What Frank Castle’s Military Past Could Mean For Phase Two Of The Marvel Netflix Universe

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While fans do not know the exact date Marvel’s The Punisher will air on Netflix — my guess is October 13, 2017 — all are excited to watch Jon Bernthal return as the title character. The show will officially kick off ‘Phase Two’ of the Marvel Netflix Universe. We know the show will follow Frank Castle a.k.a. The Punisher as he exacts revenge — punishment— on those responsible for the death of his wife and children. We also know that the show will delve into Frank Castle’s past, him enlisting in the United States Marine Corps, his military service in the Middle East, and his time with the elite Marine Corps Force Recon unit under the command of Colonel Ray Schoonover. The flashbacks to Frank’s past may help launch the Netflix shows into the greater MCU and provide a more cohesive thread between the Netflix shows and the theatrical films.

If you have not watched Season 2 of Daredevil or The Defenders on Netflix then stop here: there will be some SPOILERS ahead for things that happened during those series.

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Now for those who have watched Daredevil and The Defenders, you know that Frank Castle was released by Wilson Fisk from prison to massacre all the other criminal empires in New York City. Fisk did this so that when he is eventually released, he will become the new ‘Kingpin of Crime’. Frank did not make any appearances in The Defenders and was last seen at the end of Season 2, Episode 12 of Daredevil in search of a mysterious ally from Frank’s past called “Micro” after retrieving a CD with his name on it.

David Lieberman a.k.a. Micro is the first link to the greater MCU. Aside from being mentioned in Daredevil, the character is also mentioned in Season 2, Episode 7 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Maybe members of S.H.I.E.L.D./HYDRA took part in framing Castle along with the CIA, FBI, and DHS. Hopefully, we get a couple mentions of Sharon Carter and Everett K. Ross – as they are both CIA operatives.

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Shifting back to Frank Castle’s past, we know that he took part in many combat operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Another major player in the MCU was present for a time during War in Afghanistan. By now we all know how Tony Stark escaped his captivity with the Ten Rings and was found by a search and rescue unit led by Colonel James Rhodes. There’s a good chance that Frank Castle’s unit was there for the Jericho missile presentation or a part of the search and rescue mission. With his military background, I wouldn’t doubt it.

Frank Castle

We still do not know if The Punisher is set before, after, or during the events of The Defenders. Frank’s absence during The Defenders allows for all settings to be possible. We do know that the show will include returning characters Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll), Turk Barrett (Rob Morgan), and Detective Brett Mahoney (Royce Johnson). Hopefully, they all make it out of this first season alive as it would be a shame to lose them as soon as ‘Phase Two’ starts. Lastly, it would be nice if there is mention of the other Netflix heroes or some new ones we have yet to see. Other Marvel shows taking place in ‘Phase Two’ include Daredevil Season 3, Jessica Jones Season 2, Luke Cage Season 2 and Iron Fist Season 2.

The Punisher premieres globally █████ 2017, only on Netflix.

Are you excited for Marvel’s The Punisher on Netflix? Leave your comments below!

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‘The Defenders’ Season One Review

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Since 2015, we have been waiting to see the culmination of Marvel’s Netflix Series that started with Daredevil. The Defenders brings together the Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist series in a crossover event with decent success. Serving mainly as a follow-up to Iron Fist, the first season of the crossover series was short in length, but I thought that was a good thing. It would be harder to drag a series like this out over 13 episodes. To start with the positives, I enjoyed the way the camera filters changed between the characters. We get the reds for Matt Murdock/Daredevil, the yellows for Luke Cage, the blues for Jessica Jones, and the greens for Danny Rand/Iron Fist. This also extends to the secondary characters from their respective shows and the clothing that they all wear. There was one scene that we thought would focus on Jessica Jones, but everything around her was red. Then we see Daredevil show up to help her out. This was a cue to let the audience know that she was not going to be the focus of the scene. The show also does a great job integrating the main and supporting characters from the other shows into this one. The first meeting of Danny and Luke is hilarious, but one must wonder why it took Danny so long to activate his Iron Fist ability. The other introductions are more fluid, and it made sense how they would bump into each other. The character growth was good and noticeable. Each of the important characters have learned from their past experiences, but some things that still haunt them. Becoming a team helps them going forward, similar to how forming the Avengers helped Tony Stark/Iron Man. The acting was great, overall, and I was surprised by how well done the fight choreography was. Especially, from Finn Jones, since this was lacking in Iron Fist. Now, to move on to the negatives, the show has a few issues. Only Daredevil has a legit costume. At this point in all I mentioned that the shorter season was a good choice. However, I do wish the episodes were longer. An additional 20 minutes each would have been great. This would have allowed for them to get through the set up quicker and get into the action. In addition, the fact that they don’t mention the greater Marvel universe is a mistake, a mistake that has plagued all the Marvel Netflix series from the beginning. The Defenders has the least mentions of any of the other shows before it. There is one mention of the “incident” but nothing else. It is unclear how much time has passed since Avengers. People are shocked to hear about superheroes in a world where aliens attacked New York and an army of robots destroyed Sokovia! My point is that they either need to state that this is an elseworlds universe or start making more firm connections with a better sense of timeline in reference to the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe. Finding out more about The Hand was great. Seeing all the leaders unveiled and learning their backstory was interesting. However, overall, this was a lackluster group of villains for this show. I was very skeptical when Sigourney Weaver was cast as the main villain for the show because I didn’t think she would bring the right amount of evil to the role of Alexandra. Unfortunately, I was right. We see Elektra in the trailers and her parts in the show are fantastic. Élodie Yung brings back the same conflict and viciousness Elektra had in season two of Daredevil. She should have been the main focus of the show, and The Hand should have been left in the background. I give The Defenders season one a Good 4/5. They left many questions open for future exploration. I hope things are better by the time the studio makes season two.

