Black Widow vs Jack Frost

Suggested by Destroyer Jack Frost is an ice fighter whose power level tends to flucuate quite dramatically. At his best he’s honestly not that bad though. He can shoot focused blasts of ice and can even fly. I don’t know about you but that doesn’t sound bad to me. Still, I would have to give Black Widow the edge here. She is a lot more adept at hand to hand combat and has some pretty good gadgets at her disposal. Frost won’t be able to keep up and without being able to land his ice blasts he is in a difficult spot. Black Widow wins.

Dante vs Black Widow

Suggested by Anonymous Dante is a very skilled fighter whose healing abilities are out of this world. He is able to fight in a rather unique manner as a result. He’ll take any trade since his injury will heal up almost instantly. Throw in his demon mode and Black Widow really has no shot here. Dante will win this match with ease and likely won’t even need to use anywhere near his full arsenal of attacks. Dante wins.

Black Widow vs Wiggler

Suggested by Destroyer Wigglers are strong in number and when they get upset they undergo a Super Saiyan transformation as they turn red and all stats are improved. It still won’t be enough to stop the Black Widow though. She is a capable fighter who knows how to use Lightsabers, guns, and any other weapon. Wiggler won’t be getting anywhere near her and thus all of his efforts will come to naught. Black Widow wins.

Guyver vs Black Widow


Suggested by Anonymous Black Widow is a pretty solid hand to hand fighter, but it’s hard to deal with a fighter as strong and skilled as Guyver. Guyver’s got enough power to take down an army of fighters. What can Black Widow really do against that? Most of her weapons won’t even scratch his armor and a single counter blast will take her down for the count. He’s just getting started and you’ll be seeing Guyver more coming up. Guyver wins.

Black Widow vs Mike Hagger

Black Widow is a skilled assassin who has several gadgets to make her even more formidable. A single hit from her Widow Sting can knock out many opponents. Mike Hagger is a strong foe and his durability may help him resist such an attack, but Widow still has the edge overall. In a hand to hand fight it is quite debatable, but throw in her electric nunchuks, guns, and other armaments and she definitely takes this. Not to mention that she won’t be overpowered very easily as she has the super soldier serum within her. Black Widow wins.

Lara Croft vs Black Widow

Suggested by Destroyer Lara Croft is an expert adventurer he has done things that many would have destroyed many others. She has dealt with every kind of obstacle imaginable. Still, Black Widow is no slouch when it comes to such adventures either and she is the better fighter. Widow also has the superior gadgets which gives her another advantage as well. Both of these two fighters are fairly similar in their fighting styles, but Widow’s battle experience is far more vast and she’s been in tougher situations. Black Widow wins.

Captain America: Civil War Review

The Captain America trilogy ends on a high note as Civil War escalates the series to another level. I was certainly not expecting the film to take down either one of the two Avenger titles, but it manages to jump over Age of Ultron, making it the best Marvel film right behind The Avengers. While it does not manage to quite capture the level of intensity and depth that Batman V Superman showed, Civil War is easily one of the greatest live action films of all time and a title that I recommend to everyone. Whether you are a comic book fan or not, there is plenty to enjoy here. So much so that it will be difficult to capture all of my thoughts in this review, but I shall do my best so prepare for a long one. On that note, let’s get to work!

The film starts off with a fight against some terrorists led by Crossbones. Captain America and his team of Avengers manage to defeat this group, but in the process a building full of innocent civilians is destroyed by the last ditch effort of Crossbones. Scarlet Witch attempted to keep the blast contained, but couldn’t do so long enough which leads to the media wondering if the Avengers have been given too much power. They want the Avengers to become a public group that works under the United Nations. Captain America is opposed to this because the Avengers will lose their right to act without permission. Furthermore, when his old pal Bucky is framed for being the cause of another large explosion which takes the life of Wakanda’s king, Captain America is forced to go against the law to protect him.

Meanwhile, Tony Stark meets up with a lady who blames the death of her son on the Avengers. The events in Age of Ultron had a lot of fatalities during the final fight, but hearing a personal story about one hits Stark a lot more personally than any statistic would. This is what gets Tony to believe that working under the United Nations as a controlled entity is the best course of action. He doesn’t see eye to eye with Captain America and as Steve (Captain America’s alter ego for my non comic book readers) is forced to go against the government, Tony has to fight him. Neither one will back down as they are both confident that they are making the right choice here.

In the background, we have some other plots going on as well. Zemo is stirring up a lot of trouble in the background as he learns the hypnotic words to control Winter Soldier (AKA, Bucky) and keeps widening the rift between the Avengers. Meanwhile, Scarlet Witch feels personally responsible for the lives lost at the beginning of the film and is having a hard time coping with what happened. Being placed under house arrest certainly doesn’t help with this either. Finally, we have the Black Panther, who is working to avenge his father. He blames his father’s death on the Winter Soldier due to evidence showing that he was responsible for the situation. The Panther won’t stop until he is dead so Captain America will have to try extra hard to save him.

