Top 10: Villains for Fantastic Four (2023)

Top 10: Villains for Fantastic Four (2023) by Jerry Whitworth

Teased at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 and formally announced at Disney’s 2020 Investor Day, the Fantastic Four are coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Likely emerging in 2023, Jon Watts of the MCU Spider-Man films is set to direct the upcoming motion picture. Fans have speculated the groundwork for the movie will be set-up everywhere from the upcoming Spider-Man film to the WandaVision series on Disney+ (both projects allegedly tied to 2022’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness) to 2022’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania to Secret Invasion on Disney+ (likely dropping in 2022). However way by which Marvel’s first family makes the transition, the first question in the audience’s mind is what threat the team will face in their movie. Given the presence of the Kree and Skrull in the MCU already, odds are they’ll be employed elsewhere. With the abject failure of the Inhumans, that project and its characters may never be heard of again in the MCU. As the theatrical rights status of Sub-Mariner remains unknown, Atlantis could likely be overlooked as well. Thus, lets look at what villains could show up in the upcoming Fantastic Four movie.

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From Page to Screen: Armor Wars

From Page to Screen: Armor Wars by Jerry Whitworth

Announced during the 2020 Disney’s Investor Day, War Machine James Rhodes (portrayed by Don Cheadle) will get to spotlight his own Disney+ series in Armor Wars. Described as featuring ‘Tony Stark’s technology falling into the wrong hands,’ the plot is not dissimilar from that of the first two Iron Man films. Therein, Stark’s business partner stole his technology and donned the Iron Monger suit in the 2008 movie while the son of his father’s partner used arc reactor technology to build a drone army for the 2010 sequel. Arguably, 2013’s third entry in the brand’s series could fall into this category when the Iron Patriot armor was stolen but that was to further a revenge plot rather than replicate Stark’s technology. 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home also featured Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio acquire Stark’s orbital weapons platform from the titular hero. Lets take a look at what an Armor Wars series could entail.

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Top 10: Mutant Teams for the MCU

Top 10: Mutant Teams for the MCU by Jerry Whitworth

Following the Fox acquisition by Disney, Marvel Studios gained the film rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four. When Kevin Feige, Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer, teased the fifth phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he mentioned the addition of ‘mutants’ rather than the X-Men. Perhaps this statement is something as simple as accounting for the Deadpool franchise as a separate entity. Or, this could mean a broader plan for the slate of characters from the brand beyond simply X-Men movies. Lets take a look at some of the teams that could form the foundation of new brands in the Marvel Cinematic Universe beyond the X-Men.

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Top 10: X-Men for the MCU

Top 10: X-Men for the MCU by  Jerry Whitworth

With the acquisition of Fox by Disney, the X-Men and Fantastic Four have returned to Marvel Studios. Likely emerging in the fifth phase, it’s unknown how the properties are going to be worked into the pre-existing continuity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe though speculation has the upcoming WandaVision on Disney+ being its point of entry. Given the depth of the X-Men brand, it’s possible an Avengers approach maybe taken where individual characters could be given films before uniting in a team movie. With this in mind, while founders like Professor X, Cyclops, Beast, Angel, Iceman, and Marvel Girl will undoubtedly emerge in the brand and likely in the inevitable team movie, lets take a look at what individual characters could have their own films. Also, it should be considered Deadpool, Cable, and X-Force are likely to continue in their own bubble for the foreseeable future and younger brands like New Mutants, Generation X, and X-Statix would be fertile ground for Disney+ content.

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Who is Spider-Woman?

Who is Spider-Woman? by Jerry Whitworth

In August, it was announced Olivia Wilde (Booksmart) has signed with Sony to direct a Marvel film set in the Spider-Man universe with a female lead. Joining their Spider-Man, Venom, and emerging Morbius brands (with the likes of Madame Web, Spider-Gwen, Silver Sable, Black Cat, Kraven the Hunter, Sinister Six, Silk, Nightwatch, and Jackpot in various degrees of development), the mystery project is speculated to feature original Spider-Woman Jessica Drew. Created to ensure Marvel had the rights to the name Spider-Woman (something they did again a few years later with She-Hulk for the Hulk) supposedly from hearing about Filmation’s development of what became a Web Woman animated series, the character is in a unique position among the alleged 900 properties Sony has licensed from Marvel. While Sony have the film rights for the Spider-Woman name and costume, Marvel retained the rights for the character’s backstory. Meaning, if done independently, Sony could produce a Spider-Woman superhero film with an entirely new backstory as Marvel could effectively produce a Jessica Drew project so long as she doesn’t don the iconic red and yellow costume or use the name ‘Spider-Woman.’ The situation is not unlike how both Fox and Marvel had their own versions of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch for their respective X-Men and Avengers brands. However, with the new working relationship between Marvel and Sony over Spider-Man, it’s believed part of this arrangement means a co-produced Spider-Woman film. This begs the surprisingly complicated question of who is Jessica Drew?

