The Illuminati Of The MCU

Hey guys, thanks for checking out my Fantastic Four casting post! I hope to be getting a new laptop in a month or so and when I do, I’m going to start a comic-themed Youtube channel with a lot of similar content, only additionally you’ll be able to my hear wonderful voice! I will also say that this post will have spoilers for Avengers: Endgame so stop reading if you haven’t seen it, but really, do see it. It’s great.

So today, yesterday me and my best friend were discussing the future of the MCU and were going through a few theories we heard, theories of our own, coming up with ideas and talking characters etc, you know how it is. So we stumbled onto the Illuminati. For those of you that don’t know, the Illuminati of Marvel Comics was originally founded after the Kree-Skrull war because Iron Man realised that if he and others with fantastic abilities, armies, intelligence and resources had worked together, they could have prevented it. So something very similar could happen in the MCU after the Invasion of Earth in Avengers: Infinity War and then the events of Avengers: Endgame which saw the death of Tony Stark, and Thor leaving Earth indefinitely. Ultimately because Tony Stark aka Iron Man is dead, it wouldn’t be him to make the decision however, a certain Stephen Strange aka Doctor Strange the Sorcerer Supreme is very much in a position to do so. He could quite easily decide that Earth needs a layer of protection that only a select few could oversee, especially in the wake of a new arrival of say Galactus or Kang. Now I will say, this isn’t a theory as such, it’s more a bit of wishful thinking for a future story-line or a few story-lines, for the Illuminati presence would surely create a number of rich subplots within existing character arcs and characters that are yet to be introduced such as the X-Men, Doctor Doom with Latveria, the Dark Avengers etc. I think the Illuminati are one of the coolest assets in Marvel Comics. They’ve done some pretty shady stuff, but they’re pretty cool.

Me and pal were chatting, and talking about which characters could potentially take a place in the MCU version of the Illuminati. Now, the Fox-Marvel characters – X-Men and Fantastic Four haven’t entered the MCU yet and we’re not likely to see the X-Men at least for around 5 years, but I bet we will see the Fantastic Four before that for they are much easier to introduce. If the Illuminati was to be formed, I reckon it would be after Mister Fantastic was on the scene. He, Doctor Strange, and T’Challa aka Black Panther could decide it is necessary to form this shadow group and that brings us onto who would take the places of the group although, like in the comics, I think Black Panther would not take a place in the group itself and I will expand on that a little later with one of my choices. So let us imagine that Doctor Strange and Mister Fantastic are definitely in the MCU Illuminati, who else could take up a place and why? The original line up was Iron Man, Namor, Mr. Fantastic, Professor X, Black Bolt and Doctor Strange. An MCU line up would be different I’m sure. So without further ado, let’s go into who I would like to see in the MCU’s Illuminati.

Doctor Strange

We’ll start with the two who, in this scenario, are founding members. Doctor Stephen Strange makes perfect sense to be on the forefront of a clandestine organisation. Not only is he the Sorcerer Supreme; a man of deep mystical connections and also one of Earth’s strongest defenders, but he’s also faced Thanos and an invasion himself. As Sorcerer Supreme he has knowledge over a vast collection of abilities, dimensions and assets, but prefers to stay in the shadows rather than be the face of Earth’s defence. All of these combine to make him a prime candidate to helm the organisation, wanting to keep the world safe for he knows that he can’t do it alone.

Mister Fantastic

Again, one of the two who I believe would be crucial to establishing the Illuminati of the MCU. Reed Richards aka Mister Fantastic is the world’s smartest man, rivaled only by Victor Von Doom who is his arch nemesis. Although Reed has stated that Tony Stark is the best engineer in the world, Tony is dead in the MCU and so Reed’s intelligence is a priority. His intelligence and expertise in science and technology is a no-brainer (pun intended) to be a founding member of the Illuminati.

I’m personally really excited for the Fantastic Four to be introduced into the MCU, and with how Endgame set up for a multi-verse and the death of Stark, the timing really couldn’t be better to introduce a team to be the new public-face of defence. Not only that but Reed Richards would make a terrific mentor character for Peter Parker.

Shuri

Next up is Iron Man’s replacement. With Tony Stark gone there are only a few who could potentially replace him and his role in the group. While Mister Fantastic may well be the most intelligent man and with the largest range of expertise in science, he, in the comics has expressed that Iron Man was the best engineer in the world. However in the MCU there is potentially one better than Tony in the realms of engineering and that is Shuri, the sister of T’Challa; the Black Panther.

Shuri has so far been portrayed as a playful, comedic yet vastly intelligent character. However if we look deeper into her role in the MCU she is in fact an excellent choice to take a seat at the table. Shuri is sister to the current king T’Challa aka Black Panther, however T’Challa is a diplomat of Wakanda and so can’t take a seat, but Shuri could instead. She would be Wakanda’s seat at the table as well as providing the technological insight that Tony Stark would have if he had been alive. We’ve already seen a glimpse of the sorts of things she is capable of from the Black Panther film, furthermore, Shuri has almost certainly been raised to take over as queen in case anything happen to T’challa, so she’s certainly capable of the responsibility. Additionally, a lot of people would love for her to take up the mantle of Iron Heart, with her own Iron Man suit but personally, after Avengers: Endgame, I’m not sure how I feel about that.

Sersi

So we’re steering away from the original members again with Sersi. In her place originally I would have put the comic-member of Black Bolt but the Inhumans in the MCU have not been handled well, in fact the TV show was canceled after the first season which received less than flattering reviews. Unless the Inhumans are retconned and rebooted to the standards of the rest of the MCU, I think Black Bolt should remain away from this group. Taking his place however is Sersi, and I’m a really big fan of Sersi both as a character and for a member of this group.

Sersi could take the place as the leader of a race of super-powered people and is set to debut in the upcoming Eternals film. Sersi is a powerful sorcerer and possesses a variety of super-powered attributes, Sersi’s greatest skill is the psionic rearrangement of molecular structures of objects, which is far greater then that of any other Eternal. Her abilities are so great that she can actually manipulate matter down to the subatomic level. On top of that she’s a proven leader, and she has a wide range of knowledge of Earth, has the resources and people of the Eternals at her back and with a vast intellect. Sersi is definitely an excellent addition to the Illuminati.

Professor X

Now we move onto a some-what grey area. Professor X most definitely deserves a place at the table however he’s not in the MCU yet and according to a lot or recent reports, some from rather reputable sources, we won’t be seeing the X-Men for at least five years. However this may work out well for an Illuminati set of events. We can imagine that the Illuminati is not something that would be set up merely overnight, it would take a long time to gradually reach out to all who could take up a seat. The initial idea could come from Doctor Strange, and Mister Fantastic could help implement it by being the first to join and also help search for or decide on others to join but then it could be a thing of teasing us for a while, with little nods and references towards it.

Professor X is the leader of the X-Men, he represents the ideals of a cohabited world between human kind and mutant kind. He’s also the world’s most powerful telepath and a leading expert of genetics. Having him on board makes a huge amount of sense, in fact, after Doctor Strange himself I would say that Professor X is probably the most important member. It could work quite well that after the X-Men and mutant kind have been introduced. The Illuminati’s presence could incite conflict in itself, maybe by the withholding of information or seen as an abuse of power, it could set the stage for the MCU’s next big event like Avengers vs. X-Men or the Wakanda/Atlantis War. Both of which Professor X would be involved in and so could join the Illuminati afterwards, with the idea in mind to prevent future conflict and to reign in the organisation. He could join in a number of different ways or scenarios really, but he is a key member.

Namor

Namor is one of the original members in the comics too and honestly I think it makes a lot of sense to have him on the MCU team too. Namor is one of the oldest mutants but he is also a king. Namor is king of Atlantis (yes Marvel has one too) and so has considerable resources and reach. Namor is a bit of a wildcard member, he’s often brash and has a darker side than most on the team but he is powerful and influential and along with Professor X, his place on the team would represent mutant-kind, as well as forging an alliance with the hidden kingdom, keeping relations good with the rest of the world. As mentioned above, a big fan theory is that we will see the X-Men and Avengers clash at some point after the X-Men have been introduced, Namor would most certainly be a big part of that. The Illuminati would almost definitely want Namor at the table as much to be allies as to keep him in check.

Avengers: Endgame did give us a tease of Atlantis. In the beginning half of the film, Black Widow is talking to those of the MCU heroes who survived the snap, and dealing with any leads or problems. Okoye mentions an “earthquake beneath the ocean”. This is a subtle nod and reference to Atlantis and Namor.

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So there we are! A fun post on the Illuminati in the MCU. With the line-up of Doctor Strange, Mister Fantastic, Shuri, Sersi, Professor X, and Namor. This line up seems very fitting but is also diverse. My only real issue with the comic Illuminati is that they are all men… the idea that the world’s most powerful of influential are all male doesn’t sit right with me.

So as I said, this is definitely wishful thinking rather than a direct theory, however I think the appearance of the Illuminati isn’t too far-fetched.

So who would be in your version of the MCU’s Illuminati?


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Casting Call: The Fantastic Four

So a few weeks ago I made a casting post for the Annihlilators; Marvel’s cosmic-avenger-esque team. The post was one of a few casting posts I’ve been really excited to write about and so today I will be publishing my dream casting for an MCU Fantastic Four lineup (and some additional characters connected to the team). Casting the MCU’s Fantastic Four is a hot topic for fans right now. I’ve seen many lists and choices, and being close to the comics I feel that I’m really interested in seeing the comic-characters being played out as best they can on the big screen.

So Disney bought the Fox-Marvel assets and although they’ve said we won’t be seeing the X-Men until at least 2025, I would put money on the idea that we’ll see the Fantastic Four before then. The Fantastic Four could be integrated with relative ease into the MCU, even acting as a major team to tie both Earth centered stories and those of the cosmic together, and after introducing them, we could even see an Illuminati adapted story with Reed Richards and Doctor Strange leading the way. The Fantastic Four gained their powers at the same time, due to exposure to cosmic rays while on a scientific mission in space. This casting is with the idea of the Fantastic Four being introduced within the next five or six years and it is a fan-casting, it is by no means a statement or clue towards the real casting we will receive. So let us begin the casting call!

Mister Fantastic

Mister Fantastic aka Reed Richards, is the head of the Fantastic Four family team. He’s one of the world’s most intelligent characters, even rivaling some of the most intelligent beings from the cosmos, and Galactus himself once remarked that Reed possessed a “universally relevant intelligence”. He is a pioneer in a range of fields including physics, chemistry, biology, computing, space travel, medicine and so on, making him a fascinating character to develop in film. His main superpower however is that his body becomes elastic and he has complete control over it. This allows him to use his body for either offensive or defensive purposes. My first choice of casting for Mister Fantastic is John Krasinski. John Krasinski almost joined Marvel before in the role of Captain America however I’m very glad he didn’t for he fits Reed Richards so well. John Krasinski is a talented actor with a range of roles under his belt, he’s also a proven director and writer with his insanely-well-received directorial and writer debut A Quiet Place. Krasinksi has been subject to a few piece of fan-art as Mister Fantastic too which show off just how good he looks in the role. Krasinski has the look of the role (especially if the MCU went for slightly older rough-around-the-edges and bearded Reed), the skills, and also have expressed considerable interest in staring as Reed. He could even potentially write the film too. Krasinksi certainly would be able to commit to a multiple-film contract too, much like the other picks on this list, and being part of the Fantastic Four would certainly mean that.

