Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Time to Start Recruiting Secret Warriors!

Image Courtesy www.twitter.com/AgentsofShield

It is now confirmed that Coulson and Skye are in the process of assembling a team of super-powered S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to handle… unique… situations!  This team will take its inspiration—and name—from the comic book team known as the Secret Warriors, which was led by Daisy Johnson, aka Quake (aka SKYE in the show), and consisted of the super-powered children of super villains.  In the comics, this team was heavily involved in major events such as the Secret Invasion.  We don’t yet know what they will be doing in the season 3 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but my guess is that it will have something to do with the “Terrigen Fish Oil Bomb” that they loosed at the end of season 2.  They may also be involved in the brewing Civil War to some extent.

So who could be on Skye’s team?  Obviously, not every member of the team is going to be someone we have met already.  However, there are several possibilities for Skye’s first recruits.  So in this article I am going to go through all the super-powered “allies” that S.H.I.E.L.D. has encountered and rank them based on their likelihood to join Skye’s Secret Warriors.

The criteria I am looking for are twofold.  First, superpowers are a strong factor in the character’s favor.  Second, the ability to operate anonymously is also something of a requirement.  The absence of one or the other doesn’t automatically disqualify the character, but it does raise red flags.

The ranking scale I am using is 1-5, with “1” meaning “no way in hell” and “5” meaning “already confirmed to be on the team.”

Monday, June 29, 2015

Daredevil Season 1, Episode 12, "The Ones We Leave Behind" REVIEW (SPOILERS)

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If there were a famous quote associated with the penultimate episode of Daredevil season 1, “The Ones We Leave Behind” (1x12), it would be from The Untouchables:  “If they put one of yours in the hospital, you put one of theirs in the morgue.”  That’s pretty much where the conflict of this episode comes from:  at the end of the last episode, “The Path of the Righteous” (1x11), Karen killed Fisk’s friend and assistant Wesley (spoiler alert…); in this episode, the characters are left to deal with the ramifications of that act.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Weekly MCU Review for 6/27

Another week, and more MCU news!  Habemus Spider-Man!  Oh, and there’s also a ton of news about Marvel Comics post-Secret Wars, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 3, Ant-Man  There was a lot of news last week!  Put some ketchup on your eggs, and catch-up (*ducks*) on your Marvel news!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1, Episode 10, "The Bridge" RETRO-REVIEW (SPOILERS)

Image Courtesy www.marvel.com

“The Bridge” (1x10) is when Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. really first began hitting its stride.  It is the first episode to bring back Mike Peterson as a superhuman fighting on S.H.I.E.L.D.’s side.  It is the first episode to start propelling the Centipede/Hydra plot forward.  And it is the first episode to being with a “Previously on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” segment, so the difference is felt from the first moment.

Warning:  All these Retro-Reviews contain spoilers for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. seasons 1 and 2.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Adds on Mostly MCU Reviews

You are going to start noticing ads on my blog in the next few days.  I decided to sign up for ads as a way to make a little money off of my hobby--money which will most likely go right back into my hobby!  I don't want the ads to be too obtrusive or get in the way of the blog's smooth operation, so if you have trouble with any of them, post a comment letting me know and I will correct it.  If you notice that pages are loading extra slowly for whatever reason, let me know that also and I will see what I can do for fix it.

I hope you continue to enjoy reading my articles on here; I certainly enjoy writing them!

Spider-Man Spinoffs in the MCU

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Remember all those spinoff movies that Sony was talking about before their The Amazing Spider-Man cinematic universe collapsed in on itself?  Remember just how stupid some of them sounded?  Aunt May: The Movie?  The Amazing Spider-Man 1.5—in which the whole second movie becomes sort-of pointless?  La-ame.  When news of all those planned spinoffs was coming out in the wake of the Sony hack, I remember laughing at most of them.

However, now that the Spider-verse is being incorporated into the MCU, what’s going to become of all these spinoffs?  Are they going to be made, or will they get thrown onto the garbage heap alongside Ghost Rider 3 and the Blade spinoff?

