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The Future of Marvel Studios is Here!

Last night was the night we’ve all been waiting for! Marvel Studios held their big announcement panel at San Diego Comic-Con and Kevin Feige finally shed light on what comes next for the Marvel Cinematic Universe! I’m excited. You’re excited. How about we just run these down?

First up is confirmation of the Black Widow movie!

Black Widow Logo 01

Black Widow comes out on May 1, 2020.

Black Widow is the next Marvel movie. It’s something of a prequel, I think. Should be a lot of fun. No trailer yet.

Next up is Eternals.

Eternals Logo 01

Eternals comes out on Nov. 5, 2020.

I don’t know much about the Eternals, either the movie or the comic. An all-star cast was announced last night, starring Salma Hayek and Angelina Jolie as the leads. There’s also the great Kumail Nanjiani and the awesome Bryan Tyree Henry, plus a bunch of others I don’t really know. The Eternals are like the Inhumans in that they’re an ancient race of super-powered people, based around the Greek Gods. Could be fun! No word on the gay lead character though.

Then we’ve got Shang-Chi and the Legends of the Ten Rings.

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Shang-Chi arrives in theaters on Feb. 12, 2021.

I’m excited for this one because it’s something new. Granted, Eternals is something new, but I don’t care about them on a deeper level. Shang-Chi could be fun. Especially since it’s going to include the Mandarin, the real one, with a possible tie-in to the Ten Rings that were first introduced all the way back in the first Iron Man. That could be some awesome lore to explore!

Also, actor Simu Liu was cast as Shang-Chi. I don’t know anything about him, but I trust Marvel and their casting. This will also, obviously, be the first Asian-led Marvel Studios movie!

The next movie is Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Doctor Strange 2 Logo 01

Doctor Strange 2 comes out on May 7, 2021.

This could be good! The director said they’re going for more of a horror movie this time around, which is a genre Marvel hasn’t done yet. I liked the first Doctor Strange film, enjoyed his cameos in the Infinity War films, so this could be a lot of fun.

Last we have Thor: Love and Thunder!

Thor 4 Logo 01

Thor 4 drops on Nov. 5, 2021.

Director Taika Waititi is coming back for Love and Thunder, so I am very happy. Ragnarok was amazing. Chris Hemsworth is returning as Thor, but the biggest surprise of the night was Natalie Portman walking out on stage and revealing that she’ll be playing the Jane Foster version of Thor as well! That’s pretty darn cool! Glad to see that fences were mended and she decided to come back!

Also, Marvel and Tessa Thompson are going to be way more open about Valkyrie being LGBTQ, so that’s awesome.

That’s it for the movie slate, as far as was revealed. But the Marvel panel also touched on a bunch of their upcoming TV shows for the Disney+ streaming service. They confirmed The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which will feature Baron Zemo as the villain. There’s going to be a Loki show starring the Loki that escaped with the Tesseract in Avengers: Endgame. Could be fun. WandaVision is going to focus on the Scarlet Witch after the death of the Vision, which could be nuts. She’s also going to cameo in Doctor Strange 2, and an adult Monica Rambeau has been cast to appear, so yay!

What If…? is getting a cartoon playing around with alternate takes on the Marvel movies. Sounds hilarious. And a Hawkeye TV show was confirmed for several years out, in which Jeremy Renner will be training Kate Bishop. So doubly awesome.

The last surprise of the night was announcing actor Mahershala Ali has been cast as a new Blade, possibly for a new Blade movie somewhere down the line! So if, like me, you were disappointed in how he was killed off as Cottonmouth, this is cool news!

Blade Logo 01

Also, Feige announced that they are working on Guardians of the Galaxy 3, Black Panther 2, Captain Marvel 2 and the Fantastic Four, so awesome! No Ant-Man 3 announced, which is too bad. But perhaps Scott Lang deserves his retirement from superheroics, and his daughter can take over in Young Avengers!