All right…where to start with this review. Let’s go through the negatives first since there really aren’t many of them as you may expect considering the positive tone of the film. It’s a 9 star title so the positives easily outweigh the negatives. One weak point in the film is…you guessed it, the extremely unnecessary romance with Sharon Carter and Captain America. You can’t even call it a romance if we’re being honest folks. They just randomly kiss as they say goodbye to each other and that’s the end of that plot. As I’ve mentioned in the past, you simply can’t develop a proper romance in the span of 30 minutes and especially when these two characters are only on screen together for maybe 15-20 minutes tops. If you want a romance done right, it’s got to be gradual like Tsubasa. It’s a super minor thing that certainly doesn’t hurt the film, but this scene really comes out of left field.

There’s a little language in the film. It’s not super excessive or anything, but worth making a slight note. It was certainly out of character for Spider-Man of all people to say the s word. I remember the good ole days of him being a nice kid in the comics who wouldn’t even dream of swearing. His portrayal is great overall though, but he is the result of several power inconsistencies…I’ll get to that in his section though. Is that it for the negatives? If we’re being a little picky I’d say that the soundtrack was pretty forgettable and underwhelming, but I typically don’t expect live action films to really sound that good. Hannah and Man of Steel are really the exceptions to the rule along witih a handful of other titles. Now let’s get to the positives!

For starters, the fight scenes are great like you would expect. In a day and age where hand to hand fight scenes can be a little dicey at times (Instantly going for the eyes) the fights here are handled well. Crossbones vs Captain America was a great way to start off the film and any fight with the Black Panther was exceptional as well. Naturally, this only gets better when you add in the super powers from the meta human fights. The battle between both teams at the airport is definitely the highlight of the film and easily the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s best fight yet! Even before the fight starts, one of the best moments in the film was when Iron Man’s allies slowly started popping up and Captain America was outnumbered by around 5-1. You know that Cap isn’t on his own, but even then it’s just such an imposing scene. Cap would have had no shot against that group and Iron Man’s plan was quite sound. The thing is, great minds think alike and Cap has enough friends to ensure that he’s never alone against such an army.

After thinking on it a lot, I have to say that my favorite character was Black Panther. Yes, Iron Man, Captain America, and Spider-Man lost out this time. The film really handled Black Panther perfectly. He comes across as very reasonable and it certainly makes sense that he would want to avenge his father. Whenever the Avengers would get in his way, Black Panther would be forced to fight them, but he never hesitated. He stood firm in his mission and never wavered while at the same time, he kept a cool head. He certainly didn’t lose his cool as much as Cap or Iron Man and in the end he was the first one to really get away from all of the violence and make the hero call. (Sparing a villain’s life) During the final fight, you can’t say the same for Iron Man. Physically, Black Panther was able to hold his own against Winter Soldier and Captain America. In fact, I’d say that he had the edge over Bucky, but I doubt he would have defeated Captain America. The design for his suit was also really good.
Next we have the other big guest star of the film Spider-Man! So….I was mixed on his portrayal. As Spider-Man he was great. He had a lot of witty banter during the fight which has always been his trademark and his webbing was also very strong as it was always meant to be. In today’s cartoons and comics everyone breaks through it with ease, but in the old comics even the Hulk couldn’t snap them right away. As for the part of his portrayal that I was iffy about….well, I don’t think the actor works very well as Peter Parker. He’s too young and I think that the director made him talk with a higher pitched voice than usual to make him sound even younger. When he first appeared, it almost felt like a parody. His intro was the kind of moment where I could picture everyone laughing out loud. It just felt off. It also helps that the new Aunt May looks nothing like Aunt May and is still one of the more mind boggling changes. At least she encouraged Peter to fight back against the bullies though so I like her up beat attitude here. I like to think that she already knows about him being Spider-Man by the way. I’m calling it right now, she’ll reveal that in the upcoming Spider-Man film.

Aside from Peter Parker seeming a bit off, I think Spider Man’s power level was very inconsistent. Let’s get real here folks, The Avengers are lightweights without Thor and Hulk around. Spider-Man’s worth more than the whole group put together. Maybe Vision could put up a decent fight, but Scarlet Witch, Black Widow, Winter Soldier, Black Panther, and Captain America would get speedblitzed. Iron Man and War Machine would be overwhelmed as their suits are ripped apart and Hawkeye wouldn’t land a single shot. Spider-Man’s gone toe to toe with Superman in the past and he’s had some very intense fights with Thor back in the day. To have him lose here is a cheaper cop-out than buying a slice at 7-11 instead of Europa because you didn’t feel like walking the extra block.

