‘Infinity War’ Train of Thought

After seeing it in a packed house on Sunday night, I can say with confidence that The Avengers: Infinity War was worth the wait, six years after the first Avengers flick teased us about who was really pulling the strings. The thoughts below are packed to the brim with universe-shattering spoilers, so please read no further unless you’ve seen the movie

  1. I’m choosing to believe that Valkyrie, Korg and Miek got most of the Asgardians to safety and that the dead ones we see chose to stay behind and help Thor, Hulk, Loki and Heimdall hold off Thanos and the Black Order. People love Korg and Valkyrie, so I’m confident they didn’t get killed offscreen.
  2. Sheesh, poor Loki and Heimdall. At any rate Loki wasn’t going to stick around forever (being a fan favorite can only keep you alive for so long) but dying while trying to doublecross his former benefactor seems like a worthy exit for the God of Mischief.
  3. The cool thing about Thanos’ lieutenants, the Black Order, is how new they are. This collection of lackeys first showed up in New Avengers Vol 3 #8, which was published in 2013. Black Order creators Jonathan Hickman, Jerome Opeña and Jim Cheung must be pretty psyched right now.
  4. Hulk’s refusal to appear is pretty easy to figure out: he has never lost a fight and getting wrecked by Thanos has him rattled. I’m 100% positive that’s what’s going on there.
  5. There really is no better way to demonstrate just how different from each other Tony Stark and Stephen Strange actually are then by having them hang out for almost two and a half hours.
  6. Speaking of Dr. Strange, I only just realized there are now two Steves on the Avengers roster.
  7. And while I’m on the subject of extremely trivial details, just whose bass guitar was that in the Avengers HQ? Other than Cap (who is a sketch artist), we haven’t gotten any inkling that any of the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are artistically inclined.
  8. Cap stepping out of the shadows cued to the original Avengers theme is a moment for the ages. Holy shit, that was awesome.
  9. I don’t exactly dislike them, but I’ve always found it hard to care about the business with Scarlet Witch and Vision. Thus, it was to my great surprise that I found my eyes watering during their last scene. How did Infinity War pull that off?
  10. The dude Peter Dinklage plays, Dwarven weapon smith Eitri, is in fact a character from the comics (though a somewhat obscure one). I had heard beforehand that Dinklage was in Infinity War, but I assumed he was voicing a CGI character; getting to see his face was a pleasant surprise.
  11. The only fan theory I took into this movie with me was that the Guardians would help Thor re-forge his hammer. I was kind of right and it was kind of cool.
  12. “Crying” was very far down the list of stuff I expected Thanos to do in Infinity War. I won’t say anything further here.
  13. Also unexpected: Red Skull showing up again (though he isn’t played by Hugo Weaving).
  14. Those gross, six-legged mutant alien dog things? Also from the comics.
  15. About the ending: we know there’s going to be a part two, and that superheros traditionally don’t stay dead and that there’s an Infinity Stone that can turn back time AND that a bunch of the new heroes are played by actors who are signed to huge multi-film contracts (like Disney is really going to consign Black Panther to oblivion for eternity after his movie made them billions of dollars). So I get the criticisms about how Thanos winning isn’t going to last. That being said, every actor – Robert Downey Jr. and Tom Holland in particular – sold the hell out that shit. Goddamn, that ending was a gut punch.
  16. There were a lot of upset and confused kids at the show I saw. Could the end of Infinity War be a “No, I am your father” moment for that generation? I’m thinking yes.
  17. Dr. Strange is playing some sort of long game; I can feel it.
  18. My money is on Loki and Heimdall staying dead. Gamora is a 50/50 toss-up. All of the people who got “dusted” are coming back for sure.
  19. Infinity War has given a whole new meaning to my favorite Cannibal Corpse song, “Pounded into Dust.”
  20. FYI, the post-credit teaser is hinting at Captain Marvel. Her movie is scheduled for March 8, 2019 and will be followed by the next Avengers on May 3 of the same year.
  21. Unless the movie itself says otherwise, I’m going to assume that Ant-man and the Wasp takes place concurrently with Spider-Man: Homecoming  or Black Panther. It’s just less messy that way. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. gave up on trying to be up to speed on the movies a long time ago, so I wouldn’t expect a tie-in.

Star Wars Rebels is Back on Saturday

Part of me kind of dreads the return of all the fall TV series. I mean, sure, I like Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Timeless, Supergirl and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D but all that viewing feels burdensome at times. Between going back to the gym regularly (hello 2017) and Final Fantasy XV my non-work hours are rapidly eroding. I’m in for a long winter, even without the imminent presidency of the Tangerine Troglodyte.

But Star Wars: Rebels? Hell, yes, I have time for that. The above three minute trailer heralding the second half of season three is a jam-packed doozy. I’m a fan by default at this point, but if you’ve just seen Rogue One (fantastic, by the way) and you’re still craving Star Wars, then start watching this show.

Season three has really expanded the scope of Rebels, something this series badly needed after mostly two seasons spent meandering about Lothal. It looks like that trend is continuing as season three comes to a close. I’m guessing Rogue One really lit a fire under the asses of executive producers Dave Filoni, Simon Kinberg and Greg Weisman because it sure looks like big things are a coming and…possibly the end of not just this season but the whole series?

From what we can gleam from the trailer, the various Rebel cells are coalescing into a larger whole, there’s some familial drama with Sabine, her mother and the other Mandalorians (the darksaber from Clone Wars is back) and oh, shit, that Obi-Wan reveal…hopefully Old Ben will finish Maul off for good this time. This all looks conclusive; now we just need to know what will happen to Kanan and Ezra. Are these dudes even still alive during the events of the OT? I don’t think it likely but we shall see.

Star Wars: Rebels is back this Saturday (Jan. 7). Order a pizza, grab a six pack of some delicious beer and tune in at 8:30 p.m. if you’re on the West Coast.

Welcome Aboard


Spike cordially invites you aboard. Photo by Kyle Wise.


If you clicked this link then it’s already too late.

You’ve boarded Starship Wise, you’ve strapped yourself in, and she’s making the jump to Hyperspace.

But since you’re here you might as well make yourself comfortable, because that’s precisely what I’m doing with this site. This is were I talk about things that I (and hopefully you) like: mostly popular culture, including but by no means limited to TV, movies, books, comics, games and maybe some music. Sports, fitness, the nonstop antics of cats and dogs and the occasional foray to that realm we refer to as “outside” are some more possibilities. It is my goal to not have this thing be tied down to any one topic; anything that crosses my mind can and probably will end up here. There’s going to be a lot of stuff going on here.

It’ll be a bumpy ride, but fun ones usually are. All are welcome, and feedback is always valued.