The Marvel Studios panel was hype in its purest form. I am excited for all of this news and cannot wait to enjoy my entertainments for years to come! I’m also definitely signing up for Disney+ when it comes out later this year.

What were your thoughts about all the announcements? Let me know in the comments!

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Review: Captain America: Civil War

It doesn’t get much better than this. And I say that fully believing that Marvel can go even bigger, better and more exciting. If after more than ten movies deep into their film slate, Marvel can still produce something as amazing as Captain America: Civil War, then the future remains as bright as ever. This is the epic, spectacular, big bombast superhero movie that Marvel has been building towards all these years.

Movie Rating: 9/10 – Great.

Captain America: Civil War is a glorious mix of spectacle and drama, combining some of the most touching and important character work in the entire franchise with quite possibly the greatest bout of superhero action to ever grace the silver screen. The centerpiece ‘war’ between heroes at the abandoned airport is worth the price of admission alone. It’s worth of price of admission to every Marvel movie we’ve seen so far, building on almost each and every film to instill real emotional heft to these characters and their punches.

When Captain American, Iron Man and their allies face off in Civil War, there is real history behind it. We’ve seen the previous movies. We’ve seen the friendships and rivalries grow and build and strain. We’ve seen Steve Rogers and Tony Stark get testy in The Avengers. We’ve watched Black Widow’s character arc from the sidelines of other movies. We’ve seen Ant-Man consider calling the Avengers for help. This has been a journey.

Civil War is a movie for Marvel fans, for the people who have seen all their movies and probably held mini-marathons to gear up for this new one. It’s not ashamed of that focus, and it shouldn’t be. Marvel is producing a masterpiece on a scale never before imagined, and they’re pulling it off with such skill and excitement that I almost feel bad for other movies.

Like, do any of the previous Spider-Man movies even matter anymore? Batman v. Superman surely doesn’t.

Join me after the jump for the full review. There will be SPOILERS for Captain America: Civil War.

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Hench-Sized Comic Book Reviews – 12/12/15

Last week, I was all about the Marvel Comics. Not intentional, that’s just how things played out. Well this week, I’m apparently all about the Bat-Family. Not only do we have new issues of Robin War, including the Gotham Academy tie-in, but Dick Grayson guest stars in the latest issue of Starfire for no particular reason!

Heck, I could have gone really heavy into the Bat Family, but I haven’t caught up to Batman and Robin Eternal yet, and I didn’t feel like passing judgement on the latest issue of Scott Snyder’s Batman (though, if I may say, I’m absolutely loving their use of Duke Thomas). Still, we’ve got a very nice selection of Batty books this week, including the Comic Book of the Week: Grayson #15!

New series?

It’s a great time to be a Dick Grayson fan, I tell you what.

Also, don’t forget that my own comic, Gamer Girl & Vixen, is on sale now from our online store! Pick up a copy, support your local henchman, and the world will be a better place overall!

Comic Reviews: Grayson #15, Detective Comics #47, Gotham Academy #13, Scarlet Witch #1 and Starfire #7.

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And Here’s What’s to Become of the X-Men This Fall (Among Others!)

UPDATE: Here’s a gallery of all the covers for the new comics!

Marvel (with a little help from Bleeding Cool) has finally revealed their plans for the X-Men in their big relaunch this fall. There are still going to be a ton of X-Men comics, starring a variety of X-characters, with some new writing blood behind the wheel. I can’t necessarily say that any of these titles interest me right away, but I’ll probably give them all a chance.

The big news is that something has happened between mutants and the Inhumans that has them at odds, or at the very least, is shaping what this relaunch is going to be all about. We know that Marvel really wants the Inhumans to take over from the X-Men, but we’ll see how far they take that. Other important developments include the fact that the Young X-Men are still around, Cyclops has gone missing and Beast has taken sides with the Inhumans. Also, no sign of Multiple Man anywhere, in case you were as eager as me.

