Is there too much Superhero Content? – Thoughts

I love reading comics which shouldn’t be a surprise considering what I write on BizarreBrunette. I wrote about She-Hulk last weekend and when I mention the negative reviews, another theme that I’m seeing is people who feel that there’s too much superhero content specifically Marvel releasing their shows on Disney+ I wanted to dive into this as I think it’s an interesting topic to address.

Personally, I’m all for the Marvel, DC, or comics-related movies or TV series. I like living in an era where we are seeing beloved characters and their stories being adapted. As a DC Comics fan, I never thought I would see Doctor Fate in a live-action movie especially when Doctor Fate is being played by Pierce Brosnan. I’m also excited for Captain America New World Order coming out in 2024, The Marvels coming out in 2023, and Thunderbolts coming out in 2024. I want to see more Bucky Barnes (played by Sebastian Stan) appearances throughout the Marvel universe. I’m also curious if Joaquin Torres (played by Danny Ramirez) will have a bigger role in Captain America New World Order.

I can understand if someone isn’t a big comics or superhero fan, I can see where this is a lot of content to keep up with. It seems like there is always something new coming out and it’s easy to get behind on watching every movie or TV series. I think it’s normal to feel some sort of fatigue. While I am a big fan of superhero content, I do sometimes have to take a break and watch a completely unrelated movie or TV series, so I can dive back in when I’m ready.

As mentioned, I’m all for the superhero content. It’s been awesome to see comics so heavily represented and I enjoy hearing about people who are getting into comics for the first time. I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments; do you feel that there is too much? just enough? or what would you like to see be adapted if it’s not already?

She-Hulk (2022)

SheHulk: Attorney at Law has been getting a lot of hate online. Currently, the show is listed with an average 2.2-star rating on Google. I don’t know much about She-Hulk as a character, so I’m not exactly sure how comic book accurate the TV series is. After watching all episodes on Disney+, I think She-Hulk isn’t as bad as everyone says it is. It’s not my all-time favorite Marvel series, but I think it’s a fun show to watch as long as you don’t go into it trying to nitpick every scene.

She-Hulk stars Jennifer Walters (played by Tatiana Maslany) as she navigates her stressful job as an attorney. In an unfortunate accident, she is exposed to Bruce Banner’s (played by Mark Ruffalo) blood. As such, she transforms into She-Hulk. Unlike the Hulk, She-Hulk retains her identity and controls her transformation at will. She tries to return to her regular life, but it’s quickly revealed that she has powers. Now that her powers are known, Jennifer is struggling to find anonymity and protect her privacy.

As mentioned, I don’t think She-Hulk is a bad show. I like all the guest appearances from Wong (played by Benedict Wong), Bruce, and Abomination (played by Tim Roth) who was in Edward Norton’s The Incredible Hulk movie back in 2008. I watched the latest episode which features Madisynn King (played by Patty Guggenheim) and she’s a funny addition to the series.

When I read about She-Hulk and hate online, I usually see two types of arguments. The first is the idea that the series hates men. There’s a scene from episode #1 when Bruce and Jennifer are talking about anger and being in control. Jennifer makes a comment somewhere along the lines of how being a woman in the world always prompts anger and fear. When I watched this episode, it didn’t pull me out of the watching experience as I didn’t think this comment was out of line. I think this was added because Jennifer is a lawyer and one of her co-workers is sexist which is why Jennifer would think this. To me, it didn’t feel out of place.

The second argument I see online is bashing Megan Thee Stallion’s guest appearance. If you watch the episode, everything makes sense. Jennifer’s co-worker, Dennis Bukowski (played by Drew Matthews) is fooled into thinking he’s dating Megan The Stallion when really it was a shape-shifting elf from New Asgard. In one of the after-credits scenes, Megan Thee Stallion is showing Jennifer how to twerk. I’m not following the backlash, I think the after-credits scene is entertaining. It’s supposed to be fun and lighthearted. If I had to guess, I think viewers were looking for a more serious She-Hulk series whereas this series is more about Jennifer having fun with her powers and how they mix with her life as a lawyer along with being single and dating.

Honestly, I like She-Hulk. I’m curious to see how the show will play out especially with a potential cameo from Daredevil.