Invisible Woman

Invisible Woman, Susan Storm-Richards. Wife to Reed Richards and my favourite member of the Fantastic Four. Susan Storm is a founding member of the Fantastic Four, and brother of Johnny Storm aka the Human Torch. Susan Storm is a really interesting character on a number of levels, she’s really quite powerful; having shown able to use her abilities to puncture the shell of a damn Celestial, but also complex, intelligent and interesting, her and Reed have a complicated relationship and she’s morally good; driven to help others above all. She can turn herself and anything she touches invisible, and can also create force-fields in any shape she conceives, while she’s not as intelligent as Richards or Doom she is still rather capable of managing herself in the realms of science. My first pick for Susan Storm is Emily Blunt. This choice comes for two-fold reasons. Firstly is that I love Emily Blunt, she’s my favourite actress by a landslide and has a really incredible range of acting under her belt, she fits the personality of the modern-day comic Susan Storm; being extremely charismatic and bold, doing a lot of her own stunts as an actress too, and with a few make up and hair changes she would have the look too. My second reason is that she and her husband John Krasinski have proven that they can act as a married couple in A Quiet Place, bringing a really powerful sense of chemistry to the screen. I feel Blunt and Krasinksi would replicate that once more as Invisible Woman and Mister Fantastic.

Human Torch

Johnny Storm aka the Human Torch is the hot-headed, egotistical brother of Susan Storm and the second most powerful of the Fantastic Four. Although inherently reckless, the Human Torch is a fearless hero and loyal to the Fantastic Four. As teens Johnny and Susan met Reed Richards and volunteered to join him on a space exploration mission which went awry and the team developed super-powers, all different from each other. Although part of the team, Johnny still had his own adventures, fighting villains who would then become villains of the Fantastic Four as well. The Human Torch has worked closely with other superheroes and teams, especially Spider-Man, he has given his life to save the planet and his family before. My first choice for Johnny Storm/Human Torch is Sam Clafin. Casting this role was interesting, I wanted to find someone who fit the part well but also looked similar to Emily Blunt, even if only a little, due to the character’s being brother and sister. Clafin does certainly fit the role; he’s proved before that he can play egotistical, flirtatious yet compelling characters. And what’s even better is he and Emily Blunt do look similar to an extent, they’re not related but if someone showed me a picture of them side-by-side and asked if they were, I may lean towards them being so. Clafin and Blunt are also similar in age which really helps.

The Thing

The Thing, Ben Grimm. Best friend to Reed Richards and the original ‘tough guy’ of the Marvel Universe. Because of how his powers manifested, he became one of the more-tragic characters in comics. Ben Grimm was one of the best test-pilots until exposure to intense cosmic radiation which gave the Fantastic Four their powers, mutated him into a rock-skinned augmented being with immense superhuman strength. Ben Grimm is often described as a tough-skinned (literally and figuratively) man, rough around the edges and gruff, but he’s really god a heart of gold and is immensely caring, especially for Reed and Susan’s son, Franklin. I have two picks for this character and I’ll get to why soon. My first pick for the Thing is David Harbour. There’s lots of rumours on the internet right now about The Thing maybe showing up in the Black Widow spin-off and will be played by Harbour himself, and this is interesting for I am unsure how that would work seeing that the Black Widow film would most definitely be a prequel seeing what happened to her in Avengers: Endgame. So I have another pick for the Thing which is Jason Clarke. Clarke has done his fair share of work in franchise films; having a main role in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, as well as the less-well received Terminator Genisys (although I feel he was the best part of it). He’s also shown off a range of skills in such films as Zero Dark Thirty and First Man. Grimm is known for being serious and brooding but with a heart, and Clarke certainly gives that impression in a number of his roles.

Doctor Doom

The iconic rival to the Fantastic Four and Reed Richards himself. His only equal in intelligence and ambition, Doctor Doom is a master of sorcery and science. Victor Von Doom has had quite the exciting life; born a gypsy child; gaining scholarship of science to Empire State University where he met Reed Richards; became scarred in a scientific accident; and became the monarch of the fictional Latveria where he was born, using his technology and practice of the mystic arts to turn the country into a thriving nation. For Doctor Doom I have two picks, one is a more traditional approach and the other is a twist. My first choice for Doom is Wes Bentley, a terrific actor with such a rich range of roles from a variety of film genres behind him. Wes is such a delight to watch act and he has exactly the sort of skill that would suit Doom, he plays the very intelligent, illustrious and bold characters spot on. He and John Krasinski are similar in age (only one year apart) and this would run well with their comic-origin of meeting at the same university, and he has previously said that he would love to play a big villain in something. My other top pick is Robin Wright. Yes, I know Doom is an iconic male character; I’m normally against changing up iconic roles in gender however there have been many attempts for a male Doom and for one reason or another, it hasn’t worked out well but I feel Wright would be able to play that menacing, brilliantly intelligent and scheming villain to perfection. She’s a little older than Bentley or Krasinski however not so much that make up would hide it. Imagine a Victoria Von Doom. I’d watch the hell out of that.

Now we move onto two additional characters that aren’t strictly tied to the Fantastic Four but have been connected to many Fantastic Four projects and major arcs. I’ll be keeping the information regarding these picks brief.

Silver Surfer

Silver Surfer is a mighty Herald of Galactus, one of the most prominent and powerful characters in the Marvel Universe, however before his role with Galactus he was a great scientist with a peaceful race who had managed to eradicate war, disease, crime and hunger on their planet and sought to explore the universe for scientific advancement. When Galactus arrived, Norin Radd gave Galactus his servitude in exchange for saving his planet and people. My first choice for the Silver Surfer is Ricky Whittle. The 37 year old actor has the physique to pull off Silver Surfer and has shown that he plays complex, mysterious characters well.

Galactus

The Big G. Galactus, known prior as Galan, was actually born billions of years ago on the planet Taa and was one of the planet’s chief scientists. Taa was a paradise world, the most technologically advanced in all the universe. Galactus was born during the last years of his universe just as the Big Bang was approaching. Galan flew into the terminal point of the universe as a sort of last act of Heroism to his people and a vastly powerful cosmic being combined with him to create Galactus. This role would be vastly dominated by a voice-only presence and so my top pick would be Russell Crowe or Laurence Fishburne. Both have tremendous voices well suited for this. Giving off authority and a god-like atmosphere when applied correctly. Fishburne has already appeared in the MCU as Bill Foster aka Goliath from Ant-Man and the Wasp, however as this is a voice-only role, I feel it would be fine.

So there we have the Fantastic Four casting post! I’m really eager to see the Fantastic Four introduced into the MCU because of how many story-lines and characters they tie together, especially the Illuminati, which is something I’ve wanted to have since Infinity War. I feel these picks are all great actors but also represent the counter-parts of the comics, and would be able to grow and develop as a key part of the MCU. I’m working on a few more posts but that’s all for today so I hope you enjoyed the read! Have a great day and week!

What A Moment

Yo! So my post on Avengers: Endgame Easter Eggs went down a treat (wheyyy puns), as did my Annihilators casting post and today I will be blogging about my top ten MCU moments. That’s right, from across the whole of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I have chosen ten moments that stand out to me above the rest. Before we get started, I’d like to say thanks to all of those that share my posts, and I’m hoping to do a multiple-prize giveaway on the Facebook page when it reaches 100 likes, as a first milestone. You can like the page here.

This was a hard fight, narrowing it down to just ten, and especially when five spots come from just two films; the other five had to be really excellent, and they are. In other good news, I have recently submitted my novel to a publisher and they are reading the manuscript at the moment, so fingers crossed! Anyway, this post will have spoilers regarding the MCU as a whole and also regarding Avengers: Endgame, which gets a special spoiler warning due to how recent it is. So if you’re still here, and have read all three spoiler warnings, let us begin!

10. I Am Iron Man

Where it all began, and where it ended. This moment from the first Iron Man film sent shivers down my spine, just as it did in Avengers: Endgame before Tony sacrificed himself to stop Thanos. The line is now so iconic and appears in the comics on several occasions too. It’s powerful and meaningful in both films but for very different reasons and although I’m specifically talking about the line from the first Iron Man, it is essentially a double, from Endgame too.

9. I Can Do This All Day

So like the #10 place post, this quote has been said on a number of occasions. The quote is said by Captain America in three films but the one in particular I am referring to is said in Captain America: Civil War and the moment in question is when Captain America and Bucky aka the Winter Soldier team up against Iron Man. The fight is up in the top 5 of best choreographed MCU conflicts. The fight sees Cap and Bucky delivering blow after blow to Iron Man and even coordinating swaps of the shield to deliver more attacks. The odds for Iron Man change drastically later as he uses his suit’s technology to overcome them both, and when he is fighting one on one with Cap, the pair of them mirror the iconic comic-book moment where Iron Man blasts Cap’s shield. The Russo Brothers really out did themselves.

8. Every Breath You Take Is A Mercy From Me

Okay so this is more a sequence of scenes rather than just a moment. However from the start of the car chase in Black Panther to the end is utterly fantastic. Black Panther had some of the best visuals of the MCU as well as some of the best choreography and dialogue, all of that rolled flawlessly in this scene. The scene sees Black Panther aka T’Challa chasing Ulysses Klaue through the streets of Seoul in South Korea, with the aid of Shuri and Okoye. Everything in this scene was perfect however one thing, right at the end, really tops it off. Black Panther catches Klaue and is standing over him. Klaue pleads jokingly for mercy and T’Challa says “Every breath you take is a mercy from me.” Now this line is so brilliant but also an Easter Egg to the comics where T’Challa says it to Namor in a cross over.

7. You Took Everything From Me

This moment is really Wandaful…. okay, sorry. This moment happens shortly after everyone returns from the Soul World and joins the battle at the end of Avengers: Endgame. Distraught at the loss of Vision, an enraged Scarlet Witch confronts Thanos and tells him “You took everything from me” before beginning to pummel him with blasts of her powers which come directly from the mind stone. She is so powerful in this scene that she destroys his weapon, which earlier pierced and shattered Cap’s shield, as well as shredding parts of his armour from him as she lifts him up. This scene really demonstrated the kinds of power I wanted her to have in previous films, and I hope she’ll go on to demonstrate even more feats of strength. This moment was awe inspiring and heartfelt, we really felt the heartache and rage Wanda felt for the loss of Vision.

6. Who The Hell Is Bucky?

To those that know me, will also have know that of course this post will have included this moment. Captain America: The Winter Soldier remained as my favourite MCU film from when it debuted to Avengers: Endgame, which only just knocked it off the first place podium. The film was the Russo Brother’s first entry into the cinematic universe and it blew me away, seeing many brilliant changes and introductions for Captain America and his additional characters. The particularly great moment in the film was during a fight sequence between Captain America and Bucky aka the Winter Soldier. Cap manages to get the upper hand, although barely, and removes the mask for Bucky and proceeds to stand in awe as he recognises his friend, saying his name. The Winter Soldier then responds with “Who the hell is Bucky?” It rings all kinds of awesome and is lifted directly from the comic of which the film is adapted from. The Russo Brothers became renown from this film for being incredibly detailed with comic accurate material.

5. Call It, Captain

Number 5 on the list is the moment in the 2012 Avengers Assemble film in which we see the original six come together for the first time, truly as a team. The moment sees Hulk kill a chitauri leviathan in a single punch and then in an absolutely brilliant, unbroken, 360 degree tracking shot, we see the Avengers form a circle as they stand together to fight the invasion. Hulk lets out a roar, Iron Man hovers down, Hawkeye pulls back an arrow, Thor readies Mjolnir, Black Widow loads her pistol (and looks extremely badass), and Cap tightens the straps on his shield. This moment was so perfect, and it inspires me, gives me shivers and goosebumps every single time I watch that film and I’ve watched it a lot. I was hoping for a similar shot in Avengers: Endgame and we did kind of get one, of the same shot. But in a way, it is so perfect only getting it in this film.

