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Pop culture news from around the web

Message or Muddle? Story of Women (1988)

To view Story of Women click here. The first thing we see is Marie Latour (Isabelle Huppert) playing with her children. She’s an attentive mother and, we soon find out, is surviving during wartime as best she can. There is not a lot of money for food and clothes, much less bills and upkeep. One […]

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Gunga Din (1939): An Original Blockbuster

To view Gunga Din click here. It’s summertime, which means we’re eyeball deep in the season of the blockbuster. These popcorn flicks widely vary in quality and entertainment value, but they all have one thing in common: they make money. And if they don’t make enough money during their run in the theater, they’ll rake […]

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Piecing Together Marvel Puzzle Quest: Spider-Man

The “Spider-Man: Homecoming” hype train is pulling in to the station early thanks to “Marvel Puzzle Quest” and their all-new 5-Star Spider-Man. We talked to D3 Go! Producer Josh Austin about Spidey’s new look and abilities and a new boss event the team has in the works!

Marvel.com: Peter Parker in a Spidey suit is about as classic as you can get but this time it looks like you’re putting the MCU spin on our favorite wallcrawler.

Josh Austin: That’s right! With the film due out next week, now seemed like the best time to have Peter Parker be our new 5-Star Spider-Man. He joins a cast of other awesome Spideys like Classic, Original and Back in Black, so we definitely couldn’t miss Peter Parker in MPQ as we prep for some fun upcoming events in the coming weeks.

Marvel.com: With all the different Spidey suits already in the game, what kind of special sauce does this Spider-Man come with?

Josh Austin: For this MCU variation we added the new Tony Stark tech suit introduced in the “Spider-Man: Homecoming” film. For this Spider-Man, with the helpful direction from Marvel, we made sure to emphasize the tech of the suit to make him stand out from the previous variations.

Marvel.com: Ok let’s talk about his abilities. What’s going on under the mask here?

Josh Austin: Spider-Man (Peter Parker)’s first ability is called Stick Around. It costs 6 Blue AP and creates web tiles. What’s great about this power is if there are enough web tiles on the board then this power will stun the entire enemy team.

Arachnid Agility is Peter’s second ability, which costs 10 Green AP. Spider-Man deals damage to a random enemy, then the same amount of damage to another random enemy once for each web tile on the board for a Max of 5 web tiles (or 5 times).

Lastly, Parker’s final ability called Web Shot sends out a spider drone from Spider-Man’s new outfit. This ability costs 7 Red AP and deals a good amount of damage and converts web tiles to Critical tiles based on the ability level and how many are on the board. For example, at level 450 and power level 5, if there are three Web tiles it converts 1 to a Critical tile and if there are 5 or more, it converts 3 of them to Critical tiles. AND this power has a PASSIVE that creates Web tiles if there isn’t any on the board helping to feed into his other powers.

Marvel.com: What do you think Spidey does best here? Looks like he has no problem webbing them up and keeping them out of the game

Josh Austin: Spider-Man (Peter Parker) deals a good amount of damage and has the ability to stun the whole team. His Blue and Red powers are relatively low cost, while his Green ability can be pretty powerful, but it is to a random enemy. So overall, he follows the more reactionary variation of his powers, relying on his spidey sense and his drone spider from his new suit!

Marvel.com: And it seems like anyone who creates web tiles would serve as an awesome teammate to the embattled Peter Parker. Am I on the mark here?

Josh Austin: That is 100% correct! The more web tiles the better! So teaming him up with Miles Morales and Spider-Gwen will help build on his Blue and Red powers. Also, anyone that can help generate Green would help with his costlier power like Star-Lord (Awesome Mix Volume 2) and The Hulk (Totally Awesome).

Marvel.com: Am I missing anything else cool about Spidey? I also hear there is a new Boss Event?

Josh Austin: For a 5-Star his abilities have a low AP cost, he has an active power that can stun the whole enemy team and his Web Shot ability has potential to create some devastating cascades with the Critical tiles it can generate. Aside from an awesome new Spider-Man 5-Star character and the recent addition of some of his well-known foes, we are adding a new Story event to Marvel Puzzle Quest called Spider-Man vs. The Sinister Six.

