Tag Archives: Marvel Cinematic Universe

What did you think of Spider-Man Homecoming?

We saw Spider-Man Homecoming over the weekend, and we liked it! Still mulling it over to talk about (will probably be a podcast). So I thought I would ask: what did you think?

Or do you not want to talk about it?

Let us know in the comments below! Spoilers!

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Confirmed: The Black Company!

It’s been Disney’s D23 fan festival the last few days it seems, but today it was big Avengers: Infinity War news! For one thing, the film has finished filming (although surely there will be some re-shoots, which will be publicized because that just seems to be how movie news works these days). For another… some things have been confirmed!

“A bearded Captain America! Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers has facial hair in AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR!” -https://www.facebook.com/MarvelCinematicUniverse/

Okay, bigger news than that.

Specifically, more about Thanos, the big bad that we have been waiting since at least 2012 and Avengers and definitely since Guardians of the Galaxy to finally confront in a movie! Big news especially for Holly and I, having read Hickman’s Avengers.

The Black Order!

An addition to the comics only a few years old – first seen in the Infinity crossover event – the Black Order were Thanos’ generals. His vanguard. His heralds. He is a conqueror, and they bring the good word of Thanos to a world, before it ends.

Thanos believes in death, at least in the comics. Well, in Death. Personified. Loves her, in fact. And his followers fanatically follow that charge. From left to right, that picture is Corvus Glaive, Proxima Midnight, Thanos, the Ebony Maw, and the renamed Cull Obsidian (Black Dwarf in the comics). Each are enough of a super-villain to be a significant challenge to our heroes on their own.

Even just their inclusion in the film tells me that the first part of the film, at least, will be heavily focused on the construction of the Infinity Gauntlet itself. They’ll have to get their hands on each part of it, which we know are currently scattered around the galaxy (though a bit focused around Earth). There will be war with the Avengers, and it’s not going to go well for our heroes, I don’t imagine.

Here’s a link for closeups on the Black Order: https://www.facebook.com/MarvelCinematicUniverse/photos/a.255014641181782.86037.217181691631744/1890944090922154/?type=3&theater

Their role is changing a little bit in the film, and that’s fine. They’re going to be “children of Thanos” like Gamora and Nebula. But they’re still just so cool. Ebony Maw has some of the most interesting application – in the MCU, he is kind of the more powerful and villainous version of Loki or Black Widow. Cull Obsidian might hold his own against the Hulk – and there’s confirmation that the Hulkbuster will make a showing. Proximy Midnight has a weapon that focuses the mass of a star, so it’s incredibly dense and heavy and can pin any opponent. And Corvus Glaive? Well…

He’s probably my favorite. So very, very evil. The voice of Thanos. The herald. And basically unkillable, as long as his glaive stays intact.

I’m just loving this! If this ends up, in relation to the comics, similar to Infinity? This is gonna be good.

Throwback Thursday – Agents of SHIELD, Season 3

Since we’ve been talking about Agents of SHIELD so much on the podcast with us re-watching it… was interesting to go back and read this reaction post from the start of the previous season. To see how I’d reflected back on the ups and downs of the show, and on the hook they used to bring you into season 3. Hope you enjoy the reflection too!


We’ve had our eye on this show before it was on the air. We were always going to watch it; we were too much of fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Of the Whedons. Of the son of Coul, first name Agent.

Season one took us pretty far down into “how much do you love all those things?” territory. Then they redeemed themselves gloriously after Captain America: Winter Soldier. Finally, it was the show it was always supposed to be, except that the title agency was somewhat kaput.

That didn’t stop them for a season two that was solid. Not stellar, but so much better than season one as a whole. They still felt a need to string us along with a mystery throughout the season, which if I recall boiled down to “Coulson is slipping information to the Avengers” and was explained away in mere moments. Not a big shocker. But it’s the things they took their time with, that they explored, that made the season. The Inhumans. Skye – now Daisy, a strong move towards redeeming a character who from the start had seemed superfluous or forced. Hydra, and a world coping with their existence. Ward, and his broken self.

