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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 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.

Weekly Wednesday Haul – A Fist Full of Comics Edition

Nothing physical new this week, but Amazon was having a pretty amazing sale on Marvel Digital comics, like 90% off on a LOT of books, so I binged a bit and picked up a stack of books I’ve been looking forward to reading.  I once did comics reviews, I may have to start doing it again.  Anyway…

A lot of newer stuff in there, I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge fan of the art style in a lot of older comics.  The two main drivers here were Ms. Marvel and Spider-Gwen, both series I’ve been wanting to read for a while.  I’ve started on both.  I also picked up the Kate Bishop Book because I really enjoy the Hawkeye^2 run.  The same thing can be said of Jessica Jones.  Alies was enjoyable and the Netflix series is my favorite of those shows, so it felt like a no brainer.

Spinning off a bit from Marvel, I’ve heard the Darth Vader series is pretty decent as well.  I’m always kind of wary of Star Wars Expanded Universe stuff, it tends to feel a little Fan-Fic-ish which I don’t care for.  I decided to give this one a go however, and the Doctor Aphra book I believe is related.  Whatever the case, Doctor Aphra I believe is getting a Black Series figure in an upcoming wave, and I’d like to know why.

I was a little hesitant to go for Gwenpool.  I’m not real big on Deadpool, and Gwenpool kind of feels like an even more MEME ridden version of Deadpool.  For what it’s worth I passed on Squirrel Girl for this reason, also I can’t stand the art in Squirrel Girl.

IronHeart Ironman was kind of a random gamble, I know there was some uproar over this book and it’s protagonists so I figured I’d check it out.  Mockingbird was also a random pick up.  I like what I’ve seen of the character elsewhere, so I figure I’d try out her series.

Lastly, Marvel 1602, I have almost zero idea of what this is but it sounded like a neat concept.  I generally like these sort of “re-imagined what if” style stories, probably because they tend ot be self contained while still keeping the idea and spirit of super heroes.

Weekly Wednesday Haul – Ragnarok & Roll Edition

I’ve had a real problem lately with Marvel Waves where one figure becomes impossible to find, which leads to being a bit conservative when picking up figures that I’m kind of on the fence over.  Like I’ve seen a lot of the Netflix Wave of Marvel Legends but still no Jessica Jones.  I’ll probably pass on several figures from the wave without JJ, since I wouldn’t be able to finish up Man-Thing without her.  The same happened with the Warlock wave, I am skipping Polaris and Sunfire unless I manage to find Cyclops.

The hard to find folks of the Thor Ragnarok wave seem to be Ares and to a lesser extend Hela.  I managed to find both locally as well as ordering Loki for less than retail off of Amazon.  This leaves me needing the new Thor and Odinson, both of which seem to be fairly common.  Loki has been sorely missing from my MCU line up, I never did get the original Avengers version, and he’s kind of mediocre anyway.  This Loki is a much better likeness, though his cape is a little iffy on staying in place.  Hela is interesting as well.

Ares is probably the winner of this wave though.  He’s huge and imposing and pretty bad ass.  Plus, you know, huge weapons, and a nice bonus, his helmet comes off, which I didn’t know going in.  I’m also really looking forward to completing the Gladiator Hulk BAF.

Review – Marvel Legends – Sandman Wave – Spider Gwen

In an alternate universe on another Earth, instead of Peter Parker, Spider-man, being bitten by that radioactive spider granting him super human spider powers, Peter’s classmate and sometimes girlfriend Gwen Stacy instead took the hit.  In that world was born, Spider Gwen.  It’s kind of a plot born from a What-If? idea, expanded into it’s own full comic series.  It’s a pretty good comic series too, and an interesting take on the Spider-man concept.  As a popular character, it was inevitable that there would be a Spider Gwen figure released for Marvel Legends.

Marvel Legends Spider Gwen

The basic execution here is decent.  The look and design of the character is captured well here, the swapable head and hood bits are nice.  She’s a decent alright Basic Spider Gwen.  The sculpt and paint are good, including on the Gwen Stacy head.

Marvel Legends Spider Gwen

Most of problems I have with this figure stem from my more common complains with the Marvel Legends line as a whole.  I’ve seen this body used on several other spider girls and figures, the legs always feel off on it no matter how they are positioned and the lack of double jointed elbows hurts.  I also hate the lack of hand options.  She has a fist and a thwip hand, that’s it, some relaxed hands, two fists, you know, all of the things the regular Spider-man mold gets these days, would be great.  In the comic Gwen Stacy is part of a rock band, but it’s not like she is constantly throwing out the horns.  Also, a cellphone accessory would be great.  Spider Gwen is always using her cell phone, and having it as an accessory would be a lot of fun.

Marvel Legends Spider Gwen

She does match the style of other Marvel Legends at least, she is just limited in a lot of funky ways by this mediocre base figure that she’s using, which is a shame.  If you just want a cheap Spider Gwen to go in a Spidery display, she serves that purpose, but personally, I’m considering replacing her with the recently released Revoltech, which is considerably more dynamic of a figure (at a higher price tag).

Weekly Wednesday Haul: Out of Town Deals Edition

So last weekend, I went out of town to help my brother move.  After everything was settling down we went out running around his new area a bit and one of the stops was the local Toys R Us (and Ross).  Across these stores, I picked up Marvel Legends Nuke, Sherlock Holmes, and a sweet Classic Adam West Batman with Batcave.  All on some sort of mark down or clearance.

All of these are figures I kind of wanted on some level but didn’t really want want, so finding them for less is definitely fortuitous.  Since Ross has been getting the Giant Man wave in, I’ve been picking them up in order to build Giant Man.  It turns out I needed more of them than I remembered and I can’t find the leg and arm I already had.  They will turn up, they are probably just packed for the move.

Sherlock is neat, but I forgot that he’s a smaller 5-5.5″ scale range, so he’s a little short, but he’ll work.

Batman is really neat, and as simple as it is, the BatComputer is cooler than I expected.  The cardboard wall and computer turn around to become the office entrance to the Batcave.  It’s a simple but neat effect.  Also, having an Adam West Batman will be fun for any future photos.

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.

 

Recap – Agents of HYDRA S04E17 – Slippery Soapy SHIELD Edition

So a bit of positive news, it seems Agents of SHIELD is looking more likely to be renewed.  Or at least one USA Today Article suggests it should be.  There is less to the article than I’d hoped but hey, that’s kind of a plus.  I really feel like there is room for Agents AND the new Inhumans show.  Frankly, I’m way less interested in The Inhumans show.  I’ll still watch but it just interests me less.

Anyway, I kind of wonder how long this Framework plot line is going to last.  I feel like the What If Scenario we have going on is going to drag a bit if the plan is to run for the remaining 8 episodes.  Not to mention it means no Yo-yo at all except maybe in the end when they get free and it kind of abandons the plot line with The Superior being turned into a pseudo LMD and wanting to kill Coulson.  Also it leaves the plot with Nadir cocooning up in the ocean going nowhere.

Basically, there’s too many loose ends for 8 episodes of “How do we escape The Matrix?”

On a side note before getting into spoilers, there has been a lot of pretty heavy underlying commentary these last few episodes on the state of the world.  Effectively using Hydra as a metaphor for the whole Alt-right mess.  Like how Simmons comments that “They are all Nazis” last episode and Fitz this episode uses the phrase “Make Society Great Again.”

Anyway, onto the Spoiler Section…

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