Diecast# 152 Pt 1: Civil War, DOOM, Pinball Machines

By Shamus
on May 16, 2016
Filed under:
Diecast

165 comments

This week’s Diecast is a two-parter. I’m not sure when part two will come out. It might appear later this week, or it might appear next Monday instead of #153. There’s no way to know! The suspense must be killing you!

Direct download (MP3)
Direct download (ogg Vorbis)
Podcast RSS feed.

Direct link to this episode.

Hosts: Josh, Rutskarn, Shamus, Campster, Mumbles.

Episode edited by Issac.
Show notes:
3:25 Captain America Civil War


Link (YouTube)

33:49 DOOM

Just DOOM? We’re not calling this DOOM 4? Because that means everyone is going to call it DOOM 2016. By making the name smaller you’ve made it longer, and by getting rid of one number you’ve added a larger one. Damn it, marketing people. Please stop doing this. It’s stupid.

So when they make a sequel to this, what’s it going to be called? DOOM 2? Nope. That’s taken. You’ll end up with “DOOM 2 2019”. Did anyone think this through?

45:28 Pinball Machines


Link (YouTube)

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Footnotes:



A Hundred!2020205Many comments. 165, if you're a stickler

From the Archives:

  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Tiny dude is big now

  2. Da Mage says:

    To think, ID were originally going to make a “serious” and “real” FPS shooters until sometime around 2012? Someone (maybe even Bethesda, I can’t remember) basically told them to start over and this is what we got.

    I think they did good.

    EDIT:
    F U Bethesda, why does the game cost $80 USD ($110 AUD) in Australia? I am once again in the position where it’s $20 cheaper to go to a brick and mortar than to buy it online through steam.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      There still is a serious story,but the protagonist doesnt give a fuck about it.Which makes it even better.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      F U Bethesda, why does the game cost $80 USD ($110 AUD) in Australia? I am once again in the position where it’s $20 cheaper to go to a brick and mortar than to buy it online through steam.

      Have you any idea how expensive shipping is to such a far away country?How can steam make a profit if they have to cover that cost as well?

      • The Right Trousers says:

        I heard Valve is researching new compression algorithms designed to reduce online shipping costs. The main idea is to send more 1s and fewer 0s. 0s are heavier, so they cost more to ship. Also, their width makes clogging a problem, especially to rural areas with thin pipes.

        Detractors say that 1s often flip around in the pipe and are actually more likely to clog, but Valve says it’s also working on new traffic-shaping tech to fix it.

      • Sleeping Dragon says:

        You jest because you think that getting it digital removes shipping costs, but you still get it on the web and have you seen Australian spiders?

      • Syal says:

        Also there’s the time cost to translate the code to Australian.

    • Humanoid says:

      Nowadays the first thing I do when I want to buy a new game is check isthereanydeal.com for the best priced authorised seller. It does take into account regional pricing, handily.

  3. NoneCallMeTim says:

    I was spoiled on the Who version of the Pinball Wizard because I heard the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain version first:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvdpjZYLumw

    Short version: they turned the song into a sea shanty…

    Sounds really good, but completely different rhythm.

    • TMC_Sherpa says:

      Dang that was good. Thank you! I really like their version of Psycho Killer, it’s much closer to the “movie” version (which I prefer) than the “album” version if that makes any sense? It’s probably because I heard that version first so it’s the ‘true’ version of the song to me, music can be weird like that.

  4. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Cant wait to see gwen stacy die again

    Damn it Mumbles,spoilers!

  5. Wide And Nerdy ™ says:

    I still can’t believe DC is trying to build to a clash with Darkseid. Its a choice that might have made some sense if the Avengers hadn’t announced Thanos first.

    It pisses me off because the whole point of DC going this darker grimmer self important direction (if defensive fanboys can be believed) is to distinguish them from the Marvel franchise.

    So lets build up a clash with a large muscular grey cosmic guy who is very powerful and is seeking an cosmic artifact so that he can become god of the universe. Way to go DC.

    So they’ve both distinguished themselves from and copied Marvel in the wrong ways.

    All this to say, watching Civil War and Batman V. Superman so close to each other just makes Civil War look that much more awesome and BvS suck that much more. It really made me wish Marvel Studios was handling the DC characters and that Zack Snyder and David Goyer were forced to get jobs as vacuum cleaner salesmen.

    • Vermander says:

      Ironic because Thanos is/was widely thought of as a cheap knock-off of Darkseid. Kind of like how Deadpool was an obvious rip-off of Deathstroke (until he evolved into a more comedic character).

      • Wide And Nerdy ™ says:

        Yeah I know. Its kind of unfair that Marvel got Thanos out there first in the movies because Darkseid was first in the comics.

        And DC’s most interesting Big Bad for a DCCU spanning conflict would be Darkseid (though I doubt the movies will do him justice).

        Actually if they wanted to roll a saving throw on their universe, they could say that the new movies have been so grimdark so far because Darkseid is using a weapon on Earth to wear down our spirits to prepare us for subjugation. Then after you beat him, there could be a tone shift to a more optimistic Marvelesque universe.

        • Felblood says:

          Whether it’s unfair for them to be in this position or not, DC is in a position where this move in monumentally bad.

          Movie execs should know to take the market as it is, not as they’d like it to be.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Whats fascinating is that there already is a good stand alone cartoon where the justice league fights darkseid.Justice league:war.

      • Vermander says:

        I never cared for that one personally. I think most of the heroes came across as violent, irresponsible jerks. I much prefer the Bruce Timm version, where they also faced off with Darkseid (and his various minions) a few times.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Well yeah,but those were serialized cartoons,and this was just a single movie.It may not be the best,but compared to the live action counterparts,its light years ahead.

          • Shoeboxjeddy says:

            Specifically, I think Superman’s characterization is awful in that one. “Let’s see what you can do?” Superman should not be jumping people to test them, he’s FAR too powerful to do something so dangerous. Yeah, he’s supposed to be younger and brasher, but this is almost (but not quite) as bad a creative choice as DourMan from BvS.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              Keep in mind that they(well,mostly just lantern) jumped him,and were in possession of the same device like the monster he got before,so he was somewhat justified in that.

  6. SlothfulCobra says:

    The best Ant-Man is still Eric O’Grady.

    • Shoeboxjeddy says:

      Scott was easily the best choice for the movie-verse. Not so vanilla/insane as the various versions of Pym from throughout the years, and not so actually Irredeemable as O’Grady. O’Grady hurts people (to the point of wrongful deaths) and other shenanigans that Cap and the others simply would NOT tolerate. Meanwhile, Scott DID commit crimes, but he went through his prison term and genuinely wants to do better. Plus his inferiority complex is more amusing than Pym’s terminal one, and the way villains (Taskmaster for example) relate to him is pretty great.

  7. Wide And Nerdy ™ says:

    I’m actually glad the XMen are still running their universe. I wouldn’t have thought this before XMen First Class but between that, Days of Future Past, and Deadpool, they know what they’re doing. And we get two major superhero franchises. Yay!

    Though I now find myself wishing they hadn’t cast Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique because, since when was Mystique the main character of the XMen?

    • Vermander says:

      Kind of the same thing with Ian McKellan and Michael Fassbender as Magento. Although Magneto was arguably always more interesting than most of the X-Men.

      • Wide And Nerdy ™ says:

        I don’t mind that so much partly because I haven’t read a ton of XMen so as a result, the whole ideological clash between Professor X and Magneto is the soul of the series, at least for me. (I imagine actual long time Xmen fans are probably thinking “Enough already with the assimilation versus separatism conflict” the way the rest of us are tired of Batman’s origin story.)

        I had a good laugh when I saw the trailer for Apocalypse and they said “Charles is kidnapped.”

        Lets recount.

        First X-men: Xavier is incapacitated when Cerebro is sabotaged.

        Second: Xavier is kidnapped and fitted with a psi-blocking helmet.

        Third: Xavier is killed in the first 20 minutes.

        Origins: He doesn’t show up till the end.

        First Class: Xavier is . . . wait, Xavier gets to use his powers? The entire movie? And his power usage is limited but without shutting him down completely? Holy Cow!

        Days of Future Past: Xavier is powerless for most of the movie and gets back limited power usage towards the end.

        Apocalypse: He’s kidnapped after stupidly trying to punch Apocalypse, because his power is punching now I guess.

        Yeah I get it. He’s very powerful and that can kind of limit the plots you’re able to write, but cmon! Only one out of six movies you let him play an active role throughout without shutting down his powers?

