A round-up of library, archives, and reel librarian scenes in MCU’s Phase Three

Phase three of our own Marvel Multiverse of Reel Librarians!

We are continuing this summer with our Marvel Multiverse of Reel Librarians. I’ve written a lot about library scenes in various Marvel movies on this site, so I am finally going back through all the Marvel movies, this time in phase order, and making sure I’ve watched, reviewed, and analyzed them all for any library, archives, and reel librarian scenes. So please join me as I wind my librarian way through the MCU! Browse the Phase One round-up, here for the Phase Two round-up, and we continue now with the Phase Three movies, which conclude the Infinity Saga.

*POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERTS*

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

No library scene.

After the U.N. passes the Sokovia Accords in order to regulate oversight and accountability for the Avengers (and the damage they cause), the Avengers break up; Steve Rogers rebels against the regulations, while Tony Stark feels that the regulations are necessary. It features the first appearances of Tom Holland as Spider-Man, the late Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther (sob), and Daniel Brühl as Helmut Zemo.

Doctor Strange (2016)

In this movie, Dr. Stephen Strange, an arrogant neurosurgeon, travels to the Kamar-Taj monastery to heal after a debilitating car accident. This movie also BEGINS with the murder of a reel librarian (!!!) and the theft of a library book from the “forbidden” section. And it marks the first onscreen appearance of Wong (the marvelous Benedict Wong, a Chinese-British actor), who becomes the new Kamar-Taj librarian — and becomes a fan favorite of the MCU! #TeamWong #WongVerse

Click on any image in the gallery below to view in a larger window.

Rewatching this movie, my husband and I were struck by how easily Wong engages in readers’ advisory after he reviews the books that Strange has returned:

Wong: You should start with Maxim’s Primer. How’s your Sanskrit?

Strange: I’m fluent in Google Translate.

Wong [grabs books off shelves and hands them to Strange]: Vedic, classical Sanskrit.

You can read additional details of the library and reel librarian scenes here in this prior post:

Sorcerer librarians of ‘Doctor Strange’

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

No library scene.

In this movie, Peter Quill / StarLord (Chris Pratt) meets his father, Ego (Kurt Russell), and discovers the true meaning of family. Although there’s no library or archives scene, there are, however, several scenes — and a plot point! — featuring Yondu’s growing private collection of kitschy cute figurines and trinkets that he lines up on his console! His own private archive? 😉

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

I had TOTALLY forgotten that this movie had school library scenes!

In this movie, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) tries to balance being a high schooler and being “your friendly neighborhood” Spider-Man. Michael Keaton plays the main villain in this movie, Vulture, as well as the dad of the girl Peter has a crush on… AWKWARD.

School library scene #1

At 1 hr 37 minutes into the movie, Peter’s best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) is in the school library during Homecoming, on his laptop and tracking Peter’s phone while Peter goes after the baddie. The overhead lights are off, but we can see bookcases in the background, tables and chairs, desktop computers, a book cart, and periodical shelving along the back.

Using his own laptop plus a library computer, Ned helps Peter access the headlights in the car he’s driving. (I loved that while in the library, Ned essentially answered a research question during a chase scene!)

This two-minute scene ends when Ms. Warren (played by Selenis Leyva, who’s playing a teacher we had seen earlier in the film, so she’s not the school librarian) flips on the lights and confronts Ned.

Ms. Warren: What are you doing here? There’s a dance.

Ned [stuttering]: I’m looking at p0rn.

Click on any image in the gallery below to view in a larger window.

School library scene #2

At the end of the movie, at 1 hour and 56 minutes, we see a tiger mascot running past the windows of the school library, which is located across a cafeteria or snack area. The camera then pans down the bookcases and center tables, where the academic decathlon team is celebrating and appointing a new team captain.

Mr. Harrington: Congratulations decathlon champions! [Puts down a trophy.] I’m going to have to put this back in the trophy case soon, but just for motivation right now at this practice. I’m a little ahead of the game but we will need a new team captain next year. So I am appointing Michelle.

MJ: Uh, thank you. My friends call me MJ.

Ned: I thought you didn’t have any friends

MJ: I didn’t.

