, but also because Tony Stark is not above pitching in and helping with chores. When would that guy have ever chopped wood before?

It made me really happy at the end when Tony, before driving off, asks Cap if he's alright. It was a really nice moment. Cap probably should have returned the question. But we’ve established in these movies that Cap is a bit of a rude, lying car thief.

Also, sort of obscure, but it made me happy when Cap retrieved his shield using some sort of magnet-based Stark technology. I like that Tony is helping his friend out, and that Cap is letting him.

DH: I was reading some Lee/Kirby Cap stories from Tales Of Suspense, and he totally has that magnetic-retrieval gizmo, so it’s canon! Of course, he ditches it almost immediately, saying it throws off his balance or something, but whatever.

RG: Nice!

Tony was very funny in this movie, as usual, and it would have been a great send-off for the character if RDJ had decided to make this his last Marvel movie. But, of course, we’ll be seeing him in at least one more (probably three more, right?).

I'm pretty into farm-casual Tony Stark.

I'm pretty into farm-casual Tony Stark.

DH: Depends on how many dumptrucks of money Marvel drives up to his door, I guess. But yeah, once again Whedon excels at Tony Stark dialogue. I really hope they don’t turn Tony into a monster dickweed in the next movie, like the one he turns into in the Civil War comic series.

RG: I really don’t think they will. No one wants that.

Quick final thought on Tony: His shitty chill lounge party music is inexcusable. Falcon should make him a mix tape.



Goddammit, Renner. Get out of the shot.

Goddammit, Renner. Get out of the shot.

RG: Thor was really delightful in this movie. As we have said before in these reviews, his chill, laid-back attitude works well in a group situation. He's so friendly! And he also looks very funny in any real world situation, which is why I would have loved to have seen a lot more of him at the farm. But he had to fly off to do something very confusing.

I know much has been said on this matter, but seriously what was that scene with the hot tub time machine? He grabs Selvig for...some reason...strips naked and gets into a pool in a cave for...some other reason that I don't need to know about because fine...and, I dunno, watches a bit of Guardians of the Galaxy? Whatever. 

DH: I think the filmmakers knew that a wet, shirtless Chris Hemsworth was something that a lot of moviegoers were hoping to see, and they didn’t care if how we got there made any sense or not. Just the frame or two of it that we saw in the trailer was probably responsible for at least half of the box office gross.

"Aaaah! 'Tis cold!"

"Aaaah! 'Tis cold!"

RG: Well, yes. I was personally more into the many scenes of Steve Rogers strutting around in ludicrously tight shirts. Under Armour is getting their money's worth from that sponsorship deal!

I couldn't even wait until the Captain America section of this thing to start posting pictures of him.  

I couldn't even wait until the Captain America section of this thing to start posting pictures of him.  

RG: As much as I did not care for that cave scene, I loved seeing undercover hoodie Thor on campus.

Thor leaving the farm so abruptly was kind of like “Farm chores, eh? I’m out!” He would have been so helpful! I guess he wouldn’t have been able to fit into clothes borrowed from Hawkeye. (Aside: were we to believe that Steve Rogers was wearing Clint’s borrowed jeans on the farm? Because they should have been very tight and capri-length on him if that were the case).

I'd believe that's Hawkeye's shirt though.

I'd believe that's Hawkeye's shirt though.

DH: It would have been really funny to see Thor trying to squeeze into Clint’s clothes.

RG: A musical montage of Thor trying to fit into Clint’s clothes!!!

Thor stepping on that Lego and then trying to hide the damage was great. I especially liked that scene because neither Thor nor Captain America would know what Lego is or that it's ok to break it.

I loved Thor at the party, especially trying to one-up Tony when they were talking about their (absent) girlfriends. He ends the conversation by saying “Jane is better,” and that’s just such a Thor thing to say. He doesn’t have much of a filter. Also loved that he brought hardcore Asgardian alcohol to the party so Captain America could get his drink on. I wish I wish I wish we could have seen drunk Steve. Although we saw plenty of drunk Chris Evans on that press tour, so I guess I can imagine how it would have gone.

