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Posts tagged “Marvel

Review and Aftermath: Avengers Endgame

I will spare the “Oh it’s the best movie ever” line, because I feel this film is in a category all of its own.  There are few words that can describe what I saw in Avengers Endgame.  It’s a movie that will have you processing what happened for days.  It’s also a flick that you’ll want to know as little as possible about going into it.  Let me just say that I give Endgame 6 out of 5 sCrypt ratings.  Yes, that’s right.  I have it above 100% mainly because of how well it closes out the past 21 movies and sets up the next era.  I am curious as to how someone who hasn’t invested the time I have into the Marvel Cinematic Universe would feel watching it.  Certainly it wouldn’t have the same impact, but there is so much there for everyone that it really is something unique.  Hands down it’s the best comic book movie to date, and I don’t think that’s a title that will be taken by another any time soon.

As I mentioned there is a lot to process, so let me break down what this sets up for the future.  I don’t want to focus on what’s in the film because its something unique for everyone.  Instead, I’ll talk about how things will shape up from here on out.  This contains some speculation and SPOILERS, so be warned.  If you have seen it I’d like to know what you think…  Ready?  Final SPOILER WARNING….

avengers-endgame-poster.jpgLOKI: Disney+ has announced a live action Loki miniseries.  We now know that this will center around the much more malevolent trickster than we’ve seen recently.  This isn’t the semi-hero Loki, but the one who tried to destroy New York in Avengers 1.  It’ll make for very interesting storytelling to see what the god of mischief will be up to.

Sin: This one is just my mind as a writer, but it answers the question of what happens to Red Skull.  He is now just a wraith with no purpose or stone to guard.  Could he inhabit the dead body of Black Widow and return to Earth as a villain for current times?  They don’t need Scarlet Johansen to play the role as her corpse would decay giving her a skull like appearance.  Sin in the comics was Red Skull’s daughter and villain.  This would be a good passing of the torch and make for an interesting story and proper closure for Red Skull.

Falcon and Winter Soldier: With Sin as a possible villain at some point just speculation, we know for certain that Bucky and Sam have lots more to come in the Disney+ show.  Sam being the new Cap could go many places.  My only issue with Endgame was how Bucky really didn’t go to visit his friend on the bench.  It just seemed to convenient and not as believable, but it’s a minor gripe.  Either way I look forward to this show.

X-Men: While there is no real connection to mutants, there is a line explaining that since Thanos used the stones there has been a spike in meta-human abilities around the globe.  Could that have caused mutants to begin exhibiting abilities?  Who knows, but I can’t imaging this line was used as a throwaway.

Spiderman Far From Home: This is said to actually be the final Phase 3 film, serving as an epilogue of sorts.  Spiderman clearly needs a vacation at the end of Endgame, so it’ll be good to see some final tie in references here.

Captain America 4: Well I didn’t think this would happen, but we could see a Captain America 4 with Chris Evans.  Now that he stayed in the past with Peggy there certainly is room for him to fill this role well into his older years.  We could also see Steve be a mentor to Sam in the years to come and present day.  Another thing that could be done is he and Peggy have a daughter who becomes Captain America for a time.  In the comics there was an alternate Earth where this happened, so it’d work as a nice prequel of sorts in the alternate timeline created by him staying in the past.

Guardians of the Galaxy 3: The search for Gamora?  Certainly seems like the case.  Keep in mind we have chubby Thor with Stormbreaker.  Could this be how they introduce Beta Ray Bill?  It is after all about time to do so and Thor is clearly at the end of his part of the saga.