        Its like in Smallville, they were constantly having to go “also the bad guy has Kryptonite” or “and when he finally gets to punch the bad guy, some kryptonite randomly pops in through the ceiling” or something. It would be nice if they could write plots that actually let the heroes use their powers.

        And that is why I love Civil War. I don’t think hardly anybody gets shut down.

        Also, nobody forgets that they have powers, nobody forgets what anybody else’s powers are. Nobody inexplicably becomes the bad guy to force the conflict. There’s not even a “good guy mistakes the other good guy for a bad guy so they fight until that can be cleared up.” Its good people in their right minds acting the way they would act clashing because good people can disagree on what the right thing is.*

        Mind. Blown.

        *And they inject a lot of fun or funny moments that emerge from the characters.

        • Ninety-Three says:

          I don’t mind that so much partly because I haven’t read a ton of XMen so as a result, the whole ideological clash between Professor X and Magneto is the soul of the series, at least for me. (I imagine actual long time Xmen fans are probably thinking “Enough already with the assimilation versus separatism conflict” the way the rest of us are tired of Batman’s origin story.)

          The bigger problem is that they keep trying to fit the X-Men and their “mutants are persecuted” thing into a vibrant superhero setting where hundreds of characters with natural-born superpowers face no persecution at all. X-Men stories often feel like they’re off in their own world that runs on different rules, until they go and remind you that no, they somehow fit into this larger world of traditional superheroes.

          It’s a longstanding problem and the only real solution they’ve ever found is to not draw attention to it so that a charitable reader can pretend it’s not there.

          • Vermander says:

            There’s also a bigger problem with lot of the X-Men storylines, which seem to show that regular humans are absolutely right to fear mutants. Look how many times Magneto attempted to, or even succeeded at killing scores of innocent people. Yet he keeps getting forgiven or invited to team up with the X-Men. And guy who keeps forgiving him has the power to enslave or brainwash other people anytime he wants, but swears he’ll only use this power for good.

            Mutants are a terrible analog for the Civil Rights movement.

            • Wide And Nerdy ™ says:

              Though it does create an opportunity. The arguments in real life tend to be “They aren’t as bad/dangerous as you think they are.”

              But this series presents the opportunity to throw aside that argument and say “ok, what if they really are that dangerous. What should we do?” And the answer becomes obvious. You should still treat them like people individually and deal with the truly dangerous ones as they emerge.

              It presents a double whammy to the “Be excellent to each other” argument.

            • Mike S. says:

              Mutants are more general-purpose analogs for prejudice. So they can have features of all sorts of different conflicts rather than just race: e.g., a group not being especially visibly distinct, but with negative treatment arising as soon as they’re outed or if they “flaunt” it (“why can’t they just act normal?“); large numbers being associated with and blamed for the violence and dangerous acts of a small radicalized fraction; separatism vs assimiliation; children suddenly proving to be different around adolescence and the question of whether their parents will accept them, etc.

              (I initially included examples for each of those, but decided those might cross the politics line.)

              It’s never a perfect fit for any of them, not least because many mutants are inherently dangerous and uncontrollable in a way that there’s no analog for with ordinary humans. (But that’s the superhero genre generally, not just the subset which is the Mutant Problem.) Still, a big reason that mutants are such a perennial is that they can be used to reflect on different prejudices and the fears that spark them.

              It’s pretty clear that a lot of people genuinely believe their hated group is as much or more of a direct threat to them and those they care about as Magneto would be. If they’re in a sense more “right” in the Marvel universe, well, J. Jonah Jameson would be more right about an anonymous costumed vigilante in our world than he is there, so it balances out.

            • Bloodsquirrel says:

              X-Men is a good example of why applicability is better than allegory. When they just stick with being honest to their own premise they can tell a story where prejudice and being a social outcast are underlying themes that some people can identify with. When they try to be too on the nose with real social issues we get a story about how at least 50% of gay people are dangerous maniacs that you shouldn’t let your children near.

            • SlothfulCobra says:

              They didn’t start out as a civil rights metaphor either, just a quick and simple way to avoid having to plan out an origin story. The whole metaphor came into its own at some time during Clairmont’s run, and ever since then, there’s been the elephant in the room of some mutants who really do need to be controlled and contained for the safety of themselves and others. The whole metaphor does provide a neat opportunity for writers to explore “civilians” resenting people with powers without contaminating other superheroes’ running plotlines, though.

              I always thought that the Inhumans borrowing the whole lazy origin schtick without bothering with as many complexities as mutants rang really hollow to me, especially considering that these aren’t the days of low budgets and frantic deadlines that Mutants were born in. The Avengers and their affiliated books are absolutely stuffed to the gills with nobodies with goofy little origin stories of all stripes and colors, it doesn’t seem right to skimp on them now. If you can’t spare a couple panels to flesh out where a character came from, do you even really care enough to put them in the comic in the first place?

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            The bigger problem is that they keep trying to fit the X-Men and their “mutants are persecuted” thing into a vibrant superhero setting where hundreds of characters with natural-born superpowers face no persecution at all.

            I always found that to be ridiculous,not just in xmen,but in any universe where superpowered people are persecuted.Even more ridiculous is when the normies manage to enslave the muties.

            • Mike S. says:

              Superpowers tend to come with enough Achilles Heels to allow for the mutants to be enslaved if that’s what the plot calls for. There have been all sorts of temporary or permanent power-suppression devices, docility collars, mind-control rays, etc. etc. Plus Quisling mutants who work for the bad guys in exchange for good treatment.

              Of course there’s an underground or someone figures out a way out or something so that there’s a plot, but the mutants can have been ground down until it’s time for La Resistance to pull their big move.

              (Or, as in Days of Future Past, the normals just use technology to impose a final solution to the mutant problem rather than trying to keep them around as an oppressed minority.)

              • Wide And Nerdy ™ says:

                In addition to all of that, in a universe where stuff like Iron Man’s armor is possible and Pym Particles are a thing, humans can hang tough with mutants. Tech still works more to our advantage in this scenario because of the numbers and resources that production requires.

                Considering how Tony has been able to upgrade himself, not to mention if anyone ever got Cap’s super soldier serum working again, its hard to say whether posthumanity will be mutants, augmented transhumans or both.

                • Supah Ewok says:

                  I think Civil War showed that Stark Sr figured out a way to at least partially replicate Super Soldier Serum. Bucky stole some IV bags of serum, they were injected into those other Winter Soldiers, they went through a lot of pain but came out with Big Muscles. If it quacks like a duck…

                  • I liked the comic Nextwave: Agents of HATE where a Nazi spy tried to smuggle out a jar full of the first wee Steve Rogers took after being injected with the Super Soldier Serum, since it would contain intact bits of the serum.

                  • SlothfulCobra says:

                    Replicating the super soldier serum was the origin for half of the redesigned characters from the ultimate universe, so I wonder if they’re going to dip back into that pool again.

              • It falls apart on multiple levels.

                For instance, Cyclops (and a LOT of other mutants) aren’t bulletproof. Angel should have been shot out of the sky long ago by a deranged or anti-mutant sniper by now.

                If they really wanted to amp up the persecution angle, they should make the genetic X-Factor (the potential for powers) be far more widespread and easily detected via a blood test. The manifestation of it should be kept low, so that those without powers are then persecuted as mutants, even though they’re unable to suddenly defend themselves in metahuman ways.

                • Bloodsquirrel says:

                  They do occasionally show that a lot of mutants don’t even have powers and just look weird. Theoretically, the really powerful mutants are a minority and most of them are pretty helpless against a mob of people, but comics often lose focus on the grounding elements like that.

          • Matt Downie says:

            The Civil War storyline raises the possibility of all super-people becoming persecuted, having to register their powers, etc.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              Having to register a potentially dangerous thing is not persecution.I mean,you have to register your car before you can drive it,so why not your superpowered suit,magic staff,or whatever else?

              • Mike S. says:

                At least in the US, you only have to register a car if it’s going to be driven on government roads. (E.g., a truck used only on a farm or ranch doesn’t need to be licensed.) And of course there are lots of dangerous implements (chainsaws, blowtorches, cans of gasoline) that don’t have any registration regime.

                But more centrally, it’s a genre issue. Superheroes are all about autonomous individuals engaging in freelance combat being the most effective way to save people. There may be government-run superagents and superteams, but half the time they wind up being subverted, and the other half they’re decidedly second rate compared to the top volunteers. Make everyone registered with an ID and a badge one month, and the next you’ll surely get a hero who has to go rogue under an alias to Do the Right Thing.

                In reality, a bunch of people with disproportionate power who were a law unto themselves would be terrifying. But in a superhero story, they’ve repeatedly been the only thing standing between people and horrific disaster, and more often than not the authorities have been obstacles to that.

