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Popular Culture

Everything You Need to Know About Clea, Marvel Comics’ Multiversal Sorceress

If fans were promised anything when they headed into the theater to watch Dr. Strange In the Multiverse of Madness, it’s that it was going to shake up the foundations of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

An adventure through the multiverse is guaranteed to have repercussions both big and small throughout the franchise, and if the post-credits scene is any indication, we may know what the next significant threat is.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/aWzlQ2N6qqg” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hedSpoilers for ‘Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ Follow</div>
Spoilers for ‘Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ Follow

At the end of the film, Dr. Strange leaves his Sanctum Sanctorum in New York City at ease after helping defeat the Scarlet Witch.

Wanda Maximoff had embraced the power of the Darkhold on a quest to enter another universe where the sons she had created in Wandavision were still alive, and she’d be able to join them. The Darkhold had corrupted her, seemingly beyond redemption, and was only stopped when she encountered her children and one of her alternate selves.

Strange had been forced to use the Darkhold to stop her, leaving himself open to corruption, which the end of the film teases.

In the post-credits scene, he is met by Clea, Marvel Comics’ newest Sorcerer Supreme played by Charlize Theron, a sorceress from another dimension who tells him that an “incursion” is incoming and she needs his help to stop it.

As described by the film, an incursion is when one universe is thrown off track and collides with another universe, destroying one or both.

Who is Clea?
Marvel Comics

Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, Clea was first introduced in Strange Tales #126, released on August 11th, 1964.

Clea is the niece of the Dread One Dormammu, and she is an immensely powerful wielder of magic from the Dark Dimension. In the comics, she is a friend, ally, and the eventual wife of Dr. Strange.

For much of the time, she was an outside observer to Strange’s adventures within the Dark Dimension but eventually became a much more important character within the Marvel continuity.

She would help overthrow her mother, Umar, who, along with Doctor Strange’s long-time adversary Baron Mordo, had conquered the Dark Dimension. After seizing control, Clea was made the Sorcerer Supreme of the Dark Dimension, and she would continue to appear on and off in various issues of Dr. Strange comics.

In the latest run of comics, Stephen Strange has been killed following a deal he had been forced to make with Mephisto. Before he dies, he gives her his most trusted tools like the Eye of Agamotto and the Cloak of Levitation, essentially passing down the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme of Earth to her.

Multiverse of Madness Post-Credits Scene, Explained
Getty Images

Clea emerges from an interdimensional portal and warns Strange that his actions with the Darkhold, and crossing universes has thrown everything into chaos. Fresh off of growing his third eye (thanks to some nifty dark magic from the Darkhold,) Strange agrees and the scene ends with them entering the Dark Dimension.

Charlize Theron’s introduction into the Marvel Cinematic Universe was rather unexpected, and even though Multiverse of Madness was a victim of spoiler leaks, her appearance remained a pretty big secret.

What the MCU has in store for Clea remains to be seen, but her inclusion into the franchise means that the multiversal shenanigans are only just beginning. Also, the fact that Clea is the niece of Dormammu, who was the villain of the first Dr. Strange film, means that his reintroduction is likely.

Clea showing up and getting right down to business shows us that time is of the essence. The Dark Dimension is her domain, so it seems like she has plenty to teach Stephen Strange about it and how he can fix what he’s done.

The only clue that we have about the future of the character is that the end credits state “Dr. Strange Will Return,” but a timetable has not been announced. Whenever they come back for more multiversal weirdness, we’ll be ready for it.

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Popular Culture

Every LEGO Doctor Strange Set RANKED!

With Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on everyone’s mind, I thought it’d be fun to revisit the Master of the Mystic Arts’ best LEGO sets from over the years! While there aren’t a ton of sets to choose from, every one of them has been outstanding in their own ways, so let’s use the Time Stone and revisit some classics from over the years! Here are my Doctor Strange LEGO set rankings:

6. SDCC BrickHeadz
LEGO

While this set was fun (and remains expensive on the aftermarket!) this set unfortunately comes in last place on this list. BrickHeadz are always fun to build and display, but given the rarity of this set and it’s lack of playability, it’ll have to sit comfortably at the bottom of the list

5. Sanctum Sanctorum (Doctor Strange, 2017)
LEGO

This set was the sold set from Doctor Strange’s first movie, and while it was cool at the time, the subsequent sets featuring Strange and his crew have vastly improved on its debut set. Still, this set contained three exclusive minifigs, some fun Easter eggs, and a neat tentacle monster build that made this set unique among all other LEGO Marvel offers up to that point. 

4. Gargantos Showdown (Multiverse if Madnesss, 2022)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-XJsibJNYE
LEGO

Come to think of it, our latest Doctor Strange LEGO set has a lot in common with his first set: it’s the only set tied in with his second MCU film, it has three exclusive minifigs, and a tentacle monster to tie it off. I feel the minifigs in this set are better than the previously mentioned set, which put it slightly higher in this ranking.  

3. Spider-Man in the Sanctum Workshop (Spider-Man: No Way Home, 2021)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MI7guxqP3GU
LEGO

Doctor Strange sits in a unique corner of the MCU: the gap between his first film and its sequel has been five years. In that time, he’s appeared in Infinity War, Endgame, and most recently in Spider-Man: No Way Home. While the latter’s LEGO sets were intentionally spoiler-free, the sole set of the wave that was truly based on the film depicted a build of the Sanctum’s undercroft, complete with a cozy couch, four exclusive minifigs, and a fun location-based build that fans welcomed into their collections immediately.    

2. Sanctum Sanctorum Showdown (Infinity War, 2018)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRiKWQgEycw
LEGO

Prior to 2021’s Daily Bugle set, most LEGO Marvel fans would’ve said this was the best set ever released from the theme. With a line up of almost entirely exclusive minifigs, two fantastic building designs and an unbelievably detailed interior, it’s hard to believe this set was only $99.99! Today the set runs about $160-200, but even at that price I feel this set is still worth every penny. 

1. 2022 UCS Sanctum Sanctorum
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWqEIb9XGqM
minisuperheroestoday

Though this set has not been revealed as of this writing, I can promise it’ll top the list of Doctor Strange LEGO sets. Rumor has it that this will be a Modular style LEGO building with similar detail to the LEGO Daily Bugle from 2021, which was many collectors’ favorite set of that year. If this set delivers anywhere near that level, it will be one of the best LEGO sets of 2022, let alone one of the best from the LEGO Marvel theme. 

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Music

6 Things to Know About MF DOOM: A Rap Legend Shrouded in Mystery

MF DOOM is lowkey one of the most influential and well-respected figures to emerge out of hip-hop’s underground scene. A master of rhyme and disguise, his unorthodox style and flow have been unmistakable for more than two decades. The undisputed underground legend never needed mainstream success. The supervillain-themed rapper instead left his mark on hip-hop culture as he carved out his own lane with his intricate rhyme schemes, humorous lyrics and a mastery of sampling. Despite his music being described as weird and dark by some listeners, he managed to satisfy fans and critics with his hard-hitting, boom bap raps and cult classics like Operation: Doomsday and Madvillainy.

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In a 2021 interview with Inked Magazine, Playboi Carti spoke on the subtle impact of DOOM. “I don’t have to sound like MF DOOM to be inspired by him,” said the rap star who referenced DOOM on his Whole Lotta Red cut, “Stop Breathing.” “Nobody can keep a leash on him. Nobody can keep a leash on me. That’s definitely his impact. Even if I didn’t know that at first, I had to look up and think about this shit right here—it had already been done.”

Although known for his unique aesthetics and critically acclaimed albums and mixtapes, DOOM remained one of hip-hop’s most mysterious MCs over the course of his 20+ year career. Everything from his birthdate to the release date of his debut album have been up for debate. Even in his afterlife, MF DOOM managed to keep us guessing. Here are 6 things to know about MF DOOM –a well-respected rap legend shrouded in mystery.

