Tag Archives: MCU

Sluggish Reaction: Cloak and Dagger Season 1 and 2

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While Marvel are crushing the box office and planning to launch big-name shows on their upcoming Disney+ service it is well worth noting that there are some great shows that may be smaller but are also incredibly well made. They tell personal stories while still delivering great superhero moments.

One of those shows is Cloak and Dagger.

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The show stars Olivia Holt as Tandy Bowen and Aubrey Joseph as Tyrone Thompson. As children they both fell into water as a nearby Roxxon rig exploded. Years later when they reconnect their contact unlocks their powers giving Tandy the ability to created daggers of light and Tyrone the ability to teleport.

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But their powers go beyond that. When they connect to other people they can sense what is inside them. Tyrone can uncover people’s fears while Tandy finds their hopes. Their powers grow and take strange turns as they develop leading to some really trippy sequences as they go into the minds of others and their own.

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The show is set in New Orleans (a departure from the comics) and weaved the culture of the city, particularly Voodoo practices, into the essence of the story. This is particularly strong in the second season as the pair encounter the Loa and cross into another dimension. I found this a little heavy at times but it did make the show stand out from others and give it a unique flavour. It is a part of the MCU, with some small references to other materials – mostly the Defenders – but largely is on it’s own which is fine with me.

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The show is a little slow-moving compared to other Marvel projects but for me it was a refreshing change of pace and the impact comes from the development of the characters. The pacing is believable with Season 1 dealing with the pair understanding and learning to control their powers and Season 2 dealing with them understanding what to do with them while also trying to get on with their lives, neither of which are going particularly well with Ty trying to be a perfect student while fighting to bring down the cops who murdered his brother and Tandy dealing with a troubled home life and the urge to run away from it all.

It is a slow build up but when the action comes Cloak and Dagger delivers some spic fight scenes that are all the better for having waited for them. This clip with Ty using teleportation to take down a stronger thug is perhaps one of my best Marvel moments of all time!

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Season 2 ended on an open but positive note. I’m hopeful we will get another season but for now we know there will be a crossover episode with Runaways another teen Marvel series I really enjoyed watching and I can’t wait to see it!

If you’re a superhero fan and you get the chance to watch this – I’d definitely recommend it.

 

 

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Sluggish Reaction: Spider-Man Far From Home

I went to see the latest Spider-Man installment recently and it didn’t disappoint. With the announcement of Phase 4 recently I observed that I’ve got Marvel fatigue in the sense that I don’t really get hyped for the movies going in but I always enjoy them coming out and this was no exception.

To be clear it will be full on SPOILERS from here on, but I think I’m safe to comment by now!!

I’m a bit ambivalent about how they handled the ‘blip.’ I thought making it a comedy moment after a the heaviness of Endgame was good and I like how they confirmed that all the main cast got ‘blipped’ too and introduced age gaps which again worked for comedic effect and the tone of the film.

I would have liked a moment where the loss is dealt with, particularly with Peter and May – there wasn’t really time in Endgame to tell that personal story – I was hoping we’d get another Ant-Man film or series to see him deal with the loss of Cassie’s childhood but that isn’t going to happen so I hoped this movie might fill the gap a bit.

Also an explanation as to why May’s ok with him being Spider-Man now would have been appreciated by me.

I liked Mysterio a whole lot and the twist in his character. I knew he was a villain in comics but him presenting himself as an alternate-reality version sold me on his hero persona.

The name drop of Earth-616 was cool but I’m glad it wasn’t real in the end…too confusing!!

I really liked the illusions idea and bringing back the guy from the first Iron Man was a great touch. It was a bit far-fetched but I can suspend my disbelief a little more in a comic book movie!

I was a bit confused by how he died. It felt a bit quick and jarring, especially tying in to the post-credits scene.

I liked the Elementals plotline, even if it did turn out to be fake. I thought it was great to see Peter put up against threats he couldn’t handle and see him use his powers to save people instead and use his brains to plan a strategy.

Overall I thought the film did a great job. There were some great comedy moments along with an emotional arc for Peter dealing with the loss of a mentor and having big shoes to fill, and ultimately proving to himself that he was the right man for the job.

Ok and let’s talk about those post-credits scenes which may be the biggest yet in terms of impact. First we have the return of JK Simmonds as Jonah Jameson outing Peter then the revelation that Nick Fury was a Skrull the entire time (and possibly longer?).

