Category Archives: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Loki Season One Review: Mischief, Chaos, And Consequences

The following is a YouTube video from my channel, Jack’s World. It is my full video review, reaction, and eager speculation for the first season of “Loki.” Of all the Marvel shows that have come out to date, this one might be the most impact. It’s not unreasonable to say that this show has changed the Marvel Cinematic Universe forever. To appreciate just how much it changed, I will include plenty of spoilers in this review. I also won’t stop myself from gushing with excitement. Enjoy!

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Why Kang The Conqueror Could Be The Next Great MCU Villain (And Why He May Ultimately Fail)

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These are exciting times for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and fans of superhero media, in general. The COVID-19 pandemic may have disrupted and delayed certain plans, but things do seem to be back on track. The success of the recent Disney+ shows and the release of “Black Widow” are encouraging signs that the MCU will continue to grow, evolve, and bedazzle.

However, if the MCU is to continue its unprecedented streak of success, it’ll have to address one massive Thanos-shaped hole that has remained since “Avengers Endgame.” Even as it introduces a new generation of characters while continuing to explore others, it’ll still need one key detail to keep the awesome flowing.

It needs a powerful, over-arching villain who will require the Avengers to assemble once more.

That is no easy feat to pull off. Thanos set the bar very high through three phases of MCU movies. He raised the bar for villains of all kinds, both for the MCU and for movies in general. He presented a threat that required the full force of the Avengers to stop. That’s why so many of us cheered during the climactic battle in “Avengers Endgame.”

The idea of any character presenting a threat like that is difficult to imagine. However, Marvel Studios has proven time and again that they can keep raising the bar. It certainly helps that Marvel has no shortage of villains from the comics, but the recent events of “Loki” have already revealed that one in particular is poised to become that next great threat.

If you’ve seen the season one “Loki” finale, then you already know who I’m talking about. The next great treat for the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be Kang the Conqueror.

He was already confirmed to show up in “Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.” He also has been cast to an accomplished actor in Jonathan Majors. Most importantly, he’s a character who has a lengthy history in the comics of being a huge threat to both the world and the multiverse. Much like Thanos, he has often required the Avengers to assemble in a big way in order to stop him.

By almost every measure, Kang has a lot going for him. He even has more to offer in terms of overall complexity. Both the comics and the “Loki” finale mention that Kang has multiple version of himself. You could argue that’s one of his most defining characteristics. Since he’s a time traveler, there are a near infinite version of him with varying levels of power, motivations, and malice.

One could be Immortus, who often carries himself as Kang’s final form.

One could be Iron Lad, a younger version of Kang who tries to walk a more heroic path.

One could be Rama-Tut, a version of Kang who ruled Ancient Egypt as a pharaoh.

It’s that flexibility that puts him in a unique position to be the MCU’s next great villain. It’s also something that helps him stand apart from Thanos in a big way. Thanos was big, bad, and menacing, but there was still only one of him to deal with. There are many version of Kang. Some are potential allies while others could be an even greater threat than Thanos. That could add a lot of drama and tension to every battle.

Since the rise of more complex villains like Killmonger and Baron Zemo, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has made a concerted effort to give depth to their villains. Kang, given his many variations, is in a better position to provide that than most villains. You can have version of him trying to avoid his ultimate fate of becoming a ruthless conqueror doing battle with others who’ve already embraced that fate.

In the comics, this has always been a major struggle for Kang. It’s also a personal struggle and the Avengers often get caught up in it. As shows like “WandaVision” have so nicely demonstrated, Marvel Studios have shown how much they can milk a personal struggle for emotional resonance. If they can do that with Kang in a way that builds further drama with the Avengers, then they could set up something every bit as epic as “Avengers Endgame.”

That is likely the ultimate goal. However, there’s still a chance this effort could fail or fall short of Marvel Studios’ lofty standards.

I offer this possibility as both a long-time Marvel fan and one who isn’t too big a fan of Kang. In fact, I’ll go on record as saying he’s one of my least favorite villains. My reasons are purely personal. I just think he’s one of those characters who’s too malleable. He’s also one of those characters who do a lot, yet still ultimately achieve so little.

