The 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.
Netflix surely has a hit with its Marvel TV shows, but that doesn’t mean they have all been great. Daredevil season 1 and 2 as well as Luke Cage were outstanding. Iron Fist started strong, but underwhelmed in the latter half of the season. Jessica Jones had a great concept, but could have been done in 4 episodes because 13 was much too long and drawn out. So with the Defenders coming out I had a bag of mixed emotions. How did it fare?
The Defenders had an amazing first two episodes. They filled in the gap of what was happening with each character after we last saw them all. It was story building at its finest. People complained that they all don’t even meet until episode 3, but they obviously have no desire for substance. It is well worth the wait.
At that point I was worried that with such a great buildup, that the last 4 episodes would fall short. They did not. The action sequences and story held up to standards, and even though the post climax was drawn out, the 8 episodes made for in my opinion the best Marvel Netflix show yet. Even at the end of the credits we get a surprise teaser trailer for the Punisher coming later this year.
There were plenty of twists and turns, and a few things left unsaid. The ending left me wondering whether the Hand was done, and who survived of the four stuck at the bottom of the shaft? Surely Matt Murdock could not have escaped on his own. So, who got him to the surface?
As for the characters individually here’s how I see them:
Luke Cage & Daredevil were as expected. I think both were flawless and exactly how portrayed before. Jessica Jones was still herself at the core, but her interactions with the other characters, in particular Matt Murdock, were so much more likeable. She worked better with a team than alone. Iron Fist finally made that transition to hero. He was much more deserving of the title in this than his own show, making it more exciting anticipation for his next season. Colleen Wing, Misty Knight, Karen Page, Foggy, Trish, and Stick were all used sparingly enough to not overcrowd the plot.
Overall it was an enjoyable and fun ride. I’d call it the Avengers for adults, and am eager to see them all team up again. I’ll give it 4.5 out of 5 sCrypt ratings. What did you think?
Unlike most of my reviews, I’m going to keep this one straight to the point and less in depth. The reason is because of the amounts of positive vs negative the show had. My negatives are NOT what other people complained about. I guess I’m a purist and less concerned about appeasing to the masses, because the negatives that I’ve read is more along those lines. That being said, there is a lot of positive too, that isn’t given enough credit.
Let’s set the record straight. This is not the best Marvel Netflix show. It is in my opinion tied with Jessica Jones for last place, but certainly not bad. The controversial casting is absolute crap. Danny Rand as a white guy has always been. The actor did a great job with what he was given, and I’m hoping his mannerisms are corrected as this is sort of an origin to the Iron Fist character. My complaints? Use a razor. I’m tired of the scruffy look. Danny should in my mind be clean and youthful looking. He was with monks after all. We already have Daredevil, Jessica, and Luke being total badasses. He should be just as kick ass, but not so tough looking.
The Hand played a decent role in the show, with the highlight easily being Madame Gao, and Davos. The latter of these two also had a good set up for becoming the next villain (Steel Serpent). Claire is obviously the glue to bring the Defenders together, so her role although it felt sort of forced, worked for what it was. Colleen and the Meachums were also very good in every scene.
Action wise this played out just like a classic kung fu movie, with heavy story and not a lot of fighting until the end. The problem here is that the fighting seemed subpar. For someone who is supposedly the best fighter in the world, he sure gets beat up a lot.
The first five episodes really had me hooked. Then episode six came and it slowly went down hill. The final episode was great, but then they threw on that extra two minute ending and I wanted to forget everything else. That ending was not good. They threw it there to get people to come back and see what happens next, but it felt disrespectful to everything else it had done over 13 episodes.
In my opinion Iron Fist doesn’t really work on its own. I think it has to be Powerman and Iron fist or a heroes for Hire. That would be worth the time. I wanted to really love this show, and though I liked it, I can’t claim I’d ever rewatch it. Other reviews say Danny should have been an Asian guy. Stop changing races and looks of characters!!! We get that enough. If any thing I’d think that’d be offensive to Asians to be typecast in that role. Danny being trained by Asian monks is what makes the idea work. They just need to figure out how to do all of that.
One final thought… they could have done a little better of explaining how he got his powers. I know, and comic readers know, but any new comer will be left slightly confused by the lack of information.
Iron Fist gets 2.5 out of 5 sCrypt ratings from me. It is enjoyable at its good moments, and disappointing at its bad ones. These fall 50/50 throughout the whole thing, so I’ve voted right down the middle.
