Category Archives: Comics

Seven MCU Films That Should Come After Avengers 4

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has never been hotter! 20 films later and the franchise is not only the most successful movie series of all time, but the quality today is a testament to the hard work and fun execution of each entry. Where the films do vary in genre, it is clear that it is all connected. While characters like Iron Man, Captain America and Black Panther have become household names, other favourites like Hulk and Spider-Man have also seamlessly weaved themselves into the MCU.

While we countdown to 2019 (or August 3rd if like me you are in the UK and trying not to get mad at the fact you have to wait for ‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’ to come out), I want to discuss the Marvel films that need to happen after Avengers 4 closes the Third Phase. Now, I won’t include ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ or ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3’ as they are officially in production. But I will use the films that have been heavily rumoured and mention what I think they could be about.

BLACK WIDOW

WHY – Why not! Black Widow is all but confirmed since the supposed appointment of Cate Shortland as the director of the much-anticipated solo film.

WHAT IT SHOULD BE ABOUT – While there are a good few people who would like to see a prequel film showing Natasha Romanoff in her younger days before becoming an Avenger. But I think a film where Black Widow actually disappears following Avengers 4 could be intriguing. Maybe we could see the character go off the grid and become a mercenary. How about she later returns to New York to take on the Kingpin (yes, I will keep Vincent D’Onofrio).

We could see a revenge storyline slash team up film where Natasha, wanting to stay away from her former allies after witnessing some truly horrific sights, will unite with Matt Murdoch in and out of costume as both finding a new calling and a new romantic partner. Maybe get some cameos from Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Iron Fist for a Defenders 2.0! Maybe!

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DOCTOR STRANGE 2

WHY – Doctor Strange was one of the most visually stunning films of recent times. While the character has only been part of the MCU since 2016, he played his part as one of the central characters in Avengers: Infinity War. He actually got more screen time than Cap, Hulk, Black Widow, the majority of the Guardians and even Spider-Man! While viewers of that film may doubt his future, this is one character that still has a lot to give.

WHAT IT SHOULD BE ABOUT – The first film saw the rivalry grow between Strange and Mordo, we can only hope that this expands over the sequel and see more screen time for Wong and maybe introduce Brother Voodoo as another ally.

In terms of plot, Mordo could possibly work with another powerful villain to take on the Sorcerer Supreme. Mephisto is one villain that deserves to be brought in, but this could also be a backdoor way to introduce Ghost Rider to the MCU (not counting Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.). Mephisto is super evil and could ultimately trick Mordo and attempt to take over the universe. Maybe a Loki-esque redemption story for the powerful antagonist could see him re-join Strange for a final battle. Introduce hell to the cinematic universe? Could make for a great battleground for the heroes and villians.

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FANTASTIC FOUR

WHY – How many times can FOX royally screw up Marvel’s first family? Well, hopefully that will not be an obstacle for long. With the imminent purchase of 20th Century Fox, Disney will finally be able to bring the Fantastic Four into the MCU. We need another team to rival the Avengers in this cinematic world, plus Ant-Man director Peyton Reed wants to make this film a reality…and I would happily let him.

WHAT IT SHOULD BE ABOUT – With the opportunity to introduce Doctor Doom and Galactus to the MCU, we could see two films centred on Reed Richards and his team as they face off Doctor Doom in the first movie (with assistance from Silver Surfer) and then maybe a sequel which goes between Earth and the Cosmos as the Fantastic Four team up with the Surfer to take on Galactus (or maybe save the almighty villain for another Avengers film in a few years).

We could also see the Fantastic Four debut in the very likely Black Panther sequel, seeing as T’Challa originally came from their comic book, it could be a fitting link and brilliant Easter Egg. Also, maybe this first film could see some distortion in the space/time continuum to retcon them into the MCU…it could work!

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CAPTAIN BRITAIN

WHY – Possibly one of the hardest ones to bring over (his sister is X-Men fave Psylocke), but as Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver managed to cross into the established film series with ease, we could also see Brian Braddock join in very soon. Also, as the franchise has been in the US for its majority with odd spells in Africa and Europe, a UK based hero could be a fun change.

WHAT IT SHOULD BE ABOUT – Brian Braddock could be seen as a scientist who is working on a potential cure for a disease that could be alien related, with him receiving the “Amulet Of Right” as payment from Merlyn. Similar to Doctor Strange, we could see Cap (Britain) learn a new side to his own world and Modred The Mystic could be seen as both the antagonist of the film and a long term rival/former ally to Merlyn.