He’d look good in some moments and then he’d be treated like a joke the next. Here’s an example, at the airport fight, he is able to catch and repel Winter Soldier’s punch with no effort and even starts to twist it off until he is interrupted. Captain America was previously unable to stop Winter Soldier’s blow with both hands and he was flung through an elevator. So…Spider-Man’s stronger than Cap right? Well, you’d be wrong because Captain America completely humiliates him when they fight and overpowers him twice physically during the battle. That makes absolutely no sense and I was tempted to yell something from the audience like “Boooo” “Nerf alert!!” or something along those lines. I restrained myself though for the good of the movie experience.

Another iffy moment is the fact that he seemed to completely not have a spider sense here. I wouldn’t blame Marvel if they decided to get rid of it though because the ability is way too good. Still, without a mention of removing it, I will have to label it as a plot hole. There’s no way Ant Man can sneak up on Spider-Man because Spider Sense prevents such an event from ever happening. It is literally impossible to sneak up on Spider-Man without some kind of power to get past his ability or if you’re Venom and have compromised the ability by actually being Spider-Man for a bit. Every time Spider-Man got hit by a sneak attack I would wince a little on the inside. Still, aside from being treated as a bit of a joke during some parts of the fight, it was a satisfying portrayal overall. It’s great to finally see Spider-Man alongside the Avengers. This is something that fans have wanted to see for many years and now I’m eagerly awaiting the big dream team of Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Cyclops against Thanos. Make is happen Marvel!

Let’s talk about the Avengers now. I’ve never really cared for Vision in any form of media so we’ll start with him. He’s somehow managed to become even more annoying than he was in Age of Ultron. He pretends to be Scarlet Witch’s friend until we find out that he’s under orders to keep her confined. If he was a true friend he probably would have mentioned something like that. He also attempts a long-shot at blasting someone from a super far distance which backfires quickly. He’s one of the strongest Avengers, but seems to forget that most of the time and actually doesn’t contribute almost at all during the airport fight. Powerful or not, Vision is simply not likable.

His fellow Age of Ultron member was solid though. Scarlet Witch gets a lot of screen time in this film so she can finally develop more of a personality. Her abilities are certainly very potent and as she grows more confident, we can expect more out of her. One good scene in particular is when she materializes an energy shield behind her while she gets the poison gas out of a building. Being able to multi task like that is critical in a fight since she’ll need to have a shield up at all times as her defense is rather low. By the end of the film she has learned to be more independent and sure of herself. She has a promising future in this cinematic universe.

I’ve never been a big fan of Black Widow although her character can vary quite a bit throughout the Marvel franchise. The movies have been one of her worst portrayals in my opinion while she tends to look a lot better in the Avengers Assemble cartoon and the Punisher animated film. She was fairly reasonable here though and while she seems to have fallen to the very bottom of the hero totem pole (I’d say that this film confirms that Hawkeye can defeat her in a fight) she is still a good hand to hand fighter.

Falcon’s role in this film is small even though he appears quite a lot. He’s the guy that Captain America can always count on, but the main problem is that he’s still very weak in the end. He basically has part of an Iron Man suit, but it leaves him very vurlnable. His character’s fairly likable though. We’ve also got Ant-Man who pitches in during some key moments. I admit that I haven’t watched Ant Man enough times to really remember the actor’s face. I knew he was Ant Man based on the trailers and plot, but he felt so out of place in this film. I mean that in a good way by the way. It would be like seeing Sandler walk into the battlefield against Thanos in the Infinity Gauntlet. Ant Man’s actor strikes me as a total comedy character and I suppose that it works quite well for Ant Man. There’s really a lot that you can do with size shifting abilities. It’s not the most glamorous power, but it is effective. As for turning huge…I think that’s overrated. If you get hit by an opponent who is that slow, then it’s time for an upgrade.

I’m not really a fan of War Machine here though. It’s not because of the fact that he’s super pro registration because I was on Team Iron Man myself, but it’s why he wants to join. It feels like he’s putting the army before the team (Again…see Iron Man 2 for reference) and that’s why it’s always a little tough to trust teammates who have connections to other groups. If only SHIELD and Agent Coulson were still alive to help sort things out eh? They probably could have helped the heroes go underground as another option. Hawkeye’s role is very small, but very good as well. It was cool to see him break into the Avengers base and he did a good job during the action scenes. He’s a likable member and definitely another guy that Cap can trust.
Time to talk about the real main characters of the film. I was on Team Iron Man coming into the film by the way and I left on that side as well. It’s not a black and white debate and I’ve always been opposed to registration. In the comics, Iron Man’s team was completely wrong. The Registration act was much worse than the equivalent that we see in the film so that’s one big change. Either way, I’m still against any agreement with the government, but I have to stay on Team Iron Man because I can’t stand Winter Soldier. More on that in a little while.