Avengers: Age of Ultron did not do much to impact Agents of SHIELD, other than nailing the coffin in Hydra as we knew it. And there had been talk of a spinoff show – effectively cutting the cast in half – and that didn’t happen. Which is good, since one point so far this season is that they don’t have enough people to really have a full team… But that meant that they got to keep everyone together, and move forward with the story they have been building.

I wasn’t thrilled with the first episode – honestly, I had to go look it up to remind myself what happened. There’s a new agency out getting their hands on the new Inhumans. Doing bad things. They find a new guy, looks just like Ward, someone should really mention that. Anyway. It was nothing to write home about.

Then we watched the second episode of the season, Purpose in the Machine. And oh. My. Goodness. This is the sort of episode that is the very reason that you make this show. It had people working as a team. Science (Fiction). Comic book stuff. A returning character – from Asgard! Super powers. Heroism – and not from the people with super powers. Spy stuff. And a mystery that seemed like they might string it along for half a season (they would have, season one) that’s already been resolved, at least in part. It was harrowing.

We loved it.

I am now really excited for this season. I like where it’s going. I’m with them on let’s get Ward – they have effectively made him into a villain. I’m with them on Daisy – now looking like Quake – becoming more of a hero, more of a leader. And on her being torn – and wanting to merge – SHIELD and the Inhumans. I’m with them on the emotional and physical scars that a lot of the characters have – and that they’re working their way through them.

They’re putting the band back together.

And I’m with them on the piece that was thrown in for the comics readers, the folks who see what’s coming… Daisy and her “Secret Warriors.” This officially means I need to read my next Jonathan Hickman series, Secret Warriors. Oh, darn.

Note: I still haven’t read Secret Warriors… Oops!

How Are They Going to Pull Off… Spider-Man Homecoming

Coming soon to a theater near you, one of the biggest names in superheroes, one of the oddest behind-the-scenes franchise negotiations… Spider-Man Homecoming! After the abrupt ending to their last Spider-Man movie series 3 short years ago in Amazing Spider-Man 2, lots happened to bring us a Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

It’s a new Spider-Man (well, the one we saw in Captain America: Civil War). It’s the third actor playing Spider-Man in recent memory. It’s only a few short years since the hot mess that was the last film. It’s still Sony’s property, even with the MCU connection. However, there’s plenty of Marvel cooperation as well. The trailers look good. There’s Iron Man. There is simultaneously a lot to say against this movie, and a lot going for it.

I mean, the most important thing in there is that the trailers look pretty good. In the end, give us a good movie.

Still, the questions I see are both, how are they going to give us that good movie? And what are they planning to do from there?

Spider-Man Without an Origin Story?

Okay, so I may have made claims that it didn’t seem like Batman was going to have an origin story on screen in the DC Extended Universe, and I may have been proven wrong by not one but two instances of his origin story in Batman v. Superman. So I am going to avoid saying they are definitely going to skip Spider-Man’s origin story – instead, let me say that at this point it seems like they should skip it.

There are a number of characters that you can put on screen that really just don’t need introduction. Many of them are superheroes, with the like of Spider-Man and Batman where people know and get it. There are also literary figures like Sherlock Holmes that need no introduction and you can dive into the thick of things. Or there are characters like James Bond, who have had so many actors playing the character without an origin that when you finally try to do one – like they’ve done with the Daniel Craig movies of late – it gets a little weird.

Moreover, we’ve already seen this character on screen, in Civil War. He already had his powers, had a suit, had connections with Tony Stark, lived with just his Aunt May… One of the things that has been nice in the MCU is they have avoided doing much backtracking or ret-conning. The movies have stayed fairly chronological, even incorporating the weekly TV show Agents of SHIELD into the flow of time.

There’s a notable exception with Captain America: The First Avenger, just because his origin story happened decades in the past – but they caught you up to the contemporary moment when Cap is woken up. There have been a few other flashback sorts of moments, like the Hank Pym backstory in Ant Man, or Doctor Strange starting basically during the events of Civil War before a time jump ahead. Okay fine, also, all of Agent Carter. But the fact that I can sit here and name specific notable exceptions to this rule means that they have largely held to it.

