Loki, God of Mischief. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he’s been the most consistent villain with actual lines (sorry, Thanos). He’s also been a fan favorite for years, often cited as the “best villain” of these movies since obvi-betraying Thor in Thor and puny god-ing his way through The Avengers.
But let’s be honest. Loki’s role post-Avengers doesn’t really make a lot of sense, especially after Thor: Ragnarok. To make my case, I parked my car in front of a park a few miles away from Facebook headquarters (incidentally) and recorded my unfiltered thoughts on the subject. As you’ll observe, I didn’t really prepare for this, but I stand by every word I say. For now.
I always feel bad about writing the headlines for these because we reviewed a lot more than Thor: Ragnarok and Stranger Things Season 2. We also talked about Wonderstruck, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, and Super Mario Odyssey (a game for once!), in addition to the heavy hitters you want to hear about.
On Thor: Ragnarok, we spent some time debating our opinions on the first two Thor movies, followed by a thorough discussion on this new film. Will Ashton and I had the most disagreement over the film, while Maveryke Hines had an opinion somewhere in the middle. As always, it made for a fantastic debate I’ll be curious to revisit in a few months when the dust has settled. For now, I can safely say that director Taika Waititi should be allowed to do whatever film he wants from now until the end of time.
I love it when Marvel creates new and interesting female characters that represent a twist in established universes. In recent years, they’ve written some incredible stories with these new superheroes (and villains).
And this year, Marvel announced an all-star team up of heroines led by She-Hulk. The core lineup consists of Dazzler, Medusa, Singularity, and Nico Minoru. Though there are plenty more Marvel favorites that will make appearances, as you can see from the cover below.
Now, I’m a big fan of Teen Titans, the D.C. storylines surrounding the younger counterparts to bigger heroes. I’m not a comic-book writer, and I don’t want to be constrained to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So I propose a killer animated TV series that puts “Teen Titans Go” to shame. I would call it, Teen Avengers.
Yeah, I know. Original.
This new lineup would have to be a shakeup of relatively new characters and new twists on older characters. I would take tremendous liberties with the source material to make it happen, but I think you’ll like the end result if you open your mind. So here’s my dream lineup without context:
Sharon Carter, Thor, Ms. Marvel, Abyss and Spider-Woman (AKA Spider-Gwen).
OK, let’s get the context started.
In order for this team to make sense, I have to walk you through the actual story I have in mind. Don’t worry, we’ll just stick with the cliff notes, though keep in mind that this would be an alternate reality in which everyone’s age would be younger than what’s established.
The series would open on Mars, and we’d be introduced to Abyss and her brother Ex Nihilo. An “Aleph” has helped them terraform Mars into a hospitable planet as their guide. They’re members of The Garden, a group of creation avatars that go to worlds and “plant seeds” to make them better worlds. Those “seeds” usually result in planets being completely wiped out, and The Garden now has Earth in its sights.
Abyss and Ex Nihilo have unique powers in the comics. Abyss has mind manipulation, while Ex Nihilo is more of a powerhouse. Their plan is to terraform Earth by wiping out its inhabitants. The image above shows you a pretty good snapshot of their motivations.
In the next scene, we see a teenage girl typing on a computer in New Jersey. She’s Kamala Khan, who will eventually become Ms. Marvel. She writes fan fiction about the Avengers and is a huge fan of this world’s Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers).
Kamala goes to a party and tries to fit in, but she has a panic attack after coming in contact with a strange boy. He follows her home and reveals that he is Alaris, an Inhuman in disguise. He tells Kamala that she’s a descendant of the Inhumans, and she passes out in shock.
She dreams of Captain Marvel, who asks her, “Who do you want to be?” Kamala replies, “I want to be you.” She awakens with strange powers and is unable to control them.
We’d then shift to the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, where Sharon Carter (niece of Peggy Carter from Captain America and Agent Carter) is working. They’re flying over New Jersey, where Inhuman activity has been detected. Sharon is in her late teens at this point, so she wants to prove herself to the director, Maria Hill. So she leaves the Helicarrier alone and uses her sleuth skills to find the Inhuman without starting a fight.
