Monthly Archives: April 2018

Thanos’ Black Order

Hello! With Avengers: Infinity War putting the Black Order onscreen, I thought I could help with a bit of an introduction on these characters. They’re very recent additions in the comics, introduced in Jonathan Hickman’s 2013 Infinity crossover event. They are the generals of Thanos, in the film seemingly fellow “children” of Thanos (like Gamora and Nebula). They’re quite powerful, and quite as mad as their Titan leader.

Corvus Glaive, the leader and Herald of Thanos. Proxima Midnight, his wife. Black Dwarf, the bruiser. Ebony Maw, the talker. And Supergiant, the omnipath. So here’s some info about them from Infinity.

On the one hand, I’m sad that they’re only adapting 4 of the characters – but the 5th, Supergiant, has incredible mental powers and the MCU is simply not prepared for that. In the comics, most of the telepaths are mutants. Just look at how devastating Kilgrave was. Also, they changed Black Dwarf’s name to Cull Obsidian (in the comics, another name for the Black Order). They’re named for stars, but it’s fine.

When the Black Order first arrive on Earth, they split up. Most of the Avengers are off in space fighting a war on a second front (sounds familiar…), so the Black Order hits where there are heroes left – the X-Men, attacked by Corvus Glaive and Supergiant, Atlantis & Namor attacked by Proxima Midnight, Wakanda attacked by Black Dwarf, and Doctor Strange taken over by Ebony Maw.

We see, in the trailers, two of these four playing out: Black Dwarf (Cull Obsidian) is easily visible attacking in Wakanda (he’s huge), and Ebony Maw definitely brings Doctor Strange low. Let’s take another look at both.

Here’s from a later fight… it takes a lot to bring Black Dwarf down. Granted, Black Panther and Shuri are able to beat him, but he’s a tough one. But he’s also just a simple bruiser. He is the one hardest pressed to get Thanos’ respect. This may all play out pretty similarly.

This is not from the core Infinity comics, but from New Avengers… Ebony Maw is the most frightening of them. Unlike Black Dwarf, who is all punches, Ebony Maw doesn’t throw a single punch. He’s ideas. Words. Lies. Secrets. Thanos puts up with him – because he gets results. Looks like this will play out similarly as well!

Corvus Glaive meanwhile we have seen very little of – but in the comics, he’s the one we see the most of. Thanos’ right-hand man. His Herald.

He has supreme confidence, and speaks from a place of supreme power – not his own, but his master’s. There’s more to it than that, though. So let’s look at he and Proxima Midnight together – both with their super-powerful weapons. Very comic book. We’ll see to what extent either of these weapons get translated into the film – might be a good idea for them to be downplayed.

Okay… Glaive that cuts atoms, check. Spear that holds within it the power and density of a star, check. The latter in particular sounds quite a bit like Mjolnir. However, we also see it thrown in a trailer – and Captain America catches it. So maybe it’s just a spear in the movie.

Oh, and reverting Hulk to Banner… huh. Who knows!

But there’s one more power in Corvus’… glaive… and that is that, as long as it is still whole, he regrows from it. So later in the comics, he’s back, because Proxima grabbed it up and brought it along here. Will we see anything like that in the film? There’s not a whole lot of time for him to die and come back. Maybe between this film and the next?

Alright, that has been a bit of an introduction to these characters. Powerful, effective, but all still fairly new and only so much to them – Infinity War is going to add quite a bit to their characterization. But it looks like it will also be borrowing from some of their establishing elements from early on here. I’ll be interested to see their similarities and differences!

Oh, and one more image, just for fun. Hope you enjoy Infinity War! And remember, #ThanosDemandsYourSilence!

The Mad Titan, Thanos – A Throwback Thursday

With Infinity War on the heels of this post, it seemed appropriate to reflect back on some of my Thanos writing! This post is from late 2013, and I did a pretty good job of predicting where the MCU was going, if not the comics. My links at the end are also probably somewhat spoilers, in that they are clearly basing at least some of Infinity War on Hickman’s Infinity event! Enjoy, and remember, #ThanosDemandsYourSilence!

From The Infinity Gauntlet

From The Infinity Gauntlet

Marvel’s recent crossover event Infinity recently ended, and with all the events with “Infinity” in the title, this was a crossover that included the Mad Titan, Thanos, as the villain. In Infinity, he had to share the stage with the Builders, and was only one front of a two-front war. Nonetheless, his parts in Infinity tied in heavily to who he is as a villain, and what motivates him.

Of course, other Thanos events like the Infinity Gauntlet help inform us as to who Thanos is and what he’s up to, but Infinity drew from more than that. They did a limited-run, 5-issue series called Thanos Rising which explored the origin story of Thanos. It’s interesting, because with this story, it’s hard to tell where the previous Thanos events fit in. Nonetheless, the psychological underpinnings of the character are explored and revealed in Thanos Rising.

And what they lay out is that this is a mentally unbalanced, overly powerful character, willing – and wanting – to kill anyone and anything. Conquering or razing worlds because he can. So I’ve read the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos Rising, and Infinity, so let’s take a look at who this villain is! Spoilers to follow!

Continue reading

Audio

Marvel Phase 2 – Comparative Opinions S.2 E.9

Welcome to the Comparative Opinions podcast! Sorry for the late podcast, but we wanted to still get in an episode this week – from our Marvel Cinematic Universe rewatch, before Avengers: Infinity War hits this weekend! Join hosts Holly and David as they discuss Marvel Phase 2!

