Tag Archives: marvel

Report: Venom 2 Is Diving Deep Into Symbiote Lore and Casting Naomie Harris as Shriek

Naomie Harris.
Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Remember Shriek? You might not; the character, debuting in Marvel Comics in 1993, was created to be a love interest for Cletus Kassidy, aka Carnage. She’s a mutant with sound-manipulation abilities and a deep love for both killing and Carnage. And now we know who might be playing her in the Venom sequel.

According to an exclusive report from Variety, the villainess will be making her film debut in Venom 2, with actress Naomie Harris (Moonlight) in talks to play her. If she appears, she’ll be showing up alongside Tom Hardy and Woody Harrelson, playing Venom and Carnage respectively, with Andy Serkis directing.

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My curiosity here is how they’re going to adapt Shriek. As she stands, she’s perfect ‘90s excess, a jumble of powers and skimpy clothes brought together just so Carnage has someone to murder a whole bunch of people alongside. Are they going to make her a symbiote character, perhaps drawing from the myriad of symbiote-adjacent lore out in the nether regions of canon? Or are they just going to go with Black Canary, but evil? Both sound campy and bad, and thus I’m into it.

Venom 2 has no official release date, though many speculate it’ll be next year.


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Source: Kotaku.com

When I Was A Kid, Spider-Man On Genesis Was The Scariest Shit

Like a lot of people around this time of year, I spend a lot of October thinking about being frightened. This is pretty new for me. I was a nervous, fearful kid who grew up as a teen in a religious home, so I spent my entire youth avoiding horror either by choice or by compulsion. As an adult, I’ve started to delve into horror, to wrestle with its ideas and the fears of my younger self—watching movies and playing games both new and old, reflecting on what scared me then and what scares me now.

One of the first games to scare me wasn’t even a horror game at all. It was Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin, a 1991 Sega Genesis game that had Spider-Man, framed for planting a bomb in New York City, on a mission to hunt down some of his most famous villains in order to get the keys necessary to disarm the bomb.

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Unlike a lot of superhero games of the ‘90s, Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin wasn’t a loud beat-em-up or a colorful platformer—it was moody, and dedicated to being as faithful an adaptation as a 16-bit video game could be. Character models were remarkably detailed, and illustrated stills that were shown between levels strove for comic book fidelity. It’s soundtrack was spare and brooding, and its animations had real weight.

I loved the game, because I loved Spider-Man. But I could never get past the second level, down in the sewers, because I was terrified of the Lizard, and always shut the console off when he appeared.

Looking back, the Lizard isn’t that fearsome-looking—the character model for Doctor Octopus is far more imposing—but it worked. I quit every time. I would quit even faster when I tried to play the game on Nightmare difficulty. That added Venom to the first stage, which scared me even more.

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It’s funny that I kept trying to play this game when there were only about 15 minutes tops I could spend actually enjoying it. I suppose I wanted to try, if only for a little bit, to be as brave as I thought I had to be in order to be a hero, hoping maybe one day that I would wake up and somehow discover that courage grew in me overnight.

I don’t frighten like I used to, but that chill I felt when I pushed myself to take on something I knew would scare me, the chill that I always succumbed to because I wasn’t as brave as I wanted to be? I’m always afraid it’ll come back.

Source: Kotaku.com

X-Men’s Theme Song Faces Lawsuit Over Similarities to Hungarian Police Drama

X-Men: The Animated Series is accused of stealing its theme song from a Hungarian show in a new lawsuit.
Image: Fox Kids, Hungarian National Television

The theme song to X-Men: The Animated Series is undeniably amazing, but now there are accusations that it was stolen. A Hungarian man has filed a lawsuit against Marvel, Disney, Fox, Apple, Amazon, and others—along with folks from Saban Entertainment—claiming that the theme song was plagiarized.

io9 has looked over the lawsuit, which was filed Monday and first reported by TMZ. Zoltan Krisko, who claims to be managing the estate for Hungarian composer Gyorgy Vukan, says Vukan’s theme song for the 1980s crime drama Linda the Policewoman bears striking similarity to the one created for X-Men: The Animated Series, which debuted almost a decade later in 1992.

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You can listen to the theme song below. It’s hard to deny how alike they sound.

