Cinema’s 8 Most Nefarious Organizations: From #8. Death Eaters to #5. S.P.E.C.T.R.E.


Evil organizations are all the craze these days on the silver screen, taking center stage in at least four 2015 Major Blockbusters: Avengers: Age of Ultron, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, SPECTRE (ha), and the forthcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Nothing like a whole industry of villains and evil doers, often, but not always, operating in the shadows. And though several of the “organizations” chosen are literally companies, they also fit the mold of “Nefarious Organizations.” Not just any company will do, but these certainly more than your simple morally corrupt businesses.

I’ve gone ahead and ranked them, most effective to least.

Let’s start with #8 through #5!

 

8. Death Eaters from the Harry Potter Franchise

Voldemort takes a cue or two from S.P.E.C.T.R.E., but instead of rings they all got matching tattoos!
Voldemort takes a cue or two from S.P.E.C.T.R.E., but instead of rings they all got matching tattoos!

I’m not even a Harry Potter fan (I’ve read 6 and 1/2 of the books, but never made it far enough in the film franchise to see said organization), but my roommate tells me I should look past my own interests, and the Death Eaters were the 1st Evil Organization I could think of outside my traditional Geek World (which would be mostly Marvel Comic Book Evil Organizations…).

Death Eaters definitely qualify as a Nefarious Organization, one that, like the best of them (that follow), have members at every level of government, Hogwarts, and even that weird Magical Bank with the trolls. Not a lot is  scarier than a group of zealots awaiting and/or aiding the return of their evil leader: He who must not be named!

 

7. OSCORP Industries from The Amazing Spider-Man FilmsOscorp Tower from The Amazing Spider-Man

In Sam Raimi’s original films, Oscorp was simply the company that Norman Osborn (Willem Dafoe) would experiment on himself… and kill… to remain in control and keep profitable. In Marc Webb’s Amazing Spider-Man films, the corporation is responsible for a man-lizard, an electricity man, a mutated head of the company, and a series of enhanced soldier suits based on animals including a rhinoceros, a vulture, and an octopus. Oscorp Super Soldier Suits Vulture and Doc Ock

A little hokey, sure, but it actually makes more sense than the original 2002 Spider-Man. Think about the major superhero villains these days. Tony Stark’s genius leads to Iron Monger, Whiplash, Extemis, and Ultron. The Super Soldier serum administered by the same scientist creates both Red Skull and Captain America. Batman’s appearance brings the Joker into the world as a direct response to his theatrical vigilantism. But in Spider-Man, it’s simply a hard to believe coincidence (even if you’ve bought into a man who can stick to walls and swing from webs) that Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) was bitten by a radioactive spider the very same night that Norman Osborn accidentally turns himself into a crazy super soldier to save his company. Ridiculous!

Mending this storytelling shortfall, Oscorp is behind all the foes Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker faces, whether that be an overreaction or not. Certainly qualifying the company that Norman Osborn built a spot on this list!

 

6. InGen from the The Lost World: Jurassic Park & Jurassic WorldJurassic World InGen Helicopter and Hoskins Vincent D'Nofrio

InGen didn’t seem like such a bad company when John Hammond was around. But since he hit his death bed, other forces within the corporation have put profits above human safety… and worse.

It starts with Hammond’s nephew in The Lost World: Jurassic Park, who will stop at nothing to grab dinosaurs out of their new “natural” habitat on Isla Sorna, a.k.a. “Site B” and present them to the masses. Even when the star exhibit, a full grown T-Rex, wrecks havoc in San Diego.

Even worse, Dr. Henry Wu (B.D. Wong) and Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofiro) clearly have a real shady deal going on behind the scenes of the theme park, Jurassic World. Hoskin’s obsession with military applications for carnivores and Dr. Wu’s gene-splicing skills offer even more trouble than in the 1st Jurassic World film, paving the way for a trilogy of InGen’s evil doings!

 

5. S.P.E.C.T.R.E. from the 007 FranchiseSpectre Trailer Ring Logo

No matching tattoos here, but of course Agents of S.P.E.C.T.R.E. have matching jewelry!

S.P.E.C.T.R.E. has been on the big screen longer than any other Nefarious Organization on this list, originating in Sean Connery’s days only to be revived this year in Daniel Craig’s world. S.P.E.C.T.R.E. stands for Special Executive for Counter-Intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion (like with do-gooder organization S.H.I.E.L.D., someone just really wanted to spell SPECTRE, albeit incorrectly).