Young Avengers: Cassie Lang is older now and able to soon take up the mantle of Stature alongside Wasp and Antman.  Hawkeye has a show coming out on Disney+ where Clint Barton will be training a replacement female Hawkeye.  They could easily change his daughter’s name to Kate Bishop in a witness protection sort of way and have her take up her father’s mantle.  Iron Lad could be introduced with Harley Keener (the young boy from Ironman 3).  He came in as an unexpected cameo at Tony Stark’s funeral.  Also there’s Morgan Stark.  In the comics Morgan was Tony’s cousin and a male who became Ironman 3000.  In the films, Morgan is his young daughter.  I can’t imagine her not becoming IronHeart once she is old enough and using her mother’s rescue armor as a beginning to her tenure.  Throw Spiderman in a lead role here and you could have a well rounded set of heroes.

A-Force: It goes without saying that one of the coolest scenes was seeing all of the female heroes assemble in the final battle.  They could easily make a spinoff revolving around them, though they’d have to take caution in doing so.  It wouldn’t make sense for only the females to be involved as it would seem forced, but there are ways to pull this off in a very cool and exciting way.

Maestro and She-Hulk: This is more speculation on my part, but She-Hulk needs to be introduced.  We could also see the lesser liked Red Hulk if Banner goes rogue.  Why would he?  Well Professor Hulk being scarred by the stones could also be internally.  If they tainted his mental state, we could see him become the villain in a future hulk movie as Maestro.  This is something I’d actually love to see more than most of the others with She-Hulk teaming up with Red Hulk and the former of the two ending up as the new Hulk character.

Valkyrie:  Valkyrie is now in charge of New Asgard on Earth.  Maybe Thor will find a suitable planet for them to inhabit along his journeys with the Guardians.  They could do it so that Thor transfers some of his power into her sword.  It wouldn’t be Mjolnir, but could set her up as the new female Thor.  It’s a stray from the comics, but it’d be just as interesting as bringing in Beta Ray Bill as I mentioned earlier.

Doctor Strange 2: Wong has been Sorcerer Supreme for 5 years and Strange no longer has the Time Stone.  The power struggle between the 2 and it’s been said that they’d like to introduce Nightmare as a villain could be very fun and dare I say… Strange?

Black Panther 2: M’Baku has been in charge of Wakanda for 5 years.  Surely he made some changes and they haven’t always seen eye to eye.  Black Panther’s return makes for a lot of exciting political conflict.

WandaVision: Another Disney+ confirmed series.  The question is will this be when Scarlet Witch and Vision lived together before the events of Infinity War?  Or will she somehow use her powers to bring back a less colorful (like in the comics) version of Vision, where the story revolves around her trying to reconnect with a very cold emotionless version of her former android lover?

Black Widow: Well, this movie will obviously take place before the first Avengers movie.  I’m assuming with the references to Budapest between her and Hawkeye that this will occur there, or we’ll have more clarification on what those events were.

What If: Although this is animated and a confirmed Disney+ series with the original actors voicing the roles, it’s hard to imagine that some of the timelines spinning off from the actions in the past won’t be addressed here.

Cameos: Stan Lee’s final cameo was in this film, and what a way to make him eternally young with his appearance.  Sadly he has passed, but now that the Fox/Disney merger is completed I could see Ryan Reynolds suiting up as Deadpool and breaking the 4th wall in every movie after this.  I think Stan would approve.

What are your thoughts?  Did I miss anything?  Am I overthinking this? Did you like Endgame and where do you think it will go?  Comment below.

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Review: The Punisher season 2

punisher-season-2-posterWell Frank Castle is back and better than ever in the Marvel Netflix team up that’s better than its first season.  Season 2 does have some minor things that bother me, but for the most part, this is what I would expect for this character.

If you go into this season thinking that there is going to be a straight forward simple story, then you’ll find yourself mistaken.  There are two arcs that run throughout the entirety, and they both wrap up nicely.

Without focusing too much on the plot, so that I avoid spoilers, I do want to point out my one slight issue.  Jigsaw.  Billy Russo was not quite taken from source material, but with a new take on him.  Instead of his face really being the scarred part, it was his psyche that was shattered from the events at the end of season 1.  On that note as well, the amount of trauma that the Punisher himself experiences physically should have had him just as scarred as Billy, but at the end Frank is unmarred when he fully dons the vigilante persona.  Okay, so there is suspension of disbelief with that, and the way that everything flowed during this season was better than ANY of the other Marvel/Netflix shows.