Surprisingly, I actually think that some of the suggested spinoffs can fit well into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, though they may not appear in quite the same way as they would have in the TASM universe.  Here are my thoughts on some of the characters whom Marvel could build spinoff movies around.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1, Episode 9, "Repairs" RETRO-REVIEW (SPOILERS)

Image Courtesy www.marvel.com

The ninth episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., “Repairs,” offers us our second horror-inspired episode of the series—and along the way provides a potential crossover with either Thor: Ragnarok or Doctor Strange!  Oh, and there are also a few fun teases for what’s ahead in season 3.  What strange (*ducks*) times we live in!

Warning:  Retro-Reviews contain spoilers for all of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. seasons 1 and 2.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Ms. Marvel TV Series Concept

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A while back there was a rumor going around that Ridley Scott is very interested in bringing Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel, to the small screen in a TV series for ABC.  Recently, El Mayimbe published an article suggesting that Ms. Marvel “is” going to be coming to ABC.  So I decided to help Mr. Scott out by putting together my idea for a Kamala Khan story arc which will establish her as a character and also fit her into the larger MCU.  Specifically, this will position her to be both a recurring member of Skye’s “Secret Warriors” on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and a lynchpin for a whole world of young heroes on her own Ms. Marvel TV series.

The first thing to get out of the way is that Ms. Marvel season 1 will not run a full 22 episodes.  And considering that the show hasn’t been announced yet, I don’t think anyone would be surprised to see a Ms. Marvel series which premiers this TV year not run 22 episodes.  Instead, the season will be 13 episodes (give or take), premiering in January and running alongside Agent Carter for the first 6-8 episodes and alongside Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for the remainder.  This will give the series enough time to tell Kamala Khan’s origin story, show her fighting a few bad guys, and set things up for her subsequent appearances without getting bogged down with endless side plots and the like.

The theme to be explored in the first season is that of belonging:  what does it mean to be different?  What does it mean to be an outsider?  Is it better to be on the outside of a “good” group or an insider with a “bad” group?

Monday, June 22, 2015

Daredevil Season 1, Episode 11, "The Path of the Righteous" REVIEW (SPOILERS)

Image Courtesy www.screenrant.com

There’s an old saying that the night is darkest just before the dawn.  That certainly holds true with the final few episodes of Daredevil season 1.  “The Path of the Righteous” (1x11) is—if possible—even more tragic and isolating for the protagonist and antagonist than the previous episode, “Nelson v. Murdock” (1x10), which saw Foggy and Matt go through a serious split and cracks begin to form in Fisk’s tenuous confederacy.  By the end of the episode, it looks like the season is going to end with both Matt and Fisk left completely alone.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Weekly MCU Review for June 20

Another week, and more MCU news!  A few new details on Captain America: Civil War and Ant-Man, a whole bunch of X-Men and DC news, and even an update on the “Bromley Batman.”  Put some ketchup on your eggs, and catch-up (*ducks*) on your Marvel news!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1, Episode 8 "The Well" REVIEW (SPOILERS)

Image Courtesy www.marvel.com

One thing we need to get out of the way up front with this review:  “The Well” (1x08) is the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. crossover with Thor: The Dark World.  And if you look at it as just being a movie tie-in, it stinks.  I mean, I really do not like how it crosses over with Thor: The Dark World.  However, if you leave out the first three minutes or so, it’s actually not a terrible episode.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

How Will Spider-Man be Introduced to the MCU?

Image Courtesy forums.superherohype.com

So now that Spider-Man is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, what does that mean for the character and the franchise?  The fact that Marvel Studios was willing to play ball with Sony at all suggests that they have definite plans for the character moving forward.  They have announced that the new Spider-Man will be appearing in a Marvel movie first before appearing in his own movie on July 28, 2017.  Following the solo movie, it is assumed that Marvel will use him in one or both of the Avengers: Infinity War movies, and then have Sony release Spider-Man sequels and spinoffs every couple years during Phase Four.  In looking at Spider-Man’s role in the MCU, I’m going to divide this article up into three sections:  His introduction, his solo movie(s), and his Marvel Studios movie appearances.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1, Episode 7, "The Hub" RETRO-REVIEW (SPOILERS)

Image Courtesy www.marvel.com

“The Hub” (1x07) may be one of the most interesting episodes of this Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season.  We get a peek behind the curtain into the inner workings of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the form of the Hub and its commander, Agent Victoria Hand.  We watch from afar as she plans and executes an operation to take out a dangerous group of Russian separatists, and Coulson’s team plays a key role in the operation.  However, we also see a theme which has been at play behind the scenes for the whole season to date come out into the open:  Should some information be kept secret?

