9 Crossover Characters Needed in Mortal Kombat 11

NeatherRealm gears up to unleash another gory reveal tomorrow for Mortal Kombat 11. The iconic franchise has plenty of elements that fans cherish, but one of the best aspects that get people talking is its reach beyond the canon to introduce beloved murderous characters from people’s favorite games and movies. Here is my dream list of fighters that will hopefully appear in DLC for the latest release.

#1: Terminator (Terminator)

Playing as the unstoppable Terminator would empower players with its robotic strength. The added bonus would be playing as Arnold Schwarzenegger, would enhance people’s skills even further.

The brute strength and gunplay from the T-800 could lend itself to plenty of violent possibilities for moves and fatalities. Inspiration from the films will certainly give plenty of morbid ideas to the developers over at NetherRealm Studios.

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Image via flickr Insomnia Cured Here/Warner Bros. Pictures

#2: Ripley (Alien)

Mortal Kombat X featured Ripley’s alien nemesis, so why not give her time to shine? Ripley is one of the most powerful ladies in film history. NetherRealm never found an issue when placing strong women in the bloody franchise like Sonya Blade and Kitana.

Ripley’s arsenal of a flamethrower and pulse rifle leads to plenty of ways to kill her foes. If she does get added, let’s all agree that her fatality must include injecting her enemies into space somehow.

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Image via 20th Century Fox

#3: Joel and Ellie (The Last of Us)

Two things Mortal Kombat has done in the past to make this work is their introduction of Kratos from God of War in the 2011 release and having two characters in one with Ferra and Torr in Mortal Kombat X. Replicating Ferra and Torr would make for the perfect love letter to PlayStation fans of Naughty Dog’s masterpiece.

Kratos being a PlayStation exclusive character lets NetherRealm have the freedom to dip its toes in another property from Sony’s vast roster.

The Last of Us is nothing without both of its protagonists so the two would have to come together as they slaughter through each arena. Come on Sony and NetherRealm, get to talking about this idea.

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Image via Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment

#4: Master Chief (Halo)

Giving Xbox fans some love, Master Chief would be the ultimate choice for this bloody puncher. He has plenty of skills fighting Covenant and Flood to take on Sub Zero. His vast experience with a wide variety of weapons and vehicles would make Spartan 117 a difficult foe for anyone facing him in the ring.

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Image via 343 Industries/Xbox Game Studios

#5: Doom Slayer (DOOM)

Arguably the most vicious killer in video games is Doom Slayer. The silent protagonist rushes through space and hell to brutalize any demon in his path. The marine has plenty of toys that will dismember and blow up any body part. When going hand to hand, he can deliver some mean punches that will still tear his enemies apart.

Watch out Scorpion, Doom Slayer will make you “get over here,” and it will not be nice.

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Image via id Software/Bethesda Softworks

#6: Any Marvel Superhero/Villain

DC had its turn with the crossover title Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, now let Marvel have its turn with any of its heroes or villains. With the hype coming from the movies, any of the major players in the Avengers films would lead to excellent choices. Spider-Man webbing up his opponents, Thanos snapping everyone to dust, or Iron Man blasting pieces of flesh off his foes would do for the perfect bridge between MK and Marvel.

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Image via Marvel Studios

#7: Jedi/Sith Lord (Star Wars)

Both the Jedi and Sith are powerful enough with their skills in using a lightsaber and the force to gut anyone in their path. Due to the Sith’s grim presence and brutal mindsets, having Darth Vader or any other iconic character on the dark side would be more fitting for the most violent fighting game. The use of laser burns, force lightning, and force push allow for plenty of options for terrifying fatalities.

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Image via Disney/Lucasfilm

#8: John Wick (John Wick)

Keanu Reeves’ action trilogy stands as my favorite action movies for a great reason. The choreography beats out any other film in the genre. Just tell him Baraka ate his dog then he will be on a killing spree. Whether it is with guns, his hands, or a pencil, he will manage to get his target.

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Image via Lionsgate

#9: The Hound (Game of Thrones)

Game of Thrones has a roster of potential fighters suited for the ultraviolent world of Mortal Kombat, but The Hound is one of the most vicious and biggest favorites from Westeros. He has had quite the journey facing plenty of people and white walkers, yet always surviving even when he lost to Brienne of Tarth.

