“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 minute 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 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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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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DuckTales Is Done. BOO-HOO!

DuckTales is done. BOO-HOO! Paget Brewster has decided, however, it’s getting a fourth season. As the Drunk History GOAT, I believe her. It was hard to write this review because just about everything this reboot does pleases me. There’s not much to criticize. My reviews of the first two seasons already highlighted the elements that work. So there’s not much new to write by the time it got to season three. It’s such a great series, however, that it still deserved a write-up for the final season. I finally got around to rewarding voter demands!

This review is late because I had to wait until the seventh & final installment of This Duckburg Life to be released. (Video pivoted to podcast.) This isn’t too late if you waited until it reached Disney+ to watch it. At least we still have two more seasons of The Owl House to look forward to. Now I have absorbed all the 2017 DuckTales … except the comic books & EPCOT game. So SPOILERS for everything but them inbound! As in my Doom Patrol season two recap, most of them are just sort of random observations!

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Magica De Spell wins at sight gags.

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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

Black Lightning Remains Better Than Riverdale

Thank you for coming to my TED Talk on Barbara Minerva! Much like “Blue Monday,” her entrance theme inexplicably wound up on the cutting room floor. If WW84 was made as an excuse to increase the amount of Kristen Wiig merchandise, many licensees are not upholding their ends of the conspiracy. Keep a weather eye out for a companion piece on Doctor Domino.

Now we must venture back into SPOILER territory for the final season premiere of Black Lightning & a few episodes of Riverdale that would’ve been more momentous had the pandemic not shortened last season. As if that wasn’t enough, I have a tangible reason to hate Disney monopolization at the end.

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