Marvel Cinematic Universe spoiler-heavy speculation thread

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by bbjeg, Apr 6, 2014.

?

What grade would you give the Marvel Cinematic Universe? (Ever-Changing Question)

  1. A+

    13.9%
  2. A

    39.2%
  3. A-

    15.2%
  4. B+

    6.3%
  5. B

    15.2%
  6. B-

    3.8%
  7. C+

    1.3%
  8. C

    3.8%
  9. C-

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  10. D+

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  11. D

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  12. D-

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  13. F

    1.3%
  1. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Location:
    UK
    Well, there was that whole scene in 'Avengers' where the sceptre was explicitly messing with everyone's heads. Not controlling them exactly, but amplifying what was already there and lowering inhibitions to the point where they all almost came to blows before they snapped out of it.

    The idea that it was also affecting Loki and that was why Thanos let him have it in the first place seems less like a retcon and more of a clarification.
     
    Anwar, Marsden and Turtletrekker like this.
  2. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    Maybe not retcon then, but it definitely is an interesting addition to the story, and a nice way to make his characterization more consistent.
     
    Marsden likes this.
  3. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2013
    Location:
    Thulcandra
    I understand why you may say "retcon" because so many retcons in so many things, but this one doesn't really seem to be changing anything.
    And it is interesting, I remember that scene when Loki was sitting there remembering and it seemed like at the end he was in pain, could that have been the scepter?
    Also, @Reverend is right about them being at each other.

    But it seems like Ultron taking the stone out of the scepter undid that because Vision seemed neither hostile or made anyone else edgy.
     
    Reverend likes this.
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Contrary to popular usage, a retcon isn't supposed to change anything. It's short for "retroactive continuity," meaning something revealed after the fact that fits smoothly into the continuity as if it were there all along. It may change our interpretation of a past event, but it's supposed to be consistent with previous continuity.
     
  5. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
    Location:
    Tacoma, Washington
    It certainly didn't do Ultron any favors. I would credit Vision's demeanor to the influence of J.A.R.V.I.S., while Ultron just had the stone's negative influence.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    The Scepter/Mind Stone didn't just have one consistent effect; it did what its wielder intended it to do. Loki used it to brainwash Hawkeye, and Wolfgang von Strucker used it to turn Wanda and Pietro into something medically and legally distinct from mutants. I always assumed that the Scepter's influence on the Avengers, heightening their anger, was what Loki had programmed it to do, because of course he got captured on purpose so that they'd take the Scepter and be affected by it. So if the Scepter also influenced Loki's mind, presumably Thanos programmed it to do so in the same way. Which would explain why he was willing to entrust an Infinity Stone to Loki in the first place.
     
  7. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Location:
    UK
    Ultron's program was created while the stone was in the sceptre, while Vision's was written after it had been discarded. So there very well may be something to the idea that the sceptre itself and the way it harnessed the mind stone was the true source of the malignancy. Or at the very least it was the means by which Stark's worst qualities were imprinted on Ultron, while Vision got almost the opposite.
     
  8. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2003
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA
    The thing that bothers me is this retcon isn't going to actually redeem Loki because his petty jealousies and attacks on Thor predate the Scepter.
     
  9. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Location:
    UK
    I don't think the intent is to redeem Loki so much as account for what would otherwise seem like inconsistent characterisation. Also, given that it seems entirely in-line with what we saw in the movie, even going so far as to account for moments who's intent appeared ambiguous at best, I wouldn't eb shocked if this was the intent during the making of the movie. Either as a cut scene, or line from the script or just in the process of developing the story.
     
  10. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2003
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA
    What was inconsistent about his characterization?
     
  11. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2013
    Location:
    Thulcandra
    I'm sorry @JD that is a retcon after all! I trust our resident Vulcan when it comes to these matters.
     
  12. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Location:
    UK
    It's subtle, but there is a definite shift between 'Thor', 'Avengers' and then 'TtDW'. Partly it's his demeanour which in 'Thor' is more that of a schemer; an insecure son desperate to prove himself. Whereas in 'Avengers', there's still an element of that but he gets far more overtly villainous, even crazed to the point of spitting bile, ranting and monologuing. Then in TtDW he pretty much reverts back to where he was at the end of 'Thor'.

