Black Panther Review: Bold, Fresh, Thoughtful, And Somehow Still Marvel

Black Panther Review: Bold, Fresh, Thoughtful, And Somehow Still Marvel

Black Panther is a movie that Marvel needed to make. It’s one that they wanted to make. It’s one that we all saw coming and has been hyped to the peak of Disney’s marketing powers. However, it’s also a film that could have so easily gone wrong. After all, this is a black superhero given all the Marvel blockbuster trimmings and while there has been an outcry for diversity in this specific arena of the movie world, it’s also something that easily could have been exploitative. After all, much like Blade, Black Panther was pulled out of the background of the Marvel comic book universe in the 70s when Blackspoitation cinema was all the rage, and while the book generally strived to treat the superhero and his world respectfully, it would have been easy for the feature film version to drop the ball and feel like a crass commercialization. Thankfully, that didn’t happen. Kevin Feige was smart enough to put Ryan Coogler in charge and he delivered one of the best Marvel movies to date.

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Chadwick Boseman in Black Panther (2018) – image for this review courtesy of Disney.

At this stage of the game, part of what’s so refreshing about Black Panther is how it’s able to feel like a complete film unto itself without much Marvel crossover distraction. The studio got that out of the way by introducing the character in Civil War. He’s established with Cap, Iron Man, and the gang. Now he gets his own story. After a brief history lesson on the Black Panther legacy and the relationship between Wakanda and vibranium (sigh…I’ll always hate writing that word), Coogler plunges viewers into a vividly designed and carefully conceived world. The kingdom over which T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) reigns is a hidden oasis of advanced technology and powerful warriors. The partner tribes are humbler (but at least led by brilliant character actors like Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya) and they still engage in ancient rituals and ceremonies that feel both respectful and delightfully fantastical in a very comic book way. It’s clear that a lot of time went into building and designing this world. It’s such a vibrant place that feels lived in with rich history yet is also the sort of place where ridiculous comic book technology and beat em’ ups can pop up in without sullying the integrity.

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Chadwick Boseman, Danai Gurira, and Lupita Nyong’o in Black Panther (2018) – image for this review courtesy of Disney.

The larger than life and stylized characters also carry culturally symbolic weight. Coogler went out of his way to present powerful women of colour within the society like Danai Gurira’s intimidatingly badass warrior or Letitia Wright’s brilliant tech guru who is somewhere between Black Panther’s Q and partner in strategy (not to mention Lupita Nyong’o and Angela Bassett, each with their own important piece in the movie’s puzzle). There’s a clear and noble attempt on the part of co-writer/director Ryan Coopler to take the opportunity of making a Marvel blockbuster destined to pull in the eyes of audiences worldwide and use it as an opportunity to increase the representation in such pictures. It works and somehow does so without derailing or distracting from what is ultimately a glorious bit of superhero entertainment. Coogler just treats that entertainment as a vehicle to explore some issues bubbling up in the culture right now.

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Chadwick Boseman in Black Panther (2018) – image for this review courtesy of Disney.

Obviously , Chadwick Boseman makes for a potent and powerful hero at the centre. He is, after all, one of the best actors of his generation. He plays T’Challa as a noble leader who struggles to uphold the legacy put upon him with grace, and plays Black Panther as the stone cold warrior king and superhero that’s made the character resonate for decades. He nails it and will certainly be in this role for quite some time. Thank god, because the hero could have easily been overshadowed by Michael B. Jordan in the hands of a lessor actor. Jordan is Ryan Coogler’s regular star and it initially felt odd that he would be downgraded to a side villain role after the duo’s smash success with Creed. It’s more complicated than that though. Not too much should be revealed except to say that he’s easily the best villain to stomp through the MCU since Loki. He’s also the first with a motivation that resonates. One that will speak to much of the audience and with a master plan that might even resonate were it not so psychotic (and ya know…dependent on heightened comic book realities). Jordan doesn’t steal the movie away because everyone is so damn good, but his character will be much discussed and the fact that Coogler was able to use the role to make Black Panther a statement as much as a superhero romp? Well, bravo. No one has quite done that in the MCU before.

