My Paean to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), per bucket list

Kausik Datta
21 min readMay 14, 2023
Helix Nebula, courtesy NASA; contains IR data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope (green and red), optical light from Hubble (orange and blue), UV from NASA’s Galaxy Evolution Explorer (cyan), and Chandra’s X-rays (appearing as white) showing the white dwarf star that formed in the center of the nebula. Image is about 4 light years across. Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC; Ultraviolet: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSC; Optical: NASA/STScI (M. Meixner)/ESA/NRAO (T.A. Rector); Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech/K. Su)
Helix Nebula (Public Domain Image from NASA)

This, perhaps for the very first time in my writing life, is going to be a post with no lofty goal, no educational message, no higher agenda or calling. Call it a rumination or regurgitation, this would be a post about pure enjoyment, my enjoyment, from a simple premise: harnessing the power and reach of the audiovisual medium, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has created what I consider to be the definitive mythology of my time. This post is me singing paeans to that accomplishment. You, dear reader, may or may not understand or agree with me at all, and that is perfectly all right. I won’t mind. This post is essentially me, myself, and I fanboying the MCU — and I apologize but, honestly, I won’t give a damn about differing opinions, however erudite and well-considered those might be, in this particular context.

Since 2008, I have absorbed through the pores of my consciousness the MCU’s continuum of stories told via movies and television series and presented at the movie theaters or at home via disks (DVD and Blu-ray) or online streaming (thank you, Netflix and Disney+ subscriptions). I have watched ALL (yes, truly, all) of it. I have loved it, I have reveled in it, I have enjoyed every single second of it all — the panoply of variegated characters, the storylines of varying complexities, the action, the visuals (including the multiversal world building), the gasp of gleeful recognition when a known character (from other MCU movies or Marvel Universe comic books) walked into a scene, the sheer joy of staying back at the theater until the screen goes irrevocably dark in order to catch the few seconds of post-credit scenes… Oh, ALL. OF. IT. Including the Behind-the-Scenes on disk and streaming.

In recognition of the hardcore, dedicated superhero comic book and cinema fans who walk amongst us, let me clarify why I specified the MCU. I am making a conscious distinction with the Marvel Comics comic book lore with the Marvel Universe characters from the legendary Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Joe Simon, Bill Everett, and others, with whom I’ve been familiar since the early ’80s. In the pages of these comic books, fabulous writers, editors, and illustrators came together to create a mindboggling array of characters with super-human abilities — some weird, some flawed, some generous and kind, some downright evil, but all nonetheless imbued with traits and quirks and sentiments that we can all recognize in the swath of humanity our lives mingle with on a daily basis. And the stories — oh the fantastic stories through which these creators presented those characters to us, spanning universes and multiverses, timelines, perspectives, and their alternatives, set in realities that oftentimes closely align with ours but not quite — were and are glorious testaments to the unfathomable power of human imagination and creativity.

But fond as I am of the comic book tradition, I have recognized that there simply are more comic books and storylines and artwork than I can ever hope to sink my teeth into in this lifetime. Hence my deep and abiding obsession with the audiovisual medium and the MCU. To my mind, the MCU creators—and in that bracket I include everyone who has contributed in some creative capacity or other — have distilled down the essence of the realities of the Marvel Universe and presented it in a more digestible and assimilable format which, as I enter what may well be the final few decades of my lifetime, I appreciate because it keeps that mythology alive for me for as long as I continue to live.

In honor of those creators and that mythology, I have decided to re-watch one final time the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe in its storyline chronological order. Which is not the order in which the movies or the TV series came out, but following the in-universe timeline. I understand the complexity of this undertaking, especially since many of the Marvel Universe characters were (and some still are) licensed to different and often competing media houses for the purpose of cinematic representations. For instance, Sony still owns the film rights to Spider-Man, and it is at their sufferance that the character has appeared in MCU movies; film rights to X-Men and Fantastic Four characters belonged to 20th Century Fox until Disney (who bought Marvel in 2009) acquired 20th Century Fox for a whopping $70+ billion in 2019. Therefore, while Tony Stark (Iron Man) and Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic) may have been friends and scientific collaborators in the comic books, I would likely never get to see them on screen together even if there be some prodigious retroactive contextualization (or “retcon”) in future, because I can’t accept anyone other than Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. I really can’t. (After Sir Patrick Stewart — LOVE that man! — it was difficult for me to accept James McAvoy, brilliant as he was, as Professor Charles X. Xavier in the X-Men movies.)

