Black Widow: Forever Red – Some Thoughts on YA

A month or so ago Jeff alerted me to the exciting reality that Barnes & Noble (at least the one by him) had the hardcover editions of BOTH Margaret Stohl’s Black Widow novels – Black Widow: Forever Red and Black Widow: Red Vengeance – in their bargain section.  A hurried trip to and quick investigation of my local Barnes & Noble yielded the same prize!  I love Margaret Stohl’s work on the Captain Marvel seriesI love Black Widow as a character.  So, naturally, they both came home with me.  Given all the grading that comes with the end of the school year, I didn’t have the chance to read either until now.  I finished the first novel, Black Widow: Forever Red, the other day and I enjoyed a great deal of it…but it also highlighted one of the problems I find at times with YA novels in general.  And this, I felt, warranted a little reflection. Continue reading

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Considering the Defenders’ Painful Absence in Infinity War

It’s been a month and change since “the most ambitious crossover ever” hit theatres with Avengers: Infinity War so that means no one is talking/thinking about it anymore.  Haha, I’m kidding…but only sort of.  Honestly, where is the time for multiple viewings and full immersions when we jump from Black Panther to Avengers: Infinity War to Deadpool 2 to Solo: A Star Wars Story to Jurassic Word: Fallen Kingdom all in the space of a few months?  It’s nothing but tentpole blockbuster after tentpole blockbuster, all demanding my total allegiance…for three weeks and asking nothing more from me after I buy tickets to boost the opening box office weekend.  We have no time to savor anything anymore.  But that’s the lamentation for another piece.  This piece is going to examine the painful absence of the Defenders from Avengers: Infinity War as the 4,000,000,000th sign these characters do not, by any stretch of the imagination, live in the same universe. Continue reading

A Mouthful Of Wade Wilson: Lots To Say About Deadpool 2!

With the arrival of Ryan Reynolds second outing as the Merc with a Mouth in theatres this weekend, everyone obviously has Deadpool on the brain (and what a weird, wild, wonderful experience that is).  As I’m no exception, I figured it’s time to talk about Deadpool 2!  I mean, why not, right?  What really makes Deadpool 2 so exceptional is how it gives us everything we love about Wade Wilson while taking the story in a brand-new direction.  It also adds all sorts of new characters, characters who will surely have a lasting impact on Mr. Pool’s future.  While I’ll discuss character outlines and sketch out the plot in general below, NO MAJOR SPOILERS WILL FOLLOW.  Coolio?  Coolio. Continue reading

My Deadpool 2 Preparation!

So back in December, to prepare for The Last Jedi, I marathoned all the Star Wars movies in chronological order.  Since I was dropping the Disney Canon additions in where they’d fit narratively (and back-to-back double featuring Rogue One with A New Hope) that meant EIGHT NIGHTS straight of Star Wars goodness, with The Last Jedi on the final night.  Then, last month, I took this process to new heights with my Mega Marvel Movie Marathon – every single MCU film leading up to my seeing Avengers: Infinity War.  That meant NINETEEN STRAIGHT NIGHTS of Marvel greatness!  But now…the Merc with a Mouth returns!  So what monstrously magnificent marathon will lead my way to Deadpool 2?!?!? Continue reading

Avengers: Infinity War – Expectations vs. Reality

I wasn’t planning on writing about Avengers: Infinity War for a while.  My post on Black Panther has only begun to form in my mind – there’s so much to explore; I wasn’t certain what I’d say.  However, there’s not as much in Avengers: Infinity War (or rather, there’s a lot of stuff in Avengers: Infinity War but not as much depth) as there is in Black Panther.  For whatever reason, an idea began to form after my first viewing.  Now, two showings in, I’m (surprisingly) ready to talk about it.  HOWEVER – AND THIS IS IMPORTANT – THIS PIECE WILL HAVE ALL SORTS OF SPOILERS SO PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE DO NOT READ THIS UNTIL YOU HAVE SEEN THE FILM YOURSELF.  TRUST ME, AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR DESERVES IT.  OKAY?  OKAY.  THANK YOU.  I HATE spoilers but I didn’t want to write a vague, superficial piece.  I think the film deserves more than that too.  So, when the idea came, I decided to run with it.  With that being said, let’s begin. Continue reading

The Irreplaceable Brilliance of Black Widow

In 2010, Scarlett Johansson brought Natasha Romanoff – the Russian assassin turned S.H.I.E.L.D. super spy turned Avenger, the Black Widow – to life in Iron Man 2.  Since then, she’s appeared in seven different Marvel movies, more than any other Avenger save Iron Man (nine) and Captain America (eight (and the only reason Cap beats her is because he has cameos in TWO films)).  In addition to screen time, I would also argue the Black Widow is more important to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole, story-wise, than any other Avenger save Tony or Cap.  Despite that, we still have yet to see a Black Widow solo movie.  Yet, as one of the MCU’s richest creations, she’s worthy of serious acclaim.  This piece has been rolling around in my head for some time.  Given Avengers: Infinity War’s release this week has me looking back, getting nostalgic over, and celebrating the MCU, it seemed like the perfect time to finally write it. Continue reading

Age Of Ultron: An Underrated Avengers Sequel

I’ve had two conversations recently, one with Jeff (of the Imperial Talker) and one with Rob (from My Side Of The Laundry Room).  Both centered around how Avengers: Age Of Ultron seems to be unfairly maligned by many when considering the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  I would agree – the film is much better than it often gets credit for.  As I’ve been making my way through my Mega Marvel Movie Marathon in preparation for Avengers: Infinity War, I realized something else.  If I was to teach a film from the MCU in one of my classes, (with the exception of the Guardians Of The Galaxy films) Avengers: Age Of Ultron is the one which would fit the best and allow for the most philosophically-oriented discussions. Continue reading