                Unless it’s prevented by an iron editorial hand, registration will inevitably come back to bite the heroes who agree to it, with the authorities trying to shut down needed heroism, or villains getting the registration records and targeting the heroes using the information in them.

                (Even post-Civil War movie: if there’s a Chitauri-level disaster happening somewhere and the UN can’t get its act together (or a Security Council rep is a member of or mind-controlled by Hydra and vetoes) is it remotely likely that Tony Stark and the rump Avengers really abide strictly by the Sokovia Accords, and do nothing? The man who so wanted to protect the world that he provoked the Accords by trying to knock out global peace and safety over a three day weekend? (With time out to attend a party!) I think Tony’s fooling himself.

                • Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Oh I definitely agree that there are some heroes that can be unquestionably trusted.However,that doesnt mean they too shouldnt be registered as well,for multiple reasons.Knowing what each hero can do can be used not only in case “they go rogue”,but it can be used to their benefit as well.For example,we find out that superman has been mind controlled,so we immediately contact all the telepaths in order to try and reverse it.Not to mention that we would much more easily spot dopplegangers and mind controlled people if we knew exactly what each of them can do,or how to cure someone if their powers are being suppressed.

                  Granted,theres a (100%,because these are comics) chance that a person in charge of registration will turn out to be evil,but that doesnt mean the system is flawed on its own.That just means we should install someone who we can trust there(one of those heroes who can be unquestionably trusted).

                  • Mike S. says:

                    Internal to the story, the arguments will continue because they’re not on their face unreasonable. But the nature of the genre is such that that sort of oversight will always be abused, and spawn some heroes who won’t comply with it. And they’ll be right, by the lights of the story, for refusing.

                    (E.g., the Justice Society of America’s history (as retconned in the 70s): In the 50s, Congress had investigated them for possible Communist ties, and demanded that they reveal their identities as part of the investigation. Rather than do so, the JSA had simply disbanded and returned to civilian life. Until, inevitably, an old enemy led them to reunite years later.)

                    If outlaw heroes treated as no better than the criminals they fight as a result, well, that’s just part of the price they nobly pay, just as Spider-Man and the X-Men (and even Superman, back at the beginning) were historically regarded as public enemies.

                  • drlemaster says:

                    The thing is, in both the comics and this movie, “registration” doesn’t mean just register so they can keep track of you. It means you register, and then have to do what they say, or at least to a point. My guess is the writers realize that simple registration wouldn’t be onerous enough to provoke such a conflict, to they contrive a way to make “registration” bad enough to have conflict over. And in the move, there was conflict over registration, but all the actual fighting was over Bucky-related issues, not the issue of registration itself. If that had not wished to allude to the original comic series, they could have made almost the exact same movie without mentioning registration, just make the whole conflict “we must arrest/kill Bucky” vs. “I trust Cap on Bucky.”

              • Matt Downie says:

                I remember in X-Men 2 we were supposed to be against mutant registration. But I also noticed that Xavier had a machine that allowed him to use his powers to kill everyone in the world. I think the pro-registration side had a point.

                • Mike S. says:

                  Though one could raise the public policy question of how registration would help with, well, any of the problems posed by either Xavier’s activities or his enemies’.

                  (Starting with what incentives there are for compliance by the mutants the government is most concerned about.)

          • ehlijen says:

            The best solution is to stop the constant crossovers and to simply say ‘yes, the x-men are in their own universe without traditional heroes where they do face persecution’.

            This constant need in marvel and DC to have everything be one big universe has several big downsides:
            -continuity checking becomes a bigger chore the more previous works have to be looked at.
            -continuity pile-up can tie an authors hands or force immersion breaking contrivances. (Eg, if superman can turn back time, why isn’t the world perfect? If tony stark funds spiderman, how will we ever have another ‘peter has to make do with what he has’ stories? If batman can heal a broken back, what else can he heal? death (by nuke for example)? etc)
            -continuity pile-up can scare off new readers. The marvel movies have been good so far precisely because they don’t rely on more than broad characters to carry over between movies (eg Tony Stark as the ‘troubled inventor’. How is he troubled? They’ll make something up each movie, the important part is that he’s troubled somehow). That makes them accessible in a way the comics often don’t feel anymore, and big budget movies need that accessibility.
            -some things just don’t fit into the same universe. Such as people celebrating the avengers while apparently also persecuting the x-men, and being on the fence overall on spiderman.

            I understand that the continuity is what many people want from the marvel MCU, but I like that they’re, so far, not overloaded in that regard and that the x-men are still separate.

        • Vermander says:

          Probably an inherent problem with any superhero team where one or two members are way more powerful than the others. A lot of Avengers stories involve some sort of MacGuffin that takes the Hulk out of commission for at least part of the story.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          And that is why I love Civil War. I don’t think hardly anybody gets shut down.

          What about vision?

          • Wide And Nerdy ™ says:

            I guess Vision. But its interesting the way they do it sort of establishes why that doesn’t happen again in the big fight. (I can’t remember what does happen to him in the big fight. There has to be a reason why he wasn’t there to stop the ones who got away.)

            • Shoeboxjeddy says:

              He’s making moon eyes with a certain female team member. This keeps him from being as effective as he should be.

              • MichaelGC says:

                The Lorerunner guy put it well: he said that they were gently ‘nerfing’ The Vision in this outing. (Presumably to make sure that everyone still gets plenty to do during Infinity and, er, beyond.)

              • Wide And Nerdy says:

                That should come as no surprise to readers of the comic books. Especially since they killed her brother before any possibility of going to squickier route was raised (a genuine concern since the Marvel CU takes a lot of cues from the Ultimate Universe.)


                I actually thought they played off of fan expectations nicely. We know Vision and Scarlet Witch is a possibility, and a ways into the scene, non fans start to wonder about that too.

                He insists she stay, tries to think of other ways to get her to stay. We think he might be awkwardly trying to have a date with her until she forces the issue and learns that he has her under house arrest and has been trying not to make her aware of that fact.

                • Poncho says:

                  I thought it was pretty well done, too.

                  Regarding the big fight: I think they made it pretty clear that Vision was on the fence about fighting his friends, and only stops the fight when he realizes the fighting has escalated to dangerous levels. He doesn’t want to hurt anyone, and it’s also clear that he doesn’t understand human psychology well enough to know that fighting it out isn’t the best option. He could absolutely just swoop around and stop everyone, but he knows that as soon as he lets go, they’ll just start fighting again, so best to let them duke it out unless someone gets hurt.

        • Poncho says:

          Apocalypse: He’s kidnapped after stupidly trying to punch Apocalypse, because his power is punching now I guess.

          Actually, the punching scene is a SPOILER: dream sequence after he is kidnapped.

    • John says:

      I, for one, am really glad that the movies have kept the X-Men separate from the rest of the Marvel Universe. It’s not that one of the two is bad and must be kept from tainting the other with its presence; it’s that the central conflict in the X-Men books makes no sense when those books are placed in the broader Marvel Universe. I mean, I can see why the general Marvel public might hate and fear mutants. Mutant powers are scary and some mutants use them to do Bad Things. But that can’t be it, because the general Marvel public explicitly does not seem alarmed that there are hundreds and hundreds of other sorts of super-powered individuals running willy-nilly about Marvel Earth. The Avengers and the Fantastic Four are (or were) generally beloved, right? And their powers are at least as scary, if not scarier, than most mutant powers.

      I just can’t wrap my mind around it.

      • Wide And Nerdy ™ says:

        Well, if you’re talking about the Avengers, pretty much everybody earned their powers in some way at least until Vision came along. Steve and Thor were chosen, Tony and Bruce are geniuses, Natasha and Clint got there through raw training, and Falcon and Rhodey were at least military.

        Mutants just randomly get powers. There’s no rhyme or reason. They’re no better or worse than any other random person might be with powers. And worse mutant powers tend to be hard to control. There’s also that idea that mutants walk among you. You never know who might be one until they manifest.

        I think there’s also the element that Xmen tend to get their powers as teenagers. Throughout history, older people tend to be worried about the recklessness and danger of youth who have grown up bodies and thoughts but with a measure of youthful recklessness, disregard, and lack of self control. Now imagine those teenagers keep randomly getting superpowers.

        By contrast the Anvengers are at least adults. We tend to trust adults more with power. I wouldn’t stand a chance against a soldier with riot gear and assault weapons, but he doesn’t scare me because I know he’s an adult, he’s part of a system, he’s supposedly been assessed as being responsible.

