Another week and another trailer has arrived. Last Saturday we got the all new trailer for the “Justice League” film that hits theatres on November and today a new trailer for the “Spider-Man Homecoming” Trailer has made its way into our screens as the movie gears up for its release on perhaps the best date ever, 07/07/17. Before we go into the trailer I just want to point out that alongside the X-Men, Spider-Man has always been my favourite comic book and Peter Parker is among my favourite characters in comics. Thus it is not a strange thing that I get really excited about Spider-Man movies and as such coming into this trailer I was incredibly excited.
First let me say that I believe the casting of Tom Holland as the new Spidey is perfect. I believe he really captures the essence of both Peter Parker and Spider-Man, capturing the fun and toughness that is Spidey and personally I believe he stole the show on “Captain America: Civil War”. The casting of Michael Keaton as the Vulture is I believe also a great and he will be able to do a great job in portraying this iconic villain. My first thoughts for this movie are that so far it looked great on paper and I had faith that Marvel and Sony would be able to deliver an Amazing Spider-man (pun very much intended) movie.
The trailer I have to say was GREAT. I loved it, I thought it provided us great insight to what promises to be a fantastic fun movie. It seems to have a really good balance of fun and more serious drama. Whilst it could be said that the trailer does show probably a bit too much of the movie I still think that it did a great job in promoting the movie. I do love the fact that they are using Tony Stark as a means to teach Peter Parker about being a hero, which makes sense since in this universe Tony has already gone through his own personal crisis. The suit he wears at the beginning looks great and I also enjoy the metaphor they are establishing of him having to win back the tech suit by learning how to be a hero.
Teenage Peter Parker has always been a long-time favourite of mine and while I do love the first Spider-man movie and I thought Amazing Spider-Man was pretty good I always thought that it was a shame we did not get to see of the awkwardness of Peter in school and this movie promises to deliver that. That fact combined with what so far seems to be great action (the ship battle scene promises to be action packed and fun) and an amazing villain has me really excited about this movie. No other character or group, beyond the X-Men, can get me this excited for a movie. I have always related to Peter Parker a lot and it is just amazing to see him back on screen on what seems to be a very faithful adaption of the character.
Between the “Justice League” trailer and this one all I can think is that it is a great time indeed for us nerds, for us comic book fans.
So after a long wait and a lot of hype being created by Warner Brothers the trailer for the “Justice League” is out. “Justice League” will come out on November of this year and for the past few days we have seen small teasers of the characters before finally getting the first official trailer of the movie. Now before I talk about it let me state that so far I have not really enjoyed the DCEU films so far. I thought “Man of Steel” was good but “Batman v Superman” was very average and Suicide Squad in my opinion was downright bad.
That said I enjoyed very much this trailer. The action looks good and the most important thing is that they seemed to have listened to fan feedback and have changed a bit of the tone adding a bit more fun in the dialogue and in the action. The films so far have been too dark and gritty. Dark and gritty does have an important role to play and it is great that they are darker than those of the MCU but in movies like this we also need a bit of light hearted moments from the characters so that we can relate to them. Being dark fits the character of Batman but for others such as the Flash this would not be a good fit so it is great to see that they are changing their approach for this film.
The trailer so far has me excited for this film. The characters, except for Cyborg who looks a bit shoddy (but the CGI will probably be fixed, hopefully…), look great and the trailer gives us plenty of epic moments that seem to come straight from a comic book. I especially love Aquaman, played by Jason Momoa who seems to have really taken to the role and might be one of standouts of the film. I was really happy that they have not shown Superman in the trailer. We all know that Superman will be in the film (probably towards the end) but they need to keep some surprises for the actual movie, something they did not do for BvS. The standout moment of the trailer in my opinion was seeing those two armies clash. Seeing the amazons and others clash against the parademons was pretty cool and the interaction between the characters seems to be fun and epic so far.
My only gripe with the trailer is the use of the colour palette by Snyder. I understand he loves to do that as he does it in almost all his movies but I honestly miss seeing some bright colours, especially considering that they are fighting such an evil destructive force led by Steppenwolf. The use of brighter colours could have given us a better contrast between the heroes and the villains. Brighter colours would also highlight better the awesome costumes being worn by our heroes especially Flash and Wonder Woman. It would be a very welcome addition to have a bit more colour in the film.