Andor – Discussion & Thoughts

Rogue One is easily in my top three favorite Star Wars movies. When it was announced that Cassian Andor (played by Diego Luna) was getting his own series, I was ecstatic! Cassian was a character that I wanted to learn more about as it’s clear that his character was pulled into this war at a young age. I wanted to talk about the series especially since the first episode is airing next month.

Andor was co-written by Tony Gilroy who wrote the screenplays for The Bourne Franchise. I think this was an excellent choice as Cassian is a spy. In Rogue One, he helps Jyn infiltrate Scarif to steal the Deathstar plans. Cassian’s character is about being unseen and fitting in to achieve a goal. I’m curious as to whether this series will feel like a Star Wars series or if this will feel like a spy series set in the Star Wars lore. I’m hoping it’s the latter as I think it will be more fitting for Cassian.

Diego Luna is set to star as Cassian along with Forest Whitaker returning as the infamous Saw Gerrera. The cast of Andor also includes Fiona Shaw, Stellan Skarsgård, and Genevieve O’Reilly who’s returning as Mon Mothma. I’m a big fan of Fiona Shaw as I think she’s talented in any project she’s a part of.

Before writing this post, I watched the trailer. The trailer does an excellent job at revealing portions of the series without the plot. I have an idea as to the aesthetic the show is going for, but no idea as to what will happen. I do feel that some trailers reveal too much at times, and Andor is an example of how to create a trailer without spoiling major plot details.

I’m so excited for this series to air! I wouldn’t be surprised if I stayed up late watching the first episode because I’m not going to let the internet spoil this for me.

Should Thor Love & Thunder Issue Content Warnings?

CW: cancer, cancer storylines, and chemotherapy.

I went to see Thor Love & Thunder with a friend of mine a month ago. While Thor is the main character, I really was there to see Valkyrie and Jane Foster’s return to the Marvel franchise. After the movie was released, I was browsing the internet and I read an interesting article. The article was referring to Thor Love & Thunder and whether it should have included content warnings for viewers. If you couldn’t tell from the content warning I posted earlier, the content warning that viewers were asking for was regarding cancer, cancer diagnosis, and chemotherapy.

In Thor Love & Thunder, it’s revealed that Jane was diagnosed with cancer and her outcome was grim. She seeks out Mjölnir (Thor’s old Hammer) to see if this type of magic could help cure her. When Jane connects with Mjölnir, she’s given powers related to Thor, however, it’s at a cost. While Jane is Thor, her body is suppressed to fight cancer. For many viewers, they would have liked a heads up that this was a storyline happening in this movie.

I have never been diagnosed with cancer, so this isn’t a lived experience I’m able to speak to. However, I have had a loved one pass away from cancer, so I can at least relate to that aspect of this conversation. I personally didn’t have a problem watching this film. I’m sensing that there might be someone reading this who would think “people should stop being so sensitive”. I don’t see content warnings as being too sensitive. It’s simply saying that “this media contains x,y,z. If that’s something you want to avoid, don’t watch this film, TV show, etc.” The way that anyone handles trauma is so varied. I can see why others would have appreciated the heads up as Jane’s backstory includes her cancer diagnosis.

I will say that Jane’s cancer is a storyline in the comics, so it can be argued that this is comic book accurate. Some fans aren’t thrilled with the idea of bringing Jane back, giving her a cancer diagnosis, she gets powers and ultimately ends up dying in the end. I’m not sure how I feel about it as I go back and forth.

Anyway, I thought this was an interesting article and conversation to write about. I would be curious as to your thoughts. Should Thor Love & Thunder have included a content warning? or is cancer so common that it isn’t worth it to include it?

Cancelled Batgirl Movie – Thoughts

I love Batgirl. She’s one of my favorite superheroes in the DC Comics universe. Whether it was Barbara Gordon evolving into Oracle or Cassandra Cain, I loved the character. I was looking forward to the release of the Batgirl movie that we would finally see her big screen debut. Unfortunately, that’s not going to be the case as the Batgirl film was permanently shelved by Warner Bros. meaning the film will never be released in theaters or on streaming platforms.

When I first heard the news, my first thoughts were how badly I felt for the cast and crew. Leslie Grace, Michael Keaton, and JK Simmons were all big names who put their time and effort into this movie. I think it’s easy to drift into the thought of “Why would you feel bad for the actors? They’re rich. They will be fine if this movie isn’t released”. I understand feeling this way, but they’re still human beings who put their time and effort into a project. I was excited to see Leslie Grace’s portrayal of the character. The fact that it won’t even be released on HBO Max is honestly so disappointing.