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Black Panther (2018) – image for this review courtesy of Disney.

The filmmaker does also keep his blockbuster on brand with the MCU while creating his own distinctly personal vision. Andy Serkis’ hysterically nutty arms dealer and Martin Freeman’s bumbling CIA agent return from previous Marvel adventures and actually suit this story, if anything their previous roles seem to exist only to limit the amount of set up required before Black Panther gets cooking. Of course, Marvel movies also need action and set pieces to go with their world-building and characterization. There’s plenty of that here and Ryan Coogler proves more than adapt at handling the boom-boom, punch-punch. There’s a stunner of a set piece in South Korea shot through the fluid long takes that the director favours that’s a pure adrenaline rush. That scene my favourite, but all the action beats deliver the goods, if only because Coogler and co. take the time to actually make viewers care about the people and stakes before things start blowing up. A simple distinction, but a pretty damn important one.

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Michael B. Jordan, Chadwick Boseman, and Janeshia Adams-Ginyard in Black Panther (2018) – image for this review courtesy of Disney.

Oh sure, there are things to nitpick away at in Black Panther. It’s a little too long and sometimes over-burdened by the sheer volume of characters. There are certain MCU conventions that sit awkwardly with Coogler’s vision (especially the need for quips when there need not always be quips). But honestly, nitpicks are all that’s possible with this picture. Black Panther was not a character that was ever going to be easy for Marvel to adapt for the big screen, but somehow everything went so right that the movie just might be the finest representation of the character in any medium to date. Black Panther isn’t just another cog in the Marvel machine, it’s one of their strongest characters with a world that begs to be revisited. Hopefully after whatever massive destruction and changes that occur in the universe following Infinity War (and whatever nuttiness comes in the still untitled Avengers 4), Ryan Coogler and co. will be allowed back into Wakanda to play again. Now that the heavy lifting is over and this world is so beautifully established, it’s hard not to feel a sense of giddy excitement about where they could possibly go next. Now that’s a sequel worth making.


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out Phil’s take on Blade Runner 2049, Happy Death Day, and It! He also had a chance to sit down with Guillermo Del Toro. Check out his interview here!

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Marvel Announces Animated Film with Super Diverse Cast

Marvel Announces Animated Film with Super Diverse Cast

Marvel has announced that they will be releasing a new, more diverse, animated film called, Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors.

Marvel Rising is set to launch in 2018 with six, four-minute shorts that will be followed by the animated feature itself.

The film is set to feature some big up-and-comers, such as Khamala Khan (voiced by: Kathleen Khavari), aka Ms. Marvel, Gwen Stacy (Dove Cameron), aka Ghost-Spider, Doreen Green (Milana Vayntrub), aka Squirrel Girl, and of course, Carol Danvers (Kim Raver), aka Captain Marvel.

Marvel Rising will also feature some other notable characters, such as Quake (Chloe Bennett), Lockjaw (Dee Bradley Baker) and American Chavez (Cierra Ramirez), amongst others.

As a group, Captain Marvel and her ragtag team of misfits will face an unknown threat that the Marvel Universe has never seen before.

Sana Amanat, Marvel’s Director of Content and Character Development, stated, “This project is unlike anything we’ve done before—from featuring the rising and fan-favourite stars of the Marvel Universe, to a visually distinct animation style, this is a groundbreaking animated event. It’s an action-packed adventure, full of comedy, heart and powerful messages for every kind of Marvel fan.”

Marvel is set to bring this diverse team together in 2018.


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out Phil Brown’s Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 (Switch) Review: The Block Justice League and Jed Whitaker’s Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite Review – It wants to take you for a Ride!

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Wolverine Podcast Officially in the Works

Wolverine Podcast Officially in the Works

The Marvel Empire is once again expanding into new territory with a ten-episode, scripted podcast titled Wolverine: The Long Night.