His mask was inspired by the ‘Gladiator’ film

It’s well known that some of MF DOOM’s music was inspired by Doctor Doom, the masked comic book villain. DOOM’s mask, however, took inspiration from somewhere else. In a 2010’s interview DOOM said, “You know the movie Gladiator? Well around that time, they started selling these ‘gladiator masks’ that were replicas from the movie. So what it was is that a friend of mine told me he saw this mask that would be perfect for the DOOM character.”

He was a producer
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MF DOOM crafted sounds for himself and others, including Joey Badass and Ghostface Killah. DOOM produced four tracks on Ghostface’s critically acclaimed 2006 album Fishscale.

He had several monikers

Active on the mic since the late 1980s, the rapper born Daniel Dumile began his rap career as Zev Love X, a member of the group KMD. He would go on to drop projects under several different aliases, including MF DOOM (Operation: Doomsday, Mm..Food & Born Like This), Viktor Vaughn (Vaudeville Villain & VV:2) and King Geedorah (Take Me to Your Leader).

He has a street named after him

J. Conrad Williams Jr.

MF DOOM was further immortalized last summer when a New York street was named after him. Located in Long Beach, NY, where the enigmatic rap veteran once resided, the New York block is now known as KMD-MF DOOM Way.

He was once had a record deal with Adult Swim
<div class =”code”><p class = “twitter-tweet”>https://twitter.com/Clarknova1/status/1344794161845841923?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw</p></div>

MF DOOM’s working relationship with Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim ran pretty deep. Not only did he voice characters for the network and feature his music in shows like The Boondocks, he also signed a recording contract with AS.

He was very particular about his name

MF DOOM stylized his name with all caps. ALL CAPS.

Categories
Culture Movies/TV

8 ‘Doctor Strange 2’ Cameos That Would Blow Our Minds

Ladies and gentlemen, we’re now in the age of the cinematic superhero multiverse!

Marvel’s recent big-screen epics and exclusive Disney+ streaming shows have basked in the concept by introducing viewers to shocking appearances from outside entities. Spider-Man: No Way Home really took the multiverse concept to heart by throwing the different Spidey’s and their associated villains from Sam Raimi and Marc Webb’s previous films. The best movie moments of 2021 can be attributed to witnessing Tom Holland fight alongside Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield to save the world in unison from multiverse threats.

It’s clear that Marvel is going all-in on the multiverse going forward. And judging by the recent rumors surrounding Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, it sounds like we’re due for even more insane cameos from Marvel films that took place before the MCU’s boom period.

Join me and Conor as we nerd out over the eight cameos that would make us scream in our movie theatre seats while we watch the upcoming Doctor Strange sequel.

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”tiktok-embed” cite=”https://www.tiktok.com/@one37pm/video/7055702832590196015″ data-video-id=”7055702832590196015″ style=”max-width: 605px;min-width: 325px”> <section> <a target=”_blank” title=”@one37pm” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/@one37pm”>@one37pm</a> ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ rumors are heating up @botemplin <a title=”marvel” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/marvel”>#marvel</a> <a title=”doctorstrange” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/doctorstrange”>#doctorstrange</a> <a title=”movieclips” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/movieclips”>#movieclips</a> <a title=”rumors” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/rumors”>#rumors</a> <a target=”_blank” title=”♬ Doctor Strange Theme (Marvel Studios: What If…? Soundtrack) – Sh4d0wStrider” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/music/Doctor-Strange-Theme-Marvel-Studios-What-If-Soundtrack-7018607106643200001″>♬ Doctor Strange Theme (Marvel Studios: What If…? Soundtrack) – Sh4d0wStrider</a> </section> </blockquote></div>

1. Professor X (Patrick Stewart) from ‘X-Men’ – Elton Jones
SAM YEH/AFP via Getty Images

If you wanna talk about the greatest comic book movie castings of all time, Patrick Stewart as the beloved leader of the X-Men has to be top five. During his time spent in the original X-Men films, Patrick fully embodied the signature poise and high intelligence that comic book fans have come to associate with Professor X. I totally realize it’s gonna be a while before we see the MCU incorporate its own big-screen rendition of Marvel’s greatest mutants, but that doesn’t mean it can’t show some love to its 20th Century Fox predecessor. How cool would it be for Doctor Strange to interact with another comic book intellectual in an effort to get some advice on his current predicament? The simple image of Professor X’s signature wheelchair wheel coming into the frame would floor me, fam!

2. Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) from ‘X-Men’ – Conor Sheeran
Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Madame Tussauds

One of the greatest superhero performances of all time, Hugh Jackman as Wolverine had the perfect sendoff in Logan. Jackman had played the character for 17 years when he hung up his claws (a world record for superhero castings!) and has declared that his performance is retired, at least as far as starring and supporting roles go.

Given that Evan Peters’ Quicksilver already made the jump to the MCU in Wandavision, whose to say Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine couldn’t do the same? Maybe it’s just us being greedy and wanting to see him in action again but it sure would be a fun cameo, bub.

3. Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) from ‘Deadpool’ – Elton Jones
20th Century Fox

This cameo would be purely for shits and giggles. And I’d love it to be an extra post-credits scene to send the crowd home even happier. I can just envision a scenario where some random portal opens in an unknown location within the MCU. And out of that portal walks Ryan Reynold’s Deadpool, who I’m sure will make some sort of dirty joke that alludes to him “entering big holes.” It’d be even funnier if such a scene played right into the third Deadpool film as it follows the antihero feeling like a fish out of water within his new home within the MCU.

4. Johnny Storm/Human Torch (Chris Evans) from ‘Fantastic Four’ – Elton Jones
20th Century Fox

The MCU Captain America we’ve grown to know and love is no more. America’s Super-Soldier and the big screen hero with the best butt in the game fought valiantly during “The Infinity Saga” and got the storybook ending everyone wanted him to receive. Even though that role for Chris Evans got its proper conclusion, there’s a pre-MCU character that I’d pay good money to see him reprise for this Doctor Strange sequel. It’d be super hype to see Chris don the signature Fantastic Four costume once again and yell out “FLAME ON!” to make everyone drop some tears of nostalgia. I’m sure the MCU’s insane CGI budget could make this moment happen.

5. Quicksilver (Evan Peters) from ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ – Elton Jones
20th Century Fox

So here’s the thing with me – I have a habit of watching the most iconic superhero movie sequences of all time once a month. I’m talkin’ the final fight scene from Avengers: Endgame, Joker’s meeting with Gotham City’s most powerful gangsters in The Dark Knight, and Spider-Man vs. Electro during the closing moments of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (yes, even that movie has some good in it!). Another incredible scene that I frequently go back to is Quicksilver’s saving everyone during X-Men: Apocalypse.

Evan Peters is my favorite version of Quicksilver and it was so trippy watching him pop up in WandaVision. Since the Scarlet Widow will be a central part of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, I’m expecting her to run into her twin sons at some point during her journey alongside the “Sorcerer Supreme.” And I’m also expecting her to bump into her “brother” once again. But this time, I hope it’s the one that’s capable of breaking the speed limit with little to no effort.

6. Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen) from ‘Doctor Strange’ – Conor Sheeran
Marvel Studios

First things first: Just for Mads Mikkelsen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This isn’t to say that his role as Kaecilius was a bad one but he certainly felt very much like a generic Marvel villain.

“I’m going to destroy the world” type stuff.

Given that we’re talking about the sequel to the movie Kaecilius appeared in, Doctor Strange, this is a perfect chance for him to make an appearance and try to get his revenge on Dr. Strange.

