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The Gifted – S01E03 – eXodus

Man, this show is just killing it next to The Inhumans. I think a lot of it is that everyone gets to use their powers. The Inhumans have what, guy who can’t talk, bald chick with magic hair, guy who calculates with a concussion, and guy who stomps. The little opening bit of this week’s The Gifted between Polaris and Eclipse was just so great.

The opening was this little flashback moment between these two, talking about when they first discovered they were mutants. Eclipse was talking about how he doesn’t like having to hide and his powers and Polaris talks about how she loves it. She also shows off how she can fly due to her magnetism ability and steel toed boots. She really subtley shows just how much she is like another Magnet powered mutant that any X-men fan should know. They also have this little moment where they accidentally create a mini Aurora, due to the interaction of her magnetism and his light. It’s cute, it really shows off the characters and their relationship and it worked really well as a scene.

We get a glimpse of the Redhead’s (Dreamer) power. Thunderbird wants to train Blink on how to use her powers with little luck and Dreamer suggests she could implant some memories that could help her focus better.

The Struckers sneak off to meet with a layer friend of Kate’s. She wants to try to fight back using legal means, but the Mutant Underground doesn’t want anything to do with it, too risky because they will probably just get betrayed. The MU wants to storm the jail and free Polaris and Reed.

Meanwhile, Reed is being set up by Sentinel Services to “escape” and get back into the Mutant Underground. He meets up with the bartender from before when he met with Eclipse as a way into the MU. He seems to be having some second thoughts when Agent Turner mentions treating the Underground like any terrorist organization. These second thoughts are amplified when he meets a mother and child also taking a trip tot he Underground with the Bartender. It culminates with him confessing to wearing a tracker and leaping out of the moving van.

Meanwhile, Polaris tests her limits by tearing the door off of her jail cell, despite the shock collar she is wearing to suppress her powers. It kind of feels like maybe she should find a way to rip the collar itself off.

The neighborhood discovers the Struckers are hiding out with Kate’s friend (apparently a brother or brother in law) and they come to storm the house and take the kids. Thunderbird and Aurora help them escape in a truck with the locals in pursuit. Dreamer, against Thunderbird’s wishes, implants memories in Blink to encourage her to be able to use her powers to help the others escape. Specifically a memory that was once Dreamer and Thunderbird, not Blink instead. Basically, telling Blink she and Thunderbird are lovers, so she can focus on saving him.

I have to say, this show is really shaping up to be pretty good. I think a lot has to do with the special effects, something a super hero show really needs. Even Agents of SHIELD sometimes feels like it could do a bit more with the super powers at times, take Ghost Rider for example, he was cool, but he showed up hardly at all and for very short periods of time when he did. Granted, this show has nothing to that level yet and I get that the effects are “expensive” especially for TV, but it’s really a necessary evil when dealing with super powers.

The Inhumans – S01E04 – Make Way for… Medusa

I have to admit, The Inhumans is stating to drag a bit. Ok, I’ve felt the same about other shows and they got better in the end, but this show just sort of feels like it’s not really going anywhere.

Medusa is supremely driven to reunite with Black Bolt, for… reasons, at this point I can only assume maybe he can somehow restore her hair. Karnak seems content to just sort of hang out with these guys growing pot in the forest. Not a lot is really moving along between Gorgon and Auran.

I think part of what’s feels off is the inconsistency with the “fish out of water” element. The characters are all either completely baffled or completed familiar with various Earth concepts. There isn’t really any in between. Medusa doesn’t understand why the cops are chasing her and Louise for speeding through a red light but seems to totally follow how the cops traced them down via Louise’s credit card and can master working through Louise’s computer. That sort of disconnect.

Most of this episode follows Medusa as she and Louise, an astronomer or something who detected the Inhumans coming to Earth, evade the police while trying to find Black Bolt. Kind of makes sense with the episode title being Make Way for Medusa.

The other key development involved Black Bolt, Dr. Declan (the rich guy) does some tests on his DNA and finds some interesting anomalies (probably because Black Bolt is more purely Inhuman than the regular Earth Inhumans). He decides this may be some sort of key to figuring out why Inhumans change and unlocking this within humans. He then calls up Maximus to let him know what he has found.

