MCU: Marvel Casts KANG THE CONQUEROR! Is This The New “Big Bad” Of The MCU?

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

Jonathan Majors (HBO’s Lovecraft Country has been cast as Kang The Conqueror

    During their long stint as Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, The Avengers have faced countless villains over the years. There are very few “Big Bads” in The Marvel Universe that The Avengers haven’t tangled with at some point or another. Heroes like Spider-Man and the X-Men have their own fantastic rogues galleries of villains. By contrast, The Avengers only have a few MAJOR villains to call their own. Villains who are seen as Avengers villains first and foremost. Sure, The Avengers may come up against Doctor Doom fairly frequently, but Doctor Doom has always been, and always will be, the nemesis of The Fantastic Four. However, when it comes to mortal enemies, what The Avengers lack in numbers, they make up for in their sheer level of badass. These motherfuckers are some next level threats. The Avengers have 3 iconic villains as primary enemies and we’ve already see 2 of them in The MCU: Thanos, Ultron, and Kang The Conqueror. I’ll get back to Kang in a minute. 

    First, let’s do a quick rundown of the mega-bad guys Earth’s Mightiest Heroes have faced so far. I’m not counting Loki for the same reason I don’t count Doctor Doom, Loki may have fought The Avengers, but he’s Thor’s problem first and foremost. Anyway like I said, we’ve already seen 2 out of 3 major Avengers baddies, so let’s start with Ultron. In the comics, Ultron is a fucking nightmare. He can never truly be killed, some piece of code always survives. Because he’s an artificial intelligence, every time he comes back, he’s a little more dangerous, a little smarter, and little more deadly. Tony Stark himself has said it on multiple times, it’s an inevitability: one day Ultron will simply win. Ultron may have lacked a lot of this menace on the big screen, but I still feel like there’s a lot to like in The MCU‘s portrayal of the character. James Spader put in an underrated performance as the deranged artificial intelligence, in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Some fans felt that the film and it’s titular villain were disappointing. However, I think Ultron is much more interesting than people give him credit for and I would love to see the character pop up in a future MCU film. 

   Then, of course, there’s Thanos, who made his first appearance in the post credits scene of the original Avengers film. After years of build up, Josh Brolin delivered an already iconic performance as The Mad Titan, Thanos. Cementing his spot not only as the best villain in The Marvel Cinematic Universe, but one of the best villains on the silver screen period. But even as Thanos was wowing audiences in the epic finale of Marvel’s Infinity Saga, some were wondering who would take his who would take his place as the next “Big Bad” of The MCU.

  Which brings us to “Big Bad” 3, Kang The Conqueror. Fans have been speculating for at least a couple of years now about which villain will become the next big threat in The MCU. With Ultron and Thanos out of the way, the smart money seemed to be on Kang The Conqueror. Now, it looks like those predictions are likely to come true. Recent reports from outlets like Deadline, indicate that Jonathan Majors currently starring as Atticus Freeman in the excellent new HBO series Lovecraft Country, has been cast in the role of Kang The Conqueror. These new reports also indicating that the character will be making his debut in Ant-Man 3. I haven’t seen Majors in many other roles besides Lovecraft Country, but he’s excellent in that series, so I really like this casting. I think there’s a lot of excellent potential here.

   So who is Kang The Conqueror, anyway? Born Nathaniel Richards, Kang is a human from several thousand years in the future, he’s even a descendent of Reed Richards. Kang’s defining characteristics are his mastery of time travel and his brilliant strategic mind. In the far future, Kang utilized his genius-level intellect and advanced weapons taken from across the timeline, to conquer Earth and expand his empire throughout the stars. Kang considers himself the ruler of time itself, with all of history under his domain. He’s gone by many names over the years, but he is the warlord or king of whatever age he finds himself in. He traveled back in time to ancient Egypt and was worshipped as a god because of his incredible technology. He spent years there, ruling as a pharaoh under the name Rama-Tut. During this part of his life, Kang crossed paths and swords with En Saba Nur aka Apocalypse, one of the greatest adversaries of the X-Men. With the X-Men making their debut in the MCU sooner or later, this opens up a lot of interesting storytelling possibilities that could come out of that connection. 