That said it is a very minor gripe and overall I thought the trailer was pretty good. I am excited to see this movie but I will admit to being cautiously optimistic since with other entries of the DCEU I loved the trailer but not the films so much. I truly hope this film and that of Wonder Woman knock it out of the park. As a long time comic book reader I want to have a great MCU and DCEU.
The last of the Defenders has arrived as Iron Fist came out on Netflix last Friday and so far it has drawn a lot of criticism from critics whilst fans have been more forgiving and accepting of the show. The show is without a doubt a flawed show but it is not as bad as people are claiming it to be. Before I get into the official review of the show please be aware that I will not be talking about any of the racist issues that have risen about this show. As someone who is not directly affected I do not think my voice is qualified to talk about it. Also be aware that there are going to be spoilers on the review.
First of all, let’s talk about the negatives of the show. The show has a flawed pacing, and although the pace of the TV show does pick up towards the middle of the show, some episodes drag a lot, especially the first five episodes. The first five episodes are slow with not much development beyond corporate fights which makes it hard to follow this first episodes. Furthermore the fights in most of the episodes are not well done (although recent declarations by Finn Jones in which he says he learned the choreography 15 minutes before they were shot shed light on this) and lack passion and are not very smooth. The major flaw of the show lies in many ways in the character of Danny Rand. Most of the times Danny Rand does not feel like the “ultimate weapon” he is supposed to be, he is beaten easily (too easily) by others and in many episodes feel a bit too dumb as he keeps trusting people who have lied and done awful things to him. The choice of the villain at the end, Harold Meachum is a poor choice as he should not poise the physical challenge that he does in the finale. Lastly the fact that no one mentions clearly other members of “The Defenders”, especially Claire (shoe-horned into the show) who when she learns about the Hand does not tell Danny Rand about Daredevil, is really starting to hurt the Netflix Marvel Universe as it is not realistic.
That said the show also had some great moments. Finn Jones does grow into the characters as the series progresses and by the end of it his portrayal of the Iron Fist is quite enjoyable. Rosario Dawson as Claire is once again great and shows how comfortable she feels in this Netflix Marvel Universe and her character. The latter half of the show is pretty good and the episode in which they travel to China and Danny Rand faces Zhou Cheng, the master of the Drunken Style, has a great fighting sequence. The challenge by the Hand to Iron Fist in Episode 6 is pretty good and entertaining as is the character development of Ward Meachum. However the best part of this show is the portrayal of Colleen Wing by Jessica Henwick. Jessica Henwick is able to express the vulnerability and power of Colleen Wing and every time she appears on screen the show improves and she steals the spotlight from everybody. She is without a doubt the breakout star of this show. The show, whilst plagued with issues, does end up setting a somewhat compelling story and is a good set up for the Defenders that will drop later this year.
The show is entertaining enough yet we now seem to live in a society where either something is great or the worst. Critics and people on social media tend to review everything by extremes and I believe that is a huge mistake. Some shows are neither great nor bad, they are just entertaining and good and that should be embraced and not criticized. Iron Fist is a show that fits this description, a show with many problems, a show that is probably too long and has too many episodes but not a horrible show. It has fun moments and is good enough that most episodes are entertaining to watch. I have enjoyed the show for what it is and I am expectant to see how the characters of Danny Rand and Colleen Wing develop in The Defenders which comes out on Netflix on November.
Iron Fist: 6.5/10
Twin Suns has been an episode that all Star Wars fans have been awaiting for a long time. This episode gave us the long awaited final confrontation between Maul and Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi that has been building up since Maul was revealed to be alive. Maul has been ever since that moment searching for Ben Kenobi in his desire to achieve to revenge against the man that defeated him in Phantom Menace. They had fought before during the Clone Wars series but now it was different as many years had passed and both were very different characters. Before you read further, please be aware that there is going to be spoilers ahead.
In the episode we finally got the payoff to a story that has been slowly developing over the years and in my opinion it was beautiful. The duel was a very short duel, barely lasting seconds and with a total of only 3 moves. This has led to a much divided opinion among Star Wars fans as some fans hate the short ending but I think it is a perfect ending to the story. This duel was never meant to be a long duel such as the ones we saw in the prequels but it was more of a duel of emotions such as the duels in the Original Trilogy.
