Since Marvel Studios was purchased by Disney for $4 billion nearly 8 years ago, their lineup of superhero blockbusters have dominated the movie theater box-office. They consistently receive strong reviews, big earnings, and please the Comic-con crowd. I, a card-carrying hater, though I do feel that the Marvel films are fine, have been less impressed by the company’s output. The following is a conversation with Edward Graham Peeler Jr., a comic book expert, passionate fan, and fellow blogger. You can follow his blog at https://dreadpiratesite.wordpress.com/, or his video reviews on youtube. We discussed the upcoming slate of Marvel films, and their projected plan for the future:

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Me: Marvel has a good thing going. They keep churning out the hits. There doesn’t seem to be any Marvel fatigue at all, which makes me skeptical about the apparent “Star Wars fatigue” that was suggested after the disappointment of Solo. Marvel is certainly set for the next few years, but then, their first and second generation cornerstones, Iron Man and Captain America, for example, are likely gone. What’s their next phase after Avengers finishes? How do they keep from taking a step back? Or have they reached their peak?

Edward: It all depends on whether or not Chris Evans, Robert Downey, and Chris Helmsworth want to keep making Avengers movies.  They might be tired and want to move on but they seem to really enjoy making Marvel films and their making good money doing them.  Hopefully, they’ll stick around for a little while longer and we’ll have more adventures with Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor. I’m not sure exactly what they are going to do after Infinity War part 2.  What I would like to see is them starting to integrate the X-men and Deadpool into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That’s something I’ve always wanted so see: the X-men and the Avengers working together; specifically Wolverine as an Avenger.  Also, I hear a Black Widow movie is in the works which I’m looking forward to. The only thing I’m really worried about is the Captain Marvel movie, and Carol Danvers being integrated into the MCU. Carol Danvers is a superhero that has had multiple identities in the comics.  Her best incarnation was Miss Marvel and she’s occasionally gone by the identities Warbird and Binary. The past couple years she’s been going by Captain Marvel. The Marvel version of Captain Marvel was originally an alien Kree soldier named Jenus Mar-vel, who had these high tech arm bands that granted him cosmic powers, and he became a space-faring superhero that also helped out on earth, who is best known for being dead.  Miss Marvel was a spin-off character of the original Captain Marvel. She was a soldier who was abducted by the Kree, experimented on, and granted super powers. In my personal opinion she was great character when she was Miss Marvel. She was badass, confident, sexy, and one of the top-tier Avenger characters. She was one of the team leaders and she was a skilled, no non-sense tactician. Then they turned her into Captain Marvel.  The stated reason for turning her into Captain Marvel was to make her into a legacy hero. Legacy heroes are characters where the superhero identity is a mantle shared by many different people over generations. A recent example is when Batman allegedly died (he actually was sent back in time), and Dick Grayson, the original Robin, became Batman. He had actually not been Robin for years and had been going as Nightwing and Tim Drake was Robin.  While he was Batman, Bruce Wayne’s biological son, Damian Wayne, became Robin. Likewise when Barry Allen, the second Flash died, Kid Flash became the Flash. And there is a related character named Impulse who became Kid Flash. So those are all good examples of legacy heroes, and the stated reason for Miss Marvel becoming Captain Marvel was to be that, to honor the legacy and allow Carol to take center stage. The real reason for her becoming Captain Marvel was bullshit third wave feminism politics.  In recent years, with the distraction and success of Marvel’s movies, T.V, and other franchises, the comics have started to suck. Their editor in chief at the time, Axel Alonso, has allowed this invasion of really bad, ultra-liberal activist writers to invade the company and start writing the books. These people are less concerned with writing good stories and giving the fans what they want, and instead pushing their agenda or cause and making fools of themselves on twitter. As far as I can tell they hired a bunch of assholes who don’t even really like comics like Nick Spencer who turned Captain America into a Nazi.  They also decided to do a dumb convoluted story-line, where Thor no longer became worthy of his hammer, Mjolnir, and Jane Foster, a character so loved by fans that she was written out of the MCU in Thor Ragnarok, becomes the new Thor, also known as Lady Thor. And she became this miserable, man hating, “I’m better than you”, sort of character. Lady Thor died of cancer (which makes absolutely no sense but whatever) and it’s the first time I’ve found myself actually rooting for cancer, and in my real life I have many loved ones who’ve suffered from cancer. Yeah, thanks Marvel. Anyway, the moment Carol Danvers became Captain Marvel she transformed into this miserable character that is everything wrong with this direction Marvel’s been going in.  The argument for changing her into Captain Marvel was along the lines of “Why can’t she be Captain Marvel? CUS SHE’S A WOMAN?! SHE CAN’T TAKE CENTER STAGE?!” and “Oh, her original outfit is so sexist! God forbid she wear a one-piece bathing suit as her outfit! God forbid she be sexy!” and of course “It’s time!” She immediately turned into this authoritarian, ultra-feminist, bull dike lesbian, man hating monster and everyone hates her. Marvel’s sales have been down as long as they keep pushing this crap because the fans hate it and the people that are pushing this crap don’t actually read comics. And Marvel comics has been trying to make this new Captain Marvel into Marvel’s flagship character, the character that is the symbol of the company. Traditionally the flagship character is Spider-man and for awhile during the height of X-men’s popularity, it was Wolverine, both of which are insanely popular and beloved characters.  So all efforts to make Captain Marvel the flagship have fallen flat on their face since that’s a determination made by fan response not executive decision, but Marvel editorial keeps trying to push her as the character we SHOULD be reading. And then Kevin Feige announced that Captain Marvel was going to be the most important character in the MCU going forward. Naturally hearing this, a chill went down my body. Now Kevin’s been very good at making movies that both the fans and general audiences love, partially by staying away from politics; especially crazy extremist crap that the comics have gotten into. So my instinct says to trust him and see what he does. He’s done a good job so far and shown a lot of common sense so far, so I think we should wait and see. Another point of concern was some comments Brie Larson, the actress who will be playing Captain Marvel said. She said in response to criticisms of A Wrinkle In Time (your favorite movie ☺)  that “she doesn’t want to hear what white men think about the movie.” She wants to hear from women and girls and what the movie means to them. Because yeah, it’s not like I didn’t grow up with and love that book. Why should I have an opinion on a film based on a book I like <?<. So that’s disconcerting and may suggest their going in a bad direction with Captain Marvel. But we’ll have to wait and see the movie to find out. Hopefully the movie will be good and I’m worrying about nothing. I mean I waited until The Last Jedi to start hating Star Wars. I will give the films a chance so long as they are consistently good. I don’t have much of an opinion of Brie Larson. I liked her in Kong: Skull Island, so that’s something nice I can say about her. As long as they don’t make Captain Marvel a feminist nightmare, they can avoid taking steps back. Their movies are running strong. I think Marvel’s doing great film wise. If they do run into their peak, it will be Infinity War Part 2.  Hopefully they’ll be making awesome comic book movies for many years to come.

