On this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, Paul Sr. and I discuss which superpowers would be the most useful if you were robbing a bank? As the discussion continues, more about Paul Sr.’s criminal past emerges…
Considering how often super villains rob banks in comic books, there aren’t that many bank robbery scenes in superhero films. However the few scenes that do exist are all pretty fucking awesome. I can think of three great ones… well, two and a half anyway.
The iconic opening sequence of The Dark Knight, when The Joker and his gang of masked clowns rob a mob bank:
2. The great bank robbery scene in Spider-Man 2, where Doc Ock and The Ole’ Wallcrawler’s clash for the first time:
2b. This is what I meant when I said two and a half great bank robbery scenes in superhero movies. This scene from Spider-Man: Homecoming isn’t quite a bank robbery. It’s a bunch of thugs with high-tech weaponry trying to steal an ATM, but it’s still a lot of fun, so I wanted to include it here:
For more super-powered bank robbing shenanigans, make sure you listen to this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, posted right here.
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So, for the past couple of weeks I’ve been working on a very long article about the different directions a 3rd MCU Spider-Man movie could go after after Spider-Man: Far From Home. Well, I wish I’d been a little more quick on the draw with that article, because yesterday, news broke that it’s very likely that Spider-Man will no longer be a part of The MCU.
Before getting into any details, like a lot of you I’m sure your initial reaction to this news is something along the lines of “well that fucking sucks“. That’s pretty much how I feel, as well. Spider-Man has been a great addition to the MCU and I was looking forward to all of the story telling possibilities his character brings to the table. It’s really disappointing as a fan of The MCU and the wall-crawler .
So, how did we arrive at this place? Why is this tyhappening? Well the short answer is a very unsurprising one, one word: greed. When this new broke, many fans assumed that Sony was somehow fucking up this deal, due to their less than stellar track record in the past. But they’ve been able to turn things around a bit of the last few years (I’ll get back into that in a minute). This shit show rests squarely on the shoulders of Disney.
When Marvel was going bankrupt in the 90s, they sold the film and television rights to their characters to various movie and production studios. Which is why we didn’t see characters like Spider-Man, The X-Men, or The Fantastic Four in the MCU from the very beginning. Marvel Studios didn’t have access to those characters at the time because, legally when it came to the movies at least, these other movie studios owned the characters.
Another factor is Disney’s acquisition of Fox. Disney bought the entertainment division of Fox, finally giving so many fans what they’ve been clamoring: The X-Men and The FF in the MCU. We should expect to see more on the Mutant and FF front as things progress, but don’t expect to see an X-Men or FF movie for a few more years. That’s just because Marvel had so many film and TV projects in the pipeline and ready for production when the Fox deal went through. They couldn’t bring everything they had been planning and building to a grinding halt and awkwardly shoehorn The X-Men and The FF into the MCU. I would rather wait and get excellent interpretations of these characters from the company that makes truly incredible marvel superhero films, than rush things and fuck it up.
Marvel’s deal regarding Spider-Man is pretty different. It’s more of a partnership (Or maybe WAS a partnership, I suppose) with the movie studio, Sony. All of the characters that we’ve seen in the MCU so far, The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and many more were the characters already owned by Marvel Studios and Marvel can do whatever they want with them.
It’s different with Sony because, Sony still retains the film rights to Spider-Man. However, they reached an agreement with Marvel Studios where marvel can use Spider-Man in their movies like Avengers and Civil War. However, when a solo Spidey film is made, like Homecoming or Far From Home, Marvel makes those movies, they control the creative direction of the story and the characters. Sony essentially outsourced making Spider-Man movies to Marvel with the added benefit of the films taking place in The MCU, giving them a richer, more lived in feel to the world. Now like I said when Spider-Man is in Avengers movie, Sony doesn’t get any of the money that the film generates. But for solo Spider-Man films, Marvel gets 5% of the profits and merchandising rights, which is a lot of money. Plus having such an iconic Marvel character like Spider-Man back in the Marvel fold, is a huge win for the brand.