One younger version of Kang, is disgusted when he finds out about his future as a time-traveling despot, so he travels back in time to “The Age of Heroes”,  to join The Avengers in an attempt to avert this future. This Kang actually joins the Young Avengers under the name Iron Lad. Much later in his life, Kang takes up the alias, Immortus, serving as a quasi-guardian of the timeline. It’s easy to see the many possibilities for great storytelling at play with a character like Kang. Kang is so dangerous because he’s a brilliant strategist on par with Captain America or Nick Fury with technology at his fingertips that is thousands of years beyond what even brilliant minds like Reed Richards or Tony Stark have at their disposal.

Kang’s different incarnations through the timeline: Kang The Conqueror, Immortus, Iron Lad, Rama-Tut

Ant-Man 3 may seem like an odd choice to debut this character, but it was Pym technology that gave The Avengers access to time travel in the first place. Perhaps Kang doesn’t like other people messing around in, what he views to be, his domain? There are also rumors that Ant-Man 3 could also see the debut of The Fantastic Four in some way. Could this be a jumping off point for the future of the MCU in the same way a movie like Captain America: Civil War was? What do you guys think of Kang The Conqueror joining the MCU,? Do you like the casting? Let me know in the comments below!

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. 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!

-Paul

*UPDATED*NEW TRAILER & FEATURETTE!: Marvel’s Black Widow

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

A brand new Black Widow trailer dropped today. Not much to say about this one, I’ve liked everything that I’ve seen so far. I’m really rooting for this movie to be good because I really like the character of Natasha Romanoff and Scarlett Johansson is great in the role. My only concern is that the film could veer into overly familiar territory. We’ve already seen quite a bit of espionage, action movie material in The MCU with movies like Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Hopefully Black Widow finds a way to differentiate itself from similar films that have come before. Even though this new trailer is relatively short and has some material from the first teaser, we do get quite a bit of new footage as well. Most notably, we see Natasha facing off against the villain Taskmaster, making his MCU debut in this film. I’ve wanted to see Taskmaster pop-up in The MCU for a while now and I’m very excited to see more of him in action. Taskmaster has the ability to mimic the fighting skills and abilities of anyone he faces in combat, so he’s extremely difficult to fight. The longer you engage with him, the more of your own moves he can pick up and turn against you. Not to mention the skills he’s accumulated from other people he’s fought. Taskmaster’s copycat ability only work with normal, human opponents, he can’t duplicate any kind of meta-human superpowers. He’s an extremely dangerous villain and a great character for this type of movie. Anyway, check out the trailer below:

UPDATED: Marvel also released a short Black Widow featurette focused on the character’s evolution and her importance in The MCU. Scarlett Johansson and Kevin Fiege are featured reflecting on the journey from the character’s beginning in Iron Man 2 up to her first solo movie. Check it out:

Marvel’s Black Widow opens 5/01/2020

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!

-Paul

PODCAST: Best Movies Of The Decade!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

As we say goodbye to not just another year, but another decade, what better time to look back at the best movies of the last 10 years? That’s what co-host Ryan McDonald and myself set out to do on this episode of The World’s Best Podcast! As two of the great film experts of their our, Ryan and I will take you on a journey through the very best films of the 2010’s! We each scoured the movies released between 2010 and 2019. After extensive research, we came with separate lists, each covering about 15 of the best pieces of cinema in the 2010’s! This is a can’t miss episode! 

Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/21293384 Or subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes:

iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441#episodeGuid=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.spreaker.com%2Fepisode%2F21293384

Below, you’ll find the YouTube video from Mr Sunday Movies about Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Prt. 1, that we mention in the podcast. Watch it right here:

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, 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!

-Paul


VIDEO: Awesome Avengers Tribute!

Check out this cool tribute video honoring Earth’s Mightiest Hero

PODCAST: Spider-Man: Far From Home Review! (SPOILERS)

Hi Everyone,

Paul here…

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:

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/18456482

iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?i=1000443580959

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/s?eid=62350346&autoplay=1

Thanks for listening and enjoy!

-Paul

P.S. This poster right here…

… 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!