        Actually, thats all sort of at the heart of the Civil War conflict. Even if they all came from such places, the public has turned on the Avengers since they started acting without oversight. They once again earn that trust by becoming part of the system (well, some do). If even these establishment heroes have to perpetually work to earn trust, mutants, “reckless teens” with dangerous powers, wouldn’t stand a chance.

        But I do still like that they’re in a separate universe. I don’t think even the Marvel CU has enough room for the XMen.

      • Grudgeal says:

        I agree. It would be like if someone decided to make a Nextwave film* and insist it was part of the MCU. Tonally it makes very little sense for the two to be compatible, especially when it looks so much better as part of an alternate universe where you don’t have to worry about the established precedent of other superheroes found in the mainstream universe. It’s the same problem that made it sort of clunky to imagine that Superman and Batman exist in the same setting.

        * Note to any Marvel Studios executives reading this blog: Please, please make a Nextwave film. I will watch it.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Just because a big name is in the movie doesnt mean she will be the focus.I mean look at poor black widow.

      • Supah Ewok says:

        Eh, I’d argue that she’s had the strongest of the supporting roles throughout the movies, and that’s really all we can expect. It’s a few years too late for her to have a spy thriller; she’s been part of the Avengers and in the public eye for far too long to ever again make it as a spy. Hell, she was the Avengers delegate to the UN conference. And absent a spy thriller, there really isn’t anything in her backstory in either the movies or the comics that could stand on its own. There are a lot of superheroes out there with a lot more potential for the lead than Black Widow.

        • Wide And Nerdy says:

          I always thought it was a shame they went with Black Widow as the female avenger. No powers (they could have at least gone with the enhanced Ultimate Black Widow) and her MO is just not at all superhero.

          I remember shaking my head when I first learned she was going to be in the Avengers movie. Hadn’t they learned after Catwoman and Elektra? See I don’t think its that movies about female superheroes are doomed to fail, its that they keep picking these femme fatales. I just don’t think you can build a superhero franchise off a solo femme fatale protagonist. They make nice foils, lancers, or villains but not heroes.

          I’d wager even a solo Mystique movie with Jennifer Lawrence would flop and personally I have no desire to see Suicide Squad (I like superHEROES, let me know if you ever get around to making a movie about those, DC.)

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            I just don’t think you can build a superhero franchise off a solo femme fatale protagonist. They make nice foils, lancers, or villains but not heroes.

            Does nikita count?

            • Wide And Nerdy says:

              I barely remember that show. A femme fatale might work in her own setting but when you’re building a franchise off of superheroes, I don’t think launching a solo femme fatale movie under that brand works. Its just a gut feeling. I could probably suss out some reasons why but I have a strong gut feeling about this one.

              Superheroes are usually direct, forceful, bold. Even the stealthier ones like Batman do their prep offscreen so they have have their big showy moment. Femme fatales are kind of the opposite of superheroes.

          • krellen says:

            I think Marvel has really failed not getting Miss Marvel (she’s got your name for crying out loud!) out sooner. If they’d done it right, we could have Carol Danvers retiring and turning the mantle over to Kamala Khan already.

  8. Phill says:

    As far as fight scenes in books go, I find Stephen Donaldson to be one of the best, at least in his more recent books. In his earlier stuff there is more of the generic “he swung a sword at the guys head and the guy blocked it”. In his recent books (possibly because of the authors own martial arts experience) individual blows rarely get a mention. The fight descriptions are much more about the intention of each combatant – testing an opponent to see how the wound he already has is hampering his movement, or trying to create the space to move to a position with better footing, or trying to lure an opponent into tiring himself out too quickly.

    He describes much better than this obviously.

    But rather that talking about the building blocks of fight, the individual punches etc., which (as Josh says) frequently leave you with no idea of what is really going on, he focuses much more on consistently giving the reader a clear idea of the larger scale flow and movement of the fight so that it is never confusing. His fight scenes are all the better for it: they are actually worth reading, rather than (as if depressingly often the case in les well written fantasy) something you can skip over with no loss to yourself to find out what the outcome was , and get on with the story.

    • Vermander says:

      The problem with authors who are really into martial arts or historic reenactments is that they sometimes develop a habit of spending pages and pages of text lovingly describing every detail of the character’s armor and weapons and every precise movement that they make in battle. I agree that it helps when they know what they’re writing about, but I don’t want fight scenes that read like a technical manual. Most readers probably don’t care about the differences between a halberd and an English bill.

      For example, I like Christian Cameron’s recent works, but I tend to get a bit frustrated when he feels the need to list every single piece of equipment a knight is wearing, how much it weighs, why it’s superior to their enemy’s armor, etc.

    • djw says:

      That’s strange, I read the first two Covenant Chronicles when I was in high school (during the 80’s) and I never would have thought that *combat* was Donaldson’s forte. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the books, but they always seemed to be much more about internal conflict than external conflict.

      Possibly the most recent Covenant Chronicles are different, I have not read those yet (I definitely will, someday). He does mention his sparring class on his website.

    • Retsam says:

      Jim Butcher and Brandon Sanderson are probably my favorite authors in terms of action scenes. Sanderson’s magic systems always tend to make interesting fights, and Butcher’s stuff always has a “summer blockbuster”-style “big awesome action” feel to it. Codex Alera has a roman legion using magic to fight the Zerg; and Dresden Files are just filled with awesome action scenes. (my favorite being the end of Dead Beat)

      Wheel of Time also had a pretty good system; they just invented a bunch of fictional sword maneuvers (e.g “Water Flowing Downhill”, “Unfolding the Fan”, “The Falling Leaf”), and described the fight in terms of those and let you imagine an awesome sword fight in your head, while still giving vague direction to the fight.

      On the other hand, I just spent my commute listening an audiobook from the Malazan series and really wishing they’d just skip past the fight scenes and give me a summary. I really don’t need sentence after sentence explaining exactly which part of the body his sword entered, which part of the body it exited, which organs were cut through in the process, and what bodily fluids came out afterwards.

  9. Ninety-Three says:

    A huge thank you to Campster for stating my problems with the MCU more articulately than I could. I think the reason the movies are so self-contained is the same reason that this is “Captain America: Civil War” not “Captain America 3” or “Avengers 3”. The moviemakers want to target the broadest audience possible, so they want their movie to work for someone who hasn’t seen any other Marvel movies, so continuity is limited to cameos.

    Shamus said it’s to avoid walling any of the other teams off, but they’re going about that by never building anything. They’ve taken the “You can’t fail if you don’t try” approach.

    • Hector says:

      While they certainly do want to avoid limiting their audience, like or not, you don’t get to make a series of moves in the $200 mill range with small target audiences who are familiar with every single detail, the latest movies expand on issues raised over the course of multiple previous outings.

      Generously, it’s not going to be easy to follow if you *didn’t* watch Iron Man, Avengers, Captain America, CA: Winter Soldier, and Age of Ultron. Ant-Man would help, too. Frankly, Marvel is pushing the dependency to the absolute limit, and I can’t imagine any studio being able to make more complex films works. That’s simply not something you can reasonably do with a movie series.

  10. Ninety-Three says:

    They gave Punisher a lot of dumb lines that made him sound dumb.

    Hell, they gave other characters a lot of dumb lines that made him sound dumb. Multiple characters assessing the damage he’d done, who had never seen so much of a recording of him, talked him up like they were CoD dudebros writing their first Mary Sue. Really, you can tell from some corpses that he kills people with “military precision”? A: He spent so many bullets to kill a small number of guys, B: What does that even mean?

    Unlike Shamus, I do mean this in a condescending way: Punisher is for people who think Tyler Durden was the hero. I don’t hate the character, I hate when the writers are on his side, and they often are, they definitely were on Daredevil.

    Necessary caveat: Like all comic characters, he’s been written by many people so there are of course good stories, but most of the time it feels like he’s being written for and presumably by Tyler Durden fans. If he was something other than a “Fuck yeah!” revenge fantasy, they would have let him accidentally kill a civilian, instead of serving up “Save the Cat!” moments of killing child pornographers and helping the people in his building.

    • Syal says:

      Punisher is just a symptom of the problem the Daredevil show suffers from as a whole. It’s a show about a hero who doesn’t kill people, in a world where bad guys are never redeemed and only stop in death. The moral ends up being, “I don’t have to kill people, because other people will kill them instead.”

      And of course it fully ignores the part where Daredevil straight up burns a guy to death.

      I actually would have really liked if the second season had been about the Punisher winning the support of the city and Daredevil struggling to weigh the morality of not killing criminals against the obvious desires of the people he’s supposedly fighting for.

