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My Thoughts On The Thor: Ragnarok Trailer

Well, it’s finally out, folks. And if you haven’t seen it yet, here it is, the Thor: Ragnarok trailer.

…So, first off, I need to be completely honest with everyone reading this right now… … …I laughed my ass off at the scene where Thor is confronted by Hulk. That was the best possible reaction Thor could’ve given in that scene. I almost fell right out of my chair. Also, considering that we already knew Hulk was going to be in this movie, ending the trailer on the fight between them was a good move, since we’ve really only ever seen the two fight once before in the first Avengers movie, and this time, Thor’s going in without Mjolnir, so it’s a completely level playing field. And while his appearances in the trailer were brief, it’s great to see Tom Hiddleston back as Loki. Not sure if any of what he did in the last Thor movie is going to play into his role here (for reasons I’ll explain later), but he was an element that NEEDED to be present. One of the biggest issues with the MCU has been its lack of good villains, so having Loki back is a huge asset.

Now then, let’s talk about what I didn’t like. And that’s not to say that anything in this trailer was actually particularly BAD, either. No, my problem is with the tone. See, I want you to think about some of the things you just saw in this trailer: Mjolnir was destroyed, Asgard was overrun and possibly destroyed as well, and Thor and Hulk have been captured and forced into gladiatorial combat, all while God knows what kind of havoc all of these events are going to cause. Hell, just look at the title: RAGNAROK, the word meant to describe an apocalyptic event in which the world basically dies and is reborn again at the cost of much that came before. It’s a really bleak situation. And yet…the tone of this trailer doesn’t seem all that bleak, does it? And I know what you’re thinking: “But Jyger, you complain about how dark and dire the DC movie trailers are, so why would you want this one to be like that?” Well, first off, I’m not saying we should do DC’s muted colours, darker palette, and overall lack of joy. No, what I’m saying is, this should feel more like Thor is dealing with his greatest challenge and is at the end of his rope. The bit where he yells “YES!” at seeing Hulk is fine, and in fact would act as a great moment of levity for the trailer, but otherwise, a lot of the trailer’s tone should’ve been different. And just throwing this out there: Jeff Goldblum as a major villain does not inspire terror… … …Well, at least not in the way he was supposed to. lol

But more importantly than that, what bothers me most of all about this trailer is that this should feel less like Guardians of the Galaxy and more like a fucking THOR movie. Now, if you’re confused by that statement, lemme clarify something: I LIKE Guardians of the Galaxy. I love those characters. I love the GotG trailers. However, Thor should no more feel like GotG than GotG should feel like Thor. They are their own separate entities within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and should have their own unique feels to them as a means of bringing in their own fanbases. And what REALLY bothers me is that, from what I’ve heard, this movie is meant to act as a soft reboot for Thor (not erasing everything that came before, but just changing the overall direction from here on out) within the MCU. And if this trailer is to be believed, then that new direction change is to basically be Guardians of the Galaxy, which is a mistake for the very reasons I just explained. And maybe I’m alone in this attitude, maybe it’s just a me issue, but that’s my opinion. Like I said, I don’t think the trailer taken on its own is bad, but that it should’ve been different. And maybe it’s just this one trailer that’ll feel like this, and it was just done to get a bunch of attention. We’ll see in the months to come.

Anyway, lemme know what you all thought about the trailer, if you agree with my assessment or not, and we’ll see what happens from now until November. Ja né!

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Jyger and N. Harmonik Watch Death Battle: Hulk vs Doomsday

It’s time for a Death Battllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllle! First, if you haven’t seen it already, the official release…

And now, our reactions. ^_^

The NEW MU Books Confirmed Thus Far

While the official date for the release of the full Marvel line-up for the NEW MU (or All-New All-Different Marvel, whichever we’re calling it now) is July 1st, several titles have been confirmed over the past month, while others have been alluded to. As such, let’s take a look at some of these books, starting with…

As I’ve said before, this book will be the flagship title for the new line-up. This book will feature Tony pretty much having to work from the ground up to get to where he once was in his standing as both Tony Stark and Iron Man. The new Invincible Iron Man book will include a new suit with new abilities, new characters, and new resolutions on previous story arcs, as we’ll hopefully get the answer to the question that I’m sure has been on the minds of many the past few years: Is Tony Stark too far gone after everything he’s done, or can he redeem himself for his misdeeds? It’s hard to say, but then again, consider that Tony Stark was first created as a character that no one in that time period would like and then would be forced to sympathize with. In addition, thanks to modern interpretations of the character (in large part, the first of the Marvel movies), Iron Man is ultimately the story of a man who, when his eyes were opened to the terrible things he’d done, strove to better himself as a result. As such, if anyone could come back from these things, it’s Tony Stark… … …Let’s just hope that, while he remains the magnificently snarky bastard we know, he remembers to stay sober, not indulge in petty fights with his fellow heroes, and for God’s sake, keep his friends in the know about what he’s ACTUALLY doing in certain situations. lol

Not gonna lie, I don’t really know much about Squadron Supreme. Everything I DO know is stuff that I’ve learned on wikis, or have been told by fans, comic enthusiasts, and a certain internet personality. Apparently, they come from another world in the Multiverse, although the team has been rebooted and had their stories retold on other Earths beyond that. A lot of the members are analogues for members of the Justice League (Hyperion is Superman, Doctor Spectrum is Green Lantern, Power Princess is Wonder Woman, Nighthawk is Batman, etc.). Also, some of their stories and their history can be seen as What If-type stories of the Justice League without using their trademarked names and whatnot, such as crossovers with the Avengers, and were the first to really look at things like what if heroes used their powers to forcibly turn their Earth into a paradise, long before there was an Injustice: Gods Among Us, or even Watchmen. But, that’s about all I know about the team, and I really know dick all about the individual members. As for this book, all I know is that the members on this team come from the various incarnations of Squadron Supreme seen throughout the Multiverse and are now forced to work together in this new world. It’ll certainly be interesting to see how this set-up develops, but I don’t know if it’s necessarily for me.

Again, thank goodness this book is sticking around. However, despite the fact that this is getting a new #1 issue post-Secret Wars, I’m still gonna be checking out the current book. If for no other reason, but because it helps to introduce the new character and member to the team, Singularity. Plus, it’s a good way to see how this team will gel together. With that said, can I make maybe one or two comments regarding this team? I don’t know why Nico is wearing a muumuu, but unless you’re going for the witch-like look, it doesn’t work. And even then, I feel like she should be wearing a hat or hood, just to complete the look. Also, I get this isn’t an issue with this book specifically, and it’s just the direction the character has been taken lately, but the goth look for Dazzler irks me. I mean, if it was just her being angry about what Mystique did to her, fine, I understand that completely, but I thought when she chose not to kill her in the end, that was the end of that. Plus, looking at this team, it would make them a bit more varied in colour if she was in her old look. But I’m still looking forward to this. Also, wouldn’t mind seeing Spider-Woman or Misty Knight join the team to make it a magnificent seven.

