Tag Archives: Marvel

Hela in Thor: Ragnarok

Hela in Thor: RagnarokThor: Ragnarok comes out on November third in the U.S. This movie promises Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo reprising their roles, but another classic Thor character is joining the mix as well. Cate Blanchett, famous for her portrayal of Galadriel in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy, will become Hela, the goddess of death.

Hela: Goddess of the dead

In the original Norse mythology, Hel was a being who presided over a realm of the same name and received a portion of the undead, yet was not allowed to rule the honored dead. She ruled Hel and Niflheim. Niflheim is where the dishonored dead are sent, whereas Hel contains souls neither specially honored nor dishonored. The final place of eternal rest was Valhalla, the place of the victorious or courageous dead. In the Marvel universe, Hela is Loki’s daughter (more on that in a bit), who looks to expand her influence to Valhalla, usually through open conflict with Odin and Thor.

Hela, is not the current Loki’s daughter. Yes, it is confusing. The idea of Ragnarok is one of cycles and incarnations—she is the daughter of a previous incarnation of Loki. When she came of age (unsure how one can survive the entire rewriting of the universe) Odin appointed her goddess of two of the three realms of the dead. As a result she ended up turning into a villain powerful enough to not only kill Thor, but Odin as well.

In addition, her parenthood may give us a clue as to her part in the new movie. As she is from a previous cycle of Ragnarok, she may be aware of its implications. She could have a desire to bring it about, prevent it, or simply survive. Either one of those, or she could also look to expand her power over Valhalla and Asgard. We will know it due time.

Thanks for reading! Come back next time for more fun fan information. Also, don’t forget to enter our third annual Halloween sweepstakes!

Netflix Blade, Ghost Rider, and Moon Knight Shows

New Netflix ShowsWe live in a golden age of Superhero media, and it’s going to get even more golden-ier soon. Three new Marvel properties have been announced as Netflix series (though it’s technically just a rumor): Ghost Rider, Blade, and Moon Knight.

You’re likely familiar with Blade, the half-human, half-vampire (also known as a “dhampir”) vampire hunter who had a series of movies in the late nineties and early 2000’s. While not universally loved, they did well at the box office and currently possess a cult following. High action and fantasy danger would be a welcome addition to the Marvel oeuvre, running alongside the supernatural elements of the Daredevil series, and could do very well in a Netflix lineup.

When Johnny Blaze, a stuntman, sold his soul to the devil he was transformed into the spirit of vengeance, a man with a flaming skull who rides a hellfire-powered motorcycle. Previous played by Nicholas Cage in two movies (released in 2007 and 2011 to…mixed reviews), the rights for the franchise reverted to Marvel in 2013.

You may remember Moon Knight from the Character Corner we did some time ago, but if not, now is a great time to become acquainted to this little-known character. With the spirit of an Egyptian deity residing inside him, Marc Spector gains incredible speed, strength, and durability as the moon grows brighter. However, the deity—Khonshu—residing in Moon Knight gives him what many would call dissociative identity disorder, making him hear voices, see things not there, and have entire conversations with figments of his imagination.

Again, so far Marvel and Netflix have made no official announcement; these are just rumors, though we hope them to be true. There is no information about release dates, actors, or even project leads, so we must be patient. We do know the Luke Cage series will debut September 30th, but no other dates have been mentioned.

Thanks for reading! Come back next time for more fun Superhero information!

Doctor Strange Character and Movie

Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange
Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange

In July of 1963, Marvel debuted a character named Doctor Strange in Strange Tales #110. A world-famous surgeon, Doctor Strange remained a vain, uncaring, and selfish man, until a car accident left his surgical skills a thing of the past. Desperate for a cure, Strange traveled to Tibet and found the Ancient One’s palace. He began to study the magic arts, and discovered he was destined to become the next Sorcerer Supreme. He would defeat powerful beings in their own mystic realms, clash the Ancient One’s other apprentice, and defeat a test given by death itself, giving him near-immortality and endless magical strength–as well as selflessness.

