• Analyzing the Marvel Cinematic Universe Villains: Green Goblin (Spider-Man)

    Green Goblin Spider-Man (2002) There wouldn’t be an MCU without the one-two punch of X-Men and Spider-Man (2002). Green Goblin may not be the best villain. Heck, he may not be the best in the Spider-Man universe. But you remember him. Characteristics and Powers: Green Goblin makes a memorable villain because of an over-the-top performance by Willem Dafoe. But that’s what makes him so scary, because he can go from calm/rational to unhinged in a second. And you believe you are under threat because you don’t know what he’s going to do. Unfortunately, it’s not the greatest costume or powers. I don’t know about his comic book origins, but in…

  • Analyzing the Marvel Cinematic Universe Villains: Magento (X-Men)

    MAGNETO X-Men (2000) I’m starting with this movie because this is the real inception point for the MCU. If not for this movie and its compatriot Spider-Man (coming up next!) there would be no Tony Stark or Avengers. So I think it’s important to examine the precursors and their staying power with audiences. I don’t think it was a great movie — the problem with the X-Men is that it’s character soup — but after the chintzy animated series, it was a gourmet meal. Characteristics and Powers: Can bend and shape metal to his will. This includes stopping bullets in midair and some electromagnetism. And since just about everything in…

  • Analyzing the Marvel Cinematic Universe Villains

    Time for a new feature on my blog. You’ve read my Analyzing the Disney Villains series. Now get ready for the Marvel Cinematic Universe villains. I think villain analysis is important because one of the keys to a really resounding story is the obstacles that the hero has to go through. The harder the obstacles, the harder the hero has to work, and the more glorious their triumph is. We wouldn’t remember Luke Skywalker as anything but another sandy-haired all-loving hero if not for Darth Vader. We wouldn’t remember wide-eyed innocent Dorothy if not for the cackling Wicked Witch of the West. We wouldn’t remember Batman’s noble pursuit of justice…

  • ant-man quantumania poster

    Diagnosing the Problem with Ant-Man: Quantumania

    “Explaining humor is a lot like dissecting a frog. You learn a lot in the process, but in the end you kill it.” Mark Twain In my never-ending quest to dissect stories to the point where they resemble so much fleshy bits on a slab (if this is Marvel, would this be Throg?), I just saw Ant-Man: Quantumania, the first of Marvel’s Phase Five, where we stop dealing with the consequences of Infinity War/Endgame and start getting real with the multiverse and Kang the Conqueror. Quantumania was universally panned for being “just another Marvel movie.” Another notch in the interminably average fare Disney/Marvel has been churning out since Avengers: Endgame.…

  • ms. marvel show to comic book comparison

    Ms. Marvel Has Stretchy Powers

    Ms. Marvel is the first MCU product where I really knew the comic character before the cinematic character. I liked her in the comics. I liked her in the The Avengers video game. Personally, I think she’s the new Spider-Man. She’s quippy, she’s a teenager, she has a family that loves her though it’s a little broken, she’s science-minded, she has a big case of hero worship, a secret identity, her powers aren’t naturally occurring, and she has a public that’s split on whether she’s a hero or a menace. Her power does not come from an ancient bangle and it’s not because she’s a mutant. And most importantly, she…

  • eternals marvel heroes

    Eternals: The Follow-Up

    Since I talked about Eternals when the trailer first came out, I figured I’d circle back now that I’ve seen the movie. I’ve got to admit, it was better than I expected, but it’s not without faults. Does it deserve to be the lowest-rated Marvel movie? (48% on Rotten Tomatoes) It should live in that pool, but lowest doesn’t mean worst. The Good I was surprised at how good the storytelling was for an ensemble cast. I knew everyone’s names and identities and personalities. I know it’s hard to tell a story with more than one main character. That’s why so few stories do it. X-Men was able to do…

  • eternals marvel heroes

    What of the Eternals Trailer?

    So The Eternals trailer came out a day or two ago. I’ve never seen anything about Eternals from the comics or Legendary or video games or anything else. I’m coming into this trailer fresh and without bias. And I’m telling you, this movie’s going to be a hard sell for me. The trailer is pretty vague, but from what I gather, some aliens come to primitive Earth (proto-Sumeria, I’m thinking?) in a big-ass triangle ship. They settle down and integrate into society, controlling human development over the centuries (I guess they’re immortal… oh, that’s why they’re called Eternals, I get it now). Overall, the concept sounds similar to Thor —…

  • marvel legendary game box cover

    Marvel: Legendary – WandaVision

    I like to play Marvel: Legendary. I’ve got a bunch of expansion sets, and I thought I’d come up with one for WandaVision. Mastermind: Agatha HarknessAlways Leads: Bystanders. Each bystander has ATK 4 + the number of Scheme TwistsMaster Strike: Agatha’s runes prevent you from using any rules text. You can only use the printed attack or recruit from your hand this turn.Tactic 1: Cast Out Interfering Heroes: Each other player reveals their hand and discards a non-grey Hero.Tactic 2: Cast Out Interfering Humans: Each other player reveals their hand and discards a SHIELD card.Tactic 3: Remove the Interlopers: KO any number of your SHIELD Heroes.Tactic 4: Remove the Heroes:…

  • captain america comic book army military

    If the Military Wants to Use Marvel Movies for Recruitment, They’re Not Doing a Great Job

    So I saw this video recently that talked about how the government helps fund Marvel movies like Iron Man, Captain America, and Captain Marvel to make the military look cool. Now for my part, I don’t care that the American military is doing this. For one thing, it’s nothing new, so I can see right through it. In the eighties we had masculinity-fests like Top Gun, Aliens, Predator, Rambo. The pro-army motifs in any Michael Bay film is so obvious it’s laughable. Movies you wouldn’t expect to get funded have influence, like Batman & Robin, and… Mac and Me?, and… Bye Bye Birdie? What the hell? Anyway, grab a handful…

  • marvel cinematic universe disney

    The Marvel Cinematic Universe is Stuck on “Acceptance”

    There are approximately six hundred and fifty concurrent Marvel movies and TV shows going on right now. Earth number 199999 has no shortage of colorful characters who have seen an amalgam of bizarre circumstances. Aliens coming out of portals, super soldiers fighting red skulled Nazis in World War II, people becoming big green monsters and insect-sized ant-herders, sentient robots lifting up cities and Norse gods turning out to be real. So why do they keep considering stuff “crazy” when they learn the overarching plot/maguffin? I watched The Defenders a little while ago and there’s a scene where the four of them have one of the bad guys tied up. They’re…