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Image via HBO

Mortal Kombat 11 comes out April 23 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

 

 

 

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5 Best and Worst Aspects of the MCU

Even if you are like me, a person who has an unhealthy obsession with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you probably still have some issues with Marvel’s approach to some elements of their filmmaking and world building. Where negatives appear, positives can too, it is why so many fans stick around to this superpowered cosmos to see new storylines and their favorite characters save the galaxy. Let’s blend together some of the universe’s brightest ideas that get people to the theater with every release and their biggest duds that makes fans roll their eyes.

Best:

#1: Character Chemistry

The weakest films tend to be the standalone adventures without any interaction from other heroes in the MCU. When our heroes all come together in Avengers, fight against one another in Civil War, or have smaller scale run-ins like Spider-Man: Homecoming and The Winter Soldier, this is what makes everything work so well. The fight choreography always improves when seeing people use their powers alongside someone else’s for that extra punch. This is needed in difficult fights like the ones seen in Infinity War against Thanos (Josh Brolin).

Not everything has to be violent. Captain Marvel sees fun chemistry between fan favorite Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and the MCU’s most powerful hero Captain Marvel (Brie Larson). These relationships feel real through thick and thin. I felt the pain and complicated emotions the Avengers felt during the events of Civil War and its aftermath during Infinity War. In between the fighting, the character-driven moments have substance and don’t feel like it gets in the way of the action.

#2: Memorable Action Scenes

Superhero flicks have plenty of explosions and punches, so filmmakers need to make these scenes memorable for fans, or they become dull. A range of small scale battles with little risk to all-out war breaking out that threatens the lives of millions keeps contrast to combat without everything feeling overly dramatic with world-ending possibilities happening with every film.

One of the most intimate battles occurs during the final act of Civil War where Bucky (Sebastian Stan), Captain America (Chris Evans) must fight off a furious Iron Man who learned the truth behind the death of his parents. Out of the many moments where the Avengers had to go into combat, this remains the most emotional we have been delivered yet.

While those remain satisfying at times, the high stakes conflicts stand as the most exciting to watch, especially on the big screen. The Battle of Wakanda during Infinity War is arguably the greatest bloodshed seen in the superhero genre. Carpet bombing from War Machine (Don Cheadle) devastating hundreds of charging aliens lead by the surviving members of the Mad Snapper’s children is one of the most spectacular explosions from any movie I have seen. Cuts between various heroes teaming up to kill enemies left and right. Bucky picking up Rocket (Bradley Cooper) to go in a circle of gunfire is not only of my favorite moments, it worries me for Bucky that Rocket may steal his arm. Then the other significant moment that gets me pumped up with adrenaline every time is the moment for Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Rocket, and Groot (Vin Diesel) to come down for their piece of the ass-kicking pie.

#3: Balancing Tones

I have cried, laughed, been in awe, and so many more states of emotion due to these movies. Movies that strike many different cords inside their audience go above and beyond to make a captivating connection to viewers. From the Avengers getting torn apart in Civil War, almost every jokes from the Guardians in both of their standalone movies and Infinity War, and the gut punch of a twist in Homecoming. I have felt everything I could imagine watching these 20 (and many more coming) films.

#4: Casting Choices

Whether you look at Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Tom Holland as Spider-Man, or Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, everyone is perfectly suited for their role. Every person as a significant character embodies them in a way that makes it impossible to see anyone else as that hero. Downey captures Tony’s pain while maintaining his snarky attitude, Holland brings Spidey’s youthful energy to life, and Johansson strikes the traumatic past that haunts this agent while being a key component to the Avengers during their darkest days.

Marvel continues to get the perfect people for the job in their villainous roles. Michael Keaton rivals as one of the most compelling and sympathetic criminals to be shown in the MCU. Josh Brolin captured audiences with his performance as Thanos to be the ultimate baddie that defeated Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. While the supervillains tend to be much weaker, plenty of characters still shine as bright as the protagonists.

#5: Connecting a Large Universe

Making a believable and lifelike world takes both grand, elaborate ties along with subtle details to flesh everything out. The MCU goes through great lengths to make this universe feel real for both casual viewers and die-hard fans.

