Okay, so yesterday I woke up screaming.

In a good way.

Marvel’s second trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron  was released 2 days ago, and all of us comic nerds have been fanning ourselves for hours. Let’s chat about the new trailer, and what it could mean, but if you don’t want spoilersclose this browser immediately after watching the trailer 27 times.

You have been warned. 

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S01xE01: “Pilot” & S01xE02: “Bridge and Tunnel”

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has proven expansive both on the big screen and small, with no signs of stopping (until 2019, at least). With Phase 2 in progress and audiences eagerly awaiting Phase 3, Agent Carter comes to the small screen as an 8-part mini-series to help unify the stories of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers, with Peggy Carter, Howard Stark, the Howling Commandos and other familiar faces (I hope) to bring the narrative to life. In terms of discussion, I’ve decided to go meta and look at what this show brings to the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe and the importance of Peggy Carter. I am going to start with Peggy’s place in the MCU as a female hero, and move out from there as  the show continues. I don’t claim to be a Marvel expert or the end-all-be-all of MCU knowledge, so please, cut me some slack. The Universe is so large and covers so much information, there are bound to be readers who know much, MUCH more about it than I do. I’m just a fan, writing about something I love, trying to wrap my head around this amazing franchise.

Spoilers Ahead, Sweetie…

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A few months ago, I came across the artwork of Petite-Madame, in the form of a Bucky Barnes Instagram account.

“This is awesome!” thought I, “but who is this mysterious and talented person?”

Petite-Madame, self-taught artist from Paris, professional illustrator, and self-proclaimed fan, is changing the way fandom looks and art and pushing the boundaries of artistic expression.

 The artist’s unique perspective on fandom compelled me connect with her in hopes of getting some insight into why and how she does what she does. The following discussion on art and social media is insightful and telling, while her commitment to creating fanart, a medium meant to help audiences understand and explore the characters we love, is commendable. If you haven’t checked out her MOL journal or Bucky art, please do. The links can be found below.

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The Collectiva Diva: Your use of art and social media, particularly the Bucky Barnes Instagram account, intrigues me. What is it about Bucky that fits this particular content (Instagram) so well? 

Petite-Madame: I find it rather funny that a super secret spy who’s described in the The Winter Soldier movie as “a ghost” could have as a main mode of expression an Instagram account where he shares his everyday life with his boyfriend Steve, his work problems, or what he ate for dinner. Superheroes are supposed to have secret identities (even if in the Marvel movies everybody knows that Tony Stark is Iron Man and Captain America has his own exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum) so, exposing Bucky’s life on a public medium such as Instagram is delightfully absurd, precisely because of this contradiction.

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Also, it is very interesting to explore art wise because I have a lot of fun as an artist, trying to emulate an Instagram account and creating fake pictures of food and people in their natural environment; cooking or doing their laundry. I can play with the depth of field, the frame, the intensity of the blurs, the subjectivity of the point of view and of course, my weapon of choice, colors!

The 3rd reason is far more pragmatic: posting a drawing with a short caption on Instagram and Tumblr requires FAR less work than a 1500 word fic and the complex drawings of Journal of a Man of Letters (JOAMOL). Launching the Bucky equivalent of JOAMOL would be impossible for me or I would have to win the lottery and leave my job for good!

Last night, I received a frantic text message from a friend, telling me that he had something I needed to see. That ‘something’ turned out to be two minutes of pure heart palpitations.

Yes, the long-awaited trailer for the second Avengers film–which wasn’t supposed to be released until next week–quickly made its way across the interwebs, soon finding itself on twitter and Facebook. Marvel quickly caught on to the leak, and posted this apropos response on their official Twitter account.

Within hours, Marvel officially released the trailer on their Youtube channel, and it is now up to over 3 million hits. Holy Hulking Bruce Banner, that’s a lot for six hours! When my heart recovered, I watched the trailer again. And again. And again. If you’ve been reading our blog, you know I’m a Marvel girl, and yeah, I’m gonna have a bit of geek out now. No apologies needed or warranted.

If you don’t want to know anything about Ultron or the Scarlet Witch, I suggest closing this tab on your browser, because spoilers

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While I make no secret about my love of the DC Universe, I have recently come to terms with the fact that I indeed love everything Marvel. I see no competition between the two complex universes, instead preferring to value the best in both worlds (Batman, the Avengers) while completely ignoring the stuff I dislike (Superman, Spiderman) and not giving a crap about peoples’ opinions on my choices. That being said, I have fallen in deep fan-love with the MCU this year. I’ve always loved the X-Men, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe introduced me to a new obsession–Captain America and the Avengers. For me, it all started in 2008 with Iron Man and RDJ in a role that seemed to be made for him. Then Thor. Chris Hemsworth as a long-haired demigod with Natalie Portman as a badass scientist? Yes, please. Then the first Cap movie, Avengers, and all of a sudden, I was seeing these films multiple times, purchasing them on Blu-ray and engaging in the fandom. What intrigues me about the MCU is the care that multiple writers, directors, actors and producers (thank you, Kevin Feige!) deal with these films and the intricate plot webs that unite the universe. As a fan of pretty intense and long running shows (Doctor Who, Supernatural), what the MCU has done is unique in that they’ve created an original megafranchise that will no doubt inspire Hollywood for years to come. With the release of an intricate and loooong MCU timeline (2987 B.C.-2014 A.D.) and the assurance that Marvel knows exactly where the story is going, it’s an exciting time for comic book and film nerds alike. Since I finally finished S1 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., I’m going to start there.

Spoilers ahead, sweetie!