Marvel Studios has taken a bunch of moldy old comic book characters that aren't Batman and managed to turn them into a billion-dollar industry. Most of this success seems to stem from the "cut and paste" method of filmmaking, because there are some weirdly specific situations that keep showing up in all their movies.
#5. Iron Man and Captain America Have Mentors That May as Well Be the Same Person
Tony Stark wakes up in a cave swarming with terrorists and meets a guy called Yinsen, a scientist who has been taken prisoner. Steve Rogers meets a German called Dr. Erksine, a scientist working as a researcher for the U.S. military during World War II. As far as we can tell, these roles were played by the same actor.
"We come six to a pack at Costco."
They do their best to help the heroes using their beards, glasses, and foreign accents.
And they are immediately murdered for their trouble.
So if you're a scrawny, vaguely foreign dude with a thin beard ... maybe don't worry about saving for retirement.
This upsets the heroes.
Who then wreak terrible vengeance on those responsible.
#4. Planes Keep Having One Wing Smashed Off by Superheroes
The planes in these films keep experiencing the same Luke Skywalker-eque delimbing.
In Iron Man, the titular man of iron smashes a wing off a jet in the middle of his terrorist-murdering spree:
The Hulk tears a wing off a stationary jet to fling it at Thor in The Avengers.
Hulk then decides to visit the same fate on an airborne jet about 10 minutes later, because Hulk breathes explosions like oxygen.
At this point, Hulk-related damage is responsible for around 30 percent of the national debt.
Nick Fury even manages to blow a plane's wing off with a rocket launcher despite having nothing in the way of depth perception, because fucking up jets is apparently part of the Avengers' mission statement.
#3. A Big Powerful Guy Chases a Redhead Down a Narrow Corridor
In the first Iron Man movie, Pepper Potts is looking for Obadiah Stane in a spooky robot factory when Obadiah pops up wearing his Go-Bot ripoff suit and chases her down an electronics-laden hallway, smashing everything within range of his angry metal fists.
The Dude was less laid back in his later years.
In The Avengers, Black Widow attempts to reason with Hulk in a spooky Helicarrier interior when he rages out and chases her down an electronics-laden hallway, smashing everything within range of his radioactive caveman fury.
#2. Iron Man and Captain America Both Sacrifice Themselves to Save New York from Nuclear Weapons
At the end of Captain America, Cap is stuck in a plane loaded with nukes destined to hit New York.
The city where all Americans live and work.
Meanwhile, at the end of The Avengers, Iron Man intercepts a nuke sent by S.H.I.E.L.D. to bathe New York in atomic fire.
Both of them know they must sacrifice themselves to save the only city Marvel Studios cares about, so they each put a picture of their red-headed girlfriend in front of them.
When it comes to stopping a nuclear holocaust, blondes just don't cut it.
Cap steers the plane into the Arctic, while Iron Man flies the nuke into outer space, both heroically giving up their own lives to save millions. Except of course they both miraculously survive for reasons that are never fully explained.
Although it's true that drunks are more likely to survive a fall.
#1. Everyone Jumps onto Steel Grate Walkways Over Explosions
In virtually every Marvel Studios production, someone jumps over an explosion onto a steel grate walkway.
In The Incredible Hulk, Bruce Banner is trying to take things easy by working in a dangerous Brazilian juice factory in the middle of an inexplicably hostile favela. When the villain shows up to capture him, Bruce hulks out and chucks a forklift at the guy, who manages to leap off the resulting explosion onto a steel walkway.
In Captain America, Cap is rescuing his hetero life mate Bucky from a self-destructing factory. Bucky has to walk across a beam while a shitstorm of explosions tries to swallow him from below.
At that point in World War II, this could have been a sidewalk in any German city.
The beam collapses and Bucky leaps over the explosions onto a steel grate walkway.
Not to be outdone, Cap immediately jumps even further, over an even bigger explosion, onto the same steel walkway.
He then cheekily leaps over a tiny explosion onto a steel grate in The Avengers.
Iron Man 3, however, contains the biggest collection of steel walkways known to cinema.
Steel walkways are to superhero movies what the Italian desert was to cowboy movies.
And the entire third act of the film is spent blowing them all up.
And lord fucking help the man who told Marvel Studios they weren't going to have people jumping from one walkway to another over those explosions for a solid 20 minutes.
So there you have it. The entire Marvel cinematic universe is just one big whisper campaign against the steel walkway industry. But who is the puppet master pulling the strings? We'll have to wait until The Avengers 2 to find out if these are the machinations of Big Ladder.
Lachlan tweets about his thrilling life spent obsessively watching comic book movies.