The latest edition of Marvel’s growing cosmos is Captain Marvel. If you read my review, then you may remember me praising how it connects itself to the universe in both critical and minuscule ways. To avoid spoilers, I will look towards some of its predecessors.

Civil War came due to the massive amount of mistakes and tragedies that surround the actions of the Avengers. The Battle of New York (Avengers), Battle of Sokovia (Age of Ultron), and the action scene at the beginning of Civil War brought unwanted consequences that end up dividing the team. It brought something to both the characters and the audience that everything that happens, positive or negative, can have a reaction.

Smaller details from easter eggs and references little every Marvel movie. A nod to one character or a hidden gem that could mean something in the future might take a few times of watching to find, but worth it once found. The Winter Soldier has a scene that names Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) which meant nothing to me at first until the release of Doctor Strange arrived to blow my tiny mind. Peter Parker’s standalone debut features a generic criminal named Mac Gargan (Michael Mando) who may seem like a random thug, but comic book readers instantly knew he becomes Scorpion, a classic foe for Spidey. Fingers crossed for a Sinister Six in the MCU.

Worst: 

#1: CGI Inconsistencies

When the digital effects of these movies are good, then you get things like the mind-bending visuals from Doctor Strange.  When things look ugly and poorly rendered, then it is too apparent. Almost every entry has a point in which the beauty turns sour with some bad CGI. The final battle from Black Panther has a few moments that are painful to watch.

#2: Retcons

Expanding a universe across over 20 movies, you are going to have some issues with the plot. Plenty of accidents occur in which Marvel retcons or something slips into a film that contradicts something from the past.

Back in the first Thor, we see Thanos’ gauntlet then see him put it on at the end of Age of Ultron. Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige initially stated there were two infinity gloves then after Ragnarok in which Hela (Cate Blanchett) knocks down Odin’s (Anthony Hopkins) version calling it a “fake.” Eventually, Feige would say, “We had an internal Marvel theory that it was fake,” Feige said after Ragnarok‘s release.

The biggest retcon is early on when Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) dies in the first Avengers. He gets brought back to life by alien technology in the TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. While fans of the character got something they wanted, it proves the criticism that the MCU lacks any real stakes.

#3: No Identifiable Themesongs

When the Avengers are fighting aliens or Hydra members, the epic score plays to get fans hyped up as they watch their favorite superheroes save the day. For individual characters, nobody gets their own theme song. Having a set track for each person helps deliver more personality to their scenes, especially when having an epic solo moment. Captain Marvel is the only character so far to get her own, so hopefully moving forward we can see some more tunes for each member of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

#4: Cookie Cutter Formula

While I love these films, the structure tends to blend together, especially for standalone narratives. Some experimentation has been done with the ensemble flicks and some others like Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy. For the most part, most entries don’t deviate from the formula that has been established because it works but could be problematic in another 20 movies.

Thankfully things are changing up in the future. The next phase of the MCU will start to shake things up for some much needed fresh ideas.

#5: Villains

It is impossible to talk about problems within the Marvel’s juggernaut of a franchise without looking towards its villains. Lately, with Vulture, Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), and Thanos, they have been on a roll with great antagonists. Sadly, those are the few greats that have been put on the big screen. Generic foes like Darren Cross (Corey Stroll) from Ant-Man and Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen) from Doctor Strange hurt the quality of the films and the larger universe. With the strong source material, it is a shame this has been a consistent issue.

For fans of Marvel’s giant franchise, what are some of your favorite and least favorite elements from these movies? Comment below what you think.

Videos and Images via Marvel Studios/Filmic Box/Marvel Mifat/FilmClips4K/Movie Nation/MovieClips

10 Bands Everyone Must See Live

The legendary Slipknot have announced their first North America tour with Volbeat, Gojira, and Behemoth. The nine-member outfit has been recognized for not only their theatrics, musical abilities, but also their impeccable performance live. To celebrate the Knot coming back to tear the world apart with new music and their shows, here are 10 bands that everyone needs to see live.