What did you think? Comment below.
Okay, I know I’m behind on this one, but best things come to those who wait, right? I’ll keep this review fairly brief.
Season 1 of Stranger things was a hesitation on my part. I didn’t want to watch because everyone said such great things about it, that I didn’t want to be let down. This is part of the reason why I never watched Lost, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, or Walking Dead (past season 1). I just think things get taken out of context and hyped too much.
For Stranger Things though, I can say the reviews were mostly right. I am stuck wondering if this is a generational thing though. The show was nostalgic for me, and reminded me of how life was when I grew up in the 80s. Okay, maybe not the upside down, or monster aspect, but the way childhood and family life was handled. There were less worries about people being bad, and more about the fantastical.
Some of the show’s narrative was predictable at parts, but mostly it was given a good level of suspense and story telling to keep the viewer on the edge of their seat. Credit must really be given to the cast. Each of these actors and actresses were outstanding and convincing in their performances.
I don’t want to review much about it because it takes away from it if you haven’t seen it. All I can say is that it is easily binge worthy, and I can’t wait to see what season 2 has in store. I’ll give it a 4 out of 5 sCrypt coffins only because some originality was lost due to nostalgic things, but this is not at all a flaw with the series. In fact, I think it is part of what makes it what it is. What did you think about Stranger Things Season 1?
Netflix and Marvel successfully do it again. The question is whether it was as good as the other shows, and if it warrants a second season. Here’s my breakdown of the characters in the show, how they factored in, and a little bit of speculation on where it could go from here. There are spoilers, so if you don’t want to see them, scroll down to the final paragraph for my rating.
Luke Cage/Power Man/Carl Lucas: I said it before and this series backs that claim… Mike Colter is the perfect pick for the main character. He looks as if he enjoys his character, and Cage was presented without flaw in my opinion. The back story of Carl Lucas, the references to his classic Power Man costume and name, and the evolution of Luke Cage was spot on. If there was anything I thought could have made it better would be Pop’s barbershop becoming a new place with Heroes For Hire. Although they didn’t show that, the H4H was certainly set up that way. Luke was always a character I liked, but never spent much time thinking about. Now I wonder why he wouldn’t have been the new Captain America instead of Falcon in the comics, but that’s going off on another tangent.
Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes: I’ve never seen Mahershala Ali in anything before, but his acting made Cottonmouth worth watching. He turned what was a very lame character in the comics into a badass. I didn’t see his death coming as early as it did, and who’d caused it. His actions were always a surprise, and though he wasn’t as much a crime lord as Kingpin in Daredevil, he certainly had a great presence. If I’d have changed anything, it would have been how he didn’t seem like much of a threat in the episode he died. I felt he should have gone out stronger than he did. I see why they did it however. It was a way of making you feel for the character right before ripping him away. All in all? Great storytelling regardless of how it was approached.
Mercedes “Misty” Knight: Simone Missick was just proof of more great casting choices. I love the buildup and portrayal of Misty, and felt sorry for her along the way. She was the single character in this whole series that had more to deal with than anyone else. Constantly being stuck in a hard place didn’t mean she couldn’t kick ass either. Aside from her central role in the story we also got a few other comic references with her. When she was shot in the arm there was even mention that she could lose it. This was in reference to her bionic arms in the comics. Her outfit at the end, when she reentered the club undercover was straight from the pages of Marvel, and her tearing the piece of paper from the light post also gave a nod to another character whom she’ll eventually meet, Colleen Wing.
Hernan “Shades” Alvarez: Theo Rossi was irritating in a good way. This was THE character that you hated to love. He’s the type of antagonist that makes the viewer want to see punched in the face, but also never go away. In the comics, Shades had a visor similar to Cyclops from X-Men. I’m extremely happy that they took away that aspect and left him as a right hand man for the bosses. He seemed to have no particular allegiance to anyone, which makes me question one thing… He could pull off being a mob boss on his own, so why does he always end up being someone’s lackey? And what is it about him that scares his bosses? I say that because it seemed he could say anything he wanted to them, and there’d be no consequence.