The characters were different this time around and this was shown in the episode. Maul was consumed by hatred completely whilst the Obi Wan we see in the episode is an older, wiser and in peace person. He has come to terms with his role and is now a calm Jedi. It is also worth noticing that Obi-Wan is stronger than Maul, who never fully finished his training as a Sith. For me the battle was less of a physical battle and more of a mental battle, a battle in which Obi-Wan Kenobi is clearly much ahead of him.
The episode in my opinion was great, whilst it is true the beginning does drag a little at some points as soon as we Ezra meets Kenobi the episode reaches a new level. In their interaction we see a great teacher that commands respect and is able to show Ezra, calmly, the error of his ways. The fact that Ezra is so quick to obey him was great and showed us the respect Obi Wan exudes to others. The way Maul died was worthy of his character and at the end Maul was able to find peace. The last scene with the theme was in my opinion the perfect way to end this episode and end this story as it reminds us why Obi-Wan is not part of the rebellion, his role is to be the unknown protector of Luke Skywalker until the time comes to teach him, a role he is at peace with.
Star Wars Rebels in my opinion is a hit and miss show. Many episodes are somewhat boring but this episode knocked it out of the park. It is very dangerous for the series whenever they deal with the main characters from the movies but this time they did a great episode that paid homage to the Ben Kenobi we see in the Original Trilogy and was the perfect ending to the Maul story, a character tormented by rage and hate that was at the end defeated by his nemesis, a person that is completely at peace with himself, and is thus at last able to find peace.
This episode reminded me of why I have always considered Ben Kenobi my favourite character in Star Wars. I for one can’t wait to see the ending of the season next week and the Last Jedi film. All I can do whilst I wait for that day is relax in my couch and listen to the great Binary Sunset theme, in my opinion the best theme in the Star Wars saga.
P.S Obi-Wan thinking that Luke is the chosen one is not a mistake by the writers. Obi-Wan at this point has given up on Anakin and truly believes Luke is the chosen one.
As I recently wrote on a blog post, I was very disappointed in how Marvel has handled Emma Frost in recent times and I especially hated the ending of Inhumans vs X-men where I felt like they destroyed the great work and excellent characterization achieved over the past 20 years for this excellent character. Emma Frost has been over almost the past 20 years a staple of X-Men comics, a leader and one of the most iconic members of the Marvel Universe. As I reminisce over how awesome she has been I have decided that it might be therapeutic to write a post explaining why she is such an iconic character.
Like many comic characters and several X-Men members, Emma Frost was originally a villain. She was the White Queen in the Hellfire Club and played a big role in making Jean Grey become the Dark Phoenix. For years she was a thorn in the side of the X-Men although as a villain she was full of shades of grey, even taking time to open a school to teach new mutant students. Emma moved to Genosha where was one of the few survivors from the genocide that happened which resulted in the death of 16 million mutants including the students in her classroom. After this traumatic event Emma Frost would join the X-Men, becoming one of the leaders of the team, entering a relationship with Cyclops and with the death of Jean Grey she became the strongest telepath on the team. Since 2001, Emma has, until recently, been one of the figureheads of the group, leading them and guiding them through some of the most difficult times the mutant species has lived through, including House of M and the Dark Reign of Norman Osborn.
Her character throughout those years became one of the most, if not the most, entertaining ones in the X-Men cast, not a small feat in a series full of amazing characters. She proved that redemption was possible and that no matter your past deeds there was always hope someone could improve. She was a strong woman who became a partner, both romantically and professionally, to the leader of the X-Men; Scott Summers. Her relationship with Cyclops made him become more confident and improved drastically his character. She was a strong feminist characters whose wit, intelligence and prowess made all of us fall in love with her and be invested in her story. To this day her role during Utopia in which the X-Men were able to defeat Norman Osborn at the height of his powers is a personal favourite as it highlighted the intelligence, power and vulnerability behind this well written character. Another favourite moment was during Civil War, when she was able to stand toe to toe with Tony Stark, calling him out for not helping mutants during the Genosha genocide.
