There's one important thing I forgot to point out in my previous reviews of "Iron Man 2". This is the film that introduced the Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson. To make up for it I've posted the extra-large picture above. Take a long, hard look at her. Isn't she beautiful? Since then we've seen her in "Avengers Assemble", "Captain America: The Winter Soldier", "Avengers: Age of Ultron" and "Captain America: Civil War". Let's hope she'll return in many more Marvel films. Even though I prefer her costume from the canonical Marvel comics of the 1960's I have to admit that her costume in the film, based on much later comics, does look sexy.
Some of my readers might wonder what I mean when I refer to Marvel stories as canonical or non-canonical. By this I mean, naively speaking, a division into what really happened and what was made up. Of course, all the stories were made up, but the difference is that in the early years Stan Lee held a tight grip on the stories and made sure all the comics were consistent with one another. In later years stories were written without paying attention to what had happened in the past. If there were contradictions they were just shrugged off with the excuse "My story takes place in an alternative universe".
So where do I draw the line between canonical and non-canonical? Temporally, I'd say that everything from 1961 to 1974 is canon, starting with Fantastic Four #1 and ending when Roy Thomas resigned as editor-in-chief. Everything written since 1991 (after the Infinity Gauntlet mini-series) isn't canon. As for the years 1974 to 1991 I have to differentiate. Those are the years when Marvel continuity began to fall apart, although a few writers held on to the foundation. Anything written in that period by Roy Thomas, Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin is canon. Anything written by Mark Gruenwald and Jim Shooter isn't canon. I would have to go through all the other authors one by one. Please don't think that when I say "not canon" I mean "bad". For instance, I find Frank Miller's Daredevil stories highly enjoyable, but for me they're not canon because they rewrite Daredevil's origin as laid out by Stan Lee.
As always, I appreciate opinions on this subject. If you disagree with me write something in the comment box below. It's best to leave a comment with your name (or code name), not just sign as Anonymous, so that I can tell who is writing what.
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