Marvel currently plans on putting out two wildly profitable films per year until the sun burns out and life on Earth ceases to exist. Though the comic book conglomerate seems so poised and Machiavelli-level strategic that you might think it was always destined for this level of dominance, it most certainly was not. While the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it began in earnest with Iron Man in 2008, Marvel has been putting its characters into shows and movies for much longer than that, with mixed results that were often very un-Hulk.
The Complete History of Marvel Film and Television is a supercut from movie site JoBlo that traces Marvel’s roots before gazing ahead into its painfully bright future. (Someone pass me Cyclops’s special protective eyewear, please.) Going back to 1944, the video begins with a clip from Captain America, a 15-part TV serial featuring an old guy in footie pajamas. From there we skip to the cartoons of the 1960s, and spend the next ten minutes inching forward to the place nerds know as Phase Three. Along the way we meet some friends you may have forgotten, including the Dolph Lundgren Punisher film, The Trial of the Incredible Hulk, and my personal favorite, Japanese Spider-Man.
Watch it before Avengers 2 comes out next week, so you can remember the pajama-clad origins of a multi-billion dollar enterprise.JB