To note, I will not list Slipknot due to the obvious mention above, but do enjoy the beginning of this article with one of their best performances to date:

#10: Amon Amarth

The Viking infused death metal group delivers a unique experience full of fierce pyrotechnics, tight playing, and their Viking thematics coming to life on stage. From giant recreations of Viking ships to having full on battles to create full-on war for the masses to witness. It is hard to beat Amon Amarth when it comes to theatrics for a concert.

#9: Behemoth

Nothing is more metal than corpse paint, fire, and Satan. Behemoth delivers on all fronts for a theatrical show for the evilest metalheads.  Be sure to bring a pentagram and ready to make a sacrifice when coming to see this Polish blackened death metal group.

#8: Lamb of God

One of heavy metal’s most melodic, groovy, and heaviest bands to come out in the last 20 plus years. Lamb of God has that perfect mix of something melodic and brutal. The biggest attraction to them is their hyper-energetic frontman, Randy Blythe. Expect nonstop running, jumping, and all-out carnage when watching this man perform.

#7: The Black Dahlia Murder

The tightest band I have ever seen live, which says a lot compared to the many superb musicians I have been able to witness in concert. The Black Dahlia Murder stands as one of the strongest death metal acts that continue to bring energy with a twisted sense of humor with the random things you may hear from vocalist Trevor Strnad.

#6: A Day to Remember

It is hard to find a band more diverse than A Day to Remember. A fusion of metalcore, pop punk, and plenty of soothing acoustic tracks to make for a show that can satisfy everyone. The energetic songs are accompanied by the band’s production and high energy as they are in the air most of the duration of the show while able to transition into those more intimate moments for the softer portions.

#5: Skillet

While the Christian rockers might standout compared to some of heavier acts here, but they still pack a punch harder than some of the most extreme metal groups. Skillet goes all out on their production and has relentless energy that will have veteran metalheads start to sweat in the pit or in the back as they bang their heads.

#4: Rammstein

The all mighty German band has made a name for themselves both on and off the stage. Their lighting and fire beat out almost everyone in the rock and metal scene. When looking at any list of top live bands to see, Rammstein will always pop up.

#3: Iron Maiden

Many bands burn out on their shows as they get older, but not Iron Maiden. The legendary group has not tired out. While the energy is higher than some bands in their 20s, they have the money to put into some insane production. Despite their age, they still manage to play plenty of shows so nobody can have an excuse to miss this one.

#2: Korn

Korn has remained as a dominant force since the 90s and still reign supreme amongst other artists and performers. Full of spectacular lights and platforms that disperse the band all throughout the stage as they tear things apart can never be a bad thing for any rock or metal act.

#1: Parkway Drive

Besides Slipknot, these Australian metallers are my dream band to see live. Going to one of these shows will surely singe the hairs your hairs and leave your neck hurting in the morning. Nothing wrong with a lot of fire and some neck snapping music.

Who are some of your favorite live bands? If you have not seen someone, then put out some of your bucket list bands that you are dying to see in concert.

Image via Commons Wikimedia/Matthias Bauer

 

8 Most Fascinating Video Game Worlds That Every Gamer Should Learn About

Having a game that lasts tens to hundreds of hours allows developers to flesh out their worlds into something that feels alive, unlike any other medium. Bioware’s latest release with Anthem and FromSoftware being a few weeks away from unleashing their Samurai inspired Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice are just some recent examples of experiences with plenty of storytelling and lore that players can dive in head first to learn about every bit of information to immerse themselves in these universes. Plenty of other games do just as well in world-building, so here are some titles that every gamer should learn about whether you play it or not.

#8: DOOM (2016 reboot)

Id Software’s brilliantly metal reboot of DOOM came with everything old-time fans and newcomers would possibly want. While the icing on the cake, the story, was laid on lightly, plenty of notes and details can lead interested players down a rabbit hole of this genius creation full of demonic monsters from hell, heavy metal, and brutal violence.

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Image via id Software/Bethesda

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#7: Halo 

Xbox’s massive exclusive IP expands outside of the confines of video games with plenty of books, upcoming shows, and more to expand this universe into one of the biggest in the realm of mainstream shooters.

A war between the Covenant and humans along with plenty of complications that happen down the road. Each title gets bigger in scope despite their varying quality. While it will take plenty of homework, learning about the Halo lore will be worth it to dedicated gamers.

