Tag Archives: MCU

Marvel’s Inhumans – Episode 1 and 2 REVIEW!

‘The First Chapter’

*Mild Spoilers Ahead*

Many of you may wish that Marvel kept this as a movie in the original MCU line-up, and in a way I will agree with you. It was a bold move for Marvel to develop this as a series following the success of Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the way they handled the Inhuman characters that came from there, and this does succeed in many ways. Also, before anyone says it, yes we got Scott Buck behind the show. I liked Iron Fist, but I am not here to win you over on that series.

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We start on earth where a newly “awoken” Inhuman has been exposed to the Terrigen mist, she is trying to escape a strike team who goes after her. This is where we meet Triton, who is sadly given minimal screen time. We then move to the moon and find ourselves in the city of Attilan, giving us our first introduction to King Black Bolt (Anson Mount) and Queen Medusa (Serinda Swan) as they are embraced in her magical locks of fire-red hair.

The Royal Family are all loyal to Black Bolt and obey his law, except for his brother Maximus. Where Black Bolt is seen as a good king and a protector of their world, Maximus has had enough of living in secret and believes the Inhumans should go to Earth. Maximus barely takes his brother’s side to begin with, but he finds himself taking charge after being given a glimpse into the future. Taking over the Attilan army, the brother of the king takes control of the city and is only stopped from destroying the Royal Family thanks to teleporting dog, Lockjaw!

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While the show may not be too heavy on spectacle, the earth-set scenes are shot beautifully. The opening sequence with Triton on Hawaii is well executed and even the scenes of Black Bolt and Maximus conversing with each other is a must see. Also, for a protagonist who doesn’t mutter a single word, Black Bolt is indeed a unique MCU character and one who may carry more power than we actually know. Also there is some mystery built up about a shared past between the powerless Maximus and hair-wielding beauty Medusa which I am sure will develop over the series.

We know that this show is still part of the MCU, even though many will think it is just merely cast aside from what could have been a fantastic movie. As for a start to a TV show, there is good and bad points. While the premiere episodes leave something missing, they do bring some great set pieces and make a push on the storytelling front to some success. Without giving too much away, you will almost want to be on Maximus’s side when you see what finally pushes him to take over.

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Special effects aren’t greatly used in these episodes, they weren’t really vital for what we have seen so far. The costumes are in some ways faithful to the book (Black Bolt looks cool and some of the concepts on the female cast members work well), in other ways they look tacky and cheap. Marvel TV needs to take tips from the Netflix costume department and throw in some threads that pop on screen. Make up isn’t a massive issue, though I would expect more people to look less human than what we see on screen. Anyone wondering about Medusa’s hair, I will just say that it does get its uses. The writing isn’t too strong for cast members outside the central trio, but efforts are made on the rest of the Inhumans and I hope they get more exciting material later in the series.

Then, as it should be obvious, we have our cast. First off, Anson Mount is superb as the king of Attilan, pulling so many emotions and saying an array of words without saying a thing. Serinda Swan is sexy and dangerous as Medusa, pulling no punches with that snake-like hair. Iwan Rheon has proved he can be Number 1 bastard before when he played Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones, where he is a whole different beast who honestly thinks he is doing the right thing. Some of the cast do get seemingly short changed with little to do, and I only hope that changes as the show goes on. One last cast mention is Ken Leung as Karnak. Karnak may not be front and centre like the other three mentioned, but he does get some great lines and provides a few decent laughs.

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Finally, I liked these two episodes. The 75 minutes in the IMAX screen does swiftly pass by, making me wonder if £15 of my hard-earned cash was worth the investment into the Inhuman Royal Family. There are problems in the writing, the costumes and with some of the characters. But, as I said, I hope this changes along the way. Inhumans is a property that could get a good few years of life and finally bring the Marvel Cinematic Universe together to blur the TV and Film realms. I would say if you are an MCU fanatic, IMAX may be worth it for seeing the opening two-parter. Don’t expect anything too spectacular on the big screen, save it for TV if you are more curious than dedicated.

Final rating: 7/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

P.S. Lockjaw is quite cool and I am sure a toy of him is currently in development!

You can see Inhumans from Friday 29th September on ABC in the United States and in the UK later in 2017 with a broadcaster yet to be confirmed.

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Spider-Man: Homecoming. Review. “The world’s changing, boys. It’s time we change too.”

Well done Marvel, you proved that you could make Spider-Man awesome again and that Sony should just give over all the rights to Spider-Man and just let Venom be part of the MCU now…but you can scrap the Black Cat/Silver Sable film as we don’t need it!

First off, it is easy to say that Tom Holland is the best Spider-Man we have had yet! Taking on Peter Parker is someone who actually looks like he is 15, why was that so difficult to do in the first place? He has a great presence throughout and his version of Spider-Man is the one we always really needed. I will mention more on Holland a bit later once I tell you a bit more about the movie.

