Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

I really do miss when Agents of Shield would show the aftermath of the MCU movies.  I know it was an abusive relationship, but that part about it I really liked.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

Well, I recently binged Agents of Shield from start to this past episode.  Wow, really an amazing show.  I'd seen it here and there in the past, but always put it on the backburner.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

Am I a bad person for wanting Natasha/Black Widow to stay dead after her solo movie?  I just would like her sacrifice in Endgame to mean something, and I like the idea that, for the most part, deaths in the MCU have stuck.  And I think they're probably going to try and resurrect the Vision in WandaVision (with potentially effects rolling into Dr. Strange 2 and beyond) so it'd be weird if they kept undoing the Phase 3 deaths.

(Because you know Tony's coming back in one form or another).

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

I dunno. It's hard to say because I am completely resigned to superheroes coming back from the dead and it's convinced me that Quinn and Arturo will also come back someday. I feel like Robert Downey Jr. is done with Marvel contractually... but even then, I feel like at some point, we'll get Corey Fogelmanis playing out the teen Tony from the past storyline at some point. Onscreen, Black Widow is defined by the fact that she's played by Scarlet Johannson who is a performer of rare talent and charisma. She's great in WINTER SOLDIER, but she's primarily a chameleonic blank slate.

I did have this joke I was going to make where you, Slider_Quinn21, were grousing about David Mamouz being too short to play Batman and I was going to ask why Batman brings out the worst in you: first your hatred for old people by raging about how Ben Affleck is too old to play the character, now your hatred for short people over Mamouz. But then your wife had that miscarriage and I felt I needed to take it easy on you and also, to say you have ever raged about anything is quite an overstatement.

Black Widow is not the hill I want anyone to die on.

**

People love the first AVENGERS. I thought it sucked when I saw it and the thing I hated most about AVENGERS was the ridiculous ending where destroying the Chitauri mothership inexplicably incapacitates all the foot soldiers, a bizarre and nonsensical design flaw that Joss Whedon apologizes for in the AVENGERS audio commentary, explaining that he was extremely tired.

I also thought CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER was absurd in that Steve is nonsensically determined to commit suicide by piloting the bomb-equipped plane away from its target and never considers bailing out before it blows.

Spoilers for the deleted scenes here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gViSJitqG4k








Naturally, I enjoyed some of the ENDGAME deleted scenes released a little while ago. There's one where Rhodey and Steve are reviewing Steve's final WWII mission and Rhodey point-blank asks Steve why he didn't parachute out of the soon-to-explode jet. Steve reacts with a blank stare, grimly realizing that his decades-long hibernation and time-displaced situation are because he got caught up in the moment and missed the obvious.

I also liked the scene where Rocket Raccoon expresses astonishment that the Avengers spent two to three hours fighting the Chitauri, an invading force Rocket describes as "the suckiest army" in the galaxy as everyone knows they're easily beaten by taking out the mothership. Steve explains that the Avengers weren't aware, Rocket laughs in their faces and Tony, who experienced post-traumatic stress after blowing up the mothership, grabs an electric razor and shaves a chunk of fur off Rocket.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

ireactions wrote:

I did have this joke I was going to make where you, Slider_Quinn21, were grousing about David Mamouz being too short to play Batman and I was going to ask why Batman brings out the worst in you: first your hatred for old people by raging about how Ben Affleck is too old to play the character, now your hatred for short people over Mamouz. But then your wife had that miscarriage and I felt I needed to take it easy on you and also, to say you have ever raged about anything is quite an overstatement.

Ha, don't let anything ever stop you from calling me out on anything smile  It's what makes this fun.

I like Batman a lot.  I think he was the gateway drug to my love of superheroes, and I just think that there's something poetic about a guy in a bat costume trying to keep up with a group of literal gods.  Batman's best superpower is unlimited wealth, and while it's sometimes significantly overblown, his true superpower is just his incredible brain.  I think there's something sorta beautiful about a guy who had some tragedy and decided to do everything in his power to stop it.

I also think there's room for different versions of the character.  I think it's sorta great that David Mamouz played Batman because I don't think there's necessarily any reason for Bruce to be 6'3 and ripped.  There's something kinda cool to the idea that he's sorta short and average build and could still kick ass.  I think my main gripe is that sticking with Mamouz sorta ruined my longstanding prediction (from season one) that they'd replace him with another actor when it was time for him to be Batman.  I was sorta right, but I'm glad they didn't do it.

As far as Affleck, I think he did as good a job as anyone could've.  My main problem with Batfleck were 1) (pre-BvS) that I wanted Superman to face a Batman in his prime and didn't want to hamstring Batman even more when he's already significantly outmatched and 2) (post BvS) didn't think that the movie gave enough explanation for why Batman was acting the way he was acting.  He can be an older version and work and he can be a grittier/darker version and work, but I felt like they needed to explain why he was acting the way he was acting.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

I finished Agents of Shield season 6.

Some spoilers (stop reading if you don't want to be spoiled), but I wonder if the show would've been better if they'd somehow transitioned the cast to a parallel universe.  I understand the behind-the-scenes issues forcing them to be completely in the dark about both the Snap/Blip and the resulting 5-year time jump, but it's oddly distracting to have such little connection between the show and the movies. 

The Snap/Blip was a universal event.  It's not something that would simply never be discussed, even if every character happened to escape it.  Even if they didn't, the galactic portions of the show would certainly be talking about it.  At least, on Earth, there were witnesses to what really happened.  In other parts of the galaxy, even ones that knew of Thanos, people would've just disappeared (and possibly reappeared) with no explanation.

Then there's the other side.  Whether it be the destruction of the Earth from Season 5 or the invasion of Earth from the end of season 6.  When the Lighthouse is attacked, the Chronicoms talk about getting rid of SHIELD as their primary foes.  No mention of any of the Avengers.  No mention of trying to take over the planet that either just experienced or just fought off an invasion of Thanos.

I know, for all intents and purposes, they already don't take place in the same universe.  But it's odd that we've had tons of connections throughout the life of the show, but now we're just supposed to pretend that none of that happened?

With all the technobabble on the show, I think they should've at least tried to give an explanation.  Gemma tried to get Fitz back and did a thing and now they're in a pocket dimension.  Or they moved across the multiverse.  Or something.

The events of Infinity War and Endgame were too big for SHIELD to ignore.  The happenings that happen on SHIELD are too big for the Avengers to ignore.  So I would've tried to put them on an Earth where there are no Avengers.  Or maybe they all left or all died.  SHIELD is all that's left.  It wouldn't even need to be a big scene.

MACK - "....what just happened?"

SIMMONS - "The Beta Device brought back Fitz.  But it also seems to have separated us from our known reality."

MACK - "English, please."

SIMMONS - "We are on Earth, but I don't think it's our Earth."

**************

PIPER - "We've scoured this Earth's internet, and you're never going to believe this."

MACK - "I already don't."

PIPER - "There's nothing about Tony Stark.  No Iron Man.  No Chitauri invasion.  No history of Steve Rogers or the supersoldier program.  Thor is simply a legend on this Earth.  As far as I can tell, there's no metahuman activity or any reference to any Avengers.  This world doesn't even know aliens exist."

MACK - "What about SHIELD?"

PIPER - "Nothing."

*************

MACK - "I know the last few days have been tough.  But even though FitzSimmons fixed the Beta device, we've decided to stay behind on this Earth.  We all saw what's been happening with those aliens and that mysterious guy that looks like Coulson.  I think we owe it to this place to help them stop it.  Our Earth has the Avengers.  This one doesn't.  It needs us.  It needs SHIELD."

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

Man, why do you have to take the joy out of everything by overanalyzing it in terms of canonicity and continuity and event scale and impact? Why do you have to write 6,500 word novellas explaining what happened to Henry the Dog or spend months crafting two lines of dialogue to wrap up Colin's clone storyline? Why can't you just enjoy and be amazed? What happened to you to make you like this?

(Above are all things I feel Slider_Quinn21 should say to me.)

**

I think it would be difficult to transition AGENTS OF SHIELD Season 6 into a parallel Earth and insist that it is just as significant as the Earth of Seasons 1 -5. Surely the team wouldn't want to do anything other than get home. However, Slider_Quinn21 makes the insurmountable argument that an Earth which makes no reference to 50 per cent of all biological life being erased and then brought back five years later is ALREADY a parallel Earth.

