Holy crap this was a great week for trailers! The annual Walt Disney Co. 2020 Shareholders Meeting, took place a few days ago. Over the last decade or so, Disney has made some huge business moves that paid off, big time! With the creation of Marvel Studios, partnering with Sony to get Spider-Man in The MCU, the company acquiring Fox, and the success of Disney+, the company’s star is continuing to rise. This year Disney live-streamed the event to their shareholders, so fans had a chance watch the presentation as well. Star Wars and Marvel fans in particular, should keep this yearly event on their radar. Just and foremost, this meeting is about Disney displaying their value to their shareholders, so they usually pull out all the stops. As one among several events Disney hosts every year, this is where we can expect to see major announcements about upcoming Marvel and Star Wars projects. The heads of each entertainment division at Disney (Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, Disney Animation, etc) give presentation about all of the upcoming projects that they’re working on, which will of course make the shareholders shit loads of money. The event was live streamed on and they did not disappoint with some amazing and exciting announcements. We are going to go over everything that we saw at The Walt Disney Co. 2020 Shareholders Meeting on the next episode of The World’s Best Podcast, so keep an eye out for that. In the meantime, some fantastic new trailers were shown, so I figured it was the perfect time for Trailers of The Week!
Trailers For The Upcoming MCU Series On Disney+
Trailers For The New Star Wars Series On Disney+
These trailers are just a few teasers among a lot more exciting content heading our way! So much information was dropped during this event, that we are going to offer continued coverage of all the announcements, so keep an eye out for new articles and podcasts that will cover all of the really cool stuff coming down the Disney pipeline!
Thanks for reading… and watching! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. We’re on Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!
Disney is currently live streaming their 2020 investor presentation, which is highlighting the success of initiatives like Disney+, as well officially announcing the future of their major brands. Though this is a business event, meant to be speaking directly to their investors, there will be major announcements about the future of the MCU, Star Wars, and Disney+ during this event. The company has already announced that they have a planned 10 new MCU shows for Disney+ and 10 new Star Wars shows for Disney+, with more content news coming very soon in the event. Though you can watch the entire event on the Disney website, I’m specifically including The John Campea Show’s watch along and commentary. John Campea is one of my favorite YouTube personalities and a fantastic commentator on film, television, and genre entertainment in general. For those of you who are little less in the know, he’s the perfect commentator to walk you through this event. John will help clarify some of the major announcements the company is making. So if you’re interested in the future of Marvel, Star Wars, streaming services like Disney+ and Hulu, ESNP content,and much more. Check out this live event…
Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. We’re on Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!
This week on “The World’s Best Podcast”, Paul Sr. and I give the listeners the rundown on coolest, biggest, and most highly anticipated movies and TV shows of 2020! Wonder Woman 1984! The Falcon and The Winter Soldier on Disney+, Marvel’s Black Widow, The Mandalorian Season 2, and so much more! We give you everything you need to know about the hottest film & TV projects of 2020, in this cant miss episode!
On this episode, I wanted to mention several graphic novels and comics that are coming out later this year that I am hugely looking forward to, but I forgot to mention them on the show. So I thought as a nice bit of extra content for this podcast webpage, I would post my list of my most anticipated comic book/graphic novel projects coming up in 2020:
Green Lantern: Earth One Vol.2 (Release Date – 6/9)
What’s The Deal?: Part of DC‘s Earth One series, which takes classic DC characters and lets talented creators tell out of continuity stories to take our heroes in exciting and unexpected new directions. This is a sequel to Green Lantern: Earth One Vol.1, which I would describe as if Stanley Kubrick ever did a Green Lantern story. It’s pretty damn cool. I really enjoyed Vol.1 and Vol.2 looks to be even better.
DC: Death Metal (Release Date – 5/13)
What’s The Deal?: The epic sequel to Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s hit event miniseries, Dark Nights: Metal. Look for Wonder Woman and The Batman Who Laughs to play key roles in the story.
Batman/Catwoman (Release Date – Spring/Summer 2020)
What’s The Deal?: Writer Tom King and Artist Clay Mann continue the epic story of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle that Tom King began in Batman Rebirth #1. This 12 issue maxi-series has been described by King as his “Dark Knight Returns” and inspired by Grant Morrison’s excellent Batman and Robin. From a writer as talented as Tom King, those are some fantastic comparisons to make and with a spectacular art team backing him up, this is definitely a book to watch.
Back to the podcast… Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/23355156 Or subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Podchaser, Castbox, Podcast Addict, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes…
Thanks for listening! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again!
Super Bowl LIV airs tonight on FOX! Even though I’m not a massive sports fan, I look forward to the game every year. The Super Bowl is where some of the coolest and most highly anticipated movies and TV shows of the coming year will debut new trailers! It’s always exciting to see which projects we will get our first look at during the game. Will Marvel give us the trailer for their latest film? Will we get a look at the new series from Netflix? Well, whether you’re watching the game tonight or not, keep it right here at World’s Best Media, where you can easily find all of the new trailers and teasers for your favorite shows and movies! I’ll be updating the site throughout the night, as each new trailer debuts during the game. This will be your one stop shop for Super Bowl Trailers! Just remember to keep checking back for updates!
No Time To Die (Bond)
F9: The Fast Saga
Rick and Morty (Pringles commercial)
Marvel Studios: The Falcon and The Winter Soldier/WandaVision/Loki
Well, that looks like all the big ones for now. If I find any more I’ll be sure to post them. Man, that last promo showing teasers for the Disney+ shows was fucking awesome! They may not have shown a lot, but I did not expect to see that and it was a very pleasant surprise. Anyway, thanks for spending this Super Bowl with me!
Thanks for reading and watching! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, which go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again!
As this year’s San Diego Comic-Con continues, breaking news, trailers, announcements, and other cool reveals keep on blowing minds of fans everywhere! But it can be a pain in the ass trying to find all the SDCC news. So keep it HERE at World’s Best Media, where you can find all of the up to the minuet info, you want the most! We’ll be updating this page all weekend with the breaking news and content that can’t be missed from SDCC 2019!
WOW. We got some killer stuff today! At the Marvel Studios panel, Kevin Feige did not disappoint. He rolled out the next 2 years of Marvel’s PHASE 4 slate, which will consist of 10 projects. They include both theatrical releases and projects to be released on Disney +. Plus, Feige offers up some tantalizing hints on MCU projects coming after the slate of shows and films. It’s all pretty exciting, so I’m going to break it down for you right here…
MARVEL STUDIOS PHASE 4 (The Next 2 Years)
The Eternals – Release date 11/6/20
Dir. – Chloe Zhao
Staring – Angelina Jolie as Thena , Richard Madden as Ikaris. The cast also includes Selma Hayek.
The story of the film, broadly speaking, follows The Eternals, a race of aliens imbued with power and immortality by The Celestials (some of the most powerful beings in the existence of The Marvel Universe). The Eternals are charged with protecting Earth and humanity from The Deviants, an evil, monstrous mirror race of The Eternals. To use a poor analogy. Think of The Eternals and Angels and The Deviants as Demons.
The Flacon and The Winter Soldier Release Date – Fall 2020 on Disney +
Starring – Anthony Makie as The Falcon/Captain America, Sebastian Stan as The Winter Soldier, and Daniel Bruhl returning as Baron Helmut Zemo ( This time he WILL be getting the classic Baron Zemo mask!)
As expected, this series will see Anthony Mackie don his really cool Captain America uniform which is a combination of The Falcon in Captain America’s classic look. So it seems like this series will be about Sam Wilson adjusting to this great weight on his shoulders and Bucky Barnes being with him along the way, like he was with Steve Rogers. All the while having to deal with Baron Zemo not much more than that is known at this time. But I can’t wait for this one, I think it’s going to be really cool.
Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings – Release Date 2/12/2021
Dir. Denton Daniel Cretton
Starring – Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, Tony Leung as The REAL Mandarin
Not much is know about the story at this time. Shang-Chi is the greatest martial artist in the world. He’s a hero and adventurer. In the comics his father was the criminal mastermind Fu Manchu. I can see for racial reasons why Marvel wouldn’t want to use that character. So I strongly suspect that The Mandarin will be Shang-Chi’s father in this movie. A lot of the character drama from Shang-Chi’s story comes from the pain he feels being a hero who wants to do the right thing, when his father is one of the greatest villains in the world. Despite the fact that The Mandarin was smoke and mirrors in Iron Man 3, it’s been strongly suggested that a “real” Mandarin is out there. For several years, Marvel would release fun short films as an extra feature on the Blu-Rays for their movies. The last one Marvel produced was on the Blu-Ray for Thor: The Dark World and called “All Hail The King”. In that short film, it’s revealed that Aldrich Killian co-opted much of his bullshit Mandarin story from some real sources and it turns out that The Mandarin is a very real, very dangerous guy, who is very pissed that his name had been dragged through the mud in Iron Man 3. The film ends with one of The TRUE Mandarin’s disciples, breaking Trevor Slattery (played by Ben Kingsley) out of prison, the actor who played the fake Mandarin for Aldrich Killian, so he can face justice at the hands of the real Mandarin. So, we’ve known for a while that the real Mandarin was out there and it was only a matter of time before we see him somewhere in The MCU. This is the perfect project to use him in. It’s also worth pointing out that the terrorist group who originally kidnapped Tony Stark in the very first Iron Man movie was called The Ten Rings.
WandaVision – Release Date Spring 2021 on Disney +
Starring – Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff, Paul Bettany as The Vision, Teyonah Paris as adult Monica Rambeau (the daughter of Carol’s best friend in Captain Marvel)
For some reason people seem to be down on this project, but I think it has the potential to be something special. Kevin Feige he himself has said that this series is very strange. One of the more interesting things about Wanda maxim off is her exponentially growing power and her increased mental stability. Panel confirmed that this series takes place after endgame. Which makes me wonder, have a wonders abilities progressed to the point where she can resurrect vision, as she eventually has the power to do in the comics at great cost.
LOKI– Release Date Spring 2021 Disney +
Starring – Tom Hiddleston as Loki
As we saw in endgame, low-key managed to get away with the space stone. Apparently this show will be a trip through history and Loki is very long life. I’ve heard it described is almost something like quantum leap. It appears that it will involve low-key mixing it up at important historical events with famous historical figures. Which sounds like a whole Lotta fucking fun. I am in.
Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness – Release Date 5/7/2021
Dir. Scott Derrickson
Starring – Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange and Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff
OK, this is the movie I’ve been fucking waiting for. According to director Scott Derrickson, this will be Marvel’s first “scary movie“. Which is about as close as you can get to saying you’re going to do a horror movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If you don’t think that’s awesome, there’s something fucking wrong with you. Doctor Strange was a great origin movie and in Infinity War and Endgame, we got to see a lot of cool shit from Doctor Strange and what he’s capable of. I can’t wait to see how his powers have progressed. It’s important to note that this director knows how to do a really creepy, disquieting, fucked up movie. Hopefully Marvel will let him embrace that. It’s also really interesting to see Scarlet Witch in this movie, though not completely surprising, because in the comics it’s been suggested multiple times that her powers are magic-based. Maybe she will turn to Doctor Strange after something that happened in WandaVision? Who knows. But I can’t wait for this one! The more Doctor Strange the better!
Hawkeye– Release Date Fall 2021 on Disney +
Starring – Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye
This looks like it may be more of a limited series than some of the other shows on Disney +, but it will apparently focus on Clint Barton training a new protégé, a girl named Kate Bishop, making her first MCU appearance. In the comic books, after years of training with Clint Barton and other superheroes, Kate is viewed more as a hero in her own right, rather than simply being Clint’s sidekick. In fact, both Cling and Kate both go by. I know it can be confusing, but hey that’s those crazy comics for, ya! The series will also explore Clint’s time as Ronin in the wake of Thanos’ decimation. This show looks like it’s heavily borrowing from the fantastic Hawkeye comic book run by writer Matt Fraction and Artist David Aja.
Thor: Love and Thunder – Release Date 11/5/2021
Dir. Taika Waititi
Starrring – Chris Hemsworth as Thor/Odinson, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, Natalie Portman as Jane Foster/Thor
So I love the direction they’re going in with this new movie. First of all, I was thrilled another Thor film was being made, and they were bringing back the same director: Taika Waititi, who gave us the fantastic Thor: Ragnarok. But it also seems like the story will be largely taking it’s cues from the recent and ongoing Thor comic book run by writer Jason Aaron. Which is a good thing, because it’s probably one of the best Thor stories that I’ve ever read.
In that story, due to a complicated series of events, Thor is no longer worthy of wielding his mighty hammer; Mijonir. Meanwhile, Jane Foster has been fighting her own battles, against the cancer that has ravaged her body. In this story, a Parliament of World’s is formed. Like a U.N. for The Ten Realms, set up to keep the peace throughout the realms and it’s people. Jane is the representative from Midgard, so even though she and Thor are no longer dating, she spends quite a bit of time in new Asgard and has made some wonderful new friends in the process. The Parliament meets on New Asgard (a shadow of Asgard’s glory days) which resides on Earth’s Moon. As a sidenote, at this point Asgard has taken up residence on an area near what they called the “Blue Area” of the moon. It’s the only place on the moon that perfectly simulates Earth’s pressure, gravity, temperature , and most importantly, you can breathe there.
So, while on a walk through the blue area of the moon, contemplating her depressing situation, Jane Foster comes across Mijonir and attempts to lift Thor’s legendary hammer (after Thor has spent months attempting to lift it unsuccessfully) and as the inscription says, “whosoever holds this hammer, should they be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor“ At which point Jane’s shocked to see herself turned into a beautiful, god-like, female version of Thor. She is unrecognizable as Jane Foster. Now I can already hear some of the assholes on the Internet complaining that a woman will be, in a way, playing Thor. First of all, in the comics, this is one of the best Thor stories they have done in years. A great story is simply a great story. Also, this isn’t just a story about Jane Foster. It’s also is a very profound story about Asgard and Thor himself.
So for you idiots thinking Thor is going to get kicked to the wayside because of some bullshit liberal agenda…relax. The movies going to be great. I am really thrilled to see Marvel is taking some interesting chances with their with their projects. I have a few guesses, but I can’t wait to see who the villain will be in this movie. Gorr The God Butcher, perhaps? We can only hope!
Black Widow – Release Date 5/1/2020
Dir. Cate Shortland
Starring – Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Rachel Weiss and David Harbour appearing in unknown rolls
This movie will be a prequel taking place before Captain America: Civil War. It will feature such classic Marvel bad guys as Taskmaster, who I’m very excited to see. Natasha also faces off against the “evil Black Widow”, Yelena, another product of The Red Room Program. This woman is Natasha if Hawkeye never showed her a better way to live and became here friend. Yelena is a vicious, manipulative killer, a mirror image of what Natasha could have become. This will be the next Marvel movie we have to look forward to. I think this is a long time coming. Black Widow is more than capable of carrying her own film. It will be really cool to see how they incorporate this into some other events in a MCU history.