Amy, Madoni, Curtis, John Pilgrim, and the rest of the cast were just as exemplary in their roles as Frank and Billy.  It was a job well done by all.

It didn’t drag on in parts and wrapped up everything nicely.  I hope we see more of the character soon.  Personally, I’d like a Nick Fury/Winter Soldier/Punisher team up, but that’s just me.

What were your thoughts?  I give season 2 of the Punisher 4 out of 5 sCrypt ratings.


Think, Sip, Write: ep 56 – Marvel vs DC

In this episode of #thinksipwrite, my son Tony sits in for Roberta as we talk about all things Marvel and DC. Who is the better comic book universe and why? What are your thoughts and favorite characters?


Review: Luke Cage season 2

luke-cage-season-2-poster-1107525Luke Cage continues to be one of my favorite Netflix marvel shows.  This season took what made the first season good, and made it better.  It doesn’t drag as much, and the story continued to draw me in.  Could it have been a few episodes shorter?  Sure, but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t chock full of good writing.

The use of the characters was executed well to where the viewer can feel a connection with them all.  Bushmaster, Nightshade, Shades, Misty Knight, and Maria Stokes (Dillard) all served an equal part of the plot.  Some were set up for more future usage, but the most interesting part is how Luke was left at the end of the season.  Will he become a villain?  It’s doubtful, but it sure as heck looks like he’ll be going down a darker path.

I refuse to say much more than this because it really summarizes how I feel about the season.  One thing I can add though is the episode with Danny Rand showing up really has me excited for Iron Fist Season 2.  In the meantime, I’ll be happy with Luke Cage and give season 2 of his show 4 out of 5 sCrypt ratings.

What were your thoughts?  Comment below, so we can discuss.


Review: Ant-man and The Wasp

Ant-Man_and_the_Wasp_posterI didn’t expect much more than a fun popcorn flick going into Ant-man and The Wasp, and that’s exactly what I got.  As far as Marvel movies go, it doesn’t rank that high on the scale, but that doesn’t mean it is a bad movie.  In fact, it is a lot of fun from start to finish.

Paul Rudd (Scott Lang) and Michael Douglas (Hank Pym) shine as both Ant-Mans, but Evangeline Lilly is really the one who makes the movie that much more enjoyable.  As the Wasp, a hero long overdue in the eyes of Marvel fanatics, she is the balance to the chaotic men of the story.  While Hank Pym is an overeager scientist who holds one too many grudges, Scott Lang is a goofy dad who comes off as a bit of a dolt.  Hope (Lilly’s character) seems to be the only one who can bring either of these men to focus on the task ahead.

Herein lies my problem with the film… In the first movie, Lang had a bit of knowledge of how engineering and science work, but in the sequel they seemed to have scrapped all of that.  Also in the first film, Pym mentioned that he couldn’t shrink any more because of the many years of doing it taking a toll on his body.  It could be fatal to him.  But then we see him step into the quantum realm in a new Ant-Man suit.  Now maybe this suit cancels those negative effects, but without mentioning it is a slight issue for those who have seen both.  If you haven’t seen the first and only see this one, then these aren’t real problems.

Other notable points of interest in the movie were Michelle Pfeiffer’s Janet Van Dyne/Wasp and Laurence Fishburn’s Bill Foster/Goliath.  I love how both were introduced with a past, even if they were a bit underutilized in the film.

As far as villains go, well Sonny Burch was not much of a challenge but worked well to counter Luis and the X-Con security guys.  Ghost is less a villain than she is an obstacle, and it’ll be interesting to see where they take her from here on out.

With all Marvel movies, Stan Lee’s cameo was funny as usual, and the mid credits scene brought a heavy weight with it.  Slight spoiler, it has to do with Infinity War’s Thanos snap, and is almost as if everything Ant-Man worked for in this movie is gone (at least for the time being).  The post credit scene was less than amusing.  As a matter of fact it is one that actually irritated me because it was just a throwaway gag that made little sense.

