Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4, Episode 7, "Deals with Our Devils" REVIEW (SPOILERS)

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Before getting into the actual review, let’s quickly talk about Doctor Strange.  Last night’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was the first new episode since the movie came out, and in the past there has been something of a tie-in with the movie in the following AoS episode.  Some of those tie-ins (particularly with Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Avengers: Age of Ultron) are relatively big and can spoil the movie’s ending.  This is not one of them.  In fact, there is no mention of Doctor Strange anywhere in the episode—and that’s a good thing.  The events in Doctor Strange were big and potentially universe-shattering… but they occurred in such a way that S.H.I.E.L.D. shouldn’t really know anything definite about them.  Coupled with the major, potentially universe-shattering events S.H.I.E.L.D. is already dealing with, and there’s no reason for S.H.I.E.L.D. to really get involved with the minor events they could be aware of.  The fact that they don’t try to shoehorn a Direct Tie-In into the episode shows that the showrunners are confident enough in their series to let it stand on its own and not try to take advantage of the connective tissue marketing ploy.

Having said all of that, there is still a very small Thematic Tie-In between Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Doctor Strange.  It’s not much of a spoiler for either.  Both play with the concept of the Marvel Cinematic Multiverse—something Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. actually (may) have done in season 1!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4, Episode 7, "Deals with Our Devils" EXPECTATIONS

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. continues tonight with “Deals with Our Devils” (4x07) at 10:00 PM Eastern/Pacific.  What do we expect from tonight's episode?

Monday, November 28, 2016

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4, Episode 6, "The Good Samaritan" REVIEW (SPOILERS)

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So this review is incredibly late—sorry about that!  When the episode first aired I was dealing with computer trouble, and since then I’ve had a whole lot of other stuff going on.  Hopefully I will be able to get back into a consistent routine now, at least for the next two weeks (the final two episodes of the half-season).

Considering how tardy this is, I will keep it pretty brief and try to offer something of a refresher so you’re ready for tomorrow’s new episode.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Weekly MCU Review for Thanksgiving Weekend (11/26)

Another week, and more MCU news!  Not a lot of excitement this week, but Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the U.S.  Put some ketchup on your eggs, and catch-up on your Marvel news!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Weekly MCU Review for 11/19

Another week, and more MCU news!  There’s a new kid on the block in MCU TV, Doctor Strange is still making bank… and that’s about it for this week, considering that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is still on hiatus.  Put some ketchup on your eggs, and catch-up on your Marvel news!

Friday, November 18, 2016

The Inhumans Has Been Announced for ABC!

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The Inhumans are one of those properties that has intrigued me ever since Marvel announced The Inhumans movie in 2018 as part of their Phase 3 press conference.  After all, this is a whole race of people with naturally-occurring superpowers, which has lived distinct from humanity for millennia.  The idea of ancient aliens experimenting on early humans in an effort to create a super-powered army only to have that army turn against them is a very interesting premise for a team of superheroes.  The courtly drama of the Royal Family (and the “Royal Black Sheep”) is a very cool take on a common theme (cf. Thor and Loki).

Then two years ago Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. started exploring the Inhumans with the reveal that Skye was actually Daisy Johnson, a.k.a. Quake, and an unknown Inhuman.  Not only were the Inhumans appearing sooner than expected, but they seemed poised to offer the first tangible tie-in going from the small-screen to the big-screen.

So imagine my disappointment when Marvel removed The Inhumans from the release schedule after pushing it back twice to make room for Spider-Man: Homecoming and Ant-Man and the Wasp.  Kevin Feige said that he was still interested in the property, but I was worried that they would remain relegated to the small-screen with no hope of seeing the Royal Family mix it up with the Avengers.

And that’s what makes this week’s announcement so exciting:  the Royal Family has been confirmed to headline their own miniseries on ABC!

That’s not the same as getting their own movie, but it might actually be better.  Below we will talk about what we know so far about this miniseries, followed by rampant speculation about what it may mean for the MCU moving forward.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Luke Cage Season 1, Episode 5, "Just to Get a Rep" REVIEW (SPOILERS)

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Sorry for the late review this week—and sorry in advance that it is shorter than usual.  We went to see Doctor Strange again last night, this time in 3D.  The 3D experience is certainly worth it, particularly for the multiverse and fight sequences.  There is something to be said for 2D making it easier to see details of what’s going on, but the 3D definitely makes everything “pop” more.

