Saturday, April 30, 2016

Weekly MCU Review for 4/30

Another week, and more MCU news!  The Punisher got ordered to series, Captain America: Civil War opened internationally, and we've gotten some news about the movies following Civil War.  Put some ketchup on your eggs, and catch-up on your Marvel news!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Captain America: Civil War TL;DW

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Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War opens in U.S. theaters just over a week from today on Friday, May 6.  This will be the 13th movie released as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), which also includes a number of tie-in comics as well as four TV series (and counting).  It’s almost certain that just about everyone in the world will go to see this movie, but they will not all have seen everything that came before it in the MCU.  And there is the chance that at least some of these will be completely new to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).  So to help these people out, here is a “Too Long; Didn’t Watch” summary of the MCU to date, focusing especially on what is relevant to Captain America: Civil War.  At the end I will offer my three suggestions for movies that you should watch (or rewatch) before going to see Captain America: Civil War, and why those three.  We’ll start from the beginning, with Iron Man.

Note:  There will (obviously) be spoilers.  Also, these TL;DW articles are starting to get loooong!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3, Episode 18, "The Singularity" REVIEW (SPOILERS)

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First, I’d like to thank ABC for getting their “Your Voice Your Vote” segment out of the way before the episode started and not interrupting it partway through again.  You finally figured out how to do it!  Good job!  (pats head condescendingly)

Of course, I’d probably be more invested in this election cycle if I weren’t feeling so cynical about the whole thing.  Not to get political (he says, getting political), but off all the candidates still in the race for the two major parties, there’s only one I would vote for, and he’s not a frontrunner.  It doesn’t help matters that neither of the frontrunners is particularly popular—with anyone.  The last few elections there’s always been at least 1 candidate whose platform I could support—or at least that I could believe wasn’t actively trying to destroy this country!  That didn’t mean that the 1 candidate always won, but there was always someone to vote for.  This time around, if the race continues the way it’s shaping up, I do not see either major party candidate doing anything other than ruin our country.


Now back to your regularly-scheduled Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. review!

I have to say that I did not see all of the twists and turns coming in this episode.  The relationship drama seemed to take the spotlight for much of the episode, but there was enough other stuff going on—and the relationship drama was engaging enough—that I was invested through the whole thing.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3, Episode 18, "The Singularity" EXPECTATIONS

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns tonight with “The Singularity” (3x18) at 9:00 PM Eastern/Pacific.  What do we expect from tonight's episode?

Monday, April 25, 2016

Daredevil Season 2, Episode 6, "Regrets Only" REVIEW (SPOILERS)

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I have to admit, sitting down to write a review this week was a bit of a chore.  On Friday sent out an email promotion for their online comics, and I wound up rediscovering my account and getting lost in reading comics for much of the weekend… at least when I wasn’t busy with all the other stuff that I had to do this weekend!

But here’s my review for Daredevil season 2, episode 6: “Regrets Only.”  This is when the Punisher and Elektra storylines really start to intermix and start to pull Matt in many different directions, threatening to break apart everything that he has spent over a year building.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Weekly MCU Review for 4/23

Another week, and more MCU news!  Not quite as much happened this week as last, but we did find a few things out on the TV front, along with a little bit on Spider-Man: Homecoming.  Put some ketchup on your eggs, and catch-up on your Marvel news!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. End of the Season Wish List

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This week’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., “The Team,” was one of the best episodes so far this season.  It gave us the Secret Warrior action we’ve been waiting for—though not nearly enough of it!  There was enormous intrigue around the possibility of Hive having taken over one of the Inhumans.  And there was a huge twist at the end centered on that specific intrigue.  I won’t mention it here to avoid spoilers, but I’m going to warn you off the bat:  if you haven’t seen the episode yet, don’t read the rest of this article; it’s pretty much based on spoilers from the episode!

There are five episodes (4 weeks) left of this season, and after this week’s episode, it is much clearer what we can expect to see in the final episodes.  What follows will be partly expectations and partly wishes for the remainder of the season.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The New Heroes Debuting in Captain America: Civil War

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Captain America: Civil War makes its official debut in two weeks, setting the heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe against each other.  However, the heroes involved in this Civil War will not be limited to those who have already appeared in the previous dozen MCU movies; two new heroes will also be making their debuts in this movie.  Spider-Man is one of the most popular comic book heroes on the planet, so I doubt there’s all that much new I can say about him (not that that will stop me from trying…).  Besides, I’ve already talked about Spider-Man quite a bit in previous articles (links in the Spider-Man section).  Black Panther, however, is much less well-known, so I will focus more effort on him in this article.

We don’t know a ton about these characters in the MCU, so I will give a history of the character in the comics, followed by a rundown of what we know about them in the MCU.  Finally, I will talk about where they are going to appear next (spoiler:  the answer to both is “their upcoming solo film”) as well as possibilities for future storylines and appearances.