Before things wrapped up, Kevin Feige had one more surprise for the crowd. After listing all of these projects, he brought out, the fantastic actor, Mahershala Ali, and announced Ali will be playing Blade in an upcoming movie, introduce The Day Walker to the MCU. No release date has been announced . That is pretty fucking cool nonetheless. Ali is a fantastic actor. He’s perfect for this role. There have been rumblings of Blade in the MCU for a few years now ( even some suggesting Wesley Snipes would return ) so it’s going to be really exciting to see what they do with the character.
Feige wrapped things up by explaining this is what they have in production that will be hitting theatres and screens over the next 2 years. Two years is a lot shorter than any of the previous phases of the MCU, which makes me think that this is just the first half of Phase 4 and more announcements will be made along the way. However, he closed things out by saying Guardians Vol.3, Black Panther 2, Captain Marvel 2, and (FUCK YES) The Fantastic Four!!! will be coming soon after these projects. He had to drive the crowd wild by mentioning one more thing coming soon, one word:“Mutants.” So that was the Marvel Studios presentation this year. It certainly did not disappoint.
New Trailers For Movies & TV Series
Arrow – The Final Season
Supergirl – Season 5
The Witcher (Netflix)
The Flash Season 6
Star Trek: Picard
Supernatural: The Final Season (Chevy Impala Tribute)
DC Universe announced that their series Young Justice will officially be back for a fourth season.
HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones has come to an end, love it or hate it. Watching the final season of the series and especially the final episode reminded me of another great genre show that captured the imagination of the cultural zeitgeist: LOST. They were both genre shows with large ensemble casts that reached audiences that normally don’t watch genre television. Both shows were pop culture phenomena. They both had people hung up on when and how the show would end and they both had divisive final seasons and series finales.
Much like how Game of Thrones viewing parties have become very common, I’d often go to LOST viewing parties back in the day. When LOST ended, I kept wondering what the next “LOST” would be. For a brief period, I thought The Walking Dead had taken up the mantle, but that definitely didn’t pan out. It turns out that next LOST, was Game of Thrones. So, now that Game of Thrones has ended if find myself asking: What will be the next Game of Thrones?
Time will tell what the next pop culture television juggernaut will be. HBO wisely wanted to remind us that, though we’re saying goodbye to Game of Thrones, they’re still in the business of putting out high profile television programming. Which is why in the minuets leading up to the series finale of GoT, HBO showed us trailers for three of their most interesting and high profile projects. This was a great advertising move on the part of HBO because the series finale for Game of Thrones was the most watched episode of a TV show in the history of the Network. They have to keep those big bucks rolling in after all. Below I get into the details of each series (as well of a few upcoming shows that aren’t on HBO), give you some insight into what the shows are about and what to expect, as well as why you should check these shows out in the first place.
First up, we have the trailer for the new series His Dark Materials starring James McAvoy, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ruth Wilson, and Daphne Keene (AKA X-23 AKA Laura from Logan). Watch the trailer here:
This series is based on the successful novels by Philip Pullman which involve metaphysics and alternate realities, among other strange and interesting concepts. His Dark Materials is actually a very good series of books that were adapted several years ago into the film, The Golden Compass, starring Nicole Kidman in a failed attempt to start a new fantasy franchise. This was around the time everyone was looking for the next Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings.
I really like what I see from this trailer. It appears that these fantastic books are finally getting the treatment they deserved. From what we saw in the trailer, the look of the series has a very lived in feel. Which is always important when building a whole new world, with its own rules from scratch. It certainly doesn’t hurt that they clearly have an excellent cast. The story exists in a fascinating universe, or multiverse for that matter, and I will definitely be tuning in.
Then we had Watchmen, the new series based on the classic graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons from Damon Lindelof, the man who brought us LOST and The Leftovers. This wasn’t a new trailer, it it debuted several weeks ago, but I’ve been been looking for an opportunity to talk about it. But first, take a look at the trailer and then we can dive in get into some details about the series:
I love what I’ve seen so far from this new take on Watchmen and I’m very excited about this project. Over the last several years DC Comics has been publishing interesting expansions of the Watchmen universe. Most notably in their quasi-sequel Doomsday Clock and their various prequel miniseries’ Before Watchmen, which fleshed out certain existing Watchmen characters. I’m sure there are Watchmen purists Who think the material shouldn’t be touched and any continuations of the universe is sacrilege. But after reading stories like Before Watchmen and Doomsday Clock, I know there are still excellent stories to tell from other creators, about this universe and these characters.
There’s still a great deal we don’t know about this series, like how it connects to the original graphic novel. From what I can see, much like Doomsday Clock, I think this Watchmen series is probably a sequel of sorts. We seem to be getting characters from the original comic books and some created just for the show. From the beginning showrunner Damon Lindelof has said this is not going to be a straight adaptation of the original graphic novel. However, It’s going to take place in the Watchmen universe. The trailer shows a gang that is clearly inspired by the original Rorschach (they kind of remind me of The Jokerz Gang in Batman Beyond).
We also see Jeremy Irons playing Ozymandias a.k.a. Adrian Veidt, the man who orchestrated the conspiracy that was at the heart of the original Watchmen story. One thing I really hope is present in this new series is Dr. Manhattan. He was always the only superhuman that ever existed in the Watchmen universe and I would love to see what could be done with this character in a sequel series, even if he isn’t used as a main character like in the original story. I just hope he is a part of the series in some way. I was disappointed to see that the show is premiering the fall, I was hoping we’d get the premiere this summer. Regardless, this is definitely one of my most anticipated projects of the year, TV or otherwise.
Finally, the most pleasant surprise of the evening was a trailer for a show seemingly starring Aaron Paul that was clearly taking place in a futuristic version of our world. The technology; robotics, transportation, and more… This is a very different world than the one we currently live in. It’s hard to say exactly how far in the future this is. The society and city we’re shown is much more advanced than our own, but not so advanced that it looks like a far distant future.
Some things look pretty similar to our world, but so much looks very, very different. Aaron Paul’s voiceover laments feeling lost in a world that he doesn’t recognize anymore. It almost seems as if he may even be involved in some shady enterprises. The whole thing has a very “Blade Runner” vibe.
As I was watching the trailer, I asked myself at one point “What is this?“. Surely a series like this would already be on my radar, if enough had been filmed to have a trailer ready. Then, BOOM! The twist hits. Aaron Paul approaches a woman staggering out of a dark alley. Believing she’s in need of help, he calls out to her to ask if she’s alright. The woman looks up and it is none other than Dolores from Westworld. We’d been watching a trailer for Westworld Season 3 all along. The show logo comes on as the trailer ends to reveal Season 3 will be premiering in 2020. Take a look for yourself:
What I loved about this trailer, was how different it seems from everything that’s come before on Westworld. Westworld definitely needed to make some bold moves after the end of Season 2 to keep things fresh. Changing things so much that, while watching the first trailer for the new season, the show was unrecognizable until the very end of the teaser, is definitely an exciting direction for the show to go in. I wasn’t a massive fan of Westworld Season 2, even though I loved the first season. This was a great way to get excitement and interest up in the show’s third season until it premieres next year.
One other HBO project I wanted to mention is the upcoming TV series based on the novel Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff. Lovecraft Country uses Jim Crow era America as it’s backdrop and revolves around an African-American family pulled into the world of Lovecraftian magic, monsters, and other dimensions. The narrative is broken into pieces, focusing on diffferent characters in the book that are compelling stories on their own, while still serving the larger narrative of the novel as the different stories eventually converge. Combining horror and a predominantly African-American cast of characters living in Jim Crow America, allows the story to talk about serious racial issues while also being creepy and disquieting. I wasn’t even aware this was in the works until very recently, but I was over the moon when I heard it was being adapted by HBO. Lovecraft Country is one of the best books I’ve read in the last few years. The combination of great characters, a unique setting, and Lovecraft horror makes for a fantastic read. To top it off, Jordan Peele and J.J Abrams are developing the show and executive producing. Two of the best genre filmmakers of this generation working on a project like Lovecraft Country is very exciting.
