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April 2016

My Thoughts On: Captain America: Civil War

civilwarheader
The best film of 2016?

I have just seen Civil War and if I had to sum up my thoughts in just one word: WOW.

I went into this film with very high expectations but Captain America: Civil War just blew those expectations out of the water. The Russo Brothers had big shoes to fill, knowing they’d be taking over from Joss Whedon as the MCU’s big directors but they’ve truly delivered a film that was exceptional.

Somehow, even with such a large cast, they managed to give enough screen time to everyone to make them be interesting (or in Hawkeye’s case- as interesting as anyone can make Hawkeye!).

Much like my post on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I’m not going to do a review because quite frankly you can find a million of those online all better than I could write. So, I’m just going to give my thoughts on the film from a fan’s perspective.

Now be warned- there WILL be SPOILERS ahead:

  • Be prepared for your allegiance to one team to be tested throughout. I went into the film 100% #TeamIronMan, then changed to #TeamCap during the film, and back and forth during the movie. By the end I was just #TeamLetsAllStopFightingAndBeFriends.
  • It looks like they are building a romance between Vision and Wanda Maximoff, much like in the comics, which I’m very happy with as they have excellent chemistry.
  • Actually, speaking of chemistry; the entire cast had a crazy amount of chemistry with each other. Tony/Steve, Tony/Peter Parker, Wanda/Vision, Cap/Bucky, Bucky/Falcon, Natasha/Clint, Falcon/Ant-Man, Natasha/T’Challa. It seems like everyone on set had a great connection with one another which really showed on screen.
  • There is a ‘bad guy’ in the film- Helmut Zemo (played by Daniel Bruhl) but at times even I was unsure just how bad he was. I mean, he had done some horrible things, but you can identify with his anger towards The Avengers after his entire family was killed in Sokovia.
  • There is a perfect ratio of action:verbal conflict. The film has a strong emotional undercurrent which makes it very difficult to decide who’s side you’re on because you completely understand the viewpoints of both.
  • Ant-Man became Giant Man which was brilliant. But even more brilliant was the David V Goliath symbolism when he was taken down by Spider-Man. But even more brilliant was that Spidey took him down by using his knowledge of Empire Strikes Back and how the AT-AT Walkers were knocked down.
  • Tom Holland is the perfect Spider-Man. He is the Spider-Man we deserve. Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield were good, but Tom is exceptional. He totally embodies what Spider-Man is supposed to be: dorky, loveable, annoyingly clever and with a heart of gold. All it took was about 40 minutes of screen time and he became my favourite character in a movie full of amazing characters. I am really, really excited for Spider-Man: Homecoming next year.
  • Marisa Tomei is the most attractive Aunt May we’ve ever had, by the way!
  • On the topic of new characters, T’Challa otherwise known as Black Panther, played by Chadwick Boseman was incredible. He was legitimately and believably bad ass, but also had his own internal struggle with the idea of vengeance after seeing his father get killed in an explosion set of by Zemo. Moreover, his Wakandan accent felt wholly authentic and natural.
  • Fans of Stucky (the ship of Cap and Bucky) will be pleased because they share some great moments together.
  • I almost died laughing when Cap kissed Sharon Carter and the camera panned to Bucky and Falcon looking on from a car with proud expressions.
  • Also, RIP Peggy Carter. You will be missed and you had a great TV show.
  • Spidey’s in-fight banter is amazing and funny, which I think other interpretations of Peter have struggled to get right in the past. Falcon even tells him that he talks way too much during a fight.
  • In the beginning moments, Black Widow gets a show-stealing action sequence when trying to track down a bad guy- fully proving that she’s the best combat fighter in the MCU.
  • Vision is swiftly becoming one of my favourite characters. He is always so level, he can so easily steal a scene just through his presence. Paul Bettany can play a synthetic character devoid of human traits with remarkably humanity.
  • Wanda Maximoff was played beautifully by Elizabeth Olsen. The expression on her face when her actions accidently led to the deaths of innocent citizens was heart-breaking.
  • There was also an epic scene where Cap was trying to stop a Hydra-infected Winter Soldier from escaping in a helicopter. Bucky is taking off but the chopper is caught by Steve who then grabs onto a nearby rail and uses all of his strength to stop Bucky from getting away. By golly, Captain America (and obviously Chris Evans) is quite the physical specimen.
  • The final showdown between Cap and Iron Man was epic. No more needs to be said about that.
  • Post-credits scene 1: Bucky decides to be cryogenically frozen again until scientists can find a cure to remove any traces of Hydra from his mind. He is in a Wakandan facility with Steve and T’Challa, and with the great minds of Wakanda working on it, I’m hoping it won’t be long until we see more of the Winter Soldier in action.
  • Post-credits scene 2: Peter Parker is playing with a device on his wrist when Aunt May comes in with an ice-pack for his wounded eye. When she asks who hit him, Peter responded with ‘Steve, from Brooklyn.’ Then May leaves and Peter turns on the device which shines a red light onto the roof, which is then shown to be the Spider-Man logo.