It’s a huge pity though, this disconnect between comic books and the cinematic universe. Just so you know, if you are familiar with the “Civil War” story arc only from the Marvel movie “Captain America: Civil War,” you have unfortunately already missed out on a beyond incredible, multi-layered, thought provoking, multi-author, and multi-part storyline that explored the conflict between need for security vs. individual freedom based off real-life events, but likely too deep and nebulous to be effectively abridged into the span of a single movie. The overall story arc prominently featured the now familiar Avengers characters, as well as many of the Fantastic Four and X-Men characters, who at that time could not be brought together on screen due to the aforementioned licensing issues. Which means, we all missed out on a brilliant story (penned by Dwayne McDuffie) in which Reed Richards invented the discipline of psychohistory (having apparently read the same Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series of Sci-Fi books that I devoured as a kid) and followed his arcane calculations to take a certain stance which put him at odds with his own family of powered individuals and splintered the community of superheroes. But I digress.

Back to the MCU movies. Thankfully, there are plenty of online resources compiled by MCU fans, which provide a list of the MCU offerings in the precise order that I am looking for—in-universe chronological. One such list that I found most comprehensive comes from Digital Spy authored by Ian Sandwell and Gabriella Geisinger (even though it does not reference the X-Men movies in this timeline because… issues, as discussed). I am going to follow this chronology in my re-watching of the movies and TV series. I am privileged to have all the movies in Blu-ray, and I shall stream the TV series on Disney+ as far as I can. This will by no means be an easily accomplished or swiftly completed undertaking—you will understand why when you glance at the ever-burgeoning list below. But it will eventually check off one item in my bucket list.

So, kind reader, I hope you wish me luck and/or happy viewing. Or not. It’s all good. Ciao! I shall keep updating the entries below based on my progress.

Marvel Cinematic Universe Movies and TV Series by in-universe chronological order: (Ooh, apologies, but there’s gonna be spoilers galore. Caveat lector.)

1. Captain America: The First Avenger. The start is set in 1942.

  • Tesseract is found.
  • Hugo Weaving as HYDRA’s Johann Schmidt / Red Skull is just as menacing as I remember Mr. Smith.
  • Magic of modern movie technology — skinny Steve Rogers. Complex CGI face on a body double (Leander Deeny). Blows my mind every time.
  • Toby Jones as Dr. Arnim Zola, first of many appearances in MCU.
  • SSR, the precursor to SHIELD.
  • Ooh, and there’s Agent Peggy Carter!
  • Steve Rogers has HEART.
  • Dominic Cooper’s Howard Stark, first of many appearances in MCU.
  • I had forgotten the scenes about propaganda and weaponization of the AV medium. And all the ugliness of war. And the toxic machismo.
  • “Do you… fondue?” LMAO.
  • The fluorescent blue has an excellent visual effect.
  • If only my years of scientific research could fit in a briefcase in a pinch like that…
  • I’ve seen Neal McDonough in SO MANY THINGS that I had forgotten about his CapAm appearance.
  • Ooh! The bartender is Leander Deeny too!
  • Ah! The Vibranium Shield is here! I forget if this vibranium was sourced from Wakanda or just a chance find somewhere.
  • Oh, Tommy Lee Jones/Colonel Chester Phillips’s look at Agent Carter was PRICELESS!
  • Poor Bucky. I know, I know, all is not lost.
  • And the Tesseract is lost.
  • And Cap is lost.
  • And the Tesseract is found again, courtesy Howard Stark.
  • And Cap is found again.
  • Heyy! Look it’s Nick Fury. With one eye and the eye patch. And the Flerken scratches. I wish the deleted part of that scene made it to the movies.
  • How much did Acura pay for the product placements? Heh!