Meanwhile, Abyss and Ex Nihilo have nearly arrived on Earth. Ex Nihilo tells Abyss that their plan will be to transform creatures into better creatures, starting with the most troubled. He points to a person in New Jersey who is struggling to control her powers. Abyss reluctantly agrees to pursue this, though she regards in how beautiful the planet already is.
WITH GREAT POWER
In New Jersey, Kamala tries to go through her day, but her powers are becoming more chaotic. Finally, she accidentally causes a car accident and her fists enlarge. Everywhere Kamala goes, she makes a mess, and now police are trying to subdue her. Of course, their bullets don’t work.
Sharon Carter arrives, unarmed, and tries to calm Kamala down. It almost works, as Kamala tells Gwen her name and they connect for a second, until someone swoops in and covers Kamala in webbing.
A girl in a white costume comes in and complains she had to come here all the way from Queens. It’s Spider-Gwen, the alternate version of Spider-Man, in which Gwen Stacey is bit by a radioactive spider instead of Peter Parker.
A battle ensues, and it’s somewhat an even match. Sharon keeps trying to stop the fighting, but Kamala feels too threatened to back down. Finally, Abyss and Ex Nihilo arrive. Ex Nihilo defeats all of them easily and takes Kamala with him, despite Abyss’s please that she’s just a kid.
S.H.I.E.L.D. arrives and takes Gwen into custody, while Sharon tries to explain herself. On the Helicarrier, Sharon tries to explain to Maria Hill and the rest of command what happened, but none of them know who these strange creatures are that took Kamala. Sharon brings up the nature of Ex Nihilo’s divine powers, which convinces Maria to “make a call.”
Later, Sharon meets with Spider-Gwen, who is being held for questioning. She asks Gwen who she is and where she got her powers, but Gwen’s not interesting in sharing any origin stories. She just wants to get out of there and save Kamala, now realizing she was wrong to be so aggressive. Sharon tells them to let Gwen free so Maria and decide what to do with her, and then the entire ship quakes. Something has arrived on the hull.
They go to the top to find an Asgardian getting to her feet. It’s Thor (the female version whose identity is a secret for now). Maria Hill called her to assist with this situation. They explain that Abyss and Ex Nihilo are from The Garden, powerful creatures who wipe out worlds to make them better. Asgard rules that Midgard (Earth) is under their protection from The Garden, and Thor has been sent to solve the matter.
I could keep going, but you see where this is going, right? Abyss will ultimately betray her brother, Ex Nihilo and help Gwen, Thor, Kamala, and Sharon defeat him. Stopping The Garden ties each character together in their own S.H.I.E.L.D. sanctioned team up, which would make Sharon Carter their leader.
My reasoning behind each character’s inclusion is pretty simple. They all bring something different to the table, and they each represent core universes in Marvel pantheon, with the sad exception of Iron Man and Hulk’s worlds. But that could be remedied.
Sharon Carter represents the justice and strong leadership of Captain America, though not in name. Thor is the walking Deus Ex Machina. Spider-Woman (or Silk if we want to be liberal with the source material) is the quirky science whiz with tons of potential. Abyss is the former villain that people aren’t as familiar with, making her role dynamic over time. And Ms. Marvel is the wildcard. She represents us trying to figure this new world out that we’ve just been introduced to. She is, after all, a super fan writing fan fiction.
What do you think of my story idea? Send me your questions, comments, corrections, and suggestions!
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We already knew that Tom Hiddleston’s Loki would be back for Thor 3, given the cliffhanger ending to Thor: The Dark World, and it seems the God of Mischief will also have a role to play in the two-part Avengers: Infinity War, Digital Spy is reporting.
Loki’s inclusion in Infinity War isn’t too surprising given that he has one of the Infinity Stones that the Mad Titan Thanos will need to acquire for the Infinity Gauntlet, and of course the two villains have unfinished business stemming from The Avengers.
A later update revealed that Loki will also be in Avengers: Age of Ultron, though for only a scene or two. So that makes four more MCU films you can expect to see Tom Hiddleston in.
You can’t knock Marvel for milking the character who has become such an unlikely fan-favorite among moviegoers, and this news certainly confirms a fitting arc and possibly conclusion for the God of Mischief.
In case you want to do some binge watching leading up to the May release of Age of Ultron.
