Tag Archives: Marvel

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 'A Most Wanted (Inhu)Man' Review

The president's ATCU (Advanced Threat Containment Unit) begins hunting down inhumans across the country. Meanwhile, Simmons begins her rehabilitation after her extended stay on the alien world.

 

 

SPOILERS AHEAD!

 

 

 

 

A Most Wanted (Inhu)Man starts off pretty fast-paced. We meet back with Lincoln, who is being chased by a small military squadron. They pursue him through the woods until he escapes after creating a blinding wall of sparks via some steel towers. He continues throughout the episode in a similar fashion, having to give the slip from the ATCU using his powers. Eventually, he seeks refuge with his old friend, John, but he ends up turning Lincoln in after seeing a news report falsely exposing him as a fugitive. Despite distrusting Daisy after S.H.I.E.L.D. placed a tracker on him, he was left with no choice, but to call them for help.

 

While Daisy attempts to convince Lincoln to come along, Coulson meets with Rosalind Price. He's attempting to find the reason her task force is hunting inhumans, particularly Lincoln. While her response is inconclusive, Coulson's focus shifts when he informs her that he's aware she knows about Daisy, who happens to also be on her hit list. Realizing neither side will get anywhere if they keep attacking each other, instead of focusing on the bigger struggle at hand, Coulson suggests a temporary partnership with Price.

 

 

May finally decides to team up with Hunter in their mutual pursuit of Grant Ward. They make their way to Boston to meet with an old friend of Hunter's who is in league with a mysterious arms dealer, suspected to be the new Hydra. After a few rousing rounds of lager, Hunter agrees to fight his way up the pecking order…literally. Turning down May's insistence to participate, he engages in an underground fight club meant as a proving ground to meet with the boss. Somehow managing to withstand a pretty hefty beating, he finally decides to go by Hydra's rules to play as dirty as possible, pulls out his knuckle dusters, and reigns in his victory. Barely able to keep himself upright, he's taken to finally face the man he set out to kill.

 

Finally back home, Simmons is having some trouble adjusting to her surroundings. She spent months in an alien atmosphere. The difference in gravity, air supply, etc. is proving very jarring for her body to re-acclimate. Fitz is doing his best to rehabilitate her, but she's startled by any sudden move and slightly audible disturbance. Besides her physical limitations, needless to say, she's suffered some emotional distress. The team assumes its because she was clearly traumatized by her unexpected exile, causing her to break down and withdraw from everyone. When Bobbi finds Simmons still analyzing the fragments of the Monolith, she tries telling her its been completely disabled and she has nothing to fear anymore. Much to Bobbi's surprise, Simmons tells her she's not afraid of being sent back, but for some reason, actually needs to go back.

 

Between the ATCU moving in on Lincoln and Hunter placing himself in a fight club just to get closer to Ward, the episode was pretty entertaining with a decent amount of action. It feels like certain hidden plots about Simmons are starting to come to fruition, particularly that she may be an inhuman. In the last episode, Professor Randolph made it clear the Monolith isn't active at random and in fact needs to be triggered. So far, it has only reacted when any inhuman or being of a higher form has been near it…with the exception of Simmons. Now that Simmons is back, she's expressing some kind of desire to return to the alien world. There's no explanation as to why, but she definitely has some kind of drive to return, even though she claims she was being hunted the whole time. There's a decent amount of evidence to go by, but time will tell if the team ends up with another superpowered ally if Simmons ever meets a greater destiny.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 'Devils You Know' Review

S.H.I.E.L.D.'s resources are focused on finding the one murdering inhumans, but the culprit is always a step ahead. Meanwhile, Fitz is realizing Simmons' experience on the alien world may have affected her more greatly than he expected.

SPOILERS AHEAD!

Devils You Know starts with the new ATCU/S.H.I.E.L.D. tag-team (with the help of their former self-replicating ally, Alicia) tracking an inhuman couple believed to be the next target on the mysterious Lash's hit list. Despite having an operative at the ready, Lash makes his move and brutally slaughters the two inhumans, as well as Alicia's replicant. Running low on leads, Daisy discovers some records pointing to a Dwight Frye. Known as Bazooka in the comics, he should have the power to emit explosive blasts from his hands, but having Daisy around probably makes that redundant. Instead, he has the power of detection, acting as a "diving rod" with a painful, negative reaction in the mere proximity of other inhumans. Their attempt to rescue him, however, was all for naught with Lash still making his grand entrance and murdering Dwight, the team helpless to stop it.

