**BEWARE: Spoilers are everywhere in this post**
Marvel has come with the noise this year after a (too) long hiatus. First with WandaVision, then with Falcon & The Winter Soldier, rounding out July with Loki and Black Widow. I had no expectations about Loki, even though the rumors had been floating that there was going to be a direct tie-into Dr. Strange: Multiverse of Madness. However, after many nerd predictions proved to be false about WandaVision, I was hesitant to jump back into the theorizing pool once again. I thought, "Just enjoy whatever the show will bring because you love this character almost as much as Tom Hiddleston loves playing him." In the meantime, Black Widow was going to bring us back to big screen Marvel and I was PUMPED to see TaskMaster. Booooyyyyy, was I surprised how TaskMaster disappointed me and how Immortus blew me away.
TaskMaster could've....should've been amazing. TaskMaster in the comics is such a "fun" character. A little background for you less nerdy people: Tony Masters had a photographic memory, a natural mimic, and gifted athlete. One of the comics best hand to hand combatants. He's easy to place up there with greats: Black Panther, Wolverine, Captain America, Iron Fist... In fact, even though he does lose some fights, only one real opponent has ever befuddled him...Deadpool. It's hard to mimic/copy a fighter who is as crazy insane as Deadpool. TaskMaster would be hard pressed to cut off his own arm to beat someone with it. But I digress...TaskMaster is what a comic lover enjoys about a comic character. As "ordinary" as Tony is, there's still something mystical about his character. After all, isn't that why we love comics? Which leads me to why it was soooo disappointing to see how TaskMaster was handled in the Black Widow movie.
No, I didn't care that they decided to gender swap the character. Everything Tony Masters was in the comics could've (ahem, should've) been done with (*spoiler alert*) Antonia. Instead of making the character nothing more than a tech suit (hello, Tony Stark), she should've been the mystical mimic. Nothing would've been lost in the plot: she could still be Dreykov's daughter who was blown up by Natasha. Antonia could've served as some inspiration for her dad as a way to use female assassins. Instead she got all her powers from a brain chip and tech suit. Boooooo. Way to nerf a character. So she can't be a natural badass, she needs help? I'm not one to get all wound up with offense, but a case could be made, if one wanted to make one. All I can hope is that Marvel might spring the REAL TM on us later. My hopes aren't high, seeing as it would be too reminiscent of their current Mandarin/Trevor plot. But dare I say Marvel redeemed themselves with Immortus showing up in Loki?? I dare.
After so much disappointment from the lack of Mephisto in WandaVision, I was hesitant to make any theory or prediction about Loki. The show almost seemed to taunt comic book nerds with so many Kang references, daring us to theorize his appearance only to be smacked down in the finale once more. Ravonna Renslayer on the show? Ok, nice Kang reference, but you won't tempt me...nuh uh. One of the TimeKeepers slightly looks like Jonathan Majors? Not today, Satan. Then Qeng Tower and Alioth showed up...completely unfair. Kevin Feige had told us that the shows weren't mandatory watching for movies, so still I held firm. There's NO WAY they'll drop a character of THAT magnitude into a 6 episode, not mandatory show. I told myself "NO WAY...I will not be taken in again."
Then, BOOM, the doors opened in the last episode and there was Majors. Knowing, technically, he hadn't lied about no plans to show up as Kang on the show. There he was in all his Immortus glory and he played it brilliantly. This character and all his variants is a HUGE deal for the MCU. First, Kang/Immortus/Nathaniel Richards/Iron Lad/Rama-tut is a major baddie in the comics. Ok, not every version of him is a villain, but when he's bad, he's BAD. And there he was...in a 6 episode, not required watching show. And, unlike TaskMaster, they kept him pretty frickin true to character. Granted, it would be pretty hard to make Kang/Immortus more realistic (i.e. tech suit), but they allowed the character to shine in all of its time bending weirdness. Is it almost impossible to wrap your head around a character that has traveled in time so much that he's split into different versions of himself that end up fighting each other? Of course! But honestly, if you're watching comic movies for realism...just don't. They can be relatable, but let the weirdness prevail when it needs to and with Nathaniel Richards, trust me, you need the weird.
So as disappointed as I was with TaskMaster, I felt like Loki more than made up for it. The multiverse opened up and now the possibilities are limitless and I. Can't. Wait.
Comment below if there are characters or movies you'd like to hear my thoughts on. See ya!