Back to Iron Man. I think that his decision to quickly go along with the documents because he was shown a picture of someone who died during one of the fights is a little forced/rushed and out of character. We needed the conflict somehow though and this is Iron Man, he would definitely start bending the rules and reshaping the agreement after it was signed. Captain America asks Tony what would happen if they saw a bad situation and weren’t given permission to act. I’m fairly confident that Tony would act anyway and the Avengers would be in agreement. Ultimately, this would lead to even more bad consequences for the team so in that sense Cap is right. They may as well just not sign. Especially due to the fact that the government always turns out to be evil in media and this film is no exception. You can also tell that Iron Man is getting a lot older though and you have to wonder how long he can keep this up. Perhaps age has dulled his reasoning, but his fighting skills are still top notch when necessary. Towards the end of the film, Iron Man goes into a fight without holding back. You can draw a lot of parallels to Batman V Superman in those moments.

Needless to say, Iron Man wasn’t taking any prisoners. Obviously, I’m always technically on the side of saving the murderer since we can’t take justice into our own hands. So, Iron Man should lose, but I’m still rooting for him in the moment. It’s like when you like a bad guy and root for him/her over the heroes. They’re evil, but at that point they are simply a lot more interesting than the heroes. I can appreciate a character who has the fortitude to make the right call because it’s incredibly difficult to make that call. So, as a viewer I’m okay with seeing the villain get destroyed depending on the reason and the method, but I’ll still be fine with another hero saving him/her because it’s the right thing to do. I just won’t be rooting for that character at the moment. An example is from the show Yugioh Zexal. The main villain murdered all of the main character’s friends, but at the end the hero tries to save him anyway and even says that they could be friends. That’s……..very forgiving and I know for a fact that I couldn’t make that call. It’s a good call (Well, saying that they’re friends is wayyyyy to disrespectful to his friend’s memories if you ask me) but if there was another character trying to destroy the main villain, then I’d be on his side. It’s like how I was on Black Panther’s side when he went to destroy the Winter Soldier. Thus, I was pretty pleased with Iron Man’s portrayal here. He even tried to be reasonable at the end until that became impossible.

Captain America makes for a great lead as you would expect. He’s a great hero and tries to always do the right thing. He’s in a bad spot since all of his friends are choosing a side. He also had to go during the initial meeting due to an emergency which was tricky since it meant that everyone chose sides while he was gone. The film did adapt his famous line from the comics about how even if everyone tells you that something wrong is something right, then you have a duty to resist. When told to move, you should plant your feet down and say “No, you move.” It was a great quote of Cap’s so it was good to see it used in the film. While I was always against Cap, he was constantly making hero calls and ultimately he is just trying to help a friend. Bucky was mind controlled into doing awful things so it wasn’t really him. Cap doesn’t want him to have to die for things that were not under his control.

He also doesn’t lose sight of the innocents in the crossfire either. He sticks up for Scarlet Witch the entire film and even goes easy on his opponents like Spider-Man. He’s careful to avoid hurting anyone too seriously and his move at the very, very end of the film was great as well. It’s really impossible not to like the guy and he’s one of the best characters in the film. I do think that his strength can be inconsistent as the expense of other characters, but I’m glad that he looks very powerful here.

As for the Winter Soldier, I really dislike the character. Sure, he was mind controlled, but he doesn’t seem very remorseful about what he has done either. He shows no regret and never resists the mind control all that much. I’d say that it’s because it is in his nature. “I won’t kill anyone” Winter Soldier says right before he drops someone to instant death, but Captain America quickly saves the guy before the murder can occur. Bucky was willing to destroy that guy and he goes all out against just about everyone. He’s constantly looking to deal a mortal blow or at least a very serious one if it will let him escape. There’s no way that I can consider this guy to be a hero or even a slightly likable character. That’s why I couldn’t be on Cap’s team. This is just impossible to like at all. Protecting him is the right move, but I don’t have to like it.

As far as the villains are concerned, there are really only two this time around and both of them are fairly minor. We have Crossbones who makes for a good intro villain for the heroes to fight. He puts up a pretty good fight against Cap and actually manages to bring in a draw by the end. Baron Zemo never gets to be in his costume which is a shame, but he does a good job of masterminding the whole film. It would have been awesome if he had actually committed a certain plan that was hinted at. It would have made for a great final fight, but his true ace was just about as good. General Ross also had his own plans in motion, but he was really not that smart. He kept overplaying his hand. Once he got half of the team to sign the document, he should have taken it slowly. Instead, he placed some individuals in a max prison with very inhumane conditions. It’s almost like he wants the heroes to turn against him. If he tried to arrest Iron Man, then a civil war would have really broken out.

