[Movies] MCU: Phase 4: Variant Madness

I feel that there has to be more to this thing than the teaser is suggesting. Firstly this whole spell seems very irresponsible for Dr. Strange.
Perhaps there is something more at stake with the spell than just wiping memories.
 
To be fair, while Dr Strange absolutely should know better and recognizes how dangerous such a folly is, it's also totally in character for him to go "Fuck it I'm bored, let's do it"
Ehhh... I feel like that's more of a Sherlock thing to do. Dr. Strange seems to recognize that you shouldn't do things to benefit just one person when it could have far-reaching consequences for everyone else. His own movie was about him learning "it's not about you", and he was willing to sacrifice Tony to defeat Thanos.
 
Dr Strange seems to take his job as protector of the Cosmos pretty seriously. Unless there is more to Peter’s request (or the results are deemed not harmful to anyone for some reason) I don’t think it’s very in character for him. Yeah he might be down for performing a crazy spell, but even Strange was the first to tell Tony to go to hell when it was recommended they go to Thanos for the fight. He doesn’t like to gamble with the fate of the universe.
 
With the black costume and the train scene I have the feeling "the big bad" will be Dr. Strange.
My theory...
It's a variant of Doctor Strange that banished the original one, Likely crossed over looking for some type of artifact that no longer exists in his own reality (maybe that cube seen in the scene were he knocks Peter's astral projection out of his body) and is using Peter as a way to find it, causing the dimensional issues on the way as a smoke screen. I already assumed Multiverse of Madness was going to be about Doctor Strange trying to escape the multiverse, I just didn't realize the setup of him being missing would start in No Way Home. A future What If also seem to hint to a "evil" Doctor Strange.
 
Surprised no one is talking about the new "What If" in here. I just saw it. Probably my favorite of the group so far, for a few reasons...
Of course the biggest reason is that this episode didn't rely on the "different person taking over the role of original person" that was the core of the first two episodes. This made it feel way more organic to me. It also felt like it took the most risks, I mean, it's all our favorite scenes from the movies only with a ruthless assassin killing all the Avengers (and succeeding!) before they could ever form into a team. The last thing I liked? This was the first one that didn't give us the reveal of the divergent point at the beginning of the episode, instead letting the mystery of it all play out until the reveal that it was Hope joining SHIELD and getting killed by the Winter Soldier in the past, which lead Hank Pym down a murderous path of revenge. The mystery of why it all changed made it way more compelling to me. Oh, and maybe the fans need to be careful with their memes, considering the Hulk scene was basically a sterilized version of the Ant Man / Thanos Ass meme. :confused:
 

GasBandit

Staff member
Surprised no one is talking about the new "What If" in here. I just saw it. Probably my favorite of the group so far, for a few reasons...
Of course the biggest reason is that this episode didn't rely on the "different person taking over the role of original person" that was the core of the first two episodes. This made it feel way more organic to me. It also felt like it took the most risks, I mean, it's all our favorite scenes from the movies only with a ruthless assassin killing all the Avengers (and succeeding!) before they could ever form into a team. The last thing I liked? This was the first one that didn't give us the reveal of the divergent point at the beginning of the episode, instead letting the mystery of it all play out until the reveal that it was Hope joining SHIELD and getting killed by the Winter Soldier in the past, which lead Hank Pym down a murderous path of revenge. The mystery of why it all changed made it way more compelling to me. Oh, and maybe the fans need to be careful with their memes, considering the Hulk scene was basically a sterilized version of the Ant Man / Thanos Ass meme. :confused:
I think you hit the nail on the head. I really liked this episode and it is restored my interest in the series after the first two episodes fell so flat for me.
 
The main reason I don't like the theory that Dr. Strange is someone else assuming his identity is that they already did that with Nick Fury in the last film.
 
It could be a Strange from a different reality, that way it is Strange and not Strange at the same time.


...That sounded strange.
 
Or it is Strange from the same universe, who realised that he screwed up and want to change everything back.
 
Little musing back on the No Way Home trailer. Spoiling just in case.
One thing someone noticed was that on the bridge when Doc Ock appeared, Holland is wearing a grey suit that is almost identical to one Maguire wore in Spiderman 2. It made me think. We have yet to confirm if Maguire and Garfield are really going to be part of the movie, so what if this whole time we were wrong. Instead of teaming up with other Spider-Men, what if Peter is literally Quantum Leaping into other versions of himself from other universes? The trailer treats it like Doc Ock recognizes Tom's Peter, which only makes sense if the trailer is being deceptive and Maguire is there too, or if Tom is inside what would be the Maguire Spider-Man body, but we of course always see it as Tom. If that is the way they go then the name No Way Home itself feels like a meta play, considering the plotline of Quantum Leap.
 

figmentPez

Staff member
Watched All Hail the King last night, the Marvel / Disney+ one-shot about Trevor Slattery. I liked it a lot. Trevor is such a fun character. I hope Marvel does more one-shots.
 