Now if you want to be incredibly inclusive and stretch out beyond the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), you could always start with Howard the Duck and then blaze through the Blade, X-Men, Spider-Man, Punisher, Daredevil, and Fantastic Four movies. Not that you would want to.
The new trailer for Thor: The Dark World has just come out and unsurprisingly confused moviegoers everywhere. Luckily, screenshots and sarcasm exist, so I broke down what I got out of the whole thing.
Here’s the trailer first, and then we’ll have an honest discussion:
The trailer kicks off where the last one left off, Thor approaching his evil brother, Loki, for help.
After all this time…now you come to visit me brother. Why? To mock?
For some reason, Lowkey doesn’t seem very keen on this battle-plan and takes it out on the appliances. Harsh.
So the starcrossed brothers agree that they hate/don’t trust each other and officially join up. I like the idea, especially since Lowkey and his hair have been well-loved by Avengers fans.
Odin/Anthony Hopkins begins narrating, because thank Asgard, and tells us that things actually existed before things.
Some believe that before the universe, there was nothing. Well, they’re wrong.
Apparently, this darkness hates London, because that’s where all this vague, evil stuff is happening.
We see the only comic relief from these movies looking pretty serious (unfortunately) as darkness ship approaches. Also, we get a look at Darcy’s boyfriend, Ian Boothby. I don’t really know who this guy is from the comics or if he’s significant. Let’s just hope he doesn’t die that quickly.
Apparently Ian is British.
Thoar shows up and makes eyes with Jane, presumably telling her what the trailer makers refuse to tell us (what’s going on). Then he whisks her away on a rainbow and stuff.
She probably said something like, “Hey this seems pretty dangerous,” but that’s definitely not enough to dissuade Thoar from hanging out with Natalie Portman, so.
We then see a steel pod. No idea. Even Idris Elba comes on the scene and points out how unnecessarily mysterious this movie is.
But Thoar claims that there is someone who knows who the villain is, and that’s Lowkey. Because apparently villains friend each other online.
We then see the ThunderGodFriends each displaying how much they don’t like their former comrade, which is the highlight of the trailer. Even Sif-ylous gets a jab.
When is she getting her own movie again? Oh and Jane Hostage gets a slap in.
Aside from Sif-ylous looking overly worried in the background and Lowkey apparently being turned on by pain, the trailer transitions to the soundtrack-fueled action scenes.
There’s a waterfall which is pretty cool. Everyone is on a boat. Oh, and the Drell make an appearance as the villains!
The villain starts talking (probably the guy who played the cop in Bridesmaids) and tells Thoar that his awesomeness isn’t that awesome because they’re going to do bad things.
Then something surprising happens after a slew of confusing action scenes. Jane Hostage is back with her friends (stockholm syndrome?) and reveals what the villain’s actual goal is. This is huge people.
Then Thoar fights the Drell from the London part of the movie that they skipped earlier, thank Asgard, and we’re treated to an extended scene of Thoar going Indiana Jones on this dude.
Thoar turns him into a bunch of rocks thanks to his hammer being magic and then he says something that isn’t actually cheesy.
Overall, I liked this trailer a lot. We got to see more of the London setting and interactions between the main heroes and Loki (okay I’ll say it right).
What’s looking good is the movie’s willingness to thrust the side heroes into bigger roles. Sif gets more screen time, and we even see Thor’s mom fighting. Also, using Asgard as the backdrop for most of this movie lends to the strengths of this adaptation.
After all, the stakes have to be high for the God of Thunder, and we need a reasonable explanation for why none of the other Avengers will show up, which Iron Man 3 managed to pull off pretty well.
I do have several questions however…
1. Will Jane slap Sif as hard as she did Loki when they fight over Thor?
2. Will EA sue Marvel for ripping off Mass Effect?
3. How will this movie affect Tom Hiddleston’s dubstep career?
Thor: The Dark World will be hitting theaters November 8.
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If you haven’t noticed already, I am a fanatic when it comes to movies. I’ve been scouring the upcoming movies for 2013 and have compiled a list of features I am most excited about.
Enjoy the list! Let me know if there’s anything good I missed.