So there you have it, HBO has some very interesting new shows on the horizon. However, It’s important to remember that HBO isn’t the only network with high profile new television series in the works. Streaming services like the upcoming Disney + launching in November, Netflix, and Amazon Prime are all throwing their hat into the ring to create the next “must watch” series.
Disney + will be releasing film quality miniseries that take place in the MCU. So far, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, WandaVision (focusing on Scarlet Witch and The Vision, obviously), Hawkeye, and Loki have all been announced and are in varying stages of production.
Perhaps the most exciting and high profile new series to launch this year will be the new Star Wars live action TV series, The Mandalorian. Starring Game of Throne’s Pedro Pascal, the show will follow the titular Mandalorian, a lone gun slinger traveling the Outer Rim of the galaxy following the fall of The Empire.
The series takes place between Return of The Jedi and The Force Awakens, a period in Star Wars lore ripe for exploration. The show will apparently skew adult, targeting the audience that grew up with Star Wars, but may be looking for something edgier in adulthood than the largely “all ages” films. With Jon Favreau as showrunner and guys like Taika Watitti and Dave Filoni directing episodes, this looks to be an amazing series. The show premieres with the launch of Disney + on 11/12/19.
As for some of the established streaming services, like Amazon Prime and Netflix, both companies have been producing successful original programming for years now. Netflix has a few big genre hits like Stranger Things, with Season 3 of the fan favorite show premiering on July 4th.
Netflix also has the hotly anticipated adaptation of The Witcher, starring Henry Cavil. Based on the series of novels by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowsk. The books follow Geralt of Rivia (Cavil), a badass monster hunter with some supernatural juice inside him, which allows him to face all kinds of monsters that threaten humanity. The series exists in that vaguely “middle ages” type of fictional world that we see in so many fantasy stories from Lord Of The Rings to Game of Thrones. Though The Witcher was also adapted as a popular video game series, the TV show will be entirely based on the original novels. Expect The Witcher to hit Netflix in the second half of 2019. With Henry Cavil playing Geralt and the cool premise of the show, I think The Witcher along with The Mandalorian, are my picks to be the “next big thing”out of all the shows I’ve previewed here. I also think ther’s a pretty good chance that Watchmen could end up being something pretty special as well.
One thing is certain, we live in a golden age of television programming. A world where TV shows can match and even surpass, movies on the big screen in some cases. These are just a few of the major projects in development that could scratch that Game of Thrones itch. It’s doubtful that any of them will have the incredible mega-success that Game of Thrones has had. But then again, someone does have to be the next Game of Thrones, so who knows? The bottom line is that it looks like we’re in for some incredible television over the next 12 months.
It first started around The Avengers. We had Loki light up the screen as one of cinema’s great big bads. Then Iron Man 3 came along with Aldrich Killian and “The Mandarin” (Which I actually thought was a smart way to deal with a potentially problematic villain). Maleketh in Thor: The Dark World was the nail in the coffin. The internet declared: “MARVEL HAS BAD VILLAINS!” Villains like Ronan The Accuser from Guardians of The Galaxy sealed the deal: Marvel has one dimensional, forgettable villains.
After seeing Marvel’s excellent new film, Black Panther, with two very different, but fantastic in different ways. I got to thinking about the villains in PHASE 3 and not only doe each film in Phase 3 has at least 1 great villain, but I’d like to argue that the entire premise that Marvel has weak villains is BULLSHIT!
But I’ll get back to that… First of BIG SPOILERS FOR ALL MCU FILMS SO FAR INCLUDING BLACK PANTHER! Like I said, Black Panther has two great villains. First, there’s Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaw who we first saw in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Klaw is the “fun” villain. He’s got his awesome laser canon arm, blowing shit up. He’s laughing, having a good time. This is a guy who knows how to enjoy being an arms dealer in a world of aliens, gods, and superheroes. I often hate when villains “chew the scenery”, but when it’s done well like Serkis does here, it’s a blast to watch.
Then we have Michael B. Jordan as Eric Killmonger. I love Michael B. Jordan, so I was psyched when he was cast in Black Panther, but he’s so likable I just didn’t see him as a villain. He’s the type of guy I saw more as a hero than a villain. Man, was I wrong. Killmonger in this movie is NOT. FUCKING. AROUND. He’s a vicious, focused, terrifying motherfuker.
The scene when he faces T’Challa in The Falls for The Throne, you get the sense that T’Challa doesn’t really know what he’s dealing with. This is a man on a fucking mission. It was here where Killmonger reminded me of another great Phase 3 Marvel villain: Zemo. Zemo is the villain in Captain America: Civil War. He’s easy to forget because there’s so much dramatic eye catching stuff in that film. Zemo, like Killmonger when he faces T’Challa is just a man, not a god. But in Civil War, Zemo wins. He breaks The Avengers. The beauty of it, is what breaks The Avengers apart is the truth that Zemo exposes, their own lies and their own actions. Daniel Bruhl plays it perfectly. A grim man, on a grim mission.
On the Cosmic side of things we have the excellent Cate Blanchett as the best Thor villain, Hela (because at this point is Loki even really a villain?). She was charismatic, funny at times and she made you see a much darker side of Odin. I also think she could be the most powerful Marvel villain we’ve seen so far. I do not think we’ve seen the last of her, either. We don’t really see her die and in the comics one of the reasons Thanos is trying to assemble the Infinity Gauntlet is to impress the “thing” he loves, Death. In the comics, there’s an actual female personification of Death that Thanos is madly in love with. I think instead of trying to introduce a new character into an already massive cast, they’ll make Hela the object of Thanos’ affection. She kinda, sorta, basically is Death anyway. So that’s my theory.
Staying on the Cosmic side of the MCU, there’s Peter Quill’s extremely shitty father, Ego The Living Planet. Played perfectly by Kurt Russell, he never actually lies to Peter. He definitely omits very important facts, but he never outright lies. He’s the perfect space Dad! Except for the fact that he gave Peter’s mom a brain tumor. That’s a deal breaker. Before this big reveal, there are several smaller bad guys in the movie, but Kurt Russell is so disarming I found myself wondering who the hell the main villain for the movie was. So it’s real sucker punch when he reveals he planted the tumor that killed Peter’s mom. Tim Cuff, one of the site contributors thought Ego was his favorite MCU Villain. And what comic book fan didn’t love seeing the big face on The Planet when Rocket and Yondu are in orbit. Speaking of Yondu… FUCK! That’s the most heart breaking death we’ve seen in the MCU so far. “He may have been your father, boy. But I was your Daddy.” Goddammit it gets me every time!
Then we have my personal favorite from Phase 3 and maybe the whole MCU, Adrian Toomes (they never actually called him The Vuture in the movie) played by the absolutely fucking legendary Michael Keaton. The film opens days after the Chitauri Invasion, Toomes is a blue collar contractor and he and his crew are contracted by the city to help clean up the Chitauri tech left over from the invasion of New York, but are fucked over by the government and Stark Industries when they create a government division to handle these things called “Damage Control”. Keaton almost steals the whole movie. He’s super menacing, but clearing he’s a normal, loving, husband and father. He’s kind of the anti-Tony Stark, he has the high tech Vulture suits he uses for heists, he’s blue collar, Tony’s silver spoon.
Man, the scene Peter shows up at Liz’s to pick he up for the dance and Toomes, who we now realize is Liz’s dad, is my favorite sequence in the movie. In the car on the way to the dance, the way Keaton plays Toomes slowly realizing this kid is Spider-Man is phenomenal. Keaton is so fucking good in this role, I hope he pops up in future movies.
