Simply… Marvel phase three… .

. .
Potential spoilers ahead. 

So Marvel have let the cat out of the bag and shown us the heroes that are part of the third phase of their movie universe, In my opinion there are a few solid hits in there. And as the self-proclaimed Marvel aficionado that I am I will now give my take on the house of M.

Black Panther: As a key player in the modern Avengers mythos and often cast in the role of the moral compass, the character Black Panther is perhaps not the best known outside of the comics community but have the honour of being the first African superhero in mainstream Marvel comics when he was released back in the mid 60´s. He would later be followed by African-american superheroes such as Falcon, Luke Cage and Storm of the X-Men. Not only a superhero Black Panther is also the de-facto ruler of the small but advanced fictional nation of Wakanda. It is not an uncommon theme in the Black Panther comics that he is beings forced to choose between his duties as an Avenger and as the ruler of his people. But the Black Panther have remained true to his call as a fair ruler and as a hero, never sacrificing his people for the greater good.
So what kind of material for a movie franchise is there in this? Well… A lot I would say. Not only is Wakanda linked to the larger Marvel universe by the metal Vibranium. This fictional material is highly dampening and able to disperse impact force. This is the reason why the comic version of Captain America can block pretty much anything with his shield without breaking... well... everything, since it is made up of a Vibranium and Adamantium alloy. This mythical metal is also the reason why pretty much any villain known to the Marvel universe has at one point or another invaded Wakanda. 

But I digress… From a story standpoint Black Panther is something very different from the current roster of the Marvel cinematic universe. He is for a lack of better word... Pure. A real good guy driven by the highest moral fiber. A man who see the good in his people, even the ones who thirst for his power and the throne of Wakanda. But unlike Captain America he is very much in tune with the times and can in the right hands give a fresh take on what in movies often end up as the noble savage. He will also most likely play a important role in the aftermath of the second Avengers movie if the trailer is anything to go by (a hint.. I did mention Cap´s shield is part vibranium) and it is hinted that he will take the role of the mediator in the third Captain America movie.

Captain America 3: Civil War: Following the comic event by the same name this will deal with the fallout of a world being face by beings of unmeasurable power and the horrors they release. It pretty much comes back to the exchange between Nick Fury and crew in the first Avengers movie. When asked why SHIELD was developing hyper-advanced weapons, Nick points to Thor and simply states “because of you”. The comic arc is about superhero registration and take a not very subtle stab at things such as the Patriot act and it´s successors. In the comics the trigger is a very powerful moment. We follow a team of young heroes known as the new warriors that have been given a reality show. But it is not doing very well and to boos the ratings they get in way over their head. The result is that a villain called Nitro detonates and levels a large chunk of the community Stamford. Within the blast radius is a school and among the dead is over half a hundred kids.
The aftermath of Nitro´s blast
This triggers an outrage among the general population and pushes the politicians to enact the hero registration act. Now exactly how this will play out in the movie I do not know but at its core Civil war pits Captain America against Iron Man as the former take a stand against the registration and the later moves in to a position of power within the government as a result of the act.

I think this will be an epic story, I have always felt that parts of Civil war would make for a really good movie and to see it as the conclusion to the Captain´s arc I feel is the perfect choice. It will give heroes a chance to take a stance for what they think is right without being necessarily wrong.

Let us hope she get a more practical outfit.
Captain Marvel: Originally known in the comics as Ms Marvel, Captain Marvel will be Marvel cinematic universe first female lead. Based on Carol Danvers, a fighter pilot who gain superpowers after an encounter with the alien Kree race (Ronan from GotG was a Kree… They are blue and very pissed off.) And over the years she has fought off everything from shape shifting aliens to demi-gods and elemental forces. She is also the person from whom the comic version of X-Men´s Rouge got her strength, ability to fly and being nearly impervious to harm. So she is traditionally shown as a flying powerhouse who can toss the Hulk and shoot beams of pure energy from her hands.. At this point there is very little known about the movie and how it will fit in to the larger story. Her powers are very much cosmic but as Marvel them-self pointed out, most of her adventures are with the Avengers on earth.
There is no lack of stories to pick from and seeing a female superhero in a lead role will be a breath of fresh air. In the right hands this could become a game changer.