The problems started when Spider-Man: Far From Home became the highest grossing movie in the history of Sony. Not just the highest grossing Spider-Man movie, the highest grossing movie in the history of the film studio. For some stupid reason Marvel wanted to renegotiate their already lucrative and valuable contract with Sony. It’s important to remember that when I say Marvel, I mean Disney. The new deal Disney proposed ,was instead of getting 5% of the profits on Spider-Man solo films they get 50% of the profits. That’s insane. No movie studio would go for that. They were literally asking for 10 times the current deal. I don’t know what they expected from Sony as a response, but that’s an unreasonable demand. For Sony’s part they really wanted this deal to continue. They loved having Spider-Man in The MCU but they weren’t going to be strong-armed by Disney. Especially when they’ve had two big successes with the Spider-Man franchise on their own with Venom, which was a big hit for the studio, and Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse which was not only a masterpiece of filmmaking, but a huge moneymaker as well. Sony is negotiating from a position of power. They have much more leverage than they did in the past. Which is why the actions of Disney seems so bizarre. But again, to be clear Sony did not want this deal to fall apart. It seems like Disney didn’t want to budge and Sony said, “fine” and walked away from the table.
This whole thing being so public is slightly odd, though not completely because it seems like everything leaks these days. There is an argument to be made that making it public like this was a negotiation tactic, because of the inevitable fan outcry about not getting to see your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man in the next Avengers film.
There’s still hope though. There’s still time for egos to cool off and sit back down to the table to renegotiate. Word on the street is that Sony is at least open to it. It kind of reminds me of the situation when James Gunn was fired from Guardians of the Galaxy vol.3 for absurd reasons (Which upset me personally because I really wanted to see the end of his Guardians trilogy). He had always talked about a three film arc for these characters. Eventually, months after being fired and even moving on to other projects, Disney finally saw the light and hired him back. James Gunn was gracious enough to come back when he could’ve just as easily told them to fuck off. So hopefully something like this happens when it comes to Spider-Man. Hopefully this is just a hiccup and we will continue to see more Spider-Man in The MCU for years to come. Here’s hoping….
On this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, we review one of my most anticipated movies of the summer and the latest film to feature everyone’s favorite wallcrawler: Spider-Man: Far From Home. As the final film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 3 of films, we go over the action sequences, the villains, the friends and foes in Peter Parker’s life, and all the twists and turns along the way.
This movie has some HUGE revelations and twists, so I recommend avoiding SPOILERS at all cost before seeing this film. But after you see the movie, come on back and listen to our awesome breakdown of this kick ass superhero flick! Listen here or subscribe on Spreaker, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, and ITunes:
… is the ONLY official poster for the film I put up with this article. What a shitty, shitty poster. All the other art here is the work of some incredibly talented artists I found online. STEP UP YOU GAME, SONY!
With Avengers: Endgame, a historic era in cinema has come to a close. Marvel’s Infinity Saga ended on an unprecedented high note. Avengers: Endgame opened to critical acclaim while shattering box office records. By the end of it’s theatrical run, it’s very likely Avengers: Endgame will be the biggest movie in film history. Perhaps most importantly, the film delivered an emotional and thrilling experience for MCU fans all over the world, who have come to love these characters. This movie delivered and then some. It lived up to the hype. It knocked it out of the park. Pick your euphemism.
While The Infinity Saga may be finished and though we’ve said goodbye to some of our most beloved characters, The MCU will live on. The first Post-Endgame film, Spider-Man: Far From Home, opens in just a few months. With this new trailer, not only does the film look like a fantastic follow up to Homecoming, it also showcases how the cataclysmic events of Infinity War and Endgame have effected the world.
On this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, I’ll be breaking down the new trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home. I’ll be talking about Easter Eggs, how the film looks to be taking inspiration from certain comic books, and speculate about where the story may go, as well as how this film may be interpreting some new characters in the franchise. I’ve posted the trailer below, if you haven’t had a chance to see it yet or you just want to watch it again:
I had a pretty cool experience recently that I talk about in this episode as well. Though I didn’t get a chance to interview him, I did have the privilege to meet one of Marvel Comics’ classic artists: Bob Layton. Bob is probably most well known for the seminal Iron Man story “Demon In A Bottle”. This was a story that was often brought up as a reason for Robert Downey Jr. being a great choice to play Iron Man. The story follows Tony Stark’s descent into alcoholism, which parallels Downey Jr.’s own struggles with substance abuse a few decades ago (I’ve always been of the opinion that’s a very reductive view of addiction and is a little insulting to excellent work Robert Downey Jr. has done with the character, but that’s neither here nor there). Bob was a really nice, down to earth guy. When I met him he had been doing signings for fans for at least 4 or 5 hours, most people would be worn out after all that, but from what I could see, he genuinely enjoys meeting his fans. So, it was nice to have a relatively private conversation with him even for just a few minuets. I talk about my conversation with him in more detail at the end of the episode. He signed this fantastic print of one his Iron Man covers for me, which is probably one of Marvel’s more iconic comic book covers. It’s from the aforementioned “Demon In A Bottle” storyline and I have picture of the signed piece below.
