The Good, The Bad and The Bigger Problem

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This weekend I went to see Marvel’s live show at the Barclay Center. And let me begin by saying that it was amazing! The costumes, the sets, the background CG work, the stunts, the pyrotechnics. It was a complete joy ride!

And with the partnership of characters that we can only dream of seeing in the MCU. The usual players were present: Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Wido, Hawkeye, Ironman, Falcon, Nick Fury and Maria Hill. Add to that a few favorite mutants: Wolverine, Cyclops and Storm. And of course the web-slinger himself (and incidental crowd favorite) Spiderman. And let’s not forget the best addition of all… Captain freakin’ Marvel!! Talk about fangirl moment, I love me some Carol Danvers!

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And the good side wasn’t the only side peppered with the fairer sex. Black Cat and Madame Hydra joined villains like Red Skull, Loki and the rest of the Sinister Six: Green Goblin, Rhino, Lizard, Doc Ock and Electro. Along with Whiplash and a passel of Chitauri baddies.

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The entire show was entertaining from beginning to end. And it was epic to see so many favorite characters on stage together.

Here comes the ugly. Ever since Guardians of the Galaxy came out, women and girls everywhere have been asking #WheresGamora. Sadly the promotional product available in the lobby has left me asking the same question.

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Yes, I understand that in years past, the comic book world has been a predominantly male one. But times are a changing. And that doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen and more than that, it should happen!

It’s starting to feel as if Marvel doesn’t believe that boys will want toys and other products if a female appeared on it. Call me optimistic, but I can’t believe that’s true.

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I sat next to a lovely family of 3: mom, dad and son. And the son was trying to convince his mom to dress up with him for Halloween in Marvel Universe characters. In eager anticipation, this mom bought a tattoo sleeve in the lobby just to fuel her excitement about dressing up for Halloween for the first time as an adult. When she pulled the sleeve out, not a single female hero was to be found on it, to her and my dismay and yes, even her son’s dismay, “Mom, where’s Black Widow?”

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I have to ask a question, Marvel… you know boys like girls right? In fact, I believe that seeing strong representations of females in an embodiment they understand could only have a positive effect of our young men. Imagine young boys growing up knowing that women are just as strong and powerful as men are. And in Captain Marvel’s case, more powerful than some! (Chick can fly!)

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Listen, everybody understands that change is hard and takes time. The fact that there was more than just one female hero in the show was a great start. But time is up and now you need to step up your game!

Girls don’t just want girl toys. I want a Captain Marvel figure as much as I want a Captain America one. And I have a feeling that if treated correctly, you’d find boys don’t just want boy toys either!

#WheresGamora

#WheresBlackWidow

#WheresCaptainMarvel

#Wherearemyladies

Change is coming and I don’t know if you’ve heard yet but… Girls sort of Rule!!

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At the end of the day, it’s a great show worth seeing!! So if it comes near you, go! You won’t regret it.

The Best and Brightest: Captain America 2

I know Captain America 2 is old news by now, but I went to see it for a second time this week and realized I hadn’t blogged about it yet. So here goes…

Captain America is my very favorite Avenger. He represents the best in all of us. He is also the Avenger with the most honest and true heart. And Marvel is at it’s best when it displays an equal amount of action and heart (infused with a seriously epic soundtrack! Provided here by Henry Jackman.) Cap has friends in high and low places and knows just when to call on each. He may be in the dark about what’s going on in the big picture but he doesn’t let that stop him from making the best decisions with knowledge he does have. And when put to the test, Cap always comes out on the side of truth, justice and… you know the rest!

Chris Evans as Steve Rogers / Captain America,  in Captain America The Winter Soldier

Also, this was the first time I actually liked Black Widow for more than just her ability to kick serious ass. Scar-Jo generally comes off as slutty secretary (though a ass kicking one at that) to me, but when heroes go on the lam, there is a certain vulnerability that comes with it that was delightful to watch. Cap, Black Widow and Nick Fury all are “taken down” (we all know they’ll get back up again) by S.H.I.E.L.D. and the sinister efforts of Hydra. They are each confronted with the realities of a world without restraint. Without checks and balances. An agency that believes it can make preemptive decisions with no consequences. What happens when that agency is one you are working for. What happens when that agency is the very thing that saved you. Which side do you choose? Great concepts to explore and deeper than bad guy vs good guy!

Natasha Romanoff

And don’t even get me started on Sebastian Stan!! His Winter Soldier presents the perfect dichotomy to offset Cap’s righteous do-good attitude. The Winter Soldier has also been told that he is fighting for the better side. He too has been lied to. Bucky Barnes is equal parts hard hitting assassin and tortured soldier just following orders. The best villains (in my opinion) are the ones that we wish we could save. The ones we still see that glimmer of good in. The ones who push that aside and end up becoming evil anyways. The Lex Luthors (Smallville style, just wants to be friends with Clark and know his secrets), the Loki’s (only wants to be loved and accepted by his father), the Darth Vaders (redemption comes when his son is put in mortal danger), The Walter White’s (trying to good for his family till he realizes he enjoys being bad and embraces it.) Villains with depth and with layers. And The Winter Soldier may as well be an onion. Cause layers… he’s got em!

First shot I've seen of the Winter Soldier from Captain America 2...he looks so badass!!

All the other players in the game brought it as well. Cobie Smulder’s Agent Maria Hill was back and in the thick of the secrets. Now that HIMYM has ended, there should be a place for her over at ABC on Agents of SHIELD, especially now that it is getting unmissable!! Because her character is a great addition to the Marvel Universe. And anytime you throw Emily VanCamp into the mix… you’ve made a good choice. She’s great at duplicity. Turn on Revenge and see just how good. VanCamp’s Sharon Carter is the niece of Cap’s first love, Peggy Carter. Can’t wait to see the progression of her character! Anthony Mackie’s Falcon is a great side kick for Cap. He stands on his own two feet and compliments Cap’s dynamic at the same time. He’s exactly what you want from a side kick. So much good to talk about. Robert Redford as the baddie at the helm of the Hydra revolution is pure logical evil and Samuel L. Jackson’s Nicholas J. Fury has never been better as the dead and revived secret keeping agent in charge of the good guys.

agent maria hill captain america 2 photos | alias es agent hill appeared in the avengers captain america the ...

Agent 13/Sharon Carter poster for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. (So excited for another BAMF Marvel heroine - fingers-crossed that she's as amazing as her aunt, Peggy Carter.)

Movie poster Photoshop fails - Yahoo Celebrity Philippines

Spoilers…

Let’s discuss the easter eggs they threw our way. Anyone else get super excited when they mentioned Steven Strange? Or how about the tag in the middle of the credits with “the twins.” A.k.a… Quicksilver and Scarlett Witch. Epic!! Cannot wait to see them debuted in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

While other franchises lose power as they continue to beat the proverbial dead horse of sequel after sequel, Marvel just gets better with age. And I would put Captain America 2 at the top of the stand alone Avengers films. Only eclipsed by Avengers itself (cause dude… all Avengers are better than just one. But in Caps case… only by a little.)