2. Agent Carter (Marvel One-Shot). One bad-ass agent. In heels, too. She will be running SHIELD. Yass! All hail Kevin Feige. Oh, Dum Dum.

3. Agent Carter (Seasons 1 & 2). The start is set in 1946, NY City. Agent Carter makes her mark at the SSR despite being literally surrounded by fragile, misogynistic man-babies, with occasional help from the irrepressible Howard Stark, his Jeeves Edwin Jarvis, Daniel Sousa of the SSR — Oh, and casually saving the planet along the way from being eaten by a trans-dimensional element of tremendous power, referred to as Zero Matter (and later, as Darkforce). We will be seeing more of the Darkforce elsewhere in the MCU later too.

Oh, and I think the esteemed writers at Digital Spy may have made a teensy mistake: the placement of the Agent Carter Marvel One Shot should rightfully be AFTER the series, not before. Anyhoo. Onwards!

4. Captain Marvel. Set in Earth date late 80s to mid 90s. Apparently.

  • Injury and blue blood oozing out, is that memory or a dream?
  • Kree Capital, Hala
  • Yon-Rogg is such an ass. As in asinine, donkey. Not Shrek’s Donkey, who is adorbz.
  • Supreme Intelligence.
  • Ooh, Djimon Hounsou. “I laugh on the inside.”
  • Skrulls. Shape shifters can be scary. What will I ever do if I ever come face to face with myself?
  • Carol Danvers and her bestie Captain Maria Rambeau. And oh, that adorable little Monica Rambeau.
  • Memory extraction is terrifying. Especially when done without consent.
  • Carol Danvers CAN FIGHT. Even when barefoot.
  • It was always a shock when it dawned on me that Vers was shortened from Danvers.
  • Ohh. Blockbuster and Radioshack. How delightfully quaint.
  • Ohh hai Phil! Phil Coulson! And Nicholas Joseph Fury, I presume. (Agent Coulson looks a little green around the gills. Not how I remember you.)
  • “Official SHIELD activity. Stay back.”
  • Infiltration.
  • You can see the friendship burgeoning between Carol Danvers and Nick Fury.
  • Goose the Flerken hath entered the screen! All hail!
  • Mar-Vell. How original.
  • Poor Carol. Difficult when you don’t know whom to trust.
  • Good man, Coulson. A lot like Neville Longbottom. Went with his gut against his orders.
  • Ronan the Accuser makes an appearance.
  • Some day I shall find out why the Earth is called C-53.
  • You can’t help liking Talos, can you.
  • Whoa. A CD drive. When have I last seen one of those!
  • A LOT IS EXPLAINED. Caron Danvers gets bathed in the energy from Mar-Vell’s engine which was fueled by Tesseract energy! And the Tesseract, of course, houses the Infinity Stone known as the Space Stone.
  • Lieutenant Trouble.
  • Yon Rogg effing called in Ronan the Accuser. Damn.
  • Ahh, the Tesseract.
  • “That’s not their defense system, Ronan.” APPLAUSE!!
  • THAT’s why she was gone for all those years! To end the Kree war on Skrulls.
  • The AVENGER initiative
  • Ooh… A neat little glimpse of the days to come! All hail Kevin Feige. And Louis D’Esposito as well.
  • Interesting tidbits that I gathered from MCU fandom, via The Wrap. For perspective.
  1. In the early to mid 1940s, the Tesseract was briefly lost in the Atlantic Ocean, where Howard Stark found it, remember? Project Pegasus was formed to study the Tesseract and harness its energy.
  2. Pegasus Project base that Mar-Vell worked at in 1989, and which Carol Danvers and Nick Fury infiltrated in 1995. Same as what we would later see in “Avengers.”
  3. Mar-Vell must have had access to the Tesseract and worked with it. It was lost again during the six years when Carol Danvers spent in Hala.
  4. Goose the Flerken vomits up the Tesseract onto Nick Fury’s desk, when project Avengers begins.
  5. We see the Tesseract again in the first “Avengers” movie in SHIELD custody at the base that housed Project Pegasus. Until Loki stole it.