I’ve been getting back into comics the last year or so, and I’ve been finding that my tastes have drastically changed in characters and stories in my nearly twenty year absence. As a kid, I loved Marvel comics, and didn’t ever pay attention to DC, now I’m definitely finding more in DC that I enjoy. I used to love Spider-Man and the Avengers, and now when I am reading Marvel stuff it tends to be stuff that isn’t too closely related to any of the MCU films or other Marvel films.
One of the characters that I used to love when I was about 12 or so, was Venom. He was so cool. I’m starting to think he may have been more of a ‘cool’ character, than a ‘good’ character.
I remember reading some of the ‘Venom’ series, and thinking that he was like an edgy broodier version of Spider-Man. I think I thought “Venom is what J. Jonah Jameson thinks Spider-Man is,” which I thought was incredibly cool. At this same time in my life, I was also collecting all the ‘alternatives’ that were coming out like A-Next which was the next generation Avengers, and J² which was Juggernaut’s son. I think I had crappy taste at the time. But Venom was a bad-ass, and I was convinced that was amazing.
Then, Spider-Man 3 was coming out, and it was announced that they’d be doing Venom as one of the villains, I was ecstatic. Even when they announced it was Topher Grace, who seemed so unlike Eddie Brock, but they explained that he was supposed to be Spider-Man’s mirror, so they sold me on it. Then I saw the movie and thought “oh they really fucked that up.” It was definitely the portrayal of the character, and not the character itself right?
So a couple months ago, the trailer for the new Venom movie was released, and I have to be honest, I think it looks like garbage. I like every single person in it (especially Jenny Slate) but the way she pronounces symbiote (Sim BY Oat) is obnoxious, and I’m sure this will be like when people were telling me that the correct way to pronounce Smaug was with each and every single vowel present, and I was like “it may be right, but it’s still annoying.” So there was strike one. Strike two is that the actual Venom suit/skin looks horrendous. Don’t get me wrong, it looks just like in the comics, but it looks awful when juxtaposed with non-animated characters. There isn’t a strike three yet. So hopefully, I’m wrong.
Then lastly, I started reading the Venom vs. Carnage trade paperback, and after a few pages of “I’m your father, you have to listen to me,” and “Perhaps if my host had any regard for his family, I’d respect you dear old daddy” a lightbulb went off in my head. What if Venom sucks? What if it isn’t that the character hasn’t been portrayed right, but what if it’s that the character isn’t good, or perhaps he’s only situationally good, like in small doses, when paired with the right characters?
Paul has talked a few times in articles and in the podcast about characters like Wolverine being best served in small doses, because they’re cool, and there is a tendency to over do them. Maybe that’s Venom’s problem. Or maybe unlike Wolverine who is cool, and has a great arc/background, Venom is just cool, and not ‘good’.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ll go see the Venom film and I’m going to finish reading this book, but I’m not sure anymore about Venom.
What do you think of Venom? Is he just cool? Am I missing some incredible story that does his character the most justice possible? Let me know in the comments below.
Today we got the first poster for the Venom movie due out in October. It’s minimalist and I like it. I’ve never been the biggest fan of Venom. I always thought he was visually interesting character and that’s about it. You see, in the comic book world, there a lot of characters from the 90’s that are dubbed “cool“ and certain fans clammer to see them on the big screen. I’ve always viewed Venom as a characters like Apocalypse, Carnage, Gambit, Cable and Deadpool. But I’ve found, it’s usually people who really don’t have a deep understanding of comics and only like these characters because they all have a great visual designs and have character traits that are superficially cool. “90’s characters”: it’s always been a dirty phrase to me.