4. She’s Got Help

So those that read my post on favourite Endgame Easter eggs will have probably thought this was going to appear. The moment in question is after Captain Marvel enters the battle and Spider-Man has been trying to get the new gauntlet away from Thanos. Spider-Man takes a tremendous amount of damage so Captain Marvel takes the gauntlet from him. A horde of Thanos’ army gathers ahead, creating a barrier, and Peter doesn’t see how she’d manage to get through. Then it happens. In a goosebump inducing moment, all the women of the MCU appear beside or near her and form a team of their own for a charge. Okoye signalling it all with “She’s got help” and then they charge. This moment was so brilliant, it gave me goosebumps as I said and is also a tremendous Easter egg to the comic team A-Force; an all female team led by She-Hulk. Of course, She-Hulk isn’t in the MCU yet but Gamora is and so the green, badass character leads the fight.

3. Bring Me Thanos

This moment was my first place until Avengers: Endgame came out. I thought it wouldn’t have been able to be topped, I was wrong. Anyway. The scene in question is when Thor arrives into Wakanda in Avengers: Infinity War. Much like with the #1 place on this list, everything about this moment was pure perfection. I would actually go as far as to say that places #1-3 on this list are almost tied, they’re all so extremely satisfying and all were executed so brilliantly. The soundtrack as Thor arrives is just… fire. The atmospherics building up to it; the Avengers becoming overwhelmed by the outriders and starting to lose and then seeing the bifrost appear… I had a nerdgasm when that happened. Then Thor arrives and steps out of the portal, Rocket jumps from his shoulder and Groot standing next to him, Stormbreaker in his hand with sparks of blue electricity flying from it. Then Thor proceeds to shout out “Bring me Thanos” before jumping into the air and delivering one of the COOLEST CGI moments in cinematic history. Tis mighty.

2. I Knew It

This moment ties into the first place spot on this list. In the present day, Thanos destroys the Avengers headquarters and then Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor engage into battle with him. The battle is intense, super brutal and nerve-wracking to watch. Half way through the battle, when Thor is moments from death by Thanos killing him with Stormbreaker, Thanos is knocked off guard by Mjolnir who then flies back to Captain America’s hand. Here we hear Thor say “I knew it” as a reference to Avengers: Age of Ultron where Cap almost picked up the hammer at the beginning of the film, and this moment (the Age of Ultron bit) has actually been expanded on recently by the Russos, who said that Cap could have picked it up but didn’t, for Thor.

Captain America then proceeds to engage in one of the best MCU fights, using his shield and Mjolnir in flawless combinations, he even calls down the magical lightning and channels it through the hammer, into Thanos. The choreography of this fight is truly magical.

1. Avengers… Assemble!

Avengers: Endgame had many, many incredible moments however this one takes the first place spot for both it and the MCU as a whole. Not only is this the best MCU moment but also one of my favourite Marvel Comics moments. For those that read my Endgame Easter egg post will knew this had to be on the list too.

During a vicious battle, where the trinity of Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor take on Thanos in a brawl, Captain America reveals he is worthy when he picks up Mjolnir and proceeds to bring the thunder and lightning down on Thanos. After this conflict and Thanos shatters Captain America’s shield. Thanos calls upon his army, ready to end what’s left of the Avengers and Earth’s defenders. Then, in a beautiful moment, portals open behind Cap as he stares down almost certain defeat. Through these portals come all those that were dusted including soldiers from Wakanda. As the Avengers Theme starts to play we are treated to a tracking shot of all the Avenger characters preparing to charge and then, in a final moment before the battle, Captain America yells out “Avengers! Assemble” as he catches Mjolnir and they charge. This moment right here is everything I had ever wanted since the MCU films started. The soundtrack, the dialogue, the characters on screen, the choreography before and after the charge; all of it builds the perfect moment.

Honourable Mentions!

So there are many, many great MCU moments not included on this list and many that came very close to being on. There are three in particular:
Doctor Strange vs Thanos – When Doctor Strange battles Thanos on Thanos’ home world, Titan in Avengers: Infinity War. This battle was one of the best CGI spectacles I’ve seen. Particularly a moment wherein Thanos launches a void of energy at Strange and Strange turns it all into butterflies.
Would Anyone Like To Get Out – You know the scene I’m talking about. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America is branded an enemy of Shield (which is actually Hydra) and they try to take him down. In one particular scene, Captain America is in an elevator and a dozen agents of Hydra enter the lift and there proceeds to be a brilliant close quarters fight after an equally brilliant line from the Captain himself.
Meet Dad – Spider-Man: Homecoming was a great film. Really quirky and funny, with great dialogue and a terrific cast, and there was that plot twist. You know, the one where Peter arrives at his date’s house ready to go to the Homecoming dance and then her dad opens the door, revealing that her dad is in fact the antagonist of the film aka the Vulture. This moment threw me off so much, I had absolutely no idea that he was going to be Peter’s love interest’s dad. Brilliant stuff.

So there we have it, folks! A great post once again. I’m currently working on a Fantastic 4 casting post as my Annihlators one gained a lot of views. I’m also hoping to do a few giveaways once the Social Media (Facebook) page gets to one-hundred likes, so any more likes to the page found HERE would be terrific. Have a great day! See you all later.

Casting Call: The Annihilators

After the huge success of Avengers: Endgame, the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be heading into Phase 4 soon. Technically it starts with Spider-Man: Far From Home however what comes after that will most probably be something really exciting.

Me and another aspiring writer were actually working on an X-Men casting post, however, news came just after we had decided on our picks that the X-Men characters will not be appearing in the MCU until at least 2025, and this really throws a lot of our picks out of the moving van. What has prompted this post however is news that Guardians of the Galaxy vol 3 will give us the debut of not one, but two fairly important cosmic characters. Adam Warlock was already confirmed, along with news of an Eternals film coming, however the article in question reveals that Beta Ray Bill will be appearing as well as Quasar, and with this news, a hopeful thought entered my head of the Annihilators – who could very well be set up at a later date in the MCU and act as a big, important team.

The Annihilators are a group of cosmic characters in Marvel Comics that came together to act as a deterrence to galactic war. The original team in the comics saw Ronin the Accuser, Silver Surfer, Quasar, Beta Ray Bill, Gladiator, Ikon, Nova and Cosmo (telepathic space dog) come together but the MCU’s approach would most likely be different, although mostly the same. Cosmo has already appeared in a Guardians film very briefly and I don’t think a serious team like this would suit him in the films, and Ronin is dead. However Nova could most definitely be introduced in the future and with the announcement of the Eternals film, Sersi (an Eternal) would make a fine addition to a team like that. So, I love a good casting thread. Me and my friends (mostly me) spend hours thinking of future cast choices. and the MCU is a particularly great thing to think of casting choices for. In this post I will be presenting my first fan-cast, and it will be for the Annihilators in the line-up of Adam Warlock, Quasar, Beta Ray Bill, Gladiator, Sersi, Silver Surfer, and Nova. I will also be teasing the idea of some changes to the characters in the casting, because this is 2019.

Adam Warlock

First and foremost comes Adam Warlock. I’m putting him first on this list for no other reason that he was confirmed first out of the characters in this list, of the ones that are confirmed to be appearing soon into Phase 4, at least. Adam Warlock is a being created by a technologically advanced race known as “The Enclave”. Adam Warlock is supposedly the perfect being, in aesthetic terms and powers, of which he has many, in the comics he also yielded the Infinity Gauntlet for a while. For this role my first choice would be Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. The Game of Thrones star has certainly proven his acting range, in that one show alone, and he has the looks for it. I saw a side-by-side photo of him next to classic Adam Warlock and I will never unsee it, it was perfect. Nikolaj is also still on the younger side of fifty, although just, and so could most definitely pull off the physical side of the role too.

Nova

Nova. One of the most famous and iconic Marvel characters, especially in regards to the cosmos, and his debut into the MCU would be very interesting. A lot of people, myself included, were hoping we would see Richard Rider appear in either Infinity War or Endgame, maybe as a survivor of Xandar or even as a new Nova Corps member. Alas, we did not, and now that Xandar is gone – obliterated by Thanos pre-Infinity War, it’s all speculation as to how the character could appear. Richard Rider was a young teenager when he was granted the power of a Nova Centurion in the comics, he became a successful hero on his own and among the New Warriors; Richard even became a member of the Avengers ever so briefly. However, he eventually became Nova-Prime, leader of the Nova Corps, where he established himself as a universally cosmic hero of immense power, and he has in the comics led the Annihilators. With Marvel Studios shifting a considerable focus to the cosmos in Phase 4, introducing Nova seems like an obvious choice. Another character has taken on the mantle of Nova, a teenager called Sam Alexander, although his run as the character isn’t as long or as iconic. Nova is a character that I would love to see in the MCU. My first place pick for Nova is Richard Madden. This actor has been in my sights for Nova ever since the first season of Game of Thrones, and he has gone on to do some other tremendously entertaining acting. Madden is on the younger side, is talented, has the commitment, and has the look.

Beta Ray Bill

Here he is, the character which prompted this whole post. It was the article yesterday morning which gave me the hopeful thought for the Annihilators. Beta Ray Bill is a cyborg champion of the Korbinites, having to undergo tremendously painful and extreme trials in order to become the protector of his people. Beta Ray Bill guarded his people as they fled attack by demons led by none other than Surtur. Then, when he encountered Thor and proved himself worthy to wield Mjolnir by battling Thor, Odin bestowed upon him the powers of Thor and created for him Stormbreaker, an equally powerful hammer, as well as granting him a new energy source based upon Odin’s own. In a group on social media, I posted the article and asked my friends of who they would cast and there were some interesting choices however none which I thought really captured ol’ Bill, although one did come close. My top choice for Beta Ray Bill is Terry Crews. I actually have Crews pinned for a few MCU future roles however Beta Ray Bill seems like it was meant to be. Terry Crews is an established actor with a wide range of roles accredited to himself, he has the physique, and the quirkiness too. Terry Crews would fit right in as Bill.

Quasar

We come to Quasar. In Marvel Comics, Wendell Vaughn was a SHIELD agent who flew through the academy and was held in high regard by his superiors yet was deemed unfit for field activity for he lacked a certain ruthlessness that other agents possessed. His first assignment was providing security for a group of research scientists who were performing experiments on the Quantum Bands. The selected test pilot to wear them perished and so Wendell puts them on when the facility comes under attack from the science and terror cell A.I.M. Using the bands’ power to generate solid energy constructs, he repulses the attack and is granted superhero status, first under the guise of Marvel Boy and later becoming Quasar. Quasar has become one of the most gifted of heroes in Marvel. Now comes to the casting aspect. In the comics, a character called Phyla Vell also became Quasar at a later point in her superhero career and with that in mind, my first pick is Katheryn Winnick. The Vikings star has more than proved her worth as an actress, and has the looks of Phyla-Vell, who could become Quasar before that instead of the other way around. She’s just over forty and so could do many films, and she’s a keen martial artist and does her own stunts. For my male choice I pick Charlie Hunnam, the actor has a terrific range, and definitely has the physique for a demanding role.