5. Iron Man 1. The events I believe are set in late first decade of the 2000s.

  • I had forgotten that it was a Stark Industries explosive weapon that injured Tony Stark in Afghanistan.
  • I COULD NEVER and still cannot imagine ANYONE other than Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. Howard Stark portrayed by Dominic Cooper and then an older John Slattery I can still understand, but Tony Stark. RDJ through and through.
  • I liked Terrence Howard as Rhodey. I really did. But Don Cheadle… man. You’ll see.
  • Ooh a glimpse of Happy Hogan! Jon Favreau, the multi-talented actor and writer, and also exec producer in many MCU and Star Wars ventures under Disney. He directed this movie WHILE being Happy.
  • Pepper Potts was my first brush with Gwyneth Paltrow. I have always really liked Pepper Potts in all the MCU appearances. Great chemistry with Tony Stark. Which is why it was tough for me — but I did it — to separate the onscreen Ms. Potts from the offscreen Goop Lady, purveyor extraordinaire of pseudoscience.
  • Who saved Tony Stark’s life? Afghan doctor Ho Yinsen, who implanted a jerry-rigged Electromagnetic device on Tony’s chest to keep shrapnel pulled back from his heart.
  • When you manufacture weapons of mass destruction, it will ALWAYS spread around. When you rely on mutually assured destruction, destruction is all you get.
  • “Don’t waste it. Don’t waste your life.”
  • I am fascinated by flamethrowers. A precision tool it is not.
  • Agent Coulson!
  • Arc reactor technology. A miniaturized one on Tony’s chest.
  • “I don’t have anyone but you.”
  • Paul Bettany was J.A.R.V.I.S. Dayyum. To my ears, it still sounds like voice of Howard Stark’s butler, Edwin Jarvis, so brilliantly portrayed by James D’Arcy.
  • The holographic display technology is so damn cool!
  • I like Tony’s incremental method of testing.
  • The common refrain for ALL, bar none, evil people, is that they are primarily petty, unable to see anything beyond their narrow self-interest du jour.
  • “Keep the skies clear.”
  • “This isn’t my first rodeo, Mr. Stark.”
  • Ooh, Louis D’Esposito was a unit production manager then!! Did he know? Could he feel it in his bones the behemoth that MCU was gonna become?
  • Cute… Nick Fury’s initial attempts to recruit Tony Stark to the Avengers Initiative.
  • The extras in the Blu-Ray Disc are mindblowing too. Stan Lee, the co-creator and writer, had Howard Hughes in mind when he thought of Tony Stark. Lots and lots of comic book trivia and connections. I am glad they mentioned the Extremis story line written by Warren Ellis because I remember loving that arc.

6. Iron Man 2: Starts exactly where Iron Man 1 left off.

  • Palladium poisoning. Bad stuff.
  • It’s Hammer time? Or getting hammered more like!
  • The actor in the Senate Subcommittee chair looks and acts very… y’know, realistic. That’s all that I shall say about it.
  • Anton Vanko worked with Howard Stark on the Arc project. Hmmm… That was the time when the Arc was not yet miniaturized, right?
  • “I’m on Happy time.”
  • Ooh… CEO! Just like that!
  • And… drumroll… Here’s our Nat. First appearance.
  • Gawd. It’s the Twitter Overlord/Troll in his pre-Twitter days.
  • You may not agree with me, but I swear, from some camera angles, Leslie Bibb (“Christine Everhart”) looks a dead ringer for Alana De LaGarza (“FBI SAC Isobel Castille”), only blond.
  • Mickey Rourke is awesome as a villain. Ivan Vanko.
  • I wonder how that omlette tasted. Looked good, certainly.
  • “I like my dessert first. Had it flown in from San Francisco. It’s Italian though. Organic Ice cream.” Damn, Sam Rockwell can do sleazy.
  • “War Machine,” eh?
  • Nick Fury’s gonna sort him out, isn’t he. He knew Howard Stark.
  • “What is and will always be my greatest creation… is you.”
  • Phil Coulson going off to New Mexico!!!! Do we know why? *wink* *wink* (It’s someone’s HAMMER time!)
  • Did Tony Stark just invent (or is it discover or create) a new metal? Well, according to Fandom wiki, it’s none other than Vibranium. They just didn’t know about Wakanda in those days, did they. And Captain Steve Rogers should certainly have to say something about it!
  • Natasha Romanoff!!! And the trademark landing!
  • “Hammeroid attack.” giggle.
  • I told ya, Don Cheadle is just perfect as Rhodey!
  • “Funny how annoying a little prick can be, no?” Ughh.
  • And Agent Coulson has reached Mjolnir!
  • Tony Stark, Consultant…?!

