Infinity War was released a little less than two weeks ago, to great commercial and critical success; this success has done little more than fan the flames towards the fire of DCEU negativity. And now the behind the scenes crew is taking part in the age-old debate of DC vs. Marvel. According to Heroic Hollywood, directors Joe and Anthony Russo attended a convention wherein a fan asked whether or not they'd ever consider making a movie for DC; Heroic Hollywood's reported Joe as saying DC heroes are "unrelatable and...too powerful to be interesting". His reasoning was that, growing up during the height of Cleveland's poverty, he tended to find the abundance of underdog heroes more interesting. Now, I will admit that I prefer Marvel to DC, that doesn't mean I don't like DC; I love DC and their not-Batman characters and the majority of their non-comic exploits. With that said, I don't really understand their opinion. I respect it, but that tends to be a complaint of those who don't read DC comics, and I think this applies most to Superman: everyone thinks he's boring because he's the strongest hero and he always does the right thing, but that's not true: stories like All-Star and For All Seasons show that Superman is more human than he is Kryptonian. Granted, I don't want to imply that the Russo's have never read a comic, because that's just not true, as proven by their work on Civil War, Infinity War, and Winter Soldier. It just seems that the only comics with DC characters they've read are the poorly written ones, like DK2, where Batman is shown to be a cold, child abusing sociopath. Ironically enough, the Russo's said they'd be most interested in doing a Batman film.
Yesterday, DC Comics revealed the name for their upcoming streaming service, due out later this year. Called DC Universe, after their eponymous comics franchise, they've already revealed four new shows: Young Justice: Outsiders, season 3 of the hit animated series, Titans, a live action adaptation of the Teen Titans comics, an animated Harley Quinn show., and Metropolis, a live action prequel to the Superman mythos, depicting the early days of Lois Lane and Lex Luthor. In addition, a new show was announced yesterday. Swamp Thing, named after the comic title of the same name, will tell the story of scientist Alec Holden becoming the protector of Slaughter Swamp, defending it against evil doers. In all honesty, I'm not super excited for it, but I'm not hating either. While all of the shows sound great, from what little we've seen of Titans, and what we haven't seen of the rest, has me worried. Titans in particular has me terrified, as while the suits for Robin, Hawk, and Dove look amazing, Beast Boy and mainly Starfire look below cosplay level, with Raven in an odd in-between area. I'm excited for YJ season 3, but the lack of information, while beneficial in the long run, definitely hurts me now. As for the rest of the shows, I'm pretty indifferent to the Harley Quinn show, and I'm excited about Metropolis and Swamp Thing, but the former is going through redevelopment, which is concerning considering the show has already been announced for 13 episodes. However, I think DC can pull through, and they have me wondering what Disney-Marvel's streaming service will be like.
This summer's Avengers: Infinity War is looking to be one of the biggest blockbusters in cinematic history, with the film being rumored to break the $247.9 million opening weekend set by The Force Awakens. Clearly, audiences worldwide are eagerly awaiting the film's release; however, it seems not everyone wants to allow the film to be seen. Recently, news broke over the censoring of Infinity War in Indonesia, with the Jakarta Post confirming that the Film Censorship Board "cut seven minutes" of the official 156 minute run time; the reasoning for the edits was to ensure the film adhered to the nation's PG-13 standards. This is somewhat odd, as the film has already been confirmed for a PG-13 rating, though the MPAA being an American only group may likely explain why. Beyond shocking some fans, director Joe Russo was similarly surprised, having found out during a Singapore press tour. According to ScreenRant, Russo was quoted as saying, "“I can’t image what seven minutes they would want to cut out of the movie; as an artist you don’t want anybody censoring anything or taking anything out of the film. This is a PG-13 movie, it’s not like it’s some radical piece of content so I’m a little shocked.” So what could the FCS taken out of the film? Well assuming its not a continuous stretch of time, but rather different scenes throughout the film, possible scenes could include...
