In a movie year marked by a raft of famous genre franchises, the Marvelverse is set once again to lead the way. What Marvel calls its interlocking "Marvel Cinematic Universe" features the return of the Avengers, and a quirky new title, Ant-Man, coming on July 17.
Owing to a web of legal rights so complex it could have been knotted by one of Bond's diabolical nemeses, the official 007 series hasn't been able to use the character of iconic cat-stroking supervillain Ernst Stavro Blofeld since 1971's Diamonds are Forever.
With producer Kevin Feige and the other folks at the helm of Marvel Studios delivering a master class in franchise management, the Marvelverse is cruising ahead this year towards the end of its Phase Two.
In this era, with movies more globalized and insistently present in the culture than ever, three iconic cinematic figures are very much front and center, their latest movie outings from last year and this in the all-time top 10 in worldwide box office.
A favorite song can be like a favorite film. One can listen to a favorite song and seemingly never tire of listening to it. Just like one can watch a favorite film, and seemingly never tire of watching it.