We could also get some great scenes in Maldon, Essex. As this is where the character originates, it would be fun for me at least to see a truly nice place in the UK on the big screen. We could also see Braddock begin to doubt his might as a superhero and see him try to get back to his life as a renowned man of science.

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WHY – Since taking the title from Carol Danvers, Kamala Kahn has made a great impression with her own adventures which began in 2013 when the character was exposed to them damn Terrigen Mists and discovered her Inhuman capabilities. As proven with Spider-Man, a youthful perspective is never a bad thing.

WHAT IT SHOULD BE ABOUT – Whereas Peter Parker was a more immature yet grounded character, Kahn could possibly go a bit wackier while also highlighting her struggles in her family and with the Muslim faith. We could also see her get help from Captain Marvel and see her take on The Inventor, who was her first villain in her own comic.

What more could we have in this film? As Ms. Marvel is able to shapeshift, we could see some great scenes that involve the title character to disguise herself to find out information or to have some potentially humourous interactions with the Avengers (imagine if Kamala tried to disguise herself as Captain Marvel?). This could be a movie which has that ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ spirit with a dash of Ant-Man for good measure.

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SHE-HULK

WHY – Bruce Banner has unfortunately not seen many of the characters specifically from his comic translate to the MCU. If we didn’t include the 2008 film ‘The Incredible Hulk’, we have only had General Ross and Korg as the standouts. Kevin Fiege has said that there will be more women superheroes, and this one could have the perfect entry. Hulk is likely to stay within the film universe for some time, but it would be good to see his cousin Jennifer enter the frey.

WHAT IT SHOULD BE ABOUT – After receiving a blood transfusion from Bruce Banner, she begins to transform into a milder version of the Hulk. While super strong, Jennifer Walters maintains her personality and intelligence and becomes a powerful ally of The Avengers. We could maybe see She-Hulk and Hulk team up to fight another villain we have almost forgot about…The Leader!

For anyone who saw the 2008 film, there was a small glimpse of Samuel Sterns as he begun to transform into the supervillain with the intelligence to rival the world’s top minds. While Hulk may not be a match for the character on a battle of the brains, She-Hulk could possibly be the one who takes on this almighty foe and give us a conclusion to a long-left plot thread!

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ETERNALS

WHY – We have had enhanced Super Soldiers, Inhumans, Asgardians and even a Hulk! But, how about the offshoots of humanity who are near-immortal? These guys have got some great potential to cause a big threat to the universe and could possibly be the next big clash that could come following the final fight with Thanos.

WHAT IT SHOULD BE ABOUT – These beings are super powerful and have been around since the dawn of man, so how about another space epic which shows a clash that goes between Earth in the distant past and the world as we know it today! We could see The Eternals in their war with The Deviants.

With a tale that could go between Earth, Uranus and Titan (yes, the same Titan that Thanos is from…and he is technically an Eternal). We could see a story which establishes how Thanos’ home world fell to the destruction we saw in Infinity War and see a story which would make it look like the Marvel Cinematic Universe had just been fused with the fighters of Dragonball Z! Now that is a film I really want to see!!!!!!

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Well that is a selection of the films I really want to see in the MCU, and maybe these will form what Phase Four could be! But what films or characters would you like to see? Are you annoyed I didn’t put Black Panther 2 on the list? (let’s be honest, you all know it is going to happen!). Also, could we see the X-Men join in the action? Well, let me know what you think below.

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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Doctor Strange Review: Strange? Maybe… (SPOILER FREE)

By Joanna Cosgrove

Marvel’s cinematic universe has given us some great heroes – and villains – but what keeps us coming for more is how this whole universe has so many levels, and so many worlds. We have the Avengers, saving the planet with all their might; we have the Guardians of the Galaxy, protecting the worlds beyond our own; and with the newest installment, we learn that Earth can be saved with the physical and the spiritual. Enter Doctor Strange.

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Alright, we have all heard mixed expectations. As the MCU expands, and we discover more brave faces, we also discover the diversity in how they keep everyone safe. That is where Doctor Strange dazzles us.

The story of famous surgeon, Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), reaching past his medical expertise to cure himself of what he was repeatedly told was incurable nerve damage, shows something human in my eyes. He was full of himself, and he closed his mind off to whatever of the universe he didn’t know – he acted as if he knew it all – but he opened up his mind and that led to his powers. Opening his mind made him who he is; the best he can be. It’s inspiring, honestly.

We must discuss the ethnicity issue. It’s been there since the beginning and throughout the promotion for the movie, it needs to be discussed, not the whole movie is released to the public.