Thor’s face when Captain America was almost able to lift Mjolnir was so great. And his relief when he couldn’t lift it! Thor actually had a lot of the great comedic moments in this movie.

Looks like Thor took his annual shower before this party. 

Looks like Thor took his annual shower before this party. 

RG: I loved all of Thor’s fight scenes. He and Captain America both had some really amazing fighting moves in this movie, and I loved it when they fought together, especially when he hits Cap's shield like a baseball with his hammer! They've been practicing!  I would love to see a lot more of Thor palling around with Captain America.

"So...Blackhat, huh?" 

"So...Blackhat, huh?" 

DH: “Look, they’re lining up!” “Well, they’re excited.” Holy crap, did I love that opening raid on the Hydra base. I think the way we just jumped right in mid-battle was great, especially how we were sort of following them, trying to keep up, when they were all introduced. The opening action scene really sets the James Bond tone of this thing, what with all the globe-trotting that follows as well.

RG: As you said to me, it makes you kind of sad when they allude to the other raids that we missed. I hate that we can’t see every second of their lives!

Thor bringing Vision to life, Frankenstein-style with lightning, and then vouching for him immediately was awesome. Thor was a pretty cool dude in this movie when he wasn’t abruptly leaving.

DH: I can’t remember if Vision has ever even tried to lift Mjolinir in the comics. But it made for a good storytelling shortcut here--we know we can trust this guy instantly--and it got a HUGE reaction on opening night with all the comic nerds in the audience. That whole scene is really cool, with the little mini-battle amongst the Avengers, then Thor coming in and you don’t know what side he’s on at first--is he trying to destroy the Vision, or bring him to life? We’ll get into it more below when we discuss Vision in greater detail, but he was one of my favourite parts of the movie.

Black Widow

The girl one!

The girl one!

RG: Black Widow was awesome in this movie and I won’t hear otherwise. I think Whedon went out of his way to give her a lot of great scenes, awesome action, and intriguing character elements to encourage Marvel to finally make a Black Widow movie. A lesser director would have reduced her role a lot in this movie, given that she was pregnant during filming.

DH: I remember after the first time we saw it, I was a bit disappointed that she, the only female team member at that point, got taken hostage by Ultron. But then someone we were with--you, maybe?--reminded me that Whedon had to rewrite parts of the script to accommodate her pregnancy, and that made me feel a lot better about it. Also, she was only held captive for, like, five minutes of screen time, and I never felt like she was helpless.

RG: She was never helpless. She didn't even seem worried. And then she did some cool spy shit to get Hawkeye's attention. She's got this.

She jumps out of a plane on a goddamn motorcycle, which rules, and she just generally kicked so much ass. She was funny, she was great with Hawkeye’s kids, she pushed Banner into a pit after kissing him to make him Hulk out...she’s the best.

Not action figure worthy!

Not action figure worthy!

RG: My only beef with Widow in this movie was that the blue glowing lights on her costume made no sense. Not very stealthy.

I liked the romance between her and Banner, but what I really liked was her very close friendship with Hawkeye. Clint's big reveal showed how close he and Natasha really are. So much more interesting than just a romantic or casual sex relationship between them! I liked when she referred to Clint as her best friend.

I also love her close friendship with Captain America. There were a few nice little moments in this movie to show that they have grown closer since Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

DH: Black Widow is so good in these movies, and the fact that she has these non-sexual relationships with her teammates, like Cap and Hawkeye, is pretty awesome. As you said, way more interesting. And I think her and Bruce are a strange fit, one that has no comic precedent, but it works.

Bruce Banner: boyfriend material.

Bruce Banner: boyfriend material.