This was something that was teased a little while ago, but now we’ve got confirmation on this new Hulk. The name of the book threw me a bit, but apparently, this new Hulk is someone who is VERY excited about the role, so that makes a bit more sense. The weird thing is that both his face and his arm are blacked out in this preview, which has led to some speculation about who it could be. The obvious candidate seems to be Amadeus Cho, given his background, the hairstyle shown, and a few other reasons that’s been brought up, but we’ll see what happens. Incidentally, though, I should note that it’s been confirmed that Maestro, the possible future evil Hulk, is gonna be sticking around post-Secret Wars, so between that and this reveal, that suggests that Jen might be needing to use that cure on Bruce Banner pretty soon after all. Also, if there’s a new Hulk in town, wonder if we’ll be seeing him in this next book…

Yup, the team I will not shut the frak up about. lol I can’t help it, I’m excited about this book, and this team. It’s diverse in nationalities, powers, ages, and just overall walks of life. The only thing I find myself wondering about is how this team is gonna be at its most effective if Tony Stark won’t be funding and supplying them with money and equipment. Apparently, they won’t even have Avengers Tower, although really, that is like painting a giant bulls-eye on the island of Manhattan for their enemies…even though they tend to attack New York most of the time anyway. Also, I’m curious to know if this means Kamala told her parents about her superhero life, since I can’t imagine her being a full-time member of the team and doing her own patrols of New Jersey without telling them or having a really good cover story… … …I kinda want her to tell them, just because I wanna see her mom’s reaction. XD

So, according to Bendis, because of course he’s writing this book, Miles Morales is the main protagonist, while Peter Parker will act as his mentor. Personally, if they’re going the direction of having Miles be the primary Spider-Man from here on out, having Peter mentor and guide him is a good idea. The thing is, while Miles has been Spider-Man for at least a little while now, he’s never really had any kind of formal training as a superhero, having to pretty much pick it up as he goes with only his knowledge of how Peter worked previously in his universe. Peter Parker, meanwhile, not only got training with his fellow heroes, but he took what he learned from Shang-Chi and Steve Rogers and used these new moves in tandem with his powers to create the Way of the Spider. Given Miles’ own unique abilities (invisibility and venom sting, if he could merge them with the Way of the Spider, it could potentially prove even more effective in his hands. Plus, it’ll be interesting to see how Miles adapts to this new world and how he stacks up against Peter’s rogues gallery, who, while similar to the villains he knows from his Earth, are nonetheless different in a lot of ways.

Speaking of the Spiders of the Marvel Universe, Spider-Gwen’s solo title is confirmed to return. I say return, because Spider-Gwen #5 was the final issue of the first volume of her book…which I didn’t know about until I got to the very end of it. Granted, I understand the need to start whole new volumes for each series in this new universe, but goddamnit, Spider-Gwen JUST GOT STARTED. The new volume even has the same creative team, thank God. Hell, she’s not even part of the mainstream universe, she’s gonna be dimension hopping between her Earth and the new one. Which, FYI, for anyone saying that the Marvel Multiverse is just gonna completely up and disappear, just remember that Marvel counts EVERYTHING in the Multiverse. Well, the movies aren’t ending, the TV shows are still airing, and Spider-Gwen’s Earth is gonna be sticking around, so it’s not disappearing. It might be SHRINKING, it might have some worlds disappearing and combining into new worlds, but it’s not going away completely. But anyway, I’m just glad this book will be back post-Secret Wars. And hey, it’s nice knowing that at least one alternate take on the Spider-Man mythos will be sticking around full-time…Still, can’t we at least make some kind of distinction from the first book, so that, in the future, people looking for the first issue of the first volume don’t accidentally pick up the new #1? I know I started calling the book Gwen Stacy: The Insert-Cool-Sounding-Adjective-Here Spider-Woman as a joke, but at this point, I think I’d take it.

Another book I’m super happy to see that is confirmed to be returning is Captain Marvel, with Carol Danvers as the titular cap. Unfortunately, it seems that Kelly Sue DeConnick isn’t sticking around to write it post-Secret Wars, which makes me a little sad. She’s the one who has helmed the book since Carol took over the role. She’s a big part of the reason we have a movie starring the character scheduled. Still, good to see Carol returning in all her badass glory, with her regulation haircut back, her costume getting some minor updates, and apparently running her own orbital defense space station. Also, for worried feminists, don’t, it’s being written by Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas. If you don’t know who they are, I’ll give ya a hint: Agent fucking Carter on ABC. We’re gonna be fine, folks. lol

Yeah, you had to know that, with this guy getting a movie soon, he was gonna have a solo book. According to Jason Aaron, when he was talking to Entertainment Weekly about the new book, he and Chris Bachalo “wanted a Doctor Strange who was always having to work for what he gets,” and that  “Strange has to worry about repercussions” because “We’re talking about the forces of magic. So whatever he does has repressions.” This is probably the reason why we’re seeing him use more basic weapons and tools in artwork for the new book and his post-Secret Wars situation in general: When the best weapon at his disposal has a big risk factor to it with multiple possible bad ends to using it, it’s best to keep it as a last resort. It’s like Willow in Buffy The Vampire Slayer after she went bad, having to lean on her other skills as to not abuse something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Granted, the two are doing it for somewhat different reasons, but it’s still a comparable scenario. Hopefully, like Iron Man, we see more of Strange looking back on certain past mistakes (mind wiping Steve Rogers, for example) and trying to make up for them.

Other than these, we know that Ms. Marvel will get a new volume, that there’ll be a couple of books focused on S.H.I.E.L.D. and its members, there’ll be solo books for Drax and Gamora, that there will be an Uncanny Inhumans book, and that there’ll be at least one X-Men book, probably multiple knowing that brand. Also, given the characters presented on the banners we saw a while back, we can probably expect books for Captain America, Spider-Woman, Daredevil, Thor, Ant-Man, Black Panther, and the Guardians of the Galaxy. Lastly, I’m willing to bet that there’s at least one or two more team books planned, since I don’t know what else Red Wolf and Citizen V are doing, with at least one other Avengers team present besides the All-New, All-Different Avengers, and that we may see the returns of Groot, Black Widow, and Team Hawkeye and their books, since they seem to be doing pretty well thus far. There’s also been this teaser for something potentially involving Venom, with the words “I’ve returned” present…which doesn’t seem to bode well for Flash Thompson. o.O

Anyway, what kind of books would you like to see released in the All-New, All-Different Marvel? Lemme know in the comments section below, and we’ll see what appears on the list on Canada Day. Ja né!

How To Drop The Ball In Comics: What Bothers Me About The X-Men’s Plight

…Okay, before anyone sees that title and asks, no, I don’t hate the X-Men in any way, shape, or form. I love the X-Men. In fact, I think it’s that love of the X-Men that helped me realize this issue of mine. See, a few days ago, while discussing the possibility of the X-Men and Fantastic 4 being phased out in terms of importance to the Marvel Universe, I mentioned how, and I quote, “the X-Men’s continued plight as being loathed by humanity becomes more absurd the more you think about it and the more time goes by”. I also mentioned how I’d like to see Marvel Studios come to some kind of deal with Fox to be able to incorporate the X-Men into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, if for no other reason but to have Wolverine potentially join the Avengers for a mission or two. However, looking back on that, I think that would only make the same problem I have with the X-Men in the comics present in the movies. And for those wondering what that is, I will spell it out for you: The X-Men and mutantkind in general being hated and mistrusted by ‘normal’ human beings MAKES NO SENSE when they exist in the same universe as the Avengers, who are seen as the legitimate heroes of Earth. Hell, it doesn’t make any sense when presented in the same universe as ANY superhero team that has super-powered members of any kind. Every excuse I’ve ever heard, be it that they’re too powerful, too different, were ordinary humans changed to be superhuman, can read minds, none of them have any kind of leg to stand on when you really analyze them. And, if you’ll allow me, I’d like to present my evidence in a very simple bulleted list.