But we’re not here to talk about Doctor Strange; we are actually here to discuss the fifth episode of Luke Cage, “Just to Get a Rep.”  After the previous 2 episodes, in which Cottonmouth made a direct attack on Luke, we see some of the fallout of that decision as Cottonmouth goes after Luke’s reputation in the community.  This episode is a lot of fun, particularly for the indirect ways in which Luke and Cottonmouth fight each other.

Oh, and this is also when Claire Temple shows up.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Weekly MCU Review for 11/12

Another week, and more MCU news!  Doctor Strange has been out for a week, we have a new President-Elect in the U.S., and there’s all kinds of exciting things happening with Marvel TV… even though Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is on a 3-week break.  Put some ketchup on your eggs, and catch-up on your Marvel news!

Friday, November 11, 2016


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So finally I’m getting around to my spoiler review of Doctor Strange.  I haven’t seen it again since writing the non-spoiler review, so there isn’t a ton of new insight into it.  However, we may go to see it in 3D sooner or later, and if we do that I will at least update whether or not the 3D experience is any good.

For now, let’s just talk about Doctor Strange, what stands out about it, what doesn’t work so well, and how this will affect the MCU moving forward.

Before moving into spoilers I should probably address whether or not there is a need to see it before the next Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (which is still 2½ weeks away).  The answer to that question is:  I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.  Though there are some very global events in the movie, I don’t think S.H.I.E.L.D. will really have to get involved in any of them.  If there is any sort of tie-in (beyond the thematic tie-in of Ghost Rider and the Darkhold) I think it will be closer to the Ant-Man tie-in (a passing reference to the weird things going on around the world) than to the Avengers: Age of Ultron tie-in (which showed clips from the movie in the form of news footage).  I could be wrong on this, but I (obviously!) don’t think so.  But if you’re worried, just see the movie already.  It’s amazing and you won’t regret it.  Besides, you’ve got 2½ weeks to do it!

With that out of the way, let’s dive into the movie.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016


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I am (admittedly) late to the party with Doctor Strange.  After all, the movie came out on Friday and it’s already Tuesday!  However, I did finally watch it yesterday, and I have to say: it was worth waiting for.  There is a ton of good stuff in it to comment on, but I will save most of it for my next review which will have spoilers.

For now, we’ll just have to content ourselves with this.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Luke Cage Season 1, Episode 4, "Step in the Arena" REVIEW (SPOILERS)

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A massive Cinematic Universe with over a dozen movies, two network TV series, a couple dozen tie-in comic books, and three (and counting) Netflix TV series is prone to a number of dangers.  For one thing, there is always the fear of oversaturation:  between Marvel Network, Marvel Netflix, DC Network, and the DCCWTVU, and other comic properties, there is an enormous number of comic book-based TV shows on the air today.  Then there is also the risk of continuity errors (such as Luke Cage name-dropping Obama, though that’s easy enough to explain away as Obama also existing as a popular politician in the MCU).  But the one I want to talk about in this review is the danger of repetition in storytelling.  Something I noticed in both seasons of Daredevil as well as Jessica Jones season 1 is that the flashback episode revealing the hero (or new hero)’s origin came in episode 7.  I was curious if that would continue into Luke Cage (not necessarily a problem, but it does make the show predictable), and fortunately it does not.  Instead, we get Luke’s origin a little sooner, in the fourth episode.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Doctor Strange Expectations

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A little tardy to the party, but Doctor Strange just came out in the U.S. on Friday.  I haven’t seen it yet, so what are we expecting from this movie?

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Weekly MCU Review for 11/5

Another week, and more MCU news!  Doctor Strange is out, and there's a lot going on with The Defenders, which is now shooting.  Put some ketchup on your eggs, and catch-up on your Marvel news!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4, Episode 6, "The Good Samaritan" EXPECTATIONS

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Sorry for not posting a Luke Cage review yesterday.  Unfortunately while I was in the middle of writing the review my computer died!  So that is going to change my publishing schedule (among other things) quite a bit until I get that situation resolved.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. continues tonight with “The Good Samaritan” (4x06) at 10:00 PM Eastern/Pacific.  What do we expect from tonight's episode?