7. Wesley Snipes (Blade) from ‘Blade’ – Elton Jones
New Line Cinema

I want it. And I know damn well the world wants it! Wesley Snipes is always attributed for moving the superhero movie genre in the right direction and pushing it into the mainstream thanks to the Blade movies. The MCU is getting a rebooted version of the half-man, half-vampire with Mahershala Ali stepping into the lead role. And I’m totally fine with that.

But I still want to see Wesley come back for one more ride in his best action movie role (in my opinion). This cameo has to be an extended scene of some kind that lets him fight alongside Doctor Strange and Scarlet Witch – I know Wesley still has the goods to whup some magical evildoer ass! That quick tease of the Midnight Sons team would be such an awesome moment to see happen onscreen.

8. Ben Affleck (Daredevil) from ‘Daredevil’ – Conor Sheeran
20th Century Fox

Let me just get this out of the way real quick: the Ben Affleck Daredevil film was really bad. Truly one of the worst movies of all time.

However, much like Mads Mikkelsen, Ben Affleck deserves a redemption story with his Daredevil character. How would a cameo from him exactly work? No idea, but it would still be fun.

This appearance is probably the least likely to happen since Affleck is tied up as Batman and will be appearing in a similar multi-universal story in The Flash but fingers crossed Kevin Feige can work his magic nonetheless.

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Consoles Gaming

The 10 Best Spider-Man Games of All Time

“With great power comes great responsibility.”

We’re guessing the license holders for the world’s most famous wall-crawler uttered that line to every video game publisher/developer that was given the right to utilize him. Notable names, such as Sega, Activision, and Sony Interactive Entertainment, were all tasked with giving one of its talented development teams the tough task of creating an “amazing” video game adaptation that encapsulated everything people love about Spidey. Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man has been featured in everything from arcade beat ’em ups and top-down action RPGs to legendary open-world adventures.

And through it all, Spider-Man has had his fair share of memorable games that still stand tall when compared to the finest comic book video games of all time. The 10 games we’re about to wax nostalgia for are the most preferred way to take control of the lovable web-slinger and act out his most heroic feats in playable form.

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1. ‘Spider-Man: The Video Game’

If a franchise was hotter than fish grease back in the day, chances are it was given a video game adaptation of some kind. And seeing that video game adaptation implement side-scrolling beat ’em up mechanics was usually a given. Sega did just that once it got to play around with Marvel Comics’ avenging web crawler. This arcade beat ’em up was simple and straight to the point – get you and three buddies together to choose from Spider-Man, Black Cat, Namor the Sub-Mariner, and Hawkeye.

Then proceed to smash a bunch of evildoers on your way to clashing with bigger baddies, such as Kingpin, Venom, and even Doctor Doom. The game’s visuals were quite striking at the time as it presented each character as bold and tall heroes that elicited comic book sound effects from their foes every time they hit ’em. Spider-Man: The Arcade Game is another classic Marvel beat ’em up that we still can’t get enough of.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/6iYjezUC-6U” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed2. ‘Spider-Man And Venom: Maximum Carnage’</div>
2. ‘Spider-Man And Venom: Maximum Carnage’

That red SNES cartridge blew everyone’s minds at first sight. It still wows us every time we spot a random image of it on eBay or some retro gamer forum. That color change went hand in hand with the vicious villain at the heart of the struggle in Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage. The comic book series itself made a huge impact and so did the game based on Carnage’s coming out party across the pages of his story arc.

Maximum Carnage is another one of those 16-bit beat ’em ups that always gets mentioned among Marvel’s best video games. Those who played it look back fondly on Spider-Man and Venom’s crusade through NYC as they vanquished a whole army of thugs. The coolest part of this game is the way in which superhero assists could be called on – by finding specific items, allies such as Captain America, Black Cat, and Iron Fist would pop in to lend a hand. This game kicked our asses plenty of times, but we could never put it down. Someday we’re finally gonna get to the end and put Carnage down for good!

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/kBflRKjleAY” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed3. ‘Spider-Man’ (2000)</div>
3. ‘Spider-Man’ (2000)

Fun fact – this Activision-published Spider-Man game actually relied on Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater game engine for the PlayStation. At the time of its release, many regarded it as the best Spider-Man game ever made. While it may not hold that high honor anymore, this 3D foray into the dangerous world of Spider-Man still deserves plenty of praise.

While the icon Stan Lee narrated, players took control of Spidey as he fought to clear his name after being framed by a doppelgänger. And on top of all that, players also had to combat an incoming symbiote invasion. Webbing around this game was such a joy, plus webbing up foes and getting into some wild boss fights with familiar members of Spidey’s Rogue’s Gallery was equally engrossing. Clashing with a giant-sized Mysterio will always stick out in our minds regarding this awesome Spidey simulator. We gotta hand extra props to the Sega Dreamcast version, by the way!

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4. ‘Spider-Man: Mysterio’s Menace’

All praises are due to Activision for packaging this slept-on Game Boy Advance Spidey game with X2: Wolverine’s Revenge. For someone that owned a GBA, it was actually worth getting your hands on this game since it was way better than most licensed portable video games at the time.

Spider-Man: Mysterio’s Menace was a pretty straightforward side-scroller, but it performed its job quite well. You navigated numerous stages, webbed up & knocked out random bad guys, and met a recognizable supervillain at the end. It didn’t get any more complex than that, but we were fine with that! Throwing hands with the likes of Hammerhead, Rhino, and even the often ignored Big Wheel played the part of final bosses during their associated stages. Spider-Man’s best handheld adventure is most definitely this one.

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5. ‘Spider-Man’ (2002)

Tobey Maguire is still held up as the best onscreen interpretation of Peter Parker/Spider-Man by a good majority of comic book movie fans. Seeing as how crowded theaters full of those same fans lost their minds when he appeared onscreen in Spider-Man: No Way Home, it’s easy to see that Tobey’s Spidey still gets a ton of love.

The video game adaptation of Tobey’s 2002 blockbuster adventure is a damn good time. The open environments gave way to some solid web-slinging segments and brawls with various assailants that made us truly feel like the hero himself. The visuals really shined here and shone brightly, especially when you got to swing around the city under the guise of some dope alternate costumes (those Matrix Spidey and Shocker skins were our faves!). We gotta give Treyarch plenty of love for doing right by Spider-Man with this game and its astonishing follow-up!

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6. ‘Spider-Man 2’

The follow-up to the original Spider-Man movie game is a massive improvement in every way, shape, and form. This sequel threw players into a truly open world that allowed Spidey to glide through the air in a beautiful rendition of the “Big Apple.”

Spider-Man 2 gave everyone so much to do as the hero everyone in the big city relied on – you saved countless kids’ balloons, stopped plenty of speedy cars, rescued numerous construction workers while they’re falling to their death, etc. And alongside all that was Spider-Man’s conflict with Doctor Octopus, which gave way to an intriguing storyline that everyone already adored from the movie itself. Spider-Man 2 is a goated comic book video game for another reason, by the way – it’s narrated by the great Bruce Campbell!

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7. ‘Ultimate Spider-Man’

The Ultimate Spider-Man comics presented one of Marvel’s most iconic heroes in a new light during the imprint’s storied run. And once Treyarch got the green light to make a game based on that spinoff universe, gamers got treated to something on par with Spider-Man 2 with the release of Ultimate Spider-Man.

The game’s cel-shaded visuals still look amazing to this very day (it’s awesome how games that stuck close to that animation style stand the test of time!). The main crux of the fun from this game came from being able to venture through Manhattan and parts of Queens as Spidey and his nemesis/ally Venom. In the case of Venom, his playstyle allowed for more destructive behavior that felt like a mix between Rampage and Grand Theft Auto. Ultimate Spider-Man is pretty much a prettier version of Spider-Man 2 that sticks close to its comic-book roots.

