Harley Quinn Animated Series

What did Hayley Atwell think of Captain America‘s final scene in Avengers: Endgame? Could Noah Hawley return to the world of Legion at some point? How was the heist for the Time Stone almost different in Avengers: Endgame? Who has joined the cast of the second season of Titans as a villain? How did the Krypton showrunner react to the show’s cancellation? Is Nova in the Avengers: Endgame final battle or what? All that and more in this edition of Superhero Bits. Read More »

Garrison Kane in Deadpool

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Doctor Stephen Strange was dusted by Thanos at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, but we didn’t need the events of Avengers: Endgame to know that the master of the mystic arts would be back. Late last year, it was reported that director Scott Derrickson would return for Doctor Strange 2. Naturally, this also meant the return of a (living) Doctor Strange, once again played by Benedict Cumberbatch.

But now, Marvel Studios has made it official. The first proper sequel to Doctor Strange (aside from the character’s appearances in Endgame, Infinity War, and Thor: Ragnarok) is on the way – the incredibly named Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Here’s what you need to know.

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Last month, we got word that Marvel Studios appeared to be planning a return to San Diego Comic-Con after sitting last year out entirely. With no future slate officially dated or announced by the comic book movie studio, fans are anxious to hear what the next era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will look like. Now we have confirmation that Marvel Studios will be back at Comic-Con to rock the convention crowd with a 90-minute panel in Hall H. But what can we expect from this panel? Read More »

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Want to see an animated Guardians of the Galaxy short where Gamora is basically a Disney princess? How are Dark Phoenix‘s box office prospects looking? Will Blade debut in one of the Marvel animated shows on Hulu? Will the Black Widow movie take place in the 90s? Should we believe a rumor about a new Fantastic Four movie coming in 2020? All that and more in this edition of Superhero Bits. Read More »

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Daredevil No Devils Only God Part IV

Who will replace Matt Murdock as Daredevil in Marvel Comics this August? Which X-Men are coming to Marvel Strike Force later this year? Did you notice a cool wardrobe detail for Rocket Raccoon in Avengers: Endgame? Did Brightburn rub DC Comics the wrong way at all? Why did Tilda Swinton have to reshoot some of her scenes for Avengers: Endgame? All that and more in this edition of Superhero Bits. Read More »

Aquaman Concept Art

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Doctor Strange Revisited

(Welcome to Road to Endgame, where we revisit the first 22 movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and ask “How did we get here?” In this edition: Marvel Studios enters spiritual territory with Doctor Strange.)

Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) adheres to Hollywood’s orientalist “white saviour” tradition, and Doctor Strange even whitewashes an already complicated Tibetan character, The Ancient One — an issue that has since been discussed from all angles (including by the director). However, in other, less apparent ways, the film proved to be Marvel’s first step into a larger world, one outside the series’ American and western defaults.

Marvel Studios had seen the occasional non-American setting thus far; London in Thor: The Dark World, South Korea in Avengers: Age of Ultron, various vaguely Middle Eastern towns in Iron Man. Doctor Strange however, felt like the beginning of a more noteworthy trend, one wherein not just the locations, but the creative viewpoints felt fresh.

The series’ shift in artistic worldview continued noticeably through the likes of Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther (and more subtly with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2), with Marvel slowly beginning to cater to a wider array of perspectives. The MCU began to introduce ideas that felt more eastern, more non-white and more postcolonial in approach, rather than the series continuing its bad habit of harping half-heartedly on American militarism.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe began as military propaganda eight years prior. Iron Man, the first film in the series, was subsidized by the U.S. Department of Defense, and thus, its script had to be military-approved (as was the case with Iron Man 2, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain Marvel). By 2016, the MCU had evolved into a landscape-dominating phenomenon, for better and for worse. On the “better” side lies Doctor Strange which, despite the film’s white, western gaze towards some of its characters, is not only aesthetically alluring, but employs eastern philosophies like Buddhism and Taoism to build its narrative framework — a far cry from the way most Hollywood stories are told.

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