FIRST LOOK! Jessica Jones: The Final Season

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

Jessica Jones Season 3 is coming to Netflix very soon and today I have everything you need to get ready for Season 3! New trailer! Posters! Plot Synopsis! Season 3 photos! and more! But before we dive in, Jessica Jones Season 3 marks the end of the Marvel/Netflix partnership. This season will be the final piece of original Marvel content produced with Netflix. So I wanted to take a minuet to talk about the Marvel/Netflix shows as a whole, as well as their impact and legacy within The MCU.

I was so excited when this was first announced. Netflix and Marvel doing a set of TV series’ focusing on the street level heroes of The MCU was, and still is, a fantastic idea. To top it all off, the shows would feature Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist, some of my favorite Marvel characters of all time (Daredevil is #2on my list of Greatest Superheroes of All Time). All three Seasons of Daredevil and the First Season of Jessica Jones stand up with movies like The Dark Knight, Logan, and Captain America: Civil War as live action masterpieces of super hero story telling. Not all of the shows were as successful as DD and Jessica Jones. Luke Cage Season 1 started out fantastic, but lost it’s way towards the end of the season. I’m not certain about the critical and public perception on Luke Cage Season 2, but I thought it was a little better than Season One. Iron Fist was ripped apart when it premiered, as the weakest show in the franchise by far, but made a massive improvement in quality, acting, fight choreography, and storytelling in Season 2. Even The Punisher received 2 successful seasons coming off his memorable debut in Daredevil Season 2. Unfortunately, the team up miniseries The Defenders, was no small screen Avengers. The series largely disappointed critics and fans alike. Going into Jessica Jones Season 3 the enthusiasm for the franchise isn’t where it once was.

To be fair the quality of some of the shows could be inconsistent. None of the Marvel/Netflix series’ suffered from a decline in quality between seasons more than Jessica Jones. Daredevil stayed consistently excellent throughout its 3 season run, Luke Cage followed up it’s first season with an equally solid Season 2, and Iron Fist (the red headed step child of the Marvel/Netflix shows) massively improved between seasons 1 & 2, Jessica Jones was the only Marvel/Netflix show to show large drop in quality.

As we look at the overall place of the Marvel/Netflix shows in the greater context of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s a shame that Marvel/Netflix characters didn’t have a larger role in The MCU, especially considering how most of the characters were handled so well. Millions of fans wanted to see Daredevil, The Punisher and more of the street level characters show up in an Avengers movie or a film with a large cast of heroes, like Civil War. When asked by journalists, the creative people involved in the MCU films like the directors, writers, and actors, loved the possibility of the Marvel/Netflix characters showing up in one of their movies. However, the higher ups at Marvel weren’t as optimistic. Kevin Feige would say things like “We don’t have any plans for the characters at the moment. But anything’s possible.”. That’s basically a very nice way of saying, it ain’t gonna fucking happen. Fans were never even given a cameo or reference to the TV heroes on the big screen.

Kevin Feige the man behind The MCU (this guy could have a child slavery ring going and get into heaven on that alone.)

Unfortunately, this policy didn’t have anything to do with the quality of the shows, but behind the scenes drama between producers working for a Marvel Studios. This was mainly due to the fact that Marvel’s film and television division were run by different people, Kevin Feige and Jeph Loeb, respectively. The rumor was that the relationship between the two divisions wasn’t good. This just made the idea of The Defenders or The Punisher making appearances on the big screen much less likely. This is just speculation, but I’d bet Jeph Loeb was the asshole of this situation. Kevin Feige did and continues to do the impossible by building the MCU. He has a reputation for being down to earth and very measured. Jeph Loeb, on the other hand, is well-known for being egotistical, without having much respect for the fans. Loeb has also written a lot of comics at DC and Marvel over the last 30 years. A few of them are admittedly great, but for the most part he’s a complete hack of a writer, behind such atrocities as Marvel’s Ultimatum. Oh well, if only the stars had aligned properly… At the end of the day we’ve received some mind blowing movies and TV shows from Marvel. So, sometimes this stuff can sound like nitpicking, but I do hope Marvel figures out a way to work these characters into their films in the future. I just hope if they make a Daredevil movie, they keep Charlie Cox as Daredevil and Vincent D’Onofrio as The Kingpin because they are the PERFECT FUCKING DAREDEVIL AND KINGPIN! Let’s hope Jessica Jones rallies in Season 3 and ends the Marvel/Netflix run on a high note.