We’ll start off with Black Panther.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3, Episode 17, "The Team" REVIEW (SPOILERS)

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Well, I do think this episode was just about everything I was hoping it would be:  We saw the Secret Warriors come together as a team for the first time, and they fought quite well, though they didn’t do all that much fighting as a team.  The team coming together and rescuing Zephyr One part of the episode was not quite as long as I was hoping or expecting—we’ve waited most of a season to see the Secret Warriors fighting the good fight, after all—but the rest of the episode was definitely worth it.

As an aside before I get to the review, ABC came so close to actually doing something smart with their “Your Voice, Your Vote” interludes this week, but it was still a near miss.  The first time they did it—to let us know that Trump won his home state (what a shocker)—it was before the “Previously on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” had even started.  Great job, guys!  But the second time they did it—letting us know that the carpet bagger beat out the local boy—Daisy was in the middle of a sentence.  Sorry, guys, but it’s another near miss.  Seriously, time it so that you’re cutting in during a commercial break next time!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3, Episode 17, "The Team" EXPECTATIONS

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns tonight with “The Team” (3x17) at 9:00 PM Eastern/Pacific.  What do we expect from tonight's episode?

Monday, April 18, 2016

Daredevil Season 2, Episode 5, "Kinbaku" REVIEW (SPOILERS)

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At the end of the previous episode, “Penny and Dime,” it looked like Matt’s life had finally started to come together:  he had stopped the rival vigilante, he was prepared to hang up the mask (for the most part), and he and Karen were just starting to explore their feelings for each other.  You know what that means?

It’s time for something to mess Matt’s life up!

And that something comes in the form of none other than Elektra Natchios, Matt’s ex-girlfriend from college.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Rumor Has It... Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok

This week news broke that Tessa Thompson has been cast for a “key role” in Thor: Ragnarok, which is rumored to be none other than Valkyrie.  Valkyrie has been rumored to appear in Thor: Ragnarok for a while, and we’ve even seen some concept art of what she could look like:
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This afternoon I want to take some time to discuss who Valkyrie is and how she could fit into this movie.

Weekly MCU Review for 4/16

Another week, and more MCU news!  Marvel must have noticed how little news I had last week and decided to release as much news as possible, because there was a ton of news!  Put some ketchup on your eggs, and catch-up on your Marvel news!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3, Episode 16, "Paradise Lost" REVIEW (SPOILERS)

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First off, I should apologize for not publishing this review much earlier.  Unfortunately, my Tuesday night meeting ran extremely late and we were unable to even watch the episode until Wednesday… and even at that we couldn’t watch it until the evening.  So I am writing this review on Thursday and I will publish it on Friday morning.

With that out of the way, let’s get down to the episode.

“Paradise Lost” is a surprisingly fitting title for this episode… and I’m ashamed to admit that the book wasn’t my first thought when ABC revealed that title.  In this episode we learn more about three of the most underdeveloped characters in the series, and all three benefit greatly from the development and back story.  We also discover a possible method by which the villain can be defeated—something that’s getting to be really important as we get closer and closer to that epic 2-hour season finale that’s just a little over a month away!  There are three plots going on in this episode which do not connect beyond themes, but it never feels jumbled or confused; I think that losing two characters and their attendant character dynamics/subplots has something to do with that!  All in all this is a very good episode, but it is pretty clear that it is acting as setup for next week’s episode.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Civil War Conflict Has Been Built into the MCU All Along

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Here we are, 4 weeks away from the wide release of Captain America: Civil War.  This movie has been hotly anticipated ever since Disney announced last year that the third Captain America movie would not have the subtitle “Serpent Society,” but instead would be titled Captain America: Civil War.  However, to think that the MCU Civil War has only been building for a couple of years would be to ignore the facts.  It’s not like Tony Stark and Steve Rogers just decided one day that they wanted to disagree about something, picked the Sokovia Accords, and duked it out.  No, this conflict over accountability vs. freedom has actually been built into the very DNA of the Marvel Cinematic Universe virtually since its inception.  You might say that these heroes were always destined to come into conflict, either with each other or with the government; the time and place was the only question left to be answered.

Frankly, this Civil War has been a long time coming.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3, Episode 16, "Paradise Lost" EXPECTATIONS

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns tonight with “Paradise Lost” (3x16) at 9:00 PM Eastern/Pacific.  What do we expect from tonight's episode?

