Why We Need Deadpool

It seems only fitting that after the most ambitious superhero crossover we get a Deadpool movie. The perfect contrast: a small-scale solo venture and an R-rated satire with other superhero IPs in his crosshairs including himself. It’s also the perfect antidote. Genres tend to go unchecked as studios blindingly chase where the money’s at. With Batman, Iron Man, Captain America, and now Black Panther hitting it big, this ensures more of their comic book brethren to follow, meaning more origin stories, crossovers, more tropes done to death if it means a shot at a billion dollars. Deadpool, fortunately (or unfortunately), is the superhero genre’s own system of checks and balances.  Continue reading

You Will Always Kneel – Marvel’s Best Villains

The MCU has long been criticized for having a villain problem. Warranted, but it’s slightly disingenuous to the Marvel villains that do their job. If the goal is to challenge the hero’s worldview, then the playing field is a lot bigger, and a hell of a lot badder. The first step towards solving a problem is acknowledging there is one, and Marvel has steered itself just in time. Thanos has shaped up to be the biggest and baddest Marvel villain of all, but he’s got some living up to do. Here are ten Marvel villains that have set the bar for the Mad Titan.  Continue reading

The Strength of ‘Black Panther’

That Black Panther exists is a dream come true. It’s progressive from concept to execution: our first modern black superhero, one supported by a cast of women, and contextualizes discussions of race, exclusionism, and cultural responsibility at a time of profound nationalism and political divide. One could argue that Black Panther would’ve been a success no matter what, but the fact that the film chooses to say something so pivotal about the world is what makes Black Panther Marvel’s strongest movie to date. T’Challa may need his strength taken away to prove his worth, but director Ryan Coogler and his crew flex their strengths as filmmakers to showcase the storytelling wonders of representation.  Continue reading

We Need to Talk About Justice League

There’s a pivotal moment in Justice League where a weary Bruce Wayne champions Diana to lead the team, not him. The film wants to prove otherwise (THE LEAGUE NEEDS BATMAN). Thing is, the idea isn’t half bad. Wonder Woman is a far more efficient warrior; her steadfastness not only gets the job done, it saves Batman’s life. The film wants its team and its hierarchy, the same way Warner Bros. wants an Avengers-level success (so much so they brought in Joss Whedon). But there is no need for either aside from the machine-churning mentality of the studio blockbuster and a larger, interconnected universe – the new norm in franchise filmmaking. 2017 pushed the superhero into its golden age with stellar entries in the genre, making Justice League the sole casualty of the bunch.  Continue reading

‘Logan’: A History of Violence

“There are no more guns in the valley,” Laura says in her eulogy. She and her band of mutants are no longer on the run, but their safety, much like their hopes of a future, come at a cost. The line is a reference to the 1953 Western Shane, a film that operates as key thematic influence in Logan; a film within a film. Logan itself is a film within a larger film universe (and an ever-expanding Marvel brand), which, like it’s overt film referencing, is all but impossible to ignore. Logan stands tall as an outlier, doing away with end-of-the-world plots, superhero team-ups, and allusions to future installments, servicing an even greater payoff that not only honors its comic book origins, but transcends them.  Continue reading