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Justice League: What you need to know

The hour is nearly upon us – DC Comics and Warner Bros. response to the comic book boom. Marvel and its owners Disney have long been the undefeated champion in the field, raking in billions from cinema and DVD releases, digital downloads and merchandising, all the while seeing off the challenge of Sony, Fox, and Warner Bros. themselves. But Warner. Bros is pinning its hopes on Justice League redressing the balance – and it needs to. The opening punches in the fight with Marvel haven’t hit their mark entirely. Man of Steel was met with a lukewarm reception, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice should have been the kickstarter, but again drew criticism and wasn’t the financial hit it deserved to be on paper. Suicide…

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Crime and Punishment

The Punisher is a character designed to make you examine your conscience. He is, by his very nature, a divisive and partisan creation that forces you to question whether his methods are right. It’s that division which has put him front and centre of a moral row that can’t be easily resolved. Delaying the titular Netflix series about Frank Castle in the wake of the Las Vegas shootings was a respectful and tasteful decision – after all, debuting a drama about a man whose very existence is defined by murder via firearm barely two weeks after the incident would have been insensitive to the victims and their families, but also would have resulted in Marvel being accused of being uncaring and only interested in making…

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Marvel’s Unsolved Mysteries

For all the praise heaped on Marvel’s multi-billion dollar movie franchise – it wouldn’t be modern Hollywood without the need to nitpick. While some would categorise each movie and TV series as being nearly perfect, there is the odd occasion when something doesn’t quite make sense. So with that in mind, here’s a few questions that Marvel hasn’t answered, so we’ve tried to do it for them. What order do they actually go in? Marvel’s chronology flies around depending on when each TV series, short film, or movie is set, but it’s safe to say they don’t follow the order in which they’re released. An example is 2008’s The Incredible Hulk being set after Iron Man 2 – released in 2010. Add to that there…

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Widowmaker

There’s a mystery surrounding Marvel’s movies – and it’s not how does Spider-Man go to the toilet, or why Tony Stark is still considered a good guy after creating an artificial intelligence that destroyed a country – and levelled Leipzig. Nor is it why no villain manages to make it through a movie without a) being killed off or b) compared unfavourably to Tom Hiddleston. No, the bigger question is this: Why hasn’t there been a Black Widow movie? Scarlett Johansson has played Natasha Romanoff in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for seven years now, starting off as an intriguing part of Iron Man 2 (some would argue the best part), before progressing through to her roles in The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers:…

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To Infinity – and Beyond

So thanks to that leaked trailer at San Diego Comic Con, we finally have an idea of what Avengers: Infinity War will look like (however grainy the footage was), and as well as an indication of the gargantuan main cast. However much Marvel tried to shut it down after the leak, they were surely aware that screening any footage at all would run the risk of the leak – and as such it’s hyped up Infinity War even more. But if you’re wondering what all the fuss is about (and it’s likely at least some of you are), here’s a rough guide to Marvel’s Magnum Opus. What’s it about? Basically the end of the world, the Universe, and life as we know it. The story…

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From Bat to Bird

**Spoilers ahead for Spider-Man: Homecoming** Tom Holland is a great Spider-Man, no doubt about that. After the moping romance of Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire’s iteration forever tinged with Spider-Man 3’s emo dancing, Holland restores the wide-eyed, vulnerable nature of the wallcrawler – and that’s in no small part down to Marvel injecting their own brand of storytelling into a series that had become bloated and disappointing under Sony’s sole guidance. But aside from a more streamlined plot, and a better lead, Spider-Man: Homecoming owes much of its success to the fact it has a genuinely well crafted and menacing villain. Michael Keaton’s Adrian Toomes makes Holland’s Spider-Man all the more credible, because of the former Batman’s superb performance as the layered, terrifying antagonist. You…

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Masters of The Universe?

There are two words that light up the eyes of movie studio executives in Hollywood – but lately, they’ve also come to dignify a collective groan from some audiences: “Shared Universe”. The phrase that Marvel and its owners Disney have used to great effect to create an interlocking jigsaw puzzle of colourful characters and storylines has granted other studios and companies carte blanche to replicate it themselves – only the problem is, everyone seems to be doing it, with varying degrees of success. And it seems that the latest attempt, Universal Studios’ plan to create a “Dark Universe”, is the point where people are getting fatigued by the whole idea of having to watch at least 12 films to understand the greater narrative. The first…

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DC’s Wonder Woman win

Eating a large slice of humble pie, writer Phil Bowers explains (with spoilers) how DC finally hit the mark with their latest movie. So Wonder Woman is good. In fact, it’s DC’s best effort on the big screen since Christopher Nolan crafted The Dark Knight in 2008. But why? Since closing the chapter on Nolan’s Magnum Opus with The Dark Knight Rises, DC has quickly tried to establish a shared universe to rival that of closest competitor Marvel. The DC Extended Universe, as it’s been dubbed, features some big hitters, arguably bigger than any Marvel could throw into the fray. Yet, as we all know, DC has had three bites of the cherry so far, and they’ve been indifferent to average. Man of Steel is…

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Yesterday’s Enterprise

It’s the Star Trek that few people love – not even Star Trek fans themselves. Enterprise was the last endeavour for Trek on TV, not even last the customary seven seasons (The Original Series ran for five, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager for seven each), as time was abruptly called at the end of the fourth year of its voyage. With Discovery, the new attempt to bring Trek back to the small screen, arriving later this year after 12 years since Enterprise concluded, we’ve taken a look at what was bad about the series that many people said killed Trek, and then why it actually stands up pretty well against some of the other entries in Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the future.…

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Logan: The End

**Spoilers follow for Logan** It was always going to end the way it did. For Hugh Jackman, and his portrayal of Marvel’s most popular mutant, there was only one story that would get across his affection for the character as well as the inevitable conclusion to the tale of The Wolverine. Jackman has embodied the role in the way only a few others have. He’s played it for seventeen years, moulding Logan into a character that appeals to so many, because of his ability to display a range of emotions that we can all identify with. The essence of Wolverine is a character driven by his heart rather than his head. He constantly battles those emotions and has given in to them on more than…

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