With all of that out of the way, back to Jessica Jones Season 3. Now, here’s what’s been released for the upcoming season…

First off, here’s the official synopsis of Jessica Jones Season 3 from Marvel and Netflix:

“When Jessica crosses paths with a highly intelligent psychopath, she and Trish (Rachael Taylor) must repair their fractured relationship and team up to take him down. But a devastating loss reveals their conflicting ideas of heroism and sets them on a collision course that will forever change them both.”

We have more photos from Season 3 below and you can watch the new full trailer right here. This trailer is the first indication of what type of story season three is it telling and what direction it may go in. I think it looks pretty damn interesting, take a look:

Based on the trailer, it looks like the series is attempting to return to that intense, thriller vibe that made season one so great. It’s also nice to a genuinely creepy villain, the trailer has a real “Seven” feel to it. Speaking of the villain, Gregory Salinger is certainly on the D-list, Marvel often does great things with relatively obscure villains. The Purple Man wasn’t on anyone’s favorite villain list until Season One and David Tennent’s performance made Killgrave into one of the all time great, on screen, comic book villains. In the comics, Gregory Salinger is also known as Foolkiller, a mantel worn by multiple men in the comics.

I think the show will probably take bits and pieces from each incarnation of the character in the comics for whatever works for the show. Basically he’s a psychopathic serial killer who think he’s some kind of vigilante (another parallel with the film Seven).

Foolkiller’s ridiculous costume from the comic books

It also looks like Trish is continuing on her path to becoming the vigilante Hellcat. Judging from the trailer and the plot synopsis, Jessica and Trish don’t exactly see eye to eye on the subject.

Trish doing some vigilante training
Trish’s Hellcat costume from the comic books

Here are some additional pictures from the upcoming season:

Regardless of how the season turns out, I’ll be watching all of Jessica Jones Season 3. When I finish the final episode,The Marvel/Netflix Era of The MCU will have ended. It’s bittersweet. On one hand I’m so happy these shows existed in the first place and on the other it’s sad to see them go. I just hope that Marvel finds a way to keep these incredible characters (especially Charlie Cox as Daredevil) as a vital part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Jessica Jones Season 3 premieres on 6/14/19

As always, thanks for reading!

-Paul

.

A Personal Tribute To Stan Lee (1922-2018)

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

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 With the sad passing of Stan Lee earlier this week, I wanted to offer personal reflection on this incredible storyteller and the impact he’s had on the lives of so many people. I felt the loss of Stan Lee like a kick in the gut. The characters he’s created have helped me through some of the hardest times in my life and inspired me to be a better man. Thank you for listening to my brief tribute to a creator that meant a great deal to me. My hope is that you’ll hear something that will resonate with you in some small way. Thanks again. Listen here or subscribe on Stitcher and iTunes:

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/16214692

iTunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?mt=2#episodeGuid=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.spreaker.com%2Fepisode%2F16214692

Thanks for listening!

-Paul

What I Want to See: The Women Of The MCU

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I finally saw Ant-Man and The Wasp yesterday, and I realized something, Hope Van Dyne is my favorite female character in the MCU. Realizing that made me reflect on the role of women in the MCU.

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It’s been pretty well discussed among critics and fans that for a while the MCU had a female problem.  Despite Black Widow having been introduced in the third (of 20 so far) MCU films, she took a long time to gain prominence in screen time, or plot relevance (I’m not sure we’ve even seen her have more screen time or relevance to the story, than anyone but Hawkeye).  Fans were asking for a Black Widow film, and Marvel Studios’ response was something along the lines of “when it’s right we’ll do it”. which at the time probably felt like a cop-out, but they were having the same complaints made about having a non-white main character and they were giving the same response. At the time, it really felt like the MCU had a diversity problem, but in fairness they tried to address the problem. They quickly began to introduce characters like Sam Wilson as the Falcon, Rhodey to be War Machine/Iron Patriot started to have a larger role and more screen time, they added Scarlett Witch to the team, for example. Many argued this was a half measure, they were all secondary characters and not a solution to the problem. They were definitely steps in the right direction and they filled in some gaps. It was very clear that women and non-white males needed to be the titles characters of their own movies.