  • The Avengers have plenty of super-powered individuals that can be seen as being as powerful or more-so than the average mutant. And don’t split hairs with me, you know what I mean by average. The number of mutants that could take Thor or the Hulk in a one-on-one fight are probably a bit on the short side. So, those that fear that mutants are too powerful have clearly never taken a good look at Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
  • Members of the Avengers have come not only from various walks of life on Earth, but from different worlds and even whole different realms of existence. And while I’m not saying that people aren’t afraid of Thor for being different, I would go out on a limb and suggest that they are considerably less than the number of people that fear mutants for the same damned reason.
  • There exist plenty of superheroes both on the Avengers and other superhero teams (hell, EVERY MEMBER of the original Fantastic 4) who were ordinary humans that were altered, empowered, or transformed in some way, shape, or form that all get free passes from prejudice and hate. Now, granted, there are those that ARE feared and hated, too. Probably the biggest example of such would be the Hulk. However, let’s look at the biggest example of a human being who was changed and became able to perform superhuman feats: Steven Rogers, AKA Captain fucking America. Granted, at the end of the day, he’s still a human being with basic human weaknesses, but he can lift more and run faster than any non-enhanced human being, and can process information quicker than the average person too. And while I wouldn’t wanna make an ass outta you and me, I’m nonetheless going to assume that significantly fewer people fear Captain America than mutants.
  • Mutants aren’t the only individuals in the Marvel Universe that possess a form of telepathy. Granted, the list of humans that can use telepathy and aren’t considered mutants is pretty frigging short, and mutants employ several of the best telepaths in the universe, but they aren’t the only ones. Hell, Sam Wilson has a telepathic connection with his fucking bird, and no one raises an eyebrow. Look, I get it, the idea of people able to read our thoughts can be kinda creepy, and there are those in the mutant community that don’t exactly do a great job of diffusing such fears. I’m not even necessarily talking villains here, either. Recently, the time displaced Jean Grey of the past (long story short for those that don’t know, the original five X-Men of Cyclops, Jean Grey, Iceman, Angel, and Beast were brought to the present and have refused to go back until they fix the mess their future selves made) revealed that Iceman was gay by going into his brain and reading his thoughts without his consent and continued to do so even after he asked her not to. Still, it’s not like that’s a scenario exclusive to mutants. Oh, and speaking of which, I can’t help but notice that Earth in the Marvel Universe has, like the real world, become a place where we’re becoming more accepting of people of different races, religions, orientations, genders, and anything else that could divide us as a species…and yet, mutants, which have been used as a metaphor for all of those things, are still not accepted. That’s a problem. lol

Anyway, I think that pretty much covers most of… … … … …Oh wait, I almost forgot…

THE X-MEN HAVE JOINED THE AVENGERS!!!

X-MEN MEMBERS HAVE JOINED THE AVENGERS!!!

Even before the Unity Division, AKA the Uncanny Avengers, X-Men members like Wolverine, Storm, and Beast have joined various incarnations of the Avengers. Hell, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver have been longtime members of the Avengers, and they used to work for the Brotherhood of Mutants. Y’know, the bad guys? Don’t recall that ever being a problem, or if it was, I never heard of it being so.

 

So, with all of that said, the only conceivable answer I can come up with for why mutants are still loathed and feared in the Marvel Universe when there are people like the Avengers and the Fantastic 4 running around is because humanity is either immensely hypocritically bigoted, or it’s fucking stupid. And, as I’ve said before, if a story only works because the characters involved are morons, the story ultimately fails… … …which, to be perfectly frank, is probably why the X-Men and the struggles of mutantkind being pushed aside a bit in the grand scope of the Marvel Universe, and not being an element of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, are good things. And again, I love the X-Men. I love seeing the characters show up and be awesome, and watching them take part in big, epic events to save the world is great. And the stories that focus primarily on them are still good. It’s when I’m asked, in a story involving the Marvel Universe in general, to believe that they’re still despised by humanity in spite of every reason why they shouldn’t be that I find the severe logical problem in storytelling, which is one reason why I REALLY didn’t like Avengers vs X-Men… … … … …And oh God, do I ever dread the day when I’ll have to give my full thoughts on that event. -_-

Anyway, those are my thoughts on that particular subject. Lemme know what you think of it in the comments section below, and be sure to bamf back here the next time I have a random thought about how a comic idea can kinda fail sometimes. Ja né!

Who Do You Think Of When You Think Of The Avengers? Please Comment Below

Y’know, something that seems to happen a lot in comics is that superhero teams will go through multiple iterations with varying members that switch in and out of the roster. The Justice Society, the Justice League, the Avengers, the X-Men, the Teen Titans, the New Warriors, etc. Now, a word that’s been going around a lot lately is ‘iconic’, specifically as it pertains to individuals bearing legacy hero aliases or variations of superhero teams. Ultimately, though, what it boils down to is which version you think of first. Like, for example, I love the idea of people like Sam Wilson, Miles Morales, and Kamala Khan taking up the names of Captain America, Spider-Man, and Ms. Marvel. Thing is, though, as much as I love it and hope they stick around for the long-haul, unless your first exposure to the Star-Spangled Avenger was the book All-New Captain America, you’re probably gonna think of Steve Rogers first before Sam Wilson. And that is in no way a knock at Sam, it’s just how it is. Steve has now had five individuals who have taken up the shield in varying absences and has always found a way to retake it every time, meaning that in his 74 year existence in comics, he’s spent the vast majority of it as Captain America, and is therefore likely to someday become Cap again. The movies don’t really help much there either, since Marvel always tries to have their comics reflect elements of the movies for the sake of new readers that got into the characters and stories through the movies, except in rare cases. Like, I don’t expect Carol Danvers to become Ms. Marvel again now that she’s got a movie in the works as CAPTAIN Marvel, so Kamala is probably safe in her current role.

Still, that raises an interesting question: Is there a universally accepted definition of who the most iconic versions of heroes and/or members of superhero teams are? Because every comic is conceivably someone’s first, so who knows? Maybe some people’s first exposure to Captain America is the Sam Wilson version? And hey, Free Comic Book Day is meant to get new readers on board with comics, so it’s entirely possible that the first version of the Avengers for some people is the one that debuted there, assuming they don’t watch the movies of course. Likewise, people who don’t read the comics and only watch the movies would think of that team of heroes as the Avengers first and foremost, and would probably be shocked to learn that Captain America wasn’t a founding member, Hulk left within a couple of issues and didn’t return until 2012, and Black Widow didn’t join the team until a full 10 years and 100+ issues into the Avengers’ history.

As such, here’s the question I pose to you all: Who do you think of when you think of the Avengers? Do you think of the original five founding members of Ant-Man, Wasp, Thor, Iron Man, and the Hulk? Perhaps Cap’s Kooky Quartet of himself, Hawkeye, Quicksilver, and Scarlet Witch? Maybe the A-Next team from the MC2 Universe, consisting of J2, Mainframe, Stinger, and Thunderstrike? Or maybe you don’t even think of one single version of the team, but rather different members that have been on various incarnations of the team, like Spider-Man, Vision, Wolverine, Luke Cage, or Doctor Strange?

So, basically what I want is for you to list the first five to ten characters you think of when you hear the word ‘Avengers’. Keep in mind, there is no wrong answer here. It all depends on who you think of. List them in the comments section below, and we’ll see who everyone thinks of, and if there are any universally considered iconic members of the Avengers. Ja né!

Jyger’s Rant: Avengers Age of Ultron Review (WARNING – SPOILERS)

Well, I’ve let my thoughts on the movie sit and stew for a couple of days, so now I feel ready to talk about the eleventh movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Avengers: Age of Ultron. I should warn right away, though, that if you have not seen the movie, there are massive spoilers ahead, so if you don’t wanna have the movie ruined for you, skip to where I have labelled ‘Spoilers End Here’ to get my overall thoughts on the movie. For now, let’s run down the plot of the film.

