New Featurette & Poster Offer More Details on Shang-Chi’s Backstory

Marvel Studios released an all-new featurette titled “Destiny” for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. In the two-minute clip, producer Kevin Feige, stars Simu Liu and Awkwafina, and director Destin Daniel Cretton talk about Shang-Chi’s backstory and his connection to the Ten Rings and the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole.

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Marvel Celebrates Miles Morales’ 10th Anniversary with Variant Covers

Like most folk, I’m not too keen on reminders of my ever-increasing age. But this one, well, it’s not too bad of a milestone reminder.

Miles Morales, Marvel’s best Spider-Man, debuted nearly 10 years ago! You read that right, it’s been almost a decade since Miles inherited the Spidey title from Peter Parker and immediately one upped the kid from Queens.

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‘The Irishman’ vs ‘Iron Man’: Both Great American Cinema

As it turns out, Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman and Marvel Studios’ Iron Man are two great works of American cinema, if “great” is used in the sense of high significance, somewhere between “representative of their respective genres” and “super-sized with extra bacon, please.” Spoilers for The Irishman to follow:

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Hard NOC Life: We’re in the ‘Endgame’ Now

After it demolished box office records around the globe, we finally talk about Avengers: Endgame! Though the film has been out for more than a week, you should be aware that the discussion will be filled with spoilers throughout.

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‘Avengers: Endgame’ is an Emotional Journey of the Past 10 Years

The epic conclusion to last year’s Avengers: Infinity War is finally here. Everything that you thought was going to happen in Endgame –throw that out. This film is nothing like you expected at all. Which does not mean that it is not good. It is actually really good and will have you going through many different emotions –good and bad.

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Infinity Rain: An Avengers / Prince Mash-Up, Annotated

Note: I made this with the intent to commemorate the third anniversary of Prince’s passing on April 21, 2016. Just so happens, Avengers: Endgame premieres this week on April 25 (if you’re reading this blog you probably have heard about that). The premise was to re-contextualize last year’s rather lengthy Avengers: Infinity War, set to all the songs on 1984’s Purple Rain, in the order they appear on that definitive work of pop music. The thinking was, in terms of emotional/dramatic arcs, Purple Rain the album is more coherent and composed than Infinity War (I wouldn’t make the same claim if we were talking about Purple Rain the film, but in this case we aren’t).

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The Avengers Assemble for the ‘Endgame’

“We’re in the endgame now.” The ominous words of Doctor Strange rang in everyone’s ears almost  one year ago today. After months of crazy anticipation, and intense speculation by fans, we’re finally going to get closure and see what those words truly mean.

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What Worked (and Didn’t) in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

by Benjamin To

I finally understand now why this machine took ten years to assemble. This film is pure spectacle in every best sense of the word. Once the first second starts rolling, it’s all pedal to the metal for 149 minutes.

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Robert Downey Jr. Confirms Return for ‘Avengers 4’

During the Avengers: Infinity War press conference today, Robert Downey Jr. was asked regarding the fate of his beloved character, Tony Stark, aka Iron Man. The #InfinityWar press conference pic.twitter.com/XRTV7Ss0sK — The Nerds of Color (@TheNerdsofColor) April 22, 2018 Downey … Continue reading Robert Downey Jr. Confirms Return for ‘Avengers 4’

How Diverse is the Marvel Cinematic Universe? The Movies: Phase One

The Doctor Strange controversy — combined with the push to cast an Asian American actor as the title character Danny Rand aka Iron Fist —  has been buzzing for the last couple months. With the release of the first official trailer for Doctor Strange, Marvel’s next would-be blockbuster movie after Captain America: Civil War, the controversy has reached an all time high. So much so that a Marvel spokesperson gave this statement to Mashable regarding the casting of Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One in Doctor Strange:

Marvel has a very strong record of diversity in its casting of films and regularly departs from stereotypes and source material to bring its MCU to life. The Ancient One is a title that is not exclusively held by any one character, but rather a moniker passed down through time, and in this particular film the embodiment is Celtic. We are very proud to have the enormously talented Tilda Swinton portray this unique and complex character alongside our richly diverse cast.

Is this statement true though? Has Marvel Studios really pushed diversity in their movies? Have they increased the visibility of marginalized peoples in their film franchise or television properties? Has Marvel Studios subverted stereotypes? Enough to supposedly excuse recent controversies surrounding Doctor Strange and Iron Fist?

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A Non Spoiler Review of Captain America: Civil War

If the first two Captain America films are any indication, I’ve learned not to watch them with any expectations good or bad. Like most of the Marvel Phase One films, I found First Avenger to be a yawn and filler for the payoff that was the first Avengers movie. Winter Soldier blindsided me and years later I’m still trying to process how amazing that film is.

As much as I love Winter Soldier (it along with Avengers and Age of Ultron rank as my favorite Marvel flicks), and even though I knew I would finally get the Black Panther in this film, I still watched with no expectation.

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Thankful for the Captain America: Civil War Trailer

Last night on a special all-Marvel edition of Jimmy Kimmel Live (corporate synergy, yay!), stars Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. were on to hype next summer’s Captain America: Civil War. Unsurprisingly, Disney and Marvel Studios used the opportunity to unveil the hotly anticipated first trailer, and predictably, the internet lost its shit. But in a good way!

