Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3 Premiere, "Laws of Nature" REVIEW (SPOILERS)

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is back!  I’ve been excited for this ever since the season 2 finale, and I have to say, I don’t think it disappointed at all.  Like I said in last week’s “MCU Review,” I thought that the opening sequence was extremely well done.  The effects were excellent all through the episode, the acting was very good, and the character interactions believable.  It definitely felt like we missed a few steps in a few of these relationships, but I’m going to assume that they will be filling in a lot of those blanks over the first 3 or 4 episodes.

The one thing I’m definitely going to say up front, however, is that a lot of things did not go the way I expected.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3 Premiere, "Laws of Nature" EXPECTATIONS

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns tonight with “Laws of Nature” (3x01) at 9:00 PM Eastern/Pacific.  What do we expect from tonight's episode?

Monday, September 28, 2015

Agent Carter and Feminism

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This came to me last week while I was writing my review of the Agent Carter season 1 finale, but I decided it was too much of a tangent to include in the review.  Instead, I’m publishing it this week as a follow up to Agent Carter season 1.

Do you remember last year when the Internet was exploding over the question of Agent Carter and feminism?  Some called it a “triumph” for feminism; some called it a “failure” for feminism.  Respectfully, I disagree with both sides.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Expectations for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns this week for its third season, which has been given the tagline: “Are You Inhuman?”  Before it comes back, however, we need to ask a question:  What are our expectations for the season?

This expectation post will be slightly different than my usual expectation posts in that I will also include some possibilities for crossovers and tie-ins.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Weekly MCU Review for 9/26

Another week, and more MCU news!  Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 3 starts in 84 hours, Marvel is announcing new comics, and actors are opening up about their MCU future.  Put some ketchup on your eggs, and catch-up (*ducks*) on your Marvel news!

Friday, September 25, 2015

AoS Preview: The Advanced Threat Containment Unit

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 3 will kick off on Tuesday with its season premiere, when we will meet some of the new characters and organizations which will be appearing this season.  However, before then there is still one final topic which I want to talk about.  On Wednesday I talked about one of the antagonists for the season, the Inhuman named Lash.  Today, I’m going to talk about the other new antagonist:  the Advanced Threat Containment Unit and its leader, Rosalind Price, played by Constance Zimmer.

Before we get started, there are a couple of things we need to note.  First, the “Advanced Threat Containment Unit” does not have an equivalent in Marvel Comics anywhere, though there are some possible parallels.  Second, Constance Zimmer’s character also does not have a Marvel Comics equivalent, though there are several “Rosalinds” and “Prices,” some even with S.H.I.E.L.D. connections.  She could still be a character from the comics (in the same way that Skye turned out to be Daisy Johnson), but we can’t really speculate about that at this juncture.  If they had announced her name and she was playing a comic book character, that could have significantly changed our understanding of the Advanced Threat Containment Unit and its storyline; that her character is not from the comics makes it more or less irrelevant to this discussion.

With that out of the way, here are my three options for what the Advanced Threat Containment Unit might be, if it is an adaptation of a comic book organization.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

AoS Preview: All About Lash

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There are several announced antagonists so far for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 3, and I’m going to talk about a couple of them this week before Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns next Tuesday.  However, the antagonist I am going to discuss first is one who is essentially stepping straight out of the pages of the comics, specifically last year’s (2014) Inhuman #1.  I am talking of course about Lash, played by former pro-football-player-turned-actor Matt Willig, a 6-foot-8 former offensive tackle who looks even more imposing than that description would suggest as a massive Inhuman covered in spikes.

Thus far all we know about the MCU version of Lash is that he will be another party interested in the newly-transformed Inhumans.  However, if the MCU Lash’s story is anything like that of the comic book Lash, he could offer a very interesting and dark perspective on these events.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Agent Carter Season 1, Episode 8, "Valediction" RETRO-REVIEW (SPOILERS)

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Agent Carter’s season 1 finale was a lot of fun.  It answered everyone’s questions for the season 1 plot, set up some things for season 2, and even gave us some good character moments between Howard Stark and Peggy Carter, moments which we did not get a lot of during the rest of the season and which Captain America: The First Avenger completely ignored beyond the moment with them in the plane with Steve.

