Mythic Watch: Moon Knight @moonknight @MarvelStudios #MoonKnight #MCU #GoodWatch

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So, Moon Knight. Today’s the season finale.

As always, I got up early to watch it.

This isn’t a traditional review that implicitly claims that a show is good or bad based on some make-believe objective standard. I hate that pretentious nonsense. Whether or not you like a movie, song, TV show, or food is purely subjective. Instead, my approach to reviews is to explain why I like what I like and hate what I hate. If what makes me like/hate it applies to you, then maybe you’ll like/hate it too. I say, “maybe,” because there are other factors beyond what I can possibly express, but at least you have a better chance of predicting your reaction.

So, here is the context to understand the place from which my feelings arise:

  1. I grew up reading about dinosaurs and mythology, so anything involving either one of them has an advantage in gaining me as an audience, but are still not all winners.
  2. I’m not a fan of the comic book genre. However, when I was in elementary school, I’d sometimes hang out with my cousin. When it was too hot or cold to play outside, we’d read his comics. I remember them oddly well, but there were very few that grabbed me.
  3. I’m an apologist for comic book movies.

So, what do I think of Moon Knight? I love it. Considering the context given above, I don’t think I need to say much beyond that, as the explanation has already been given. However, I don’t want any of you asking for your money back, so here’s a little more. As with Shang-Chi before it, Moon Knight is opening the door to folklore, legends, and myths of a culture rarely addressed in western media. I’m sure most (non-bot) readers of this blog get that, but for our society as a whole, these other cultures are untapped resources. Disney is just scratching the surface with Egyptian and Chinese cultures. Give me Quetzalcoatl! Give me Shango! Give me Raijin! But please keep Chris Hemsworth as Thor. 😊

I suspect the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder is going to have me lose my shit for the same reason.

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One Year!!! #blog #StarTrek #MCU #DnD #RPG #TTRPG #ADnD

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With this post, I’ve posted every day for an entire year. That’s right. The last day that I didn’t post was May 1, 2021. Before that, I was last discussing Key Lime Kit Kat bars.

No wonder I stopped.

This blows away my current record streak.

Nice.

But wait a second. Is this even real? Can the post announcing that I’ve posted every day for a year be the anniversary post itself?

I say yes, and if you disagree, just keep in mind that I posted a bonus post on April 9, April 13, April 19, and April 25, so there have already been over 365 posts in this time without this one. There may have even been a couple more bonus posts, but I’m too lazy to look.

But okay. Let’s give this post some substance.

  1. Star Trek: The Original Series is my favorite Star Trek series, Star Trek: Enterprise is the most underrated Star Trek series, but Anson Mount has overtaken William Shatner as my favorite starship captain.
  2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is my favorite MCU film.
  3. 4th Edition D&D is my favorite edition of D&D.

On another note, today is the first day of May. May is hockey playoffs, college lacrosse playoffs, preparations for the summer, and — most importantly — the month when all the cool people are born. Plus, I was born in May.

So, in 11 days, the streak will die. I want to focus on other things, and consistency hasn’t led to a large number of non-spam followers. Rarely does anyone retweet the tweets linking to these posts (likes merely gauge your footprint, not increase it), and almost all comments occur on other social media platforms, so my streak hasn’t done anything to improve my online footprint (except for a brief moment). Besides, many of my recent posts have been rather lame. If I didn’t have something to say, I’d write anyway, and it shows. I have a few more posts scheduled for this week, some others in my head that will come soon, and a handful scheduled to publish as far out as December. However, going forward, if I don’t have something to say, I won’t say anything. I’ll never feel rushed, and anything goofy will have to be funny enough to be worth sharing.

So, this post counts.

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Dungeons & Dragons is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast, LLC, who neither contributed to nor endorsed the contents of this post. (Okay, jackasses?)

Happy Arbor Day! #holiday #ArborDay #MCU #GotG

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Here’s your friendly reminder that Arbor Day is a marketing ploy of the tree industry to get you to visit arboretums.

Sponsored by Charmin probably.

But this wouldn’t be nerdy enough without . . . .

That should get you nerds on board.

Today, we’re all Groot.

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Improvisation in Avengers: Endgame @karengillan @RobertDowneyJr @Russo_Brothers @MarvelStudios #MCU #Nebula #Avengers #Endgame

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Sundays now are lazy days for me. I either post something silly or other people’s work. Usually both. Today, I move away from the for a short commentary because of an anniversary. Two years ago to the day, I published a long post arguing that Nebula’s character arc in the MCU was the greatest redemption arc in cinematic history. In it, I specifically pointed out how brilliant Karen Gillan‘s performance was in the second scene of Avengers: Endgame. While Robert Downey, Jr.‘s performance was typically wonderful, Gillan acted circles around him and yet doesn’t get the credit she deserves for that scene. I also pointed out that Gillan has the chops to win an Oscar one day (for whatever that’s worth).

