Marvel Announces Famous Firsts: 75th Anniversary Masterworks Slipcase
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In celebration of Marvel Comics’ 75th Anniversary, Marvel proudly presents a deluxe collection of its 10 mightiest Masterworks hardcovers – plus the all-new, long-in-demand NOT BRAND ECHH VOL. 1 and the AVENGERS 75TH ANNIVERSARY BY ALEX ROSS POSTER signed by none other than Stan “The Man” Lee!

“This is one of the most epic collections Marvel has ever compiled. Not only do these Masterworks retell the origins of Marvel’s iconic heroes, but they are collected and presented in a gorgeous slipcase built to resemble the historic Avengers Mansion,” says David Gabriel, SVP Sales and Marketing. “If that wasn’t enough, this collection is coupled with a beautiful poster signed by Stan Lee. It doesn’t get grander then this!”

Each titanic tome in this limited-edition boxed set features a newly designed cover treatment and interlocking spine artwork, and the slipcase itself is patterned after stately Avengers Mansion!

MARVEL FAMOUS FIRSTS: 75TH ANNIVERSARY MASTERWORKS SLIPCASE SET arrives in local comic book retailers September 3rd and contains the following monumental Marvel collected moments:                                                                                      

CAPTAIN AMERICA VOL. 1 HC
264 pgs. – collecting Tales of Suspense #59-81

DAREDEVIL VOL. 1 HC
256 pgs. – collecting Daredevil #1-11

DOCTOR STRANGE VOL. 1 HC
328 pgs. – collecting Strange Tales #110-111 and  #114 – 141, and Amazing Spider-Man Annual  #2

NOT BRAND ECHH VOL. 1 HC
456 pgs. – collecting Not Brand Echh #1-13; and material from Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5,Avengers Annual #2, Daredevil Annual #1, Fantastic Four Annual  #5 and Sgt. Fury Annual #4.

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN VOL. 1 HC
272 pgs. – collecting Amazing Fantasy #15 and Amazing Spider-Man #1-10.

THE AVENGERS VOL. 1 HC
248 pgs. – collecting Avengers  #1-10

THE FANTASTIC FOUR VOL. 1 HC
272 pgs. – collecting Fantastic Four #1-10

THE INCREDIBLE HULK VOL. 1 HC
176 pgs. – collecting Hulk #1-6

THE INVINCIBLE IRON MAN VOL. 1 HC
208 pgs. – collecting Tales of Suspense #39-50

THE MIGHTY THOR VOL. 1 HC
280 pgs. – collecting Journey into Mystery #83-100

THE X-MEN VOL. 1 HC
248 pgs. – collecting X-Men #1-10

ESPN Unveils New College Football Ad Campaign
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The 2014-15 college football season marks the first to culminate with a true College Football Playoff.  To celebrate the occasion, ESPN debuts a series of spots showcasing the hope every college football fan has given this new, clean slate.  A diverse array of fans representing all 128 Football Bowl Subdivision schools are featured in the new series,  which kicks off with a 45-second spot titled “In Common.”

A second spot in the series highlights how the new bracket format may produce some non-traditional Cinderella teams.   These vignettes, along with several more to follow, are part of ESPN’s integrated “Who’s In?” campaign, running through the crowning of the National Champion in January 2015.

For three weeks, a team from ESPN traversed the country by bus and by plane, covering more than 8,000-miles and gathering more than 23 hours of footage for the “In Common” series.  Original footage captured during the tour will be used to develop additional spots as storylines emerge throughout the season.

“‘Who’s In?’ is about setting the stage for college football fans during what will be an historic regular season, said Emeka Ofodile, senior director of marketing. “It is a brand new era — in so many ways — and our goal was to frame the college football conversation all season long through the lens of the new Playoff.  Fans asked for it and now it is finally here.”

The first commercial features cameos from NFL players representing their alma maters including: San Francisco 49ers’ NaVorro Bowman for Pennsylvania State University, St. Louis Rams’ Sam Bradford for the University of Oklahoma, Chicago Bears’ Matt Forte for Tulane University, Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Dashon Goldson for University of Washington, Washington Redskins’ DeSean Jackson for the University of California, Berkeley; Jacksonville Jaguars’ Marcedes Lewis for the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Detroit Lions’ Golden Tate representing the University of Notre Dame.