I think one of the most interesting parts of this episode is the insight we get into Dr. Fennhoff’s character.  We only met him halfway through the season, but by the end of this episode we have a much better grasp on his character and motivations than we had on Dr. Whitehall from the first 10 episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 2.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Rumor Has It... Netflix Phase 2

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Welcome back to the next edition of “Rumor Has It,” my somewhat new off-and-on series looking at Marvel-related rumors.  These won’t come out very often, but it will generally come on Saturday afternoon dealing with a rumor from the “Weekly MCU Review” that was prefaced with the phrase “Rumor has it.”

Today, Rumor Has It that Marvel is considering the following slate for its Netflix Phase 2, starting in 2018 after the release of The Defenders:

2018: Moon Knight with Bushman as the main villain
2018: The Punisher with Jigsaw as the main villain
2019: Deathlok with Fixer as the main villain
2019: Spider-Woman with Madame Hydra as the main villain

As of now this is very much just a rumor from a single website which is actually younger than “Mostly MCU Reviews” (how weird is that?), with their first article coming at the end of May (mine was the beginning of March), so we need to be taking it with an economy-sized bag of salt.  However, I absolutely think that this slate of TV series is possible for several reasons.  In this article I will run down the heroes and villains listed as well are arguments in favor of or against their inclusion on Netflix.  I’ve talked about the subject of Marvel Netflix Phase 2 a couple of times already; one of my articles associated with Daredevil season 1 was this projection of Netflix Phase 2.  I mentioned all of these characters except Deathlok in that article, but Moon Knight was the only one I included in my Phase 2 line-up (but during the correct year!).  Of course, that’s working without any industry sources, so I guess that’s not too bad…

But without further ado, let’s get down to the brass tacks of the rumor.  Remember:  all the analysis is my own, and I’m not working off of any insider information, so you can take that with a bag of salt, too!

Weekly MCU Review for 9/19

Another week, and more MCU news!  News is coming out about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and all the upcoming Marvel Netflix series, to say nothing of the upcoming movies.  Put some ketchup on your eggs, and catch-up (*ducks*) on your Marvel news!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Early Guesses about the Secret Warriors

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One of the key focuses for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 3 will be on Skye Daisy (apparently the writers’ room has a “Skye Jar” for them to put a dollar in whenever they call her “Skye” instead of “Daisy”) forming a team of “Secret Warriors.”  If you remember from the season 2 finale, Coulson gave Daisy a folder labeled “Caterpillar” in homage to the “Caterpillar Program” in the comics.  This was a program by which Nick Fury recruited the super-powered children of super-villains to form a super team because he believed the “official” super teams (the Avengers, X-Men, Fantastic Four, S.H.I.E.L.D.) to have been infiltrated by the Skrulls.  Because these children of powered people were relatively under-the-radar at the time of recruitment (so-called “caterpillars”), Fury hoped that none of these budding heroes would have been replaced with body doubles yet.

Obviously, that’s not what is happening here.  Rather than forming a team to take on the Skrull Invasion, Coulson is instead forming an enhanced team to take on major threats which regular S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are not capable of fighting.  As of now, the primary “threat” they face is from the Inhumans, though that could easily change.  Ward is in the process of rebuilding Hydra, which we already know to have employed brainwashed enhanceds in the past (c.f. Donnie Gill, the Twins, and whoever it was that attacked the S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy); could Ward manage to get his hands on a few enhanced people to use against S.H.I.E.L.D.?  That seems entirely possible, especially with Inhumans starting to transform all over the place thanks to the Terrigen Fish Oil.  And speaking of Terrigen Fish Oil, that will probably be the biggest “threat” and opportunity for S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Secret Warriors in season 3:  there will be new Inhumans all over the place who will emerge from the chrysalis scared, with new powers that they can’t understand or control.  Some of these will use their powers for evil, while others will just need a hug.  It will be a race for S.H.I.E.L.D.—along with the Advanced Threat Containment Unit, Hydra, other Inhuman groups, and who knows how many others—to find these new Inhumans, contain their powers, keep them out of the wrong hands, teach them control, and help them adjust to the transformation.  I expect the Secret Warriors to be a major part of that work in season 3.

But before going further into my thoughts on the Secret Warriors’ missions in season 3, I thought I would give my thoughts on how the team will be put together and introduced to the series.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

What's Going on with Simmons?

Everyone who watched the season 2 finale of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. knows that the biggest loose end left at the end of the episode revolved around Simmons.  I remember right after the episode aired this meme was going around:
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And that pretty much sums the ending up.  So… What’s going on with Simmons?

