Tag Archives: Marvel Comics

Who Are The West Coast Avengers?

Who Are The West Coast Avengers? by Jerry Whitworth

With the emergence of White Vision in WandaVision and U.S. Agent in the Falcon and the Winter Soldier, speculation has arisen that the stage is being set for the West Coast Avengers. Introduced in 1984 in a miniseries of the same name, the West Coast Avengers was an extension of the Avengers lead by Hawkeye based out of Palos Verdes. Founded initially with Mockingbird, Wonder Man, Tigra, and Iron Man (James Rhodes), the group came to add Henry Pym, Moon Knight, Vision (who became White Vision around this time), Scarlet Witch, and U.S. Agent in the ensuing years (later becoming Force Works under Tony Stark). While Marvel’s characters typically sprung out of New York, in the 1970s a number of heroes started to appear in California including Werewolf by Night, Daredevil, Black Widow, Moon Knight, Black Goliath, Spider-Woman, and the Shroud as 1975 saw the formation of the Champions in Los Angeles lead by Black Widow with the Angel, Ghost Rider, Hercules, and Iceman. Lets take a look at what a West Coast Avengers could be in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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Who Are The Dark Avengers?

Who Are The Dark Avengers? by Jerry Whitworth

With the introduction of Wyatt Russell as U.S. Agent in the season finale of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, speculation has arisen that in addition to the likely introduction of the Thunderbolts in the near future, the stage may be being set for the Dark Avengers as well. Introduced as part of the Dark Reign event, the Dark Avengers was the brainchild of Norman Osborn who, in the wake of Secret Invasion, was made the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. which he transitioned into the new organization H.A.M.M.E.R. Previously the head of the Thunderbolts, Osborn saw that group become a covert ops team while the Dark Avengers were founded as an extension of the Thunderbolts for H.A.M.M.E.R. with supervillains posing as the Avengers. The original team in the comics was composed of Moonstone in the role of Ms. Marvel, Venom/formerly Scorpion as Spider-Man, Bullseye as Hawkeye, and Daken as Wolverine with Ares as a stand-in for Thor and Osborn adopting a red, white, and blue version of the Iron Man armor as Iron Patriot. Heroes the Sentry and Noh-Varr as Captain Marvel rounded out the group. U.S. Agent was added to the team a number of years after. Lets take a look at what the Marvel Cinematic Universe version could entail.

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Generation X: The Original Movie Mutants

Generation X: The Original Movie Mutants by Jerry Whitworth

In recent weeks, rumors have spread that Kevin Feige’s remark about ‘mutants’ in the Marvel Cinematic Universe at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 was meant to mean a change of branding from ‘X-Men’ to ‘mutants’ when its characters make the transition. While Marvel’s plethora of mutants began with the X-Men, in the decades since their inception, the likes of Alpha Flight, Soviet Super-Soldiers, New Mutants, Morlocks, Freedom Force, X-Factor, Excalibur, X-Terminators, X-Force, Team X, XSE: Xavier’s Security Enforcers, Six Pack, X-Ternals, Generation X, Big Hero 6, New X-Men, X-Statix, Exiles, Agency X, and the Young X-Men have sprung up from that well. Interestingly enough, Fox’s X-Men brand began with one of these later groups in Generation X.

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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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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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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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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: 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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Marvel’s Marvel Family

Marvel’s Marvel Family by Jerry Whitworth

When businessman Martin Goodman dipped his toe into comic book publication with his new company Timely, his first title was Marvel Comics in 1939. In time, Marvel became the name of the company and featured prominently within the books’ continuity itself. From Black Marvel to Blue Marvel, the loosely connected Marvel Family has largely been overshadowed by the group of the same name created by Fawcett Comics beginning with Captain Marvel in 1940. While Fawcett added the Lieutenant Marvels, Captain Marvel Jr., Mary Marvel, Uncle Marvel, Hoppy the Marvel Bunny, and Freckles Marvel, Timely largely missed the boat on capitalizing on its popular title that brought the company Namor the Sub-Mariner and the Human Torch. When National (today, DC Comics) and waning interest in superheroes killed Captain Marvel (leading DC to later buy the character and re-brand it as the Shazam Family in recent times), L. Miller & Son in the United Kingdom was forced to make their own version of the brand resulting in Marvelman, Young Marvelman, and Kid Marvelman, but more on them later. By the late ’60s, Timely had become Marvel and they picked up the lapsed name of Captain Marvel for themselves. But before that, there were two Marvels that Timely created during the time of Fawcett’s Marvel Family.

