Saturday, October 23, 2021

Order in the (Marvel) Universe (Part VIII)

It's been a while again, been a hectic month! But in between work, trying to keep sane, an evening class, and continuing my rewatch of not only every episode of Doctor Who, but also another couple of series, I've managed to squeeze in a few more stages in my rewatch of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe in chronological order.

Last post we got as far as the second and final season of Netflix's The Punisher, which brought us to the final series in the Netflix run - Jessica Jones Season Three.


Really odd series. With the introduction of the very strange choice of a villain with 'Foolkiller' Salinger, and building up the Hellcat Patricia Walker storyline, it was a bit of a low. Such a shame. Acting was great again, and they even had Benjamin Walker in it (who really should be cast in a young Qui-Gon Jinn TV series for Disney+). But Salinger was so utterly hateful, you were on Trish's side and wanted him out of the picture. Sure, she went too far, but it was really one of those 'Someone had to do it' moments. 

Add to this Hogarth's storyline, which was just a wreck of her making terrible choices, and I think Jessica was the only character to come out of this unscathed. Here's hoping they can incorporate her (and the rest of the Defenders) into the Disney+ MCU and not discount it entirely.


Strangely, we watched Black Widow next. While it's technically out of order, it kinda fit, as it takes place between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, which is where we are. I hadn't seen this on initial release, being extremely cautious with the pandemic, so we were very eager to watch it the moment it became accessible on regular Disney+.

I have to say, the opening two thirds of Black Widow were brilliant. A great action, spy drama, with some really great scenes. The big disappointment was Taskmaster's great reveal, as that was blown by the opening credits for me seeing the actor's name come up. By about half-way through the movie, realising we hadn't seen them yet, I put two and two together and... well. On the plus side, as many have said, is Florence Pugh. Brilliant again, and really hoping she gets her own 'Black Widow' movie in the future, along with appearances in Hawkeye...

Next on the list, chronologically, we return to the movies with Ant-man and the Wasp. I think I'd only seen it once at the cinema so it was great getting to watch this again. Great stuff again, great acting, exciting scenes, really funny at the right times without going over the top (I'm looking at you Ragnarok), some scarily good de-aging CGI for Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne. And great to have Laurence Fishburne and Hannah John-Kamen in the MCU. 

Technically, you should stop watching the movie just before the mid-credits sequence at the end, and come back to this scene after Infinity War

But that's as far as we are at the moment. Next up is the biggie - Infinity War!

Until next time, stay safe!

--

If you want to catch up and keep up with the rewatch of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we've been following the order that DigitalSpy produced a little while ago. If you want to join in, here's the list we've worked through so far...

1 - Captain America: The First Avenger

2 - Agent Carter (Season One)

3 - Agent Carter (Season Two)

4 - Agent Carter (Marvel One-Shot - on Iron Man 3 bluray)

5 - Captain Marvel

6 - Iron Man

7 - Iron Man 2

8 - The Incredible Hulk (on Netflix)

9 - The Consultant (Marvel One-Shot - on the Thor bluray)

10 - A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to Thor's Hammer (Marvel One-Shot - on the Captain America: The First Avenger bluray)

11 - Thor: The Mighty Avenger

12 - Avengers Assemble (the first Avengers movie)

13 - Item 47 (Marvel One-Shot - on the Avengers bluray)

14 - Iron Man 3

15 - All Hail The King (Marvel One-Shot on the Thor: The Dark World bluray)

16 - Agents of SHIELD (Season One, Episodes 1-7)

17 - Thor: The Dark World

18 - Agents of SHIELD (Season One, Episodes 8-16)

19 - Captain America: The Winter Soldier

20 - Agents of SHIELD (Season One, Episodes 17-22)

21 - Guardians of the Galaxy

22 - Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

23 - Daredevil (Season One)

24 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Two, Episodes 1-10)

25 - Jessica Jones (Season One)

