Smart Pop Explains Marvel Movies and TV Shows

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Pub Date 05 Jul 2022 | Archive Date Not set

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Description

Who is Iron Man? What’s an Infinity Stone? When did Captain America become the first Avenger? Why does everyone love Loki even though he’s a bad guy?

It’s easy for new fans to get overwhelmed by the sprawling mythology and complexity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which now spans more than 20 films and TV shows. Unlike encyclopedias and guides that offer diehard fans trivia, details, and deep dives into every on-screen moment, this first-of-its-kind explainer is an easy, fun, and accessible introduction to the hundreds of characters, plots, and interconnected stories that make up one of the greatest pop-culture franchises of all time. 
 
Do you want to enjoy Spider-Man, but don’t quite know what a Skrull is? Maybe you know that it was Agatha all along, but did maybe WandaVision leave you wondering about the multiverse of madness?  Do you need a primer on Thor’s backstory so you can grasp how The God of Thunder became friends with The Guardians of the Galaxy? Or, maybe you just want to be able to join in when everyone shouts out “Wakanda Forever!”

If you’re looking for an easy to access entry into what literally everyone is talking about, this is the book for you! As the perfect and unauthorized resource to keep on hand when watching something for the first—or tenth—time, Smart Pop Explains Marvel Movies and TV Shows like no one else could.
Who is Iron Man? What’s an Infinity Stone? When did Captain America become the first Avenger? Why does everyone love Loki even though he’s a bad guy?

It’s easy for new fans to get overwhelmed by the...

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ISBN 9781637740552
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Average rating from 13 members


Featured Reviews

My thanks to NetGalley and the Publisher BenBella Books and Smart Pop for an advanced copy of this overview of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Back in the day when I was assigned books to read for class, I always no matter the book looked for either the SparkNotes or a Cliff Notes guide to the book, not because I planned to skip the book, I was too much of a reader to skip any books, but just so I could more deeply understand what I was reading and to understand the author's intent, and what the teachers were probably going to quiz on. The Editors of Smart Pop have in their book Smart Pop Explains Marvel Movies and TV Shows made a guide to the comic book franchise that will help newbies and seasoned theater goers both in understanding and enjoying the films.

The book begins with the basics, explaining the early Iron Man movie and how it set the tone and pace for the other movies to come, the joy of mid- credit scenes that further the story along, and how it became the films changed movie studios and production. The books only cover the cinematic universe including Spider-Man, no X-Men, or Fantastic Fours, nor Ghost Riders and not one Venom. There is a brief mention of Deadpool, however. The main characters are introduced, with biographical sketches about what made them super heroes, and a little of their past and some of their movie plots. Credit sequences are shared, as are alternate ways of watching the movies depending on the order the reader or watcher might prefer. The movies really aren't examined much, no real mention of actors or making of or behind the scenes stories. The covers up to the Black Widow movies and up to the Loki television show.

The book does not cover the movies or shows directly, there are questions asked about the movies, characters and such and the answers are given. There is an index so if you have say Thor II questions you can find where it is mentioned and hopefully those will help. As a primer on the cinematic universe this would be good for people just starting or for someone who wants to be able to answer questions their kids might have. Veteran movie goers might want more, making of information. Casual fans will enjoy because it fills in a lot of gaps, from television and the movies they might have missed. My one complaint was the humor attempts were really not that funny, and took away from the story. Even jokes with Bam, Biff and or Pow would be better than One Direction jokes. I understand but still.

A nice gift for someone who is just starting to enjoy the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The guide clear and answers the questions a person might have, and doesn't bog down in the minutia of the story lines. The arcs of the movies are described, the television shows are examined and their places in the story explained. Hopefully there will be more in this series focusing on other films and genres.

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You know what? This was fun, entertaining, and a handy reference. I know the Marvel world generally from my comic book days in the fifties and sixties, (yeah, I'm that old), but since then I've just seen a Marvel movie here and there. (I know it isn't canon, but the Fantastic Four movies ruined me on Marvel for a couple of years.) Anyway, I know some Ironman, and Black Panther, and Dr. Strange, and Captain Marvel movies, but I've seen those movies out of order, and mixed in over time, along with parts of other movies from various streaming services. (I swear I've seen the same ten minutes of one of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies three different times.) So, the fact that this book clearly set out the movie timeline, highlighted who was who and who fit in where, and then added lots of colorful asides, was just what I wanted. The tone is cheerful and upbeat, and our collective author is engaging and congenial. There's a bit of waggish humor, but not that overbearing and unrelenting ham-fisted humor you get in some Dummies-style books. So, I was very happy with this, and, as they say, had fun while learning.