Yeah, apparently the Mysterious Rich Dude was working for Maximus all along. Only Declan doesn’t seem to be in on the coup plot, he is just some sort of I dunno what. Maybe Maximus contacted him at some point int he past when Inhumans started awakening on Earth, I don’t know. Maximus wants Declan to kill Black Bolt except the Doctor refuses due to his findings. Maximus starts second guessing the need to kill Black Bolt as well, seeing an opportunity to give himself abilities and stop being human.

Oh and he finally kills the Genetic council. Well except for this one dude. They speak some about some past incidents they had together, it’s all kind of ominous while also being annoyingly vague.

Crystal teams up with the guy who ran into her and Lockjaw at the end of the episode. They pick up a local vet to take care of Lockjaw. Karnak has a few moments with the girl working at the Pot Plantation who is apparently really into him. It seems really convenient that all of the Inhumans have fallen in with random strangers who are willing to just give everything and are all super friendly. Like, beyond casual “oh I need to help this person in need”, we’re talking almost love at first sight level friendly. They also all seem really accepting of the awkwardness all of the Inhumans have around Earth culture. The show does acknowledge that the Earth Inhumans are fairly common knowledge, so being accepting of abilities is fine, but having special powers doesn’t explain a complete lack of knowledge on basic customs.

The show wraps up when Black Bolt and his fat Hawaiian Inhuman friend realize they are essentially just in a different sort of prison with Dr. Declan. They decide to make a run for it only to be confronted by Auran and Mortis. There is a brief confrontation before Medusa and Louise come driving in through the group. Mortis accidentally explodes a propane tank taking down Auran’s crew. Medusa and Black Bolt reunite and leave along with Louise, but not before stuffing one of the less injured members of Auran’s crew in the trunk (the chick who can control plants I think).

Oddly enough, they left his Inhuman buddy from jail behind. Considering everything that guy’s been doing for him, it kind of feels like a jack ass move by Black Bolt. Especially considering they watch Mortis recovering as they drive off and Auran is pretty much known to regenerate from death.

This all kind of goes back to that issue I mentioned early about inconsistency. Maybe I’m just reading too into it, but the whole thing just sort of feels off in some way.

The Gifted – S01E02 – rX

The second episode of Fox’s The Gifted picks up right where the last left off.  Our band of mutants has just returned to base via Blink’s portal and Reed Strucker is being interrogated by Sentinel Services.  Polaris is still in prison.

There is a brief flashback moment of the Struckers in the past bowling, a mutant girl is being taunted by some other kids and accidentally released a blast of wind on the bullies.  Reed suggests that the girl has committed a serious crime and that the girl and her father should leave.  It’s kind of a nice little moment to show how Reed, despite his job at the time being kind of anti-mutant, he still cares.  I also kind of wonder how long until they reveal that he already knew about his kids carrying the X-gene, or even that he himself is some kind of mutant.

The base crew is mostly tasked with stabilizing Blink, who, after over exerting herself during last episode’s escape, us kind of out of hit, having some kind of seizures and creating random portals.  Kate Strucker and Eclipse head to a hospital to try to get the medication hey need.  There is a pretty nice throw back moment where they use the bullet wound Eclipse received in the first episode as an excuse to get into the ER.  It seems there are also mutant friendly hospitals, since the doctor doesn’t have a problem with Eclipse and his glowing light blood.

Meanwhile Polaris tries to befriend a mutant who looks like a girl version of Caliban from the movies.  She also get attacked by some other inmates and thrown in solitary.  Why is it in TV and movies the person being attacked ends up being the one thrown in solitary confinement?

Blink continues to have issues with her powers, she keeps opening a portal to the same point which is increasingly being filled with cops and SWAT.  Lauren Strucker is able to use her force fields to close the portals each time but it becomes more and more difficult.  Eventually she is unable to stop the portals, Andy steps in and sends a psychic pulse to stop the cops but he also knocks Blink in the process which causes complete chaos and portals all over.  Kate and Eclipse return during the chaos and are able to administer the medication to stop Blink from destroying the place.

The interrogation efforts of Reed Strucker don’t really go very well for Sentinel Services.  They don’t really have anything major to charge him with and Strucker makes it clear he just wants his family safe.  He is also offered a deal, to save his family in exchange for the Mutant Underground, though we don’t get to hear the outcome of the deal.