So the movie kicks off with the Avengers going to Sokovia, a fictional country in eastern Europe. Remember that mid-credits scene at the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, where we found out Baron Strucker was using Loki’s Scepter (likely procured due to Hydra’s infiltration of S.H.I.E.L.D.) to enhance human beings? Well, apparently, in between these two movies, the Avengers realized that Hydra had it, and have been going through the process of finding hidden bases and clearing them out in the hunt for the scepter. However, while the operation goes well, save for Hawkeye taking a bad hit, and they wind up apprehending Strucker, the two Enhanced, the twins Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, not only escape, but Wanda uses her powers to feed Iron Man a vision of the future. In it, Tony sees the Chitauri return and the Avengers are all killed because he couldn’t do enough to save them. As such, he’s encouraged not only to take the scepter, but to examine it and, after he and Bruce find an artificial intelligence inside the gem of the scepter, try to use it to finish work on Tony’s Ultron program. Basically, a first line of defense against external threats to the world that wouldn’t necessarily require a second one. Meanwhile, Doctor Helen Cho repairs the damage done to Clint’s side with synthetic tissue. Remember this, it’ll be important later.

Unfortunately for the Avengers, during a victory party they’re hosting, which features appearances by Rhodey (who has gone back to being War Machine instead of the more PC branded Iron Patriot), Sam Wilson (who is still on the trail of Bucky following Captain America: The Winter Soldier), and quite possibly the best damn Stan Lee cameo EVER, Ultron comes online and is a bit…confused. After a quick search through the database and a conversation with J.A.R.V.I.S., though, he’s lead to believe that, for his mission to save the world to be successful, humanity needs to be eliminated. Specifically, those who want to protect the world but don’t want it to change. As such, he seemingly destroys J.A.R.V.I.S. and takes control of the Iron Legion, pitting them against the unprepared Avengers. Even after the Avengers manage to come out on top, it’s clear that Ultron is a massive threat, made worse when he escapes through the internet. He kills Strucker and regroups with Wanda and Pietro, and they plan to get rid of the Avengers. Luckily, said Avengers manage to figure out that he’s going to pay Ulysses Klaue a visit, who apparently smuggles vibranium (the metal used to make Captain America’s shield) out of the fictional country of Wakanda (which, if you’ve never heard of, you will in the Black Panther movie). However, while Iron Man is able to destroy Ultron’s newer, tougher body, he nonetheless escapes again, this time with the vibranium. To make matters worse, all of the team but Hawkeye are trapped in nightmarish visions from Wanda, which have caused the Hulk to go berserk in Johannesburg. Luckily, Bruce helped Tony build something to help contain him should he go out of control: The MK XLIV modular exo-skeleton, AKA V.E.R.O.N.I.C.A., or as comic fans know it better as, the Hulkbuster. While Tony DOES eventually bring Hulk down, though, the damage done to the city is pretty bad, and backlash against the Avengers is also bad.

Deciding to hide out somewhere and regroup (the team is still pretty shaken from their visions), Hawkeye takes them to his place: A farm house in the middle of nowhere, where Clint lives with his wife and children…and if you’re like me, you’re more than a little surprised by that. It seems only Black Widow knew about them, as S.H.I.E.L.D. tries to keep the families of their agents in safe locations and the knowledge of them known only by a select few. The team tries their best to recover from their mental trauma, with Thor going to meet with Eric Selvig to learn about his visions of Ragnarok and the Infinity Stones, Bruce and Natasha confiding in each other about their tragic lives and a possible desire to escape everything and make a new life together (they’d been showing less than subtle hints of a mutual attraction for a while now), and Steve and Tony doing what they’re mostly known for doing nowadays in the comics: Arguing. lol Well, okay, Nick Fury also shows up (was he just hiding in that barn this whole time?) to help get the team back on their feet, and they learn that, while Ultron has been going after launch codes for various weapons of mass destruction around the world, someone or something has been constantly altering the codes, keeping Ultron out. Instead, they eventually figure out the next phase of Ultron’s plan: To create a new body made of vibranium and synthetic tissue. As such, he’s used Loki’s scepter to take control of Helen Cho and is using her to make said body. He even cracks open the gem in Loki’s scepter, revealing, you guessed it, an Infinity Stone, which he embeds in the new body’s forehead. However, as he begins to download himself into this body, Wanda is able to peer into his mind, realizing what his ultimate goal is: Essentially, he’s going to enact an Armageddon-level attack on the world with the intent of forcing what survivors are left to evolve into a stronger race, though it’s entirely likely that there may not BE any survivors. As such, the twins decide to leave him and, as the Avengers arrive to take the body before Ultron can finish downloading himself, come to their aid, as well as help keep the civilians in the area from getting hurt. Unfortunately, Ultron again escapes, and has captured Black Widow along the way.

You may have noticed one thing about the film already that can be a problem: The overall structure. Most movies follow a basic three act structure. As far as I can tell, Age of Ultron more or less has a four or five act structure, which can be off-putting for some people. Regardless, the team regroups at Avengers Tower, where Tony and Bruce are at work. Tony realized that the one rotating the launch codes and keeping Ultron at bay all along was actually J.A.R.V.I.S., who survived the attack on him and went into hiding. As such, they’ve decided to reconfigure J.A.R.V.I.S.’s program and put him in the body Ultron built. This leads to a fight between the six present at the tower, and when I say a fight, I mean they literally come to blows, until Thor arrives and uses lightning stored in Mjölnir to awaken the body. Apparently, it was in his vision of things to come, and that the Mind Stone is the source of Ultron’s AI, the twins’ powers, and was what was powering Loki’s scepter. The power of the Mind Stone, combined with Thor’s lightning, the new vibranium and synthetic body, and J.A.R.V.I.S.’s program, brings to life a whole new being called The Vision. Vision makes it clear that he doesn’t WANT to kill Ultron, but because of what he’s planning, there’s no other choice. He has to be stopped before he annihilates humanity. Luckily, Natasha managed to get a message out to Clint, and they figure out that Ultron is hiding right back at where the movie started: Sokovia.

Arriving on the scene, and evacuating as many people as possible, the Avengers confront Ultron, who reveals his ultimate move: He uses a machine made out of vibranium to physically lift a huge portion of the land out of the ground and into the sky. Once it’s high enough, he’ll drop it with enough force to wipe out humanity. He’s also built an army of robots to contend with the Avengers, with himself in an upgraded vibranium body. However, while it is possible to blow the machine up before it can hit the Earth, there’s still people left in the city that will die if they do. Thankfully, Fury arrives with a helicarrier, a skeleton crew of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, and War Machine to evacuate anyone still left in the city. Bruce manages to save Natasha, and the two regroup with the others, as they assemble to stop Ultron from activating the drop mechanism. Vision cuts him off from the internet, and they crack his most powerful body, causing him and his army to retreat. Wanda stays with the control panel to keep it clear, while the others go about helping evacuate the civilians and destroying all of Ultron’s bodies before they can escape, as if even one of them gets away, Ultron will survive and do this all over again. However, in the midst of the chaos, Ultron steals a jet and tries to gun down Hawkeye as he saves a child, only for Pietro to save him at the cost of his own life. In a rage, Wanda finds Ultron and destroys his primary body, which allows one drone to crawl over and activate the machine. Luckily, they all manage to get away at the last minute as Iron Man and Thor destroy the machine, blowing the landmass apart, as Vision tracks down and destroys the last Ultron body, ending the threat for good. However, fearing for Natasha’s safety, Hulk takes Ultron’s jet and flies away in stealth mode, deciding to go into hiding alone.

