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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!

Marvelous May – Quake vs Jane Foster

Welcome back to Marvelous May as an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. takes on a Goddess of Thunder. It’s Daisy Johnson, AKA Quake, vs Jane Foster, AKA The Mighty Thor!

Quake

Admittedly, I didn’t actually know much about Quake going into this, but that’s good, because that means I’m learning along with everyone else. Daisy Louise Johnson was originally thought to be a Mutant. However, that’s not the case at all. Instead, her powers come from her father, Calvin Zabo’s, mutated DNA, and the Inhuman genes passed down from her mother. Regardless, Daisy has the ability to manipulate seismic energy. She can send out vibration waves similar to those found in earthquakes. Thanks to her training under Nick Fury (for the record, the one who doesn’t look like Samuel Jackson), she’s able to use precise accuracy with her vibrations to literally cause targets to shake themselves apart. She even once imploded Wolverine’s heart. Naturally, being Wolverine, he got better, but the point stands that she’s not to be taken lightly. Her Inhuman metabolism also grants her enhanced speed, reflexes, endurance, and strength, supposedly surpassing that of even Captain America himself. And all of that is on top of her standard training as an agent of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division. She’s also served as a member of the Avengers for a time, as well as the Secret Warriors, and at one point even held the position of Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., being the one who recruited Nick Fury Jr. and Phil Coulson. And speaking of Coulson, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Daisy serves as a member of his team on the television series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., albeit with a slightly different back-story, and first appearing under the name Skye. Regardless of which version, though, Quake is not someone you want to find yourself on the bad side of.

Jane Foster

Doctor Jane Foster was originally conceived to be…well, Thor’s primary love interest. Let’s call a spade a spade here. However, recent events have made it clear that, at some point, the powers that be had a very different plan for her. Since the early days when she was an ally and assistant to Doctor Donald Blake, Thor Odinson’s other persona (long story), Jane has since become a doctor herself, gotten married to another man, and had a child…Then, when she found out Thor was back after being dead (again, lost story), she got divorced, lost custody of her child, and recently found out she had cancer. Yeah, her life has had some ups and downs, to say the least. However, one of the more radical changes to her life came when Thor lost the ability to wield his hammer, Mjölnir. At some point, she found herself on the moon, where the hammer was last left, and was somehow able to pick it up, transforming herself into a warrior with all of Thor’s abilities, and even altering her mannerisms…for some reason. Having witnessed Thor’s abilities over the years, Jane was quickly able to wield Mjölnir with the same level of skill as her predecessor. She’s strong enough to easily lift 100 tons, can create and control lighting and storms, is capable of speaking to and understanding all races, and can fly by hurling Mjölnir, grabbing hold of its strap, and willing it to go wherever she pleases. She’s also nigh-invulnerable, able to shrug off just about anything that comes her way, with very few exceptions. Eventually, she even earned Thor’s blessing in wielding the hammer, as well as the right to call herself Thor, though she does so in secret to everyone but a few select individuals. However, all of this comes with a very dire price: While transformed into Thor, she’s immune to all Earth-born illnesses and diseases, but she can only remain so for so long, after which, she reverts to her normal state, where her cancer seems to have been aggravated due to the transformation. In short, being Thor is killing her. But she has sworn to continue upholding her duties as the new Goddess of Thunder and defender of Midgard. As she herself put it, “The world needs a Thor”.

Be sure to vote before May 9th, when the winner of this battle takes on the winner of the next match-up, Squirrel Girl vs Spider Woman! Until then, be sure to check back in to vote on that match, and click the links below to learn more about the combatants here. Ja né!

http://marvel.wikia.com/wiki/Daisy_Johnson_(Earth-616)

http://marvel.wikia.com/wiki/Jane_Foster_(Earth-616)

How To Avenge A Guy In 10 Days

… … …I don’t really have anything to say, I just thought this was too funny to not share. 😄

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!

My Thoughts On The Black Widow/Age Of Ultron Situation

*sighs*… … …So, I figured I should probably give my two cents on the situation involving the infamous “Black Widow calls herself a monster for not being able to have kids” scene from Age of Ultron, seeing as how I didn’t talk about it in my official review. And sadly, I know going into this that I’m gonna say some stuff that not everybody is gonna be okay with, but I have to be honest and sincere, so I ask that you all try to bear with me and understand my point of view.