      (Although part of that is I think the theme song only really works in a one-on-one setup. It sounds like a Me vs. You for the Heart of the City kind of thing, which really doesn’t work with multiple storylines or muddy moralities.)

      • Ninety-Three says:

        Well speaking of being tired of superhero stories, I am sick to death of “Good guy hero doesn’t kill people, circumstances push him towards killing, he nobly resists the urge”. I’m not saying I want my superheroes to kill, just stop telling stories about them refusing to. It is the same story every damn time, and it wasn’t that interesting the first time around.

        • Syal says:

          The first season avoided it by having the plot be about the direct and indirect effects of fighting the good fight. It didn’t matter that Daredevil didn’t kill, it mattered that his vigilantism continually made enough trouble for the criminal element to implode upon itself.

          Then Season 2 introduced like 4 separate plotlines that all totally revolved around him not killing, and also made it clear in all of them that it was the Wrong Choice. As such, Daredevil effectively has no plot relevance in Daredevil Season 2. If you’re going to do the cliche story then at least do it well.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          To be fair,both batman begins had an interesting spin on that story,with batman simply not helping a guy hurling to his death.I dont mind that story when its done well.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        And of course it fully ignores the part where Daredevil straight up burns a guy to death.

        He got better.

        My favorite blunder however was when D moralizes to P about killing,and then proceeds to drop a guy onto a lower floor,his back smashing onto stairs.If that guy survived(and thats a huge if),he would be permanently paralyzed at best.

      • Mormegil says:

        I just finished Jessica Jones and was struck by how much of the show was about her reluctance to kill Kilgrave and how every time she passed up the opportunity to do so things got worse.

        • Ringwraith says:

          In her case, it’s more about the fact she was avoiding killing him as she was prevented by her own guilt, proving his existence of mind controlling would clear Hope’s name (who is even called Hope).
          Several characters identify this is what’s holding her back, and why it blows up in her face multiple times eventually leading to Hope killing herself so there’s no reason to keep Kilgrave alive any more. And killing him is exactly what happens.

          • Mormegil says:

            Oh yes, her reluctance was always justifiable to her in some way but at every turn things would have been better if she had killed the bad guy.

    • Alex says:

      ” If he was something other than a “Fuck yeah!” revenge fantasy, they would have let him accidentally kill a civilian…”

      “Daredevil is a blind lawyer who is also a sonar-guided vigilante martial artist.”
      “Okay, got it.”
      “The Punisher shoots bad guys.”
      “Wait, what? That’s impossible! Suspension of disbelief: broken!”

      • Ninety-Three says:

        You’ve missed my point, it’s not about plausibility but authorial intent. Marvel editorial has a history of vetoing stories in which Punisher accidentally kills someone. That’s because he’s a revenge fantasy you’re supposed to root for, and rooting for him becomes a lot more difficult when you can see the damage he’s doing. It’s also why none of the characters point out things like “By shooting up a hospital you just gave a ton of doctors PTSD”.

        So instead they go out of their way to set up humanizing moments for him, or set up cartoonishly evil people (see: Daredevil season 2 and the child pornographer) designed to make you feel good about Punisher killing them.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Unlike Shamus, I do mean this in a condescending way: Punisher is for people who think Tyler Durden was the hero.

      I slightly disagree.He is praised by people who think tyler durded was a hero.But he can still be enjoyed as an antihero(which I think was the original intent of the character).There are plenty of characters that you can enjoy following despite completely disagreeing with them,from antiheroes to full blown villains.Light from death note,dexter morgan,walter white,neither of these guys are heroes,but you can definitely enjoy stories where they are protagonists.

      • Ninety-Three says:

        Sure, you can enjoy anything for a variety of reasons, people enjoy The Room because it’s so bad they find it hilarious. But there is a difference between Punisher and the characters you listed. Those characters we root for because they’re interesting, they’re the protagonist and they drive events forward: if they get arrested then the show ends and we like the show, so we want it to keep going, so we hope they win. None of those characters are supposed to be sympathetic.

        Those stories don’t try to build up the victims as scum of the Earth who we should be glad are dead. Even Dexter, where confirming they still kill is part of the episode formula, is detached and clinical about it. It doesn’t shove a wife-beater in your face and say “Look at this guy! Hate him! Hate him so much! *Bang* Yeah, don’t you feel good he’s dead?”.

        Light is clearly a sociopath with a god complex that’s not depicted in a favorable light, everyone in Breaking Bad is meant to be terrible, and Dexter spends seasons exploring the details of blending in as a sociopath. Even when he starts to develop emotionally and care about people, it’s not used for the trite “Look, he saves puppies and gives to charity! He’s not really that bad is he?”

        The shows you listed want you to root for the protagonist, because they’re the most interesting person in the scene, but they don’t want you to like them or the things they do. We want Light Yagami to win, and the fact that he’s killing criminals is almost incidental to that. In Punisher, we’re supposed to want criminals to die.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          It doesn’t shove a wife-beater in your face and say “Look at this guy! Hate him! Hate him so much! *Bang* Yeah, don’t you feel good he’s dead?”.

          The show opens with a child murderer.And lets not forget Lithgow famous “shut up cunt!” villain,who on top of being a murderer is an abusive father.

          As for punisher,I found this one interesting.I liked him because of how he interacted with d and fisk.And Im pretty sure plenty of people liked him precisely because of that,judging by how well the episode with the rooftop conversation was received.

          • Ninety-Three says:

            Point, Dexter does it sometimes. But it feels like it gets a lot less focus than in Punisher. Even Lithgow wasn’t set up as the target of hate like Punisher villains were: Dexter knows he’s a terrible murderer but delays killing him because he wants to learn from the guy, the very opposite of indulging the audience’s revenge fantasy.

            To put it another way: If you grant that murdering criminals is a net moral good, Light is still a sociopath with a god complex, Walter White is still a self-serving jumble of character flaws, and Dexter is still a sociopath who’s only doing it to feed his psychological compulsion. But viewed through that lens, The Punisher is a big damn hero in exactly the same way Batman is.

    • Nidokoenig says:

      The military precision line is off by a few orders of magnitude, but not the way you think. Between automatic fire, covering fire, suppressing fire and other random shit, militaries use millions of rounds per kill. Getting some lead in the air, especially being first to do so, is vital. I’m not sure that’s ever been the justification in the comic with the gun that shoots knives, that’s more about fireworks.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        The line is said because someone in the show confused military with sniper.The one shot one kill is the rule for snipers,not all military.

  11. 4th Dimension says:

    Agents of SHIELD could be over after just two more seasons. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. But I love the AoS. Sure the first half of the first episode was boring but it has been getting better and better. Now the characters and their interactions are amazing. The Inhumans part of the plot has been recently stalled somewhat with the introduction of It, but its’ still doing things. In fact I think it might be stronger if it was no longer bound by the movies of the MCU because all the time they have to come up with unrealistic scenarios why the Avengers aren’t getting involved in solving their world threat level problems that they face on the daily basis. I mean an ancient mind controlling parasite/superhuman would certainly be something Avengers would be interested in.

    I think the Inhumans were dropped because partially because they never were Marvel’s most known IP and because AoS was supposed to place the foundations for them so that they can hit the ground running but that failed since the viewer count dropped dramatically due to the weak first half of the first season. That made the Inhumans movie, a movie largely predicated on there being a wide enough audience of film goers that like and watch AoS impossible.

    But seriously Agents of Shield, Agent Carter and The Flash are like the best comic book based TV shows recently airing out there.

    • Vermander says:

      I stuck with AOS through the entire first season, but eventually lost interest. I originally tuned in because I wanted a behind the scenes look at the Marvel Universe from the perspective of “regular” people. I also wouldn’t have minded seeing what’s it like to be one of the dozens of anonymous workers who help the Avengers behind the scenes.

      But the show never really felt like it was set in the Marvel Universe. I realized that the Avengers wouldn’t appear on it, but I was expecting tons of cameos by minor villains and loads of subtle references to the larger MU. I thought the Marvel Universe itself would be the star. Instead it just felt like another show about slightly goofy secret agents using technology to fight generic villains, with the patented Joss Whedon twist of “tragic things happen to likable characters.”

      I appreciate that the writers were trying to (eventually) build they’re own mythology and story arcs without being so constrained by the movies, but it seems like the kind of show I could easily catch up with on Netflix later on rather than tuning in each week.

      • Bloodsquirrel says:

        I caught the season 1 finale and the season 2 opener, and neither convinced me that the series had gotten over its major issues.