Peter [gets a text to meet up with Happy]: I gotta go.

MJ: Hey, where you going? What are you hiding, Peter? Just kidding, I don’t care. Ok, we should do some drills.

This scene lasts a minute, and it does make sense that this academic team meets up for practice in their school library!

Click on any image in the gallery below to view in a larger window.

School library film location

I looked at IMDb’s Filming & Production page for this movie, and there are 4 high schools listed as film locations:

  • Reseda High School in Los Angeles
  • Van Nuys High School in Los Angeles
  • Henry W. Grady High School in Atlanta
  • Franklin K. Lane High School in Brooklyn

The Movie Maps site shares that the Franklin K. Lane school was used for exteriors, and the Henry W. Grady school was used for several school interior scenes, including for school library scene #2.

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

No library scene.

This ends the streak of Thor-centered MCU movies having library scenes, as both Thor (2011) and Thor: The Dark World (2013) included key scenes set in libraries. (See my posts for MCU Phase One and for Phase Two for more info.)

In this movie, Mjolnir gets destroyed by Thor’s half-sister Hela (a gloriously evil Cate Blanchett), and Thor gets stranded on the planet Sakaar. Thor battles against the Hulk and teams up with Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) to return to Asgard in time to try and stop Hela and the prophecy of Ragnarök (the destruction of Asgard). This movie marks the first MCU movie directed by the hilarious and creatively inventive Taika Waititi.

Black Panther (2018)

No library scene.

In this movie, T’Challa / Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) returns home to Wakanda and, as a result of a long-buried family tragedy, has his throne challenged by Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan). Andy Serkis returns as Ulysses Klaue.

This movie, directed by Ryan Coogler, is also one of the absolute top tier MCU movies. Black Panther is the first (and only, thus far) MCU movie to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, as well as the first MCU movie to win an Oscar; it garnered 7 Oscar nominations and won 3, for Costume Design, Production Design, and Original Score. History-making wins, as costumer designer Ruth E. Carter and production designer Hannah Beachler were the first African Americans to win in their respective categories.

Rewatching this movie for this blog post series also marked the first time that I rewatched this movie since Chadwick Boseman’s death from colon cancer in 2020. RIP, Black Panther. #WakandaForever.

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

In this movie, the Avengers team up with the Guardians of the Galaxy to try to stop Thanos from collecting all of the Infinity Stones and fulfill his plan to wipe out half of all life in the galaxy.

We never get to see Wong the sorcerer librarian in his monastery library in this movie, but it is nice to see him using his librarian research skills to explain about the Infinity Stones, which helps set up the stakes — and the plot of the entire movie — to members of the Avengers, as well as to the audience. Wong also saves Iron Man’s life!

Stlll from 'Avengers: Infinity War' trailer
Wong is at the ready in Avengers: Infinity War

Read additional details of the library and reel librarians scenes here in this prior post:

First impressions: ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

No library scene.

Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), and Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) team up again, this time to retrieve Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) from the Quantum Realm. Like many MCU movies, this movie suffers from too many uncompelling villains.

Captain Marvel (2019)

This movie boasts an excellent archives scene, albeit with no archivist present.

In this movie, we see how Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) becomes Captain Marvel and discovers her powers. We also get introduced to the shape-shifting Skrulls and to Goose, the Flerken alien cat.

Using bits of fractured memories, Vers/Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel and Nick Fury go to a U.S. Air Force base to look up “Project Pegasus.” In the archives — which feature rows and rows and rows of neatly organized (and very accurate!) archival boxes — Vers easily finds the file she’s looking for. This archives scene is vital to the plot.

Click on any image in the gallery below to view in a larger window.

You can read additional details of this archives scene here in this prior post:

First impressions: ‘Captain Marvel’ and its archives scene

Avengers: Endgame (2019)

This movie picks up the pieces after Avengers: Infinity War, when Thanos snapped his fingers and killed half of all life in the galaxy. (Spoiler? 😉 ) The remaining Avengers team up again to face Thanos in one final stand to rewrite history.

No library scene, but we do get more of reel librarian Wong in this movie. Wong proves crucial to the final battle… and, you know, saving humanity.