7. Incredible Hulk. The much maligned movie that everyone, including me, would prefer to forget. Sorry, Ed Norton. But really, you ain’t Bruce Banner. Not the way Mark Ruffalo is.

  • Favela in Brazil? Seems like Banner’s favorite hideouts are all in developing economies…
  • Emil Blonsky makes the first appearance. (Remember She-Hulk, Attorney at Law?)
  • Actor who portrays General Ross seems very close to the comic book depictions of Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross.
  • Liv Tyler made a great Arwen Evenstar, but too insubstantial and ethereal to be Dr. Elizabeth Ross…
  • The size of ego on General Ross is something else. I really, really dislike this character.
  • Cameo by Lou Ferigno, the TV Hulk!
  • The abomination is one ugly-arse apparition, aint it. But the Hulk surely has more strength and it grows within him as he gets angrier, does it not?
  • The CGI was pretty… not good for the time, but that’s me. YMMV. I felt bad for the CG team; as they explain in the disc extra, they put in a whole lot of efforts into it.
  • Tony Stark makes an appearance.
  • Seriously? No post credit scene? Boo!

8. The Consultant (Marvel One-Shot). A-ha! Agents Coulson and Sitwell. Now it makes sense why Tony Stark made an appearance.

9. Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer (Marvel One-Shot). TBH, this is probably another error from the Digital Spy listicle. This happens before Agent Coulson reaches New Mexico. So, this should have been BEFORE the Incredible Hulk, not after. Anyhoo. Onward!

10. Thor. Not much to pause-and-write about this Kenneth Branagh-directed introduction to Thor Odinson, god from Norse mythology and citizen of Asgard. It was, I remember, one of those movies I enjoyed from start to finish, but it was a bit of a “backstory” because by that time the anticipation for the Avengers had already started to build.

  • Chuffed to see Agent Coulson again!
  • Caught a glimpse of Hawkeye!
  • Loki’s silky smooth duplicity and subtle-but-deep manipulation of people using what I can only compare to ‘truthiness’ was ominous.
  • People raved about Chris Hemsworth’s chiseled physique, and with good reason, too. But what defined his acting chops for me was the moment when a supremely self-confident, smug and arrogant, self-centered Thor tried to lift the Mjolnir in New Mexico and could not; Thor was humbled, his pride and vanity left him, his shoulders hunched, and he looked incredibly vulnerable. That was brilliantly done!
  • Darcy was Max from 2 Broke Girls!
  • With those mile long eyebrows, I always thought Natalie Portman had a slightly Vulcan beautiful face.
  • The post credits scene with Nick Fury and Dr. Erik Selvig was such a portent of things to come!