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8. ‘Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions’

Before Spider-Man: No Way Home took a trip into the multiverse of the famed web-slinger, Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions did it in video game form. Beenox put forth a great game that not only featured the traditional “amazing” Spidey fans instantly recognize but also showcased Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Man 2099, and Ultimate Spider-Man.

With four different Spider-Men in tow, this game introduced four different playstyles that kept a full playthrough of the game fresh throughout. Spider-Man Noir stuck out as the most unique thanks to his stealthy segments, while Ultimate Spider-Man’s bigger focus on chaotic combat added to the game’s fun factor. We hope Sony and Insomniac Games revisits the concept of Shattered Dimensions with a video game adaption of Into the Spider-Verse someday!

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9. ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man’

When news came out about a PlayStation 4-exclusive Spider-Man game, everyone’s hype levels went through the roof. And upon its official reveal at E3 2016, it was clear that this highly-anticipated release was in capable hands. Insomniac Games, which is the studio most known for its work on the Ratchet & Clank series, did a bang-up job with its open-world foray into Spider-Man’s difficult trials as a citywide superhero.

Everything was on-point here – the web-swinging, combat mechanics, alternate costume lineup, side missions, etc. all came together to produce the greatest Spider-Man game of all time. If you played through this game to the point of getting the platinum trophy and experienced all of its DLC, then you certainly got your money’s worth. Spider-Man for the PS4 encapsulates everything that makes him great and perfectly showcases his Rogues Gallery as one of the very best in the comics industry.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/NTunTURbyUU” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed10. ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales’</div>
10. ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales’

After the last game on this list threw Miles Morales into the mix, it was only a matter of time before the lightning-infused Spider-Man got his own playable experience. Once the PS5 hit the scene, Miles got just that via a short yet oh so sweet foray into his coming-of-age adventure. Shout out to Insomniac once again for their quality work on Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales.

Miles stood apart through his signature special abilities that made zipping through the air and putting down a whole set of baddies even more lively. And with his very own struggle to get engaged in while Peter Parker is away, Miles came into contact with some lethal villains and even one that’s been close to him since childhood. And the mood was set just right by the proper representation of Afro Latino vibes in NYC and the original soundtrack. Miles Morales’ solo endeavor is definitely on equal footing with Peter Parker’s PS4 epic.

Categories
Culture Movies/TV

‘Hawkeye’ Is a Well-Balanced Look at One Of The Most Overlooked Avengers

So a college student and a superhero walk into a bar…OK actually, it was a dark alley following a high-stakes, secret underground auction. But anyway, the point here is that this pair met under extremely unlikely circumstances.

Back home in Manhattan for the holidays, Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld)—a college student and talented archer—is forced to attend a bleak-sounding auction event with her mother, a fairly regular (though very annoying) occurrence in any kid’s life. However, before they leave, her mother casually drops an enormous bombshell: she’s getting remarried, and to a sufficiently awful guy named Jack Duquesne.

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Chuck Zlotnick / Marvel Studios 2021
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Also in town, Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) is taking on the city with his three children, where they check out Rogers: The Musical, an Avengers-themed show on Broadway. Barton finds the performance tough to watch, turning off his hearing aids so that he doesn’t have to listen. Eventually, he ends up walking out of the theater altogether because he just can’t watch any longer.

After arriving at the auction, Bishop is able to sneak away from her mother to find out what’s really happening at the event. However, she quickly finds herself in the middle of a conflict when she decides to impersonate a waiter, trying to get a good look at what’s actually being sold at the top-secret, underground auction.

It turns out that they’re selling objects from the Avengers Compound wreckage, with Ronin’s retractable sword and—perhaps more importantly—Ronin’s suit. But right as the suit is about to be auctioned off, a gang named the Tracksuits busts into the event with guns and start searching everyone for a specific watch to steal. Given that they’re just looking for a watch, Bishop takes this as an opportunity to snatch the Ronin suit, which she quickly changes into.

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Mary Cybulski / Marvel Studios 2021
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In an effort to save attendees from being shot (including Duquesne and his uncle, Armand), Bishop jumps into action, which ends up making her a target for the Tracksuits. They fight through the auction hall and although Bishop is able to finally escape, the remaining Tracksuits attempt to follow her through the streets of the city.

Back at his hotel room with his children, Barton catches a quick breaking news story on the television, giving a rundown of the events that occurred at auction along with a photo of what looks to him like Ronin. Given this, Bishop and Barton’s worlds finally collide during a face-off later on that night between Bishop and the Tracksuits. At a pivotal point in the fight, Barton swings in as Hawkeye and is able to save Bishop from the gang. However, being that he thinks she’s Ronin, he drags her to a nearby alley where she finally removes her mask.

Following that revelation, the next episode tracks Barton as he attempts to hide Bishop from the Tracksuits at her apartment. Although claiming to him that she hasn’t shown her identity at any point, a Molotov cocktail comes crashing in through her window, which proves differently. Although the two are able to flee the scene uninjured, they were unable to take the Ronin suit with them, as it was caught in the middle of the fire.

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Marvel Studios 2021
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In episode 3, which just dropped on December 1, the pair is held hostage at the Tracksuits’ headquarters, which is under the leadership of Maya Lopez, a veteran fighter who is also deaf. This episode follows that situation along with a quick rewind about how Lopez got to being the head of the Tracksuits, all the way back from her upbringing to her current life.

As someone who simply assumed that Hawkeye would only be about its namesake character, Bishop’s inclusion in the series was a welcome surprise, as she brings both wit and a fresh face to Marvel. So far, the series has checked off all the boxes of what one would expect from a Marvel series, with the added bonus of switching things up with Bishop. Although the series isn’t as outwardly inventive as a show like WandaVision, it wasn’t meant to be that way. And as a side, there is an incredible car chase scene in episode 3 that was shot in an incredible way, which could mean that more innovative approaches are coming soon.

Overall, Hawkeye is well-balanced: it leans on the action while weaving in a plot that’s becoming more and more intricate with each episode. On top of that, Renner and Steinfeld are both giving outstanding performances, which is setting up the show to be an extremely exciting watch.

Categories
Consoles Gaming

ONE37pm’s Official ‘Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy’ Review

Back in 2014, moviegoers everywhere were genuinely shocked by the overwhelming quality of Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy. The once-obscure band of galactic misfits became household names thanks to the combined acting chops of Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, and Zoe Saldana (special shout out to Bradley Cooper for his superior voice acting talents as well). Once the Guardians became multimedia darlings, the video game world obviously took notice. But to everyone’s surprise, Telltale Games adopted the IP to create a point-and-click adventure game (which was shockingly good, by the way). Fast forward to 2021 and now we have a big-budget, full-fledged action/adventure epic that’s all about experiencing the madcap adventures of the whole gang. And to this reviewers’ surprise, it’s way better than it has any right to be.

You’d be forgiven for thinking Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is nothing but a reskinned version of Marvel’s Avengers – it sports a similar art design and comes from the same publishing house that put out the much-maligned games-as-a-service title. But the comparisons stop there – this space-faring journey does things a bit differently in regards to combat, dialogue, audio, and so much more. Guardians’ visuals shine thanks to the wide variety of planets you’ll frequently explore – one minute, you’ll be navigating a lost colony filled with debris from a past war. And the next minute, you’ll be traversing a showy expanse ruled by some vicious wildlife. The graphics also shine whenever you get to navigate the Milano and take in every part of the ship’s architecture. It takes a minute to adjust to the new versions of the human/alien Guardians on screen that don’t look anything like their big-screen counterparts, but you’ll quickly get over that nagging issue once you become more familiar with them and even switch up their attires. Guardians’ looks good and sounds damn good too thanks to the soundtrack that offers sweeping orchestral tunes and 80s jams in equal measure.