Things close up with some scientists looking into some historical news involving Mutant siblings and having interest in the Strucker children.  Some sort of vague set up for a future plot.

Overall not a bad episode, though there isn’t a super clear direction yet on where things are headed int he long term.

On one last note, at one point there is mention of the Mutant Liberation Front.  This isn’t super notable at this point other than the Mutant Liberation Front is to X-Force as The Brotherhood of Mutants is to the X-men, so to speak.  X-Force isn’t a thing yet int he X-men Movieverse yet, but Deadpool 2 is going to feature Cable and Domino, who, along with Deadpool, are all members of X-Force.   Chances are, there will be something there, eventually, though possibly as some future stand alone X-Force film.

The Inhumans – S01E03 – Divide and Conquer

After a bit of a real life out of town trip, I’m a little behind on a few things, but I’m still here for an Inhumans Write up on Episode 3.

So, just a random side note, somewhere between the first couple of episodes sand this third episode, everyone figured out how to use their wrist band comm links without pulling them off and talking into them.  Something that seemed kind of weird in the first few episodes.  Also apparently Hawaii is full of secret criminals.  The guys Gorgon palled up with int he first episode are all pretty well armed and Karnak stumbles upon a group of edgy land squatters growing a bunch of pot in the forest.

Auran, Maximus’ enforcer continues her hunt for the group on Earth, starting with Gorgon.  Maxumis sends her a few reinforcements including a mysterious Inhuman named Mortis who wears a mask has glowey eyes and generally comes off as extra sinister.  They track Grogon into and obvious trap, and after a short fight Mortis steps in and reveals his power, some sort of Cyclop-esque blast from his eyes/face.  Gorgon freaks out and flees with his newfound friends.

Meanwhile, Medusa gets a change of clothes after practicing her breaking and entering skills, during the process she find a news paper with Black Bolt on the front page, giving her some much needed direction on where to search.  It’s too bad that a kingdom with fancy wrist communicators doesn’t have a text messaging system in place for it’s mute King to use.  Maybe this mess could have all been avoided.  Instead Black Bolt gets to sit around in prison.  he is befriended by another prisoner, who is operating under the order of another mysterious person who seems to be pretty well off.  The guards are angry at Black Bolt’s assault of police officers previously, and are doing their best to encourage the other inmates to harass him.  Unfortunately their plan doesn’t work out as the prisoners are all pretty happy about the cops getting beat up.  The guards instead antagonize Black Bolt directly, which results in a prison riot.  during the ensuing chaos, Black Bolt escapes with the help of his new friend, who reveals that he too is an Inhuman by melting a door.  They both escape in a helicopter with the mysterious rich guy just as Medusa arrives to watch them fly off.

Up in the kingdom of Attilan, Maximus basically orders Crystal to give a speech supporting him as king.  She blows him off, pretty expectedly, and she disables the guards before running off to make an off world exit along with Lockjaw.  Man, Lockjaw is terrible at his one job.  He just sort of teleports people to the general vicinity of where he needs to go.

So, you can kind of get an idea of where things are going, maybe.  The Royal Family spends some time on Earth and hopefully become better rulers as a result.  Maximus wants to be the voice of the people, but he’s kind of going about things in a very jackass sort of manner.  Some of the brief flashbacks we see suggest that Black Bolt didn’t really want to be king, meanwhile Maximus, who’s Inhuman power is apparently being Human, really wants to be king.  This story sounds kind of familiar, I’m not quite sure where from, I see something about a Thunder God and his Trixster brother, but I can’t quite place it.

Speaking of Thor actually, a lot of Thor takes queues from Norse Mythology.  Thor, Loki, Asguard, etc.  I know it’s based on the comics, but you can really tell there was, at some point, some sort of kooky generational change in the Inhumans story.  While Inhumans is more freshly in the spotlight of Marvel, it’s an older comic.  But you get names like Medusa, Maximus, Gorgon, Triton etc, that all clearly are listed from Greek mythology, but then you get names like Black Bolt, Crystal, and Lockjaw, that are all just sort of, goofy hero names.  Black Bolt’s name doesn’t even have anything to do with his power.  I suppose maybe the other good Greek names were taken (Heracles, Colossus, Cyclops, etc).  i don’t know, but I feel like there was an original Unhumans story that had all of these Greek names, then later they added new characters with these other names.