Linda the Policewoman, which was created by György Gát and distributed by Hungarian National Television, is described in the lawsuit as a “household name.” That’s not inaccurate. Running from 1983 to 1989, Linda was a popular show that not only brought kung fu fighting styles to Eastern Europe television but also apparently contributed to reshaping gender norms during the Iron Curtain.

Even though Hungary was isolated from much of the Western world during this time, the lawsuit claims the folks behind X-Men’s theme song still associated with Hungarian animators, which could have exposed them to Linda. The suit includes:

During the 1980s, cooperation between film industry professionals from different countries, including from the “Eastern” and “Western” world, existed despite the still standing Iron Curtain. Based on information and belief, as professionals in the animation film industry, Defendants Ronald Wasserman, Haim Saban and Shuki Levy all came in contact with Hungarian professionals in the film industry, and were aware of the famous animation workshop at Pannonia Filmstudio in Hungary, where Hungarian film industry professionals, such as Gyorgy Vukan, were frequent visitors.

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Along with the companies, Krisko is suing Ron Wasserman and Shuki Levy, two composers for X-Men: The Animated Series who have each at one point taken credit for the theme song. The suit accuses several companies and folks that produced, distributed, syndicated, or otherwise profited from the show of enabling the copyright infringement of Vukan’s work (a problem that could still continue, since Disney is reportedly considering putting the series on Disney+).

That said, Vukan’s composition wasn’t registered for copyright in the United States until 2017, which is when Krisko said he first learned about X-Men: The Animated Series. Krisko is asking for damages and to award any profits attributable to him, and asking the court to restrain them and others from infringing on the copyright further.

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This isn’t the first time the X-Men theme song has been accused of borrowing from other works. Several folks have cited its similarity to Whitney Houston’s “I’m Your Baby Tonight,” which came out in 1990. But unlike this situation, it doesn’t look like that ever resulted in a lawsuit.


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Source: Kotaku.com

Playing Cool Games with Funko, The Adventure Zone, and More in Tabletop News

Clockwise from left: Cyberpunk 2077—Afterlife: The Card Game, Star Trek Chrono-Trek, Fiasco, and The Adventure Zone graphic novel.
Image: CMON, Looney Labs, Bully Pulpit Games, Carey Pietsch (First Second Books)

Welcome back to Gaming Shelf, io9’s column all about tabletop and roleplaying games. Gen Con 2019 brought us a bunch of exciting announcements for new and upcoming releases. We couldn’t possibly get through all of them, but here are some highlights!


News and Releases

An image of the starting heroes from Marvel Champions: The Card Game.
Image: Fantasy Flight Games

Marvel Champions: The Card Game

Fantasy Flight Games is entering the Marvel Universe with Marvel Champions: The Card Game, a cooperative card game where players work together as Marvel heroes to stop some of the franchise’s most dangerous villains. The Core Set has over 350 cards and starts with five heroes: Captain Marvel, Iron Man, She-Hulk, Spider-Man, and Black Panther. And since it’s a Fantasy Flight game, many, many more cards are on the horizon. In fact, the company says there will be new expansions every month. The core set is available for preorder at about $60, and comes out later this fall.

The Adventure Zone

The McElroys’ Dungeons & Dragons podcast-turned-graphic novel and nerdy phenomenon is now heading to the tabletop. Twogether Studios has announced it’s working with the McElroys on a tabletop game based on The Adventure Zone, a podcast that features the three brothers and their dad venturing through different D&D games, and has also inspired some fan-favorite characters and cosplay. No information or expected release date have been announced yet.

Sample gameplay from Star Trek Chrono-Trek.
Image: Looney Labs

Star Trek Chrono-Trek

Star Trek and time travel—they’re kind of a package deal. So, it only makes sense that Looney Labs has taken on Star Trek in its latest version of Chrononauts, called Star Trek Chrono-Trek. In this card game, players are trapped in an alternate reality and have to work to ensure certain events happen in the timeline…or maybe you have to prevent them! Either way, Tribbles are bound to show up. Star Trek Chrono-Trek is currently available for $25.

