Well, I’ll Say It…Venom Was A Pleasant Surprise

I wasn’t planning on writing tonight.  But I saw Venom and, after being pretty open about how awkward I thought the movie would be in presenting a Spider-Man-less Venom, I felt I had to write something.  Why?  Because I was wrong.  I thought this film was going to be a rushed, convoluted mess and it wasn’t.  Now, it didn’t redefine the genre like Wonder Woman nor did it fully embrace the idea of the antihero in the way Deadpool did.  But it was an enjoyable night at the movies and with it currently sitting at a 29% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I wanted to take a few moments to write a short, spoiler-free reflection on why Venom was better than I thought it’d be. Continue reading

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Venom the Antihero: My Preparation for the Venom Movie

If I’m being honest, I’m not that excited for Sony’s Venom.  I’ve always loved the character – he’s my all-time favorite Spider-Man villain and I read all his solo series in the ‘90s.  But this…I don’t know.  I want to be hopeful!  I want to like it.  And I do have my tickets for opening night.  But doing a Venom movie completely disconnected from Spider-Man doesn’t make sense to me.  Also, I’m not wildly in love with how the symbiote looks in the film.  It’s a bit too cartoony for me.  But I want to be excited (even if I end up disappointed).  So to try and put myself in the right headspace for the film, I reread the Venom solo series from my youth to reacquaint myself with Venom, the antihero. Continue reading

Can the MCU Become Too Interconnected?

Okay, I know this seems ridiculous.  How can I be worried about this?  How can I even introduce it as a topic of conversation??  The interconnected nature of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was historic.  When The Avengers came out in 2012 we’d never seen anything like it before.  Iron Man!  Black Widow!  Thor!  Hawkeye!  Captain America!  The Hulk!  Nick Fury!  Maria Hill!  Erik Selvig!  Pepper Pots!  Loki!  They were all together telling the same story which flowed out of their solo films.  It’s funny to think how we’ve come to take this for granted over the last eight years.  But Marvel Studios changed the game forever with the MCU.  It’s why Warner Bros. and DC have been rushing their interconnected DCEU.  It’s why Sony won’t let go of their painfully dumb idea for a Spidey villains universe of movies.  It’s why Universal wants a Monster Universe even if it keeps fumbling.  Heck, as Jeff told me, there’s even talk of a Dwayne the Rock Johnson Universe.  But…can it become too much? Continue reading

As They Became Movie Stars: Brian Michael Bendis’s Guardians Of The Galaxy

Reading Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s Guardians Of The Galaxy a few weeks ago yielded an epiphany of sorts.  I realized, or rather remembered, I shouldn’t look for comics that feel like James Gunn’s oh-so-perfect film.  Rather, I should embrace the Guardians as they are in the comics which will always be a different animal.  That’s how it works.  The comics inspire the films but each is unique unto itself, shaped by the vision of its creators.  I’d never went backwards before, from the movie to the comics, and I guess I wasn’t ready for the differences when encountered from this direction.  But I fell in love with Abnett and Lanning’s Guardians, no matter how different they were from Gunn’s, because they were great characters involved in exceptional stories.  Naturally I couldn’t wait to meet their next incarnation, Brian Michael Bendis’s take on the team! Continue reading

Nebula Was Right – or – How Nebula Could’ve Stopped the Infinity War

To get this out of the way first, this post will have spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War.  All sorts of them.  Do I still need to give spoiler warnings?  I don’t know.  The movie came out in April.  It’s been available digitally and physically for a few weeks.  But people may still have yet to see it.  Not everyone lives their lives on the Marvel schedule I do.  Heck, last year a student was upset I “spoiled” an episode of Seinfeld from OVER TWENTY YEARS AGO.  So I have no idea what the appropriate spoiler limit is anymore.  But this post will spoil Avengers: Infinity War because, as the title implies, I’m going to explore how the whole thing could’ve been avoided if everyone just listened to Nebula. Continue reading

Could the Infinity Watch Join the MCU’s Phase Four?!?

With Avengers: Infinity War out on DVD last week, I obviously rewatched it the other night.  As I was watching it, a thought struck me that hadn’t before.  I’ve spent a lot of time wondering who will live and who will die? after the dust has settled from Avengers 4 but I haven’t really thought about what will happen to the Infinity Stones?  As I considered this my mind drifted to something I haven’t really thought about since the ‘90s – the Infinity Watch. Continue reading

Neekology 101: Episode #31 – Remember the Age of Ultron?

Are you ready for something exciting?!?  If not…you should totally stop reading this right now because this post has some CRAZY EXCITING STUFF about to come your way.  Here comes the aforementioned excitement.  The wonderful folks from Gods Among Geeks invited me on their Neekology 101 podcast to talk about Avengers: Age Of Ultron.  We chat about the theological implications of artificial intelligence, explore the twin forces of hubris and guilt that motivate Tony in this film, geek out on all things MCU, and even talk a little about the point and purpose of art.  In addition to getting to hear me instead of reading my words you also get the chance to follow their blog and podcast if you don’t already.  So you should totally click here or here or here or – if you missed those chances – here and then you can listen to me on Neekology 101: Episode #31 Remember the Age of Ultron? (and yes, that was another link I hid there because I want you to listen to this). Continue reading