Monday, February 29, 2016

Thoughts for Jessica Jones Season 2

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I remember before Jessica Jones was released back in November that there were some questions (specifically from me) as to whether or not Jessica Jones should receive a second season.  Now, in my defense there really isn’t a ton of depth to Jessica Jones’ character in the comics beyond her connection with Luke Cage (as his wife/baby momma/occasional superhero partner between retirements).  Consequently, my thinking before the season debut was that it would be better for Marvel Netflix to fold Jessica Jones into the other series (specifically Daredevil and Heroes for Hire—itself a combination of Luke Cage and Iron Fist) in order to make room on the schedule for new properties.  However, after watching Jessica Jones season 1, I now think there is more than enough story to merit a season 2—and apparently the powers that be concur, as Jessica Jones season 2 was greenlit way back in January!

And since I just finished publishing my reviews of season 1 last week, what better time than the present to start thinking about what could come next for our favorite super-powered P.I.?

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Weekly MCU Review for 2/27

Another week, and more MCU news!  Agent Carter is nearing its season finale, Marvel's Most Wanted received a synopsis, and Marvel has its Iron Fist!  Oh, and Daredevil season 2's second trailer dropped.  There was a lot of Marvel TV news this week!  Put some ketchup on your eggs, and catch-up on your Marvel news!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Marvel's Civil War: The Movie Tie-In Possibilities

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Two weeks ago, I made the case that Captain America: Civil War needs to have far-reaching implications for the MCU in Phase 3—it can’t be wrapped up in a bow after a single movie.  There needs to be some major tie-in between Captain America: Civil War and the rest of Marvel’s offerings over the next several years.  Last week I offered a template of what “major tie-in” looked like with the previous Captain America movie, when The Winter Soldier shook things up for the entire Marvel Universe—especially by completely redefining Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

For the next two week I will be answering the question:  What would a good Captain America: Civil War tie-in look like?

To answer this question I will be looking at everything Marvel which we know is coming out in the next few years.  This includes the Phase 3 movies, the network TV shows (specifically Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Marvel’s Most Wanted, and Damage Control), and the Netflix shows.  That’s a lot of media to cover, so I’m going to break it up into 2 articles.  Next week I’ll talk about TV and Netflix, but this week I will start with the movies.

Articles in this Series:
Marvel’s Civil War Interconnectivity:  A Case Study from the Hydra Uprising”

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Agent Carter Season 2, Episodes 8, "The Edge of Mystery," and 9, "A Little Song and Dance" REVIEW (SPOILERS)

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A lot happened in yesterday’s episodes of Agent Carter, including the payoff for several running plotlines.  Jarvis in particular benefited from some major development, perhaps more than he received over the previous 1¾ seasons.  I was also a little surprised that Joseph Manfredi received some character development; I think he’s now a better-developed character than Chadwick was before Frost sucked him up!  Oh, and the Zero Matter powers (and increased effects budget) are on full display!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Agent Carter Season 2, Episodes 8, "The Edge of Mystery," and 9, "A Little Song and Dance" EXPECTATIONS

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Agent Carter returns tonight with “The Edge of Mystery” (2x08) at 9:00 PM Eastern/Pacific and “A Little Song and Dance” (2x09) at 10:00 PM Eastern/Pacific.  What do we expect from tonight's episodes?

Monday, February 22, 2016

Jessica Jones Season 1, Episode 13, "AKA Smile" REVIEW (SPOILERS)

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Here it is:  the Jessica Jones season 1 finale.  After the way the previous episode ended, this one was bound to be a doozy, as Jess still needs to defeat Kilgrave and protect everyone she cares about.  Oh, and there’s also that small issue of just what happened to Luke at the end of the previous episode!  On the bright side, that little cliffhanger ending paves the way for an awesome guest appearance!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Weekly MCU Review for 2/20

Another week, and more MCU news!  Deadpool opened last weekend, we got some more information on Captain America: Civil War, and the first Daredevil season 2 trailer dropped!.  Put some ketchup on your eggs, and catch-up on your Marvel news!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Agent Carter Season 2, Episode 6, "Life of the Party," and Episode 7, "Monsters" REVIEW (SPOILERS)

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Well, I finally found the time to watch Agent Carter’s two most recent episodes, and I have to say that I think this show just keeps getting better and better.  The things that I have really liked so far were back in full force, along with some very high stakes for all of our main characters.  Oh, and the relationship drama from last week did not overshadow the rest of the plot the way that I feared that it would (looking at you, Arrow).