Returning to New York, Strange began his career as a superhero, battling alongside other Marvel heroes such as Spider-Man, Daredevil, the Fantastic Four, and many more. He participated in the fight against Thanos, Dormammu, and many more over his long career.

Now we have the chance to see Doctor Strange on the big screen. Benedict Cumberbatch, famous for playing Sherlock Holmes, “John Harrison,” and for having the most British name possible, is going to star as the titular Doctor. Only a teaser trailer has been released so far, but we know the path Doctor Strange follows is the same as in the comics: selfish surgeon, car accident, goes looking for Ancient One to cure himself, gets magical powers instead. The movie will be released on November 4th.

Also appearing the film will be Mads Mikkelsen playing a yet-unnamed sorcerer, Chiwetel Ejiofor (Solomon Northrup in 12 Years a Slave, the Operative in Serenity) will play Karl Mordo, the Ancient One’s other apprentice (who is an amalgamation of several characters from the comic book series). Rachal McAdams will appear as a fellow surgeon, Michael Stuhlbarg as a rival scientist, and Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One.

Swinton’s casting created controversy, as the Ancient One was presented as an old Tibetian man.  Co-writer C. Robert Cargill described it as a Kobayashi Maru-esque situation: “More about which way you’re willing to lose”—Cargill explained the character was a racial stereotype at its creation, and couldn’t risk using an actor from a different Asian country due to the political tension involving Tibet, or even a Tibetan one. Director Scott Derrickson decided to “use this as an opportunity to cast an amazing actress in a male role.”

Comic Doctor Strange
Comic Doctor Strange

Filming has concluded (baring possible pick-up shots), and has scenes shot in Nepal, the United Kingdom, and New York City. It’s also been revealed James Gunn, director of Guardians of the Galaxy, provided notes for the script, beyond the normal amount of conversation between directors of Marvel Cinematic Universe films.

We’re eager to see the finished product. Thanks for reading, be sure to come back next time for more fun fan information!

Jessica Jones Character Corner

Jessica JonesReleasing all at once on Nov 20th, Jessica Jones is the second Netflix-Marvel creation (the first being Daredevil, of course). The series, spanning thirteen episodes, will play out much like the comic book series Alias. Today, we’ll take a look at the classic Marvel character, her painful past, and her connection to the enigmatic Purple Man – played by David Tennant in the Netflix series.

Jessica Jones (Originally introduced as Jessica Campbell) went to school with Peter Parker AKA Spider-Man, apparently witnessing the spider bite resulting in Peter’s powers. While riding in the car with her family, they were struck by a military convoy carrying radioactive chemicals. Her family was killed and Jessica fell into a deep coma, recovering only after several months. The time she re-awoke coincided with the Fantastic Four’s battle against Galactus, during which heavy amounts of cosmic radiation were released.

Adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Jones after spending time in an orphanage, Jessica discovered she possessed numerous abilities: strength, durability, and flight. She was enrolled at Midtown high but ostracized by her classmates except for Peter Parker, whom she falsely believed only pitied her. She lashed out at him and flew away, only to lose control and crash into the Hudson River, eventually rescued by Thor.

After witnessing a fight between Spider-Man and Sandman, she felt urged to use her powers to help others. She named herself “Jewel,” and became a super heroine, but her career was less than stellar. While simply trying out her powers, she crash-landed on Scorpion while he was robbing a Laundromat, stunning him enough to be apprehended.

David Tennant's Purple Man
David Tennant’s Purple Man

Sometime later, she came upon a fistfight in a restaurant, discovering Zebediah Killgrave – AKA the Purple Man – had demanded the men fight. Killgrave overpowered Jessica using his pheromone-based mind control, telling her to take care of the police while he finished his meal . . . among other things. She was captured by the Purple Man and kept prisoner for eight months, eventually sent to attack Daredevil due to the Purple Man’s rage. Once out of range of his pheromones, Jessica began to reclaim some semblance of control, though still focused on her mission. She ended up attacking the Scarlet Witch simply because she wore red like Daredevil, but after the first hit she regained control and was nearly killed by the Vision and Iron Man.

