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.
Top 10: Gamma Characters for She-Hulk by Jerry Whitworth
When it was announced She-Hulk would be getting her own Disney+ series, fans’ thoughts immediately went to Dan Slott’s critically-acclaimed run with the character combining science fiction and legal comedy while mining Marvel’s rich history. Early reports appear to indicate the adaptation will certainly borrow from this run, but rumors also emerged the series could be a means to introduce gamma-empowered characters in lieu of a new Hulk movie. With this in mind, lets take a look at some of the characters that could make their debut.
With the return of Baron Zemo (played by Daniel Brühl) in the upcoming The Falcon and Winter Soldier and Thunderbolt Ross’ (portrayed by William Hurt) role in Black Widow (2020), rumors have swirled that the Thunderbolts are being brought into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The hero hunters who played a critical role in 2006’s Civil War Marvel comic storyline and ascended Norman Osborn from Spider-Man foe to global threat, the Thunderbolts have drawn comparisons to DC Comics’ Suicide Squad. However, both groups owe much of their genesis to the Dirty Dozen. A 1967 film based on the novel of the same name by E. M. Nathanson, The Dirty Dozen featured a star-studded ensemble cast including Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, Jim Brown, Telly Savalas, and Donald Sutherland. The film presented Project Amnesty, a secret mission during World War II where the Army’s worst prisoners (including those on death row) were trained to be commandos and take on a suicide mission where those that do their job and survive would have commuted sentences. Prior to the creation of the Thunderbolts, Marvel adapted the concept for the team Freedom Force.
Marvel Studios has become the most dominant brand at the box office and with its phase four across the years of 2020 and 2021, it looks to similarly take over streaming. While movie theaters will feature the Eternals and Shang-Chi and continue the brands of Black Widow, Dr. Strange, Spider-Man, and Thor, Disney+ is going to expand the Falcon, Winter Soldier, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Loki, and Hawkeye while introducing Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, and She-Hulk (as former Disney CEO Bob Iger let loose two other series have yet been announced). It’s also rumored the various streaming television series will introduce the Young Avengers and Thunderbolts while setting the stage for the multiverse to be the next realm the company will tackle after the Infinity Saga (perhaps even setting up an adaptation of the 2015 Secret Wars comic book crossover). Marvel Chief Creative Officer Kevin Feige went so far to even tease the Fantastic Four, Blade, and mutants in the future leading to rumors of their forming the basis of phase five (though not named by Feige, rumors persist Nova and Namor the Sub-Mariner will also be adapted). It is also known the yet announced phase five will continue to expand Black Panther, Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, and Captain Marvel (as it’s likely the next Avengers film will come along as well, with Norman Osborn rumored to be the villain). With what we already know about phase five, it begs the question what a phase six might entail.
Make It So: Disney+ The Invaders by Jerry Whitworth
Recently, NerdfectStrangers.com discussed in “Make It So: Disney+ Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD” the two mystery Marvel Studios television series yet announced for Disney+ with Nick Fury as a candidate for one of them. Noted in the article, these series will likely be used to help generate brands that will branch into the films. With this in mind, another viable candidate could be the Invaders. Created in 1969 by Roy Thomas and Sal Buscema, the Invaders were an Avengers-like team of heroes active during the second World War. The prototype for this group was the All-Winners Squad in post-WWII 1946 which featured Timely’s big three heroes (Captain America, Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner, and the Human Torch), their sidekicks (Bucky Barnes and Toro), and Miss America and the Whizzer (characters likely inspired by Wonder Woman and the Flash, respectively). The Invaders expanded on this roster greatly adding the likes of Union Jack, Blazing Skull, and the Vision. Thomas also created other teams of WWII heroes in the pages of The Invaders in the Liberty Legion which included the Patriot, Red Raven, and Thin Man and the Kid Commandos where Bucky and Toro lead a team of fellow costumed teenagers (prior to the All-Winners Squad, Bucky founded a team of young heroes called the Young Allies in 1941). However, in the time since the creation of the Invaders, a number of legacies of various characters have emerged either placing present day characters in the second World War or their predecessors. With this mind, lets see what a Invaders series for the MCU could mean.
Review – Luke Cage: Season Two by Jerry Whitworth
Last week, Netflix released the second season for Luke Cage, the third entry in the streaming service’s Defenders series that includes Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and The Punisher. Following the events of last season where Cage (Mike Colter) was drawn into conflict with Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes (Mahershala Ali) and his cousin “Black” Mariah Dillard (Alfre Woodard) only to be hunted by his crazed half-brother Willis “Diamondback” Stryker (Erik LaRay Harvey), the eponymous series’ hero must combat John “Bushmaster” McIver (Mustafa Shakir) who seeks revenge against Mariah for the crimes of her kin. The first season of the show was critically acclaimed for its exploration of challenging topics of race in America, an integrated soundtrack making the piece something of a visual album, and the remarkable performances of its cast (in particular, its actresses). Lets see if the second season matches up. Fair warning: there will be SPOILERS.
Top 10: Favorite Articles at CAC by Jerry Whitworth
Hey Stranger Rangers, I told you I’d be back and here we are. As I said in my last post, ComicArtCommunity.com and I have parted ways and over my five year career with the site, a few of my 267 articles have stood out. Previously we covered the most popular articles on CAC where now we’ll examine my favorite. The criteria for my favorite articles largely encompass one prevalent component: hard work. While I tend to invest a lot of time and energy into many of the pieces I write, some I have really needed to pore over and research. As such, many of these projects I’ve needed to care a great deal about in order to bring to completion (as I assure you, not every article I begin crosses the finish line). Of course, some of the most popular articles were also my favorite (like “Destroy All Monsters! Tokusatsu in America”) but for the sake of this list, there will be no repeats. Without further ado, my favorite articles I’ve crafted for CAC.
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