Category Archives: Featured

Marvel Tried for an Affleck Matt Murdock Cameo in Multiverse of Madness

Back in November I posted a cryptic post about Multiverse of Madness regarding a cameo that Marvel was hoping to make happen, and since it hasn’t come out from anyone since then; I’ve decided to clarify what and who the cameo was going to be.

Marvel made an overture to Affleck and his people offering him a very very tiny (probably less than a minute) cameo as Matt Murdock in Multiverse of Madness. The idea was to sort of peek into that universe and close the door on that version of the character, and after seeing how they gave Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man closure in No Way Home; the concept makes sense. However as I said back in November, Marvel wasn’t expecting him to sign on for it as they felt he was too loyal to Warner Brothers and he’s in The Flash, which is a similar multiverse story. I do not know if he actually declined or not, just that the overture was made in the hopes he would do it.

Of course the Twitter regulars who live to debunk stories that they didn’t break will probably put out a debunk on this, which then be deleted in the off-chance this actually ended up happening. Like I said in November, I don’t expect it to happen, but it would’ve been nice to see his Matt Murdock one more time as he did a great job as Daredevil back the 2000s.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Review

Just over a year ago, SquareEnix released Crystal Dynamics’ Marvel’s The Avengers. The long-awaited game arrived to find a gaming audience who seemed to want it to be something that it wasn’t. From people who wanted to be based on the MCU and not the comics, to some who don’t like multi-player games, the title faced an uphill battle. It also didn’t help that it launched in the middle of the pandemic, which likely affected the timing of content and updates after launch. I still like Avengers (the Wakanda update is great), but for those who wanted it to be a strictly single-player adventure without any of the “games as a service” trappings, Eidos Montreal’s Guardians of the Galaxy might be exactly what they were looking for. I’ve played through the complete story, and this is the best cinematic Marvel adventure of the year.

First off, this is again not based on the movies. The characters in Guardians of the Galaxy each had histories in the comics that pre-dated the James Gunn films, and while some aspects of the art design might be inspired by the MCU (and the 2014 MCU costumes are unlockable), this game is an original story that uses the comics as its basis and not the MCU. Meaning the character’s back stories are slightly different. Here, Drax has already killed Thanos. An even bigger difference is this version of Star-Lord is the confident son of J’son of Spartax (not Ego the Living Planet). As such, the comic/game Star-Lord is a bit more of a confident Han Solo leader, as opposed to the son of Jack Burton like Chris Pratt’s version.

More importantly this is a strictly single-player linear adventure completely focused on the story. There’s no co-op, no multi-player, and no micro transactions. All of the cosmetic costumes can be unlocked in game just by playing and exploring the levels. As you might expect with a story-driven solo adventure, the first time through might not take that long, but you then can go through again with New Game+ and mop up all of the costumes and achievements that you missed on the first time through.

This is a cosmic adventure ripped from the comics. I won’t spoil anything, as there are surprises that made me yell “No f’n way!”, but the game takes the Guardians on an adventure that’s both personal and galactic in scale. It all starts when they’re in a quarantine zone looking for a monster to sell to Lady Hellbender for a nice bounty when they’re caught by the NOVA Corps and then have to find a way to pay back a hefty fine to them. That springboards them into an epic adventure filled with some familiar Guardians faces such as Cosmo (he’s such a good boy) and other surprises. It’s not a cameo fest, as the story remains focused on the team, but there are some amazing surprises in the game including one character who you’d never expect to see in a story like this.

I can’t stress how much I loved this story, and I really want a sequel with this team, cast, and writers all back. The game tries to replicate the banter the James Gunn films are known for, and it works. There are multiple times throughout the game where I genuinely laughed my ass off. There are small jokes early in the game that you might dismiss as just a joke, but then they pay off in a “No f’n way” style later in the story. I was completely invested in this Guardians adventure in a way that a video game story hasn’t affected me since Sony’s God of War in 2018.

The core gameplay will be familiar to anyone who has played a story-based cinematic game in the last few years. You’ll have a lot of long cinematic cut scenes that occasionally will give you dialog choices. These do affect the game and the story. An example is early in the game Star Lord has the opportunity through a dialog choice to trust the young daughter of the NOVA Corps leader he’s dealing with. If he trusts her, a door will be unlocked for the team later in the game. If he doesn’t, then you’ll have to figure out another way to open that door. That’s just a small example of how the dialog choices can affect things, there are much bigger ramifications later in the story to specific dialog choices.