In the aftermath of the battle, Fury sets up a new base for the Avengers in upstate New York, since…y’know, having a giant tower in the middle of NYC makes you and everyone around you a massive target. Cho, Selvig, and Maria Hill all set up shop there, as well as the rest of Fury’s agents. Clint decides to retire from the team to be with his family, and Thor opts to return to Asgard, hoping to learn more about his visions as he believes someone is manipulating events to set up for something bigger than they’ve ever dealt with. Finally, Tony decides to take his leave of the team as well, which just leaves Captain America and Black Widow. Thankfully, though, it seems they’ll have a few new recruits, as Steve prepares to train Falcon, War Machine, Vision, and Wanda as the Scarlet Witch as the new team of Avengers. However, they may need more than that, as the Infinity Gauntlet is taken by Thanos, who proclaims “…Fine. I’ll do it myself.”

…SO, let’s get character stuff outta the way. First off, let’s talk about Tony Stark. This movie continues to delve into his PTSD following the first Avengers movie. He’s not having attacks like in Iron Man 3, but you can nonetheless tell how affected he is by what happened. Every decision, every move, everything he does in this movie, you can tell that he’s motivated by the fear of watching his friends be killed by the returning Chitauri. And what’s worse is that, as irrational as he comes off, as often as he makes decisions that are clearly not thought out that well, he’s right to be afraid. We know that this is all leading to Thanos looking to obtain the Infinity Stones, and where is one of them right now? On Earth. Worse, they’ve already earned his rage once. If he comes back with the rest of his army at their front door, AND the Infinity Stones, it’ll be a slaughter. They only won last time because of a conveniently placed off switch for the portal that let the Chitauri through. If it wasn’t for that, they would’ve eventually been exhausted, overwhelmed, and obliterated. Granted, the nuke kinda helped too, but something tells me that Thanos’ army will be prepared for that next time. So as much as what he does earns the ire of his now ex-team at times, you nonetheless understand what he’s going through and want to continue to root for him. Plus, y’know, he’s Iron Man and he’s a badass. And, as always, his snark levels are high for this. Oh, and the Hulkbuster being named V.E.R.O.N.I.C.A.? Apparently, that’s an inside joke. Veronica, as in opposite of Betty, like Betty Ross, the Hulk’s ex……..Not sure what to do with this information, especially considering that Bruce Banner actually helped build the thing. lol

Speaking of Bruce, I don’t know what happened between the first Avengers movie and Age of Ultron, but Bruce seems to have gone from having control of himself and acceptance of being the Hulk…to constantly having to keep himself as restrained as possible and being hesitant to releasing the Hulk. Seriously, what the hell happened there? Is there story we’re missing? I mean, I know there was a prequel comic to Age of Ultron that helps fill in when they got back together and started hunting Hydra, but if that’s where this development happened, I gotta call foul. Like, I get that it’s probably more compelling story for him, but it just doesn’t make a lot of sense. Still, I will give it this much: Seeing him leave on his own in the end is sad. His decision to keep Natasha from getting hurt by being around him is tragic……although, it would be MORE tragic for me personally, if this wasn’t a complete rehash of Oz leaving Willow in Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Even Joss Whedon describing the Hulk as a werewolf makes it clear he’s falling back on that story heavily here. Hell, Willow and Natasha are even both redheads!

If Hulk’s story throughout this movie was sad, though, Black Widow’s is HEARTBREAKING. I’m not gonna lie, and N. Harmonik can attest to this since we went to see the movie together, when Natasha explained that, as part of her initiation as a Russian spy, she had to be sterilized, I was on the verge of tears. I’m not much for crying. I’ve never really had a problem being emotional, but tears requires some doing. So yeah, while Joss loses points with me for retreading ground I watched him tread over 15 years ago, he nonetheless makes it back here, as does Scarlet Johansson for really selling this scene. There’s something about her subtle yet strong delivery that makes me wanna weep for her. And for Nat to go through all of this and wind up alone in the end, it’s all the more horrible. Still, as one should expect from Black Widow, she takes the worst that this movie can throw at her and powers through like a boss……Seriously, though, how many movies does this character and the actress playing her have to steal before Marvel Studios finally green-lights a Black Widow solo movie? Honestly, I’m not asking for the moon here, I just want a frigging Black Widow movie. lol

Captain America’s personal journey in this movie is probably the least compelling of the group, but it’s nonetheless something that plays into his overall character arc throughout these movies. Steve Rogers is a soldier, built for war, but when the war’s over, he’s not sure what to do with his life. The love of his life is on death’s doorstep, nearly everyone he knew in his old life is dead, his best friend is missing, and he’s a man out of his own time. By the end, we see signs that he’s accepted his life as a soldier with no possibility of a ‘normal’ life, but one has to wonder. Still, like Black Widow, while he might get put down by these things, he will not allow himself to stay down. Cap fights like a man possessed in this movie, pushing himself as hard as we’ve ever seen. He’s also got a device on his arm that lets him recall his shield, which is handy since, with some of the enemies in this movie, his shield doesn’t so much bounce off of them as it does STICK into them. There’s a running gag throughout the movie wherein he chided Iron Man for his language early on and people keep teasing him over it, and while it’s funny, I think they maybe pushed it a little too far. But most of all, no matter how bad things get, he refuses to give up or give in, continuing to be the symbol of everything we should aspire to be, to the point where, during a scene where the team all try lifting Thor’s hammer, he actually manages to budge it, showing he’s well on his way to proving himself worthy of Mjölnir.

Speaking of the God of Thunder, Thor’s story in this movie is actually something I wanna get into later. Suffice to say, beyond the pacing and act structure of this movie, there’s one other problem this movie has. For now, though, it seems like some of the stuff regarding his arc in this movie may have been cut for time. There was talk that Loki was gonna be in this movie, which I imagine would’ve been in the visions (because otherwise, how else would you even get him in here?), and a scene of a woman stepping into the pool that Thor enters at one point in one of the trailers, but neither occurred in the movie. One other running bit in the movie is, again, when everyone tried to lift Mjölnir and failed, though you could see a look of concern on his face when Steve budged it. Then comes The Vision, who is somehow able to lift it with ease, much to Thor’s stunned amazement. However, by the end, while Steve and Tony are trying to comfort him over it (in a rather amusing manner), we see that Thor’s alright with it, and uses the fact that Mjölnir deemed Vision worthy as proof that the Mind Stone is safe with him.

And that brings us to The Vision…who I absolutely loved in this movie. His overall power-set is a bit different in this movie from how he is in the comics, but I’m fine with that. And while he sounds like J.A.R.V.I.S., and even has maybe a tiny hint of his old personality, he’s clearly something wholly different, born from the sum of his parts into something completely new. His cape is probably justified in the movie due to having been created through Thor’s lightning, feeling a connection to him. He also has an interesting relation to Ultron. Despite Ultron having tried to eliminate him as J.A.R.V.I.S., he doesn’t want to destroy him. He sees Ultron as a unique being, whether he counts as alive or not. But, ultimately, he doesn’t have a choice. To him, Ultron is less-so evil than he is a rabid dog: He doesn’t WANT to kill him, but at this point, it’s the only humane option left. And while the team is at first distrusting of him, when he rallies them all together and even lifts Mjölnir, there’s no question in their minds from then on that he’s not only on their side, but he may be the only one who can save the world.