Silver Surfer

Silver Surfer has been in my sights for casting for a long time. I’ve always had one choice for him, and eagerly anticipate his arrival into the MCU; along with Galactus who surely won’t be far behind. Silver Surfer is a mighty Herald of Galactus, one of the most prominent and powerful characters in the Marvel Universe, however before his role with Galactus he was a great scientist with a peaceful race who had managed to eradicate war, disease, crime and hunger on their planet and sought to explore the universe for scientific advancement. When Galactus arrived, Norin Radd gave Galactus his servitude in exchange for saving his planet and people. Silver Surfer is bound to be introduced sooner rather than later for he and Galactus are major cosmic players, they tie into so many teams, events and longer stories it would be a good move to utilise them. My first choice for the Silver Surfer is Ricky Whittle. The 37 year old actor has a range of work under his belt, and I particularly love his role in American Gods, based on a novel by the same name by Neil Gaiman. I think Ricky has the physique to pull off Silver Surfer and has shown that he plays complex, intelligent characters well.

Sersi

So the Eternals film has been officially announced and is entering it’s casting stages already. The Eternals are an alien race in Marvel who have existed for a long, long time. They are also powerful, each one has a variety of different powers and abilities and Sersi is one of the most interesting ones. With the MCU adapting teams and characters from the comics, I think Sersi would make a great addition to the team. There are rumours of Angelina Jolie taking the role however nothing is confirmed so, it’s still fair game to cast the character I feel. My first pick for Sersi would be Samantha Jo. Samantha Jo has funnily enough already been in superhero films as an Amazon warrior in Wonder Woman and Justice league and is certainly an up-and-coming star who is interested in taking on a bigger comic-book role. The 28 year old actress is also a martial artist, competing at the Bejing Olympics for Canada, and also a stunt double. She has the looks for Sersi, she definitely has the physical side covered, and she’s young enough to be appearing in Eternal/Annihilator films for many a year.

Gladiator

Last but not least comes the warrior and leader called Kallark, and known as Gladiator. Gladiator comes from the alien race of Strontians and is one of my favourite characters in Marvel Comics. Kallark swiftly rose through the ranks and landed the position of Praetor of the Imperial Guard to the Shi’ar Empire. He eventually finds himself in the role of Imperator after destroying Emperor Vulcan in an act of revenge. Gladiator has been a hero as much as he has a villain, often clashing with the Avengers and X-Men, however he has helped humanity too and not just with the Annihilators. In the 2013, huge cross over comic titled Infinity, Gladiator proved a valuable ally to humanity in their war against the fearsome Builders. Gladiator is a powerful character and complex, not just a straight up brawler, and he has a tragic history which fuels him. There are a few actors who could play Gladiator so well, however, my top choice is definitely Manu Bennett. For physically demanding roles, there aren’t many actors better than Manu, at least not those already locked into contracts at Marvel already or DC. Manu Bennett is 49 years old but in remarkably good shape, and he plays characters like Gladiator so well.

So there we are! My first fan-casting post. I really enjoyed thinking for this and writing this, the possibilities are wildly rich of what is to come. While these are my first choices, there are others I would also love to see in the roles and Marvel have a pretty good track record with casting choices. Coming up soon are posts on several DC characters I would love to see introduced for the future of their films, my updated top ten MCU moments, and another casting post! Have a great day!

Avengers Assemble!

Hey everyone, sorry for the lack of posts – life has been really up and down and on repeat for the last few months and blogging has been low on my priorities but with Avengers: Endgame being released, I feel a surge of blog-posting energy. Today I will be breaking down my top ten Easter eggs from Avengers: Endgame.

As you would probably imagine this post will be full of spoilers, so don’t read if you don’t want to know them. If you do somehow get past this warning and the next before the content starts, you have no right to complain about it. The film was phenomenal. Definitely one of my favourite MCU films if not my absolute favourite, which was/is held by Captain America: The Winter Soldier, another gem of the Russo Brother’s creation. Throughout the film there are a tonne of Easter Eggs, callbacks and references, I’ve read there’s actually as many as 210 however I’ve not spotted them all yet and I certainly won’t be posting all 108 of the ones that I have seen but I will be for my favourite ten. So here is that second spoiler warning that I told you about earlier. Now, let us delve into the best (in my opinion) Easter Eggs, callbacks and references of Avengers: Endgame.

10. Tonsberg

In Avengers: Endgame, we see a settlement called New Asgard. This is where the surviving Asgardians have taken up refuge. The settlement is in Tonsberg, Norway, which is fitting seeing the Norse worshipped Thor among other Norse gods. However Tonsberg is also a clever Easter Egg to the Tesseract for Tonsberg is exactly the place where Red Skull acquires the Space Stone/Tesseract in Captain America: The First Avenger and is also a shout-out to the Marvel comics 2010 cross-over comic “Siege”. So that’s neat.

9. Supporting Russo

This Easter egg is a clever two-in-one. In the opening moments set after the time-jump of five years we close in on a support group for those dealing with losing someone to the snap and the first to share a story is none other than Joe Russo, one of the co-directing brothers, he plays a gay man who went on a date for the first time since the snap. The second reference in this exact moment is that Captain America holding the support session, in the same way that Sam Wilson aka Falcon did in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

8. Social Media

Right at the start of the film, after the initial witnessing of Hawkeye’s family disappearing, we come to Iron Man and Neubla in space. When Iron Man goes to record a final message for Pepper, as he presumes his demise is almost upon them, he mentions the line “Don’t post this on social media” which is a line from the first Iron Man film and he also says, in the same message “It’s always you” which is an exact line from Iron Man 2 in which he says it to Pepper again.

7. The Asgardians of the Galaxy

At the end of the film, Thor leaves New Asgard in the care of the new Queen Valkyrie. He in turn joins the Guardians of the Galaxy and jokes that the “Asgardians of the Galaxy are back together again” this is, to those that read the Marvel Comics, a callout and Easter Egg to the team and series with the same title.

6. Hail Hydra

Okay so those that know me, will also know that I wasn’t the biggest fan of the 2017 comic-arc “Secret Empire” where this Easter Egg originates from however the placement and use in the film was brilliant. This Easter Egg takes place back in time, in the aftermath of the 2012 battle of New York where the Shield (Hydra) Agents take Loki’s scepter and are going to take it to run experiments and create Wanda and Quicksilver. Cap enters the elevator at the same time and stands among them. In order to trick them into thinking he is one of them, and allowing them to give him the staff, he whispers “Hail Hydra” to Jasper Sitwell. This scene also doubles as another two-in-one because the lift scene is also a callback to Captain America: The Winter Soldier where Cap fights the Hydra Agents.

5. The New Captain

Okay getting into the top five now. This moment, ah, it was perfect. At the end of the film, moments before the very last scene, Steve Rogers hands over the Captain America mantle to Sam Wilson aka Falcon by giving him a new shield, one he acquired back in time. This is a brilliant choice for the next Captain America (I adore Bucky as one of my favourite characters but he has grown tired of fighting) but it is also a direct reference to the comics in which Sam became Captain America in 2014.

4. Unbreakable?

So a rather harrowing moment of Avengers: Endgame is a tremendous fight between Thanos and the MCU trinity – Thor, Iron Man and Captain America. This fight has a lot of outstanding moments from both the trinity and Thanos himself, one in particular I will get to later. This Easter Egg however is regarding Captain America’s shield. Captain America stands alone against Thanos (which is also an Easter Egg to the same comic) and fights him but in this battle, a rather savage and ferocious Thanos almost completely destroys Captain America’s shield, the moment made me feel a bit nauseous but what a moment, and what a fight. It’s a scene that is taken from the pages of Marvel’s “Infinity Gauntlet” comic and replicated almost perfectly.

3. A-Force

Okay so this scene, this moment, was one of the most badass in all MCU history. It doubles as one of the best scenes of the film and as a great Easter Egg. In the film, the Avengers have to return the Infinity Stones to the past after they used them to fix the snap. Unfortunately, Thanos arrives and attacks with a huge army. At this moment, those who have been brought back arrive and an almighty battle ensues – one of the best cinematic battles ever I would say. In the midst of this battle, Captain Marvel arrives, turning the tide and she takes the stones which rest on a gauntlet that Iron Man made and has to travel through a huge part of Thanos’ army. How does she do this? With help. All the women of the MCU join her to push through the enemy lines and assist her in a charge and it is a direct reference to the all-female team of 2015’s “A-Force” comic. Honestly I got so many goosebumps in that scene.

2. The Worthy

Okay so you know that fight I was telling you about up on number 4, about the fight with Thanos and Captain America. You may be wondering how Cap could stand up to Thanos on his own. Well, in their time travels to get the stones, Thor brings back Mjolnir intact, then later in the battle with Thanos he drops it as Thanos pummels him rather viciously. In the mere moments before Thanos would kill Thor, Mjolnir flies into him from behind and knocks him off. The enchanted hammer flies back and into the hands of Captain America. There’s an incredibly satisfying look and line from Thor and then Captain America goes on to give Thanos one of the best fights in the MCU and in action films I’ve ever seen. This moment, with Captain America becoming worthy is one of my favourite comic-moments ever and one that fan’s have wanted a long time coming.

1. Avengers Assemble

On the topic of long-time coming moments. This moment right here, this Easter Egg, well I doubt another MCU Easter Egg will top it. As Thanos prepares his army and gives a rather horrifying speech about what he’s going to do to Earth and the universe, Captain America stands facing it all and then those who were brought back by the reverse of the snap appear through portals made by Doctor Strange and the other sorcerers. The Avengers, the Guardians and the Wakandans come pouring through and make their own battle line. The whole scene is goosebump central. The soundtrack kicks in with the Avengers theme from 2012’s Avengers Assemble and then Captain America summons Mjolnir forth, stands at the head of the Avengers and shouts “Avengers Assemble” which is something fan’s have wanted to see since the birth of the MCU, and also a tremendous moment to an almost exact copy comic-panel from the 2011 Marvel cross-over “Fear Itself”. This Easter Egg and moment sent shivers down my spine.

Honourable Mentions

There are three other Easter Eggs that I would like to honourably mention. First is a cameo by Jim Starlin – Thanos’ creator and comic-book writer. This cameo comes at the same time as support group, Russo moment, where Jim Starlin is the older man who chimes in on the discussion/story.
Second is the Stan Lee cameo, his cameo is shorter than most of the others but just as heartfelt – if not more so due to his passing. In this cameo Stan is driving a car and shouts to a soldier “Hey man, make love not war” which is fitting to the theme of the film but also, on the bumper is a sticker which says “Nuff Said” which is one of Stan’s most famous catch phrases.
Third is a reference to Atlantis, I hope. In the beginning half of the film, Black Widow is talking to those of the MCU heroes who survived the snap, and dealing with any leads or problems. Okoye mentions an “earthquake beneath the ocean”. I think this is a nod and reference to Atlantis and Namor. Now this could just have been a coincidence but it seems rather particular, and as Wakanda and Atlantis have been in conflict before, as Okoye was the one to say it, I think it’s relevant.

So there we are! I think I will also have to do a few more posts on particularly memorable MCU moments and my favourite MCU Easter Eggs too in the weeks to come. This post has been exactly what I needed to get back into the swing of things. I hope you enjoyed the read and enjoyed the film!