Additional elements in the campaign include upcoming digital, social, print and out of home executions.

The campaign was developed in collaboration with creative agency Wieden + Kennedy New York and directed by Stacy Wall.  Wall has directed a number of ESPN spots over the years, including the recent “Time Zones” and “Global Issues” spots for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and “Born Into It” highlighting the similarities and differences of Manchester United and Manchester City fans for the “It’s Not Crazy, It’s Sports” campaign.

“Who’s In?” launched with “Different Ways In” on August 11.  Narrated by Florida State alumnus Burt Reynolds, more than 20 schools were represented with cameos from Jerry Jones, Jimmy Kimmel, Urban Meyer, Les Miles, Sam Bradford and JJ Watt.

ESPN will have exclusive coverage of the College Football Playoff beginning with the 2014-2015 season and featuring the four top teams as selected by the College Football Playoff Selection Committee. The Rose Bowl presented by Northwestern Mutual and the Allstate Sugar Bowl will host the first Playoff Semifinals, which will pit No. 1 versus No. 4 and No. 2 versus No. 3 on January 1, 2015. The winners of those two games will face off in the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on January 12, 2015.

Several Epcot Atmosphere Entertainment Shows to be Retired
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Several classic Epcot atmosphere entertainment shows have been reported to be retired at the end of Disney’s fiscal year. According to various reports the World Showcase Players will have its final performance September 25 while Off Kilter in Canada, Mo’Rockin in Morocco and the Spirit of America will be performing for the final time on September 27.

New entertainment groups are expected to replace these groups, but we have been unable to confirm what the new entertainment offerings will be at this time.

Adventures by Disney Launches Nashville Long Weekend Itinerary in 2015
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Adventures by Disney has added an additional “long weekend” itinerary to their destinations for 2015. The itinerary will be offered nine times in 2015. The home hotel for this itinerary is the Gaylord Opryland Resort.

The itinerary is as follows:

Day 1:

Welcome to Nashville

Enjoy a delightful breakfast at the hotel while meeting the other families who will share your adventure in Music City! Get settled in at the picturesque Gaylord Opryland Resort and take in some of its unforgettable atrium views.

Tour of Nashville Sites

Cruise around Nashville on a private motor coach and see some of the famous city’s most important landmarks and some of the iconic sites. Known as the Athens of the South, Nashville has over 200 years of rich history on display so don’t forget your camera.

Lunch in Downtown Nashville

Savor the culinary history of Nashville at an incredible local restaurant. Focused on fresh local ingredients and regional favorites, you’ll experience the edible delights of Southern cuisine. You’ll also get to make your very own BBQ sauce to take home!

The WSM Radio Station

Visit WSM, one of the world’s most famous country radio stations and home of the Grand Ole Opry, the world’s longest running radio program! The station opens its doors for an exclusive private visit where you’ll get to step up to the microphone and record a WSM station identification!

After-Hours Visit and Dinner at The Hermitage

Take a stroll through time as you visit The Hermitage, once home to President Andrew Jackson and now a museum of the antebellum South. You’ll get a fascinating private tour of the grounds including President Jackson’s tomb, and hear the rich and “spirited” stories of the Southern plantation. Try your hand at biscuit-making in the classic Southern style, do some traditional 1800′s square dancing and then sit down for a feast fit for a president!

Day 2:

Breakfast On Your Own

Select from many incredible restaurants at the Gaylord Opryland Resort, and see the wondrous architecture and spectacular atrium views that makes the resort such an enduring destination.

Performance at the Bluebird Café

Head over to The Bluebird Café for an inside look into the songwriting process at the spot where some of Country Music’s biggest stars got their start. During a private daytime session before the doors open, you’ll get the opportunity to meet professional songwriters in this intimate, famed performance space in a musical experience you can’t get anywhere else. You’ll learn how your favorite songs go from an idea to a masterpiece, and even get a private performance!