It is those reason and her run since 2001 that made Emma Frost such an iconic character. She followed the tradition in X-Men stories of having strong female characters. She made the stories she was involved better and was a fun, relatable character. Her latest run and her return to being a villain is disappointing to say the least but I remain hopeful that someday the character of Emma Frost will return to what made it one of the best and most iconic characters in all of comics.
Spider-Man has for a very long time been the cornerstone of Marvel, especially in the comic sense. During the 90s when Marvel almost went bankrupt it was the comics of the X-Men and Spider-Man that saved the company. This was partially because of the appeal of the characters but also because of the great stories we were generally given. Peter Parker was presented as the quintessential nerd and as such it was incredibly easy to relate to. As the character grew and became more mature, us the readers grew up with him and in a way we felt his successes were our successes.
Over the past few years Marvel, in order to rejuvenate the character decided to end the marriage of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson in the much maligned “One More Day” story. This decision was met with much hate by fans around the world. Ever since her first appearance in “The Amazing Spider-Man #42 (Nov. 1966)” in which MJ pronounced her now famous and iconic line; “Face it Tiger… You just hit the jackpot” fans of the web-slinger have been in love with her. For many years she was the perfect foil for Peter, providing a strong backbone for him to come back to. We all rejoiced as their relationship developed, were joyous when we read about the wedding, suffered through their crisis and in general loved their stories. That is why, moving to separate them was met by such vitriol from fans. Peter marrying MJ made us as fans think that we could also find someone like her.
At the time I hated the decision. I loved the pairing and I felt she added much to the stories. Furthermore, the way it was done by having Peter make a pact with Mephisto went against almost everything the characters stood for. Whilst I hated it, I understood the reasons for doing, an adult married Peter Parker is harder to relate to for younger and newer fans. The stories they produced after this were interesting and it was fun to see Peter dating others and interacting with other love interests. However, all of us wanted the return of the couple and this led to the creating of “Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows” a story set in an Alternate Universe where they remained married and have a daughter. After seeing this great fun story it is high time Marvel brings back the marriage into the official stories.
The time to do so is now. The introduction of Miles Morales into the 616 universe provides an excellent opportunity. Miles Morales can be used as the new Spider-Man to which new and younger readers can relate to, whilst us veteran readers can focus on the original Spider-Man; Peter Parker. By doing this we can once again focus on more adult, mature stories with Peter Parker, stories that we can all relate to as adults. In this stories MJ can be brought back as his love interest and the relationship we all loved can be resumed. The character of MJ is barely being used by Marvel (she is in Iron Man but she barely makes an impact) and for many of us it is weird to see her outside the Spider-Man universe.
After years of not seeing this relationship, of them teasing us with alternate universe stories, it would be a gift to us fans to see this storied relationship back in action. We have all loved them and clearly fans wish to see Peter Parker back with her. After all, Spider-Man might have other relationships, he might date other women, but deep in our hearts we know there is only one woman who is a true match for Spider-Man, Mary Jane Watson.
The new Wonder Woman trailer just dropped on us and I have to say that beyond those weird accents it looks awesome. I have to come clean, in terms of comics I have never been too much of a fan of DC. While I do enjoy some of their comics’ especially great ones such as “The Dark Knight Returns” or “Kingdom Come”, I have always had difficulty relating to their heroes. DC characters tend to be similar to Greek gods, flawed but incredibly powerful or intelligent and for some reason that has made it difficult for me to enjoy the comics. However if there is one character that I have generally always enjoyed that has been Wonder Woman, especially her run in last 15 years.
Wonder Woman is without a doubt a comic icon and a feminist icon. She is without a doubt the most famous heroine in comics and a famous pop culture figure. Wonder Woman, at least in her most recent origin, is the daughter of Amazonian queen Hippolyta and Greek god Zeus. She was raised in Themyscira alongside the other amazonians and became an incredible powerful warrior capable of going toe to toe with Superman. She wields mighty weapons including the famous Lasso of Truth and just as Superman represents, or used to, the “America Way, she is a compassionate warrior with-god-like strength, Wonder Woman prefers peace and love to war and violence despite her incredible abilities, a contradiction that has long made her a symbol of female empowerment.
Lately she has also become an icon for LGBT as in her stories in 2016 she has officiated a same-sex wedding and has been revealed in DC Rebirth to be bisexual. Through all of this information that I have written I am trying to convey the idea that she is a character that has gone beyond the comic book media. As such it has always been a tragedy that there has been no good portrayals about her in film or TV. The arrival of her movie is in my opinion a very welcome and needed action and I have really high hopes for this movie.
