Childhood Fears I Prepared For…Which Ended Up Never Factoring Into Adulthood

New Year’s Eve tends to bring nostalgic reflections and hopeful projections.  Tonight, no matter how hard the year’s been, it seems we always find some warm, nostalgic feels for what’s come before.  And no matter how hard life may feel in this moment, it seems we always find some excitement for what lays ahead.  If our last year was more beautiful and joyful than not, well all’s the easier to touch those bright reflections and projections.  I’m not sure why.  If I was to hazard a guess (which I feel I should as I brought all this up), I’d say it’s because – deep down – we are fundamentally hopeful.  We want to find reasons to celebrate, to believe.  New Year’s Eve is as good a reason as any!  While I’ve never been one to buy into the magic of tonight and the promise of tomorrow too much, I do enjoy a reason to be nostalgic and hopeful as much as the next person :).  So, in the spirit of the night, I figured it would be fun to get way nostalgic and look back at a few childhood fears I spent ages preparing for, only to find they were problems I’d never encounter in adulthood (well, at least not yet).

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She-Hulk Smashes the MCU’s Avengers: Endgame Problem

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is, in my humble opinion, the most important show (it’s finale in particular) to the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  It cuts loose the albatross which has hung around the neck of the MCU since Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame were released.  If the MCU is to continue for another ten years, if it’s to stay relevant and interesting, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law must become the Bible for Marvel’s cinematic storytellers.  And ok, I see how my title and these opening sentences may seem a bit clickbait-y.  It may seem like a “hot take,” purposefully framed to invite shocked, curious, or even hate reads.  But here’s the thing; I honestly, completely, wholeheartedly believe this.  For all their EPICNESS, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame inadvertently set off a problematic chain reaction within the MCU’s fandom which will plague the MCU until it’s set right.  How do you stop this reaction?  She-Hulk SMASH.  Salvation, it turns out, comes in a sensational She-Hulk-sized package.

Note, this piece contains SPOILERS for the She-Hulk: Attorney at Law finale.

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She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Saves the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Yes, this title is clickbait.  It’s probably the most clickbait-y thing I’ve ever written.  Given the MCU has earned a not insignificant $15,558,746,560 at the global box office to date[1] (which doesn’t include all the profit it’s generated in merchandise sales and Disney+ subscribers) it’s not like the Marvel Cinematic Universe is in trouble.  It is a cultural juggernaut and like…well, like the Juggernaut, nothing seems to stop it.  It’s not in need of saving per se so it’s not like She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is salvifically sweeping in to salvage a once thriving interconnected cinematic universe flailing on the brink of cultural irrelevance.  But I chose the title to be an eye-catching invitation for readers (those intrigued, those enraged, and those in agreement) to dialogue with what this piece has to say.  Showrunner Jessica Gao’s She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is intelligent, goofy, sassy, funny, and self-aware; it’s everything that made me love She-Hulk more than the Hulk when I was a kid.  It’s also important to the future of the MCU in several key ways and we should talk about it.  So yeah, I said She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is saving the MCU.  Here’s why.

Be aware this piece contains some spoilers for the first two episodes of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.

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The Rise Of Skywalker – Excitement and Ambiguity in the Disney Era of Star Wars

I really wasn’t planning on writing something about The Rise Of Skywalker so quickly.  In fact, I had a totally different Star Wars-related post planned for this weekend.  But sometimes a movie hits and I, inexplicably, find myself with something to say right away.  The Rise Of Skywalker was one of those films.  The first trilogy of the Disney Canon has come to a close and the journey Rey, Finn, Poe, and Kylo Ren began in 2015’s The Force Awakens has ended.  It left me with lots of thoughts, feelings, and questions.  So let’s talk about it, huh?