What makes a fantastic villain is that they think they’re the hero of the own story. That seems to be a common trend here with the Phase 3 villains. Several of the villains I’ve listed are ones that we easily sympathize with. Or maybe even think are right? When you find yourself siding with a villain more than the hero, an interesting story is being told. Killmonger, Zemo, Toomes, and even Hela to an extent all have very legitimate reasons for their actions.
Now the only outlier in Phase 3 is Doctor Strange. A very good movie, a solid origin flick, but the villain, Kaicillius, is pretty bland. It’s its cool seeing Strange facing down Dormammu in the final act, he’s more of a force of nature than a villain.
So, with the exception of Doctor Strange, it think I’ve made a pretty solid argument that the Marvel Phases 3 villains are pretty great. But I also said that I didn’t think Marvel even had a villain problem in the first place. So let’s quickly go through Phase 1 & 2 and it’s villains. I’m going to rate the quality of the villains themselves, NOT the movies:
The one that started it all. In more ways than one. It started the unfortunate “villain just being an evil version of the hero” trend. But it’s not a total loss, Jeff Bridges is fun in the role. The irony is that he’s more menacing as Obadiah Stane than he is when he’s in the Iron Monger suit. Also, what the fuck is his endgame once he gets the suit on? I also give them a bit more credit with this being their first film and they’re still finding their footing.
Villain: Obadiah Stane/Iron Monger
The Incredible Hulk
The lost, red headed step child of the MCU. Here we have The Abomination and General Ross. When it come to Ross, his reasoning for hating the Hulk/Banner so much is, here’s a badass military man who’s always in control and has never been afraid of a damn thing in his life. Then he’s there for the birth of The Hulk, an unstoppable monster that makes him completely helpless. For the first time in his life, he felt fear and The Hulk put it there. He want’s to kill the thing that put fear into him. He’s terrified of The Hulk and that’s why he hunts him with such vigor. He’s like Ahab, kind of. Ross of course pops up like a shit that just wont flush in Civil War.
Then there’s Tim Roth’s Abomination. There’s something to be said for seeing The Hulk just tear it the fuck up against his most monstrous and physically powerful adversary. Their fight through Harlem is fun, CGI madness. Like Ross, Emil Blonsky has the unique motivation of a military man. A man past his physical prime, who knows if he had the physical ability he had 20 years ago with the skills and tactical knowledge he’s learned since, he’d be a force to be reckoned with. Which leads to the series of events that turn him into The Abomination. He tries to become something like Captain America, but he turns himself into a monster instead. It’s important to remember that in the MCU the secret to creating super soldiers like Captain America died with the scientist who invented the procedure. People have been trying to perfect it for decades but . Captain America was the only real success, usually People end up with something more like the abomination. I actually think these are 2 pretty underrated and interesting villains .
Once Hulk beats The Abomination into submission, alive and unconscious, he just takes off! What the fuck were they gonna do if he woke up? It’s not like they have a prison cell designed to hold something like The Abomination just on hand, because I think they have a half hour TOPS before this fucking thing wakes up! They don’t make it clear here, but in the comic, unlike The Hulk, he doesn’t change back to a man. He’s a giant fucking death monster permanently (something tells me he’ll be cool with it). Then again maybe Ross does have something ready to go because he had JUST captured The Hulk. This is a dangerous fucking situation is all I’m saying!
There are actually several other interesting loose ends in this movie. Like how the post credit scene with Ross and Stark in the bar at the end of the film doesn’t make sense, because in the larger context of the MCU because they were still trying to figure out what the MCU would be. But they retconned it in the Marvel One-Shot “The Consultant”.
Then there’s Tim Blake Nelson as Dr. Samuel Sterns who was helping Bruce to find a cure. He helps Blonsky make the final transformation into The Abomination. During the procedure he get a cut on the head and the Hulk’s blood drips into the wound. From there his head begins to bubble and grow.
Clearly this was meant to set up Hulk villain, The Leader. In the comics, Sterns’ transformation makes him super intelligent and he ends up looking something like this:
We never see hide nor hair from this guy again anywhere in the MCU so presumably he’s out there up to no good. Or he got hit by a bus…
Villain: General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross
Villain: Emil Blonsky/ The Abomination
Iron Man 2
Everybody shits on this movie, but I like it a lot. I agree Mickey Rourke is another shitty “evil version of the hero” villain. He’s actually the least interesting villain in that category. But Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer FUCKING. RULES. He is so fucking fun to watch in this movie. Here’s a guy who desperately wants to be Tony Stark, but just can’t quite pull it off. When it comes to villains, he saves this flick.
Villain: Ivan Vanko/Whiplash
Villain: Justin Hammer
Captain America: The First Avenger
When people first started talking about the “MCU Villain Problem”, I was like do you have fucking amnesia?! What about The Red Skull? They absolutely nail him. THIS is The Red Skull of the comics. Plus, Hugo Weaving playing Werner Herzog playing The Red Skull? Fucking genius ( This is true by the way, Weaving largely based The Red Skull on Herzog). The make-up effects are fantastic. This is a great Marvel villain, people. Also, to this day I’m certain he didn’t actually die at the and of the movie. He’s holding the Tesseract, The Space Stone, I just think he was transported across the galaxy and I’ve been waiting to see him return since. I’ve heard the Hugo Weaving isn’t too keen on reprising the role, but he’s already covered in The Red Skull make up, I’m sure there are plenty of great actors to fill his shoes. I could see them maybe bringing him back in Avengers: Infinity War, so we shall see
Villain: The Red Skull
Thor/ The Avengers
I’m going to skip right over Thor and Avengers because we all know Loki is the man.
Iron Man 3
Here’s Marvel’s first big standalone after The Avenger and they were scared people wouldn’t want to see the heroes apart now that we’d see the best of the best. They were wrong to be worried. This was a huge hit for Marvel. Unlike many people, I don’t hate “The Mandarin Twist”. Which was, as I said before a clever solution to a potentially problematic villain. The Mandarin was nothing but a pathetic rip off of the much better DC villain Ras Al Ghul. It’s hard to argue that Ben Kingsley is a great in the role. He sells the idea of The Mandarin as a terrorist and then is really fun to watch when we realize he’s just a drug addled British actor. For The Mandarin purists out there the last Marvel One-Shot “All Hail The King” should help to alleviate the pain.
Villain: The Mandarin
Grade: Guy Pierce – C-/ Ben Kingsley – B-
Thor: The Dark World
Malekith is the real lowest of the low. The blandest, most uninteresting Marvel villain in the MCU’s weakest film. It’ a shame because Christopher Eccelston played one of the most terrifying villains of all time as Raymond Calitri in Gone in Sixty Seconds (That’s kind of an inside joke, which I shouldn’t do). Fortunately there’s nowhere to go but up for both the MCU and the Thor movies. This is BY FAR the worst Marvel villain from any of the films.
Villain: Malekith The Accursed
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
I’m reluctant consider The Winter Soldier a villain in this film because he’s kind of more of a victim than anything else. Yes, he does some terrible things, but when I think of this film I don’t think of him as a villain. He’s Bucky, a hero in his own right and Cap’s friend turned brainwashed assassin. Ultimately he’s a very scary and effective human weapon for HYDRA. The fact that there are this many layers to the “villain” of the film speaks to how good both the movie and the character are.
Then we have the great Robert Redford who’s excellent as Alexander Pierce, one of the heads of HYDRA. Having one of the great American actors play a HYDRA agent who has infiltrated the highest levels of SHIELD is so fucking cool. This a role he could have easily phoned in, but he puts in a fantastic performance. Like all great villains, at certain points he kind of has you seeing where he’s coming from. I think this film is the moment when the geeks truly inherited the earth, when with his dying breath Robert Redford whispers “Hall Hydra“.