The announcement of the Kree-Skrull war for the Captain Marvel movie led to an explosion of theories on who could be an alien shape-shifter among Earth's heroes. Everyone from Iron Man to Agent 13 have been theorized as a potential Skrull, but quite frankly, I less concerned with the theories then the film itself. And in all honesty, I'm not really interested in seeing Secret Invasion being adapted for the silver screen. While I enjoyed the story, not enough has been done, in my opinion, to set up the invasion plot, and unless Marvel wants to do some serious retconning, Captain Marvel's movie will end up having to set all this up, and as Iron Man 2 proved, setting up too many future plot threads in one film can prove detrimental. I'm also not sure Disney would be willing to do this story. While not massively darker than most Marvel stories, Secret Invasion featured fairly violent action and character deaths, the latter of which has been sorely lacking in the MCU. And while this would be a benefit, the potential for studio interference seems too high to warrant it. And on the topic of action, I worry the final sequence of the Avengers vs. the Skrull army will be a repeat of the first two Avengers' ending fights, with the titular superteam facing an army of generic CG monsters. They can shape-shift, Marvel should use that to their benefit. I don't mean to sound negative, but I really don't think Secret Invasion would be the best fit for Phase 4.
HaveWith a little more than a month until its release, Infinity War hype is at an all time high, with the second trailer garnering over 100 million views. Just as high as the hype are the expectations for the film, what with it being the culmination of ten years worth of world building and character development. However, no two viewer's expectations are the same, as everyone expects different things; and I'm not at all an exception to that rule. I'll admit I have my own personal hopes for the film. With that said, here are my top twenty things I'd like to see in Avengers Infinity War.
1. Explain the Actions of Team Cap-One of my biggest personal gripes in Civil War was the nonsensical backstabbing of Team Cap: Why is Hawkeye blaming Iron Man when HE chose to leave his family? Why does Ant-Man, despite knowing the likelihood of his criminal record being reinforced, seem shocked that his law breaking land him in jail? Why is Scarlet Witch such a living contradiction? With the exception of Falcon and Bucky, it seemed like all they were good for was blaming their actions on Tony. So why not explain this, be it through resentment of the latter, insecurity, or some other reason? After all, the point of a civil war is that both sides are equally right and wrong.
2. Flesh out the Black Order: Marvel is known for their fairly week villains, but after Hela, Vulture, and Killmonger, that seems to be a reversing trend, as Thanos seems both a physical force of nature and a narratively gripping character. However, the Black Order doesn't seem to be getting the same attention as their father. I'd personally like to see them be portrayed as layered characters, with either notable origins, distinct personalities, or unique power-sets.
3. Diversify the Color Palette: One of the more under looked elements of the first trailer was the abundance of the color gold throughout. It was a pleasant deviation from the monotonously bland muddy-gray we've seen for the last 15+ films. With the exceptions of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Thor: Ragnarok, almost all Marvel films have been extremely uniform from an aesthetic perspective. This movie, however, has the potential to break this trend, as the Infinity Stone and their powers could possibly lead to bright, dazzling set-pieces throughout the film.
4. Deliver on the Action: Speaking of set-pieces, Marvel generally tends to already deliver remarkably well thought out fights between characters; however, this is the 10th anniversary of the franchise. Don't just be good or great, be outstanding, be legendary. One of the reasons I believe Captain America: The Winter Soldier had the best action was because of the diversity thereof: dogfights with Falcon, aircraft battles with the Helicarriers, martial arts with the titular super-soldiers, car chases with Fury, and more. Infinity War should do all these and more, but on a grander scale. The Wakandan Battle seems to show promise; however, if they really want to show Thanos' power, they should do away with the CG army of goons, and instead have Thanos take on a whole team of heroes.