First off, I should probably clarify the reason I didn’t talk about all of this before. After all, you’d think something like that would be really important to me and that it’d take up most of what I had to say about Black Widow. Well, the reason I didn’t bring it up is…it honestly kinda went over my head. lol I’m sorry, I know I may be offending some by admitting to that, but it’s the truth. I was still so sad about what had happened to her that I didn’t really register it. In fact, now that I think about it, I wonder if maybe the hope for many that worked on the film was that it wouldn’t register. Regardless, I apologize for not picking up on that.

Either way, looking back on the scene in hindsight…yeah, it’s problematic as fuck. Still, whether it be by naïvety or through a sense that more was going on than they tried to make it seem there was, I think that’s not how the scene was originally supposed to be played out. I just get this feeling that there’s more to that scene that wound up on the cutting room floor, that maybe she went on to talk about more that happened in her initiation and afterward, the ‘red in her ledger’, which led to her calling herself a monster. It’s been suggested by some fans that she may have been forced to kill someone close to her to prove her readiness as an assassin at the time, and/or that she may have been experimented on like in the comics. Yeah, for people who have only watched the movies, you might be surprised to know that Natasha is actually technically classified as superhuman due to being injected with a Soviet-made variant of the Super-Soldier Serum used on Steve Rogers. She’s actually supposed to be roughly as old as Cap, or at least close to it. It hasn’t boosted her strength and abilities to his level, but it’s nonetheless improved her strength, speed, reflexes, and longevity, among other things.

However, herein lies a problem: Even if those were in the original script, and I REALLY hope that, if so, they get included in the home release, for whatever reason, they were cut. Instead, the scene plays itself out so that, after revealing to Bruce Banner that she’s sterile, Natasha says, and I quote, “You still think you’re the only monster on the team?”. I don’t know whose call this was, or who thought that it would be appropriate to have her say that, but I do know that, following this, Joss Whedon has come under heavy fire on social media, so much so that he has left Twitter on the pretense of getting some peace and quiet.

Now, because there’s pretty heavy debate about this, what we were led to believe would be her role in this movie, and whether or not her wanting to be a mother is feminist or not feminist, I’m gonna make my overall feelings about this as clear as possible. Is Black Widow’s role in the movie problematic? Yes. I think that, while there’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting to be a mother, the suggestion that she’s a monster for being infertile is gross and disturbing. Furthermore, the implication that the Avengers, particularly the Hulk, are used thematically as her surrogate children, is at least a tiny bit degrading for the whole lot of them.

With that said, though, here’s where I’m kicking the hornet’s nest. Is this something that should’ve been discussed with Joss Whedon? Absolutely. In fact, I would encourage the hell out of that idea. However, there’s one important minor issue that really, I’m sorry, you cannot pretend didn’t happen: Joss Whedon was sent DEATH THREATS by angry fans, and a LOT of them. And again, I’m sorry, but you can make all the excuses you want, and it will not change the fact that sending someone death threats until they opt to leave social media is not a discussion. That’s a mob. All that was missing were the pitch forks and torches…or pitch forks soaked in lighter fluid and set ablaze, just to get the ol’ two-for-one deal going. Now, to those of you who weren’t involved in that little ‘crusade’, that sought more diplomatic ways to express your disdain for what happened? Great. I applaud you, and hope that more people take after you in future incidents such as this. To those that were a part of it? I understand where you’re coming from, but you took it WAY too far.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. If I’ve offended anyone, I apologize, but as I said, I needed to be honest about this, and I hope that we can all learn from this situation and hopefully avoid having it ever happen again. 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!

Welcome To Marvelous May + Jyger’s Favourite 5 – 5 Marvel Characters That Should Have Their Own Netflix Series

Fans of my blog, Marvel Comics fans, fans of the Avengers movies, etc, welcome to Marvelous May.