I’m still enjoying the show, but I can see where a lot of the complaints people have come from.  Almost none of the characters are likeable heroes, or relate-able in any real way.  All of the Royal Family is blindly loyal to Black Bolt who, if Maximus is to be believed is kind of a tyrant, though he seems likable enough.  He kind of keeps beating up cops and prison guards but he also is kind of out of his element a bit.  It’s not super clear what Maximus’ end game is if any one of these characters make it back to Attilan, he’s not really a match versus any of them, even with his guards.  Now that Lockjaw is back in play it shouldn’t take long for them to make a return either.

 

The Gifted – S01E01

The FX show Legion was Fox’s first foray with the TV world with it’s X-men franchise.  There was rumors for a bit of a show called Hellfire that would be set in the 60s or 70s or something and center around the Hellfire Club, seen in X-men First Class.  Something like that, whatever it was, that show never came to fruition.  Legion had a short but pretty good run, though being on FX it was allowed a lot more liberty with it’s plot than a show on broadcast network television.  The Gifted lands on Fox, in prime time.  It centers on the lives of a bunch of lesser known mutants in a time without the X-men.  They call themselves the Mutant Underground.

So touching a bit on continuity and the X-men.  The movies have never been super coherent with their connections, and there’s the whole split timeline thing which complicates everything further.  The X-men and the Brotherhood of Mutants are both mentioned, but both are mentioned as being gone, disappeared.  There is mention about a time in the past where mutants were fighting each other, these days they all seem to just be living underground in hiding.  The film Logan made mention of one possible explanation for why the X-men have vanished, though it’s never really stated in the show, it’s not super important, I suppose but it helps explain them away.

Instead we get a bunch of random other mutants, some more famous than others, but none particularly notable in any real meaningful way.  The show starts off with the Mutant Underground rescuing Blink from some police.  Blink, is the only character that’s been in any of the movies (in any notable way), she was in the future sequences of Days of Future’s Past.  She makes little portals.  She is rescued by Thunderbird, a strong Native American mutant who seems to also posses some enhanced sight and hearing for tracking people.  Way to play up stereotypes there I suppose.  With that power set he sort of gets to fill the Wolverine role I suppose, without all the metal claws and angst.    There is a new Mutant for the show named Eclipse, he has the power to control light.  Finally in this initial batch is Polaris.

Polaris is probably the most notable character from the show.  Some possible mild spoilers here, think, spoilers like David’s parent in Legion level spoilers.  in the comics, Polaris is one of Magneto’s three children, the other two being Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.  Her powers seem to manifest on the show with electrical control, but she essentially has the same basic power set as her father.  Now, will this ever come up on the show?  Maybe, vaguely, probably not.  Legion gave only the briefest of nods to David’s father very late in the game, literally so fast you could blink and miss it.

Polaris is taken captive during the rescue of Blink by the police.

The other half of this show centers on the Strucker family.  The father is the leader of a group who tracks down and captures mutants, meanwhile his son discovers he has mutant powers, which prompts his daughter to reveal she also has abilities, though she has been hiding it for a bit.  Her power seems to be creating little force fields, his power isn’t quite known, he has no real control over it and it seems to just cause the world around him to go crazy, so it’s probably some kind of telekinesis.

There is some vague theory going around that these two are a re-imagining of Fenris, a pair of mutant twins in the comics who were the children of Baron Von Strucker who is the leader of Hydra.  There’s a few issues with this theory, though they could be a very heavy re-imagining.  Firstly, Marvel, by which I mean, the MCU, pretty much owns Hydra.  I’m kind of surprised that the show was even allowed to use the name Strucker, but I suppose you probably can’t trademark a name like that.  In Age of Ultron, the slot of Strucker’s twin “miracles” was basically given to Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.  They weren’t Strucker’s kids, but they are twins, and had been experimented on by Hydra.  Also, for what it’s worth, Mr Strucker here really really doesn’t seem like he’s secretly leading a decades old secret Nazi Cult hell bent on controlling the world.