Case Files: Annihilus

Hey everyone! I hope everyone had a great weekend! I learned a few days ago that Captain Marvel’s website teases a very intriguing villain who may well be the main villain in Avengers: Endgame, alongside Thanos of course, or someone we could see in Phase 4! Marvel Studios’ first URL for Captain Marvel, as seen below, which sends people to the 90’s themed Captain Marvel official website, teased Annihilus.

https://i.annihil.us/u/prod/marvel/movies/captain-marvel/#multimedia

This post will be the first of many ‘Case File’ posts which will expand on some lesser-known comic-book characters across multiple publishers. In this post we will explore the Marvel villain Annihilus, an insectoid being who leads the Annihlation Wave – a destructive army made up of millions of savage creatures with advanced technology. This post will explore his first appearance and origin, major story arcs, most notable enemies, and powers and abilities. I will occasionally be doing some collaboration posts with people on their favourite characters if they wish, so if you would like to, get in touch! Annihilus was actually rumoured back in summer 2018 as being the villain in Avengers 4 (back before we knew it was called Endgame) when the title was rumoured to be Avengers: Annihilation. Now with this Captain Marvel website teaser in the URL, I reckon there’s a strong possibility we’ll see Annihilus in her film and set the villain up to appear in Endgame. Anyway, without further ado, let us delve into this character!

The Beginning

Annihilus first appeared in Fantastic Four Annual #6 Let There Be — Life and has thus far appeared in 413 issues. A native from the planet Athos, Annihilus is the ruler of the Negative Zone, which is parallel anti-matter universe, discovered by the Fantastic Four which he is a major antagonist against.

In The Beginning There Came Annihilus

Long ago in the Negative Zone when the Tyannans seeded life spores on barren planets, one of their ships got hit by a meteor and was sent onto the volcanic planet Arthros. Before dying, the crew released spores. Many years later, one of the spores evolved into an insectoid creature. Due to a mutation he had a high intelligence. Finding the wreckage of a Tyannan starship, Annihilus used a special helmet to transfer all information about the advanced Tyannan technology to himself. This caused him to grow stronger and smarter, gaining a weapon known as the Cosmic Control Rod as well as enhanced body armaments. The character became known as Annihilus as he set out to destroy anything that was a threat to his existence, and he does this by unleashing the Annihilation Wave; a huge armada of warships and creatures under his control. 

Major Story Arcs

As mentioned at the start of this post, his home universe was discovered by the Fantastic Four, specifically Reed Richards, when they went looking for anti-particles to treat a pregnant Sue Storm. Annihilus went on to kidnap the remaining Fantastic Four and clashes with Psycho-Man in the Microverse. After this over Fantastic Four #140-141 Annihlus tangled with Doctor Doom and the Fantastic Four again, this time he abducted Franklin Richards and amplified the young reality warper’s mind, causing him to lose control, Annihilus was defeated by the Fantastic Four however Reed had to shut down Franklin’s mind in order to protect the entire solar system.

Annihilation

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The biggest event that Annihlus has been a part of is the massive 2006 cross-over story, Annihilation. With his army – the Annihilation wave, Annihilus travels to the Positive Zone and began a purge of all life he came across. He then made a deal with Thanos which involved the capture of Galactus so that Annihilus could capture the Heralds of Galactus and at this time, the Annihilation Wave had destroyed countless planets. While Annihilus had led everyone to believe that he planned to conquer the Positive Zone and become ruler of the universe, he secretly planned to use Galactus as a massive power-bomb which would destroy both universes and everything inside both and then Thanos learned of his plan, but was killed by Drax the Destroyer before he could set Galactus free. Then, however, Drax freed the Silver Surfer who in turn freed Galactus, and Galactus destroyed the Annihilation Wave in a furious attack. Annihilus knew he could regroup his armies and so faced off against Nova aka Richard Ryder, due to the assistance of another character, Ryder was able to defeat Annihilus, seemingly killing him.

The War of Four Cities

During Jonathan Hickman’s run of Fantastic Four, Annihilus was resurrected again. Annihilus went and made a deal with Reed Richards from an alternative universe to help him gain access through the Fantastic Four’s portal, which had been locked for good by the Human Torch for good, on the Negative Zone side, making access for Annihilus and his armies impossible. The Light Brigade – a group of six warriors chosen by the Universal Inhumans, imprisoned by Annihilus and made to fight in gladiatorial games – then met the Human Torch who led them to not only escape imprisonment but defeat Annihilus after a hard fight, imprisoning him, and gained control of the Annihilus Wave by taking the Cosmic Control Rod.

Notable Enemies

Annihilus’ most notable enemy are the Fantastic Four, having squared off against them several times. He also has clashed rather spectacularly with Nova Prime aka Richard Ryder, Adam Warlock, the Annihilators and other cosmic teams, as well as the Avengers. However on occasion he works with the heroes of Marvel such as in the events of Infinity when Annihilus became part of the Galactic Council in an effort to deter and defeat a universal-threat known as The Builders.

Powers and Abilities

Annihilus is a highly advanced insectoid-being who possesses great superhuman attributes and can lift around 50 tonnes. However, with the Cosmic Control Rod he is much stronger, and after transforming himself with the power of the Hulk he was easily able to out-match Hulk and Gladiator in physical combat. Annihilus also naturally fatigues, slower meaning he can exert himself at max capacity for about 24 hours without a problem. He also possesses superhuman speed, reflexes, and agility. Due to his long exposure to the Cosmic Control Rod, Annihilus’ body has no need nor requires any food, water, or air at all and he can stay in the void and vacuum of space unaided and indefinitely without help or equipment. Annihilus has huge bat-like wings that enable him to fly at speeds of roughly 150 miles per hour, but his speeds has increased at other times, with the aid of gravity, he also has extremely strong natural body tissue. Annihilus is capable of withstanding blows from beings such as the Thing and Nova.

Although Annihilus has no official form of combat training and does not often directly engage in physical combat, on the occasions that he has, he has formidable fighting ability. He is particularly adept at using energy manipulation and projection during fights, often draining the energy from those near him and then utilising that energy to his advantage. He has proven, while at maximum power, being bale to hold his physical own against Quasar, Nova Prime and once, even Thor.

Annihilus has superhuman longevity due to the Cosmic Control Rod. He is completely immune to the effects of aging and is always in his physical prime, and although Annihilus can die it would be incredibly hard to permanently kill him, he is also immune to all known diseases and infections.

The Cosmic Control Rod

The Cosmic Control Rod is a cylinder that is approximately 6 inches long and 2 across. Cybernetic micr-circuitry allows Annihlus to harness the Cosmic Control Rod’s vast cosmic energy and is normally warn at his throat, allowing him control over the vast amounts of cosmic energy and wield it to his will. This is a very different thing to the Power Cosmic. The Cosmic Control Rod has potentially limitless applications which include the superhuman longevity as listed above but also has the power to enable Annihlus the ability of vast energy generation, matter & energy manipulation. Annihilus can use and channel a number of different effects including destructive beams, concussive force, and explosive power equivalent to 10 megatons of TNT as well as create, generate, and project powerful forcefields and absorb different quantities of energy.

Using the the Cosmic Control Rod also increases Annihilus’ powers including strength where he could be strong enough to lift over 1,000 tons as he was able to hold his own against Nova (who was the sole host of all the energies of the entire Nova Corps which made him hundreds, if not thousands of times more powerful). It also boosts his speed allowing him to fly up to 10,000 miles per hour and even enables him to with-stand touching the Human Torch at supernova heat (2 million degrees fahrenheit)

The Annihilation Wave

Annihlilation Wave From Thanos Vol 3 (2019)

Even with all that, the main focus of Annihilus’ intelligence is his ability to lead and rule as Annihilus leads an elite personal guard known as the Centurions which is made up of over 200 super powered aliens. Each of whom are from a different Negative Zone world and all of whom are extremely loyal and faithful to him. As a sovereign part of the Negative Zone, Annihilus also has command over many other different types of creatures from different worlds of the Negative Zone that are fully dedicated, it was actually revealed that an enormous 14,980,336,901,200 beings in the Negative Zone supported Annihilus’ rule.

Annihilus is uses genetic engineering technology to improve the power and abilities of his soldiers and has access to the highly advanced technology of the Tyannans, who also give him other secondary weapons and vehicles.

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So there we have it! Our first Case File – Case File: Annihilus. I super enjoyed writing this post and I really hope we see Annihilus in the MCU. I can’t wait to delve into more, coming up next is Scarlet Witch! If anyone would like to collaborate on a favourite character of theirs, feel free to hit me up and we’ll discuss it from there. Have a good weekend! Peace!

Moving Forward With DC

Hey everyone! I’ve been pretty absent from blogging recently due to a variety of factors but I’ve still been working on a few large posts, one of which is this one. This post is of 10 DC Comics arcs that I would love to see in the future of the DCEU Cinematic Universe. It gets a bit tricky with DC, for we don’t know where the overall story is heading but that also means there’s plenty of room for future story potential, for they are stories that are most definitely excellent. The 2018 Aquaman film was adapted from the Throne of Atlantis arc which is one of my favourite main-stream superhero comics. So without that on the list, and without further ado, let us begin!

10. Rotworld

This may be a some-what unusual entry that many were not expecting. Rotworld is often overlooked as a comic crossover but I do not know why. Rotworld is an event that focuses on Swamp Thing and Animal Man; Protector of the ‘Green’ and Champion the ‘Red’.

Before we get into Rotworld itself I feel I should delve a little into Swamp Thing and Animal Man, for many people have no idea who they are. Alec Holland was a botanist who became the avatar and protector of the Green i.e nature, after an attack on his lab caused him to run from the lab and into the water of a swamp where he was visited by the avatar of nature and granted life once more but as Swamp Thing. Buddy Baker was happy-go-lucky punk rocker who was killed when an alien ship crashed into Earth. However the aliens within the ship took pity on Buddy, recreating his body and allowing him to tap into the M-Field “Continuum”, or the “Red” as it was later known. Now, back to Rotworld. Rotworld is a story that crosses over between Swamp Thing and Animal Man and is about the battle for supremacy between the three elemental forces of the Green, the Red, and the Rot. The story takes place one year in the future, after Swamp Thing and Animal Man learn that the future they’re heading to leads towards the Rot taking over the entire planet. The story unfolds as two separate arcs: The Red Kingdom and The Green Kingdom, in which each hero tries to make his way to face Anton Arcane and reverse the Rot’s effects.

This story heavily focuses on the magical side of DC which is traditionally darker than most mainstream superhero comics but I feel would work really well in a cinematic universe. With the Justice League Dark film in development, I’m hoping Swamp Thing will be a part of it and maybe Animal Man will be in the film or at least have a cameo too, either of which would be crucial in setting up this film and definitely something that DC should do. Me and some friends often talk about comics and our would-be comic film slates and one thing we have in common is that we would love to see a series of magical DC films with Guillermo Del Toro at the helm.

9. The Longbow Hunters

Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters is a terrific story, and certainly one of Green Arrow’s best. This story could easily be molded along with Green Arrow: Year One to be part of the origin story for the character in the DCEU Cinematic Universe.

Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters was originally a mini-series published in 1987 and is set after he and Black Canary have been dating for a while, seeing them move to Seattle together and Black Canary ends up hospitalised after tangling with some drug dealers and then Ollie crosses the line where he establishes himself as a vigilante rather than straight up hero. While on the hunt for a particularly grim serial killer, he encounters a ninja-archer called Shado who has absolutely exceptional skills and the story toys with readers who are unsure if the pair will be enemies or allies and the pair of them venture deep into the dark, violent and bloody criminal underworld. It’s a gritty and yet, logical story, and brings a new look at the character.

How this story could be adapted to fit into the origin story is that after returning from the island where he was presumed dead, he could meet Black Canary who is to be established in the 2020 film Birds of Prey and they could strike up a relationship while both pursing a crime-fighting career and then time could fast forward even just a matter of months to them settling down together and building the relationship, talking of the future, when everything starts to go down. A particularly great aspect of this arc is the family-drive that Ollie and Dinah have, and that the story could very much be part of its own arc, rather than tying into the bigger team films.