There are rumors going around that Batgirl didn’t do well in test screenings. If that were the case, it still isn’t a good enough reason to not release the film. I think back to Birds of Prey and that movie didn’t do as well commercially yet it’s still an all-time favorite for me. I probably would have still loved the movie even if it was a flawed film because of how much I love Batgirl as a character.

As a DC Comics fan, I feel Warner Bros. constantly lets down the fans. It’s tough to stay committed to the franchise when the movie universe is falling apart. I’m trying to remain unbiased and enjoy what I can. Peacemaker was such a great TV show, and Black Adam is being released in October. I truly hope that Batgirl can finally get the film that the character so rightfully deserves.

Obi-Wan Kenobi (2022)

The Star Wars prequels hold a special place in my heart. As such, I was ecstatic that Obi-Wan was getting his own series. Every time I re-watch Revenge of the Sith, I always tear up. Seeing Obi-Wan (played by Ewan McGregor) spill his heart out to Anakin (played by Hayden Christiansen) about how he was his brother and how he was supposed to destroy the Sith and not join them. It’s heart-wrenching. Like many other fans, I was nervously waiting for ObiWan Kenobi to drop episodes on Disney+ This series was well worth the wait. I wanted to talk about some of the highlights of the series instead of doing a full review of the show.

Young Leia

I was not expecting a young Leia to appear in Obi-Wan Kenobi. I liked this aspect of the show because I felt it helped link Revenge of the Sith to A New Hope. It gives more background as to why Leia requests Obi-Wan’s help. Little Leia is portrayed as this sassy child who wants to see more of the world. I thought she complimented Obi-Wan’s journey and helped provide levity to the series.

The Environment

Obi-Wan Kenobi takes place 10 years after Order 66. Jedi are being hunted by Inquisitors and are driven into isolation. I liked that Obi-Wan Kenobi reveals what this post-Order 66 galaxy is like. There isn’t a lot of Star Wars canon content that talks about this part of Star Wars history. The show felt more adult because of the heavy themes it tackled. There were a few scenes from Order 66, and allies to Obi-Wan are dispatched (RIP Tala, played by Indira Varma). The whole aesthetic of the show was intriguing.

Fan Service

There is so much content within the show that feels like it’s for the fans. Obi-Wan meets Luke and says his infamous line, “Hello There”. There’s a scene where Anakin and Obi-Wan are fighting in a training session. There’s the cameo of all cameos! Obi-Wan finally being able to see the force ghost of Qui-Gon (reprised by Liam Neeson). The show felt like it was created for the super fans of the prequels and I was here for it.

Obi-Wan Kenobi was so worth the wait. Episodes can be streamed on Disney+

Top Gun Maverick

My mom is a big fan of the original Top Gun. She saw Top Gun Maverick as soon as it opened in theaters. I wasn’t paying too much attention to the making of the film, however, I was taking notice of how well-received the movie was. My mom was telling me she was going to see Top Gun Maverick for a second time by herself and I offered to tag along. I was pleasantly surprised because honestly, Top Gun Maverick might be my favorite movie I have seen this year.

Top Gun Maverick takes place thirty-six years after the original film. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (played by Tom Cruise) is a test pilot. He’s made aware that the flight program he’s a part of is being decommissioned. Instead of accepting this decision, he flies a prototype to prove that the program is worth saving. Maverick destroys the plane angering the high-ranking officers. As a result, Maverick is sent to train other TOPGUN flyers. This forces Maverick to confront his past as one of the students is Goose’s son, Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw (played by Miles Teller). For those who didn’t see the original Top Gun film, Goose was killed accidentally and Maverick holds a lot of guilt for his death. Maverick has to prove to the students that he can train them for their upcoming mission.

The story at times was intense! In the last hour when the mission is in progress, I was stressed. It’s clear that there was a lot at stake and the pilots had to prove to themselves that they were a team that could work together. Besides the intensity, I thought the story was fleshed out. As someone who hasn’t watched Top Gun in years, I felt I could easily follow this film. It can be difficult to watch a film where you feel left out, but Top Gun Maverick wasn’t like that.