According to Mashable, the serialized story will run in 2018 on Sticher Premium, and will be released on other platforms come Fall.

The story will revolve around two agents who venture to a small town in Alaska to investigate a series of murders. Sally Pierce (Celia Keenan-Bolger) and Tad Marshall (Ato Essandoh) will work with a local deputy played Andrew Keenan-Bolger. Their main suspect? None other than Wolverine himself, played by Richard Armitage of The Hobbit and Hannibal fame.

“It’s very easy to turn up the volume on reality there. In addition to the crime investigation into the serial killer on the loose, there are also elements of the fantastic. And some of them have to do with Wolverine as his legend grows in this area, as people observe him bounding through the mists with packs of wolves; as they witness him save and end lives,” said Ben Percy, the writer for the series.

Percy said the podcast will carry a Serial vibe with hints of Unforgiven and True Detective. Director Brendan Baker, sound designer Chloe Prasinos, and producers Daniel Fink of Marvel and Jenny Radelet of Stitcher will join Scott Adsit of 30 Rock, Bob Balaban, Brian Stokes Mitchell and a cameo from Chris Gethard, who hosts the podcast Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People.

Marvel’s dominance in the film world has shown the strength of their characters and stories, and with the clout and money the company now has, expanding into one of the most modern forms of storytelling seems like a no-brainer.

“Being in this space where we can really touch and interact with our fans in a more 24/7 basis is one of our priorities. The beauty of this medium is you can listen to it as a show when it’s first released and voraciously consume it from a habitual standpoint, or, like I do and many people do with podcasts, you can listen to it very leisurely,” said Dan Silver, Head of Platforms & Content for Marvel New Media.

“We’re attempting to provide an audio experience that feels very much like if you just turned off your television screen, but left the sound on,” he says. “It’s very dynamic, it’s very real, it’s very raw, and it’s made for what people would expect from Marvel,” Silver added.

Wolverine: The Long Night will be available through the Stitcher Premium podcast platform in Spring 2018.


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out more of Brendan Quinn’s work such as his look at the relationship between comics and Hip-Hop, why the Witcher 3 was not as great as everyone thinks, and or which historical stories he thinks should be made into videogames!

Want to see more videos? Subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out the First 15: Star Wars Battlefront II, Sonic Forces + Episode Shadow, and  Super Mario Odyssey!

Don’t forget to tune in every Friday the Pixels & Ink Podcast to hear the latest news, previews, and in-depth game discussions!

Never miss when new CGM articles go out by following us on Twitter and Facebook!

CGMagazine is Canada’s premiere comics and gaming magazine. Subscribe today to get the best of CGM delivered right to your door! Never miss when a new issue goes live by subscribing to our newsletter! Signing up gives you exclusive entry into our contest pool. Sign up once, you’ll have a chance to win! Sign up today!

Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 (Switch) Review: The Block Justice League

Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 (Switch) Review: The Block Justice League

They say Lego games are all the same—and they’re right. TT Games’ juggernaut of a pop culture-hopping franchise found a formula at some point in the PS2 era and essentially haven’t changed it since. That makes the release of every Lego game slightly less exciting than the one before. However, Lego Marvel Super Heroes just might have been the peak of the genre back in 2013. So when the sequel rolled around, I couldn’t help but approach it with curiosity and hope. What I got back was indeed plenty of the Lego and Marvel fun that I craved as well as the irritatingly simple and repetitive gameplay that I feared. Thankfully, there’s just enough new stuff here to make it interesting and so much content crammed into the title to make it worthwhile. Sure Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 is likely the least original game that you’ll get your hands on this holiday season, but you would have already been able to work that out from the title. The good news is that there’s still lots of fun to be found here.

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Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 (Nintendo Switch) – gameplay image via Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment.