Broken Earth

Green Ronin Publishing has signed a licensing agreement with N.K. Jemisin to build a roleplaying game set in the world of the Broken Earth trilogy. The roleplaying game series will start in fall 2020 with The Fifth Season RPG—makes sense, since not only is it the first book in the trilogy, but it’s also the one TNT announced back in 2017 was being adapted into a TV show. In a statement, the three-time Hugo winner said she’ll be working with Green Ronin to “make sure the spirit and feel of the books is rendered successfully.”

Unmatched: Jurassic Park

Mondo Games and Restoration Games have announced that Jurassic Park is being added to the Unmatched head-to-head series of battle board games. The game’s first deck will feature “InGen vs. Raptors,” due later this year, with plans for a “Dr. Ellie Sattler vs. T-Rex” face-off and a solo expansion for Dr. Alan Grant coming out next year. According to Dice Tower News, Unmatched: Jurassic Park is replacing Jurassic Park: The Chaos Gene, which is no longer in development.

Cyberpunk 2077—Afterlife: The Card Game

Cyberpunk 2077 has been a video game several years in the making, and that’s an understatement. Now, it’s getting not just one, but at least two versions. CMON and CD Projekt Red have revealed Cyberpunk 2077—Afterlife, a card game based on the upcoming cyberpunk video game. In the card game, players take on the role of Fixers working in Night City to recruit cyberpunks and send them out on missions. Afterlife is set to come out sometime in 2020, presumably around the video game’s release date of April 16, 2020.

Funkoverse

The little figurines based on nerddom’s biggest characters are now getting a board game world of their own. Funko has announced Funkoverse, a series of board games based on its versions of characters from DC Comics, Harry Potter, Rick & Morty, and The Golden Girls (what?). The competitive, light-strategy games are designed to be family-friendly, and expansions are already available for some of them. The basic games run around $40, with expansions costing around $25, and are currently available on <a rel="nofollow" data-amazonasin data-amazonsubtag="[t|link[p|1836672341[au|5876237249235885598[b|gizmodo[lt|text" onclick="window.ga('send', 'event', 'Commerce', 'gizmodo – Playing Cool Games with Funko, The Adventure Zone, and More in Tabletop News’, ”);window.ga(‘unique.send’, ‘event’, ‘Commerce’, ‘gizmodo – Playing Cool Games with Funko, The Adventure Zone, and More in Tabletop News’, ”);” data-amazontag=”gizmodoamzn-20″ href=”https://www.amazon.com/stores/page/58E59F84-64FA-4387-9006-A88070BDE441?ingress=2&visitId=bf8a1571-7b74-4d4c-895c-0c0b2255b259&ref_=bl_dp_s_web_2592291011&tag=gizmodoamzn-20&ascsubtag=5406e92173b8030e382a4664cd321e2f8fba27a0″>Amazon.


Expansions

Bloodsoaked Fjord Domain Pack and more (Sorcerer)

White Wizard Games’ Sorcerer, a dueling mages game, is getting three new expansions that range from $5 to $10. As reported by The Gaming Gang, there’s the Character Pack featuring Virgiliu, a pyromancer; the Sylvanei Lineage Pack that focuses on druids; and the Bloodsoaked Fjord Domain Pack, centering around the trolls of the north. The expansions come out August 13.


Crowdfunding

Fiasco

Fiasco, a light GM-less roleplaying game that plays like a series of fun catastrophe films, is getting a version that’s more accessible to those who aren’t experienced with roleplaying games. The new card-based edition replaces the dice and index cards with playing cards, enabling players to create characters and change scenarios much easier. There are plans to roll out “old favorites and new surprises” in the future, ensuring a lot of variety and repeated gameplay. They’re also looking into developing tools for players to develop their own cards and future scenarios.

Fiasco is on Kickstarter through September 4. The minimum pledge for a digital copy is $10 and a box set is $30, and the physical version is set to ship by December.

Techlandia

What if evil corporations were, like, actually evil? That’s the plot of Techlandia, a new 1-4 player tabletop game where players are undercover reporters attending a press conference at Techlandia Corporation, the world’s biggest smartphone company. You’re not there to learn about phones, you’re trying to uncover a secret cult that’s hell-bent on global domination. I’ve had a chance to play it myself, and it’s a fun mix of quirky social commentary and Lovecraftian horror. Techlandia will be on Kickstarter through September 5. The minimum pledge for a copy is $39, and it’s set to ship in April 2020.

