Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Before They Were Heroes (MCU)

You won’t typically see us with any shortage of Marvel content. But while we wait for the premiere of Moon Knight, we’re in a bit of an MCU drought. With how far the Marvel Cinematic Universe has come since Iron Man started the show (or Spider-Man if you want to count 2003 as the beginning). I wanted to take a step back and look at where our heroes were before they became the Avengers.

Chris Evans (Captain America) - Fantastic Four

Before he was Steve Rogers, Chris Evans was already a superhero. Back in the day, he played Johnny Storm in Fox’s first iteration of Fantastic Four. As the Human Torch, we saw him “flame on” in 2005 against Julian McMahon (before he played Jonah in Runaways). At the time, Chris Evan was also known for playing one of the exes in Scott Pilgrim.

Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner) - 13 Going on 30

He wasn’t the MCU’s first Hulk, but he is the one we’ve come to love. Before he first hulked out, he was the best friend/love interest in this 2004 romcom. As grown up Matt Flamhaff, it was his influence that showed Jennifer Garner she shouldn’t have wished to grow up so fast. A must see movie for anyone who thinks they grew up too fast and I shamelessly watched it for my 30th birthday last year.

Scarlett Johnansson (Black Widow) - The Prestige

Before Natasha stepped onto the scene in Iron Man 2, she was the lovely stage assistant Olivia in The Prestige. I remember going to see this movie with my brothers and it was trippy! Weird to look back now and see Black Widow in a magic act. She also voiced Princess Mindy in the Spongebob Squarepants movie, if you’re a Spongebob fan.

Chris Hemsworth (Thor) - Star Trek

Before he became the God of Thunder, Chris Hemsworth was a Starfleet captain (albeit for 5 minutes) caught in the middle of a battle against enemies from the future. During his short time as captain of the ship, his wife (played by Jennifer Morrison, Emma Swan) gave birth to the famous Captain Kirk.

Paul Rudd (Ant-Man) - Friends

There are so many wonderful shows and movies I could reference in talking about Paul Rudd. Supporting roles in Perk of Being a Wallflower and Night at the Museum and a recurring role in Parks and Rec. But as it’s me, I’m going to reference his character from Friends: Mike Hannigan. He came out of nowhere towards the tail end of the series. Literally came out of nowhere. Joey basically called out a random name and Paul Rudd responded. He eventually became Phoebe’s soulmate and they were married by the end of the series. Also, does he ever age?

Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange) - The Hobbit

Depends on your social circle but I feel like our beloved Stephen Strange is best known as Sherlock, but Trekkies might remember that he played the rebooted Khan. But one of his biggest things before Doctor Strange was when he voiced the dragon Smaug in The Hobbit trilogy. You may have your opinions on how well the trilogy was done, but I think we can agree he was a great dragon.

Of course we could also address other heroes like Star-Lord or Gamora, but I figured we’d save their previous lives for another day. After writing this, now I just want to go watch the Star Trek movies again. And The Prestige.

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