After being exposed the Strucker family seeks out The Mutant underground for help, they meed up but are ambushed by Sentinel Services.  You might remember Sentinels also from Days of Future’s Past.  In the movie they were giant humanoid robots, and their creation was central tot he plot of that film.  It seems in this timeline, though they aren’t using giant robots, they are still in service hunting Mutants only now they use smaller drone sized robots of various types.  After some tense running, everyone except the father, Reed Strucker, escape through a portal created by Blink.

So, any good?  Yeah, it was pretty good.  The special effects were well done, the characters were all pretty decent.  The basic run and hide plot is a little overdone but that can be forgiven, not everything needs to be ground breaking.  I look forward to next week.

 

The Inhumans – S01E01&02 – Ramsay Snow is at it Again Edition

Despite that it seems the critics don’t care for it, I’ve been looking forward to The Inhumans premier for a while.  I’m not an expert on the subject, but from what I’ve looked into, there are essentially two kind of Inhumans in the Marvel Universe.  Well, they are all the same thing but sort of two factions.  There’s the descendants of Inhumans who were once on Earth, they turn unexpectedly when exposed to Terrigin.  In the comic this happened when a mist enveloped the world, in Agents of SHIELD this happened when the Earth’s water supply got contaminated.    In the MCU, these are Inhumans from Agents, Quake, Yo-yo, Hellfire, etc.

There’s also the descendants of the Inumans who fled earth years ago, living on the moon.  The Inhumans show deals with these Inhumans, specifically, the Inhumans Royal Family.  Black Bolt and Medusa are the King and Queen, Maximus, is the King’s brother, Crystal, Medusa’s sister and her giant canine companion Lockjaw and cousins Gorgon, Karnak and Triton (who is mentioned but doesn’t really show up in the first two episodes).

Something of note, this series is only 8 episodes long, it’s essentially a mini series.  I have no idea if there will be any additional episodes or seasons, probably no one does.

The first episode works as sort of a set up for the various characters, you get a bit of a feel for how they interact and what their abilities are.  There is talk of the Inhumans who are starting to show up on Earth due to the water contamination, which is great.  I was worried a bit they may end up isolating this story off from the larger MCU and from Agents of SHIELD which has involved Inhumans in the larger plot for several seasons now.  I doubt it becomes a full on crossover, but I could see them doing some little nod at the end of the series with a cameo.  On the other hand, the Agents of SHIELD cast seems to be stranded in space somewhere as a set up for the next season, so you know, that’s a convenient excuse to stop Coulson and Daisy from showing up to say hello.

The episode wraps up by pushing out the core plot, the King’s brother Black  Bolt, played by Iwan Rheon, best known for his portrayal of Ramsay Snow/Bolton in Game of Thrones.  He’s shown to be “the voice of the people” who are unhappy with the strict caste system of the Inhumans society.  He also apparently doesn’t have any powers or abilities, and comments are made that he is only human.  I guess it’s sort of the a Squib of the Inhumans world.  At least they didn’t make him the castle janitor.  Being brother to the king in a society of powered people, even when you don’t have powers, has gotta be pretty nice.  Apparently not though, since he’s not happy and stages a coup.

I’d hate to say type cast, but Maximus feels very Ramsay Snow.  Not quite as crazy as Ramsay but the actor definitely seems to have found his niche as the fake sincerity, weak but manipulative bad guy.  He does a pretty good job of coming off as sinister while not being an obvious threat.  It’s not clear in this show how he managed to get the guards to side with his cause, I guess they all prefer to protect the masses than the royals.  Fortunately for the Royal Family, Crystal is quick thinking and uses Lockjaw, the giant bulldog with teleportation abilities to get everyone safely to Earth, specifically, to Hawaii.  Well, everyone except for herself.

The second Episode follows up with Maximus working to solidify his position and dispatching his agent Auran to take out the various members of the Royal Family.

It also takes the chance to explore more of the abilities and personalities of each of the members.

Gorgon, a strong fighter with horse hooves for feet was originally dispatched to locate Triton in the first episode.  He befriends some surfers on the beach where he is stranded.  Karnak ends up lost in a forest.  His ability isn’t super clear.  During the coup he is shown being killed after fighting some guards, only to seemingly do some sort of recalculating time rewind to return to life.  Later he is shown in the forest trying to calculate the best route out of the forest.  It seems like his power isn’t rewinding time but calculating and predicting.  The previous fight never really happened, he simply played it out in his mind and realized that the plan wasn’t the right path so he chose a different plan where he emerged victorious.  Apparently getting knocked on the head puts his calculations out of whack though, as he ends up walking in circles in the forest.