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Most onlookers lamented this game’s decision to only allow players to directly control Star-Lord. This reviewer certainly felt the same way at first since it seemed like a lost opportunity to not have the ability to hack & slash as Drax or Gamora and pull off some combined brutality as Rocket & Groot. But once you dig your heels into the game’s combat system, you’ll quickly get over that feeling and realize the sort of game you’re playing here. Guardians’ combat system feels like a Marvel Comics take on Mass Effect – you’ll whip out Peter Quill’s dual laser shooters to do big damage as your fellow Guardians fight on their own, plus you’ll get to give them commands to truly take control of the battlefield. Battles start out simple enough – you’ll deal some rapid-fire damage as you use your jet boots to dash out of harm’s way and float in the air for a few seconds while your allies aid you close by.

But as you get deeper into the game, the battle system introduces interesting mechanics that make them even more enjoyable. Peter’s elemental guns let you switch up your approach to blasting, you’ll unlock new special attacks for your teammates that work great in tandem with each other, and even get to power up the whole squad for a limited amount of time thanks to a clever huddle mechanic. The combat system truly shines in wide-open areas as the action becomes more manageable when it comes to crowd control, but it falters a bit in tighter quarters since it gets a bit overwhelming when it comes to keeping track of everything going on around you. Mapping Peter’s special abilities to holding down the left thumbstick also feels a bit cumbersome while trying to activate them in the heat of battle. Yet it feels all too good to light up the battlefield with explosive fireworks and rack up your combo multiplier with well-coordinated team attacks. Guardians’ combat mechanics are strengthened by its mix of active combat and incorporation of turn-based mechanics.

Square Enix

From a storyline perspective, Guardians does an excellent job of properly retaining each character’s likable personality traits and featuring them within a lengthy campaign filled with emotional, hilarious, & extra hype moments. The team’s adventure starts out on a simple note as they look to capture and sell a rare creature that will solve all their money woes. But soon enough, they become embroiled in a galaxy-wide crusade that involves an army of religious zealots looking to fulfill some sort of “promise.” Making your way through the game means you’ll get embroiled in tons of segments that allow you to chat with your many allies during some intriguing conversations.

Randomly speaking with everyone and everything is definitely worth doing thanks to the strong voice acting and different dialogue options you can select in order to sway the conversation anywhere you want. You’ll find yourself going out of your way to pick up random items just so you bring them up during a quick chat with one of the other Guardians in an effort to get to know them better. After beating this game, you’ll quickly find yourself ready to experience it all over again just so you can explore all the dialogue options you passed on beforehand and see how they change up certain moments within the story.

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Guardians’ has so much going for it, but it’s held back by a lack of polish. While the game works and plays well, for the most part, the myriad bugs and glitches you’ll encounter from time to time are disappointing. Sometimes, the interactable button icon will stay up on the side of the screen even when there’s nothing to interact with. Peter gets randomly stuck on pieces of the environment, too (thankfully, the game resets you to the ground in that instance). At one point in the game, Drax mysteriously followed me around and stood right in front of the camera as I tried to indulge in some serious convos with everyone else on the ship. Future patches will certainly arrive in due time to remedy these annoying issues and make the game feel more complete. But it’s still pretty lame to see those sorts of mechanical issues pop up at the most inopportune moments.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy certainly had me and everyone else worried about its overall quality. But after making my way through its well-paced and action-packed adventure, I came away impressed with what’s on offer here. Focusing on a well-made single-player escapade that’s held up by well-written dialogue, energetic combat sequences, surprise cameos, and so much more was clearly the right way to go for development studio Eidos-Montréal. The litany of annoying bugs and glitches still apparent in the final version definitely sucks and needs to be fixed ASAP. But overall, this Marvel Comics game is far better than one might initially think.

Categories
Culture News

The 30 Best Marvel Graphic Novels of All Time

Spider-Man. The X-Men. Captain America. Iron Man. The Hulk. Captain Marvel. Those iconic heroes and so much more belong to the House of Marvel.

Arguably the world’s top comic book imprint and entertainment powerhouse, Marvel has gifted the world with amazing storylines, beloved characters, and a long line of top-notch blockbusters that have captured the attention of millions. Thanks to the business/creative moves made by innovators such as Martin Goodman, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and several others, Marvel has morphed into a huge facet of American culture and can be throughout every corner of media. On the comic book side of the spectrum, Marvel has produced a wide swath of riveting tales that have been compiled into must-read graphic novels.

We’re here to provide you with the very best stories Marvel has to offer in graphic novel form. The 30 stories we’ve put here before you here perfectly capture the pomp and circumstance comic book fans have become accustomed to when it comes to Marvel.

EXCELSIOR!

1. Secret Wars
Marvel Comics

Secret Wars is one of the most monumental events in not just Marvel Comics history, but comics as a whole. The presence of The Beyonder leads to an epic struggle between the entirety of the Marvel universe and results in a pretty wild plot that sees Doctor Doom end up at the center of that struggle. Secret Wars may not have gotten the most positive reception upon release but over time, it’s garnered a bit of love due to its long-lasting effect on some of Marvel’s greatest characters. Plus the action-packed panels make it an exciting read.

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2. Infinity Gauntlet
Marvel Comics

The all-powerful Thanos gets quoted by anyone and everyone these days thanks to his incredible villain role in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. The story arc that clearly inspired those films and brought the “Mad Titan” to the forefront is this one. Infinity Gauntlet is mandatory reading for anyone who wants to get wrapped up in the Marvel Universe – it follows the Avengers, the New Warriors, the X-Men, Silver Surfer, Adam Warlock, and more as they clash with Thanos & his universe-altering gems.

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3. Hawkeye by Matt Fraction & David Aja
Marvel Comics

Matt Fraction and David Aja’s combined efforts led to a career resurgence for Marvel’s expert bow and arrow wielder, Hawkeye. This Eisner Award-nominated run follows the hero as he comes to grips with a tumultuous life that shows more of his human side over his heroic exploits. When he eventually does get into some superhero hijinks, this series gets even more engrossing as Hawkeye clashes with mobsters and so much more alongside his understudy Kate Hudson & his loyal pup.

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4. Iron Man: Demon in a Bottle
Marvel Comics

The man behind the mask is Tony Stark. And his biggest issue comes in the form of rampant alcoholism. Iron Man: Demon in a Bottle follows Mr. Stark as he’s forced to confront his innermost problem while simultaneously contending with Justin Hammer & his formidable army of baddies. The clever writing included in Demon in a Bottle does an amazing job of handling the difficulty of alcoholism and presents Tony in a more relatable light for readers who’ve been forced to deal with it themselves.

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5. New Avengers Vol. 1: Breakout
Marvel Comics

New Avengers Vol. 1: Breakout takes place after the dissolution of the original Avengers team lineup. With such an important event taking place within the Marvel universe, a concealed evil rises under the surface to take advantage of it all. A series of harmful events leads to two of the original Avengers members reuniting and aligning themselves with a strong class of fellow superheroes. This astounding tale follows the initial formation of the New Avengers during their rebooted run as a superhero collective.

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6. Alias: Ultimate Collection, Book 1
Marvel Comics

If you got sucked into the Jessica Jones show that used to be on Netflix, then it’s definitely worth checking out the series she originated from. Alias: Ultimate Collection, Book 1 showcases a side of Marvel Comics that delivers more mature storytelling, darker humor, and intriguing detective work from the former costumed hero turned private eye. Jessica Jones gets caught up in conspiracy theories, disappearances, and even a date with a beloved superhero. And you’ll end up loving every bit of each and every plot thread.