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Image via Bungie/Microsoft

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#6: The Witcher 

Luckily for CD Projekt Red, they have the source material written by Andrzej Sapkowski, who wrote the books of The Witcher series.

Across three titles, CD Projekt Red expanded the novels into length RPGs that deliver an epic adventure of a world that truly feels alive. Each part of the map feels different as people have their own customs and various ways of living. These masters of storytelling created the perfect love letter to any fantasy fan.

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Image via CD Projekt Red

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#5: Mass Effect

Bioware got their reputation from the Mass Effect trilogy. A complex, intriguing narrative with plenty of choices that gives players some power over the narrative arc while having plenty of precise written out stories that give this series life.

While many have problems with the third entry and Andromeda, the latest in the series, these developers offer enough to reconcile some mistakes to give those people needing to scratch that itch for in-depth cosmos with fleshed-out lore.

Each planet and race of aliens feels unique and well placed. Everything has a purpose and refrains from feeling like filler to extend the length of play time.

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Image via Bioware/EA

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#4: Horizon Zero Dawn

A balance needs to be hit between straight up telling people every detail and having them explore to find out new information. Horizon Zero Dawn manages to tell a compelling story with plenty of insight on the development of its world while giving meaningful collectibles that provide something new to the players dedicated enough to go searching. For standalone titles without any (current) sequels, Guerilla Games outshines its competition with this masterpiece PlayStation 4 exclusive.

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Image via Guerilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment

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#3: Dark Souls

FromSoftware’s beloved trilogy has more to offer than painfully difficult gameplay, grand boss battles, and an epic score. The surface level may seem like nothing, but these developers know how to deliver rewards to players who dig deep enough into one of the most cryptic worlds in video game history. It may seem daunting at first, but uncovering the secrets behind Dark Souls will show much more about this land of death than you initially thought.

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Image via FromSoftware/Bandai Namco

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#2: Bloodborne

FromSoftware again with their gothic turn with their signature style of gameplay and delivery of boss fights. A story that hides in the darkness, with reading every detail found in Bloodborne reveals a lush world that feels even more depressing than Souls, but just as well thought out.

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Image via FromSoftware/Bandai Namco

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#1: Warcraft

From its strategy game days to the behemoth MMO, Blizzard’s achievement with Warcraft remains breathtaking. Continuing to grow with expansions for World of Warcraft, this beast seems to never stop. Spanning across multiple continents, individual races with their own way of life and personalities, along with a long-standing conflict with plenty of gray areas that can sway players towards the Alliance or the Horde.

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Image via Blizzard Entertainment

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Header image via FromSoftware/Bandai Namco

9 Best Women in the MCU (So Far)

Two weeks away from the debut of the new leader for the Avengers and someone who will help lead the charge to defeat Thanos, Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel. To celebrate the entry of the MCU’s most powerful hero by looking through the best women in the universe, whether they are superpowered or not.

#9: Colleen Wing (Iron Fist, The Defenders)

Colleen (Jessica Henwick) might fit inside of some of the worst shows on the TV side of the MCU, but she manages to make the lowest points of both shows much better. A character arc that goes into some unexpected directions to build up someone who outshines and sometimes punches out the protagonist, Iron Fist (Finn Jones).

 

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Image via Marvel Studios/Netflix

#8: Jessica Jones (Jessica Jones, The Defenders)

With an excellent first season, then the disappointing team up with her fellow heroes and a painfully atrocious second season, Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) manages to make the list due to some moving qualities that can pull your heartstrings as you watch her drink herself to sleep then witness put some thug into a coma.

Krysten’s portrayal of a character suffering from PTSD and alcoholism takes the MCU into a much more relatable and emotional state that works so well in the Netflix side of this world. Her line delivery stands as some of the best out of any actor or actress because while she does not say fuck due to Disney’s restriction on the word, she sure knows how to speak in an antagonizing tone to get that aggressive message that can only be done with the harshest of words.

 

 

 

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Image via Marvel Studios/Netflix

#7: Misty Knight (Luke Cage, The Defenders)

A badass cop who will do her job right, but will never be afraid to get some blood on her clothes after a fight. Plenty of cops enter the MCU and tend to get in the way of the heroes. Misty (Simone Missick) strikes a perfect balance between what has been done before while taking her into directions that makes her stand out amongst the massive roster of characters.