But it’s dangerous to make generalizations. I realize a lot of what I just said was very dismissive of an entire Fanbase. I’m not saying that’s right, I’m just saying that’s been my point of view. Deadpool really changed things for me. I always hated Deadpool. I thought he was the a pitta me of everything I just described. I genuinely didn’t understand his popularity. But at the same time I was rarely exposed to him in comic books because I avoided them. But then I begin to read Rick Remender’s excellent X-Force run. Basically, Cyclops (right in the middles of becoming the new metaphorical “Magento” of the Marvel Universe) created a mutant, black-ops, kill squad. X-Force was designed to preemptively find threats to mutant kind and quietly take them off the board before they can threaten the mutant race and when I say “take them off the board” I mean horribly kill them. The team which included Wolverine, Psylocke, Archangel, Fantomex, and Deadpool. This is an excellent X-Men book, definitely one of the best runs of the last decade. It was here that I started to like Deadpool. Then Deadpool started to pop up more in other mainstream marvel books like Avengers and I found myself liking him more and more. Then the movie came out and I’m eating some crow and loving the character. Deadpool 2 is one of my most anticipated movies of the year. My point is opinions can change.
Now if I was going to make a Venom film, I think Tom Hardy is an excellent Eddie Brock. You can do a Venom film with out Spider-Man because there’ve been numerous Venom series’ in which he’s an antihero going up against a worse villain like Carnage for example. I think the Venom movie will take inspiration from the Venom: Lethal Protector miniseries where he’s definitely a more heroic character. Even when he’s gone up again Spider-Man, Venom has never viewed himself as a villain, he’s viewed him self as a hero.
The movie’s director, Ruben Fleischer did Zombieland so we know there’s some talent and vision behind the camera. But I can’t help but think how interesting it would be just see the Spider-Man that we saw in Homecoming, the very young, boy learning to become a hero, go up against someone like a Tom Hardy Venom. It would be a dark, brutal story. Definitely something different and definitely something I wouldn’t mind seeing. Now when I say that, I mean I would want it to be a Spider-Man movie were Tom Hardy’s Venom is the villain. From the jump, it’s been made very clear that this Venom film has nothing to do with Spider-Man: Homecoming or the Marvel cinematic universe. But with rumors of Tom Holland being on set of the Venom film, it clouds things up a little. When this poster was released, there was also a hashtag that said “tomorrow”. So I would say we should plan on seeing a Venom teaser trailer tomorrow. That will start to give us an idea of what this movie is and what it’s going to look like. Like Deadpool before him, though I am not a huge fan of Venom, I will give this movie a chance. I just hope it doesn’t squander it.
Check back here tomorrow where we will have the trailer posted IF it’s released. Thanks for reading guys!
UPDATE: (2/8/18) Well, just as I predicted a trailer for Venom was realeased today. Take a look below and then I’ll give you my thoughts:
I really wanted to give this a chance, but man that is a terrible teaser. You have no idea what the movie is or what its about. You’d probably not even know it was a trailer for a Venom movie, if you didn’t KNOW IT WAS A TRAILER FOR VENOM MOVIE! We don’t get any sense of the character at all. We don’t know if they’re going to play Venom as more heroic or a darker character. There are almost no hints that there’s even a sci-if/comic book angle to the movie. There’s a very brief shot of what appears to be a symbiote in some kind of containment device, but THAT IS IT. Not good enough. Especially for a skeptic like me. I was very against the Han Solo film, but at least they were able to put out a really good trailer and start to win me over. I had no interest in a Venom film from the beginning and if they keep putting out material like this, they’ll start losing people that are already on board, let alone bringing in new people like me. Anyway I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Also check out our Amazon Affiliate links below to Uncanny X-Force Vol.1-2 by Rick Remender which collects his entire run on the series. As I said in the main article, I can personally vouche for it being one of the best X-Men stories in the last 20 years. Below that I’ve also put an Amazon link for the Venom: Lethal Protector series I mentioned If you’re curious what kind of material the movie will be based on. Going to Amazon through the links help’s support World’s Best Media and we always appreciate it!