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So, the first thing we get is the introduction of Damage Control (the guys in charge of clearing up the messes from The Avengers), this is what basically brings us our major villain, The Vulture. Adrian Toombs, AKA The Vulture (played rather well by Michael Keaton) is seen as just a man who wants to get what he believes is owed to him. The Vulture is not alone, he does have back-up (Two Shockers and a Tinkerer to be exact) who actually do prove themselves as a challenge for Spidey (well, not so much Tinkerer as he…well, just watch it and you will see).

We also get to see how being Spider-Man influences the everyday life of Peter Parker. He is eager to become an Avenger and finds himself with his own challenges. Feeling neglected by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr. only appears in about 4 scenes, making it clear this is a SPIDER-MAN movie! Though his scenes are all great and necessary, with some funny interactions with his usual wit and delivery), Peter only wants to prove himself a hero and goes through some tough and funny obstacles to get there. It’s when Peter comes into contact with The Vulture does he realise there is some serious danger coming his way.

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While Spider-Man may not be dealing with someone who has multiple arms or joined with an alien parasite, Adrian Toombs is indeed a terrific villain and someone who really grabs you from his first moments. Overall, Toombs becomes The Vulture to get what he thinks he deserves. You do feel bad for him at one point in the movie, but that doesn’t last long.

I will just say it; Keaton’s Vulture is one of the best villain’s in the MCU so far. I would need to do an official ranking of all villains to show you where he stands, so watch out for that one!

For the rest of the cast, they do prove their worth throughout. Marisa Tomei is superb as Aunt May (and the jokes involving the men fancying her are greatly humorous) and I only hope she remains a staple of this universe. There is also great turns from Jacob Batalon as Peter’s best friend Ned who actually proves his worth as comic relief and a hero. Zendaya and Laura Harrier also give some strong performances with Zendaya’s Michelle getting some good laughs and being a strong character overall and Harrier’s Liz showing great determination and emotion. For the supporting cast, the one I really enjoyed seeing was Jon Favreau coming back as Happy Hogan. Happy is a great character and he was probably given the most to do in Homecoming than any other MCU film he has appeared in.

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This is a Spider-Man that is at home in this world. The characters all feel like natural pieces of this universe and the majority of them make their mark rather well. The teachers in particular bring some good laughs, most of the students are fun too. Having characters like Michelle, Ned and Aunt May shows they are certainly going to become the backbone to Homecoming 2!

For the overall feel of this film, I feel I am about to borrow from what everyone else has said, but I have to agree with them. Spider-Man: Homecoming does feel like a John Hughes movie. The comedy is heartfelt and relatable throughout. The quirky side we get of Peter Parker as a teenager in school is a great contrast to his fearless actions as the web-slinger. Jon Watts is more than welcome to come back for the sequel.

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There is a lot being pushed in this movie towards the future of Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it never feels forced or convoluted (*Cough* *Cough* The Amazing Spider-Man 2). The links towards the future of both Spider-Man and the MCU will indeed be met with enthusiasm and make you want Avengers: Infinity War now! Also, look out for all the little Easter Eggs and cameos throughout.

I could talk about this film all day, but I want to end with telling you that this film beats all expectations and will make you laugh a lot! The action scenes look fantastic and the big fights between Spider-Man and The Vulture do go between comedic and dramatic with little effort. The soundtrack, look and characters of a 1980’s high school film with a superhero and a guy who steals alien weapons!

The best Spider-Man film so far!

Final rating: 9.5/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

P.S. Make sure you see the mid and post credit scenes, the final shot is hilarious and thought-provoking!

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5 Things I Want To See In Spider-Man: Homecoming!

With just two weeks to go until the eagerly anticipated Spider-Man: Homecoming makes its way into your local cinema, the talk over what will and will not be featured has certainly heated up. To begin with, we know that Vulture, Shocker and The Tinkerer are the villains here, but we may have more to deal with! Also, with the recent news that the Venom movie will actually be part of the same Universe as Spider-Man (and the MCU, sorta, its complicating!) we can start to think what we will actually get in the film.

With a new take on the iconic hero, it will be exciting to see him in this world of established heroes and villains and start even more threads that will weave through this film and into many more. So, what am I hoping we will see in the film? I will just say I have not yet watched the film and have no insider knowledge, this is mostly guess work!

1. This should lead into Infinity War

Depending on how this one ends, we could see a few big marks made in the MCU. It is safe to assume that Spider-Man will very much be an avenger by the time Infinity Wars hits cinema in 2018. Spider-Man will be the hero to bring people hope and be seen as a face for those to trust, even though he is one of the only heroes to not show his face.

We could maybe see Peter Parker discover an anomaly that could be Thanos or even discover the last of the Infinity Stones? Either way, we know that Spidey and Iron Man will both be gearing up for Infinity War after this movie, but it will be to see if they go there prepared…or not!

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2. The Black Suit

Now we have had teases about the Post-Credits Scene for this movie being a “must see!” which I assume is the same for all the films. But, considering Amy Pascal (the woman who suggested certain films for Barack Obama) let slip that Homecoming will indeed be connected to the spin-off films that Sony are releasing.