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Black Widow’s 1st Appearance In The MCU: Iron Man 2

The MCU started using crossovers and the team films to be able to add new characters, layer their universe, and make it more three dimensional.  In Civil War, we were introduced to the MCU version of Spider-Man and finally Black Panther. Pretty quickly, it was clear that both would be getting their own films, but the MCU as a single cohesive piece was more important, so they tend not to rush into things and it payed off.

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Shuri stole the show in Black Panther.

Spider-Man: Homecoming was a big success, but Black Panther was a cultural phenomenon. Black Panther showed us that the MCU could handle a film with a non-white main character, a majority non-white cast, and come out with a critical and box office smash.  Black Panther not only stood on its own two feet, but it absolutely crushed the competition. The two most prominent white characters are played by Andy Serkis and Martin Freeman. Both are well established actors, but they’re certainly not mega-stars like Tom Cruise or Matt Damon.

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The second crucial thing Black Panther did, was almost double the MCU’s roster current of important, strong female characters.  Prior to this what did we have?  Scarlett Witch, is a decent character, but I personally don’t think she’s nearly as fleshed out as she could be.  Black Widow, tends to be used more in her relationship with which ever male hero needs her (i.e. in Winter Soldier with Cap, or in Age of Ultron with Bruce/Hulk).  Pepper?  I think we’re all honestly surprised when Pepper pops up for a cameo anymore, but really she isn’t much more fleshed out than Friday.  Jane Foster, might have been a good addition, except it seems that Natalie Portmant doesnt have much interest in playing Jane Foster anymore. So that’s not entirely the fault of the MCU.  The only two pre-Black Panther characters that seemed to be totally realized and fleshed out female characters were Gamora and Hope Van Dyne. In Ant-Man, Hope is the most capable character, the main character arc belongs to Scott Lang.

7841C1EC-837C-4572-95B8-B2F6AB8B6C5F         In Black Panther, we got three really great female characters in; Shuri (who is strong willed, intelligent, competitive, funny); Nakia who almost forces T’Challa to play the ‘fawning love-interest’ character due to her commitment to bettering Africa and the world; and Okoye who is one of the fiercest normal humans in the MCU.  Would you want to fight Okoye?  Do you think you could outsmart Shuri on literally anything?  Do you have more compassion for any group of people than Nakia does?  They’re all incredible, and while they have their ‘defining’ attributes, they’re not only those things.  Shuri is funny, and brave.  Nakia is in love with T’Challa, but refuses to let that be her guiding principal. Okoye, despite being a total bad-ass is also a loving girlfriend/wife (they don’t really say) who also stands up to her love when he is on the wrong side.

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Black Panther pushed us further toward the MCU ‘sweet spot. Now we have Ant-Man and The Wasp and it’s the first time in the MCU that a woman is one of the title characters.  The Wasp does not disappoint.  She’s the most bad-ass fighter in the film, she totally shows up Ant-Man and even the pseudo-villain Ghost. She’s a dedicated, intelligent woman trying to be reunited her mother.

16E15BD3-B591-433C-B06D-F73F450B36E324F37A45-717D-4396-97BA-B180D2B8C407Something Hope/Wasp and the women of Black Panther manage to do, is balance the characters between being what we want in super-heroes while not removing their femininity.  They also don’t play on any female stereotypes or tropes. We don’t see any of the female characters being played as ’emotionally erratic,’ while also not playing them off as unfeeling.  It’s a hard balance that Hollywood in general has difficulty was and the MCU has done pretty well avoiding those pitfalls. Which is really impressive considering that so far, all the directors in the MCU has been mad.

