MCU

Team Cap or Team Iron-Man

Recently I was privy to observe a very clever conversation arguing the true depth to what it means to be Team Cap (#TeamCap) or Team Iron Man (TeamIronMan).   Joining in was yours truly, King of The Grid Derreck, the best Black Panther cosplayer Brent Simpson, resident Ghostbuster Ryan, and our knowledgeable nerd Nikki. The conversation took place over multiple hours through a Facebook chat among friends. Some of the conversation has been edited to remove tangents, typos, colloquialisms. Overall, it was an exciting conversation to take part it and I’d like you to be apart of that too.

 

Captain America: Civil War Team Cap and Team Iron Man

Derreck: So why is everyone on Cap’s side? Seriously though, is everyone on Cap’s for personality reasons and now what they are actually doing/standing for?

Brent: I generally feel that Cap is doing the morally right thing. Even if it is unpopular.

Derreck: You don’t think people like this need to have some kind of checks and balances system? Especially after all that destruction?

Nikki: The world has gone to shit and these bamfs are saving most of us. Collateral damage is better than obliteration.

Derreck: I don’t think Iron Man’s side is: let’s all go home.

Ryan: Nope. How are you gonna check and balance a God and a big green radiation monster?

Derreck: He agrees with accountability.  Ryan, so it’s difficult, it shouldn’t be done? No accountability because Hulk? That’s some lame logic.

Ryan: The government doesn’t need their hand in everything. Look what happened when SHIELD was active. They were a government branch the Avengers were supposed to report to. They got infiltrated and caused all the Winter Soldier shit. Just because it’s the government doesn’t mean it’s any more of an infallible entity than the Avengers as a team.

Derreck: Hence the checks and balances. The same problems could arise within the Avengers. So the Hulkf takes out a city block and everyone should just look the other way because accountability “might” bring problems?

Rae: I don’t believe choosing to protect civilians means they have to become employees of any such government. What happens if the UN is corrupted?

Brent: I think internal checks and balances are different than tacit government sanction. Especially as there is no world governing body.

Nikki: The Avengers need to police themselves.

Ryan: Exactly.

Derreck: I don’t think we know that’s what’s happening. The trailer doesn’t say they are employees of the US military. As far as the UN goes, what if the Avengers are corrupted? And police themselves? That hasn’t worked so far, has it?

Rae: And,if you want to hold them accountable for their destruction you can literally rebuild.

Nikki: They’ve certainly made an effort.

Ryan: If the Avengers are corrupted, having the government involved won’t help anything.

Derreck: I like how the Avengers, a continuously growing group that includes criminals can police itself but the UN can’t.

Brent: If Hulk goes crazy, Hulkbuster and Thor can take him on. If the Security Council decides to clear the way for Hydra, what’s the plan.

Derreck: It’s just like our military today. They don’t have to listen to the President. If the UN becomes corrupt, then the Avengers do something about it. But to claim they can “police themselves” is just not realistic.

Nikki: This movie is coming out at a peak political time. Some people have lost faith in the government, others want to fix it, others think it’s fine as is. We’re just protecting our feelings onto the movie..

Brent: But the moment the Avengers take action, they are terrorists.

Derreck: Brent, I disagree. If our President gives an order that is not constitutional and the military does not obey, that is not a terrorist avct by the military.

Brent: Not obeying an order is not the same as taking an action.

Derreck: Under that logic, it doesn’t matter if the Accords** are signed or not because any corrupt military could just brand the Avengers as terrorists.

Rae: Non corrupt governments have. That’s why they’re there.

Derreck: It’s simple. There are two options: sign the Accords, show the world that you want to make it a better place and protect it. This has the chance to become a problem if the UN (or whatever agency) is taken over. Second option: Don’t sign and you’re automatically a terrorist because you see yourself as above the law and outside rule.

Rae: And that’s the WHOLE plot of the movie.

Derreck: If the UN becomes corrupt, the Avengers have literally the same options whether they’ve signed or not.

Brent: Pretty much.

Derreck: Hence, sign the damn Accords and IF the UN becomes corrupt, deal with it. It’s not like Hulk loses his powers or something if they sign.

Brent: A zero sum argument doesn’t help either argument though.

Derreck: Cap makes it personal and goes after Bucky, who is a terrorist. It’s not a zero sum. One has the possibility of ending badly, the other absolutely will.