RG: I think Banner is one of the few characters Widow hasn't hooked up with in the comics. That may have been another reason Whedon wanted to make it happen.

There was something that bothered me about various characters in this movie teasing or commenting on Natasha and Bruce. I just feel like Natasha would be a little more discreet than to invite that much attention. She openly flirts with Bruce at the bar in the party scene, walks away, and instantly creepy Captain America is there to be all “Sooooooo...Natasha is pretty hot for you, huh?” Was he watching the whole thing? Someone should have invited Agent 13 to this party to keep him occupied.

I know people were reading all sorts of anti-feminist things into her reveal to Bruce Banner that she can’t have children, but I really think she was just letting him know that he needs to come up with a better reason than ‘we can never have children’ to deny himself a relationship with her. She almost said it with a shrug. It’s a bleak and upsetting thing that was done to her, but she’s aware that she is among people who all have lots of messed up stuff in their lives. She is reminding Bruce that he is not the only monster among them.

DH: There’s a really good podcast at Empire Online where Whedon talks about that scene in the first movie, where they first meet, when he pushes that crib and says “I don’t every time get what I want”, which of course was written and filmed at a time when they had no idea where their story would go. The crib being there wasn’t even scripted, it was just part of the set decoration. But that detail is going to make revisiting that movie, after the conversation the two of them have about children in this movie, pretty interesting. It sounds like Whedon developed this thread mostly based on the chemistry of the two actors, which was a good impulse to follow.

RG: Well they are the two who are slumming it in these movies.

The movie ends with Black Widow as one of the leaders of the Avengers! She rules!



"Listen, Hulk thinks you're a great girl, but Hulk is not looking for a committed relationship right now!"

"Listen, Hulk thinks you're a great girl, but Hulk is not looking for a committed relationship right now!"

DH: Once again, these movies get the Hulk right in a way that his solo movies never quite did. Ruffalo is perfect as the haunted, tormented Banner, especially after the fight in Johannesburg. And the effects used to bring Hulk to life just get better and better. I wonder if we’ll ever get to see what Wanda showed him to make him go into an advanced state of Hulkamania (my girlfriend Hillary’s term for it)?

RG: She showed him the Batman vs Superman trailer. Zing!

DH: I also wonder where we’ll next see Hulk--along with Thor, he’s one of the only cast members who doesn’t seem to be popping up in Captain America: Civil War next year. My guess is he’ll get a big moment in Avengers: Infinity War Part II. But I do like the idea of him just flying off and seeing where that Quinjet takes him. Apparently Marvel doesn’t have the rights to do a solo Hulk movie--I imagine the deal is similar to what they have now with Sony and Spider-man--but he works best as a supporting character in these movies anyway.

RG: I’m kind of fine with not having a solo Hulk movie, even though I love Ruffalo as Hulk. I basically don’t want anyone else to get a solo movie until Black Widow gets one.

I’m a big fan of the Science Bros montage when they are working to create Ultron in this movie. I am actually pretty surprised we didn’t hear the words ‘science bros’ spoken at all. I figured they’d throw that shout-out to the fandom in there. I do really like Bruce and Tony’s friendship a lot. And I like that Banner is an expert in...all science?

DH: Was it “bio-organics” that Tony said Banner was a genius at? Just say “science," Tony. Stop making shit up.

"I'm a doctor, dammit! Not a bio-organicist!"

"I'm a doctor, dammit! Not a bio-organicist!"

RG: I thought the ‘lullaby’ thing with Widow was cool, and it establishes that they would have spent a lot of time together building trust while working on that. It adds more weight to the love story. Poor Bruce, though. He goes from ‘It’s fun to flirt with Natasha’ to ‘I can’t possibly be in a relationship with anyone’ to ‘Sure, what the hell? Let’s run away together’ to ‘Scratch that, I’m leaving on a jet plane. Don’t know when I’ll be back again’ in this movie.

That final jet plane scene with Hulk, by the way? Nice nod to the end of Captain America: The First Avenger.