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So what do I want to see when it comes to females in the MCU? That leads us to Captain Marvel.  For Captain Marvel, we’re going to get our first female (solo) title character.  We’re also going to get our first female director (co-director, but to be fair, Anna Boden has directed all of her films with her husband Ryan Fleck).  I really want Captain Marvel to be great.  I want it to be as great as Black Panther and a game changer in the same way Black Panther was. I want Captain Marvel to be an amazing character with depth, but also a total bad-ass.  The DCEU had their only smash success to date with Wonder Woman because it’s a genuinely good film. I hope Captain Marvel is at least as good (perhaps with a better villain). Because Captain Marvel will not have the momentum of being the first like Wonder Woman was, but it does need to be successful.  One of the major takeaways from Black Panther and Wonder Woman was that people respond to diversity in their entertainment. However, if a movie like Captain Marvel fails, Hollywood probably won’t learn the right lesson from it.  They won’t say “oh Captain Marvel sucked, let’s try a Black Widow film instead!”, they’re more likely to say “oh maybe Wonder Woman was an anomaly and the audiences don’t really want female lead superhero movies.”  It’s bullshit logic, but as I’ve written before Hollywood almost always learns the wrong lessons.

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If Captain Marvel has some great action set pieces and the character is as well developed and well acted as Hope Van Dyne, Okoye, Nakia, Shuri, and Gamora, I think they’ll have a hit on their hands. If that happens Hollywood will do more to replicate it.  The MCU has done a great job creating this universe and I’m confident that Captain Marvel will not be an exception to that rule. I know I’m really excited.

D9297F0E-0085-4D54-9786-6A3A8D4C8636Because, honestly?  I love watching great women characters, especially when they kick ass.  That’s so much more interesting to me than the damsel in distress. I don’t know maybe I’m not ‘alpha’ enough, but something I find attractive (not just on a romantic/sexual level, but attractive in a friend, or in my wife, or when I’m proud of my sister ) is characters/people who have passion. It’s what we admire about male characters right?  You love that Tony Stark is pursuing (albeit awfully) the betterment of human kind through science, or that Captain America is passionate about the ideals of freedom and what America is supposed to be.  Why wouldn’t we look for the same in our female characters? I never understood that.

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So, what I want to see, is an excellent Captain Marvel movie, and if there is a love interest, I hope it’s not shoe-horned in.  After that, I hope that Captain Marvel opens us up to more female lead films in the MCU.  I’m patient, I know it won’t be overnight, but with a few more hits in Phase Four, and then they’ll be on a roll.

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Written by Michael Cole

Why Spider-Man Is NOT A Hero or (Why Spider-Man Only Works When He’s A Teenager)

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Spider-Man reached a historic milestone this week with the publication of Amazing Spider-Man #800. This was also the penultimate chapter of writer Dan Slott’s celebrated run on the series. For the finale, Slott pulled out all the stops and gave Peter Parker a truly monumental threat to face for his last story arc on the book. Slott’s story has been building to an epic confrontation with Norman Osborn, unquestionably Peter’s greatest adversary.

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I mean, the guy looks so fucking creepy, why cover it up with this shitty mask?

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Christ…. Just awful. He looks better without the stupid costume.

Though memorably played by Willem Dafoe in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man film series, I always hated Dafoe’s campy and cartoonish performance as one of comics’ best villains. But that’s an article for another day. In the above mentioned comic book story arc, Osborn has returned to once again torment Peter Parker and everyone around him, but this time not only has he regained his abilities that made him so dangerous as The Green Goblin, he’s also bonded with the alien symbiote worn by Carnage, creating the seemingly unstoppable: RED GOBLIN!

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This is an excellent character design by the artist on the book Stuart Immonen. It’s Norman Osborn juiced up on his Goblin Formula while bonded with the Carnage Symbiote. Bad. Fucking. News. Immune to normal symbiote weaknesses like fire and sound.

Osborn has never been so deadly and his new persona as THE RED GOBLIN  is a terrifying, unstoppable monster. To use a cliché: All the strengths of The Green Goblin and Carnage, but none of their weaknesses. It takes everything Peter has, including the aid of everyone from all the other Spider themed heroes like Miles Morales to semi-reformed villains Venom and Otto Octavius, to bring down The Red Goblin. Hell, even MJ and Aunt May get some licks in. Ultimately, Flash Thompson, Peter’s former high school bully, turned good friend, turns the tide of the battle. Now the military war vet/super hero Anti-Venom; Flash sacrifices himself to give Peter the chance to defeat Osborn.

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Flash Thompson as Anti-Venom. Giving Peter the edge he needs to win the fight.

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Tragically, Osborn has just enough left in him to deal a brutal killing blow to Flash.