HEXplore It: The Sands of Shurax 

The Sands of Shurax is the third game in the HEXplore It series. The cooperative game centers around heroes working together to battle the Ravager of Shurax, which is causing havoc throughout the land. Players battle, trade, explore, excavate, and do all kinds of cool shit. The Sands of Shurax is on Kickstarter through September 1. The minimum pledge for a copy is $64, and it’s set to come out August 2020.

Paws & Claws

Paws & Claws is a tabletop roleplaying game inspired by the animal worlds of Watership Down, The Builders, and the Redwall series. Taking place in the fictional realm of Wudlind, Paws & Claws has players take on roles within a thriving animal kingdom as you all work together to keep the balance…or perhaps you choose to seize power for yourself. The game will be on Kickstarter through September 1. The minimum pledge for a digital copy is $20, and it’s set to come out September 2020. There’s also a free Quickstart Guide on DriveThruRPG for those who want to try it out before funding the campaign.

The Carniverse

For a hot second, I thought this was a roleplaying game set in the universe of Disney Pixar’s Cars franchise, and I was both terrified and excited. Instead, The Carniverse is a campaign skirmish system for two players that takes place in a Jurassic World 3-style realm where dinosaurs rule the Earth. Governments have fallen and humanity struggles to survive the new Age of Dinosaurs. There are no branded models for the game—instead, it’s designed to be played with your own 28mm miniatures. If you don’t have any, you can probably use whatever toys you have lying around the house. LEGO Dr. Malcolm, anyone?

The Carniverse will be on Kickstarter through August 29. The minimum pledge for a digital copy is $12, which will be released in October. A physical copy requires a $23 pledge, and comes out January 2020.


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Source: Kotaku.com

Can Marvel Crossovers Ever Escape the Infinity Saga?

Thanos threatens the cosmos once more in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3.
Image: Nintendo

This month, nearly a decade to the month after the release of its predecessor, Nintendo released Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, a return to the beloved ARPG Marvel gaming series that takes comic book crossover mania to a team-based beat ‘em up conclusion. But it also serves as a reminder that…god, things were so different back when Ultimate Alliance 2 was coming out, weren’t they?

In September 2009, the Marvel Cinematic Universe was still just a glimmer in Kevin Feige’s eye. We had accepted that upstart newcomers Marvel Studios might be on to something with the release of Iron Man the year prior (who would’ve thought that gamble casting Robert Downey Jr. as some B-tier comics character would pay off?), and at that point, only what is still the green-skinned stepchild of the MCU, Incredible Hulk, had joined it. The First Avenger, Thor, Iron Man 2, they had all yet to come—and above all, no one going to a movie theater outside of comic book diehards knew what an Infinity Stone was. There were murmurs of the Avengers, sure, after Samuel L. Jackson made us sit in a movie theater a little longer than we were used to (the audacity!). But Thanos? A gauntlet? Nada.

Holy hell, remember this?
Image: Activision

We also had the release of Vicarious Visions’ Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, which unlike all those lame-looking superhero movies we were being inundated with in the ‘00s, looked kind great. The follow up to a surprise 2006 hit and an adaptation of the then-recent comics event superseries Civil War, Ultimate Alliance 2 presented an intriguingly gamified take on a blockbuster storyline: Superhero vs. Superhero! Privacy vs. Protection! That Guy you kind of know from a movie but he’s weirdly even more of a giant asshole vs. that guy with a shield they’re thinking of casting Jim from The Office as!

MUA2 was an unfiltered window into the world of Marvel’s comic book output as it was directly in 2009 which, in the context of everything has happened since, becomes a fascinating time capsule to reminisce over. It was a time when X-Men and Fantastic Four icons could stand alongside the Avengers and no one would bat an eye, because that’s just what happens in comics. A time when no one knew what an Infinity Stone was. And they were Infinity Gems, if you did.

In June 2019, by contrast, we were coming off the back of the release of something as bonkers as Avengers: Endgame. Over a decade and nearly two-dozen movies, the Infinity Stones haven’t just become part of pop culture lexicon at large, they have been gathered, used, re-gathered, and re-used. Thanos lived, rose up, and now died (twice, technically!), long live Thanos. So has Tony Stark, although the large shadow he cast over the MCU that Iron Man helped create all those years ago will continue to linger without him, thanks to the indomitable legacy of Robert Downey Jr.