Let’s all be honest, the DCEU has not been great so far. The movies have not resonated with the audience and have not enjoyed the critical success that Marvel movies have had. Whilst I do not think they are as bad as people make them to be, especially “Batman v Superman” they are still very flawed movie that in my opinion, have not been able to fully capture the magic of the characters. However with that said I believe Wonder Woman was the brightest and best part of BvS. Whenever she was on screen, she stole the scene and her role during the fight against Doomsday she was portrayed perfectly, her smiles, her joy at fighting whilst also being worried about other and being a heroine, was the essence of what has made this character so great.
It is high time we get a movie with Wonder Woman. She is a member of the Justice League and alongside Batman and Superman forms the Trinity of DC, with the three of them being the most famous characters in DC and probably all of comics. I can’t wait for this movie and I truly hope it is a good one that finally becomes the critical success the DCEU has been waiting for. On June 2nd we will find out if her character has been done justice in film.
After the disappointment that have been X-Men stories over the past couple of years, I have decided to look back at in my opinion the last great X-Men comic book event, “Second Coming”. “Second Coming”, published in 2010 was a really fun, intense, emotional story full of great action and heart that was basically a love letter to all the things that made the X-Men great. This story was the culmination of a long running story 5 years in the making that started in 2005 and was the last of a trilogy that previously had included “Messiah Complex” and “Messiah War” and it proofs that long story telling when done well in comics is emotionally satisfying and unbeatable in regards to story quality.
In “Second Coming” we are told the story of how the only mutant birth since House of M, returns alongside Cable from the future as a grown teenager and the X-Men struggle to get her to safety as all the enemies of the X-Men led by Bastion attempt to kill her thus ensuring the end of the mutant race. Throughout the story we have high stakes, impressive action and incredibly emotional moments, especially for X-Men fans. As we follow the story we are witness to how Hope Summers slowly develops before finally embracing her destiny at the end of the event.
This story had everything that makes the X-Men great and memorable. It had all the ingredients that has made us X-Men fans love this comics for such and long time and has made them for a long time one of the most popular, if not the most popular series of all Marvel. We had high stakes with the X-Men fighting to stave off extinction, Cyclops being a fearless leader in the face of doom, Emma being snarky and wonderful, Wolverine being all kinds of awesome, the teams fighting as one, time travel and a powerful ending. Namor is a great addition to the team in this event, Magneto is well used displaying good characterization and throwbacks to his past, Rogue uses her power at full potential and it is incredible, Legion displays his powers, New Mutants fighting against those who killed their schoolmates etc…All told this event had everything we loved and love about the X-Men and was very memorable.
The deaths of Nightcrawler and Cable do not feel cheap but are memorable and very impactful with both of them dying in order to save the future of mutantkind. Furthermore those two scenes as well as all the event are beautifully drawn and provide great visuals. I truly loved this event and the ending was incredible. Hope Summers’s powers are finally revealed and we are able to witness the awesomeness of her character in a great climax that ends with hope for the X-Men as new mutants are born around the globe.
This emotional death deserved a beautiful drawing and we got it
This event was great and memorable, and I believe that now that the quality of X-Men stories is not as good is well worth a visit, just to remind ourselves that not so long ago we were getting great stories with high stakes and that were true to the spirit of the X-Men. Whilst we wait for the X-Men stories to become good again I recommend you all go back and reread this great, fun story.
So cards on the table today I was not expecting to write on the blog. I have been very busy with work lately and today I was exhausted and thought about going to bed earlier. Before going to bed I decided to read the last issue of Inhumans vs X-Men wondering how Marvel was going to end this crossover (the latest in a series of many, many crossovers) and after reading it I have felt compelled to write about it. I am, generally, a very positive reader of comics. I accept almost all changes as long as they make sense and I tend to go along with almost all stories as long as they respect the characters and remain true to them.