        The show is just dull. I think I finally realized it when I saw a promo for some big episode and noticed how little energy it had. I’m surprised it got renewed for a fourth season given how steadily its ratings have been falling.

        • 4th Dimension says:

          I can’t help if you found it dull, but a) promos are the worst, their current promo for the season finale is literaly saying WHO WILL DIE over and over again which is not at all why I’m watching the finale; and b) it’s the speed at which they build and resolve things and the characters that I like, which is why I’m annoyed that MCU is stifling it quite a lot. Also they do tons of smart stuff and characters are rarely holding the idiotball without a GOOD reason. Hell in most cases where they have disagreements they are more likely to talk it out and discuss things than the comic book typical discuss things with fists. Hell for a superpowers show it’s even rare that their technobable throws me out of the action and they know to do it rarely, unlike certain other show that likes to throw it about and yes I’m looking at you Flash.

          I will admit it is a lot to tell someone “stick with it it gets better”. Sure it will NEVER and it was NEVER going to be as tightly tied in into the movies as some people thought but it’s a smart litle show that I would really be sorry to see go.

          • Ninety-Three says:

            Also they do tons of smart stuff and characters are rarely holding the idiotball without a GOOD reason.

            I know I’m picking on a specific instance here, but I still can’t get over the time they were told they were dealing with a mind controller, they were told her power only works on men, and that it gets irresistibly strong if you touch her. Then they fielded male agents to capture her, one of whom was a main character that got the drop, pointed a gun at her then let her walk up and touch his arm.

            It was stupid in every way possible and it made me quit watching in disgust.

            • 4th Dimension says:

              Stuff like that does happen from time to time but rarely. Also that was I think during the bad old days of first season, and first season was a completely different show.

          • Bloodsquirrel says:

            Eh… Hand was the idiot ball incarnate. From the moment she was introduced I concluded that she was either a villain or an idiot. She apparently knew that Shield was compromised a long time ago, and the sum total that she managed to do with the knowledge was to harass Agent Coulson because she had vague reasons for thinking he was Hydra. Her brilliant plan to figure out who was a Hyrda agent by pointing a gun at people and telling them to ‘hail Hydra!’ or be shot probably killed a lot of loyal Shield agents, and certainly wouldn’t have worked on any actual Hydra agents since they’d have known she wasn’t one of them.

      • Agents of SHIELD’s first season was a bit hamstrung as it had to do self-contained stories that continued in the Marvel U, but it had to wait until the events of The Winter Soldier took place to move forward.

        Also, I admire that the two characters I hated the most, Ward & Sky/Daisy, have evolved a lot more than I would’ve thought possible. They seemed to be typical pretty-folk brought on board to hook those who watch shows based on how attractive the cast is, but I have to admit (for Ward especially) they’ve got freaking arcs.

        I’m still not thrilled with Daisy, but that’s because I never saw her as fitting the “hacker living in a van” character type.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Am I really the only one who thinks gotham is also good?*sadfleck face*

      And have we already completely separated netflix shows from other tv shows?Just because they are shown in bulk.

      • Ninety-Three says:

        It’s not just that they’re shown in bulk, it’s that they’re designed to be shown in bulk. They do feel different.

        As for Gotham, I watched an entire season (maybe two seasons? It’s not to the show’s credit that I can’t remember) and I wouldn’t even call it a superhero show. It’s basically a police drama with the occasional Problem of the Week episode featuring a super-serum or whatever that feels strangely out of place.

        I loved that balloon murderer though. It was a great way to evoke campy Batman villains without having to include supernatural/superscience elements that clash with the very grounded mobster story.

        • Felblood says:

          The aspect of Gotham that works for me is basically the opposite of what worked for you.

          I really dig the way they are starting with a seemingly normal (though somewhat anachronistic) city, and slowly peeling back the realism to reveal all the crazy comic universe BS hiding behind the scenes. As much as I like the noir-esque gangs, it’s been telegraphed from Day 1 that they would fade out in favor of higher-level threats, if the series went on, so I’ve chosen to welcome the future.

          I really did that the long-term arc has been tailor made to churn out a whole rogues gallery of super-powered rogues. We have a meme-virus that makes people dress like clowns and murder people, which may or not be the work of an ancient demon god that haunts Gotham, because of some evil cult stuff that the Wayne family was mixed up in. We have a mad scientist who brings criminals back from the dead Winter-Soldier style super-powered zombie assassins. All these guys are here to make sure that we have a selection of origin stories for whichever villains they decide to roll out.

          Jim Gordon, Lovecraft Protagonist, isn’t going to be for everyone, but I’m loving it.

          • Felblood says:

            Solomon Kane for president of the Policeman’s Union!

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            I love the retro-contempo-futuristic feel of the city in the show.

          • Ninety-Three says:

            Jim Gordon, Lovecraft Protagonist, isn’t going to be for everyone, but I’m loving it.

            That line alone almost made me go back and keep watching because I love Lovecraft, but it’s not right. In Lovecraft, the supernatural stuff matters. The Mountains of Madness were a reminder of human insignificance that drove our protagonist to suicide and that just doesn’t work for a problem of the week show. It’s going to wrap up, maybe it will go away and maybe it will fade into the background, but beyond contributing to a general arc of “Scully learns to accept that there’s weird shit out there”, none of it matters. There’s zombies and killer memes and mad science but this is a comic book universe so at the end of the day, the city will be saved and life will go on, the status quo unchanged.

            I’m fine with the whole “supernatural problem of the week show” typified by Warehouse 13, but in those “There’s weird shit and we just have to roll with it” is the status quo. If Gotham is supposed to be the ramp-up, then it’s like the new Deus Exes or Paranormal Activity 2. We already know the conspiracy, we know exactly how crazy things are going to get.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              Gotham isnt about the supernatural though.Sure there are supernatural things,but they are background.Gotham season 1 is mostly a mob story,and season 2 is a noire detective drama.And both feature backstabbing aplenty.

      • Ringwraith says:

        Gotham does jump between some almost run-of-the-mill police drama to cackling bad guys and… somehow works? Still strange though, and definitely not for everyone.
        It’s weirdly watchable for me at least, probably would still be better with less Bruce Wayne in it though.

        This Videogamer video (with some random spoilers of the first season) kinda sums up its weird mixing of… everything.

    • Mike S. says:

      I mean an ancient mind controlling parasite/superhuman would certainly be something Avengers would be interested in.

      Given that just about all of the Avengers have already been mind controlled at least once at this point, the danger of them getting anywhere near that again is reason enough not to call them in. (At least when added to the basic rule of shared universes that no one picks up the phone unless it’s a sanctioned crossover.) Sure, it’s Inhumans only, but are they sure enough that they want to risk giving Stark Industries to Hydra? And I doubt anyone’s even done a genetic test on Hawkeye to be sure that his preternatural accuracy has no alien component, or on Thor to make sure Asgardians don’t have any Kree DNA.

      RE the larger Inhuman plot, I doubt they were ever entirely relying on AoS. Even a really successful TV show doesn’t pull the numbers a tentpole movie does. Presumably the Inhumans movie would have dealt with Attilan and the Royal Family who’ve been so conspicuously absent on the show– and in a way that wouldn’t even unambiguously reference events in Agents of SHIELD.

      (Thus far the references are all one-way: AoS had fallout from Winter Soldier and prepared the Helicarrier for Age of Ultron and had the thing from Civil War affect its plot. But in the movies we’ll never see Coulson mentioned as not-dead, the Helicarrier is all Fury as far as anyone knows, and in Civil War we hear about proliferating “enhanced” but not the specific emergence of Inhumans and the government response to it.)

      • 4th Dimension says:

        It’s HIGHLY unlikely any one of them can be an Inhuman. You know somebody is an inhuman and they know it too because 1. there is that whole emerging from the shell thing. Also they had to have been exposed to terrigen in order to trigger it. And there was only two ways to do it via crystals or in one of the temples. And if you hit any one of those you would inevitably have been snapped up by the Jiang’s Afterlife Inhumans for training.

        • Mike S. says:

          I’m sure none of the Avengers are actually Inhumans. (The movies didn’t even make the Maximoff twins Inhumans, which I’d expected.)

          But does SHIELD know enough about, e.g., Banner’s gamma ray experiments, or the Red Room, or whatever to be absolutely sure that none of the Avengers has a Terrigen incident in their past? Cap, no, Tony, almost certainly not. But a lot of their origins are kind of off the grid.

          Likewise, how sure are they that whatever lets Hive control Inhumans definitely doesn’t extend to other enhanced?

