The MCU: Never Imagined We'd Get Here

The MCU: Never Imagined We'd Get Here

A decade ago, the Marvel Cinematic Universe was just a fantasy - now it's a multi-billion dollar franchise.

I've written about the Marvel Cinematic Universe before. It's no surprise that after eighteen movies (as of the time of this article) and ten years, the franchise has become something of a cultural landmark. This has all been building up to the end-all be-all of superhero movies, the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War, where the entire universe comes together to fight Thanos, now wielding the Infinity Gauntlet. The movie has been a decade in the making, and has what is easily the best cast ever assembled for a major motion picture. Now I'm not going to go into the production and the rise of the MCU, I've already done that. Rather, I just want to take a few minutes and talk about the movie that years ago, we never thought would be possible.

In summer 2008, the first two installments in the MCU were released – Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk. These were major successes for the studio, though The Incredible Hulk wasn't as well received as Iron Man. It was one thing to see Samuel L. Jackson cameo as Nick Fury in the now-famous after credit scene, but it was something else entirely when Robert Downey Jr. appeared to discuss the “team” being assembled at the end of Hulk. Slowly, more and more actors were hired onboard the franchise, leading their own series of movies. Of course those release dates were moved around, which is just a fact of Hollywood. After four years, The Avengers premiered in theaters, proving that this wasn't just an attempt – all these separate heroes were coming together. The superhero film genre was now a major force to be reckoned with, compared to the occasional Spider-Man or X-Men movie (even at this point, DC had only had Batman Begins and Superman Returns, and before that, their last big hit was Batman Returns). It was not unlike the current revival of Star Wars in the public eye. People across all demographics were gathering to watch these movies and follow the story.

Much like how Iron Man's after-credits scene showed Marvel Studios' gameplan for what would be called “Phase 1,” the mid-credits scene of Avengers revealed there was a bigger threat than Tom Hiddleston's chilling Loki – the Mad Titan, Thanos. There, we knew Marvel was in it for the long run. Over the next couple of years, the Infinity Stones were introduced, and it was revealed Loki's staff and the Tesseract from Captain America: The First Avenger were Stones as well. The audience now had a story that tracked through every single movie in some way, whether it was a minor reference or a major plot point in the movies. Josh Brolin was cast as Thanos in 2013 for a cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy, and the crowds at Comic Con went nuts. We really had never seen this sort of thing before. Casting someone years before the actual movie about them so we could follow his character's path? We had seen Nick Fury and Black Widow go between movies before, but now we had the villain for a future movie already being set up. His goal was even the same, gathering the Infinity Stones to rule the universe as he sees fit. The universe was quickly filling up, and the audience was loving every minute. They had been able to assemble the team for the first film, and continued through the second, before 2016's Captain America: Civil War involved the entire catalog of Avengers characters, as if even the solo films had weight on the franchise as a whole. The Thanos storyline has tracked through each Avenger's personal arc in some way, as well as the Guardians of the Galaxy – as if Marvel knew exactly who the villain needed to be to tie it all together.

Now there was the issue involving rights to certain characters. Many of which were moved to television, such as Daredevil and Ghost Rider, but even still – those television programs were just as much a part of the overall Marvel Cinematic Universe as Thor and Ant-Man. Meanwhile, Marvel Studios did not own the rights to using the Fantastic Four, X-Men, or Spider-Man in their movies, and attempted to get them back, at least the rights of the latter. By 2015, Sony, who owned film rights to Spider-Man and all related characters, was willing to make a deal, and the MCU incarnation appeared in Captain America: Civil War to the excitement of the moviegoing public. And was with most MCU decisions and projects, it was debated whether or not the franchise could introduce such a major character this late in the game. But they did, and Tom Holland's take on Peter Parker was very well received, leading to him being involved in a solo trilogy and a major focus of the next Avengers film, which just happened to be Infinity War. That same movie introduced Black Panther, and now look what they've done. Years ago, this was impossible. Characters were owned by different film studios, and none of them would work together to do a project like this. But Marvel proved themselves to be a powerhouse, and as the rights came back in, they were immediately put into the list of usable heroes.