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Marvel's Civil War Interconnectivity: A Case Study from the Hydra Uprising

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When I was planning out this series, it was just two articles:  one explaining why I think Marvel’s Civil War needs to be more than just Captain America: Civil War, and one outlining how it could be more than just Captain America: Civil War.  That only lasted until I finished writing up possible connections with the Phase 3 movies, realized how long that section was, and decided to split the second half into 2 articles (I know, how very Harry Potter/Hunger Games/Twilight of me!).  Now, here I am adding yet another article to this series, which will lay out an example of exactly what I’m talking about, using a specific example from the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a template.

This article is actually coming as a response to some of the feedback on the first article that I received on Reddit.  Specifically, there was some confusion as to exactly what I mean by “Civil War Needs to be BIG”—I realize now a better title would have been “Why Marvel’s Civil War Needs to be BIGger than Captain America: Civil War.”

Regardless, to answer those questions, I am going to look at Marvel’s Phase 2—specifically from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 1 through the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 3 premiere—to understand the interconnectivity of that series and 3 of the movies that came out during that time (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Ant-Man).

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Agent Carter Season 2, Episode 6, "Life of the Party," and Episode 7, "Monsters" EXPECTATIONS

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Agent Carter returns tonight with “Life of the Party” (2x06) at 9:00 PM Eastern/Pacific and “Monsters” (2x07) at 10:00 PM Eastern/Pacific.  This is the first of back-to-back double-features, as next week we will also get 2 new episodes so Agent Carter can finish its run before Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns on March 8.  What do we expect from tonight's episodes?

Monday, February 15, 2016

Jessica Jones Season 1, Episode 12, "AKA Take a Bloody Number" REVIEW (SPOILERS)

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There are only 2 episodes of Jessica Jones season 1 left to review, but I think they are among the best.  Like I said on the last one, these last three episodes each contain a “boss fight,” with the emotional and physical stakes increasing on each one.  Last episode, Jess and Trish had to team up to take down Simpson while Jess was physically weakened.  However, this episode’s fight makes taking on a super-soldier look like a walk in the park!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Weekly MCU Review for 2/13

Another week, and more MCU news!  Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Star Wars: Episode VIII both began filming this week, and Deadpool opened in theaters.  Put some ketchup on your eggs, and catch-up on your Marvel news!

Before I go any further, I just want to say that I am not going to see or review the Deadpool movie until it is out on DVD.  I have heard from people who have seen it and think that it is an amazing movie and very true to the character.  However, the things that make it rated “R” (specifically sexual content) is a little over the top for me.  If it were just violence, language, and implied sexual content, I would probably be fine with it; as it is, I’m going to wait until it’s out on DVD so I can fast-forward through the 12 minutes of straight-up sex!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Why the Civil War Needs to be BIG

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If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, or if you’ve caught anything I’ve written on other Marvel-related sites, you may have seen comments from me to the effect that Captain America: Civil War shouldn’t just be a one-and-done movie, but needs to have consequences that last into other movies and TV shows.  Of course, this sentiment has not been popular with everyone, so I’m going to take some time over the next couple of weeks (well before I start talking about Civil War in depth) to talk about how and why Civil War needs to be an event like it was in the comics.  This article will focus on why it needs to be a major event in the MCU.  Check back next week and the week after for my thoughts on what this might look like based on the movies and TV shows that have been announced thus far.