In conclusion; this film is absolutely fantastic and by far and away my favourite film of the year so far, and maybe even my favourite MCU movie so far. Would I recommend it? HELL YEAH.

Marvel’s Mosaic puzzle is complete!

All week Marvel has been releasing daily teasers illustrated by Stuart Immonen relating to a mysterious Mosaic, without confirming whether Mosaic was a character, a event or even a story arc…

Source: Marvel’s Mosaic puzzle is complete!

Marvel’s Mosaic puzzle is complete!

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The completed Mosaic puzzle

 

All week Marvel has been releasing daily teasers illustrated by Stuart Immonen relating to a mysterious Mosaic, without confirming whether Mosaic was a character, a event or even a story arc. Now the whole puzzle has been completed and to be honest I’m still not any wiser.

We now know that Mosaic is related to Uncanny Inhumans (written by Charles Soule- and also a series I love) and will be introduced/ begin on the #11 issue.

Based on the puzzle I think it is the safest bet to assume that Mosaic is a new a character, and Newsarama.com had a very interesting hypothesis that the Mosaic character could possibly piece together the different powers of different heroes and use them for herself, which would explain why Spider-Man and Iron Man can be seen on her face.

I think there could also be a case to suggest that this character may not actually be a new one. I think Mosaic could be Shuri. In Black Panther #1 it can be seen that T’Challa is trying to basically reanimate Shuri after the events of last year’s Time Runs Out heading into Secret Wars. T’Challa seems particularly desperate for her to come back and possibly he will subject her to the Terrigen Mists that are floating around the MU in order to get her back. As far as continuity is aware, Shuri is not an Inhuman but possibly the Inhuman genes within her just haven’t been exposed yet?

Moreover, the case for Shuri is also supported by the fact that the lady in the puzzle teaser has a similar face structure, as well as the lack of hair, much like Shuri. Furthermore, it is practically unheard of for Marvel to create this much hype for a brand new character- at least not a legacy hero- so it could be the case that Marvel is just breaking their own conventions, or are trying to swerve us again (I’m looking at you, Quasar!).

I, like many people, had assumed that the teasers were corresponding to a new Jessica Jones series (mainly based on the stylistic choice on the teaser) and was a bit surprised to find that it wasn’t the case. However, I am not disappointed. I like it when Marvel gives a brand new hero a chance, and we all know Jessica getting a new series is inevitable- especially considering she’s the star of a hit Netflix series and Brian Bendis basically confirmed it at Emerald City Comic-Con.

Anyway, I hope, and think Mosaic is a new character and I’m happy with this- especially that she’s black which warms my heart as Marvel could do with a bit more higher profile diversity. However, it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve got something like this wrong, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

Marvel introduces the new Quasar

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The new Quasar, designed by Angel Unzeata

After advertising the new issue of Avengers: Standoff! Escape From Pleasant Hill Omega to herald the return of a ‘long awaited’ hero, Marvel introduced Avril Kincaid, a brand new Quasar.