8. Bloodspell

Black Canary and Zatanna: Bloodspell is a great story combining two fantastic women of DC, as they team up to take on a supernatural threat that preys on their weaknesses and unleashes their awesome powers against each other.

The one-shot story, starting a year prior to the present-day events, sees Black Canary investigate a gang of female criminals set to pull a dangerous heist at a Las Vegas casino. Its leader was skilled in hand-to-hand combat and with more than a passing interest in the occult, specifically black magic, one nasty customer. Rather than be taken by Canary or the law, she went to her death, vowing she would get revenge on Canary and her own former gang members. In the present day, death has returned for the gang-members in a seemingly supernatural way and so Black Canary turns to her great friend, Zatanna, for help. Their friendship is a key part of the story. Everything from the way they fight together, the way they interact and the way that they talk is consistent with what Dini has set up in the book for them. They’re fun, strong, powerful, smart, witty and they want to do the right thing at all times.

I’m really hoping that Zatanna will appear or at least be teased in the 2020 Birds of Prey film which features Black Canary as one of the key members, and so this story could easily be set up. Zatanna is also a key member of the Justice League Dark, a team which is set to appear in films in the future of DC too, so this story could either be a spin off from that or lead into it.

7. Death of a King

Aquaman: Death of a King is an amazing story woven deep into the mythos of Atlantis and Aquaman himself and would serve as a terrific sequel plot.

Aquaman: Death of a King is the comic successor to Throne of Atlantis, which as it happens, was the main influence to the 2018 DCEU Aquaman film. In Death of a King we see Arthur having to travel across the world to investigate an ancient murder – one that will reveal a horrific truth about Arthur Curry and threaten those closest to him. A secondary plot sees the criminal explorer and villain known as the Scavenger compile more Atlantean weaponry and artifacts as he prepares to sell them to enemies of Atlantis. Aquaman enlists the aid of The Others to help find one missing relic in the Southwestern United States before his enemies can get to it and possess untold power. Death of a King is all about Arthur trying to win over the people of Atlantis, now that he has decided to take up his rightful place as their king and on top of everything, something wakes up the Dead King; Atlantis’ Greatest king who was responsible for creating Aquaman’s Trident and the other Six Artifacts of Atlantis who supposedly died with his family when Atlantis fell into the sea. Aquaman and Mera have to endure thick and thin in this story as they try to grow and better Atlantis and its people, while also trying to stop the Scavenger and Dead King from attacking and destroying Atlantis, in one way or another.

Aquaman: Death of a King seems like a pretty solid choice for a sequel to the 2018 film as well as being an excellent tale, one that I really hope we see in the future, whether a direct sequel or one later down the line. I especially hope that James Wan helms the next project too for I really, thoroughly enjoyed the film.

6. Flashpoint

Flashpoint is a crossover event which focuses heavily on Flash as well as Batman and Cyborg but in an alternative universe.

The story centres on Flash, and he wakes up at his desk and the whole world has changed – Aquaman and Atlantis are at war with Wonder Woman and the Amazons, the war is threatening the whole world. So imagine Bruce Wayne died in the alley instead of his parents! In the Flashpoint universe exactly that happened, and then his mother went mad with grief and her descent into madness ended with her becoming the Joker and his father became the Batman but a far darker Batman than we had previously seen; a Batman that kills, drinks and preys on criminals. Superman is a prisoner of the U.S government and has never seen the sunlight, Shazam exists but in this world is made when a combination of teens shout ‘Shazam’ and transform into Captain Thunder and other new-but-altered faces. This story packed such a huge punch, it was so refreshing and an interesting concept.

DC haven’t exactly cleared their name yet when it comes to making great films, I’m not singling them out for the MCU had a bumpy start too, however Snyder’s verse put the DCEU at a disadvantage and I personally would have used Flashpoint to refresh or correct the timeline and lead off into a new DCEU before Aquaman but that ship has sailed. Flashpoint was rumoured to be the title of the upcoming Flash film however nothing official has been released about this. Flashpoint would be a great arc for the story itself and also if DC wanted to refresh the cinematic universe or to set up specifically for certain events.

5. Under the Red Hood

Batman: Under the Red Hood is one of my all-time favourite DC arcs, in fact it’s one of my favourite comic arcs full stop. The story focuses on Batman and a former robin, Jason Todd.

Now we have been teased Red Hood aka Jason Todd in the DCEU twice. The first time was in Batman vs Superman when we see Bruce looking at an old Robin suit/armour which belonged to the side-kick and then again in Suicide Squad 2 in the Harley Quinn montage of her characters’ introduction, neon text flashes across the screen and we see that she was ‘an accomplice in the murder of Robin’. However the famous Batman story of Under the Red Hood sees Batman and Jason a lot younger than the current DCEU Batman would be so I am unsure if this means we could see a Red Hood arc although a prequel wouldn’t be out of the question. Jason Todd, for those unsure, was Batman’s second Robin after Dick Grayson who later went on to become Nightwing, a hero in his own right. Jason Todd was seemingly murdered by Joker but was later found to be resurrected by Ra’s Al Ghul who felt responsible for the death of the character. Jason Todd, now alive once more, was also unhinged and took up the mantle of Red Hood; previously worn by Joker, and returned to Gotham city to face-down Batman.

This story could still come to pass on the big screen. Actor Jensen Ackles who voiced the character of Jason Todd in the animated film of Under the Red Hood has expressed interest in reprising the live-action role of the character on multiple occasions.

4. Court of Owls

Batman: The Court of Owls is one of the more recently published arcs on this list but that doesn’t discredit how extremely enthralling it is. Batman: The Court of Owls is one of Batman’s greatest stories and pits the caped crusader against a clandestine organisation unlike those he’s encountered before.

What makes the Court of Owls so great in adapting is that they could be pit against a younger or an older Batman for they are a clandestine, shadow organisation, you could even have the film serve as Batman’s apparent last outing, killing off the character, only for him to return a few films later. The Court of Owls ensnare Batman and expose him to his worst fears, as well as unleashing their best assassins, the killers known as Talons, into Gotham. The Court, and Talons, feed on Batman’s strengths and weaknesses alike, and drag the Caped Crusader down along with the rest of the Bat-family as he tries to stop the wheels in motion, set in place by the Court of Owls as they seek to create a Gotham-topia of which they pull all the strings. The Court’s goal is to prove that they are the superior legend of Gotham City, not Batman.

This story would be phenomenal, a chance for DC to expand their Batman and Gotham mythos and also deliver a story with twists and turns that nobody could expect. Another great thing about the Talons, and particularly their fearsome leader – William Cobb, is that he has encountered the Birds of Prey, in fact they fought against him and also would serve as a tremendous introduction device for Nightwing and Batgirl into the DCEU Cinematic Universe.

3. The Judas Contract

Teen Titans: The Judas Contract must be up there in one of best and most iconic stories ever written. The Judas Contract focuses heavily on Deathstroke as well as the Teen Titans.

Titans have made their way to Netflix and have received mixed reviews however I personally loved it. Titans is set a different universe to the current DCEU universe which houses the stories that started with Man of Steel and most recently, Aquaman, but I think that the Teen Titans deserve their place on the big screen. The Teen Titans are one of DC’s flagship teams, they have a variety of superb comic arcs that could be adapted however I think that first and foremost should be one of their greatest ever: The Judas Contract. In Judas Contract, the Teen Titans, led by Nightwing now; known formerly as Robin, reailise that growing up can mean growing apart, and after a tremendous battle against Trigon – Raven’s father – they realise they must sacrifice one of their own to defeat the satanic creature. Wonder Girl, Cyborg, Changeling, Starfire, Jericho and Nightwing must deal with the fact that lifetime friendships may not be enough to save their group from external threats and interpersonal issues. On top of this all, Deathstroke the ‘Terminator’, hired by an evil cabal known simply as HIVE, takes out the Titans with help from a Judas within their ranks. The story puts a considerable focus on Deathstroke too, exploring his life and motives, and you learn that he lost a son in this story and that turns his heart to ice. In this story we are shown a very fragile union of Teenagers with all the angst, ego, and problems of normal teens juxtaposed against the duties of saving the world and presenting a good image to the world.

The Judas Contract could serve doubly well for the DCEU and its characters too, proving a vital role for Deathstroke after his appearance in the Justice League credit scene, as well as introducing a premier team which could support the franchise for a few films. I would actually utilise the Teen Titans as the main DCEU cinematic team, bringing the Justice League together only for massive events and cross-overs, focusing on the lesser known or more unique characters for solo films.

2. Injustice

Injustice is my favourite mainstream superhero genre story so I think those of you that know me, probably suspected this would show up. Injustice centres around Superman and Batman as events unfold causing them to take sides against each other, and I will explain below about the story and why I think it would me a terrific live-action adaptation. The comic is set in an alternative universe however I feel it could work well in the main universe of films.

Injustice is a big story, huge in-fact. Set over five years in which we see Superman’s totalitarianism reign battle a variety of foes. Going back to the beginning though, Superman is tricked into killing Lois and his child by Joker who, using powerful chemicals, tricks Superman’s mind into thinking Doomsday has returned but instead are his wife, Lois, and their child. Jumping ahead over some details a little, Superman then kills Joker who’s death reveals a horrifying master-plan that revolved around his death. Joker’s heart-beat was linked to a nuclear bomb in Metropolis and when Joker died, millions of innocent people died too. From this harrowing event, Superman decides to put an end to all crime – not just super-villains, and takes it upon himself to police the planet. Many of the Justice League agree and join Superman but Batman does not. Over the duration of the five, one year arcs, the story sees Superman and the Justice League battle a variety of opponents linked to Batman, who oppose the totalitarian rule. Year One sees Batman form a resistance known as the ‘Insurgency’; Year Two introduces the Lantern Corps on a mass scale, specifically the Green and Yellow; Year Three brings in magic users such as Constantine, Doctor Fate and Zatanna; Year Four changes direction and introduces the Greek Gods; and Year Five pits Superman and his followers against a desperate last stand from Batman as he and another (won’t spoil it) try to link a parallel universe to their own, in order to bring through their counter-parts in order to save them. Injustice follows dozens of characters and is set in multiple locations.

Injustice would work best much further down the line after a few other major arcs had played out, and of course, many new characters had been introduced. However Injustice could be adapted into a whole slate of films rather than just one or two; a story and sequel. This would prove an insane concept come to life. If DC were to set up the story over one or two films individually and then explore the rest over a series of films, through the eyes and events of other characters, building up towards a penultimate clash and finale it could prove to be some of the best comic-book film making ever.

1. Blackest Night

The story of Blackest Night and Brightest Day is definitely one of the greatest comic book arcs of all time, technically individual stories but both feed into one over-arching event, and could become a comic-book masterpiece if in the right hands.

The Blackest Night event begins while a war rages on all across the DC universe, and then comes Nekron, an almighty force of death who reanimates deceased superheroes with the black lantern rings and seeks to eliminate all life and emotion from the universe. Nekron is one of the coolest villains ever, and certainly one of the most powerful too. The story features a prophecy called the ‘Blackest Night’ and when it descends, all hell breaks loose, and it falls upon Hal Jordan to lead DC’s remaining, alive, heroes in a last line of defence against Nekron and his annihilating army of un-dead superheroes. Hal, with allies from all the emotional spectrum Lantern Corps including non-lantern heroes that join the corps, leads an almighty attack upon the forces of the dead aka the Black Lantern Corps and we get to see one of the most spectacular, epic, universe-shaking battles that comic-books have ever seen leading to a penultimate event within the Blackest Night which sees the birth of the White Lantern Corps.