Hunter finally gets the encounter he's been waiting for since he held the bleeding, tortured Bobbi in his arms. After all the beatings and initiations, he finds himself in the new Hydra's covert armory and the place Grant Ward has set up shop. His timing, however, could not have been worse considering the warehouse full of armed assassins and Hunter completely on his own. As expected, once he and Ward lock eyes, a shootout ensues, one for which he is hopelessly under-equipped. Luckily, he gets some thrilling heroics courtesy of none other than The Cavalry! May swings into action, but hits an unexpected roadblock when Ward reveals his henchmen have Dr. Garner cornered, ready to attack. Hunter, unwilling to allow Ward to gain the upper hand again, still moves in on him, but is unable to take him out, resulting in Ward's escape.

It's hard to imagine Fitzsimmons incapable of recovering from any turmoil they run into as resilient as they've proven themselves to be, but lately its been nothing but obstacles for the beloved scientists. Despite her best efforts, Simmons is unable to keep the truth from Fitz. Confiding only in Bobbi about her desires to return to the alien world, she was hoping her secret would be safe until she pieces together a method of harnessing a stable wormhole. Unfortunately for her, Fitz happens across her astrological and historical research about the Monolith and has no choice but to not only inform him of her plans, but possibly recruit his help. 

Devils You Know wasn't terrible, but it was nothing too thrilling. We're still just getting bits of info as to what the plan for the season is, but nothing concrete. The only thing new about Lash is that he might be able to take human form. The inevitable showdown between Hunter and Ward was cut short with a hostage situation, despite Ward clearly having the bigger, badder team at his side. There's still no clue as to why Simmons wants to go back so badly, but the inhuman theory still seems pretty viable. During her psych eval with Dr. Garner she says, "I'm not one of your inhuman patients", which could be a classic Joss Whedon red herring. From an optimistic perspective, this season still looks hopeful. There is a running trend for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to have a slow start every season, so let's hope this one follows suit and starts gaining some momentum if it wants to establish a larger audience.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Premiere 'Laws of Nature' Review

Last season, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. left us with with a tremendous amount of loss. While the team remained more or less functional, the tragedy that befell our favorite Marvel agency was all too painful. Daisy (formerly Skye) lost the family she had been searching for since childhood, Coulson lost his hand protecting the team from the Terrigen crystal, Agent May decided to leave without so much as a goodbye, and Fitzsimmons was torn apart when Gemma was consumed by the mysterious Monolith, now believed to be dead. All the heartache aside, there was still a lot of clean up to be done. The remaining crystals which were thrown into the ocean, have now had their deadly power infused with the local sea life, and distributed among the populace.

The season three premiere introduces us to S.H.I.E.L.D.'s new objective since we last saw them. The Terrigen matter, while not causing harm to any humans that have come into contact with it, has begun to activate dormant inhumans across the country, and its up to them to rescue and rehabilitate them. All the while, a new covert agency is working against them to capture and experiment on the inhumans for, so far, inexplicable means.

SPOILERS AHEAD!

The premiere episode shows us a city in the midst of havoc as a scared and bewildered man names Joe is tearing apart a city block with powers he clearly can't control. He appears to have the ability to destabilize and melt matter just by being near it. Unaware of what to do or who to turn to, he is immediately stopped by a team of clandestine soldiers attempting to arrest him. After the troops are thrown around courtesy of Daisy in her full, comic book hero Quake uniform, he's carried away in a specialized cell and flown into the team's new "Bus" plane, a much nicer and teched-out replacement for their former flying fortress, which met its demise last season.