DH: I didn’t even pick up on that! Good catch.

RG: One problem I did have with the Bruce/Natasha love story was how it ignores Betty Ross. I mean, if Banner could be in a relationship, wouldn’t it be with Betty? As I said in our review of The Incredible Hulk, I think the Bruce/Betty romance was the strongest of any two characters in any of these movies. She crazy loves him! Maybe Banner is going to check up on her in that plane.


Captain America

I mean, look at this guy. How am I supposed to write captions here?

I mean, look at this guy. How am I supposed to write captions here?

DH: Cap has really come into his own as the solid foundation for these movies--an unswerving leader, a moral center, and a kick-ass fighting machine. But he’s really funny, too! “I miss the days when the weirdest thing to come out of science was me”, etc.

RG: Cap can really come into MY own as a solid founda...sorry. Continue.

DH: I can’t believe I’m living in a world where I can go to the movies and see one of my favourite comic characters so perfectly realized as a big-screen action hero. It can’t have been easy to make this character not seem totally foolish to a moviegoing audience, but they’ve structured his arc so well. A lot of credit is due to Chris Evans, obviously. This might be my favourite movie translation of a comic hero since Christopher Reeve’s Superman.

Why haven't I seen this in IMAX yet, seriously?

Why haven't I seen this in IMAX yet, seriously?

RG: You know I agree with all of that. I just...I love him so much. I went into this movie like “Ohmygod, he’s going to say things I haven’t heard him say before!!!”

There was some pretty major character stuff for Cap in this movie. He is, as you said, established early on as the team’s fearless leader (loved the Captain America speeches in this movie, by the way), but also as someone who is still an outsider who doesn’t quite know what his place is in this world beyond being a hero. He seemed downright miserable at Hawkeye’s house. He actually looks angry when he sees Hawkeye’s kids. Cap has no poker face.

I love the weird parallel between Cap and Bruce in this shot.  

I love the weird parallel between Cap and Bruce in this shot.  

DH: Yep, great inspirational Cap speeches. “If ya get hurt, hurt ‘em back. If ya get killed...walk it off.” Sean Connery in The Untouchables wishes he had something that badass to say to Kevin Costner.

RG: When Cap angrily busts that log into smithereens during the WOOD CHOPPING SCENE, I’m guessing it probably caused audiences to shriek with delight and awe worldwide. It was a great moment.

Oscar clip.

Oscar clip.

RG: I like these hints of the deep frustration and sadness that Steve is carrying inside him. He never lets it  interfere with his job, but anytime he’s not fighting he is heartbreakingly forlorn.

Forlorn, but with really amazing eyelashes. I mean, really. Just extraordinary.  

Forlorn, but with really amazing eyelashes. I mean, really. Just extraordinary.  

RG: I do think he is happy with where he is at the end of the movie. I think he’s being sincere when he tells Tony that he isn’t the same person he used to be, and no longer dreams of a family and a house. Captain America’s destiny isn’t to get married and have kids. He’s a soldier and a leader and a hero and an icon and the Avengers are his family. He’ll probably get a lot more respect and less teasing from this new crop of Avengers. I think it’s a turning point for him. I hope so, anyway.

He would probably like to get laid, though. His virginity remains intact by the end of this movie, as far as I’m concerned. As far as Chris Evans is concerned, too.

Oh God, I totally predicted that we would see a Scarlet Witch-induced nightmare flashback scenario where Steve would finally have that dance with Peggy, and I also predicted that I would cry and cry and cry. I did not cry, because the flashback was short and weird, but still. Sad! I feel like Bucky should have been in that flashback too, since he’s probably on Steve’s mind a lot these days. I also just think we should slot Sebastian Stan into every movie.

DH: Cap’s costume in this movie is a nice combination of everything that worked about his other uniforms in the previous films And the running gag about his disapproval of Tony’s salty language is very funny.