The acting in Top Gun Maverick was top-notch. While it’s easy to focus on Tom Cruise specifically, I think Miles Teller steals the show. He clearly resembles Goose. In the scenes leading to Rooster climbing into his plane, you can see the anxiety he has. He feels like he isn’t ready and it’s read across his face. The whole cast does a great job. Glen Powell is another standout. He plays “Hangman” who is a bit of a jerk. He plays a big role later in the film. The whole cast rocked and each actor fit the role they were playing.

Top Gun Maverick is an absolutely perfect summer movie. It’s action-packed, there’s a fun soundtrack with 80s throwbacks, and it kept me entertained throughout the whole movie. Top Gun Maverick is easily one of the best sequels I have ever watched.

Percy & Vex’ahlia – My Favorite OTP

Video from Critical Role’s Youtube Channel

I’m still making my way through Vox Machina, Critical Role’s first campaign. I’m on episode #74 right now which means I have 40 episodes left to watch. It’s been going by fast despite the fact that it’s taken me a year and a half to get to this point. In one of the latest episodes I watched, Percy (played by Taliesin Jaffe) disclosed his feelings to Vex’ahlia (played by Laura Bailey) by giving her a kiss. I was so excited! This was a ship that was drawn out, so it was so satisfying to see their characters get together.

One of the beautiful things about Critical Role is the way that the characters go through growth. Percy’s backstory is rather tragic as most of his family was killed by The Briarwoods. Percy’s whole focus is vengeance and forcing those responsible to pay for their actions. In certain instances, Percy is blinded by this and the only one who can bring him out is Vex’ahlia. Vex’ahlia is a perfect foil to Percy as she helps him realize he isn’t alone in this world.

While the kiss was a huge deal, Percy and Vex’ahlia have other sweet moments that led to this moment. Vex’ahlia struggles with fitting in as she was treated as less than since she’s a half-elf. Percy does come from nobility and he tells Vex’ahlia “I’ve known a lot of people with money, and they are definitely not worth you.” My heart was so happy.

I have no regrets about starting Critical Role from the very beginning. While it’s a lot of content to get through, the characters make it worth it. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Percy and Vex’s relationship as I continue through the episodes.

The Direction of Scarlet Witch – Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Major Spoilers of Doctor Strange – Be Advised

I finally made time to see Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. This film had elements of horror in it which I loved. It felt like a different film than other Marvel films which I thought made the film stand out. Instead of writing a typical movie review, I wanted to focus on Scarlet Witch and the direction the film took the character. There’s no way to do this without revealing spoilers, so please be advised.

The last time we saw Scarlet Witch / Wanda Maximoff (played by Elizabeth Olson) was in WandaVision. She seemed to accept her role in Westview and how she let everyone go. It seemed she was going to confront her grief. I wanted this for her! Wanda has been through so much and deserves happiness. There was an after-credit sequence that showed Wanda discovering a magic book hinting that something more sinister was going to happen. Despite the after-credit sequence, I wanted to see her become a real ally.

With the first few scenes of Doctor Strange, I was quickly made aware that I was wrong. Scarlet Witch was using the Darkhold to send monsters after America Chavez (played by Xochitl Gomez) to steal her power and live with her children in another universe. Wanda has absolutely no problem with killing America to gather her power because Wanda feels that she has earned the right to be with her children.

As a side note, Elizabeth Olson’s acting was superb! She conveyed real emotion and while I rooted for her in WandaVision, I wanted to see her be defeated in Doctor Strange. Elizabeth Olson is talented.

I’m sad that the film took Wanda in this direction. As mentioned above, I wanted to see her evolve and grow as a character. Instead, it seemed that she completely retreated from the growth seen in WandaVision. I was surprised that none of the other characters thought to ask Wanda, “what would Vision think of you doing this?” While Wanda is motivated by seeing her children, there is no way Vision would support any of what Wanda was doing. I’m surprised that Stephen or Wong never brought this up. It may not have stopped Wanda’s actions, but I hoped it would at least force Wanda to confront her grief. It seemed that Doctor Strange left WandaVision in the dust which is so sad! WandaVision is easily one of my favorite Marvel series on Disney+

While I may not have agreed with Doctor Strange and Wanda’s direction, I didn’t let this impede on how I enjoyed the film. The horror elements along with the guest appearances were enough to create a fun experience seeing this film in theaters. The next Marvel film to be released is Thor Love and Thunder in July and I’m excited to see how Natalie Portman is re-introduced into the Marvel cinematic universe.