Before I saw Tom Hardy was cast, I had little to know interest in the film. To now know there is a connection (will talk about Venom in a future post) between the films, I am excited to see what Sony and Marvel will be delivering over the next few years.

Anyway, what I was thinking was that this post-credit scene could be what we have to introduce the symbiote to the MCU and feature a darker Peter Parker in Infinity Wars who dons the Black Suit and finds this then affects him as he tries to save the world…and then finds itself on Tom “best actor in the whole world” Hardy and then Venom is set!

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3. Vulture Will Help Bring A New Villain In

Since hearing that Homecoming and Venom are linked, I started thinking as how they could be joined together. How cool would it be if Tom Hardy actually made his debut as Eddie Brock in Homecoming? With this being possible after Spidey nearly kills Adrian Toombs (Vulture)?

Imagine this, Spider-Man defeats The Vulture with the help of the symbiote suit, but realises it isn’t the best thing to have after it sends him off in a rage and he is isolated from everyone. Maybe we could see Venom actually emerge in this movie? Probably not though.

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4. Don’t Set Up More Than One Or Two Films

This one has to be said, we don’t need teasers for loads of future films. Age Of Ultron very much teased about 5 films with its runtime, and it felt crammed. The only films I think that should really be further teased from Homecoming should be Infinity War ad Venom.

We know what films are coming and we expect a more natural and thoughtful approach to get us excited for the future. We don’t need to allure to Black Panther, Thor: Ragnarok (though  a mid-credit or post-credit scene wouldn’t hurt), Ant-Man and The Wasp or any others as they will already have enough on them to make an impact.

Also, this is more to Sony, don’t try and shoehorn in every idea you have for a Spider-Man spin-off, remember how well that worked before?  We don’t need Mysterio or Kraven The Hunter films, I am happy for them to appear in a Spider-Man film, but just sort yourselves out Sony and avoid shooting yourself in the foot again.

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5. Don’t Be Afraid Of Change

This one sounds obvious, but after two Spider-Man film series that felt very close to each other, I am happy to see a whole new direction this time. Can we live without Gwen Stacy and MJ? I think so. Harry and Norman Osborn should be hinted at for a future film.

Also, we can see Peter slowly become a photographer for the Daily Bugle (and fingers crossed I would want J.K. Simmons back!), see his rogues gallery grow on screen and maybe fulfil on potential family storylines a bit quicker and make some sense instead of the Parker’s being on the run and dead…but not dead!

We are going to have a long time with this new Spider-Man and it will be great to see where he takes us. Though I feel the Green Goblin storyline will come into play soon, we can also look at so many other great villains for this Universe. Doc Ock, Mysterio, Chameleon, Kingpin (Vincent D’Onofrio must come up against Spider-Man!).

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Marvel and Sony have the power to make this Spider-Man the best there has ever been, and we will see in a matter of days how successful they are!

Spider-Man: Homecoming is out 5th July 2017 in the UK and 7th July 2017 in the US.

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2! Review!

Let’s just say this, it wasn’t easy to make a film that could capture you like the first Guardians film. But James Gunn has indeed delivered a worthy sequel which is both very funny, action packed and will make you cry more than the ending of Marley & Me!

Starting just a few months on from the first film and with Awesome Mix Vol. 2 in hand, the Guardians are hired by the Sovereign Race leader Ayesha to defeat the creature the Abilisk. After things go wrong when Rocket tries to rip them off, the Guardians then have to fight to survive the Sovereign when they attack in waves of remote-controlled ships. It’s after this epic sequence that the true storyline begins.

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We know that Ego is the father of Peter Quill, and these two coming together does indeed pack an emotional punch to the gut. But it is the revelations that come later in the film which really brings you crashing down to earth. Kurt Russell does give it a great go as Ego, and he stays more within his origins than I would have believed. In fact, Ego actually does serve a greater purpose for the film than many may think.

I spoke about the emotion and action, but the comedy cannot be denied. Dave Bautista’s Drax is certainly the funniest of the Guardians in the film. Whether it is him trying to define Mantis’s beauty, speaking of how Ego could mate with Quill’s mum or even a discussion on penises (yes, penis jokes and sex with a planet comment is in this movie!). Also, there is plenty of humour from Baby Groot, a lot of which comes from him being the focus of the opening titles.

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This film is not all colours, action, jokes and quips. This film is definitely the most emotional of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If you didn’t cry over the death of Peter’s mum in the 2014 film then you are: A. The most heartless person in the world, B. You mustn’t have paid attention at the beginning and C. you will have a tear in your eye when you hit the big revelation about Meredith Quill.