Brent: I think it’s an absolute either way. Hydra is still out there and operating. Allowing them oversight of the Avengers means they will be pawns of Hydra. Remaining an independent peace keeping organization means the chance of that is zero.

Derreck: But that’s based on the claim that it is impossible for Hydra to infiltrate a member of the Avengers. That’s not a fair claim. Ant-man was a criminal and Scarlet Witch was a bad guy. Who’s to say Hydra can’t get involved? Add Bucky to the list as a terrorist, programmed or not.

Brent: But then we are back to self policing. If they sign and they are infiltrated, they can do nothing until sanctioned. Especially because Hydra controls the team. If they do not, they are capable of taking action against that individual.

Derreck: That’s just red tape. If Hulk wants to smash, he’ll smash. The Avengers need to be responsible for ensuring Hydra doesn’t take control, yes. But on the flip side, why should they get to dictate what classifies as acceptable destruction and loss of life? Because they have powers or suits?

Brent: I don’t follow the logic that they are able to classify anything. Independent organization doesn’t mean they aren’t required to answer for their actions or explain themselves.

Derreck: But who are they answering to at that point? Is this the whole point of the Accords, accountability? I feel like Iron Man’s whole point is that they should answer to some group. And right now, they don’t. They operate using his money and his technology but on US soil.

Brent: Answer to the government where the loss of life and destruction of property took place. We have international law. You don’t have to be a part of the UN to be tried for a crime or called into a tribunal.

Derreck: So, what the trailer leaves unanswered is, has that happened? Or have they been protected from all of that? It’s not like they can bring Bruce Banner to trial. Or Vision. If they have had to answer to the local governments, then it’s a different conversation because the Accords don’t do much at that point and the scene with the videos seem out of place. It’s a super similar question to what Superman has to answer to after the destruction of Metropolis but at least we know he ends up in court. Should Scarlet Witch be protected after she helped Ultron? And what about Bucky? Does he get a pass because he’s Cap’s old buddy?

Brent: He ends up in a congressional hearing, but it’s a fair point. Bucky is such a unique criminal case to me. You have his initial disappearance, which could be construed as kidnapping. Which makes his later actions justifiable as he was under duress, in addition to the psychological trauma he suffered in his conditioning process.

Rae: Should everyone in the MCU who has been tortured and brainwashed immediately demonized without rehabilitation?

Brent: I can’t answer to that point. There are a lot of issues with his case for a direct answer.

Derreck: I don’t disagree with that but what Cap does to get him is illegal. He is operating outside of the law. The Avengers don’t get to be the judges. I’m not demonizing anyone. I’m simply saying if the UN can be so easily corrupted, why can’t the Avengers when it’s actually happened to some of the members? I don’t fault Cap on a personal level but his actions are still illegal.

Brent: Which brings us back to moral vs. legal.

Derreck: Looking at just the existing MCU before Civil War: Hawkeye was brainwashed, Scarlet Witch helped Ultron, Ant-Man was a criminal, and Bucky was a terrorist. That’s not good odds. The issue isn’t about whether or not we understand Cap’s personal feelings, it’s about whether or not the Avengers should operate within international law. I understand Cap’s dilemma and I feel for him but that does not justify acting outside of the law. A law that was, at the time, not a covert Hydra corruption situation.

Brent: Which is very gray. Extradition and detainment varies by country.

Derreck: Agreed. It’s complicated which is exactly why Cap doesn’t get to act as Judge Dredd here without serious reprecussions. Even in the trailer, Cap says you can’t always save everyone. Maybe Bucky is one of those people the Avengers can’t save.

Brent: Which I’m sure he’s willing to face.

Derreck: Does it suck? Yes. Is it sad? Absolutely. But it doesn’t erase the rest of the world the Avengers have to operate in.

Brent: Can we just appreciate how much more nuanced this Civil War is?

Derreck: Oh, absolutely. This is definitely not a punch/smash/bad guy down movie.

Brent: As an independent organization, I think they will be called to ask for their actions. However, I can’t agree that they need to be directly responsible to one organization doesn’t cover everywhere. Strike responsible. Sub accountable. Cap’s “issue” is that he will look at this as a soldier. He will accomplish  his mission, then turn himself in for a court martial. He can explain himself the and accept whatever punishment is proper. As an outsider looking in, his character and morals mean that he will do what is good and right. Even if it isn’t legal. Guns pointed at civilians 24/7 was legal after all.

