Monday, November 30, 2015

Jessica Jones Season 1, Episode 2, "AKA Crush Syndrome" REVIEW (SPOILERS!)

As the second half of the plot from episode 1, “AKA Ladies Night,” the second episode of Jessica Jones picks up right where that one left off and continues the theme of introducing the villain.  Additionally, we learn more about Trish and her relationship with Jessica.  Luke gets quite a bit more screen time in this episode, which only serves to expand on the complexity of his and Jessica’s relationship—and you think you’ve got issues! And by the end of the episode, Kilgrave is in a good position to begin creating more mischief.  All in all, these two episodes fit together quite well and help to set up the rest of the series.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Weekly MCU Review for 11/28

Another week, and more MCU news!  Jessica Jones has been out for a week—has everyone watched it?  The Civil War trailer was released Tuesday!  Fant4stic 2 is dead in the water… is that even surprising?  And a ton of DC rumors!  Put some ketchup on your eggs, and catch-up on your Marvel news!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Jessica Jones: Non-Spoiler Review of Episodes 7-13

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Last night I finally finished Jessica Jones, and what a wild ride it was!  There are a lot of incredible character moments all through the series, and the second half is no exception.  Several of the characters go through surprising arcs, and a lot of the major characters have their back stories filled in further.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Miles Morales in the MCU

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As I mentioned in last week’s “Weekly MCU Review,” a group of small-time filmmakers produced a YouTube video based on Miles Morales becoming the new Spider-Man after Peter Parker’s death.  The video isn’t nearly as polished as your standard movie—not to say that I could do anything even half as good!—but it does bring up an intriguing possibility.  Specifically, what would an MCU Miles Morales look like?  Since we don’t have a new Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to look forward to tonight, let’s replace that with this.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Jessica Jones Season 1, Episode 1, "AKA Ladies Night" REVIEW (SPOILERS!)

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“AKA Ladies Night,” the series premiere of Jessica Jones, sets a very strong tone for the rest of the season.  In this episode we see Jessica taking a couple different types of cases.  We meet all of the main characters for the season in one form or another.  The key relationships in the series are introduced.  We get a sense of Kilgrave’s power, though not quite the extent of his power.  And we really get to know just about everything we need to know about where Jessica is starting this series.  All in all, I would consider this to be a strong opening statement from a highly-anticipated series.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Jessica Jones: Non-Spoiler Review of Episodes 1-6

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Just this past Friday, Marvel Studios expanded the Netflix corner of its Marvel Cinematic Universe with the addition of Jessica Jones, a series focusing on superhero-turned-private-investigator Jessica Jones.  Jessica has super strength and the ability to jump really high (and then fall), as well as a degree of super-speed and maybe a minor healing factor, abilities which she puts to good use as a private investigator attempting to make a living in Hell’s Kitchen.  This series comes on the heels of the very-well-received Daredevil, and the two characters couldn’t be more different.  Matt Murdock hides his abilities and only displays them at night, hiding his identity behind a mask; Jessica Jones doesn’t have a secret identity to protect and instead displays her abilities in the open and uses them in the course of her work.  Matt Murdock is driven by a desire to save the city by becoming a symbol to push people into behaving better; Jessica Jones is driven by a desire to earn a living.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Weekly MCU Review for 11/21

Another week, and more MCU news!  Jessica Jones debuted yesterday, and we got a ton of DC news, too.  Put some ketchup on your eggs, and catch-up on your Marvel news!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Jessica Jones Season 1 EXPECTATIONS

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Jessica Jones, the second installment of the Marvel/Netflix partnership, will be released officially on the streaming service tomorrow!  Here is the link to the Netflix page; just be sure that you're a Netflix subscriber!  What do we expect from this series?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3, Episode 8, "Many Heads, One Tale" REVIEW (SPOILERS)

So for the first 2/3 or so of this episode, I was really enjoying myself.  There was a lot of intrigue, particularly with S.H.I.E.L.D.’s relationship with their frenemies at the A.T.C.U.  Several of the characters got some nice moments.  Fitz-Simmons received some much-needed plot development.  Overall, it was a really interesting and intriguing episode.  And then the ending happened.  And my mind kind of did this:

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3, Episode 8, "Many Heads, One Tale" EXPECTATIONS

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns tonight with “Many Heads, One Tale” (3x08) at 9:00 PM Eastern/Pacific.  What do we expect from tonight's episode?