There is a plot to Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2, so I suppose it’s worth discussing. It doesn’t make much sense or hold much dramatic weight, but it involves Marvel C-list supervillain Kang the Conqueror taking over the whole damn Marvel multiverse. He starts by targeting the Guardians of the Galaxy to give the fans what they want, then sets his sights on the Avengers, and eventually brings in multiple universes because why not? It doesn’t make a lick of sense and TT Games’ ability to crack jokes isn’t nearly at the level they think it is, but serves the game’s deliberately frivolous purpose. It’s the bare minimum amount of plot required to give players the wonderful world that the designers dreamed up an excuse to cram in literally hundreds of Marvel characters (so many that you’re guaranteed to run into faces that you’ve never heard of no matter how much of a Marvel nerd you truly are…no X-Men though….rights issues).

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Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 (Nintendo Switch) – gameplay image via Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment.

The centrepiece of Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 is an amazing open hub world. It’s just slightly larger than the gorgeous Manhattan from the original Lego Marvel, only now due to Kang’s dastardly plot, New York shares an island with a variety of Marvel worlds from a variety of dimensions. There’s an Old West town, a few alien landscapes, a desert populated with pyramids, a giant volcano, and even a film noir cityscape that sucks the colours out of the characters who tread there. It’s an amazing hub world filled with gorgeous details and hidden crannies. Just flying around the place as the hero of your choice and diving in and out of various comic book subgenres and landscapes is an absolute blast. There’s so much to discover that it’ll suck up hours and hours for anyone who dares to attempt to find all the collectables and unlock all the characters. This is quite possibly the most fun and diverse hub world of a Lego game to date, sprawling yet distinct enough to never feel repetitive.

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Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 (Nintendo Switch) – gameplay image via Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment.

Obviously, the multi-dimension concept means that missions can vary dramatically in style and locale. That’s a plus because, beat-for-beat, the missions in Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 play just like every other Lego Marvel game ever. You smash stuff and build out of the Lego remains to solve puzzles, different characters have different puzzle-solving skills, all enemies and bosses are beaten by button mashing, and deaths are meaningless. Lather, rinse, repeat. TT Games haven’t changed the formula—you know what you’re getting, for better or worse. It’s repetitive as hell, but undeniably fun in short bursts (which will make it a solid Switch title, given that the full experience plays effortlessly on-the-go, without any of the graphic or gameplay sacrifices necessary on previous portable Lego game ports). At times the game feels way too frantic since the designers are clearly desperate to find ways to make Lego games feel interesting again. It can be frustrating, yet the style over substance suits the excesses of the Marvel Superhero sequel rather well.

Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 (Switch) Review: The Block Justice League
Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 (Nintendo Switch) – gameplay image via Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment.

With all of the obvious heroes and plot beats from the core Marvel history covered in the last game, this sequel gets pretty desperate in an attempt to dig up new characters and concepts. Old cowboy heroes and forgotten sidenote characters pop up alongside icons in ways that are supposed to feel exciting yet often just feel confusing and desperate. Toss in an endless stream of lame jokes and you’ve got a game that varies dramatically in quality from a storytelling standpoint. Thankfully, if you haven’t tired of the Lego formula or Marvel universe excesses yet, there is still plenty of fun to be had here, but all of the usual glitches and repetition apply. This is a Lego game after all. But the new world is a delight to dabble in and the fan-friendly nerdery of this Marvel Universe deep dive can feel infectious. It’s a good game, just not a great one. There’s a market for any game called Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 and those who want it will love it, while those who don’t care won’t even bother trying. As for me, I’m still charmed by this stuff and found enough ingenious design within Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 to put up with the standard Lego game limitations. This is the very definition of forgettable video game fun. Turn your brain off, pop in a copy, and watch the hours melt away (guilt optional).


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out Phil’s take on Blade Runner 2049, Happy Death Day, and It! He also had a chance to sit down with Guillermo Del Toro. Check out his interview here!

Want to see more videos? Subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out the First 15: Star Wars Battlefront II, Sonic Forces + Episode Shadow, and  Super Mario Odyssey!