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7. Astonishing X-Men, Vol. 1: Gifted
Marvel Comics

Marvel’s mutant contingent has been rebooted plenty of times already. One of the best fresh takes on the fan-favorite team comes from creators Joss Whedon and John Cassaday. Astonishing X-Men. Vol. 1: Gifted brings Cyclops and Emma Frost into the picture as they build a new X-Men troupe. A major event that centers around a supposed “mutant cure” goes public and a new foe named Ord comes into the picture, however. With those two obstacles put in place, this new X-Men team has their work cut out for them from the start in the most difficult ways possible.

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8. Captain America: Winter Soldier
Marvel Comics

If you’re reading this right now, then you’re probably one of the many MCU fans who hold the Captain America: The Winter Soldier film in very high regard. The original storyline lifted right from this graphic novel’s pages came to life wonderfully on the big screen, which is why you should pay tribute to those same pages with a thorough read. One of the best Captain America stories of all time features the return of Bucky Barnes, the demise of the Red Skull, and a dangerous group of Red Skull followers who are out to wreak havoc in his wake.

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9. X-Men: Days of Future Past
Marvel Comics

When the X-Men of the 1980s are made aware of their race’s ultimate demise in the future, they’re forced to spring into action to prevent that future from coming to fruition. X-Men: Days of Future Past centers around Kitty Pride as she converges with her future self to help the X-Men prevent a specific event from transpiring in order to save mutantkind from a doomed future. Alongside that monumental story, this graphic novel includes the debut of Alpha Flight and marks the return of the Wendigo. X-Men: Days of Future Past is the quintessential X-Men story from the Silver Age of Comic Books.

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10. X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills
Marvel Comics

Chris Claremont is regarded as one of the greatest comic book writers of all time. And his biggest claim to fame is his run on the X-Men from 1975 right up until 1991. When he went into graphic novel mode alongside comic book artists Brent Anderson, greatness ensued with the creation of X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills. This storyline forces Professor X’s mutants to align themselves with their mortal enemy Magnet in order to confront an overwhelming threat. The religious zealot at the heart of this grand tale raises the stakes for the X-Men and all of mutantkind.

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11. Daredevil: Born Again
Marvel Comics

Frank Miller’s legendary status is due in part to his run on the Daredevil comics during the 1980s. The biggest and best story arc from that run has always been considered to be “Born Again,” which follows the ground-level hero as he encounters one of his biggest struggles. With his identity known by the Kingpin menace and his life in more danger than ever before, Daredevil must overcome his mental anguish and fight for survival.

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12. Civil War
Marvel Comics

When Marvel’s most influential heroes work alongside each other, you can’t help but root for them in their fight for justice. It becomes a tough endeavor once those heroes enter into a major conflict that threatens to disrupt their unity, however. The “Civil War” storyline produces such a dispute between those saviors. Once the U.S. government enacts the Superhero Registration Act, lines are drawn between those who support it and those who don’t. What ensues is the most action-packed…well, disagreement in the Marvel Universe.

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13. House of X/Powers of X
Marvel Comics

2020 marked the relaunch of the X-Men as a pillar of the Marvel Universe before the start of the “Dawn of X” story arc. When Professor X makes the world aware of the mutant nation of Krakoa, a temporary partnership between mutant and humankind is put into action. But at some point, that perfect union comes apart at the seams and leads to a brand new mission statement for all of Homo superior. The X-Men mythos is impacted in the most shocking manner possible across their past, present, and future.

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14. Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe
Marvel Comics

Deadpool’s hilarious fourth-wall-breaking antics never disappoint. Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe heads off in a much darker direction by pitting an even more unhinged Wade Wilson against Marvel’s wealth of beloved heroes. The violence and gore from this one are off the charts, so prepare yourself for a Deadpool graphic novel that delves into his maniacal crusade against the superhero community.

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15. Marvel Zombies
Marvel Comics

The multiverse always gives way to crazy interpretations of everyone’s favorite heroes and presents their origins & clashes with their Rogues’ Gallery in unique ways. Marvel Zombies takes readers to a wild sector of the Marvel multiverse that’s filled with zombified versions of the greatest superheroes of all time. The Ultimate Universe’s version of the Fantastic Four’s Reed Richards aka “Mister Fantastic” ends up in their crosshairs, which leads to some of the craziest storytelling in the Marvel Comics mythology.

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16. Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Volume One: Who Is Miles Morales?
Marvel Comics

Marvel’s “Ultimate” line of comics offers a fresh spin on the long-standing legacy of its most iconic characters. Readers ended up falling in love with that spinoff universe’s version of Spider-Man, which is fulfilled by the teenage hero named Miles Morales. His origin story is contained within this graphic novel’s beautifully animated pages – you’ll end up falling in love with him too as he comes to grips with taking on the mantle of Peter Parker.

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17. Runaways Vol. 1: Pride & Joy
Marvel Comics

If the Hulu TV series based on this collection of young heroes caught your attention, then you need to spend some time with the comic book series it’s based on. The first volume of The Runaways introduces readers to the motley crew of Alex, Karolina, Gert, Chase, Molly, and Nico. Their lives are turned upside down once they learn that their parents are all super-powered baddies, which forces them to run away from home and seek out a life that differs from the one their evil parents abide by.

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18. Immortal Iron Fist Vol. 1: The Last Iron Fist Story
Marvel Comics

Shang-Chi may have taken the spotlight as Marvel’s martial arts maestro, but that title once belonged to Danny Rand aka “Iron Fist.” This graphic novel provides answers to the biggest questions surrounding Iron Fist’s origin and everything that goes into the legacy of his superpowers. Prepare yourself for eye-popping flashback sequences that delve into the past wielders of the Iron Fist moniker.

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19. Marvel 1602
Marvel Comics

When Marvel transported its superheroes to the Elizabethan Era, a breath of fresh air arrived in the form of Marvel 1602. This focused timepiece tale sees our favorite Marvel heroes reside in England and clash with a powerful stable known as The Witchbreed. Spider-Man, the X-Men, Nick Fury, and a slew of even more Marvel saviors appear as alternate versions of their familiar selves as they navigate the dark reign of the year 1602.

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20. World War Hulk
Marvel Comics

The “World War Hulk” storyline sticks out as one of those Hulk arcs that makes you feel for the big guy. After being exiled from Earth by the very same heroes he once fought side by side with, The Hulk finds himself wandering through space before taking refuge on the planet of Sakaar. Hulk soon finds himself in a struggle that places him on the side of the slaves who seek an uprising against their rulers. Hulk’s crusade alongside them eventually leads to him becoming their leader, which ultimately sets them all up for a violent return to Hulk’s home planet. For revenge, of course!

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21. Silver Surfer: Parable
Marvel Comics

Stan Lee and Jean Giraud’s masterful work together resulted in one of the best galactic tales ever told in comic book form. Silver Surfer: Parable features the space-faring champion as he fights to save Earth from two evil forces – Enslavers & Mrrungo-Mu and the all-powerful planet consumer known as Galactus. The climactic battles Silver Surfer is a part of are awe-inspiring, while the story’s themes of false prophets and human nature will keep you intrigued from start to finish.

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22. Fantastic Four: 1234
Marvel Comics

The creative duo of Grant Morrison and Jae Lee puts forth the well-known origins of Marvel’s First Family, the Fantastic Four, with a much darker tone. Fantastic Four: 1234 showcases each member of the superhero squad with their own singular stories, which all delve into some of the dysfunction at the heart of their innermost struggles and relationships. The striking art style and mature storytelling are much different than the Fantastic Four stories that came before this one.