Blackest Night is a Green Lantern story in the comics however it could easily be adjusted and adapted into a story set over multiple films with roles from Green Lantern and the Justice League, it would work really well in a similar format that Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame films are being released as – two parts of the an overarching story set over two individual stories and films, although I would release it as a three-film story, with elements and characters adapted and changed to fit, under the titles and format of something like:

Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps War

Green Lantern: Blackest Night

Justice League: The White Lanterns

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So there it is! I hope everyone who reads this enjoyed it, what DC arcs would you like to see coming? I’ve got a few big posts coming soon as well as a few slightly smaller ones I hope. Hope everyone is excellent. Peace!

It’s Super Romantic!

Happy Valentines Day everyone, I hope those of you who celebrate it have a great day and remember it should also be for friendships too! This post will be a relatively short one, I will be listing off my favourite superhero/villain couples from 5th to 1st place. I’m also currently working on a casting post for the X-Men when they enter into the MCU, and I am working on this with a friend and fellow writer. So I look forward to showing you that! Without further ado, let’s kick off the list!

5. Mister Fantastic & Invisible Woman

One of Marvel’s most famous couples. Mister Fantastic and Invisible Woman embody the Silver Age comic-book romance, being a devoted, passionate, and healthy couple.

tumblr_ls4horuDxC1qhyhwto1_500Since the start of Fantastic Four’s first series, the team has been devoted to family and even though the couple had a rocky start they’ve made it work which is more than most comic-book families. Their relationship is built on an emotional trust that has survived the some of the worst crises any world can offer, some of which have been self-caused and some not, and each become for the other what they themselves can not be, they’ve stayed together through thick and thin, even when they’ve found themselves on opposite sides of the superhero Civil War, and have flourished as a couple. The pair have had two children together; creating a whole other family within the Fantastic Four’s already strong family-mythos.

4. Apollo & Midnighter

A somewhat unknown entry to the list but rather fantastic all the same!

7d2f746da77fc7706b933781653abe58Apollo and Midnighter are an amazing couple. First appearing in 1998’s Stormwatch #4 by Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch, the Apollo/Midnighter duo became one of the strongest parts of the the extremely groundbreaking series and team of the same name, from the Wildstorm imprint of DC comics universe known as The Authority. The duo eventually married and outlasted their team and virtually all of their Wildstorm universe associates. Andrew Pulaski (Apollo) and Lucas Trent (Midnighter), once considered the Batman and Superman similar-types, became one of the most prominent same-sex couples in DC and Marvel. Apollo and Midnighter are also completely badass, you should check those guys out.

3. Black Bolt & Medusa

Black Bolt and Medusa, King and Queen of the Inhumans, warriors and rulers in their own right.

4a73efd4e770d2c34279245aa986bcceBlack Bolt and Medusa have a some-what strained relationship but for unusual reasons however this hasn’t changed their fiercely loyal and loving relationship. Firstly, being the rulers of a genetically created race which has been attempted to be used as a weapon against civilizations and empires must be quite stressful. Secondly, Black Bolt can’t talk, like ever. Well he can but he shouldn’t because his voice is capable of destroying buildings, cities, mountains and even shattering planets. Medusa visited Black Bolt when he was younger and kept in isolation due to his ability to decimate things with his voice and they fell in love. The pair were married soon after and apart from the occasional story such as House of M, where Black Bolt could talk, he’s never been able to talk to her or to anyone. However Medusa has stuck by Black Bolt through it all, and the pair have even developed their own communication through body and face language. These two are wrapped in an extremely interesting and multi-layered origin, one that I would highly recommend you all checking out.

2. Gambit & Rogue

So this here is one of the most beloved pairings in mainstream comics and especially in the X-Men.

Rogue and GambitThe most compelling aspect of the relationship between the two is their will to be together and pure chemistry. Rogue’s power has traditionally been uncontrollable, in the sense that there’s a risk for anyone who makes skin-to-skin contact with her of losing not just their super-powers, but also their memories and even their life in some cases as was the unfortunate result of when her powers manifested the first time, killing her boyfriend. However Rogue is worth the risk for Gambit, he isn’t scared off by her powers, in fact he regularly kisses her and holds her by using his own powers to constantly charge enough energy so they can touch but not be harmed, however it’s still a risk, but a risk he is willing to take. The pairing are also perfectly matched in sass and sarcasm, constantly flirting with each other and making jokes, and they’ve also both been through similar hard-times. The best thing though, is that they’re also each other’s best friends and this makes their coupling really quite special and they wed each other recently too!

1. Aquaman & Mera

This entry will probably come as no surprise to those that know me for Aquaman is my favourite character in DC/Marvel, and Mera is one hell of a first lady; warrior, assassin, lover and Queen.

51968826_1347269182079592_6379518802551373824_nAquaman and Mera are a powerhouse couple. They are brilliant together however they have also clashed at times, creating wedges between the coupling. Aquaman was never meant to fall for Mera or vice versa, in fact, Mera was originally sent to Atlantis to kill Aquaman but the pair fell in love and Mera turned her back on her violent past. Both Aquaman and Mera are fiercely loyal to both each other and Atlantis, and both make for a formidable ruling pairing, they have defied prophecies, usurpers, armies and other super-powered beings to be together. The King and Queen of Atlantis have both seen hardships and have troubling pasts, they even lost a child while together, bringing a very real-life, traumatic aspect to their relationship, however they always come to each other’s side; they may have spent time apart but they have always loved each other, becoming a stronger and stronger couple and have each shown the other new worlds and realms.

My honourable mentions are for Scarlet Witch & Vision, and Green Arrow & Black Canary. Both are incredibly strong and interesting couples but just didn’t quite make the cut!

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So there we have it! My five favourite superhero couples. I hope you enjoyed the read and stay tuned for more content to come!

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You Are… Doomed

Hello! My post quantity has dropped rather significantly over the last few months and that’s because I’ve been adjusting to a new job as well as finally taking driving lessons. I am still deeply enjoying the blog though and am trying to keep up the posts every week or so. Today I will be listing my top five Doctor Doom comic picks. Doctor Doom, although a villain for the most part, is truly interesting and extraordinary, and has appeared in some really marvelous stories.

Victor Von Doom aka Doctor Doom is a flagship Marvel Comics villain and character. He has appeared in 3045 issues at time of this blog post. While primarily a villain, he has worked with heroes and even led entire teams of them before. He was at university with Reed Richards and is only surpassed in intelligence by Reed himself, Doom is an immensely powerful sorcerer and a gifted scientist, and the relationship between he and the Fantastic Four isn’t just black and white.

5. Infamous Iron Man

Infamous Iron Man is written by Brian Michael Bendis and illustrated by Alex Maleev.

I was wrestling with two stories to put at 5th place on this list and Infamous Iron Man is a story that I bet many weren’t thinking would appear on it, however, I really love the

infamous

Infamous Iron Man story. Infamous Iron Man takes off after the destruction of the Multiverse and Doctor Doom manages to kill the Beyonders who are an immensely powerful omnipotent race from another plane of existence, and he has managed to harness their power. As God Doom he merges the remaining bits of the surviving worlds into a new version of Battleworld and rules it. He also marries Susan Storm, who does not remember her prior life. He is eventually opposed by the heroes after they remember the truth. During the final battle, Molecule Man gives God Doom’s power to Reed, who heals Victor’s face. In the aftermath of the Multiverse’s restoration, the newly-healed Victor sets out to try and change his ways. He befriends Tony Stark and after Tony is rendered comatose during a battle with Captain Marvel, Victor takes on the mantle of Iron Man, donning a new suit, and even becomes a member of the Avengers.

Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev create a great story, fun and with a twist on Doom, portrayed as the hero rather than a villain. Though he does have other motives of course. Maleev’s art is fresh and stylish, and the two work well together.

4. Fantastic Four: Unthinkable

Fantastic Four, Volume 2: Unthinkable is written by Mark Waid and illustrated by Mike Wieringo.

Mark Waid’s Fantastic Four was fairly hit or miss, the first arc was rather forgettable so you can imagine how astonished I was to read this and then to rank it up among Doom’s

unthinkable

best stories. A lot of writers portray Doctor Doom to be a complex character who’s villainous behaviour and acts mask a sort of hidden honour but that’s not what happened in Fantastic Four: Unthinkable. Due to complications with Sue Storm’s pregnancy, Reed and Sue have to reach out to Doom and are forced to ask for his help in delivering their daughter, and as asked, Doom delivers the baby girl into the world. For this, Reed and Sue allow Doom to name the girl and he calls her Valeria. We then learn that he enchanted Valeria so he could spy on the Fantastic Four. Victor Von Doom then tracks down his long lost childhood love and guess what he does? He sacrifices her, having given up on science, to which he gains enormous levels of arcane power. Doctor Doom then uses this power to banish Franklin Richards to hell, yeah, he banishes a being who can create universes in his hands to hell, and then he goes on to torment the Fantastic Four. Fantastic Four: Unthinkable explores Doctor Doom at his worst.

Fantastic Four: Unthinkable is an extremely interesting book, delving into the relationship between Doom and the Fantastic Four, and Reed and Sue’s children. We also see a new side to Reed, for to beat Doom he too must delve into realms beyond his knowledge and explore magic, in order to lose grip on logic and save his family. Mark Waid’s Unthinkable is truly a great story, with magic and science carefully bonded together. Mike Wieringo’s art is some-what harsh but the it works well with the story, bringing a realistic feel merged with chaotic events.

3. Books of Doom

Fantastic Four: Books of Doom is written by Ed Brubaker and illustrated by Pablo Raimondi.

This is most definitely one of my favourite Ed Brubaker stories. A dark and revealing examination of how an innocent boy grows up to be a tyrant, a new twist on an old

books of doom

legend. In this story we get to see the events of Victor’s life unfold, starting at showing us his childhood; he was the child of Gypsy travelers in the fictional country of Latveria, a small European country in Marvel’s universe. Victor’s mother was killed by Mephisto when she called upon him/summoned him and left Victor with his father, asking him to protect him from Mephisto. Victor’s father was a doctor who was called upon by King Vladimir of Latveria to treat his wife. He was unable to do so, so Werner fled with Victor but died soon afterward trying to protect his son. Victor later discovered his mother’s mystical books and artifacts. With them, he was able to teach himself sorcery. The story goes on to show Victor’s escape to America where he first encounters Reed Richards, developing both a fierce friendship and rivalry, before he returns to Latveria to wreak his revenge on the Baron and secure his country’s future. Brubaker does a great job of making Doom sympathetic but also proving why he’s a villain. Doom is arrogant, even before his need of the mask and many of his downfalls are due to his overconfidence and pride. His life, his journey, his mistakes and the determination to rule are all told perfectly, even when some moments run the risk of being cliche.

Brubaker’s writing is top notch as always and I enjoyed the artwork of Pablo Raimondi which suited the colourful landscapes that Brubaker’s writing of Victor’s journey took him on, creating a terrific study of a complex and some-what understood character, delving deep into his motives, his flaws and his eagerness to achieve.

2. Doctor Strange and Doctor Doom: Triumph and Torment

Doctor Strange and Doctor Doom: Triumph and Torment is written by Roger Stern and illustrated by Mike Mignola.

