MCU Phase 4 Discussion

Release Rogers the Musical as a standalone production

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I am not ready for Christmas shit, but that trailer looks pretty good!

An underrated (and also, underutilised) aspect of Netflix is how it occasionally indulges in meta stuff like the BoJack Horseman Christmas episode (which is mostly an episode of the show-within-a-show, Horsin’ Around) or an extended version of a mockumentrary from The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. So basically: yes, Disney+ should release Rogers: The Musical, for sure.

Zombies ep was okay. I remember reading some of the Marvel Zombies run of comics and hating them so this, while not something I loved, was at least an improvement.

In general several of the What If…? episodes have felt like they might be setting up future instalments, depending on how they’re received. The hook at the end of the Captain Carter episode seems ripe for a modern day follow up, for instance.

I hope if they follow the zombies thread, though, it doesn’t become too much like the comics. Basically, my problem with them is that while they had some interesting ideas - if I recall correctly, a gross example being that zombie Wolverine’s adamantine bones were too heavy and fell out of his rotting body? - it was way too concerned with a kind of off-putting flexing of comic book knowledge. It was like stumbling into the worst kind of gatekeeping comic book shop conversation where everyone is pulling increasingly obscure lore to justify some weird new thing given the addition of zombies. So, it’s kind of neat how this lines up with the MCU - the Hulk not coming out, the arrival of Thanos’ henchmen etc - but I worry a continuation would go in the same direction as the comics, increasingly try-hard transgressive but leaning on weird MCU lore instead.

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Every time Jeffrey Wright drops “I am the Watcher” my Psychonauts brain jumps in with “My watch is delicious”

So uh, this week was an interesting one for What If…?, huh? I’ll bury most of this in a spoiler blur. Quick non-spoilery thoughts: despite what else I’m about to write I thought it was a good ep, carried mostly by Michael B. Jordan’s performance - feels like some of the big stars they get back aren’t comfortable voice acting but he seemed in his element, delivering something that felt like the big screen version of his character.

About everything else, though. I guess it’s trite to wheel out “Killmonger was right”, but Black Panther at least gave him more heel turns to try and justify stopping his plan for global liberation. This was less “What if Killmonger saved Tony Stark” and more “What if Killmonger achieved everything he needed for his goals”. I kept waiting for the episode to end abruptly on a note that they presumably meant to be read as like the downer ending of a bad What If…? turn of events - maybe some shot of him and his new Wakandan army overthrowing the capitol. Maybe it was self-awareness that caused them to focus in on the people he killed to get there, framing Shuri and Pepper as the heroes who are going to set things right; that focus sidesteps whether he’s actually in the wrong.

But who did he kill, this time? An unreformed, unrepentant Tony Stark doubling down on his arms manufacture? T’Challa, sure, but he’s the son of the very king who murdered Killmonger’s father. No one is exactly innocent here. This is still a Killmonger wresting power in Wakanda through subterfuge and violence but if anything it feels like there’s less innocent blood on his hands than in Black Panther. One gearing up to take on a US, personified in a general threatening to wipe Wakanda off the map so Americans ‘won’t have to’ learn how to find it, in an episode filled with Afghanistan allusions that I suspect were not intended to be so timely.

I don’t know. Like I said, I thought it was a pretty well put together episode, just one that doubles down on the uncomfortable worldview sometimes found in the MCU. I can absolutely enjoy it but thinking through some of the implications is a trip.

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This whole episode was worth it for the scene in Tony’s shop.

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Any time Tony is in fabrication mode it’s a good time!

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I was thinking specifically of creating an excuse for a Michael B. Jordan character to say “I like anime” but yes, that too. The RDJ-alike even started to settle into the voice better as the episode went along.

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The ‘sound-alike’ has been playing Tony Stark on-and-off since 2010 or so in animated shows.

Though while in other things he’s had to “evoke” RDJ’s performance, here he has to outright recreate it.

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This week might have been my favorite What If episode so far. Delightfully madcap, and shows that the MCU is at its best when it leans into humor rather than shoehorning jokes into serious plots.

The Looney Tunes style map of the Earth was such an amazing flourish.

Something about that Ragnarok magic really brings out the best in the MCU

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Honestly the original Thor was underrated for its humor. I’d say this episode takes as much from that movie as Ragnarok, by which I mean the MCU needs as much Darcy as it can get.

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