At last, the cinematic version of the Infinity Saga is at an end—and here stands Nintendo and Team Ninja with Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3. Which is…a quest. To gather the Infinity Stones. And stop Thanos before he does so!

At least Proxima Midnight (and her friends, I guess) get a better due here than they did in Infinity War.
Image: Nintendo

And look, here are your familiar cinematic faces in a roster of Marvel heroes now considerably less esoteric than the one in Ultimate Alliance 2—filled with characters slightly ajar enough to be comics-inspired, but close enough to basically be the characterization of their movie counterparts. Here is the Black Order, aka Those Guys With About 10 Minutes Max of Infinity War and Endgame Screen Time, to find them! Here’s Ultron, please remember that movie that most people thought was just kind of okay! Here is Daredevil making a joke about hallway fights with other Netflix-Approved Heroes!

Here is…an ill-advised push to make the Inhumans a Thing People Care About that fails in doing exactly that! See, just like the MCU you know and love.

To be fair to Ultimate Alliance 3, it wears its inspirations on its sleeve—it does not mask its pretty direct connections to that giant movie you (and what feels like the rest of the planet) have just seen to the tune of a gabillion dollars, as if they were something worth masking in the first place. Marvel Cosmic Bullshit is just as good an excuse as any to smash all these heroes together, and smash Ultimate Alliance 3 does with an earnest abandon. It, thanks to the comics, can even go one better than the films, adding beloved comics heroes like Ms. Marvel—well, Kamala Khan, specifically, now that Carol’s had her well-earned promotion to Captain Marvel—and Spider-Gwen, alongside familiar names from the movies.

There are even X-Men characters and a whole level set at the X-Mansion! As if this game didn’t already serve as a reminder of what a long, strange decade it’s been, this marks the mutants’ first major foray back into Marvel tie-in media since that whole awkwardness with Marvel attempting to blacklist mutants and the Fantastic Four in its gaming spinoffs over a spat with Fox, who owned the movie rights for them. Well, up until the point Disney grew tired of the charade and absorbed the film studio into its giant, Mickey-ear-adorned mass earlier this year. At least we can play as Wolverine again?

They may look more like their usual appearances in the comics, but this is unequivocally an MCU-inspired lineup.
Image: Nintendo

But as fun as it is from a “I can play as Scarlet Witch and Elsa Bloodstone smashing up faceless bad guys for several hours” perspective, Ultimate Alliance 3 is still about smashing up those faceless bad guys in a saga we are now intimately, tiredly familiar with. Not just thanks to the movies, either, but because it seems like the Infinity Stones have been the catch-all reason for any Marvel crossover outside the comics lately—including other recent games like Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite.

A decade in the waiting, I wish it had been bolder—to take more direct inspiration (not even necessarily like its predecessors) from a particular arc of comics, and to embrace the idea behind why we love these superheroic crossovers at all in the first place. To do something silly, and wild, and zany to match the candy-coated Spandex it otherwise revels in thanks to its thankfully-comics-inspired-aesthetic.

We have had a decade of Infinity Stones. There’s so much more Marvel can be, whether it’s on the big screen (where we’re finally getting an intriguing glimpse of such a thing), in its comics, or in games like Spider-Man, Marvel Ultimate Alliance, the upcoming Avengers game, and beyond. Perhaps, after one last indulgence in this familiar well, its time to put the Infinity Gauntlet away for a good long while.


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Source: Kotaku.com

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3’s Inhumans Level Is Just Sad

Most of Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3’s story chapters are lengthy affairs filled with enemies to fight, puzzles to solve, characters to recruit, and multiple boss battles. Chapter seven, set in the moon-based Inhuman city of Attilan, is a ten-minute trip to the most boring place in the Marvel universe.

Of all of Marvel’s properties, the Inhumans have had the hardest time breaking out of comic books into more mainstream media. The Inhumans movie was announced in 2014, then canned. It became a 2017 television series, which was laughably bad. The only time the Inhumans have been entertaining outside of comics is in ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series, and that’s because the show never went Attilan to hang out with the Inhuman royal family.