That’s just an unpleasant side-effect of him being a time traveler. While plenty of other Marvel characters travel through time, Kang really overdoes it. You could argue it’s the only truly defining aspect of his character. As a result, it could also be something that seriously hinders his story.

It’s not unusual for stories involving Kang to get confusing and complicated, even by time travel standards. It’s also exceedingly common for his time traveling antics to be solved with more time travel. Every time he seems on the cusp of defeating the Avengers, something happens that either changes the timeline or undoes everything Kang did to that point. He’s one of those villains who can do a lot, but leave a very limited impact.

That’s why I’m not too fond of him. Too much of what he does is easily erased or retconned by more time travel. On top of that, his reliance on time travel basically guarantees that you’ll be confused by the sequence of events within a couple issues at least. I can’t imagine it being much simpler over the course of multiple big budget movies.

That’s not to say he can’t work as the MCU’s next main villain. Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige have proven time and again that they’re capable of making these seemingly impossible stories work. They were able to transform Thanos into this death-obsessed madman into someone with more complexity and emotional range. If they can do that with Thanos, then who knows what they can do with Kang?

Hopefully, we’ll find out soon enough. Jonathan Majors has already given us a taste in “Loki.” I look forward to seeing something even bigger in “Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.” These are exciting and chaotic times for the MCU. Only time will tell how chaotic it gets and for a character like Kang, that’s all too fitting.

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Black Widow Review: A Bittersweet Conclusion Atop A Marvelous Legacy

The following is a video from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. It is a full, spoiler-filled review of “Black Widow.” After multiple delays and a global pandemic, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is back. Was it worth the wait? Does it measure up to previous MCU movies? Does it give Natasha Romanov the appropriate send-off she deserves? These are all questions I try to answer in this review. Enjoy!

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Hugh Jackman Teases More Wolverine (And What It Could Mean)

For nearly two decades, X-Men fans like myself have known only one Wolverine on the big screen in Hugh Jackman. In that time, we’ve had three don the mantle of Spider-Man, two as Superman, two as Batman, and even two as the original X-Men cast. The world of superhero actors is dynamic, to say the least. Long-term stability is the exception, not the norm.

However, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine is one of the greatest exceptions of all time. Multiple generations of fans know no other Wolverine and the idea of casting someone else to don those adamantium claws just feels wrong. Despite plenty of casting rumors, no one can forget the high bar of snarling, swearing berserker rage that Mr. Jackman set for 17 years.

Now, he’s toying with our collective hearts once more. In a somewhat cryptic post to his Instagram, Jackman showed an image of him and Marvel Studios President, Kevin Feige, along with some iconic Wolverine artwork by BossLogic.

Needless to say, it garnered a hell of a reaction. I’m not gonna lie. My heart definitely skipped a beat when I saw this. As much as I love the send-off Jackman’s Wolverine got in “Logan,” a part of me still wants to see Jackman play Wolverine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Since Disney didn’t complete its purchase of Fox until after “Logan” came out, it seemed like an impossible dream.

Now, this cryptic post does not confirm anything. Kevin Feige, Disney, and Marvel Studios are notorious for their secrecy. You’d probably have better luck getting information out of the CIA at this point. That said, I’m inclined to believe Feige and Jackman knew what kind of reaction they’d get by posting this. This was not an accident. It may just be a stunt, but a part of me believes it might be something more.

That’s not to say it means Hugh Jackman is signing onto do another six Marvel movies as Wolverine. That’s just not gonna happen, given Jackman’s age and the training it takes just to be Wolverine. If he thinks he can do it, then more power to him. I’ll be the first to cheer him on. I just think it’s more likely that Marvel Studios wants a fresh start with Wolverine and all things X-Men.

However, that doesn’t mean they won’t acknowledge the past cinematic successes of X-Men. Since Jackman was part of those successes, I think it’s likely he will make a few Stan Lee style cameos at some point. That leads me to believe that this post teased a possible appearance in the upcoming “Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.” Since multiverse is literally in the title, it may be the case that the world of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine is just one of the universes that story will reference.

