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Retro Review — Spider-Man: Far From Home

Retro Review — Spider-Man: Far From Home

How many times has Marvel promised the multiverse, only to snatch it away at the last instant?

We had famous examples with WandaVision and Loki in 2021, but Disney pulled the rug out from under us even earlier than that.

Source: Marvel Studios

In a 2019 movie, the first MCU title after Avengers: Endgame, a superhero from another dimension saved us all*.

That asterisk provides the first demonstration of how the MCU as a whole has proven an unreliable narrator with the concept of the multiverse.

Here is a three years later retro review of Spider-Man: Far From Home, the film that set the table for the franchise to save movie theaters a few years later.

Source: Marvel Studios

After the Blip

During the Avengers: Endgame discussion, I had plenty of fun with the odds of the various mishaps.

For example, Hawkeye somehow lost his whole family but lived. It’s…mathematically improbable.

Source: Marvel Studios

We quickly learn that the same statement applies to the gang from Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Peter Parker, MJ, and Ned all blipped, leaving them the same age. The story has some fun with this, as another kid who didn’t blip is now an Adonis.

Photo: Collider.com

Meanwhile, one of the teachers reveals that his wife faked a blip to run away with another dude. As he says it, the funeral was real, but the blip wasn’t.

Director Jon Watts demonstrates his comedic skill throughout the film, which trends toward a EuroTrip sequel as much as Spider-Man, high praise from me.

Source: Marvel Studios

The premise is that Peter and the gang take a school trip to Italy. After one flight, Ned has fallen in love with Betty Brant, who unexpectedly reciprocates.

This bit is legitimately one of my favorite gags in the MCU to date. It’s so very high school, with a tempestuous relationship rising and then collapsing in a matter of days.

Source: Marvel Studios

Meanwhile, we get a bit of foreshadowing, as Peter Parker feels alone. He has lost his mentor and surrogate father figure, Tony Stark.

Meanwhile, he’s still too immature to tell MJ how he feels, and she’s too busy investigating Peter’s quirky behavior to notice the obvious.

Source: Marvel Studios

Far From Home packs in a lot of story during its tight two hours. And the best part is the villain.

Hero from Another Dimension

“To have a good enemy, choose a friend; he knows where to strike.”

That profound quote drives much of the plot of the Spider-Man sequel.

(l to r) Numan Acar, Tom Holland and Jacky Gyllenhaal in Columbia Pictures’ SPIDER-MAN: ™ FAR FROM HOME

Parker needs new guidance and direction in his life after Stark’s death. The teen believes he has found it in the form of Quentin Beck, aka Mysterio.

The backstory for Mysterio involves acts of superheroism in an alternate dimension, another part of the multiverse.

Movieweb

Since everyone knew that Marvel was moving in this direction, we bought it hook, line, and sinker.

After all, there is a Mysterio in the comics, but a supervillain. In another universe, he could easily have become a hero instead.

Source: Marvel

Mysterio somehow earns the trust of Nick Fury, who is really the person to blame here. That dude’s supposed to be the world’s greatest espionage agent!

If Fury cannot deduce that Beck’s the villain in the piece, what hope does a teenager have?

Something I admire more on rewatch is how the story careens between deadly serious and slapstick funny.

Photo: Marvel

To wit, one scene is likely a reference to EuroTrip, wherein a woman (NOT Lucy Lawless) forces him to strip, only for MJ’s other suitor to walk in.

The dude miscalculates when he takes a picture, leading the blonde woman to pull out her gun.

Then, Parker uses his final gift from Stark, overpowered Google Glasses, to…call down a drone strike on the guy. It’s something of an overreaction.

Of course, Spidey didn’t mean to do that. He’s just always in over his head.

These sequences dovetail nicely with the actual horror of Beck’s betrayal.

By the way, Zendaya nails her role as the sleuth uncovering the mystery of Spider-Man’s secret identity.

Source: Marvel Studios

Rewatch the drone strike scene if you doubt this. She’s three steps ahead the whole time.

Betrayal

I actually find the Mysterio story arc quite vicious in nature. Please think about him as if he were a real person.