And now, the MCU is evolved. Black Panther took the world by storm, and Marvel is likely to get the rights to X-Men and Fantastic Four characters after the Disney/Fox deal goes through. Nobody expected this to work over a decade ago, and now we're coming up on a massive crossover film involving every aspect of the heroes we as an audience have come to love. After Infinity War, Marvel will have to find a way to show that even after building and building, there is still a story to tell, and at the same time keep the audiences coming back for more. And if they were able to do it when that kind of movie series was just a dream, then I have no doubt they'll be able to do this once again. It'll just take time, and as with this film and the Infinity Gauntlet arc, that's exactly how to keep it going – making the audience want to know what is going to happen next.

Cover Image Credit: Marvel

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18 Times Kate Middleton Was Actually All Of Us In College, Beside The Princess Thing

Every girl has to go through her clueless college stage before she reaches Duchess status.

Kate Middleton is basically a household name by now, and how could this not be the case when she has the gorgeous hair, kind smile, and incredible fashion sense. With her constantly in the spotlight looking so put together, we sometimes forget that the Duchess was actually all of us in college!

Here are 18 times that Kate proved she was just like all of us.

1. Going all out in the name of school spirit

There is nothing like breaking out the war paint and screaming for your home team. Like Kate, we all love to get a little messy and make some memories with our friends.

2. Hanging out with the roomies

Some people may not get lucky in this area but for those who are best friends with their roommates, they understand the love. It's a dream come true for everyone who has always wanted to live with their best friends. It's like a sleepover that never ends.

3. Dressing up cute on the first day of school...

You got to make a good first impression on your way to school. Whether it's during your 7 A.M or 4 P.M., it's always best to dress to impress.

4. ...and wearing yoga pants for the rest of the year

And this goes all the way until the last week of school when you don't bother getting out of bed to wear pants at all.

5. Going grocery shopping and throwing in cookies, ice-cream, and every type of Pringles because your mom isn't there to say no

You'll probably regret that in a few months when the Freshman Fifteen kicks in.

6. Walking for miles from your car to your dorm carrying groceries

We can't park by the apartment for a solid five minutes to carry our groceries up to the kitchen or we will risk a ticket, but we can walk a few miles carrying food that gets heavier, and heavier, and heavier with every step.

7. Going out for a night on the town on a Friday night

Dancing, laughter, and fun? Everyone in college has been to a party or two. It's a classic part of the college experience. Sometimes you just need a distraction from all the essays and tests.

8. Being so late to class you threw on whatever your hands grabbed next

We've all been there. Our alarm doesn't go off, we press snooze a few too many times, or forget to even set an alarm and next thing you know we are running around the dorm room like Taz from Looney Toons. You throw on whatever, then run to class.

Unfortunately 9/10 times our outfits don't turn out. Although, Kate can certainly pull off this look, no matter how mismatched.

9. Pretending your walking to the same building as the cute boy you met so you have the excuse to keep talking to him

I am very guilty of doing this. Although I missed my class, at least I got to talk to the really cute boy who has class at 9:45 in the STEM building. It was worth it.

10. Sitting on the floor or standing because you're a poor college student who can't afford chairs or tables

Eating on the floor? Always. Being a college kid is tough and sometimes you have to sacrifice some things to obtain the others. Such as choosing chocolate milk and Halo Top over vegetables and hair conditioner.

Judging by Kate's beautiful locks, she chose the conditioner.

Probably the vegetables too.

We should just all follow her example.

11. Going on cute date with the boy you followed to class-turned-boyfriend

Now my short-lived romance may not have extended farther than us talking and walking to his class, but Kate and William obviously had a better ending. Nevertheless, college is the place to grow and date and possibly find the one.

12. Keeping your hair long and growing because you can't afford to get it cut

Don't trust your roommate. No matter how many times she begs you to let her cut it. Don't.