4 Reasons Why Thanos Is A Terrible Villain For The Avengers

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We all know Thanos is gearing up to take out the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War film, but should we be that excited to see him? Thanos has been set up as the “Big Bad” since the end of the first Avengers film. Since then he has only appeared twice in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He had a small part in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 and appeared in a post credits scene of Avengers: Age of Ultron. In my opinion, Thanos has proven himself to be a terrible villain for the MCU, and I can list four reasons why. Beware: there will be SPOILERS for the MCU listed below.

4. He Gave Away The Mind Stone

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After Loki disappeared at the end of Thor we see him appear as the main villain in the The Avengers. In between the two films he came into contact with Thanos who provided him with a powerful scepter capable of controlling and opening people’s minds. Loki was sent to Earth to take over the planet and retrieve the Tesseract for his new master. Of course, he fails and is imprisoned back on Asgard. We later find out in Avengers: Age of Ultron that the scepter housed the Mind Stone. This would mean that Thanos gave an Infinity Stone to someone he barely knew so that he could retrieve another Infinity Stone, the Space Stone. This makes no sense because if Thanos is as powerful as we have been led to believe, then he should have retrieved the stone himself. Even if he felt that task was beneath him, why not send a member of his Black Order to retrieve it? Surely, he trusts them more than he trusts Loki.

3. He Did Not Go After The Power Stone Himself

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Here is another example of Thanos sending someone else to do his dirty work for him. In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1, we find out that Thanos made a deal with Ronan the Accuser for the Power Stone. If Ronan retrieves the Power Stone for Thanos, then Thanos will destroy Xandar for Ronan. Star-Lord ends up finding the stone first, leading into the plot of the film. Two things are wrong with this situation. Once again, why doesn’t Thanos go retrieve the stone himself, or send a member of his Black Order? As a matter of fact, two members of his Black Order, Gamora and Nebula, were loaned to Ronan as additional muscle. Ignoring this fact, Ronan actually sent his ally, Korath, along with some Sakaarans, to retrieve the stone. If I were performing a task for the intergalactic tyrant, then I would make sure to handle it personally, lest I face the consequences of failure. Yet, as we learn later in the film, Thanos is all bark and no bite.

2. He Already Lost Two Members Of His Black Order

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During Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1, we learn from Nebula that she and Gamora have other adopted siblings. As we recently found out, the Black Order is made up of Thanos’ forcibly-adopted children. This would mean that Nebula and Gamora are also members of this group. They have both shown great fighting ability and tremendous strength in the two Guardians films and are truly forces to be reckoned with. We do not yet know their strength compared to their other siblings, nor if their siblings have the same hatred for Thanos as they do. That being said, these sisters have since rebelled against their father and they plan to kill him. Gamora joined the Guardians of the Galaxy, and Nebula is off doing her own thing. Why would Thanos even allow his children to leave his employ? Why hasn’t he hunted them down and punished them, or at least sent his other children to perform the task for him? It’s evident that Nebula and Gamora both still fear Thanos and know that taking him out is no easy task. Still, you would think they would want to get as far away as possible, if he is as bad as they say.

1. His Infinity Gauntlet May Be A Fake

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After Avengers: Age of Ultron we know that Thanos will now be taking a more active role in gathering the Infinity Stones. He dawns an Infinity Gauntlet and states, “Fine — I’ll do it myself”. This is weird because we previously saw an Infinity gauntlet in Odin’s vault in Thor. Kevin Feige himself has admitted that there are two Infinity Gauntlets in the MCU when speaking with Cinema Blend.

“There are two different gloves…That was not Odin’s vault that you see at the end.”

Why would there need to be two Infinity Gantlets when there are only six Infinity Stones? Either there are six additional infinity stones that we don’t know about, or one of them is a forgery. In the comics, the Infinity Gauntlet is normally right handed. The more regal looking gauntlet we see in Odin’s treasure vault is right handed, and the more basic gauntlet that Thanos wields is left handed. If we follow the comics, this leads me to believe that Thanos has the fake gauntlet and will not be able to use the true power of the Infinity Stones in Avengers: Infinity War. I was luckily able to see the San Diego Comic-Con Avengers: Infinity War trailer and know what Thanos is bringing to the table. However, we do also have the fourth untitled Avengers film to look forward to, so maybe Thanos bites the dust early, or he is like Mandarin in Iron Man 3, and he is just a puppet.

