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To Infinity and Beyond: The Marvel Cinematic Universe


Video games
Hugely anti MCU after years of identical bludgeoning mediocrity, and actively disliked Homecoming/Far From Home.

Thought this was pretty damn good, which surprised me a good deal


????? LV 13 HP 292/ 292
(he, him, his)
I… loved… those wonderful men and all the spiders they talk about.

Anyone able to identify the figures in the multiverse tears? I tried, but couldn’t make them out.

I thought I saw the Silver Surfer in the original spell when it went haywire, and what I thought was Eternity’s cloak near the end, but that might have just been my imagination


My understanding is that Tom Holland is currently under contract for one more MCU film. What that film will be and whether the contract is subsequently renewed, no man or spider can say.
I read that he also wants a break from acting to start a family, so it could either mean longer time off entirely or just a small visit.


I liked the Hawkeye finale. It wasn’t perfect, but it was a lot better than the Wandavision and FATWS finales. Overall, the show was a fun action comedy. It had modest goals and overdelivered on them. Good stuff.

My one complaint is that the last scene with Kingpin was clunky. They wanted to insinuate they he was killed, but obviously they’re not going to go to the trouble of bringing back D’Onofrio and then immediately kill him offscreen. So the drama of that shot is totally deflated, and it’s a weak way to end both his and Echo’s stories.
Oh, definitely.

I almost added that caveat but thought it was too obvious.

The social pressure on women to take the primary caregiver role and also the tendency to treat women past their early 20s as too old to cast in any role other than grandmother create a very different situation.


A Bard Named SPOONY
My one complaint is that the last scene with Kingpin was clunky. They wanted to insinuate they he was killed, but obviously they’re not going to go to the trouble of bringing back D’Onofrio and then immediately kill him offscreen. So the drama of that shot is totally deflated, and it’s a weak way to end both his and Echo’s stories.
I think that it's fairly obvious that he's not dead. Even putting aside the meta analysis of bringing D'Onofrio back, this Kingpin was pretty beefed up with some sort of super strength. Hell, he took an arrow to the chest and literally shrugged it off, he was limping at the end sure, after taking an explosion to the face. The Kingpin from Netflix was tough, sure, but in a believable way, so either this is a new character or he was up to some big stuff during the Blip.

Also, I've read that the confrontation between Kingpin and Maya was a fairly direct reference to something from the comics, and Kingpin survived being shot there as well, so I think it's safe to say he'll be back. We saw no body, we didn't even see the gunshot, it's obvious. So much so that, yes, it came off as super clunky. Like, why even go to that trouble when it's so obvious?

Rascally Badger

El Capitan de la outro espacio
This is going to sound a little more harsh than I actually feel about the show, but why is every character more interesting than Hawkeye in a show titled Hawkeye?
This is going to sound a little more harsh than I actually feel about the show, but why is every character more interesting than Hawkeye in a show titled Hawkeye?
Kate is Hawkeye
Like Badger said...

Just finished the show last evening. It was fine. Not remotely great though. Very predictable ending. Not a fan of the show making Kingpin into such a pushover loser. But that also is probably just a natural consequence of shared universe MCU garbage. When your down-to-earth heroes and villains live in the same universe as Thor and Hulk and MCU-Tony, it frequently has the knock-on effect of making cool but down-to-earth heroes and villains seem weak and lame by comparison. Shared universes were always a mistake.

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
It didn’t really help with this movie, but I really honestly loved that Green Goblin really didn’t have any kind of actual master plan he was working towards; he just saw *a* Spider-Man and decided to ruin his life for no reason at all. It’s extremely true to the character, more so than anything else that they could have done with him.

Also, more subtle, but I also like the tell that Goblin was never even trying to be reformed because even when it looked like Norman was in control; he was still wearing Green and Purple: *bad guy colours

Johnny Unusual

I thought Hawkeye was mostly a lot of fun. Some of the stuff was weaker than others but overall, I really liked the Clint/Kate dynamic and Hailiee Stanfield killed it. As for the Kingpin, I have such mixed feelings. The big fight itself was disappointing but not for a lack of trying. I think my issue is a few and some of it isn't the fault of the show so much as VERY tricky loop threading. The thing the show could have done better: I like the Kingpin as a skilled martial artist who uses his bulk and power rather than just "big strong-o" who is a crime boss. It's really a showcase for Kate winning, which I am into, but it kind of makes the Kingpin look like a poor fighter relying solely on durability Juggernaut style.