And once you’ve worked up an appetite, it’s time for a hearty lunch right there at The Bluebird Café!

RCA Studio B Tour & Recording Session

Walk the halls and learn how this revered studio was essential in the creation of the Nashville Sound. Once you’ve had your music history lesson, it’s time to record a song–in the same place that music legends created some of their biggest hits!

Dinner On Your Own in Downtown Nashville

Take to the streets of downtown Nashville to experience the bounty of culture and cuisine that the Music City is known for. With over 200 restaurants and music venues, there’s always something happening in downtown Nashville.

Day 3:

Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant- Downtown Nashville

Experience down-home comfort food with breakfast at Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant. With rustic favorites elevated to incredible heights of flavor, this is sure to be an unforgettable country breakfast.

Hatch Show Print

Hatch Show Print has been making concert handbills for more than a century, a longevity credited to the simplicity and beauty of the Hatch family’s letterpress prints. With a visit to the print shop, you’ll learn the long history of this printing process and see some of its most iconic creations. You’ll even get to create your own print to take home in your own private print class!

Ryman Auditorium Guided Visit

Pay your respects to Nashville’s musical legacy with a visit to the “Mother Church of Country Music” at the Ryman Auditorium. The original home of the Grand Ole Opry radio show, today the Ryman is registered as a National Historic Landmark.

Lunch On Your Own

There’s no shortage of amazing food to try in Nashville, so use this opportunity to check another restaurant off your list! Choose from casual-yet-famous barbecue spots and burger joints to family restaurants and upscale southern dining, whatever you’re hankerin’ for! And if you need a little direction, your Adventure Guides are more than happy to point you in the direction of some real stand-out eats!

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Your Adventure Guides will provide tickets to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and you’re free to explore it on your own! With thousands of pieces of country music history housed, there’s way more to discover than any single tour could cover. So make your own way and dive deep into the rich and compelling history of country music!

Show and Backstage at the Grand Ole Opry

Take a trip to see “The Show That Made Country Music Famous” with an evening at the Grand Ole Opry! First, head backstage for a peek behind the curtains of an American landmark—and one of the most famous radio shows ever! Then head to Studio A—also located backstage—for your private farewell dinner. Then it’s time to kick up your heels with some line-dancing before you settle into your premium seats and enjoy the show!

Day 4:

Breakfast On Your Own

It’s your last chance to indulge in Nashville’s Southern cuisine with one final breakfast on your own or at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. Be sure to make it count!

Transportation to Airport

After breakfast, wave goodbye to the Music City as we provide transportation back to the airport for your trip home.

Disney Day 8/28/14
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Every day is a Disney day.  Let’s find out how we are celebrating today with The Walt Disney Company:

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College Football season begins! The recently launched SEC Network, a national sports network devoted to the Southeastern Conference and operated by ESPN, will open its live game coverage with a doubleheader: No. 21 Texas A&M at No. 9 South Carolina at 6pm ET followed by Temple at Vanderbilt at 915pm ET.

D23 Members in Cleveland, take note. Tickets to the Member Night of the Newsies tour go on sale at 10am PT. Tickets include premium seating and a Q&A session with the cast. The member night in Cleveland takes place November 7 at 730pm.

A raid coupled with traitorous deeds threatens the safety of Everealm in two exhilarating back-to-back episodes of “The Quest,” airing from 8:00-10:00 p.m., ET/PT on the ABC. First, Castle Saenctum is in jeopardy when there is an enemy attack on the outer walls in “Under Siege.” As danger looms, will the Paladins be prepared for the assault or must Ansgar be forced to intervene? One team will fail and must face the most grueling Fates challenge yet. The threat continues in “A Traitor in Saenctum,” as a spy sent from the dark army infiltrates the castle. A demanding physical challenge tests both the focus and the diligence of the Paladins. While some succeed, others are left empty handed. Patience is tested in the challenge before the Fates ultimately leaving only six Paladins to continue the quest to be named the “One True Hero.”