My guess is this will tie into the recently announced Thor: Love and Thunder. In the comics Fury was hidden on the moon with an LMD replacing him on Earth, events that followed led to Jane Foster taking the mantle of Thor.

And I’m done. Another fun ride from Marvel wrapping up Phase 3 nicely.

Sluggish Reaction: Comic Con 2019

So San Diego Comic Con has come again. I’ve been loosely following the action and thought I’d share my thoughts on some of the panels and reveals.

The first news I picked up was the Star Wars publishing panel which revealed The Rise of Kylo Ren detailing Ben Solo’s fall and clearly featuring the Knights of Ren. It’s written by Charles Soule who’s work on the Darth Vader run has consistently received high praise.

Allegiance was also announced as a preview to the upcoming film. I’m most intrigued by the Mon Calamari character next to Rose. The previously announced Resistance Reborn is set to feature the Resistance recruiting the Mon Calamari so this could connect to that. My hope is that this character is Ackbar’s nephew and takes up his mantle. Also Rey fighting a monster looks awesome!!

Unsurprisingly Marvel came out swinging with this Timeline. It’s interesting to see them drop to two movies a year from the three we’re used to and to see TV ranked alongside big screen releases.

Naturally most of the attention went to Natalie Portman taking the role of Thor. It’s hard to nail down what I’m most excited about – I don’t really get hyped for Marvel films any more – I just know I’ll enjoy them when I see them!! If I had to pick I’d say Dr Strange in the Multiverse of Madness because I love the ’60s comic sound of the title.

Also the mention of Fantastic Four, Blade and ‘mutants’ shows that Marvel will be alive and kicking for some time to come.

I hate the whole talk of ‘winning’ Comic Con but the standout for me was the trailer for Picard. I’m not a Trekkie but watching TNG every evening is very memorable for me so seeing a new show with classic elements got me really excited!!

Ok that’s all I’ve got – no doubt I’ve missed something important out. Let me know in the comments!

Species of the week: Astran

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Designation: Sentient

Homeworld: Astra

Notable members: Crixon

Fandom: Marvel [MCU]

Appearances: Agents of SHIELD

 

Astrans were a powerful and widespread species with significant influence. They were humanoid with green skin and metallic bone protrusions that varied from member to member. They were politically in league with the Kree and four other races in an alliance called the Confederacy. The confederacy leader Crixon promised Earth protection from Thanos in exchange for Gravitonium and Inhuman warriors they could control but they never intended to keep their end of the bargain. Astrans were a common sight across the galaxy with a number present on the planet Kitson.

I’ve been enjoying the latest season of SHIELD, which seems to be mixing the fun Earth-bound adventure vibe of earlier runs with the darker space adventure of season 5. I do like the mix of aliens they are bringing in on their TV budget with just enough to sell the alien worlds mixed in with a number of races that look just like humans!!

Species of the week: Outriders

Designation: Non-sentient

Homeworld: Unknown

Fandom: Marvel [MCU]

Appearances: Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame

The Outriders are a mindless race who serve and obey Thanos and his black order. They don’t use weaponry but their four arms, sharp teeth and superhuman strength combined with their large numbers make them a formidable threat. Thanos used them to overwhelm the defenses of the planets he wished to conquer, including Earth.

I’m going to avoid Endgame spoilers so I won’t say much other than I thought this race was well used as a threat that could challenge the Avengers even if purely by numbers. Plus they look great!! I don’t know much about the comics but they seem like a pretty faithful interpretation of this image I saw.

Sluggish Reaction: Avengers Endgame trailer

 

I really liked this trailer. It showed very little, but just enough to get me seriously hyped for this film!!