Let’s talk next about the twins, Wanda and Pietro…who, for some reason or another, are never, at any point in this movie, referred to as Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. I dunno, maybe it’s a rights thing. Speaking of, because Fox owns the cinematic rights to the X-Men and Mutants, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are obviously very different in this movie. They’re ‘Enhanced’, humans that were given powers through the Mind Stone in Loki’s Scepter, who had volunteered to such a process as a means of eventually getting revenge on Tony Stark, as his weapons were used to destroy their home, their family, and left them hidden under a bed for two days with what turned out to be a dud, waiting to die. As such, when Ultron plans to eliminate the Avengers, they’re all to happy to join his cause, but once they find out what he’s really after, they immediately realize their error and switch sides. Plus, after spending some time with the team, they quickly begin to learn that they’re good people and start integrating themselves into the group, becoming Avengers themselves.

While I still prefer the version of this character from X-Men Days of Future Past overall, I really liked this Quicksilver from pretty much his first scene. He’s snarky, cocksure, and full of energy. He doesn’t like staying in one place for very long, unless it involves protecting Wanda (because he’s technically the older brother by being born twelve minutes earlier than her, a fact he likes to point out). When he first meets Hawkeye, he develops a rivalry with him that, by the time they’re working on the same side, develops more into an annoying brother sibling rivalry type of thing. And, I’m not gonna lie, watching him sacrifice himself to save Clint and the child he was protecting was heart-wrenching. As I told several people, I had a feeling someone was gonna die in this movie and have it be for real (a lot of the Marvel movies like to do fake-out deaths), but I wasn’t expecting it to be him. And seeing that Clint named his newborn son Nathaniel Pietro Barton really brought it home that they’d developed a tight connection, and that his sacrifice would always be remembered. Personally, I kinda want a memorial for him in the new Avengers facility.

Regarding Scarlet Witch…….Okay, here’s where I’m honestly finding myself having to tread lightly, so bear with me here. I really like this character, and I’m SO glad that we got another woman on the team. Plus, after she had a little Heroic BSOD and got a pep talk from Hawkeye, which I’ll talk about in a sec, she bounced back and became BADASS. She was clearing Ultron robots out like a fucking demon, and when Ultron killed Quicksilver, she got her revenge by literally ripping his ‘heart’ out of his chest. Having said that, beyond her relationship with Pietro, I don’t really think I would consider this character all that faithful to her comic book counterpart. She’s a good character, she just doesn’t feel like Wanda. Honestly, with the changes to personality and powers, she feels similar to, ironically enough, Jean Grey. But regardless, that doesn’t devalue her as a character, just let it be known for comic book purists, you’re probably not gonna be 100% satisfied with this portrayal.

And then there’s Hawkeye……who has my favourite damned scene in the entire movie, when he says to Wanda during her breakdown, and I quote, “Hey, look at me. It’s your fault, it’s everyone’s fault, who cares? Are you up for this? Are you? Look, I just need to know, because the city is flying…okay, the city is flying, we are fighting an army of robots, and I have a bow and arrow. None of this makes sense, but I’m going back out there because it’s my job. Okay? And I can’t do my job and babysit. It doesn’t matter what you did or where you were. If you go out there, you fight. And you fight to kill. Stay in here, you’re good. I’ll send your brother to come find you. But if you step out that door, you are an Avenger.” In that one scene, they completely redeemed him not getting a lot of character time in the first Avengers movie. That and including his family. That being said, if they kill off his family like in the Ultimate Universe just to bring Clint back for Infinity War, I’m NOT going to be happy.

And last of all, let’s talk about Ultron. I actually thought the idea to make his personality seem like a dark reflection of Tony’s worked out great. He’s got a lot of the same snark levels and actually beats him to the punch of certain jokes. It also gives him a character trait wherein he more or less has daddy issues with Stark, and actually cuts off a man’s arm for comparing the two. But one thing I find very interesting about him, though, is how he interacts with Wanda and Pietro. He seems to legitimately care for the two, despite the likelihood that his plan might kill them, although it’s possible he’s not mentally registering that fact. He even comes off as somewhat hurt by their betrayal. Even in the end, when he’d inadvertently killed Pietro and was confronted by a vengeful Wanda, all he could do was tell her that, if she stayed, she’d die. In that moment, her safety still mattered to him. One has to wonder if Vision was correct about him, that he wasn’t really evil, just wrong and dangerous, and simply went too far in his misguided quest. And whereas Vision looks to him with pity, Ultron likewise feels disappointment in how Vision turns out, seeing him as a puppet. There’s a reason the original teaser trailer used lyrics from “I’ve Got No Strings”, and why he sings it during his escape. Ultron doesn’t want to simply be a puppet under anyone’s control. He wants to be his own individual with his own free will…which one can see as ironic and a little hypocritical for someone who builds his own legion of robots that respond to his will, but again, that can be seen as further enforcement of how he’s unwilling or unable to see his own mistakes. His last words to Vision were “You’re unbearably naive.” But, really, while that might be true, the same reflects on himself. Likewise, Vision’s retort that he was literally born yesterday also can be applied to Ultron, since he’s only got him beat by a couple of days. He’s quite literally a child. If he’d simply given himself more time to think things out, to learn about the world and how it works, and to learn about himself and his own emotions, he might’ve turned out differently.

So, before I wrap this up, let’s talk about one aspect of this movie that, while I personally don’t mind too much, is nonetheless a problem: All the advertisement for the Phase 3 movies. Look, I’m just gonna say it, and I don’t care who gets pissed with this one, but Iron Man 2 SUCKED. Why did it suck? Because the actual plot took a backseat to being a 2 hour commercial for the Avengers, which we were gonna see anyway. This movie’s plot didn’t necessarily take a backseat to being a 2 1/2 hour commercial for Phase 3, but it was still pretty blatant. Thor’s visions are setting up for Thor: Ragnarok. Captain America and Iron Man’s issues in this movie are setting up for Avengers: Civil Wa-…Oh, I’m sorry, Captain America: Civil War. I got confused because I looked at the cast for the movie and saw a lot of the Avengers on there. Wakanda’s mention is to set up for Black Panther. The mid-credits scene is setting up Infinity War, but I guess the mid-credits scene is always where we see advertisement for the next movie, and that’s okay. But seriously guys, we’re already gonna go see these movies, you didn’t have to do this.

Spoilers End Here

Anyway, with all that said, my overall opinion is that the movie is really great. It’s got a couple of problems that maybe hold it down a bit, but I think the pros outweigh the cons. That said, if you didn’t like the first one, this one’s probably not gonna sell ya. So yeah, definitely for fans of this franchise, but the plus side is, those that are fans of this franchise will likely love this movie. Those are my thoughts, but hey, feel free to leave your own. Ja né!

