Friday, June 20, 2014

The Marvel-Tarantino Connection: Connecting the Universes.

Once upon a 2 a.m. dreary, as I ponder weak and weary, over many a quaint and curious collection of pop culture lore...

As of late, I have been thinking very much about the nature of how interconnected things are in disparate films, like the fact that E.T. and Star Wars exist in the same universe, and how that applies to the creation of a complete storytelling galaxy.

To be fair, there are two major masters of this, one being Marvel, and the other being Quentin Tarantino. Marvel's contribution is, of course, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which references characters and events in:

  1. Iron Man (2008)
  2. The Incredible Hulk (2008)
  3. Iron Man 2 (2010)
  4. Thor (2011)
  5. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
  6. Marvel's The Avengers (2012)
  7. Iron Man 3 (2013)
  8. Thor: The Dark World (2013)
  9. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
As well as the upcoming films:
  1. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
  2. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
  3. Ant-Man (2015)
  4. Captain America 3 (2016)
Not to mention the Marvel One-Shots:
  1. The Consultant (Referencing Tony Stark, Abomination, and the Incredible Hulk, as well as the Avengers Initiative, 2011)
  2. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor's Hammer (Refers to...Thor... That transition could have been better, 2011)
  3. Item 47 (Which deals with the fallout in from the Battle of New York in The Avengers, 2012) 
  4. Agent Carter (Captain America and the founding of S.H.I.E.L.D., 2013)
  5. All Hail the King (Justin Hammer from Iron Man 2 as well as the Mandarin from Iron Man 3, 2014)
And, of course, the television series, both present:
  1. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
And upcoming:
  1. Agent Carter
  2. Daredevil
  3. Luke Cage
  4. Jessica Jones
  5. Iron Fist
  6. The Defenders
Bear in mind, these are just the projects that have been completed or announced within a period of eight years, from 2008 to 2016. Cohesively, these form a universe that has a complete origin story, as well as thousands of years of history. 

Quentin Tarantino's filmography connections are much more simple by comparison, but still very well executed.

For example:
  1. Vincent Vega (Pulp Fiction) and Vic Vega (Mr. Blonde, Reservoir Dogs) are brothers.
  2. Mr. White (Reservoir Dogs) talks about his former partner, Alabama, who appears in True Romance.
  3. Mia Wallace (Pulp Fiction) talks about a show pilot which bears an uncanny resemblance to the plot of Kill Bill.
  4. Lee Donowitz (True Romance) is the son of Donnie Donowitz (Inglorious Basterds.)
  5. Red Apple cigarettes (a fictitious brand) appear throughout Tarantino's work.
Therefore, it is fairly easy to see that both the works of Quentin Tarantino form one universe, fairly well defined, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe is an entirely deeper level of origin myth. That being said, I believe the two universes are connected, and here is my proof:

This is the tombstone shown for Nick Fury in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The epitaph read: "The Path of the Righteous Man..." Ezekiel 25:17. This is conclusive proof that the Bible in both the Pulp Fiction and Marvel Universes is the same, as Ezekiel 25:17 in our world reads:

"I will carry out great vengeance on them and punish them in my wrath. Then they will know I am the LORD, when I take vengeance upon them."

This is differentiated from the Marvel/ Tarantino Bible, as in that text, Ezekiel 25:17 reads:

"The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee."

As you can see, in the opening words "The path of the righteous man" only appear withing the Ezekiel passage from the Marvel/ Tarantino Universe, they simply are not anywhere within the scope or context of what is considered the contemporary Bible.

On its own, this is admittedly rather thin evidence for connecting two cinematic universes, but the dialogue concerning Jules' plans at the end of Pulp Fiction also backs up this theory. Specifically, Jules tells Vincent "First, I'm going to deliver this case to Marcellus, then, basically, I'm just going to walk the Earth." He also tells Ringo soon after "I'm trying real hard to be the shepherd" when he upends his own quoting of Ezekiel 25:17. Furthermore, we already know from the beginning of the film that he uses aliases, as he goes by the name of "Pitt" during Brett's interrogation. 

This then leaves us with a trained assassin, who is comfortable both with casual killing as well as a wide variety of spy trade-craft, including the crafting of alias. He also has what he considers a cosmic debt, and intends to become a force for good, as Jules said he planned to be "like Caine in Kung Fu walk from place to place, meet people, have adventures." My theory is that Jules Winnfield left the diner at the end of Pulp Fiction,  and over the course of fourteen years, and losing an eye in the process, transformed himself into the highly unorthodox head of S.H.I.E.L.D., making his first public appearance in Iron Man as Nick Fury.

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