Expanding the Guardians roster is similar to that of The Avengers, and the characters are as unique as they come. Yondu (Michael Rooker on the top of his game) comes to join the Guardians and is effortlessly cool. Nebula (Karen Gillan) reluctantly becomes a member, and you can see she would rather be anywhere else in the universe. The best of the new Guardians for me though is Mantis, Pom Klementieff is fantastic as the character and you almost want to adopt her for how adorable she is throughout. Innocence is rare in this franchise, and it is only her and Groot who are probably the only real innocent characters in the film series.

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Speaking of Groot, it was a stroke of genius to keep him in his smaller form. This does work for many occasions, and it also brings some more comical moments that could not happen with the full-grown Groot. He seems bent on causing a lot of havoc for Rocket, but he does show he cares. Groot does at times seem a bit helpless, but you can’t deny he makes you laugh a lot. Let’s be honest, everyone does bring some laughs.

Chris Pratt still brings his best as Peter Quill and Zoe Saldana likes to play with her chemistry with Quill as the straight-faced warrior Gamora. I really liked Pom Klementieff in this film and I can’t wait to see her part in Avengers: Infinity War. Dave Bautista’s Drax is indeed the scene-stealer each time, he does get the best lines and even all the penis talk is seen as really funny just because it comes from Drax.

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While I may think there are a couple of little issues (number of characters, changes of pace), these are nothing much of concern. I didn’t see this film wanting a clone of the first, I wanted a natural progression. The film flows nicely, all the little easter eggs and nods to the grander Marvel world is very welcome. Also, possibly the greatest Stan Lee cameo ever? It is definitely up there! Then there is the soundtrack! I didn’t think it could happen twice, but it certainly is a highlight again. Songs from Fleetwood Mac, Looking Glass, ELO and more (I think the soundtrack will be a review on its own!).

A movie with lots of humour, so much action and more heart than a Gallifrey full of Time Lords. James Gunn creates another masterpiece which will only build excitement for Avengers 3 and Guardians Vol. 3! Maybe not the best that the MCU has made, but certainly the best blockbuster of 2017 so far!

Final Rating: 9/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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Is Spider-Man The Future Of The Marvel Cinematic Universe?

Do we all remember how excited we were when Spider-Man was finally brought into the MCU. We honestly needed him in the film franchise. Not just for the great character that he has been shown to be in Captain America: Civil War, but we also have Spider-Man: Homecoming out in July (co-starring Iron Man too) and we have him in the Avengers: Infinity Wars movie and its sequel, as well as a Homecoming sequel in 2019. While we have waited so long for this to happen, it is fair to say that Tom Holland’s Spider-Man is fully integrated into the established movie universe. But, could Sony be about to destroy all of that?

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Announced in the last few weeks, a Venom movie was said to be coming out on 5th October 2018. Now, a Venom movie in the MCU would be good, wouldn’t it? Well tough s**t. Sony are planning to make their own cinematic universe with not just the iconic villain, but also doing a movie with Black Cat and Silver Sable. Sony, why don’t you ever learn?

Now I don’t have a massive problem with them making a Venom spin-off. But considering this is about the 3rd or 4th attempt to do so since 2007’s Spider-Man 3. At that time, people were underwhelmed with Topher Grace’s less than stellar performance. The spin-off would have been a way to bring the then-established Venom to a more favourable view with its audience. If done then, it may have been fine. Ok, so Sony want to make this new universe and really make a mess while continuing on with Marvel and the MCU. At least that will be fine, won’t it?

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Ok, so there has been some chatter this week about how long Spider-Man will be in the MCU. Amy Pascal (the woman whose emails got hacked where she gave her “suggestions” on films that Barack Obama would like and took part in an exchange where Angelina Jolie was referred to as a brat!) has seemingly suggested the partnership for Spider-man in the MCU won’t last for long. If Spider-Man: Homecoming does become a hit (which is very much a certainty), I can see that Spider-Man will be a big part of the MCU and possibly take over Iron Man as the head character of this universe.

Going forward, the best thing we have to look forward to in this deal is the wealth of villains that Spider-Man brings. Already we begin with The Vulture, being played by Michael Keaton. We also have got Shocker and The Tinkerer in the movie. Imagine all the possible antagonists going ahead. Maybe the Sinister Six could come around (but not be stupidly teased like in The Amazing Spider-Man 2) or we could have double trouble with Venom and Carnage. Also, how can we sort this Venom problem?

First thing, make Venom a part of the MCU. No excuses for not having this character as part of the cinematic universe we have come to love over the last nine years. My theory would be that Donald Glover could possibly be a new version of Eddie Brock. Possibly involving an experiment to replicate Spider-Man’s powers, the symbiote is created and attaches itself to Eddie Brock (possibly a former accomplice of Adrian Toomes AKA The Vulture) and plans his revenge against Spider-Man. Then we could get this Venom film as a way of exploring this character and maybe see him face off against Carnage after initially being a villain. The 2018 movie should be part of the MCU, a late entry to phase three and possibly set up a major villain to take on the Avengers after Thanos (Carnage could possibly be a huge villain to take his place. Along with Dormammu).