We also have Rumlow AKA CROSSBONES as a solid piece of shit, soldier villain. Who we get to see again as Crossbones in Civil War. I think he’s the perfect muscle in this film to the brain that is Alexander Pierce.
Villain: The Winter Soldier
Villain: Alexander Pierce
Villain: Brock Rumlow AKA Crossbones
Guardians of the Galaxy
Here we have another pretty generic space villain. Very one dimensional. He wants to kill everyone on the planet Xandar because the Kree…something… ancient blood feud… something, something. Don’t get me wrong, Ronan is NOT a very good villain, but I kind of like him. He’s got a cool look. He’s light years better than Malekith, the last generics space villain we got. And call me out for drinking the Marvel Koolaid, but I love when he has to go get chewed out by Thanos. The whole thing had a very Darth Vader and The Emperor feel. Always a plus
Villain: Ronan The Accuser
Grade: C+ (That’s probably too high a score, but I like this guy for some reason)
Ant-Man continues the classic Marvel problem of the villain being an evil version of the hero. We also have the reverse Iron Man with the young buck trying to take the company away from old Michael Douglass’s Hank Pym. In Iron Man it was the older guy trying to steal the company. A lot of been there, done that here. Sure, the Yellowjacket suit is cool and Ant-Man has one of the best third acts of any Marvel film, but this just ain’t gonna cut it villain-wise.
Villain: Darren Cross AKA Yellowjacket
Avengers: Age of Ultron
I wanted to save this for last, even though technically Ant-Man came out after this film. I think Ultron is by far the most underrated villain in the MCU. James Spader plays him perfectly as this twisted reflection of Tony Stark. His “birth” scene, when he reveals himself to The Avengers in that Frankenstein’s Monster version of Stark’s drones, is creepy and memorable in the best ways. He’s a legitimate threat to the Avengers, which can be difficult. To be fair he should have been more of a “HOLY FUCK, HOW ARE WE GOING TO BEAT THIS UNSTOPPABLE BADASS WHO’S 10 STEPS AHEAD OF US?!!” Villain. But I think what we got really worked. Ultron isn’t Skynet. He’s not a cold, unfeeling machine. He wants to be human, but his emotions are all fucked up. He doesn’t understand why people can’t see what he’s trying to do for them.
To Ultron, Earth NEEDS an extinction level event so the surviving humans will become stronger. As Ulron says to the twins “As soon as the Earth settles, God throws a stone and believe me he’s winding up.” I think he’s talking about Thanos here. I don’t think he knew specifically what it was, but he new something big and bad was heading our way and we weren’t ready (I just wanna say other sites have been talking about similar ideas, but I’ve had this theory for awhile now). I also think it’s fascinating that he’s always talking about God, Faith, and Religion. I find it so fascinating and would love to know why Wheadon chose to have theology on the mind of a powerful A.I. so much. Besides the Red Skull and The Vulture, this is the villain I would most like to see return in a Marvel film. In addition to being one of my favorite scenes in the MCU, when Vision and the very last Ultron drone have that great conversation about humanity at the end of Age of Ultron. Ultron comes at Vision and Vision destroys him in blinding light using the Mind Stone in his head. OR DID HE?! Check out the scene here:
Earlier in the film, Vision does say earlier “I don’t want to kill Ultron. He’s unique.” Maybe Vision has some of Ultron’s code tucked away somewhere for safe keeping. As we all, know from the comics, Ultron always comes back…
So out of the 16 villains from PHASES 1 & 2 analyzed and graded here, 10 were at least a B- or higher. Of course, that’s just my personal analysis. I didn’t even get into the villains from the Netflix shows. You throw in villains like Kingpin, Killgrave, and Cottonmouth and the debate is OVER. BOOM.
I’d also like to point out that I’ve always said Marvel has the best heroes (with the exception of Batman) and DC has the best villains. Up until recently, Ive been a big DCEU defender in fact. But so far, Warner Bros., in one way or another (directly or indirectly) have managed to royally fuck up their 3 best villains: Lex Luthor, The Joker, and Darkseid. So, who really has the villain problem, hmm?
So there we have it, I’ve made my case. I hope I changed some hearts and minds. But you guys are the Judge in the end. Let me know what you think. I am right? Dead wrong? A complete idiot?.. well, we all know that last one’s true anyway. Let me know in the comments below or on our Facebook page World’s Best Media.
Dr. Paul Wright of S.T.A.R. Labs (Formally with The Baxter Building) leading expert of Metahuman biology and Prof. Timothy Cuff of Arkham Asylum, the world’s premiere mind on vigilante psychology, came together to put together the DEFINITIVE list of the greatest super heroes and super villains in this 2-part symposium. Please enjoy! Listen here or on iTunes:
By now a lot of you have probably seen Thor: Ragnarok. I saw it and thought it was a blast, if you’ve haven’t had the chance yet, check out our podcast, “The World’s Best Podcast with Paul & Tim”, where we discuss and review (with spoilers) Thor: Ragnarok. It’s one of our best Episodes and we had a lot of fun making it.
I’m always looking for an opportunity to talk about comics. This seemed like a great opportunity to recommend some Comic Books/Graphic Novels to read AFTER you’ve seen Thor: Ragnarok. This film was filled with references and Easter Eggs to some classic Marvel stories. Much of the plot and story elements of Thor: Ragnarok are heavily influenced by 2 or 3 Marvel Graphic Novels, which I’ll list below. I’m also including a few books that are great places to start if you’re looking to read some great Thor or Hulk stories, but aren’t sure where to start.
I’m a big advocate for the medium. Anytime I write an article about great graphic novels, I usually include an Amazon link for the comic book I’m recommending so our readers can easily find the book if they decide they want to check it out. This wasn’t part of any promotion we’d arranged with Amazon, I just wanted to point people in the right direction. But World’s Best Media has grown way beyond the blog I started. We want to continue to give you all of our great podcasts, articles, reviews, videos and more of the best content possible. So, now if you decide you want to purchase one of the graphic novels, movies, or any other stuff we recommend, by going through the Amazon links we provide (like the ones below), a small percentage of the money goes back to us at World’s Best Media to help keep us up and running. So if any of you want buy any of the things we recommend, going through our Amazon Affiliate link would be a huge help and massively appreciated. We don’t ask that you go out of your way, but if you’re going to buy something on Amazon anyway, It’d be great if you went through our links. Thank you so much for all of your support.