26 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Two, Episodes 11-19)

27 - Avengers: Age of Ultron

28 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Two, Episodes 20-22)

29 - Daredevil (Season Two, Episodes 1-4)

30 - Luke Cage (Season One, Episodes 1-4)

31 - Daredevil (Season Two, Episodes 5-11)

32 - Luke Cage (Season One, Episodes 5-8)

33 - Daredevil (Season Two, Episodes 12-13)

34 - Luke Cage (Season One, Episodes 9-13)

35 - Ant-Man

36 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Three, Episodes 1-10)

37 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Three, Episodes 11-19)

38 - Iron Fist (Season One)

39 - Captain America: Civil War

40 - Black Widow [New Addition to the Time Line!!]

41 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Three, Episodes 20-22)

42 - The Defenders

43 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Four, Episodes 1-6)

44 - Doctor Strange

45 - Black Panther

46 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Four, Episodes 7-8)

47 - Agents of SHIELD: Slingshot (Episodes 1-6)

48 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Four, Episodes 9-22)

49 - Spider-man: Homecoming

50 - Thor: Ragnarok

51 - Inhumans (Season One)

52 - The Punisher (Season One)

53 - Runaways (Season One)

54 - Agents of SHIELD (Season 5, Episodes 1-10)

55 - Jessica Jones (Season Two)

56 - Agents of SHIELD (Season 5, Episodes 11-18)

57 - Cloak and Dagger (Season One)

58 - Cloak and Dagger (Season Two)

59 - Luke Cage (Season Two) 

60 - Iron Fist (Season Two)

61 - Daredevil (Season Three)

62 - Runaways (Season Two)

63 - The Punisher (Season Two)

64 - Jessica Jones (Season Three) 

65 - Ant-Man and the Wasp (credits after Infinity War)

Next up is...

66 - Avengers: Infinity War <--We Are Here!!

67 - Agents of SHIELD (Season 5, Episodes 19-22)

68 - Agents of SHIELD (Season 6)

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Order in the (Marvel) Universe (Part VII)

Many, many moons ago, right in the middle of one of the UK lockdowns, I tried to keep myself sane and distracted by rewatching all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (including the TV series) in chronological order of events.

Just because the world (well, certainly the UK) seems to think the pandemic has ended, I'm still keeping as safe as possible, and keeping myself as sane as possible by continuing this massive Marvel rewatch.

Last time I posted about the Marvel marathon was back in July, and we continued our watch through in the order that DigitalSpy recommended. We finished that section with a back-to-back rewatch of Seasons One and Two of Marvel's Cloak and Dagger. So what was next on the list in order of events?


We head back to Netflix and return to Luke Cage for Season Two. Another excellent series, though I spent most of my time frustrated by the villains again. I know you're not supposed to like Mariah, but I really hated her in this series. Luckily, she is so completely hateful, and does such absolutely horrible things that her sidekick, Shades, eventually turns on her, and she's eventually killed by her own daughter. 

Once again, Mike Colter is freakin' awesome, as is Simone Missick, and the music is just brilliant again. One episode really stood out (Episode 4) where Christone 'Kingfish' Ingram performs on stage in the club, and... man, can that guy play. 


There's a little video of his 22nd Birthday concert. He's 22. Wow... 



After Luke Cage's final season, we head over to Iron Fist's last — a shorter season of ten episodes (and it really shows that most of the Marvel series on Netflix may have worked better as ten episode runs rather than thirteen). It's a good season again, plenty going on in it. It introduces one of my wife's favourite characters from Daredevil with 'Typhoid' Mary, and once again Jessica Henwick steals the show as Colleen Wing. After a climatic battle, Wing ends up with the Iron Fist powers, channeling them through her katana, though Danny Rand can still manifest the power in some way through guns? Weird. I'd have loved to have seen where this would have continued. 

Continuing the watch through in order, we move onto another of Netflix's 'Defenders' series, and the final season of Daredevil.