Doctor Strange: Another less known character with big impact in the Marvel universe. In the comics Steven Strange is a neurosurgeon with almost a god complex, seeing himself as infallible while holding a scalpel. A car accident robs his hands of the dexterity they need for him to continue his work. Crushed he travels the world to find someone who can restore his hands, and by extension his life. But rather than finding a cure he stumbles in to a world of mystic energies as he seeks out an old mystic. Strange had been told that the old mystic would have healing abilities. The vain and petty surgeon soon find himself studying under the mystic and would later shoulder the mantle of sorcerer supreme, the guardian of magic on earth.
Yes that is about as stupid as it sounds and I was not at all very interested in this movie until I heard who they are in talks to play the good doctor… No other then Benedict Cumberbatch. While he is a little young to play the doctor Strange he most definitely have the chops to pull it off and his particular brand of subdued but powerful delivery would fit the character to a tee, Of course there is still no real confirmation on if Benny is in fact going to do the role, but i keep my fingers crossed.
No clue of how this one will fit in with the rest of the movies either but the realm of magic is one little explored outside of the Thor movies and could make for an interesting backdrop. Strange himself wields near limitless power in the comics and that of course will have to be adjusted for the movie universe but could be connected to the character Scarlet Witch, a character who can tap in to chaos magic via her mutant ability, altering probability and to a limited degree reality. Strange could act as a mentor to her.  

Inhumans: And then we went off the deep end… The Inhumans are a race of people that live on the moon in a microcosms called the blue area. They are an experiment on how to grant humans superhuman abilities carried out by a race of beings knows as the Celestials (or Kree depending on version... Are we seeing a theme here… ) Very little to say here as I am fairly unfamiliar with the property. But they are a family group, they tend to butt head with different cosmic threats like Thanos and they are led by Black Bolt who is a mute since his voice shatter mountains. It could be a very interesting movie but my bet is that it will end up a dud unless put in to VERY capable hands.  Of all the new movies announced it is the one I have the least faith in. It is simply too weird. Then again.. they made Guardians of the galaxy work… so who knows
Some of the Inhumans. Black Bolt in the foreground

Ant-Man: The odd man out, a fairly standalone movie if the director is to be believed. The story will focus on the second Ant-Man Scott Lang. The original Ant-Man was Hank Pym, one of the founding members of the Avengers and in the comics the creator of Ultron. For the second Avengers movie Tony Stark have taken over the role of “worst judgement in the history of humanity”. These changes are mostly because all in all Hank Pym is just a more insecure Tony Stark while Scott Lang has a much more interesting story, being a down on his luck guy who steals the Ant-Man suit to get his kidnapped daughter back.
This movie have been through development hell and back. I have the utter most faith in Edgar Wright to be able to produce a funny bit slightly dark story about a man that can shrink to the size of an ant… But I have no idea if one will be a hit or miss. I guess it will come down to marketing. Any way it will be another stand out that is only loosely connected to the other movies in the universe. Not very good odds on this one.

Thor 3 – Ragnarok: Not much to say… it will have more Hiddleston as Loki… I am happy. After Dark World it can pretty much just go up in my mind.

Guardians of the galaxy 2: Literally no clue about what this one will be about. Groot and Rocket I guess… It will most likely tie very closely in to…

Avengers 3 infinity war part 1&2: The “final” chapter of the Marvel cinematic universe and it will probably pitch everyone at Thanos…  By all account a loose adaptation of the infinity saga this will wrap up a storyline that started with the Tesseract and will end with Thanos having control over pretty much all of creation… Something you usually do not want a genocidal maniac to have. This will either be ass-kicking awesome or very much MEH depending on how much they have milked the concept and managed to keep the phase three movies fresh. A slight superhero fatigue could be setting in by the time the third Avengers movie comes around. It is also as I mentioned a two part story and I am ok with that even if it r4esults in having to wait an extra year to see all of it. It does give them proper time to tell a story.