Jyger’s Favourite 10?! – 10 Characters That NEED To Survive Marvel’s Secret Wars

I’ve recently posed the same scenario to a few people, just out of curiosity: Let’s say Marvel came up to you and asked who you felt 10 must-have characters are that need to survive Secret Wars and exist in the new Marvel Universe. Who would be on your list and why? The reason I ask this is because…well, let’s face it, after Secret Wars is over, and the Marvel Universe is rebooted, things will be VERY different, and it’s entirely possible that not everyone in the Marvel Universe that we know and love now will make it into the new one. And frankly, it’s not just who gets in, but which version of what characters get in. For example, let’s say Tony Stark makes it through to the post-Secret Wars universe, which he probably will. It could be any version of Tony throughout history and across the Multiverse, or a brand new take on the character. Hell, it could be a complete cut and paste of Robert Downey Jr.’s take on the character…which I’d actually be perfectly okay with, by the way. But yeah, point is, there’s no way to know, and a lot of people could potentially be losing some of their favourite characters with this reboot. As such, I’ve decided to list the 10 characters I feel need to survive Secret Wars, though I should note that I won’t be including any that are currently part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as I would imagine their positions are secure. So yeah, thankfully, I don’t see Carol Danvers going anywhere anytime soon. ^_^ So, let’s start off with the one that you all probably know I couldn’t stand to have the Marvel Universe be without…

#1 - Kamala Khan, AKA Ms. Marvel

#1 – Kamala Khan, AKA Ms. Marvel

…Yeah, I have a confession to make: For many years, Stephanie Brown has been my favourite superhero. While I wouldn’t say that she’s been usurped, if there was ever a hero in a position to possibly do so, it’s Kamala. She’s simultaneously able to reach out to a minority group, AND be extremely relatable to lots of people: She’s a geek, she writes fanfiction, she has trouble relating to her family, standard teen issues, non-standard teen issues (see aforementioned family), a good sense of humour, a love of superheroes, and a desire to be like them. Plus, while she isn’t always the most successful heroine at her job, she nonetheless keeps trying, learning new ways to use her powers and getting better at being a superhero, thus earning the praise of Wolverine and Spider-Man. She’s a very inspiring hero as a result. It’s really no wonder the trade paperback for issues 1 through 5 did as well as it did, ranking #2 on the New York Times Best Seller list. And frankly, we know that Marvel is always looking for ways to make money, so keeping Kamala around as Ms. Marvel is a must. Failing a solo book, however, she should at least be on a team, possibly a new version of the Young Avengers, or even a sort of Young Inhumans book.

#2 - Miles Morales, AKA The Ultimate Spider-Man

#2 – Miles Morales, AKA The Ultimate Spider-Man

Honestly, I attribute the Ultimate Universe surviving for as long as it did to its Spider-Man books, and to be perfectly frank, I loved how they handled the death of Ultimate Peter Parker (or DID he?), and the rise of Miles Morales as his successor. Much like another entrant on this list, Miles takes a lot of what works about Peter’s character and goes in a somewhat different direction with it, but nonetheless in a way that works. He’s actually younger and more awkward than his predecessor was when he first got started, and his powers are just different enough that he’s a very unique Spider-Man. Plus, hey, we gotta keep SOMETHING from the Ultimate Universe around…although it’s a pity that it seems we’ll probably never get resolution on whether the Peter that he teamed with recently was the real thing or a clone. As for what to do with him…well, there’s a few options. One is that he could replace mainstream Peter as Spider-Man for the most part, with Peter acting as a mentor/occasional partner in action. Two, they could both operate as Spider-Man, working both as partners and with Miles working with my aforementioned Young Avengers idea. Or three, there IS seemingly an opening for the role of Scarlet Spider, with Kaine’s apparent death (still not 100% sure about that, but whatever), that Miles could fill in. But speaking of Multiverse Spiders…

#3 - Gwen Stacy, AKA Spider-Woman

#3 – Gwen Stacy, AKA The Insert-Cool-Sounding-Adjective Spider-Woman

Like with Miles, Spider-Gwen is able to take elements of what makes mainstream Peter’s character work and pull it in a new direction. In this case, it’s taking those elements and applying them to a character we sort of already know, but isn’t EXACTLY the same. As such, she’s a wonderful blend of the familiar and the fresh. However, here’s where there could be a problem. You see, as far as I can tell, all the worlds left in the Multiverse are getting merged together into Battleworld for Secret Wars, and that, following the event, Battleworld will be transformed into the new Earth of the new Marvel Universe. I’m not 100% sure where that leaves Gwen and her radically different world, where characters we know and love have a lot about them that are different (Daredevil actually WORKS for Kingpin). And true, I could say the same for the Ultimate Universe, but this one is far more fresh and new to the reader, with a lot of possibilities left undiscovered and unrealized. It’d be a shame to toss it all aside. That’s why I’m hoping that this world at least remains part of its own universe, and that we don’t see the COMPLETE collapse of the Multiverse. Plus, say she was made part of the main Marvel Universe. What would we call her? I know her book is called Spider-Gwen, as is she by fans, but I think calling herself that in canon would kinda compromise the whole secret identity thing. lol

#4 - James 'Logan' Howlett, AKA Wolverine

#4 – James ‘Logan’ Howlett, AKA Wolverine

Of all the people that aren’t in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this is probably the one that’s the biggest no-brainer in terms of who will be making it into the new universe. And let’s be honest, you and I both know Logan’s coming back. As I’ve mentioned before, though, I hope we aren’t put in the same position we were in with the character prior to his losing his healing factor. I mean, he can have it, that’s fine, but there needs to be a limitation to it. He can’t be INVINCIBLE. Otherwise, you eventually lose interest in reading about him, because he can shrug off anything villains throw at him. Sure, just because he’s able to recover from anything doesn’t mean he’ll always win, but it certainly increases his overall success rate. And it’s not like he shouldn’t be able to win, it’s that we should have some tangible threat/concern-level so that it’s not a given that he’ll come out on top. That way, we can feel all the better for him when he does.

#5 - Ororo Munroe, AKA Storm

#5 – Ororo Munroe, AKA Storm

Another member of the X-Men, and like Wolverine, I just can’t see the new Marvel Universe without Storm. She’s just been too important a character for too long for her to just completely vanish. She’s also one of the most powerful Marvel Superheroes, to the point where I’ve often wondered why she only spent a VERY short tenure with the Avengers. Granted, I think that she’s currently best served as the leader of the all-female Adjectiveless X-Men, but there’s nothing saying she can’t pull double duty. Hopefully, A-Force does in fact stick around post-Secret Wars, and Storm can be one of the primary members.

#6 - Anna Marie, AKA Rogue

#6 – Anna Marie, AKA Rogue

…Yeah, as I’ve made clear on a number of occasions, I’m a big fan of the Southern Belle known as Rogue. As both a high-profile X-Man and a founding member of the Uncanny Avengers, she has proven to be a force to be reckoned with, no matter who she’s fighting. One touch is literally all she needs to turn the tide of battle. Her touch can even be lethal, though…let’s face it, with most of us, it’s worth the risk. Honestly, though, I kinda wish they hadn’t undone her getting past that by merging her with Wonder Man, and I hope this can be fixed later. And frankly, while we’re on the subject of wishes, I wish that Rogue could appear in the MCU in her more badass self, because if Fox ain’t gonna do it, I know Marvel Studios would be more than happy to. ^_^

#6 - Norman Osborn, AKA The Green Goblin

#7 – Norman Osborn, AKA The Green Goblin

I felt compelled to put in at least one villain. Granted, with the next new Spider-Man reboot on the way, I would imagine Green Goblin will eventually play a role, but it’s not set in stone just yet. And because Norman Osborn’s Green Goblin persona is one of the most scheming, conniving, and morally bankrupt villains in all of Marvel, who has not only had a number of memorable encounters with his arch-nemesis Spider-Man but with the Avengers as a whole, I feel that he’s a must among villains to make it into the new Marvel Universe.

#8 - Jessica Drew, AKA Spider-Woman

#8 – Jessica Drew, AKA Spider-Woman

Admittedly, this is one that could very easily turn out to be in the MCU, as rumours are afloat that she may appear in AKA Jessica Jones, but since nothing’s finalized yet, and it wouldn’t be a huge role, I feel justified placing Spider-Woman here. She’s an integral part of the Marvel Universe, having worked for the Avengers, the Secret Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D., S.W.O.R.D., the Spider Army, the Lady Liberators, and even HYDRA for a time. In short, she’s had long-term interactions and relationships with multiple characters across the Marvel Universe, to the point where it would feel odd to see her not present in the new one, like it were incomplete. Besides, she just recently decided to pursue a whole new solo career in a new Batgirl of Burnside-esque costume. I’m sure plenty of people would love to see where that takes her.