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On Body Image, Diversity, and Comics’ Outdated Standard of Beauty

Originally posted on Black Nerd Problems

ESPN made a “Body Issue” based on Marvel superheroes, and it’s glorious. But before we get to that, let’s go through some fascinating history first. The first Body Issue was published in 2009 in response to a significant decline in ESPN magazine’s revenue during the financial crisis. Not only that, because it was also a response for that pesky high-selling publication from their competitor, Sports Illustrated’s annual Swimsuit Issue. ESPN photographers took shots of athletes — some more famous, others less known — nearly or completely naked, bearing it all with a soccer ball, or a baseball bat, or the snowboard they ride on. Where the Swimsuit Issue focused on homogeneous models showcasing bikinis and pandering to the typical standard of Hollywood beauty however, the Body Issue saw an opportunity: ESPN the Magazine would focus on the diversity of the human form by centering on the athletes themselves.

And focusing on diversity proved to be an amazingly successful strategy. Who knew?

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Adam WarRock’s Donation Drive 2015

It’s that time of year again, when we ask you to show some love to one of the hardest rappers in the game, Adam WarRock — by giving him money. In return, WarRock will give you awesome shit.

So in honor of Adam quitting his day job so he could spend his time giving you free music online, you should return the favor and help him keep that music free by going here and then donating here. Then come back and check out his latest free release, “Hulkbuster.”

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Captain America: Civil War is the Avengers Sequel I Wanted in the First Place

Marvel Studios has just announced it is starting production on Captain America: Civil War, the first installment of “Phase 3” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Filming is currently commencing in Atlanta, but the production will span the globe with filming to take place in Germany, Puerto Rico, and Iceland. Since it’s also the third film in the Captain America saga — with the Russo brothers returning to direct — you would think that the film would be following up on the events of The Winter Soldier. However, the official plot synopsis and cast list make it sound more like Avengers 2.5.

This is not a complaint by the way.

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Everyone is Losing Their Minds Over The Avengers

You wouldn’t know it by all the snow and freezing temperatures outside, but summer is just around the corner. And everyone knows summer starts in May nowadays because that’s when the comic book blockbusters start bringing in the butts to fill up the stadium seating at your local multiplex. And it’s safe to say that there is no movie more hotly anticipated than Avengers: Age of Ultron. So the studio obliged by dropping this beast of a trailer on the internet today and all productivity around the country came to a screeching halt for two minutes and eighteen seconds.

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Where Does He Get Those Wonderful Hot Toys?

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. It is the holidays after all. Speaking of which, I Just happen to be abroad at the moment and just had to share some pics from a recent pilgrimage to the Hot Toys Secret Base in Hong Kong. Check out the photos after the break.

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The Marvel Studios Empire Strikes Back

About a week and a half ago, Marvel Studios (owned by Disney) and DC Entertainment (owned by Warner Brothers) got into a bit of a pissing contest. Marvel struck first by announcing Robert Downey Jr. would be bringing Iron Man to the Captain America sequel, setting up a “Civil War” story line in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and making it the highest profile superhero vs. superhero showdown of 2016 (sorry, Batman v Superman).

The next day, Warner Brothers unveiled its long-gestating slate of DC Comics-based films that was supposed to satiate fanboys’ appetites through 2020. While a lot of folks found some of the choices in Warner’s ambitious schedule confounding — including yours truly — the one area where DC had a leg up on Marvel was in the diversity of its lineup. In addition to the inclusion of solo movies for Wonder Woman (finally!) and Cyborg (huh?), you also had people of color top-lining two more films — Jason Momoa in Aquaman and Dwayne Johnson in Shazam. As groundbreaking as the Marvel Cinematic Universe is, it’s also overwhelmingly white and male. At least until today.

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Captain America vs. Iron Man vs. Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of OMG, is This Really Happening?!

That screeching sound you heard last night was the internet grinding to a halt when Variety broke the news: Robert Downey, Jr. was in final negotiations to star in Captain America 3, aka the movie that made the Justice League blink. Now you might be wondering, why is it still a Captain America movie if Robert Downey, Jr. is in it and not, say, Avengers 2.5? Well, I’m glad you asked!

If all the rumors turn out to be true, the casting of Downey essentially confirms that the popular “Civil War” storyline from the comics is coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe — a move that fans have been clamoring for ever since Stark and Cap almost came to blows in the first Avengers flick.

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So Adam WarRock Made a Song about Star-Lord

You might have noticed that there’s been an uptick in Guardians of the Galaxy coverage here at the NOC. That’s because after this weekend, the whole world will be intimately familiar with the exploits of Drax, Gamora, Groot, Rocket, and Star-Lord. And until recently, most of the movie-going audience would have reacted to those names much in the same way that Djimon Hounsou’s character does in the movie’s trailers.

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Sidekickism: Tokens of My Affection

Originally posted at BadAzz Mofo

There was that moment in 2008’s Iron Man, when Rhodey (Terrence Howard) eyeballs one of Tony Stark’s suits and says, “Next time.” Hardcore comic fans went nuts, because we knew that meant Rhodey would most likely return in a sequel, armored up as War Machine. Of course, Howard was replaced by Don Cheadle — no complaints on my part — and he did, in fact, suit up as War Machine in Iron Man 2. Cheadle donned a different suit in Iron Man 3, much to the surprise of some comic fans, and became Iron Patriot. It is difficult to convey the level of excitement I had — first, when Howard hinted at the promise of becoming a costumed superhero, and then when Cheadle made good on that promise. The only problem — at least for me — was that Cheadle never really got to be a superhero. Instead, he got to be a sidekick.

You would think that I’d have tempered my excitement when it was announced that Anthony Mackie would appear in Captain America: The Winter Soldier as Sam Wilson/Falcon, and to be honest, I did. And then the first images of Mackie in his exo-skeleton flying rig emerged. Then came the trailers. And though I did my best not to, I went nuts. Not just because the second Captain America looked to be better than the first — which it was — but because we were getting a black superhero.

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