Overall I give Ant-Man and the Wasp a 3 out of 5 sCrypt ratings.  It was fun, non-stop action, and a different feel to the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

What did you think?  Did you see anything in the quantum realm?  Supposedly there are hidden things there (I think I spotted one, but am not really sure what it was).  Comment below with your thoughts.


Review: Avengers Infinity War

avengers-infinity-war-1I’m a little late with the review for this because I really didn’t want to say much after seeing it.  This will be a short overlook, as I feel that people need to see this with as little spoilers as possible.

Was it worth it?  Yes yes and yes.  The film was outstanding in so many ways, BUT I wonder if someone who isn’t familiar with the other Marvel movies will be somewhat lost.  There’s so many characters that its hard to keep track, but the Russos did a great job of not making it feel crowded.

The narrative played out quite well and unexpected with plenty of surprises and shocking moments.  Thanos IS THE BEST MARVEL Villain yet.  I literally have no complaints about the film, except that I have to wait for the next movie to see what happens.

Here’s where we get into little SPOILERS with my speculation:

– Is Red Skull the movie version of Death now or after the Soul Stone was grabbed did he revert to his former human status?  I’d like to think the latter would be better, but it isn’t necessary.  At least we got closure to that.

– The stones are at least drained of power, which makes me think that the snap will be reversed.  The Russos did claim that the deaths will stay, so that means goodbye to Loki and Heimdall.  Notice how I didn’t say any others.  Here’s why.  The snap only erased people from existence.  It didn’t technically kill them.  Gamora was sacrificed to retrieve the soul stone, so if it’s anything like the comics she wasn’t killed but instead trapped within it.  And Vision, well he was a grayed out husk at the end, but Shuri probably retrieved enough to have a less emotional version of him live on without so much color.  Maybe she will even use what’s left to build Jocasta or something.  Either way, Vision as we know him is gone, but there is room for an offspring of sorts.

I give the movie 5 out of 5 sCrypt ratings.  It made me laugh, get choked up and had me on the edge of my seat for the non stop thrill ride.  What did you think of Infinity War?  What do you think will happen next?


Review: Black Panther

new-black-panther-movie-poster-2018--1064120When it comes to Marvel movies, it’s no secret I’ve been entertained every time.  Going into this one I had high hopes as usual, and I wasn’t let down.  Minor Spoilers ahead.

The Good:

This is a totally fresh movie that is far different than the other comic book superhero films out there.  It’s political without pushing any agendas.  It’s got a great mix of action, humor, and sincerity that make it an all around great standalone movie.  You don’t need to see any of the other films in the MCU to see this one (although you might get confused by the final end credit scene if you are not watching all of the films).  The main characters of T’Challa and Killmonger are perfect with the latter even donning his comic accurate costume in the beginning, only to get a much better upgrade.  Finally, the usage of characters like Klaw, Man-Ape, Shuri, Nakia, Everett Ross, and Okoye are done well as a supporting cast.  Oh, and how could I forget another outstanding cameo by Stan Lee.

The Bad:

I am a little upset with Klaw’s fate, but realize why they did what they did.  Some of the things like Black Panther jumping from a plane without a parachute don’t sit well with me, but the explanation of how Vibranium absorbs kinetic energy makes me suspend disbelief just enough to let the ridiculousness pass.

Overall:

Black Panther was just fun from opening until end.  It had weight in the series, and was relatable to the real world on some levels.  I put it up there with the Captain America Trilogy as my favorite so far giving it a 5 out of 5 sCrypt ratings.  So what did you think?