As always, stay tuned to LaughingPlace.com and @Laughing_Place on Twitter for the latest Disney news all day long.

Marvel Announces Star Wars Legends Epic Collection Trade Paperback Series
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Marvel is excited to announce the release of an oversized dose of a galaxy far, far, away – Star Wars comics are coming to Marvel’s prestigious Epic Collection format - STAR WARS LEGENDS EPIC COLLECTION: THE EMPIRE VOL. 1 TPB.

Let the dark times begin! Marvel welcomes Star Wars to the Epic Collection program, with this first volume of a series focusing on the years that follow Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith! After the end of the Clone Wars, the Republic has fallen and Palpatine exerts his ruthless grip on his new Galactic Empire. Now, the few Jedi that remain must decide whether to hold true to their faith, or abandon it completely in the face of a brutal purge — one carried out by the new Dark Lord of the Sith. Rise, Darth Vader!

“We’re thrilled to be bringing our innovative Epic Collections to a galaxy far, far away,” says Marvel SVP Sales & Marketing David Gabriel. “We’ll be bouncing around to different periods of Star Wars history with each Epic Collection, constructing one huge tapestry, collecting full unbroken runs of all the greatest Star Wars comics from the past 35 years.”

STAR WARS LEGENDS EPIC COLLECTION: THE EMPIRE VOL. 1 TPB. will offer a new way for fans to collect and read iconic Star Warsstories across the past 35 years of published titles. These oversized, self-contained color collections will bring the adventures of the Rebellion, the Galactic Empire and more to the masses with exciting new Epic Collections.

COLLECTING: STAR WARS: REPUBLIC 78-80, STAR WARS: PURGE 1, STAR WARS: PURGE — SECONDS TO DIE 1, STAR WARS: PURGE — THE HIDDEN BLADE 1, STAR WARS: PURGE — THE TYRANT’S FIST 1-2, STAR WARS: DARTH VADER AND THE LOST COMMAND 1-5, STAR WARS: DARK TIMES 1-5

AUTHOR: JOHN OSTRANDER, RANDY STRADLEY, HADEN BLACKMAN, ALEXANDER FREED

ARTIST: LUKE ROSS , DOUGLAS WHEATLEY, JIM HALL, CHRIS SCALF, MARCO CASTIELLO, ANDREA CHELLA, RICK LEONARDI

 

Walt Disney World Highlights Holiday Offerings
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Starting November 7 and through the merriest weeks that follow, guests of Walt Disney World Resort and Disney Cruise Line will find themselves in a wintry wonderland that blends yuletide traditions and holiday cheer.

Highlights of the merry celebrations include:

Magic Kingdom

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party: Beginning at 7 p.m. (after regular park hours) from Nov. 7 – Dec. 19, guests with special event tickets to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party can enjoy all the festive splendor with lively stage shows featuring Disney characters in their holiday best, a unique parade for the season and favorite holiday traditions including complimentary cookies and hot cocoa, and snow flurries on Main Street, U.S.A. The fun continues with a holiday “Celebrate the Magic” castle projection show andHoliday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season nighttime fireworks spectacular. Tickets for this event may be purchased online at WaltDisneyWorld.com or by calling 407/WDW- 7679.

Entertainment, Fireworks and More: Santa’s elves have transformed the Magic Kingdom into a winter wonderland with festive wreaths, bows, garland, sparkling lights, parades and towering Christmas trees. The fun includes Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season nighttime fireworks spectacular, plus live entertainment with Disney characters all dressed up for the holidays.

Jungle Cruise Goes ‘Jingle Cruise’: For the holiday season, the iconic Jungle Cruise will temporarily transform into “Jingle Cruise” for Magic Kingdom guests with festive decor in the attraction queue and boathouse, holiday names for the Jungle Cruise boats and a slew of seasonal jokes from the Skippers. This seasonal takeover of the attraction debuts Nov. 7 in Adventureland.