This Sinister Six is themed to “Marvel Puzzle Quest,” and will feature Doctor Octopus, Sandman, Carnage, Venom, Green Goblin and even the new Vulture before he’s released as an earnable character. Overall the event follows other Boss events, but the Boss Node will have a wave of different variations of the Sinister Six. As the players Alliance completes rounds, the boss node will get harder, but the good news is as a new boss comes in, their AP resets to 0 so the player should stand a chance against these ruthless foes.

Marvel.com: And when can we pick up Spidey?

Josh Austin: Spider-Man (Peter Parker) is available in the Legendary Cover store starting July 6. He will also be rewarded in the Spider-Man vs. The Sinister Six event that starts Thursday, July 6 as well so just in time to experience some Spider-Man fun as you get ready to see the movie.

Pick up the all-new all-awesome Spider-Man (Peter Parker) here and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews.

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Marvel Takes Home 4 2017 Saturn Awards

The 2017 Saturn Awards have announced their winners, and Marvel took four home for film and tv!

Celebrating science-fiction, fantasy, and horror films and television, the Saturn Awards gave Marvel Studios’ “Doctor Strange” the statue for Best Comic-To-Film Motion Picture, and “Marvel’s Luke Cage” walked away with the award for Best New Media TV Series.

But that’s not all! Tilda Swinton earned Best Supporting Actress in a Film for her role as the Ancient One in “Doctor Strange” while Tom Holland took home the award for Best Performance By a Younger Actor in Marvel Studios’ “Captain America: Civil War.”

Congratulations to all the winners, and stay tuned to Marvel.com for the latest on Marvel film and TV!

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Iron Fist: Murder Cult

In the immortal words of Carl Douglas, “Everybody was kung fu fighting … In fact, it was a little bit frightening.” These lyrics pretty much sum up the forthcoming two-issue arc in Ed Brisson, Mike Perkins and Andy Troy’s IRON FIST when Danny Rand teams up with Shang-Chi, the Master of Kung Fu in Issue #6 (out Aug. 2).

Together, they’re taking on a deadly cult never before seen in Marvel comics in a story that Brisson promises is equal parts martial arts and horror. Read on to see our full interview with Ed as he describes what it was like to pair up two of the most iconic living weapons in the Marvel Universe.

Marvel.com: So tell us a little about this “murder cult” trying to kill Danny and how Shang-Chi is here to help?

Ed Brisson: Without getting into spoiler territory…After the events of The Trial of Seven Masters, Danny is just trying to get home. He’s learned more about himself and knows what he needs to do, where he needs to go. However, it seems some people don’t want him to make it home. Some people would rather see him dead. The “murder cult”, known as The Lineage of the One True Light is not a group we’ve seen in the Marvel U before. Mike Perkins and I had a lot of fun creating the look for The Lineage and their leader. I’m hoping that people will be sufficiently creeped out by them. Shang-Chi gets a tip-off on the hit and comes in to help Danny. The why of it all, you’re going to have to read to find out.

Marvel.com: What kind of dynamic can we expect between these two characters? How does Danny feel about this team-up, especially one with the son of an internationally infamous criminal mastermind?

Ed Brisson: These two are supposed to be the top kung-fu masters in the Marvel U and I think that there’s a mutual respect between them, however, we wanted to play off that a little. We’ve got them competing a little, even if it’s low key and not at the forefront. There are comments here and there that let you know that they’re both aware that the other is perhaps trying to outperform the other. As to Shang-Chi’s dad being an infamous criminal mastermind, it’s not something that is addressed. Danny knows that everyone’s got their own issues. Hell, Danny’s own father tried to kill him in Iron Fist: Living Weapon, so he’s not one to start criticizing some else’s parents.

Marvel.com: Does Danny feel insecure about his own fighting abilities in the presence of the so-called “Master of Kung Fu”? 

Ed Brisson: I don’t know if Danny feels insecure around Shang-Chi, but he certainly has a tendency towards trying to impress those around him. And that need is going to be turned up to eleven when he’s around someone who carries the title of “Master of Kung Fu”. Even though they’re working together, any competing that they do through the two-issue arc is almost guaranteed to be initiated by Danny. However, their skills will be tested in ways that neither anticipates. I think readers are really going to dig it.