**In reference to the Sokovia Accords, the fictional documented contract that the Avengers are being asked to sign in the upcoming film.

So what did you think? Did any of this change your mind? Whose team are you on: Team Cap? Team Iron Man? Let us know!

Team Cap or Team Iron-Man

SH S1E11: ‘What If’ Iron Man Died?

In our first installment of our new “What If” Screen Heroes segment, we explore the many different stories we’d come across if Iron Man (Tony Stark) died at the end of Marvel’s Avengers. How would Avengers: Age of Ultron be affected? Would other heroes be featured more prominently with Iron Man no longer in the limelight? What about Civil War? These questions and more are answered as we pick apart the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) with this one creative change. We also go on a few tangents and rants. Always good times. Check out what we have to say and then give us your opinion in the comments below.

If you enjoyed the segment, shoot us some ‘What If’ scenarios you’d like us to tackle! Remember, we cover more than just comic book films and series. Anything featuring heroes on TV, in film, or video games is fair game.

‘What If’ Iron Man Died Podcast Credits

Hosts
Rae Stewart
Ryan Couture

Special Guest
Ian Turner

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Michael Wallace (Flying Killer Robots)

iTunes Link
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/screen-heroes-grid-dailys/id1071922623

RSS Feed
http://griddaily.com/feed/podcast/screenheroes

Social Media
@GridTalkTweets
Facebook Page

Email
contact@griddaily.com

SH S1E11: ‘What If’ Iron Man Died?

Finn Jones is Iron Fist

The last Defender to be cast in the Netflix corner of the MCU is Game of Thrones actor Finn Jones.

Joining Netflix Original Series Marvel’s Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage, Iron Fist will revolve around the titular hero, a New York native who learned the mystical powers of martial arts found in the lost city of K’un-L’un.

Jones, who plays Ser Loras Tyrell on Game of Thrones, has also been seen in British show Hollyoakes. Dexter alum Scott Buck has been opted for showrunner.

finn jones iron fist - source Entertainment Weekly

While an Iron Fist date is still unknown, expect to see him show up in Luke Cage considering they are superhero besties. The second season of Daredevil drops March 18th, a week ahead of DC Entertainment’s and Warner Bros’ Bamtan vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, with Luke Cage and Jessica Jones slated for later this year.

What do you think of the casting choice? Are you excited to see Iron Fist come to life as a Netflix Original Series? Comment below with your thoughts!

(image source: Entertainment Weekly)

Finn Jones is Iron Fist

Why we Should be Excited for the Punisher

Punisher is set to debut on Netflix’s Daredevil season 2 in March but the character isn’t terribly well known. In this age of jaded heroes that are flawed he is absent in public conscious. But the Punisher stands as quintessential anti-hero and he deserves a better place in the public mind. He has no powers or exceptional abilities except one, his willingness to use lethal force. This sets him head and shoulders above all other heroes in ruthlessness. Because of his brutal methods he is consistently rated highly as a fan favorite, IGN ranked the Punisher #27 out of 100 of comic book heroes. But he hasn’t fared all too well in a life outside of the comic books.

2 Punisher Films

His portrayal in movies hasn’t been that great. Sometimes his films capture the mood and the character but drop the ball when it comes to plot. While at others times only paying lip service to what he is as a vigilante super hero. His guest appearances in other media such as video games and animated TV series has been closer to the comics but despite how brutally simple the character is, they have never quite got Frank Castle right. Netflix’s Marvel lineup has been impressive and with The Punisher announced as a future spinoff it could be that Netflix has given the Punisher the justice he deserves in the up and coming appearances. This is an incredible opportunity to bring a character to life that always been bungled in films.

The Punisher in Brief

Frank Castle is a simple character. He was a Marine Special Forces commando in Vietnam where he picked up many deadly skills. He enjoyed combat so much that he changed his name from Castiglione to Castle to sneak past the military’s rule of 3 tours of duty in Vietnam. Later, during a family trip to a park his family witnessed a mob killing and the mob, not wanting any witnesses, killed Frank’s family. As if by sheer will the Punisher refused to die and sets about his war on the mob and crime in general. This has left him emotionally scarred and twisted. He is a man without a family or any connections. Maybe his only power is that he has nothing to lose.