For those that follow my posts you’ll remember this from my Doctor Strange picks where it landed at first place. This story is a huge amount of fun, tremendously so. In this story

strange and doom

we see the unlikely team up of Doctor Strange and Doctor Doom as they venture into Mephisto’s realm in an all-out, magic-blazing attempt to free the soul of Victor Von Doom’s mother. How this came to be was that Doctor Strange was summoned to a meeting of the Three, a council held every one-hundred years, where he battles other sorcerers in order for them to be judged and one given the title of Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Doom and Doctor Strange clash and Strange wins, ultimately keeping the title however Doom is allowed to make a request of the Sorcerer Supreme being the runner up and he demands that Doctor Strange accompanies him to Hell in order to free his mother from the clutches of Mephisto himself. This is a great tale of magic, damnation and redemption. Seeing the team up of two extremely arrogant characters whose pride is second only to the one of Mephisto, the Prince of Lies. While this is primarily a Doctor Strange comic, he and Doom have equal time on the page and are their journey through hell is as interesting as it is colourful, there are many extraordinary battles as they fight together against the odds but also many astonishing moments where we get to delve into Doom’s ideology and moral compass.

The story is a master-work of character building, development, and overthrowing reader expectations. The story offers a striking characterization for one of the coolest Marvel villains, Doctor Doom. Roger Stern delivers brilliant writing, exploring the depths of magic, the chemistry between unlikely allies and packs the story full of action, humour, suspsense, drama, and magic. Mike Mignola’s art work is absolutely stunning. I think this tale contains some of his absolute best, painting Mephisto with a striking eeriness; adding to the layers of which his dimension feels haunted.

1. Fantastic Four by Jonathan Hickman

Fantastic Four is written by Jonathan Hickman and illustrated by a variety of artists including Sean Chen, Rick Magyar, and Nick Dragotta.

The Fantastic Four has actually had many writers, and the title of this run is the same as other Fantastic Four stories, but the one in focus today is by Hickman. Hickman’s

hickman

approach to the Fantastic Four was brilliant, a total re-vamping of Marvel’s favourite family. The Fantastic Four get a totally new re-imagining, with a story spanning across space, reality and time, and yes, we are still talking about top Doctor Doom comic picks – this story doubles as the best of both. Doctor Doom plays a pivotal role in the Jonathan Hickman Fantastic Four story. At the end of the previous arc involving Doom, Doom is severely injured both of mind and body. Meanwhile, A future version of Franklin Richards had warned Valeria Richards that there was an upcoming problem and that ‘All Hope Lies in Doom.’ The Fantastic Four had disbanded after the death of the Human Torch, and so it was seemingly essential to bring Doom into the fold, in exchange for his help to save her father, she offered to find a way to restore his intelligence. From the ashes of the disbanded Fantastic Four, Mr. Fantastic formed a new group to create a better future for all of humanity called Future Foundation, and they, with Doom’s help battle in part of one of the most tremendously powerful events of Marvel comics. While Doom’s part in this comic is not as large in this comic as the other picks listed, his part is certainly centre stage.

This story is truly (forgive me) fantastic. We get to see the Fantastic Four and particularly Reed Richards in the aftermath of Civil War and the Skrull Invasion, and how it has affected him, as well as the team’s mentality with the loss of the Human Torch. He searches for the answers to how to solve everything and in so doing finds a council of alternate universe counterparts trying to solve all the problems on their worlds. The story sees Doctor Doom in a new light, engaging us with a new take on the genius as he suffers from mental and physical afflictions. The art-work is superb too, all of the artists’ work flows seamlessly, working with Hickman’s writing to create a brilliant chemistry filled page turner.

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So here are my favourite Doctor Doom comic picks. This post was really enjoyable, more so than a lot of the others (although I love all the posts here) because Doom doesn’t really have a centre-stage role in many comics, he really deserves his own major series rather than the occasional mini-series, with a writer who really knows their stuff. Hope you enjoyed the read! More content coming soon!

It’s Strange…

“I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. ” – This is one of the coolest lines about magic ever written, and I’ve always wanted to know what would have happened if Gandalf and Doctor Strange had gotten to team up. Alas we will never know, but you will know my favourite Doctor Strange comics!

With a name like Stephen Strange you really have to become a sorcerer don’t you? That or at least a Bond Villain. Doctor Stephen Strange was once a gifted but selfish and egotistical surgeon who sought out the Ancient One in a last attempt to heal his hands after a devastating car crash. Instead, the Ancient One trained him to become Master of the Mystic Arts and the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth. Doctor Strange has appeared in a huge 3941 issues and is widely known, and considered one of the greatest fictional sorcerers ever. So with that in mind, pals, let’s crack on!

5. Damnation

Doctor Strange: Damnation is written Donny Cates by and illustrated by Rod Reis.

This is by far the newest addition to the entries, published only of July 2018, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be on the list. Donny Cates is a superstar at Marvel. His work damnationwriting on characters such as Thanos and Venom have been thoroughly well received, and now we can add Doctor Strange to that list. Doctor Strange: Damnation is set shortly after Doctor Strange raises Las Vegas up from its destruction during the 2017 arc ‘Secret Empire’, and he inadvertently opens a big door for the embodiment of evil, Mephisto himself. Mephisto takes the city for himself and begins to plot about taking the world. The Sorcerer Supreme will have to give it his all to take back the city and drive Mephisto away, however he won’t be able to do it alone. Doctor Strange is joined by the Avengers and the Midnight Sons; Earth’s main defence against the dark and unnatural forces.

Donny Cates picks up with Doctor Strange in an all-out storm of magic. Damnation is an excellent, great fun mini-event that ties together Doctor Strange and the Avengers, along with a few other side-characters and sets up more endeavours for the future.

4. The Way of the Weird

Doctor Strange: The Last Days Of Magic is written by Jason Aaron and illustrated by Chris Bachalo

The Empirikul, led by The Imperator, are a technological enemy that are seeking out and destroying all magic and magic users in the Marvel Universe. A libarian known as Zelma way of the weirdStanton meets with Doctor Strange when searching for help – after she learns of demons plaguing her mind. This is the first ongoing Doctor Strange book in a long time and, often I find that volume 1’s of new series nowadays often don’t touch upon origins for we are are already familiar with the character by the time a series like this comes around, but I think it’s great that Aaron explains the character, and explores elements of his life as well as launching him into a new mind-bending adventure. We learn that Doctor Strange suffers physically and endures a pretty lonely, dark life – and no matter what, he still saves the innocents. Along the way Aaron introduces the reader to the important aspects of Strange’s world through a new character, the Sanctum Sanctorum – the magical home in which he lives in and guards which is full of amazing, wonderful artifacts which leave us guessing; his magician friend and aid Wong, and a particularly intriguing bar known as The Bar with No Doors, a watering hole only for magicians. The book is bursting with creativity in the same way the books in Strange’s library are crammed with magic.

Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo bring another great story to life, with a very appealing tone – simialr to Aaron and Bachalo’s collaboration, Wolverine and the X-Men, it is a tasteful blend of comedy, adventure, drama, and is filled with seemingly limitless imagination and gorgeous artwork that helps carry the story forward.

3. Into Shamballa

Doctor Strange: Into Shamballa is written by J.M DeMattis and illustrated by Dan Green.

Into Shamballa is a step away from the typical superhero genre comic, especially for Marvel. There is no grand evil, no building up to battle a big bad evil. The story is a into shamballajourney of discovery for Stephen Strange himself. Doctor Strange returns to the Temple of Shamballa to do homage to his departed master, the Ancient One, but finds that his mentor has left one last gift. The Lords of Shamballa and the Ancient One, want to usher in a Golden Age for man. But, in order to do this, Doctor Strange would have to be the one who starts the events that lead to an Armageddon of which, in the aftermath, humanity will be more in tune with the mystical arts, pathing the way for a new utopia. As you can imagine, Doctor Strange isn’t quite as on board with this as they are. However, the source of the journey and it’s potential has him conflicted.  Into Shamballa brings the ‘A Game’ with abstract and mystical story telling devices which echoes more of the Sandman Universe than any Marvel story.  DeMattis explores the inner psyche of Strange and shows us some other sides to the Ancient One’s retreat, personality, and his servants. A little of this is explored in the 2016 Doctor Strange film – where we learn of the Ancient One drawing power from the Dark Dimension.

The writing evokes a feel of reading a magical theory book and the artwork truly does complement the story. The story encompasses intelligent and thought provoking concepts of magic, the soul, and the entities at work, and is supported by an art style that works in tandem with this truly mystical tale. DeMattis and Green create one of the most beautiful Doctor Strange stories ever written.

2. The Oath

Doctor Strange: The Oath is written by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Marcos Martin.

Positions 1 and 2 on this list were a battle among themselves. I truly love both however The Oath landed just behind #1 in second place. Doctor Strange: The Oath is written by the oathone of my favourite comic-authors and Brian K. Vaughan hits the spot once again. In this story, Doctor Stephen Strange sets out to solve his own murder as well as seeking out a cure for Wong, his close friend and ally who has been diagnosed with cancer. The story starts out by building up the bond between Wong and Strange, deliberately ready to pull at your heat strings just a few pages later. Strange finds a cure and is made sure of that it works and it does, but it also cures all cancers not just the strand that Wong has. However, things get really dicey here. Someone found out what this potion was capable of, and decided they needed to put an end to it. The Oath also features a character called the Night Nurse quite heavily which I really enjoyed, she’s only really been seen before this in a few smaller events or stories. The Oath is a story that feels uniquely suited to Strange, a confluence of medicine and magic, rooting his mystical presence in place, and the story is full of thrills, humour, twists and references to the origin and past of the character.

Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin craft a tale that revisits Doctor Strange’s origin to becoming the Sorcerer Supreme, and his surgeon past by blending the mystic arts with real-world, grounded Marvel universe, science. Vaughan nails the story – filling it with heart wrenching twists, deep character plots and magical, fantastical outcomes. And Martin’s art is inspiring, clean and evocative, it almost feels like a mirror of Jack Kirby’s original art; it is wondrous yet also fitting to the story.

1. Doctor Strange and Doctor Doom: Triumph and Torment

Doctor Strange and Doctor Doom: Triumph and Torment is written by Roger Stern and illustrated by Mike Mignola.

This story here is a lot of fun, probably one of the most fun comics I’ve read  in the superhero genre. While it’s true that I generally prefer stories with a more serious theme or writing, I do strange and doomlove it when writers bring comedy or just good-old-fashioned fun effectively into the mix. In this story we see the unlikely team up of Doctor Strange and Doctor Doom as they venture into Mephisto’s realm in an all-out, magic-blazing attempt to free the soul of Victor Von Doom’s mother. Doctor Strange and Doctor Doom are summoned to a magical trial with some other contestants to determine who will be the next Sorcerer Supreme. Strange walks away with the title, but Doom wins the right to make a request of him and so begins their journey into the devil’s lair.  This story is a master-work of character building, development, and overthrowing reader expectations. The story offers a striking characterization for one of the coolest Marvel villains, we see Mephisto in a new light and he in itself, fills the story with depth and comes across genuinely scary. As well, we see more than just magic from Doom and Strange, the story explores their relationship with each other, giving them a whole new depth with magic in all its forms, and with others too; Doom’s relationship with his mother is a key tale told in this story and it will change how you view Victor and why he has done the things he has.

Roger Stern delivers brilliant writing, exploring the depths of magic, the chemistry between unlikely allies and packs the story full of action, humour, suspsense, drama, and magic. Mike Mignola’s art work is absolutely stunning. I think this tale contains some of his absolute best, painting Mephisto with a striking eeriness; adding to the layers of which his dimension feels haunted. Mignola’s approach of the two protagonists of this story are brilliant too, the whole story fits together like pieces of a jigsaw. An absolute must read.

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So there we have it! Hope you enjoyed the read and stay tuned, coming up over the next weeks are our favourite Fantastic Four stories, favourite Flash villains (with recommended reading), and stretching out across multiple publishers; ten series you should definitely be reading right now. Peace!