With Osborn beaten, Peter takes a moment to appreciate his victory and take in the destruction caused by their fight. When J. Jonah Jameson walks out of the smoke with a gun, intending to finally put an end to the death and misery caused by Osborn. It was far too close this time, Peter didn’t even come close to beating Osborn on his own. It took unprecedented amounts of help and a whole lot of luck to just barely defeat this monster.

Jameson knows Norman will be back like he has so many times before to bring death and horror into their lives. Osborn has killed thousands of innocents, used a U.S. Intelligence agency as his personal kill squad when he became head of SHIELD, started a war with Asgard, and finally he was responsible for one of comic books’ most iconic and heartbreaking deaths: the love of Peter’s life Gwen Stacy.

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Well, he didn’t die. YOU didn’t kill him. He went on to kill hundreds more. How do you think Gwen would feel that you could have avenged her death, but didn’t because you’re a fucking hypocritical coward?

Not to mention the countless other innocent victims that have been caught in the crossfire between Osborn and Spider-Man over the years. He knows Peter can’t and wont do what needs to be done: kill Osborn. But this is a burden Jonah is willing to bear for the young man he once saw as a menace. So, doing what needs to be done, what he believes is right, he pulls the trigger to kill Norman Osborn….

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…. And Peter dives in front of the bullet to save Osborn. Taking a slug in the shoulder for the man who juts killed one of his best friends.    …..Wait…  …Um..  …Hold on a second… ….Ummmm… WHAT?!…. WHAT THE FUCK?!!!!….. WHY?!!!!!!

Because Peter Parker isn’t a hero, he’s a coward. With great power comes great responsibility. Flash Thompson understood that and gave his life for it. Jameson understood by the making the choice to take on the burden Peter didn’t have the strength to. When Peter took that bullet he spat on Flash’s sacrifice. Every death caused by Osborn from this moment on is Peter’s responsibility. Trust me, this is Comics. Osborn WILL be back to kill and maim again, in some form or another.

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Police and their use of firearms is a very touchy subject in this country right now, so I’m speaking hypothetically here. I understand that police using their firearms inappropriately is a serious problem in this county at the moment and I take that very seriously. But stay with me here for a second while I make a quick point, hypothetically in a world where police officers use their weapon in the line of duty only in the situations where it’s absolutely necessary or if  a psychopath is killing people, isn’t it their responsibility to save lives? Even if it means killing the perpetrator? Or what if an officer were defending themselves from an armed and dangerous individual? How is this different than the many times Norman Osborn has murdered people, put lives in danger, and terrorized people over and over again. If the police had encountered Osborn in almost ANY of the senario’s that Peter has, they would have killed him (if they could of course, Osborn is probably impossible for a normal human cop to take down). Peter should have put Osborn down for good a long time ago. If he really believed in dedicating his life to being a hero, he’d have realized that so many of the lives Osborn has taken are on him.

D2CE0547-9214-4780-AAED-2E8E0A4F2E36 I think this is a good time to point out that Peter Parker is a superpowered, masked vigilante whose identity isn’t known to the general public. You and I cant go around taking the law into our hands, but he can. In fact, he does it all the time. That’s what being Spider-Man is. He just doesnt have the guts to kill Osborn and because of his abilities and persona as Spider-Man, this is a crime he could very likely get away with, in a way normal people couldn’t.

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This isn’t the first time Peter has pulled something like this. A few years ago through a convoluted set of circumstances, Norman Osborn became head of SHILED and the Avengers instantly became outlaws. Hawkeye argues that Osborn is insane, homicidal, and cannot under any circumstances be allowed to keep control of SHIELD. Hawkeye thinks the only thing to do, the thing they need to do, have a responsibility to do is kill Osborn. The public doesn’t know that he’s a madman and potentially millions of lives are in danger with Osborn controlling the weapons at SHIELD’s disposal.

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At which point Spider-Man argues that HAWKEYE is the one who’s crazy for even suggesting they kill Osborn and tells the rest of the Avengers that Osborn will inevitably shoot himself in the foot and the public will see him for the monster he really is. Well, how many people will die while you just sit around waiting for this to happen, Peter? In a world where individuals can be classified as a “Person Of Mass Destruction” isn’t it dangerously negligent for Spider-Man to have this attitude? Isn’t this the very definition of “With great power, comes great responsibility”?