But the other problem is the problem the Kingpin has always had which is that he's harder to work in the MCU than the 616 Universe because he's sort of magical realist. He's not supernatural but you need to be able to accept this guy is abnormally big and Spider-Man strong while "not having powers", which is harder to sell in live action. That said, I feel like here they are leaning into that more and I like them trying. I particularly like him just taking an arrow to the chest and being somewhat annoyed. That's closer to the character I know. It's sad he doesn't get the depth of the heavily flawed but successful (in season one) Daredevil show and Fisk only getting to hang around in cheap seedy areas when some of the fun of the character is him being the embodiment of high society is bit of a bummer. The actor is still bringing it, though, and despite the silly "oops, he's dead" ending no one will ever buy, it was a pleasure to see him and I hope he's around in Moon Knight.

Maya's story was a bit of a disappointment (and the show can't get me to care about her friend that much) and while Florence Pugh is great, I never bought the nonsense the show is using to set her against Hawkeye.

Despite that, when the show is just "go!", it does and is a delight. And Tony Dalton is also someone I pray the MCU doesn't forget, even if it means remembering "The Swordsman". I mean, if they could bring back their boring ass version of Batroc a few times, Tony Dalton damned well better return.


perfect world
I've been through Hawkeye twice now, and after thorough analysis I have determined that The Watch makes no sense.

So, it belonged to Laura back when she was a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. Okay. It's got the logo on the back and the number 19, which is meant to imply that she was Agent 19, a.k.a. the MCU's Mockingbird. (Sorry, Adrianne Palicki.) We know it has a transmitter in it, and presumably does other James Bond-y superwatch type stuff, otherwise no one would possibly care about it other than as a memento. Clint and Laura are concerned that it could "blow [Laura's] cover," but... how? Does it contain her personnel file on a little hard drive in case she forgets who she is while wearing it? But, okay, let's assume that having possession of the watch somehow clues you into the fact that Laura Barton was Agent 19.

Who cares, aside from the audience?

I mean, I think it's cool that she was an agent, but there are a ton of former S.H.I.E.L.D. agents out there, some of whom are probably trying to lead normal lives again and a number of whom probably own or owned watches. It seems like Clint and Laura are worried that Kingpin will get his hands on it, but why would he care who was and wasn't an agent? Surely S.H.I.E.L.D. was not bothering itself with Fisk's criminal operation, which is a purely Earthly and mundane concern, far beneath the agency's purview, and so he'd have no beef with them. I guess that you could make the extremely vague argument that, as someone who operates from the shadows, he's interested in acquiring information that leaves others vulnerable, but see below for more on that.

The watch was recovered from the wreckage of the Avengers facility and (intended to be) sold at a black market auction. The Tracksuits break in under explicit instructions, presumably from either Maya or Fisk, to take the watch and nothing else. Why? Maya's defining character trait in this series is her obsession with revenge against the Ronin, so it seems bizarre for her to be focusing on this seemingly irrelevant watch when there are two pieces of Ronin-related memorabilia being sold at the very same auction. But it must have been Maya who was after it, because it's tracked to her apartment in episode 4. (Maybe she just hadn't delivered it to Fisk yet, in which case she's really dragging her feet.)

You might say "well, Maya wants it because it's connected to the Ronin, and might therefore be leverage to bring him out into the open." But Maya has no idea Clint was the Ronin until he tells her in episode 5. It seems like maybe she's starting to suspect it as the series goes along, but she doesn't know, and those suspicions don't even begin to arise until after she already has the watch anyway.

More than that, one has to already know the watch's history (that it belonged to Laura as Agent 19) in order to recognize that it even has value beyond telling the time. Thus there's no point in actually having it; you have to already know the secret in order to want to learn the secret, which you already know.

Is it me? Am I missing something incredibly obvious? This feels like a plot thread that got lost in the editing. Does it ruin the series, which is otherwise very enjoyable? Nah, it's just a minor subplot, but it bugs me a little.

(As an unrelated footnote, I think it's funny that Tony turned out to have been accidentally 100% correct about Laura when he met her in Age of Ultron and snarked "This is an agent of some kind." (And when he sees Lila and Cooper: "And these are... smaller agents." A plot point to be confirmed in the future, no doubt.)


Post Reader
There's a lot of vague and fudge-y writing in Hawkeye and the watch belongs on that list. It was a MacGuffin to bring the heroes into conflict with the bad guys and not really anything else. It was a fun show because it didn't try to do more than it could and fall on its face like the other D+ series sometimes did.