Medusa and Black Bolt get most of the action here.  Medusa’s ability is her hair, which is very long and can be used like tentacles.  Well, it was, until Maximus shaves is all off.  Once in Earth she starts doing her best to reunite with Black Bolt, though she is the first to be hunted by Auran.  Even without her hair she is a formidable opponent and manages to ambush and kill Auran.  I kind of wonder if her hair grows back at an accelerated rate.  Her entire ability rests on her hair, it seems like kind of a shame if she goes the entire series without it.  Side note, we also learn Auran’s power, she wakes up from her death and regenerates herself back to life.  Her death certainly seemed anti climactic after how much she was pushed up as being this bad ass tough enforcer.

Definitely the most entertaining path is Black Bolt.  Black Bolt’s power, is his voice.  His voice is so powerful that even a small utterance unleashes a massive wave of energy, so he doesn’t talk, at all.  It’s shown in a flashback that Black Bolt accidentally killed his parents with his voice at a young age, which is part of where Maximus’ resentment comes from.  He also seems to have the least understanding of how the human world around him works, which isn’t helped by his inability to speak.  He wanders around a bit before going into a store for a change of clothes, where he promptly walks out wearing said clothes prompting the police to be called on him for shoplifting.   During his arrest he accidentally lets out an “umpf” which obliterates one of the police cars.  He eventually cooperates with the police and they take him in to the station.  Frustrated by his lack of speaking, he finally gestures to them to lock him up.  They book him and put him in a jail cell.  I guess he figures he could get out any time and he’s probably safest in the jail cell.

Overall, I found it enjoyable.  Some of the motivations could have been a little better fleshed out but how much does stuff really need to be spelled out in black and white.  It’s essentially a story we’ve seen before.  Honestly the real angle here is more that Maximus, at least insofar, is kind of in the right.  His methods could be a little less brutal, what with trying to kill his family and murdering a member of the genetic council, but leading a revolt of the downtrodden worker against the elites is kind of a noble cause.  Maybe his ambitious run a little too deep and he is deceiving the people.  Maybe Black Bolt and Medusa will see that they need to lighten up a little bit and allow a bit more freedom for the workers.  We’ll have to see how things play out over the rest of the series.

Review – Movie – The Incredible Hulk (2008)

Spoiler Free Thoughts and Review

The Incredible Hulk seems to be a really hard hero to get right for movies.  He’s had a few of them and even a live action TV series in the 80s.  The Incredible Hulk is sort of the redheaded stepchild of the MCU.  It came out just after Iron Man.  It’s technically sort of part of the MCU, but no one really remembers or cares that it’s part of the MCU.  Part of this confusion is the change in actors from the movie and his next appearance in The Avengers.  They traded out Edward Norton for Mark Ruffalo.  This particular movie also exists in a weird space since it’s technically a sequel to the 2003 Ang Lee film simply called Hulk.  The rumors and stories I’ve read are that Norton was kind of a bear to work with on the whole thing and had a hand in altering a lot of the script until it was much less of a sequel and more of a reboot.  It doesn’t really directly contradict Ang Lee’s Hulk, but it doesn’t reference it either.  This is also part of why they dropped Norton for Ruffalo.

A lot of the problem with Hulk is that the exciting part, IE the big green monster, is boring and hard from a story perspective.  He’s not really a hero, he doesn’t really go around saving people really, he just gets mad and rages, and hopefully he’s raging against someone more evil than he is.  The part that works for the story, Bruce Banner, is kind of boring from a movie perspective.  It’s not super easy to depict “inner turmoil” on screen, which is part of what makes the Hulk and Banner who they are.

This film also is treated by the greater MCU the same way it treats it’s Ang Lee predecessor.  It’s not really acknowledge, it’s not really rejected.  It does seem to be kind of a goto reference for the TV MCU though.  Ironic since the TV MCU is also ignored by the movies.  Daredevil and Iron Fist make references to the final battle in Harlem, Agents of SHIELD makes references to Emil Blonsky a few times.