13. Turning 21 and getting dressed up and going out with your best friends

While this one probably doesn't apply to Kate, since you can drink at age 18 in most countries, all my people in the United States know the sweet freedom of turning 21. It's an iconic time in a students life and marks a huge milestone as well.

14. Passing out flyers for some type of movement or protest

Everyone wants to be a part of something bigger - which is why college is the time to stand up for what you believe in. May that be RedforEd, Planned Parenthood, anti-Abortion, Trump, the Wall, pizza bagels, it's all an exercise of the first amendment.

15. Ranting to your friends about the professor that just "doesn't understand you"

You know your thinking about that professor right now as you read this. And you know that that's your reaction whenever they give you a bad grade or say something you disagree with at the tiniest degree.

16. Getting glammed-up for those senior photos

Pick out your best outfit and make sure it's a good hair day because everyone will be viewing these photos forever... and in Kate's place that is more than true. Luckily she looks as gorgeous as ever. Does she ever have a bad hair day?

17. Walking out of your last class knowing you'll never have to write a single paper again

And purposefully not thinking about how you will be going into the real world in less than a few days.

18. When you've graduated and realized you have no idea what you're going to do with your life

Maybe a prince will be right around the corner to sweep you off your feet so you won't have to figure your life out.
Cover Image Credit: Laura Warshauer

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The Football World Loses One Of Its Finest Players

Bart Starr passed away and NFL players, coaches, and fans all mourn the loss of the Packer legend, but his life and career will live on in hearts of Packer nation forever.


Bart Starr passed away at the age of 85 in Birmingham, Alabama. The NFL lost a great player. The Green Bay Packers lost a hero. And, the world lost a true gentleman. Starr's legacy has surpassed his accomplishments on the gridiron. He inspired not only his peers but the generations that have come after him. He is — and always — will be remembered as a Hall of Famer, a champion, and a Packer.

Bart Starr was a Packers legend. Starr led Green Bay to six division titles and five world championships. As the quarterback of Vince Lombardi's offense, he kept the machine going and executed the plays like no other. His mastery of the position was a large part of the Packers success in the 1960s. Starr was also the perfect teammate for the perfect team. His leadership put him in command of the Packers. Starr's time in Green Bay will not be forgotten by former players, coaches, and the fans.

Bart Starr's resume is rivaled by few in NFL history. He played in 10 postseason games and won 9 of them. He led the Packers to victory in Super Bowls I and II and won the MVP award in both games. He was the MVP of the league in 1966 and was named to the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1960s. The Packers retired his number 15 and Starr has been inducted into the Packers and Pro Football Hall of Fame.

After his playing days, Starr would become the head coach of the Packers. He could not repeat the success he had on the field from the 1960s teams. His coaching years do not take away from his legacy as one of the all-time great Packers. Starr was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.

One of Starr's last visits to Lambeau field was on a cold November night in 2015. Starr and his wife attended a ceremony in which the Packers retired Brett Favre's jersey number. Starr was the perfect personification of what it meant to be a Packer. His most heroic moment came in the 1967 NFL Championship Game. The Ice Bowl came down to a third and goal in Lambeau Field's south endzone against the Dallas Cowboys. Starr came to the sidelines and bravely told Vince Lombardi that he can sneak it in for a game-winning touchdown. Lombardi then replied, "Run it, and let's get the hell out of here." Starr ran a quarterback sneak for the game-winner and the Packers were off to Super Bowl II. Without Starr, Green Bay would not have won a second straight Super Bowl. His leadership in big game moments will live with Packers fans for a lifetime.

Vince Lombardi: A Football Life - The Ice Bowl

Starr leaves behind his wife Cherry, his son, and three granddaughters. Packers fans will have a tight grip on the memories Bart Starr and the 60s teams created. Starr left behind a template for being a Green Bay Packer. He also left a template for being a good man and a gentleman of the game of football. He was a competitor and a leader. Packer nation mourns for the loss of one of the finest human beings the game has seen.

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