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Me: Speaking of Captain Marvel; the studio’s first female stand alone super hero movie. Does it feel at all like Marvel is finally chasing DC in something, i.e Wonder Woman? Not that there’s no room for more female super heroes, but how does Captain Marvel break away and become its own thing? How does it separate itself from other Marvel movies for that matter?

Edward: Eh, they might be trying to copy Wonder Woman, but Carol Danvers is (or more like WAS) an awesome character in her own right, so there’s every reason to make a movie about her.  I just wish they were calling her Miss Marvel, because that was her best incarnation. Wonder Woman and Miss Marvel have very superficial similarities. They both have super strength, stamina, and flight.  But their personalities are totally different as are their origins and what the characters stand for. Diana Prince comes from a warrior race of amazons, and she is a kind, wise immortal character that people look up to in the same way they look up to Superman. Carol Danvers is a soldier who was abducted by aliens and given powers. She has a very tactical military mindset and accepted her new life as a super hero. Prior to becoming Captain Marvel, her motivation was to become the world’s greatest superhero, and she was always good and beloved as an awesome Avenger, but she was never the greatest hero in the world.  And as I mentioned above the moment she became Captain Marvel, she has become an awful third wave feminist, and a symbol of everything wrong with the far left, activist culture, and the current direction of Marvel’s comics right now. Now Wonder Woman is the greatest female superhero of all time and a feminist icon. So it could be Marvel is attempting to replicate that and that’s why Captain Marvel is getting a movie right now in that awful costume, in this awful incarnation, with Brie Larson in the role….I don’t know.  I don’t want to get into conspiracy theories right now. The problem is people love Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman IS one of the world’s greatest superheroes and she IS an extremely positive symbol of femininity. Carol Danvers has never been that. When she was good she was always a great superhero, but never the best. In her current form, the comic book writers want her to be a positive feminist role model and instead she’s an awful person that nobody likes. So if their goal is to copy DC’s success with Wonder Woman, that’s a terrible idea.  First of all, why would you want to copy the DCEU in anything? If the goal is: she’s a major Avengers character and we want to introduce her into the MCU, then it’s a good idea. What they should do is, just make a movie based off of her Miss Marvel era persona (with this modern crappy outfit). Just tell a story about a cool superhero; who HAPPENS to be a woman. They should not make a big deal about that. That need to keep politics out of it or at least stay away from extreme liberalism. A little bit of girl power is fine as is modest liberal values of acceptance.  As long as she doesn’t use the terms “safe space” and “CIS gendered pig” I think we’ll be fine. As for separating itself from Marvel’s other films, well, she does have powers comparable to Superman and Wonder Woman, namely flight, super strength, and stamina. Meaning she can fly and punch monsters and have a look and feel that is kind of what people think of when they think of a superhero. In many ways she can be Marvel’s typical superhero character, because none of their other characters that we see in the MCU are like that. They all  have their own look that feel unique to them.  Captain Marvel can be the character that puts on a cape, flies, and punches monsters like a more traditional superhero. Also, I think this movie is supposed to take place in the 80s, so it should have a nice period piece 80s feel.