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This is a perfect guide for anyone curious about the MCU without having to watch 20+ films and tv shows.
If you have watched the majority of the movies there will be nothing new here. I did enjoy the breakdown of mid credits scenes, easter eggs, and villain breakdowns.

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First off it should be noted that while the book is titled Smart Pop Explains Marvel Movies and TV Shows, it should be clarified so that you understand that this means it covers the MCU movies and TV shows. Because yes before Iron Man blasted into theaters to kick off the incredible MCU, there were indeed TV shows featuring Marvel characters both live action (The Incredible Hulk and The Amazing Spider-man from the late 70s to name a couple) and countless cartoons (from Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends to X-Men and many more) So this does not cover the X-Men movies or the Fantastic Four films or Ghost Rider or Venom. Though there are some brief mentions of these things, such as noting how Chris Evens had appeared in the Fantastic Four movies, there are not however in-depth looks at those movies or those characters as they are not actually a part of the MCU …yet.(though Venom, FF, the X-Men and others more than likely will be at some point…and I guess technically as of Multiverse of Madness some already are).

Now I am a huge fan of the MCU movies (well comics in general whether actual comic books, literary books featuring comic characters, or of course the movies and TV shows) and as such I have seen all the movies/tv shows multiple times. Even so I really enjoyed reading through this. The book really does offer up a comprehensive examination/explanation of the MCU. Well up to a point anyway. I mean the MCU is still continuing to expand so there is no way for this book to ever be completely up to date, but it does cover the first 10+ years movies and TV shows (Eternals, Shang Chi, and Multiverse of Madness are all referred to as upcoming movies) and that encompasses an awful lot of information.

Whether you’re just looking for a refresher or are totally new to the MCU and don’t want to wade through 20+ movies/TV shows to catch up (though you really should watch them all, lol) Smart Pop Explains Marvel Movies and TV Shows is a great reference. And even if you have watch it all, you’ll still likely learn a very few new things as well. Thanks so much to BenBella Books, Smart Pop, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review an eARC of the book.

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Pros: I started watching the Marvel movies during the pandemic and was overwhelmed by the number of characters, phases, movies and tv shows that pre-dated MCU Phase One, etc. I'm still confused about the multiverse. I thought this book was helpful for casual fans like me who do not always catch on to the connections and Easter eggs in the movies. I also think it would be helpful for someone on a trivia team to study. I love the fun tone of this book and that the authors feel like real fans of Marvel.

Cons: I would have loved to see more charts, lists, and other pop out boxes with fast facts--those are the elements of the book that drew my attention the most. Also, with at least three movies and then several tv shows coming out in 2022, this book will need to be regularly updated!

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I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

While not a must read for Marvel fans, it is a nice catch up for those who enjoyed the movies but did not necessarily read the comics. It has all the main points and characters from all the Marvel movies up to Avengers:End Game, in one place. Easy to read with a bit of silly humour.

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I'm not sure what it says about me, but I knew a lot of what was covered in this book. But I've spent a lot of time reading up on the various characters and timelines throughout the MCU.

I really appreciate this comprehensive guide. It would be very useful to someone who is a casual fan and needs a little extra help connecting all of the stories.

Thank you to the authors for putting this together and thanks to Netgalley for the advanced copy!

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Perfect for somone like me who wants to know more about Marvel.
I hear so much about it and wanted more backstory on its history and characters ect
This was the perfect read!

Who is Iron Man? What’s an Infinity Stone? When did Captain America become the first Avenger? Why does everyone love Loki even though he’s a bad guy?

It’s easy for new fans to get overwhelmed by the sprawling mythology and complexity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which now spans more than 20 films and TV shows. Unlike encyclopedias and guides that offer diehard fans trivia, details, and deep dives into every on-screen moment, this first-of-its-kind explainer is an easy, fun, and accessible introduction to the hundreds of characters, plots, and interconnected stories that make up one of the greatest pop-culture franchises of all time.

Do you want to enjoy Spider-Man, but don’t quite know what a Skrull is? Maybe you know that it was Agatha all along, but did maybe WandaVision leave you wondering about the multiverse of madness? Do you need a primer on Thor’s backstory so you can grasp how The God of Thunder became friends with The Guardians of the Galaxy? Or, maybe you just want to be able to join in when everyone shouts out “Wakanda Forever!”

If you’re looking for an easy to access entry into what literally everyone is talking about, this is the book for you! As the perfect and unauthorized resource to keep on hand when watching something for the first—or tenth—time, Smart Pop Explains Marvel Movies and TV Shows like no one else could.

Was this review helpful?

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