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Defenders of The Deep | Exploring Namor and The Atlanteans as they make a splash in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

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The panel for Marvel Studios kicked off with a bang last night during its Hall H presentation at San Diego Comic-Con. And they certainly brought their Avengers A-Game as it was packed full of announcements regarding their upcoming projects with new release dates, trailers, and exclusive sneak peeks for those attending. Here at Coastal House Media were up all night with anticipation so continue reading on as we delve into the Studio/Comic giant’s future plans.

Marvel Studios ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ capped the Hall H presentation with thunderous roars and applause. The first film quickly became one of Marvel’s most successful films to date and truly became an impact on culture and society. With Wakanda Forever’s release on November 11th, 2022 we are introduced to new important characters that ultimately set the stage for one of the most emotional chapters in MCU history. With many of the original cast reprising their roles we witness a vulnerable nation grieving as in the wake of king T’Challa’s death the Wakandans fight to protect their nation from intervening powers as we are introduced to Atlantis, the undersea nation and its king Namor the Sub-Mariner. 

Namor is an important character to be heading into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he was first introduced into Marvel comics since 1939 and has consistently made a splash across the pages often being labelled as the first mutant. Over the decades in the comics, his full name was revealed to be Namor McKenzie, he’s the son of a human father named Leonard McKenzie and Atlantean Princess Fen. Capable of living on both land and sea, Namor’s heritage led him to acquire physical strength and durability, he can also speak to and control the ocean, and heal himself when he’s in water. Throughout his run, in the comics, Namor has teamed up and made allegiances with the Fantastic Four and even had a fling for Sue Storm. At one point he even joined the Avengers and helped found the superhero team called the Defenders. In the Aftermath of the Kree/Skrull war, Namor also became a co-founder of the Illuminati, a group dedicated to protecting the world from major threats by any means necessary. 

Image Via Marvel

In recent comics, during Avengers Vs. X-Men Namor uses his powers and attacks Wakanda, absolutely devastating the African nation, this ignited a massive conflict between Wakanda and Atlantis. Both are technologically advanced countries and are defined by their secretiveness and fierce independence. Those similarities have led to serval clashes, and the tension between the two nations has much been explored through their leaders. 

Image Via Marvel

With Namor’s inclusion in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever it will be fascinating to see what aspects they take from the comic counterpart and where it leads in the future. Namor will be played by Tenoch Huerta as the trailer offers us some unique and fascinating glimpses of the character. Through flashback sequences, we see what appears to be Namor being born underwater with his comic-accurate ankle wings which we then see later on as he grows older. The MCU’s take on Atlantis is a fantastic choice one that echos Mayan civilisation and Aztec culture and iconography. We see Namor in a ceremonial headdress and the world-building looks phenomenal as it’s rooted in history. I’m loving his Aztec-inspired variation of his comic-accurate green trunks. 

Huerta expressed his happiness at being able to take part in the MCU and called the experience “an honor.” He talks about inclusion, commenting that he’s from “the hood” but thanks to the inclusion of the MCU, he’s now “here.” He views the moment as an inspiration for all of the kids who grew up looking and living like himself, saying “a lot of kids are there in their hood, dreaming of being here, and they can make it!” Henoch also expressed his gratitude by delivering a message to his community and thanking everyone in Spanish.

Another aspect similar to the comics is that the Atlanteans have blue-coloured skin. Also making their live-action debuts are Namorita and Attuma. Namorita played by Mabel Cadena is the daughter of an Atlantean man and surface woman in the comics. In the comics, she has the ability to swim at superhuman speed and is immune to the cold and pressures of the depth. I’m loving the MCU depiction with her headdress and tribal wear as seen below. Attuma played by Alex Livinalli is the leader of a group of barbarian Atlanteans. He is superhumanly strong and is capable of lifting 60 tons even underwater. Attuma is a beast with his tribal wear and weapon axe.  

Image Via Marvel

Namor and the Atlanteans are so important and integral to other storylines that seeing them in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is only the beginning. After all the impending battle between the two nations is upon us. The full trailer featuring footage of Namor and the Atlanteans can be seen below. The cinematography and Coogler’s work here is among the most impressive there’s beaches and phenomenal underwater sequences that are truly otherworldly.