Avengers: Infinity War is due to hit theaters on May 4, 2018.

What are your thoughts on Thanos’ involvement in the MCU? Leave your comments below.

 

‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Review

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Hey, guys, I’m back! I know it’s been a while and I’m sorry. I got caught up in the corporate life and forgot about my true passion, critiquing movies. With that out-of-the-way its time to review Spider-Man: Homecoming. I was so lucky to get into this advanced screening and it was definitely worth it. Sony and Marvel managed to do the unthinkable. Of all six theatrically released Spider-Man movies this is by far the best! Yes, it actually dethroned Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 in my book, but only slightly. I was on the edge of making that decision until the final scene of the movie. Tom Holland returns playing Peter Parker so well. He personifies the teen angst that comes with being a high school superhero. He wants to be an Avenger so bad that he pretty much starts neglecting his obligations at school. Besides detention, this neglect barely affects him due to his genius. I mean we never see this guy do homework at all in the movie. The other students in the movie are given the perfect amount of screen time to give us insight into their characters. With the standouts being Ned (Jacob Batalon) and Michelle (Zendaya). I’m sure we’ll see a lot more from these characters moving forward. Speaking of standout characters Michael Keaton more than delivers as Adrian Toomes/Vulture. I enjoy the character as he was in the comics, but the changes made to him so that he fits into the MCU are perfect. His Vulture suit undeniably puts Falcon’s bird costume to shame. From start to finish he hits all the marks as a villain. You understand what he’s doing and why he’s doing it. He’s not your mustache-twirling villain from days old. He’s smart, funny, hardworking and values family above all. In the category of dethroning this movie puts out a great villain possibly above the caliber of Loki, the Winter Soldier, and the Red Skull. This movie does a great job at building on what the MCU has already established all while keeping it on a small-scale similar to what they are doing on Netflix. There are way too many Easter eggs to count and I probably didn’t even catch them all. The only negatives I can think of is the fact that they keep glossing over how Peter got his powers and what happened to Uncle Ben. I’m nitpicking, but they can say what happened so that people who don’t know his origins understand. I’m not saying they have to show us how it all happened, but a decent explanation would help. Also for those who were worried that this is Iron Man 4, don’t. Tony Stark gets about as much screen time as Peter Parker did in Captain America: Civil War. Speaking of Captain America make sure that you stay until the very end of the credits. I give Spider-Man: Homecoming an Excellent 9.5/10 because teamwork makes the dream work!

‘Iron Man 3’ Review

 

All I’m saying is Marvel better not pull another stunt like they did with Edward Norton and Terrance Howard! We need more RDJ in our MCU because Iron Man 3 was great. Now I’m not saying I want to see an Iron Man 4 or beyond because I’m a trilogy type of guy and I’ve had my fill of Iron Man solo films. Still, we need to see RDJ back as Tony Stark in The Avengers 2 and possible cameos in other future MCU films. Now to get back to the point, Iron Man 3 was possibly the best Iron Man movie I have seen yet. Was it a better movie than The Avengers? No, sadly it was not. Did it have a better story than The Avengers? Yes, the story was way better! I feel Shane Black did a great job in taking over the dynasty that Jon Favreau left behind. It was filled with action, comedy, and suspense. All are necessary for a great comic book film. I thought the story was the strongest of any MCU film I’ve seen to date. It completes it full circle by taking us back to a convention that Stark attended in 1999. Now for us true fans we remember this convention being mentioned by Yinsen in Iron Man and it was nice seeing him again during the New Year’s Eve scene. It is this very sequence of events that thrust Tony into the events of this film. This film mostly revolves around the Extremis super-soldier serum and not robo-suits, which is great. The thing I liked most about this film was the characters. We see RDJ once again playing the fun-loving Stark very well, although this time he’s not as loose and crazy. He’s more sheltered, afraid, and off-kilter. After seeing aliens attack earth he’s not been the same. Another one of my favorites is Sir Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin. His interpretation is far different from what we know from the comics and I praise the direction they decided to go with him. The trailers barely touched on who this guy really is, and that was a smart choice by the studio. Now my favorite character from this film was Aldrich Killian, played by Guy Pearce. His role Is far from the cameo that he told us it was. Seeing his character change from a gimpy nerd into a badass villain was spectacular. Sadly our boy Rhodes and our girl Potts are given smaller roles this time around, buts it still works. The one character who I thought should have gotten more screen time was Maya Hansen, played by Rebecca Hall. I felt like we needed to hear her speak more and learn more about her. For the second smartest person in the film, you think she would have had more to say. The film was only missing one thing, the “it” factor. I don’t know what “it” is, but this film didn’t have it. That overwhelming feeling you get knowing you’ve seen a masterpiece was missing. It is for that reason that I have to give Iron Man 3 an Excellent 9/10! Hopefully Banner can find out what the story was missing ha-ha.