It’s an alright film, but I kind of prefer the Ang Lee vision of Hulk and frankly, I don’t really like Edward Norton as Banner.

Synopsis and Spoilers

The plot starts off with Banner working and hiding in Mexico, working at a soda bottling plant.  He’s communicating with Samuel Sterns, a scientist in the states, anonymously working to find a cure for his Hulkness.  During an accident, he accidentally cuts himself and some of his blood lands in one of the sodas which ends up giving Gamma Poisoning to poor Stan Lee.  This leads the military to Banner’s location.  They recruit special forces agent Emil Blonsky to head in and capture Banner.  After some Fitbit advertisements where Banner’s heart rate keeps increasing during his escape from the military, he finally Hulks out and battles it out with the soldiers before making his escape.

Jealous of the Hulk’s power, Blonsky gets injected with some experimental super soldier serum to help beef himself up and help him go up against the unstoppable force that is The Hulk.  Banner returns to the states to meet up with his old girlfriend Betty Ross, daughter of General Ross, who is leading the military charge against him.  Bruce wants to recover the data from the original experiment that transformed him into The Hulk to better help Dr. Sterns  find a cure.  Unfortunately for Banner, the Military has been alerted to his presence.  Hulk rears his raging face again and makes short work of the military forces, including Blonsky, despite his newfound strength.  Hulk flees with Betty after The Hulk “kills” Blonsky.

Bruce and Betty finally meet up with Samuel Sterns, who was able to formulate a cure, but possibly a faulty cure.  They administer the cure to Banner and afterwards General Ross, Blonsky and the military show up yet again and take Banner into custody.  After Ross heads out with Banner, Blonsky forces Dr. Stern to inject him with Banner’s blood.  The super soldier serum and the Hulk blood have a negative interaction and Blonsky is transformed into the classic Hulk nemesis, Abomination, who starts rampaging through Harlem.  General Ross agrees to let Banner go because the Hulk is the only one who can stop The Abomination.  After the two brutes trash out the city, prompting Wilson Fisk to leverage his power to rebuild things in his vision for control (no wait, wrong show), The Abomination is defeated and things come to a close.

Banner is later shown to be living in seclusion again and Tony Stark shows up to talk to General Ross in vague terms about the Avengers.

How it’s Connected

Aside from Robert Downy Jr’s cameo at the end, there’s not a whole lot else that comes up later.  There aren’t any references to The Absorbing Man in the first movie, there aren’t any Infinity Stones or much SHIELD even.  The events that take place in Harlem are mentioned in the Netflix Defenders shows some, primarily because those shows mostly take place in and around Harlem.  Though I find it kind of odd that the major event everyone talks about is Hulk and not, you know, the literal alien invasion and Avengers.  The Super Soldier serum theme is here, that of course relates to Captain America, Agent Carter, and a few bits in Agents of SHIELD.

Thoughts on What’s Next

There hasn’t been a straight followup for The Hulk, he shows up again in the later Avengers films and the upcoming Thor Ragnarok, but nothing new in terms of a solo film.  There is/was clearly some plan though, during the scene when Samuel Sterns turns Blonsky into the Abomination, he too gets infected by the Hulk Blood and his head starts mutating.  In the comics, Samuel Sterns is a smart dude with a big head villain named Leader.  Someone was pushing for this angle, though at this point it’s clearly gone nowhere.

Final Notes

The Incredible Hulk is an ok though pretty forgettable part of the greater MCU.  It’s not an awful movie, it just sort of, is.  Hulk is just sort of a hard guy to really do justice in film.

What’s I’m Looking Forward to in Marvel TV

As Agents of SHIELD winds down with an uncertain future, there’s still quite a bit to look forward to in the world of Marvel TV.  I worry it may end up being too much.

The Inhumans (ABC)

Instead of giving us the cancelled SHIELD spin off in Most Wanted, it seems ABC has opted to give us The Inhumans.  The Inhumans has been in a bit of production hell for a while now.  Originally it was going to come out as a movie, before Infinity War, back when Infinity war was just one movie, I think.  That hasn’t been the case for a while.  At one point it was going to happen as a movie in something crazy like 2020 (back in 2015-16 this seemed WAY out) which kind of felt like there was no way Marvel could keep up the momentum that long.  SHIELD started featuring Inhuman characters in it’s plots a while ago as well.  The Inhumans has finally found a place, as a TV series, on ABC.