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Comic Book Movies

Marvel Studios’ Secret Invasion Review: Nick Returns With A Fury

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Nick Fury (Marvel)

The following piece was written during the 2023 Writers Guild of America (WGA) and Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the television series being covered here wouldn’t exist.

Overview Of Secret Invasion

Secret Invasion is set in the present-day Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Nick Fury learns of an invasion of Earth by a faction of shapeshifting Skrulls. Fury, joined by Everett Ross, Maria Hill, and the Skrull Talos, who has made a life for himself on Earth, races against time to stop an invasion and save humanity.

Brief Summary (Contains Spoilers)

Ben Mendelsohn  as Talos (Marvel)

The series starts off with Talos pursuing Everett Ross for the murder of a CIA agent, who had information about a potential Skrull rebellion. Maria Hill arrives on scene and discovers that Everett is a shapeshifting Skrull and contacts Nick Fury to request assistance. Nick returns to learn that not only has Talos been exiled from the Skrull Council, but Gravik is taking the lead with the rebellion. Fury approaches an old acquaintance by the name of Sonya Falsworth to propose an alliance, but to no avail. In the meantime, Talos reunites with his daughter, G’iah who shares with him the location of a Skrull attack in Russia. The mission to stop the attack not only end in failure, but in the death of one of Fury’s team mates. Fury and Talos is forced to escape to fight another day.

Kingsley Ben-Adir as Gravik (Marvel)

Gravik gains the support of the Skrull Council to lead them in a new war. Fury is blamed for the attack in Russia and the death of one of the team members, and is discharged of his duties. Sonya learns from another rebel that Gravik has a new weapon, a machine that can help enhance their strength with the use of powered DNA. The rebel’s next target is the Royal Navy. Their attempt to launch a missile at another aircraft is however thwarted by collective efforts from Fury, Talos, Sonya and G’iah. G’iah attempts to run away but is confronted by Gravik who shoots her and leaves her for dead.

Emilia Clarke as G’iah (Marvel)

G’iah, however, survives and lives to fight another day. We quickly learn that there is a rebel Skull Imposter posing as one of the Avengers. The rebels turn their focus on the President of the United States, and posing as Russian soldiers almost succeeds in their attempt, however, they leave behind many casualties. The rebel Skrulls tries to convince the United States President to attack one of the Skrull compounds. Gravik is willing to call off the attack in exchange for something from Nick that could potentially tip the scales in the favor of the rebels.

The last episode ends with a short but grand face-off between Fury and Gravik with a special twist…but I will leave this for you as the viewer to experience on the screen.

The summary has been written in such a way as to not spoil too much for the viewer.

Gravik as a Skrull (Marvel)

Final Views

I really enjoyed the suspense and surprises that the series brought with every episode. Even though the series was only 6 episodes long, it kept the suspense alive and it kept the golden thread going that is taking place within the broader MCU. As you may recall, Captain Marvel’s movie end where she flew off to find a new home for the Skrulls and this series continue many years later where some of the Skrulls feel the promise of a new home has been broken. Even the blip is referenced and it keeps the memory alive of a world still affected by Thanos’ snap.

The rating for this series is definitely a 4 out of 5. The story had a feel of a crime drama and spy thriller. The fight scenes were amazing and I personally felt the last episode could have been longer to give us an even longer fight. There are many questions that this television series have going through my head that I won’t list over here to limit spoiling the experience for you as the viewer. I can only hope that some of the questions will be answered in future Marvel Studios productions.

Olivia Colman as Sonya Falsworth (Marvel)

Olivia Colman’s portrayal of Sonya Falsworth was really amazing to watch and I really hope we get to see more of her in future productions. Emelia Clark and Kingsley Ben-Adir brought in a breath of fresh air as G’iah and Gravik respectively. As always, having Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury is epic to say the least, and I encourage keeping both eyes on his performance throughout the MCU.