Monday, June 15, 2015

Daredevil Season 1, Episode 10, "Nelson v. Murdock" REVIEW (SPOILERS)

Image Courtesy www.screenrant.com

At the end of the last episode of Daredevil, “Speak of the Devil” (1x09), Matt was left bruised and bloodied from a horrific beating at the hands first of Nobu (who got deep-fried) and then of Fisk.  Fortunately for our hero, he managed to escape and get to his apartment before collapsing.  However, he had little opportunity to recover from that physical beating before receiving another beating in “Nelson v. Murdock” (1x10).  This beating was not physical, but emotional, and in some respects was probably worse than anything Nobu or Fisk could have done to him.  And along the way this gives us some of our best character development yet from Foggy.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Weekly MCU Review for June 13

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A Terrible Pun

Another week, and more MCU news!  Captain America: Civil War rumors, Netflix news, and castings galore!  Put some ketchup on your eggs, and catch-up (*ducks*) on your Marvel news!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1, Episode 6, "FZZT" RETRO-REVIEW (SPOILERS)

Image Courtesy www.marvel.com

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has always excelled at bringing in other genres through its movies, and that’s only going to increase with this year’s Ant-Man (comedy heist) and next year’s Doctor Strange (horror).  However, Doctor Strange will not be the first MCU installment to make use of horror elements; that honor goes to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which used horror elements, in several season 1 episodes, the first of which is “FZZT” (1x06), the next episode in this “retro-review” series.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Sony's Amazing Spider-Man Franchise: What Went Wrong?

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What happened to Spider-Man?  Sony had such high hopes for him when they acquired his rights.  The first two Sam Raimi/Tobey Maguire Spider-Man movies were so well received that they planned multiple sequels to them.  However, after Spider-Man 3 received poor reviews, things started to change.  Back in 2010, the same year Iron Man 2 was released, Sony was working on its fourth Spider-Man film, a continuation of the Sam Raimi/Tobey Maguire film series that began in 2002.  However, rather than continue that series, Sony decided to reboot its Spider-Man franchise with The Amazing Spider-Man, a film which was released in 2012, just 2 months after The Avengers changed the game as far as blockbuster superhero film series were concerned.  No longer was it enough to release sequels and the occasional spinoff; the real money was in the shared universe.  When all the movies are independent but interconnected, a fan who wants the full experience has to watch all the films, buy all the films, buy the merchandise from all the films…  A shared universe can have a massive financial payoff for the studio ambitious and smart enough to pull it off.

Naturally, after The Amazing Spider-Man made a respectable $757.9 million at the box office, Sony decided to produce a sequel, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and expand the Amazing Spider-Man universe with multiple sequels and spinoffs.  The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was intended to serve as the launching point from which several future spinoff movies could follow:  The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and 4 were both announced a year before the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, followed 6 months later by the announcement of plans to develop movies based on Venom and the Sinister Six.  Unfortunately, this was when things started going horribly wrong.

When The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was released, it was critically panned and failed to live up to Sony’s expectations commercially ($709 million on a $255 million-budget (according to Wikipedia).  Though it made nearly triple its budget at the box office, it made less than its predecessor on a slightly-larger budget.  However, this was not the movie’s only fault.  The critical reception ultimately doomed the shared universe concept for Sony.  So what went wrong?

Image Courtesy

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1, Episode 5, "The Girl in the Flower Dress" RETRO-REVIEW (SPOILERS)

Image Courtesy www.marvel.com

“The Girl in the Flower Dress” (1x05) introduces us to one of the series’ longstanding villain/heroes as well as the major villain for the season.  Along the way, we also see just what CENTIPEDE is capable of, and how far S.H.I.E.L.D. is willing to go to keep people safe.  This episode also gives us some major character development from Skye.  Not too bad when you consider how unimpressive a character Scorch was.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Savage Land Is on Its Way!

