Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Goose the Cat in 'Captain Marvel': To Flerken or Not to Flerken?


For Ms. Marvel fans, Carol Danvers' beloved sidekick was formerly known as "Chewie," a "Star Wars" reference that was the monicker for a Flerken from Earth 58163. But can a cat become a Flerken? Nope. It's the other way around. A Flerken is a highly intelligent creature with fangs and tentacles that takes the form of a housecat. 

   Big differences between Flerkens and cats? Aside from the whole tentacles and enormous fangs thing, cats do not lay eggs to reproduce and they are not incredibly rare. So, where do Flerkens keep their fangs, tentacles, etc. when they are not using them? Pocket dimensions, of course...Marvel fans have long ago learn to expect the unexpected.

   "Chewie" first graced the pages of Marvel alongside her galactic hero bestie in 2006, in "Giant Size Ms. Marvel #1." Perhaps because of the upcoming sequel to the 1980s box office smash "Top Gun," titled "Top Gun: Maverick" due out in June, 2020,  Chewie received a name-change in favor of Top Gun's ill-fated, albeit beloved co-pilot LTJG Nick "Goose" Bradshaw.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Iron Man’s Female Successor Could Be Ironheart


Everyone knows and loves Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man. He's been a reliable draw and box office breaker for the MCU for nine movies now: "Iron Man," his cameo in "The Incredible Hulk," "Iron Man 2," "The Avengers: Age of Ultron," "Captain America: Civil War," "Spider-Man: Homecoming" and, of course, "Avengers: Infinity War."

   Downey has one more film on his contract, which is "Avengers: Endgame." And, that's all he's signed for. Downey has been playing the iron Avenger since 2008, 11 years ago and gosh only knows how many billions of dollars later for the franchise.

   Something that most people forget about Downey is that, born in 1965, he is 53 years old. That means he has been eligible to join AARP for the past three years. While age has not been a problem so far, it would no doubt start becoming an issue not too long from now. So, it isn't really a gamble for either Downey or the studio to part ways after a mega-successful relationship that has garnered acclaim for both actor and studio.

   But, what next?

   Regardless of who comes and goes, the fixture that is Iron Man is going to need to stay. There are all kinds of theories out there. Here is mine.

   Ironheart, a.k.a. Riri Williams, was born on the pages of Marvel in May 2016 within "Invincible Iron Man" Vol. 2, No. 7. Williams went on to become a full-fledged character a few issues later, in "Invincible Iron Man" Vol. 2, No. 9. But, what's the big deal about Wiliams?

   Forget about the fact that Williams is a black woman, which can bring new fans to the MCU. She is introduced as a 15-year-old engineering student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who lives with her mother and aunt. She ends up building her own design of Iron Man's suit with items she aquired at school.

   So, instead of another 'traditional' brilliant guy (e.g. Hank Pym, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner), the reality of life comes closer to the surface that, in Avengers world or any other, brilliance comes from all backgrounds. On top of that, Williams could bring a younger demographic to the Iron Man franchise, along with more diversity.

   On top of that, being 15 years old, age issues going into the future go away entirely. There are plenty of incredible actresses out there that could turn the next phase of Iron Man into a Golden Age as Williams.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Wonder Woman: A '70s TV Success and a 2017 Big Screen Smash


When I was a kid, the two shows I would never miss during the week were "Charlie's Angels" and "Wonder Woman" (1975-1979). But, between the two of them, "Wonder Woman" and Linda Carter were more important than anything else. Today, the role has been inherited by Gal Gadot and the franchise is killing at the box office, deservedly so.

   With the trainwreck that was the "Justice League" in 2017, which only earned $229,024,295 domestically during November, I suppose it mens that Wonder Woman is going to have to go it alone for at least awhile until someone saves the JL universe with a new idea.

   Meanwhile, "Wonder Woman" knotted $412,563,408, released during June 2017, and garnered an additional $409,293,603 overseas. With a production budget of $149 million, it's safe to say that "Wonder Woman" won the DCU match-race.

   The next "Wonder Woman," which isn't being termed a "sequel" by the production company, will be set in 1984. The movie will reunite Gal Gadot and Chris Pine with director Patty Jenkins.

   According to USA Today, "Wonder Woman 2" (the non-sequel sequel) will be released on June 5, 2020. However, this is the third release date that has been given by the studio. Previously, "Wonder Woman 2" had been announced to release on Nov. 1, 2019 and, even later, on Dec. 13, 2019. So, count on the next Wonder Woman in June...for now.

   My question is what time travel scenario is going to allow Pine to portray "Steve Trevor" again, 70 years after his World War I heroics? Meanwhile, what happened that was so important during the 1980s? I was there and it was a lot of fun but it wasn't near as interesting as the '40s, '50s or '60s. Basically, the decade focused on cool music and big hair. But, I guess the Wonder Woman team has its finger on the pulse following its recent smash.

   I think what made "Wonder Woman" a hit on the small screen during the '70s and a hit on the big screen recently has some things in common. During the '70s, television execs read the mood in the country and gave them an authentic hero who had clear storylines and healthy heapings of action. The same can be said of the current "Wonder Woman," though her character development is more indepth and the action is both more believable and more frequent.

   So, in the battle of the Wonder Women who did it better? Well, Linda Carter was a woman of her time and fit the bill 50 years ago and perhaps the only actress who could have stunned at the role now was Gadot.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

'Middletown Mike' Columnist Mike Morris

Columnist Mike Morris introduces himself to the Internet -- several years ago. Mike, you have had a great run, all the best.