I have no good response to that aside from saying that if that is indeed the case, I would be disinclined to draw attention to that.

**

From a behind the scenes standpoint, even if AOS' writing team had known ENDGAME's story, their options to tie in would have been limited. I can't see them changing Season 6 significantly or even at all.

Removing 50 per cent of their contracted and regular cast would be financially unworkable; even if the actors don't appear, they still get paid. Setting Season 6 five years after Season 5 might have been an option, but they could not have done it too overtly. If ABC's airdates shifted, AOS would spoil ENDGAME's endgame.

Even if AOS had known of ENDGAME and set their timeline accordingly, they still would have been able to refer to ENDGAME as much as they did in the end -- which is to say not at all.

However, when watching the show... I continue to feel that AGENTS OF SHIELD is set after ENDGAME and concurrently with the events of FAR FROM HOME (which I have not seen).

I think that the Snap took place during the Season 5 finale after the Zephyr touched down in Tahiti. Everyone vanished: the entire SHIELD team, Deke, everybody. Five years passed. Then the Hulk brought everyone back in ENDGAME. Nobody remembered having been absent. The team bid their farewells to Coulson and May, flew off in search of Fitz -- and then realized in mid-air/mid-holiday that what they perceived as a split-second had been a five year time jump. Everyone went into counselling or shrugged it off, and we picked up with the characters one year after the reversal.

Why wasn't it discussed? We don't see everything. We don't see the characters use the washroom or eat three meals a day. We never even saw how Fitz rescued Simmons from the HYDRA world when the last shot we had on the location showed Fitz losing his grip on her hand. We never saw how Agent Davis escaped Aida. The narrative force of the scene cut is not to be doubted.

Creatively, I feel this was the intention, although the offscreen events covered by the cut are far greater than AOS expected. They expected that they were leapfrogging over a year; instead, their approach is now bounding over five to six years.

Looking back at the last five seasons of SHIELD, perhaps I'm being disingenuous, but the Snap seems like one of SHIELD's lesser situations. In Seasons 1 - 5, SHIELD was exposed as a HYDRA cell, Inhumans were awakened across the globe, HYDRA unleashed HIVE, SHIELD faced a man with a flaming skull, killer robots mounted an AI apocalypse, the team was trapped in a virtual reality where HYDRA won WWII, monoliths sent everyone to the future, and then the team got home and spent half a season walking down one empty hallway after another and fought the lead of Disney's LIV AND MADDIE.

After all that, being erased from reality and then reinstated five years later with no memory of the experience is one of the least important things that has ever happened to these people. They fought Liv & Maddie! Liv & Maddie! This Snap-Blip nonsense that they don't even remember would barely register.

That's what I keep telling myself anyway.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

(Still spoilers)

Yeah, I enjoyed Season 6, and I think the writers did just about as well as they could considering the abuse they took from the movie department.  If the people who made Endgame can be trusted to know the secrets, then the people who made Agents of Shield should've been allowed to as well.

They made fun little references to Thanos in season 5 and whatever chaos they could imagine happening in New York, and I think it was fine.  With *literally nothing* to work off from Endgame, I think they did as much as they could with what they had to work with (nothing).  They wrote a fun story that was isolated to parts of space that haven't been dealt with and mostly isolated parts of Earth.  You're right - the people they interact with either wouldn't be in a position to constantly talk about the Snap/Blip or they're in enough danger that it isn't the focus.

The one mistake they made is to have another apocalypse-level event at the end of their season.  The season 6 finale primarily takes place in the Lighthouse and in some random jungle (I'm sure they said where - let's say South America).  Even if the Avengers knew about it, they wouldn't be able to get there in time.  So I think it was contained.

But with spaceships and colonization and invasion, it doesn't really fit.  It's nice for the team to have stakes and the Chronicom invasion certainly provides stakes.  But when they specifically say that they want to wipe out SHIELD as their primary enemy even though it seems to be common knowledge that Thanos is going to Earth.  So either he already decimated the planet or someone defeated him.  Plus, they know what Fitz and Gemma know (that there is a group of super-powered beings that protect the Earth).

I think the only mistake they made was not keeping the threats covert.  There's no reason for the Avengers to be involved in HIVE or HYDRA.  There's no reason for them to know about the Shrike or Izel.  These are SHIELD-level problems that can be written off as SHIELD's problem.

When the Earth is literally in danger, it's harder to write off the Avengers stuff.  For the most part, they did as great as they could.  It was only at the end that I started worrying about it.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

I haven't seen FAR FROM HOME, but that puts me in the same position the AGENTS OF SHIELD writers were in when conceiving their Season 6 threat. What about the Avengers Initiative? What's their situation post-ENDGAME? The AOS writers decided not to refer to what they didn't know.

However, even if the Marvel Film and Marvel TV connection were intact via Joss Whedon and even if the actors were willing, available and affordable, AOS could not have brought the Avengers into the Izel storyline.

If AOS had been in the ENDGAME and FAR FROM HOME loop, I can only see the references being made by having Daisy declare that they can't call in the Avengers because if Izel possessed Hulk or Dr. Strange or Captain Marvel or even Ant Man, she'd kill all of SHIELD in a second.

The AOS writers have said that the uncertainty of whether Season 6 would air before or after ENDGAME was also an issue, in which case such a scene might have been filmed twice: once with specific Avengers named, once without specific names, and both times establishing the same effect: The anti-possession devices are ultimately devices. They're breakable and possessing a human is bad enough. SHIELD cannot call in any more superhumans. Yoyo is already a liability.

That's the only Avengers tie-in I see being possible. Season 6, whether by accident or design, created a villain who made it unwise to bring in any Avengers.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

Agreed on Izel.  The issue I have is with (spoilers).  But it would've also been an issue for season 5.  When the Earth was destroyed, did all the Avengers die?  What happened with Thor and Captain Marvel and Hulk (who were all off world) in the decades that happened?

When SHIELD was fighting covert battles, I think they could easily explore their little section of the universe without tying in with the movies.  When they expand into situations where the Earth is in danger from something that the Avengers would have a) obvious visibility to and b) the ability to respond to, it makes it more complicated.

The Avengers wouldn't show up to fight Grant Ward or Izel.  But if the Earth is destroyed or invaded, the lack of superheroes becomes a problem.  That's all I'm saying.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

It'd be interesting to contemplate what Marvel TV shows would be like if Joss Whedon had stayed with Marvel after AGE OF ULTRON and continued to be the bridge between the film division and the TV branch.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

Spider-Man allegedly out of the MCU.  Sony and Disney couldn't come to a deal.

First off, it's a bummer for the fans.  Tom Holland is great as Spider-Man, and I think his appearances have been amazing.  Two pretty great solo films and three other appearances.

Second, I understand that it's a business.  Sony wanted to keep the original deal (Disney gets 5%), and Disney wanted more.  Disney did all the work and wanted more of the profit.  Sony wanted to maintain the money role in their biggest property and didn't want to hand over about half their lunch money to the biggest kid on the block.  I understand.

Third, narratively, it's kinda in a clean place to make a break.  Far From Home essentially ends the Tony/Peter storyline that had been built since Peter first showed up in Civil War.  He's too young to be "friends" with any of the other Avengers, and without Tony, there's not as much of a reason for him to tag along.  The villain most connected to Stark is Mysterio and he's dead.  Even if he's not, his main problem is with Peter now, not Tony.  You could bring back Vulture without any connections to Stark or the Chitauri.

Of course, assuming Holland's contract isn't somehow connected to Marvel Studios (I don't think it is), it simply means that they'll move Holland over to the Venom universe.  They'll probably keep the "Peter is enemy #1" storyline from his movies and intersect him with the Carnage storyline from Venom.  They'll have a team-up movie and then do solo movies at Sony, I imagine.