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Marvel’s Savage Land is coming to theaters this week!

Wait… what????

Yes, you read that correctly:  Marvel’s Savage Land is making its cinematic debut this week, and no one realized it.

The movie:  Jurassic World, the semi-soft-reboot-slash-sequel of the Jurassic Park series.

How can I possibly say this when no one has suggested it before now?  It’s actually pretty simple:  look at the cast.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Daredevil Season 1, Episode 9, "Speak of the Devil" REVIEW (SPOILERS)

Image Courtesy www.screenrant.com
The episode “Speak of the Devil” (Daredevil 1x09) gives us some of our most intense fight scenes yet as well as offering some major hints at the bigger picture with Daredevil and The Defenders.  It also pushes the season forward by showing us one of the first “innocent” deaths in the series, increasing the stakes for Matt and his team.  Matt’s secret is also placed in serious jeopardy by the cliffhanger ending.  What’s going to happen???

Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Weekly MCU Review for June 7

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A Terrible Pun

Another week, and more MCU news!  More information about Captain America: Civil War and Ant-Man, Marvel after Secret Wars, and more.  Put some ketchup on your eggs, and catch-up (*ducks*) on your Marvel news!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Marvel TV and a Small Rant

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A recent report from El Mayimbe of Heroic Hollywood (formerly Latino Review) revealed some new information about Marvel’s possible plans with their TV shows.  Most of it is really exciting, but there’s one piece that has me extremely confused and a little angry.  Let’s start with the exciting.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1, Episode 4, "Eye Spy" RETRO-REVIEW (SPOILERS)

Image Courtesy www.marvel.com
The fourth episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., “Eye Spy,” blows the whole series wide open by introducing two key pieces which propel the series forward—one in season one, and the other in season two.  When I saw this episode after season one had finished and realized how early on they started dropping hints at what was going to come in season two, I was completely blown away.  And I would hazard a guess that I’m not the only one.

Reminder:  the "Retro-Reviews" contain spoilers for everything in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. through season 2, along with the movies.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Origin Stories in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Part 2

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Origin stories.  Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been full of them.  Most of them took a single episode or a multi-episode arc (perhaps over the course of both seasons).  There have been a few characters who we given season-long origin stories setting them up as heroes and villains.  And then there are the characters whose origin stories have been essential to the plot for the entire series through its first two seasons.  Both were original members of the cast, and both have gone through dramatic changes at virtually every turn.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1, Episode 3, "The Asset" RETRO-REVIEW (SPOILERS)

Image Courtesy www.marvel.com

The third episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., “The Asset” introduced us to one of the major villains of the season in the form of Ian Quinn, a billionaire investor whose company is involved with a lot of mining operations around the world.  However, the more interesting villain introduced in this episode is the one who has only made 2 appearances over the course of the series:  Dr. Franklin Hall.  Along the way, it also teases one of the longstanding mysteries for the first half of the season.

Reminder:  “Retro-Reviews” contain spoilers for everything to date.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Origin Stories in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Part 1

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Remember how disappointed everyone was when Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 1 featured a cast exclusively consisting of ordinary people?  Remember how people complained that a Marvel TV series needs to have superheroes facing off against supervillains?  In looking back at Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. seasons 1 and 2, I think we can all agree that the complainers spoke way too soon.  Don’t believe me?  Let me take you through AoS and show you what I mean.

Both AoS seasons have included a number of supervillains and superheroes who were introduced as such—or had a single-episode (or 2-3-episode) story arc.  However, both seasons have also included season-long arcs (and multi-season arcs) showing the origin story of at least one superhero and at least one supervillain.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Daredevil Season 1, Episode 8, "Shadows in the Glass" REVIEW (SPOILERS)

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In Daredevil episode 8, “Shadows in the Glass,” it is time for Wilson Fisk to step into the limelight.  For the first time in the entire series, we are getting an episode that is almost entirely dedicated to our primary villain.  What are his motivations?  What turned him into the man he is now?  How does he like his eggs?  All of these questions—and more—are answered in “Shadows in the Glass”!