Monday, April 11, 2016

Daredevil Season 2, Episode 4, "Penny and Dime" REVIEW (SPOILERS)

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Arguably the best part of Daredevil season 2 is its Punisher arc.  We meet the Punisher, learn what set him on the path of becoming the brutal vigilante, and watch as he truly becomes the Punisher.  If we look at this season in the context of Punisher’s story, this particular episode, “Penny and Dime,” serves as the conclusion of the “origin” section of the season.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Weekly MCU Review for 4/9

Another week, and more MCU news!  Captain America: Civil War got another trailer, the first Rogue One: A Star Wars Story trailer was released, and Marvel announced yet another TV series!  Put some ketchup on your eggs, and catch-up on your Marvel news!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Cloak and Dagger Series Ordered by Freeform

I hope they don't stick too close to Dagger's comic book suit!
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So Marvel and ABC announced yesterday that they have ordered a Cloak and Dagger series for the ABC channel Freeform.  This has actually been something of a long time coming, as Jeph Loeb teased it all the way back in 2011, when Freeform was still known as ABC Family.  At that time Cloak and Dagger was going to be reinvented to place the heroes in post-Katrina New Orleans (instead of New York City), though there is no indication that this is still the direction they are taking.

Honestly, I’m a huge fan of Marvel TV, so I’m excited to find out more about this series.  In fact, the only thing curbing my excitement right now is the fact that we don’t get Freeform!

We really do not know anything about this series yet beyond the network and description as a “superhero love story.”  Heck, we don’t even know if they are looking to start it this year or next!

As such, let the rampant speculation begin!

Just to be clear before going any further, this is 100% confirmed to be happening.  It’s not an independent pitch like that Captain Britain rumor; the network actually ordered this to series.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3, Episode 15, "Spacetime" REVIEW (SPOILERS)

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Before I move into the review, there’s something I really need to get off my chest.  About 30 minutes into this episode, ABC interrupted the show with an election report for the Wisconsin primary!  In the middle of a scene, they interrupt their own show for a political report that’s not exactly breaking news.  I’m sorry, but in what universe does that make sense?  It would have made far more sense to me if they had cut in with their “breaking news” during a commercial break, rather than midsentence.  As it is, they cut down the final commercial break so the episode concluded on time, so why couldn’t they have just interrupted a commercial?

Anyways, on to your regularly-scheduled Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. review.

Is time fixed?  That is the question which this episode asks.  Of course, that’s not the only question which this episode asks; it also asks and answers the question: Just how many pop culture references can one episode include, without actually mentioning other Marvel properties or anything from Marvel Comics?  The answer to that question is “a lot.”

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3, Episode 15, "Spacetime" EXPECTATIONS

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns tonight with “Spacetime” (3x15) at 9:00 PM Eastern/Pacific.  What do we expect from tonight's episode?

Monday, April 4, 2016

Daredevil Season 2, Episode 3, "New York's Finest" REVIEW (SPOILERS)

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The third episode of this season, “New York’s Finest,” is certainly one of, if not the, best episodes of the season—if not the series to-date.  The character development for both Daredevil and the Punisher is incredible as both lay out their specific views of what they are doing.  Foggy gets his moment to shine.  And the action sequence at the end of the episode is absolutely amazing.  Oh, and this episode has the biggest direct nod to the comics in the season.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Weekly MCU Review for 4/2

Another week, and more MCU news!  Batman v. Superman is in its second weekend, Star Wars Rebels just finished its second season, and Iron Fist has found its Colleen Wing.  Put some ketchup on your eggs, and catch-up on your Marvel news!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice REVIEW (SPOILERS)

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So I finally saw Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice this afternoon, about a week after it opened.  And of course I’m writing a review of it!  However, this won’t be exactly like my standard reviews, partly because it’s outside the MCU and partly because apparently I missed the memo that BvS reviews were supposed to come out a week and a half ago!

I’m only going to write a single review for this movie, so there will be spoilers ahead.

When Marvel Studios started lighting Hollywood on fire by releasing Iron Man and kicking off the Marvel Cinematic Universe, EVERYONE took note.  The Avengers made a boatload of money and paved the way for about a decade’s worth of additional movies.  And suddenly everyone wanted their own cinematic universe, complete with spinoffs and team-ups and tie-ins.  Now, some of these cinematic “universes” most likely just plain won’t work—I mean really, Transformers?  Hasbro?—but a comic book company like DC could definitely make it work!  Since then they have announced a full lineup of solo films, as well as 2 Justice League movies.  However, it all starts with Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.  Man of Steel, released only a year after The Avengers, offered an opening for DC to begin its cinematic universe.  Man of Steel was a decent movie (I will publish a review of it over the summer), but it alone was not enough to start a universe, or at least not on DC’s timeframe.

That’s where Batman v. Superman comes in.  Batman v. Superman essentially serves as the Iron Man 2 or The Amazing Spider-Man 2 of the DC Extended Universe:  it sets the whole thing in motion.  This is very important to keep in mind as we get into the meat of the review.