Recently in Wonder Woman, we got thrown back to see the origin story for her after she had already been seen on screen in the franchise, in Batman v. Superman. So this is actually probably the best compare and contrast movie. Wonder Woman as a character hasn’t had a movie before, unlike the several recent Spider-Man films. Spider-Man has also had a number of TV shows in the time between the famous Linda Carter Wonder Woman and now, although Wonder Woman has shown up in plenty of animated Justice League TV. Still, one is a character who has had lots of screen time over time, and one who has not – so the argument is there for Wonder Woman to be an origin film (even if it’s framed by the present day and is technically all a flashback), and for Spider-Man Homecoming to not be an origin story.

They can really just dive into it. Please, please, I hope they do. Sure, we’ll probably see Uncle Ben die at some point. Don’t lead with that. Bring it in later. Integrate it into the story. Don’t make the origin story a checklist item you feel like you need to check off.

I mean, to be sure, there are ways they could have angled for an origin story here. A Miles Morales Spider-Man would be the top reason to do that, I think, and I’m still disappointed they didn’t go this way.

But at this point, the part has been cast for a while, they didn’t go this way, and that’s not changing anytime soon. So we’re getting yet another Peter Parker, which means again: please, we know who Peter Parker is. Don’t feed us an origin story, tell us a new story. Tell us a good story.

Still Hopes for a Sony Spider-Man Franchise?

It certainly seems like Sony has hope for a wider franchise, anyway. And in partnership with Marvel, which seems to have possibly been news to Kevin Feige

We had previously heard that the later movies were potentially not connected to the MCU, but were back in a Sony-run cinematic universe. I guess Sony is hoping they can keep cashing in on Marvel’s success, as they are working on talking about their next movies now with the imminent release of Homecoming.

For instance, it seems their plans of making a Venom movie are still a thing, now with Tom Hardy in talks for the lead (maybe as Agent Venom?). Venom wouldn’t be hard to introduce into the MCU, with an increasing amount of stuff happening in space. It would be much harder to introduce in an independent movie with no tie-in.

And I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re still thinking about the Sinister Six movie they were setting up to compete with Suicide Squad and Guardians of the Galaxy. Characters like Vulture and Shocker – appearing in Homecoming – have been members of this villain team-up before. And they use technology to fight Spider-Man, so there’s a source to that technology, and some of the plot for Homecoming seems to revolve around the villains getting their hands on and also selling this powerful tech. It could be an origin for this – much like they were trying to do with Oscorp in Amazing Spider-Man 2.

So these future movies – and a potential future Spider-Man film, I’m sure – could all make sense in the MCU. And I’m sure Sony is hoping to make these, because they had been previously planning a 4-movie (minimum) Amazing Spider-Man franchise along with stand-alone Venom and Sinister Six. Now it seems they’re trying to find a way to still pull that off, at least in terms of number of movies made.

But with Marvel’s plans for movies seemingly set between now and the as-yet untitled Avengers 4 in 2019, well, we’ll just have to see if Sony’s hopes pan out to be part of Marvel’s larger plans. Lots of the actor contracts end after Avengers 4, so it’s possible that might be that – or, that they’ll be looking for what to do for Marvel Phase 4 and Sony will be there waiting with a plan.

But if this movie sets up another larger movie franchise and those movies never happen, well, I don’t think Sony is likely to get a chance to do this a fourth time.

Black Panther Teaser already???

I was not expecting this anytime soon. At least, not until I saw the poster this morning with a statement that the teaser was coming tonight…

They have a lot of worldbuilding to do in this movie! Introducing Wakanda fully is a big step away from the realistic/mostly-like-our-Earth world that Marvel has thus far been operating in. The things that have been unlike our world have been things like SHIELD – operating in the shadows and covering up the unusual or unexplainable – or like the secret society in Doctor Strange.

But now we’re seeing into a deeper, different part of the Marvel universe. And from the looks of this teaser? They’ve done a pretty good job of it!

The one other thing I liked: they’ve captured some of the tension that Black Panther lives with: it’s hard for a good man to be a king.