I highly recommend watching Iron Man (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor (2011), Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), The Avengers (2012), Iron Man 3 (2013), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Black Panther (2018), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Captain Marvel (2019), Avengers: Endgame (2019), Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019), WandaVision (2021), Falcon and the Winter Soldier (2021) and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) before watching Secret Invasion. These movies provide the detailed backstory to most of the returning characters. These movies and television series are based on the list of recommendations made in Marvel Studios’ Legends as well.

There is no post-credits scene, so no need to wait till the end. The whole series is now available on Disney Plus so make sure to watch. This series is rumored to tie-in with both The Marvels and Armor Wars, upcoming movies in the MCU.

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Prowler: Character Profile

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Prowler (Sony Pictures)

The following piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the comic book material being covered here wouldn’t exist.

The mantle of the Prowler has been carried by many characters in the Marvel Universe. I will be writing briefly about some of the famous characters.

Aaron Davis

Uncle Aaron Davis as the Prowler (Marvel Unlimited)

Aaron exposed his brother Jefferson to a life of crime, and while Jefferson went out to redeem himself and become both a law-abiding citizen and a police officer, Aaron continued his life as a career criminal, known by the name Prowler, the cat burglar. Oscorp was one of the targets during one of his burglary jobs. While their he left with a chemically engineered spider, Specimen 42, which was the same spider that bit Miles.

Even with no super powers, Prowler is a force to be reckoned with because of both hand-to-hand combat ability and superior technology that is supplied to him via the Tinkerer. He regularly faces off against Mac Gargan who uses the alias Scorpion. As with most Spider-Man villains Uncle Aaron eventually crossed paths with Spider-Man, who in this case is his nephew, Miles Morales.

Hobie Brown

Hobie Brown as the Prowler (Marvel Unlimited)

Hobie is a talented and innovative kid, and when no-one considers listening to him or giving him a chance at proving himself he ends pursuing a life of crime. He targets the Daily Bugle with the intent of impressing his girlfriend, Mindy. However, this attempt brought him face-to-face with Spider-Man and resulted in a life-changing defeat. Spider-Man gave Hobie a chance to share his story and let him go, only to return at some point to ask Hobie to stand in as Spider-Man for a short while.

Spider-Man was implicated in the death of Captain George Stacey and this encouraged Hobie to use his Prowler persona to hunt down Spider-Man, but in the end he was overpowered and came to the conclusion that Spider-Man can’t be a murderer. He eventually married his love, Mindy and tried to have a normal life. This is short-lived when his little brother got murdered, presumably by the White Tiger. The Prowler and White Tiger faced off in a massive fight but as most murder mysteries go, someone else was responsible for the death of his little brother.

Hobie even applied to join the Defenders, but the application was not successful. Hobie teams up with Spider-Man to help find evidence to clear his wife, Mindy when she gets framed while working for the infamous Justin Hammer. In a similar fashion Hobie teams up with Spider-Man again, but this time to help clear Spider-Man’s name when he gets accused of theft. Hobie eventually joins up with the Outlaws, teaming up occasionally with Sandman, Rocket Racer and Silver Sable.

Hobie and Rocket Racer decides to enter the Great Game, a super-powered fight contest organised by wealthy people. This didn’t end well for Hobie as he ends up paralyzed after the competition due to a spinal injury. A hospital worker who learned of Hobie’s secret stole the Prowler costume.

Rick Lawson

Rick Lawson (Marvel)

Upon learning about Hobie’s secret role as the Prowler, Rick went as far as breaking into Hobie’s home to get his hands on the Prowler costume. The next homes he targeted was those of other patients. He eventually crosses the path of the Vulture. Vulture, still cross with Prowler about a previous failed job doesn’t go easy on Rick, but Spider-Man intervenes and both villains are forced to flee. Vulture returns to attack Rick at home and Spider-Man arrives to save the day, webbing up the Vulture, taking Rick to hospital and returning the Prowler costume to Hobie.