Now, here are the best Comic Book/Graphich Novels to read after you’ve seen Thor: Ragnarok…
Planet HulkWritten by Greg Pak/Art by Carlo Pagulayan & Aaron Lopresti
Planet Hulk is sensually Gladiator in space starring The Hulk instead of Russell Crowe. That’s one hell of a hook. In the Marvel comics there’s a group called The Illuminati, they consist of key, powerful individuals from each corner of the Marvel Universe, all of Marvel’s different groups like The Avengers, X-Men, FF, etc. are represented in some form form or another. They include Tony Stark, Doctor Strange, Reed Richards, Charles Xavier and more. They’re kind of a bunch of pricks actually
Fearing that he will eventually become too dangerous and get out of control, The Illuminati (the pricks that they are) form a plan to trick Banner and send him (Long with the Hulk off Earth permanently ). They pick an uninhabited, ideallic, peaceful planet with everything he needs supplied on the ship to live out his natural life in comfort. In the eyes of Illuminati they are protecting the planet Earth and giving their friend Bruce Banner what he’s always wanted: some peace, to be left alone (Sure, justify it all you want you fucks). Being geniuses and all, you’d think that once Banner was on the space ship and a tape plays explaining what his so called “friends” had done to him, that The Illuminati could have predicted The Hulk would go apeshit and fuck up the space ship. Which, of course, he does. This knocks the ship off course and instead of landing on paradise planet he ends up on Sakaar , or as The Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy called it, “The Gaping Asshole Of The Galaxy: 2016”. Ruled by a tyrannical King, one of the biggest parts of Sakaar’s culture is their Gladiator matches. The upper class of Sakaar watch various alien beings fight to the death. Using a device that allows the King of Sakaar and his minions to control Hulk, he reluctantly becomes a gladiator in the Gladiator Arena. Needless to say it’s fucking awesome. I’m sure you can imagine The Hulk would be pretty fucking good as a gladiator , even on an alien plane. The device keeping him a slave only keeps him from escaping, otherwise when he’s in the arena The Hulk cuts loose big time. It doesn’t take long for Hulk to becomes their star gladiator and eventually after making some a few friends and even falling in love, he leads a revolution to free all the slaves. I’ll stop hear because that’s the basic set up and it wouldn’t want say anymore to ruin the story. One of the unique and touching things about this comic is that out in space, The Hulk doesn’t look like a monster (he’s still scary to the other aliens when he wants to be) and all of admiration, acceptance and love that he was denied on Earth, he found here on this far away planet. It’s a great story with a gut punch of an ending which I won’t spoil here. The vast majority of The Hulk stuff in Thor: Ragnarok is from the Planet Hulk story. But not just that there are places and characters that are important in the comic that pop up in the new film. Including Korg the rock man and Meek his little friend he carries around, they’re key characters in Planet Hulk. Don’t think that just because you’ve seen Thor: Ragnarok that the Planet Hulk storyline is spoiled, it goes in some very different directions. It’s a modern classic Hulk story and any Hulk or Marvel fan needs to give this one a shot.
Thor: DissassembledWrtten by Mike Avon Oeming/Art by Andrea Di Vito
In the early aughts, a legendary comic book writer named Brian Michael Bendas began his run on what would become a classic run on the Avengers franchise. Before the main event you series began, he wrote a miniseries that set up the events of his upcoming Avengers run called Avengers Disassembled. Avengers Disassembled had a massive impact on the Avengers comics that are still being felt today, over 15 years later. The Avengers would never be the same. Along with this massive status quo change, many of the flagship Marvel characters got the similar clean slate treatment where big cataclysmic events happened in their lives. So there was Iron Man Disassembled, Captain America Disassembled, and most relevant here Thor Disassembled. Thor Disassembled is the biggest influence on for Thor: Ragnarok besides Planet Hulk. In the story, Ragnarok the Apocalypse for the Norse gods has begun. Loki, Hela, Surtur The Fire Demon, and Fenris Wolf all play a huge part. Ragnarok was an event that had been prophesies for centuries, so the Asgardians knew that one day this day would come. Much like the events of Thor: Ragnarok, Thor, Odin , Loki, and all the other gods were destroyed along with Asgard. However in Norse mythology death and rebirth is cyclical. Much like the revolving door of life and death in Comics. After Ragnarok it was destined for the gods to be reborn and starting with Thor, the new all father, Odin’s time having past. Though beloved by some, this is not a fantastic graphic novels by today’s standards. There are other Thor books that a excellent reads (a few I’ll list below). While Thor Disassembled isn’t great when compared to Marvel’s storytelling out put over the last 15 – 18 years. It’s not going to be one of your favorite comic books of all time., but it has some great moments especially if you’re interested after seeing Thor: Ragnarok. Asgard and everyone in it are completely take off the board in the Marvel Universe for several years after this story. However, that is far from the end of Thor Odinson and The Asgardians in the Marvel Universe.
After years of living a happy life and ruling the planet Sakaar with a wife and child on the way Hulk was finally at peace. Until the ship that brought him to the planet Sakaar in the first place (built by The Illuminati, these fucking guys again) suddenly explodes in a devastating wave killing Hulk’s pregnant wife, unborn child, dear friends, and more. Hulk has anger issues in the best of times, so after this, well… woe unto those who stand his way. As far as the Hulk Is concerned, The Illuminati are responsible for this death and destruction. Hulk gathers his greatest and most trusted warriors (including Korg the rock alien from Thor: Ragnarok) and comes to Earth in a Sakaaran Warship, seeking vengeance with brutal and unstoppable wrath. These fuckers finally pushed The Hulk too far. Thus World War Hulk begins. The Hulk has one main target, those pricks in The Illuminati: Tony Stark, Reed Richards, Doctor Strange, Black Bolt, Namor, and unbeknownst to Hulk (the deceased, at the moment anyway) Charles Xavier. He means to make them pay for the lives they took and the mistakes that they made. Many classic comic book questions like who would win in a fight between The Hulk and (X) are answered here. This is balls to the walls action, but there are some great character moments throughout. Including some surprising revelations about exactly who are Hulk’s friends and who are his enemies. It’s a great book and a great sequel to Planet Hulk.
Thor: God of Thunder Vol.1Written by Jason Aaron /Art by Esad Ribic
Thor: God of Thunder was started by Jason Aaron during Marvel’s, Marvel Now ! Initiative. It was by far one of the best books that came out at that time. Even though there’s been all kinds of crazy Marvel events and Thor books under new names, Jason Aaron’s Thor epic is still going strong, just under the new name, The Mighty Thor.
Thor: God of Thunder follows Thor through the eons and focuses on Thor at three very different points in his life. The past, present, and the distant future. The past, when he was a young irresponsible drunk, hanging out with the Vikings on Midgard, slaying any monster he could find, sleeping with any women he could find, and spending the entire time drinking copious amounts of ale. His dream is to one day weird the mighty Mijonir. This is not the Thor we know today, this is the Thor who is not yet worthy to wield the mighty Mijonir. He loves Earth and the humans who occupy it, but he doesn’t have the same humility and respect for humanity that we tend to see in Thor, but the hero is in there.
In the present, we see the Thor we know and love, the god that has become worthy to wield the mighty hammer. Thor: The Avenger. Hen he may be god, but he’s the type of guy you’d like to hang out and have a beer with. He’s gained some depth and humility since his younger days and learned the value of responsibility.
Finally we see millennia into the future where Old King Thor is one of the final gods in existence. Midgard has burned. Thor is The All-Father to a ruined and desolate Asgard. His only company is the wave after wave sent to him by Gor The God Biutcher. He is in a constant state of exhaustion to keep the army of his vicious and me at bay. Thor looks a lot like Odin here, he’s missing an eye like we see in the movie, and he seems to be missing his left arm. I’m not sure what the arm is made of, but it look similar to the material The Destroyer is built from. Any, even though I’m sure he‘d like his flesh and blood arm back, the one that’s forged for him functions exactly like a “normal” arm. We find out later in the story that after Thor lost his arm, the dwarves, the best smiths and makers in all of the nine realms forged him an arm prosthetic that makes him as good as new.
The common thread throughout the story, as we see Thor in these three very different points in his life is Gorr The God butcher. He’s basically a serial killer for god‘s. An absolute sadist and one of the dangerous most dangerous foes Thor has ever encountered. Why he is doing this and how he became so powerful is revealed throughout the story, so I won’t spoil it here. But it’s a fascinating and thought provoking story. Future All-Father Thor is keeping Gorr’s minions at bay, but Gorr’s real weapon is the Necrosword. This is rather cool Easter egg from Thor: Ragnarok. For reasons unknown, Hela wielded The Necrosword in the film. All that crazy black shit she could use to attack people and the fact that she was seemingly unstoppable, a lot of that came from the Necrosword, a incredibly powerful weapon. Don’t get me wrong, Hela is monumentally formidable on her own, but with the Necrosword she’s nearly impossible to beat. And to be honest I do not think she died in the destruction of Asgard. (Also, the inclusion of The Necrosword make hopeful we may see Gorr make an appearance in a Marvel film down the line)
That “God Butcher” storyline is probably one of the best Thor comics that has been written in years and it kicked off a run that continues to be one of my favorite books to come out month after month. When all said and done it will be hard to choose which story from this epic Thor run that is my favorite. Jason Aaron will be remembered as one of the greatest Thor writers we’ve ever had. If you like Thor at all this is an absolute must.
