Based on the title of the article, you're thinking "But Mike, I already watch all the Marvel movies on a weekly basis, so I'm good for what to watch." But you would be wrong! Or at least, incomplete on what you're watching and reading. Check out these ideas so you can figure out what to do before you see Avengers Age of Ultron!
• Marvel Civil War TPB: I know, I know. It’s supposed to come out next year, after Ant-Man. But this is the original comics, showing Pro-Registration vs Cap’s Anti-Registration. From what I’ve heard, shows what Tony Stark is thinking during and after Ultron.
• Captain America: Winter Soldier TPB: The blueprint for the awesome movie that came out as the Cap sequel. Shows Cap’s state of mind in the beginning of Ultron.
• Ultimates TPB: The originals, by Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch. The inspiration for the current MCU. A great, ass-kicking Captain America takes charge right after being woken up from WWII. A well-done modern comic series that I was sad to see come to end as it was.
• Marvel 1602 TPB: Just a great Marvel Thor, albeit in a 17th century environment. A monk named Donal is tasked by the Templars to carry their treasure across Europe—an “ordinary” stick that turns him into a God. Donal’s state of mind throughout the story is wracked with guilt, but you still love to see Thor break loose.
• The 13th Warrior (1999): There have been lots of Viking movies, but this is my favorite. Bad-ass Vikings fighting an old menace in their homeland. The Russian guy who played the warrior King Buliwyf (or Beowulf) would have made a great Thor.
• League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003): Jekyll and Hyde. I’ve read about the Hulk trying to take over “his” body from Banner, and that sometimes Banner finds it easier to be the Hulk. There’s a scene where Jekyll puts his trust in Hyde and encourages him to do good and save the day. He’s the original Incredible Hulk.
• Agent Carter TV Series (S1, Ep5) The Iron Ceiling: Our first look at the 1940’s Black Widow program in Soviet Russia. Shows how these Russian girls were trained since they were little to become lethal killing machines for their country. Did our Black Widow undergo the same brutal training regimen?
• Serenity (2005): When I first did this list before the first Avengers came out, I thought any previous movies that might show insight about Black Widow would have to do with spy noir and femme fatales, but I was somewhat mistaken since we have gotten more info on her. Look no further than Joss Whedon’s first movie with the crew of the Firefly-class ship Serenity. In this movie, an innocent girl--a genius, a ballet dancer, gets taken by her government to special school and becomes a brainwashed, enhanced world-class assassin. Sound familiar?
• Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon TPB: Just a fun book that makes fun of Hawkeye. It’s what he does with his time when he’s not being an Avenger. Also has some pretty good arrow shots. Will make you say “bro” for the entire day.
• SWAT (2003): Although he plays the bad guy, it sets you up for Hawkeye. Renner is a former SWAT police officer turned mercenary. Samuel L. Jackson is in this flick too. Renner plays an expert sniper, judging by the scene he takes down a police helicopter from quite a distance.
• Punisher (2004): An early Marvel property, look no further than the scene where Frank Castle puts down his heavy weaponry and grabs a compound bow in order to silently infiltrate the bad guy’s club/hideout. Lethal efficiency with a black ops feel.
• XXX and XXX: State of the Union (2002 and 2005): Augustus Gibbons is a scarred bad-ass secret agent who’s put boot to ass for his country for decades. Sounds familiar? A great pre-Fury role for Jackson, highly underrated action movies.
• Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV Series (S2): So Elizabeth Olsen once said her character of the Scarlet Witch is completely insane and unlike any character she’s played before. Nobody writes insane characters like Joss Whedon. I present to you Drusilla, a vampire lady driven insane centuries earlier and turned into a vampire. Where she becomes an insane immortal killer. The first time we see her, Joss Whedon’s great dialog paints a picture of her insanity, but also shows her as being relatively weak, stemming from an incident in Europe. After a while, her boyfriend Spike is injured, but now she’s strong. She even kills a Slayer. A great insane character arc.
• Godzilla (2014): C’mon, you saw this one coming. Olsen and Taylor-Johnson play husband and wife, on-the-run separately from the monster force of nature called Godzilla. It’s funny for Ultimates fans because the two brother/sister characters of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are so close and possibly incestuous. The two actors, of course, return as siblings in Avengers Age of Ultron.
• X-Men Days of Future Past (2014): The tale of two Quicksilvers, this comparison is inevitable.
• The X-Files TV Series (S7, Ep5) Rush: One of the more forgettable seasons of The X-Files, it concerns a bunch of teens who gain the ability to move fast. As a result, they are quick to violence and a completely bored with moving at regular speed. There’s a great scene at the end where the “good kid” who had gained these powers and now lost them, staring at the clock, willing it to just…go…faster. Must be how Quicksilver feels all the time.
• Robocop (2014): There’s a (obviously) couple of scenes that show that an Artificial Intelligence can function in law/military enforcement, like when the computers scan people’s faces and can access databases and the Internet. The different types robots are great too--everything from drones to ED 209 tanks..
• Stealth (2005): Kinda the same situation, but there’s a scene where the AI plane scans a building, finds terrorists by facial recognition, fingerprints, DNA, whatever’s available. Only one of a handful of scenes that made the movie stand out.
Whatcha think? Suggestions, ideas?