Finally. A movie about Frank Sinatra is hitting the big screen. All we know so far is that it will be directed by the legendary Martin Scorsese. The script is being rewritten, so there is a slight chance this might be delayed to 2014. Let’s hope the movie lives up to Walk the Line and Ray.
14. Oz: The Great and Powerful (March 8)
We’re finally getting a glimpse into the backstory of the Wizard of Oz. I’m not sure anyone actually asked for it, but the trailer looks like this could be a fun prequel for one of the best movies of all time. See the trailer here.
13. The Incredible Burt Wonderstone(March 15)
The only reason I’m excited about this is because Steve Carell and Jim Carrey are finally in a movie together. It has something to do with magicians, but I don’t really care. See the trailer here.
12. The Hangover Part III (May 24)
Yes, part II was disappointing, but it’s looking like the final movie will be breaking new ground. There’s no wedding or bachelor party this time, freeing up the script to new possibilities. I’m excited to see this one live up to the classic part I.
11. Kane and Lynch
This one’s still in pre-production, so a 2013 release is still up in the air. Regardless, I’m excited to see the popular video game being translated into film with Jamie Foxx and Bruce Willis handling the lead roles. The casting is spot on. The movie is about death row inmates who escape and wreak havoc. There’s no trailer, but you can see the poster here.
10. Hancock 2
We know nothing about this for sure, except that Will Smith is returning and it will be released in 2013. Fingers crossed.
9. Zombieland 2
Another tight-lipped sequel, but hopefully the better complement to a less-than-stellar looking zombie flick we’ll be getting with World War Z (at least for people like me who actually read the book).
8. Oblivion (April 19) and After Earth (June 7)
I bunched them together because they’re essentially the same movie. Tom Cruise movies are pretty hit or miss these days, but Oblivion actually looks to be a fairly original take on the post-apocalyptic genre. PLUS it has Morgan Freeman. See the trailer here. After Earth is pretty similar in comparison, only this one stars Will Smith and his son (remember the kid from Karate Kid?) Also, it’s M. Night Shyamalan’s allegedly last chance to make something good again. See the trailer here.
7. Iron Man 3 (May 3) and Thor: The Dark World (November 8)
You know what the deal is with these.
6. Pacific Rim (July 12)
One of the few original blockbusters coming out this year, this one looks amazing just because it’s a simple aliens versus humans action fest that isn’t based on board games, video games, books, or movies that came out decades ago. Seriously, see the trailer for yourself here.
5. The Wolverine (July 26)
Skeptical? It takes place in Japan, has samurai, doesn’t have a terrible version of Deadpool, and has Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. Oh, and it’s not X-Men Origins: Wolverine. So it has that going for it. See the awesome poster here.
4. Star Trek Into Darkness (May 17)
Though I’ve never gotten into Star Trek aside from the 2009 reboot, I’m definitely excited to see the Enterprise crew return in another special effects heavy adventure. I love the characters, and the settings are just jaw-dropping. See the trailer here.
3. The Lone Ranger (July 3)
So, it finally happened. Really, I’m just excited to see Johnny Depp play Tonto (like everyone else). See the trailer here.
2. Ender’s Game (November 1)
Never read the books or comics? You’ve been missing out. This movie has taken way too long to take shape and will hopefully be a surprise hit. It’s basically about a supergenius child who is called upon to save mankind from an overwhelming alien invasion. See some screenshots and a full description here.
1. Man of Steel (June 14)
When Batman Begins came out in 2005, I immediately craved the same stylistic reboot for Superman. Unfortunately, we got Superman Returns which was more of a memorial to the originals than it was a reboot adapted to modern times, so it flopped. When The Dark Knight came out, that was it for me. Many people, myself included, knew then that Superman would be treated with the same justice, and we finally have it taking shape under the direction of Watchmen and 300‘s Zack Snyder. Everything from the trailers points to this being a significant step forward in the Superman franchise. See for yourself here.
There are some other high-profile sequels that I’m honestly not that excited about. Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and Hunger Games: Catching Fire are both coming out and will be probably be well-received, but I’m not desperate to see them since we just saw the franchises start out in 2012. Take a breath Hollywood! Also, 300 is coming out with a sequel, even though the last one was fairly conclusive and we’ll be getting a RoboCop reboot. Even Pixar is doing another sequel. This is basically 2009 all over again…
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