Luckily for those of you that didn’t get to catch up on Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor or Captain America, Joss Whedon’s The Avengers is pretty penetrable and the story is told in such a straightforward way that studying the first five films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe like you have the board exam next week isn’t necessary.

For those of you with only a crude and basic understanding of Marvel properties however, explanation of a few points might help you enjoy and understand the film just a bit better.

The Tesseract is a source of unlimited energy

The Tesseract (also known as The Cosmic Cube to Marvel nerds) is by far the most important object in The Avengers. In the first few moments of the film, the cube is lightly explained via voice-over before it is stolen by Loki. It’s first introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the opening of Captain America when Johan Schmidt (Red Skull) breaks into a village in Norway and steals it from its secret hiding place. He calls it “the jewel of Odin’s treasure room,” a clear reference to the character played by Anthony Hopkins in Thor and the treasure room we end up spending a surprising amount of time in.

Apparently, the cube was left there by “the gods” and contains perpetual power that some would call magic, but Schmidt explains that it’s just science that humans haven’t discovered yet. The same explanation is given by Thor to Jane in Thor to explain the multiple universes that exist (a concept explored in even further detail in The Avengers), so it makes sense that the cube is simply from a different dimension.

Captain America was the result of a WWII super-soldier experiment

This whole “super soldier experiment” thing is a big concept in the Marvel universe. The first experiment was on the Red Skull, who forced brilliant scientist Dr. Abraham Erskine to shoot him up with the serum before it was ready. The serum chemically burned off his skin and enhanced the evil that was already inside of him, turning him into the Red Skull.

After some changes to the serum and after finding the right subject (the skinny and inherently good-hearted Steve Rogers), the experiment was ready, but this time it actually worked. It turned “skinny Steve” Rogers into a super-human worthy of the title of Captain America.

S.H.I.E.L.D. is a government/military espionage and security organization

If we remember right from Iron Man, the official acronym stands for the Strategic Homeland Intervention and Enforcement- Logistics Division. S.H.I.E.L.D. made it’s first appearance in Iron Man in the form of Agent Phil Coulson, who would become a running character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the face of S.H.I.E.L.D.

S.H.I.E.L.D. is a military/government organization headed by Nick Fury (played by Samuel L. Jackson, again appearing in Iron Man) that specializes in national security. Fury’s pet project is the “Avengers Initiative,” which focuses on getting certain individuals together to work as a team. Black Widow, the spy played by Scarlett Johansson is an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., even going so far as to pose as Tony Stark’s personal assistant in Iron Man 2 in order to spy on him.

Another agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. is sharpshooter Clint Barton, a crossbow professional that goes by the codename “Hawkeye.” Hawkeye had a brief introduction in Thor, but he gets more of an opportunity to shine in The Avengers. In fact, S.H.I.E.L.D. in general gets thrust into the spotlight, along with their many toys.

Tony Stark has a gigantic magnet over his heart to keep him alive

When Tony Stark’s own missile exploded in his face in the opening moments of Iron Man, it blasted chunks of shrapnel into his torso and chest. If not for a makeshift magnet hooked to a car battery installed in his body by cave-mate Yinsen, Stark would have died in a cave in Afghanistan. In fact, one of the first things that Tony Stark does is build himself a better one. In a cave. With a box of scraps.

Basically, he builds a glowing miniature arc reactor in his chest to power the magnet that keeps the shrapnel out of his heart. It’s the part of Tony Stark that’s actually a machine, and the magnet is proof, as Pepper Potts adorably put, that Tony Stark indeed has a heart.

Loki is the God of Mischief and Thor’s half-brother

In the first 40 minutes of Thor, we’re introduced to Asgard, the home of Odin, Thor, Loki, and hundreds of other Asgardians. Thor and Loki have been brought up their whole lives to believe that they are brothers, and that one day one of them would inherit the throne. Thor, of course, inherited the throne and Loki discovered that he was actually a frost giant orphan found in the Jotunheim after the end of the war with the frost giants.

After being filled with rage at the discovery of his parentage, Loki works with the frost giants to stage himself as his father’s hero by setting up an assassination attempt that he himself will thwart. Thor returns from Earth to stop this plan, but Loki forces Thor to fight him until he is dangling from a bridge. After almost being saved by Odin, Loki chooses to fall into a wormhole, transporting him to an unknown branch of the universe.

Bruce Banner turns into The Hulk when he’s angry

Yes, we know. This one is a no-brainer, but after discovering that there are in fact people out there that don’t know that The Hulk is Bruce Banner’s angry alias, we had to include it. In another super-soldier experiment gone wrong, Banner blasted himself with Gamma radiation and found that when he got angry, the beast inside of him would erupt and take control.