The dude recognizes a lonely boy searching for tutelage. He pretends to help the kid, but it’s a ruse. He’s using a kid to regain what he lost from Tony Stark.

Photo: Marvel

This story milks sympathy in a way you might not even notice at first. It’s quite manipulative when you recognize what’s happening, though.

Parker desperately seeks approval, and this jerk insincerely promises it, only to snatch it away later. Oh, and he tries to murder Parker several times, too.

Source: Marvel Studio

Something else I notice this time is what a linear thinker Beck is. The monsters he creates with drone tech use water and fire. How original.

This guy isn’t fit to take the helm after Stark’s death, which makes him the perfect foil here. Peter Parker IS worthy, and he proves it by besting Mysterio.

Of course, before that happens, we get all kinds of swerves. Mysterio pretends to sacrifice himself nobly while fighting a lava monster.

Source: Marvel Studios

This bit of “heroism” earns Fury’s respect. Then, Mr. S.H.I.E.L.D. turns around and scolds a kid for only saving some people.

I realize that everyone has a bad day, but Fury must have lost some integral brain cells when he blipped.

That dude nearly gives the planet to a megalomaniac who created something called B.A.R.F.

Source: Marvel Studios

I’m half-tempted to pledge my loyalty to HYDRA after rewatching Far From Home.

The High Points

Any discussion of Far From Home should include MJ’s reveal. Look, I think Zendaya is a superstar of the highest order.

She and Tom Holland possess insane chemistry pretty much all the time.

Source: British Vogue

However, they go above and beyond with this, probably the best secret identity reveal in film history.

She’s suspected all along. Still, once Parker admits it, she’s something between surprised, confused, and braggy.

The scene with Ned finding out that MJ has found out cracks me up. Ned reflexively brags that he’s known longer as a bit of territorialism. That’s terrific.

Source: Marvel Studios

Of course, what’s even funnier is that when Nick Fury shows up to help Parker save the day, he blames the kid (!) for what has happened.

You were born in the 1940s, dude! Take some responsibility! That kid wasn’t hanging out with Captain Marvel at Blockbuster in 1995!

Source: Marvel Studios

Anyway, Parker proves remarkably resilient and again does something similar to EuroTrip when he befriends local hooligans in The Netherlands.

After a silly jail escape, Parker returns to his true mentor, Happy Hogan, and makes an A+ Led Zeppelin joke. This film is MUCH more of a comedy than I remembered.

Honestly, watching this so soon after Spider-Man: No Way Home, I’m kind of in awe of Far From Home. It really sets the tone for Tom Holland’s Peter Parker.

Source: Marvel Studios

In fact, the ending of that film seems that much more horrible given what happens here. The only thing worse is that Ned and Betty’s love didn’t last.

Oh, yeah, there’s also that mid-credits scene that opens up the multiverse for real.

Photo: Marvel Studios

God, I love everything about this movie. A+.

As a lifelong Fantastic Four fan, I cannot wait to see what Jon Watts does with that film!

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Marvel

Marvel versus DC. Who has the hotter female actors?

DC and Marvel are the two most well-known superhero film companies. There are several points on which fans of these two studios can’t agree, including which has the superior superheroes, which has the superior superhero team-up, which has the superior villains, and which makes the superior movies.

Yes, it seems like another argument is on the horizon. Marvel and DC aren’t shy about featuring stunning female leads since they know it draws in the crowds. In exchange for portraying some of our favorite superheroines, these ladies earn millions of dollars.

Discover who has exceeded the other in this respect.

Marvel VS DC

MARVEL GIRLS

Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow

Elizabeth Olsen, aka the Scarlet Witch

Gwyneth Paltrow – Pepper Potts

Gwyneth Paltrow

Captain Marvel (Brie Larson)

Valkyrie – Tessa Thompson

Dani Guererro – Okoye

DC GIRLS

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman

Lois Lane, played by Amy Adams

Amy Adams

Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn

Amber Heard/Mara

Black Canary, played by Jurnee Smollett-Bell

Who do you believe has the sexiest actresses? Who is your top pick and why? Leave a comment, thanks!

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Marvel

Each and Every Show That Inspired the Disney+ Series WandaVision

WandaVision’s frequent allusions to classic television shows are a major part of its humor.