Chapter seven of Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 sees our assembled heroes doing just that: stopping by Attilan to hang out with the Inhuman royal family. At the urging of Crystal, an Inhuman who joins the team earlier in the game, the alliance seeks Attilan’s aid in protecting the Infinity Stones from Thanos’ Black Order. Speaking for King Black Bolt, whose voice can shatter mountains, Queen Medusa tells Crystal that the Inhumans live on the moon in order to stay out of human affairs and they’ve no plans to change that now.

Fortunately for our heroes, villains attack. Which villains? Why, the only real villain the Inhumans have, Black Bolt’s brother, Maximus. Ever jealous of his brother’s power and ever hungry for the throne, Maximus chooses the exact moment a cadre of the universe’s greatest superheroes show up in order to stage a coup.

To back up and provide some context, the Inhumans are an ancient race of super-powered humans created by Kree scientists to use as soldiers in the ongoing conflict between the Kree and the Skrull. After the Kree discovered a prophecy that stated the Inhumans would be the downfall of their empire, they left to the Inhumans to fend for themselves on Earth. Young Inhumans gain their powers through exposure to something called terrigen mist, though in rare cases the terrigenesis process does not result in powers. Maximus is one of those rare cases, and it’s made him a real dick.

The entire chapter involves three battles against Maximus’ Alpha Primitives troops, who are as generic as lackies can be, followed by a battle against the man himself. It’s not a boring boss battle, as one might expect when pitting powerful heroes against a guy with a gun. Maximus has robot drones that fire powerful beam attacks. A guest character, whom I will not name for spoiler reasons, joins the battle, creating shields that players can hide under to avoid damage.

But that’s it, really. The entire chapter spans all of three rooms, so there’s no exploring to do. No new characters join the alliance. The Inhumans don’t change their minds and decide to help. Instead, the group receives a distress call from the Winter Soldier and rush off to Wakanda, kicking off a much lengthier and more interesting chapter.

Marvel’s been trying to make the Inhumans a thing for the past decade, mainly to fill the role of mutated humans with powers, since Fox had the film and movie rights to the X-Men. Now that Disney owns Fox, Marvel could just focus on the entertaining mutants and stop shoehorning the boring Inhumans into otherwise exciting video games. I guess someone felt the need to give it one last shot, though. Too bad it still didn’t work.

Source: Kotaku.com

New Concept Art Reveals Our First Look at Black Widow’s Taskmaster

The cast of Black Widow in Hall H.
Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

When some concrete info on the Black Widow solo film finally dropped last night at San Diego Comic-Con, all the hints pointed toward Taskmaster, a dude with the power to instantly replicate any physical action he sees, as the villain. Now, with the release of a new official illustration, that’s pretty much confirmed.

Andy Park, Director of Visual Development at Marvel Studios, is responsible for the visual identity of much of the film universe, and is the best source around for illustrations related to the MCU. Now, he’s posted a new keyframe illustration from the Black Widow movie, featuring Natasha fighting a heavily armored villain with a shield identified as Taskmaster.

In the comics, the Taskmaster is Tony Masters, a mercenary who injected himself with an experimental serum that gave him the power of “photographic reflexes,” meaning that he can reproduce, from memory, any action he sees. So he can fire arrows as like Hawkeye, fight like Shang-Chi, and throw a shield like Captain America. All he has to do is see them do it first.

What’s still not clear, though, is what the character’s origin is going to be in the MCU, or who’s going to play them. Out of the confirmed cast, we know that David Harbour is playing Alexei Shoskatov, the Red Guardian (the Communist answer to Captain America). Could the Guardian go rogue and become a supervillain? Who knows, at this point. But we did see, in the footage shown at the Hall H panel, Natasha fighting someone who definitely seemed like Taskmaster. Florence Pugh is playing Yelena, O-T Fagbenle is Mason, and Rachel Weisz is Melina (Weisz is Deputy Editor Jill Pantozzi’s guess for Taskmaster as an MCU switcheroo).

After watching the footage at the Marvel panel, io9 caught up with Scarlett Johansson. She talked to us about the joy of working in an increasingly more gender diverse MCU, which includes the director of Black Widow, Cate Shortland, the first solo woman director in the MCU. You can check that out below.