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Young Justice: Phantoms

Young Justice: Phantoms by Jerry Whitworth

Announced at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, Young Justice was renewed for a fourth season. With the majority of scripts completed and the show well into production, the season’s subtitle in Phantoms was announced during the second day of DC Fandome. Few details have been released about the season save that it would focus more closely on the show’s founding cast. Speculation has begun on what the season could entail with the latest nugget of news. With the tease of the Legion of Super-Heroes in the final moments of the previous season Outsiders, some have suggested Phantoms could allude to Legionnaire Phantom Girl. However, it’s challenging to fathom what role Phantom Girl could play to warrant the entire season being based around her. It makes about as much sense as focusing around the Freedom Fighters’ Phantom Lady. Instead, it may make more sense to consider the Phantom Stranger.

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Anime: A Brief Guide

Anime: A Brief Guide by Jerry Whitworth

A year ago, Netflix released a documentary entitled Enter the Anime (2019) which purported to define anime and its origins. However, in practice, it was a glorified advertisement for the streaming service’s available Japanese animated series. Recently reminded of the film and the frustration from its lack of educational content, inspiration arose to try and, albeit briefly, discuss anime’s origins and history. Japan’s line from its remarkable and prolific breadth of animation is drawn primarily from one source before blooming into a vast forest (the current landscape dominated by the genre of isekai). Referred to as the God of Anime, Osamu Tezuka was born in Osaka Prefecture in 1928, mere years before Japan’s invasion of the Asian mainland that lead to its alliance with Germany and Italy as part of the Axis faction during World War II. Born into an affluent, educated, liberal family, Tezuka became enamored at a young age with French cinema and American animation, characters like Mickey Mouse, Popeye, Betty Boop, and Felix the Cat a great influence on him. Whereas manga had existed for years prior to Tezuka’s life (the Toba scrolls dating back to the 12th century), the creator blended cinematic impressionism with the expressive nature of American animation to produce a new form of art that became the standard for both manga and anime.

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Superman: Man of Tomorrow, a Review

I was talking with some friends last night, and the topic of Superman: Man of Tomorrow came up. I had been pretty excited about this one coming out, but with all the media I consume, I had lost track of the release schedule. The good news is that it came out yesterday, and my friends that had seen it thought it was sort of a “meh, it’s okay” kind of movie. Meh? For something that makes all the promises this one does? I mean, dude, have you seen the trailer?

Man of Tomorrow, at least on the surface feels like something incredibly interesting. A story that gives the Man of Steel a fresh modern coat of paint, around a more modern looking Metrolis backdrop. The look and feel of it is intentionally very now. Sort of. But this world of Superman and Metropolis does diverge from ours in some pretty big ways, and some of them are distracting.

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Top 10: Stargirl Season Two Characters

Top 10: Stargirl Season Two Characters by Jerry Whitworth

With the recent finale for the first season of Stargirl, the stage has been set for the second season exclusively on the CW with teases for * * * S P O I L E R S * * * the Shade, Eclipso, and the Seven Soldiers of Victory. The two-part “Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E.” seeing Dragon King, Icicle, and Brainwave seemingly dead, Solomon Grundy missing, Sportsmaster and Tigress defeated, and the Gambler in the wind, we’re undoubtedly getting new foes, new heroes, and likely a new direction. With this in mind, lets take a look at what characters could be on the horizon when the show returns.

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Make It So: DC – The Manga Universe 3

Make It So: DC – The Manga Universe 3 by Jerry Whitworth and Matt Eldridge

Over the past seven years, Jerry Whitworth and Matt Eldridge have offered their interpretations of manga versions of the DC Universe. In their first installment, they tackled Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, and Cyborg drawing inspiration from the likes of Dragon Ball, Kamen Rider, Urusei Yatsura, Super Sentai, Durarara!!, and Battle Angel Alita. In 2017, they produced a follow-up with Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Shazam, Green Arrow, Hellblazer, and Mr. Terrific as Marine Boy, Dr. Slump, Saint Seiya, Umineko When They Cry, and Black Butler offered jumping off points to mash-up. This time, another six brands will be re-interpreted in the Atom, Firestorm, Black Lightning, Suicide Squad, Plastic Man, and the Justice League.

