Wednesday, July 31, 2019

What We Know About the MCU Post-SDCC (TV Shows)

Last week I checked in with updates on the MCU news Post-San Diego Comic Con for the movies. We also got a chunk of news/release dates for some upcoming Disney+ MCU shows. With the release of Jessica Jones Season 3, the Marvel Netflix shows have officially ended, leaving us now with Disney+, Hulu, and (for one more year) ABC as our MCU TV Show distributors. So let's see where we're at.

Runaways Season 3 (December 13, 2019 on Hulu)
Last we saw the Runaways, they were all split up. So were the parents. Alex, Nico, Molly, and Leslie were last seen at the Hostel. Karolina, Chase, and Janet were captive by the Magistrate's family (currently possessing Victor, Stacey, and Tina). Gert is captive by her father Dale. We haven't really heard much about where we'll be taken during Season 3, but I think it's pretty safe to assume that we'll pick up right after Season 2. That means the whole of the series will take plenty of time before the Snap. The only thing we really know that's coming up is the introduction of Morgan le Fay, a sorceress from the Dark Realm. She's fought the Avengers in the comics, but it'll be interesting see how she approaches "Runaways".

Ghost Rider (2020 on Hulu)
We don't know much about "Ghost Rider" yet except that we have the same Robbie Reyes coming back to star in this Hulu series. It'll be interesting to see where they take this show. We last saw Robbie/Ghost Rider at the defeat of AIDA in 2017. So presumably at least 3 years will have passed. However, which timeline will he be in? Agents of SHIELD has deviated from the MCU Timeline, so will he be in that timeline or will this series be before/during/after the Snap? More details to come, I hope.

Helstrom (2020 on Hulu)
This series was announced around the same time as Ghost Rider. However, we don't know much yet. Daimon and Ana Helstrom will appear. They're the children of a mysteriosu serial killer. Their father in the comics was Satan, so it'll be interesting how they swing that in the live action. Being half-demon hybrids (according to the comics), I'm curious what'll happen. Like with "Ghost Rider" we'll have to see what happens with "Helstrom".

Agents of SHIELD Season 7 (Summer 2020 on ABC/Hulu)
Since Season 6 has yet to complete, it's unknown what's going to happen with Season 7. However, we know that they're done filming. Because of how they've filmed it, I've wondered if it's going to be more like two halves of a season, instead of two separate seasons. Presumably the main cast of Season 6 will all return. But with the last couple episodes still yet to aire, we could stil have some fatalities for all we know. I think at this point it's pretty safe to say that we won't have any MCU crossovers in the last season.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (Fall 2020 on Disney+)
This six-episode series will be the first of the Marvel series on Disney+. It seems like these series will play more into the movies than previous TV series have, so it'll be interesting to see how that happens. Currently we know that Sam/Falcon/New Cap and Bucky/Winter Soldier are returning as obvious series regulars. Helmut Zemo (last seen in custody in "Civil War") seems to be returning as the show's villain. We also have it confirmed that Sharon Carter will return (last seen in "Civil War"). Since this show is reportedly going to take place after "Endgame" we can expect to see Sam dealing with the Captain America mantle being transferred on to him and how that impacts him.

WandaVision (Spring 2021 on Disney+)
We don't know much of what's going on yet with WandaVision. I've seen differing reports on whether it'll take place before or after Infinity War. If current reports are correct and this takes place after Endgame we must be in for some sort of craziness. With Vision dead and Wanda resurrected in the Blip, who knows what'll happen. In the comics, Scarlet Witch used her powers to "create" children for her and Vision. So is that what she's going to do for Vision? Is she going to "resurrect" him using her powers? It could be an interesting take on the grieving process for Wanda. The only other thing we know is that Monica Rambeau, last seen as a child in Captain Marvel will appear. Since they've recasted her it would make sense that she'll appear primarily in the present day. Also, since Scarlet Witch is set to appear in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, this series (or at least season one) will act as a prequel of sorts to the movie.

Loki (Spring 2021 on Disney+)
Not much is known yet about the Loki series. In the main timeline, Loki is dead, as of 2018. However, this series will reportedly take place in an alternate timeline, after Loki stole the Tesseract during the Time Heist of "Endgame". This was the villainous version of Loki though, instead of the anti-hero from "Ragnarok" and "Infinity War". So that leaves me with a lot of questions about how the series will proceed.