Watched All Hail the King last night, the Marvel / Disney+ one-shot about Trevor Slattery. I liked it a lot. Trevor is such a fun character. I hope Marvel does more one-shots.
I hear they are looking to start them up again, and pushing the existing ones on Disney+ was a way to gauge interest.
 
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Just saw Shang-Chi.

Eh. Not bad per se, but definitely in the bottom half of MCU rankings for me. Sloppy pacing and a crappy final act were problematic. The acting was stellar, though.
 
So how about those Shang-Chi post credit scenes?

The last one is pretty straight forward. The Ten Rings is going to continue but with new leadership, co-ed training rules, and possibly a new focus?

It's that mid credit scene that's the toughest to figure out: For a moment there I thought the entire movie was set before End Game because Marvel had her long hair and Bruce was... Bruce. But then I realized that Bruce was in his arm cast so it must be after End Game. So is he no longer Smart Hulk? That question right there seems more important than the origin of the rings.
 
So how about those Shang-Chi post credit scenes?

The last one is pretty straight forward. The Ten Rings is going to continue but with new leadership, co-ed training rules, and possibly a new focus?

It's that mid credit scene that's the toughest to figure out: For a moment there I thought the entire movie was set before End Game because Marvel had her long hair and Bruce was... Bruce. But then I realized that Bruce was in his arm cast so it must be after End Game. So is he no longer Smart Hulk? That question right there seems more important than the origin of the rings.
I saw one theory that using the gauntlet basically used up most of his gamma radiation in the process, so he couldn't maintain the form anymore. The theory further suggests that he might be "cured" of the Hulk, using up the rest of the energy sometime after Endgame finished. Which then leads into his appearance in She-Hulk, where Jennifer Walters needs a blood transfusion after an accident, not unlike her comics origin, and Bruce readily donates his blood, thinking it's gamma-free and safe.

Of course, that's all just theories and speculation.
 
So, something that struck me while I was watching Shang-Chi. I was totally confused about this guy's age. I immediately thought "he looks 34", and I had to do some math to figure out that in the movie he's supposed to be about 24.
His father sends him out as an assassin at 14. He kills the guy, and then immediately decides not to go home. Settles in San Francisco (at 14? we can give a year to escape to the USA, but he enrolls in high school once he gets there) and meets Katie, who he's known for 10 years (opening line of the movie). So he's gotta be 24-25, right?

This bothered me the entire movie, so I hadda look up the actor. I know some westerners have trouble aging Asian faces, but I've never had a big problem with it. I can also usually tell right away (to the suprise of my wife, every time) when an Asian actor in a show is of mixed heritage.


Yeah...32. I was pretty close.

What reminded me of this was the Pitch Meeting video for Shang-Chi (which I always enjoy) but you shouldn't watch unless you've seen the movie. Because of spoilers.
 
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The real question is... why does it bother you in Shang-Chi but not something like Captain America: The First Avenger? Steve is supposed to be 20 years old, but he's being played by Chris Evans (who was 29-30 years old during the filming). Chadwick Boseman was 42 when Black Panther came out, but the character is supposed to be in his late 20's or early 30's.
 
The real question is... why does it bother you in Shang-Chi but not something like Captain America: The First Avenger? Steve is supposed to be 20 years old, but he's being played by Chris Evans (who was 29-30 years old during the filming). Chadwick Boseman was 42 when Black Panther came out, but the character is supposed to be in his late 20's or early 30's.
I dont think ages are expressed as much in those movies. Like in shang-chi we have a pretty concrete age for him while in those other movies their age is more vague. Like really outside of Tony Stark I assumed most marvel heroes were early 30s in their premier movie.

I think it just bothered me a little bit since I don't think Simu Liu or awkwafina look 24ish especially having cocktails with their "successful" friends who also look mid 30s.


To be fair though I'm not sure it would have stood out to me as much had there not been a preview for a teen drama before the movie where the lead role is supposed to be 16-18 but the guy playing him almost certainly 35. Like this was on my mind going into Shang-chi.
 
So how about those Shang-Chi post credit scenes?

The last one is pretty straight forward. The Ten Rings is going to continue but with new leadership, co-ed training rules, and possibly a new focus?

It's that mid credit scene that's the toughest to figure out: For a moment there I thought the entire movie was set before End Game because Marvel had her long hair and Bruce was... Bruce. But then I realized that Bruce was in his arm cast so it must be after End Game. So is he no longer Smart Hulk? That question right there seems more important than the origin of the rings.
They do establish when Shang-Chi takes place pretty early on. When Shang-Chi and Katy are out for drinks with their friends the first time, Katy mentions that 50% of existence could be snapped out at any time when they're defending their life choices. I think that showed they were in a post-blip world.

I dont think ages are expressed as much in those movies. Like in shang-chi we have a pretty concrete age for him while in those other movies their age is more vague.