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Weekly MCU Review for 11/14

Another week, and more MCU news!  This week we got some news on Doctor Strange, Thor: Ragnarok, and even Ant-Man and the Wasp.  Oh, and Jessica Jones is only 7 days away!  Put some ketchup on your eggs, and catch-up (*ducks*) on your Marvel news!

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Secret Warriors 2.0

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This week’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode, “Chaos Theory,” introduced what I’m going to call the “Secret Warriors 2.0”—a potential team roster for the Secret Warriors which we could see in action soon, perhaps even in the midseason finale. This roster consists of Daisy, Mack, Lincoln, and Joey (though he was still working on controlling his gift in the episode and we have yet to see him use his gift to fight). However, I don’t think these four will be the entire Secret Warriors 2.0 team. On the contrary, I think there are two more characters who can also join the Secret Warriors right now, though both of them are dealing with traumas which may make joining the Secret Warriors difficult: Alisha, who is in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody recovering from her clone’s death at Lash’s hands, and Deathlok, who was sent to a specialized facility for repair after Hydra dismantled his leg in season 2.

I think that these six characters could very easily form the second iteration of the Secret Warriors on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. If you remember the season premiere, they debuted a small, temporary team consisting of Daisy, Mack, and Hunter, but that only lasted a single episode (less, really) before Hunter went off to hunt down Ward. Though Hunter went with Daisy and Mack to follow Banks in “Among Us Hide…” (3x06), he’s still sort-of benched and did not participate with Daisy, Mack, and Lincoln when they confronted Andrew/Lash. Also, he and Bobbi will be leaving the show sooner or later for Marvel’s Most Wanted, so even if he did remain on the team it could only be temporary.

In any event, my goal with this article is to go through the “Secret Warriors 2.0” and see how this roster fulfills the “Team Compositions” checklist I created last spring. This article is shorter than my standard length, but I will still go into rationale for some of the positions.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Iron Fist: Asian Heroes and the MCU

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The question was asked recently if Danny Rand, a.k.a. Iron Fist, should be played by an Asian-American actor because the character’s whiteness is not important but his Americanness is. I admit that my initial reaction was to assume reverse racism: the martial artist has to be Asian. However, as I thought further it occurred to me that this desire actually comes from a group looking for representation. And I can actually relate to that desire; one of the reasons I like Hawkeye so much is because he’s left-handed! While I still worry that the executives who make these decisions might do it more out of an assumption that any Asian hero has to be a martial artist and any martial arts-based hero must be Asian, I can definitely see the desire by Asian and Asian-American Marvel fans for representation. This writer has written a couple articles arguing in favor of just this point. Rather than rehash his arguments (which are quite valid), I want to look at this issue from a different angle: are Asians underrepresented in Marvel Comics, and (related) are there any other options for Asian heroes? After all, I can’t just say “focus on existing Asian heroes” without offering an alternative!

I’m going to come right out and say there really aren’t too many, at least not heroes whose rights Marvel owns. Most of the heroes I found were mutants, with a number of Iron Fist supporting characters thrown in for good measure. There are a few viable options, however, one of whom is strongly rumored to be appearing in an upcoming movie.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3, Episode 7, "Chaos Theory" REVIEW (SPOILERS!)

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I think this episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., “Chaos Theory,” might have been the most emotional one to-date.  It saw the payoff of a major plot thread from the first third of the season—which incidentally offered one of the biggest character moments we’ve gotten yet from one of the original cast members.  On the Inhumans and Secret Warriors fronts, this episode also offered some interesting development with a couple of potential new Secret Warriors being set up to join the team in the near future.  Additionally, two more of the major plots of the half-season received very quick and interesting developments near the tail end of the episode.

There was a lot that happened in this episode, so hold on tight!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3, Episode 7, "Chaos Theory" EXPECTATIONS

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns tonight with “Chaos Theory” (3x07) at 9:00 PM Eastern/Pacific.  What do we expect from tonight's episode?