In January of 2021, WandaVision launched Phase 4 of the MCU, officially ushering in a new age of Disney+ shows. Indeed, it was the first time the MCU was seen on television, as it chronicled Wanda Maximoff’s (Elizabeth Olsen) reaction to the aftermath of Avengers: Endgame. In the end, WandaVision was a huge critical triumph, garnering a whopping 23 nods at that year’s Primetime Emmys.

WandaVision, as the first television series in the MCU, appropriately paid tribute to the medium of television by drawing inspiration from a wide range of programs throughout its history. WandaVision acknowledged a wide range of television classics by the end of the series, from The Dick Van Dyke Show to Modern Family. All the shows that served as models for WandaVision are listed here.

The Dick Van Dyke Show

The Dick Van Dyke Show, which follows the title man in his antics both at work and at home, is one of the earliest shows mentioned on WandaVision, appearing in the very first episodes. One of WandaVision’s primary inspirations comes from this episode. Matt Shakman, the show’s director, told Den of Geek that he and Van Dyke had lunch together to discuss the show’s production.

I Love Lucy

Featuring Lucille Ball as a New York housewife who dreams of becoming a star, I Love Lucy was a smash hit on television. Clearly, this program, along with The Dick Van Dyke Show, was an influence on the first two episodes of WandaVision. The most blatant example is the fact that couples could not be depicted in bed together during the airing of I Love Lucy. Two separate single beds were displayed instead of a double bed.

Featuring Lucille Ball as a New York housewife who dreams of becoming a star, I Love Lucy was a smash hit on television. Clearly, this program, along with The Dick Van Dyke Show, was an influence on the first two episodes of WandaVision. Couples could not be shown in bed together on television during the time that I Love Lucy was airing. Instead of a double bed, two single beds were displayed.

The Twilight Zone

The Twilight Zone

The Twilight Zone, the only non-comedic source of inspiration for WandaVision, is another source of the show’s unique style. The structure of the show has a narrator guiding the audience through a series of spooky stories set in a realm named “The Twilight Zone.” Jordan Peele just recreated the series, but he stuck with the same basic idea. Jac Schaeffer, the program’s creator, discussed WandaVision’s impact on the series and its storytelling, highlighting the impact the show had on the development of Wanda’s magic and the resolution of the Hex’s mysteries.

Bewitched

Bewitched, originally shown on ABC in the 1980s, has been remade numerous times throughout the history of film and television, most recently as a box office smash starring Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell. Starring in the show is Elizabeth Montgomery as a witch attempting to lead the life of a typical housewife. WandaVision, in which Scarlet Witch and Vision disguise themselves as normal suburbanites, finds an apt inspiration in these stories.

The Brady Bunch

The Brady Bunch was a popular show from the 1970s about a nuclear family that ended up blending and raising six kids together. The third episode of WandaVision, as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, plainly draws inspiration from The Brady Brunch, as the title card makes explicit reference to the show’s title show.

Good Times

A family living in a Chicago public housing complex experienced nothing but good fortune. The actress playing Monica Rambeau on WandaVision, Teyonah Parris, confirmed this was a running gag, and that the show’s effect can be seen even in later episodes. Good Times originated in the 1970s as a spin-off of Maude, which was itself a spin-off of All in the Family.

Full House

In Full House, Bob Saget played a widower father who enlists the support of his brother and closest friend, both of whom were also single parents. The episode in which WandaVision transitioned into the 1980s TV era was inspired by this show. Having grown so much, Billy and Tommy had altered the household dynamic. It’s worth noting that the Olsen sisters, Mary-Kate and Ashley, were featured prominently in the ABC show Full House, which served as inspiration for the show’s design.

Malcolm in the Middle

The popular sitcom Malcolm in the Middle from the 2000s focused on the eponymous character, a bright kid from a working-class family who struggled to fit in. In the sixth episode of WandaVision, there were multiple references to Malcolm in the form of dialogue and the opening titles were a direct homage to his. Furthermore, exactly as Malcolm did in his show, Tommy did in WandaVision, breaking the fourth wall.

