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How to have the ultimate Marvel day

By Alex Wiggan

To celebrate the release of Captain America: Civil War the Honcho-SFX blog is presenting a guide to the ultimate Marvel day – a day filled with enough superhero action to entertain even the most demanding Marvellite.

On offer today are two Marvel movie milestones, a collection of top toons, an informative documentary, some classic comic book storylines and two great games. If you love Marvel (really love Marvel) then this is the day for you.

And don’t forget, if you also want an ultimate DC day (and quite frankly, why wouldn’t you?), we’ve previously covered this in our handy blog post: How to have the ultimate DC day. So you can go back and do this all over again, but with DC-related shows and films instead.

Anyway, enough about the Distinguished Competition it’s time to enter a world filled with Spidey, the X-Men, Cap and many more iconic heroes. So face front true believers and prepare yourself for the marvellous day ahead.

Enjoy.

 

Spectacular Spider-man

8:30am – Spectacular Spider-Man

Let’s kick off this Marvel marathon with some good ol’ fashioned family fun, via an hour of animated action. We’ll begin with an episode of Spider-Man and then we’ll move onto the X-Men.

Now we could suggest that you watch one episode from the ‘90s Spider-Man show and one episode from the ‘90s X-Men show, as both are good toons, but we’re not going to do that. Instead, for toon number one we’re going to suggest you check out an episode from the short-lived Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon (2008 – 2009).

Featuring the voice talents of Josh Keaton, James Arnold Taylor, Lacey Chabert and more, Spectacular Spider-Man was an underrated Spidey toon that had the potential to do so much – it’s just a shame it got canned after two seasons (blame legal issues between Marvel & Sony). Anyway, you can watch any episode of Spectacular Spider-Man you wish, but you might as well start from the beginning with the story, ‘Survival of the Fittest’.

And speaking of beginnings…

Pryde of the X-Men

9am – X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men

In 1989, three years before Marvel found success on the small screen with X-Men: The Animated Series, the House of Ideas tested the waters with a pilot for an entirely different animated X-Men show. The series never went beyond the pilot episode ‘Pryde of the X-Men’, but that single story was quite an enjoyable romp and remains a lost window into an X-Men series that could have been.

Pryde of the X-Men is a 20-minute toon which pits a classic line-up of X-Men (Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Storm, Dazzler etc) against Magneto and his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (White Queen, Blob, Pyro, Toad and Juggernaut). The story is pretty basic, Magneto is hating on mankind as usual, but the animation is pretty much spot on, creating a hidden gem of a toon which is certainly worth revisiting. Just try to look past Wolverine’s accent… OK?

 

The Punisher Sega

10am – The Punisher

It’s 10am – time for two hours of button bashing action! Warm up the MegaDrive (the Genesis if you live Stateside) because the next 120 minutes is going to be spent with some old friends.

For this first hour, we’re suggesting you get your gaming gear around The Punisher, a Sega beat ’em-up game from 1994 which is based around Marvel’s most popular (and most violent) vigilante. The game features two playable characters – the Punisher & Nick Fury – and allows you to dispense justice on the streets of New York all from the comfort of your home.

While this console port isn’t quite up to the same standard of the original 1993 arcade game, it’s still worth an hour of your time. Plus, playing on a console doesn’t eat up all your loose change like the arcade version did. We’d call that a win!

 

Maximum Carnage

11am – Maximum Carnage

For this next hour of gaming we suggest you stick with the Sega MegaDrive, but switch carts, replacing The Punisher with Spider-Man & Venom: Maximum Carnage (or just Maximum Carnage if you prefer). The game – which is based on the 14-issue comic book storyline of the same name – is a console based platform game featuring everyone’s favourite wall-crawler. And Venom, let’s not forget Venom.

Just like the comic book storyline it is based on, Maximum Carnage sees Spidey & Venom join forces in order to defeat Carnage, a psychotic super villain with murderous tendencies. The game allows the player to take control of the two main characters, but a wealth of supporting heroes are also on hand, including Captain America, Cloak & Dagger, Deathlok and more.

 

Iron Man 2008

12pm – Iron Man

Time for a movie now and what better way to celebrate the Marvel Universe than with the 2008 Marvel movie, Iron Man! This movie not only kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) but also demonstrated how awesome Tony Stark can be. Very awesome!

Iron Man clocks in at just over two hours, so you might want to grab yourself a snack at this point (well it is lunchtime after all). May we suggest a cheeseburger – it’s not only the food choice of champions but it’s something that Tony would choose too.

Of course, if you want to substitute Iron Man for another good Marvel movie that is fine. We’d recommend Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) or Spider-Man 2 (2004). Just remember to steer clear of the Ghostrider movies, the Punisher films and the recent Fantastic Four reboot. You’ve been warned.

 

The Incredible Hulk TV

2:15pm – The Incredible Hulk

Let’s switch from film to TV for this next 45 minutes, with a classic show that never gets old – The Incredible Hulk.

Arguably Marvel’s greatest live-action success prior to the creation of the MCU, The Incredible Hulk was a huge hit during the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, demonstrating a show that could mix super heroics with good storytelling. The show starred Bill Bixby & Lou Ferrigno and is one of the best comic book shows ever – an episode has to be included within the ultimate Marvel day.

Thanks to a five season run there are many great episodes of The Incredible Hulk to choose from but for today we’re going to suggest, ‘A Child in Need’, an engaging and thought provoking episode about domestic violence. The story sees Banner/the Hulk come to the rescue of a little boy who is suffering (in silence) and is a fine example of how good this show was.