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Top 10: Young Avengers for the MCU

Top 10: Young Avengers for the MCU by Jerry Whitworth

As the entertainment world is largely on hold in the wake of the global pandemic, fans are left to speculate about the future of their fandom. In terms of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, phase four with its delayed debut of Black Widow and The Eternals left in the lurch looks to be slowly coming together as The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and WandaVision appear to be on track to emerge on time taking the films’ place jump starting the new slate of content. It’s speculated that this coming phase will focus on key as yet blatantly identified fields in the multiverse, Thunderbolts, and Young Avengers. In terms of the latter, some groundwork has already been laid with Harley Keener (Ty Simpkins), Spider-Man (Tom Holland), Shuri (Letitia Wright), Cassie Lang (Emma Fuhrmann), and Morgan Stark (Katherine Langford) in the films as the coming Disney+ television series appear to be bringing Speed and Wiccan (WandaVision), Kate Bishop (Hawkeye), and Ms. Marvel into the mix. Lets take a look at some likely options to fill out the Young Avengers when they inevitably make their Marvel Cinematic Universe debut.

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Top 10: The Next Generation of Young Justice

Top 10: The Next Generation of Young Justice by Jerry Whitworth

At last year’s San Diego Comic-Con, it was announced Young Justice had been renewed for a fourth season. Since then, little news has come out what this new season could entail. Here at NerdfectStrangers.com, we’ve speculated what season four could be about from story teases to likely characters to appear. A theme within the series since its start is legacy as Justice League members both raised young partners and had children of their own, the likes of Prince Artur of Atlantis, Dawn and Don Allen, Anissa and Jennifer Pierce, Traya Sutton, Jon Kent, and Damian Wayne have appeared thus far. Only time will tell if characters such as Helena Wayne, Lyta Trevor, Martin Jordan, Koryak, K’hym and T’ania J’onzz, Connor Hawke, Robert Queen, Cynthia Lance, Hector Hall, Joseph Mason, Luke O’Brian, Tefé Holland, or Maxine Baker will emerge. Not to be outdone, Team members early on started having their own kids in Lian Nguyen-Harper, Amistad Ervin, and Rhea Duncan putting in appearances. As the show returns, odds are good the Team will continue to grow as families as their Justice League counterparts so lets take a look at some of the Team’s children we could see crop up.

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To the People in my Life

I Said Some Things

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Top 10: New Guardians of the Galaxy

Top 10: New Guardians of the Galaxy by Jerry Whitworth

Recently, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 director James Gunn reaffirmed the upcoming film would likely be his last for the franchise as its lineup will also likely be retired. Initially, the intergalactic anti-hero group featured Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Bradley Cooper voicing Rocket, Dave Bautista as Drax, and Vin Diesel voicing Groot, but its roster grew to include Karen Gillan as Nebula, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Michael Rooker as Yondu, and Chris Hemsworth as Thor. Little is known about the plot of the third film in the franchise (as the group is set to appear in the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder first) save that Gunn revealed the origin of Rocket will play heavily in the film’s story. This follows a theme that the second film focused on Star-Lord’s origins, 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War on Gamora, and Gunn has expressed a desire to do a spin-off movie with Drax and Mantis that likely would explore the Kylosian’s origins. Keeping in mind plot threads left involving the reformation of the original Ravagers (based on the original Guardians of the Galaxy in the comics), the creation of Adam by the Sovereign to seek vengeance against the Guardians, and the search for Gamora in the wake of the events of 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, some semblance of what the third film could entail begins to emerge. Lets take a look at some of the characters that could form the new version of the team in the wake of the end of its film trilogy.

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Make It So: Disney+ Lady Sif

Make It So: Disney+ Lady Sif by Jerry Whitworth

As the world continues to shelter in place due to the global pandemic, entertainment has continued to be the primary escape from the harsh reality of the present situation. Streaming services such as Disney+ have had some of the greatest impact in this regard even as that same pandemic has delayed projects in development at the provider. As such, the two mystery series being produced as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the service remains yet known by the public. Recent rumors have one of these projects to be Agents of S.W.O.R.D. which allegedly will continue the adventures of Quake/Daisy Johnson (portrayed by Chloe Bennet) where NerdfectStrangers.com has speculated on Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Invaders, and Ironheart. Another viable candidate for one of the mystery series could be Lady Sif.

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