I have a friend? What’s a friend?

A couple of weeks ago, I came across an article in which Gillan states that that entire scene was improvised. I point this out only to say that the jobs both of them did are all the more impressive.

But especially Gillan’s.

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Once More for Those in the Back . . . . @delverpg @InsideTheMagic #MCU #copyright

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Blog posts cannot substitute for legal advice. If the topics discussed in this post are relevant to a real case you have, please consult an attorney.

Note: This post was written almost two weeks ago, but last Thursday night, this topic came up again with my friend, Stephen Radney-MacFarland. It’s an issue that just won’t die, especially in the gaming industry because of WotC’s ridiculous OGL claims.

I read two online posts in as many days making a persistent claim that continues to astound and annoy me. One article here.

Let me make this clear once again: You can’t copyright a single word.

Yeah, that even includes supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. The music can be copyrighted, and the lyrics as a whole can be copyrighted, but not that one word. You may trademark a single word, but the protection for trademarks is different. There’s a lot more flexibility when it comes to using a word that’s trademarked.

I completely understand that you don’t understand copyright law. That’s no crime; it’s complicated. However, if you don’t, you should be asking questions, not making authoritative statements on the issue. I don’t know the first thing about performing brain surgery. I’m not ashamed of that, nor should I be, but the day I give advice on how to perform it, please call me out for those ignorant ramblings.

If you’re making an argument relying on the copyrightability of a single word, name, or title, your argument is legally and logically invalid. If your conclusion is correct anyway, it’s mere coincidence.

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Shang-Chi Re-watch, CGI, and the Eternals @MarvelStudios @shangchi @TheEternals #ShangChi #MCU

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I watched Shang-Chi again Thanksgiving morning before 9 hours of football. It’s still really good. The one consistent criticism I’ve heard is that the final battle is CGI. I don’t have a problem with that at all. In fact, I think the MCU uses CGI battles in a powerful way.

Chinese mysticism is hokey nonsense, but so is Norse mysticism, Greek mysticism, etc. As an amateur student of mythology (and legacy D&D player), I may appreciate eastern mythology more than most Americans, and I can assure you that those stories are a generally untapped resource. The MCU is the perfect universe to capitalize on that resource. Shang-Chi was just the start. If you can suspend your disbelief with superheroes, you can accept giant dragons, hokey martial arts moves, and magic in general, and those things often require CGI.

Some of those stories involve creatures that simply don’t exist in the real world, and to do things as grandiose as the MCU does, CGI is a requirement. If you don’t like it, that’s fine, but you’re being a bit unfair if you claim that the CGI dominates the scene. As large as it was (spoiler alert!), the good dragon didn’t win the day. He was defeated. He was about to die. Human beings with whom we can relate, Shang-Chi and Katy, made the difference. If you want to criticize something, criticize that Katy managed an impossible shot with less than one day’s training with a longbow. Many of you have. I’m with you on that.

Side Note: I’d love it if Thor used the Bifrost to take Shang-Chi to visit Shang-Ti in later movies. We’re now dealing with celestial-level threats. We need an Odin equivalent. They should also use Black Panther to introduce Egyptian (Bast) and other African (Shango) mythology.

Tie in with the Eternals?

I had a thought. The ten rings looked remarkably similar (spoiler alert!) to what Phastos used in the climax of Eternals. Moreover, the mid-credits scene of Shang-Chi tells us that the ten rings are a lot older than 1,000 years, and the fact that the MCU has so far faced only titan-level threats, not celestial-level threats, is consistent with MCU characters having not yet dealt with that sort of energy signature. A quick search on Google reveals that my idea isn’t novel, <whining voice>but I wanted you all to know that I thought of it all on my own</whining voice>.

So when does Eternals come to Disney+? 🙂

Shang-Chi and the Eternals were fun. I have high hopes for the next few phases.

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The Real Reason Pietro Died in Avengers: Age of Ultron @MarvelStudios #AoU #MCU

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Sundays now are lazy days for me. I either post something silly or other people’s work. Usually both. Today, I’m answering an unanswered question from Avengers: Age of Ultron. Why did Joss Whedon feel it was necessary to kill off Pietro Maximoff?

Look, not all of these posts can be winners.

Why is this Evan Peters and not Aaron Taylor-Johnson?

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Cat People v. Dog People and the MCU @MarvelStudios #Caturday #MCU

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Here’s an article pondering who in the MCU is a cat person v. dog person. I have a response to each entry.