11. The Avengers. Oof. Chills. Extreme team ups.

  • A glimpse of Project Pegasus (remember?) and activities going on — The Tesseract has awakened.
  • Agent Phil, Son of Coul, and Agent Maria Hill, whom I have only known as the delightful Ms. Robin Scherbatsky.
  • Spectacular, the entry of Loki, but poor Dr. Selvig and Clint Barton. Mind control and lack of agency are terrifying to me.
  • Loki’s Chitauri Scepter had the Mind Stone, the second of the infinity stones we encounter.
  • “This is a Level 7.”
  • Natasha Romanoff. Oof. (I only recently learnt that the stunt scenes were performed by Heidi Moneymaker, noted gymnast turned stuntwoman.)
  • The quiet, suppressed malevolence of Mark Ruffalo. Oof.
  • I have to say: the chemisty between Tony Stark and Pepper Potts is electrifying, much as it hurts me to praise the Goop lady.
  • The heli-carrier is awesomely impressive.
  • Tom Hiddleston cuts a marvelous figure in formalware.
  • “There are always men like you.”
  • The fight scene with Thor, Iron Man, and Cap. Oof.
  • The bromance between Tony Stark and Dr. Bruce Banner. Oof.
  • There. Is. No. Hulk. But. Mark. Ruffalo. There, I said it.
  • Rest now, Son of Coul. We shall meet anon.
  • “This is monsters and magic, and nothing we’ve ever trained for.”
  • And the Battle of New York begins.
  • “That’s my secret, Captain. I am always angry.” Oof.
  • Iron Man negotiated the wormhole successfully and blew up the marauding Chitauri ship, yes, but…
  • And the Big Bad grins.
  • The World Security Council is infuriating but, I guess, necessary. (That said, had I not seen the deleted / extended scenes on the BluRay, I wouldn’t have known how she kept the thread going. I wish this bit were retained in the main movie.)
  • Was the shawarma good?
  • Joss Whedon done good.
  • It’s true. You look at Chris Evans, and all you see is Steve Rogers.

12. Item 47 (Marvel One-Shot): paean to human ingenuity in repairing Chitauri weapons. And Agent Sitwell. Señor Louis D’Esposito es La Bomba.

13. Iron Man 3. Of the two Iron Man movie sequels, this one probably tries the hardest to recapture the magic of the first one. The storyline introduces some elements that are good for the health of Tony Stark but takes a bit away from the Iron Man mystique, IMO. There are frequent flashbacks to Iron Man in the wormhole and his heroic efforts to defend earth against Chitauri incursion, but… somehow it doesn’t feel like victory. What happened to Tony Stark in those moments inside the wormhole before it closed for good?

  • Yinsen! I know him! 1999 Berne, and Tony Stark was an unmitigated arse.
  • Happy!! With weird hair!
  • flip-mask-land. FTW!
  • Ah, the Mandarin.
  • Extremis. I first read about it in the graphic novel series.
  • Aldrich Killian. Saw him Berne too.
  • Maya Hansen. Can we trust her? After all, Hell hath no fury like… and all the jazz.
  • That was… whoa. Much like the LifeLock guy who had put in his own social security number in the ads.
  • Chad Davis. 3000 degree C.
  • Even the great Tony Stark, the Iron Man, has PTSD and suffers from panic attacks.
  • Clean Slate protocol, eh!
  • Ms. Potts held her own. Muy caliente. Literally.
  • Ooh the shrapnel’s out. The miniature arc reactor is submerged.
  • Poor Bruce Banner! “I’m not that kind of doctor!”

14. All Hail the King (Marvel One-Shot): This was one odd bird. “Who is Trevor Slattery?” An actor (ayhk torr) portraying an actor playing an actor. And the nine rings. Whose significance will become clear much, much later.

15. Agents of SHIELD (season 1, eps 1–7): Following the events that were set in motion at the Battle of New York. Opened the Terran society up to a whole lot of hitherto unknown and unthinkable possibilities. And fears. (Never a good combo.)

  • Skye! That guy! Mike! Grant Ward! Maria Hill! Oh, Phil! Welcome back, my friend! Rising Tide. “He can never know.” Agent May! Melinda! Fitz-Simmons!
  • Centipede. Caught a glimpse of the doo-dah.
  • Extremis appears again.
  • Holy Lola!
  • The last 084 was a hammer. Heh! *giggle*
  • Was that a hint of a smile on Melina May’s face? Whoa.
  • “Don’t talk to me about authority.” Such Fury!
  • The team is bonding through missions. Good. But that cryptic text message couple of episodes back bothers me.
  • Ah. Raina! She’ll be here with us for a while.
  • Chitauri virus! Exobiology! Good on Jemma Simmons.
  • This was my first ever seeing Ming-Na Wen onscreen. This was in 2013. She is AMAZING.
  • The Hub. Hubba hubba. I’m glad Agent Sitwell turned out to be okay.