 

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Image via Marvel Studios/Netflix

#6: Shuri (Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War)

T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) might be the star of his solo flick, but his sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) stole the show. The genius princess with a great sense of humor can not only solve a major issue before Thanos’ (Josh Brolin) army swept in, but she can pack a punch with her various gadgets that will make any enemy tremble.

 

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Image via Marvel Studios

#5: Scarlet Witch (Age of Ultron, Civil War, Infinity War)

One of the universe’s most powerful heroes who can rip people apart if she wanted to with her mind or use psychological warfare by making people hallucinate. A widely underrated and underused hero who has plenty more potential. Depending on her future, I hope that Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) gets some better moments or a standalone film.

 

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Image via Marvel Studios

 

#4: Karen Page (DaredevilThe PunisherThe Defenders)

She only ever fights once or twice, has a lot of emotional moments, has plenty of flaws, yet I still adore Karen (Deborah Ann Woll). That loyal friend that her friends can always depend on, but she will stick to her gut when she has to do the tough thing when her peers feel the opposite.

She goes down a long path full of pain, perseverance, and being torn about supporting difficult people like her blind friend/boss Matt Murdock/Daredevil (Charlie Cox). One of my favorite arcs seen from the Marvel and Netflix collaboration.

 

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Image via Marvel Studios/Netflix

#3: Gamora (Guardians of the Galaxy 1 and 2, Infinity War)

The voice of reason and intelligence of the Guardians. The group of misfits ties closer to anti-hero due to their criminal backgrounds, but Gamora (Zoe Saldana) holds them together with her logic while still packing a punch just as strong as the rest of them.

Her journey with Thanos makes her background story one of the most compelling, especially with the events of Infinity War and what could happen in the future when Endgame releases. She has the bronze and brains, while still having plenty of flaws due to this troubled past with her “father” that flesh her out as more than just a smart ass kicker.

 

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Image via Marvel Studios

#2: Black Widow (Iron Man 2Avengers, Age of Ultron, Infinity War, Winter Soldier, Civil War)

Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) has always run up in front of the action as a major face in the MCU. While plenty of chemistry works well with each of the Avengers, her interactions both on and off the battlefield are some of the most enjoyable out of everyone that has been established so far. She has had her time as a potential lover of Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) to helping Captain America (Chris Evans) take down the Hydra infested S.H.I.E.L.D.

Somehow the agent has not gotten her standalone adventure yet, but it is finally coming one of these days. Since the early days, she has had a strong presence but felt restricted due to her male counterparts. With the shift happening, hopefully, male and female heroes become just heroes.

 

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Image via Marvel Studios

#1: Claire Temple (Daredevil, Luke Cage, The Defenders, Jessica Jones)

While Claire (Rosario Dawson) is the unsung hero of the MCU by keeping alive the entirety of the Defenders. A nurse who lands into this world without wanting to decides to do the right thing to help these superpowered vigilantes.

Maybe if any TV crossover does happen, think of Claire first because our main heroes may need some medical attention after defeating Thanos.

 

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Image via Marvel Studios/Netflix

Who are some of your favorite ladies in the MCU?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Video Games That Show Diversity Correctly

With Apex Legends not only racking up 10 million players, but they have also announced two of their characters are in the LGBT+ community, it seems like the perfect time to look at how diverse video game characters have gotten. While plenty of progress needs to be made, there are still plenty of prime examples of the LGBT+ community, people of color, and other demographics that empower gamers who may feel outcasted.

#5: The Last of Us

I am talking about Ellie again, I have once before when discussing powerful women characters. Ellie is one of the centerpieces of the story, she has been developed into someone who feels believable. The reveal of her being a lesbian felt respectful and thoughtful.

The upcoming sequel will flesh her out even further into someone who is more than her sexuality. Ellie has a personality that has a far reach to resonate with players from her sexuality, strength, or her various interests that have been explored already.

#4: Wolfenstein

A Jewish man who slaughters every Nazi in his path, nothing beats that right there.

I never played much of the Wolfenstein games, but the latest rebooted series by MachineGames introduced me to the first character I could relate to due to his Jewish background. Now that he has twin daughters who will take over as the protagonists in Youngblood, I am beyond excited to jump into the shoes of more Jews who kill tons of Nazis.