Before I get started, however, I want to address one argument against my position:  the MCU in general (and this movie in particular) is too small to do the comic book Civil War justice.  Simply put, there is no disagreeing with that.  At the time of the Civil War in Marvel Comics, there were thousands of heroes and villains, and dozens of different teams, including multiple Avengers and X-Men teams.  There were also many issues of comics coming out every week which could feature some tie in with the event.  By contrast, the MCU today has around 40-50 heroes (depending on your definition of “hero”), of whom 10 will be off-Earth during the Civil War.  Where the comic book Civil War was an event mini-series of 7 issues (to say nothing of tie-ins), Captain America: Civil War is going to be a single movie of about 2-2½ hours.  Simply put, Marvel doesn’t have the time or roster to do the actual comic Civil War in the movie.

But that’s not what I’m looking for.  Rather, I’m looking for Marvel Studios do the Civil War in their own way, with the resources and characters at their disposal, but to do it in a big way.  This Civil War should (following the example of the comic) be more than just a single one-and-done movie.

So with that out of the way, here is

Why I Think the Civil War Needs to be BIG

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Agent Carter Season 2, Episode 5, "The Atomic Job" REVIEW (SPOILERS)

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As an aside, I’m really annoyed with ABC right now.  I wasn’t home to watch the episode, so I recorded it on my VCR (a used VCR and some VHS tapes is way cheaper than a DVR).  Unfortunately, somehow ABC must have gotten off last night, so I recorded 4 extra minutes of Muppets and missed the last four minutes of Agent Carter and had to find… alternate means to watch it.  H/T to’s helpful episode recap, also, since that helped me get a jump on my review before I could finish the episode.

Last night’s episode of Agent Carter, “The Atomic Job,” highlights both the best and worst aspects of this series.  Now, don’t get me wrong; there are a lot of best aspects to this series:  the cast is absolutely stellar, especially Hayley Atwell and James D’Arcy.  The 1947 setting of the series is a definite plus (and something which they really lean into) which lends itself well to the exploration of both sexism and racism.  I’m a huge fan of the number of comic book characters which Agent Carter introduces, and of the way that they adapt some of the odder ones (Controlling bats?  Really?).  This series is much “brighter” than Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which also lends itself well to the 1947 setting.  Oh, and I love the humor in this series.

However, there is one glaring issue with the concept of Agent Carter:  we know the broad strokes of Peggy’s life already.  She works for the S.S.R., leaves the S.S.R. to help Howard Stark found S.H.I.E.L.D., and survives through all the events of the MCU beyond Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  The only aspect of Peggy’s life which we do not yet know is whom she marries—the husband who had been saved by Captain America that she mentioned in The Winter Soldier.  And because that’s the only important aspect of Peggy’s life that is still a mystery, that’s what they are really leaning into.  Without spoiling anything, this episode sees a little more payoff for the love triangle they’ve set up—something I am never a fan of.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  I like my relationship drama simple and my plot complex.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Agent Carter Season 2, Episode 5, "The Atomic Job" EXPECTATIONS

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Agent Carter returns tonight with “The Atomic Job” (2x05) at 9:00 PM Eastern/Pacific.  What do we expect from tonight's episode?

Monday, February 8, 2016

Jessica Jones Season 1, Episode 11, "AKA I've Got the Blues" REVIEW (SPOILERS)

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Minor spoiler alert:  the last three episodes of Jessica Jones each contain one “Boss Fight.”  I won’t spoil anything by saying here whom she is fighting (though if you haven’t seen it yet, why are you reading a review, especially 2½ months after it came out?).  But let’s leave it at this:  each of these fights ups the physical and emotional stakes for Jessica, so that by the end of the season she has faced everything she could possibly be asked to face and has somehow come out on top.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Weekly MCU Review for 2/6

Another week, and more MCU news!  Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has started casting, and so has FOX's Legion TV series.  Oh, and the Super Bowl's tomorrow (meaning Super Bowl commercials for movies!), so that's pretty cool.  Go Broncos!  Put some ketchup on your eggs, and catch-up on your Marvel news!