This whole month is gonna be dedicated to Marvel-based stories, news, lists, and so on. And, since Avengers: Age of Ultron is out today (and no, I haven’t seen it yet, and if you spoil it for me, I know a guy in town with an Iron Man suit who can kick your ass, lol), might as well start off by talking about the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Specifically, let’s talk about the Netflix exclusive series they’ve been making. As you probably know, a recent change to the original plan they had for the series has occurred. Whereas there were originally going to be four characters (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist) with their own series with approximately 13 episodes each, which would lead to a 4-8 episode series for the Defenders, the plan has changed in that Daredevil apparently did so well that it’s been renewed for another season. Which, I gotta imagine, was a little stressful for the creators of the show. I mean, they had this show they were so proud of that was primarily meant the launching pad for this bold new plan, and the people looked at it and went “That was amazing! What are you guys gonna do for Season 2?” And the creators were like “… … …Oh shit.” Because what do you do? Do you compromise your original plan and go about the process of making a whole second season, or do you tell them no? And frankly, if you tell the audience no when they want more of something they thought was good, you run the risk of losing that audience.

Regardless, though, the point remains that the original plan has been slightly compromised, but in a good way, where we can see that this strategy for the Marvel Cinematic Universe is working. So, with that said, one has to wonder if this means they’ll be considering adding more to the plan. Specifically, more characters with their own series. So, with that said, time for another Jyger’s Favourite 5 as we look at 5 Marvel Characters That Should Have Their Own Netflix Series. As usual, for the benefit of people new to this blog, these are in no particular order. Also, Black Widow is not here simply because I think she should instead have her own MOVIE, not TV show. With that said, let’s start with the one I keep saying they should do…

#1 - She-Hulk

#1 – She-Hulk

Seriously, how was this not part of the initial game-plan? Superhero shows are hot, courtroom dramas are hot. So, mix the two and see what happens! Plus, we’ve got Daredevil, who is a lawyer by day, meaning you could potentially cross over with the two outside of the big one planned. And, it would create a great contrast between the two, with Daredevil being a far darker and edgier series about a lawyer who is a superhero, whereas She-Hulk would just have fun with the concept. Plus, think of the guest stars you could have by, say, having one of the Avengers (Tony, most likely) getting sued. You can do all kinds of weird and wacky stuff with that concept, and still have a viably good show. On top of all of that, there’s just the great contrast between the personas of Jennifer Walters and She-Hulk, which is VERY different from Bruce Banner and the Hulk. Whereas Banner can be afraid to let the Hulk out and feels the need to leash the beast, Jennifer can sometimes feel like the She-Hulk persona is needed to do the things she can’t, but at the cost of her sense of self-worth (at least, that’s what I took away from Dan Slott’s run with the character, which FYI, he’d need to be a creative consultant for the series).

#2 - Spider-Woman

#2 – Spider-Woman

Now that Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures have a deal, there’s no more concern as to whether this character can appear in this universe. And thank goodness, too. With the reveals made in Captain America: The Winter Soldier regarding S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra, it would actually be cool to see a character that was on both sides of the spectrum at one point or another, to learn more about how Hydra continued to exist for so long without S.H.I.E.L.D.’s knowledge, even infiltrating its organization. And then there’s the aspect of Jessica herself, especially at this point in the MCU, where S.H.I.E.L.D. officially doesn’t exist anymore, with its agents now having to operate even more clandestinely than ever, and where she fits into that, and if she even wants to work as a spy anymore, or if she’d prefer to be a hero that helps people more in the open. With that said, though…I’m think it might be best to use a modified version of her current costume. Or, if nothing else, alter the old one so it isn’t quite as skin-tight and doesn’t have the frigging arrow pointed down at her crotch. lol Seriously, who the hell designed that? I mean, I like the colour balance, but that’s about it.

#3 - Hawkeye

#3 – Hawkeye

Again, I haven’t seen Age of Ultron at the time of this writing, but I have heard a few details, specifically as it pertains to the character of Hawkeye. Let’s just say we learn some interesting details regarding Clint Barton that would be cool to explore. And seeing as how the movies don’t seem keen on exploring them much farther than shown in this movie, the options seem to be to either have him be a guest character in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. or have him get his own Netflix series. And frankly, the latter would also open the door for Hawkeye related characters to appear, like his brother Barney, AKA Trick Shot, the super-villain Crossfire, his ex-wife Mockingbird, and even his eventual successor Kate Bishop. On top of that, it’d be a great character study for Clint, looking at how he feels being on a team with a god, a super-soldier, a near-invulnerable gamma radiated man, and a genius with his own high tech mech suit, and if he feels in any way inadequate compared to them.