          • Supah Ewok says:

            They are definitely sure, but the larger danger is Hive being able to simply nom nom nom the humies. That said, Vision is probably the best equipped person in the world to deal with Hive, being synthetic and possibly being able to set his laser to incinerate Hive’s whole body in one go, Dragon Ball style. So not calling him in is definitely a big disconnect.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Oh,theres also lucifer.If you are a fan of Gaiman,this one is definitely for you.

  12. 4th Dimension says:

    Josh is giddy not at the though of Mumbles chainsawing his head off, but at the prospect of fighting Mumbles and that she respects him enough to bring a chainsaw. Internally he is going “Let’s see the entrance is booby trapped, the rear of the house has all kinds of riddles and doads that will waste her time. That gives me enough time to bake a pie, One should never be uncourteous to your guests.”

  13. Ghost says:

    I liked the Spiderman in the movie a lot. But I really wish they’d done the Miles Morales spiderman. I feel like Peter Parker has been so over done. And by putting Peter in to the movie, they’ve committed to yet another retelling of the same spiderman.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Well at least this time they are using an actual teen instead of a 30 year old guy to play a high schooler.

      • Cinebeast says:

        It’s the best take on Peter so far, no doubt. It’s just . . . this is take three. No matter how good it is, it’s a bit tiring.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Id rather have a great take 3 than awful take 1.

        • krellen says:

          Of course it’s take three. Takes one and two weren’t usable. You do takes until you have a good one.

        • Christopher says:

          I wouldn’t mind seeing another one of the thousand other Spider-Men get their own movie and not just him, but I also don’t really care about them either. If it’s a choice between the guy who’s first run I thought was alright(Miles Morales) or the hero I’ve liked since I was a kid, that’s not a huge dillemma for me. It’s a little frustrating to read comments about being tired of him, because there are more superhero movies out there than ever. If you’re pining for something else, there’s a lot of something else, but there’s only one Spider-Man I really like. Two, if you count Dr. Octopus + Spidey as his good conscience.

          I just want them to nail it this time, because none of those movies so far really gave me what I wanted. Besides aunt May being younger(But still old, she’s like 50) I’m feeling very good about Tom Holland in the role. Maybe this time they’ll finally nail it.

    • Felblood says:

      I never really understood why everyone wants to start with Miles Morales in the MCU. Yes, he’s a great character, and he should get a movie, but for his origin to work, you need to have Peter Parker established in your universe, and then kill him.

      Once Tom Holland’s contract is up, I’d love to see Miles Morales don the cowl, but not until then.

      • I also know it’ll never happen, but I liked Spider-Man 2099. From his powers to his outfit, he was a pretty good character for a gimmick-comic.

      • Mormegil says:

        Easy. You say Peter Parker existed but got killed. Two lines of dialogue. It’s not like people don’t know who Peter Parker is after 5 movies.

        I’ve never even read a Spiderman comic and I wanted Miles Morales. Just for something different.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          If they managed to do it by skipping hank pym as antman,they should have no problem with skipping parker.Just a single flashback scene is all you really need.

    • Steve C says:

      I want to see a Spiderman and Deadpool movie crossover. Even a cameo in each other’s movies would be enough. I never realized how much I wanted it until I saw Civil War.

  14. Aitch says:

    I’m not sure why, but I’m kinda sour on Doom 4. I haven’t decided to pick it up yet, even though everyone I’ve seen has enjoyed it. But something about it just feels off to me. The constant melee kills got visually exhausting pretty quick, the way it tilts and whips the camera. I heard it would be optional, but everything I’ve seen makes it a necessary part of the game economy to keep up on health and ammo.

    And when I see the small in-engine action cutscenes.. I don’t know, it’s like Duke Nukem playing a space marine. Early on there’s a scene where he punches in a piece of equipment with a big tower looming in the distance, and it had me right up until he rolled his fingers on the windup and made it exaggerated. Everything he does out of play is exaggerated and cheesy. Maybe it’s me, but I don’t remember Doom being so slapstick and corny.

    Maybe that’s what it is – it feels like a Frankenstein amalgamation of someone’s terribly vague memory of what Doom was, and ends up being a blend of every shooter ten years ago and further back. It seems like the models and art and plot style of Dead Space and Quake, the movement style of Unreal Tournament, the humor of a sanitized Duke Nukem, an ally that looks closer to belonging in Portal, and just the skin of Doom to patch it all together. It looks so patchwork sometimes, jarringly disparate.

    And going that far off the path with the game feels like they’re using the name more for brand recognition rather than an homage or update.

    Like.. a double jump? With rocket boots, really? And you pick them up in a place where the ceiling is low enough to keep you from jumping as high as it now lets you, which I know is a small gripe but I think points to a possible lack of enough play testing.

    It’s a lot of little things that look fun for a short time, maybe even an entire playthrough, but get to be tiring on more than one pass. And maybe it’s just an artifact of the time, but even the Doom shareware was good for play after play, almost like an arcade cabinet.

    I want to say “Hey, it’s for the kids, they’re having fun, and that’s what matters, so shut up and enjoy it too you miserable old man” .. but if it’s for the kids, why use a name for it that’s 20 something years old? Why take the name and then make it so godawful goofy? And I know, skeletons with rocket launchers on their shoulders is pretty goofy, I agree, but you don’t have to take it further than that. And yeah, if you held the fire button down long enough the avatar at the bottom would make an angry face, but from that they extrapolate an entire character that kicks people’s heads off and gives the man the finger at every single opportunity. The humor was subtle enough to remind you that it was just a game not taking itself too seriously without having to become a parody of itself.

    Maybe it’s because they’re trying to stretch the material too far because there wasn’t enough by itself to go on. But I don’t think they needed to stretch the material, just leave the blanks blank. Have him punch out the machinery panel, sure, but don’t go making a huge flourish about it. It’s like this stuff should be happening with Looney Tunes sound effects. I guess I should be glad he at least doesn’t have a constant running inner monologue of gravel and macho nonsense.

    Also, turn down that music! That’s not *real* music!! Damn kids! Soundin like a droid with his dick caught in a zipper… Actually, that’s another thing – I don’t understand why the music is getting such high marks. The way it cues up and blends to the action is pretty cool honestly, but the style and content of it feels more like an imitation and fell kinda flat. Fairly awesome sound effects though, I’ll give it that. At least they recognized how important the sound design was to the game, and pulled that off really well.

    I don’t know, I usually don’t care about reboots and all so much to get this miffed about it. Apologies if I’ve gone on too long, I’m just trying to work out what it is that gets me the way it does.

    Am I wrong here? Is it one of those things that has to be physically played to understand? Unfortunately this version doesn’t have shareware, and blowing $60+ on something I’d play 10 minutes before I got nauseous and annoyed doesn’t strike me as a great investment.

  15. Peter H. Coffin says:

    I agree that pinball has some basic skills to learn, but most of those skills are applicable to ALL pinball machines. Learning when (and when not to) use both flippers at the same time. Knowing to look for skill shots. Knowing that one CAN pass a ball from one flipper to another by bouncing it off the bottom of the slingshot above the ball return (and knowing what the heck a “slingshot” or a “ball return” are). Etc.

    At the other end, though, where pinball differs the absolute most from video games is that every individual table is slightly different even if they’re “the same”, ESPECIALLY after they’ve been in use for a while. It takes harder hits to activate a slingshot on one versus another, or a flipper might not be as smooth and thus “weaker”. Posts can be knocked a fraction of a millimeter from “stock” and change how difficult the game is to play. Elastics wear and change how much spin they introduce and now much bounce is returned.

    • Echo Tango says:

      Are there (m)any pinball machines that still have real-world buttons and stuff, but use them to run a videogame version of a pinball game? Like, the main play area is just one massive flat-screen display, and so is the top part with the scores. I’d reckon it’d be a lot easier to just keep the flipper buttons, and the ball plunger (and whatever other inputs a machine has) smooth and well-functioning, than to try and keep a whole machine full of fiddly electro-mechanical parts working like it was new from a factory. You could even have accelerometers to detect tilts, bumps and other stuff! :)

  16. Peter H. Coffin says:

    (And, Mumbles, there’s two Elvira machines…)

  17. Benjamin Hilton says:

    I really didn’t mind a lot of the contrivances in Civil War. The only thing that really stuck out to me was when the cops come for Bucky. He totally would have been killed if not for the fact that apparently German special forces are trained to only aim for the left arm and/or hand.

    • Shoeboxjeddy says:

      My guess about that: They were trying to shoot him in the face, so he just put his hand in front of his face (knowing that that would be their target). Or maybe it was center mass they were aiming for and it’s the same explanation? Eh… action movie logic.

