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)
BingeWatch Academy: Superhero Scien...

 
 
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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)
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 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).

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).

Post Podcast – Episode II – Jessica Jones, Human Rights, and Ethics

Post Podcast – Episode II – Jessica Jones, Human Rights, and Ethics
BingeWatch Academy: Superhero Scien...

 
 
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On April 2nd 2019, BingeWatch Academy: Superhero Science Episode II took place at the Aula Auditorium at TU Delft. The focus was on genetic engineering, CRISPR/Cas9, and Jessica Jones.

In this third post-podcast for Episode II, you’ll hear from two more speakers from the live event. Florence Warren and Lara van Meurs are students based at Leiden University. Between October 2018 and January 2019, they worked on a project based on CRISPR/Cas as part of a minor in Responsible Innovation. In conversation with host Barry Fitzgerald, Florence and Lara discuss their project, human rights, ethics, and superheroes.

You can also watch BingeWatch Academy: Superhero Science Episode II from April 2nd 2019 online, including Charlotte’s talk, at the link: https://youtu.be/D5yCGhVgV9Q.

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).

Science Week 2017 Begins in Ennis

Time flies when you’re doing science. In the blink of an eye Science Week Ireland has come around once again and I’ve a seriously busy week ahead of me. In fact Science Week started in earnest for me last week with a school visit to Castletroy College in Limerick.

For this year’s Science Week I’ll be presenting some brand new superhero-superpower based research from researchers around the world, some of whom I know from my research career in the Netherlands and Ireland.

There’ll be lots of clips and references to the films, in particular the upcoming superhero films such as Justice League, which is released this coming week, Black Panther, which is out in February, and of course the film all superhero fans are talking about – Avengers: Infinity War.

First off this week I’m going to be in Ennis, Co. Clare to talk about the “Secrets of Superhero Science”. If you’re in the area and interested in hearing about some fascinating superhero-based science then drop by.

Over the coming days I’ll keep you updated on my progress as I make my way around Ireland for Science Week 2017.

Think Super.

BWF

Galway International Arts Festival and The Power of Superheroes

My adventures in the superhero world has thus far afforded me the opportunity to speak at events and locations that I could never have anticipated. From speaking at Dutch Comic Con to hosting a conference on Superhero Science at TU Delft, it really has one great experience after another.

Last weekend I added an arts festival to the list as I spoke on a panel as part of the Galway Arts International Festival. The panel entitled “The Power of Superheroes” and took place at the Bailey Allen Theatre on the NUI Galway campus. I shared the stage with some inspiring speakers and contributors as Jen Coppinger, Maura McHugh, Declan Shalvey and myself spoke for one hour about the superhero genre. Conversation ranged from the definition of a hero to the impact of ethics on the superhero genre. Although we only spoke for an hour I think we could have spoken for four or five hours. The conversation flowed and the superhero chatter was inspiring. An audience of almost 100 people listened attentively and contributed some great questions for open discussion.

In terms of my superhero adventure thus far this is right up there as one of the highlights and I hope to get the chance to speak once more in the future at the Galway International Arts Festival. For those who have yet to attend the festival please consider adding it to your future agendas. The line up this year was magnificent with music from all genres, art, performances and talks. Musicians such as Brian Wilson, Passenger and The Coronas performed over the course of the two weeks. The festival is a great advertisement for the city of Galway.

BWF

Secrets of Superhero Science at IFoT

With Wonder Woman being released in cinemas around the world this month, many of you might be dreaming of super-strength, bullet-proof bracelets or even the lasso of truth.

On Wednesday 7th June, the symposium ” Secrets of Superhero Science” will take place at TU Delft as part of the International Festival of Technology (IFoT). This symposium will focus on Superhero Science and the possibility of creating superpowers in the future including bulletproof materials that could replicate Wonder Woman’s bulletproof bracelets.

It’s been a real adventure putting the event together in conjunction with the great team involved in the organisation of the IFoT in Delft. I’ve got to say I’m very much looking forward to hosting the event, hearing what the speakers have to say about their work and how their work relates to creating superpowers and hearing from the audience during and after the event.

I promise a fun, entertaining and educational event and I hope to see you there.

BWF

 

NRC Weekend Covers the Secrets of Superhero Science

It’s just under 2 and half weeks from the Secrets of Superhero Science symposium at the International Festival of Technology, and I’ve got to say I’m pretty excited about it. The preparations are going well and I’ve spoken to all of the speakers over the last few weeks. I can’t wait to hear what they have to say and hopefully there’ll be a big crowd present on the day to hear about their amazing research and the link with superpower technologies.

In the lead up to the event I’m hoping that there’ll be some media coverage. Over the past weekend the first article about the conference was published in the NRC Weekend on the page “De Kleine Wetenschap”, a page of articles on science for younger readers. The article was written by Karel Berkhout. You can find the article below. However it’s in Dutch so my apologises to those without Dutch.

BWF