#4 - Ms. Marvel

#4 – Ms. Marvel

I’ve actually heard rumours they may be at least considering doing a live-action adaptation of this character. If they do, all I ask is that, for the love of God, don’t white wash her, and PLEASE have actual Pakistani-Americans writing for the show. Hell, have G. Willow Wilson on board for this. If Geoff Johns can do the DC shows, I’m sure it wouldn’t be problematic to have her for this. Beyond that, I would also suggest holding off on it. Like, a lot. In fact, might even be a good idea to wait until after Inhumans hits theatres, considering that she is one of them after all. And it might be a good idea to aim this at a SLIGHTLY younger audience (not LITTLE kids, just younger), thus allowing Kamala to be their stand-in as a young person entering this oftentimes insane world.

#5 - The Mandarin

#5 – The Mandarin

Okay, in my personal opinion, and I know I’m gonna get crap for this, the decision to make the Mandarin in Iron Man 3 just an actor playing a role was actually a good call. It plays well into the overall theme of the movie. It also works even better that it turns out, via a one-shot in the Blu-ray release of Thor: The Dark World, that there was a REAL Mandarin that’s been hiding in the shadows whose name was stolen by Aldrich Killian and used by Trevor Slattery, and that this individual is VERY unhappy with that. As such, we have our cake and eat it too. People who like the twist in Iron Man 3 don’t have that taken away, and fans of the character from the comics get what they want. So, why not explore that? See what his real schtick is, and establish him as a character and a legitimate threat for either Iron Man, the Avengers, or the Defenders to have to fight later on. Again, everybody wins.

Anyway, those are five characters I think should get Netflix series. Got one that’s not on here? Lemme know in the comments below, and we’ll see how things develop over the years. 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!

10 Post-Secret Wars Wishes & Expectations

So, Secret Wars is quickly approaching, and with it, the end of the Marvel Universe as we know it, as it will be merged with the Ultimate Universe in a sort of pseudo-reboot. However, it seems that other worlds in the Multiverse are also involved, as are various points in time throughout the mainstream Marvel Earth (Earth 616). It’s pretty clear that the HUGE Multiverse in Marvel Comics is being shrunken down with this. Most people are saying it’ll disappear altogether, but let’s keep this in mind: The Marvel Cinematic Universe is considered part of the Multiverse, and they aren’t ending anytime soon. Same goes with the other movie and television franchises featuring Marvel characters. On top of that, Spider-Gwen is only JUST starting next week, though she has been part of the Spider-Verse event all along, so I doubt it’ll only last as long as it takes to get to the end of Secret Wars. And frankly, doing away with the Multiverse altogether seems like a waste, as it takes away a lot of potential story-telling possibilities.

Either way, though, we can expect the Marvel Universe to be vastly different post-Secret Wars, with Earth 616 and Earth 1610 (the Ultimate Universe) merging together and their histories becoming blended, and with probably a few things being rebooted back to square one and others being retconned out of existence. Now, this prospect is more than a little frightening, especially because we’ve seen something like this done a few times before (mostly by DC). However, one advantage there is that Marvel can look at everything that did and didn’t work with DC’s various reboots and learn from those instances. Plus, this is a good chance for them to bring back old ideas and give them a new twist. So, with that said, here’s a few things I wouldn’t mind seeing post-Secret Wars, as well as some that I expect will happen whether they sound good or not. Let’s start with probably the most obvious thing people expect to happen…

#1 - Wolverine Brought Back

#1 – Wolverine Brought Back

Face it, bub, you KNEW Wolverine wasn’t going to stay dead forever. It was just a matter of the right scenario to come along and justify his re-existence. Well, Secret Wars could prove to be just that. My one concern going into this, though, is that this puts us right back in the same position we had with the character prior to his losing his healing factor, and that’s that, after a while of being shown he’s all but invincible and immortal, it’s hard to get invested in his stories. As such, I’m hoping that some sort of limitation is put on his healing factor so that he’s at least given SOME kind of vulnerability. Also, I wouldn’t try to demote X-23 with his return in any way, and have the two continue to act as equally important characters, but I’ll get back to her in a bit…

#2 - Tony Stark Becomes Good Again

#2 – Tony Stark Becomes Good Again

Okay, really, this isn’t even just a matter of me not liking Superior Iron Man. This is a matter of me not liking a LOT of what’s been done with the character for years now, starting with Civil War. If you haven’t noticed, I’m more than a bit concerned about the fact that Captain America 3 is going to be a loose adaptation of that story, and ultimately, it comes down to one point: Tony Stark should not be a villain. Now, they could maybe do something neat where we get good Tony back and Superior Iron Man becomes his own evil character spun off from him, but there HAS to be a good Tony we can root for that isn’t held down by crap like the Superhero Registration Act or having Captain America’s mind wiped. I want THAT Tony Stark back.