It sucks, but I think it's probably the best for both studios.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

The Sony/Marvel agreement was more a consultancy than anything else. Marvel provided creative stewardship, but Sony kept most of the money and allowed Spider-Man to feature in Marvel's AVENGERS films. Sony also continued developing its Spider-Man-adjacent properties with BLACK CAT, SILVER SABLE, MORBIUS, SINISTER SIX, INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE and VENOM and did so separately from Marvel. It was evident that Sony didn't see the Marvel Cinematic Universe as their universe; they wanted a Sony-based Spider-Man Cinematic Universe.

VENOM is unfathomable to me, but for some strange reason, it was ridiculously successful. I'd argue that it was a fluke that's unlikely to be repeated. VENOM, creatively, indicates that without Spider-Man himself, all of these Spider-Man rights are fairly useless. INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE, however, indicated that Spider-Man could indeed start a franchise separate from Spider-Man through using other Spider-themed heroes from Miles Morales to Spider-Gwen. INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE made a strong creative case for Sony ending their dependency on Marvel.

My personal opinion is... mixed. I do think Spider-Man benefits from being part of a shared universe with the Avengers. But I also personally prefer that Spider-Man, in film and TV, exist in his own universe. The Tom Holland version of Spider-Man, to me, is a diluted version of what I find appealing about Spider-Man. His connection to the Avengers and his tutelege under Tony Stark and his going on space missions and having a high tech suit -- none of that is Spider-Man to me. To me, Spider-Man is more like the characters of SLIDERS. The sliders have no official status, no authority, no support system and are perpetually faking and blustering their way through their heroics. Spider-Man, to me, is a blue collar, working class hero. The Spider-Man of the MCU is a rich kid; this version of Spidey has been tailored for the Avengers.

I don't see that changing if Spider-Man remains the Tom Holland incarnation but with no further references to the Avengers, but I also don't really understand HOW this character could function without the Avengers because he was created specifically to be on their team unlike Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. And this split is more business oriented than creatively oriented; Sony hit it big with VENOM and INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE and doesn't need the Avengers. Tom Holland's Spider-Man might, but they're not looking at it that way.

My other concern is Sony head Tom Rothman who was responsible for X-MEN THE LAST STAND and X-MEN ORIGINS WOLVERINE (actual title) and micromanaging the poor directors to the point of having sets repainted without their knowledge and slashing budgets relentlessly. Rothman delayed the DEADPOOL movie for years because he didn't believe in comedic superheroes while being firmly behind the unintentional comedy of X-MEN ORIGINS WOLVERINE (actual title). I don't think his creative instincts are strong and he was lucky to have Feige... although Rothman is also behind the brilliance of SPIDER-VERSE, so many he's changed. I mean, Robert Greenblatt cancelled SLIDERS, but he saved CHUCK. Sci-Fi betrayed SLIDERS at every turn, but they saved WYNONNA EARP. Transmodiar gave various people in this community PTSD, but he cured mine. People change.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

Looking back, it’s apparent that Feige was hedging his bets - he knew this could happen.  From a pure story perspective, the divorce damage to the two studios’ plans could be mitigated with some skill and care.

The ones I feel sorry for are the actors, writers and director with the MCU’s Spider-man.  They’re caught between a rock and a hard place here; and Disney could dish out retribution on them if they help Sony succeed.  Disney and Marvel both have shown that kind of spite in the past.

This could see a new era of hardball as Disney tries to choke Sony into giving Spider-man up.  They were already trying it with Fox by killing the merchandise and even comics related to Fantastic Four and X-men.  What happens when Sony makes their big Spidey movie with no merchandising to back it up?  Look what happened with X-men and Fantastic Four.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

TemporalFlux wrote:

Looking back, it’s apparent that Feige was hedging his bets - he knew this could happen.  From a pure story perspective, the divorce damage to the two studios’ plans could be mitigated with some skill and care.

The Sony/Disney split is unfortunate for the fans, but because Tony Stark is dead, it might work creatively. You could have Sam Wilson's Captain America in an MCU movie remark that recruiting high school students to fight crime was Tony's thing and that Sam will not be putting children in the line of fire.

You could have Peter in his Sony movie comment that he's no longer getting support from "the adults" ever since his "boss" passed away and that "they" just want Peter to get into college and leave superheroics behind.

TemporalFlux wrote:

The ones I feel sorry for are the actors, writers and director with the MCU’s Spider-man.  They’re caught between a rock and a hard place here; and Disney could dish out retribution on them if they help Sony succeed.  Disney and Marvel both have shown that kind of spite in the past. This could see a new era of hardball as Disney tries to choke Sony into giving Spider-man up.  They were already trying it with Fox by killing the merchandise and even comics related to Fantastic Four and X-men.  What happens when Sony makes their big Spidey movie with no merchandising to back it up?  Look what happened with X-men and Fantastic Four.

Perhaps I've misread my superhero history and TF would educate me in his inimitable TF fashion, but it doesn't seem to me that X-MEN and FANTASTIC FOUR suffered under FOX due to Marvel's lack of support. Marvel's antagonism seemed, at least to me, ineffective and symbolic. FOX crashed X-MEN and FF all by themselves.

Marvel indeed sought a partnership with FOX to produce those film properties and share the profits. FOX refused. Marvel retaliated by cancelling FANTASTIC FOUR (with a big series finale and a crossover event) and blocking any further merchandise (trading cards, original art, etc.). X-MEN sold too well to justify being cancelled, but Marvel adjusted their comic book universe to have INHUMANS replace X-MEN's mutants in their mythos and de-emphasized X-MEN in their output. However, FOX wouldn't have earned much from the mechandising for X-MEN and FANTASTIC FOUR anyway and I can't see them relying on Marvel Publishing to promote a feature film. FOX had its own marketing department for that.

Bryan Singer's degeneration has been well-documented and he turned in the mess that was APOCALYPSE. Josh Trank was unprofessional and unreliable on FANTASTIC FOUR and that was a mess as well. FOX did nothing to help matters with cutting action sequences and budgets shortly before filming. I haven't seen DARK PHOENIX, but APOCALYPSE had made the McAvoy/Fassbender team unwatchable for me and I wasn't inspired to see DARK PHOENIX no matter how pleasant and likable Simon Kinberg seems in public.

If APOCALYPSE, FANTASTIC FOUR and DARK PHOENIX had earned the same acclaim and success as DOFP and LOGAN, I don't know that Marvel's recalcitrance would have meant anything? All Marvel really did, in the end, was refuse to publish comic books or create merchandise that would promote FOX properties and that promotion was fairly meaningless whether it existed or not. Marvel lost that money, not FOX... unless I'm wrong? At this point, Isaac Perlmutter, the Marvel executive who led the charge against X-MEN and FF has been demoted to overseeing Marvel TV and Marvel Publishing specifically for such retaliatory behaviour.

Marvel Film is under Kevin Feige and while merchandising is technically under Perlmutter's purview, I can't see Disney withholding control of merchandising from Feige if he wanted it for a Marvel Studios project. I don't know how vindictive Feige might be towards Sony; there had to be a relationship there for the original 5 per cent of gross and all merchandising profits to exist. I'm not sure Perlmutter have a role in this fight now that he's been diminished at Marvel, ousted from Disney and left to TV and comics.

While Marvel owns the Spider-Man character, they sold the film rights to Sony (for far less than they should have) and did so in perpetuity so long as Sony puts out a product within a contractual window. Sony has every right to use what they bought to earn as much as they can. I would hope that Feige would respect that and aim for peaceful co-existence and declare that Sony and Marvel are both in the superhero business and their success is Marvel's success.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

ireactions wrote:

I don't see that changing if Spider-Man remains the Tom Holland incarnation but with no further references to the Avengers, but I also don't really understand HOW this character could function without the Avengers because he was created specifically to be on their team unlike Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield.

I agree that he was brought in with a desire and a "need" to be in the Avengers, but I think the end result of his arc (ending with Far From Home) was to show that he'd grown passed that.  That he's become his own hero who can handle things on his own.  I think he was humbled a bit by the events of Infinity War and Endgame, especially to the point where he was physically overwhelmed by Thanos' army, even with the "instant kill" mode on.

Enough has changed that, by Far From Home, he doesn't even want to respond when Nick Fury wants him.  I don't think he's done being Spider-Man because he's still patrolling the neighborhood up until his trip to Europe, but he's not interested in fighting another Avengers-level threat.  His confidence is back up by the end of the movie, and I think he's grown beyond a need to be in the Avengers.  I kinda see him like any of the other main Avengers - ready to accept the call if they need him but happy to be his own hero in the mean time.