Marvel.com: Using that as springboard, how do their fighting styles differ with Danny being trained in the mystical K’un-Lun and Shang-Chi in mainland China? 

Ed Brisson: Historically, Danny’s focus has been almost strictly hand-to-hand combat, where Shang-Chi has training in both hand-to-hand and in using weaponry. Iron Fist can sometimes be impulsive, where Shang-Chi is more disciplined and focused.

Marvel.com: Looking at Jeff Dekal’s cover art, I get an old school ‘70s Kung Fu movie/poorly dubbed action vibe. Did films like Bruce Lee’s Enter The Dragon influence this issue/new story arc? If so, how will we see it manifested on the page? 

Ed Brisson: His covers are amazing, aren’t they? Had the pleasure of meeting Jeff at HeroesCon a couple of weeks ago and picking up an original Iron Fist drawing. That dude is crazy talented and super nice. This one is a weird one, to be honest. The first arc was heavily influenced by my love of kung fu flicks, but this second arc is less so. This one is more of a kung fu/horror mash-up. It’s a very moody and atmospheric action piece with some pretty high stakes for our heroes. Mike Perkins and Andy Troy have done an incredible job of creating an unsettling vibe for the book. It’s a little off-kilter for what most might expect from an IRON FIST book, but I think that people are going to be pleasantly surprised.

Marvel.com: Are there any other characters in the IRON FIST mythos that are in the wings or ones you’d like to write for in future issues?

Ed Brisson: There are a couple who’re set to appear in an upcoming arc, but I don’t want to spoil anything. But, honestly, there are very few characters from Iron Fist’s past that I don’t want to bring into the series. I feel he’s got a rich gallery of villains — everyone from Razorfist to Davos — and a compelling list of supporters and friends — from Luke Cage to Colleen Wing to The Immortal Weapons. This list is as long as my arm. There are some deep cut baddies that I’ve been pitching for upcoming arcs that we’ll hopefully get to see. More immediately, though, people may have noticed Sabretooth on the cover of the first issue in the LEGACY arc. Sabretooth made his first appearance in IRON FIST #14 and the two have clashed several times since and it looks like they’re both still holding a grudge.

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Mark the End of Pride Month with Marvel

The House of Ideas continues to offer characters of all kinds a place to go their own way. Packed with heroes, villains and everyone in between, there’s room for everyone to live their truth and love who they choose.

With LGBTQ Pride Month wrapping, we look at a variety of the Marvel Universe’s most well-known members of the community.


Jean-Paul Beaubier debuted alongside his fellow Canadian heroes in 1979’s UNCANNY X-MEN #120. When ALPHA FLIGHT launched in 1983, creator John Byrne hinted at Northstar’s homosexuality, but he didn’t come out as the first openly gay Marvel super hero until 1992’s ALPHA FLIGHT #106. More recently, Jean-Paul married his longtime sweetheart Kyle in ASTONISHING X-MEN #51.


America Chavez has been kicking ass and taking names since she debuted in VENGEANCE #1 in 2011. The super-tough dimension-hopper gained much of her inner strength from her mothers, who sacrificed themselves to save not just her, but the Utopian Parallel. After making her way to the Marvel Universe, she joined the Young Avengers and nonchalantly came out in YOUNG AVENGERS #15. Her adventures continue in AMERICA and ULTIMATES 2.


Though not directly stated early on, Mystique and Destiny proved one of the longest lasting couples in the Marvel Universe. The duo raised Rogue as a baby, but came apart when Legion killed Destiny in UNCANNY X-MEN #255. Later we learned that they first met when the shapeshifting Mystique lived as a man, becoming partners first and eventually lovers regardless of gender.


Teddy “Hulkling” Altman first appeared alongside his fellow high school aged heroes in the first volume of YOUNG AVENGERS in 2005. He and Wiccan seemed very close, but the pair waited to reveal their relationship in YOUNG AVENGERS SPECIAL. Since then, Teddy realized he’s part Skrull and part Kree, got engaged to Wiccan, and continues to play a big part in the Marvel Universe.