Extraordinary X-Men

Jeff Lemire and Humberto Ramos will launch a new X-title featuring old characters, and will tackle the Inhuman problem head on. Their team will include Storm, Iceman, Magik, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Young Jean Grey and Old Man Logan, who is coming to the Marvel Universe following Secret Wars.

You can read an interview with Lemire at ComicBookResources.

 Uncanny X-Men

Cullen Bunn and Greg Land will be creating a villainous X-Team to take over the main title. Their series will star Magneto, Sabretooth, Mystique, Fantomex and Psylocke.

Not a whole lot revealed yet.

All-New X-Men

Dennis Hopeless and Mark Bagley will get to take over the Young X-Men, in a series starring the remaining teen heroes (minus Jean Grey), along with X-23. Word has it they’re going to all pile into a van to cruise around searching for their destiny.

Not a whole lot revealed yet.

Speaking of X-23, she’s going to be taking over as Wolverine. And Old Man Logan is going to get a solo series. And Deadpool will still be around.

Honestly, a ton of Marvel titles are dropping now, probably not necessarily at the speed Marvel wants. But that’s what Bleeding Cool does. Check out this Reddit megathread to find links to all of the announcements. There will be new comics for Daredevil, Vision, Scarlet Witch, Carnage, Silk, the Uncanny Avengers, Angela and many more. In fact, there’s also going to be a new Karnak solo series written by Warren Ellis. My brother will be excited to hear that.

Basically, there’s a whole lot of fun coming out of Marvel in the fall. Though I can’t say that anything has really caught my eye. I like Jeff Lemire and Humberto Ramos, but I can’t say as how I like any of those X-Men due to their heavy anti-Cyclops feelings as of late. I think those evil Uncanny guys could be fun, but it’s drawn by Greg Land. None of those solo superhero are any of my favorites either. Lots of neat stuff, and I’ll probably check a bunch of them out, but nothing has really hit me like lightning so far.

But there’s still time! And more comics to be announced!

What do you henchies think of these new X-Men comics? Or any of these new titles? Let me know in the comments!

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Review: Avengers: Age of Ultron

Avengers: Age of Ultron is like a new episode of the biggest, most expensive TV show of all time. It’s not the event that the first movie was, and it might not be as Earth-shattering as I expected, but Age of Ultron is nonetheless a fun, exciting and action-packed movie starring all of our favorite superheroes. And therein lies my biggest complaint, which is really a non-complaint.

There’s a familiarity to Age of Ultron that leads to contentment. The movie doesn’t really give us anything new to get excited about, instead delivering just another solid chapter in this ongoing saga.

Movie Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.

I liken Age of Ultron to a TV show because that’s exactly what it felt like while I was watching. I may have been in a packed movie theater, and it’s been three years since the last episode, but Ultron was definitely the ‘monster-of-the-week’ in the latest episode of The Avengers. All of our favorite characters are back, their friendly, comfortable banter is exactly what we’d expect, and everything is more or less tied up in a nice, tidy bow by the end. Lessons are learned, a little romance is slipped in, and now we just sit back and wait for the next episode.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt this way with any movie sequel before. It’s a weird feeling.

But the episodic feel doesn’t keep the movie from being entertaining. It’s an exciting film from beginning to end. In the big picture sense, the movie is amazing. But when you step back and really think about all the moving parts, it’s not without some flaws. Director Joss Whedon juggles a few too many characters, so that some get a lot of attention — like Hawkeye, in some standout moments — while others are little more than props — like Thor, who spends most of his time dropping hints about future movies.

The new characters are a mixed bag. The titular villain, Ultron, is too entertaining to be menacing. That’s an odd way to describe a super villain, but it’s exactly how actor James Spader pulls it off.

I like Age of Ultron, a lot. It’s not as good at the first Avengers film, largely because the spectacle has worn off, but also for a lot of little reasons. Yet overall, it’s another exciting film in my favorite franchise of all time, despite those little reasons.

Join me after the jump for my full, detailed review. And there will be SPOILERS!

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