Bleats

Marvel And DC Are In The Same Universe And This Is Clearly A Sign Of The Apocalypse

Iron Man and Superman, together at last?

If you’re a comics nerd you are well aware that there are two superhero comicverses. They are the the cosmologies of Marvel (Spider-Man, the Avengers, the X-Men, Guardians of the Galaxy and so on) and DC (Superman, Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa etc).

If you are not a comics nerd then you probably don’t think about it very often, let alone have screaming internet fights over who would win in a fight between the Hulk and the Flash or make fan art of the DC Captain Marvel making out with the Marvel one. But it’s generally acknowledged that the two realms of existence do not overlap.

That is, UNTIL NOW (dun dun DUUUUUUUNNNNNN.

Settle down, Bruce.

In a new edition of Marvel’s Tony Stark: Iron Man comic the titular character expresses his disdain for metaphysics – which in our universe means questioning the very nature of identity and reality, and in comics tends to mean magic and swirly patterns to get characters out of dangerous plot holes – with the following bit of self-talk:

“I see a problem I blast it or buy it or give it robotic shoes. Metaphysics? That’s my kryptonite.”

Kryptonite, as you’re likely aware, is a fictitious mineral which robs Superman of his powers, despite being ample upon his home planet of Krypton where it was presumably giving everyone who lived there space-cancer. How did they even survive long enough to blow up?

Anyway, it’s from the DC universe and therefore suggests that Iron Man is across the lore of DC. Will Shazam lament the absence of vibranium in some future comic?

And more importantly, does this DC and Marvel co-existing mean that we are moving towards some sort of pop culture singularity? Is… is this a sign that everything is moving toward its end?

AS IT WAS FORETOLD!

Mind you, on the current trajectory we assume that Disney will own all intellectual property on the planet by 2025 and the world will finally get to see the Justice Avengers teaming up to take on The Simpsons and Bluey before we finally vanish into a cartoon mouse-shaped black hole.

It is our destiny.

You Need To Be Across The Most Bonkers Marvel Heroes Still Left In The Universe

Does the franchise that had a walking tree-person have even dumber ideas to draw on? Sure they do!

In these post-Endgame days people are pondering the question of where the Marvel Cinematic Universe can go from here – especially since they have an incredible track record of spinning gold out of dross.

After all, The Avengers specifically and the MCU generally was a legendary gamble where Marvel were forced to use a load of second and third tier characters few knew and fewer loved (Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, Captain America etc) and one solitary character that had any recognition factor (The Hulk) because most of their big names like the X-Men, Spider-man and the Fantastic 4 had already been sold off to the likes of Fox and Sony.

So now as we prepare for Phase 4 and beyond, what are some of the worst options left from the Marvel character-vaults?

I mean, who needs these clowns?

5. Howard The Duck

He’s already been in an MCU film – that’s him in one of The Collector’s cabinets in Guardians of the Galaxy – and his fourth-wall breaking schtick has already been done to great effect by Deadpool.

And while plenty of MCU characters have bad films in their past, the shadow cast by the legendary 1986 George Lucas-produced flop is a long one.

Yeah, nah.

4. Cosmo The Space Dog

Another character in that same scene was Cosmo, a dog who was sent into space and developed superpowers and a genius-level intellect thanks to cosmic space magic.

In the comics he’s a fully paid up member of the Guardians, but presumably they figured the talking racoon had used up all their talking animal budget.

Nice doggie.

3. Dazzler

This one is just ripe for a reboot despite the utter hideousness of her origin story – a commercial deal between Marvel and Casablanca records, home of Kiss and the Village People, to create a multimedia pop star. That fizzled out along with Casablanca’s post-disco boom fortunes, but the character’s been kicking around in the nether regions of the X-Men on and off ever since.

Her powers are basically that music makes her emit light, so she can fire lasers our of her fingers and so on.

Bizarrely, Brie Larson released her one and only album on Casablanca in 2005 during the label’s less than stellar relaunch (the not-exactly-at-all-selling Finally Out Of P.E.). So you know, if it’s good enough for Captain Marvel…

2. Eye-Scream

It’s cheating slightly to name a character who was a villain in a single issue of a comic book but Eye-Scream is uniquely bonkers in that his ability is – and there’s no way to put this that makes it sound remotely sane, even in the hyper-stylised world of comics – turning into ice cream.

His fate was to be frozen while in his liquid state and, it is strongly implied, accidentally eaten by partying X-Men. Why is that not the plot of Dark Phoenix?

This is thing that someone suggested, had approved and then drew for widespread publication.

1. Big Bertha

This is definitely the most challenging possibility for the MCU to adopt, because not even the most skilful writer could make palatable the story of a supermodel whose super transformation is piling on protective layers of near-invulnerable fat, and who then returns to normal by vomiting. 

Yes, you read that correctly.

She made her first appearance in 1989, when bulimia and anorexia were absolutely widely known and accepted as real and pressing mental health issues and yet Marvel still went “hey, a comically fat woman who throws up in order to become a socially acceptable size? That all sounds like a perfect gimmick for this new character! Let’s do it!”

Splonch?

And, bafflingly, she is still in the continuity (as recently as 2016’s The Great Lakes Avengers series).

Her story has been somewhat retconned in the intervening years, but even with (arguably) wider acceptance of body types it’s still hard to imagine a big-budget outing for a hero that throws up all the time. That’s not going to make for marketable merch.

Why Avengers: Endgame Is The Perfect Time To Opt Out Of The Marvelverse

At what point is getting into the MCU just too big an ask?

So we are now 21 films into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (if you count The Incredible Hulk, which no-one should) spanning eleven quip-packed years.

And Avengers: Endgame is set to end the arc concerning all those various gem-related MacGuffins that are now packed onto Thanos’ clickin’ glove and see at least a couple of the big names from the series go out in a blaze of contract-ending glory.

Ahem.

And yes, technically Spider-Man: Far From Home will be the last film of this fourth “phase” of the MCU – which in itself is a pretty large giveaway that maybe the events of Infinity War aren’t exactly permanent.

But let’s be honest: Endgame is going to be the… um, endgame for a lot of viewers, because keeping up with the continuity is a lot of work and is set to get even harder.

Everyone, once there’s another dozen or so films.

In the event that there’s anyone out there thinking that Endgame should be their first MCU experience would have to do 50-something hours of homework in order even understand the stakes. And who among us can in good conscience turn to people about whom we care and say “…and now we’re going to watch the first two Thor films and also Iron Man 2?”

For established fans Marvel’s commitment to consistency is rewarding, but dipping into the MCU at this point is a formidable task. The price of creating a massive and interconnected ecosystem of movies is that a newcomer is going to spend most of any film nudging their companion in the ribs and going “who’s that guy? Why does he even know her? What’s a hydra?”

And that bit about it “getting even harder”? The MCU shows set to screen on the Disney streaming service are reportedly going to be tied in with the films in a way that wasn’t true of previous series like Agent Carter and Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D, which is really doubling down on the commitment thing.

And there’s only so many hours in the day. So we should all enjoy Endgame, especially those of us who’ll most likely make it the stop at which we get off the MCU train.

After all, engaging with pop culture really shouldn’t be a goddamn slog.

Oh stop it.

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