Our Awesome Avengers

Sometimes, you have to know what you’re doing. Where you’re going. What your purpose is.

I never quite understood this until recently.

A matter of days ago, while writing the next chapter of Sibling Rivalry, I came to a startling realization: Knowing what I know now, I could have structured the story a lot better by rewriting everything after chapter three, delaying the actual romance between Spike and Sweetie Belle, and have his affection for her form a bit more gradually as a consequence of their budding friendship, as he teaches her magic. It would allow the story to focus on the romance, rather than the bullshit deception.

So I’m an idiot. I think I might go back and rewrite the whole story with that in mind. Or I could just say ‘fuck it’ and move on at this stage.

I don’t know.

I think the problem is, I didn’t think the story through well enough. I didn’t think it through deeply enough. I should’ve seen the plot holes before they came. But it really goes to show just how important preparation is. How important it is to plan a story out well in advance. As a writer, you might find it frustrating, not getting to the good bits. But overall, it’ll mean the story you write will be better, and much more coherent.

Which might be the reason Marvel made it work. They thought it through, and planned it all out from day one. They didn’t just make one film left open for sequels. They designed the whole thing to fit together as one giant franchise.

I am of course referring to the epic and sublime Avengers film franchise. Five films: Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, and Captain America: the First Avenger. All tying together and referencing each other, with the purpose of reaching the ultimate crescendo, with film six, The Avengers.

The Avengers

By the way, in case you couldn’t tell, I love this film. Continue reading

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Magic and Nazis and Gods, wait-what!?

The Marvel Universe is weird.

We have advanced technology, genetic engineering, genetic mutations, magic, cosmic beings, supernatural phenomena, gods, parallel universes, aliens, and Samuel L. Jackson, all coexisting in the same world. It doesn’t make sense.

With the exception of Samuel L. Jackson, none of these things exist here, in reality, so it can really strain credulity to have them all coexist in the same world.

Yet somehow, it works. Somehow, all these things can come together. And somehow, it makes sense.

Advanced technology can coexist, and even work with, magic. It can be used to spur genetic mutations, and travel to parallel universes. It can even make Samuel L. Jackson more of a badass!

But how? With interesting and relatable characters, compelling plotlines, and a consistently goofy tone, we can overlook the tiny contrivances and inconsistencies, because overall, it makes a better story.

Which brings us to the second half of the Avengers franchise, or as I call it: clusterfuck heaven. Continue reading

Friendship is Smash!

It’s hard to pin down exactly why I like My Little Pony.

Could it be the characters? The setting? The plot? The overall cheery tone? The comedy?

More than likely, it’s a bit of everything. But more recently, I found another reason to love the show: The message.

I don’t just mean the friendship message, I mean something more than that.

Too many shows are about one person, one hero, saving the world. Perhaps assisted by a sidekick who does bugger all, and is only there to look up to our hero, and maybe help during some contrived plot point.

This is a staple of every action film in existence. It’s always about one person, and I’m sorry, but I’m not buying it. One person is the most useless thing in existence. If you want to make a real impact on the world, or save the world, you’re not going to do it alone.

It’s a fantasy. The idea that a solitary protagonist can save the day is just something we like, because we can latch onto it, and think; if Bruce Willis can do it, perhaps we could as well. After all, he’s not really an action star… or at least he wasn’t when he made Die Hard, he was a goddamn comedian. I would argue, he still is. But I digress.

A story that stars a team is much better, especially if the individual elements could manage to hold their own. Which is especially true of the ponies. We have Rarity using psychological warfare against the Diamond Dogs; Fluttershy shaming the cockatrice; and Applejack facing off against the Timberwolves. But bring them together, they wield the most powerful weapon in Equestria: The Elements of Harmony!

It reminds me of Left 4 Dead. A great game where you play a single survivor of the zombie apocalypse, who could probably take out a horde with a few swings of your katana. But you’ll eventually get overwhelmed, and will need the help of your friends to make it to the end!

Apparently Pacific Rim does the same thing. I haven’t seen it yet, but from what I hear, the film’s all about how it takes a team to save the world from giant rampaging Godzilla-sized monsters.

This formula works even better if it’s a ragtag group. All having different backgrounds, different personalities, and different points of view. Like in My Little Pony. A team of six different heroes, from all walks of life, and with very different backgrounds, and conflicting personalities, who come together to fight a great threat, and become great friends.

Which brings me so eloquently to Marvel’s The Avengers. It’s My Little Pony with duller tones. Continue reading