The Office

WandaVision’s seventh episode included numerous allusions to contemporary sitcoms like The Office, especially in its mockumentary-style format, which featured interviews and glances directly into the camera. While Vision and Darcy are operating the circus truck, Vision occasionally turns his head to stare directly into the lens. When Agnes recognizes the camera, she once again reveals herself to be Agatha Harkness. It’s only fitting that a reference be made to The Office, which has had such an enormous impact on contemporary television.

Modern Family

When it comes to television, Modern Family is up there with the all-time greats. The show centers on the Pritchett family patriarch, Jay, and how his three children and their families interact. In the sixth episode of WandaVision, Wanda addresses the camera directly in a mockumentary style reminiscent of Modern Family. Wanda’s home is also quite similar to the Dunphys’ in terms of color scheme, design, and general vibe.

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Marvel

Who is the Wonder Man of Marvel Comics?
We had been expecting you, Simon Williams.

The following contains spoilers for some of Wonder Man’s comic book history, but will give you an overview of his background.

Marvel Comics readers have been wondering when Simon Williams, aka Wonder Man, would enter the MCU ever since the introduction of Vision in Avengers: Age of Ultron. With the confirmation that Destin Daniel Cretton, the man behind Shang-Chi, will be directing a Wonder Man series for Disney+, some of the answers to that question began to emerge. And in even more thrilling developments, it appears that Yahya Abdul-Mateen II will play Simon Williams in the film. If you seen Watchmen on HBO, in which Abdul-Mateen II portrayed Doctor Manhattan, you’ll find this casting even more intriguing. As the villain Black Manta in the Aquaman film series, he is no stranger to the superhero genre. But that’s not why we’re here; we want to speak about Simon Williams and his role in the future of the MCU, and in particular the fates of two of the most beloved star-crossed couples in the MCU canon.

Who is this mysterious Wonder Man, anyway?

Marvel

Wonder Man made his debut to readers on the cover of Avengers #9 in 1964. There was a banner that read, “Marvel Comics proudly introduces… Wonder Man, the newest, most dynamic surprise character from the world-famous House of Ideas,” and the cover art featured the looming heads of Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, Wasp, and Giant-Man looking down on their new superpowered foe. Even more so considering Wonder Man wouldn’t make it to the issue’s conclusion, it was a bold claim. Simon Williams was a normal man before he was kidnapped and subjected to “the most potent ionic rays” by Baron Zemo at his hideout in the Amazon Jungle, transforming him into a superhero with superhuman strength and invulnerability. What could possibly motivate such crazy research? The goal was to get Simon (now known as Wonder Man) into the Avengers organization and give him superpowers. In the end, Wonder Man decides to help the Avengers defeat Zemo, after initially agreeing with the plan. He pays the ultimate price for his brave decision. Zemo had poisoned him in secret and, after being deceived, had refused to give Simon the antidote. So long, Wonder Man.

The question is, how did Wonder Man make his way back? And if that was his last appearance, why is he getting a spinoff? In an event that would have lasting effects on Wonder Man and the Avengers, he was soon to play a pivotal role in the development of a legendary Marvel hero.

How Wonder Man are related with Scarlet Witch and Vision?


For four years and 51 issues, fans had to wait before seeing Simon Williams again in the pages of The Avengers. However, the style did not adhere to the norm for comic books. Unfortunately, he was not shown to be still alive or brought back from the dead. This guy wasn’t even a clone. Instead, he is shown to be instrumental in the creation of the synthezoid known as the Vision in the acclaimed story “Even an Android can Cry” by Roy Thomas, John Buscema, George Klein, and Sam Rosen. Something shocking is uncovered as the crew led by Iron Man investigates Vision’s origins and identity. Ultron, the villain, absconded with a valuable item, a “memory cassette” of Wonder Man’s brain. He put it to use in developing the Vision. Yes, in the comics the Vision is an android with a digital replica of Simon Williams’ brain, as opposed to the MCU, where he is formed via the combined efforts of Thor, Tony Stark, and Bruce Banner. The odd narrative may have ended there, but Wonder Man had more in store.