Punish Origin

But this doesn’t really make the character special, I mean heaven is full of dead super hero families, and even some characters that are somewhat ruthless. But not as nearly so as the punisher. What makes the Punisher so unique is that he is waging a one man war. Frank Castle sees the world in simple terms, in the black and white. If a person is guilty of severe crimes then he declares war on them, everything is fair game; Psychological warfare, torture, and executions to name a few. Where a warrant declares a criminal as “wanted dead or alive” the Punisher always ops for killing. In fact he never sets out to capture or persuade, if you’re in his sites he’s coming to kill you, its as simple as that. Not many heroes can claim that. Where a character like Spiderman may rush in, relying on his abilities to capture the criminal, the Punisher stalks his prey and when the time is right unleashes lethal firepower, anywhere from a long range sniper shot to a car bomb. Or if its in is favor he’ll go in guns blazing, All’s fair in war.

The-Punisher

Punisher Compared to Others

He may come off has being too simple and boring, as a character who just runs around killing people but there is something more to the Punisher. Its his willingness to go all the way that liberates him. He doesn’t have to worry about morality, society or the law, punishment he is beyond that. The Punisher is free to go 100%, to let loose. Criminals may fear being captured by other heroes but they know they can wiggle out in courts with lawyers, or they can even escape from prison if it come to it. As seen with the revolving door that is Arkham. But the Punisher is different and in his own words
They laugh at the law. The rich ones who buy it and twist it to their whims. The other ones, who have nothing to lose, who don’t care about themselves, or other people. All the ones who think they’re above the law, or outside it, or beyond it. They know all the law is good for is to keep good people in line. And they all laugh. They laugh at the law. But they don’t laugh at me.” -Return to Big Nothing Vol 1 1

microchip

When you compare the Punisher to other super heroes this is where he stands out most. In this modern age of the popularity of the “anti-hero” Frank Castle out does them all. No other hero is as much of an anti-hero as Castle. Take for example the premier anti-hero Batman. He has a strict no kill policy, sure he may say “I’m not going to kill you but I don’t have to save you” but despite all of the mind games and intimidation he never intends to kill anyone. A much more modern conception of anti-hero, Wolverine, kills people left and right. But its usually not his agenda. Sure hill kill ya if you get in the way or if you really irritate him. But usually his agenda is with the X-men, and they are about protecting mutant rights. It’s the Punisher who stands at the far end of the spectrum of being the anti-hero. From the outset he is planning to kill his target, never capture them. Torture and interrogation notwithstanding. Not many other heroes can claim this. They are always tip toeing around it, but the Punisher is never held back it and this is what gives him the edge. This is what makes a pycho with some guns capable of competing in the superhero big leagues.

punisher-killing-ca

It has been said that the Punisher is a modern take on Captain America, a perfect soldier sent to war. Except when he went to Vietnam it twisted and changed him inside. In many ways he’s America reaction to the post Vietnam era. Castle did every thing right in war but came home to tragedy. If Captain America would’ve gone to Vietnam he and lost his family he may have turned out the same. A powerful parable of about characters being a product of their enviroment, and by extension, fate.

Punisher Cap 1

punisher cap 2

How Netflix Needs To Do It

Netflix as already done an excellent job of capturing action in its shows but Netflix has some advantages over the films. For the most part the films failed to show the suffering of victims. Its that one two punch that gives Punisher stories value. And this is why I’m excited for Netflix’s interpretation of the Punisher. They’ve shown an ability to humanize characters of their stories, both villains and victims. Sure its been said that a hero is defined by his villains but I don’t think this is so much the case with the Punisher, the villains are just fodder to him. The Punisher doesn’t have many great villains because he kills them. Sure there are some reoccurring ones but they don’t have the same epic feel as some other mainstream villains.