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Teenage Peter Parker from Ultimate Spider-Man

This is why I think Spider-Man only works as a character when he’s a teenager. I only read Amazing Spider-Man #800 because it was a milestone issue. The only Spider-Man book I currently read on a monthly basis is Spider-Man which stars the other younger Spider-Man, high schooler Miles Morales. When a teenager sees the world in such morally black and white terms… well, they’re teenagers. What the fuck do they know? I remember when I was 16 I thought good and evil were clear lines and I’d never see the world as a place where thing like “necessary evils” must exist. But of course as I grew up, I changed and so did my view of the world. It almost seems like Peter Parker never grew up. It seems as if he never matured past his childish and naive sense of morality. So when you read a Spider-Man book or see a Spider-Man movie, they tend to be at their best when Peter is a teenager. It’s no coincidence that my personal favorite Spider-Man stories ever told were part of Brian Michael Bendis’ Ultimate Spider-Man run, which chronicled Peter as he navigated the dangers of super villains and his New York City high school.

Tony Stark and Steve Rogers debate morality all the time, but they’ve never debated the morality of killing murderous, super-powered lunatics. Spider-Man is always talking about how “with great power, comes great responsibility”. But I say Peter Parker is a coward who doesn’t have the courage of his own convictions. Heroes do what needs to be done, they don’t hide behind some bullshit code. SPIDER-MAN IS NOT A HERO. SPIDER-MAN IS A COWARD. Let online onslaught of hate begin…

In all honesty, I’d love to hear your opinions on the points I bring up in this article. Please write you comments below or on our Facebook Page and maybe we’ll read your question or comment on an upcoming episode of The World’s Best Podcast.

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Fuck you, Peter. You deserve everything coming to you.

As always, thanks for reading!

-Paul

What I Want to See: Avengers Infinity War

 

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Hopefully, I don’t need to catch you up on the history of the MCU, and I can just dive into what I want to see from Infinity War.  This might be a pretty controversial take on it, and as always I’m very open to whatever they’re actually going to do, but this is what I would do if I were in charge.

MARVEL’S AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR Josh Brolin as Thanos

I want to see Thanos, and his team lay waste to much of the MCU heroes.  I don’t need to see him murder a bunch of them, (although I think we can agree there will likely be some major losses) but I want it to be a one-sided slaughter, I want the end of the second act to appear hopeless, like Han in carbonite, Luke handless level of hopeless.  I want the audience to honestly be borderline upset at how poorly our heroes are doing.

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Then as the third act begins, we see something falling towards the Earth, and it’s coming in too quick, and we see the heat trail as it burns through the atmosphere towards the ground, and it’s the Hulk who has been hurtling through space since whatever happens to the ship Thor and the Asgardians were on at the end of Ragnarok, and he slams into the ground, and is so pissed off from that ordeal, that he begins to pummel through each and every one of Thanos’ lackies and maybe they don’t win the fight (it seems as if this will not be the end since Avenger’s 4 comes out a year from now and originally was going to be Infinity War Part 2,) but he helps the team to at least hold off Thanos.

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I’ve got to admit, with a 2 year-old who’s favorite phrase has been “Hulk Smash” ever since he saw Ragnarok, I want Hulk to not be in the film for long, but then come in and fuck shit up.  I want to see Thanos over confident in his ability, and in his progress in destroying the Avengers and other assorted MCU heroes, and I want to have that moment everyone seems to have in the MCU where they think they know what’s going to happen, and then immediately realize they don’t have a clue.  Hulk is amazing at delivering that moment, and I want him to give that to Thanos.

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A big piece of speculation about the film has been that Thanos will not have all of the Infinity stones in this film, or at least not until the end of the film.  I’m not sure how they cover him succeeding in getting the stones, and still have any kind of victory for the Avengers.  It’s a plot point that seems—from a writing standpoint—to be insurmountable, but one that many seem to think is coming.  If it’s coming, I hope it’s the very last moment, and I would enjoy seeing the Hulk have that same “oh shit” moment of realization that I want for Thanos.  Then despite that, we see Hulk rampage forward, swing for a hit, and before it connects cut to black.

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I want to see the Hulk smash, like he’s never smashed before…

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