Jean Grey of the X-Men helped Jessica wake up from another coma, and after a period of recovery became a violent, hardened vigilante known as Knightress, bitter about her time spent under the Purple Man’s control. She broke up a crime meeting between the Owl and a Mafioso, meeting Luke Cage for the first time (whom she would later marry). One of the thugs at the meeting had brought his children, and Jessica ended up looking after them for the night after revealing her identity to the police. Luke Cage later joined her, and the two talked long into the night.

She soon retired from the superhero life, becoming a detective at the firm Alias Investigations, specializing in super hero activity. After a number of interesting investigations, some involving characters like Captain America, Spider-Man, Daredevil, and more, Jessica is alerted to the presence of the Purple Man, who again turns her world upside down.

It’s probable this is the timeline where the Netflix series will pick up, though details are sparse. Tennant’s Purple Man promises to be a chilling character, Krysten Ritter (Jane Margolis from Breaking Bad) looks to stun as the titular character, and Mike Colter (whose biggest role is likely boxer Big Willie Little in the film Million Dollar Baby) will appear as Luke Cage, setting up his own Netflix series.

Krysten Ritter on the set of Jessica Jones
Krysten Ritter on the set of Jessica Jones

We hope you’ve enjoyed a rundown of Jessica Jones! Come back next week for more fun fan superhero information!

Fourth Wall: Deadpool’s Dominance

Deadpool's Fourth-wall breaking continues
Deadpool’s Fourth-wall breaking continues

A few weeks ago or whenever a new Deadpool trailer was released. The famous merc with a mouth, besides being a tremendous goofball within the work he occupies, has a special power, or perhaps trait: knowledge of the fourth wall. Not sure what this means? Simple: Imagine a movie where a character looks straight at the camera and addresses you, the viewer. For example.

It happens often. Phineas and Ferb talk about how they’re in a cartoon. Newspaper Comic Pearls Before Swine has the writer as a recurring character. Neo, in a strange meta sense, is aware the Matrix is false but isn’t aware he’s in a movie. It’s a common trait in works that are less serious than their brethren that don’t break the fourth wall. It is the ability to be aware one’s universe is fictional, and use this to act in otherwise impossible ways.

Deadpool works with this ability greater than most. Why? My theory is, since breaking the fourth wall is an inherently silly idea – it is rarely used for anything other than humor – a comic book character benefits from it the most. Deadpool assures us of this, thanks to classic moments like: Deadpool breaks the Fourth WallDeadpool talks to the yellow boxes. He mentions the size of the issue you’re reading. In Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Deadpool rips the health bar off the top of the screen and beats the opponent with it in a special move. He yells at Wolverin to “snikt” him. He rips open the issue and shouts at himself in the past. He takes something many others have done to elevate himself above his comic book siblings. Comic books, except for, perhaps, the cool factor, elicit very few emotions. Characters die but you know they’ll either come back to life or appear in the next reboot. The bad guys will make you angry but you know they’ll be defeated in the end. Only humor actually resonates in the comic book, and this is why Deadpool rose in the ranks of heroes so quickly – he knows the comic book is about humor, and for that end he breaks the fourth wall.

Thanks for reading! Come back next week for more fun fan information, and don’t forget to enter our Halloween Sweepstakes!

Deadpool Character Corner

Deadpool ApprovesA Deadpool movie trailer was released last week (in green-band and rated R red-band versions). So why not have a Deadpool character corner?

History:

Little is known about Wade Wilson before he joined Weapon X, though it is known he was a mercenary in Morocco, Japan, and the U.S. before learning he had contracted cancer. He was offered hope by Canada’s Department K, a branch of Weapon X. Thanks to the healing factor taken from Wolverine, Deadpool’s cancer was halted and he began working for the government. He killed his partner and was sent to “Hospice,” actually a place for demented Doctor Killebrew to experiment. Deadpool formed a romantic attachment to the entity Death, as one does, attempting to kill himself to be with “her.” Killebrew’s assistant ripped out Deadpool’s heart, jump-starting his healing factor. He became the mercenary we know and love after escaping from the Hospice with the other patients.

