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Saturday, February 18, 2023 

Ant-Man & Wasp movie sequel has a laughable premise

Looks like the latest Marvel movie is considered just as much an artistic dud as the last few (as of now, less than 50 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), and in this NBC-KGET review, what they tell about a certain supervillain originally introduced in the Avengers during the Silver Age, is so head-shaking:
If you missed the second “Ant-Man” movie (the only good one of the three), the Quantum Realm is a world that is even smaller than microscopic. It is the dangerous world where Janet spent three decades.

Faster than you can say “It’s clobberin’ time,” the family members are pulled into the tiny world through Cassie’s experiment. They find a world that has been savaged by a self-appointed ruler known as Kang the Conqueror (Majors). It seems Kang and Janet have a history that she never talked about.

The big threat is Kang needs Janet to help him escape the tiny world so that he can go back to conquering universes. She wants no part of it.
So in the context of this "Quantumania", Kang's been confined to a microverse (and Janet spent time there)? Under a better writer in comicdom, Kang would've been able to master an escape himself, something Dr. Doom could be seen doing too, as he eventually escaped the confines of a miniature body he got stuck in during the early 1980s in Fantastic Four, when John Byrne was the main writer. Putting a villain of Kang's stature in a micro-world is supremely silly, when there's surely other characters from Marvel lore that could've made far better choices for the specific premise of this movie.

And since this was the subject here, the Marvel studio's pretentious manager, Kevin Feige, was interviewed by Entertainment Weekly, and here's his justification for the setup:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Let's start with Ant-Man. Why was Quantumania the right film to kick off Phase 5 and introduce Kang the Conqueror?

KEVIN FEIGE: We wanted to kick off Phase 5 with a team of heroes that you already know. We knew that if we were going to do another Ant-Man film, it was always the idea to spend the majority of time in the Quantum Realm, this place you've heard about in various movies and seen glimpses of. We wanted to actually explore it. When we were making the earlier films, we saw the visuals of the Quantum Realm, like, "See that back there? That's a city. See that over there? That's a whole civilization." We were hoping that one day we could explore more of it.

For years, we've always had the inkling that Kang would be an amazing follow-up to Thanos. He's got that equal stature in the comics, but he's a completely different villain. Mainly, that's because he's multiple villains. He's so unique from Thanos, which we really liked.
This is almost beginning to sound, in reverse, like the way Warner Brothers prepared the screenplay for the abortive Green Lantern movie, where Parallax, the entity originally represented by Hal Jordan himself, would be the main villain, rather than Sinestro, all because they didn't want to make it obvious who the adversary would be for the film. But that, in its own way, only resulted in a movie both underwhelming, whereas to introduce Kang in a microverse rather than as a time-traveling villain making a first-time invasion in the Avengers proper is an equally underwhelming setup. Why, now that I think of it, this reminds me, IIRC, that when the first 2 Fantastic Four movies were produced in the mid-2000s, Dr. Doom was depicted as a crooked businessman, rather than the self-appointed monarch of Latveria. No doubt, because PC dictates they can't offer up even that much of a premise in which a despot from a foreign country serves as an adversary. And did Rise of the Silver Surfer lead to a stand-alone movie franchise? Nope. If multiples is the excuse for plunking Kang into a microverse, it's a very lazy one.

And then, Feige makes everything worse by gushing over modern Marvel's Islamic propaganda tool, Kamala Khan, in the Capt. Marvel sequel, simply titled "The Marvels":
Phase 4 was a transitional era. Several of your original cast members left after Endgame, and you introduced a whole new group of heroes. You also started to embrace television, launching multiple shows on Disney+. What were some of the learnings or takeaways from some of those projects?

I hope we learn something on every project. I was very pleased with everything that we did. Kamala Khan, for instance, is a great new character in the pantheon. I'm very proud of the Ms. Marvel show. I also know — and this is a spoiler — she essentially steals The Marvels, which is coming out [July 28]. It makes me excited that people will, I hope, see that movie and then go back and revisit those shows on Disney+. The fun thing about streaming is they are there forever, and people can keep re-exploring them. Moon Knight, same thing. I think there's a future for that character as we move forward.
This is bound to be very deliberate, based on how the character was developed to represent Islamic propaganda nearly a decade ago, much like the Simon Baz character in DC's Green Lantern franchise. Judging from the recent box office and TV ratings for these productions, I'm not sure there's much of a future for any of them. And if the Marvel/DC franchises eventually peter out, it'll be for the best. This was already some of the most overrated tripe to begin with, and it's taken away funding from smaller projects that could've provided more to think about, including Coppola and Scorsese's movies.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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