Mostly MCU Reviews

My articles from the week

First up for the week, my review of Jessica Jones season 1, episode 10, “AKA 1000 Cuts.”  Who do you want to see Jessica and Trish go up against in season 2?

Agent Carter season 2, episode 4, “Smoke and Mirrors” expectations and review.  I’ve read that the ratings for Agent Carter have not been good so far, which is very disappointing, as this is a very good series.

MCU News

Links to news articles and blog posts about the MCU

Marvel released some more promotional art for Captain America: Civil War.  I think it looks really good.  Too bad we still have 4 months left!

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has 2 new cast members, as both the villain and Star Lord’s father have been cast.  Another new cast member is Steve Agee, but there’s no word yet on his character.  Who do you think the actors are, and who do you think they are playing?

Here is another teaser for Daredevil season 2, hinting at a broken Matt Murdock:
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I seriously cannot wait for Daredevil season 2 to come out in March!

News from Around Geekdom

Anything not related to the MCU that I find interesting

Here is a list of possible Super Bowl trailers we could be seeing tomorrow.  Which are you most excited for?

Wolverine 3 will begin production on April 25 in New Orleans.

FOX’s Legion TV series has started casting, with Aubrey Plaza, Dan Stevens, and Jean Smart already joining the cast.

Have you seen this Batman v. Superman Prequel Comic?

So all those rumors have been confirmed:  Supergirl and The Flash will cross over on March 28.

Apparently even though TNT passed on the Teen Titans pilot and series, DC still has plans for a live-action Teen Titans.  Do you want to see the Titans in live action?

Young Justice season 2 is finally available on Netflix!  I’ll have to watch that now that I'm finished with Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be available on Blu-Ray on April 5!

If you can’t get enough of Harry Potter, you need to check out Pottermore, the site Rowling herself helps to run.  This week she wrote about some of the other Wizarding schools around the world.  Are you going to watch Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them when it comes out?

If you want to get an email whenever I publish a new article, go to the top of the page and enter your email address in the box labeled “Subscribe to Mostly MCU Reviews” and click “Submit.”

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Agent Carter Season 2, Episode 4, "Smoke and Mirrors" REVIEW (SPOILERS!)

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You know, I think this might be their best episode yet for the parallels they create between the hero and villain.  Peggy Carter and Agnes Cully/Whitney Frost really are not such different women.  Both are driven to excel in fields from which they are largely barred due to their gender.  Both of them feel the pushback of a society that does not think they can contribute in those fields.  Both of them attempt to conform to societal standards.  But Peggy gets one thing that Agnes/Whitney does not:  an opportunity.

Marvel seems to believe that every TV season needs at least one “flashback episode” (admittedly, it’s an effective technique for fleshing out back stories—some of them are among my favorite episodes from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Daredevil, and Jessica Jones), so it’s not surprising to find one in Agent Carter season 2.  What really set this episode apart (at least over season 1) are the direct parallels between Peggy and Agnes.  I think that if things had turned out differently, either one could have been the hero and either one could have been the villain.  Daredevil season 1 came close to this with Matt and Fisk, but ultimately did not make as much of a parallel between them as we see between Peggy and Frost.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Agent Carter Season 2, Episode 4, "Smoke and Mirrors" EXPECTATIONS

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Agent Carter returns tonight with “Smoke and Mirrors” (2x04) at 9:00 PM Eastern/Pacific.  What do we expect from tonight's episode?

Monday, February 1, 2016

Jessica Jones Season 1, Episode 10, "AKA 1000 Cuts" REVIEW (SPOILERS)

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Wow.  That’s pretty much all you can say after watching “AKA 1,000 Cuts,” the tenth episode of Jessica Jones season 1.  This is pretty much the episode where everything starts going to hell and we are left wondering just who the real villain is.  Kilgrave becomes far more sympathetic in the first half of the episode—though he continues his psychopathic ways before he can really become redeemable—but he is outclassed by even more duplicitous and unsavory actions from seeming-allies of Jessica’s.  What is the right way to react to a power like Kilgrave’s?