Probably confusing things a bit, The Inhumans show has pretty much nothing to do with SHIELD’s Inhumans.  Quake and Yo-yo probably won’t even get a cameo, though maybe they will get a vague mention.  The Inhumans follows what is known as The Inhumans Royal Family, Black Bolt, Medusa, Karnak, Gorgon, Triton, Crystal, Lockjaw, and Maximus the Mad.  These guys are all sort of the top dogs of The Inhuman world, where characters like Yo-yo and Quake, who were “born” later from Terrigin, are basically nobody scrubs.  Something along those lines.  I feel like even with the lack of references between everything, The Inhumans would have to at least acknowledge what’s been happening in SHIELD on some level.

I am somewhat disappointed Vin Diesel won’t get to be Black Bolt though.  He’s stated Black Bolt is one of his favorite characters and he kind of looks like Black Bolt.  Vin Diesel already does the voice of Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy, but Black Bolt never speaks, his voice is so powerful it destroys things when he speaks.  It would work out really well to double dip on Vin Diesel in the MCU.

Runaways (Hulu)

I’m kind of stoked for Runaways, because it is a fun and different sort of story in the Marvel world.  The short of it, all of these kids discover they have super powers, just after discovering their parents are part of a secret group of Super villains known as The Pride.  So they runaway, and vow to stop their parents.  It’s fantastical powers, on a pretty localized level.  There was a teaser video shown somewhere that suggest this is going to be fairly faithful to the comics, at least initially.  The characters and outfits all look pretty much as you would expect them to look.  Molly looks like she might be a bit older.

Speaking of Molly, I believe this is part of the MCU proper, not a spin off or an X-men Universe show like Legion.  Molly in the comics however is a mutant, which is a no-no for the MCU since Fox owns Mutants.  They could fo course change this, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are also mutants, but they just sort of glossed over that in Age of Ultron.  There was a loop hole giving the MCU those two since Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are closely associated with The Avengers, I’m sure something similar gives them rights to Molly, though they still can’t use The M word.  Maybe she’ll be reconned as Inhuman, maybe they will just avoid the issue completely and she will simply, manifest powers, somewhat at random.

The main issue I have with this show is that it’s on Hulu, which I don’t subscribe to.  I guess there is always a One Month trial or something.

Cloak and Dagger (Freeform)

Cloak and Dagger is another one that looks pretty interesting.  I admit, I’m not super sure on the details behind these two, though I do know they had a brief cameo in The Runaways comic, early on, which could easily lead to a brief crossover early on in these shows.  Basically, they have a weird sort of symbiotic relationship using themey light and dark abilities.  Cloak wears a large cloak that acts as a portal to other places and Dagger manifests light shards, or something.

The trailer looks pretty interesting at least.

 

 

The New Warriors

Marvel’s New Warriors is the latest announcement is the Marvel TV world.  I’m actually a bit worried about this one.  I like the line up, but I worry it will be a little too samey to Runaways in it’s presentation.  It also has Squirrel Girl, whos is fun in a meme sort of way but I’m not so sure in an actual manifestation sort of way.  It’s also a bit too bad this show didn’t debute a few years ago since The New Warriors were the catalyst for The Civil War in the comic iteration.  They were effectively a bunch of fuck ups who somehow landed a reality show gig fighting bad guys, who were all nobody level bad guys.  Until they decided to up the ante and attack some actual super powered villains.  During the ensuing fight, one of the bad guys blew up in a massive explosion which wiped out several members of the team and a lot of a small town, including a school full of children.  This spurred on the legislation to track and register super powered individuals, at least in the comics.

I’m looking forward to getting Debrii in the MCU though, I liked her character and powers in the comics.

The Defenders (Netflix)

Then of course, there’s the culmination of The Defenders on Netflix. We finally get the culmination of Matt Murdock, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Danny Rand in The Defenders.  It looks pretty fun, and it’ll be interesting to see how they handle things following up.  Maybe we’ll get Heroes for Hire as a followup.  Considering how much people seem to dislike the Iron Fist series, chaining him to Luke Cage might be a good way to keep him around without continuing iron Fist as a series.