 

Casting Jon Bernthal as the Punisher is brilliant. What was lacking from a lot of versions of the Punisher in films was the grim, almost veteran soldier feel. All twisted and turned by tragedy. That and atleast having a soft side to show towards innocent people. Bernthal has already proving all of these aspects on his other hit success, The Walking Dead. That and he looks like depictions of him in the comics.

jon-bernthal-gets-one-step-closer-to-going-full-punisher-574831

Its showing the suffering of the victims and the Punishers connection with that that is needed. At best they may show that Castle lost his family but they never really have him connecting with anyone. Despite his ruthlessness in comics he is warm and kind towards the innocent. Its as almost has if he has some empathy for victims and this is the key to showing the character’s depth. Showing this would accomplish two things that have always being missing from the films, it would humanize him and make the punishment much more meaningful, much more satisfying. If Netflix’s track record of both Jessica Jones and Daredevil show they can do just that.

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What makes the Punisher such a good opportunity has that how poorly he has been done so far in film. The public at large just sees him as a “guy who runs around shooting people.” But he is more than that. In a world where anti-heros are the norm he makes them all look like boy scouts. He’s known as a maniac and crazy man, he even shot wolverine in the balls. You don’t get much more anti-hero than that. And we are about to see him on Netflix, a company that has consistently hit its mark with super hero shows with great plots. Its about time the Punisher is done properly.balls 2

Dirty Laundry

Take for an example this little nugget of an homage below. Called Dirty Laundry it does all of these things that the any Punisher story needs to do. Described as a love letter to the character from the fans and having some great actors. It premiered at the 2012 San Diego Comicon and at the moment, it’s the best depiction of Frank Castle outside the comics so far. Hopefully Netflix will improve on it.

Why we Should be Excited for the Punisher

SH S1E6: Infinity War 67

After taking a week off due to snowstorms, Screen Heroes returns to discuss what we are all wondering… who will be in Marvel’s Infinity War films set to close out Phase 3 of the MCU? The Russo brothers are responsible for directing not just Captain America: Civil War but also both parts of Infinity War. In an interview, they threw the number 67 out, as the number of characters they are currently working with. Now, they did clarify and say they just threw out a random and generic number but hey, let’s have some fun! Join us as we try to come up with 67 Marvel canon characters that Marvel Studios owns the rights to who could show up in the massive ensemble films!

Once you’ve listened to our list, comment or reach out to use with anyone we missed or who would make your list!

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes at screen-heroes.com and leave us a review!

Infinity War 67 Podcast Credits

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Rae Stewart
Ryan Couture

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Michael Wallace (Flying Killer Robots)

iTunes Link
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/screen-heroes-grid-dailys/id1071922623

RSS Feed
http://griddaily.com/feed/podcast/screenheroes

Social Media
@GridTalkTweets

Email
contact@griddaily.com

SH S1E6: Infinity War 67

SH S1E4 – Top Moments of 2015

Screen Heroes continues into 2016 with a round table of our top moments of 2015 on the big and small screen. We hit on some of the biggest films and TV series including the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the DC Comics Extended Universe, some dinosaur friends, Pixar, and even a few video games. While our lists do include spoilers, we hope you enjoy them and then comment or hit us up on Twitter or Facebook to let us know some of your favorite hero moments of 2015!

UPDATED 01/07/2016: Add iTunes link in the credits. Please subscribe!

Top Moments of 2015 Podcast Credits

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Rae Stewart
Ryan Couture

Special Guest
Ian Turner
Frank Bones McCoy

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Michael Wallace (Flying Killer Robots)

iTunes Link
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/screen-heroes-grid-dailys/id1071922623

RSS Feed
http://griddaily.com/feed/podcast/screenheroes

Social Media
@GridTalkTweets

Email
contact@griddaily.com

SH S1E4 – Top Moments of 2015

MCU Phase 2 – Unboxing

This week, Marvel Studios’ released their MCU Phase 2 Collector’s Edition box set.  If you remember back a few years, Phase 1 was released in the metal briefcase with the glowing Tesseract inside, most popular from Avengers. This time, we get the Orb from Guardians of the Galaxy, complete with glowing purple Power Stone, plus a ton of extra content featuring goodies from all the Phase 2 MCU films. That means bonus swag from: Iron Man 3, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Thor: The Dark World, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Ant-Man. The MCU Phase 2 box is filled with so much more than the Phase 1, it gets me even more excited for what Marvel continues to bring to the table. Some of the stuff even alludes to what’s to come in the first Phase 3 movie on Marvel’s docket: Captain America: Civil War.   Will Phase 3 be the Infinity Gauntlet?!?! (Hint: IT BETTER BE).