Final Thoughts

Donald Glover as Uncle Aaron Davis in Spider-Man: Homecoming (Sony Pictures)

I highly recommend watching Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse to see another possible hero wearing the mantle of the Prowler. The abovementioned biographies are covered in brief to allow you as the reader to explore more of the Prowler’s stories and adventures when going through comics, watching the movies or even subscribing to Marvel Unlimited. This is definitely one of those characters who I would like to see explored more, either in the Marvel Cinematic Universe or even in a Sony Pictures Movie. Mahershala Ali voices Uncle Aaron in Sony’s Spider-Verse movies. Donald Glover plays the role of Uncle Aaron Davis in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and I’m really holding thumbs that we get to see him wearing the mantle of the Prowler in a future Marvel Studios production. Just imagine him teaming up with the Sinister Six and giving our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man a tough time. But for now, get to a cinema near you and experience Across the Spider-Verse on the big screen.

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Kraven The Hunter: Character Profile | Hunting Season Is On

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Sony Pictures Digital Productions Inc.

Hunting season begins in October 2023 with Kraven the Hunter bracing the big screen. Sergei Kravinoff is on a mission to prove that he is the greatest hunter in the world and who knows who be the main targets will be in the movie. We experience his rise to the top before the notorious rivalry with Spider-Man.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson plays the titular role. Make sure to catch the red band trailer online.

Kraven the Hunter (Marvel Unlimited)

A Brief Look At The Biography of Kraven the Hunter

Sergei Kravinoff was born and raised in Volgograd and St. Petersburg. His alcoholic father would beat him and Sergei would in turn take out his frustrations on Dmitri, his half-brother. The Bolshevik Revolution forces the Kravinoff family to emigrate. Sergei loses both his parents and is forced to learn to survive on his own. He travels as a stowaway aboard ships and trains from country to country. He discovers his passion for hunting in Africa. He also changes his name from Sergei to Kraven.

He becomes a wealthy game hunter because of his remarkable hunting skills. He steals a witch doctor’s potion during his time in Africa which enhances his physical prowess and abilities to hunt. The potion helps to decelerate the ageing process, thus Kraven looks like a thirty year old man, even though he is much older. He is stronger, faster, agile and can jump very far. You can find rifles, darts, axes, spears, whips, gas bombs and even blowguns in his weapon storage. However, he comes with many tricks up his sleeve such as poison-tipped teeth in his belt and electronics in his lion’s head vest.

He forms a partnership with Dmitri to help with trading animal skins and ivory that he acquires during his hunting sprees. However, big game isn’t the only targets on Kraven’s list. He meets his match, the web-slinging hero, Spider-Man but Spidey evades him most of the time. Kraven joins up with Dmitri and even the Sinister Six at a later stage to take on Spiderman. He is no stranger to the Avengers. He joins Dum Dum Dugan’s original Avengers’ Initiative alongside Nick Fury, Namora, Sabretooth, Ulysses Bloodstone, Dominic Fortune, and Silver Sable.

Kraven shared the herbs with Dmitri to give them both an edge in combat, especially when squaring off against Spider-Man. He saw the friendly neighborhood hero as a monstrosity and fueled by both fear and rage never quit taking on the wallcrawler, but Spider-Man secured a win over both Kraven and Dmitri, now known as the infamous Chameleon. This resulted in them being deported back to Europe, but Kraven and Dimitri found their way back to America. Doc Ock recruits Kraven and other members into the Sinister Six, but even this team is no match for Spider-Man and this results in their capture and imprisonment.

Kraven is eager to do jobs for other famous villains such as the Green Goblin and Mister Sinister. His job with Mister Sinister requires him to obtain DNA from other mutants. This physical altercation results in another face-off with Spider-Man. A face-off against the Vulture resulted in both Kraven and Vulture being captured by Spider-Man. Kraven even landed in hot water with law enforcement and the Fantastic Four when he got caught supplying hallucinogens to other important role-players in New York.

The above are mere highlights of Kraven’s stories and meant to serve as an appetizer.

Final thoughts

I’m honestly excited for this production and can’t wait to see how it links to the wider Sony Spider-Man’s Universe. Looking forward to all the possible action and fight scenes. And will we get to see Spider-Man? Let’s wait for hunting season to begin at a cinema near you.

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