Naturally, I won’t say what happened in the after-credit scenes, but needless to say they were not quite as good as I had hoped. The first one was decent since it gave the film a little closure and I definitely like the option here. The characters in the first scene are in a much better position now. As for the second scene, it is very anti climactic and sad when you think about it. The film could have made it a lot more epic and exciting with a quick shape-shift or an Infinity Gem locked inside of a chest or something. You should stick around to watch the first one, but there’s really no need to stick around for the second I’m afraid.

Part of why Civil War is so good is because it is able to balance the serious and light moments rather well. It’s a very upbeat film, but it still gets serious once in a while for something grim to happen, but not for it to be overly grim. I was worried when Zemo confronted a Hydra agent that we were going to get a super violent moment, but it was fairly tame and I’m glad that the Hydra guy stood firm. This event was a lot different from the comics of course, but it was cool to see the film adapt as much as possible and throw in references/moments when possible. The big Captain America vs Iron Man visual made it in of course and there were several more homages that I’ll let you find out through watching it.

Unfortunately, Civil War followed The Amazing Spider Man 2 in the sense that moments from the trailer were not present in the film. “YOU JUST STARTED A WAR!” remember that line? It’s not in the film. “I was wrong about you….we were all wrong about you.” That’s not in the film either. It’s a shame because those two moments were important in the trailers because they showed that things had reached a certain moment of no turning back. Instead, the lines were pure click bait. The film is still very satisfying on the civil war angle and the ending was a lot more decisive than I had imagined, but it’s still too bad that some trailer scenes weren’t present in the end. I feel like a trailer should always have all of its content be in the film.

All right, we’re near the end now. Aside from power level inconsistencies hurting the film’s logic, I’ve depicted how Civil War was just about perfect. Well, why did it lose to Batman V Superman? Here’s why Batman V Superman was the better film. The soundtrack was infinitely better than Captain America, the latter of which had no significant themes of note. Batman V Superman’s fights were significantly better. Cap’s were amazing though and Marvel’s best, but they simply can’t come close to DC’s. Third, as interesting and engaging as Captain America was, Batman V Superman just obliterated it there. The film has you at the edge of your seat for most of it. Granted, as a much bigger DC fan than Marvel, that will almost always be the case since Batman and Superman make for very engaging leads even when they aren’t written as well as they could be. (Batman lacking in intelligence and Superman being a pushover) So, Civil War was great, but I feel like it loses to Batman V Superman in just about every way. Civil War does beat it with having less unlikable characters and no random bathtub scene though.

Be warned though that Civil War’s ending is a little intense. It was so intense in fact that nobody clapped when the credits started rolling and I had to personally start it all off. I think everyone was in shock or something, but I can’t blame them. It takes a while to get used to these things. After all, Civil War was a thrill a minute and there was never a dull moment during the entire movie. The closest scene to being boring would be the very first one, but it still wasn’t that bad. The pacing is quite excellent for this film. I was the only one who clapped after the final extra credit scene as well, but it was pretty underwhelming so I don’t blame the audience for the silence this time.
Overall, Captain America is a great film though and no live action film will be able to defeat it for a very long time. In the near future, the only films that may have a shot are Infinity Gauntlet Part 1 (Which I think will actually lose unless Thanos gets his big fight) and Justice League. (Which I’m also a little skeptical of) If you haven’t seen this film yet then I highly recommend that you check it out ASAP. Even if you somehow don’t know who Captain America, Iron Man, and Spider-Man are, you’ll be in for a treat. Considering how well the team fight went, I’m ready to see a full blown Avengers vs Justice League fight in 20 years. Hey, nobody thought that we’d ever get Spider-Man and the Avengers. Given time, I’m sure that a crossover film is bound to happen! Of course, we’d need Thor and Hulk this time around to keep the fight from being too one sided

Overall 9/10

Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher Review

It’s good to see the Marvel anime once more. For the most part, this project was a great success. The Iron Man anime was a lot of fun, Wolverine had some of the best Marvel action scenes and themes out there, and Blade was a fun mix of both. It wasn’t as fun and Vampires are pretty bleh, but it was still decent and much better than the average Blade product should be. X-Men dropped the ball for me, but I still don’t think I’d call it bad. A little dull…maybe a little boring, but it wasn’t bad. Avengers Confidential manages to get up to Wolverine levels of epicness and it’s a superb film. Automatically one of Marvel’s best!

