"What if the Marvel Entertainment Monolith never happened?" That alternate historical premise might sound insane to you if you were born after the turn of the millennium. But here's two things you Post-9/11 Babies may not know: "Y2K" was a big weird panic that's funny in hindsight, and Iron Man used to be a niche unknown thing. Within the past 11 years, random comics characters like Captain America and a raccoon with a gun went from minor doodles to global megastars. And on this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by two full-on comics experts (Cracked's own Cyriaque Lamar and comedy's own Joey Clift) for a look back at how the dominant entertainment property of the 2010s sprang from one low-level Marvel employee and a whole bunch of lucky breaks. Discover the handful of left-field casting decisions, little kid focus groups, and Samuel L. Jackson dogged obsessions that sent billions of dollars flying in whole new directions and changed your past decade of moviegoing.

Footnotes:

Simu Liu on Twitter in December 2018: "OK @Marvel, are we gonna talk or what #ShangChi"

Simu Liu replying to that tweet, in July 2019: "Well shit."

5 Reasons The Marvel Cinematic Universe Should Have Failed (Cracked)

The 5 Weirdest Choices The MCU Almost Made (Cracked)

6 Big Marvel Characters No One Cared About Before The Movies (Cracked)

Marvel Looks Back at Iron Man-the Movie That Started It All (Vanity Fair)

How Iron Man's first film almost destroyed Marvel (DigitalSpy)

Quesada Reveals "Deadpool" Director's Role in Making "Iron Man" Film (CBR)

Dane Cook Sent An Apology Letter To Marvel Casting After His Captain America Audition (Cinema Blend)

Fantastic Four film series (F4 Wikia)

Ioan Gruffudd (IMDb)

Horatio Hornblower miniseries, Collector's Edition Box Set (Amazon)

Terrigen Mist (Marvel Wikia)

Why X-Men Won't Give Us Any More Mutants (Cinema Blend)

The Wild Way Samuel L. Jackson Got The Role Of Marvel's Nick Fury (Cinema Blend)

How 'X-Men: The Last Stand' Nearly Destroyed the Comic Book Film Franchise (Pop Matters)

Disney and Marvel want you to forget about Ike Perlmutter (Fast Company)

The First Public Photograph Of Marvel's Ike Perlmutter In Over Thirty-Five Years (BleedingCool

Spider-Man Was Almost in Avengers: Age of Ultron (IGN)

Joss Whedon Shot FX Plates For Captain Marvel In Age Of Ultron (BirthMoviesDeath)

The Two Marvel Roles Emily Blunt Turned Down, And Why (Cinema Blend)

ANOTHER 'IRON MAN 2' DEAL: Scarlett Johannson To Replace Emily Blunt As Black Widow For Lousy Lowball Money (gossip-y 2009 version of Deadline.com)

The Battle of New York: An 'Avengers' Oral History (Thrillist)

Andrew Garfield's 'Spider-Man' Was Considered For Marvel Universe (ScreenRant)

6 Reasons "Kiss From A Rose" By Seal From 'Batman Forever' Is The Greatest Soundtrack Song, Because The '90s Were Never More Romantic (Bustle)

See us at the London Podcast Festival!

That's right: our first-ever Cracked Podcast in LONDON, with very special guests Robin Ince and Olga Koch. The show is one night only, and that night is this coming Sunday 8th September. Get your ticket right here!

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