If we can all agree, how many villains can you name that are normally associated with Marvel heroes when you take away Spider-Man’s rogues gallery? Ok, we had Loki, Zemo, Thanos and Ultron. But then again, you have Doctor Octopus, Lizard, Mysterio, Carnage, Scorpion, Chameleon, Sandman, Green Goblin, Hobgoblin, Black Cat, Rhino, Kraven, Kingpin and many more. In fact, Kingpin has already proven hugely popular in the established universe in the Netflix series Daredevil. We need more of the characters we grew up with and knew really well.

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It is a no-brainer for the Spider-Man properties to stay in the MCU and just get an overall benefit from the collaboration. To see any of these in the MCU would be a massive win. Sony, I know you don’t listen to these comments and won’t change your minds from what I tell you. But, please don’t stop this deal. What you have here is the potential to continually grow this franchise for years to come. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has kept fresh and highly rated as it has explored many genres, tackled multiple subject matters and striking a deal with two huge companies is indeed another big win.

To put it simple, the MCU needs to continue to evolve to keep itself alive and Spider-Man IS the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The character has been well received and is always certain to get many people to the cinema. We have probably not got too long left with Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Hawkeye, Thor and Black Widow. The Avengers team has changed numerous times and will continue to do so. I can imagine Phase Three will end with our Avengers being Spider-Man, Iron Man, Black Panther, Scarlet Witch, Ant-Man, The Wasp, a new Captain America, Hulk and Captain Marvel. That is already a massive change. Who knows, we may even get Fantastic Four in phase four and really expand on another level.

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But for now, I am happy to see how the MCU evolves. There are so many avenues to see. We have The Defenders and The Punisher on Netflix to come later this year. The Inhumans TV series is starting to look great and all the upcoming films too! We need this universe, it has proven to be hugely satisfying and to see people continue to grow up with this world is truly special. Imagine in 20 years time and the same universe is still expanding on TV and film? Marvel created one of the most unique cinematic experiences of all time, and I hope this doesn’t stop for a long time to come. The future needs a good lead…and that lead, is Spider-Man!

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

Spider-Man: Homecoming is coming out 7th July 2017 in cinemas.

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Inhumans. Are You Excited?

So, do you remember some time ago that Marvel dropped the Inhumans movie from their line-up of the MCU. But, in a very unprecedented move, the project was announced to be back and coming sooner than we thought. Instead of coming out as the film it was expected to be, Marvel and US network ABC will be making an eight-part series set around Black Bolt and the Royal Family. There is a lot more to this new series, including a first for a TV series. I am very excited to finally see The Inhumans we needed, but what are we exactly going to get? These are the reasons to look forward to the show!

Who Are The Inhumans?

Here is a history lesson from the pages of Marvel Comics. The alien race The Kree came to earth to look at the humans as potential soldiers for their war with The Skrulls. Experiments using the Terrigen Mist (How Daisy and many others found their powers in Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.) resulted in many humans changing into something more powerful. Where the X-Men were born with powers, the Inhumans developed when their potentials were released from the mist. The show will involve a selection of the Inhumans known as The Royal Family. The characters include their king Black Bolt, a powerful ruler whose very voice can destroy everything around him. His partner Medusa, a character who has near indestructible hair and can control it with her mind. The powerful Karnak, a man who can make highly precise attacks and has extrasensory ability to find weaknesses in persons and object. There are so many interesting characters, and you will see that not all the powers are considered a gift.

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IMAX Debut

In what has got to be a first for a TV show, Inhumans will be the first ever TV show to get its premiere in IMAX. This is a huge move for television and will undoubtedly be popular to see this show premiere in cinemas on 4th September next year. To think, this will mean the Marvel Cinematic Universe will have FOUR theatrical releases in 2017! Obviously, it is really early days on the project, but I am sure people will be eager for the September debut of the show. An IMAX debut shows that Marvel wants to have this series out there in the biggest possible way!

TV = More Time

There is a small majority of fans that will possibly be disappointed to see this long-standing film project being brought to TV and possibly involving only a fraction of the budget it may have had in a cinematic release? Well, if we learn anything from TV, some shows like Game Of Thrones (Costs more than many blockbusters!) and Boardwalk Empire look like they are produced as movies and look astounding. Plus, there must be a good amount of money going into the Inhumans show if they are doing TWO episodes that will be IMAX worthy. Also, though only eight episodes initially, this gives us a lot more time to really explore the Inhumans and learn about these characters.

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Not An Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Spin Off

With the few characters from Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. revealed to be Inhumans in 2014, it would make you think that the upcoming show would be a spin-off of ABC’s long-running (fourth season) Marvel show. But, it will instead be standing on its own two feet from the very beginning. I would be surprised if it didn’t use any characters established in the earlier show, though the option will always be there as it will be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With the show debuting in just under a year, will there be a potential crossover with the Avengers on the horizon? Well, we will just have to wait and see just how much it weaves itself into the established world that has been brewing since 2008.