As for the combat, to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t feeling it in the beginning. You control Star-Lord, and the other four Guardians are mapped to the four face buttons. By holding one of the bumpers and then hitting their button you can activate one of their abilities. To complicate things, Star-Lord has his own abilities that are accessed by holding down the left stick button. Early in the game I felt it was a little overwhelming, but by the end of the game I was actually really enjoying combat. Each character has three abilities that you can unlock with ability points you earn following combat. A fourth ability is then unlocked via the story and each one is from a profound moment of character development for each Guardian (I really loved Rocket’s). Once you get the hang of using the Guardians and their abilities, combat becomes a lot of fun.

The Guardians aren’t just limited to the combat. Each one’s strengths are used while exploring the levels. Groot can make bridges, Rocket can hack doors, Gamora can leap and cut down hanging objects or slice through vines, Drax is the muscle so he can break through walls or lift heavy objects, while Star-Lord’s blasters gain elemental powers as the story progresses. Ice, Electricity, Wind, and Fire are used in specific parts of the levels to progress, and they also can be used in combat as some enemies can have a weakness to a specific element. Star Lord’s visor can also scan the environment to find lore information, as well as locating ways to progress such as cracks in a wall for Drax to smash through. Each of the Guardian’s unique strengths can also be used in combat (beyond their abilities) such as heavy objects for Drax to throw at enemies or spots for Rocket to trap with a grenade.

The MCU movies are known for their used of music, and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy has hands-down the best licensed videogame soundtrack since Grand Theft Auto Vice City. The tracks are used at points in the story (the placement of KISS’s I Love It Loud and Europe’s The Final Contdown are “chef’s kiss” perfect), but they also show up in combat. There’s a “huddle” move that acts like a Super move in a fighting game. You have a huddle meter that builds up and when it does you can hit both bumpers to call the Guardians in for a huddle. There’s a dialog choice here, and if you pick the right one the team will be super-charged while a track from Star-Lord’s walkman plays. It’s hard to describe how damn fun it is to mow down huge groups of enemies to the sound of Wham!’s Wake Me Up Before You Go-go or Starship’s We Built This City.

I played through the game on the PS5 in Performance mode, which prioritizes frame rate. Even in that mode, the game is graphically on the same level as anything you’d see coming out of Sony’s first party studios. There’s also a Quality mode and a Ray-Tracing mode will be available post-launch (it’s in the menu, just not active yet). The art direction in the whole game is just excellent. Beyond just the character modeling, the variety of the environments you explore is just excellent across the board. It reminded me a lot of Jedi Fallen Order in how each planet looked different and unique to the one you just came from. Even when you revisit certain areas in the story, they find a way to make it look different so it doesn’t feel like your retreading anything.

Back in 2018 when I was coming to the end of Sony’s God of War reboot, I got a little emotional because I knew this excellent game I had spent the last ten or so hours playing was coming to an end. Guardians of the Galaxy is the first game since that one to come close to that feeling for me. I loved the story from beginning to end (and be sure to stay through the credits), and really want another adventure with this Guardians crew. If a game comes to a close, and you not want it to end but also want a sequel as soon as possible; I guess that’s one of the best recommendations you can give it.

Taskmaster’s Identity in Black Widow

No, I’m not back. But if I hear something cool I’ll still post it here and with Black Widow only a couple of weeks away one of the big fan theories about the movie is about to finally be solved; although not everyone is going to be happy. For the last year and a half some people have been trying to push the theory that Milena and Taskmaster are the same person in the movie (despite them appearing in scenes together). While others think Rick Mason is really in the Taskmaster suit. Neither of those appear to be the case.

A couple of weeks ago a 4Chan leak surfaced that claimed to tell the truth about Taskmaster, and with most 4Chan leaks people dismissed it because it clashed with their headcanon and most of the time the place is just people posting fan fiction disguised as leaks. But in this case, it sounds like the Taskmaster leak is indeed correct according to a source of mine who is in the know. Meaning it’s neither Milena, nor Rick Mason.

Instead, according to the leak Taskmaster is really Dreykov’s daughter who Natasha believes was left for dead but instead is transformed into Taskmaster and returns for revenge. If you think about it, that fits with how Marvel would give context to that line about Dreykov’s daughter from The Avengers.

Obviously this will set people off and spawn endless performance outrage YouTube videos complaining about how a female Taskmaster is destroying the MCU.