    Now I'm not saying the sceptre is the *only* possible explanation for this shift since we still don't know exactly what happened between his falling into the void and Thanos placing the sceptre in his hands, but from what is explicitly shown on-screen its certainly the simplest, most consistent and meaningful explanation I've seen to date.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Simple and consistent, sure, but for me, whether it's meaningful depends on what kind of mental influence it had on Loki. I often find mind control in fiction to be a cheat, because it makes characters behave in ways that has nothing to do with their real personalities or beliefs or desires, and so that isn't meaningful at all. But it can be meaningful if it just heightens a drive that's already within someone or releases their inhibitions and buried impulses, e.g. Star Trek's "The Naked Time." The scene in The Avengers where the Scepter heightens the team's emotions and exacerbates their argument is a good example. So if the Scepter did the same thing to Loki, just heightened a desire was already there, then that would work for me. But that would mean it wasn't really a change in his personality, just an amplification.

    And I think that fits. Loki has consistently wanted to rule because he feels insecure about his worth, because he resents being the subordinate son. After his defeat by Thor that first time, he was lost and damaged and vulnerable to anyone who offered him a feeling of power and control. I think that's enough of an explanation even without any external influence, but if the Scepter just amplified the ambition and need for approval he already had, that would still work.
     
  14. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Location:
    UK
    If I had to guess, I'd say the influence is subtle. As demonstrated above, it only need to be in the room with people to start amplifying their worst instincts, which in the case of Loki would have been more than sufficient to keep him on the task Thanos required.

    The discussion with The Other certainly doesn't leave one with the impression that Loki is a puppet, but at the same time there seems to be an implicit and credible threat of retribution if Loki chooses to disobey. That suits the concept well enough for me, and since it seems to be Marvel's official position on the matter, I don't see any point in digging any deeper.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    ^Works for me.
     
  16. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2003
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA
    I mean, obviously, the different writers probably don't help. One of the things about Avengers that was clear was how much not actually in control Loki was. He served a master and was desperately trying to cover that up. By the time that portal was opened, he had more or less already lost.
     
  17. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Location:
    Moncton, NB
    He wasn't a puppet, but he had been affected to make him a bit more obedient.
     
  18. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Location:
    UK
    Personally I rather like the ambiguous nature of the arrangement; despite all his posturing you're never quite sure how much say in all this Loki really has. He clearly resents being Thanos's attack dog and even implies he may keep the tesseract for himself, but it's clearly a hollow threat.

    I think what tips it for me though is that this is the only time in all of his appearances that Loki has *ever* shown the slightest interest in conquest. While he's certainly spiteful enough to lash out at Earth to get back at Thor indirectly, a full frontal assault just isn't his style.
    Plus he has to know the bifrost wouldn't stay broken forever and that even if Thanos left him in charge of Earth once he had the three stones, so what? It's a backwater, primitive mudball and there's nowhere there where Loki could hope to hide from Odin's retribution.
     
  19. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
    Location:
    Tacoma, Washington
    With the benefit of hindsight, I could see the aftermath of Loki's victory being like this-- Thanos and the Black order arrive on Earth and begin what is by now their routine of herding up the population into two halves and eliminating one. I don't see Loki resisting Thanos unless he planned on skipping out with the Tesseract. The Chitauri were clearly still under Thanos' control, and without them to back him, Loki would have zero chance in a direct confrontation. Afterwards, Thanos will leave Loki with the culled population of Earth, his new throne, whose population will no doubt blame Loki for the culling. Yeah, I see a smooth transition of power...
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    His interest in the Thor movies was in overthrowing Odin and ruling Asgard, so he did crave power. Doing it by open force rather than trickery wasn't his usual method, no, but it was the opportunity that Thanos and the Other offered him after saving his life, so he went along with it since it would give him what he wanted. The end was still the same, even if the means differed due to his circumstances and alliances.