RG: That was great. Would have loved it if Cap had let out a crazy string of profanity, but “son of a bitch” worked too. Either way, loved that we got to share in one of the Avengers’ inside jokes. I also like that Thor doesn’t make fun of him. Thor’s a good dude.

I love the costume. I feel like the stylists on these movies need to cool it with the sideburns, though. Like, are they trying to see how long they can make them before we object. I object! He looked perfect in the first movie! Has he been spending the past few years watching 90210 reruns?

As I mentioned before, Cap’s fighting moves were awesome in this movie. It’s pretty damn awesome when he throws his motorcycle at that jeep. I will say, though, that I think he has intentionally trashed a motorcycle in at least three of these movies. You’d think a guy who grew up during the Depression wouldn’t treat motorcycles as disposable objects.



This fucking guy.

This fucking guy.

DH: My love of Hawkeye is pretty well-documented at this point, and I was happy to see him finally get a personality and a backstory (even if it isn’t from the comics--I guess it’s sort of from the Ultimate comics, but the less said about those, the better). I did feel like Jeremy Renner was a bit old to play this character, who is much more of a young punk in the comics. But now, with him being a secret family man, it has been back-engineered to make sense. He’s got some great fighting moves in this film, and I love his big inspirational speech to Wanda during the final battle. I’m really into the idea of Hawkeye as just this working-class dude. Everyone else is a hero for these deeply personal reasons, but he’s just a guy doing his job.

RG: I did not see the family man Hawkeye reveal coming at all. I was THRILLED! Somehow Hawkeye became the dreamiest Avenger! Fighting bad guys while making plans to remodel the dining room?! Forget about it!

I loved everything about those farmhouse scenes. I could have used another three hours of farmhouse.

DH: People love to crap on Hawkeye because he’s just a guy with a bow and arrow, but that’s one of the reasons I love him. He’s on a team with super-soldiers, mutants, monsters, and gods, and he is just a guy with a bow and arrow. So what does that tell you? Just how goddamn good does he have to be with a bow and arrow to stand amongst these guys? That, to me, is really cool. And he finally emerged as an interesting guy on the big screen as well.

Fine, here's another picture of Hawkeye.

Fine, here's another picture of Hawkeye.

RG: He deserves to be there every bit as much as Black Widow. She doesn’t have super powers either. Neither does Tony, really. Or Falcon, or War Machine...they all just have weapons that they are good at using. So what is the damn difference? I don’t think the question is whether Hawkeye deserves to be an Avenger, it’s if Jeremy Renner deserves to be an Avenger. And I think the answer to that question is NO. But he was good in this movie. Whatever.

His "family man" reveal makes his comments about Black Widow being a whore even more confusing! What is wrong with this idiot?!

I liked that Hawkeye was questioning his contribution to the team a bit in this movie, and that his wife pointed out how important he is to making them work as a team. All of this self-doubt kind of came together in that rousing speech to Scarlet Witch, which I really loved (“The city is flying...the city is flying”).

His costume was cool in this movie.

DH: Yes, but get that guy some headgear! Preferably with a big “H” on it.


And The Rest...



This guy is going to be fun at future Avengers parties.

This guy is going to be fun at future Avengers parties.

DH: I wasn’t really sure how Vision would work out here. His origin is a bit convoluted, and a real departure in some ways from the comic--yes, he’s a creation of Ultron, like in the comic, but he’s also J.A.R.V.I.S., and he’s got the Mind Gem...it’s a lot to take in, but it works incredibly well and I think a lot of the credit must go to Paul Bettany’s performance. He has just a cool, calm, serene attitude that is really interesting. It also helps that it’s Paul Bettany in costume onscreen, and not a CGI effect. I love his final scene with Ultron so much, where Ultron says, “They’re doomed (‘they’ being humanity)”, and Vision responds that yes, they are, but that a thing isn’t beautiful because it lasts, and that he and Ultron are privileged to be among them. And, like everyone else, he has some really funny lines, like when Ultron calls him naive and he says, “Well, I was born yesterday”. I can’t wait to see what else they do with Vision in future movies.

