Five Lessons from Avengers: Endgame

It’s been an emotional rollercoaster for Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) fans following the release of Avengers: Endgame, the 22nd film in MCU superhero expanse. Jubilant highs have been intermixed with shocking lows as the remaining Avengers attempted to undo the actions from Avengers: Infinity War of the Mad Titan Thanos. There have been goodbyes for iconic characters, the appointment of new leaders, and the establishment of new teams.

Unsurprisingly, I’ve seen the film a few times (six to be precise and maybe more soon), and every time that I’ve watched Avengers: Endgame, I’ve spotted something new. So here’s the first of five quirky lessons or observations (without giving too many spoilers) from Avengers: Endgame:

1.  Hawkeye Speaks Japanese

One character absent from Avengers: Infinity War was Clint Barton (Hawkeye). After his actions in violation of the Sokovia Accords in Captain America: Civil War, Barton finds himself under house arrest, just like Scott Lang in Ant-Man and the Wasp. In the opening scenes of Avengers: Endgame we see Barton with his family on his farm. We catch a glimpse of the house arrest ankle bracelet as he teaches archery to his daughter Lila. Barton seems at peace as he enjoys spending time with his family. This serenity is destroyed in a matter of moments when Barton’s family are turned to dust by the Decimation (Thanos’ finger snap from Avengers: Infinity War). Barton doesn’t take the loss of his family well and assumes a new persona – Ronin. He goes on a worldwide rampage against organised crime as he takes on criminals in countries such as Mexico and Japan. We see Ronin in action in the latter as it takes out the Yakuza in Tokyo. During a fight with one of the Yakuza leaders, Barton speaks Japanese. Should we be surprised that a spy can speak multiple languages? Probably not.

2. The Creator of Thanos is in the Film

After the Avengers fail to stop Thanos from destroying the Infinity Stones there is a time-jump of five years. It’s the year 2023 and the Avengers are trying to move on. Steve Rogers runs a support group for people who lost friends and family in the snap. One member of the group is Joe Russo, one of the directors of Avengers: Endgame. Another member of the group is Jim Starlin, the comic book artist who created Thanos in the early 1970s. Nice cameo.

3. Steve Rogers is a Terrible Cook

While Steve Rogers runs a support group for people, Natasha Romanoff has seemingly taken charge of the Avengers and their allies. We see Natasha in a conference call with Okoye, Captain Marvel, Rocket, Nebula, and War Machine. She reminds her friends that everything that happens anywhere in the universe goes through her. War Machine is the last to terminate communication, but informs her that an incident in Mexico is more than likely the doing of Clint Barton. After War Machine hangs up, Natasha starts to cry at the thought of her dear friend Barton on a rampage around the world. At that moment, Steve Rogers enters the room and says, “I would offer to cook you dinner, but you seem pretty miserable already.” Despite coming out of the ice more than 10 years before it seems that Rogers has still to learn how to cook a decent meal. Still he must be better than the Vision in Captain America: Civil War!

4. Thor, Korg and Miek play Fortnite

Thanks to the quantum technology and Pym’s particles of Scott Lang and the genius of Tony Stark, the Avengers set in motion a plan to undo the Decimation. But they need a team, so the Hulk and Rocket head to New Asgard, which is located in Tønsberg in Norway, to convince Thor to join the cause. However, Thor has not dealt well with the events of Avengers: Infinity War as he has turned to alcohol and bad eating habits to get over his failure to stop Thanos in Wakanda. In addition to enjoying a few too many beers, Thor also enjoys playing Fortnite, the online video game, with his good buddies Korg and Miek. Interesting way to process his perceived failure to stop the Mad Titan. If he’s been playing Fortnite for five years, we’ve got to assume that he’s probably not bad at it.

5. No mention of X-Men: Days of Future Past

As the Avengers prepare to test their quantum-based time travel technology, a number of characters discuss the implications and rules of time travel. James Rhodes and Scott Lang list a whole bunch of time travel films such as Hot Tub Time Machine, Terminator, Wrinkle in Time, and Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. However, there’s no mention of the 2014 film X-Men: Days of Future Past, in which time travel plays a key role. Of course X-Men: Days of Future Past was produced 20th Century Fox and is not associated with the MCU. But it would have been cool if they had mentioned the X-Men film in the list. On the other hand, it’s likely that the X-Men will become part of the MCU in the near future following the acquisition of 20th Century Fox by Disney.

Within the MCU there must surely be superhero films. Perhaps the adventures of Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Nastasha Romanoff, and Thor have been made into films within the MCU. This was almost revealed in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. In Marvel Comics, Simon Williams (better known as Wonder Man) is a retired superhero-turned actor. The actor Nathan Fillion (of Castle fame) had been cast as Simon Williams and was supposed to appear in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 on a number of film posters, one of which was for a film entitled “Tony Stark”. Perhaps in the future we will see Wonder Man make an appearance in the MCU, either as a famous actor or as a superhero.

