Sunday, March 8, 2015

No Longer Posting Here.

Just a heads up: I will no longer be posting on this blog.

You can now follow my posts over on MCU Exchange, where I'll be blogging along with a few other Marvel fans.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Why AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. is Worth Your Time.

When AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. first premiered, fans had very high expectations. We were told from the beginning that it wouldn't be a superhero show, and yet, that's exactly what fans were expected. Yes, the pilot hinted at them going that route with Mike Peterson (played by J. August Richards), but after that, the show seemed to take on more of a case of the week format. Which I didn't mind, but I could understand why a lot of the fan-base did.

The numbers when the show premiered were huge, but week by week, they continued to drop. They've been steady since then, for the most part, but the show has never been able to pull back in that audience. Which is a shame, really, because after about six episodes in the first season, the show seemed to be slowly finding its footing. Was it perfect? Absolutely not. Was the payoff in the end worth it? Absolutely yes.

Here's the thing I think most people overlook about season one: Other than Coulson, every main character was written specifically for the show. They had to make us care about these characters, they had to let us get to know these characters, or else "Turn, Turn, Turn" would have never left as much of an impact as it did.

So yes, while the show wasn't perfect during season one, I'd say they did a great job of introducing these characters into the MCU (characters that are now officially a part of the comics). And while it may have taken a while to get to that point, the pay off was more than worth it, because what they are doing now in season two? I feel as though I can safely say AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. has not only become the show fans were hoping for from day one, but it has become the best comic book series currently on television.

Now, before you decide to call me crazy, hear me out for a moment:

1. The show has been the origin story of a super heroine all along: One of the best revelations to come out of season two is that, since the first episode, the show has pretty much been an origin of a superhero. Sure, a lot of fans complained about the actress playing Skye early on, and back then, I understood those complains. But both Skye and Chloe Bennet have grown since the pilot episode. This is no longer the annoying hacker tagging along with the team. She is a vital part of this series. Her story is the one we've been asking for from the beginning, and while it was a slow burn to get to where we're at now, the way it was written and executed was pretty damn great.

2. The show is no longer crippled by the movies. The THOR: THE DARK WORLD episode of AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. was bad. I say this as someone that actually loves AoS. It was really, really bad. And while I didn't hate the Lady Sif episode, it could have been written a lot better. Those episodes felt like a bone throw to the fans just to remind them that the show was a part of the MCU. But then CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER happened, and S.H.I.E.L.D. fell, and then the show seemed to really find a way to exist within the MCU while not feeling forced, if that makes any sense. (You have to give it to the showrunners, they knew what direction CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER would take the MCU and what it would do to S.H.I.E.L.D. and they had to find a way to work around leading up to "Turn, Turn, Turn" and I think they did a dang good job.)

3. The Inhumans: This also goes with the second point. The show introduced INHUMANS into the MCU. That's a pretty big deal considering the movie won't be out until 2019. (I love you, Spidey, but now I have to wait even longer for Medusa and Lockjaw and this makes me sad.) While there's only so much they can do on ABC with the budget they have, I feel as though they've done a great job with how they are showcasing the Inhumans and their powers. They look really good, honestly. And while I don't see the show introducing the Black Bolt and family on this show, we know that they do plan to bring in a decent amount of humans thorughout the second half of season two.

4. Diversity: Here's the deal, I love Marvel and the MCU, but they really do need to focus on adding more diversity. I get that. And while we're nowhere near where we should be, AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. has been pretty good about that.

5. The characters: Like I said, season one was all about making us care about these characters. Season two seems to be about turning everything on its head and character growth. Every single character on this show has shown significant growth this season, especially Fitz & Simmons. If you hated FitzSimmons (which.... seriously people?) you'll enjoy this season, because it is all about testing these characters. They are all in different stages than they were in season one. The writing has been great in season two, but the cast has really sold the story-lines. (Iain De Caestecker will rip your heart out this season.)

6. Bobbi Morse: Do I really need an explanation here? Adrianne Palicki has proven to be a great addition to the cast this year, and I'm beyond thrilled that she has become a series regular. I'm hoping we'll see her make her way to the films, but for now, I'm enjoying having Bobbi exist within the MCU on AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.