  18. Felblood says:

    Talking about trying to build a universe with, not only characters, but also recurring locales:

    It feels like this has been the primary function of Agents of SHIELD ever since Winter Soldier, but the budget hamstrings them. They want us to care about places like Afterlife and Theta Protocol, and the Illiad, but the sets are so cheap that it’s honestly difficult to tell where a given scene is supposed to be taking place.

    For all the fanfare they made of giving The Bus a strong sendoff, I’m not sure anyone cared. The new bases and vehicles that replaced it don’t look that different.

    • Mike S. says:

      The DC shows do a better job with limited resources, I’d say. Flash has a fair number of established places (STAR labs, the West home, Jitters, CCPD), and also does a decent job of distinguishing e.g.,, the tunnels Grodd lurked in from the library the Turtle brought his victims to. And you immediately know if you’re on Earth-2 thanks to the (eminently appropriate) golden filter. (And they did a nice job redressing it on the cheap, giving CCPD-2 the “just society” bas relief in place of the Earth-1’s subtle nod to the JLA, and turning Jitters into a jazz club.) Still a few too many warehouse/generic street corner fights, but that’s hard to completely avoid.

      Though while I’m glad Supergirl isn’t going off the air entirely, the move to the CW and concomitant budget cuts will probably cost it a lot of its distinct look. National City being based on LA made it look very different from the Vancouverish Central City and Star(ling), and they were able to do their effects shots outside during the day. That made me notice how much the other shows hugged the darkness and indoors, which makes total thematic sense for Arrow and not at all for Flash.

  19. I take it Chris hasn’t watched Agents of SHIELD? SHIELD was hardly a throwaway for The Winter Soldier.

  20. Christopher says:

    I have seriously only heard about the Black Knight pinball machine in combination with Dark Souls, so that seems correct.

    I would later watch my flatmate play through the whole thing himself. I was on DJ duty, so I ended up playing a ton of that song.

    PS. Crap, I have no idea how to embed a video.
    PPS. NICE, now it works, thanks.

  21. Shamus’ mention of establishing magic, mutants, etc. is a good world-building trope, but I disagree that it’s necessary. I have two words for that:

    Astro City.

    By now, superheroes are so common, that just establishing a world where they exist is enough. Look at The Tick, Justice League Unlimited, or Powers. All of these worlds just jumped in feet-first with a whole world of superheroes. That’s not to say you can’t still have origin stories for various characters, but requiring an explanation for a Superman analogue isn’t needed, and showing the occasional flying person in the sky where you’d normally see a traffic chopper makes the heroes that are the core of your story seem less silly.

    I mean, look at the stand-alone movies that were around before the Marvel continuity came along. By and large, you had one or a handful of powered people. When they’re only two or three in number, the second they go public, they’d be nabbed and put in a military science lab, not allowed to run around causing as many problems as they solve. If it’s shown that New York has a sizable meta-population, the cops won’t be so hot to arrest Spider-Man unless he’s being particularly destructive, as they’ve got bigger problems to worry about.

    I think if DC had really wanted to make a go of a Justice League film, they should’ve just started there from the POV of whichever member was the newest hire (probably the Flash). The FX budget could’ve allowed for loads of cameos to make the hero-world seem larger, and they could’ve world-built on the back end as desired, without having to put Batman in some quasi-continuity that we’re not sure of.

    • Christopher says:

      The DC cartoons are honestly my biggest complaint against the MCU. You don’t have to have all the costumes with desaturated colors. Long origins stories don’t have to be there. It’s not necessary to explain everyone’s superpowers. You don’t have to kill your villains every movie so that the only way you can do a superpowered team on superpowered team battle is to split the heroes into two opposing camps. It’s just something the MCU does for some reason.

      • The color thing is something I’d say is the difference in the visual medium. “Would you rather wear yellow spandex?” Look at a cosplayer walking down the street; Even with special effects, they look kind of silly, and if you’re grounding your production in a realistic-looking world, stuff that looks cool in comics and animation needs a bit more justification when it’s supposed to look as solid as a car or a tree. Even realistic uniforms are hard to pull off sometimes, as a fully-costumed Batman looks pretty lame in full sunlight.

        This does, however, correlate with a rule I have that the more godlike your powers, the dippier your costume can look and you can get away with it. Thor is an example of this, as is Vision and, to a degree, Superman.

        As for the killing of villains, I completely agree, and I’d say DC is far more guilty of that in their films than Marvel. They’ve killed off the Joker twice now, not to mention Two-Face and several others. Maybe the whole “take ‘im away, boys” scene is too hard for them to pull off, or it seems anti-climactic to the directors they’ve hired, but I think it’s a huge mistake.

        The MCU kind of had to go the origin route when kicking off this mega-continuity, but they were smart in doing it with heroes that hadn’t been done to death. They also skipped Spider-Man’s origin for once. Once Doctor Strange is released, I think that’s every “flavor” of meta they have: Gadget/Science, Inhuman, Mythological/Alien, Cosmic, and Supernatural. If they keep this thing going, it’s all easily categorized if someone new shows up: “The target is a small-time magician. Her partner is a newly manifested Inhuman with cold powers. They’re demanding we release their pal, the sapient rock-monster Starlord dropped off. Let’s roll.”

        • Supah Ewok says:

          Joker didn’t die in Dark Knight, his actor did. Original plans had him showing up when Bane opens the prisons.

          MCU is just so bad about their villains though. They killed off Crossbones for no damn reason in Civil War, despite the fact that he was awesome. Him dying is actually a point against the Thunderbolts showing up in the MCU right now; Crossbones would’ve been perfect for them. But even in all the other movies, they’re treating their villains like tissue paper. Then again, other than Ronan, Ultron, Red Skull, and Loki, none of the villains have been particularly iconic. Still, though.

  22. NotSteve says:

    So how spoilery is the discussion of Civil War? I’d expect it to be full of spoilers, but there isn’t a warning here. I seem to recall there’s usually a warning if you’re going to be spoiling something.

    • Supah Ewok says:

      They have a verbal warning in the show, and it is fairly spoilery for certain character moments, although I don’t think they actually talked about the plot all that much. They only spend like 10 or so minutes on Civil War anyway, they branch out to the MCU in general and speculation for most of it.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      The only real spoiler is one awesome moment of the massive fight.And if you know anything about that character,its no spoiler at all.Also,Mumbles prefaces it,so you know when to skip a minute ahead.

      • Mike S. says:

        I think Mumbles’ in-theater reaction shows that it is a spoiler– you might know it was a thing they could do with the character, but not that they were going to this time. Being surprised by it (even if it comes at the point at which the old comics hand realizes it’s coming, rather than when it actually happens) is part of what makes it cool.

        • Supah Ewok says:

          Honestly, it was spoiled for me like a month ago cuz I saw a Lego set or something in a store that featured a model based on the figure in question. I wasn’t aware it was supposed to be some surprise.

  23. SlothfulCobra says:

    You know, Shamus’s explanation for why there needs to be a Dr. Strange movie, except there really aren’t that many higher-tier heroes that rely on raw magic as opposed to some god or pantheon. The biggest one I can think of is Ghost Rider. But you know what else Dr. Strange opens the door for? Marvel’s legion of Satan analogues. Right after Strange’s personal favorite, Dormamu, there’s Mephisto, Satannish, Azazel, and more, and there’s also the weirder magical entities out there, like Shuma-Gorath.

    Hell, if they start mentioning the crimson bands of Cyttorak like Dr. Strange tends to, they might have enough plausibility to poach Juggernaut from Fox. It wouldn’t surprise me if Marvel Studios started engaging in some dirty play to bring the errant Marvel IPs back under its fold.

  24. Echo Tango says:

    OK, so what would be the best vehicle, for a new Commander Keen game? I’m thinking 3D, third-person platformer with a bunch of puzzles all over the place. So, like all the best parts of Mario, MDK2, and Antichamber. :D

  25. Zekiel says:

    “Rise of the DOOM” for the sequel title :-)

  26. Rayen says:

    Honestly i just want to comment to thank you for posting The Who. Always a good day when I get classic rock unexpectedly.

  27. Ninety-Three says:

    Hey Shamus, you know what would be great to put somewhere on the Diecast post? An indicator of whether or not there will be Spoiler Warning this week. The current method of “Check whether it’s up, assume no SW if it’s not up by Thursday night” is rather annoying.

  28. drlemaster says:

    In reference to to sex scene joke when they were talking about spoilers, I found the scene where Hank Pym walks in on Iron Man and Spider Man very touching. YouTube Link

    (Note Toby Maguire is a college student in that movie, so not underage.)

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