Is Shang-Chi & The Legend Of The Ten Rings As Epic As Its Title?

Shang-Chi & The Legend Of The Ten Rings is a great title I would’ve expected of a sequel. Fred Van Lente was asked to use Shang-Chi in Wolverine: First Class so Marvel’s trademark wouldn’t lapse. Then they don’t bother using Master Of Kung Fu in his movie title. I agree that mastering kung fu isn’t the greatest selling point in a universe of superhumans though. If he’s mastered kung fu, why isn’t Shang-Chi’s supranym Kung-Fu-Mmaster? (DC has Judomaster.) The Wages Of Cinema will now SPOIL what happens beyond the title while its newer trailers spoil the climax to a crazy degree! Is Shang-Chi your guy when The Ten Rings are nigh? (If you’re not ready for that, might I interest you in some X-Men rants?)

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Mutant Musings

Sometimes I write blogs for spite! I’m not sure if my faith in humanity should be restored by the minimal views. Now we’re back to one of my rambling blogs that aren’t tied in to recent media events. The topic is X-Men (Remind me to do an annual cat post.), handily divided into toys, film/TV, & comic books.

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This is how the youths comport themselves in music halls nowadays.

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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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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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The Toy Fair’s Not Back In Town

Action figures are good, but they can be better! All you have to do is become a customizer! Toys are like drugs except you need to find a place to keep them after the high wears off.

NY Toy Fair has been cancelled for 2021. In lieu of the big press show, many companies are doing smaller virtual conventions through the year. The most hyped was last week’s Hasbro Pulse Fest Fan Fest. Rather than spacing things out, Mattel, Diamond Select, & NECA decided to post similar events around the same time with less fanfare. They were all underwhelming to various degrees. I would’ve made more impulse pre-orders had Hasbro not suddenly jacked up the price of all their 6″ lines by $3. It doesn’t sound that steep on an individual basis, but it adds up when they encourage you to buy entire series of Marvel Legends to complete BAFs. With customers’ budgets already stretched thin by the terrible 2020, this feels like a precarious time to raise prices on non-essentials.

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“Ach, I’m not some nouveau riche piker! I employ people to burn my money for me!”

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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

Polaris Is The Most Gifted Custom?

Whilst watching The Gifted, it occurred to me that its Polaris could be customized from a Marvel Legends Jessica Jones. Shortly thereafter, I saw someone had used this recipe. Not being the first person to execute it dampened my zeal to make one. When I decided to try my own, I found the price of loose Jessicas had skyrocketed since I acquired mine. Then I saw a bootleg custom The Gifted Polaris on eBay. I don’t normally go in for these gray market pieces, but this one included a superb Emma Dumont likeness I’d not seen in this scale. (Perhaps it was hydroshrunk from one of an unlicensed 1/6 scale Polaris, of which there are a few varieties?) My winning bid ended up being only slightly more than an official Marvel Legends figure. It was supposed to be delivered within the broad range of June 10 – August 4. A China Post tracking number was created on May 21 when I ordered it & then nothing. As 2020 was an exhausting string of calamities, I decided to wait patiently for it & save my anxiety for other matters. The day before its last possible delivery date, I leaned “this user is no longer registered on eBay” from my purchase history. The other listings for this product from assorted sellers disappeared too. That’s the karmic thanks I get for trying to be a good citizen of the ‘Net & alerting other fans to its existence.

Dare I trust AliExpress? Its price was double the refund I received from eBay. (A version with Lorna’s head on Elektra’s body was moderately cheaper.) I decided to go for it while they were still in stock rather than miss out & pay triple later. (It doesn’t appear to be available there anymore either, so I did something astute for a change.) I shaved a few bucks off via a coupon from a friend, Kinou Menthe, who was already a customer. I had to specially authorize my credit card to make this payment. The downloadable invoice PDF did not reflect the coupon, which panicked me greatly. It arrived three weeks later, which is quite reasonable considering I ordered it amidst a pandemic. Then I panicked that the reason it had such a good likeness with a professional paint job is that it was stolen from Hasbro’s secret production line & an official version at a more reasonable price would soon be unveiled now that Fox X-Men are back on the table. Thus far one hasn’t materialized (he wrote as as he rushed to publish this before the inaugural Marvel Fan First Friday of 2021).

Polaris 4

If Lorna Dane gets an advanced degree she could also be Dr. Polaris.

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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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Amazon’s The Boys Wanna Fight…

Marvel finally confirmed Tatiana Maslany really is playing She-Hulk after two months of confusion, so I got this blog out in the nick of time! Maybe they’ll redesign Abomination to not look like Doomsday? I want less Zombie-Hulk, more Silurian-Hulk! I was expecting a confirmation that we’d finally get Tim Blake Nelson as The Leader instead. Now that this Disney Investor Day (the most banal marketing event name possible) tidbit is out of the way, we can move on to another cold take review.

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This review of The Boys comes to you courtesy of my new patron, Korey Hughes. Out of the blue, she informed me she was gifting me DVDs of the first two seasons because I don’t have Amazon Prime & she wanted to read my review of it. (I would’ve also accepted the latest seasons of The Expanse.) So this review was written for one person only. All other visitors can move along. Let this be a lesson to the rest of you: If you mail me free stuff, I will review it! This even applies to stuff you didn’t make!

Not only is this a big SPOILER alert for the first two seasons, I’ll also throw in a Content Warning! After three paragraphs of me making value judgements of source material I didn’t read, I finally start talking about the TV adaptation. There’s lots to ruminate upon in these sixteen episodes so it’s practically Love Sausage-sized! (Welcome Home, Brother Charles, exactly the wrong title for my brain to remember, beat it to the penile strangulation.) This time there won’t be any metallic lycanthropes to go with the gratuitous genitalia. Supe porn seems pretty tame compared to death by Popclaw’s snu-snu.

A_Train

Exhibit A-Train in inciting incidents.

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