#9 - Jennifer Walters, AKA She-Hulk

#9 – Jennifer Walters, AKA She-Hulk

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m left wondering why the hell this character ISN’T part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but I digress. To be completely honest, I actually like She-Hulk a lot more than the Hulk. And no, it’s not because she’s a woman…though that helps. lol I guess I just find the relation between the Jennifer and She-Hulk personas more interesting, her civilian job allows her a unique perspective of the Marvel Universe and the people in it, and…well, Bruce Banner in the comics has become kind of a dick lately. It’s actually weird seeing him behave like that in the comics, and then in the movies, he’s potentially shacking up with Black Widow. And yeah, I will admit that She-Hulk being a super strong, super sexy woman helps, but what helps a lot more, and I really mean this, is that she’s super strong, super sexy, AND super smart, meaning she has the complete package.

#10 – Flash Thompson, AKA Agent Venom

Again, this is someone who could very easily turn out to be in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but he isn’t yet, so no guarantees about his status post-Secret Wars. I think what I like most about Flash Thompson being Agent Venom is that here is a guy who used to be a colossal dickhole to Peter, who enlisted in the military, lost his legs in a heroic fashion, and has evolved into someone you could easily see becoming a competent anti-hero who has even joined the ranks of the Secret Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy (which, btw, I hope to see happen someday in the movies). And again, it’s familiar powers and a familiar character, but done in a different way. Love it.

Anyway, that’s it for now. Next time, I’ll talk about what superhero teams I’d like to see in the post-Secret Wars Marvel Universe, and who I’d like to see on each one. Ja né!

Secret Wars 2015 – Next Summer For Marvel Might Be A Little Weird

So, Marvel’s been doing this weird thing where they’ve been posting teasers for summer of 2015 involving old events. Stuff like Secret Wars, Civil War, Planet Hulk, and so on. I really have no idea what the heck is going on, honestly. At first, it seemed like they were gonna do a rehash of Secret Wars, which I wouldn’t necessarily mind. Then Civil War teasers came up, minded that, because I’m not exactly a fan of that story at all, and I hate the fact that they’re apparently gonna do it for Captain America 3. After I saw teasers for ‘Years Of Future Past’, I was like, “Okay, NOW they’re just messing with us. There’s NO WAY they’re rehashing this many events all at the same time.” Then I started reading more about Secret Wars 2015, and how it apparently involves the Multiverse, and a possible clash between various versions of heroes like Captain America, Iron Man, Wasp, Thor, and so on. Furthermore, it comes at the end of the current Time Runs Out story-arc, meaning this could wind up being the ultimate (no pun intended) conclusion to the situation with the incursions.

Secret Wars 2015

Secret Wars 2015

Now, I have a theory about what’s going on, but I really have no way to be sure if I’m even close to what they have planned. My theory is that Secret Wars 2015 is the big summer event, and at the same time, the other teased ones are side-stories that give further resolution to all of those prior events, maybe even a few other ones, and they all kinda tie into one another somehow. OR, since this is a Multiverse story, maybe it’s telling how these events may have occurred on these other Earths. Either way, as I suggested, this could be the end result of what’s been happening with the incursions, and considering that at least a couple of Earths have been destroyed, and we’ve had Spider-Men from across the Multiverse getting killed in the events of Spider-Verse, it’s entirely possible that this story could mark the end of the Marvel Multiverse, OR a simple revamping of it to where there’s only a set number of Earths (like the DC Multiverse), OR this is some kind of universal reboot…which I would HATE, and I’ll explain why in a later article. Regardless of what exactly happens, though, I think we can safely say that summer of 2015 is gonna be WEIRD for anybody that picks up Marvel Comics.

Is it just me, or does the blond Hulk look kinda familiar...Brother? :P

Is it just me, or does the blond Hulk look kinda familiar…Brother? 😛

Anyway, what do you YOU guys think is going on? Leave a comment below stating what you think is happening, and we’ll see in about, oh, 8-10 months or so if you’re right. Ja né!

Jyger’s Favourite 5 – 5 DC/Marvel Team-Ups I Would LOVE To See

So, the days of DC/Marvel crossovers kinda feels LONG past, where we’ll likely never see them again, save for one company buying out the other, or someone obtaining the rights to both. But, if the two companies ever DID manage a crossover, there are some characters I would LOVE to see team up. Now, because we’ve already seen some characters interact before, I’m gonna try to keep this list devoted to ones that never have before, but I might let one slip that either I didn’t know about or just wanted to see so badly that it overrode that. And, me being me, expect a lot of superheroines. lol So, let’s not waste any time and get the obvious one outta the way…

#1 - Spoiler and Spider-Woman

#1 – Spoiler and Spider-Woman

Yeah, zero surprises with this one, huh? And yes, I HAVE seen the fan-art of Gwen with Batgirl, don’t worry, we’ll get to HER in a sec. For now, I just feel from a personality, fighting style, and equipment standpoint, these two are probably a tighter match. Hell, their costumes are even really similar, and they’re both blondes. The only major thing throwing off their combo is that only Gwen has superpowers, but as seen when she teamed up with other superheroes, that doesn’t do much, if anything, to hold Steph back.

#2 - Birds of Prey and Fearless Defenders

#2 – Birds of Prey and Fearless Defenders

Really, I think THIS is where Babs is best suited: With the Birds of Prey, teamed with The Most Fabulous Fighting Team Of All, the Fearless Defenders. My God, the awesomeness of this team-up would be AMAZING, but more than seeing them kicking ass and taking names, I would love to just see them doing some post-battle chillaxing at someone’s pad or something. Also, while they aren’t in the picture, of course I’d want Huntress in there on the Birds side of things, and Dani Moonstar and Elsa Bloodstone with the Defenders.

#3 - Superman and Hulk

#3 – Superman and Hulk

Okay, I know for a fact these two have met, but I don’t know if they’ve ever actually teamed up. That said, I have an AMAZING idea for why they would team up: Basically, Superman and Hulk have to go and save Sakaar, which has been taken over by Brainiac…I’ll leave ya with that thought. XD Now, this next one is another team-up of teams, but the second isn’t really so much a “team” as…well, you’ll see.

#4 - Teen Titans and Hawkeye, Ultimate Spider-Man, Nomad, Ms. Marvel, and X-23

#4 – Teen Titans and Hawkeye, Ultimate Spider-Man, Nomad, Ms. Marvel, and X-23

Why these five heroes with the Teen Titans? Well, because they’re all simultaneously younger heroes and successors to previous heroes, which is what the original Teen Titans were made up of. Granted, one of them is from the Ultimate Universe. Still, I just think it would make a nice team-up of the younger heroes from both worlds in this crazy world that’s seemingly out to get them.

#5 - Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel

#5 – Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel

I don’t know if this team-up has ever happened before or not, but if it hasn’t, it NEEDS TO. lol Seriously, the leading ladies of DC and Marvel. I would thoroughly enjoy watching these two interact, not to mention kick the asses of anyone foolish enough to try to take them on. Hell, I would FAR sooner read a book about these two teamed up than frigging Superman and Wonder Woman, which focuses primarily on their relationship that I have no idea why it’s still going on, if for no other reason than we’ve clearly established it is leading to bad stuff happening.

So, that’s my list of team-ups. Who would YOU like to see in a DC/Marvel crossover? Lemme know in the comments below, and I shall see ya’ll next time. Ja né!