So on the Spider-Man side, I think the solution is easy.  Peter's never going to get another call from the Avengers, and he's never going to be in a position where he thinks he needs help (like with the rest of the MCU heroes on their solo adventures).  The biggest hole to fill in his life is the fact that he's good friends with Happy Hogan and funded almost entirely by Stark.  I think there's a couple ways to fix this without outright saying it - I think they could simply write into the narrative something like:

NED - What do you mean you can't afford your rent?  Aren't you best friends with a billionaire?
PETER - I can't call him for everything.  I just want to make it on my own.

It's also possible to just swap out the money that Peter gets from being friends with Tony to money he gets from being friends with Harry or Norman Osborn.  Maybe Norman fills the mentor role of Tony, and they could walk around it without saying it (which is easily enough to do - just hire the Netflix Marvel series.  They were experts in dancing around continuity).

On the MCU side, I think it's even easier.  No one was really "friends" with Peter except for Tony.  There's absolutely no reason for Dr. Strange to need Peter's help, and I don't even know if Dr. Strange would consider asking for it.  There's a huge age gap between Peter and the rest of the Avengers, and I don't think any of them would reach out to him for help.  I don't think anyone dislikes Peter and they're happy to fight alongside him, but he's a kid.  Tony had no problem including Peter, but even that had a limit for him.  The rest wouldn't consider putting Peter in extra harm.

If they really want to stick it to Sony, they could say something like:

WAR MACHINE - We need all hands on deck.
SAM/CAP - What about the kid?
WAR MACHINE - Let him be a kid.  We need the rest of the hands on deck, though.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

The choke of merchandising had a big effect on Fox in pure dollars.  My understanding is that the Fox deal saw them getting a piece of everything that had an X-men or Fantastic Four character associated.  So this T-shirt made Fox money:

https://dyn.media.forbiddenplanet.com/w … 9351_1.jpg

Where this T-shirt did not:

https://www.bleedingcool.com/2015/05/15 … s-t-shirt/

Sony sold all the merchandising rights for Spider-man back to Marvel in 2011, so the pure money issue isn’t there any longer; but merchandising has a phantom effect that is more subliminal than people may realize.  When Spider-man is in everything from your corn flakes to your happy meal, you’ve got Spider-man on the brain.  Everywhere you look, you’re reminded about the movie.  Without the merchandising, well...I hope you watch tv commercials or got to the theater in time to watch the trailers or saw that one picture on the bottom of your potato chip bag.

Disney does have a bigger trigger to pull here, though.  What if all future Marvel based video games are X-Box exclusive and Nintendo exclusive?  Sony was using the recent Spider-man game as a big part of their PS4 console advertising.   Buy a PS4 if you want to play Spider-man.  Maybe people won’t need that PS4 or PS5 for Marvel in the future.

Disney doesn’t have reason to worry about losing some money here; they’re about to replace any Spider-man losses with renewed X-men money (once they build it back up again).  Sony as a whole could face some pain they can’t afford if the movies do not continue to perform at current or better levels.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

People are going to get their way, eventually.  I don't know if it'll necessarily mean buying all of Sony to get Spider-Man back, but I think Disney will eventually see the value of buying Spider-Man back, even if it means paying some ungodly amount of money for him.  Sony has to have a price, and Disney will eventually have the money.

Again, I think this ended up being something that sorta works out for all parties.  As TF said, Disney/Marvel can lose one character because they're picking up a handful of them.  Phase Four was announced without a Spider-Man movie, and that wasn't the top story.  So while people love this version of Spider-Man, I don't think the MCU will suffer for it.

Sony keeps one of their biggest characters, and they can try again to build up a Spider-Man cinematic universe starting with Venom.  Whether they keep Holland or recast is anyone's guess, but I'd have to think a Maximum Carnage movie will do fairly well for Sony.  And I don't know if their Morbius movie is on track or not, but they can now put Spider-Man in any of their spin-off movies.  They can do a Sinister Six movie again.

They'll have to lower their expectations because the MCU Spider-Man movies had other draws (like Iron Man) to make them successful, but I would still think a solo Tom Holland film, MCU or not, would make a lot of money.

And, again, I don't think it's a hamper to the narrative on either end.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

ireactions wrote:

Perhaps I've misread my superhero history and TF would educate me in his inimitable TF fashion, but it doesn't seem to me that X-MEN and FANTASTIC FOUR suffered under FOX due to Marvel's lack of support. Marvel's antagonism seemed, at least to me, ineffective and symbolic. FOX crashed X-MEN and FF all by themselves.

TemporalFlux wrote:

The choke of merchandising had a big effect on Fox in pure dollars.  My understanding is that the Fox deal saw them getting a piece of everything that had an X-men or Fantastic Four character associated.  So this T-shirt made Fox money:

https://dyn.media.forbiddenplanet.com/w … 9351_1.jpg

Where this T-shirt did not:

https://www.bleedingcool.com/2015/05/15 … s-t-shirt/

Sony sold all the merchandising rights for Spider-man back to Marvel in 2011, so the pure money issue isn’t there any longer; but merchandising has a phantom effect that is more subliminal than people may realize.  When Spider-man is in everything from your corn flakes to your happy meal, you’ve got Spider-man on the brain.  Everywhere you look, you’re reminded about the movie.  Without the merchandising, well...I hope you watch tv commercials or got to the theater in time to watch the trailers or saw that one picture on the bottom of your potato chip bag.

Thanks, Temporal Flux! It's always an education.

TF's correction speaks to something else a novelist once told me about STAR TREK novels: while the individual writers and editors may care about the content, from a corporate standpoint, it's about having the logo on some shelves whether those shelves are in bookstores or clothing shops or junk food packages. ViacomCBS doesn't really care about what's under the cover or the wrapping. I might be deeply concerned with the novel THE GOOD THAT MEN DO revealing that Trip Tucker's death in ENTERPRISE was a historical fraud to obscure his investigation into Romulan efforts to start a war, but the corporation cares about the content about as much as Slider_Quinn21 (who sees such things with benign indifference and points out that these media tie-ins are not essential and not canonical).

That said, I do wish people wouldn't get so up in arms about Spider-Man returning to Sony. The hashtags, the protests, the marches -- it's a bit much over a corporate property moving from one massive conglomerate to another one down the street. I know we all obsess over these things for fun and I've written absurd amounts of text on Quinn Mallory who is ultimately an asset on the NBCUniversal balance sheet, and I've put in ridiculous amounts of time writing scripts and...

Actually, I don't see how my fixation on Quinn is any different from people getting fixated on Spider-Man except it's an issue of corporate ownership. I raised hell over Quinn's portrayal in "Mother and Child," but this is like getting upset because SLIDERS is moving from FOX to Sci-Fi and no longer being able to cross over with THE X-FILES after numerous past adventures with Mulder and Scully. But then again, I would get upset over no longer getting to see the Professor tell Mulder off for coming up with theories before facts and Quinn having a juvenile crush on Scully.

There was a point to this rambling, but I've completely cancelled myself out.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

I see positives and negatives with a separation of Sony and Disney.

With Disney, what they’ve really done with the Spider-man movies is create a movie series based on the comic Marvel Team-Up.  In that series, every issue featured Spidey teamed up with some other random Marvel hero.

https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/marveldatabase/images/d/d2/Marvel_Team-Up_Vol_1_49.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20181025050103

https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/marveldatabase/images/9/9a/Marvel_Team-Up_Vol_1_83.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20180911043843

But on Marvel’s other properties, Disney has given the solo hero and his family a chance to shine alone.

With Sony, they focus on the solo hero and let him shine; but the quality is hit or miss.  The worrying part is that Rothman is running Sony.  A short history of Rothman:

https://m.imgur.com/gallery/uv2yO

And that list doesn’t even mention X-men Origins Wolverine.

So what you’re likely to see now with a Sony Spider-man is more like a “what if Fox had made Spider-man?”  That point really isn’t being talked up as much as it should be.