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Royal Family Values: Atlantis and Wakanda

Royal Family Values: Atlantis and Wakanda by Jerry Whitworth

As rumors circulate about the content of the sequel to 2018’s hit film Black Panther, speculation has the 2022 film bringing Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner to the Marvel Cinematic Universe after years in limbo with Universal Pictures. In the comics, the characters are no strangers to each other. In addition to both royals being Avengers, Namor came to blows with T’Challa’s grandfather Azzuri during the events of World War II, sat together on Iron Man’s clandestine Illuminati (though, T’Challa stepped away after the initial meeting), and both of their nations went to war with each other to vast mutual devastation. Lets take a look at some of the notable players and the similarity in their roles.

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Make It So: Disney+ Ironheart

Make It So: Disney+ Ironheart by Jerry Whitworth

In recent articles here at NerdfectStrangers.com, we’ve taken a look at some of the options open to Disney+ for their two remaining yet revealed upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe series (specifically, Nick Fury and the Invaders). However, given the current pandemic afflicting the world, the move to streaming services has exponentially grown so it’s likely Disney+ could be looking to expand even further to take advantage. One property with a great deal of potential is Ironheart. Created by Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Deodato in the pages of Invincible Iron Man, Riri Williams is a child prodigy attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she designed and built a crude power armor in the vein of Iron Man. Attracting the attention of Tony Stark, Williams received the hero’s blessing to follow in his footsteps as Ironheart going so far as to supply the young woman with an artificial intelligence made in his image to aid her. Becoming a big hit for Marvel, Robert Downey, Jr. (whose portrayal of Tony Stark/Iron Man started the MCU) has openly championed adapting Ironheart in the movies and it is rumored to be one of the few moves Marvel Studios could make to bring him back to the film franchise. Lets take a look at what an Ironheart series could mean for Disney+.

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What Could Have Been: Rebirth of the Incredible Hulk

What Could Have Been: Rebirth of the Incredible Hulk by Jerry Whitworth

With 1990’s The Death of the Incredible Hulk, television’s Incredible Hulk featuring Bill Bixby as Dr. David Banner and Lou Ferrigno as the Hulk was, effectively, dead. While the film’s title alludes to this as being the desired effect, the truth was that a sequel essentially starting off a new series of television films was planned immediately afterward beginning with “Revenge of the Incredible Hulk.” Therein, Dr. Banner was revived and cured of his condition only to be forced to make gamma creatures. Banner would have been forced to repeat the experiment that turned him into the Hulk but Ferrigno claimed he would have retained his scientist mind after his transformations. Sadly, the ratings for Death were so bad, the sequel was shelved. A spin-off in She-Hulk was also planned to the degree filming had begun with former Baywatch star Mitzi Kapture as Jennifer Walters and volleyball player Gabrielle Reece as her green alter ego. Bixby returned as Dr. Banner who was forced to transfuse his blood to a dying Walters to save her life while afflicting her with the same gamma condition he suffered from throughout his television run. Studio executives, however, weren’t confident in Kapture’s star power and abandoned the project (leaving Kapture to become a star instead in the series Silk Stalkings). A She-Hulk film starring Brigitte Nielsen as the titular character was later put into development only to also be dropped. In the wake of the cancellations, Bixby managed to secure Fox (who had already picked up Marvel’s Power Pack pilot dropped by NBC) to produce another television film only for the star to then sadly die from prostate cancer in 1993. But, what could have a new Hulk television film meant for the future of that brand?

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