Warning:  this post will contain spoilers for the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 2 finale, so if you haven’t seen it I would recommend that you go, watch it on Netflix, and then come back.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Agent Carter Season 1, Episode 7, "Snafu" RETRO-REVIEW (SPOILERS)

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After “Peggy’s bad day” in the last episode, this episode only let things get worse.  Peggy is now in custody, and everything is starting to unravel around her as the S.S.R. focuses all of its energy on breaking her while the Leviathan operatives continue to work their conspiracy.  We still don’t know exactly what they are up to, but the pieces are just about in place by the end of the episode.

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

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Weekly MCU Review for 9/12

Another week, and more MCU news!  A Jessica Jones release date, S.H.I.E.L.D. promotions, and some more news about upcoming movies.  Put some ketchup on your eggs, and catch-up (*ducks*) on your Marvel news!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2, Episode 10, "What They Become" RETRO-REVIEW (SPOILERS)

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I have to say, the last five minutes or so of “What They Become” might be the best part of the entire half-season—and better than anything in the first season, too, for that matter!  And seeing it all for the second time I noticed several things that I hadn’t seen the first time.  Not only did this episode give us a satisfying conclusion to the alien writing/alien city plot, but it also offered several hints at the second half of the season.  Oh, and did I mention that it introduced an entire race of super-powered people from the comics, a race which will be getting its own movie after Infinity War?  Because it did that, too.  Sweet!

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

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2, Episode 9, "Ye Who Enter Here" RETRO-REVIEW (SPOILERS)

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After “Ye Who Enter Here” all the pieces are in place for an epic midseason finale.  The episode began with S.H.I.E.L.D. poised to strike a major blow against Hydra, but by the end of the episode the tables have been turned and Hydra is in possession of everything they need to unleash a potential Armageddon on the world.  And both S.H.I.E.L.D. teams are in grave mortal danger.  Obviously we know how the midseason finale is going to go, but watching this episode again was a lot of fun for how they set things up and include little foreshadows of what is to come.

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

Monday, September 7, 2015

Agent Carter Season 1, Episode 6, "A Sin to Err" RETRO-REVIEW (SPOILERS)

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It’s amazing just how quickly things unravel for Peggy.  One minute she is a trusted and valuable S.S.R. agent, given an opportunity to run down her own leads in the Howard Stark investigation.  The next she’s being hunted by her own agency as a criminal and traitor, forced to fight her own colleagues and hide on ledges to evade capture.  And then everything really goes to hell on her!  Oh well, as a psychopathic Hydra terrorist once said, “If the job were easy, it wouldn’t be any fun!”

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

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Weekly MCU Review for 9/5

Another week, and more MCU news!  There was a major shakeup at Marvel Studios… oh, and some other stuff happened with movies and TV series!  Put some ketchup on your eggs, and catch-up (*ducks*) on your Marvel news!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2, Episode 8, "The Things We Bury" RETRO-REVIEW (SPOILERS)

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Can you say “villain-centric episode”?  That is essentially what “The Things We Bury” is:  an opportunity for us to learn about the villains and their motivations.  And this episode does an adequate job of that.  We learn who Daniel Whitehall is and how he came to be the man he is.  We learn more about Skye’s father, the enigmatic “Doctor,” and what is driving his actions in this war between S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra.  We even learn some more about the villain for the second half of the season, though it’s not until near the end of the season that she is revealed as such.  And we get a little more information on Ward—or do we?  You really can’t tell with that guy.  Regardless, everything in the episode ties in with the theme of “buried secrets.”

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2, Episode 7, "The Writing on the Wall" RETRO-REVIEW (SPOILERS)

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After the previous episode took a detour to examine the effect of international politics (and family) on Coulson’s S.H.I.E.L.D. team, this episode marks a return to the major plot of the half-season as Coulson makes a major discovery, setting up the mad dash in the final two episodes of the half-season.  Along the way, the episode also answers some burning questions about T.A.H.I.T.I. and starts to set up the minor plot thread which grows and turns into the major conflict of the second half of the season.  There are also some interesting looks into Coulson’s character in this episode.  Oh, and Ward finally gets to do something more exciting that suffocate (aside from the whole killing a bunch of F.B.I. guys at the end of the last episode, that is… (uh… spoilers?)).

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