Wait, what? You guys, what?? Is it…is it true? Did the magical wish-granting fairy grant my (second biggest, after the upcoming Deadpool movie) Marvel movie wish? Is Spider-Man really coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in time for Civil War? Or am I hallucinating due to lack of sleep?
Nope, it’s real, and what’s more, I’m not the only one speculating that Spider-Man’s first appearance in the MCU may be in the Civil War storyline, which is something I’ve been wishin’ and hopin’ for ever since the possibility of Civil War on the big screen was even a glimmer of a speculative thought. It’s no secret that I love the Civil War crossover storyline, and if you don’t know why, just read those two links for plenty of reasons (and, uh, SPOILER WARNING and all that, both for those links and below).
But in brief: the Civil War crossover, though complicated in many ways, can be distilled down to the introduction of the Superhuman Registration Act into the Marvel universe, and the two sides distilled down to those who decide to register and reveal their secret identities, and those who fight registration to retain their personal privacy and freedom. It was a brilliant concept when introduced, because not only can readers identify with it via the analogies that can be drawn to various real-world issues (like surveillance and invasion of privacy and personal freedom, and the fact that S.H.I.E.L.D., which is supposed to be a governing force for good, ends up being a brutal enforcer of the Act), but it’s a fight that every main character in the MCU has a stake in, merely by dint of being a superpowered or vigilante fighter.
The secret identity angle is such an integral part of most super-folk that it pulls most of them in to some extent or another – but also, the backstory and personality of a particular character do a lot to determine what side they choose. And some of the choices are surprising. The Civil War storyline allowed writers to delve into the heart of why the heroes make the choices they do (although I always wish they’d done even more with them). And it gives us a legit reason for more badass scenes like that one in The Avengers where Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America duke it out full force, even while they remain (more or less) the sympathetic heroes that we love.
But despite all of the reasons I’d be excited to see any version of Civil War onscreen, if it turns out that Spider-Man’s first MCU appearance is in Civil War I’ll be doubly excited because Peter Parker’s heartbreaking journey during that storyline really gave it a focus and a character’s path to follow, even in the midst of all the rest. The choice he made to support the Act for both logical and personal reasons, and to work with a man he looked up to, Tony Stark; the consequences of that choice in both the short term and the long; the manipulation and betrayal by Tony even while they both thought they were doing the right thing; and the decision that Peter made to turn his back on his original choice, despite it almost being the death of him, make for a compelling story that pulls the rest of the characters’ journeys together; and any Civil War without Peter’s story will be severely lacking. Not to mention that the visual and emotional impact of some of Peter’s scenes would be amazing on the big screen, as would the Iron Spider suit that plays a big part in Tony’s betrayal.
Really, I could go on for hours about why Spider-Man is, in some ways, the heart of the Civil War tale, and it just wouldn’t be the same without him; but instead I’ll just take this moment to rejoice in his return to the fold of the Marvel family on the big screen, and to hope with all my little comic-book-loving heart that he takes his rightful place there in a well-told story during Civil War.
And until next time, cross your fingers with me and Servo Lectio!
I spend way too much time on social media. I’m often lurking in the background, checking out what weird Internet gems people have found or created. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve seen this fandom day meme pop up throughout my social media feeds.
Based on the date chosen, it is possibly meant as an early April Fools’ joke but it still brought something to light. In every posting I saw of this meme, I saw fans stating they apparently needed to wear a rainbow of fandoms. In some cases, it seemed like people were asking permission just to show support for multiple fandoms. (The other complaint being they left out a ton of groups.)
This just boggles my mind. Who needs to choose one fandom?! Most geeks can fit in more than one. I have attended Firefly meetups, where more often than not everyone is talking a variety of other fandoms rather than just the crew of Serenity. And the mashup genre has become a big hit. Facebook pages dedicated to a random grouping of interests rather than a singular one are running rampant.
Geekdom, in general, is its own fandom. Within the confines of our passions are our singular interests. Just like a historian or chef or doctor (yeah, I know I’m stretching boundaries) can specialize in a certain area, so can geeks. While I’m definitely weak in the Doctor Who and Supernatural areas, I can rock the Buffy and Harry Potter zones. I may choose Star Trek and DC Comics in the big fan debates, but that doesn’t stop me from rocking a Wookie hat and an Avengers t-shirt.
Maybe I am just making too much out of an Internet meme. It will eventually disappear and resurface, then disappear again. But just don’t ask me to choose between my Star Wars Wookie hat and my Star Trek Gorn t-shirt. Then we are going to have a problem.