Can't believe it's been so long with the world thinking Matt Murdock was dead. This series Matt is hiding for most of it under the church, his suit having been stolen by Kingpin's goons and given to Bullseye. Some amazing scenes in this again — there's the 'filmed as one shot' sequence in the prison, where Murdock foolishly goes in to get info and as trapped in there, drugged, while a riot breaks out. And then there's the intense Karen Page / Kingpin scene in Kingpin's 'home arrest' luxury apartment. Fantastic as always. Brilliant cast, and I'd love to see the actors continue these rolls in future. Will Murdock be in Spider-man? Is Kingpin in the Hawkeye series? Who knows... only time will tell.

Next in the viewing order we head back over to Disney+ for Season Two of Marvel's Runaways.


I don't know what happened. I really enjoyed Season One when we rewatched it. I remember enjoying all three seasons first time around (though the main villain in Season Three was a strange choice). But this time around, rewatching Season Two was a bit of a struggle. Maybe it's because it was longer (thirteen episodes rather than ten), and the 'big bad' is kinda stopped by the seventh or eighth episode. After that it flounders a little as they try to establish the alien possessions storyline, the AWOL storyline, and just try to get to grips with what's going on... and then it just kinda stops. 

Oh well. Onto something completely new to me - 


Season Two of The Punisher. Now, I'm going to confess, I really liked Season One, despite it being one of the most violent series I've watched in a long time. But when Season Two dropped, I didn't quite get around to watching it straight away. And then the reviews started coming in saying it wasn't as good as the first, so we never quite got around to sitting down and actually watching it. So this was the first time for us, and we were pleasantly surprised! I thought it was going to be bad, but (again helped by some great supporting cast) it was rather good again. My only complaint is the end scene with Frank gunning down a load of drug dealers. Part of me was kinda hoping he was going to go back to that roadhouse and see if he could make up again with Beth Quinn, but alas. Billy Russo met a fitting finale, and 'John Pilgrim' was scarily brutal. 

And that's as far as we've got!!

Next up on the list is another Netflix series we haven't seen before — Season Three of Jessica Jones.

--

If you want to catch up and keep up with the rewatch of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we've been following the order that DigitalSpy produced a little while ago. If you want to join in, here's the list we've worked through so far...

1 - Captain America: The First Avenger

2 - Agent Carter (Season One)

3 - Agent Carter (Season Two)

4 - Agent Carter (Marvel One-Shot - on Iron Man 3 bluray)

5 - Captain Marvel

6 - Iron Man

7 - Iron Man 2

8 - The Incredible Hulk (on Netflix)

9 - The Consultant (Marvel One-Shot - on the Thor bluray)

10 - A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to Thor's Hammer (Marvel One-Shot - on the Captain America: The First Avenger bluray)

11 - Thor: The Mighty Avenger

12 - Avengers Assemble (the first Avengers movie)

13 - Item 47 (Marvel One-Shot - on the Avengers bluray)

14 - Iron Man 3

15 - All Hail The King (Marvel One-Shot on the Thor: The Dark World bluray)

16 - Agents of SHIELD (Season One, Episodes 1-7)

17 - Thor: The Dark World

18 - Agents of SHIELD (Season One, Episodes 8-16)

19 - Captain America: The Winter Soldier

20 - Agents of SHIELD (Season One, Episodes 17-22)

21 - Guardians of the Galaxy

22 - Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

23 - Daredevil (Season One)

24 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Two, Episodes 1-10)

25 - Jessica Jones (Season One)

26 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Two, Episodes 11-19)

27 - Avengers: Age of Ultron

28 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Two, Episodes 20-22)

29 - Daredevil (Season Two, Episodes 1-4)

30 - Luke Cage (Season One, Episodes 1-4)

31 - Daredevil (Season Two, Episodes 5-11)

32 - Luke Cage (Season One, Episodes 5-8)