Willis Stryker/Diamondback: Erik LaRay Harvey was a good pick for the character, but I don’t feel Diamondback was one to be taken seriously. Sure, he was crazy, but that’s what made it seemed out of place to me. His motivations were lacking and childish, and I can’t see why Cottonmouth was afraid of him. Okay, that aside, he was a major threat to everyone in the story, including Cage. The Chitauri metal being used as bullets that could penetrate Luke’s skin was an interesting addition, especially since we got to see how they could possibly do surgery on him. The final battle with Luke gave Diamondback a comic appropriate costume that made sense, and we’re obviously going to have him getting similar powers to his half brother in the second season or Defenders, after that ending. I look forward to seeing him return in a less mentally awkward role, and more of a physical threat.
Claire Temple/Nightnurse: Rosario Dawson’s character finally got some good screen time. She received some more back story, and even talked about how she wanted to help people with powers. This set up her role as the Night Nurse in Defenders.
Mariah Dillard/Black Mariah: Alfre Woodard has to take the prize for best acting in the series. She’s stellar in her performance of the corrupt politician. She’s got motivation and I’m glad to see her overall role remaining a presence. This woman came off as more of a threat than Wilson Fisk did in DD. I’m eager to see what will happen with her if she returns.
Comic book cameo roles: Trish Walker was heard over a radio broadcast briefly. Turk Barrett returned, and though it felt like a forced placement it was welcomed. Comanche played a role as Shades’ partner in prison, and though I can honestly say I know nothing about that character’s comic book portrayal, it was cool to see another D-lister appear in some way. Stan Lee’s poster was seen again in the background, just like in the other Netflix shows, and the references to the incident in Avengers as well as the other Netflix heroes brought it all together.
Various other roles: Detective Scarfe, Pop, and the countless other thug and police roles, as well as the countless musicians involved were nothing but pleasing to see. Method Man’s appearance was downright awesome!
Speculation: here’s what I think. Defenders are set up (all but Iron Fist, but he’s coming). We’ve got Luke Cage, who will obviously get out of prison due to a certain Daredevil lawyer. Aside from those two heroes there’s Misty Knight, The Night Nurse, Jessica Jones, Punisher, and the soon addition of Iron Fist and Colleen Wing. We might even get Trish as Hellcat. But who will be the threat? It was just announced that Sigourney Weaver will be the main villain for Defenders. Who she will be remains to be seen… Perhaps Madame Hydra?… regardless she has a ripe picking of villains to add to her antagonist army… Diamondback will now have abilities, Mariah Dillard, Shades, Kingpin, Turk and I’m sure I’m missing a few. I thought Avengers was highly anticipated when it was coming out, but now I’m beginning to think Defenders will be much the same.
Overall review: The music and acting were superior. Comic book references made old school fans happy. Real world events fit into the storytelling without pushing an agenda. This was some great storytelling with some flaws. It didn’t drag out like Jessica Jones did, and it did give us a good origin for multiple characters. It’s not perfect, but its earned one of the top places in my book for great action and attention. This was the first series of ALL of the Netflix shows that I think I could have literally watched all the way through without stopping in one sitting. I’d never do that, nor have the time to, but it was compelling and really decent. I give it 4.5 out of 5 sCrypt Coffins for my review. Keep them coming, Netflix and Marvel.
Since I did the DC post it’s time to review the Marvel TV and Netflix shows for the 2015-2016. Like all of my reviews I will break it down by character giving my honest thoughts as a comic fan and viewer. There will be spoilers, so if you want my rating on each show scroll down to the final paragraph of each section (which ends with a solid line).
Feel free to comment and add your own thoughts below. I will be reviewing Jessica Jones season 1, Daredevil season 2, Agent Carter season 2, and Agents of SHIELD season 3.
First up Jessica Jones season 1:
Jessica Jones – She’s raunchy, she’s a drunk, she’s sexual, she’s got a bad attitude, she’s everything that a superhero isn’t, but she leaves her mark as one. Jessica is the most interesting character to watch as of yet. My only problem with this show was the extreme amounts of sexual scenes. I’m no prude by any means, but by the fourth gratuitous softcore porn scene I was tired of it. It’s as if there was nothing else that the writers had to do with their time. We get it. We get the type of character she is, but seriously it was overkill.
Luke Cage – was one of the two best things about this show. Casting was perfect and his acting superb. I actually got chills during the first bar fight scene that made me want to skip right to his show coming this fall. I found it predictable that he’d be controlled by Killgrave at one point, so I wasn’t surprised. I WAS however shocked by the shotgun blast to the face. That part of the story was intense and brought in the help of Claire Temple who made reference to Daredevil.