Don’t forget to tune in every Friday the Pixels & Ink Podcast to hear the latest news, previews, and in-depth game discussions!

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CGMagazine is Canada’s premiere comics and gaming magazine. Subscribe today to get the best of CGM delivered right to your door! Never miss when a new issue goes live by subscribing to our newsletter! Signing up gives you exclusive entry into our contest pool. Sign up once, you’ll have a chance to win! Sign up today!

C.B. Cebulski Replacing Axel Alonso as Editor-in-Chief for Marvel Comics

C.B. Cebulski Replacing Axel Alonso as Editor-in-Chief for Marvel Comics

Marvel Entertainment has announced that C.B. Cebulski will become the new Editor-in-Chief for the company’s comics division.

Cebuslki will replace Axel Alonso, who has “mutually parted ways with the company”. Alonso was named Editor-in-Chief in January of 2011.

“C.B. is one of the most well-known, liked and respected editors and personalities in the comics industry.  He has a keen understanding of the Marvel brand, and knows the importance of publishing within the larger Marvel ecosystem,” said Marvel Entertainment President Dan Buckley in a statement. “As our characters continue to reach unprecedented levels of global popularity, we need to ensure our core comic business sets the standard with fresh and compelling graphic storytelling that excites both our longtime fan base and new fans. Marvel has set a high bar for super hero stories for over 75 years, and we believe C.B. is perfectly positioned to take Marvel Comics to new heights.”

Cebulski began working with Marvel in 2002 as a writer for the Mangaverse line and eventually rose to the rank of Associate Editor under Ralph Macchio. After briefly departing the company, Cebulski returned to Marvel and became a talent scout and Senior Vice President of Creator & Content Development. Cebluski was a major contributor in the hiring of such big names as Jonathan Hickman, Skottie Young, Adi Granov, Sara Pichelli, Phil Noto, and Steve McNiven.

Cebulski has been living in Shangai for the last 18 months overseeing Marvel’s interests in Asia, where he led to the company partnering with Japan’s Kodansha, Korea’s Daum, and China’s NetEase, but will be moving to New York to begin his new position.

“I hope to continue capturing that creative magic here at home, and deliver inspirational and entertaining stories that are true to the classic Marvel DNA, but built with an expanding global mindset,” he said.

Alonso’s withdrawal is another big move from Marvel to shake things up and attempt new a new direction following the departure of Brian Michael Bendis to DC Comics.

“Axel Alonso leaves an incredible mark at Marvel. His vision shaped some of our most iconic Super Heroes and stories. We wish him the best,” said an official tweet from Marvel Comics.


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out more of Brendan Quinn’s work such as his look at the relationship between comics and Hip-Hop, why the Witcher 3 was not as great as everyone thinks, and or which historical stories he thinks should be made into videogames!

Want to see more videos? Subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out the First 15: Star Wars Battlefront II, Sonic Forces + Episode Shadow, and  Super Mario Odyssey!

Don’t forget to tune in every Friday the Pixels & Ink Podcast to hear the latest news, previews, and in-depth game discussions!

Never miss when new CGM articles go out by following us on Twitter and Facebook!

CGMagazine is Canada’s premiere comics and gaming magazine. Subscribe today to get the best of CGM delivered right to your door! Never miss when a new issue goes live by subscribing to our newsletter! Signing up gives you exclusive entry into our contest pool. Sign up once, you’ll have a chance to win! Sign up today!

Marvel Heroes Shutting Down

Marvel Heroes (PC) Review

Fans of Marvel Heroes are in for some sad news. The free-to-play PC and console Diablo-inspired online game will be shutting down.

The news comes earlier today from Marvel, who announced that they would be terminating business with Gazillion Entertainment, the developer behind Marvel Heroes.