I don’t think Wong really gets the credit or attention deserved for being the one who actually assembled the Avengers!

More details here in this post:

First impressions: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ (2019)

Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

No library scene.

In this movie, Peter Parker goes on a school trip to Europe, along with friends Ned and MJ. During the trip, he is recruited by Nick Fury to team up with new superhero-on-the-block Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal).

Unlike real-life librarians (see tweet below), high schoolers seemingly don’t want to visit libraries while on vacation. 😉

By the way, I had somehow missed watching this movie when it first came out! And because of the weirdness of how Sony still owns Spider-Man, but Marvel worked out a deal with Sony to also use the character, the Spider-Man movies are not included in the Disney+ streaming service. So that meant that I had to put a hold on this DVD from our local public library. Just adding that here as a plug for public libraries and their movie collections!

Keeping score

Phase One:

  • 6 movies
  • 2/6 library or archives scenes (The Incredible Hulk – university library, Thor – public library)
  • 0/6 reel librarian sightings

Phase Two:

  • 6 movies
  • 1/6 library or archives scenes (Thor: The Dark World – college library)
  • 0/6 reel librarian sightings

Phase Three:

  • 11 movies
  • 3/11 library or archives scenes (Doctor Strange – Kamar-Taj library, Spider-Man: Homecoming – school library, Captain Marvel – U.S. Air Force archives)
  • 3/11 reel librarian sightings (Doctor Strange, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame – all Wong!)

Note: Except for Doctor Strange, the movies in this phase either included a library or archives but had no corresponding librarian or archivist, or vice versa, with a reel librarian never seen in a library.

Overall (thus far):

  • 23 movies
  • 6/23 library or archives scenes
  • 3/23 reel librarian sightings

The Avengers will return…

… in our next regular post! 😀 We will continue our Marvel Multiverse of Reel Librarians for Phase Four. Stay tuned!

Sources used

  • Ant-Man and the Wasp. Dir. Peyton Reed. Perf. Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Peña, Hannah John-Kamen. Marvel Studios / Disney, 2018.
  • Avengers: Endgame. Dir. Anthony Russo and Joe Russo. Perf. Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Josh Brolin. Marvel Studios / Disney, 2019.
  • Avengers: Infinity War. Dir. Anthony Russo and Joe Russo. Perf. Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Josh Brolin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Benedict Wong. Marvel Studios / Disney, 2018.
  • Black Panther. Dir. Ryan Coogler. Perf. Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, Angela Bassett, Letitia Wright, Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya. Marvel Studios / Disney, 2018.
  • Captain America: Civil War. Dir. Anthony Russo and Joe Russo. Perf. Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie. Marvel Studios / Disney, 2016.
  • Captain Marvel. Dir. Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. Perf. Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Annette Bening, Ben Mendelsohn, Jude Law, Lashana Lynch. Marvel Studios / Disney, 2019.
  • Doctor Strange. Dir. Scott Derrickson. Perf. Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tilda Swinton, Benedict Wong. Marvel Studios / Disney, 2016.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Dir. James Gunn. Perf. Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Kurt Russell. Marvel Studios / Disney, 2017.
  • List of Accolades Received by Black Panther (Film).” Wikipedia, 28 June 2022. Accessed 24 July 2022. CC BY SA 3.0 license.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase Three.” Wikipedia, 24 July 2022. Accessed 24 July 2022. CC BY SA 3.0 license.
  • Readers’ Advisory.” Wikipedia, 16 July 2022. Accessed 24 July 2022. CC BY SA 3.0 license.
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home. Dir. Jon Watts. Perf. Tom Holland, Jake Gyllenhaal, Zendaya, Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau. Marvel Studios / Disney, 2017.
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming. Dir. Jon Watts. Perf. Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau. Marvel Studios / Disney, 2019.
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming Filming Locations.” Movie Maps. Accessed 24 July 2022.
  • Thor: Ragnarok. Dir. Taika Waititi. Perf. Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Tessa Thompson, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Tom Hiddleston, Jeff Goldblum. Marvel Studios / Disney, 2017.

Author: Jennifer

Librarian, blogger, movie lover

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