In this incarnation, Banner calls The Hulk “the other guy” with little-to-no introduction, so those that are unfamiliar with Banner’s condition might have thought that he was talking about another physical “other guy.”

Excited to see The Avengers? Who among our United States readers will be watching it at midnight tonight? Tweet us your excitement for The Avengers @Hypable or @Herohype!

Sherlock finally made it to Hall H at Comic-Con and the creative team brought a few surprises. Steven Moffatt, Sue Vertue, Mark Gatiss, Amanda Abbington, and Benedict Cumberbatch were on hand to the thrill of fans.

Benedict Cumberbatch and crew definitely know how to work a crowd. Here are the top highlights of the panel that played to a crowd of thousands.

1. Season 4

They are currently two weeks from finishing Sherlock season 4. Cumberbatch said that “a lot comes home to roost this season… it’s ballsy.”

They have 26 pages to film this Tuesday. Cumberbatch states that the monologues are very challenging and take a lot of work.

As for actors’ favorite lines this season:

Gatiss: “Sherlock.”

Abington: Not a line but a beckoning gesture.

Cumberbatch: Can’t say.

Key names for next season (change from doing key words):

  • Moffat: Smith
  • Gatiss: Thatcher
  • Vertue: Sherinford

2. Keeping the show fresh

By not making as many episodes, the creators feel they actually keep the quality. They joked that under normal standards they’ve actually made about half a season of a standard TV show, or 13 episodes.

There are no plans for any other Victorian Era shows. Moffat feels that it would be less interesting if the mind palace returned there.

3. Learning curves and drugs

Gatiss stated that with 90-minute episodes you “really have to put [Sherlock and Watson] through the ringer.” Moffat added that because of this, Watson has to evolve. Watson can’t keep being amazed by Sherlock. As for Sherlock, “he can’t be the weird scary amoral man we met in the first episode… geniuses learn… he has to learn.”

Sherlock’s drug addiction comes back when he is not working. It’s hinted that the addiction will be a bigger issue this season than in the past.

4. The coat and the hair

There is apparently a big debate every year over changing the iconic coat. Sue Vertue wants to change it, and Steven Moffat wants to keep it. Benedict Cumberbatch dove into the debate stating, “I’m quite hung up on the coat…. but sometimes it has to come off.” The audience reaction was predictable.

Cumberbatch joked that he loved playing Sherlock in the Victorian era because of the slicked back hair. In the modern era it takes forever for his hair to get done. On a serious note, he loved the more straight-laced, clipped version of Sherlock.

5. First ‘Sherlock’ season 4 trailer

The teaser trailer featured this phrase over and over: “Something’s coming. It may be Moriarity, maybe not.” Literally every character we know and love looks like they are scared, angry, or worried on an epic scale.

One of the best moments is Mrs. Hudson saying with supreme venom to Mycroft, “Get out of my house you reptile.” Watch below:

6. Improv and family

There is actually, according to Cumberbatch, very little improvisation on set. It’s about how to do what’s there, and not messing with the script. He firmly believes that what is there is what is needed for the show.

Cumberbatch genuinely loves having his mom and dad play his TV mom and dad. Every now and then he can see his mother struggle to call him “Sherlock” and not “Ben.”

7. Mary in the know

Abbington didn’t know she was an assassin until well into the last season. When she found out, she told partner Martin Freeman, “My God, [the fans] are going to hate me.” Despite this, she loves the flawed characters of the series.

8. When will the series return?

No date was given for either the BBC release date or the PBS release date. We only know that it will premiere in 2017.

9. The dog photo

According to Cumberbatch the dog (depicted above) was a nightmare. “The dog wouldn’t fucking move,” he said. The companion was supposed to drag Sherlock all over London, but the dog didn’t like people, concrete, crowds… really anything about an urban setting.

Moffat and Gatiss resorted to writing a new scene on the spot to account for the lack of the dog’s interest in roaming. According to Gatiss all it did was drool on the concrete.

10. Future seasons?

Touching on the future of the series, Moffat stated, “Why is everybody assuming they survive season 4?” Gatiss joked, “We’re skipping season 5 and doing season 6.”

Moffat clarified that — contrary to recent reports — he never said that this season would be the last one (He’s right: All he said was the schedules of Cumberbatch and Freeman are only getting more difficult to work with). Gatiss added that they want to do more seasons, and they hope that they are able to.

