MCU Musings

I’ve got a backlog of writing that’s more esoteric than my usual rants. Since my neophyte blogging days, however, I’ve learned it’s better for site traffic to prioritize blogs that are newsworthy in the moment. (Even being well timed, however, isn’t a guarantee they’ll be popular upon posting.) Then when there isn’t anything trendy happening in a given week, I get confused over which ramble is most worth editing into something readable.

That was going to be the case last week, but then I heard D23 was happening. So after postponing to see if anything earthshaking was revealed, it was more of a Loki lowkey affair aside from a Werewolf By Night trailer & Thunderbolts roster. So then I opted not to rush to publish my thoughts. Instead this is mostly rambling Marvel Cinematic Universe cold takes. I held back some stuff that’d be germane to She-Hulk: Attorney At Law & Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. In addition to general MCU & adjacent Spider-Man, I’ll start off with hypothetical X-Men. Belated Marvel Comics rants will be a future blog.

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How Marvelous Is Ms. Marvel?

Ms. Marvel is the second of the unofficial Disney+ Phase Two introducing new headliners. She made it onto a billboard that looks blatantly photoshopped. The proudly ignorant are boycotting the series. Or is that just Poe’s Law in action?

Marvel Studios has had great success streamlining decades of continuity for modern audiences whilst maintaining the comics’ spirits. Kamala Khan only dates back to 2013. They shouldn’t need to make any drastic changes. I generally feel that unless there’s a compelling reason for altering things, adaptations should be as close to the source material as possible to best represent the stories they’re ostensibly based upon. Marvel’s alterations range from good (inventing Layla El Faouly) to neutral (Kate Bishop being Hawkeye’s only fan) to bad (America Chavez as a damsel in distress). Rejiggering this fan favorite headliner filled many with trepidation as to where in that spectrum it’d land. So in addition to season one SPOILERS, this review will contain additional kvetching about changes in translation. (I do that anyway, so I’m not sure if it’s to a greater degree this time.) I HATE CHANGE!

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Does Hawkeye Hit Its Target?

I take back what I said about The Falcon & The Winter Soldier: Hawkeye is the Disney+ Marvel show I was least excited for. I plum forgot it was coming out. Aim for Hawkeye SPOILERS below! You should’ve seen Endgame & Black Widow already too! I go on mini-tangents about those. (Spider-Man: No Way Home tangentially references this series & vice versa, but it’s not required viewing first. My favorite scene was when the cast of Inhumans appeared.)

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This mug is a hate crime.

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“What If … Disney Made An MCU Cartoon?”

Unlike Uatu, I have vowed to interfere with your viewing enjoyment of assorted Marvel adaptations! Disney’s first official MCU cartoon, “What If…?”, is simultaneously canon & irrelevant to the MCU because of they’ve officially admitted there’s a multiverse. Every Marvel adaptation is now retroactively part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, completionists!

The series premiere is the most boring, yet I spent the most words discussing it. It acclimates viewers to the concept as subsequent episodes become more experimental. It doesn’t do anything as provocative as Steve Rogers professing blind patriotism is bad. These brisk episodes expect you to conversant with the MCU, which shouldn’t be an issue if you’re streaming on Disney+. “What if … Phil Coulson lived?” is available to stream now too. Some of the minutia has been fudged in these altverses, but it’s not like the movieverse continuity is airtight. At times like those it makes me wish the series wasn’t beholden to the MCU at all. What if … you read below for SPOLIERS for the speculative fiction that Uatu & I watched? What if … this phrase wasn’t at all overused in this post?

Peggy is short for Margaret because is rhymes with Meggy?

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Is Loki Too Low Key?

Disney caught up to comics in killing death. Here be SPOILERS for Disney+’s Loki series, the direct sequel to this Hydundai commercial. (I thought Marvel Studios shilled for Audi?) This is not a trick. Oddly I don’t have too much to say about it? (Don’t get your hopes up about it being short though.) So stay for the mini-rants about alternate timelines vs. alternate realities & identity changes in adaptations!

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Black Widow’s Belated Big Screen Bonanza

Bozhe moi! Marvel movies are finally back on the big screen! (Is The New Mutants a joke to you?) In Soviet Russia, The Wages of Cinema collaboreview listens to you! Now that you’ve seen Guardians, we can finally move onto Black Widow. It’s got some Red Sparrow, Hanna, Anna, & Atomic Blonde mixed in too. If Marvel had prioritized getting Natasha a solo flick when interest in her was at its apex, it could’ve beaten all those movies to the punch. There was even supposed to be a Black Widow movie before the MCU! After the podcast is a web of intrigue SPOILERS!