If that means seeing Hugh Jackman as Wolverine again, even if it’s brief, then that alone will be worth the ticket price.

If it means something more, then that’ll be a hell of a bonus.

I’m not getting my hopes up for the latter, but I’ll be plenty satisfied with the former. There’s also a chance that this is nothing more than Jackman capturing a nice moment with someone he’s known for over 20 years. If that’s the case, then I’ll be disappointed, but not enough to stop loving Hugh Jackman and all the wonderful years he gave us as Wolverine.

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Inhumans vs. X-Men: Anatomy of a Misguided (and Dumb) Rivalry

The following is a video/mini-documentary that I made for my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. I’ve actually been working on this video for quite some time now. I feel it’s finally ready for release. It’s a grand overview, as well as my own personal take, on the brief, but impactful rivalry between the Inhumans and the X-Men. It’s also me making the case that this was a case study in how not to develop a rivalry.

Please note that, while I tried to be fair and objective, I couldn’t help but go off-script in a few areas. Trust me. You’ll know it when you see it. I still try to tell the story of this rivalry in as fair a way I could. Enjoy!

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My Reaction To The “Eternals” Trailer And The One Burning (And Relevant) Question It Raises

I’m a simple man. Whenever a trailer of any kind, even a teaser, gets released by Marvel Studios, I take notice. I’m not the only one, either. A trailer release by Marvel Studios is almost always cause for celebration and excitement. It shows on how often these trailers rack up record-breaking hits in a short span of time.

Even a trailer for lesser-known characters is bound to draw interest. Marvel Studios has proven before that they can turn obscure characters like the “Guardians of the Galaxy” into a multi-billion dollar franchise. Now, they hope to do the same with the “Eternals.”

Given their unprecedented track record of success, I wouldn’t bet against Kevin Feige and company. These visionaries have all more than earned our trust, as well as the benefit of the doubt. However, turning “Eternals” into a successful franchise will likely be even harder than “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

I say that as someone with a very shallow knowledge of Eternals. I like to think of myself as a pretty well-informed Marvel fan, but even I don’t know much about these characters. I’m aware of their basic history, but much of my interest is tied to how their story ties into that of mutants, albeit indirectly.

I suspect most causal fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are in a similar boat. They don’t know who these characters are. They’re nowhere near as iconic as Captain America, Iron Man, or Thor. However, they are showing up in the MCU, so we all take notice. We just have no idea what to expect, given the obscure nature of this franchise.

Well, a few days ago, we finally got our first glimpse when a teaser trailer for “Eternals” came out. Being a lifelong Marvel fan, it certainly made my day. In case you haven’t seen it, here it is.

Regardless of how you feel about the characters, it’s still a visual spectacle to behold. Marvel Studios always seems to fill their films with plenty of dazzling spectacles. It looks like “Eternals” is searching for a way to raise the bar once more and history says they will.

Beyond the spectacle, the trailer offers some hints as to what kind of story we’ll be getting with “Eternals.” In short, they’re a race of immortal humanoid beings who arrive in the distant past aboard a massive ship. This detail is ripped straight from the pages of the comics, as originally penned by Jack Kirby.

Beyond that, we learn that they’ve been living amongst humans for millennia. However, they’ve kept their distance, refusing to interfere or significantly impact human affairs. Then, something changes. Now, they’re ready to make their presence known to a world that is still recovering from the events of Thanos’ infamous snap.

That’s all very intriguing. I’m certainly curious to learn more. The cast is full of well-known stars like Selma Hayek and Angelina Jolie. The history of the MCU has already proven quite rich through other movies, like “Captain America: The First Avenger” and “Ant Man.” This promises to broaden that history even more.

That’s certainly good from a storytelling perspective. However, seeing this trailer still leaves me with one burning question, which in turn raises other similar questions.

Why did these powerful beings wait so long to reveal themselves to the world?

That’s a relevant question and one that mutants will also face once the X-Men come to the MCU, as I’ve covered before in one of my YouTube videos. However, it’s even more relevant for the Eternals.

These are powerful, immortal beings with abilities that are nothing short of god-like. If this trailer is any indication, they’ve been around for the entire breadth of human history. That means they’ve witnessed every war, every plague, every disaster, and every collapse, of which there have been plenty.