Who Will Star in Inhumans?

So, I hate to break the news, but I reckon them long-running rumours about Vin Diesel becoming Black Bolt will never become a reality. We know that Black Bolt, Medusa and The Royal Family will be the central characters. But, could we have a few reprisals from the MCU in the new show? Due to the characters being possible because of The Kree, maybe we could see a link to Guardians Of The Galaxy, maybe even Thor? Although it isn’t a straight spin-off of Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (I am sure I have mentioned that, haven’t I?), I can’t see why Chloe Bennet can’t appear as Daisy/Quake and shake up (see what I did there?) the show!

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How This Affects The MCU

Many people have wanted to see The Inhumans come out in full force for so long now, even before being announced as part of the MCU. The Inhuman royal family will indeed be a game changer. It has been said this isn’t reimagining the original film plan. But it must be, right? It is focusing on Black Bolt and the other Inhumans, it will be part of the MCU and will certainly weave into the TV and Film realms to change it forever. I am waiting for one or two moon references now in the upcoming films. Also, what is to stop a cameo or two cropping up in one of the upcoming 2017 films? We know the Inhumans have already been creeping in to the MCU, but it is time for them to come out to the world and make their voices heard (except Black Bolt, because he will destroy everything).

Whatever you think, it is just 9 months until we get the Inhumans in full force. No doubt we will be hearing a lot more about the show after Christmas. But for now, let’s speculate away!

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

What songs should be in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2?

I have to say that Guardians Of The Galaxy is still one of the best films I have ever seen in my life. This movie had brilliant characters, the best writing, look amazing and had the most appealing soundtrack I have ever heard. True, all the songs are from the 1970’s and had been out previously, but that didn’t stop them from fitting in perfectly to the film. So I have been thinking, that first album was so awesome…but what will Volume 2 be like? I have got 15 songs on this list which I really hope will be part of the upcoming MCU feature and why they would work. How about some Queen? Maybe a dip into the 80’s? Let me know what you would choose (this is just my personal opinion, but I hope you like the choices)…

Blondie – Heart Of Glass

We know that Peter Quill’s fellow guardians are fans of the music. So how about a scene in which Gamora is dancing along to this 70’s hit? Blondie is perfect mixtape material. The band has got so many tracks which would work well in the Marvel sequel, but ultimately this one would just really set a great tone for the film!

Queen – Radio Ga Ga

I know for a fact this would already break the barrier from Awesome Mix Vol. 1, but as Peter’s mum gave him the second tape in 1988, there is a good chance to have one of Queen’s mightiest anthems. There is a lot of songs to choose from, but I am sure a great montage could be formed using this classic tune.

Pretenders – Brass In Pocket

Yet again I can just imagine this classic being a good song for the cast to be dancing around to. Maybe if a love scene between Star-Lord and Gamora was to come. Romantic? Maybe not. But there is something about this song and the belief from many listeners that this relates to intercourse just sounds like it could fit in.

Kate Bush – Wuthering Heights

There is something about this song which just screams comedy gold to me. I don’t know how exactly it could fit in, but there is just something about this Number one track from Kate Bush which would surely benefit from Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord trying to sing along to it.

The Who – Behind Blue Eyes

There needs to be one or two emotional songs in any soundtrack. I am sure meeting his father would be a very emotional time. How about taking one of the more gripping tracks from their back catalogue and placing it front and centre when he finally meets Ego?

Elton John – Ego

Speaking of Ego, how about the Elton John track of the same name? I will be honest, there isn’t much that can be done with this track. But you never know. It could be a fun track to chuck in there somewhere, otherwise ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ could also be a great addition.

Whitney Houston – Saving All My Love For You

So I said there had to be some emotional tracks in the film. While I was thinking of the 80’s for inspiration, I just think this would be another great track for the relationship of Star-Lord and Gamora. We will see if it does happen.

A-Ha – Take On Me

Could this be the tune to a fight scene? It would certainly work well for a chase scene in the movie! Again, I know nothing of what is to come apart from what has been officially released, but I know this song would fit in perfectly. Blending the 70’s and 80’s music would certainly be highlighted with some A-Ha.

Madness – Our House

The one thing we get from the Guardians is that they are very much a family. They also are living together on the Milano and I reckon they must have a family feel to them when we see Vol. 2. ‘Our House’ is fantastic and would be great for the start of the film.

Thin Lizzy – Jailbreak

Will we get another sequence like the escape from The Kyln? If so, why not give a spin of the famous Thin Lizzy track which I think would have been perfect for that scene in the first movie. A great rock tune and another fine addition of the playlist.

Bee Gees – Stayin Alive

Why not include some disco in the mix? Bee Gees and Chris Pratt sounds like a match made in heaven, but imagine Bautista’s Drax getting into the groove? Baby Groot could be in the background with Gamora and Rocket singing along? Please make it happen.

Abba – Mamma Mia

What would be wrong with Abba? Nothing!