Recently in my post about Logan I mentioned how thankful I was to that movie for reminding me how much I love the X-Men. However reading the ending of this story has really made me angry and upset and feeling bleak about the X-Men. Now before I go into details let me warn you that there will be plenty of spoilers on this post so read at your own peril. That said…WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK MARVEL? The ending has completely destroyed one of the greatest X-Men characters of all time and all of the character development that they did with Emma Frost since she joined the X-Men in the 2000s has been thrown down the drain. At the end of this crossover we see an Emma Frost who once she actually accomplishes her goal of ending the terrigen mists decides to kill all the Inhumans using sentinels…and in that way the authors of this series completely destroyed all of the character development that they have done with this character. Emma Frost, the survivor of Genosha, a place where she saw her students be killed by sentinels, decided to use those machines to kill the Inhumans…it makes no sense whatsoever.
I am really sad about this decision. Marvel has lately not been able to capture the magic of the X-Men, struggling to give us good stories as they attempt to give a bigger focus on the Inhumans. However this has reached a new level. They have resorted to making Emma Frost, one of the strongest, iconic and inspiring mutant leaders into a woman who is not able to get over the death of her lover and becomes crazy about it. A feminist strong character reduced to the trope of just another crazy woman.
The great X-Men runs that we had in the 2000s by Wheedon and company in which we got awesome characters and great development both of Cyclops and of Emma Frost are slowly being deleted by Marvel. We first had to suffer through Marvel completely destroying Cyclops as a character and we now seem to be heading towards a similar fate for Emma. I loved both of this characters and their relationship as I felt that it made them stronger individually and helped them grow as a character and I won’t lie that I am saddened by how Marvel has developed things.
If things keep going this way I might have to stop reading X-Men, my favourite series, for some time and hope for the return of good stories that do not spit on the face of the characters and their development throughout the years. Whilst that day comes I will be at my home rereading some of the greatest X-Men stories and enjoying Cyclops and Emma Frost, all the time thinking to myself that Cyclops and Emma Frost were right.
Today is International Women’s Day and I have decided that it would be appropriate to talk about one of the most awesome characters in all of high fantasy, a character that fascinated me as a kid and still continues to do to this day; Galadriel. Since the age of 11 when I first saw Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, I was immediately drawn to Galadriel who was beautifully played by the elegant Cate Blanchett. She was this mysterious, powerful elf who somehow was able to resist against Sauron. I would later start reading more about her and after reading The Silmarillion I realized that she had become one of my favourite’s characters of all time.
Galadriel, and prepare for me to go full on nerd here, is a royal Elf of both Noldor and Teleri descent. She was the grandchild of King Ingwë of the Vanyar and for some time she lived under the light of the Trees of Valinor before becoming one of the leaders of the Noldor during the rebellion and joining them in their flight to Valinor. Though she was an eager participant and leader in the rebellion, even stated by Tolkien as being the “only female to stand tall in those days” during the wars against Morgoth she would stop associating herself with the sons of Fëanor, marry Celeborn and eventually after the fall of Morgoth become the leader of the land of Lothlorien. During the Third Age she would be chosen to wear the Nenya ring and would join the struggle against Sauron. With the death of Gil-Galad she would become as Tolkien described “the mightiest and fairest of all the Elves that remained in Middle-earth” and would aid the Fellowship on their quest to Mordor. Before departing to Valinor as a reward for not giving into temptation with the One Ring, she would destroy Dol Goldur. At the end she would take to the Grey Havens and would be the only one of the leaders of the Noldorin exiles to return at a grand age of 7,000. (nerd moment over)
This is of course a very quick summary of Galadriel, but the fairest of all the elven woman, had a great impact on me as a child. I was fascinated, as Frodo and Gimli were, by this wise and powerful woman. She was capable of seeing the future and to resist Sauron but most importantly was able to resist the call from the One Ring. That scene in the book and in the movie remains forever in my heart and I always recall it fondly. At age eleven I had not been exposed to many strong women in literature, sadly, and seeing this majestic queen who was respected by all and was incredibly powerful was very impactful.
I was drawn to her as a character and the more I learned of her the more I thought she was a great character. Representing women in books is essential, as we grow up, if we are able to read characters like this on books it will go a long way towards helping feminism. We need to normalize women in power and as strong, wise leaders. I have been thankfully raised in a house where feminism is taught to us, however to those who have not, characters like Galadriel help a lot.
Next time you watch those great movies or read the astonishing books I invite you to take a second and bask in how glorious Galadriel is.