I think it just bothered me a little bit since I don't think Simu Liu or awkwafina look 24ish especially having cocktails with their "successful" friends who also look mid 30s.
Well, you're partially right. They do show on screen that Steve is 24 at the time of Captain America:The First Avenger. We see his birthday (July 4, 1918) on his Department of Selective Services card.

But I think it's also just Simu Liu's face that makes him look older. I mean, here is is at 27:

(This is Kim's Convenience Season 1, which aired in 2016.) He looks exactly the same, maybe with brighter lighting.

But if you look at his stock photo career, which he actually IS in his early-to-mid 20's:

He honestly looks around 30 here. I think it's just that his face is fuller when he filmed Shang-Chi.


To be fair though I'm not sure it would have stood out to me as much had there not been a preview for a teen drama before the movie where the lead role is supposed to be 16-18 but the guy playing him almost certainly 35. Like this was on my mind going into Shang-chi.
Dear Evan Hansen. Yeahhhhhh. Great musical, but a mistake to cast the original Evan Hansen. Ben Platt is having a total "How do you do, fellow kids?" moment. From the time the first trailer aired, people complained about the very obvious miscasting, but Platt insisted the only way the studio would let it be made is if he reprised the role. I don't know if I believe that, but it now makes the RENT movie look better by comparison.
 
The real question is... why does it bother you in Shang-Chi but not something like Captain America: The First Avenger? Steve is supposed to be 20 years old, but he's being played by Chris Evans (who was 29-30 years old during the filming). Chadwick Boseman was 42 when Black Panther came out, but the character is supposed to be in his late 20's or early 30's.
Well, in Captain America I imagine the extreme CGI of his tiny body and then his transformation into a super sayan (lol) probably distracted me. I never gave much thought to his age, because I don't remember them explicitly making it a plot point. If they had said several times in the film "Look at how much you've accomplished, and you're only 20!" or some such, I'm sure it would have stood out to me.

I never knew how old T'Challa was supposed to be, and again, it wasn't a major plot point.

However, in Shang-chi, they spell it out as important several times in the film, and every time, I just got the whole "how do you do, fellow kids?" vibe
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(Incidentally, I wrote this prior to reading @Celt Z basically saying the same thing about another show.)
 
For someone that was mistaken for 28 year old when I was 18, this conversation is weird to me. It's not unheard of that a kid battered and beaten into the ultimate physical weapon might look a few years older then he actually is in our super hero fantasy movie.

I have seen way more egregious examples of older people trying to play younger adults and / or teens. I guess it just feels weird that this seems to be what people are getting hung on for this movie.
 

figmentPez

Staff member
The zombies episode of Marvel's What If...? is so stupid. Possibly the worst thing to come out of the MCU. Tonally this is all over the place, with a huge focus on dumb jokes. They're trying way too hard to make this gruesome content into something light-hearted, and and they hurt themselves in the process, badly.

I didn't find anything redeemable in the entire episode. I hope it never sees a follow-up.

EDIT: was reading back a bit to see if anyone else has seen this episode, and a spoiled comment about episode 3 struck me as relelvant:


"Oh, and maybe the fans need to be careful with their memes, considering the Hulk scene was basically a sterilized version of the Ant Man / Thanos Ass meme."

At least Hope didn't get inside Sharon via her ass!
 
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The zombies episode of Marvel's What If...? is so stupid. Possibly the worst thing to come out of the MCU. Tonally this is all over the place, with a huge focus on dumb jokes. They're trying way too hard to make this gruesome content into something light-hearted, and and they hurt themselves in the process, badly.

I didn't find anything redeemable in the entire episode. I hope it never sees a follow-up.

EDIT: was reading back a bit to see if anyone else has seen this episode, and a spoiled comment about episode 3 struck me as relelvant:


"Oh, and maybe the fans need to be careful with their memes, considering the Hulk scene was basically a sterilized version of the Ant Man / Thanos Ass meme."

At least Hope didn't get inside Sharon via her ass!
I have the opposite opinion on the What If... Zombies? episode. I could acknowledge that this was a show that needed to be okay for younger audiences but even then they still took some very interesting liberties with everything that happened. No blood but there was plenty of body explosions, decapitations, and other fun zombie destroying fun. I had a good time with it!
Cap's "death" was ironic and fun. Some nice splitting down the middle sequences. And the ending was both frustrating but like "aw crap. History is going to repeat itself... in the worst of ways."
The only thing I did not like was Vision's quick side-change. I didn't mind that he chose Z-Wanda over everyone else, but he changes his mind and help out the survivors way to quickly. And also I sort of envisioned crazy Vision cutting off T'Challa's legs and stuff to feed Z-Wanda, but he would have at least placed him somewhere comfortable WHILE doing it. "Yes I understand I have to sacrifice you piece by piece to keep my zombie bride satiated, but that doesn't mean you can't watch episodes of The Office."
 
I have enjoyed all the What If episodes so far. Some more than others but my current fav was last week's Dr. Strange ep.
 
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