That was the long and short of it. All in all it looks like phase three will shape up in to a feast for the fans of marvel superheroes in particular and with DC´s push for the Justice League super hero fans in general.

But next up we have Avengers: Age of Ultron and it looks like it will be bloody awesome.


Who you said…? S08E10 In the forest of the night.

Here we are again, ready for a spin through time and space. Turns out we are neither going through time or space this time… Eh well a little space but it is hardly nothing. But that is not to say that this is not an interesting episode. In fact it is a very nicely paced and tense episode that strike a good balance between light-hearted banter and some good old fashion mystery. We also see Danny Pink in action and that is always fun in my mind. Now the story goes as follow.

A small girl dressed in a red overcoat (oh you not so subtle red riding hood reference) knocks on the Doctors door and tell him that she has been sent to find him as it turns out that the entirety of London, and the world have been overgrown by trees. Next we find the dynamic duo of Oswald/Pink as they are having a museum sleepover… Is this I thing… It seems I went to the wrong school when I was young. Any way as the class exit the exhibition they had been straying in they see a big slice of a tree with a strange year ring. Turns out the door is blocked by enough foliage to all but shut them in. It would seem that leaving is not as easy as it seems. As the Doctor and Maven, the girl with the red hood get ahold of Clara and set up a meeting between the two groups with the Doctor and Maven staying at Trafalgar Square and O/P + kids moving from what I assume is the museum of natural history(seeing as they are on Cromwell road) to meet up with them. With the mystery squarely afoot the Doctor take son his oldest nemesis… Wood. 

In the meantime we get to follow the by now rather horrid train wreck of lies and deceit that is Clara’s relationship with Danny as Danny slowly puts together that Clara have been lying right to his face the entire time about her relationship with the Doctor. Things take a turn for the weird when it turns out that Danny is a tiger tamer and that Maven is a conduit for the sentient forest that acts as the guardian of earth. It also turns out that earth is about to be dipped in to the fryer by a solar flare. Hence the mighty morphing power Ents… We get a very nice moment as Clara tell the Doctor that she does not want to be saved because she does not want to be the last of her kind and that this time it is the earth that saves the Doctor. But it turns out that the trees are going to save the earth with oxygen and well everything works out in a way so perfect that even Hallmark would have a hard time writing it.

As I mentioned earlier I really liked the pacing of this episode and while not a massive tension builder it keep a fairly constant level, enough to keep you invested in what was happening. With that said it is a bit sad in my mind when the companion get upstaged twice by a child. First the girl who puked in the TARDIS and now Maven would both make for much more interesting companions then Clara in my mind. But that is just my humble opinion. Beyond that this was a nice little filler episode in which exactly nothing of any real value happened and by the end of it everything was back to normal.
What does Nelson rest his eyes upon..?
But as the teaser for the next episode showed  us.. It is in every way the calm before the storm as we move up on the season finally. I was hoping to see some sort of de-asshattering of the Doctor but he remains the crazy alien. It is like they have to compensate for Tennant and Smiths understanding and well attuned Doctors. Hopefully we will see some change over the final episodes and in to the next season.
The sets in this episode were gorgeous, the organic and lush world mixing with the familiar everyday backdrop made for some very nice sets, even if I am not sure that I have ever seen London that small or empty. Also I have never seen Londoners that passive. But it was a really nice change and whatever you can say about this season it has at least had a very good variation in the sets used.
So if I should say there was a emotional theme in this episode it would be… .. . Caring and open-mindedness. But this was really just a filler.

So let´s get in to a holding pattern on the express elevator to hell as we get ready for next weeks episode.



Where is the line drawn between cute and crazy.

So I stumbled across a very weird thing recently. We all know there is a desire among gamers of old to see the next chapter in the half-life series but the question is to where one draw the line of this far is far enough. Dressing up as the missing game and posting it on the web, kind of cute. Trekking half across the world to have a chance to speak with the developers…. Dedicated.