SHIELD captures Punisher and they explain that his vigilante practices cannot be tolerated at the moment. He just messed up an infiltration mission that had been months in the making and now SHIELD is no closer to finding out who the mastermind of this new terrorist organization is. Punisher brings up the valid point of how SHIELD was just standing aside and watching as many innocent civilians were being massacred so he made the call. SHIELD doesn’t have a good answer for this so they run off and so does Punisher. Punisher leads Black Widow to the villain hideout as part of the deal and then he leaves to get his job done. He wants to destroy the main villain. (You may not know this, but the Punisher never takes prisoners)

Punisher’s the main character and his plot is the most interesting in the film. He openly goes around destroying everyone who gets in his way. Essentially, he believes that dirtying his hands to get rid of the criminals that infest the world is a good deal so he goes ahead and does it. You couldn’t call Punisher a hero, but at least he does try to protect the innocents and only fatally injures villains. He’s a great main character and he may be more likable than the other anime leads. Only Wolverine would be close. Punisher has been around the block a few times and you can see his experience. He may not have a fancy spynetwork backing him up, but Punisher still knows what’s happening on his streets.

He has a good amount of super strength and speed like Captain America so Punisher can always hold his own in a fight. There’s never a doubt as to who will win when Punisher is in the battle. His character was handled well and when written correctly, Punisher is definitely one of the most likable Marvel characters on the block. We’ve got another super soldier here as well in the form of Black Widow.

She’s nearly as strong as the Punisher and probably a little quicker. I’d say that the Punisher has the edge in their bouts, but Black Widow always makes it a close contest. The action scenes in this film are great, but I’ll get into that in a second. The one off putting thing about Black Widow is the voice used in this film. I could probably get used to it if we had a lot of sequels to look forward too, but it’s not the case. The voice isn’t bad, it just doesn’t sound like Black Widow. Maybe it’s a little too happy go lucky for her. It doesn’t negatively impact the actual portrayal of the character though.

It’s good to see her show some free will as she disobeys Shield. Voice aside, this is easily one of Black Widow’s best portrayals in animation. She’s a character who can easily be misunderstood and poorly written by the writers, but at her core Black Widow is a powerful assassin who has a lot of experience in the spy game. I still do not care for her portrayal in the MCU and the Civil War trailer basically confirms that this will not change, but if the writers could pick up on her attitude from this film a little more that would change. Granted, I could do without the flirting with Amadeus, but besides that Widow is basically on point. We also have to ignore the sideplot with Elihas. Wait a second…was this actually a good portrayal…..

Well, for the most part it is. Clearly the character is still not perfect, but I still do like the fact that she disobeys Fury quite a few times as the film goes on. That’s something that her live action persona would have a tough time doing. Widow treats everything like a game and never actually gets serious, which is fitting for an assassin since she is involved with death just about every day. Trying to stop Punisher towards the beginning of the film from leaving for his own goals was pretty much futile, but at least it gave us an extra fight or two.
Nick Fury’s pretty iffy the whole time. He is about as corrupt here as you’ll ever see him and the end game is the only thing that he cares about. Fury didn’t even realize that his own agent had switched sides so I think he probably needs to lower the tough guy act a little. It’s definitely not working on anyone if you ask me and the Punisher nearly took him down when they first met. Nick’s basically a normal guy surrounded by superhuman fighters. He’s really stretching his luck every time he comes off as antagonistic.

One annoying character in the film was Amadeus. He’s the generic kid genius who’s basically a hassle and can’t back up his tough talk. His first scene in the film is him just opening up a villain’s program without debugging it. Sure enough, the program was a virus and you wonder why this kid is supposed to be some kind of genius. Black Widow’s always teasing him as evidenced by their conversations and Amadeus uses this as his inspiration to help the team, but it’s a sideplot that got old the second it was mentioned and the guy’s a terrible character.

There was one other subplot, which was terrible and that was actually Black Widow’s. Back in the day, she actually got attached to a Rando (Name for any random original character. It’s actually a pretty neat slang word. I don’t approve of most, but this one’s all right) but the guy figured that he wasn’t worthy so he joined Hydra and decided to destroy as many people as possible. Not directly though, this guy doesn’t get his hands dirty. He did get super powers through his vaccine though so now he can actually give Punisher and Black Widow a good fight. Unfortunately, he never goes up against the Punisher, which was a mixed opportunity, but it was good that Widow got to fight her own battles I suppose.

His name is actually Elihas is you’re curious. I decided to look him up and it turns out that this guy is Egghead. Hahahahahahahahaha! That fits perfectly if you ask me and the guy sure gained some weight after this anime adventure. He’s a great fighter so it’s a shame that the character was no good. He even seemed to be better than Black Widow as she mostly held her own through cheap shots and appeal to emotion arguments. The whole thing was Elihas’ fault, but you still had to wonder why he fell for the same cheap shot over and over and over again.