16. Thor: The Dark World. The overall somber mood of this movie foreshadowed events to come in the MCU. In retrospect, the depicted events fit right in with the flow of the narrative spanning this phase.

  • Whoa. Dr. Selvig! In the altogether!
  • Thor Loki Odin and Frigga, Lady Sif and the Warriors Three — the old gang’s all here!
  • Malekith of the Dark Elves is Chris Eccleston!!! (My first Doctor Who. And did no one, but no one, realize or comment on how much the Dark Elf soldiers looked like… Cybermen with their masks and movement?!)
  • Aether. Hmm. So reminiscent of the Darkhold / Dark Matter energy stuff!
  • Greenwich at the center of it all?!!
  • Damn, Loki again?! Put a bell on him already. Thor Odinson is too trusting!
  • What?!! The Collector as the guardian of an Infinity Stone? Bad judgment call on part of the Asgardians.

17. Agents of SHIELD (season 1, eps 8–16): Onwards.

  • Oh, I understand now why the good writers Ian Sandwell and Gabriella Geisinger of Digital Spy split the AoS S1 into two parts. Episode 8 picks up right after the events in Greenwich with Malekith.
  • “He is dreamy.”
  • What is that staff with Asgardian scribblings?
  • Ah. Listen to Professor Peter McNichol. (Whom I first saw in Ally McBeal. Yes, I’m old.)
  • Whoa! Really? Like for real? One who stayed back?
  • Berserker staff is no match for Melinda May. “I see it every day.” Respect.
  • Glimpses of the real Cavalry story through many layers of myth.
  • Now, THAT was certainly a sliver of a smile on Agent May’s face.
  • So many things transpired in this segment!
  • Poor Mike Peterson. Loss of agency is a terrible thing to experience.
  • GH-325? Skye’s near-mortal injury? Revelation for Son of Coul? Lady Sif! Nice to meet you again!
  • Oh no. Agent Melinda May, too?
  • Deathlok. Agents John Garrett, Antoine Triplett, Sitwell, Hand, the other guy. The Clairvoyant. Or is it?
  • I know didn’t like Agent Hand. (Remember the Hand? Well, may be not. They haven’t appeared yet.)

18. Captain America: Winter Soldier. Remember Bucky Barnes was marked as “deceased” on the SHIELD Hub wall? Well…

  • Sam!! So nice to meet you and hoping to see a LOT more of you!
  • Agent Sitwell in a hostage situation.
  • Ooh, the Triskelion!
  • Bucky Barnes of the Howling Commandos.
  • Oh, Agent Carter! “Steve, you’re alive! You came back!”
  • Secretary Pierce. Too smarmy for my taste.
  • Ooh, Agent 13.
  • Whoa! Who is after Nick Fury?
  • Whoa! Metal arm, capable to catching a vibranium shield!
  • Poor Natasha.
  • “It kinda feels personal.” What the heck happened? Why?
  • Agent Sitwell, too?
  • “I am 95, not dead.”
  • Of course, old, old SHIELD is in New Jersey.
  • Whoa! Arnim Zola!
  • The Best Chris has the best smile.
  • Oh no. Agent Sitwell. Dayyum.
  • “Bucky?” HYDRA. It makes sense.
  • How does HYDRA have the Chitauri Scepter with the mind stone? How?!!
  • Ah. Pietr and Wanda Maximoff. Quick glimpse. Pre-Sokovia.
  • Poor, poor Bucky.