Starting an IndieGOGO campaign with the express purpose to harass Valve and Gabe Newell… That is moving from cute and right in to creepy as all come fuck. That is not stopping a pair of marketing interns who in what I can only assume is a combination of work-place practice and beer-fueled insanity have decided that the best way to make it clear to Valve that there is no way but the HL3 way. You know… Just in case they missed that people are clamouring for a HL3. With such a small and silent movement that would be easy to do. Now the idea itself is fairly well thought out and it fortunately seems to me that most people are sane enough to not get involved with this (or the guys are worse at social media marketing then I am.( but it does sit a bit wrong with me, especially as I have kept an eye on the gamergate movement and it´s trials and tribulations.
To take it on yourself to dictate what sort of product a company should produce, and to do so by what is in essence bullying is in itself a bad thing. But to use crowdfunding to do so is both cynical and in my mind a recipe for disaster. Not only do you open the door for a bunch of people you do not want to be working with. The kind of zealots that casually send people threats for their life and sanctity. The kind of people who in their righteous rage will turn on you if you should not deliver. Even worse you give them ideas...  

It also create a rather uncomfortable situation for the employees of the company in question. While you or I might shrug off insane people dressed up as your boss shouting in front of a billboard truck doing the Indianapolis 500 around your building, not everyone as that fortitude, and truth be told they should not have to either. They signed up to create games and applications, not to be the recipients of torture. Heck I would not have accepted that kind of crap back when I was working as a customer service rep… and I was paid to deal with pants on head crazy people on a daily basis. Add to that the very volatile world we live in today and it is very easy to see where a thing like this could go very wrong. And this is a very real problem these days, it seems that the time between idea and action grows ever shorter and perspective follows with it. Maybe it was just that back when I was younger things had to be slower and more things was tossed out because the gatekeepers of money and publicity was actually still in place for better or worse. After all without that lack of control I would never get this published nor would I actually be planning projects around the Occulus Rift. But at the same time we get stuff like this and worse… Like gamergate. And while they are fairly low impact things compared too many other things out there in the world I still feel that one need to keep track of the small things too.

Now speaking about games and marketing, it is with sad eyes that I realize that the era of grandiose Collectors editions for games in general and particularly on the PC platform is a thing of the past. The market is slowly phasing them out as the brick and mortar store lose its importance in a world turned digital and wireless. More and more we see digital goods replace the art books and busts. Now for some this I guess is a welcomed change, getting more stuff they can actually use in the game and set them apart from the common man. But I am a collector at heart, I like my swag, my loot and my shiny, for an example the upcoming Arkham Knight CE with it´s awesome batmobot could never be replaced with a paltry digital skin or an extra fancy bat-a-rang. Fortunately it seems that more and more companies get in to the collector scene with everything from replicas to small plastic figures. So I guess I will survive, but I remember lugging home the CE for Warhammer Age of reckoning.. A beast of a CE that was heavy enough to shred my backpack. But I guess that they have sort of played out their role as a marketing tool as the eye-catcher in your local gaming store.
One very angry dragon
Finally I must say I am getting in to the Dragon Age Inquisition hype, at least my own hype. Now I am not someone who say that BioWare can do no wrong but I have always enjoyed they way they tell stories and how you actually have an impact in them… for the most of the time.    So with less than a month to release and in essence a new BioWare at the helm I am very curious to see what the next adventure in the world of Dragon age will bring. After all I really enjoyed the previous games and I REALLY enjoyed the Mess Effect games, even the ending and I completed ME3 before the extended cut. But to me the entire third game was the ending, not just the last 15 minutes. All the conflicts and alliances coming to close and bitter sweet farewells to characters I have learnt to trust and care for. I hope that DA:I will be able to deliver a little of this even if it is not a sequel to any of the previous DA games. I need to be captured by a game… To laugh, cry and curse. In my mind there have been way to few games like that form a big publisher lately and I am not sure who would pick up the ball if BW drop it.

Any way that is the in and out of that. Until next time take care and be safe.