Belinda Carlisle – Heaven Is A Place On Earth

I am sure something will encourage Star-Lord to return to earth, and I think it would be this song that would make him want to return. It is just a great song which does great as a pop tune and a more serious track overall!

AC/DC – Highway To Hell

Every film needs to have a kick arse song to end it…and I think this would be great. It is presumed that the movie will be a lead in to Avengers: Infinity Wars, which needs something big to bridge that gap. If you are about to take on the most dangerous being in existence, there has to be something that really sets that tone. The classic rock track is indeed perfect to close the film!

David Bowie – Space Oddity

Yes, there was a Bowie track on the first film, but would it hurt to have another? David Bowie sadly left us earlier this year and it is a shame he never got to become part of this brilliant film world. But how great would it be to have ‘Space Oddity’ play in this film? I think it would be perfect for the film and I reckon James Gunn must have considered it at some point! Please please please have this as part of Awesome Mix Vol. 2!

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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TEN BEST LIVE-ACTION MARVEL TV CHARACTER PORTRAYALS

Marvel TV shows have been a big extension to the MCU since Agents Of SHIELD debuted in 2013. With four shows currently in this universe, and a number more still in production, we have got lots to enjoy. There has been some fantastic performances so far in the last three years and I am sure Luke Cage this month will continue the trend. With ABC making a great start with the Agents side of the MCU and Netflix bringing us The Defenders, this list had a great mix of portrayals. Honourable mentions go to Mike Colter’s Luke Cage who narrowly missed the list, though will be right in the Top 10 from the previews of his upcoming series. Elodie Yung giving us a great Elektra really did well and Agent Carter actors James D’Arcy for being Mr Edwin Jarvis and Wynn Everett as she became the villainous Whitney Frost!

  1. Deborah Ann Woll – Karen Page (Daredevil)

All heroes need something to keep them grounded and Karen is definitely a character that is needed in the show.Deborah Ann Woll is cast well as the love interest to the title character and is at the centre of the story in both seasons. Karen may not be the toughest character, but she is willing to do all she can to help her friends and fight for justice. Her life changes when she comes to Nelson and Murdoch, but it is her investigation into The Punisher which really shows her worth.

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  1. Clark Gregg – Agent Phil Coulson (Agents Of SHIELD)

The man who was the backbone to the MCU throughout phase one was warmly welcomed back when talks of a spin-off begun. His death was maybe not liked by many, but there is a lot of good that came from this. First, we got a great mystery which lasted quite a while as to how Coulson came back to life. Clark Gregg embodies Coulson perfectly and he is a fan favourite. For a character that was made especially for the MCU, you can find him in all the different medias of Marvel and I am grateful for how much we get of this brilliant character.

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  1. Elden Henson – Foggy Nelson (Daredevil)

Every show needs some comic relief, and it works better if they also become the heart of the show. Foggy Nelson, best friend and business partner to Matt Murdoch. Their friendship changes forever when Foggy finds out Matt is actually Daredevil. As a lawyer, Foggy is definitely very resourceful and willing to do all he can to help those he cares about, that includes Matt and Karen. For most of the series, he is a source of humour and a break from the gripping drama in the show. But from the moment he finds a bludgeoned Matt in his apartment, that is when Foggy became his best!

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  1. Ming-Na Wen – Agent Melinda May (Agents Of SHIELD)

What happens when you get a character that is able to overshadow your main star, you get Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May. Known for her nickname The Cavalry, May is one of the toughest agents in SHIELD history. The character at one point stopped doing missions after something big happens and her life is in tatters. Though she may not be too social with her team, she is very protective and can kick the arse of any person that gets in her way. You wouldn’t want to get in a fight with May, but you would definitely appreciate her assistance if it was needed.

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  1. David Tennant – Kilgrave (Jessica Jones)

A man who is able to manipulate any person just by talking to them, Kilgrave is indeed a very dangerous character. He hasn’t got super strength, he can’t fly and can’t shoot beams from his hands, but he can control practically anyone. At one time, he was able to bend the will of Jessica Jones for his own gain and she had since lived with the nightmares of her actions. Kilgrave proves numerous times he is not to be messed with and David Tennant brings to the MCU his best performance since starring in Doctor Who.

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  1. Charlie Cox – Matt Murdoch/Daredevil (Daredevil)

From the first episode, we know that Matt Murdoch has been fighting crime both in and out of the court room for some time. Matt Murdoch is just truly wanting to get justice in his city. After his father died, he wanted to do all he could to protect the innocent. His path leads him to face The Kingpin and later the vigilante The Punisher. Daredevil was one of the first MCU heroes to prove just how vulnerable they can be, seeing Matt an inch from death is really hard to watch, but it may just be the most intriguing thing about the man without fear!