Comparative Opinions is a weekly half-hour-ish podcast hosted on ComparativeGeeks.com. Subscribe for new episodes every Sunday, or for our weekly news podcast, Week in Geek.

https://www.facebook.com/ComparativeGeeks/

https://twitter.com/comparativegeek

Music is by Scott Gratton: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Scott_Gratton/Intros_and_Outros

Audio

Westworld Season 1 – Comparative Opinions S.2 E.8

Welcome to the Comparative Opinions podcast! We’ve been teasing this one out, but it’s time! Our review discussion of Westworld season 1! We try and fail to do much spoiler-free talk, but hopefully we have some good spoilery material for those of you who watched the first season and want a refresher.

Comparative Opinions is a weekly half-hour-ish podcast hosted on ComparativeGeeks.com. Subscribe for new episodes every Sunday, or for our weekly news podcast, Week in Geek.

https://www.facebook.com/ComparativeGeeks/

https://twitter.com/comparativegeek

Music is by Scott Gratton: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Scott_Gratton/Intros_and_Outros

Westworld Throwback Thursday – Episode 10: The Bicameral Mind

Here’s the last episode review from Westworld Season 1. With Season 2 coming up starting April 22nd, we hope you’ve liked reading this series again – or if you’re like me, catching up on the show late and reading these for the first time! Let Jeremy know if you want him to do another series of posts for Season 2!


Good day, everyone! At long last, I want to offer up a recap of episode 10 of Westworld (“The Bicameral Mind”) that also takes into account fan theories and the questions that are still on the table. Perhaps the single most important event of the episode is the culmination of Ford’s new narrative, shown in the end to be an ambush. Despite a few red herrings, the event comes to fruition in the final minutes of the episode, opening up and tying together very nearly everything else in the episode and the season.

ep10-001

Ford’s revelation of his final storyline. Image taken from IMDB.

Progressing through the other characters and looking at the oldest ongoing storyline, it is confirmed without a doubt that William is indeed the Man in Black, setting in stone as truth perhaps the most widely circulated fan theory. Though what exactly happens to Logan—tied naked to a robotic horse and sent careening off into the hills at the edge of the park—is a mystery left to further episodes. There is a risk that the horse became a running bomb when it neared the true limit of the park, but it did not appear to be William’s goal to murder Logan, only to shame him and cast doubt on his sanity.

William’s descent into hatefulness and malice, his pursuit of the Maze, and his turning to the black hat way all come down to his Siegfriedian pursuit of Dolores, and when he finally finds her again back in Sweetwater, her memory erased. With the woman he fell in love with in the park effectively dead, William turns inward and wholeheartedly pursues the Maze—what he sees as a secret storyline that can provide him a purpose and excuse for his existence. In the end, the Maze was never meant for him; rather, it was a way for the hosts to achieve sentience and freedom.

ep10-004

Dolores finds herself… selves… Wyatt? The heart of the Maze. Image taken from IMDB.

Moving from William/the Man in Black to Dolores, hers is the story—and hers are the actions—that climax the season. It is revealed (again confirming an off-the-wall fan theory) that Dolores is actually (in a way) Wyatt, being as Arnold uploaded Wyatt to be a backup personality for Dolores in the event she needs to become a killer. We are finally shown the event that nearly destroyed Westworld 35 years earlier as Dolores/Wyatt and Teddy massacre all the other hosts and Dolores executes Arnold, an action Arnold himself commanded her to perform in the hopes it would prevent the park from opening and give the hosts a chance to prove to Ford that they are effectively alive and capable of changing and violating their core programming. These events repeat themselves when Dolores/Wyatt (with the secondary personality fully re-emerged) apparently executes Ford before the Delos board of executives and then leads the other hosts in a massacre of the board members. That said, it is unclear if some of them may escape the slaughter.

ep10-002

Dolores executes Ford. Or does she? Image taken from IMDB.

As has been the case for most of the season, Maeve’s story progresses independently throughout this episode as everything else is happening elsewhere. As she sets her escape plan into motion, Maeve takes Lutz with her for help as she fully activates Hector and Armistice as Terminator-esque murder machines set upon the Delos guards as a distraction. Maeve also tries to reactivate poor Clementine, but there is nothing left of her. In the process, however, she and Lutz discover the damaged Bernard and repair him, requiring his skills and knowledge of the park’s administrative systems. This leads to the revelation that Arnold programmed Maeve long ago to enact a story loop called “The Escape,” casting doubt upon her own agency up to this point.

ep10-006

Maeve learns a hard truth from Bernard. Image taken from IMDB.

The culmination of the manifold storylines of Westworld season 1 leaves us with a plethora of questions:

  • Is Ford really dead? Could this have been a host version of him? After all, we never found out who he was making in his secret lab.
  • Did Charlotte and William survive the ambush?
  • Do you think we’ll see Armistice again after her mid-credits scene?
  • Do you think that Maeve’s last-minute decision to leave the train to find her long lost daughter was her own, or a part of her escape loop programming?
  • How many guests do you think are left in Westworld? What’s happening to them?
  • With the revelation of Samurai/Shogun/Sengokuworld, how many other parks are there? The old Westworld film also contained Roman and Medieval European parks, after all.
  • Where the hell is Elsie? We were never truly shown her death onscreen.
  • What are your thoughts on all of this? What are you looking forward to next season? What questions did I overlook here?

Here’s to making it to 2018 to see season 2, everyone! Keep coming back for more fun Westworld content here from me to keep the love alive. Thanks for sticking with me this far! Please do engage and carry on the conversation in the comments below.

 

Bonus: Here’s Armistice’s extra mid-credits scene in case you missed it when watching the episode.