Join me while I break down the entire set including the box art and every little piece of fun content inside the mysterious envelope!

 

 

Rae’s Unboxing of MCU Phase 2 Collector’s Edition

What did you think of my unboxing? Did you pick up the MCU Phase 2 Collector’s Edition set? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Is there something else you’d like us to unbox? There are tons of subscription services out there! Tell us if you have a favorite.

Also be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and give us a thumbs up if you liked my unboxing!

MCU Phase 2 – Unboxing

SH S1E1 – MCU: The Good with the Bad

Welcome to the first episode of Screen Heroes, a new superhero themed podcast series from The Grid: A Sci-Fi Frontier. Screen Heroes will cover everything we see on the big and small screen dealing with superheroes. That means the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), the DC Comics Extended Universe (DCEU), and anything else production companies throw at us.

The premiere of Screen Heroes is being dual published on Grid Talk’s feed, so everyone who listens in to our original series will also be able to listen to our first episode of Screen Heroes. While we are not on iTunes yet, we will be soon!

In our first episode, we’ll kick things off by discussing the pros and cons of the MCU. What is good about the massive connected universe? What are the pitfalls of such a far reaching group of franchises?

After listening, contact us letting us know your thoughts on the MCU. What do you like most about it? What do you dislike about it? You can reach us on Twitter, Facebook, email, or you can comment on the article on our website.

We’ve got a lot in store, so listen in, stay tuned, and thanks for joining us for Screen Heroes.

UPDATED 01/07/2016: Add iTunes link in the credits. Please subscribe!

MCU Podcast Credits

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Rae Stewart
Ryan Couture

Executive Producer and Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Michael Wallace (Flying Killer Robots)

iTunes Link
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/screen-heroes-grid-dailys/id1071922623

RSS Feed
http://griddaily.com/feed/podcast/screenheroes

Social Media
@GridTalkTweets

Email
contact@thegridscififrontier.com

SH S1E1 – MCU: The Good with the Bad

Captain America: Civil War Poster and Trailer

We’re finally getting our first look at the first Marvel’s Phase 3 films: Captain America: Civil War.

First up, the newly released poster:

Captain America: Civil War

But as gorgeous as that poster is, the first trailer is even more amazing:

I was excited for this movie before, but now I can hardly wait.  And what about that soundtrack?  It sounds absolutely fantastic.

This film comes on the heels of Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man but follows a very important story to Captain America himself, his old friend Bucky. We weren’t sure what the motivation for the division between heroes was going to be in the MCU but this trailer gives us a much better idea. We also get a better look at the sides, even though that information was released a little while back. How about Bucky and Cap just beating down Tony? Seems like a pretty intense scene. I wonder if Tony is holding back.

What do you think of the the poster and trailer? Let us know in the comments!

Captain America: Civil War Poster and Trailer

Netflix Original – Daredevil

Here we are, less than a week away from the debut of Jessica Jones, the second of Marvel’s Netflix Original Series.  I thought it would be a good idea to do a quick review of the first of Netflix’s Marvel series: Daredevil.

To be honest, when I first heard that about this endeavor, and that Daredevil would be the first of the series to be released, I was worried.  Why would I be worried?  It’s not like there’s ever been a Daredevil movie that was awful.

Daredevil the movie

And I in no way hold a grudge against Ben Affleck for that terrible movie.  And I OF COURSE hold no negative opinion regarding Mr. Affleck’s upcoming performance as Bruce Wayne/Batman.

But I digress.

Daredevil debuted on April 10, 2015, and in typical Netflix fashion the entire season was available for viewing all at once.  I love Netflix.

Our hero is Matt Murdock/Daredevil (Charlie Cox).  In the opening scene of the first episode, we see the aftermath of a terrible accident, where young Matt was exposed to some chemicals that left him blind, but left his other sense supernaturally enhanced.  It takes a few episodes before we get information on exactly why he’s such a good fighter, but from the beginning we get some background on Matt’s father: he was an old school boxer that didn’t win very often, but he could take a hit.  His son inherited that legacy and then some.