33 - Daredevil (Season Two, Episodes 12-13)

34 - Luke Cage (Season One, Episodes 9-13)

35 - Ant-Man

36 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Three, Episodes 1-10)

37 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Three, Episodes 11-19)

38 - Iron Fist (Season One)

39 - Captain America: Civil War

40 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Three, Episodes 20-22)

41 - The Defenders

42 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Four, Episodes 1-6)

43 - Doctor Strange

44 - Black Panther

45 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Four, Episodes 7-8)

46 - Agents of SHIELD: Slingshot (Episodes 1-6)

47 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Four, Episodes 9-22)

48 - Spider-man: Homecoming

49 - Thor: Ragnarok

50 - Inhumans (Season One)

51 - The Punisher (Season One)

52 - Runaways (Season One)

53 - Agents of SHIELD (Season 5, Episodes 1-10)

54 - Jessica Jones (Season Two)

55 - Agents of SHIELD (Season 5, Episodes 11-18)

56 - Cloak and Dagger (Season One)

57 - Cloak and Dagger (Season Two)

58 - Luke Cage (Season Two) 

59 - Iron Fist (Season Two)

60 - Daredevil (Season Three)

61 - Runaways (Season Two)

62 - The Punisher (Season Two)

Next up is...

63 - Jessica Jones (Season Three) <--We Are Here!!

64 - Ant-Man and the Wasp (credits after Infinity War)

65 - Avengers: Infinity War

66 - Agents of SHIELD (Season 5, Episodes 19-22)

67 - Agents of SHIELD (Season 6)

[I have noticed that DigitalSpy's page has updated to insert Black Widow as Number 40 in the sequence, but we're way past that now - I haven't seen Black Widow yet, but will rectify that as soon as it hits non-premiere Disney+]


Tuesday, August 31, 2021

#RPGaDAY2021 - Day 31: THANK

 

And so we come to the end of another #RPGaDAY, and there's a definite reason why I picked this as the prompt for the last day. I really just wanted to take this opportunity to THANK everyone for taking part again this year - there have been so many brilliant blogposts, videos, podcasts, and tweets about what everyone enjoys about tabletop roleplaying games. 

I'd also like to take this opportunity to THANK Anthony Boyd again (the illustrious Runeslinger) for helping to coordinate this year's #RPGaDAY initiative. 

Thank you everyone. Eight years of this we've been doing and it's still going strong. Maybe we'll do something special for the tenth? Maybe a charity fundraiser or something? 

Thanks everyone, stay safe.


Dave

Monday, August 30, 2021

#RPGaDAY2021 - Day 30: MENTION

 


Day 30 of #RPGaDAY2021 and it's the last couple of days. Just one prompt today, and that is MENTION. The main idea for this is to give everyone the opportunity to mention anything they like - want to recommend a game, a stream, a designer, an accessory, a website, a podcast? Now's your chance to mention them and get some recognition. Spread the word. 

Sunday, August 29, 2021

#RPGaDAY2021 - Day 29: SYSTEM

 


Day 29 of #RPGaDAY2021, and we're into the last few posts (and all of which are single prompt entries). And today we look at SYSTEM! I must admit, I'm old and lazy, and reluctant to learn new systems unless they are very simple. I used to love reading a good game system, but after reading Tales from the Loop, I think I've been spoiled by its simplicity. You could take in the entirety of the game system in half an hour and be good to go for your first game so quickly! 

I tweaked with the Vortex system that powers Doctor Who recently, making it faster and quicker to learn and use. I just hope people like it. Good thing is, it's still compatible with the original version for those who prefer the First Edition. My head is currently thinking of adapting it for another use... we'll see.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

#RPGaDAY2021 - Day 28: SOLO

 


I remember when we were putting together the list of prompts for #RPGaDAY2021 I really wanted to include the word SOLO. At my decrepit age, it's tricky to schedule games and the idea of a good solo game you can play alone is really important. I love the idea of those Journaling games, and those and some great solo games really inspired me to make WILD something that could be experienced alone.