#3 - Ms. Marvel Sticks Around

#3 – Ms. Marvel Sticks Around

Yeah, if you haven’t noticed, I’m a big Ms. Marvel fan. Kamala was easily the best newcomer of last year, and I would HATE to lose her. Now granted, I’ve been told by writer G. Willow Wilson that there’s “nothing to fear”, but at the same time, I’m seeing advertisements for her tie-in to Secret Wars being about how “Kamala has to grapple with the end of everything she knows, and discover what it means to be a hero when your whole world is on the line.” So I guess we’ll just see, but either way, I’m hoping she sticks around, and we have our inevitable Ms. Marvel/Captain Marvel crossover, along with something else I’d like to suggest…

#4 - A New Young Avengers-like Team Book

#4 – A New Young Avengers-like Team Book

Let’s face it, folks, there are still plenty of younger heroes out there that could form a new team of heroes. Ms. Marvel, X-23, Miles Morales, Kate Bishop, and who knows how many more? Is Marvel REALLY going to wipe them ALL away post-Secret Wars? And frankly, I don’t care what they call themselves. Young Avengers, Avengers Academy, the Ultimates, whatever works for them. I would just love to see this team. And speaking of one of them in particular…

#5 - Miles Morales Stays

#5 – Miles Morales Stays

I’ve said it before, and I will continue to say it for as long as it’s the God’s honest truth: The best thing going for the Ultimate Universe (and the only thing nowadays, in fact) is Miles Morales, the Ultimate Spider-Man. The question is immediately brought up, then: What do you do with the character after Secret Wars? Tossed aside? Probably not. Do you have him continue to act as Spider-Man, and just have two of them, having him operate in a team with Peter? Tricky, but doable. Do you perhaps make use of the fact that Kaine recently died in Spider-Verse and make him the Scarlet Spider? Sure, I could see Miles fitting into that role just fine. However, there’s one other avenue they could take…

#6 - One More Day Reversed

#6 – One More Day Reversed

Recent info dumps have revealed the existence of a version of Peter Parker on Battleworld that hasn’t made the deal with Mephisto yet. This could be where we finally undo all that nonsense, and have Peter and MJ be brought back together, possibly having Mayday, and hell, Pete could even pass the role of Spider-Man down to Miles, though he’d likely be able to come out of retirement from time to time to help him out. If nothing else, though, Marvel, please, hear my cry, in the name of all Spider-Man fans that know him to be better than the one who made that almost 100% literal deal with the devil, undo this terrible act. And if you need any more incentive to do so, Linkara has gone on record in saying that, if the deal with Mephisto is ever reversed, not even necessarily that Peter and Mary Jane get married again, but that the deal itself is nullified, he will buy every Spider-Man story that’s come out since. That’s 8 years worth of comics he’d be purchasing from you guys. May not seem like a lot of money, but from one person, could you ask for much more?

A Simpler History

#7 – A Simpler History

Yyyeeeeaaaaaaaaahhhhh, one problem Marvel has with its LONG history is just how complicated some stories can get. Probably the most notorious of all is Jean Grey’s entire history, as well as that of the Phoenix. In fact, most of the more complex and overly complicated and difficult to follow stories can be traced back to the X-Men. So, if there’s a chance to simplify some of those stories without changing too much or taking too much away, I’d suggest Marvel takes this opportunity to do so now.

#8 - Old Heroes Retaking Their Mantles

#8 – Old Heroes Retaking Their Mantles

For better or worse, I think we all see this coming. Granted, I don’t see Carol Danvers giving up the role of Captain Marvel, since she’s got a movie coming up, but Steve Rogers is probably going to be Captain America again, and Mjolnir will likely find its way back to Thor Odinson. Hopefully, though, their recent replacements aren’t tossed aside, and are instead given whole new leases on life now that they’ve been established as characters deserving of being among Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, particularly the new female Thor (‘cuz somehow I doubt I have to worry too much about Falcon).