By revealing in Avengers #102 that Simon Williams had not been killed but had instead been in a coma since Avengers #9, Marvel Comics planted the seed for his eventual resurrection in 1972. Unfortunately for Simon, it wasn’t the Avengers but Kang, as part of his villain team Legion of the Unliving, that resurrected him in Avengers #131. Wonder Man’s relationship with Vision only grew in importance once he through a few more rebirths and officially joined the Avengers in 1977.

After living together for a while, the duo finally accepted their unorthodox connection and began to view each other as quirky but supportive siblings. Unfortunately, that was short-lived when a corrupt business destroyed Vision’s memory, rendering him emotionless. Simon’s understanding refusal to enable his loving wife Wanda to restore him via brain imprint donation to Vision was understandable. Because he had grown to love Wanda, even if she didn’t realize it for years. The affair was intense, but it ended when Wanda realized she still loved her one true love, Vision, too much to let him go.


What are Wonder Man’s powers?


What a fascinating query! The correct answer has evolved with the times, just like our favorite comic book heroes. We already know that his innate abilities granted him superhuman strength and indestructibility. His initial ionic experiments with Zemo gave him the foundation for his subsequent enhanced talents. Wonder Man appeared to be made entirely of pure energy after reviving from one of his numerous deaths, but the truth is more complicated.

Wonder Man has falsely claimed to be made of Ionic Energy on multiple occasions, however a more accurate description would be that it is embedded throughout his own flesh and bones. As a result of his extraordinary physiology, he can heal himself from wounds, fashion solid objects out of energy, and control magnetic fields. His peculiar abilities can be traced back to his past. Aside from that, Wonder Man possesses a host of classic superhero abilities, including flight, invulnerability, bulletproof skin, the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound, extreme agility, and super reflexes. He also possesses latent powers, such as teleportation and shapeshifting, though he rarely employs them.

Isn’t it true that Wonder Man used to act?


Yep. Simon’s aspirations to become an actor are almost as well-known as his association with Vision. Wonder Man, who in the 1970s was a resident of the Avengers Mansion, left to strike out on his own. Simon left the Avengers #211 after Captain America attempted to downsize the squad to focus on his personal life in Avengers #211. He is now working with good old Hercules in his acting profession. He then tried his hand at acting before transitioning into the world of stunts in Hollywood, where he proved to be nearly unstoppable. Both West Coast Avengers Vol. 1 and his solo series Wonder Man detail that time period in his life. It’s easy to imagine that this will serve as a springboard for his Disney+ series.


What role Wonder Man will play in Marvel?


Simon Williams seems like a logical progression for the MCU after the events of WandaVision and the introduction of the memory-erased White Vision. The question that remains, though, is how the MCU will redefine the antihero in his pilot episode and throughout the franchise. The several possibilities we’ve discussed here show that this is so. Following a much-loved Marvel Cinematic Universe convention, this author speculates that Simon Williams was either an employee or rival of Tony Stark. The latter seems more realistic, given that his past in the ’80s comics was expanded to involve him competing with Stark Industries for cash.

It’s possible that the MCU will introduce the idea that Jarvis and eventually Vision were created using Williams’ coding skills or a physical brain imprint, giving him the crucial connection that the characters need. This would be a great opportunity for the MCU to further cement the brotherly bond between the two characters and bring him full circle back to Tony Stark. The Wonder Man TV show might also take place in the past to introduce audiences to the character and his background before he becomes part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That may be a fun way to introduce audiences to Wonder Man before he officially enters the current MCU, while also incorporating some of the hilarious hijinks from his time in Hollywood. It’s also plausible that this path may leave Williams in a coma, where the MCU’s latest villain can revive him.


It seems likely that Kang will play a role in Simon’s primary introduction to the MCU, given the comics and the time of the Wonder Man series. Including the Legion of the Unliving in the MCU may be a fascinating development. It’s also possible that White Vision is discovered by scientist Kang, who then links the new synthezoid to Simon. However, we believe that Simon will become well-established in the series before being presented to the main MCU, where he will become connected with White Vision and the Avengers after becoming entangled with a revived Scarlet Witch. During the Kang Dynasty comic that inspired the new film’s title, Wanda and Wonder Man actually break up in the comics.

We won’t know until Disney+ launches the much-anticipated MCU series, though.

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