I need to admit, Tilda Swinton – as talented of an actor as she is – was possibly a mistake in casting. Don’t get me wrong, the diversity of actors cast in these roles is realistic and appropriate, but I believe the character of the Ancient One would have been best to remain as being Tibetan. “Whitewashing” is not a term I’m throwing in here though, because it’s not necessary when diversity is clear and greatly appreciated, as well as being used for the sake of making a successful film – not just to keep movie-goers happy and avoid the “racist” label.

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Same as whitewashing, we cannot call “cultural appropriation”. The representation of spirituality and healing is not used disrespectfully, and the story of Stephen Strange opening his mind to realities he never heard about and abilities he never gave a chance to before is one everyone can pay attention to. Alright, I don’t really want to be that person who finds depth beyond depth in a normal action movie, but there is here. Like we only believed in the Avengers catering to the usual, the stereotypical way of dealing with the supervillains, we can also be opened up to the idea that the mind is just as mighty as the body it controls. Doctor Strange is an example of changing what we know about the strength of superheroes, using your mind to save the world.

Last, definitely not least, we have the special effects of this movie. Like wow.

The representation of the powers in our world, manipulating surroundings, is more than a regular eyeful. It gives us exactly what we need: a visual understanding of these powers. It makes you imagine “how would that feel?” as the world stretches, spins, and separates in front of our very eyes on that big screen. It’s exciting, and despite it being the result of something most of us won’t believe is a real thing, it makes us believe that little bit more. It’s terrifying, but exhilarating, because that could easily be the world we live in. Let us wish it never will be though. It may not end well for us.

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Overall, worth the watch. It might not be your favourite MCU movie, I’ll admit, but it would be a mistake to skip this, as it holds a whole new chapter in this universe, beyond the Earth and the stars. The universe in our own minds.

Rating: 7/10

London Film and Comic Con 2016 REVIEW

A lot better organised, a superb selection of stars and a great weekend all round. The displays were fantastic, the halls well-spaced and some great people all round. Olympia in London set the biggest weekend of the year into motion almost seamlessly.

I was there for Saturday and Sunday and I had a blast. Getting there at 7am (I know that is two hours before the day starts), I made sure I was near the front of the queue. Different to previous years, the organisation was spot on and people got in quickly and easily. Heading to the 1st floor for the virtual queue tickets for autographs was a breeze and I managed to get many within 20-50 and happy with how easy it was to get there. I was also asked by my best friend to obtain some, and was surprised at how easy it was to find everyone as the autographs all seemed to happen in one area (my friend also done two lots of cosplay, and I didn’t do any. Saved my money for lots of nerdy things that I really wanted and don’t regret).

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Some highlights from this year included the Suicide Squad outfits on display. In glass cases, we see the outfits from the new blockbuster on show for all to see, and there is a sense of joy at seeing these in the flesh. There are also all the fantastic outfits worn by the attendees, including the guy with a latex Arnold Schwarzenegger mask dressed as The Terminator was rather cool. The guys dressed as Stormtroopers once again looked cool and the guys and girls dressed as Marvel characters really made an impact, but there was one clear winner…Harley Quinn! The number of girls dressed as the Margot Robbie iteration of the character was incredible, and certainly must have raised a few eyebrows for the popularity of a character before the film officially debuts (and not just because of how revealing the outfit is).

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The guests I got to see was fantastic. The first person I got to see was the action legend Dolph Lundgren (Rocky IV, The Expendables). I have to say, he was very kind and really chatty when getting his autograph. I then met Michael Emerson (Lost, Person of Interest), once again a very kind man and was really happy to talk. I also had to meet Carl Weathers, even if it was to mainly get his autograph for my dad on the same picture as the one signed by Dolph! One autograph I had wanted since the initial announcement was Laurie Holden (The Walking Dead), though I had to wait a short time for her when she needed a break, she was indeed lovely and I got a hug from her for waiting for her to return (what, would you turn down a hug from her?). Harold Perrineau (Constantine, Lost) was really great to chat to and was more than happy to take a photo, though I did look slightly evil in the picture. The fantastic Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite) was also a great guy to meet, he was happy to take a selfie and was more like his character than I thought possible (which was cool). The last person I got to meet was Tobin Bell (Saw) and again he was really nice and definitely someone I enjoyed talking to and was happy to get his autograph.

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With all the good, there was a few points which let the weekend down. Now, I know being in a very warm place all day working can be tough, but there is no need for the rudeness from some of the guys at LFCC. Don’t get me wrong, the guys and girls there really made me feel welcome and were very helpful throughout. I also want to thank the lady who held my lightsaber (not a euphemism) while I got the Tobin Bell autograph, but the person who was in control of the queue for Tobin was rather rude and unnecessarily mean to fans. The attitude she displayed was just spiteful and some people looked physically upset with how she spoke to them. Also, the security guy who actually demanded that a fan deleted a photo off his phone and went to grab the iPhone off the young guy was a shocker. I understand the ‘No Photo’ signs should be respected, but the way that was dealt with was shocking. Talk and say “please don’t take photos”, not take their phone from them.