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And that’s it, the first five quirky lessons or observations from Avengers: Endgame. Stay tuned for more!

Always think super!

BWF

Daredevil, Sound Imaging and Predictions (with Roberto Merino Martinez and Rolf Hut)

Daredevil, Sound Imaging and Predictions (with Roberto Merino Martinez and Rolf Hut)
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On May 13th 2019, BingeWatch Academy: Superhero Science Episode IV took place at the Aula Auditorium at TU Delft. The focus was on super-senses and Daredevil

In this first post-podcast for Episode IV, you’ll hear Roberto Merino Martinez and Rolf Hut, who are both researchers at TU Delft.  In conversation with host Barry Fitzgerald, Roberto and Rolf discuss their work at TU Delft and how it relates to Daredevil.

You can also watch BingeWatch Academy: Superhero Science Episode IV from May 13th 2019 online, including Roberto’s talk and Rolf’s talk, at the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVWS71vfDA0.

BingeWatch Academy: Superhero Science is organised by Studium Generale Delft (Twitter: @sgtudelft) and BW Science. It is hosted by superhero scientist and TU Delft researcher Barry Fitzgerald (Twitter: @BWScienceNow).

Supergirl, the Flash, and What If Physics (with Maia Rigot)

Supergirl, the Flash, and What If Physics (with Maia Rigot)
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On April 25th 2019, BingeWatch Academy: Superhero Science Episode III took place at the Aula Auditorium at TU Delft. The focus was on super-speed, Supergirl, and the Flash

In this final post-podcast for Episode III, you’ll hear from Maia Rigot, a physics student at TU Delft.  In conversation with host Barry Fitzgerald, Maia discusses the physics behind some”What if” questions about Supergirl and the Flash, what inspired her to study physics, and the cultural importance of Black Panther.

You can also watch BingeWatch Academy: Superhero Science Episode III from April 25th 2019 online, including Maia’s talk, at the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XQ4yXdocxo.

BingeWatch Academy: Superhero Science is organised by Studium Generale Delft (Twitter: @sgtudelft) and BW Science. It is hosted by superhero scientist and TU Delft researcher Barry Fitzgerald (Twitter: @BWScienceNow).

Supergirl, the Flash, and Gene Doping (with iGEM 2018)

Supergirl, the Flash, and Gene Doping (with iGEM 2018)
BingeWatch Academy: Superhero Scien...

 
 
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On April 25th 2019, BingeWatch Academy: Superhero Science Episode III took place at the Aula Auditorium at TU Delft. The focus was on super-speed, Supergirl, and the Flash

In this second post-podcast for Episode III, you’ll hear from Monique de Leeuw and Venda Mangkusaputra who were both part of the 2018 iGEM team at TU Delft.  In conversation with host Barry Fitzgerald, Monique and Venda discuss their involvement in the iGEM team at TU Delft, gene doping, and binge-watching the Flash in preparation for their talk at BingeWatch Academy: Superhero Science.

You can also watch BingeWatch Academy: Superhero Science Episode III from April 25th 2019 online, including the talk from Monique and Venda, at the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XQ4yXdocxo.

BingeWatch Academy: Superhero Science is organised by Studium Generale Delft (Twitter: @sgtudelft) and BW Science. It is hosted by superhero scientist and TU Delft researcher Barry Fitzgerald (Twitter: @BWScienceNow).

Things aren’t the same after Avengers: Endgame

It’s just over two weeks since the release of Avengers: Endgame, the 22nd film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), and the impact of the film has been extraordinary. To date I’ve seen the film FIVE (5) times, and I plan to see the film a couple of more times before it leaves cinemas. Four too many times for some, but for someone like me it’s only the beginning.

I’m more than aware that some people have yet to see the film, which is now the 2nd highest grossing film of all time, so there won’t be any spoilers here from me. I just couldn’t ruin the film for anyone who is waiting for the hype to die down and the theatres to be half empty before they decide to go watch the 182 minute superhero extravaganza.

All I’ll say right now is that the film is fun, exciting, emotional, and there are scenes that will leave you speechless. Of course, like most films these days, there are some things that could have been better, but for me they are minor. To others, these issues are major. In one or two weeks I’ll write a more extensive blog on the film.

Avengers: Endgame – Focused on breaking the box office!

In the build-up to the release of the film, my work on superheroes was featured in a number of publications in the Netherlands. First up my work was featured in an article in New Scientist, in part promoting a talk that I gave as part of the Imagine Film Festival on April 14th. Next, my work was featured in an article written by Nick Kivits for Dutch Men’s Health magazine. I’ve got to say that was very very cool! Finally, Coen van Zwol featured my work in an article with the NRC newspaper.

It’s always great to see articles about my work reach the national press. It’s another thing to see my superhero research make an impact. Of course I cannot take credit for all of the work as I’ve had the opportunity to work with some inspiring students and researchers at TU Delft and further afield.

