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To Infinity and Beyond: The Marvel Cinematic Universe

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Yeah I have little familiarity with the Ms. Marvel comics to say how it works as an adaptation but I really enjoyed this
 
I'm not someone who can speak to how accurate/sensitive a portrayal of an American Muslim family is, I've read mostly good things but I'll defer to people who know better.
It's pretty respectful, but mega-sanitized/Disney-fied version of the Muslim/Desi-American experience from what I know, but I'm no expert. Those are some of the more liberal Pakistani parents I've ever seen. Makes sense, the head writer for the show is brown. That stuff is way more believable/well written than the high school business in that show.
 

Vaeran

perfect world
(he/him)
I enjoyed Ms. Marvel a lot! Very colorful and upbeat, and Iman Vellani is turbo likeable. This had a lot of the same breezy "life on the ground in the MCU" energy that I liked in the first two Spider-Man movies, and I feel like I want to watch the AvengerCon sequences again to try to see everything, as it all went by so fast. Smash Bros. is canon!

Unlike Moon Knight I don't have a strong emotional connection to the source material here (I bought and enjoyed the first Ms. Marvel TPB but never got around to getting more, not from a lack of interest but just because other things took priority), so you won't have to read my kvetching about every little plot and character point. You're welcome.

Looking forward to more!
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
I really enjoyed the first Ms. Marvel episode. Stylistically, cribbing a lot from both recent Spider-Man(s) and various YA aimed films. I feel like the idea is that Kamala has ADD people like her teachers or family, well-meaning as they are, are kind of missing out on that her difficulty focusing isn't a simply failure of self-discipline.

I do prefer the comic's power, particularly the image of her Stilt-Manning across the city pounding robots with giant fists, but I can live with this. Also... I guess she's related to this reality's version of Quasar maybe, if a loose re-imagining.
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)
There’s a mid-credits scene btw, so let the credits play out.
Disney+ has gotta stop putting scenes that are just important parts of the episode during the credits. That's where you're supposed to put little teases and things that don't actually matter.

I liked this episode a lot. It was shot with a lot of style and told a relatable and fun story. Good adaptation of the comic, obviously her powers are different and there are some changes, but it still feels like Ms. Marvel.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
I liked this episode a lot. It was shot with a lot of style and told a relatable and fun story. Good adaptation of the comic, obviously her powers are different and there are some changes, but it still feels like Ms. Marvel.
Very much so. As much as I wanted certain visuals, the characters are all just right. That said, with it being pretty down to Earth, relatively speaking, now I'm getting worried we won't get this character...

038mmk_com_inl_04.jpg
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
I saw Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Wow, that was certainly a Sam Raimi film. I kind of feel Wanda had a bit of a character assassination. It's a bit weird to rely on film audiences to have to watch a streaming service to understand why this character, last seen in a film as a hero, is now murdering people right and left. I'm not sure Wandavision explains that fully either. I guess we're supposed to assume the Darkhold did the rest, after all one of the Stranges destroyed their world after using it. Which makes the whole "our Strange uses the Darkhold and now he's got a third eye" a peculiar place to end the story - you're putting off showing the cost to another film when you should be showing it now.

Also it leaves the story in a "Wanda uses forbidden magic book for understandable reasons and kills everyone then has to die, but Strange does the exact same thing but for him the cost is shopping for sunglasses just got really hard" state
 
Episode 3 of Ms Marvel was a really good time. Less so the Djinn who wasted zero time deciding to break bad - probably should have stretched that out an episode so Kamala feeling betrayed had some actual impact, but I digress but the entire Pakistani wedding was just delightful. I'm sure the event was Americanized a bit, but it felt pretty authentic. I'm not as familiar with Pakistani culture as I am Sikh, but it was real fascinating to see how many traditions they shared and what few differences there were, which just makes a lot of sense. The shoe-ransom is absolutely the coolest/most entertaining wedding tradition on the globe. I think the only thing that doesn't really work for me in the show is the love triangle but that's mostly because I have extremely little patience for teen romantic drama. But it's not bad, just it hits too close to home for me. (If I had a dollar for every time I had to council teenage students who think the world is ending because of their high school relationship drama, I wouldn't be a rich person, but I'd probably be able to buy a really really nice dinner.)
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)
I continue to enjoy this show. It makes me wish Disney+ made actual TV series instead of cheap looking six part movies.
 

Beta Metroid

At peace
(he/him)
Just saw Multiverse of Madness myself. On a certain long-standing character's actions/characterization in this film:
The first thing my wife said to me after seeing this was "you know, a couple of years ago, I would have thought Wanda was a badly done villain here. But being a mom now...I kinda get it." We got to wondering on whether there was a noticeable split on how mothers/parents and non-parents feel about the movie/character.

Which is not to say "if you think her depiction was bad/misogynistic, you're wrong, because I have This One Mom Friend!" Just an interesting perspective that I felt like sharing.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Re: Ms. Marvel ep. 3

It's very weird for the show to drop in one bit of Marvel I never expected to see in the MCU, the Clan Destine. Now, this is obviously a heavily deviated version but it does tie into the original and isn't a coincidental name as the original were human/djinn halfbreeds. And the surprise to me is... this always felt like Alan Davis' baby. I don't mean he had the right to prevent Marvel from using it but I never got the feeling Marvel was never particularly interested in it and that it felt more like though it takes place in Marvel continuity, Davis is, as far as I know, the only person to do the Destine family saga stories and even then he only does stories with them once in a blue moon (the last time was in a series of annuals for Wolverine and Daredevil and others).