What If...? (Summer 2021)
The "What If" comics are ones I'd never heard of before. Basically, as the name implies, it follows the idea of "what if" certain events had unfolded in the Marvel universe. As the other Disney+ series will tie into the movies, I'm curious how they'll make this one relevant. Will more time travel be involved? Or will it be a stand-alone series that doesn't make an impact on the others and is just for fun? Regardless, we have confirmation that many MCU characters (25 that were listed on the MCU wiki) will return. The ones I found most interesting were Thanos, Dum Dum Dugan, Jane Foster, and the Grandmaster.

Hawkeye (Fall 2021)
Last we saw Clint Barton/Hawkeye, he was back on the family ranch. Who knows where we'll head next with this show, but it's been reported that this series will take place after "Endgame". I heard rumors that it'll explore Clint's time during the Blip, acting as Ronin, but I guess we'll see. We do have reports of Kate Bishop being introduced. In the comics, she worked alongside Clint, both using the name Hawkeye. So we'll see.

Cloak & Dagger Season 3 (??? on Freeform/Hulu)
We haven't had confirmation that "Cloak & Dagger" will be back, but we also haven't heard word that it's been cancelled. Last we saw, Tandy/Dagger and Tyrone/Cloak were on a bus, presumably heading out of New Orleans. This could be our one continuation of the Netflix show, as we've seen Newspaper clippings of Luke Cage and Brigid alluded to previously working with Misty Knight in New York. But I guess this is another one that we'll just have to wait for more news.

I think I caught all the pending MCU shows. Which one are you looking forward to the most? I'm really curious how the Disney+ series will pan out. Will they make it supplemental to the movies or will they make me watch them to understand what's going on in the movies? That would bug me. But I guess I don't have to decide for another year anyway.

Friday, July 26, 2019

What We Know About the MCU Post-SDCC (Movies)

Last week at San Diego Comic Con we learned a lot of information about what will become Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including movies and TV shows. Here's what we know about the movies of Phase 4 so far (I'll cover shows another day).

Black Widow (May 1, 2020)
We've known for a while now that were getting a Black Widow solo film. After her death in "Endgame" it became obvious that it'd be a prequel. I had assumed it would take place in full before "Iron Man 2", but it's reported (I couldn't find a good source for it) that it'll take place between "Civil War" and "Infinity War". Perhaps this'll show us how she teamed up with Falcon and Cap? I'm skeptical of that because Chris Evans seems to be done with the movies, but you never know if a cameo could happen.

As far as potential plot, we've had teases of maybe getting backstory for Natasha. There was mention of Budapest and I wouldn't be surprised if we see more of the Red Room (seen previously in "Agent Carter" and in Black Widow's "Age of Ultron" nightmare). The potential problem is that anything with her story would be past tense. We do know that the Taskmaster has been teased. I don't know much about the Taskmaster (just what I researched for this post), but he has the power of photographic reflexes, matching fighting patterns. So will he have a legit power in the movie or will he just be a hugely skill super spy?

Thoughts: I'm really skeptical of this movie for one reason. Urgency. We know Natasha won't die until 2023, so (even if the movie gets intense) we don't have to fear for Black Widow's life. So why should I care about this movie? Is the Taskmaster going to come back in a later movie/series? Or will one of Black Widow's friends become relevant later on? It kind of reminds me of the Nikki/Paulo episode of LOST. Just filler. I hope I'm proven wrong.

The Eternals (November 6, 2020)
We don't know much about the Eternals yet, especially the movie versions. The comics put them as a version of super-powered humans created by the Celestials. We've had a taste of the Celestials in "Guardians of the Galaxy" with Ego and Star-Lord (who's half-Celestial), but we don't know much about them yet. From the little I've read so far, it sounds almost like the Eternals are the Celestials' version of the Kree's inhumans. I guess I'll have to wait and see what happens here.

Thoughts: Because I know so little about the Eternals, it's hard to give an opinion. Other than a series of character names (which mean nothing to me since I haven't read the comics). I don't feel like we've been sent into the dark like this since Guardians of the Galaxy introduced a talking raccoon.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (February 12, 2021)
I don't know much about Shang-Chi yet, but we've seen the Ten Rings around before. They were featured prominently in "Iron Man" when they kidnapped Tony Stark (the first MCU villain, if you think about it). They also had a small role in "Ant-Man" when one of their representatives tried to get the copy-cat Pym Particles. We've also heard that we'll see the real Mandarin. A version of the Mandarin appeared in "Iron Man 3" and it upset fans, but in one of their "Marvel One-Shots" it was revealed he was a fake and that the Ten Rings were upset about it.