Castle Dream Lights on Cinderella Castle: Cinderella Castle transforms into a glimmering ice palace for the holidays — thanks to a special effects spectacle bathing the castle in 200,000 shimmering white lights. Magic Kingdom guests are treated nightly to the dramatic castle celebration and stage show.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights: This massive seasonal display features millions of dancing lights, plus animated displays and 3-D effects perfectly synchronized to electrifying holiday tunes amidst snowfall. The rich tradition takes place on the Streets of America, dazzling guests from November 7, 2014 – January 4, 2015.

Epcot

Candlelight Processional is one of the most beloved holiday traditions Walt Disney World Resort, with the joyous retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator, accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and glorious mass choir. Performances are at 5, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m.*

  • Jodi Benson     11/28 – 11/29
  • Neil Patrick Harris     11/30 – 12/2
  • TBD     12/3 – 12/4
  • Whoopi Goldberg     12/5 – 12/6
  • TBD     12/7* – 12/8
  • TBD     12/9 – 12/11
  • TBD     12/12 – 12/14
  • Sharon Stone NEW!     12/15 – 12/17
  • Ana Gasteyer NEW!     12/18 – 12/20
  • Marlee Matlin     12/21 – 12/23
  • TBD     12/24 – 12/25
  • TBD     12/26 – 12/27
  • Steven Curtis Chapman     12/28 – 12/30

Please note that narrators are subject to change without notice. *Show Times on December 7 are 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. only.

Guests may purchase Candlelight Dining Packages to reserve a seat at the Candlelight Processional. These packages, available on select nights, include a delicious meal, a guaranteed seat for one of the Candlelight Processional performances and a pre-arranged location for fireworks viewing. Guests may call 407.WDW DINE for reservations or visit www.disneyworld.com. Availability is limited.

JOYFUL! A Gospel Celebration of the Season blends the soulful expressiveness of Gospel and inspirational music with the sounds of jazz, R&B and urban music daily from November 28 – December 29 at the Future World Fountain Stage.

The World Showcase Promenade comes alive with IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth that incorporates a unique finale celebrating the season. The song “Let There Be Peace on Earth” and a TBD narrator who offers a special message of peace and good will nightly at 9:30 p.m.

Other festive holiday offerings include the Gingerbread Village at The Land pavilion, which showcases sweet recreations of Walt Disney World Resort’s theme park icons, plenty of holiday merchandise and food and beverage offerings around World Showcase, and guests can celebrate each country’s holiday traditions with storytellers at each pavilion during Holidays Around the World:

  • Canada – The Canadian Holiday Voyageurs
  • United Kingdom – Father Christmas
  • France – Père Noël
  • Morocco – Taarji, a Moroccon drummer and the holiday of Ramadan
  • Japan – Story of the Daruma Doll and the Japanese customs of the New Year
  • American Adventure – Mr. & Mrs. Claus, Hanukkah traditions and Kwanzaa celebrations
  • Italy – La Befana, the kindhearted witch who grants gifts to good children
  • Germany – Helga and the story of the First Christmas tree and her first Nutcracker
  • China – Monkey King tells tall tales celebrating Chinese New Year
  • Norway — Sigrid and the story of Julenissen, the Christmas Gnome

Downtown Disney & Walt Disney World Resort hotels

Starting in November, Festival of the Seasons returns to Downtown Disney with joyous holiday entertainment and festive décor, as well as a meet and greet with the jolly man himself, Santa Claus. The Walt Disney World Resort hotels are all glittery for the season, as well, with merry décor, gingerbread houses and more. Guests will find a sugary showcase of holiday displays throughout the magical resort hotels. From enhancing visual feasts created from all kinds of sweets to refreshing stops offering tasty beverages and treats, each display has its own charming features.

Disney Cruise Line

Disney Cruise Line adds sparkle to each ship, beginning late November through the new year, with traditional “Turkey Day” fanfare, Christmas feasts, “snow flurries,” New Year’s Eve galas and Disney friends dressed for the occasion.