Even though this month has brought The Tweeks sickness, they are still super excited about November.You won’t find Maddy & Anya pushing an early Christmas (Snowflake red cups on Halloween, seriously, Starbucks?) but you will find them celebrating what is currently making them happy— stuff like the new Marvel movies announcement, the spoiler about Tom Hiddleston in Avengers: Age of Ultron, new movies on Netflix, Halloween candy, and the graphic novel, Fragile— which may have cured the girls of their aversion to Manga!
I’ve been avoiding this one like the plague. Or The Stranger. Or other existential novels by Albert Camus. Read them in high school. Didn’t understand them. But, then, I didn’t understand some aspects of Avengers Assemble v 2 21, either. So I guess it’s onward.
Here’s what I can tell you. Spider-Girl, the Anya Corazón version– and don’t even ask about the May Parker Spider-Girl, who is the daughter of Peter Parker in either an alternate future or an alternate universe whose timeline started fifteen years before the main Marvel timeline, so May’s backstory is even more confusing than a Camus novel – came to the Avengers for help. New York had just experienced the Inhumanity event, when the Terrigen bomb exploded over Manhattan. The bomb’s mutating Terrigen mists covered New York and then, by way of the trade winds, covered the world even better than Sherman-Williams paint. The mist’s mutagenic properties either turned people who were latent Inhumans into super-powered Inhumans immediately or they formed Terrigenesis Cocoons around the latents where they would gestate and emerge with super powers later. (Terrigen Mists? Terrigen Bombs? Terrigenesis Cocoons? Gods, this is more confusing than Camus channeling Jean-Paul Satre.)
Anya’s social studies teacher,Mr. Schlickeisen, was one of the latents who went into a cocoon. Mr. Schlickeisen was taken to a hospital for observation. But someone stole both his cocoon and the cocoon in the bed next to him. Now Anya wanted the Avengers’ help in tracking down her missing teacher.
Most of the Avengers were busy battling Inhumans’ Inhumanity to man, but Spider-Woman and Black Widow went to help Spider-Girl find her teacher. Black Widow eschewed the suggestion that they go to the hospital where Mr. Schlickeisen had been. Somehow she knew – maybe it was her spy-der sense – that A.I.M. had taken the cocoons and where they had taken them.
Trouble is that A.I.M. wasn’t the Advanced Idea Mechanics of old. They were no longer the R & D branch of the terrorist organization Hydra. They were no longer a group of brilliant scientists who wore silly yellow beekeeper costumes and are dedicated to overthrowing all governments by technological means. At least not overtly. Seems a while back A.I.M. bought the Caribbean island of Barbuda and formed an internationally recognized government there. So now A.I.M. is a sovereign nation of scientists who still wear silly yellow beekeeper costumes and are dedicated to overthrowing all governments by technological means, but covertly. And that caused complications for the Avengers.
A.I.M. claims diplomatic immunity and officially the Avengers can’t approach them. Fortunately for the purposes of this story, Black Widow was a former spy who specialized in unofficial missions. So she and her Arach-Pack went to an A.I.M. temporary lab somewhere in the Meatpacking District in Manhattan’s lower West Side. They broke in and incapacitated most of the beekeepers they found. But this wasn’t some A.I.M.-less operation, the Arach-Pack kept one A.I.M. flunky conscious so they could interrogate him.
Which they were doing, when some twenty-one other A.I.M. operatives in the facility arrived, all aiming high-tech weaponry and took our heroines captive. Things looked bad for the Arach-Pack, especially when the A.I.M. leader showed up.
No the leader wasn’t A.I.M.y Semple McPherson. It was Kashmir Vennema, But is that name really any less silly? Kashmir Vennema? Who’s her brother Khamilhare Kolonic?
Kashmir told her underlings to kill the Avengers. She wasn’t worried about any consequences for killing three Avengers, because, A.I.M. has “diplomatic status,” and because under “castle law, the minute [the Avengers] busted in here I was entitled to confront [them] with lethal force.”
Things looked bad for the ladies. Did they escape? Were they killed? Well, that’s another story. Okay, it’s the same story, but it’s the story of another issue, because this issue was only the first part of a five-part story and it pretty much ended on this cliffhanger. So, in keeping with the story, I’m going to leave you hanging and go into the legal analysis stuff. (Okay, the Avengers weren’t killed. Duh.)