With that, these were only minor gripes and I am glad that neither of them were actually against me (not the 2nd point anyway). The way the halls were presented was fantastic, the stalls were nicely spaced to walk through and allowed a great flow of crowd at all times. Being able to go between the halls on both floors was great and eased a lot of congestion what was a huge problem in previous years. The services were adequate and I knew my surroundings well within a short amount of time. I overall was really happy at Comic Con this year and had probably one of the best experiences there for years. LFCC 2017 I am sure will continue to see this all grow and I really hope that it continues in the direction. My favourite buys were the Pop Vinyl figures of Rick and Morty, the T-Shirts and also the Kylo Ren lightsaber (I spent a good amount of money, but I was happy with every purchase). I can’t wait to do it all over again next year!

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

Video credited to Hollandian Ground Productions

Captain America: A Twist Too Far

By Joanna Cosgrove

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Who can hate Marvel? In under a decade, we have been introduced to so many personalities in the Marvel universe, in the form of the MCU: The Marvel Cinematic Universe. We were given genetically modified heroes, trained warriors and those with the luck of highly evolved technology on their side. Most importantly, we were given heroes.

Heroes, true, come in all shapes and sizes; they can be fictional or real; they can be of any race, any gender, possessing any abilities, great or minor. They all have that one thing in common: they inspire.
Boys and girls alike can relate to the butt-kicking champions we see on the big (and small) screen. Men and women can relive the old times they had when they first experienced these beings between the paper pages of their classic comic books. We all can form these connections with heroes, especially those of the Marvel universe, because we all want to save the world and never give in to the villains who only want to battle and destroy.

That is what makes Marvel’s latest move a tragic one.

As most, if not all Marvel fans are aware of already, Captain America has a new comic book series coming out, labelled Steve Rogers: Captain America, which I’m sure at first gained a few “woo”s and “yippee”s from hardcore Cap fans. Then more details were slipping out and – I would say spoiler warning, but let’s face it, you ain’t reading the comic if you care about what’s happened to Rogers.

The comic series is set to begin with the announcement by Rogers that he had been a member of Hydra. In one sentence, Marvel had dirtied the beautiful and patriotic name of Captain America, and I – like many others – am not impressed.

Tom Brevoort, an executive editor at Marvel Comics, had commented clearly and truly that “the most trusted hero in the Marvel universe is now secretly a deep-cover Hydra operative”. And there’s no problem with that? Seriously?

I do not know, nor really wish to know, what possessed the people in charge of Captain America’s comic arcs to decide that this would be an appropriate twist to throw into the universe. This isn’t some sick, twisted fanfiction that someone created to be “edgy” or “different”; this is Marvel. This is canon. This is disturbing.

To continue quoting Brevoort: “You should feel uneasy about the fact that everything you know and love about Steve Rogers can be upended.”
And you should feel uneasy about the fact that every fan that purchases and reads your comics can stop paying to read said comics, watch your movies and television shows, and collect your figurines of every costume these heroes ever wore.
This isn’t creativity; this is throwing away one of the longest standing symbols for pure American pride.

Look at it this way: turning Cap into an agent from Hydra is most disrespectful when you learn about his origins.
Remember, Captain America wasn’t always Marvel’s mightiest Avenger. Cap was used as a voice of inspiration among Americans during times of war, of death and sorrow and fear. He was a bright light in bleak dangerous darkness.
And remember, Hydra was to Captain America what the Nazi party was to America (among many other countries and continents). They were/are both soulless organisations running mainly on the desire to control and manipulate the world to their liking and the only way they can perform this, it seems, is through murder and genocide.
In the times where innocent, peace-loving lives were lost defending the lands they love, they needed something to keep up spirits. In comes Captain America, created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby – two talented Jewish cartoonists – to give America hope that evil will never win because our hero in red, white and blue will not allow it.

Can everyone see how disrespectful, on so many levels, this would appear?

I will leave everyone to make their opinions, because I have made mine crystal clear in this article. I advise people, to keep the pure image of Steve Rogers in your mind for the rest of your days, to ignore this series and disbelief what Marvel want to turn Rogers into.
If you decide to read on, read on. To each their own – a rule I shall always enforce in topics relating to the entertainment industry. I hope you can appreciate this in a way I and many others cannot (genuinely, I promise, enjoy your reading).

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