Grace Walker stands as a strong African American woman whose presence steals every moment. Easily one of the most charismatic and toughest characters for both women and people of color.

Killing is not everything because everyone gets plenty of time to develop their motivations, quirks in their personalities, and time to show their flaws like any other person.

#3: Guacamelee!

The entirety of this Metroidvania platformer injects itself into Mexican culture. For a game developer from Canada, they nailed showing love to a group of people that often get ignored in gaming. Not only have DrinkBox Studios crushed it with an excellent adventure to deliver players, but they made an equally acclaimed sequel.

#2: Tomb Raider (2013-2018)

The latest reboot of Tomb Raider reworks Lara’s character into someone more sympathetic and less sexualized. Removing her oversized boobs for a better narrative created a brutal, fun, and compelling story for two of the three games. While I did not like Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the development of her character has been cemented into one of the best female personalities in gaming.

#1: Mass Effect series

Having choices to create a character’s race, gender, and sexuality always wins. While plenty of games do this, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey as a strong example, but Mass Effect broke ground with its meaningful choices and allowing players to choose who their identity.

While the representation of other groups of people still needs work in the world of gaming, it has slowly gotten better. What games do you think that get representation and diversity right?

5 Biggest Snubs From the 2019 Oscar Nominations

The Academy Awards can never satisfy anyone due to the abundance of films that come out every year; however, sometimes their issues cannot be ignored like some major snubs that happen each year. Now that the nominees have been announced, the gaping holes shine the light on plenty of issues, but five of which infuriate me the most.

#5: Annihilation gets nothing?

Many have forgotten this beautiful film, but the sci-fi adaption delivered a brilliant artsy narrative along with the best visuals from the year. The film could easily grab at most eight nominations. The Academy should have put Alex Garland’s trippy flick under the following categories: adapted screenplay, makeup and hairstyling, visual effects, sound mixing, sound editing, costume design, production design, and cinematography. While many missed out on one of 2018’s best films, the ones who saw and fell in love with Annihilation will agree its right to take home an Oscar.

#4: Avengers: Infinity War deserves more nominations

Many may disagree, but Infinity War deserves more nods than Black Panther. The cultural significance of Black Panther makes it an essential film for all of Hollywood and the superhero genre. Comparing quality, Infinity War holds up far better and achieved the impossible by standing as one of the biggest blockbusters in history, not in budget and earnings, but in its stature in storytelling and directing.

Black Panther could move the comic book adaptions into the Academy more often, but I worry for the future recognition excellent movies in the genre will receive. Hopefully, King T’Challa can break through to the prestigious award ceremony to let in his fellow Avengers for the coming years.

At the very least, the epic battle against Thanos should have earned more nominations from the other visual oriented categories.

#3: Eighth Grade got nothing?

Offensive is the only word to describe Bo Burnham’s directorial debut snub. The resonating story made this small teenage journey one of the most important films of the year. Despite praise upon its release, the Oscars are for the cool kids, and not the awkward teenager.

Both Elsie Fisher and Josh Hamilton could squeeze into best actor and actress categories or replace someone for their position these significant slots.

Bo Burnham himself could get a place for his directing and original screenplay, however, he sits out just like his cast and crew.

Shame on the Academy Awards.

#2: Toni Collette ignored for her performance in Hereditary

I don’t know which of these last three slots on my list make me angrier, but Toni Collette not getting a nomination for her performance in 2018’s best horror film drives me insane. She delves into such emotion ranging from rage, feeling resented, depressed, desperate, and so much more to bring her character to life.

While most of my list is wanting a film or person to get a simple nod by the Academy, this is the one I demand to win due to her incredibly moving performance that took my breath away.

#1: Bradley Cooper does not get best director for A Star Is Born

How does one of Hollywood’s best actors get in so many categories, but not the best director? The Academy loves directorial debuts, but somehow Cooper could win all of the biggest awards despite one for one of his most momentous achievements in his career. Criminal might go too far, but describes how robbed he has been from such a respectable selection.

What are the biggest snubs from this year’s Oscar nominations to you? Comment what you think below.

Image via A24 and Warner Bros. Pictures