Magic wielder Wiccan first appeared in YOUNG AVENGERS #1 with now-fiancé Hulkling. Billy and Teddy remained major fixtures of both volumes of the title and moved on to play big parts in NEW AVENGERS. A future version of Billy even appears in the pages of DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE SORCERERS SUPREME, where he’s taken over as the number one wizard around and he and Billy have settled down and had children.

Karolina Dean

Karolina Dean discovered that her parents dedicated themselves to extra-dimensional beings called the Pride and that she belonged to the Majesdanian race of extra-terrestrials as RUNAWAYS kicked off. Around the same time, she also developed an attraction for Nico who had eyes for someone else, but eventually Karolina began a relationship with former Power Pack member Julie Power.


The product of Wolverine’s brief liaison with Itsu, Daken took his dad’s place when Norman Osborn put together his own Dark Avengers. In addition to regeneration, claws, and enhanced senses, Daken also possesses the ability to manipulate people with his pheromones. He uses this on both men and women to get what he wants as he carves his way through the world.


After entering the Marvel Universe in Age of Ultron and joining up with the Guardians of the Galaxy for a time, Thor’s sister reunited with lover Sera in ANGELA: ASGARD’S ASSASSIN. Later, when she realized that Sera had died and served in Hel, Angela became queen of that very realm to save her!


Roxy Washington might be the daughter of two hip-hop stars, but her mutant-powered diamond skin makes her the shiniest person in her family. First appearing in 2005’s X-MEN #171, she developed feelings for Gambit as well as Foxx, who turned out to be Mystique. These days the bisexual mutant spends her time with Jubilee in GENERATION X.

Julie Power

During the run of AVENGERS ACADEMY, while conversing with Striker, Julie Power—formerly of Power Pack, Excelsior and the Loners—said that she falls in love with people, not their gender. “Can’t you just like someone without it being a political statement?” she asked. Striker agreed and the two had a very honest heart-to-heart in AVENGERS ACADEMY #23.


As a denizen of the Mojoverse, X-Force alumni Shatterstar had a “genetic bond mate” named Windsong who died, essentially leaving him partner-less. He took on a kind of asexual viewpoint until he and Rictor shared a kiss in X-FACTOR #45. The couple dealt with a lot, including ‘star leaning toward a more open relationship, but seems pretty stable these days.


Throughout the course of their time in X-Force together, Rictor and Shatterstar had a strong bond that eventually turned into a romantic relationship. Though originally de-powered by Scarlet Witch at the end of House of M, Ric regained his earth-shaking abilities at the end of AVENGERS: THE CHILDREN’S CRUSADE thanks to that same mutant witch!


First appearing in 2003’s NEW MUTANTS #2, Anole became a squad leader in Northstar’s Alpha Squadron. When his mentor briefly died at the hands of a brainwashed Wolverine, Anole took the news hard because he could only talk to the Alpha Flight alumni about being a gay mutant. Nonetheless, continues to fight the good fight alongside his fellow X-Men.


Original New Mutant Karma left the hero game behind to raise her younger siblings, even going to college in Chicago at the same time—until Moonstar showed up in NEW MUTANTS #4 to see if she’d like to join Xavier’s new school. While talking, Xi’an revealed that she almost told Kitty Pryde about her feelings for her, but decided against it, fearing it would get awkward. Lately she’s been hanging out with the Utopians, a group living in the ruins of Utopia.

Rawhide Kid

Originally created back in 1955, Rawhide Kid became a big topic of conversation when he starred in his own Marvel MAX series in 2003. Jam-packed with innuendo, the series clearly established the cowboy as a gay man. His Wild West adventures continued in the pages of RAWHIDE KID: THE SENSATIONAL SEVEN, seven years later.


The metaphorical connection between mutants and the LGBTQ community has offered strength to some people who consider themselves outcasts. Therefore, it seems more than appropriate that one of the very first X-Men came out recently, twice! Both the younger ALL-NEW X-MEN Iceman and his older counterpart talked about this in the pages of UNCANNY X-MEN #600. Now, with both young men open about their true selves, they continue to explore their love lives in ICEMAN and X-MEN: BLUE.

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