Honestly, if you're not watching AoS this season, you're not only missing out on some entertaining television, but you're also missing out on exciting storytelling within the MCU. (Seriously, the Inhumans are a part of the MCU... four years before their movie comes out. That is reason alone to be watching!)

I will also be writing one of these for AGENT CARTER. Since that show's first season is over, it'll be more of a reason as to why you need to check it out through Amazon, iTunes, etc.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

New Stills for Episode 2x12 of AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.: "Who You Really Are".

Marvel and ABC have released promo images for this upcoming Tuesday's episode of AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. titled "Who You Really Are". The images focuses on Lady Sif, who is back in her second appearance on the show, and Agents May & Skye, along with Bobbi & Mack.

Here's the synopsis for "Who You Really Are":
"Who You Really Are" - Coulson and team come to the aid of a confused Lady Sif, who has lost her memory after fighting with a mysterious warrior whose true mission will send shockwaves through S.H.I.E.L.D. Meanwhile, Bobbi and MacK continue to hide their true mission from everyone close to them, on "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," Tuesday, March 10 (9:00-10:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.

"Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." stars Clark Gregg as Director Phil Coulson, Ming-Na Wen as Agent Melinda May, Brett Dalton as Grant Ward, Chloe Bennet as Agent Skye, Iain De Caestecker as Agent Leo Fitz, Elizabeth Henstridge as Agent Jemma Simmons and Nick Blood as Lance Hunter.

Guest starring are Adrianne Palicki as Bobbi Morse, Henry Simmons as Alphonso "Mack" Mackenzie, Jaimie Alexander as Lady Sif, Eddie McClintock as Vin-Tak, Alexandra Manea as nurse, Lidia Porto as head nurse, Danny Lopes as Bruno, Ben Griesse as Tiago, Ruben Rabasa as Mr. Cardozo and Markell Andrew as officer Carvalho.

"Who You Really Are" was written by Drew Z. Greenberg and directed by Roxann Dawson.
Don't forget that "Who You Really Are" airs on March 10th on ABC at 9PM EST. Make sure to tune in!

Source: Far Far Away.

New AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Poster Featuring Lady Sif!

This Tuesday's episode will see the return of Lady Sif on AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D., so it's only fitting that the second limited edition poster revealed by Marvel & Entertainment Weekly today focuses on the character.

The poster was designed by Marcos Martin, who is a Eisner Award-winning comic book artist. This poster is pretty great. The colors are wonderful - they really pop. And while it focuses on Sif, we still have Skye front and center in the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo (which just so happens to shattered). Had I not already blown a ridiculous amount of money on last week's poster, I'd probably snatch this one too when it goes on sale tomorrow. 

Along with this great poster reveal, EW also had an interview with Exectuive Producer Jeff Bell to talk about the upcoming episode and what Lady Sif's arrival means for the characters of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
EW: I love everything about this piece. I love Marcos Martin and I love his work. Was there something in particular about his style that you felt specifically fit for this episode?
JEFF BELL: We love his covers, and we love his clean graphic quality, and he’s done a bunch of cool Batgirl stuff and some Wonder Woman stuff, and we just like the way he draws characters that way. There’s a real dynamic quality to them. I like really clean images, and for Lady Sif, it just seemed to really capture that. And then also having a concept ID behind it so it wasn’t just, “Oh, here’s a poster of a cool person,” but with S.H.I.E.L.D. crumbling, with what you see inside, and Skye centered within that, I thought that captured our story really well. Because you go, “Oh, is the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo shattering because of her sword? Or because of something else?”
We know Sif will appear on Earth after having lost her memory. Aside from the fun I know you’re going to have with this, can you talk a little bit about Sif’s reaction to Skye’s powers? Because right now, she has no idea what a superhero even acts like, right?
That’s a really good question. The other thing is that technically, Sif’s an alien. Technically. So we as S.H.I.E.L.D. have been experiencing a lot of alien weirdness towards the first half of the season. And we don’t know much about it. And suddenly, we have a person here who might be able to help, but doesn’t have any memory that’s really helpful. So there’s potential to learn things about other alien stuff, and perhaps we also presume that she doesn’t remember much…so that might be part of why this character is here now.
Also, I can’t not mention the title of this episode: “Who You Really Are.” This is obviously a nod to Sif remembering, but also, it’s a nod to Skye embracing her identity. I think the premiere was very much about the immediate aftermath of everything that happened, and now it’s how do you move forward.
I think for all of us, “who you really are” is revealed in these kind of situations. Which side are you on, how do you feel about that, who do you stand with, how do you feel about that? So very much on point with that is Lady Sif, and one of the things on point with that is Skye, but one of the things that I think is nice about that title is it also reflects on the rest of the team as well.

