If you’re anything like me, you’re super hyped for Captain Marvel today which will bring a unique feel to the standalone films – and origin movies – as it will undoubtedly directly set up for Avengers: Endgame and most probably set up the future of the cosmic side of the MCU, especially with the introduction of the Skrulls.
A very small part of me even thinks that this could lead into the direct pathway to the Fantastic 4, and ultimately the whole vast array of new properties the Marvel have just got back, but realistically I know that’s a ways away yet. Without a doubt though Captain Marvel has a lot more riding on it than your standard origin movie; when thinking about this I got to thinking about my favourite previous MCU origin movies, and the changes they brought to the MCU… So here are my top 4 MCU origin movies. I’m not ranking these as I just can’t!
A list like this could not be written without including the mother of it all, Iron Man. Not only was this a fantastic origin movie, but the best set up (That no one seemed to expect) for the universe we now have. At the time this film blew everything out of the water in terms of comic movies, and ushered in a new age for us nerds to get excited about, and it still stands up to this day; perhaps because of how far ahead it was at the time – Unfortunately it’s now mostly remembered for it’s final ‘Avengers Initiative’ scene, but there’s a hell of a lot this film gets right. I remember at the time I was almost gutted that Tony Stark revealed himself early on, and still feel this could have been played on in Iron Man 2 to perhaps improve it, but overall it worked out and spawned one the most interestingly played characters on screen (Who’s probably going to die next month).
Although it never really gets spoken about (Especially since Thor: Ragnarok came out) the first Thor movie is a personal favourite. I’m a huge thor fan anyway and this movie gave a lot for to those us that read the comics – The first third of the movie is pure fantastical enjoyment, especially the rad opening in Niflheim, and thoughout the film there are little nods to the comics (Donald Blake name badge y’all); plus they nail the warriors 3 and everyone else for that matter. This film also proved how well characters who are completely unbelievable could be easily introduced into this fold of heroes, which was definitely a concern at the time; Thor, a mythical endlessly strong being is quite literally brought down to Earth and given a love story to make him more believable. I’m so happy they improved his character in Ultron and Ragnarok, but this is still a great movie.
If you’re remotely interested in movies, then there’s a chance you’ve heard of this one. Being put up with so much Oscar buzz and being the first MCU movie to win this prestigious award proves not only that this a great entry to the MCU, but it’s just a fantastic movie on it’s own merit. The film is so full of life and story you can’t help but enjoy it just for what it is. Primarily this a film about culture and belief, and the sometimes the negative impact that it can have. It weaves in the comic storyline so seemlessly whilst dropping in some side characters to tie it all in nicely; additional to all this, we have probably the second best villain in the MCU – Killmonger is played to perfection and comes off extremely well in this film. Marvel seem to be good at saving people from awful Fantastic 4 movies.
Following close on the heels of 2 previous big film adaptations was never going to be an easy task, but of course Feige and co managed to pull it off whilst taking a different approach on the beloved character – Bringing in a much younger Peter Parker who had already lost his uncle Ben was an extremely smart move, as this wasn’t a re-telling of how he got his powers, or why he fears what he is; instead we concentrate on his high school story and his efforts to learn how to use his powers and Tony’s suit – Filled with endless comedy and a truly brutal villain (Who’s often overlooked), this is easily the best Spiderman film we’ve had, and one of the best films in the entire MCU. It has enough Tony to keep us happy and only left us wanting more of this Pete.
I’m looking forward to seeing if Captain Marvel can make it into this list to make it a top 5 – The fact that the MCU are taking a risk by setting it in the past and putting a lot more ‘space’ in it has got to be a good thing (Hasn’t it?). Let’s all hope they continue to make great origin movies – and introduce many more great characters – for years to come.