Kilgrave – The Purple man was an absolutely delightful villain to see. He is right up there with villains you want to hate but love (like Loki, the Joker, and Hannibal Lecter). He’s downright creepy and his ability to control others actions adds to that. By far he was one of the top villains in Marvel live action. It’s just a shame that he’s now dead.
Trish “Patsy” Walker – I loved her in the show, and she’s another perfect casting. In fact all of the cast was perfectly picked. They obviously are building her up to become Hellcat at some point, so we shall see what they do in season 2.
Simpson / Nuke – The officer gone rogue was basically an abusive addict by season end. He really embodied the rage that his comic book counterpart portrayed and the viewer is left really wanting him to be hurt for his actions.
Jeri Hogarth – I feel this part of the show could have been better written. We get that she likes women, but we don’t need a reference every two seconds. None of the straight characters are doing that, so it seems forced a bit. I’m all for equal portrayal of characters, but it got a bit over the top in parts… then again most of this show was over the boundaries. Regardless of my opinion she served a great purpose to the narrative, and I hope we see more of her.
In conclusion: Season 1 of Jessica Jones frustrated me not on the soft core porn sense, but it could have been just as effective if it were 4 episodes shorter. It was drawn out to a point where I was yelling at the tv for her to finish the job already. Other than those two complaints I really did enjoy it, and it brought a new feel to the Marvel cinematic universe. I give the show a 3 out of 5 sCrypt Coffins
Daredevil Season 2:
Daredevil / Matt Murdock – To me DD took a back seat this season as Castle was the highlight of the show, but that doesn’t mean he was bad by any means. We got to see a conflicted side of Matt Murdock, and while he mostly stuck with his own judicial and moral code he waivered at times making him unpredictable. This was a great decision on the writing end.
Foggy and Karen – I put them together because they each had their own equally interesting story arcs. Foggy is even going to work for Jeri Hogarth now, so I’m sure we will see him crossing over into the other shows. The trio is no longer a team, but each has their own little corner in the story. I’d like to see Karen and Matt work on their relationship because it left in a strange place.
Melvin Potter and Claire Temple – again I had to put these together as they were very small roles as opposed to the pair above. I’d like to see Potter become the Gladiator and I think they are building it towards that. He would be an excellent villain as he knows DD’s weaknesses. Claire is just Claire. She’s doing what she does best and it should be kept that way. Rosario Dawson can do no wrong here.
Elektra – Why Matt ever was attracted to her other than looks is beyond me. She’s clearly got little morals. But her beauty and bad nature clearly had its wrap on him. Elektra was great. I’ve no complaints other than I’m kind of hoping she’s brought back somehow. To me it made no sense to kill her off. I’d have rather seen Karen or Foggy wiped out instead.
Stick and the Hand – Both the old man and the ninjas were completely badass. There isn’t much more to say other than I’m hoping everything established in season 2 with these will bring about Daredevil in a Shadowland story. Him in charge of the Hand would be very interesting to see.
Kingpin – Wilson Fisk’s role is small, but that’s all it needed to be. Even behind bars he clearly has control of everything. His manipulation of Punisher and no fear of Murdock puts him in a place where you know he’s coming back better and badder than ever.
Frank Castle / The Punisher – He is my favorite comic book character of all time, and he was done so right here that there’s no way it could get better other than seeing his own series next year. From his brutality to his purpose he had it all nailed. Kudos to Jon Bernthal for kicking ass and taking names.
In Conclusion: DD season 2 was by far my favorite of the Marvel seasons to watch. Perhaps even more so than the movies as well. I am rating it with a full 5 out of 5 sCrypt Coffins.
Agent Carter Season 2:
Peggy Carter – It’s always a delight to see Hayley Atwell do anything, so I feel bad for how this season turned out. I don’t think it was the worst it could have been, but it lacked heart. Peggy was one of two parts that were good about it. Everything else really didn’t work for me.
Black Widow (Dottie Underwood) – was underused. Jarvis – was all over the place with who he was in love with and his own morals. Howard Stark – was no way near as good as he was in season 1 and it almost didn’t even feel like his character.
Joseph Manfredi – was decent enough, but never felt like a true threat, while constantly being overthrown by the Zero Matter plot.
Whitney Frost / Madame Masque – was the other part I felt was worth seeing. She played the villain role well and it made sense. I just feel as though it could have been better.
