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Three “Avengers” questions answered by “Marvel One-Shot: The Consultant”

the-consultant

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Last month, Marvel revealed plans to release a pair of short films aimed at tying up some of the loose plot threads left dangling by “Thor,” the “Iron Man” films, and the rest of the Marvel movie-verse in the lead-up to “The Avengers.”

The first of these short films, “Marvel One-Shot: The Consultant,” is included as a bonus feature on the “Thor” Blu-Ray. However, since the Blu-Ray has arrived a little early in some countries, “The Consultant” has already found its way online.

Not only does the four-minute short bridge the gap between “Iron Man 2” and “The Incredible Hulk,” it also answers three big questions that fans have been buzzing about as we get closer to “The Avengers.” You can watch the video below for yourself, but you’ll want to pay extra-close attention to make sure these three elements come through loud and clear:

Q: What happened to Emil “The Abomination” Blonsky after “The Incredible Hulk”?

A: According to “The Consultant,” Blonsky (played by Tim Roth in the 2008 film) is “in custody in General Ross’ sector.” In the aftermath of Blonsky’s rampage, the government pinned the blame on Bruce Banner and the military secretly took “war hero” Blonsky into custody. “They want him exonerated, released , and then added to the [Avengers] roster,” explains S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) in the short.

Q: Why did Tony Stark approach Gen. Ross in the post-credits scene from “The Incredible Hulk” instead of Nick Fury?

A: As we learn in “The Consultant,” Agent Coulson managed to avoid a direct order to add Blonsky to the Avengers roster by sending Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) to make the request of Gen. Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross (William Hurt). Knowing that Stark and Ross would definitely not play nice together, this ensured that negotiations for Blonsky’s involvement would fall apart, removing the need to add him to the team.

Q: What is Tony Stark’s status with The Avengers Initiative?

A: In “Iron Man 2,” we learned that Tony Stark wasn’t being brought on as a member of Nick Fury’s “Avengers Initiative,” but would instead serve as a “consultant” for the team. Given what we see in “The Consultant” of the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents’ attitude toward Stark and the scene involving Stark and Ross, we’re starting to get a much clearer picture of Iron Man will fit in the upcoming “Avengers” team-up movie. While that doesn’t mean he won’t be a full-time Avenger by the end of the film, it seems somewhat certain atthis point that he won’t begin the film as an Avenger — which could mean Captain America will indeed be the group’s leader when the team makes its big-screen debut.

What did you think of “The Consultant” short film from Marvel? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Thank Azaria

Best. Characters. Ever.

Our favorite Hank Azaria characters.

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GIFs via Giphy

Hank Azaria may well be the most prolific voice and character actor of our time. The work he’s done for The Simpsons alone has earned him a permanent place in the pop culture zeitgeist. And now he’s bringing another character to the mainstream: a washed-up sports announcer named Jim Brockmire, in the aptly titled new series Brockmire.

We’re looking forward to it. So much so that we want to look backward, too, with a short-but-sweet retrospective of some of Azaria’s important characters. Shall we begin?

Half The Recurring Simpsons Characters

He’s Comic Book Guy. He’s Chief Wiggum. He’s Apu. He’s Cletus. He’s Snake. He’s Superintendent Chalmers. He’s the Sea Captain. He’s Kurt “Can I Borrow A Feeling” Van Houten. He’s Professor Frink. He’s Carl. And he’s many more. But most importantly he’s Moe Szyslak, the staple character Azaria has voiced since his very first audition for The Simpsons.

Oh, and He’s Frank Grimes

For all the regular Simpsons characters Azaria has played over the years, his most brilliant performance may have been a one-off: Frank Grimes, the scrappy bootstrapper who worked tirelessly all his life for honest, incremental, and easily-undermined success. Azaria’s portrayal of this character was nuanced, emotional, and simply magical.

Patches O’Houlihan

Dodgeball is a “sport of violence, exclusion and degradation.” as Hank Azaria generously points out in his brief but crucial cameo in Dodgeball. That’s sage wisdom. Try applying his “five D’s” to your life on and off the court and enjoy the results.

Harold Zoid

Of Futurama fame. The crazy uncle of Dr. Zoidberg, Harold Zoid was once a lion (or lobster) of the silver screen until Smell-o-vision forced him into retirement.

Agador

The Birdcage was significant for many reasons, and the comic genius of Hank Azaria’s character “Agador” sits somewhere towards the top of that list. If you haven’t seen this movie, shame on you.

Gargamel

Nobody else could make a live-action Gargamel possible.

Ed Cochran

From Ray Donovan. Great character, great last name [editorial note: the author of this article may be bias].

Kahmunra, The Thinker, Abe Lincoln

All in the Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian, a file that let Azaria flex his voice acting and live-action muscles in one fell swoop.

The Blue Raja

Mystery Men has everything, including a fatal case of Smash Mouth. Azaria’s iconic superhero makes the shortlist of redeemable qualities, though.

Dr. Huff

Huff put Azaria in a leading role, and it was good. So good that there is no good gif of it. Internet? More like Inter-not.

Learn more about Hank Azaria’s newest claim to fame right here, and don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Flame Out

Brockmire and Other Public Implosions

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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There’s less than a month until the Brockmire premiere, and to say we’re excited would be an insulting understatement. It’s not just that it stars Hank Azaria, who can do no wrong (and yes, that’s including Mystery Men, which is only cringeworthy because of Smash Mouth). It’s that the whole backstory of the titular character, Jim Brockmire, is the stuff of legends. A one-time iconic sportscaster who won the hearts of fans and players alike, he fell from grace after an unfortunate personal event triggered a seriously public meltdown. See for yourself in the NSFW Funny or Die digital short that spawned the IFC series:

See? NSFW and spectacularly catastrophic in a way that could almost be real. Which got us thinking: What are some real-life sports fails that have nothing to do with botched athletics and everything to do with going tragically off script? The internet is a dark and dirty place, friends, but these three examples are pretty special and mostly safe for work…

Disgruntled Sports Reporter

His co-anchor went offsides and he called it like he saw it.

Jim Rome vs Jim “Not Chris” Everett

You just don’t heckle a professional athlete when you’re within striking distance. Common sense.

Carl Lewis’s National Anthem

He killed it! As in murdered. It’s dead.

To see more moments just like these, we recommend spending a day in your pajamas combing through the muckiness of the internet. But to see something that’s Brockmire-level funny without having to clear your browser history, check out the sneak peeks and extras here.

Don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Mirror, Mirror

Portlandia Season 7 In Hindsight

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available Online and on the IFC App.

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Another season of Portlandia is behind us, and oh what a season it was. We laughed. We cried. And we chuckled uncomfortably while glancing nervously around the room. Like every season before it, the latest Portlandia has held a mirror up to ridiculousness of modern American life, but more than ever that same mirror has reflected our social reality in ways that are at once hysterical and sneakily thought-provoking. Here are just a few of the issues they tackled:

Nationalism

So long, America, Portland is out! And yes, the idea of Portland seceding is still less ludicrous than building a wall.

Men’s Rights

We all saw this coming. Exit gracefully, dudes.

Protests

Whatever you stand for, stand for it together. Or with at least one other person.

Free Love

No matter who we are or how we love, deep down we all have the ability to get stalky.

Social Status

Modern self-esteem basically hinges on likes, so this isn’t really a stretch at all.

These moments are just the tip of the iceberg, and much more can be found in the full seventh season of #Portlandia, available right now #online and on the #IFC app.

via GIPHY

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