Quasar is an already established character named Wendell Vaughn who gains power from wielding powerful Quantum Bands, which are now in possession of Avril. I won’t spoil how she got these bands as not everyone would have read the issue yet and I don’t wish to spoil it.

Usually I am a fan of pushing new characters but I cannot help but feel a little missold by this revelation. We were told that we would get the return of a character, with many people getting excited at the thought of a returning Richard Rider, Phyla-Vell or just simply the original Quasar, yet we were give a completely new character. Personally, I feel like Marvel knew that fans would get excited at the prospect of one of their favourites returning and intentionally duped us.

As tired as I’m getting of Marvel replacing some of it’s most iconic or well-loved character with new replacements, I’m still trying to keep an open mind. I still want Thor to be Odinson, and Banner to be Hulk, but I will certainly give Avril a chance; much like I’ve given Jane Foster as Thor and Amadeus Cho as Hulk a chance, unfortunately to no avail.

From the little that I’ve seen of Avril, she has potential to be a good character as long as Marvel is willing to continue this push and not suddenly halt it.

On the bright side, I am glad the general idea of the Quasar is back because I feel like there’s been plenty of storyline possibilities with these powers, and can even be used in a similar way to how DC uses the Green Lanterns. Perhaps Marvel could introduce a Quasar Corps book? I kid, I think…

Nick Spencer, the writer behind Avril Kincaid’s introduction has stated in an interview with Marvel.com that we can expect to see more of Avril in the two Captain America books he’s writing, as well as an upcoming storyline he cannot talk about yet.

It would also be a crime not to mention that the character design of Avril Kincaid as Quasar is brilliant. I love what Angel Unzeata has done with the costume; retaining classic features but still amazing it look cool and bad ass.

Avril Kincaid, welcome to the Marvel Universe.

My Thoughts On: Pearl Mackie as Bill

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The Doctor and Bill

 

So here we have it, after months of speculation, the new Doctor Who companion has been cast. The lucky actress replacing the marvellous Jenna Coleman is newcomer Pearl Mackie.

Now, I’m not going to pretend I know anything substantial about Pearl’s acting career because quite frankly she’s not been in anything I’ve seen. However, the BBC did release a wonderful 2 minute teaser video showing The Doctor and Pearl Mackie’s Bill in action, which tells me all I need to know.

The clip (Which can be seen here) features The Doctor and Bill being pursued by a horde of Daleks. The Doctor and Bill find a corner to hide behind where Bill humorously questions The Doctor about the Daleks. I absolutely loved this part because it felt like a real reaction, if you’ve just seen a Dalek following you, you’d have no idea what they are and what they want- or in Bill’s case, why they have a sucky thing instead of two guns (“Did they run out of guns?”). This makes me think that Bill will be a nice departure from Clara who sometimes appeared to be a bit too knowledgeable which seemed a tad unrealistic.

I’d also just like to say that the style of Bill is just so awesome as well. Bill looks cool. Bill looks like someone I’d want to hang around with, and I totally love that.

One thing that I’m going to need a bit of time warming to is the companion’s name- Bill. I know it’s probably not going to sound especially PC of me, but stereotypically Bill is a boys name, so I think I was just caught a bit off guard. However, this definitely won’t be an issue for long because even as I’m writing this I can feel myself warming to the name and I’m beginning to feel like it actually suits the character that Bill appears to be.

Anyway, I feel like, based off of that clip alone, Bill will be a welcome addition to the TARDIS and that the Doctor Who crew had a tough task finding someone to replace the departing Jenna Coleman, but they appear to have risen to the occasion with the casting of Pearl Mackie.

I’m incredibly excited for the new episodes to air now, with an all-new companion. 2017 cannot come fast enough.

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