Deadpool’s adventures take him around the world, fighting with and against heroes and villains. Groups with exciting names like The Genesis Coalition, X-Force, Heroes for Hire, and more vied for his attention and skill. He became famous for cruel depravity, endless hilarity, and a penchant to discuss things with beings no one else can see – becoming a hero famous for his abuse of the fourth wall.

After a fight with Wolverine, Deadpool met up with Mercedes Wilson, his wife, whom he believed had died. A man named T-Ray, her killer, told Deadpool he was the original Wade Wilson, in an attempt to break Deadpool down mentally, though the plan failed. T-Ray and Mercedes departed quickly. Deadpool took a sidekick named Kid Deadpool, though the group was short-lived (The kid blew up).

After teamups with Cable and Agent X, Deadpool was held captive by the Skrull, escaping when they turned on each other. He was later captured by zombies, but he tasted terrible so he got away. He, tried to join the X-Men, but was turned down. However, the X-Men understood his strength, so they told him he had probationary membership. After tricking the X-Men into giving him a real membership, he visited alternate dimensions, assembling a team comprising of himself, Lady Deadpool, Kidpool, Dogpool, and Headpool.

But nothing stays the same in Deadpool’s world. He unsuccessfully committed suicide, survived atomic bombs, and battled the Hulk, and is sent to an English prison of Crossmore – this ends with him taking the Queen of England hostage. He meets an evil Deadpool at their favorite chimichanga restaurant and they fight, both kidnapping children to try and draw the other out.

Discovering a serum existed to neutralize his healing factor and allow him to finally die, Deadpool hatched a plan to come into contact with it. His plan succeeded, he lost his healing factor and other powers, and his scarred face healed. However, as things do, it all returned to normal when Evil Deadpool showed up again after having been hit with the serum, telling Deadpool it wasn’t permanent. Deadpool went on to fight zombie presidents, and steal Dracula’s wife.

Just as Wade decided to give up his life as an anti-hero, Earth-616 and Earth-1610 collided, obliterating both.

Powers:

Not counting Deadpool’s unique humor and fourth-wall knowledge, Deadpool has a number of powerful abilities. Chemical resistance, disease immunity, telepathic immunity, and straight up immortality, as well as possession resistance, and the flying brick abilities: superhuman strength, speed, stamina, agility, and reflexes. He is a master martial artist, assassin, linguist, and, most dangerously, is wildly unpredictable.

He has lovely handwriting, as Elektra says, and has a fear of cows. He was once cursed by Loki, making him look like Tom Cruise and rendering his face invulnerable. The curse ruined his life.

Deadpool showed up in the Wolverine Origins movie, portrayed by Ryan Renolds (who will also play him in the upcoming movie), though he is the character only in name.

Deadpool

Deadpool thanks you for reading his Character Corner. Come back next week for more fun information!

Videos for the Lacking Fan

Superhero fan videos
Superhero fans make their own

Fans are rabid for superheroes. They froth at the mouth for them. Recently we’ve been buried under superhero movies, but for some it does not move quickly enough. They have taken to creating – forging – their own shareable videos to help themselves through the lean months. There are far too many here to count, but we present for you a select few.

Be Kind, Rewind, an indie movie released in 2006, gives us the term “sweded.” The straight-up site for the term (SwededMovies.org) defines it as “the summarized recreation of popular pop-culture films using limited budgets and a camcorder.” This term is well-liked for fans of superhero movies, which traditionally have high budgets and incredible CGI. Taking the spectacle and reducing it to cardboard and flashlights is enjoyed by many. For example, the videos on this page (which include a number of non-superhero trailers for extra flavor).