It's a shame that at this point they are a bit uninteresting and visually the fight is "Ms. Marvel vs. strong dudes", because thematically the Clan Destine and Ms. Marvel come back to family. I personally feel that it is likely that most of the team, not just Kamran, will eventually turn their back on their potentially destructive mission and will get an opportunity to redeem themselves. But more than that, this is what the MCU will have since the Inhuman bridge seems to have been burned for a while, sadly. So I'm sure more characters in Ms. Marvel's orbit will be Clan Destine in, presumably, future seasons.

But me? I want that evil bird-man.
 
Davis is, as far as I know, the only person to do the Destine family saga stories and even then he only does stories with them once in a blue moon

Technically someone else wrote the final issues of the original run, but then Davis wrote X-men: Clan-Destine which opened with one of the most explicit "keep your hands off my characters, none of that happened" retcons I've ever seen:

FaXEIdC.png

As you say this is obviously within Marvel/Disney's legal rights, but it sounds like a waste of one of the hidden gems in the Marvel line. I hope Davis is at least getting a payday for this (seems... unlikely, this is Marvel/Disney after all). Honestly I wish he would have launched this through Image or Vertigo something, it's clearly a passion project of his and barely needs to be in the Marvel universe. I hope he has the time and the opportunity to do more with the characters if he gets the chance. That set of Annuals was an impressive followup after such a long publication gap.

(Probably overly optimistic silver lining: Maybe this will convince editorial to greenlight Davis to do another round of stories for these characters?)
 

Sprite

(He/Him/His)
Just saw Multiverse of Madness myself. On a certain long-standing character's actions/characterization in this film:
The first thing my wife said to me after seeing this was "you know, a couple of years ago, I would have thought Wanda was a badly done villain here. But being a mom now...I kinda get it." We got to wondering on whether there was a noticeable split on how mothers/parents and non-parents feel about the movie/character.

Which is not to say "if you think her depiction was bad/misogynistic, you're wrong, because I have This One Mom Friend!" Just an interesting perspective that I felt like sharing.
What’s frustrating is that the WandaVision stinger tees the movie up perfectly by making her believe her kids are in danger, but then Strange just ignores that motivation completely. She’s literally just kidnapping them. Change a few lines and it gets a lot easier to see why she did what she did, even for a non-parent like me.

Though I’m honestly more upset by the whole “oops a magical mental illness made me evil, better kill myself” angle than anything else.
 

Bongo

excused from moderation duty
(he/him)
Staff member
Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness uses its alternate-realities conceit to exceed the creative constraints that bind ordinary Marvel Cinematic Universe productions, but in so doing draws attention to those constraints, at a time when audiences are growing more aware of Disney's tendency to turn its franchises into commercials for themselves.

Alternate realities suit a character like Doctor Strange, not least because he's acknowledged to be a self-absorbed jerk: alt-selves and egotists go together like cartoon factory gags and Powerhouse. Multiverses are a writing tool for examining a subject by contrasting it against a foil. It kind of goes to waste if you don't use it to show things that you couldn't show without it.

Fortunately, the Multiverse of Madness does not go to waste. Universe 838 is a corner of the multiverse in which we see all of the following things that can't happen in the MCU:
  • The status quo of the setting has diverged from that which is familiar to the audience. This is impossible for the same reasons it's impossible in the source material: fundamental to the conceit of superheroes is they live in a world like this one.
  • Heroes are victorious and regnant over a world of their own making. This is impossible because the MCU is always about preventing catastrophes, not about improving things.
  • There's a more diverse "core" cast of Avengers, rather than being relegated to spinoffs and sidekicks. This is impossible because a bunch of popular movies about white guys already came out and became the foundation of the series, and there's no way to un-release them.
  • Amid the carnage of battle, major characters are subject to sudden and gruesome deaths. This is impossible because the characters are the brand, and they are immortal until their stories are finished.
  • A bunch of people with colorful costumes and flamboyant codenames hold a solemn and dignified hearing in which (among other things) they chastise a MCU hero for being snarky and irreverent, without that dignity being undercut. This is impossible because the quips are how they signal that it's fun and that it's okay to have fun

It is also full of identifiable and delightful Raimi-isms. I am also a big enough mark to have been tickled quite a bit by the cameos, especially the musical one. I rank it among the higher echelon of MCU flicks, but all the same it heralds the series' creative stagnation.

 
Re: Discussions of Wanda in the new Doctor Strange movie: Wanda is a villain, just straight up. I like how a review I watched put it, saying there's, "...obvious subtextual implications to the narrative here of a power crazed white woman in her 30s who wants to literally drain the life out of a Latina teenager to restore her fake Americana suburban LARP fantasy." She spends the whole film saying repeatedly how it isn't fair that she's the bad guy but Strange is the good guy despite similar morally questionable M.O.s. But the difference between the two is Wanda does not care who she hurts in order to get what she wants, and purposefully ruins countless lives in the process. And Doctor Strange - well, our Doctor Strange - has matured a little to at least care and purposefully avoids such things. Strange is growing as a person and learning to let go of things and how to move forward with his life, and Wanda is perpetually stuck in the past, and will do obscene things to stay there.
 
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