Picking between the two, I would probably rather Spider-man stay with Disney; but I’m also not happy with how they seem to only ever present Spidey as a guest star.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

Tom Rothman's handling of the X-MEN franchise and superheroes with FOX is indefensible. The era in which he made a lot of these moves, however, was when superheroes were viewed with derision after BATMAN AND ROBIN. The technology wasn't available to render the spandex costumes of comics with 3D printed texture that matched the contours of the actors. The filming methods of the era made hypersaturated colours like the yellow of the X-Men's costumes or the blue of Superman's tights look flickeringly overbright.

Spider-Man's face, a vivid, elastic surface of human emotion in the comics, was an inflexible statue in live action. I think of this as the SMALLVILLE and UNBREAKABLE era where the film and TV avoided overtly depicting superheroics because they could not be rendered well onscreen. Rothman was working on the X-MEN in this time period when fantasy fiction seemed distant from the semi-plausibility of live action. He had in his hands the film rights to X-MEN and FANTASTIC FOUR and he used them the way studios use video game properties: he produced some shabby product before expecting he'd sell them back to the original copyright holders.

That's not the era Rothman's working in now. Rothman now exists in a world where on his watch, INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE offered a diverse and vivid canvas for Spider-Man characters as well as incredible profit. Where the two live-action SPIDER-MAN films he worked on have been massive earners. Superheroes have proven themselves at box office without diluting them or apologizing for their absurdities or refusing to show them in their costumes or using their powers.

The tech is there and there's money to be earned and Rothman wants that money. The same way he wanted some money for producing some films to make a quick return on a small investment before selling back the rights for a little more money. He might now see the value of Spider-Man as a massive franchise to be fostered and nurtured for what will be massive amounts of money as opposed to the smaller earnings he chased down before. We all have the capacity for the most incredible change. We can evolve into people who now adore superheroes while still staying true to our natures as people who are mostly driven by money. I'm not saying Rothman has changed, but the box office of HOMECOMING and FAR FROM HOME could have done something.

Or we'll get SPIDER-MAN: THE LAST STAND and ARACHNID ORIGINS: PARKER and DARK SPIDER followed by a NEW WEBSPINNERS movie that's so bad that the studio decides not to release it and dumps it on iTunes. But I prefer to be an optimist.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

I feel like the solution to the Spider-Man issue is rather simple (but I usually do).  I'd give Disney the option to use Spidey for Avengers movies and Sony can make solo outings.  Sony can prove they can make good solo movies, and Marvel can use him for their big team-up movies.  I'd allow Sony to make references to the Avengers and the snap and his past adventures, but they could let Peter stand on his own and tell his own stories.  Sony would get 100% from these movies and then they'd get some percentage of the Avengers movies.  Even if they got something like the 5% that they gave Disney for Avengers movies, that'd still be a hundred million dollars potentially.

So it's a version of the deal they have for the Hulk if Universal wanted to make Hulk solo movies.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

An interesting thought - is the Dark Phoenix bomb the reason that the Spidey deal fell apart?  Not something one would logically connect up, but the article makes some sense.

https://comicbook.com/marvel/2019/08/23 … e-failure/

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

I like to blame everything that's ever gone wrong on DARK PHOENIX. My coffeemaker got clogged with grounds this morning; I blame DARK PHOENIX. ;-)

It could be true, but it's corporate nature to blame any problems on a previous regime.

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

I feel like the solution to the Spider-Man issue is rather simple (but I usually do).  I'd give Disney the option to use Spidey for Avengers movies and Sony can make solo outings.  Sony can prove they can make good solo movies, and Marvel can use him for their big team-up movies.  I'd allow Sony to make references to the Avengers and the snap and his past adventures, but they could let Peter stand on his own and tell his own stories.  Sony would get 100% from these movies and then they'd get some percentage of the Avengers movies.  Even if they got something like the 5% that they gave Disney for Avengers movies, that'd still be a hundred million dollars potentially.

So it's a version of the deal they have for the Hulk if Universal wanted to make Hulk solo movies.

Thinking about this -- creatively, if Marvel Film agreed to avoid telling any stories that had major impact on New York City, then Sony's SPIDER-MAN films could carry on as though it's in the Marvel Cinematic Universe's New York City. Sony has the rights to Spider-Man and his cast of friends and enemies.

Most of Spider-Man's villains are situated in New York City. Sony could do whatever they wanted so long as their movies never ventured outside the five boroughs and Marvel could politely agree not to destroy planet Earth.

However, Marvel Film (Marvel Studios) is currently refusing to even acknowledge the existence of Marvel TV (Marvel Entertainment) with the writing staff of the Netflix and ABC and Hulu shows only knowing what happens in the movies when they attend the premieres, so I can't see Marvel Film showing any grace to a rival studio when they're coldly indifferent to their office mates in the next cubicle.

When VENOM came out, it was part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or at least Sony producer Amy Pascal said it was in a joint interview with Kevin Feige and Kevin Feige reacted with astonishment. In a follow-up, Feige said that only Sony's Spider-Man films were in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and that VENOM was a Sony project and had nothing to do with Marvel.

Pascal in turn said that she'd meant that VENOM was drawn from the Marvel comic book universe, but that all the Sony films featuring Spider-Man adjacent characters were set in the same world as the Marvel films even if they'd never be seen in a Marvel movie. Feige said that Pascal's explanation was "perfect" and it seems to be Feige's attitude to the Netflix, Hulu and ABC shows (although AGENT CARTER seems to get a special exemption from being exempted).

The key point of interest, however, is that whatever arrangement between Marvel Film and Sony existed, it allowed Marvel to bar Sony from featuring Tom Holland or Spider-Man in VENOM. Sony would have absolutely featured Spidey in their VENOM movie unless they couldn't; my guess would be that Holland's contract was specifically for CIVIL WAR, HOMECOMING, ENDGAME, INFINITY WAR, FAR FROM HOME and two more sequels -- and Marvel could prevent that from being expanded to Sony's spin-offs in which they had neither ownership nor profit. Marvel, fairly or not, was able to restrict Sony from fully making use of its Marvel characters (Venom, Morbius, Silver Sable, Black Cat) by withholding Holland and making them seem illegitimate.

It doesn't seem like Marvel and Sony will coordinate. I think we may have to see future Spider-Man films as being set in a parallel universe and featuring, in SLIDERS parlance, a double of Tom Holland's Spider-Man in a Sony variant of the Marvel Cinematic Universe where, for whatever reason, the AVENGERS characters and story elements do not appear again even if their impact on Holland's character remains intact.

It reminds me of how DAREDEVIL refers to the Chitauri invasion in AVENGERS, but only in the vaguest of terms, calling it "The Incident." Meanwhile, the Avengers Tower is inexplicably absent from the New York City skyline. And in LUKE CAGE, street vendors are selling videos of the Hulk/Abomination fight from INCREDIBLE HULK, but we have to assume that those videos would show Mark Ruffalo instead of Edward Norton and that the fight would be set on the same streets we saw in LUKE CAGE instead of the generic Canadian city that passed for Harlem in the movie. Except in this case, DAREDEVIL and LUKE CAGE were set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Sony's SPIDER-MAN films won't be on account of branding.

Wow. Even DAREDEVIL and LUKE CAGE can't seem to make clear connections to AVENGERS and INCREDIBLE HULK despite explicit references and DD and LC are part of the Marvel family. What chance does Sony have as the competition?

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

From my understanding, the Sony, Venomverse, makes no mention of Spiderman specificaly because Sony was afraid of any character that was from the Spiderman universe that they own,  but used in any movie in the joint universe could potential y lead to Disney having a stake in the ownership for story development reasons.


Honestly cant ame Sony, the deal was beneficial to Disney, as th hey invest very little and get 5 percent off the top.  Plus, Sony still has no idea I'd their Spiderman universe movies will work, Sony hasn't had a true bomb yet.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

No, Tom Holland filmed a scene as Peter Parker for VENOM. He was seen on set for one day of filming. It’s now been reported that Marvel told Sony to cut the scene. Marvel didn’t want VENOM validated as part of the MCU and their consultancy agreement forced Sony to comply.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

I wonder if they'll release the scene, either in Venom 2 or in between to get people excited.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

I’m still wondering if Disney will use the nuclear option.  Disney has full tv rights to Spider-man (Sony sold them in 2011); so in theory, they could make a Holland Spider-man show for Disney+ while Sony continues making their separate Holland movies.