The Matrix Resurrections: The Best Sequel By Far?

I don’t absolutely hate the two sequels to The Matrix, I just think they are very inferior to the original movie. At the end of the first film, Neo is confident that he’s The One, but then for most of the first half of Reloaded he mopes around unsure that he’s The One. Even bigger than that, the action in both sequels comes off more performative than being part of the story. If you go back and watch the original movie, every fight scene and action sequence served a key purpose to move the story forward. That seemed to be missing from the sequels.

This December the fourth movie will release on HBO Max and in theaters, and last night I got a surprise message from one of my oldest and most reliable sources who got to see an early version of the movie. They told me that it was by far the best of the sequels. I then told another friend of mine what I’ve heard, they tend to hear things from WB as well, and they said they’ve heard similar reactions. While that’s not a high bar to clear based on Reloaded and Revolutions, it does mean I’ll likely be going to see Resurrections in theaters this December instead of just watching it on HBO Max.

I won’t be pushing this person for spoilers. They’re not one to do that for plot points, and for this movie I kind of don’t want to know everything going in. As long as it’s not as disappointing as the last two sequels is enough to get me excited to see a new Matrix movie on the big screen in just a few months.

Shang-Chi Toys Reveal the MCU’s Ten Rings

It’s always fun to see things about a movie that are kept secret until the early release of toys reveal it to the world. While nothing is as Earth-shattering as when Hasbro released a The Force Awakens Rey figure with a lightsaber a week before the movie arrived in theaters (and then Lucasfilm worked overtime to scrub fan photos of it from the Internet), the recent release of Marvel’s Shang-Chi toys has revealed one small change to the lore from the comics in the transition to the MCU.

In the comics, the Ten Rings were actually rings that The Mandarin wore in each finger. That appears to be slightly different in the MCU.

Earlier in the week I found the Marvel Legends Shang-Chi figures on store shelves, and noticed that the Wenwu (The Mandarin in the movie) figure had five metal bands on each wrist; ten rings. I commented to a friend at the time that those could be the MCU’s Ten Rings as opposed to actual rings on his fingers. Now it looks like that could be the case.

Simu Liu Tweeted a photo of the entire toy line, and there are two role-play toys of the metal bands that The Mandarin wears, and the arm band toys are called “Legend of the Ten Rings”:

Based on the toys it’s possible these arm bands could have some kind of energy blast, which would be similar to The Mandarin’s rings in the comic as well.

Regarding the Big Falcon and Winter Soldier Episode 5 Cameo

In the months since my retirement there’s been a rapid increase in the amount of bullshit that’s been spread around and happily consumed by people who only want to be told what they want to hear. And hey, there are people more than happy to spoof feed them the bullshit they crave. WandaVision and the backlash when Fox’s Quicksilver, Mephisto, Reed Richards, and Doctor Strange didn’t appear is a perfect example of this. Now that seems to be repeating itself with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

Yes, there is apparently a cameo coming up in the next episode, but as with WandaVision I think people are again vastly over hyping themselves for it. And scoopers on social media are feeding into that and contributing to it. If anything, the person who plays the character will likely be a bigger deal and surprise than who character it is.

Meaning fans should probably try to temper their hype and fan theories a bit, or else Falcon could face a similar backlash as WandaVision did. The show doesn’t deserve that. I’m honestly loving it more than WandaVision, probably because the Cap trilogy is my favorite in the MCU and this really feels like a fourth installment of that.

People are talking about how great the ending to Episode 4 was, but are missing the bigger event in the episode. Sure John Walker became US Agent in the episode, but more importantly Sam Wilson became Captain America. Episode 4 proved that Steve chose the right guy to give the shield to, and now Sam just needs to retrieve his shield, suit up, and Marvel needs to announce a Sam Wilson movie ASAP.

The SnyderCut Arrives Next Week, and The Death Threats Have Already Begun

Over the weekend I Fleeted (all I do really is Fleet now because they vanish after 24 hours) a picture of the cover of The Brave and The Bold #93. Of course the fanbase who attacks anyone who dares to call them “toxic” sprung into action.