Me: How do you see Disney’s acquiring X-men affecting that franchise, since you’re happy with their handling of Marvel but not Star Wars.

Edward: I think what we are going to see with X-men is they are going to slowly start integrating them, Deadpool, and the Fantastic Four into the MCU.  That’s what I’m really looking forward too. They might even play on the concept of the Multiverse that was set up in Dr. Strange and allow the X-men from the Fox movies to directly crossover into the MCU.  There’s no guarantee it will go down that way, and there are continuity and story telling problems that can easily crop up if they do it that way. If they did though that might be awesome, because I like the X-men movies enough that I would love it if just already established X-men were able to interact with the Avengers and other characters of the MCU.  As much as I love Tom Holland’s Spider-man and the direction they have been taking Spider-man in the MCU, I really love the Sam Raimi Spider-man movies and I would have loved if Toby’s Spider-man could have been the one to be an Avenger. It all worked out in the end, and Tom Holland’s Spider-man is the best and my new favorite, but I think that trilogy is not only great, we would not have this Renaissance of comic book movies we are experiencing now if it had not been for Sam Raimi’s Spider-man films, the X-men movies, and Blade.   So it would nice if we could do that with the X-men films and Deadpool. I want Hugh Jackman as an Avenger dammit! ☺ So we’ll see what they come up with. I love the direction Disney is taking Marvel in. I hate and detest the direction Disney has taken Star Wars. Kathleen Kennedy, Rian Johnson, and, at this point, J.J. Abrams needs to go. I wish Kevin Feige could direct all of these franchises. I wish he was in charge of Marvel, the Fox Marvel films, Star Wars, Aliens, and the Terminator franchise, but he’s not a movie producing robot.  I don’t want to break Kevin. Kevin is doing a great job where he’s at. Star Wars needs someone like him running Lucas film, someone who is respectful of the fans and gives them what they want, but also has a vision and plan and keeps everyone focused and on task. Someone who allows his directors to be creative, but doesn’t let them go off the rails. Kevin rubbed Joss Whedon and Edgar Wright the wrong way because he had to. He had to be the bad guy that wouldn’t let them do whatever they wanted and they left Marvel as a result.  And those are really talented people that make great films, but he had to rein them in. And hopefully they’ll come back in some capacity eventually. Besides Whedon has talked about how sometimes you have to “kill your darlings” to save you’re your film. He understands that sometimes you have to rein in creative people in order to make the movie work, all though the process does seem like it gets frustrating. Meanwhile at Warner Bros. you had Zack Snyder given cart blanche to do whatever stupid thing he wanted for his god awful DC movies, complete with him publicly complaining about how he doesn’t like it when a studio gives him direction because “it’s not cool and not fun.”  I was happy to see him leave DC, although I wish it had been on better circumstances, given the fact that he left due to personal tragedy. And then they brought in Jeff Johns who is a comic book writer, not a producer. And he means well, but he doesn’t know what he’s doing, and he’s still working on his comics. He’s torn in a million directions and I doubt he has the control over the films that Warner Bros. says he does. And then you have Kathleen Kennedy who I had never heard of before until The Last Jedi, who used to get coffee for George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, and apparently that makes her a producer, and means she can claim that she was responsible for how awesome classic movies like Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, and Back To The Future turned out.  And when put in the hot seat to run a film studio, she completely shits the bed 3 years into running this franchise. She focuses more on identity politics and virtue signaling, instead of telling a story or steering a franchise in a good direction. When she has disagreements with directors, she fires them instead of working with them as we saw with Lord and Miller and Colin Trevorrow. She wastes millions of dollars on reshoots, and has already cost Disney millions, probably billions at this point, on poor ticket sales and unsold merchandise. Disney needs someone like Kevin to run Star Wars, someone with his temperament, vision and discipline to get Star Wars back on track. At the very least they need someone passionate about Star Wars and who understands the franchise.  Fans really want Dave Filoni to take over, given his work on the Clone Wars and Rebels cartoons. I would definitely support that decision and come back to the theater if he were in charge. And they need to keep George Lucas in the loop. Apologize profusely to him and bring him on as an advisor. And get him a nice fruit basket.

