How Does The Blockchain Work? Pt. 2

It didn’t take very long to hit the first sequel in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as Iron Man 2 came out two short years after the original. It’s hard to argue that Marvel should have tried to follow up with Iron Man as fast as possible. The original was a great movie and was well received by the vast majority of fans. Iron Man 2 isn’t the best example of a Marvel movie but it does introduce some very important aspects of the overall story arc.

One of the more crucial aspects of the movie is it starts to touch on the pressure Stark is getting from the government to turn over his armor to the United States. Stark wants no part of this, but the tension between the government at large and superheroes is central to the arc as the movies move forward. Viewers also start to get an idea of just how far reaching S.H.I.E.LD. truly is. They manage to place a spy right next to Stark as his assistant in the form of Natalie Rushman (played by Scarlett Johansson), who we later find out to actually be Natasha Romanoff or Black Widow. She remains a central character to many of the movies after this point, and if nothing else, Iron Man 2 serves as her entry point into the series. We also get to see our old friend Nick Fury, who helps guide Stark to some of the answers he seeks in the movie.

One flaw in the movie is the lack of any threat to Stark in any form. Granted, it is difficult to make fans believe Iron Man is in any real danger. Still, this movie sees him being poisoned by palladium from the ARC reactor in his chest. It also has him face off against Ivan Vanko/Whiplash, who is played by Mickey Rourke. The positive to his character is he’s actually given a very legitimate reason to hate Stark. His father worked with Tony’s father back in the ’50s and Vanko carries a grudge because he believes that Howard Stark stole his father’s work. While Rourke does his best to provide some malice to his role, he still falls in the category of Marvel villains that just don’t register as any threat and is gone in two hours.

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Another flaw is a pattern viewers start to see emerge the further the universe expands. When Marvel stays focused on the goal and keeps the characters grounded, the movie tends to be a good bit better. When they wander and try to make it more about the superhero persona, things get a little dicey. This romp for Iron Man seems to be more about the armor and less about Tony Stark. It’s also a little odd to see the character of James Rhodes go from Terrance Howard in Iron Man to Don Cheadle in this movie and there be no explanation. The prevailing theory was Howard wanted more money and Marvel wanted to cast Cheadle originally, but still. There may not be an easy way to address it within the story, but not saying anything feels weirder.

Next: Journey into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, part 2: The Incredible Hulk

This may not be the best movie in and of itself, but it does provide the starting point for Black Widow, introduces us to the government taking an interest in superhero business, and starts to show us the full scope of S.H.I.E.L.D. The last part that connects Iron Man 2 to the MCU as a whole is fan favorite Agent Phil Coulson in a post-credits scene. He finds himself in the middle of the desert, looking down at a very large hammer and telling someone on the phone that he”found it.” It doesn’t take long to find out who the hammer belongs to, but that’s a story for part 4.

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