First, the castle doctrine. We discussed it last week and here it is again. You may remember, and if you don’t here it is again, the castle doctrine says people who are in their own house don’t have a duty to retreat before using deadly force to repel trespassers; as long as they reasonably fear the trespassers pose an immediate threat to inflict death or serious bodily harm. But unless the A.I.M. operatives were also living in this temporary lab somewhere in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, this building was a place of business, not a dwelling. The New York castle doctrine found in PL § 35.15 limits application of castle law to one’s dwelling and doesn’t extend it to one’s place of business. So, the A.I.M.-moral bad guys didn’t have the right to use lethal force as soon as the Avengers trespassed into this not-a-dwelling. Moreover, as the Avengers were bound to chairs and seemingly helpless – so didn’t pose an immediate threat of death or serious bodily harm to anyone – lethal force was off the table even if some of the beekeepers did call it hive, err home.
Now how about the other claim, “diplomatic status?” Well, Ms. Vennema pronouncements of immunity law may have been as expansive as maternity pants.
Yes, ambassadors from foreign countries have diplomatic immunity, so can’t be arrested or prosecuted. Nor can members of the ambassador’s administrative or technical staff. But other members of the diplomatic mission – the service staff, the consular officers, the consular employees, and the like – don’t enjoy such diplomatic immunity. They can be arrested and prosecuted for crimes.
The story didn’t give us any indication of Ms Vennema’s status Or of the gunmen serving under her. We don’t know whether she and they were part of the diplomatic mission of Barbuda. But we do know is that they were engaged in some illegal activities – kidnaping people encased in Terrigenesis Cocoons and selling those cocoons to other interested parties. And they were doing it out of a nondescript building in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan.
If A.I.M. has a Barbudan embassy, it clearly ain’t a nondescript building in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan. So the people found inside this facility were not the embassy staff and I doubt they were part of Barbuda’s diplomatic mission. So they probably didn’t have diplomatic immunity.
Why do I conclude that these less-than-A.I.M.-iable individuals aren’t part of the diplomatic mission? Well think about what they were doing. They were stealing Terrigenesis Cocoons and the Inhumans who were inside said cocoons and selling some of those cocoons, and the Inhumans inside them, to other interested parties. In New York those acts would constitute kidnaping and, depending on what those other interested parties wanted to do with the cocooned people after they hatched, human trafficking. (Or would it be Inhuman trafficking?) It’s unlikely that A.I.M. would have anyone so obviously engaged in such obvious criminal as part of its diplomatic mission. Why? Because, if they were part of the diplomatic mission and were doing such obviously illegal things and got caught, it would be embarrassing for the government of Barbuda. Governments tend not to put the obvious criminals on their diplomatic missions.
So, if Ms. Vennema or her staff isn’t part of A.I.M.’s and Barbuda’s diplomatic mission, and they probably aren’t, they have neither “diplomatic status” nor diplomatic immunity. New York would be free to prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law for murdering the Avengers.
Hey, Kashmir, next time you want to cl-A.I.M. diplomatic status, you might want to check on your actual situation. If you don’t, you might find out your bosses have left you hanging out to dry. Like your sweatery namesake.
Two of last year’s TV hits are headed back for a sophomore season that promises big things. BROOKLYN 99 dives into Fox Sunday nights and star Melissa Fumero talks about how the cast is more than ready to grab another Golden Globe, plus what might (or might not) be happening between her character and Andy Samberg. Meanwhile, fresh off CAPTAIN AMERICA WINTER SOLDIER, MARVEL’S AGENTS OF SHIELD starts out another season that will lead not only to next year’s AVENGERS, but to a spin off as well and in spite of all that pressure, Clark Gregg says he’s still having a ball.
As the Tweeks recover from their whirlwind Comic Con 2014, here’s a recap of their adventures at the San Diego Convention Center. There was a lot of fan girl apparel, comic books, and toys purchased, as well as many interviews conducted. Keep a look out for more coverage on their hometown Con.
You may never own one or even ride one, but you probably will agree that motorbikes can be cool. We take you right into the heart of they matter as we look at The History Channel series, BIKER BATTLEGROUND PHOENIX. Plus The Avengers get a makeover and ComicCon here we come!
For OUTLANDER fans, the wait is almost over. The mega big book series hits the Starz Network in just a couple of weeks (with a sneak preview on August 2nd). Producer Ronald Moore and author Diana Gabaldon talk about the road from book to camera. Plus actor Jay Hernandez, from the Fox summer hit GANG RELATED, talks about making good choices in acting roles and Marvel revives Tony Stark’s ego.
A new take on GODZILLA hits theaters in a new days, and director Gareth Edwards and star Elizabeth Olson fill us in on the road they took to get the popular franchise rebooted. Plus Elizabeth talks about her prep for the role of Scarlet Witch in AVENGERS:AGE OF ULTRON. Meanwhile, out looks like comics will dominate the TV nets next season with no less than five news series!