Me: Coming to the film that holds several franchises in its grasp, Avengers: Infinity Wars, there were many deaths obviously. I was upset, because I feel like the end makes it clear that many of these characters will be coming back, which I feel undermines most of the film. Do you see any of the deaths in Infinity Wars as sticking? Who comes back and who stays dead if anybody?

Edward: Part of the reason I loved Avenger’s Infinity War was, it was very faithful to the spirit of the comic it’s based on.  It does do it’s own thing; the battle for the Infinite Gems went down very differently in the comics, but they were just about as bleak.  If Infinity War Part 2 is completely faithful to the comics, everybody’s coming back to life because that’s how it went down in the comics.  In the comics, when the heroes fail to stop Thanos, the gods and cosmic beings of the Marvel Universe intervene…..and Thanos easily beats them.  Then, Death and Mephisto betray Thanos, and try to grab the gauntlet for themselves. Thanos kicks their ass. The Silver Surfer and Adam Warlock try their last ditch effort to stop him, and it doesn’t work.  So finally, Eternity, the living embodiment of the Marvel Universe, an entity that appears as a humanoid, but is composed of space and galaxies itself, has had enough, so he tries to crush Thanos. Thanos not only defeats him, but takes his place!  All the universe becomes Thanos and his face is seen in the stars themselves. Things look bad, but it’s soon revealed that Thanos’ consciousness is controlling the universe, but his body and the gauntlet are now a motionless vegetable lying on the ground.  An insane and mutilated Nebula seizes the opportunity, and takes the gauntlet away from Thanos. This forces Thanos back into his body, but now the surviving heroes have a new problem: an all powerful pissed off Nebula. So instead of killing Thanos, Adam Warlock actually convinces Thanos to join the heroes, claiming that Thanos really wanted the heroes to stop him, and the only reason why he did any of this is because of his own personal misery causing him to lash out and fixate on Death. The heroes and Thanos band together, defeat Nebula, and Adam Warlock takes the gauntlet. Warlock undoes everything that Thanos did, including killing half the universe and flies off into space to find away to be a good and logical god of the universe and his story is continued in the Infinite Watch. If they do it exactly like the comics, that’s what’s going to happen. I think whatever they do will be in keeping with the spirit of that story, but the details along the way will be different. I think it all depends on who wants to renew their contract in the real world; whoever is played by an actor who wants to come back for future movies and T.V will be brought back to life.  Those that don’t, I see it kind of like Goku asking Gohan not to bring him back with the Dragon Balls after the Cell Saga. That or only characters killed by Thanos assembling the gauntlet and snapping his fingers will come back, but characters like Heimdal and Loki, who were physically killed by Thanos and his forces are not coming back; either because whoever gets the gauntlet at the end of the story doesn’t know about them, or they don’t know how to bring some people back. Doing some research for one of my role-playing games where I actually brought MCU Thanos into the mix, I learned the Infinite gems are actually sentient and highly manipulative; only someone powerful enough or smart enough to manipulate the gems can get them to work.  That’s why the pink kree girl from Guardians Of The Galaxy couldn’t just pick the power gem up and it caused her to explode. So there’s a number of different ways it could go down. Chris Helmsworth did say that part 2 is far more shocking and amazing than part 1 in his opinion and I can’t wait.

Me: How does Marvel’s second Spiderman movie proceed, apart from what we know happens in Avengers?