Note, there will be spoilers but that section of the post will be clearly marked.  If you don’t want to know anything at all before you see it, stop reading now.  But if you’re fine with overall-type comments, I’ll speak generally first and then give a clear warning before any plot spoilers happen.  Ready?  Ready. Continue reading

What I Look For In A Star Wars Story

A little while ago I read a piece Kiri wrote on Star Wars Anonymous entitled, “The Mandalorian: Chapter One.”  As the name implies (and as those of you who are big on inferring from context clues may’ve guessed), it was a reflection on the first episode of the new Disney+ show The Mandalorian.  While I’ve yet to watch the show for myself (or get Disney+), I found her piece interesting.  I appreciated her take on the first episode and I was also struck by something Kiri wrote in the beginning of her piece.  She outlined what she, as a Star Wars fan, looks for in any Star Wars story she watches/reads.  And that left me puzzling over exactly what I look for in the Star Wars stories I watch/read.  I finally figured it out!  Now you can know my criteria too and, I’m sure, sleep easier at night because if it. Continue reading

…..really?? – Kevin Feige, Disney+, and the MCU

The other day I stumbled upon this article on ComicBook.com about how Kevin Feige has said the upcoming MCU shows on Disney’s new streaming service Disney+ will fit in with the movies.  As I read it, I found this li’l post developing in my head.  Sometimes I like/need to just react to something as soon as I hear it.  That’s how this sporadic “…..really??” series works.  Sometimes my fears/feelings end up being validated (like how “Marvel Legacy” was a boring reset) and sometimes I couldn’t be more wrong (like when I decried the “Hydra Cap” reveal).  But this time it’s Feige and the next phase of stories in the Marvel Cinematic Universe I want to talk about. Continue reading

Thoughts on James Gunn’s Firing from Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3

This isn’t a news site.  I’ve no desire to be a news site either.  But, as a comic geek and MCU fan, it’s impossible not to think about the news that came out Friday.  Being a lover of the Guardians Of The Galaxy films, I’ve obviously been thinking about Disney firing James Gunn from Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 a lot.  Writing often helps me sort all my feelings (one of the reasons I need to get back to journaling regularly…I miss it) so I figured I’d give it a go here.  So, technically, this isn’t so much a reporting of the news as it is my reaction to the news. Continue reading

Captain Phasma: A Lesson Learned in The Last Jedi

So this isn’t another essay or reflection on The Last Jedi.  I’m not looking deeper at the themes in the film nor am I furthering my analysis on Star Wars’ future as folklore in this post.  Rather, this piece is about an unexpected lesson I learned from The Last Jedi, care of everyone’s favorite chrome-plated stormtrooper Captain Phasma, regarding the growing Disney Canon of works in their Star Wars Universe.  What lesson, you may ask, did you glean from Phasma’s fifteen seconds of screen time?!?  While it’s probably quite the opposite of what Disney would want, I think it will make my Star Wars time far more enjoyable. Continue reading

The Last Jedi and Star Wars’ Movement from Mythology to Folk Tale

When I came out of my first showing of The Last Jedi, I was ready to say I liked it.  By the time I exited my third showing of The Last Jedi, I was ready to say I really liked it.  I was still struggling to figure out where to place this film in my larger emotional and intellectual experience of the Star Wars Saga but I was able to say, as a film, The Last Jedi was well done.  I was not ready for the heatedly divisive storm that followed.  As someone who needed a year and a half to be able to like The Force Awakens, I certainly appreciate the pain many feel over this film.  I’m just a bit surprised, given reactions to The Force Awakens, this film caused such an uproar.  Anyway, I’m finally ready to delve into my thoughts and feelings on The Last Jedi.  Be warned MASSIVE SPOILERS WILL FOLLOW.  So if you haven’t seen it, I suggest you come back and read this once you have. Continue reading

In Star Wars…Your Head Canon Is All The Matters

There…I said it.  All that matters is head canon.  The Last Jedi is on its way right?  (Yay!)  With it will come countless analyses, deconstructions, and evaluations (myself included).  No matter where you’re at in the world of Star Wars, you’re going to have opinions (myself included!).  And that’s exciting!  However, the Star Wars community can be volatile at times (especially online).  Instead of sharing our love, we seem to enjoy chastising those who love something else or love what we love in a different way.  Yet we can (and should) happily love what we love and respect what someone else loves too!  At the end of the day, no one can tell you what Star Wars stories move you.  So in the seemingly endless debate over what is or isn’t “canon” or what stories are “best,” the only important question is what do you like?  If the story moves you, it’s part of your Star Wars experience and those are the only stories that really matter.  Continue reading