Right away, we get a season opener with a lot of action, suspense, and a brilliant showcase of how S.H.I.E.L.D. has bounced back since all their recent unpleasantness. Once Joe is given the "your powers are dangerous and you can't go back to your old life" speech we've admittedly heard a few times before, the team's focus shifts towards the organization that sent the soldiers after him in the first place. The first theory that comes to mind is obviously Hydra, but Coulson suspects something more complex, considering their apparent leader, a woman named Rosalind Price, has some ulterior motives in rounding up inhumans, and possibly a common enemy with S.H.I.E.L.D.

One of the most exciting acts of this episode occurs when Daisy and Mac attempt to recruit former ally, Lincoln Campbell (a.k.a. Sparkplug), from his happy life as an ER doctor. With the evergrowing rate of inhumans, S.H.I.E.L.D. has tasked themselves with finding and rehabilitating them before the wrong people acquire them and harness their abilities for otherwise nefarious means. Daisy first met Lincoln when he was working with her mother on the secluded retreat designed to help activated inhumans control their new powers, so who better to assist in the cause. His refusal, however, went unheeded as they are promptly attacked by a large, Saiyan-haired monster, who fans will recognize as the first inhuman villain from the comics to make an appearance, the energy manipulating Lash. It's unclear in the show why he's hunting Lincoln, but if the comics are anything to go by, Lash is an inhuman zealot, believing said powers are deserving only to the worthy, and seeks to eliminate those he deems unfit for them.

This brings us to Fitz. It was everyone's guess that Fitz would have been the last on the team to be able to get over the loss of Simmons after her devastating encounter with the Monolith. Refusing to believe she's dead, they reference that Fitz has had a number of leads and theories as to what happened, despite all tests showing the rock is inactive and completely solid throughout. As we know from past seasons, Leo Fitz is not a man to be taken lightly when he has nothing to lose. We see him on an unauthorized excursion to Morocco, where he plans to meet a black market dealer by the name of Yusif. Apparently, he's in possession of an ancient scroll said to explain exactly what the Monolith actually is. After Fitz pulls a total Heisenberg with the booby trapped weapons he planned to trade, he manages to get away with the scroll, completely unaware of the disappointment he was holding in his hands. As it turns out, the scroll was written in ancient Hebrew with a single word, which translates to "death". Fortunately, true to fashion for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the pre-credit closer left us with a massive cliffhanger, albeit confirming most of the fan theories from last season: Simmons is alive, but hardly well. She appears to be stranded on a desert alien planet, confirmed by the multiple planets and moons in the sky!

From the very beginning, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has had a rough start. While the show being helmed by geek icon, Joss Whedon, has always been well written and masterfully executed, it struggled to find a wider spread audience. Although it's commercially popular as an extended part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the ratings aren't as high as one would expect, despite being associated with the brand. The show's been hard-pressed to reach past the hardcore Marvel fans who just want to absorb and keep up with the overall mythos. The first two seasons introduced us to some lovable characters, unforgettable moments, and some very dark twists that deserve more recognition that they've been getting. This season seems to promise so much more. We've already been introduced to multiple superpowered characters, alien races, and several tie-ins to the films that will hopefully turn Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. into a much larger, respected franchise.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 'Among Us Hide…' Review

S.H.I.E.L.D. continues its hunt for the relentless killer of inhumans, Lash. Discovering his identity, however, may leave them questioning their alliances and falling victim to devastating betrayal.

SPOILERS AHEAD!

Among Us Hide… opens immediately with tension and panic. S.H.I.E.L.D. has managed to rescue Dr. Garner from the explosion during the hostage situation orchestrated by Grant Ward. May implores him to recall what happened. He tells her how one of his students, whom they now know to be Werner Von Strucker (son of Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker, former head of Hydra), cornered him in the convenience store along with a team of Hydra thugs. He was saved from assassination thanks to a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent secretly tailing him and claims he was thrown clear from the building during the blast, leaving him with only minor injuries. Now knowing her next target, May reprimands Hunter for being so reckless, and insists that Coulson allow her to take over the mission, taking Bobbi along for support.