I promise an in-depth blog about Avengers: Endgame in the near future. But unlike other publications online, this article is spoiler free.

Think super!

BWF

Daredevil and Super-Senses: Preview of Next Live Event

Daredevil and Super-Senses: Preview of Next Live Event
BingeWatch Academy: Superhero Scien...

 
 
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A preview of BingeWatch Academy: Superhero Science Episode IV, which takes place at the Aula Auditorium on the TU Delft campus on Monday May 13th 2019 from 19.30 – 21.00.

The focus of Episode IV is on super-senses and Daredevil.

The podcast includes details of the speakers, Daredevil, and what to expect at Episode IV.

BingeWatch Academy: Superhero Science is organised by Studium Generale Delft and BW Science, and is hosted by superhero scientist and TU Delft researcher Barry Fitzgerald (Twitter: @BWScienceNow).

Preview of Next Live Event: Episode II – Genetic Engineering

Preview of Next Live Event: Episode II – Genetic Engineering
BingeWatch Academy: Superhero Scien...

 
 
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A preview of BingeWatch Academy: Superhero Science Episode II, which takes place at the Aula Auditorium on the TU Delft campus on Tuesday April 2nd 2019 from 19.30 – 21.00.

The focus of Episode II is genetic engineering and the main characters to be discussed during the event are Jessica Jones and the X-Men.

The podcast includes details of the speakers, the superheroes and superpower of interest, and some study suggestions in terms of Netflix superhero series.

BingeWatch Academy: Superhero Science is organised by Studium Generale Delft and BW Science, and is hosted by superhero scientist and TU Delft researcher Barry Fitzgerald (Twitter: @BWScienceNow).

Post Podcast Episode I – Bulletproof Materials

Post Podcast Episode I – Bulletproof Materials
BingeWatch Academy: Superhero Scien...

 
 
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On March 14th 2019, BingeWatch Academy: Superhero Science kicked off at TU Delft with Episode I where the focus was on impenetrable or bulletproof materials. Superheroes such as Luke Cage, Colossus, Superman, and Wonder Woman all have access to impenetrable materials but could we make such materials in the real world?

In this podcast, you’ll hear more from those who spoke on this topic in Episode I. You’ll hear from Jalila Essaïdi of BioArt Laboratories Eindhoven and her incredible work with spider silk and bulletproof skin. You’ll also hear about the work of three TU Delft students – Leyi Hsu, Jeannet Liang, and Max Wouters – who worked on a responsible innovation project with regards to the use of spider-silk inspired materials in future healthcare.

BingeWatch Academy: Superhero Science is organised by Studium Generale Delft (Twitter: @sgdelft) and BW Science. It is hosted by superhero scientist and TU Delft researcher Barry Fitzgerald (Twitter: @BWScienceNow).

First Podcast Episodes are Online!

Later this week, I’ll be hosting the first of four interactive talks at the Aula Auditorium on the TU Delft campus. The talk series is entitled “BingeWatch Academy: Superhero Science” and it combines two things that I’ve very passionate about – superheroes and science!

In conjunction with the talk series I’ve also just started my first podcast and the first episodes are online now. The first podcast acts as an introduction to “BingeWatch Academy: Superhero Science” while the second podcast is a preview of what to expect at the first talk event, which takes place on March 14th from 19.30 – 21.00 at TU Delft.

Have a listen if you get a chance and let me know what you think. You can listen here on this website or by clicking here and listening on Castos, the hosting site. Stay tuned for details on how to get the podcast on iTunes too.

More episodes to come over the coming weeks!

BWF

Get Ready for BingeWatch Academy: Superhero Science

Superheroes BingeWatch Academy: Superhero Science (Studium Generale, TU Delft, BW Science)

Superheroes BingeWatch Academy: Superhero Science (Studium Generale, TU Delft, BW Science)

Exciting superhero-themed news!

I’m delighted to announce that in collaboration with Studium Generale (SG) Delft, I am arranging a brand new series of talks at TU Delft entitled BingeWatch Academy: Superhero Science.

BingeWatch Academy: Superhero Science consists of four events that will take place at the Aula Auditorium on the TU Delft campus. The talk series combines binge-watch culture, the superhero genre, and current scientific research that is taking place at TU Delft and other research institutes around the Netherlands. Each talk series will focus on a particular superhero or superheroes that have appeared in Netflix series and consider how their powers might come to be and how these powers could benefit society.

For these talks, I’m going to be the MC and can’t wait for you see our exciting program! And for the first event in the series I’ll get a chance to talk a little bit more about my work on impenetrable materials.

Further details on BingeWatch Academy: Superhero Science are available at the SG Delft website.

And stay tuned for further announcements on the podcast series that will accompany BingeWatch Academy: Superhero Science!

Think super!

BWF