Again, thar be spoilers ahead. Ye Be Warned.
So, we picked up Thor 2 because I had an overwhelming urge to submerse myself back into the Marvel Universe.
Thor 2 was...good! I won't say it was the most amazing Marvel film, however, it held up very nicely in it's own right. The movie had an easier time of being integrated with the rest of Marvel Universe, as it had The Avengers preceding it. The stand out, was of course, Tom Hiddleston and the depth of character and pathos he brought to Loki this time around. Hiddleston truly owns that character. The story line was great, the action was great, and of course...well, the ending was awesome. I still have issues with Natalie Portman's existence in the Thor films, as a charter member of Team Lady Syf. Not to say I am a mindless fangirl - I do see the necessity of the changes made all the way back in the first Thor. All together, a well written tasty piece of the Marvel Universe.
Now. The movie ends, and the credits roll, and we hold our usual inclination to hit the remote. Oh, no. We wait for really, what is often at times the best parts of Marvel movies - the "teasers" at the end. These have a great history of being awesome, from simply tying up loose ends to giving tantalizing hints at what's to come. Iron Man 3 being the exception, they have all been amazing. The best, in my opinion was the one at the end of The Avengers. On the opening night, Ed and I were leaning forward, falling out of our seats, and when we realized exactly who that was we collectively shit our pants. I grabbed on to Ed's knee and squeezed the life out of him, I was so excited, desperately containing squeals of delight. Some girl to the right and front of us asked in general, "who's that?". As if on cue, a guy in the higher up seats jumps up, both fists pumped in the air and bellowed "THANOOOOOS". It was magic.
The teaser at the end of Thor 2, while not as a magical experience, it still jazzed us up. After a fast paced conversation that included phrases such as "OH MY GOD, THIS MEANS THE GAUNTLET" and "Will Adam Warlock show up?" we simmered down. I picked up my current cross stitch as Ed played around with the Blu-Ray special features. I was feeling pretty good, if a little chagrined, considering that I had completely forgotten about August's upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy. Derp, de derp. Ed was engrossed in watching some behind the scenes things, which I would cast covert glances at when Hiddleston was on screen.
"Hey, there's one of those one shots on here. It's called "All Hail The King". Oh! It's got Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin again." Ed says, hitting play on the short.
Ugh. Really? Now they're making shorts featuring that disaster? In spite of myself, I watched it.
It was a proverbial "I'm sorry letter". It was better than the bouquet that contained The Collector, better than the sweets box featuring two very special twins at the end of Winter Solider. For me, this was the breaking of the ice, the first apology. It wasn't complete, since to repair the damage done by Iron Man 3 would take much more than just this one particular short. But it was good, and very entertaining.
I took away an understanding that the powers that be realized that not everyone would accept or like their version of the Mandarin. Like it or not, it was the comic fans that made Iron Man so successful to begin with. This was their overture to us. It certainly doesn't make up for the other shitty things about Iron Man 3, but does start to scab the wound caused by the Mandarin. It was well acted, and actually very funny. The short also brings to bear more questions as well - what does this mean now? Are the Ten Rings going to make an appearance? Will there be more Iron Man movies? Questions I don't know how to answer, but I like being able to ask them.
So, Marvel and I are taking it easy. Some tentative hand holding, and maybe a peck on the cheek every now and again. I'm seriously looking forward to Guardians of the Galaxy - maybe we'll get to 1st base - as the theatrical trailers look very promising. Ed and I also had another pants shitting moment when we saw X-Men: Days of Future Past, at the very end. In addition to being a superb comic movie, the secret ending on THAT one was just too good, leaving me eagerly anticipating the next X-Men installment. And, of course, we have The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Something tells me with Joss Whedon at the helm once more, Marvel and I will go on to have a happy, healthy relationship again. No relationship is without it's bumps, but with all this great content coming up, I'm not ready to throw in the towel completely.
For more info on what's going on in the Thor 2 secret ending, this video is a great resource.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer
Guardians of the Galaxy
Info on "All Hail The King"
Speculation on Captain America 2's secret ending
Marvel One Shots