Far from an original idea (I don’t even need to google it to know that there will be a hundred takes on superhero coats of arms) but it was fun to think how I might represent each hero without just resorting to their logo/uniform on a shield.
Banner is a personal fave. The two halves of his shield for the two halves of his personality. The left side has a snake wrapped around a staff, a nod to his title (I know he’s a physicist rather than an MD but we do see him treating the sick), by cropping the head/tail of the snake also represents a gamma wave.
The snake wrapped around the branch also led to the crest: a dragon chasing a dove. In medieval bestiaries, doves would fly to the Peridexion tree to escape the dragon (the devil) and the tree would keep them safe. On the shield the serpent is climbing the tree, it simultaneously represents the good Banner could do as a doctor and the worst that he lets in to the world.
Natasha’s crest is fun too. All the guys have such martial crests but she’s a spy, hers should be more subtle.
The wheel has eight spokes (legs) and looks like a spider sat on a web, it also spins thread like a spider, or spins a yarn like a spy. And if fairy tales have taught us anything it’s that a spinning wheel can be pretty deadly: Natasha isn’t the girl pricking her finger on the spindle, she’s the point of the needle.
My buddy Sam saw it at the weekend and texted me after to say it was a 7.5/10 and seeing it last night I agree. It’s a good film, it’s got plenty of action, great effects, some nice touches, but it’s probably bottom of the heap for Phase 2 for me (Guardians is at the top, in case there was any doubt).
Loved that Hawkeye got some character development
Liked that we were dropped straight into the action, no need to have some great reassembly (i.e. these guys have done this more than once since we last saw them, maybe odd that there’s no reference to Iron Man’s ‘retirement’ in IM3 but, we all knew he’d be back so, meh, whatever).
Cool to see Rhodey…
…even cooler to see Falcon (man, I love that guy!).
Things I didn’t like so much…
Ultron did not need lips and teeth. I was really aware I was watching a 9ft CGI robot (who’da thunk!?), but seriously, when I watch APES I feel like I’m watching something real, with Ultron I didn’t. Far preferred his cobbled together, burnt out look at the party scene. And I really think without lips and teeth (maybe just a more rudimentary jaw?) my disbelief could’ve been suspended. I get it’s useful to help him convey emotion but WALL-E did that and all he had were eyes.
It wasn’t as fun as The Avengers, it didn’t quite have the same charm, but I think a healthy dose of that is that Tom Hiddleston is just outstanding as Loki (not that I wanted Loki here again, just that he elevates anything he touches). And CGI criticisms of Ultron aside I think I could’ve liked him (I think Spader did pretty well) but he didn’t really feel like much of a threat? Or maybe just felt a bit relegated. Not sure, it just didn’t quite sit right.
I’ve read Joss Whedon saying that the great thing about the Avengers is these guys shouldn’t be in the same room, they shouldn’t be a team, and the conflict makes that all interesting, but at the same time I don’t want every Avengers film to be about them bickering until they all team up to fight the big bad.
It tried to fit a lot in, both story and set-piece. We went from “this could contain the key to artificial intelligence” to “we’ve created artificial intelligence” really quickly.
Overall I enjoyed it.
Also where I did feel this was cramming a lot in, and as a result feeling a bit rushed, I don’t have this worry about Infinity War. IW has been built up across the series, we’ve seen Thanos more than once now, we’ve seen the gems, he’s been pulling the strings behind so much of what we’ve seen and now he’ll come to the fore. Plus we’ll have two movies to enjoy it across (and as long as we get a crapload of Natasha, Hulk, and Falcon, I’m a happy boy).
PS: In related news I really hope someone gets me the new Thor TPB for my birthday