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Recaps of the heroes and their journeys was a smart play but it did remind us that this is the journey we’ve been building to since 2008

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I didn’t recognize the voiceover during Cap’s segment, is this a new character or am I missing something?Avengers 3

This isn’t going to end well!! I’m imagining Barton turning around to pick something up and then finding his daughter gone. Interesting to see her training with her Dad as I know Clint’s daughter takes up the mantle of Hawkeye in the comics,Avengers 4

I liked the black and white sequence reminding us of what has been lost.Avengers 5

Some pretty cool action sequences not giving much away. This one of Nebula stood out to me, I’m wondering if she’d the one to end her father’s life and avenge her sister.Avengers 6

Aaaaand here comes the money shot!!! These new white suits took me back to being a teenager geeking out about comics. It’s amazing the impact a change of outfit can have and they just look so slick. I’m wondering if time travel will be involved which requires specialised armour? Oh and Tony’s back, guess he gets off the spaceship then!Avengers 7

I liked this little scene between Thor and Captain Marvel. I don’t recognize the woman on the left. I’m wondering if she’s the same person who did the earlier voiceover.

Honestly I didn’t need a trailer but I’m really excited to conclude this story now!!

Sluggish Reaction: Avengers Endgame trailer

This has been seen and over-analysed by millions so I’m going to keep my thoughts brief.

Yeah Tony’s stranded in space – but we’ve recently seen a trailer for a Superhero who can fly around in space, so I’m just gonna join up those dots and assume him (and presumably Nebula) will be fine!

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At first I thought this was a giant monument to Thanos, but I’ve read that in the comics it’s a scarecrow made from his armour as he lives a life of peace. good luck with that Thanos!!

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Hawkeye’s return was what got me the most excited, even in his new identity as Ronin. He obviously looks like he’s in a dark place post-finger snap but I can’t wait to see him reunited with the gang.

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Ant-Man’s return was your typical Marvel tension-relief but I do wish they’d kept him out of it and kept the suspense after the end-credits scene of Ant Man and the Wasp. Especially as they showed him on the presumed missing screen – way to spoil your own trailer Marvel!!!

Otherwise they’ve done a good job of keeping the plan secret and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds!!

Captain Marvel Trailer: Sluggish Reaction

It feels like forever since we’ve had a decent Marvel trailer. This film is a bit of a mystery and with out of nowhere hits like Guardians of the Galaxy it’s easy to lapse into the attitude of “I have no idea what’s going on…but it’s Marvel so I’ll probably enjoy it!”

With that said I do find the trailers don’t grip me like they used to. Perhaps it’s saturation after nearly 20 comic book films or acceptance of the fact that I will always be outclassed as a Marvel nerd and Marvel now has to take second place to a growing Star Wars franchise but I find I’m no longer obsessively combing through these trailers like I used to.

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We get extended footage of Brie Larsen punching an old woman in the face, this time revealing her true nature as a Skrull. I like the fact that the Skrulls are called out early on in the trailer and we get a look at Ben Mendelssohn’s character briefly both in disguise (as himself!) and as a Skrull.

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I think the potential for a shapeshifter-invasion plot is really fun, and I know there have been some epic storylines in the comics telling the story of the Kree-Skrull war. The space battle stuff looks insane!

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Two things I’m not so keen on: Firstly her powers. I hope we get a good explanation for her powers (and yes, I’m aware there probably is a veyr good one in the comics!). It just seems very similar to the Inhumans but it’s clear that none of them are on the same playing field as her in terms of power. Also, and again there may be an explanation for this, but do the Kree ever take this power for themselves or just give it to humans?!

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Secondly them helmet. Yes I know it’s from the comics and I can see the way they’ve filmed it to be epic, but honestly the whole thing just looks dorky to me. I think she looks far more epic without it and I hope the times she wears it in space are kept to a minimum.

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OK enough negativity. I thought the interaction between her and Fury was great. I like the younger Fury looking in admiration to her. Even with the Avengers he always holds himself on an equal or superior footing despite his lack of powers but with her there’s a clear respect. I also loved this scene and the very 90s looking Quinjet!

So yeah, it’s a Marvel movie and I have no doubt I’ll enjoy it to the full. While this is essentially a stepping stone to Avengers I think what we’ve seen shows that this character deserves an origin story before coming to help dethrone Thanos later next year.

Well the rumour mill says the Avengers trailer is out soon, so look out for a sluggish reaction to that too!

Watch “Black Panther Teaser Trailer [HD]” on YouTube

So the guy with the superpower of interrupting conversations that could otherwise be resolved without violence gets his own movie

Joking aside I do like the idea of a hero who’s also a king and an inexperienced one at that. 

Wakanda looks cool but I gave to admit I struggled to follow what is actually going on in the trailer – but hey it’s an MCU film so I’m watching it!!!