Holland was playing coy in a recent interview about him doing something for tv soon - didn’t say what.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

That's another thing that confuses me. Sony announced that they would be bringing SPIDER-VERSE style productions to television. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER) would be showrunners. But Marvel holds the TV rights to Spider-Man. Was Sony's announcement based on anticipating that the Marvel consultancy would continue? Is the announcement now null and void?

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

Found this which sheds some light on things:

https://screenrant.com/spiderman-tv-rig … explained/

According to the contract, Sony's rights encompass the following areas:

Live-action and animated movies

Live-action TV series

Animated series with episodes longer than 44 minutes

So Disney’s tv rights are much more limited than I thought; but they do have the plum spot for animated series.  An hour long animated series (accounting for commercials) isn’t going to be very appealing to networks.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

Disney already does a Spider-Man cartoon (and has consistently done one, I believe).  Outside of What If?, which is animated for logistical reasons, I imagine...I don't know if there's a market for an in-canon Spider-Man MCU show, even if Tom Holland does it.

If I were Kevin Feige, I wouldn't go nuclear with Spider-Man.  I'd let them do their own thing, focus on the X-Men and the Fantastic Four as new playthings, and wait for Sony to implode again.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

Sony and Marvel have come to an agreement.  Spider-Man 3 (in the MCU) will come out July 16, 2021 with both Sony and Marvel producing.

I think it could've worked on it's own and we'll probably still get Venom in the MCU, but I'm glad he's back.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

I finally got around to watching FAR FROM HOME today. It's a fun movie. Tom Holland and Zendaya are cute together. And FAR FROM HOME completely entangles Peter Parker in the Marvel Cinematic Universe from exploring his successorship to Tony Stark to intertwining Happy Hogan into the Parker family and creating a cliffhanger that demands the involvement of Stark's company and the Avengers. So, I think it's for the best that Sony and Marvel came to an arrangement.

I don't think Spider-Man needs to exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Tom Holland's Spider-Man was made specifically to function as part of the Avengers and the narrative distance that allows Daredevil and Daisy Johnson to steer clear of the Marvel movies wouldn't work for a version of Peter Parker who's constantly being directed by Nick Fury.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

ireactions wrote:

I finally got around to watching FAR FROM HOME today. It's a fun movie. Tom Holland and Zendaya are cute together. And FAR FROM HOME completely entangles Peter Parker in the Marvel Cinematic Universe from exploring his successorship to Tony Stark to intertwining Happy Hogan into the Parker family and creating a cliffhanger that demands the involvement of Stark's company and the Avengers. So, I think it's for the best that Sony and Marvel came to an arrangement.

I don't think Spider-Man needs to exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Tom Holland's Spider-Man was made specifically to function as part of the Avengers and the narrative distance that allows Daredevil and Daisy Johnson to steer clear of the Marvel movies wouldn't work for a version of Peter Parker who's constantly being directed by Nick Fury.

I agree to a point.  Obviously the MCU Spider-Man idolizes Iron Man and the Avengers, and to have him no longer be able to reference them at all would be damaging.

But consider this.  Let's say a deal didn't get done and Spider-Man is on his own.  Well, based on the end of Far From Home, that's exactly the position Spider-Man is in.  On his own.  If Mysterio's plan worked, Spider-Man would be a fugitive.  So maybe he calls someone (off-screen and without referencing their name) and finds out that no one is able to help him.  It's too hot.  So he's on his own.  Fury can't help (maybe say "The Director").  The Avengers can't help (maybe say "The Team").  So he's on his own.

I guess the hardest part would be whether or not they could reference the events of Far From Home and Mysterio himself.  If so, they'd be good. If not, it'd be way more complicated.

But either way, I'm glad it worked out.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

This is some goofball geekery that may be a better fit for the RANDOM THOUGHTS thread. But I've been re-reading Spider-Man comics on my tablet on the treadmill and I was typing all this up Saturday night as part of my reading journal. The Spider-Man comic books once found themselves in a state of being unsure of how to refer to the past and how much of it had happened (or not happened).

New Avengers: In 2006, Peter was on top of the world. His marriage had Mary Jane working with him as an equal in his Spider-Man career. Spidey had joined the Avengers and was being mentored by Tony Stark. His job as a high school science teacher was fulfilling. He'd let Aunt May in on the secret and she had been a source of strength and support. And he joined the Pro-Registration side in CIVIL WAR, unmasking on live TV to support the new law and gaining the respect he'd always lacked from law enforcement and the government. In addition, due to a mystical event where Peter embraced his inner spider, he now had organic webshooters, acidic stingers he could use to stab enemies, the ability to communicate with spiders and night vision. Peter was happy. And he barely ever thought about Harry Osborn, his old college friend who had died of a drug overdose.

Back in Black: In 2007, Peter was in a dark time. In the aftermath of CIVIL WAR, Peter was a fugitive as an unlicensed superhero who chose Captain America's (losing) side. Also, Peter had unmasked and was now a target on all sides. When Peter joined Captain America, his wife Mary Jane and Aunt May escaped Avengers Tower with him and then Aunt May got shot and was dying in a hospital.

All of this also made it hard for Peter to handle his day job as a high school science teacher.

This led into BACK IN BLACK, a half-a-year branding title across all the SPIDER-MAN titles. In AMAZING SPIDER-MAN by J. Michael Straczynski (BABYLON 5), Peter identifies Aunt May's would-be assassin as a Kingpin thug and puts on the black costume to take revenge. He beats the Kingpin to an inch of his life and vows to execute him if Aunt May dies.

In FRIENDLY NEIGHBOURHOOD SPIDER-MAN by comics veteran Peter David, Peter impersonates his own cousin, Ben Reilly (a clone of Peter who dyed his hair blonde and then died), and resumes his teaching job as his own substitute. And in SENSATIONAL SPIDER-MAN by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (RIVERDALE), Peter attempts to continue fighting crime while being hunted by the police and the official Avengers and while Aunt May is dying.

The AMAZING issues end with Aunt May's identity about to be exposed which will summon the police as she is an accomplice to Peter's crimes against the Superhero Registration Act. Peter and Mary Jane fake paperwork, impersonate paramedics, steal an ambulance and transfer Aunt May to another hospital. Afterwards, Peter realizes that he has committed fraud, grand theft auto, stolen paperwork, resisted arrest, and become the very thing he became Spider-Man to fight. He has become a criminal.

One More Day: BACK IN BLACK leads into ONE MORE DAY (by Straczynski) where Aunt May is deemed terminal. Desperate to save her, Spider-Man asks for Dr. Strange's help and Strange casts a spell allowing Peter to manifest at multiple points in the Marvel Universe to ask everyone he can for help -- Dr. Doom, Beast, every magician and scientist -- and they all tell him that Aunt May is too far gone to help.

The Source: Leaving Dr. Strange's house in distress, Peter is approached by Mephisto, the Marvel version of the devil. Mephisto tells Peter that he can save Aunt May at a price. The price is the source of Peter's strength and joy, the core of not only his power, but his will, the very thing that gives him light in the darkest moments, the force that sustains him against all odds. Mephisto tells Peter that he wants his marriage. After much deliberation between Peter and Mary Jane, Mary Jane stipulates that in addition to saving Aunt May, Mephisto must also erase all public knowledge of Spider-Man's true identity. Mephisto agrees and Peter and Mary Jane embrace for the final hours before their reality is rewritten.

Time Jump: Peter wakes up to find himself in Aunt May's house, in his bedroom as she wakes him up (which is weird because the house was burned down in a previous storyline). It seems to be several months after the previous scene and Peter doesn't seem concerned; the abrupt time jump is experienced by the reader but not Peter. It's established: Spider-Man is an unregistered fugitive from the law and Peter is unmarried, jobless and borderline homeless. Aunt May once again doesn't know that Peter is Spider-Man.

Peter gets on his bike, saying he has an event. He visits a massive penthouse apartment for a reunion party -- welcoming back Harry Osborn (who is somehow alive again). Everyone applauds Harry who says he has been in rehab facilities in Europe for a long time and is now celebrating his sobriety with a glass of water. Peter spots Mary Jane at the party who abruptly leaves.