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Rumor Has It: Iron Fist and Netflix

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This Rumor Has It article is a continuation of “The Adventures of the Iron Fist Development.”  Before getting down to the rumor itself, however, let’s take a look at how we got to this point.

It all started in 2013 when Marvel announced a deal with Netflix which would see the two companies partnering to produce four individual character-based TV series of 13 episodes each, leading up to a team-up miniseries called The Defenders which would star those four heroes.  The announced heroes for the four series were Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist.  Daredevil entered production in 2014 and was released on Netflix this past April.  It was such a success that it was immediately renewed for a second season, with Jessica Jones set to be released later this month (November 20) and Daredevil season 2 and Luke Cage set to be released sometime in 2016 (potentially the first half of the year).

This all sounds great… until you realize that something—or someone—is missing.  Where’s the news on Iron Fist?  No actor has been cast to play him and so far every potential showrunner has been rejected.  In fact, over the last few weeks/months reports have been coming out suggesting that Marvel doesn’t exactly know what to do with Iron Fist because they are afraid that he’s too fantastical to fit into the dark and gritty universe they have established with Daredevil and are continuing with Jessica Jones.  A couple weeks back, there was even a rumor that Marvel Netflix was planning to straight-up swap out Iron Fist for Punisher since they already have an actor for Frank Castle in Jon Bernthal and already have some ideas of where a Punisher series would go.  Potentially, this would also include the Punisher taking Iron Fist’s place in The Defenders.

So with that background established, let’s get down to the rumor.

Weekly MCU Review for 11/7

Another week, and more MCU news!  Doctor Strange rumors and photos are starting to leak, there was a major reveal on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (which aired its 50th episode), and a whole slew of other stuff happened.  Put some ketchup on your eggs, and catch-up (*ducks*) on your Marvel news!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Lash's Identity: Revealed!

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Warning, there are major spoilers ahead for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 3, episode 6, “Among Us Hide…”!  You’ve been warned…

So after this week’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., I think there’s just one question on everyone’s mind.  And that question is:

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3, Episode 6, "Among Us Hide..." REVIEW (SPOILERS)

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So right off the bat, I’d like to congratulate Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for making it to 50 episodes!  Considering how many people (not me) were writing you off after about 5 episodes, I am very glad that you managed to prove me right for believing in you from the get-go.  And what’s even more amazing is just how well you have been sowing seeds all through the series which have paid off down the line.  For example, I really think that some things from “Melinda” (2x17) are going to pay off big time next week, after this week’s major reveal.  But now, on to the review.

I think this episode can be summed up in one word:  Whoa!  Or maybe another one:  Whaaaa…?  There were some amazing moments in this episode, and a few that were downright shocking.  And I loved pretty much every moment of it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3, Episode 6, "Among Us Hide..." EXPECTATIONS

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns tonight with “Among Us Hide…” (3x06) at 9:00 PM Eastern/Pacific.  This is the 50th episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.! What do we expect from tonight's episode?

Monday, November 2, 2015

Star Wars Rebels: Kanan's Story

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When Disney acquired Lucasfilm and announced that it would be producing a new series of Star Wars sequels and spinoffs, I had some really mixed emotions. On the one hand, I was really excited about seeing more of my favorite sci-fi universe. On the other hand, I was also a little nervous about what they were planning to do with it; after all, the prequels weren’t nearly the same quality as the original trilogy. And on top of that, Disney decided to get rid of the entire extended universe!

Now, I wasn’t quite as upset about that as some Star Wars fans I know, who had dedicated years to collecting and reading all of the EU books. In my opinion, it made sense for Disney to scrap the entire EU so that they could have a clean slate to create their own Star Wars universe instead of having to fit their new movies into a universe which has already been created and spans millennia of Star Wars history. Looking at this in comic book terms, it’s little different from Marvel Studios making changes to the characters and events of the comics when adapting them to the movies.

With that being said, however, I was still disappointed because it meant that so many characters I really like are unlikely to appear in the Star Wars universe any more.

In order for me to really get behind the new Star Wars universe, Disney needed to provide me with new characters in whose stories I can become invested. And even now, a month before Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in theaters, I can definitely say that they have done so already. In fact, it started last year already, with the first season of Star Wars Rebels. For a series directed primarily at children, Star Wars Rebels is a surprisingly mature series.