 

Jessica Jones

3pm – Jessica Jones

Sticking with the TV theme for this next hour and it’s another great show, only this time from the modern Marvel era. In fact, this is one of the recent crop of shows that have been produced to slot right into the MCU – and it’s a bloomin’ good one too. Of course we’re talking about Jessica Jones, the Netflix-exclusive show which stars Krysten Ritter and David Tennant.

For this hour we recommend going back to the very first episode of the series, allowing yourself the opportunity to become familiar with Jessica all over again. And if this is your first encounter with Jessica Jones then please accept our sincere apologies because you’re about to become hooked. Expect to ignore your family for the next week as you get engrossed in one of the best shows on air.

Should you wish to watch an episode of Daredevil instead, we won’t hold it against you.

 

Stan Lees Mutants Monsters & Marvels

4pm – Stan Lee’s Mutants, Monsters & Marvels

Time to rewind the clock a little now with a documentary that takes you back to the roots of the Marvel Universe. Directed by Scott Zakarin and starring Stan Lee & Kevin Smith, Stan Lee’s Mutants, Monsters & Marvels is a 2002 documentary film which explores the comic book origins of some of Marvel’s most famous creations, including the likes of Spidey, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men and the Hulk.

If you really want to know where Stan Lee and his team of talented co-creators got the inspiration for their iconic heroes, then Stan Lee’s Mutants, Monsters & Marvels is the place to go for all the behind the bullpen info.

 

Avengers Earths Mightiest Heroes

5:40pm – Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes

Back to cartoons for the next 20 minutes and onto yet another hidden gem which was sadly cut down in its prime (a recurring theme with good Marvel toons). Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes is the best Avengers toon ever.

Ever!

The show – which ran for two seasons from 2010 to 2012 – adapts many fantastic Avengers stories, from the Emperor Doom to Secret Invasion and boasts an impressive array of characters, from the Guardians of the Galaxy and Spider-Man to Kang, the Kree and the Purple Man.

You can pick any episode of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to watch and you’ll have a blast, but we recommend you start at the beginning and continue with the whole series (once you’ve finished your Marvel day of course). Oh and it is worth noting that Earth’s Mightiest Heroes showcases ideas and themes that are now being seen in the MCU, so if you want to get the lowdown on what’s likely to appear on the big screen in a few years’ time, then this is the show to keep an eye on.

 

Civil War comic

6pm – Civil War

Time for some reading now in the first of our double bill of epic Marvel stories. Yep, this means you’re going to be reading the original comics, but don’t worry, these tales should engross, enlighten and entertain you, so get comfortable, pop on your reading glasses and dive in.

First up, one of the best Marvel tales of all-time and the inspiration behind the latest Captain America movie, Civil War is a brilliant comic book tale from the mind of Kick-Ass creator, Mark Millar. The story involves most of the main characters from the Marvel Universe and is comic book storytelling at its finest.

We’ve suggested Civil War for the obvious reason it inspired the Cap film, but also because it’s actually well worth a read – especially if you like the big screen adaptation. Why? Because the original comic book differs considerably to what you’ve seen on the screen. Sure the basic idea is the same and it shares a couple of story beats, but for the large part it’s a completely different tale.

Oh and if you enjoy Civil War (and you will) then you should also check out all of the associated Spider-Man stories that take place as a result of Civil War. Spider-Man plays a key role and it is something that may play out in the MCU at a later date.

 

Planet Hulk

8pm – Planet Hulk/World War Hulk

From one Marvel epic to another – The Planet Hulk trilogy.

Were you one of the many Marvellites who wished the Hulk had made an appearance in Captain America: Civil War? Well if you are, you’ll be pleased to know this next book on your reading list is a mighty Hulk tale the likes of which we know you will love. It also takes place over three significant chapters: Prelude to Planet Hulk, Planet Hulk and World War Hulk.

Now picture the scene, a group of the world’s mightiest heroes decide the Hulk is too powerful to roam the Earth, so as a safety measure they jettison him into space. Their plan works temporarily as the Hulk lands on the planet Sakaar and subsequently gets caught up in a battle for survival, but it’s not too long before the Hulk heads back to Earth, very, very angry. He has destruction in mind, as well as revenge.

The Planet Hulk trilogy is an action packed comic book blockbuster that will provide you with all the Hulk action you could ever hope for. Read it, enjoy it and recommend it to a Hulk-loving friend.

 

blade

10pm – Blade

And finally, to finish off the ultimate Marvel day we’re heading back to 1998 for the birth of the modern Marvel era. Yep, ten years before Iron Man launched the MCU, New Line Cinema kick-started Hollywood’s obsession with Marvel movies with the release of Blade, a rather low-budget vampire flick.

The film – which stars Wesley Snipes in the title role – tells the story of a half-human, half-vampire, a day walker if you will, tasked with the unlikely job of eradicating the vampire population. Although Blade is part vampire himself, he’s somewhat of an anti-hero and a bloody good one at that.

Directed by Stephen Norrington, Blade is not only a fantastic Marvel movie it’s also a great horror film and the perfect way to round out the day. When listing good Marvel movies Blade often gets overlooked, but it’s always worth recognising its importance as well as its sheer fun.

 

 

About the author: Alex Wiggan has written blog posts for Honcho-SFX blog since October 2014. He likes writing, eating pizza and watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Sometimes in that order.

 

Love Marvel? Then check out the epic range of Marvel merchandise available from Honcho-SFX, including this awesome Daredevil cap, this nifty Deadpool wallet and this retro Marvel sweatshirt.

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