Confusion: The next storyline, BRAND NEW DAY (2008), had Peter fighting crime. He was using mechanical web shooters. He made no reference to the stingers or the night vision or talking to spiders. When he ran out of web fluid, he didn't switch to organics. It was unclear what had happened: how much had removing Peter and Mary Jane's marriage altered their history? Why had they broken up? Why was Harry alive again? How long had he been alive? How was Aunt May's house restored after the second Molten Man had burned it down? It also wasn't clear: how far did the erasure of Peter's unmasking extend? How much of Spider-Man's continuity had been altered?

Gradual Answers: These questions remained until 2009. Harry and Peter go on a roadtrip and Peter notes that since SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #200 (published in 1993), Harry was thought dead. Harry explains that his father faked his death to get him into rehab in Europe and a flashback shows Harry returning to New York City, surprising Peter and Aunt May with a return gift: he paid for Aunt May's home to be rebuilt.

Later, Spider-Man has a battle with the Green Goblin (Norman Osborn, who knew Peter's identity). Osborn is furious: he somehow cannot remember who Spider-Man used to be and Spider-Man taunts him, saying that things are different now: Osborn has no idea who Spider-Man is and Spider-Man knows everything about him.

Then, in an adventure with the Fantastic Four, the Human Torch (one of Spider-Man's very good friends) realizes that he remembers Spider-Man unmasking to him and befriending him -- but he can no longer remember who the face was beneath the mask. That memory has been wiped away. In fact, all written and digital record of Spider-Man's unmasking has been strangely altered to obscure Spider-Man's real name and face. Spider-Man explains that with help from a "friend," a psychic blindspot has been created around the Peter Parker identity.

Details: In 2010, we get a detailed flashback finally to explain the memory situation. ONE MOMENT IN TIME flashes back to the wedding day for Peter and Mary Jane: in this altered version of events, a criminal that Spidey captured is released by a magical red bird (Mephisto). This criminal later knocks Spider-Man unconscious with a lucky shot on Peter's wedding day. Mary Jane waits at the altar and Peter, lying in an alley, never arrives. Later, Mary Jane forgives Peter but tells him she doesn't want to marry Spider-Man and asks him not to ask for her hand again or to have children with her unless he is ready to give up the mask.

All subsequent stories seem to take place as originally published -- except Peter and Mary Jane were dating/living together but unmarried. (This does raise an issue: during the CLONE SAGA of 1994, Mary Jane got pregnant and was overjoyed and was devastated when she lost the baby in 1996. But ONE MOMENT declares she wouldn't have wanted to have a child. In an interview, writer Joe Quesada said that in his mind, Mary Jane's pregnancy was removed from continuity, but everything else remains, although this is not explicit in the comics themselves.)

Let's Do This One More Time: We then get an alternate version of ONE MORE DAY in flashback. This time, a dying Aunt May's heart stops beating, but then she miraculously revives. It seems to be a miracle (or the intervention of Mephisto). Peter once again leaves the hospital to visit Dr. Strange, but this time, instead of asking for Dr. Strange to save Aunt May, he asks Strange to erase all knowledge of his secret identity. Strange consults with Reed Richards and Tony Stark who agree that Peter deserves a second chance; they also describe how they have in the past unrevealed secret identities with repurposed mind control machines and magic.

Reed and Tony create a biotechnological virus augmented by Dr. Strange's magic that erases all records and memories of Peter as Spider-Man while keeping Peter in a magic bubble so only he will retain his memory of Spider-Man's true name and face. Peter grabs Mary Jane and yanks her into the bubble as well. Afterwards, Peter tells Mary Jane they're now safe, but Mary Jane is furious with him -- after the traumatizing events of BACK IN BLACK, Mary Jane wishes that Peter had allowed her to forget Spider-Man's identity along with the rest of the world or at least asked her what she wanted. She breaks up with him and leaves New York. Continuity was indeed altered only in small, isolated ways. All is explained...

Except for why the organic web shooters disappeared and why Peter doesn't have the additional spider-powers. During this storyline, however, the lettercolumn has an editor's response asking about this and the editor replied: "Those other powers really only exhibited themselves under certain circumstances. They weren't extra powers Peter could call up whenever he wanted, so whether or not they've disappeared for good is a story waiting to be told."

Throwaway: That's a strange response because in the 2011 SPIDER-ISLAND story, the entire population of Manhattan gets spider-powers and they all get organic web shooters. At one point, Peter tells a friend who has run out of organic webbing to fire that she needs to eat starchy foods to replenish -- but he doesn't have the organics himself. That said, nobody during SPIDER-ISLAND manifests stingers or talking to spiders or night vision or whatnot. In 2013, there's finally a throwaway explanation in SCARLET SPIDER #14, a title focused on a clone of Peter Parker named Kaine. Kaine was a serial killer in a decaying clone body, but the SPIDER-ISLAND storyline restored his body and sanity and took away his homicidal behaviour.

Kaine encounters a mystical spider entity, the same one that gave Peter those extra powers. The entity tells Kaine that it originally chose Peter Parker as its avatar, hence all those extra powers, but that Peter rejected 'the spider' in time and embraced 'the man,' thus losing those powers -- powers which Kaine could now claim if he wanted. It's two lines of dialogue to resolve an outstanding question from five years ago and Peter Parker doesn't even appear in this issue. At last, in 2013, we finally have all the answers to questions raised in 2008.

I guess we don't have to worry about it now, but I wondered if a Sony, de-Marvelized Tom Holland could have ended up in a similar situation of excellent stories and artistry being marred by confusion over what did or didn't happen in the past.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

My GOD. I'm finishing off the last run of Dan Slott's AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and the villain of the big story turns out to be BEN REILLY from the CLONE SAGA. This SPIDER-MAN plot twist is the SLIDERS equivalent of having a 2020 era Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo picking up the timer for a new round of adventures while trying to figure out who's been restoring Kromagg manta ships and using them to attack Earths and the villain turns out to be Colin Mallory.

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

Instead of talking about THE CLONE CONSPIRACY and how it relates to SLIDERS, I am instead talking about VARIETY which reports that Marvel TV is likely to be shut down with Marvel Studios (the film division) taking over all TV projects.

https://variety.com/2019/tv/news/marvel … 203349869/

Signs of this have already appeared with Marvel Entertainment developing BLADE and GHOST RIDER only for Kevin Feige's division to step in and withdraw those characters from becoming Hulu shows. If TV is absorbed into Marvel Studios, the rest of Marvel Entertainment could carry on as the merchandising and publishing wing -- but I can't help but think it's time for Marvel Entertainment to come fully under the Disney banner. It was absurd to see them split off in the first place and it only happened because Feige refused to continue working for Marvel under his old boss who owned too much stock to be fired but could be reassigned to TV and the comics and trading cards and video games and whatnot.

AGENTS OF SHIELD has done well. DAREDEVIL's first and third seasons were great. LUKE CAGE was very strong. JESSICA JONES was terrific. IRON FIST had a good second year. THE PUNISHER series was professional and watchable. DEFENDERS had a very good episode set in a restaurant. But it's clear that the TV shows exist at a remove from the films and it's silly, counter-productive and self-sabotaging for Marvel to compete with Marvel. Marvel already has Sony for that. Okay, this was a good use of a lunch break. Back to my workstation!

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

It's interesting to see how comics mine bad stories for good ones and draw on a publishing history that isn't always a point of pride -- something that SLIDERS fanfic has always done as well. The fascinating thing is how modern Spider-Man comic books resemble SLIDERS fanfic because modern Spider-Man comics are fan fiction -- written decades after the original Spider-Man stories, produced by fans who grew up with this character and now want to imitate, update and expand his world.

Professional Fanfic: The goal isn't to offer an original vision but instead to subsume one's own style and interests into the framework of a Spider-Man story while making the old formula relevant to the present day. And because it's fan fiction, Spider-Man comics will inevitably draw on fan familiarity with the past even if there may be periods of avoiding it.

Colin Mallory is a strangely popular character in SLIDERS fandom. I don't get it, and I have the same polite confusion towards another inordinately popular character in Spider-Man stories -- the character of Ben Reilly.