Daisy is still having trouble understanding why Lash hasn't gone after her even though she's a very active inhuman; a prime target for his rampage. Considering how he's always a step ahead, knowing exactly where S.H.I.E.L.D. goes to find the next inhuman, she suspects Lash to be Agent Banks, Rosalind Price's right hand. Hunter offers to help in their efforts, frustrated after being benched thanks to the Ward fiasco. While staking out Banks, eager to regain everyone's trust (but mostly still working through some anger), Hunter abandons stealth, walks up to Banks, and tranks him in broad daylight, much to the disapproval of Mac and Daisy. Once a blood sample is collected, they send it to Simmons to test for inhuman genetic markers. Despite negative results, it still makes sense to spy on the rendezvous point to which he was headed. Using one of Fitz's dwarves, they find a box being covertly delivered whose contents leave them horrified: it contains an inhuman, scanned and stored like a prisoner in a glass box. More surprising, however, is seeing Coulson with Rosalind Price overseeing the whole thing. Apparently, Price isn't okay with the procedure, but feels its necessary to keep the inhumans they round up contained and docile until they find a reasonable means of keeping them safe from the public and vice versa, or so she claims.

May knows the best way to get to Ward at this point is to go through Von Strucker. After narrowly escaping the explosion, Werner has sought refuge with Gideon Malick, who eagle eyed viewers might recognize as one of the council members conferring with Nick Fury in the first Avengers movie, evidently one of the secret heads of Hydra. In an effort to gain Ward's trust, Malick gives up Werner. May and Bobbi end up finding him beaten and tortured at the hands of Ward's henchmen. After dispatching them all in a thrilling display of femme fatale brutality, May holds Werner's broken body as he retells what happened during the hostage situation with Garner. With his dying breath he says, "We would've had him…if he hadn't turned into that thing!", revealing that Lash, the inhuman monster they've been frantically trying to track down, is in fact Dr. Garner!

Among Us Hide… did a great job of focusing on what was important. All the plot lines with May, Daisy, and Coulson culminated in the reveal of Garner's true purpose as Lash, finally giving everyone a common enemy, besides the usual struggle with Grant Ward. The episode was fast paced and skimped on the dull, preachy aspects that tend to slow it down.We got plenty of action and comedy, but more importantly the massive reveal could completely alter the course of the show in the best way. The Ward/Hydra plot gets old after a while. There are now bigger threats to worry about and it might be wise to let him build his plan into something more formidable while the team deals with the inhumans element.

Review Roundup: Captain America: Civil War is killing it in reviews so far

Captain America: Civil War is just a little less than a month away and the full in-depth reviews are in. At the time of this article, the superhero face-off is sitting at a solid 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. Instead of writing this the moment reviews went live, we waited three hours to write this article to see how much the score has changed, and it has not moved one percent since the first review came out.

Prior to the embargo on reviews were lifted, initial screenings revealed an overwhelmingly positive reception on Twitter from press that atended the early screening. Most outlets are awarding the film incredibly high scores (as evident by the Rotten Tomatoes score).

Keep in mind, Rotten Tomatoes is an agrigator of reviews that get good scores and bad scores, not all of these outlets gave the movie a 10/10 in order for it to reach a 100% score. Rotten Tomatoes generates it's rating based on how many outlets gave the movie either a "fresh" or "rotten" rating and not the actual score itself.

Below you will find some excerpts from reviews of the film that discuss both the positives and negatives of the film.

The Hollywood Reporter

"… the latest Marvel extravaganza furthers the studio’s cross-pollination of action franchises in a way that’s sure to satisfy devotees. Posing serious questions about violence and vigilantism while reveling in both, Captain America: Civil War is overlong but surprisingly light on its feet. It builds upon the plotlines of previous Avengers outings, bringing together known marquee quantities and introducing the Black Panther and a new Spidey in winning fashion."

No score given

The Wrap

"Directors Anthony and Joe Russo continue to mine their experience with TV comedies, juggling all the members of their superhero family with a playful touch that both informs character interaction and delivers vital breathing room in between battles."

No score given

IGN

"Featuring what's arguably the best ever screen depiction of Spider-Man as well as a cool new hero in Black Panther, Captain America: Civil War can't quite recapture the emotional and cerebral strengths of its predecessor, The Winter Soldier. Its central villain is ultimately lackluster and its final act, while dramatic, lacks the energy and effectiveness of the central action set-piece that assembles the Avengers in instant-classic fashion."