As far as Shang-Chi himself, I don't know much. Based on the comics, he's a kung-fu master who has been a member of the Avengers at certain times. He's beaten super-powered enemies before even though he's not powered himself. I guess we'll have to see how that plays out on screen.

Thoughts: Like "The Eternals", I'm going in blind, but this time it's more like with "Doctor Strange". I wonder if there'll be an overlap in mythology with "Iron Fist", another MCU martial artist. It would be an interesting way to re-use Iron Fist, since his Netflix show wasn't popular.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
We had a sequel confirmed a while back for "Doctor Strange". It was hinted back then that Mordo would be coming back as a villain, stealing others' magic (per credit scene). In addition to Mordo, we have confirmation of Doctor Strange (duh), Wong, Dr. Christine Palmer, and (the surprise) Scarlet Witch. Especially since Phase 4 will overlap with TV series more, it'll be interesting to see how WandaVision plays into this movie.

Thoughts: I'm excited to see this one. I was very impressed by "Doctor Strange" and how he appeared in "Infinity War" and "Endgame". I know it wasn't the most popular MCU movie, but I really liked it. And especially since the movie will include even more crossover of MCU characters, I'm excited for it.

Thor: Love and Thunder
I was surprised to hear that a fourth Thor movie was coming out. With fat Thor off with the Guardians and Valkyrie back on Earth, it's unclear how this movie will play out. Will we see Star-Lord and Rocket again? Or will Thor have abandoned them before the movie begins. In addition to Thor and Valkyrie returning, we were surprised to have it revealed that Jane Foster is coming back and teased to replace Thor. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out. Last we'd heard, Jane and Thor had broken up and Mjolnir was destroyed. It was through Mjolnir that Jane got her Thor powers in the comics, so I wonder how it'll happen this time.

Thoughts: I'm skeptical of this, just because there have been three Thor movies already. I kind of feel like it's time to move on to something new. Then again, maybe having Natalie Portman take over as Thor will accomplish that. I'll definitely give it a chance, but we'll see what happens.

Anything I missed from San Diego Comic Con? Which movie are you looking forward to the most?

Monday, July 22, 2019

7 Nostalgic Reasons to Become Addicted to the New DuckTales

(Guest Post by Jared)

In 2016 when Disney announced they were rebooting the Ducktales cartoon we loved from the 80s it sparked quite a controversy. Did Huey, Dewey, Louie, Donald and their Uncle Scrooge need to a reboot? Why play with characters that were so beloved and potentially stain the originals? Well as hesitant as this writer was, I am pleased to say it has not disappointed, and with season two ending soon and a new teaser poster for season three recently released at SDCC I can only say I am so excited with these beloved characters, and am so excited to watch where they go next!

1. Darkwing Duck
It’s been amazing that this new DuckTales has been able to write all these characters in a combining way that is both nostalgic and fresh. In the season two episode “The Duck Knight Returns” we catch up with the washed up actor who played Darkwing Duck in Launchpad’s favorite childhood show. They learn of a gritty Darkwing movie being developed by Scrooge’s film studio. As the story progresses we meet Drake Mallard the young actor now wearing the mask for this film, and a huge fan of the original himself. This episode is one of the best that DuckTales has done, in both nostalgia fan service as well as creating a new level of realism and depth to a lovable new version.

2. The Three Caballeros 
Early in season two we are introduced to two of Donald Duck’s oldest friends Jose and Panchito, together they used to be known as The Three Caballeros. Together the three come together with their music and pay homage to the classic old Disney film. This trio appears again in the season three poster, teasing their return once again.

3. Gummi Bears
Late in season one we got a flashback episode explaining how Scrooge and Ms. Beasley met, and they take us on an adventure to discover the Great Book of Castle Dunwyn; which you’ll remember from the 90s Gummi Bears cartoon. The book gives us the secret recipe where Scrooge experiments with Gummi Berryjuice. We even get a shot of our original Gummi Bears in the ancient parchment. The vial at the bottom-left of the season three poster show the potion in a beaker, eluding that we’re no done with the Gummi Bear storyline!

4. TaleSpin!
Also in the first season we are introduced to the infamous air pirate Don Karnage, who you’ll remember as one of the iconic villains from the original TaleSpin. While we haven’t seen any of our main characters return from the beloved 90s cartoon, Baloo, Kit, Rebecca or Molly they are teased to appear in the season three poster. Karnage also appeared in the teaser for the final five episodes of DuckTales season two which will bring all our villains together to take on Scrooge and his family.