Gamestop reached out to Marvel and received a statement that elaborated on the matter, “We regret to inform our Marvel Heroes fans that we have ended our relationship with Gazillion Entertainment, and that the Marvel Heroes games will be shut down. We would like to sincerely thank the players who joined the Marvel Heroes community, and will provide any further updates as they become available.”

Further information is scarce as of the writing of this post. However, according to reports from Kotaku, the Gazillion offices have been quiet for some time, with even reports of employees being asked to not come into work.

Marvel Heroes first released back in 2013 for PC and was later brought over to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in early 2017.


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out  Jed Whitaker’s Marvel vs Capcom Infinite review, and Phil Brown’s review of Thor Ragnarok.

Want to see more videos? Subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out the First 15: Star Wars Battlefront II, Sonic Forces + Episode Shadow, and  Super Mario Odyssey!

Don’t forget to tune in every Friday the Pixels & Ink Podcast to hear the latest news, previews, and in-depth game discussions!

Never miss when new CGM articles go out by following us on Twitter and Facebook!

CGMagazine is Canada’s premiere comics and gaming magazine. Subscribe today to get the best of CGM delivered right to your door! Never miss when a new issue goes live by subscribing to our newsletter! Signing up gives you exclusive entry into our contest pool. Sign up once, you’ll have a chance to win! Sign up today!

DC Comics Nabs Renowned Writer Brian Michael Bendis

DC Comics Nabs Renowned Writer Brian Michael Bendis

DC Comics took to Twitter earlier today to announce their new partnership with renowned comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis.

Details are scarce at the moment on what exactly Bendis will be working on, however, DC has stated that his contract with the company will be a multi-year and multi-faceted venture.

Some of Bendis’s best work includes Invincible Iron Man, All New X-Men, United States of Murder, and Hellspawn.

Most of Bendis’s work has been intrinsically tied with Marvel, with his roots originating with crime-oriented stories. With years of comic book writing under his belt, Bendis should prove to be an invaluable asset going forward for DC Comics.


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out  Zubi Khan’s coverage of DC’s venture into digital comics publishing and check out how Archie has become relevant again

Want to see more videos? Subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out the First 15: Super Mario Odyssey,  The Evil Within 2, and Cuphead!

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CGMagazine is Canada’s premiere comics and gaming magazine. Subscribe today to get the best of CGM delivered right to your door! Never miss when a new issue goes live by subscribing to our newsletter! Signing up gives you exclusive entry into our contest pool. Sign up once, you’ll have a chance to win! Sign up today!

Disney Buying Fox Might Not Be A Bad Thing

Disney Buying Fox Might Not Be A Bad Thing

Yesterday the movie news cycle was hit by a juggernaut of a reveal. Apparently, behind closed doors, Disney has been negotiating to buy 21st Century Fox. The motivations why are obvious. In recent years the House of Mouse picked up those itty bitty Star Wars and Marvel franchises and the last remaining fragments of both movie universes are still lingering over at Fox (oh and they also added Avatar to Disney World and guess which studio owns that). Obviously, Fox isn’t too keen to give up their big fish properties, so the logical solution for a massive multibillion-dollar organization like Disney is to just buy Fox outright and keep the spoils. And before you think it, yes there has subsequently been word released that this deal is no longer in negotiations. But hey, the last time something like this happened was when the Sony email leaks revealed information about a deal for Spider-man. It was immediately announced in the fallout that the deal was no longer happening and then guess what happened? This seems similar. A deal so big neither company wants it to be scrutinized by the press before completion. It’s likely still happening and it’s also likely not a bad thing.

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Famke Janssen, Halle Berry, and James Marsden in X-Men (2000) – image via 21st Century Fox

It almost goes without saying that the lynchpin to this whole deal is the fact that Fox still owns the rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four universes, huge Marvel properties that aren’t under Disney control. Obviously, Marvel would like to have that back. Folding the X-Men and Deadpool into their big ol’ MCU sure would open up additional franchise possibilities that are too good to ignore (not to mention the fact that the Kevin Feige would undoubtedly be able to finally make a decent Fantastic Four movie, which Fox simply can’t seem to pull off). However, it also comes with a big caveat. In recent years, Fox has been willing to embrace R-rated superhero stories and in Deadpool and Logan delivered two massive hits that pushed the limits of the genre in intriguing ways. Obviously, R-rated adult entertainments aren’t exactly Disney’s specialty and if anything, could sour the reputation of the company’s “all family all the time” approach to entertainment. It’s a worry, yet not one worth getting too concerned over.