7.8/10

Empire Magazine

"Matching its blockbuster scale and spectacle with the smarts of a great, grown-up thriller, Captain America: Civil War is Marvel Studios’ finest film yet. There. We said it again."

No score given

Uproxx

"Captain America: Civil War feels like a pinnacle for Marvel. Like, I can’t imagine their movies getting any better. This feels like the crescendo. This feels like the movie this series has been building towards for eight years. After all these movies, Marvel earned this fight. This is the best Marvel movie so far. This is not hyperbole. I have my doubts they can make anything better. This is as close as things come to “superhero movie perfection.” This movie made me really happy."

No score given

Forbes

Captain America: Civil War is a good movie, one worth enjoying on the biggest screen you can find, and one that will entertain the hell out of lots of people even as it goes against the grain in some surprising ways. But the film is periodically an exercise in long-form frustration, one which flirts with “The Idea Plot” more often than it should. I’m not sure if this counts as a major problem, but I was shocked at how often I found myself siding with Tony Stark over Steve Rogers.

No score given

Captain America: Civil War debuts in the UK on April 27th and in the USA on May 6th.

Robert Downey Jr. lights up the Eiffel Tower Tony Stark style

With Captain America: Civil War mere weeks away, Robert Downey Jr. appeared in Paris to promote the movie as Tony Stark himself by tinkering with the Eiffel Tower and getting the word out on Team Iron Man. Check it out above!

The fast approaching Civil War event appears to have left our favorite Shell-Head in a bit of a moral bind. Bearing in mind the lack of unity among the Avengers gang as of late, Stark seeks council with the mesmerizing Iron Lady herself in the heart of Paris. 

This latest promotional stunt occurred during the French premiere of Captain America: Civil War, as a thank you to France for its hospitality, as well as all the supporters for Team Iron Man. With this kind of hype, let's see if Team Cap still stands a chance this summer.

Captain America: Civil War releases May 6th!

The Punisher series has finally been ordered by Netflix

Netflix has just official approved their order for a new Daredevil spin-off series, The Punisher.

The decision came as very little surprise considering the mass fan outcry after seeing the finished product of Daredevil season 2, which heavily featured the gun-toting vigilante crime-fighter. Ever since the initial announcement that The Punisher would have such a major role in the latest season of the Netflix action-drama, rumors were circling that it would be the groundwork for his own series. Despite Netflix and Marvel having debunked those rumors, claiming there were no official plans, it seems they've either finally budged, or they were keeping the information secret until the right time, as is Marvel's MO. The news broke earlier today when Netflix tweeted the following teaser promo:

Marvel Studios' Phase IV will be 'distinctively different' than previous phases

With the start of Marvel Studios' Phase III quickly approaching with next month's Captain America: Civil War, fans have been wondering what lies in store for the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The original plan for this optimistic project was to keep it at three "phases", sections of the films' storytelling that would create an overall anthology to the Marvel mythos. With the acquisition of Spider-Man, as well as the announcement of the Ant-Man sequel, Ant-Man and the Wasp, the Phase line-up has evolved to make way for new properties and delve into some new territory. The end of Phase III will conclude the underlying "Infinity Gauntlet" story that has been coalescing over the years with Avengers: Infinity War- Parts 1-2. After that, however, the door has officially been left open to continue the series for as long as possible. Marvel Studios excecutive producer, Kevin Feige, had this to say:

“I think there will be a finality to moments of Phase Three, as well as new beginnings, that will mark a different, a very different, a distinctively different, chapter in what will someday be a complete first saga made up of three phases.”

It's still uncertain which films will be featured in the fourth Phase. Both Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. have expressed some interest in returning as Captain America and Iron Man, but its more likely the studio will attempt to dig deeper into the worlds of some of the more recent additions to their intellectual properties. It's possible Phase IV will include a sequel to the recently titled, Spider-Man: Homecoming, especially considering how hard the studio fought to finally have the beloved web-slinger in their ranks, and its definitely possible that we'll see sequels to the upcoming films Black Panther, Doctor Strange, and Captain Marvel. The only film that may be a certainty as of late would be the first movie featuring the superhero alien descendants, The Inhumans, which has officially been delayed thanks to Disney's newly announced projects and Phase IV may be the next available slot.