Orion was the big boss, the head honcho, the big cheese of the film. He only got to appear for a few minutes, but he’s decently tough. What he lacks in athletics, Orion makes up for in pure power. His energy blasts were cool to look at and I liked the armor. He made for a fun final boss although the action fight scene wasn’t quite as fun as the others since he couldn’t hope to keep up in terms of speed.

Ignore the cover of this movie, the animation is actually quite good. If the movie looked like the cover then that would have very significantly hurt this film and I probably would have dropped two stars. The animation would start a ripple effect that would hurt several other areas as the characters would not have been quite as cool. Yes, you heard correctly, animation has the power to actually affect the characters on a personality level. Luckily, the animation is stunning and the fight scenes are great.

These action scenes don’t try to tone down the character’s abilities for the general audience so we are treated with some high speed hand to hand rumbles. They are much better than any action scene that we’ve seen in a Marvel film to date. Yes, this is the single best Marvel film when it comes down to the fight scenes. I just wish that the film could have been longer so we could have had some more action, but it was at a decent length anyway.

This film’s pretty intense and also has a dark color scheme, but the film pulls it off quite nicely, which is a thumbs up for the writing. If the film’s writing was sub par, then there would be a lot of language, gratuitous blood spilling after every shot, and the film would have basically been indistinguishable from the average film that DC animation has been churning out. Luckily, that was not the case. I’m not saying that the film is completely tame as some necks are still broken and people are shot left and right, but the film never dwells on the violence. It never pauses to remind us how dark and depressing the environment is. The film is very fast paced so despite all this, it tends to actually be a pretty uplifting film that keeps you energized. Fun is still the name of the game after all and this film knew how to achieve the perfect balance. It’ll remind you why the Punisher is no hero, but at least you can still root for him as the lesser of two evils. The film could have easily made him go too far and then we’d have nobody to root for. (Black Widow I suppose, but the sub plots…nooooo)

That goes to why I found the Avengers to be a bit of a disappointment though. I wasn’t expecting them to do much, but it felt like they were just added for the kicks. They get the worst fight scenes in the entire film and the drop in animation quality is noticeable. Suddenly we have a lot of random CGI and compared to the smooth hand to hand fights, you’ll probably be wincing at this point. The designs for the Avengers also aren’t that good to be honest. I’m glad that the Hulk is immune to telepathy once again as that varies from movie to movie, but these guys didn’t need to be around. It’s retro to see anime Iron Man return, but please…lose the CGI. As it stands, the Avengers tried to steal the thunder from Punisher, but failed to do so.

The thing is, the scene had a lot of potential initially. When we see the beams of light descending down upon the villains, I was ready for an epic opener. Instead…it was the odd blend of CGI and hand drawn with vibrant colors that were not streamlined at all. Whatever the film was going for, it just didn’t work out for me and I’ll have to settle for a “better luck next time.” We do have the Toei Avengers show coming up though. I haven’t seen it yet, but the Dub version should be out someday.

I’m also giving the film 5 stars for the soundtrack. It was fast paced from start to finish and just about every theme was suitable for battle. If someone ever tells you that a film can’t have a great soundtrack if it’s just filled with mindless battle music over and over again, just show them this film. It suits every fight scene since the action is always fast and I was loving it. Easily the best Marvel animation in that regard, even taking out the Wolverine anime. (That still has an incredible theme song though)
Overall, This product lived up to expectations as you can clearly see in the review. It was pure hype and downright awesome. The villains were basically original characters for the film, but they served their purpose as powerful villains. The established villains were the ones who could have used some work. I’m tempted to give this a 9, buuuuuuut the romance and the annoying kid keep me from giving it that score so it teccccccchnically loses to Ultimate Avengers. These are technicalities though and odds are that I’ll still be referring to this film as the best Marvel animated feature. Think of it as a recommendation that surpasses the actual quality of the product. The two weaknesses bring the film down just enough to lose the official star, but the film is so enjoyable otherwise that I can easily recommend it to anyone. It’s a shame that the Marvel anime features are now over, but maybe someday someone will bring it back. Until then…….back to Avengers Assemble and Ultimate Spider Man!

Overall 8/10

Secret Avengers Volume 2 Iliad Review

This shouldn’t be confused with the other Secret Avengers comic that I reviewed as this is a completely different run. While there isn’t a lot of action this time around, the plot is interesting and the comic series certainly has a lot of promise. As expected, Shield (Not going to bother with the periods) is very shady and does things that do make them villains in a sense. Batman certainly wouldn’t put up with their shenanigans!

Daisy (AKA, the main character of the current Shield TV series) is the director of Shield and she led the Secret Avengers on an attack to destroy an AIM Agent. Maria Hill did not like this so she forcibly took control of Shield away from Daisy and shut down the whole project. This was simply crossing the line and tarnishing Shield’s reputation. Hill has a point here although things wouldn’t have gone so smoothly if Daisy had decided to actually fight back. It’s a little convenient for Hill that Daisy was so cooperative this time. This switcheroo in terms of leadership did leave the Avengers in a tough spot though, namely Mockingbird.