I liked Spider-Man. It's kind of impossible to analyze as a story on its own because by its nature it's completely tied into the 20 year history of Spider-Man movies. Some good comedy, action, and strong dramatic scenes. Don't like how we got to the ending but it would be a solid place to start another movie or just let the character be for a while.

The mid-credits scene was a fun compromise on getting the symbiote into the MCU without the baggage of the Venom movies which, like them or not, do not really fit into the MCU milieu.


Watched Spider-Man, enjoyed it a lot. Well, some (most?) of it.

There was basically no time for school stuff, so his friends felt kind of there, just because they have to be there. Dunno, it's important that they lose memory of him, at the end, but something didn't work for me there.

Loved the fight with Dr. Strange, and how Peter wins by being good at math. Strange is a fun character, and I always enjoy having him and his bizarre powers around, but I agree. He should have actually talked about the spell with Peter, instead of just doing it, completely. Peter is still a kid. Of course, he wouldn't think everything through beforehand. Come on.

First, it was weird that this movie only dealt with a problem that it created itself. But I realized that, in the end, it was just dealing with the fallout. All the dimension-mixing stuff happened, because Peter didn't take on his responsibility of giving everything up. Which isn't fair, but it's what Spider-Man is about.

I liked, how all the villains got some time to shine, and some character (except for the Lizard, but who cares about the Lizard?). Seeing Doc Oc again was nice, and Osborne was very enjoyable, too. For some reason, I had thought we would see Harry here, not Norman.

All scenes with the three Spideys were great. There really was a brotherly vibe going on, and I loved that. Just, no matter how much Peter would talk to his friends or May, or even to other Superheroes, no one truely understands him. Except for other Spider-Men. The grieving scene was great. Maguire still works for me, and the way he carries himself, showing wisdom and understanding of an adult, and just looking like the nicest person ever, made his presence great. Garfield never really worked for me as a Peter, just not a person that I would consider a nerd. So, he didn't work as Spidey for me here, at first. But he had great chemistry with the other two, and really felt like the center of the whole "we are like brothers" thing - no wonder, considering that he mentioned it. I loved how he saved MJ, just for the fact that this Peter didn't have to do everything on his own. He had help.

I guess I could go on, but I think that's all. Fun movie. Glad that it was, finally, Stark-free.

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
Started listening to some of the Marvel produced Podcasts, specifically Marvels (loosely based on the graphic novel of the same name) and it’s… real good.

It’s based around one of my favorite bits of bonkers Marvel ephemera (that “A Nutty Publicity Stunt” is immediately accepted as a perfectly logical explanation for anything) and it plays it completely straight and for maximum dramatic effect when it’s in relation to Galactus.

It also stars Method Man as Ben Urich.
Finally watched Shang-Chi. What an overwhelmingly mediocre film. Some stray thoughts:
  • Shawn and Katy were fun. Anytime the film was about them and only them, it was a good time. Both actors have a lot of charisma. I would have watched a whole movie about Shang-Chi running around SF trying to evade assassins.
  • Every moment after the dad shows up and tries to take Shang-Chi under his wing was miserable and bad and dumb. The back half of the film trying to make a Chinese-Wakanda felt like an editorial mandate from a white producer.
  • Bold decision by Disney to manufacture a Chinese-American super hero, and then have his father be the single biggest villain in Chinese history. Every time the movie tried to make me empathize with him, I kept screaming at the TV, "HE'S A GENOCIDAL MONSTER, I DON'T CARE!!!"
  • There's some interesting things the film tried to say about toxic-masculinity, and father-son relationships in Asian families that felt very familiar. But again, no matter how mean my dad was growing up, he wasn't remotely close to being Ghengis Khan.
  • The martial arts choreography was really good for an American action movie, but all the cg magic was a big snooze.
  • The sister was a non-entity. The illustrious Michelle Yeoh barely had anything to do with the plot; almost felt disrespectful of the movie to bill her but then barely use her.
  • The plot was absolute nonsense. Of the highest order.
  • The entire film's relationship with gender is really, really weird.
  • I wish Simu Liu would have gotten a better script/story to work with where he could have been the actual main character, instead of getting Captain America'd.


I cuss you bad
Yeah, I'd say Shang-chi is the best of the current wave of Marvel films, but it's still some way off being good. It was better when it was being a martial arts film, my interest evaporated with the CG.