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Has Everybody Already Seen The Mandalorian?

My magnanimous brother-in-law got me Disney+ to watch The Mandalorian, but instead I used it to watch The One & Only Ivan! It’s the most bittersweet gorilla living with humans movie since Buddy. I always weep at gorilla films. Why won’t Hollywood make more gorilla films that aren’t tearjerkers? Togo has Willem Dafoe & so many handsome puppers! It made me cry too! I further delayed watching the Star Wars show by prioritizing Marvel’s 616 documentary series. I agree with the author of Deadpool Bi-Annual #1 that Brute Force should have its own cartoon & toyline. Even moreso than Stranger Things, the Interwuzzle’s collective inability not to spoil this actually disinclined me to watching it firsthand as soon as possible.

So I eventually got around to watching it. Even later, I got around to editing together my blog review. (This blog takes place prior to WandaVision.) Has everybody else already seen The Mandalorian? If so, you’ll be innoculated from SPOILERS in this cold take. What it lack in thoroughness, it makes up in action figure pics. I’m gonna regret putting them all into one article where they’re germane instead of spacing them out into non-topical blogs!

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Does The Falcon &The Winter Soldier Soar Or Freeze?

After last week’s freestyle toy rant breather, it’s back to reviewing stuff the general public cares about. The Falcon & The Winter Soldier was intended to be the first of of Marvel’s Disney+ series but covid prevented that. (Rumors has it a pandemic storyline was scrapped due to an actual pandemic happening. I’m unsure how much credence to give this since this series already has enough percolating without that.) TFATWS isn’t an elegant acronym. Since WandaVision is named for the main character’s ship name, why isn’t this titled Falucky? (This show put their unresolved sexual tension into couples therapy!) Or it could’ve been updated to Captain America & White Wolf. (It’s so odd Marvel dragged out the reveal of Wanda’s supranym for so long while they cavalierly gave Bucky a new codename he didn’t use in the comics.)

This was the series I was least excited about because I’m one of those people who insists Bucky should’ve stayed dead! (I don’t care much about Hawkeye either aside from the new supporting cast.) It’s only thanks to Sebastian Stan that I can bear to tolerate him as a co-lead. He furrows his brow most intensely! Anthony Mackie’s Falcon remains endearing. For better & worse, Disney+’s second MCU series isn’t as ambitious as WandaVision. There are curious parallels to The Boys in content but not tone. Now begin the SPOILERS for Toucan Sam & The Frosted Flake!

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Does WandaVision Deserve Derision?

D+ means Disney used to have a higher average before absorbing Fox. Wand Division is the new math. WandaVision was supposed to be bumped it forward to 2020 to make a perfect 20/20 vision joke. Although it completed filming before the pandemic production pauses, unlike Falcon & Winter Soldier, it then got pushed back to its original 2021 slot so it wouldn’t compete with The Mandalorian’s second season. Viewers are supposed to be excited for bona fide Marvel Cinematic Universe characters appearing on a televison show instead of a movie, as if Phil Coulson, Peggy Carter, Nick Fury, Maria Hill, Sif, Jasper Sitwell, Edwin Jarvis, Gideon Malick, Dr. List, & the Howling Commandos didn’t already on Agents of SHIELD & Peggy Carter. Remember when SHIELD premiered & people were mad they’d have to watch one series on free network television to fully understand the Marvel movies they paid for? Now that there’s a bunch of more directly influential series that behind a subscription service paywall, fans are excited?

Marvel Studios’ movies are sometimes described as television in cinemas since they link to form a larger story. This time it could argued that MCU’s lucky thirteenth television series is a long movie split into weekly installments. (So are these Disney+ Marvel series going to be event series? I don’t feel like making new tags for them if they’re each one & done. So this’ll just get the standard “Avengers” & like it. If renewed, we can consider making unique tags.) SPOILER warning for nine episodes of the most popular television series of the moment. You really deserve a prize if you’d made it unspoiled this far.

WandaVision Wanda Maximoff defies her name by being a witch who doesn’t wield a wand. Her Zatanna cosplay was actually scarlet. Continue reading

It’s The Most Marvelous Time Of The Year!

After last week’s commissioned deep dive into Stormfront the proverbial milkshake duck, I figured it’s time to clear out some of the Marvel content cluttering my drafts. I won’t be finished editing my X Of Swords review until nobody cares, so this is light on X-Men content. It does have a surfeit of pre-Christmas action figure photos if that’s your bag. (I will regret this if Santa only delivers coal this year.) After the MCU news musings not involving She-Hulk, my comic book thoughts are separated by superfluous tildes!

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“Now I have The Phoenix Force! Ho ho ho!”

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