The concept of the Secret Avengers here is that they don’t even know that they’re on a mission. Their minds are hijacked by Shield before going into each mission and their memories are erased once the battle is over. Once Maria Hill goes back to being in charge, she scrubs their memories and forces them to evacuate the mission. The problem is that this also forced the heroes to leave Mockingbird stranded in the villain base ruled by Taskmaster and stuck in the body (or appearance) of an AIM agent. Getting out of that pickle is certainly going to be quite the feat for her.

As you can imagine, I definitely disagree with Shield’s methods here. Controlling the minds of these heroes (Hawkeye, Black Widow, Mockingbird, Hulk etc) is definitely crossing the lines. The end doesn’t justify the means, but Shield never seemed to really understand that. In Shield’s slight defense, the Hulk shouldn’t be able to be mind controlled at this point, but it certainly doesn’t change the fact that Shield should not have attempted this. I do love to see what Shield’s been reduced to though. Nick Fury is now just an average field agent and likewise with Coulson while Maria Hill and Daisy call the shots. (Until Daisy was fired) Things are just so loopy right now.

There isn’t a whole lot of action like I said earlier, but we do get to see the Hulk take down Graviton with a quick shot. I actually thought the villain was Hyperion for a second since the costume was so similar, but it was more realistic this way. Hyperion would not go down after a single punch! Taskmaster is actually one of the Secret Avengers and spends his time acting sort of like Deadpool. He can be serious one second and then total comic relief the next. He’s a fun character even if he’s totally ripped off from Prometheus. (Now he was an epic villain!) We didn’t get to see Taskmaster fight all that much, but he’s a valuable asset to have on the team.

This volume was mainly for the origin of the Secret Avengers as we saw Daisy and Maria Hill discuss the operation. The main plot with the AIM assassination was really just an excuse to have a little plot going. It was entertaining enough, but nothing really happened since the mission was scrubbed aside from Mockingbird’s plot. I’m looking forward to seeing the team go on an actual mission to see what they’ve got. I also look forward to seeing the rest of the heroes find out about their comrades being used like this. I definitely don’t think that it will be taken very well at all.

The art is solid. It has a darker backdrop than the average Marvel comic which did give me some trouble distinguishing Daisy and Maria Hill a few times, but it looks good for the most part. It looks professional and that’s always a good thing. It’s hard to describe the fight scenes, but they seemed to be good from what I saw. I believe that the writing was also good and the plot was interesting from start to finish. When a comic lacks action, you definitely want the plot to be engaging.

A missed opportunity here for me would be that we didn’t see Bruce Banner much. Since this is essentially the Indestructible Hulk, that would have been a lot of fun since his personality during this time period was really cool. With the Avengers all being mind controlled, we didn’t get to see them talk that much at all. At least they were loyal though and weren’t going to abandon the mission until forced too. Although, since the mission involved destroying someone….it may come at the expense of their heroics. You can see why they didn’t grab Iron Man or Captain America for this team. They’d probably ask a whole lot of questions. (Plus, Extremis should be able to protect Iron Man if you ask me. That was years ago, but the effects should linger)

There really weren’t any unlikable characters. Even though I disagreed with Daisy’s decisions, I could see her (unfortunate) train of thought. None of the characters were over the top or had pointless lines for the chuckles. The comic was serious, but without being over the top and handled itself well. This is a comic series that I could see being very good. With the origin of the team out of the way, the plot can really start and some of the seeds were sown here. Two of the villains (One of them being Graviton and the other being a lady with super strength and/or lasers) have decided to team up because things may get rocky in the future and Mockingbird’s going to have to escape from the big meeting that she was thrown into. The chips have been set and the ball is in the comic’s corner.

Overall, If you like to see your favorite (B) heroes taking on secret stealth missions, this is the comic for you. There is a lot of dialogue, but that shouldn’t be a problem for you because it’s all pretty interesting and you’ll get to learn about the history of the team. It’s also an interesting way to tie into the Shield TV show since Daisy gets a big role. I would have liked to have seen her use some sonic powers though, but maybe in the next volume. I don’t know if I’ll be reading that one anytime soon, but that’s another matter. Seriously though, with the plot out of the way, I’m ready for some action!

Overall 7/10

Terminator vs Black Widow

The Black Widow is back and now she’s fighting a pretty iconic figure! The Terminator is definitely stronger than the average human and a single hit from his shotgun would mean instant death for the Black Widow. Luckily, she is very quick and a good hit from her Widow’s Sting would also shut him down. The Terminator’s lack of speed is what gets him here and he’ll have to take the loss. Black Widow wins.