For more on Marvel’s announcements at Comic-Con, check out our master post here. Black Widow is due in theaters May 1, 2020.


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Source: Kotaku.com

All the Legendary Cosplay We Saw at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, Day 1

San Diego Comic-Con is back, baby, and the cosplay is looking bigger and better than ever. Thousands of cosplayers and fans have flocked to the San Diego Convention Center to show off their tributes to amazing shows, films, comics, and video games. And we’ve got it all right here.

Take a look at io9’s video and photo collection, highlighting our favorite finds from Wednesday and Thursday. We’ve got a terrifying Tethered duo from Us, a shockingly uncanny Princess Anastasia, and a couple that apparently got devoured by Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. Leave a comment with your favorites, or share your own look from SDCC! Also, be sure to head to our Instagram Stories, where we’re sharing even more looks and cool finds from the con floor. Have fun!


Ice to meet you, Sub-Zero.
Photo: io9/Gizmodo
We’re gonna be legends! Mirage, Bangalore, Bloodhound, and Wattson from Apex Legends are here to take the number 1 spot.
Photo: io9/Gizmodo

Conan readies his sword.
Photo: io9/Gizmodo
Snow White’s looking rather dapper.
Photo: io9/Gizmodo

Dread him. Run from him. Thanos still arrives.
Photo: io9/Gizmodo
Indiana Jones has found her own kind of Comic-Con swag.
Photo: io9/Gizmodo


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Source: Kotaku.com

Hideo Kojima Explains How Spider-Man Is Similar To Japanese Superheroes

Image: Sony Pictures
Kotaku EastEast is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.  

Out of all American superheroes, there is one that many in Japan seem to like best: Spider-Man. But why? In a recent interview, Hideo Kojima explains how Spider-Man is like Japanese heroes, which might explain the character’s appeal to local audiences.

How better to explain this than a man whose Twitter profile says his body is made of 70 percent movies?

Kojima told Famitsu how the first X-Men movie was a stylish motion picture that appealed to adults. “As for Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, the age bracket dropped slightly and it was a youth fantasy film,” Kojima said. “I’m not saying that derisively, as I really like Raimi’s Spider-Man.” In particular, he was moved by Spider-Man 2.

Famitsu asked Kojima which American comic book character was his favorite, and he replied that he perhaps liked Spider-Man the most. “He’s a hero with worries, and that’s similar to Japanese heroes,” explained Kojima, who added that he basically like masked Japanese heroes like Kamen Rider and Tiger Mask.

Rich superheroes or superheroes without flaws are less appealing to him, Kojima says. Besides Spider-Man, he is also a fan of the Flash, adding that he liked the character’s recent TV series.

“Don’t you think how Spider-Man was originally a normal person who, because of an accident, became a masked superhero has similarities to Kamen Rider?” asked Kojima. Kamen Rider is a regular person who was kidnapped by an evil terrorist organization and turned into a grasshopper mutant who then escapes, dons a mask and battles evil.

Obviously, he doesn’t mean that the Spider-Man and Kamen Rider are the same (they are very, very different), nor does it necessarily matter which was first, because there are enough thematic similarities that make the American character appealing to those who grew up with masked Japanese heroes, like the iconic characters Kamen Rider (literally “Masked Rider”) or “Tiger Mask” (a do-gooder wrestler in a tiger mask).

I’d also add that the character’s costume and physique would appeal to Japanese who grow up on Super Sentai (Power Rangers outside Japan) type shows.

Out of all the American superheroes, it is easy to see why Spider-Man would be easiest for Japan to embrace and why Kojima likes the character so. Spider-Man is not a leap. There is a familiarity. It couldn’t happen to a better character.

Source: Kotaku.com

The Challenge of Making and Marketing Spider-Man: Far From Home, When No One Could Know What It Was About

Wait, what just happened? That should be the face for everything in Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Photo: Sony

Spider-Man being dead wasn’t a huge problem. One would think killing the main character of a movie about year before its release would be exactly that but, for the team behind Spider-Man: Far From Home, it was not. Instead, it was just the first part of a long-in-place plan to raise the stakes for not just one movie, but at least three.