Even in the context of the MCU, they’ve witnessed some pretty terrible events.

They watched the Chitari invade New York City.

They saw Dormammu attempt to absorb the Earth into the Dark Dimension.

They watched Ultron nearly end the world.

They watched the Avenger try and fail to stop Thanos.

They may even be aware of a Skrull infiltration that began during the events of “Captain Marvel.”

They’re aware of all of this, but still chose not to get involved. Is it wrong to ask for a legitimate reason? Is it wrong to pre-judge them for having so much inherent power and not using it to stop terrible event?

Never mind the events that shaped world history. If they could’ve made a difference in the battle against Thanos and Ultron, then why didn’t that? What’s their reason for staying hidden? In the comics, their primary reason centers around protecting Earth from the nefarious Deviants. However, even the comics don’t offer much insight into why they just stand aside and let other catastrophic events occur.

It raises a larger question that the MCU will have to grapple with, which often gets overlooked in the comics. In a world where powerful beings like this exist, does their inaction constitute an egregious act? If they could’ve stopped Thanos, then does their decision to stay hidden warrant criticism?

It’s a difficult question and one that comes up much more frequently in DC Comics. On more than one occasion, Superman has been criticized for not helping humanity on a larger scale. It’s very much a common trope and one that gets increasingly difficult to address as a shared universe grows.

Like I said earlier, Marvel Studios has a stellar track record with telling great stories that at least partially address these questions. I sincerely hope that track record continues with “Eternals.” I also hope it’s more serious in asking the bigger questions about what it means to have power and be a respectable hero.

The Avengers who assembled to defeat Thanos were all powerful in their own right. Together, they are a force that can battle god-like threats and win. At the same time, they all have major limitations. The Eternals have limitations as well, but they’re unique in just how present they’ve been for the extent of human history.

In that sense, they have a greater responsibility than even someone like Spider-Man or Thor. If they’ve been present for so many terrible events, but chose to do nothing, then what do we make of them? How do they become heroes in that context? I don’t claim to know the answer. I just look forward to seeing this movie and finding out for myself.

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Falcon And The Winter Soldier: Reviwe, Reaction, And Speculation

The following is a video from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. It is my full review and reaction to “Falcon And The Winter Soldier,” which just finished its first season on Disney Plus. I know reviewed multiple episodes of “WandaVision,” but I had a hard time stopping myself from speculating after every episode. I didn’t want to do that with this one, so I waited until the series was complete.

Overall, I’m glad I did. This show was really something. It also got me plenty excited for the future of the MCU and yes, that means more wild speculating in this video, as well as plenty others. Enjoy!

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Jack’s World: Latest MCU X-Men Rumors: Reactions, Promise, And Potential

The following is a video from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. It covers some recent rumors that have been circulating about the future of the X-Men in the MCU. Please note that these rumors are not substantiated. There is no inside source at work here. Most of this information comes from the site, BGR. So, please take them with a grain of salt.

That disclaimer aside, I made this video as a general reaction of sorts. This is also the first time I used my new video editing software. Please let me know if you can see a difference in the overall quality. Enjoy!

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Jack’s World: Why Most Critics Of Superhero Media Are Wrong, Misguided, And Stupid

The following is a video from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. I’ve been working on this for a while now. I’m aware of the various criticisms that superhero media has received in recent years, from political pundits to former writers like Alan Moore. I’ve been wanting to respond to that criticism in some comprehensive way. This video is my way of addressing it, as well as reaffirming why I love superheroes and why they mean so much to so many people. Enjoy!

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Jack’s World: WandaVision Finale Reaction And Final Speculation

Once again, I’m breaking up my usual video release schedule to give everyone a reaction video to the “WandaVision” finale. Once again, Marvel Studios has risen the bar for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s safe to say now that their first TV show is a success. It managed to deliver the same satisfying spectacle that we’ve come to expect from the movies.

If you haven’t seen the show yet, I highly recommend you check it out. This video does contain major spoilers, so if you don’t want to undermine the experiment, watch the show first before you watch this video. Enjoy!

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