Lego fans have their very own term, Brickfilms, for movies made in stop-motion brickery. It was no doubt a certainty superhero movies (or more accurately, their trailers) and Legos would meet, with trailers like the following:

This page has a bevy of other videos, but be warned — this rabbit hole goes deep. Where will you be when you climb out again?

It’s nearly set in stone that a DC vs. Marvel film will never occur. There is too much politics, too many issues about creative rights and such forth. But still, doesn’t the following video just rock the house?

It does. It makes one sad to think, for reasons this simple blog could never comprehend, we will never be able to have a full movie with such grandeur. But how could it possibly live up to our expectations? The build-up would be too great, the team assembled would have names vying for top billing – how could any movie made by mortal hands assuage us after being assured of its holiness for so long?

Or maybe it would rock!

We hope you’ve enjoyed this short list of videos, for the fans and by the fans. Tell us your favorite fan-made superhero creations, and come back here for more cool stuff!

Ant-Man Through the Years

Three of the Ant-Man
The first three Ant-Men

There are generally two kinds of superheroes. The first, more common, and more popular, is a character locked in stone: Batman is always Bruce Wayne, Superman is always Clark Kent, Spider-Man is always Peter Parker. The second is a rarer variant, used to portray a more realistic setting: Generational heroes, when one hero passes the mantle down to another. One of the more well-known heroes with this attribute is the Flash, wherein multiple people have been subjected to terrible scientific accidents, all of which give them super speed and associated abilities. Ant-Man, whose movie comes out today, is one of these superheroes. Here’s how the history goes:

Ant-Man prime was Dr. Henry “Hank” Pym. His discovery of a chemical substance he dubbed “Pym particles” urged his becoming a superhero, as the particles could allow him to alter his size while maintaining his strength. Sharing his discover with then-girlfriend, later wife Janet van Dyne, he became Ant-Man and she became the Wasp, also able to fly. They became founding members of the Avengers, and Pym was, in the comic series, the original creator of omnicidal robot Ultron. He took on a number of other titles, such as Giant-Man, Goliath, and Yellowjacket. He is present as the next Ant-Man’s mentor (and perhaps more?) in the Ant-Man movie, portrayed by Michael Douglas.

The second, Scott Lang, was a thief who became Ant-Man after first stealing the Ant-Man suit to help his sick daughter. With the encouragement of Pym, Lang became the hero, reforming his thieving ways. In true Marvel tradition, he was killed and brought back to life, his daughter became a heroine, and he joined the Avengers for a period. He is present as the main character and hero in the Ant-Man movie, played by Paul Rudd.

Eric O’Grady, not present in the film (Probably), is the third Ant-Man and, like his predecessor, came into possessions of the suit by stealing it from S.H.I.E.L.D. A man of few morals and even fewer scruples, O’Grady used the suit to primarily seduce women. He had a short-lived comic series, and ended up joining the Avengers and then The Thunderbolts, and then Secret Avengers (It has the name because nobody wants to admit their on the team) before dying at the hands of a villain named Father.

The final (though not current, as he exists only in a separate universe – and dies like right away) Ant-Man is Chris McCarthy. He appears first in the Irredeemable Ant-Man #1 in 2006. In this story, he’s friends with Eric O’Grady. He and O’Grady knocked Hank Pym unconscious, stole the suit, and McCarthy shrunk, getting lost in the helicarrier at the one-inch size. The helicarrier is attacked, and McCarthy dies. O’Grady takes the suit from him.

With rumors that Ant-Man already has a sequel in the works, will we see more of these names, especially since this info apparently comes from the future.

Ant-Man can time travel
Picture taken July 15th, 2015

Thanks for reading! We hope you enjoyed this trip back through history. Ant-Man comes out today, in theaters, and we’re sure at least a few people will go see it.

July Fourth Superheroes

July Fourth Captain America
You’re welcome

Two of the most well-known superheroes, Captain America and Superman, are both patriotically-minded. Captain America’s red, white, and blue fandom is well-known, and Superman (who, some would say, is the Ur-example of a superhero) was raised on all-American values straight from the vein of the land, by Mr. and Mrs. Kent. So, what adventures do they, and other classic capes, do during this summer holiday, July Fourth?