  1. Loki, cat person: Hiddleston provided the best acting in the entire MCU.
  2. Steve Rogers, dog person: I’ve been called libertarian (or libertarian adjacent), and that label is reasonable, but Steve Rogers is the most naïve of libertarians. “We don’t trade lives.” Really? One willing life for trillions of unaware innocents? That’s a dog person for you.
  3. Tony Stark, cat person: Tony Stark is the MCU.
  4. Bruce Banner, dog person: Couldn’t figure out a woman loved him until she beat him over the head with it. Even then, walked away from it. Dipshit.
  5. Thor, cat person: Strongest Avenger and had the greatest entrance in the history of cinema.
  6. Natasha Romanoff, cat person: The glue of the Avengers. Everyone had a special relationship with her.
  7. Clint Barton, dog person: Every rule has an exception, and this is it. Clint’s alright.
  8. Nick Fury, cat person: He’s the spy. He organized the whole thing without a superpower to stand on.
  9. Sam Wilson, dog person: Really a cat person, but went dog because he does whatever Steve Rogers does, just slower. Loses respect points for that one.
  10. Bucky Barnes, dog person: He was probably a cat person until Hydra scrambled his brains.
  11. The Vision, dog person: Because dog people aren’t really people.
  12. Wanda Maximoff, cat person: Rivals Thor for strongest Avenger. Took on Thanos one-on-one.
  13. James “Rhodey” Rhodes, dog person: Iron Man wannabe. Really mean person requiring unconditional love in order to have companionship. Yep. Dog person.
  14. Peter Parker, dog person: Again, requiring unconditional love, but in Peter’s case, it’s because he’s an insecure teenager. He’ll grow out of it. He better.
  15. Carol Danvers, cat person: She can fly in space. Her powers come from an infinity stone.
  16. Scott Lang, dog person: No, he’s a cat person. They say he’s an excitable pup, but opposites attract, and the opposite of a pup is a kitty. Scott’s still okay in my book.
  17. T’Challa, cat person: Ruler of the most technologically-advanced kingdom in the world. A freaking king.

MCU cat people >> MCU dog people.

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The Ultimate Comic Book #MCU

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Sundays now are lazy days for me. I either post something silly or other people’s work. Usually both. Today, it’s both in a diversion from my rants about my impending return to 1st Edition AD&D. I actually had Avengers: Infinity War running in the background yesterday while working, so a little MCU seems appropriate.

May be an illustration of text that says 'SUPER EAM FAMILY 60c NO NO.2047 2047 KANG PRESENTS... 31665 vs. KRANG vs. KANG! A MOST TREACHEROUS TRIO, AND THE GALAXY IS THEIRS TO COMMAND... BUT WHO WILL BECOME THE SUPREME RULER? COUR C கமTழRகத መ "CONFLICT FOLLOWS CONQUEST!"'

I have no idea who Krang is and am too lazy o Google it.

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What Should We Make of Loki and Sylvie’s Relationship? @MarvelStudios @LokiOfficial @io9 @gizmodo #MCU #Loki

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And now for something really weird.

This post contains mild spoilers for the Loki Disney+ series.

Turn Back GIFs | Tenor
This is your only chance to turn back.

A while back, I asked the rather ridiculous legal question of what action (crime?) Nebula committed when she killed her doppelganger from 2014. I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one thinking about these crazy things. IO9/Gizmodo writer, Charles Pulliam-Moore, asks whether that relationship should be considered incest. Give it a read. Does your answer reconcile with your answer to my question? For the most part, it does for me.

To refresh your recollection, I concluded that Nebula committed parricide, the killing of a close relative. By my semantics, it would follow that Loki and Sylvie’s relationship is incest (a relationship with a close relative). That doesn’t quite track, though. My first thought (and one contemplated in the article and the science fiction it cites) was that it would be more appropriate to refer to it as a particular form of incest: selfcest. Is that a different thing? The issue with my conclusion on Nebula, as I just said, was one of semantics more than logic. There simply isn’t a word for the killing of your multiverse doppelganger unless you call it suicide, which I declined to do. You’re not really the same person. However, in the case of Loki and Sylvie’s relationship, the genetic similarity becomes even more important because I’d imagine that a child of their pairing would be even more likely to develop genetic abnormalities. But if this logic holds, it’s definitely incest, but selfcest (as I interpret the term) doesn’t really exist, or wouldn’t assuming multiverses existed and could be traversed.

The only way I can fully reconcile this is if we reimagine the word, selfcest. To be a bit blunt, selfcest seems analogous to masturbation, but I don’t think anyone would call it that. Ergo, to be precise, we’d need a new word that describes the specific instance of incest where the other party was your mutliverse doppelganger. Returning to how I handled Nebula’s act, none of the alternatives, whether preexisting my post or coined by me, seem acceptable. Mirrocest, clonecest, dimensionicest, alterocest, etc. are goofy and/or inaccurate.

But having used the term, “multiverse doppelganger,” so many times in this post, I think I have the answer: Doppelcest, and by extension, doppelcide for Nebula. At the very least, you must admit that it’s better than multiversaldoppelcest.

nice save gifs | WiffleGif
Nice save, huh?

With the multiverse on the horizon, this could become a non-negligible issue for the viewers. Or at least for the weird viewers. Like me.

If you know any good shrinks in the DC area, hook me up. I’m clearly in great need of one.

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