RG: Vision was so, so great. I mean, really. I’m not gonna lie, when I first heard Vision was going to be introduced in this movie, I thought it was a weird choice. Vision is a great character that shouldn’t work at all in a movie like this, but man!

That conversation between Vision and Ultron at the end was THE BEST.


The Twins

Live fast, die young.

Live fast, die young.

RG: Loved what a badass Scarlet Witch is. Looking forward to seeing more of her. Loved Quicksilver more than I expected to. Really enjoyed his tracksuit Eurotrash look. Not too sad we won’t see more of him. He had a good death. As much as I dislike Renner, I’m glad Hawkeye wasn’t the one who died.

DH: I thought Quicksilver was well-used--I think I’m the only person on the planet who liked this iteration of him more than the one we saw in X-Men: Days Of Future Past--but his death here meant something, and I wouldn’t want them to cheapen it by bringing him back or saying that he somehow survived.

I also really dug Scarlet Witch. She’s kind of a problematic character in the comics because her powers are so poorly defined--or, at least, defined occasionally, then redefined by the next Avengers scripter--but here they basically just made her into another Phoenix, which is fine. I like her and Pietro’s fakey Russian (I guess?) accents, and I also like how creepy she was in the early scenes. She was sort of skittering around like Samara from The Ring or something, and it was pretty cool.



Oddly sexy.

Oddly sexy.

RG: The trailers did a good job of concealing how funny Ultron is. Seriously, a lot of the big laughs are Ultron lines. My personal favourite: “I can’t physically throw up in my mouth…” after he describes Captain America. He’s a Whedon villain through and through.

Ultron also looks amazing. And James Spader is so great (and a little sexy? Am I wrong? Sexy Ultron?). When Ultron is first coming to “life,” his dialogue with J.A.R.V.I.S. is so great. Normally a robot villain is sort of meh for me, but he was awesome. The Lil’ Ultrons were super easy to kill, though. I probably could have taken a dozen or so out myself.

DH: Throughout the movie, I was not always feeling Ultron’s motivations. The whole “computer programmed to end war decides he needs to end humanity” idea is pretty played out, but that end scene with Vision really brought it full circle and redeemed it for me. Lots of hilarious one-liners. This wouldn’t be a Joss Whedon movie if he didn’t have a funny villain. My favourite was probably when he ripped off Ulysses Klaw’s arm and was like, “Oh, sorry! I’m sure that’ll be fine.”

Ultron’s lips were kinda weird, though. He looked a bit like Audrey Two from Little Shop Of Horrors.



RG: We got a little taste of Falcon in this movie. I really can’t wait to see more of him. I was glad he was invited to the party (and that he mentioned Cap and his ‘missing person case’). I liked seeing Steve and Sam playing pool at the party. I just love superheroes hanging out doing friend things!

DH: I was pretty happy to see him on the team at the end, with a lot more red in his costume. I guess they probably had to distinguish his costume’s colour scheme from War Machine’s a bit more? And seeing it again this weekend (your second time, my third!), I noticed just how stoked he looks to be an Avenger. I don’t know if that’s Anthony Mackie or Sam Wilson who’s excited about it, but I suspect it’s a bit of both.


War Machine

RG: Don Cheadle stops by to steal every scene he’s in. I’m very excited to see him join the Avengers team. I loved him telling that same story to everyone at the party, and his look of satisfaction when people laughed at it. Also, his reaction to Vision phasing through robots in the final battle was hilarious.

DH: If Tony’s retired, shouldn’t Rhodey just be Iron Man now? I’d be fine with that. Cap is probably pretty happy to have some more army guys on his team now.


Nick Fury

I really like Fury's button-up sweater.

