In the run up to the latest hotly anticipated Marvel blockbuster Avengers: Age of Ultron, Steve and Owen have been busy putting together a series of short 20-25 minute long minisode podcasts. With clips from the films, trailers, retro reviews taken from our archived podcasts as well as brand new retrospective reviews featuring a varied mix of different guests for each episode, we’ll be running through all of the MCU movies thus far in chronological order.
Therefore, in this episode we go right back to the start, where it all began, with John Favreau’s 2008 breakout hit, Iron Man. It stars Robert Downey Jr in the lead role as billionaire weapons manufacturer Tony Stark, as he battles to keep the arc reactor that is saving his life from falling into the wrong hands. Chiefly those of his shady business partner at Stark Industries, Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) and those of a terrorist faction led by Raza (Faran Tahir).
As well as featuring Robert Downey Jr as the flashy, impulsive, genius superhero, rebuilding his life after an existential (and very real) crisis in the guise of a sophisticated flying suit of armour, we were also introduced to recurring characters such as: Gwyneth Paltrow as Tony’s assistant Pepper Potts; Clark Gregg as the SHIELD operative Agent Coulson; Paul Bettany as the voice of Stark’s in-flight suit of armour Jarvis; and of course Jon Favreau himself as Tony’s security, Hogan.
The film proved to be both a financial and critical success, laying the foundations for what would eventually become what we now know as the expanded Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was the first self-financed Marvel movie after they sold the film rights to their more popular characters such as Spider-Man, the X-Men, The Punisher and so on. A lot was riding on how well this movie would do – and we’re pretty damn glad it was as successful as it was.
Here you’ll find our retro review with James Diamond, which raises the point about how much of a gamble the casting of the film’s leading actor was and what impact he’s had on the character’s rise in popularity since. A topic of conversation carried into our retrospective review, where we’re joined by special guest Gerry McAuley.
In our next minisode, we’ll be moving onto the second movie of Marvel’s Phase 1 with the much maligned The Incredible Hulk.