5. Consequences: The Russo Brothers have repeatedly teased great consequences in the film, most likely in the form of a major character death. And this is nice; after all, few characters die, and even fewer of those who do stay dead. However, a problem with these deaths is that they leave no impact: Scarlet Witch seems fine over her brother's death, Uncle Ben has yet to be even mentioned, and as boring and bland as she was, Peggy's death was swept under the rug as soon as the funeral ended. If someone dies, make it so that it effects the characters and the world for a sizable time period. And death isn't even the only method of leaving an impact. While i'm not a fan of using trauma as "character growth", a long-lasting injury like War Machine's could be interesting to see. Maybe have Earth struggle to recoup in the aftermath of two massive alien invasions. Why not, in fact, have these events lead to the formation of the Illuminati in the MCU?
Today, the second trailer for Avengers: Infinity War dropped today, and its time for a breakdown. While I don't know how to explain it, something about the trailer seems so different from other Marvel trailers. There's still the intense music, the snippy dialogue, and subtle foreshadowing, but something sets it apart in a way I'm not able to describe; it may be because the trailer doesn't seem to focus on just one character or group thereof. I guess that's good, since no one's stealing the spotlight, but at the same time, that makes it come off as a bit unfocused and disoriented. The effects are the best in any trailer before it, and the gold hue throughout is an great, albeit new, addition. One thing I really like is Thanos, more specifically the legend of him. Gamora's quote about him "wiping out half the life in the universe" with a snap, in addition to being a clever, though oddly worded Easter egg, really builds up the idea that he's not a foe to be underestimated. We see some of the Avengers and Guardians on Titan, Cap and Panther in Wakanda, but you never seem to be there long enough for it to sit in and digest. Overall, a great trailer, but a bit disappointing.
Like most of this season of Arrow, I feel as if it's pretty underrated, getting mediocre scores on websites like IGN and Metacritic, but scoring as good, great, and even amazing through my perspective. We Fall is another example of this. The theme of family, mainly fathers and their children, still runs as strong in this episode as the previous episodes, and I still find it no less refreshing. The portions when Oliver acts as a father are legitimately touching, and the contrast between the joy in William's eyes when he beats Ollie in their mock archery contest and his disappointment when he discovers he's still the Green Arrow is remarkable, but it's also remarkably real. Speaking of contrast, the best part of the episode in my eyes was seeing how different the new team acted from the originals, mainly the former's distinct lack of hierarchy and the close bond between the former. The conflict between New Team Arrow when they find out Curtis took intel from Vigilante, however, felt somewhat contrived. I understand they did it to show that Oliver's willingness to keep secrets has its benefits, and to be fair, they did portray that competently. However, it really only served to create what I refer to as 10-minute friction, or conflict that is built up fast, but resolved quickly in an illogical way. My only other gripe regards the death of Cayden James' son. Less so the lack of information on it, which is frustrating itself, but rather the predictability of it. I'm fairly certain it'll be explained as Prometheus posing as Oliver during his time in Hub City. While not bad, it's a bit sad to not see the consequences of Oliver's past actions catch up to him, which was made seasons 2 and 5 so great. Not many notable Easter eggs besides the Outsiders reference, which was pretty clever. Overall, a good episode. Not on par with Black Lightning, but above this week's Flash and certainly above Supergirl. I rate a 7.3/10.
I know this is late, but I'll just do this post. Yesterday, Walter Hamada, former executive for New Line, was named as the new DCEU president; Geoff Johns will still have creative input. While I didn't know Hamada until the news broke, I have seen IT, which I enjoyed. However, I am going to miss Johns, as I think he did a mostly good job in aiding Snyder's vision of the films. And speaking of Snyder, I personally believe that he should've been the original president. While often criticized for the DCEU's "failures", there's no denying the success of the franchise (that he created). For instance, Suicide Squad. It's considered an awful movie, the worst of the DCEU, and my personal least favorite film in the series. It earned a global gross of almost $750 million dollars against its $175 million dollar budget. Wonder Woman, a film lauded for deviating from Snyder's "dark and pessimistic vision", was produced by Zack Snyder. And while I could go on, there's not much I can do to change the decision.
Note: This post originally appeared on @comicsanalyzed on January 5.