On a side note here’s some speculation and clarity btw:

Antman and The Wasp will be here soon, and it looks like that will be another stand alone movie to give us more back story and introduction of characters.  Bucky is looking like he will get a cybernetic vibranium arm and is a hero again.  Maybe we will see him as Captain America.  And though people are saying “Where is the 6th Infinity Stone?” let me explain to you where they all are.  The Tesseract is the SPACE Stone, and is floating in space with the SOUL stone, which was the Eternal flame from Thor Ragnarok.  Thanos shows up at the end of that, so I’m assuming he has both now.  The REALITY stone Aether is in the Collector’s possession after Malekith was defeated.  The MIND stone is in Vision’s head.  Doctor Strange has the TIME stone in his Eye of Agamotto amulet.  This leaves the POWER stone with the Nova Corps after they got it back from Ronan.  All the stones are there.  I don’t get why people are saying the Soul stone hasn’t been represented yet.  They did the same thing with the mind stone when it was still in Loki’s staff.  Think about what the Souls stone might do…  It restores or takes life presumably.  That is exactly what the flame did in Ragnarok.

Thoughts?


Review: The Gifted season 1

The_Gifted_TV_title_cardA freshman season of a superhero tv show that isn’t horrible?  That could never happen, right?  Wrong.  The Gifted made its way in for 13 episodes of really compelling story telling.  This is tied in to the already existing X-Men movies, but does a great job of distancing itself.

I do have to clarify the timeline a little.  This story takes place as Blink and Thunderbird first meet, but in the new timeline established at the end of Days of Future Past.  Confused yet?  I’m not done.  If you recall, Blink and Warbird (Thunderbird’s brother) were characters in DOFP, so this is a really great way to connect the films to the show.  Let’s add in that it seems to take place before Logan, but after the (SPOILER ALERT) X-Men and Brotherhood are apparently killed off by Xavier’s out of control powers referenced in the Logan movie.

So the show plays out with an underground network of mutants trying to survive in a world that hates them.  They don’t know what happened to the X-Men or Brotherhood, but it no longer matters.  Sentinel Services is on their backs.  The organization is tied to Trask industries, but they have acknowledged that the giant robot sentinels were an issue in the past (Days of Future Past), and have moved to smaller robotic drones and hound mutants (brainwashed mutants) to help them.

Comic characters Pulse, Dreamer, Trader, Fenris, and Evangeline Whedon play small roles, while a brand new character Eclipse takes center stage as one of the co-leaders of the mutant underground.

The season plays out a little slow at times, but builds as it goes, and doesn’t make the mistake of harboring on one story line or cliffhangers for too long.  It does have a theme throughout the season, which seems to be resolved at the end.  (More Spoilers)  Polaris seems to be following in her father’s footsteps (Magneto) and joining the Hellfire Club with the Stepford Cuckoos.  The remaining mutants are homeless with nowhere to go.  Presumably they will take refuge in the sewers and become the Morlocks of comic fame, but that is something for season 2 to tackle.  And I’m hoping Dr. Campbell is not dead (He’s Ahab in the comics, so I’m sure he’ll be back in some form.)

What we have is a great X-Men B-list of mutants and humans who are surrounded by decent story telling.  The great part of the show, however, is the Strucker family.  Not only is their back story very deeply rooted in the source material, but they are characters you care about.  All four of them really steal the show along with Agent Turner of the Sentinel Services.  They are believable (at least their situations) and solid all around.  The comic book connections are just icing on an already good cake.

I can’t wait to see what season 2 brings, as it looks to be more related to the comic books, but until then this was a good breath of fresh air for the superhero genre on TV.  I give The Gifted first season, 4 out of 5 sCrypt ratings.  What did you think?  Where do you think it will go from here?  Chime in with your comments below.