Found this in my DMs this morning:

So because someone puts up a Twitter story (Fleet) with a picture of Martian Manhunter from 50 years ago, they deserve to die of COVID…

Disappointed the Fox Quicksilver Wasn’t in WandaVision? Here’s Why He Couldn’t Be…

With the finale of WandaVision now aired, some are upset and furious that their belief that Evan Peters was playing Fox’s version of Quicksilver in the show wasn’t validated. For weeks, even months, “scoopers” who get along by telling people what they want to hear have been leading people to believe he was 100% the Fox version of Quicksilver in the show and it would lead to Fox’s Mutants entering the MCU via the multiverse. However there’s a very good reason why that couldn’t happen; despite fans wanting it to.

I’ve explained it on the old podcast several times, but it all comes down to Hollywood politics, drama, and egos. Not to mention money. Allow me to use toys as an example. Prior to the MCU one of the reasons why you saw things like the Power Rangers-style Green Goblin in Spider-Man or a new design for a character compared to the comics all came down to money. In the film version of those characters, the producers would earn money from the merchandise of their versions of the character. As they created that specific version of the character, they were entitled to credit and money any time it was used.

A good example is how Zack Snyder created (and cast) the current DCEU versions of the Justice League characters. Which is why he receives an executive producer credit on any movies those characters appear in.

That brings us to the MCU and the Fox characters. Aside from likely wanting to avoid tainting the carefully crafted MCU with Fox’s continuity, if Feige were to bring in a character from the Singerverse, then people like Bryan Singer and Simon Kinberg would need to receive a producer credit (and likely money) in any MCU appearance for those characters. That’s also likely why Jamie Foxx’s Electro in Spider-Man: No Way Home is rumored to look different from the Amazing Spider-Man 2 version; he’ll be a different version of the character.

The fallout from WandaVision is one reason I’m glad I’m not involved with that stuff anymore. People only want to be told what they want to hear, not what’s really going on.

Why I’m Not Worried About JJ Abrams Being Involved With Superman (Again)

Last week it was revealed that JJ Abrams and Ta-Nehisi Coates would be rebooting Superman. Abrams will be producing and Coates writing, and as you’d expect the internet is already raging over this. On one side you have fans of a certain director cursing WBs name for daring to move on from that universe, and on the other you have people making wild assumptions about what Superman will be featured just due to who’s writing the movie. But I’m not worried.

Firstly, Ta-Nehisi Coates has written both Captain America and Black Panther, and I’ve enjoyed his core Panther run and sad it’s ending. So I’m not too worried on the writing side of things. At least JJ Abrams isn’t writing the thing. That would be a problem.

Secondly, I’m not worried about Abrams this time around. He’s not writing it, and what happened the last time he did that is why I’m not worried. Confused? Well, we can look at a different Superman project for what I’m suspecting might be going on in JJ’s head with this.

Kevin Smith’s involvement with Jon Peters and Superman Lives is legendary. However some people might not remember what happened after that. Jon Peters continued to be a producer on Superman and we then got Superman Returns. Peters saw the blacklash over Superman Lives and stepped back and allowed Singer to make something that was safe at the time.

Twenty years ago JJ Abrams wrote Superman Flyby and the reaction was even worse than Superman Lives. It would’ve killed the franchise for a generation if made. Abrams received death threats over just reviews of the un-filmed script.

Because of that it’s possible that JJ Abrams might be a little apprehensive about doing anything overly controversial with Superman. Meaning that for now, I don’t think there’s anything to worry about and the internet is freaking out for no reason as they traditionally do in a case like this.

Why isn’t JJ directing it? Apparently WB wants him to direct an even bigger DC movie they’re planning.

Superman & Lois: Man of Steel By Way of The CW

Superman isn’t hard to get right. Donner got it. Snyder got it. JJ Abrams absolutely did not. But it looks like The CW is on the way to do so with Superman & Lois.

After more than a decade with the Arrowverse, the show is (at least from the pilot) very different from those shows. As good as they can be, everyone knows the budget can be low and the episodes can hit sub-Power Rangers levels of cheese. Superman & Lois is different, it desperately wants to be Man of Steel. From the look of the show to its soundtrack, it feels like The CW made their own Man of Steel fan film but with their patented melodrama.

The pilot deals with Clark and Lois’ twins both discovering they have powers inherited from their dad that they learn is really Superman. If you’ve seen any CW show you know how it plays out, lots of melodrama with a little bit of Superman mixed in to set up the season’s big bad. That’s not really revealed until the very end of the episode, but it hints at something from the comics we’ve been begging for in live action forever.

I’m happy. It looks like we’ll have a good Superman show to look forward to every week, and it seems to have ditched the sometimes-cheap look of the Arrowverse to be its own thing.