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23. The Punisher: Welcome Back, Frank
Marvel Comics

Frank Castle’s life is redefined by the team of Garth Ennis, Steve Dillon, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Tim Bradstreet in The Punisher: Welcome Back, Frank. Frank’s return to prominence as a vicious vehicle for retribution against the worst criminals known to man has earned him the ire of two cops and the mob. Along with those opposers at his heels, Frank must contend with three individuals that try to co-opt his gameplan and have him join their group of vigilantes.

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24. Daredevil by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev
Marvel Comics

One of the most beloved runs for Daredevil came during the late 90s. And that’s all thanks to Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev. This defining series of stories follows the ground-level hero as his real identity becomes known to the world. And of course, this results in his most infamous foes doing everything in their power to make his life even more of a living hell. This comic book run also features some amazing guest appearances that make this a star-studded storyline worth checking out.

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25. The Ultimates
Marvel Comics

The Ultimates are presented as a different interpretation of “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.” The art style presented for this series grabbed everyone’s attention during its initial run and it’ll do the same for anyone that decides to check it out in this collection. You’ll definitely enjoy watching Spider-Man, the X-Men, Iron Man, and more as they combat familiar threats and confront a world overrun by varied supervillains.

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26. Spider-Man: Kraven’s Last Hunt
Marvel Comics

One of Spider-Man’s most notorious (and fan favorite) villains is Kraven the Hunter. In “Kraven’s Last Hunt,” the fearless warrior embarks upon a final feat in order to defeat his greatest adversary. After succeeding at his lofty goal, Kraven takes over Spidey’s role and ends up serving the city as a much more benevolent hero. Once Spidey escapes from Kraven’s grasp, he sets out to take back his role as the city’s savior.

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27. Captain America: Truth
Marvel Comics

One of the most intriguing parts of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier Disney+ series is the way in which it explained the earliest example of super soldiers and the horrible acts committed by the U.S. government towards one of its patriots. Captain America: Truth delves into the tragic life of Isaiah Bradley, a soldier who donned the Captain America costume before Steve Rogers but was stricken by a horrible treatment by his superiors that speaks to real-world issues.

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28. Marvels
Marvel Comics

Imagine a world in which superheroes are first introduced to the general public and, as a photojournalist, you set off to document their early days. Marvels, which comes from the combined efforts of Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross, presents that intriguing storyline in the most gorgeous fashion possible through some of the best-looking panels we’ve ever seen. This special edition of Marvels features extra content that focuses on the X-Men and even the aforementioned photojournalist that gets caught up in all the action.

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29. Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E.
Marvel Comics

Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. drops a lot of humor into Marvel’s usual array of action-packed epics. The story follows a group of anti-terrorism specialists known as the Bizarre Weapons of Mass Destruction. But once Nextwave learns that their overseers are terrorists themselves, they become a bit peeved and set out to hand out some much-needed revenge. Get ready to laugh a bunch and most definitely get ready to remain excited throughout every explosive panel of this graphic novel.

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30. Wolverine by Claremont & Miller
Marvel Comics

Chris Claremont and Frank Miller came together during the early 1980s to send Logan on an international journey that produced one of his finest acts to date. This storyline sees the highly celebrated X-Men member head off to Japan to rescue his beloved Mariko Yashida from an arranged marriage. But after facing firsthand embarrassment from Mariko’s father, Wolverine basks in his sorrows. Of course, you’ll get to follow his resurgence as a badass hero as he fights alongside a newfound assassin and clashes with the individuals trying to keep him from his true love.

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Categories
Consoles Gaming

Here’s What We Hope the #FreeMvC2 Movement Leads To

Capcom’s long-lasting legacy as the industry’s premier fighting game developer was embedded in stone after the 1991 release of Street Fighter II. The arcades were owned by the exploits of the game’s “World Warriors” and eventually living rooms everywhere featured intense sets between expert Ryu & Ken players. As the years passed, Capcom kept pumping out a wealth of significant fighters, such as Darkstalkers, Rival Schools, Power Stone, and many more. The Japanese publisher/developer truly struck gold once they got their hands on Marvel Comics’ best characters – comic book diehards and fighting game fans alike were treated to gems such as X-Men: Children of the Atom and Marvel Super Heroes.

Once Professor Xavier’s gifted class of mutants came to blows with Street Fighter’s very best, the “Vs.” line of fighters came to pass. Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter and the first-ever Marvel vs. Capcom arrived soon after to push the series to new heights of quality. And then…Marvel vs. Capcom 2 arrived and blew everyone’s minds. The quirky yet unforgettable character select theme, the rest of the catchy soundtrack, the 3D stylized stages, and the massive 56-character roster captured the imagination of fighting game fans everywhere and remain a classic to this very day. The initial Arcade/Dreamcast release of the game was remarkable, of course. But the online re-release breathed new life into the 3v3 fighter by adding its best feature to date – online play.

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But sadly, MvC2’s 2009 HD re-release is practically trapped on the PS3 and Xbox 360. Due to the expiration of Capcom’s licensing contracts with Marvel, the vastly worshipped fighter got pulled from the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade. If you still own either console with that game still existing on your hard drive, consider yourself lucky. But if you don’t and are dying to still play the game online via modern console hardware, that option is sadly unavailable to you. But keep hope alive, true believers! Streamer/fighting game guru Maximilian Dood’s undying appreciation for MvC2 pushed him to kickstart a social media campaign to free the game from its PS3/Xbox 360 prison and bring it back to today’s consoles.

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With the hashtag quickly gaining steam and garnering the support of the game’s most respected players (Justin Wong, Michael “Yipes” Mendoza, and Chris Matrix, for instance), more eyes have taken notice of such a lofty request. With rumors circulating that the powers that be are seriously considering their social media pleas, the reality of a MvC2 re-release has seemingly become more attainable. If Capcom, Marvel, and Disney are truly listening and keeping watch over this powerful movement, then here are three requests that we’re sure would receive a lively reaction across the FGC for the “MAHVEL!” faithful.

1. A Fully Remastered Version of ‘Marvel vs. Capcom 2’
Capcom

The main goal behind the #FreeMvC2 push is to get the powers that be to make the game available across today’s line of consoles. The version of that game that made its way onto the PS3 and Xbox 360 was great for its time, but now it could be even better with the remastered treatment. A refreshed rendition of Capcom’s classic fighter would do extremely well if it was capable of outputting 60fps, incorporated rollback netcode, featured enhanced visuals, and afforded everyone the ability to play the game in either a 4:3 ratio or the 16:9 widescreen option. Adding some of the cool features that appeared in Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Online Edition, such as an art gallery and combo challenges, could also add to the MvC2 package and make it even more of a must-buy.

2. A Future ‘Vs.’ Fighting Game Compilation from Capcom
Capcom

If we end up getting that dream MvC2 remaster, chances are pretty high that it will bring in the big bucks and open the eyes of everyone at Capcom and Marvel. At that point, they’ll have to recognize the potential of re-releasing the rest of the “Vs.” series catalog. It’d be preferable if both companies joined forces once again to produce a collection that’s even better than what was seen in Marvel vs. Capcom Origins

The FGC deserves a new compilation that comes with arcade-perfect versions of X-Men: Children of the Atom, Marvel Super Heroes, X-Men vs. Street Fighter, Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, and Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes. And just like our requests for the MvC2 remaster, just throw in cleaner visuals, rollback netcode, and that gallery mode for all the nostalgic heads out there. And would it be too much to ask to throw The Punisher, X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse, and Marvel Super Heroes In War of the Gems, too? Yeah, probably…

3. The Creation of a Fourth ‘Marvel vs. Capcom’ Series Entry
Capcom

If those two prior requests do come to pass, then there clearly has to be a push towards making a true sequel to Marvel vs. Capcom 3. The failures attached to Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite shouldn’t be enough to close the door on the franchise as a whole. Capcom’s improvements within the fighting game department and Marvel’s stronger focus on bettering its video game efforts could combine to produce excellence. A fourth official installment in the MvC franchise seems like a far-flung dream scenario. But if the MvC2 remaster and “Vs.” compilation come to pass and succeed in the sales department, then we’re quite sure our third request would come closer to becoming a reality. In a post MCU Phase 4 world and a time where Capcom has even more IPs to take characters from, a new MvC game could offer the best roster the series has ever seen.