Sherlock will be back in 2017. What do you think of the first season 4 trailer?

Marvel presented at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday evening and offered new looks at Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and more.

“We only want to come to Hall H when we have a lot to show you,” teased Marvel’s Kevin Feige at the start of the panel. Indeed, they had a ton to offer — including news of a new Marvel theme park attraction!

Everything we’ve learned at Marvel’s SDCC panel

  1. Marvel kicked off their panel with a new logo and updated fanfare by composer Michael Giacchino.

  2. Black Panther had some casting news to share: Lupita N’yongo will be playing one of the guards at Wakanda named Nakia. Meanwhile, Michael B. Jordan will be playing Erik Killmonger. We also received brand new casting news: Danai Gurira has joined the movie — She’ll play Okoye, head of Dora Milaje! Finally, a new logo for the film was revealed:

    black-panther-logo-sdcc-2016

  3. Thor: Ragnarok unveiled a behind-the-scenes look at the new film which included a look at Cate Blanchett as Hela. They also showed a documentary-style clip (think The Office) explaining where Hulk and Thor were during the events of Captain America: Civil War! In it, Thor had a tiny bed for Mjolnir and a crime board that tried to connect the Infinity Stones and discover their purpose. There is also mugshot of Loki. Like Black Panther, Thor: Ragnarok had a new logo to show off with a retro looking subtitle:

    thor-ragnorak-new-logo-sdcc-2016

  4. Doctor Strange’s portion of the panel kicked off with a smoke and laser show to introduce Benedict Cumberbatch.

    Tilda Swinton was also at the panel and spoke about the Ancient One. “The truth is, anyone can be The Ancient One,” she said. A clip from Doctor Strange was also showed in which Steven Strange meets Tilda’s character (It won’t be online).

  5. Thankfully, a brand new and wholly epic Doctor Strange trailer was released. Watch below:

    A new poster was also unveiled:

    doctor-strange-sdcc-poster

  6. Next up was Spider-Man: Homecoming. Director Jon Watts described the film as a high school movie about a 15-year-old Peter Parker who’s in the 10th grade. A new clip was unveiled and had a strong John Hughes vibe — Peter Parker is just your average high schooler trying to get through the day. There was also this great moment:

  7. Next up: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which kicks off a few months after the first movie. The entire cast was there to introduce a new scene in which a very adorable Baby Groot helps Yondu and Rocket break out of prison. Baby Groot even has a little outfit! Adorably, the Ravengers — who captured Yondu and Rocket — refuse to hurt Baby Groot because of how cute he is.

    This movie got a new logo as well.

    guardians-of-the-galaxy-sequel-new-logo

  8. Speaking of Marvel’s space dramedy, the studio also confirmed rumors of a Guardians of the Galaxy theme park attraction. It’s called Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! and debuts Summer 2017 at Disneyland’s California Adventure theme park. Sadly, it’s replacing the classic Tower of Terror ride. Check out a behind the scenes video of the attraction:

  9. Marvel ended their panel by confirming that Brie Larson will play Captain Marvel, as was previously rumored. She took the stage to say hi to the adoring audience, and participated in a giant Marvel selfie:

All in all, Marvel had a ton to share. What do you think of all the developments?

DC kept the trailer train trotting along today with an all new trailer for Suicide Squad!

Though Suicide Squad is just a few weeks away from hitting theaters, DC kept the momentum going today with an all new trailer featuring music from the soundtrack, new footage, and a better look at what exactly we can expect from the upcoming villain-focused super hero movie. Check it out below.

The new (and likely final) Suicide Squad trailer comes after surprise premiere of the Wonder Woman trailer and an even bigger surprise with our first look at the Justice League trailer. As with the other trailers today, this one debuted publicly alongside its Comic-Con Hall H premiere.

In this trailer, we hear a lot from Will Smith who plays Deadshot and arguably the most decorated and respected actor among the cast. “They’re gonna blame us for the whole thing. We’re the patsies, don’t forget. We’re the bad guys.” The trailer is jam-packed with all of the villains and their powers and skills on full display.

We also get a better look at the leader of the pack, Jared Leto’s The Joker. “I can’t wait to show you my toys,” Leto’s Joker says while slapping around a man.

Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn also gets a lot of screen time in this trailer. Though, most of it features close ups of her back side, which stays close to the adult, rugged tone of the other trailers we have seen thus far.

There’s no doubt that fans will be flocking to theaters rooting on the bad guys when Suicide Squad hits theaters on August 5th. Suicide Squad features

What did you think of the thrilling, action-packed trailer for Suicide Squad?