19. Agents of SHIELD (season 1, eps 17–22): Starting from the cliffhanger!

  • They learn Fury is dead and Cap has destroyed the new helicarriers.
  • Victoria Hand turned out to be not underhanded at all!
  • But whoa. Known faces and yet so unknown.
  • Grandson of one of the Howling Commandos, eh?!
  • Ward, Ward, Ward. Dammit. I had forgotten.
  • Poor Eric. I like Patton Oswalt.
  • Poor Skye. I don’t like her being deceived and manipulated.
  • Poor Audrey Nathan. I remember Amy Acker as Root from Persons of Interest.
  • First visual of weaponized Darkhold energy? May be.
  • Agent May’s Mom!! And she knows Maria Hill!!
  • Maria Hill is now working for the Stark Industries! With Pepper Potts!
  • References galore to the Winter Soldier events!
  • Never liked Commander Talbot. Too much of a dumbass.
  • Glad to learn about TAHITI. (Except what the acronym stands for. I don’t know.)
  • Ooff this season. The turn of events.
  • HE. IS. BACK!! I’m so glad.
  • Glad to find Ace and Mike Peterson in good shape.
  • Hopefully that’ll be the last we shall see of smarmy Garrett.
  • Director Coulson… Has a nice ring to it.
  • Billy Koenig. Is so good. And so much like Eric Koenig. I like Patton Oswalt.
  • Are those… circuit-boards?

20 & 21. Guardians of the Galaxy, volume 1 and volume 2: expanding my view to the galaxy, is all. BRB.

  • It was actually easy to see why people loved the first GOTG. Right from the get-go. Hats off to James Gunn, writer, director, chooser of songs.
  • Peter Quill, Star-Lord, Man of Honor. LOL!
  • Zoe Saldana inhabits Gamora, doesn’t she. Amazing.
  • Ahh.. A Kree ship! Similar to one Carol Danvers zoomed through, no?
  • The prison escape was daring!
  • “Nothing goes over my head.” Giggle.
  • Severed head of a Celestial being! “Knowhere” is it? Nice pun.
  • Ah, the first Kevin Bacon reference!
  • The worst Chris was almost tolerable in this. Heh!
  • Tivan’s collection! We caught a glimpse of this at the very end of Winter Soldier, did we not?
  • The Russian canine, Cosmo!
  • Finally, the Orb’s content. The Infinity Stone. One of the six singularities.
  • Drax the Insufferable Idiot. Gaah!
  • Whoa. Groot can… gasp!!
  • Damn. If merely touching that Infinity Stone can do that to the body of Carina and someone as strong as Ronan, how would anyone else wield it? (Except, may be, Thanos… He is a Titan after all!)
  • Rocket is such a breakout character, and hard to imagine it’s Bradley Cooper behind that voice! (Not to mention, some green suit action from Sean Gunn, the director’s brother as well.)
  • Fireflies as mobile lights. So lovely!
  • Yondu Udonta. Layers upon layers like an onion under all that blue.
  • Djimon Honshou is unfailingly impressive as side characters whenever I see him.
  • “I Am Groot.”
  • The Orb of Groot. Freakin’ A-mazing. Goosebumps.
  • “We. Are. Groot.” Damn. I teared up.
  • Whoa. Somehow they are stabilizing the energy of the Infinity Stone which feeds off organic matter. First indication of Peter’s Otherworldly Heritage?
  • So, now they know. Good.
  • Not difficult to understand why people loved the second GOTG as well; the second GOTG is the most perfect companion to the first one: building prodigiously upon Volume 1, here is a fantastic story supported by an awesome musical score, marvelous world building with dazzling spacescapes, believable characters with a focus on family, either born or chosen. Plus Baby Groot.
  • Such a tender moment between Gamora and Nebula, perhaps a reconciliation?
  • The character of Mantis is so sweet, vulnerable yet strong.
  • Ego was so perfectly etched, including the over-the-top larger-than-lifeness and the inevitable megalomania.
  • And the Guardians save the universe once again. Probably not too many people will even know or be aware of that.
  • The Watchers make a cameo appearance.

22. I Am Groot (Season 1). Cute (mis)adventures of Baby Groot. Short and sweet.

23. Daredevil (Season 1). BRB.



Kausik Datta

Wannabe storyteller in science. Graduate of John Hopkins Science Writing MA program.