5. Magica DeSpell
Magica can easily be remembered as one of the most iconic villains from the original DuckTales run, and she was given an amazing return during the premiere season of our new DuckTales. Unlike the original this series is much more serialized with much larger storytelling and we had months and months of buildup before we watched her finally make her move in the season one finale. Magica also appears in the final trailer for the final season two episodes as one of the villains who brings all of Scrooge’s foes together.

6. Gizmoduck
One of the most iconic heroes from both the original DuckTales and Darkwing Duck cartoons; it was no surprise that Gizmoduck made a quick return to Duckberg and quickly meshed in with Scrooge’s family. This version of Gizmoduck is much like what you’ll remember from the original. He hides his identity and he’s a clumsy but ambitious inventor. What makes this new version so much fun is his relationship with Huey, Dewey and Louie, and his hopes in becoming a famous superhero.

7. Della Duck
Finally, the best reason to watch the new DuckTales is the decades long mystery of what happened to Huey, Dewey and Louie’s mother and why does their Uncle Donald have custody?

One of the longest ongoing storylines is the missing member of the Duck family, it’s why Scrooge has never met Huey, Dewey or Louie when the show begins, and Donald has held a grudge against Scrooge for Della’s disappearance. It’s a long arcing story with slow answers and it pays off, the mystery is well worth the wait! Long story arcs and character development is where this new version of our Ducks succeeds, something they couldn’t have easily done in the late 80s.

I hope some of you will begin this wonderful new show and enjoy it as much as I have! With season two finishing up in an Infinity War type epic we’ll see all the villains from our past two seasons combine efforts to take down Scrooge and his family, and our heroes come together to stop them.

Beyond season two the season three teaser poster promises to introduce even more characters into our expanded universe! Darkwing Duck’s adopted daughter Gosalyn Mallard as well as the Rescue Rangers, TaleSpin and two surprising additions in Goofy and Daisy Duck. The DuckTales Universe is constantly expanding and this writer is hoping for a spinoff series centering on a few of these in an Arrowverse type trajectory, but only time will tell!

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Spoiler-Free Spider-Man Far From Home Review

I wasn't sure what to expect in "Spider-Man Far From Home" after seeing "Avengers Endgame". Maybe that's why I enjoyed it so much. Here are some initial thoughts after seeing it this weekend. As I try to do, I'll avoid spoilers. However, anything that was seen in the trailers is fair game.

First of all, I wasn't sure what to expect with this movie taking place after "Endgame". The trailers made it seem like everything was back to normal, aside from Iron Man being gone. I've had numerous conversations in the past two months about how everyday life would be chaotic and jumbled after the Decimation was reversed by the Hulk. However, I liked that they addressed the aftermath without dwelling on it. I definitely wouldn't want them to take a whole movie or TV series to explain how the average person got back to real life after blipping back into life.

Ever since "Spider-Man: Homecoming" and meeting Zendaya's MJ, I've felt a little weird about it. Maybe I'm just too used to Mary Jane Watson from the Tobey McGuire Spider-Man movies, but I was thrown by this new kind of MJ. The biggest struggle I had was that I didn't particularly enjoy Peter and MJ's chemistry. Maybe it's because they're teenagers and teenagers are awkward anyway. Maybe it's because it's just a new MJ. Maybe it's just because it's new. Regardless, we're likely to see them again (at least once more), so I guess we'll see what happens next.

With Mysterio being introduced in the trailers, I had my theories about what was going to happen. Was he really going to be good? Was he going to be a villain (as I'd seen in the cartoons growing up)? Even with all of my theories and ideas, I was still surprised. I'm not sure what exactly I was expecting, but I guess maybe that's why it worked. It wouldn't have been so fun if I had been 100% correct about Mysterio.

Overall, I thought the movie (teenage/high school chemistry aside) was a wonderful transition out of Phase 3 and into Phase 4. The post-Endgame action provided a smooth segway out of "Endgame" and the big battle for Earth and into the next generation of Marvel movies. The cool thing is seeing what comes next. No release dates have been confirmed, but we know we're getting (at least) a Black Widow prequel (Budapest with Hawkeye perhaps?), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 (maybe searching for Gamora?), Doctor Strange 2 (with Mordo's return hopefully), and Black Panther 2 (no clues there yet). Other than those spin-offs, we don't realy know what's happening next. We haven't been this MCU-blind in years. It's kind of exciting!