Captain America: Civil War releases May 6th!

Doctor Strange releases November 4th!

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 'Purpose in the Machine' Review

When Coulson recruits an old ally to help decipher the secrets of the Monolith, they discover a long abandoned method of harnessing its power that may be their best chance at saving Simmons. Meanwhile, Grant Ward begins his systematic resurgence of Hydra.

SPOILERS AHEAD!

'Purpose in the Machine' picks up with the gang intervening with Fitz breaking into the Monolith room and harassing the construct out of desperation for Simmons' return. Discovering the Monolith has left behind some kind of sand-like substance, Fitz realizes his "singularity made solid" theory may have been dead on, and analyzes the dust. The results show it was a substance not of this world and the team is galvanized to assist him. He mentions they need an expert in quantum mechanics and Einstein-Rosen bridge theory. True fans might note the first person that comes to mind for this task should be Dr. Reed "Mr. Fantastic" Richards, who is in fact the most brilliant expert in quantum mechanics in the Marvel universe. Disney unfortunately doesn't have the rights to the Fantastic Four, so for all intents and purposes, we need to pretend he doesn't exist.

Coulson, however, has a better idea and decides to pay their old Asgardian friend, Professor Randolph, a visit in his captivity. "Agreeing" to join, Randolph determines the scroll Fitz acquired translates more accurately to "death by punishment" and the hieroglyph can be found in a centuries old English castle. Uncovering a hidden laboratory in the bowels of the structure, they realize the machinery woven throughout was used for harnessing the Monolith itself. With no choice but to have it flown in for a test run, they manage to destroy the machine, forcing Daisy to keep it free flowing long enough to get an unmanned probe into the dimensional rift. Much to everyone's surprise, however, Fitz straps himself to a reel and cannonballs in without looking back. He finds himself on the surface of an alien world in the middle of a sandstorm. Screaming for Simmons in the maw of the roaring winds, he manages to spot her! As she moves closer, the team struggles to keep the portal open; Daisy's powers losing their grip. When it finally gives way, the Monolith is subject to rubble…with Fitzsimmons nestled safely within!

We finally get to see what became of Agent Melinda May after her departure last season. It turns out her elderly father (played by the great James Hong) had been in a car accident and she's been living with him, helping him recover. She seems to be happy, now that she's free of S.H.I.E.L.D., but that delusion fell apart after a visit from Hunter. He came in an effort to bring her back to the fold, but he leaves her with words that emanate with her, "You're never really out, if you're always looking over your shoulder." He's alluding to the fact that May isn't really staying with her father solely for his benefit. She figures Ward is out for blood. He is fully capable and more than ruthless enough to go after her loved ones and she suspects he may have been behind the crash. She's really just on a long stake out, waiting for him to move in on her or her father.

This season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. seems to be picking up steam pretty early on. Only the second episode in, and we already have a few direct references to the comics, which could indicate certain set-ups to finally merge back with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Daisy is completely refusing to be called Skye, having taken on the full persona of Quake, the Inhuman zealot, Lash, has been established as a new threat, and there was already a reference to Coulson recruiting for the Secret Warriors. Ever since the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, S.H.I.E.L.D. as a whole has been trying to redeem themselves after their public image was tarnished thanks to the exploits of Hydra, while Team Coulson is slowly rebuilding itself and rediscovering the paths they need to walk in order to ensure the safety of the world and each other.

Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition: Toy Box Speedway Review

Kart racing has arrived in Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition in the form of Toy Box Speedway, allowing players to take their Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars characters into a race track stadium and participate in multiple race types across varying themed tracks. The second of two Toy Box Games (the first being Toy Box Takeover), Speedway should appeal to fans of racing and kart games.

Personally, I always found the driving controls and gameplay to be the weakest part of Disney Infinity. It’s a combination of the controls and race tracks for me, but my kids love it. So I was unsure about how I’d feel about a Toy Box Expansion focused solely on racing. I loved the combat and story of Toy Box Takeover, but would that love translate over to speed and glory?

Let’s see how it fared…

 

The Positives / The Negatives

The Verdict

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