Edward: That’s a very good question.  That all depends on Sony. Whether or not Sony decides to do their own Spider-man films AGAIN!  WITHOUT Marvel! Because that worked so well the last two times they tried it. It depends on whether or not they pull a Fox and sell all of their franchises to Disney.  Most importantly it depends on whether or not Sony pictures completely and utterly implodes for being a garbage film company, that makes nothing but trash! It’s bad enough that in recent years, they’ve given us a shitty, unfunny Ghostbusters remake, that your sexist if you don’t like it, the Emoji Movie, Pixels, Jack And Jill, and a million other shitty Adam Sandler movies, and tons more crap that nobody likes, but as for the Spider-man front, how about that solo Venom trailer?  Hot garbage my friend. Hot garbage. I thought Tom Hardy was done doing shitty rolls after staring in Mad Max Fury Road. Prior to that, I thought a voodoo witch doctor was putting a hex on him causing him to star as unsatisfying villains that ruin franchises. It happened with Shinzon, in Star Trek Nemesis, and it happened with Bane, in The Dark Knight Rises. I can see that after a long hiatus, Papa Shango from the WWE is back at work, ruining Tom’s career. I don’t understand Sony or Warner Bros. obsession with solo villain outings that don’t even include the hero the villain is supposed to fight.  FYI, that character Tom is playing is nothing like the Venom from the comics. I don’t know who this doofus is, but he’s not Eddie Brock. And Venom never used his symbiote to shoot out tentacles to do wacky stuff while he was on a motorcycle. And I don’t know anybody who’s wants that garbage movie. There were more people excited for Solo, than Venom. In fact there are plenty of people, many of which who are dissatisfied with Star Wars that were still excited about the Obi-Wan stand alone movie and are pissed off that that and all other Star Wars spin offs have been placed on hold. But nobody is talking about Venom.  I think Spider-man will come back to life in Infinity War Part 2, if either Sony sells back Spider-man (or all their properties like Fox) back to Marvel, or at least agree to work with Marvel to make a sequel, and maybe some in-universe spin-offs. If not then the reason he was killed off in Infinity War Part 1 was to end Spider-man’s story prematurely to give the character a dramatic send off and allow Sony to keep hitting their head against the wall like a bunch of retards trying to hump a doorknob with their own crappy Spider-man films. But if all goes well, Homecoming 2 will probably focus on Spider-man being resurrected at the end of Infinity War Part 2,and then having to deal with the Sinister Six; with Vulture and Mac Gargan, the future Scorpion, pulling the team together.  That way Sony can finally get their Sinister Six boner and actually have it be good, instead of a dumb villain standalone film like they were trying to do.

Me: Who do you see dying in the second part of Infinity Wars?

Edward: Thor is going to die heroically.  Probably going to get turned into glass and shattered.  Iron Man is going to die tragically. Probably going to get his head ripped off by a female doppelganger of Thanos.  Black Widow, Hawkeye, Rocket, and Okoye will probably be defeated, but not killed. They are but insects to Thanos, and hardly worth swatting aside.  Captain America is going to die heroically, making a defiant stand against Thanos and with all of his comrades dead and defeated, he’s just going to march up to Thanos, stare him down, and say “As long as one man stands against you, you can’t possibly win!”  To which Thanos will reply, “Surely you jest.” Then when Adam Warlock and possibly Rocket Raccoon and maybe the Silver Surfer make their move to get the gauntlet, while Thanos is distracted, Thanos will figure out what’s going on and turn his attention to them while casually backhanding Captain America and snapping his neck.  In the end, Adam Warlock and the Hulk will live. Adam Warlock we haven’t even seen yet. He’s just been alluded to at the end of Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume 2. But it will be Adam who carries out both his and the dead Dr. Strange’s plan, that ultimately defeats Thanos. He also will confront Thanos on a personal level that disarms Thanos to his very core, possibly changing his mind about what he’s doing and confront his own demons instead of being one.  But to do this, the Hulk will physically be the one to stop Thanos. Banner watching his friends die, will either, through the pain of loss Goku/Gohan style or sheer will, finally bring the Hulk back out, as either the Savage Hulk or the Smart Hulk, also known as the Professor. Using those personas, Hulk will physically hand Thanos his ass. But if Thanos is to be killed, or if there is no other hope of stopping him, Nebula will save the day. She will either kill Thanos, or strip him of the gauntlet, defeating him and his ambition.  She might just kill him and finish her journey as a hero or she might seize this new found power and become a new threat the heroes have to stop and maybe even side with Thanos to bring her down. One way or the other, I think she will use the gems to heal her body physically and completely, so she can cast aside her cybernetic implants and probably give herself a rocking head of black hair.

-Walter Tyrone Howard-

 

 

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