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  1. Hayley Atwell – Peggy Carter (Agent Carter)

Much like Coulson, Peggy has been a backbone to the MCU for quite some time. Since her debut in Captain America: The First Avenger, she has appeared in other Cap films, a short and in Agent Carter. Taking her role as a founder of SHIELD, Peggy continues her fight against those who could threaten the world while still holding some hope of seeing Steve again. Fighting her way through a sexist 1940’s America, Hayley Atwell gives her greatest performance as she gives the world the first true female hero in the MCU!

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  1. Jon Bernthal – Frank Castle/The Punisher (Daredevil)

Anyone who is a fan of The Punisher character will know that it’s not been easy to make this character appeal to an audience (Looking at 1989 and 2008 on this one). But, Jon Bernthal not only does a great job, but he steals the show every time he appears. He is more than a match for Daredevil, he has one of the greatest revenge stories in the comic book world and he honestly believes he is doing the right thing. Tormented by the death of his family, his path for vengeance and personal pain won over everyone…no wonder he is getting his own TV series!

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  1. Krysten Ritter – Jessica Jones (Jessica Jones)

For anyone who has seen Krysten in any other show, you will know her versatile she can be. Appearing in shows such as Breaking Bad and Don’t Trust The B In Apartment 23 was proof of her dedication, Jessica Jones is no exception. The character has not had the best of upbringings (how many superheroes actually did?), but she still tries to do what’s best. After her initial altercation with Kilgrave, Jessica struggles to get her life back together. She becomes a private detective and also has some powers too, not someone to mess with. PTSD plays a big part in the show, and to see the suffering Jessica has been through and goes through in the first season, you can’t help but feel for her. Sure she is drinking a lot, having sex with someone she is investigating and generally not caring about a lot of people. Inside, Jessica Jones is a character I feel the most for as she seems to put on such a strong front to forget her past.

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  1. Vincent D’Onofrio – Wilson Fisk/Kin gpin (Daredevil)

Coming up with a villain like Kingpin was a masterstroke for Marvel Comics, seeing him on screen is even better. Michael Clarke Duncan made the character fantastic in the 2003 Daredevil movie, but Vincent D’Onofrio made for a superb addition to the cast. We see him gradually in the first few episodes, but we know who he is immediately when we finally meet him. Wilson Fisk starts as a very private businessman who eventually comes to the light when he looks to “save” his city. We also get to see what made him into the Kingpin by seeing flashbacks to his childhood and also watching him fall in love with this to-be wife Vanessa. Don’t let this sensitive side fool you, he will still beat you to death (thinking of a certain car door scene). Definitely a powerful character and the best portrayal from Marvel’s TV line-up.

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Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

Zendaya Might Be The New Mary Jane & Why This Is Amazing

By Joanna Cosgrove

Leaks and updates are released everyday (almost) and what are we seeking most? Superhero news! Marvel, DC, doesn’t matter as long as it tells us a little more.

Lately, a lot of Marvel fans are seeking more and more and more about the new movie starring the webbed wonder Spider-Man, who has now been thrown into the MCU as of Civil War, and this can be plot points, or settings, or characters. We have now got one question answered: who is Mary Jane Watson?

Attached early on was Zendaya, best known for Disney roles such as Shake It Up, who was rumoured to be a minor character named “Michelle”. But now (not yet confirmed at the time this was written), it seems “Michelle” could have been a ruse – Zendaya could have actually been cast as famous love interest of Peter Parker, Mary Jane Watson.

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This is some astounding news, if it is true, as she would be greatly different from Mary Jane’s last live-action portrayal in the original Spider-Man trilogy, performed by Kirsten Dunst. Even Zendaya can agree with me here, that this is important because of two words: representation matters.

As a young woman of colour, Zendaya – among others – has been a constant advocate for equal treatment and chances in the entertainment industry, as well as the other aspects of society. She has fought for gender equality, and ethnic equality; the fact that the people working behind Spider-Man: Homecoming have possibly cast a young black woman in such an iconic and well-recognisable role shows what all people should remember: talent is what matters.

Sadly, however, not all fans of the Marvel hero are embracing this, as Marvel and Zendaya herself have been sent some disgusting and horrifically racist messages about this, along the lines of her character changing the whole story of Spider-Man and that if this casting decision is official it would be best for the whole project to be cancelled. Let me tell you all this: Zendaya as Mary Jane is not the end of the world.

These are probably the same people who sent messages at SNL actor Leslie Jones for her (fantastic) role in the Ghostbusters reboot earlier this year, and the people who were outraged when John Boyega was announced as one of the main stars in the seventh episode of Star Wars, released last December. These people need to learn that movies are here to reflect the true diversity of our world; not everyone is white and American or British. Our wonderful world has given us so many actors, sharing and differing in heritage, in skin colour, and Hollywood needs to learn that these people can have the ability to play a well-esteemed role to its highest standard. We do not need white men and white women to show us the “real world”, when that is not the world we live in. At all.

If Marvel does confirm Zendaya’s role as Mary Jane, this will be amazing, and personally I do believe Zendaya is the right woman for this role. She’s talented and determined; what else do you need?

And the answer better not be, “white skin”.