Captain Marvel – Where the MCU’s Been and Where It’s Going

I went into Captain Marvel with pretty high expectations.  While I felt the marketing Marvel did for the film was subpar, this was still the Marvel movie I was most excited about this year.  It was also the one I had the highest expectations for.  Yes, I will be in line for Avengers: Endgame with everyone else, ready to see how the first generation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes to an end.  But Captain Marvel’s the movie I was waiting for.  With that in mind, I wanted to talk a little bit about the film (no spoilers) but also about the MCU in general  After my first (and second) viewing of the film, I found myself contemplating how Carol Danvers was brought to life on the big screen and also what the future of the MCU will look like with her and Black Panther at the fore. Continue reading

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Spider-Gwen: Portrait of an Isolated Vigilante

Like everyone else in the world, I fell in love with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse when I saw it.  Miles Morales’ story began when I wasn’t reading comic books and, when I returned, it was one of the things I couldn’t wait to explore.  In fact, for the first year of my return to comic reading, it was his Spider-Man exploits alone I followed, wary of jumping back into Peter Parker’s world after having missed out on so much.  To see Miles take center stage in this movie was exciting!  But it wasn’t just Miles in the film.  My excitement to see his story unfold on the big screen was matched by my intrigue at seeing Gwen Stacy’s Spider-Woman.  I wasn’t halfway through my first viewing of the film before I knew I had to start reading Spider-Gwen for myself. Continue reading

My Life in Spider-Man Movies

The brilliant new podcast Pods & Ends – “the junk drawer of pop culture” – asked me to write a piece for them about Spider-Man movies.  Hot dog!  I excitedly agreed and I think you should excitedly read this.  In the post, I reflect nostaligically on everything from this Spidey movie whose name I cannot find no matter how hard I try from the ’80s up to and including the MIND-BLOWINGLY AMAZING Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.  I was honored to write for this great show and would love you to check it out.

You can listen to Pods & Ends here and you should also follow them on Twitter @pne_pod because they are way awesome people. Continue reading

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

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

Growing Up with the MCU: Further Reflections on Avengers: Infinity War

When David and I saw Avengers: Infinity War for the first time opening night, a lot of thoughts ran through my mind.  I wrote about many of them that weekend.  While I grant it was an ambitious event and it certainly stayed true to how a large comic book crossover works in comic books, I wasn’t impressed with how it worked as a film.  I said then and still believe now it’s one of the weakest entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far.  My initial/lasting disappointments aside, I was struck by something I saw in the theatre as the climax of the film was unfolding.  I noticed an inherent power in the film, even if it was a power unable to affect me.

As should be obvious, THIS WILL BE FILLED WITH ALL SORTS OF SPOILERS SO DON’T READ THIS IF YOU HAVEN’T SEE AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR YET.  OKAY?!? 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