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Culture Movies/TV

What Could the Mystery MCU 2023-2024 Movies Be?

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe officially kicked off in 2008 and has been delivering some of the biggest moments in cinematic history. 

For those of us who have been there from the very beginning, the double whammy of Infinity War and Endgame marked the end of some of our favorite MCU onscreen personalities and major story threads. Now the fourth phase of the MCU is currently underway – new heroes are being introduced, familiar faces are being phased into new roles, and an overarching plot is clearly building up to an all-powerful new baddie. Walt Disney and Marvel Studios already have a huge lineup of films and TV shows on the docket – as of this moment, there are two films left to drop in 2021, four movies set for 2022, five films ready to go in 2023, and four movies prepared for 2024. While we actually know what a few of those films are, a good majority of them are still untitled.

That’s left us with one thing to do – MAKE BOLD PREDICTIONS! There are a ton of clues floating throughout the MCU’s most recent story developments that point to what some of those mystery films could possibly be. Join us as we try to break down what the MCU could be giving us on the big screen in 2023 and 2024.

July 28, 2023 – ‘Fantastic Four’
Marvel Studios

When you take a quick peek at the MCU Phase 4 film schedule, the final film within that lineup marks the MCU debut of Marvel’s most famous “First Family” of superheroes – the Fantastic Four. We’ve already been treated to three films of middling quality regarding the foursome of Reed Richards (Mister Fantastic), Sue Storm (Invisible Woman), Johnny Storm (Human Torch), and Ben Grimm (The Thing).

Now that the F4 have transitioned from Twentieth Century Fox to Walt Disney & Marvel Studios, they now have a legit chance at being in a great film. Since their MCU debut is arriving after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (May 5, 2023), it seems like a safe bet that this movie date is put in place for the Fantastic Four. With Jon Watts (Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man: Far From Home, and Spider-Man: No Way Home) in the director’s chair, this second Fantastic Four reboot could truly be something special. All we know is this – whoever gets chosen to play Dr. Doom better knock it out of the park!

October 6, 2023 – ‘Blade’
Marvel Studios

The great Mahershala Ali has been chosen to play the part of Marvel’s beloved half-human, half-vampire hybrid hero within the MCU. Wesley Snipes’ interpretation of the character was amazing, so we just hope Ali measures up to the high standards set by Snipes’ films. Stacy Osei-Kuffour has signed on to write the film while Bassam Tariq has been handed the directorial duties, so it’s safe to say that this Blade reboot actually has a chance at succeeding. This October movie launch date seems like the perfect month to bring the vampire hunter back to the big screen. Vampires and the month dedicated to Halloween makes a ton of sense, right? Debuting a new version of Deacon Frost to play the part of Blade’s main foe in this film could work. But we’d be more open to seeing Blade come into contact with Dracula and his daughter Lilith from the jump.

November 10, 2023 – ‘Captain America 4’
Marvel Studios

If you’ve seen the entirety of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, then you already know Anthony Mackie’s Falcon has fully taken over the mantle of Captain America. The deal has reportedly been closed in regards to Mackie’s return to the role as he’ll save the world once again in Captain America 4. It’s worth noting that this film is being scripted by The Falcon and the Winter Soldier head writer and creator Malcolm Spellman. This date gives Spellman and the crew ample time to cook up an amazing film on par with Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War. Setting up this movie as a tentpole fall film seems sensible enough, don’t you think? A fourth Captain America movie that features a fully formed Thunderbolts team or even Red Skull’s daughter Sin are two amazing possibilities we’d totally be fine with.

February 16, 2024 – ‘Deadpool 3’
Twentieth Century Fox

According to Collider, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige confirmed that the next Deadpool film is official and will be a part of the MCU. Ryan Reynolds’ fast-talking mercenary has technically done some MCU crossover work already by doing a quick trailer review with Thor: Ragnarok’s Korg, so the synergy is clearly already in place.

The Molyneux Sisters (Wendy Molyneux and Lizzie Molyneux-Logelin) have signed on to write the film and it’s clear that it won’t go into filming for a long time (2022 seems like a safe bet). Feige’s confirmation about the film’s R rating has us confident in its ability to mimic the vicious, gory feel of the last two series entries. If you remember, the first Deadpool debuted in theaters on February 12, 2016. So this February 16, 2024 date seems like a nice return to form for the foul-mouthed merc. We’d pay good money to watch Deadpool and Josh Brolin’s Cable team up to take on the MCU’s introduction of Mister Sinister.

May 3, 2024 – ‘X-Men’
Marvel

Now there have been a couple of strong X-Men films from Twentieth Century Fox – the first movie, X2, X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and Logan were and still are cinematic heavy hitters. But the extreme lows of the previous X-Men movie franchise broke a lot of fans’ hearts. Now that Walt Disney & Marvel Studios has reclaimed the film rights to the X-Men, we’re hopefully due for a complete reboot that does right by Marvel’s most revered superhero squadron.

Now it’s going to be pretty tough to figure out a way to introduce the X-Men to the MCU as a whole. Will they be mutants that have been in hiding for years? Or will they spring up from one of the many realms within the multiverse? It’d be pretty wild to see Wanda Maximoff’s role as the Scarlet Witch play right into the formation of the X-Men and team up against an overwhelming threat such as Magneto and his Brotherhood of Mutants. Getting new big screen renditions of Wolverine, Jean Grey, Cyclops, Storm, and Rogue has us super hype. And setting them up for a Spring 2024 debut seems sensible to us.

July 26, 2024 – ‘Shang-Chi 2′
Marvel Studios

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings ended up being one of the best superhero films of all time and one of the more satisfying introductions of a hero to the MCU. Trust us when we say that it’s right up there with Iron Man and Black Panther! Based on the financial and critical success Shang-Chi garnered, there’s clearly going to be a sequel put into development for the next MCU Phase.

Based on the post-credits scenes the film delivered (don’t worry, we won’t spoil them!), something major might be connected to Shang-Chi’s mystical ten rings armament. We’re sure that tease will play a major role in who’s going to be the main villain in the next Avengers movie. But for this sequel, we’d love to see Shang-Chi square up with Midnight Sun (look him up cause his origin story is wild!), Moving Shadow, or the Si-Fan Cyber Ninjas as a whole. Setting up another Shang-Chi film for a 2024 release date gives Walt Disney & Marvel plenty of time to bring it to fruition.

November 8, 2024 – ‘Avengers 5′
Marvel Studios

This late 2024 release date seems like the perfect time to drop the next highly anticipated entry in the Avengers films. The mega threats seen in the movies thus far include Loki/The Other/the Chitauri, Ultron, and Thanos. Now, which super baddie could be overwhelming enough to force a new generation of The Avengers to come together and defeat it? Galactus, perhaps? Based on what we learned about the ten rings’ mysterious origin in Shang-Chi’s first post-credits scene, the planet-eating menace could certainly exist within the MCU.

Getting a teaser of Galactus in the Fantastic Four film also seems pretty feasible, while the rest of the movies set after could continue to build him up for the next Avengers movie. Just imagine this scenario – the new Cap, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Lady Thor, Shang-Chi, The Eternals, and everyone else engaging in a climactic battle with Galactus! Phase Four and the one right after it will most likely set up the next universe threatening villain for the Avengers to clash with.