Black Widow

Avengers: Endgame

by Alan Rapp on April 23, 2019

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Avengers: Endgame
  • IMDb: link

Avengers: Endgame movie reviewMore than the culmination of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that began back in 2008 with Iron Man, Avengers: Endgame is the coda to the series that climaxed in the last chapter and now offers an opportunity for one last hurrah, for heroes to take their final bow, and for Marvel to usher out one set of lead characters and set the stage anew.

For my money, the most successful films of the past 11 years have been The Avengers, Avengers: Infinity War, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Excluding Winter Soldier, a great standalone film which cares nothing at all about larger continuity (it basically wrecked Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. after all), both Avengers and Infinity War faced enormous obstacles in pulling together various threads of the MCU into a single story. And both succeeded brilliantly. Avengers: Endgame comes off like their less-successful younger brother. I’m not going to call Endgame the Frank Stallone of the Avengers franchise as it may outshine Avengers: The Age of Ultron, but it’s a messy final chapter that offers plenty of memorable moments while failing to live up to what has come before.

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Black Widow #1

by Alan Rapp on January 24, 2019

in Comics

Black Widow #1 comic reviewDespite her recent death (something which lacks the finality it once meant in the Marvel Universe), Black Widow returns in a new series. Black Widow #1 is a bit of a schizophrenic issue that attempts to honor the character’s past while pushing Natasha in a new direction.

The issue opens with a Black Widow and Captain America team-up versus a Captain America impostor and giant robots whose true goal… um, well is to be the ones who get stopped by Captain America and Black Widow, I guess. After a somewhat icy farewell, Natasha heads to Madripoor looking to get lost and find a new purposes as far away from the Avengers as possible.

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Captain America: Civil War

by Alan Rapp on May 6, 2016

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Captain America: Civil War
  • IMDb: link

Captain America: Civil WarThe most ambitious Marvel Studios’ movie to date, Captain America: Civil War attempts to merge aspects of Marvel’s two best movies (The Avengers and Captain America: Winter Soldier) into a cohesive whole while telling a very streamlined version of the comic event of the same name. You know what? It’s pretty damn good. It may not be the best of the Marvel movies, but it’s certainly more successful than Avengers: Age of Ultron and halts the backslide we’ve been witnessing in the quality of the Marvel films since Winter Soldier.

Beginning with tragedy in Africa, the Avengers are called to task by the governments of the world who believe a group of powerful super-heroes must be made to answer to someone other than themselves. While Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and War Machine (Don Cheadle) are in favor of putting the group under the oversight of the United Nations, Captain America (Chris Evans) opposes any such move. As the Avengers choose sides things take an even more dramatic turn with the return of the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) only further dividing the group with his latest actions.

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Black Widow #2

by Alan Rapp on April 13, 2016

in Comics

Black Widow #2While still leaving much to be revealed, Black Widow #2 takes us back a week before the events of the first issue which began with with Natasha Romanova being chased out of S.H.I.E.L.D. with stolen files. It’s still unclear as to just what the Black Widow stole from S.H.I.E.L.D. or what specifically from her past the Weeping Lion is blackmailing our heroine with (which may be nothing more than a MacGuffin) in order to force the Widow to betray her friends.

What is clear is that the Black Widow has been forced into a corner to do the bidding of a criminal organization who apparently knows where at least a few of her bodies are buried.

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Black Widow #1

by Alan Rapp on March 14, 2016

in Comics

Black Widow #1The first issue of Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s new Black Widow series sets the stage with Natasha Romanova being chased out of S.H.I.E.L.D. Heavy on action but light on dialogue, Black Widow #1 doesn’t tell us what the Black Widow has stolen from the Marvel Universe’s premiere spy agency but it does demonstrate how determined Maria Hill‘s agents are to get it back.

Certainly not an Avengers’ comic, Black Widow #1 is a well-paced collaboration between Waid’s storytelling and Samnee’s art. The entire issue is one extended chase sequence featuring the Avenger’s escape first from S.H.I.E.L.D.’s facility and the following pursuit. The mystery works in the issue’s favor, but I’ll be curious to see how the story moves forward once some of these initial questions are answered.

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