Review: Inhumans TV series

marvel-inhumansI won’t spend much time on this because it has already sucked the life out of me.  I watched every episode hoping for some pay off, but to no avail.  Here’s the basic gist…

  • Heroic characters who can’t use their abilities (Medusa gets her hair cut off and Blackbolt is too powerful to show his powers more than three times.)
  • Other heroic characters who are not well developed (Lockjaw the dog with horrible CGI, Crystal the teenage girl who could have stopped the problem on her own, but didn’t for some reason, Gorgon the man who you never actually see his hooved legs clearly, and Triton who dies and then is suddenly not dead because of a plan that no one really knows about even when it is revealed.)
  • A villain who is basically more hero than the heroes (Maximus is portrayed in just that way, so at the end it almost feels as if the bad guys have won, even though it shouldn’t)
  • Karnak was enjoyable to watch, but every scene he was in felt like it brought his character down.
  • Atillan, the city on the moon, was the best thing about the show and even that gets destroyed at the end.
  • And the Inhumans are now on Earth, so will they cameo in Agents of SHIELD or will we forget about them entirely?  If they do cameo, then I hope its done in a way to completely not refer to this show at all because I’m trying hard to forget.

I hate to be the bringer of bad news.  I’m not one of those comic nerds who sit in their basement and act like keyboard warriors hating all things done.  If anything I’m the opposite.  I’m a fan who grew up reading this stuff and am happy to see it on screen, and most of the time forgive the “problems” others have with it all.  This was the exception.  It was just boring from start to finish, and had no climax at all.

This officially marks the lowest score I’ve ever given to a show or movie, and I feel a pang of guilt for doing it, but I have to be honest.  I give this show a 0.5 out of 5 sCrypt ratings, and that’s only because a zero would mean I hadn’t watched it.

What did you think?  Have you seen Marvel’s Inhumans?  Am I being too harsh?  Chime in with your comments.


Review: Marvel’s Punisher

mtpunsdf-700x400The Marvel and Netflix combo hit again with their newest series The Punisher.  My expectations were very high for this show, because I was an avid reader of the gratuitously violent anti-hero vigilante.  There was something about the character that went beyond just the gore and killing.  He was a decent human being that lost his family.  He wasn’t just a murdering psychopath.

We already got a taste of Frank Castle during Daredevil season 2, so going into this I was worried that the audience wouldn’t be able to connect with him.  With all the violence in today’s society it is hard to find a reason to see him as a hero, but this show was done perfectly to exude that feeling.

While some may complain that it was way too slow, I think most will agree that the paced narrative was necessary to make the audience cheer for the main character and feel for him.  He’s not out for revenge.  He’s out for justice.  It may not be what the government deems as just, but for the people he’s taking out, it is what he feels needs to be done.

There is a suspension of disbelief seeing him get tortured, beaten, and shot beyond a level suitable for any one human to take, but isn’t that how any show like this would go?  There were some references to the comics that were done tastefully.  The final three episodes go from story telling to hard core (at some moments almost unwatchable combat).  Yes, there was more than one moment where I had a difficult time seeing what was on screen, but it held my attention because at that point in the story the villains really needed to have that done to them.

SPOILER ALERT:  The final battle with Billy Russo and Punisher was my favorite scene.  I got worried at one point that they’d kill off the big bad.  I knew that in the comics he becomes Jigsaw (basically the antithesis to Frank Castle with a horribly scarred face.  At one point he even wore a costume similar to Punisher’s).  Thankfully, Frank had reason to let him live, and with all the foreshadowing done throughout the episodes, how could he not?

Will we see The Punisher and Daredevil team up again to take down a Kingpin/Jigsaw/Bullseye combo?  Who knows, but it’s something that I hope happens at some point.  END SPOILERS

At the end of the day it comes down to this… The Punisher season 1 is a well told story.  It is a tragic story.  It is a love story.  It is a story about corruption and justice.  It is a story about political agendas and dealing with PTSD.  Throw in some really action packed scenes to live up to the name Frank Castle bears, and you end up with something completely new for Marvel’s Cinematic Universe.  I give it a 4.5 out of 5 sCrypt ratings.  It went beyond my expectations for a good story, and appeased the comic book fan in me.

What did you think of Punisher season 1?  Comment with your thoughts and predictions of where they may take the character(s) after this.