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Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool (2016) – image via 21st Century Fox

Here’s the thing, Disney buying Fox wouldn’t just be for the properties. They want the logo too. Fox is an established brand, one obviously willing to do more mature entertainment than anything that could appear with a Disney logo. It’s a lucrative market and one that Disney could continue to profit from. They could still make Fox movies for Fox audiences (including the semi-indie Fox Searchlight offshoot) funded by Disney with that parent logo nowhere in sight. If that sounds insane, well it’s not exactly new. Touchstone was a company that Disney created in the 80s entirely for that purpose and one that did well producing and releasing movies that Disney never would have touched under their typical brand like Alive, The Ref, Ed Wood, The Rock, Rushmore, and Starship Troopers. Fox could be operated the same way. They could be a division where Deadpool keeps being filthy, yet can also pull in characters like the Hulk or Iron Man to indulge in his deeply filthy ways. A place where a more mature and R-rated Logan style movie could be made out of other Marvel characters as well. It would actually be a boon for the entire MCU, providing an offshoot filled with new possibilities.

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Bruce Willis in Die Hard (1988) – image via 21st Century Fox

There’s another rationale for all this of course. Disney has made it quite clear that they want in on this Netflix streaming business and has plans to launch their own streaming platform. Obviously there’s more than enough content in the Disney vaults to justify this. But toss in the Fox vaults and suddenly they’ve also got the Alien, Predator, Avatar, Die Hard, Home Alone, and Planet of the Apes franchises to flaunt along with the rest of the lucrative Fox catalogue. More importantly, Fox still owns the distribution rights to the original 1977 Star Wars which Disney essentially has to lease out for any Star Wars box sets or streaming packages. This deal would take care of that and god-willing might allow for a long awaited reconstruction of the original theatrical release of the Star Wars flicks that fans have been whinging about for decades. So, there’s a substantial return on this “screw it, let’s just buy Fox” investment that would work out well for the big company and lead to some good viewing for audiences—it’s actually kind of an intriguing idea.

There is one big concern though. One of the wrinkles in the deal states that Disney can’t buy any of Fox’s television properties as they already own ABC and that would lead to a monopoly. Well fair enough. That’s understandable and I can see why Disney would have no interest in owning Fox News as well, that just makes sense. However, it’s odd to think that would be considered a monopoly while Disney swallowing up yet another film studio wouldn’t be. The fact of the matter is that with Paramount a shadow of its former self and MGM long gone, the number of movie studios is shrinking rapidly and it wouldn’t exactly be an exciting prospect to think that Disney might just own the entire film industry eventually. Like any film studio, Fox makes its share of crap. Yet, they are also a distinct entity of their own willing to take relative risks every year. Perhaps Disney would keep that mandate and collect the money and perhaps they wouldn’t. It’s tough to say.

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John Boyega and Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015) – image via Disney

Regardless, aside from the number of massive corporations that control all aspects of our daily lives shrinking down to an even more terrifyingly small number, this merger might not be a bad thing. There are opportunities here. It’s almost worth embracing the Big Brother aspect of it all just for the sweet rewards of getting the original Star Wars edits in HD or getting to hear Captain America drop an f-bomb. Then again, I suppose that’s the exact type of deal with the devil required to inch our way towards that sci-fi dystopia we all know is inevitable. Sigh…this is a tough nut to crack. Entertainment over evil empire? Hmmm…how’d this debate end with the Internet again? Has Google changed its name to Skynet yet?


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