The Exodus - Part I: SPIDER-MAN: THE CLONE SAGA (1994 - 1997) is one of the worst and most-reviled stories in Spider-Man's publishing history, the SLIDERS equivalent of having Earth Prime invaded by Kromaggs and turning Quinn into Kal-El of Kromagg Prime while Wade is sent to a rape camp.

Back in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #149 (1975), a mad scientist cloned Peter Parker. The story ended with the clone dead. 1994's CLONE SAGA revealed that the clone had actually survived, gone travelling across America and taken on the name Ben Reilly. In this 1994 story, Ben returns with a shocking discovery: he is the original and Peter was the clone. In addition, Mary Jane is pregnant.

Peter Parker decides to retire as Spider-Man, move to Portland, and he gives Ben Reilly his costume and asks him to continue as the real Spider-Man in New York City.

2002 era Marvel President Bill Jemas would look back at THE CLONE SAGA and describe as the story where Spider-Man's sales went from 400,000 copies a month to 48,000 a month.

The Exodus - Part II: Fans were furious that almost 20 years of stories were with a clone. That Peter was being presented as an imposter. That he was being replaced in his own book with all the ceremony of Kari Wuhrer taking John Rhys-Davies' spot and with an incredibly convoluted explanation to validate Ben akin to Robert Floyd playing Jerry O'Connell's role.

Marvel Publishing had been attempting to re-present a single, young, unmarried Spider-Man and thought Ben could serve while the married Peter was moved offstage, turning Spider-Man into a legacy hero like the Flash and Green Lantern.

However, Marvel soon found that star writers and artists they'd hired to write SPIDER-MAN titles were now seeking to leave, not wanting to write and draw Ben Reilly. Fans accepted Ben Reilly as a fun alternative to the increasingly serious and dour Peter Parker, but they didn't accept Reilly AS Peter Parker and certainly not as Spider-Man.

In addition, the storyline was severely overstretched with all the 'intrigue' over whether Peter or Ben was the clone going from 1994 - 1997 with at least one SPIDER-MAN comic a week. It was as if Bill Dial had written all of these comics with his trademark approach of padding out scripts with characters repeating information already established.

Revelations: Eventually, Marvel elected to undo the entire storyline in 1997. Peter and Mary Jane returned to New York City. Mary Jane miscarried the baby. Peter and Ben developed a close, brotherly bond. Norman Osborn revealed that he had tricked Ben into thinking himself the original so that Peter, thinking himself the clone, might go insane. Osborn was furious that Peter hadn't fallen apart and then killed Ben. Peter threw a bag of pumpkin bombs into Osborn and didn't hear from Osborn for a few months.

Peter resumed his role as Spider-Man. And since then, THE CLONE SAGA has been largely avoided: writers did their best not to mention Ben Reilly and tried not to refer to the storyline at all. Ben was referred to once in 2004 as one of Osborn's victims with no specifics. Aside from that, it was like he'd never existed.

Oh Brother: Which made a 2009 storyline quite a shock where Peter is attacked by a villain called Velociraptor. Peter changes to Spider-Man, demands to know why Velociraptor is hunting Peter. Velociraptor says that Peter Parker is an alias for the man named Ben Reilly. Spider-Man freezes in the middle of this fight, shocked, thinking on how he hasn't heard Ben's name in years. "You moron!" Spider-Man shouts at Velociraptor who is seeking to settle a score with Ben after encountering him during Ben's wanderings across America. "Ben Reilly's dead!"

Applied Physics: A full page of flashbacks unfolds, showing panels from the CLONE SAGA, stories that hadn't been spoken of in 12 years. There was a shocking sense of sentimentality as for the first time in over a decade, Spider-Man is permitted to remember Ben Reilly and how much his clone brother meant to him and how they were good friends and allies and how much Peter mourned Ben's loss (silently, I guess).

And it meant a lot to fans who missed Ben even if they hated the four year (!!!) CLONE SAGA arc. It acknowledged the positive memories of the CLONE SAGA, specifically Ben, and focused on his legacy while not delving into the who's the clone/who's the original conflict.

This is something you can only do in comic books where characters barely age despite the passage of decades. Stories that happened during the Ford US presidency can be treated like they happened a couple years ago. In contrast, I can't imagine the 2020 season of STAR TREK featuring Captain Kirk following up on the death of his brother back in 1967.

To Catch a Slider: It makes me wonder how a present day Quinn would think of Colin. Colin was a clone. A clone of Quinn. There was never a real Colin Mallory, just an altered Kromagg spy brainwashed into thinking himself Quinn Mallory's brother. Assuming that Quinn was recovered from quantum limbo after "The Seer" and learned the truth, what would he do? Would he attempt to recover the unstuck Colin? Or would he leave him unstuck, unable to be certain that the Kromagg sleeper programming wouldn't reassert itself once Colin were recovered?

Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe by Slider_Quinn21

Another subsequent CLONE SAGA sequel story is THE CLONE CONSPIRACY (2016). In this tale, numerous Spider-Man allies and villains are recruited by the Jackal, the mad scientist who orginally cloned Peter. The Jackal offers them a price they can't refuse: the resurrection of loved ones they've lost.

Common Ground: Electro accidentally electrocuted his girlfriend; she is restored. J. Jonah Jameson is reunited with his dead wife Marla and his foster daughter Mattie. There's also the Lizard's dead son, Rhino's wife, just about everyone Spider-Man ever failed to save is returned. The Jackal then starts resurrecting dead Spider-Man foes and explains that no one is a clone; all these reanimated people have been restored from their original remains with their full memories, with a cloning process merely restoring their bodies.

And each reanimated individual must regularly take a pill or their body will degrade, allowing the Jackal to control them. Spider-Man confronts the Jackal, certain that this is another plot to end the world with another genetic bomb or cloning apocalypse or a virus.

The Other Slide of Darkness: But the Jackal unmasks to reveal that this isn't the Jackal at all -- it's Ben Reilly. Reilly reveals that the Jackal took his remains (back in 1997) and has been experimenting on reviving the dead. The Jackal killed and revived Reilly 24 times, making Reilly relive the trauma until Reilly broke out of his cell and overpowered the Jackal -- and Reilly has now taken control of the Jackal's technology and is seeking to conquer death.

Reilly offers Peter a price to for Peter's loyalty: Colin offers to resurrect Michael Mallory so that Quinn can apologize to his father for the terrible things he said before Mr. Mallory died in that car accident. I mean -- Reilly offers to resurrect Uncle Ben for Peter and absolve him of his guilt.

Dead Man Sliding: Reilly is obsessed with conquering death. He wants to save the world by redeeming every supervillain by bringing back all their victims, restoring hope by reuniting everyone with their loved ones, and to offer everyone a chance to be reborn (yes, he says "reborn"). But then it turns out that Reilly's plan is specifically to kill everyone and reanimate them, partially to heal them of all illnesses physical and mental, but also to control them through their dependency upon his pills.

The trauma of his 24 resurrections has left Reilly mentally scarred and Peter points out that Reilly has held off from resurrecting Uncle Ben specifically because Uncle Ben would tell Reilly that he's wrong.

My Brother's Keeper: In the ensuing fight, Spider-Man succeeds in stopping Reilly, most of Reilly's reanimated degrade and dissipate into dust, and Quinn is forced to deal with knowing that his clone -- his brother -- is now out there and his enemy. I mean. Spider-Man is forced to confront that his clone -- his brother -- is still out there and has been driven mad by his ordeals.

It makes me wonder -- if Colin came back and encountered a restored Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo, what would his role be now? I suppose he'd be an inverted mirror of Quinn the way Ben Reilly has become a twisted reflection of Peter Parker.

Net Worth: Ben Reilly and Colin Mallory are two characters that SPIDER-MAN and SLIDERS fans seem inordinately fond of. Not sure why, but I accept that this is the case. In various test audience screenings, Colin consistently scored well with women to whom the character appealed whereas Quinn was considered bland, much as Reilly was well-liked despite the catastrophes of his stories.

Ben and Colin are literally clones of the lead character and, within the narrative, they're younger variants who (needlessly?) duplicate what the original already provides. That said, affection for characters goes well beyond utility.