In conclusion: I said at the end of Season 1 (which I liked) that season 2 would not be needed. It should have stayed that way. We had a great hero and a great villain, but everything else was forgettable. If a show can’t hold my interest I’m out, but I forced myself through this entire season only to be sorely disappointed at my wasted hours. I have to rate it with a 1.5 out of 5 sCrypt coffins. It wasn’t quite a 1, but didn’t deserve 2.
Agents of SHIELD season 3:
The agents: Phil Couson continues to be a pleasure to watch, though his constant smirk makes it difficult at times to take him seriously. Hunter fell flat this season due to his relationship with Mockingbird / Bobbi Morse. The pair worked great together, but individually only she worked. I realize they were written off of the show due to a potential spinoff, but now that that isn’t happening I hope we still get to see Bobbi’s return in some manner. Fitz/Simmons became slightly less annoying as the season went on and for the first time in the series I actually didn’t mind both of them. I still feel as though Fitz is better when he’s driven to make solo decisions, and that Simmons acts exactly the same no matter what situation she’s in. That’s good for him, but bad for her. Melinda May continues to be a badass, but we got to see a softer side of her which was nice for a change. It enabled viewers to see that she isn’t all work. At least she didn’t used to be anyway. Mack by far is my favorite agent to watch. He’s the perfect embodiment of what an agent should be, although he does tend to have issues with authority at times. All around the entire SHIELD team are like pieces of a puzzle. They are great as a whole, but individually have flaws.
Secret Warriors: Daisy Johnson / Quake – Well she finally took on her codename by season end, but I was left confused. She is on the run or running solo? Why is SHIELD hunting her? She was obviously left scarred by her actions against the team, but if SHIELD is after her to make her accountable for what she did, then how did she escape in the first place? There is too much left unanswered. Lincoln on the other hand had a surprising fate. I did not for one second believe he’d be the one to die. I really grew to like him throughout the season so it makes sense as he said he didn’t want to be an agent after all. Despite that statement he still died a hero. Meltdown was underused in my opinion. The first episode was great when they hunted him down, but after that he didn’t get used nearly enough. I’m hoping this changes. Yo-Yo was great as well but I think they are rushing with her and Mack’s “relationship” if that’s what you want to call it. It is possible however that they are gearing up for her to be Mack’s new partner in place of Daisy on the team. The question then is… What happened to the Secret Warriors? Are they now defunct?
Lash was great until the reveal of his true identity. I feel he lost some bit of mystery there, but it was redeemed when he fully became Lash again. The fact that he saved Daisy makes me believe he was a combination of both personalities and that in the end the decision was made by his human half and not his bestial one.
Hive – What makes Agent Ward even better? Make him a heartless alien bringer of death. Everything from his powers to his true appearance looked superb. I’m glad he was destroyed as I didn’t want this story to drag on, but it makes me wonder who could possibly be brought in to be a great villain for next season. His deformed lackeys were terrible looking thugs with no purpose other than to be henchmen. That part I’m not sure I liked too much.
Talbot and Absorbing Man – I love the recurring presence of Talbot, and the smart use of Crusher Creel. I could see this whole thing leading into a “Dark Warriors” storyline, something akin to what the comics did with the Avengers, only having Talbot in charge.
Hellfire was great though I’m not sure I like his origin. My pickiness aside he was fun to watch and had a lot of character to him.
Holden Radcliffe was as the Machine Teen in the comics, and I’m glad to see they changed this for the show. He works better as a man with age and wisdom. I can see how his creations could prove to be a future threat, even if he did leave on good terms with SHIELD. I wouldn’t mind seeing him as a more significant villain.
Other references/characters: Werner Von Strucker was no way near as threatening as his father, and for that reason I’m glad he was only a small role. Manifold was referenced quickly for any comic fan who may have picked up on it. Civil War had also affected the show on a minor level but then it was left to hang. There was no real reveal as to whether Coulson’s team would be forced to sign the accords or not.
In Conclusion – Agents of SHIELD season 3 was the best season of the show yet, but still had some irritating qualities. It was a good build up for a season 4 that could potentially be really great. Still, despite what it lead into it fell flat enough to make it less than great. Overall I’m rating it with a 3 out of 5 as it has established itself as a fun show that can exist successfully without relying on the much better films in the same universe.
So there’s my take. What did you think? This gives Marvel TV 2015-2016 an average sCrypt rating of 3 out of 5. Clearly aside from Netflix DC rules the contest with their TV shows, but Marvel’s strong suit remains on the big screen leaving DC in the dust. I only want both to succeed and am happy for what we get, so here’s hoping it all gets better.