Indestructible Hulk Written by Mark WaId/Art by Various
Indestructible Hulk is a great series from long time comic book writer Marc WaId. Basically, Banner has come to terms with fact that he and The Hulk are one being, he’s made his peace with the monster inside him. But he wants to be remembered for more than just the destruction caused by The Hulk. People often forget that Banner is in the same intellectual league as men like Tony Stark, Reed Richards, and Hank Pym. With the possible exception of Pym, because he created fucking Ultron, these men will be remembered for their incredible scientific achievements. While Banner will be remembered for being a monster. So, Banner approaches Maria Hill who is the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. at the time. He proposes that she sets him up with a lab, resources and staff to build wonders: new, clean renewable energy, cures to cancer, solutions to the negative impact of climate change, etc. In return, she gets The Hulk. Even though he’s gone to extraordinary lengths to greatly reduce the risk of turning into The Hulk, Banner has realized that Hulk episodes are inevitable. When that happens, it’s Hills job to step in and aim The Hulk wherever the smashing needs to be done. Because there’s no shortage of bad guys, terrorist groups, and super villains up to no good on, a daily basis, all around the world in the Marvel Universe. It’s really fun book with great art that does something different with The Hulk: Bruce Banner Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.. There are a lot of great guest stars from throughout the Marvel universe including Tony Stark, Thor, Beast and many more. Waid’s entire run on the series is collected in one easy to read volume. Highly recommended.
Ultimate Wolverine Vs HulkWritten by Damon Lindelof/Art by Leinil Francis YU
Wolverine and The Hulk are long time rivals. Even though this story technically takes place in the Ultimate Universe (Before it merger with Marvel Earth-616 or Marvel Earth Prime as it’s now known. Wow. What a nerdy sentence. I’m proud of myself) it’s a great story with some very minor, superficial things that carried over into Thor: Ragnarok. The fact that the story has beautiful art and was written by the creator of LOST is a big draw too. Great book to check out.
Avengers DisassembledWritten by Brian Michael Bendis/Art by David Finch
This was the main story that Thor Disassembled tied into. This is NOT required reading if you’re just looking for cool Hulk and Thor stories to read after you’ve seen Thor: Ragnarok. However, it is the beginning of Bendis’ modern classic Avengers run, which ran for close to a decade. Fantastic Avengers stories. Start with Avengers vol.1 Breakout and keep going from there if you’re hooked.
These fuckers at Marvel, they got me REAL fucking bad! Gimme Phase 4, Phase 6, PHASE FUCKIN’ 20!!! I’ll take it all! Thor: Ragnarok marks Marvel’s 17th film with 3 more in active stages of production, with several more in the planning stage. Then there are the Netflix series, with The Punisher debuting later this month. Runaways premieres on Hulu in a few weeks and Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. comes back mid-season. I must admit there have been a few hiccups on the TV side of things (I’m glad Marvel’s first true DISASTER was an Inhumans miniseries on ABC. Because really, who gives a shit?), but otherwise Marvel has me by the balls and they are not letting go. If they keep making movies like Thor: Ragnarok, they can lovingly hold onto my balls as long as they want.
I love how the non-Avengers Marvel movies have become less about individual heroes like Marvel Phase 1 and more about team ups of a few prominent Marvel heroes under the banner of one of the big three (Cap, Iron Man, Thor). Though I love the character of Thor, what really sold me on the movie was the fact that it was going to be a team up film with the Hulk with a little side of Doctor Strange. Then when that 1st awesome, METAL trailer came out, they had me hook, line, and sinker.
The Thor films are interesting components of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I love the first one and I think the first half of that movie has some of the most creative and interesting filmmaking in the entire series on display. Kenneth Branagh was an inspired choice to direct the first Thor film and I’d love to see him come back and play in the MCU sandbox again. In my opinion the second movie is the weakest in The MCU (Fuck you, Tim! Iron Man 2 rules, baby!). So where does Thor:Ragnarok stand? Well, it’s a whole hell of a lot of fun.
It’s certainly extremely different from what’s been done before not only in other Thor films, but in MCU films in general. It’s a unique movie and once it gets started, it’s a crazy roller coaster ride that doesn’t stop until the end of the movie. The film flys by. This is largely thanks to the influence of director Taika Waititi. However, if these films don’t have some heart, some emotional center to latch onto, I feel they lose something. Fortunately, the film doesn’t forget to make you care about it’s characters. All of the best of the Marvel films have had a really strong emotional center built around strong characters, innovative filmmaking, and fun action sequences.
(“Loki listen, this is never easy to say, but it’s time we put Dad in an assisted living facility. Oh! You banished him to Earth? Problem solved, then.)
I think one of the best things about the film is the continued development of the relationship between Loki and Thor. Loki is someone that we should hate, but I found myself rooting for him to find some redemption. Which brings me to another point I enjoyed: the villains are not black-and-white, with stupid, vague goals and motivations. Hela was an interesting villain and it was fun every time Cate Blanchett was on scene as this character. She looked like she was having a blast, but her character wasn’t without depth. I wouldn’t put her in the top tier of Marvel villains like Loki or Kingpin or Ultron, but she’s certainly not a bland villain like Malekith or even Ronan The Accuser.
(Say what you want about me, but I think Cate Blanchett looks crazy hot like this)
Of course we can’t talk about this movie without talking about The Hulk. I don’t think fans of the Planet Hulk storyline will be disappointed. It would be an exaggeration to say that this is a full on adaptation of that story, but characters and elements from the story are incorporated into the movie that I was pleasantly surprised to see were included. Nothing in this movie with the Hulk quite beats the gladiator match between him and Thor that we’ve seen pieces of in the trailers (Loki’s reaction to seeing that Hulk is the reigning Champ is priceless). Personally I felt The Hulk wasn’t quite the scene stealer other reviews have made him out to be, but I love me a good Thor and Hulk team up.
(Just as this picture was taken, Stan Lee realized he had just shit his pants.)
I have a nitpick about The Hulk which is sort of the spoiler, so I’ll get into that on our podcast “The World’s Best Podcast with Paul & Tim”. We’re going to do a deep dive into the film and talk full spoilers. So keep an eye out for that and make sure you see the movie before you listen to the podcast. The are some huge, surprising, game-changing developments in this movie. No single character in the MCU has ever had such a massive status quo change.
I was surprised that the movie lived up to its title. This really is Ragnarok. Like Norse Mythology Ragnarok… well kinda. Norse Ragnarok by way of Marvel Comics. For you comic book fans, this movie borrows as much from Thor: Disassembled as much as Planet Hulk. Fans of the comics will probably be able to guess where things are going for Thor and The Asgardian part of the MCU by the end of the film.There’s a mid credits sequence that makes the future somewhat less clear. I don’t even want to vaguely speculate on the meaning of the mid-credits scene because it could be interpreted as Spoiler-y (More on all of this in our podcast). All in all I enjoyed this film a lot. I do not think it is as good as it’s being made out to be. It’s a very good movie, but not in the top tier of the Marvel films. But whether you are a Marvel fanatic or just movie fan who enjoys a good sci-fi romp, go see Thor:Ragnarok, you’re guaranteed to have a good time.