In one short month Iron Man 3 will be released and thus will begin Phase Two of Marvels grand plan that has created a universe of super heroes co-existing with one another and helping each other. It is something fresh and new, not necessarily in the individual films necessarily but in what the company is doing over all. it is a win/win for everyone as the fans have waited years upon years for super hero movies to recognize their is a bigger world beyond their two hour run time and that they are not the only ones trying to save the world from a certain bad guy. With the release of the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One - Avengers Assembled Blu-ray boxset this week Marvel has also unveiled a slew of new images and concept art as well as a few videos discussing their plans for Phase Two which include Thor: The Dark World in November, Captain America: The Winter Soldier in April of 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy in August of 2014 and capping it off with The Avengers 2 at some point in 2015.

Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman in Thor:The Dark World and concept art for Captain America: Winter Soldier.
We posted a short video on our facebook page yesterday that is included at the front of this following bit that chronicles the approach to Iron Man 3 and how it will kick off the second phase of Marvel's universe and how the affects of The Avengers have led to a new Tony Stark and what that means for the future. I have been especially happy with everything I've seen surrounding Iron Man 3 especially considering the overstuffed and sometimes incoherent and clearly rushed effort that Iron Man 2 turned out to be. In the space of time when Marvel was constructing their first sequel they were still on shaky ground as to whether all of this was going to work and if they'd be able to pull off Thor as well as Captian America. With the massive success of The Avengers last year and the good reception for all films they've released the studio seems more confident and prepared than ever. They are even feeling a little risky, but we'll just call it optimistic. While immediate sequels to Thor and Captain America are sure bets it is the great undertaking that is Guardians of the Galaxy that is the most intriguing here.

Little has been seen or heard of the film except for a few bits of casting news that seem promising, but give little in terms of direction or story. It is rather clear the general public will know little of what the story consists of until we get the first full trailer of the film that will likely premiere before Captain America: The Winter Soldier in a year. The key ingredient here though is director James Gunn who, if you look at his filmography, might be the perfect guy to bring this space adventure to the big screen in a way that isn't necessary self-aware in terms of how goofy it might be, but will not carry a cheesy tone but will instead elicit the reasons why the audience needs to go along with these heroes and why they are important to the Marvel universe. I personally don't know much about the Guardians of the Galaxy comics but have been reading a fair amount of fan chatter to and am a big enough fan of science fiction in general to be intrigued. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has said on many occasions that Galaxy will be a more standalone film seeing as the rest of phase two consists mainly of sequels and that The Avengers will not be part of what is going on in this first film, but that it does take place in the same universe. I can only help but to think that Marvel included Iron Mans ability to go into space and the clip of Thanos during the credits of The Avengers to set up the integration of the heroes we've met so far into the worlds of those we have yet to meet.

The other engaging aspect of the phase two plans include the Edgar Wright directed Ant Man which doesn't seem to have a planned release date or specific integration into the universe, but Marvel clearly has plans to make it a part of  their universe as it is featured in the latest video preview with clips of the test footage Wright has shot. It is the first film mentioned after the 2015 title screen in the film so it will be a while until we learn more about it or see any more from it, but will Ant Man be included in The Avengers 2 or will he be kicking off phase three? Only time will tell, but regardless it is extremely exciting to know that a major studio is made up of as big a bunch of geeks as there are fanboys waiting on these films. Though there is certainly a business aspect to it and there is big business in comic book movies at the moment, at least the people in charge of churning these films out seem to be in love with the content of the stories they are telling and are set to challenge themselves in not simply repeating themselves, but taking their characters to new and exciting places. In other words, doing what many major studios refuse to do and take actual risks that have paid off so far and will hopefully continue to pay off through several more phases of super hero glory.

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