What Daredevil Does Well

The first thing that I love about this show (and I assume the other upcoming Netflix Marvel series) is the casual way they still connect into the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe.  A heavy part of the storyline for the show involves a company, Union Allied, benefiting from the efforts to rebuild the areas of New York City that were destroyed as a result of the Avengers’ battle against the Chitauri in The Avengers.

The fight scenes are amazing.  And I mean absolutely, completely amazing.  It’s not that they’re grittier or more gruesome than the fights we’ve seen so far in the MCU.  The fights involving Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America all involve people that are in some way superhuman.  They’re stronger and more durable than normal people.  But physically at least, Matt Murdock is a normal human being.  Granted he’s highly trained, but he’s very much human as far as his physical capabilities go.

That is evidenced by how the fight scenes are choreographed, which is done beautifully.  Not that I can speak from experience here, but I have it from multiple sources that being in a fist fight is very physically exhausting.  These fights actually allow the characters to display that exhaustion, taking a few seconds to catch their breath, to recover a bit of strength, before moving back into the fight.

The extended fight scene in the second episode is practically perfect as far as a cinematic fight scene goes, especially since it’s all one extended, uncut sequence.  You should watch it.  It’s amazing, especially when you think about the fact that everything that happens during that sequence, had to be done in one long continuous take.

Daredevil’s original Black Costume

Up until the end of the season Matt wears a very DIY costume that is incredibly basic, and works really well for the character.  It’s simple and affordable, which makes sense for a brand new attorney striking out on his own.  The hood (balaclava?) that covers most of his face and head works great for the character as well, emphasizing that the character doesn’t rely on typical sight in order to deal with his opponents.

The Daredevil costume

Sadly we only really get one episode in which to see the actual Daredevil costume in action.  It’s an OK costume, and does fairly well at trying to be representative of the Daredevil costume from the comic books.  But to be honest, I prefer the black Ninja-style costume he spent most of the season wearing.  I would almost prefer to see a more armored version of that costume instead of the red ‘devil’ motif of the new costume.  But that’s a relatively small complaint.

Overall the writing is great, the characters are fun, and the show gets down to the business of superhero action pretty darn quickly.  After the extremely slow burn that was employed with the first season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., that was a HUGE and welcome change.

Where Daredevil Could Improve

It’s 45 minutes into the first episodes of the season before we even hear the primary villain’s voice.  But that character, The Kingpin Wilson Fisk, doesn’t actually appear in the episode at all.  We are introduced to the Kingpin’s primary henchman and the various criminal ‘masterminds’ that the Kingpin is in business with.  But the ultimate villain himself is completely absent from that first episode, and doesn’t actually appear until the second episode.  Granted it’s only one episode, but holding back on the reveal of Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk doesn’t accomplish anything.

Wilson Fisk, The Kingpin

Wilson Fisk, The Kingpin

That problem is made worse by the fact that this interpretation of Wilson Fisk is unreliable.  While Daredevil saves lives and tries to make a difference where he can during the course of that first season, he accomplishes very little as far as dismantling the Kingpin’s criminal empire.  At multiple points throughout the season I found myself thinking, “You know, Matt could just take a vacation at this point, and the bad guys will all just kill each other off.”  Because, SPOILERS, that’s basically what happens.  Matt does take down the Kingpin in the end.  But Wilson Fisk did most of the damage to his own criminal empire as he eliminated each of his own partners for reasons that aren’t ever explained, other than the fact that he is mentally unhinged.

As much as I wanted to root for Matt Murdock to triumph over the Kingpin, it was really hard to do so because it didn’t feel necessary.  Fisk was likely always going to self destruct, and like a black hole, he would destroy everything around him as he did.  Granted the cost of that explosion would likely be enormous, but none of Daredevil’s actions throughout the season felt particularly necessary in brining Kingpin down.

That’s one of the reasons I’m so excited for Jessica Jones, because this time the villain and our heroine already have a pre-existing history, and it’s intensely personal.  Whatever else Jessica (Krysten Ritter) does as she attempts to save other people and the city around her, it’s all going to be layered on top of the fact that she’s fighting a war to save her own soul.  And that’s going to be fascinating to watch.

Daredevil Verdict

If you haven’t watched this show already, and have even a cursory interest in comic book superheroes coming to the big and small screens, you should watch this show.  Even with its flaws, it’s incredibly fun to watch, and I’m excited to see what Netflix has in store, both for the other three shows they have in the pipeline as well as for Season 2 of Daredevil.