If you can recommend any great solo games, I'm always on the look out. Ironsworn is the obvious choice, and when I heard that the new version of The One Ring had a solo mode, that was what really tipped me over to back it.

What about the other prompts? I think this is the last day of multiple prompts, so I guess I'd better do them all! DREAM - oh blimey, that's too obvious again isn't it? I'm swamped at the moment, but I'm hoping I can go back to the dreamrealms of WILD in the near future to DELVE even deeper into the dreams-within-dreams. I hope to crack OPEN the notebooks again...

#RPGaDAY2021 - Day 27: FRACTION


 Friday, and it's day 27 of #RPGaDAY2021, and the day is FRACTION. And I must admit, I don't have an idea of what to post for this one. The first thing that comes to mind is that I have far too many RPGs. So many of them that I don't need to refer to, and I keep thinking I should sell a load of those and keep the FRACTION that I really need. The essentials. I mean, when am I ever going to need those 20+ GURPS books, or the 3.5e & 4th Ed D&D rules? 

But then I look at the other topics, and I'm drawing as much of a blank. I need more PRACTICE coming up with prompts for #RPGaDAY!! Ha!!


#RPGaDAY2021 - Day 26: THEORY

 

It's Day 26 of #RPGaDAY2021, and Thursday is a "TH" day, and so the word for today is THEORY. There are so many books out there on Game Theory, and I'd love to have time to read them all. But the greatest theoretical piece of advice I've been given when it comes to writing tabletop RPGs is "What do you do?" 

I spent ages working on WILD, and about half way through the design process where I had a game system, and a setting, and so many ideas in my head, someone came up to me at a convention and said "So, what do you do?" And I was floored. I had no answer to that. There was no simple 'The players do this'. So I had to go and re-evalutate everything. 

Now, going into any game idea that surfaces (and I usually have a dozen or so bubbling under the surface) the first question I ask myself is "What to you do?".

If the players don't have a definite idea of what they are PLAYing, then the GM won't have a definite idea of what the story is going to be.

After that, I went back to the ORIGIN of WILD, and tried to work out what you do, going back into the writing with a RENEWed vigour. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

#RPGaDAY2021 - Day 25: WELCOME

 


Day 25 of this year's #RPGaDAY and we WELCOME those new to #RPGaDAY! Hope you're enjoying taking part in this annual celebration of all the great things that RPGs can bring. It's all about positivity, acceptance, and welcoming gamers into the community. 

TRADITIONALLY, I would produce either daily videos where you could stare at by gormless face while I prattled on about stuff, with very little preparation or knowledge. However, I've struggled to keep up this year and have slipped over to these blog posts. Wow, editing videos can take forever, and there were only a dozen or so people actually watching them. Maybe I need to do something FRESH to bring in the viewers?? Ha! Doubtful.

Sorry, it's not a great blog post today. I'm so tired! Hopefully tomorrow's will be better and tick more BOXes!! Ha!

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

#RPGaDAY2021 - Day 24: TRANSLATE


Day 24 of #RPGaDAY and the main prompt is TRANSLATE. Hmmm... I guess I could talk about games I'd love to see translated. Initially I would have said that Neon Genesis Evangelion RPG that I bought many years ago that was in Japanese (oh, how I love Eva!), but that has been 'fan translated' (and an excellent job of it too).

I guess the RPG I'd like to see translated is the Valerian RPG. Lovely bit of graphic design, and using the artwork from the cool comic strip, I've always been a little disappointed that it hasn't been translated into English. 

Still tempted to pick up a copy though...














On the subject of cool French RPGs, as a bit of a completist I saw that there's a great French sourcebook for Tales from the Loop. And you know how much I love Tales from the Loop. My sub-par French could probably make out a bit of it, but it'd be cool to add to the Loop collection...