#9 - The A-Force

#9 – The A-Force

When I first heard about A-Force, I immediately adored the idea, so much so that I’m hoping it sticks around long past Secret Wars. Just the idea of seeing all these kickass Marvel women teaming up, without even really needing a set roster and just being about them all coming together to fight injustice, I just LOVE the idea SO FRAKKING MUCH (seriously, you can’t see me, but I’m fanboying out SO BAD right now, lol).

#10 - Character Histories Merged

#10 – Character Histories Merged

Lastly, one thing I kinda expect to happen is that characters that exist on both Earth 616 and Earth 1610 will have their histories and elements of their personalities merged together. Somehow, I suspect that, when the dust settles, there’ll only be one Nick Fury, and he’ll be the one that physically resembles Samuel L. Jackson (‘cuz let’s face it, the movies DO still dictate a lot of what happens in the comics, for better or for worse), unless they plan on revealing him to be Nick Fury, Jr. in said movies. Also, I’m personally kinda hoping that the mainstream Aunt May gets downsized in favour of her more awesome counterpart. Seriously, words cannot describe how much I prefer Ultimate Aunt May to her counterpart.

Anyway, that’s all I can think of for right now. Got any I haven’t thought of? Perhaps even a few concerns? Leave in the comments below, and we’ll see what happens when Secret Wars hits. Ja né!

Confirmation: Spider-Man Now A Part Of The Marvel Cinematic Universe + My Thoughts On The Matter

So, every now and then, when I can’t quite go to sleep, I do a quick, routine check of social media, just to make absolute certain I’m not missing anything. Y’know, put my mind at ease. Well, last night was one of those nights. And what did I find? THIS:

And I Quote…

“Sony Pictures Entertainment and Marvel Studios announced today that Sony is bringing Marvel into the amazing world of Spider-Man.  Under the deal, the new Spider-Man will first appear in a Marvel film from Marvel’s Cinematic Universe (MCU). Sony Pictures will thereafter release the next installment of its $4 billion Spider-Man franchise, on July 28, 2017, in a film that will be co-produced by Kevin Feige and his expert team at Marvel and Amy Pascal, who oversaw the franchise launch for the studio 13 years ago. Together, they will collaborate on a new creative direction for the web slinger. Sony Pictures will continue to finance, distribute, own and have final creative control of the Spider-Man films. Marvel and Sony Pictures are also exploring opportunities to integrate characters from the MCU into future Spider-Man films. The new relationship follows a decade of speculation among fans about whether Spider-Man – who has always been an integral and important part of the larger Marvel Universe in the comic books – could become part of the Marvel Universe on the big screen. Spider-Man has more than 50 years of history in Marvel’s world, and with this deal, fans will be able to experience Spider-Man taking his rightful place among other Super Heroes in the MCU.”

…YEAH. So, Spidey’s apparently coming home to Marvel and will be playing a role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now, obviously, with a decision as big as this, there’s going to be more than a few questions. Namely, can this partnership stand the test of time? Can both companies keep their egos in check to make this as great as they can? Who will be playing Spider-Man? Will Spider-Man even be Peter Parker, or will it be one of his replacements, like Miguel O’Hara or Miles Morales? What does this mean for the other Marvel movies? Well, right now, it’s looking like Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and Inhumans will all be pushed back a little, with Inhumans actually marking the end of Phase 3, but all things considered, that’s not so bad in the long run.

As for the lead role…well, here’s my personal reaction to the suggestion that Andrew Garfield won’t be Spider-Man anymore:

Seriously, unless they find a truly superb replacement, or want to go a different route than Peter Parker, I’d stick with Garfield. He knows what he’s doing, he knows the character, and while I get that this is a reboot, we don’t need to change EVERYTHING all over again for the second time in this movie franchise. Speaking of, I would avoid having the new movie be yet another origin movie. We KNOW the character’s origins. We’ve seen movies that tell the origin twice now. We don’t need three in fifteen years. And finally, and this is admittedly a long shot, but if Marvel Studios could re-cast J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson, that’d be GREAT.

Yeah, I know, long shot. Anyway, leave your thoughts and feelings on this matter below, and we’ll see how things develop from now until 2017. Ja né!