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MCU MADNESS SWEET 16: #3 The Avengers vs. #14 Black Panther

#3 Avengers vs. #14 Black Panther
By Matt Roembke

This is arguably our most exciting matchup yet in the MCU Madness Tournament . The film that changed how people look at comic book movies goes toe-to-toe with the Academy Award-winning cultural phenomenon. The Avengers was our first peak at what this expanded universe looks like when things culminate in one movie. Black Panther is a result of that universe being able to take risks and break barriers. The history of the MCU meets the present in a big way with this matchup... Vote Down Below!

# Avengers Release: 2012

Directors: Joss Whedon

Phase: 1

Box Office: $ 1,518,812,988

Synopsis: When Thor's evil brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), gains access to the unlimited power of the energy cube known as the Tesseract, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), director of S.H.I.E.L.D., initiates a superhero recruitment effort to defeat the unprecedented threat to Earth. Joining Fury's "dream team" are Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner).

Pros: In The Avengers, we see every hero that has been introduced in the MCU assemble together for the first time. This is a movie that holds as much nostalgia as it does incredible moments. It was bright. It was colorful. It was funny. And it still delivers an action-packed, comic book-friendly story. This film truly sets the tone that the MCU builds on moving forward.

Cons: Like most of its Avengers movie successors, The Avengers falls victim to its own success. Looking back at this movie almost 8 years later, we can reflect on what the film eventually grows into with Age of Ultron , Infinity War , and Endgame . While this film is the turning point for the MCU being the force it has become, it is looked at by some as a lesser-stakes story compared to the rest.

#14 Black Panther Released: 2018

Director: Ryan Coogler

Phase: 3

Box Office: $1,346,913,161

Synopsis: After the death of his father, T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) returns home to the African nation of Wakanda to take his rightful place as king. When a powerful enemy (Michael B. Jordan) suddenly reappears, T'Challa's mettle as king -- and as Black Panther -- gets tested when he's drawn into a conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people.

Pros: It seemed like fans realized the importance of Black Panther even before it hit theaters. This film surpassed even the wildest of expectations as not only a cultural milestone in film, but a damn good movie - and its seven Oscar nominations certainly helps its case. Introducing the world of Wakanda and one of the MCU's best supporting cast, this movie is a legitimate front-runner in this tournament.

Cons: T'Challa was introduced to audiences in a big way in Captain America: Civil War. And while we got to see an emotional range and conflict from the character then, some feel that does not carry over into his solo film. There are fans that feel T'Challa is upstaged by his counterpart in the movie, Killmonger. And while he is undoubtedly one of the elite antagonists in the MCU, he falls to that classic MCU origin movie trap of just being an evil Black Panther with his skillset.

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