Netflix Original – Daredevil

Marvel Announces Ant-Man and the Wasp

This just in! Marvel Studios has announced a new Phase 3 MCU film, Ant-Man and the Wasp which is slated for a July 6th, 2018 release. This is very exciting news for those looking for move superhero films featuring female heroes as this film marks the first time Marvel Studios will release a film with a female hero in the title. This does affect the release dates of two other Phase 3 MCU films, Black Panther and Captain MarvelBlack Panther has been moved up to a February 16th, 2018 release date while Captain Marvel will see a March 8th, 2019 release date.

This means that Black Panther will release a month before DC Comics The Flash, while Ant-Man and the Wasp will release a few weeks before Aquaman and Captain Marvel will release a month before Shazam.

The decision comes on the back of Ant-Man’s financial success, bringing in $410 million globally with $178.5 million coming from the domestic box office. While this falls short of Avengers: Age of Ultron’s nearly $459 million take, it is a solo film and an origin story of a character many were not familiar with. Now that it was successful, a sequel that features Wasp in action seems viable.

Meanwhile, DC Comics’ Wonder Woman is still slated for a June 23rd, 2017 release, putting their first female-centric superhero flick a year ahead of Marvel’s.

Marvel Logo

Marvel Studios also announced dates for three unknown films all in 2020 as part of Phase 4 of the MCU:

  • May 1st, 2020
  • July 10th, 2020
  • November 6th, 2020

Additional information on the announcement can be found at Marvel’s site.

I know I’m very excited for this new film as well as so many more in the superhero genre. What do you think of the latest news? Comment below!

Marvel Announces Ant-Man and the Wasp

MCU Civil War Sides are Chosen

Two months ago, we brought to you our picks for how we thought the Civil War sides would fall.  Recently, Jeremy Renner (better known to you all as Hawkeye) posted on Twitter some very interesting concept art that clearly divides our favorite heroes.  Before we show you that, let’s remind you where we had our heroes stand:

Pro-anti 2

Now, here’s Renner’s post:

https://twitter.com/Renner4Real/status/636950538777702400/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

As you can see, we weren’t far off at all!  The major difference between the two lists is obviously Hawkeye himself.  We had him slotted for Team Iron Man, along with the rest of the S.H.I.E.L.D. members.  It would seem that whatever is about to go down between the Avengers, Hawkeye has been deeply affected by the events in Avengers: Age of Ultron and will be suspicious of Tony for the time being.

Now, there’s another aspect of this poster that we have to talk about:  there’s a blonde woman siding with Captain, and consequently, there’s no Scarlet Witch.  Being as it is  just concept art at this point, it definitely doesn’t mean we won’t see Scarlet Witch at all (she was cast in the movie already.)  However, there is a Sharon Carter in the poster.  She had a small, but important role in the comics version of Civil War that would cause so many spoiler issues we dare not even write it.  Her part, though, in both Captain America:  Winter Soldier and the comics, should in no way constitute an image on the poster.  We already have many issues with Marvel’s current treatment of their female characters; this does nothing but make it worse.

A huge surprise is the addition of Black Panther fighting for Team Iron Man.  Rumors, and even allusions in Avengers: Age of Ultron, lead us to believe that Black Panther would be sitting this fight out, avoiding all of the American superhero politics.  How he will be introduced and developed in this film will be a huge plot point and one that we’re all interested in  seeing.  On the bright side, it does mean his character isn’t completely being phased out by Marvel’s introduction of Spider-Man into the MCU.

Lastly, there’s no Hulk.  He was cast and yet he’s not here.  Well, there could be several reasons behind that.  He may still be on the lam, not willing to join the fray and take a side any time soon.  He may not be ready to stand with or against Natasha in another battle. Despite their feelings, she did end up forcing him back into Hulk mode, which he was clearly unwilling to do at the time.  His part may be so small that he’s merely there to set up something in the future.  While Planet Hulk is still a pipe dream (thanks, Universal), the possibilities of Hulk’s future aren’t as limited as they seem.  Marvel can get pretty creative when they want to be.

Did your predictions get it right?  What do you think of all the new costumes?  Be sure to comment below with how you think the Civil War will change the MCU! Whose side are you on?

 

MCU Civil War Sides are Chosen