First off, there’s a likely supervillain attack during these dates. There’s actually a Batman villain named Calendar Man, who pulls heists based on holidays. There are so many villains, in both universes, that the idea these characters have a day off – especially during July Fourth – is almost unthinkable. But not completely.

DC:

As Superman is the star-spangled boy scout, he likely enjoys July Fourth a trifle more than the others (even though Wonder Woman’s outfit is red, white, and blue from beginning all the way until nowish), and so it’s up to him to make it fun. Sometimes he has it at the JLA watchtower, address: the moon. There, it’s a tasteful cocktail party, during which they view the simultaneous firework shows all across the U.S. in a glorious panorama of flashing colors that only the super-privileged few can witness.

He also might invite the other superheroes down to the farm. John and Martha Kent know a thing or two about feeding superheroes a healthy home-cooked meal. As long as he can handle a healthy dose of Diana-is-so-nice-you-two-should-get-together, Superman no doubt enjoys having his brightly-dressed and patriotic friends over for dinner.

Marvel:

Depending on what version of Captain America we’re wrestling with (either the movie version, recently awoken and still with one foot in the forties, or the comic book version, which was thawed from the ice in the sixties and is now a little more caught-up). Given the first version, Cap will probably love the classic arrangements of July Fourth, the bbqs and the fireworks and Off, a spray which usually fails to fulfill its promise in relation to bugs and their distance from you.

If we have the comic version of Cap to manipulate, he’ll see the normal trappings and want to kick it up a notch. He’ll set up the fireworks himself, plan the buffet in immaculate detail, and have the SHIELD lab boys develop a powerful new anti-insect toxin which is safe for humans. Since comic books must have a conflict, this will result in a powerful, dangerous new villain that arises, somehow, from the chaos of the event, and must be put in his place by the assembled Marvel cast, be they Avengers or otherwise.

Of course it’s hard to tell what any given character would do for July Fourth, but we can at least be certain we’ll be enjoying ourselves as well. So go on, have a great weekend.

Spider-Man’s Newest Peter Parker

Tom Holland - the newest Spider-Man
Tom Holland – the newest Spider-Man

Announced earlier this week, the actor picked to play Spider-Man in the next Marvel and Spider-Man movies – as well as the director of the next Spider-Man movie – has been announced. Nineteen-year-old Tom Holland from Britain is the actor that has picked up the title of web-slinger from Andrew Garfield, who also claims partial British citizenship.

Holland’s previous acting credits began in the theatre (since he’s British). His first part was Billy’s best friend Michael in Billy Elliot the Musical after his talent was recognized during a hip hop class in London. He eventually became one of the rotating Billy Elliots, with three other performers, until May of 2010. He quickly made the transition to film, starring in The Impossible, providing the voice for main character Shô in the British version of Arrietty, played one of the co-stars in How I Live Now, and in 2014 provided the voice for one of Tom Hardy’s sons in Locke. In 2015, Holland has already appeared in In the Heart of the Sea, Backcountry, and Pilgrimage. He has already been set for the Untitled Spider-Man film, as well as Captain America: Civil War in 2016.

The surprising choice for director is Jon Watts. Watts is, in comparison to some other directors of the Spider-Man movies, an untested director. His IMDB directing list is a mere thirteen credits, which also include multiple episodes of Onion News Network and Onion SportsDome episodes. His most well-known movie is likely Clown, though his most recent directing job, Cop Car, has been viewed much more favorably. In 2014, Watts was named Filmmaker in Residence at the Atlanta Film Festival, the first ever. However, this sort of decision isn’t unprecedented, since Amazing Spider-Man’s Marc Webb had only indie gem (500) Days of Summer as a big-budget release.

And of course, we all know how well that worked out.

amazingspiderman2

Thanks for reading! We hope you’ve enjoyed this article. Come back next week for more fun fan information!