May the 4th Be With You – 2022 Plan Recap

Summer is in full swing and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I love the sun, the smell of sunscreen, and not needing a jacket every time I go outside. With the end of May, it comes my annual “May the 4th Be With You” recap. This month didn’t go exactly as I had planned, but I still think it was a great month regardless

Books and Comics

Unfortunately, I never received the rest of my Barnes & Noble order. I ended up missing Master & Apprentice by Claudia Gray, Leia, Princess of Alderaan, and Star Wars: Darth Vader Volume #1. The only book that arrived was Resistance Reborn by Rebecca Roanhorse. It’s unfortunate because I wanted to have a big reading month and it didn’t work out.

Resistance Reborn takes place between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker. The book centers around recruiting former allies to fight for the Resistance and an action-packed mission. Poe, leader of the Black Squadron, is tasked with retrieving a Resistance prisoner list and breaking a prisoner out of a secure First Order facility.

Resistance Reborn was an enjoyable read. I will say there was a lot of story build-up. For some, this might be boring to read, but I like all the information and context. The last 100 pages are where the action intensified. I rated Resistance Reborn 3 1/2 stars on Goodreads.

Regarding comics, I only finished Star Wars: Princess Leia Vol #1. I do have the complete run of Star Wars: Poe Dameron to read, but I didn’t finish it in May like I thought I would. I’m looking forward to the coming months because I have fewer weekends booked solid like I did in May. I’m hoping for some free Saturday mornings to read comics.

Movies & TV

I’m sad to say that I didn’t finish The Clone Wars. I did watch The Clone Wars on my drive to and from Milwaukee, so that helped. I’m now on season #3. I’m determined to finally finish the show by the end of the year. I didn’t get to re-watch The Mandalorian or re-watch The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, or The Rise of Skywalker. I still feel accomplished for the month and I’m invested in watching more Star Wars content by the end of the year.

Gaming

I did play through LEGO Star Wars The Skywalker Saga, however, my game glitched!! I am on the last episode, The Rise of Skywalker, and I’m forever stuck in light speed traveling to the next level. I looked on Reddit, and apparently, if you accepted a cargo side mission, the cargo doesn’t load at light speed, so you have to complete the cargo mission and it should fix the glitch. The problem is that I have no idea what cargo mission I accepted. I would have to go back and go through every individual side mission to figure out which one I accepted. Plus, this isn’t a guaranteed fix. There were some comments where players did this and it still didn’t fix the glitch.

I have invested so much time in this game that I’m so sad that I can’t even finish the story. The only hope that I have is if a patch is released that will fix my game save. I’m not willing to go through all the effort listed above and have it not work. I’m going to discontinue playing through the game which is such a bummer.

Since I’m done playing through LEGO Star Wars The Skywalker Saga, I’m going to go back to Jedi Fallen Order. I played through the game back in 2020 and I never finished it. I’m going to start over and devote the time to finishing the game.

Miscellaneous Star Wars Content

I’m adding a section for the “miscellaneous” Star Wars content that I listened to or discovered this month. Thanks to Anakin + His Angel I discovered the Youtube channel, Always Believe. Always Believe is hosted by Ash and Bryan who share their love of Star Wars, Disney, and Marvel. I love their channel! They are both in their mid-30’s and I like to see people carry their interests as they get older. I’m genuinely excited to see when they release a new video and I like listening to their videos while I do various chores or tasks throughout the day.

While I’m at work, I discovered two Star Wars podcasts to help me get through the day. The first is Force Toast Podcast. Force Toast is hosted by Alyce and Laura and they are based in Chicago. They talk about Star Wars content, and Star Wars trivia over a drink. The other Star Wars podcast I found was Star Wars STUFF This is more of a Star Wars news podcast versus Force Toast being a casual Star Wars chat. Both podcasts I can see myself listening to throughout the coming months.

Overall, I think this was a successful Star Wars month despite some challenges I had. I do want to carry more Star Wars throughout the year as I find that once May ends, I find I don’t discuss Star Wars nearly as much. I do want to add Star Wars books to my TBR (to be read pile) along with continuing my re-watch of The Clone Wars. Let me know what Star Wars content you’re reading or loving in the comments down below.