Special stem-to-stern holiday events include a tree lighting in the atrium lobby, visits from Santa Claus and his elves, family holiday crafts, tropical deck parties, holiday storytellers and more. When the ships stop at Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay, the celebration continues with “snow flurries,” a decked-out Christmas tree, Disney character meet-and-greets and holiday island music. Christmas services will be held on Christmas Day with a midnight mass on Christmas Eve, and Hanukkah services will be held each day, Dec. 16 to Dec. 24.

During special Thanksgiving voyages, guests will enjoy a bountiful feast with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and friends dressed in traditional Thanksgiving attire. To ring in 2015, voyages include a special New Year’s Eve party, complete with music, sparkling wine in commemorative flutes and a midnight countdown.

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit www.disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at 888-325-2500 or contact a travel agent.

Adventures by Disney

Get ready for a Wild West winter journey with the entire family with Adventures by Disney. Winter in Wyoming includes dog sledding, campfires and hot springs – and that’s just the beginning. Guests will explore the wilderness like a real cowboy on a vacation to remember:

  • “Mush” through the snow-covered terrain of the Wyoming wilderness on a Yellowstone winter tour. Traverse trails of pristine powder on your way to gorgeous panoramic views, erupting geysers and, after a vigorous day, soak in a natural hot spring.
  • Evening Sleigh Ride: Savor a picturesque sunset among the Tetons as you bundle up for a cozy sleigh ride and stop for hot beverages and appetizers ’round a crackling campfire.
  • Yellowstone’s Winter Wonderland: Discover the glory of winter in Yellowstone National Park with its snow-covered mountains, steaming geysers and majestic wildlife roaming the countryside.
  • Iditarod Dog Sledding: Learn the art of “mushing” against a backdrop of powdery white snow while a team of enthusiastic sled dogs guides you through the Wyoming wilderness.

For more information, visit AdventuresByDisney.com/WinterWonderland

Marvel Introduces New Sci-Fi Spider-Man in Edge of Spider-Verse #3
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The Spider-Verse inches ever closer as every Spider-Man from every universe prepares for multiversal war against a common foe. Today, Marvel is proud to present your first look at EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE #3 – the next chapter is the blockbuster 5-issue mini-series showcasing a new creative team and new spider character each issue! Rising star Dustin Weaver (INFINITYAvengers) pullstriple duty as he writes, draws and colors a brand new creation – Dr. Aaron Aikman: Spider-Man!

“Unlike Peter, he chose to be Spider-Man,” says Weaver of his new creation, in an interview with Marvel.com. “He did it himself, to become a hero for his city. I guess that says a lot about the character of my Spider-Man. He’s got a big ego and being good at being Spider-Man is a point of pride. He doesn’t struggle with responsibility. He enjoys it. Other than his origin being different, he also has a completely different cast of supporting characters and villains.”

As Aikman dons the helmet of his Spider-Man suit composed of bleeding-edge technology, he confronts the evil that plagues his New York City. As the villainous Red Eye and Naahmurah wreak havoc on his world, only Spider-Man stands capable of saving the day! But is he prepared for the onslaught of Spider-Verse and the coming of Morlun? Find out when the wildly imaginative sci-fi Spider-Man makes his debut in EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE #3 this September!

Plus, don’t miss out on these exciting Edge of Spider-Verse tie-in issues of your favorite ongoing series:

  • Superior Spider-Man #32 & #33
  • Amazing Spider-Man #7 & #8
  • Spider-Man 2099 #5
Robert Downey Jr. Says Guardians of the Galaxy is Best Marvel Movie
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According to a London Report, Robert Downey Jr. has stated that Guardians of the Galaxy is the best of the 10 Marvel movies released to date:

Guardians of the Galaxy deserves to be ranked number one among the 10 movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, according to Robert Downey Jr.

Cue the gasps. Be astounded. I certainly was when Downey proclaimed his love for the mega-hit in an interview triggered by the coming world premiere of The Judge at the Toronto International Film Festival. “Galaxy in some ways is the best Marvel movie ever,” Downey says with admiration. “And it’s odd for someone with — on occasion — an ego the size of mine to actually say that!”

Robert Downey Jr. will return to the role of Tony Stark in Avengers: Age of Ultron when it is released next May.


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