I really like Fury's button-up sweater.

RG: I don’t know why Laura Barton was so stealthy when she told Tony that their tractor needed fixing as a way to lure Tony into the barn for a secret Fury meeting. I mean, Cap knows Fury is alive. And then Fury was just hanging out with everyone in the farmhouse later. So why the secret ops? Eh, whatever. It was cute.

I was trying to figure out who would have known that Fury was even still alive. Maybe all of them? Thor probably didn’t even know that he died, or returned, or was on that helicarrier at the end. I don’t feel like Thor gets filled in on a lot of things. He’s probably also like “what’s Hydra?”

DH: “What’s a robot? What are nuclear codes?” Poor dope.

RG: Here’s a question: when did Fury decide to start wearing his eyepatch again? Didn’t he burn it at the end of Winter Soldier? I guess he and Stark had coffee sometime between this movie and that one and decided to go back to their eyepatch and Iron Man suit, respectively.

DH: He probably just realized that his crazy scars and dead eye are not really any less conspicuous than his eyepatch.


Agent Hill

RG: I just want to say that Agent Hill has been in three movies now. Time for some character development. I doubt we’ll see it in Civil War, since there are already about 97 heroes in that movie.

Say...Are Agent Hill and Rhodes dating? If so, I am pro THAT!

DH: Yeah, they were kinda hanging out at the party, weren’t they? I like that idea.


Random Thoughts:

RG: I was really happy to see our ‘Cap’s orders’ friend from Winter Soldier working for S.H.I.E.L.D. on the helicarrier at the end. He got promoted!

DH: I love that guy!

RG: I loved seeing the vintage Captain America war propaganda posters in the background on the wall in the Avengers Tower. Tony would have put those up to annoy Steve.

Loved the petty debate between Cap, Thor and Iron Man at the end about whether or not Vision being able to lift Thor’s hammer means he’s worthy. “You put the hammer in an elevator, the elevator’s not worthy.” Cap is comparing Vision to an elevator!

DH: It reminded me of the conversation in Gremlins 2 about the rules governing Mogwai/Gremlin transformations, and how the whole not feeding them after midnight would be affected by time-zone changes, etc. What I’m saying is that this and Gremlins 2 are basically the same movie.

RG: Kinda bummed that we didn’t get to see the sleeping arrangements at the Barton farm. Maybe in the director’s cut (which is hopefully nothing but extra farm footage). Did Fury spend the night too? Did they actually sleep there? I’m confused about the farm timeline.

I liked the scene at the party where Tony and Thor are explaining why Jane Foster and Pepper Potts aren’t there. But seriously I wish Jane was played by a lesser movie star so we could see more of that character.

Really excited about the new Avengers facility in upstate New York (away from civilians!). Looking forward to seeing more of it in Civil War.

DH: I love that the movie ends with a significant lineup change--pretty standard Avengers stuff, you gotta shake it up every few adventures. I also think it’s pretty cool that Captain America is now the sole white male Avenger, on the team with two women, two African-American guys, and a robot.

All your favourites! 

All your favourites! 

RG: This movie was a real gift to superhero fans. I have nothing but gratitude for everyone involved with the making of these Marvel movies. The anticipation for this movie kept me buzzing for months before its release, and I was ecstatic when I finally watched it. And they’ve already started filming Captain America: Civil War, which I seriously can’t wait for. As much as I love an Avengers movie, I really love a Cap-centric movie. And a Cap-centric movie that sees the return of Bucky, plus more Falcon and Black Widow? Yes, please.

In conclusion, more movie scenes with the Avengers sitting around drinking and eating Chinese take-out, please!!!

Cap drinks beer just for the taste. That's cute.

Cap drinks beer just for the taste. That's cute.

*Marry Cap, fuck Tony, kill Bruce (put him out of his misery). Alternate: Marry Ruffalo, fuck Evans, kill Downey (he's had a good run).