“I was one of the lucky few people who knew what was going to happen in Infinity War and Endgame a long time ago,” Far From Home director Jon Watts told io9. “So this movie was developed knowing that we would be dealing with the immediate fallout of the events of those films. It was always a part of the story but it is a little stressful knowing those kinds of spoilers and not being able to tell anyone for a really long time.”

To recap, in May 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War, Peter Parker disappears from existence when Thanos uses the Infinity Stones to wipe out half of the galaxy. A year later, in May 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, Peter would be brought back, only for him to witness the death of his mentor, Tony Stark. All of those events were crucial building blocks for Spider-Man: Far From Home, which was being released mere weeks after Endgame.

“Because Infinity War and Endgame had been developed over so many years and had been shooting earlier, it was pretty much set,” Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige told io9. “So the notion of the sacrifices, of Tony, the blip, all of that was pretty well set for a long time. So we brought Amy [Pascal, producer] and Jon Watts and our writers Chris [McKenna] and Erik [Sommers] up to speed on it to start developing the movie.”

Spider-Man swinging with a few of his friends in Avengers: Endgame.
Photo: Disney

In Watts’ first Spider-Man movie, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Peter Parker leaned heavily on the mentorship of Iron Man, Tony Stark. That relationship then carried over into both Avengers movies. Now though, with Tony dead, it was crucial for Far From Home to use those emotions to guide Peter, but not become too beholden to them.

“We had to deal with the events of Endgame and especially how the loss of Tony Stark is going to affect Peter,” Watts said. “But we had to also maintain the fun, high school tone we had established in Homecoming. So that was part of the challenge. But loss is such a big part of what makes Spider-Man who he is in the comics. So there was definitely a way to embrace those iconic stories from the comics and find a way to bring them to life, just in a slightly different way by using Tony’s death instead of Uncle Ben.”

So that’s how the story was conceived on the creative side, but there was also a whole other problem.

“It was always like, how are we going to market this movie?” Watts said. “How do you make the first trailer when the character is still dead?”

New suit, who dis?
Photo: Sony

The answer, according to Watts, was, “Very carefully.”

The task fell to the team at Sony, a studio Far From Home producer Amy Pascal used to run. And Pascal told io9 that, again, though you may assume it was a huge problem to market a movie with a dead main character based on an ultra-secretive mega-franchise, it wasn’t that at all. (The spoiler-free first trailer is below.)

“It wasn’t a balance at all because we knew what the story we were going to tell was from the beginning,” Pascal told io9. “Tom [Rothman, current studio head], everyone at Sony and everyone at Disney, it was something that we all did together. Obviously, it was really important to protect Endgame and not come out with anything before that movie came out. But I think it worked out great for both movies because, obviously, Endgame was great for Spidey…It worked out for everyone.”

It certainly did. There’s little doubt the shocking cliffhanger of Avengers: Infinity War helped drive Avengers: Endgame to become one of the highest grossing movies ever. And the momentum from that is almost certainly going to roll into Far From Home, which will be the first place the aftermath of that heroic victory will be seen and felt.

Jon Watts and Tom Holland on the set of Far From Home.
Photo: Sony

On the other hand, this movie isn’t called “Avengers: Far From Home.” While the impact of Endgame is crucial for a bunch of reasons, it couldn’t be the whole movie. It’s a movie about Spider-Man. Feige gives full credit to Watts for figuring out the perfect way to link everything in a short, sweet, Spidey way.

Some minor spoilers from the film, which opens tomorrow, follow.

“[It was] the genius of Jon Watts tapping into the great ‘A Film by Peter Parker’ at the opening of Homecoming, which brings you up to speed after [Captain America:] Civil War,” Feige said. “He was like ‘Well, this is a ton of stuff. Let’s just do the school news at the beginning that gets it out in a fun and engaging fashion but tells the audience what they need to know based on Endgame.’ And it seemed like a gift to be able to have that conceit he had established in Homecoming come in very handy post-Endgame. And, obviously, Peter Parker dealing with the loss of his mentor and he needs to step out of the shadow of that and become his own hero became the backbone of the story.”

Which leads us to Spider-Man’s new mentor, Mysterio, but that’s a story for another time.

Spider-Man Far From Home opens July 2.


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Source: Kotaku.com