You can read the full interview by going to the link above. 
And make sure to tune into AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. this Tuesday at 9PM EST.

New BLACK WIDOW Pop! Figure Coming in May!

Were you disappointed when the AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON figures were announced and Black Widow wasn't included? A lot of fans - including myself - definitely were. She's a vital character in the AVENGERS (even if she doesn't have her own movie series), so it was a bit upsetting to see her absent from the Pop! line-up. Thankfully, Funko listened to the fans and officially unveiled the new Black Widow Pop! figure coming this May!

As you can see, this new Pop! figure showcases her new uniform and her batons, and it's pretty awesome.

It's set to be released in May, and I'm sure you'll be able to pre-order it on Entertainment Earth within the next couple of days. (Amazon usually takes a bit longer to add new products to their site.) 

While we're on the topic of Black Widow, Entertainment Earth is also selling Black Widow Light-Up Batons for $17.99 that are set to release sometime this month:

Avengers 2 Age of Ultron Black Widow Light-Up Batons

They are modeled after the batons she uses in the movie and you can grab them by clicking on the image above.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Interview Round-Up Post!

It's probably too early to do a round-up post for the AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON interviews as I'm sure we'll be getting more over the next two days now that movie bloggers are able to post their set interviews. But there are already a bunch of them out there (nearly all of which contain the same content, really), so I've decided to try and compile them.

Again, as most of these interviews were conducted during the same session, the content will not vary much by blog. The only thing that may vary is the wording.
I was going to do a big summary post, but honestly? There's a lot to cover in these interviews, and there are some potential spoilers that I'd rather not post here as I know there are people that want to try and go into this movie as blind as possible. (I've spoiled myself on accident enough to know how annoying it is to stumble upon spoilers.) So, instead, I'll post a few lines that I think are worth reading:

After the events of CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER, S.H.I.E.L.D. is no longer around to really give these guys orders or to back them up. Speaking on this matter, Chris Evans went on to talk about how Captain America really steps up as a leader in this movie: "“The team doesn’t have anyone to report to now,” Evans points out. “There’s no more S.H.I.E.L.D., so we’re all kind of depending upon one another. But that gives him an opportunity to take more of a leadership role, since there’s no one else giving him orders, he doesn’t have to question the chain of command or anyone’s motives, but it does mean he needs to rely on his team a lot more. It’s added a little bit more tension to the actual dynamic of the Avengers.”

One of the biggest differences between the first AVENGERS movie and this movie is the increase in the main cast. Joss Whedon spoke briefly about what it was like working on this movie with the larger cast this go round: "They’re very disparate characters. The joy of the Avengers is they really don’t belong in the same room. It’s not like the X-Men who are all tortured by the same thing and have similar costumes. These guys are just all over the place. And so it’s tough. Honestly, this is as though as anything I’ve ever done, and I haven’t worked this hard since I had three shows on the air."

And finally, Fandango breaks down seven things Chris Hemsworth told them about AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON.

Sources are all listed above!

Episode 1x01 of AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.: DOUBLE AGENT: Infiltrating the Set.

ABC has released the first episode of their mini-webseries: AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.: DOUBLE AGENT.

For those unaware of what this webseries is exactly, it's basically just to give fans a behind the scenes look at the show. It is sponsored by Lexus, and fans will have a chance to win prizes from the set of MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. by choosing where they think the Mastermind will send the Double Agent next.

It's a fun thing for fans that'll (hopefully) also help to bring back some viewers - depending on what they choose to reveal in these videos.