Okay, next prompts are... SHARE. What more can I share? I can share a photo of an ANCIENT artefact - 


That's my first d20, from when I started playing D&D back in the early 1980s. I still have it, and it's safe in a makeshift display case! Now the only thing I have to do is SOLVE the problem of not having enough time to write all of these blog posts!!


Monday, August 23, 2021

#RPGaDAY2021 - Day 23: MEMORY

 

And we're still going! Onto day 23 of #RPGaDAY2021, and the main prompt is MEMORY. A lot of what I write on this blog is remembering the old days of gaming. Although a lot of it is a bit fuzzy. I've had a weird urge for the last couple of years to write a proper 'Memoir' of my old gaming days, but then I've never been a fan of 'memoirs' or 'autobiographies'.

Maybe one day. 

INNOVATION: I wonder if everyone will talk about the biggest INNOVATION you can think of in gaming? Not sure what I'd suggest. I'd be tempted to go with James Bond again, as I think that was one of the earliest (if not the first) to incorporate Hero Points. I find it hard to imagine a game without some sort of hero point/bene/fate point. 

I'll try to keep this blog post QUICK, but I have to admit I've only recently discovered really quick games - you know, the ones you can play in one session. It's strange to think that I've been a long campaign person most of my gaming, but we did have a really cool game of Fiasco last year (the Mission to Mars set-up) which was hilarious. Really good fun which involved smearing strange meat paste over our spacesuits to lure the giant mutated rat creatures. 

And finally, a SURPRISE... I have no idea how I can surprise anyone anymore. I have so many ideas for a new RPG, I'm hoping when or if that finally surfaces it'll be some sort of surprise...

Ho well. Onto tomorrow!!

Stay safe!

Sunday, August 22, 2021

#RPGaDAY2021 - Day 22: SUBSTITUTE

 


Resisting the urge to just post that music video of Clout, today's #RPGaDAY prompt is SUBSTITUTE. I went through a weird phase in the 90s where I started a game and wanted to continue the story, but wanted to change the system. So I'd continue with the same characters, and SUBSTITUTE the system for the one I really wanted to play. I was a bit fickle I guess, but our epic Mage game turned into a rather scary and dark Kult game, which in turn evolved into CJ Carella's WitchCraft

I kinda miss urban fantasy settings. Though if I went back to those characters I'd probably SUBSTITUTE the game system again to something else - possibly Vortex or Year Zero Engine


Saturday, August 21, 2021

#RPGaDAY2021 - Day 21: SIMPLICITY


Today's #RPGaDAY is SIMPLICITY itself. What I've certainly found in the years since I started playing that I prefer the simpler rules. The easier the system the better, and then you can really concentrate on getting on with the game and advancing the story. And the real CHALLENGE is getting that balance of just as many rules as you need to make the game playable and yet not too many rules that it becomes unwieldy. I know I haven't managed to let go of the FEAR that I'm trying something new - after all, I was an old school gamer from the beginning, playing from back in the 1980s, but seeing all these easier and simpler games gives me the MOTIVEation to try something new.


#RPGaDAY2021 - Day 20: FOUNDATION


I guess for today's #RPGaDAY2021 I should look at the games that were the FOUNDATION of my gaming life? Hmm. Well, I started with Traveller, with those little black books. I had no idea what I was doing, but it sounded cool. Then it was straight onto the other classics, the real foundations of tabletop gaming in general - AD&D and Runequest.

Of course, the game I started with as a Gamemaster was Star Frontiers. But it really was games like WEG's Ghostbusters and Star Wars, and Victory Games' James Bond RPG that really showed me what's cool and have had the biggest influence on me.

PEACE: I mentioned yesterday the lack of death in games, and it's just nice to play something without loads of killing (though my D&D character is a bit of a fighting machine). Probably why I rate Tales from the Loop so highly still.