Now, if you read my review for SPECTRE, you know the film was lacking… a lot. In fact, S.P.E.C.T.R.E., the supposed ultimate Nefarious Organization of all time, doesn’t get its due in the 2015 007 film. While Daniel Craig’s 007 movies have improved on every aspect of the character from Casino Royale through Skyfall, S.P.E.C.T.R.E. does not live up to the organization Connery built (well, fought) back in the 60’s.

Perhaps if the film SPECTRE was better, this ultimate Evil Organization would have landed on the better half of the list. After all, it is the original shadow group with tentacles in every countries government on all ends of the globe, controlling resources, governments, and intelligence rather than always seeking to start WWIII like later Bond villains.Star Wars The Force Awakens Final Trailer #3 The New Order Stormtroopers and General Hux

And that’s a wrap! For now… Check back later when I reveal The Top 4 Nefarious Organizations in Cinema, including H.Y.D.R.A. and The First Order, formally the Galactic Empire!

CAPTAIN AMERICA 3 With Robert Downey Jr. – The Do’s and Don’ts – PART III


When we hear about a movie we are excited for, we all have certain expectations for what we want to see and what don’t.

Tell me you didn’t have things you hoped for in ‘Star Wars: Episode I’ that were crushed. And maybe now, especially after the prequel debacle, you may have strong feelings for what you want to see in ‘Episode VII’ and what you hope never see again.

Chris Evans as Steve Rogers on a poster for 'The Winter Soldier'In this spirit, welcome to the 3rd and final installment of ‘Captain America 3 – The Dos and Don’ts!’

Read PART I – CLICK HERE

Read PART II – CLICK HERE

If you have made it this far, you are a true believer and I thank you. What started as one post spiraled into three. I am passionate about these topics; ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ is my favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe film, Capt. is my favorite Avenger, and I can’t wait to see Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man “share” the screen with Steve Rogers in a non-Avengers film.

So, let’s do this!

What About ‘Winter Soldier’s’ Loose Ends?

Like the common sequel, future Marvel films build off what came before. Plotlines from solo-franchises like ‘Captain America,’ ‘Thor,’ and ‘Iron Man’ continue in their own sequels, sometimes including bigger, MCU changing events like the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D. or the reveal of all the Infinity Gems.

‘Winter Soldier’ left plenty of loose ends within the ‘Captain America’ franchise. Some may just be “Easter eggs,” but we will see which ‘Winter Soldier’ story elements payoff in ‘Captain America 3.’

Winter Soldier at the Smithsonian learning about his past as Bucky Barnes.
Winter Soldier at the Smithsonian learning about his past as Bucky Barnes.

First, both the last line of the ‘Winter Soldier’  from Steve Rogers to Sam Wilson at Fury’s grave and the final post-credit scene set up Steve Rogers’ quest to save Bucky from his brainwashed, Hydra obeying, Winter Soldier self.

Many of these other loose ends will most likely be there to add more depth to the MCU and delight comic book readers, but this plotline seems too important and was obviously very much set-up to continue in ‘Capt. 3′

Perhaps movie kicks off with Falcon and Captain tracking down the Winter Soldier, confronting him, and finally saving Bucky. After all, Bucky eventually came to his senses in the comics. He even became Captain America after Steve Rogers’ death! (More on that later…)
Winter Soldier concept art

Maybe their conflict and the ensuing destruction is what makes Iron Man support the superhuman registration act in our ‘Civil War’ storyline? (Read about Marvel’s ‘Civil War’ by CLICKING HERE)

Steve Rogers' former right hand man and Hydra Agent, Brock Rumlow, in 'Winter Soldier' pre-Crossbones
Steve Rogers’ former right hand man and Hydra Agent, Brock Rumlow, in ‘Winter Soldier’ pre-Crossbones

Next up, remember Rogers’ right hand man on S.H.I.E.L.D.’s “Strike Team” at the beginning of the film on the Lemurian Star? When he wasn’t “helping” Captain America on missions, he was hunting Rogers down for Hydra. Said man is  Agent Brock Rumlow… who in the comics often fights ‘Captain America’ under the identity of Crossbones.

Seeing as how we witnessed Rumlow’s charred body survived the collapse of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Triskelion HQ at the end of ‘Winter Soldier,’ the complete set-up for Crossbones is there; it’s just a question of whether or not it will pay off or simply be an ‘Easter egg.’

I’m wager there is no room for Crossbones in the already crowded ‘Civil War’ storyline. Especially if Winter Soldier / Bucky Barnes returns as I predict he will.

Brock Rumlow after S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ collapsed around him.
Brock Rumlow after S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ collapsed around him.

I believe the ground work is also there for the return of Zola, if need be.

The drive Black Widow plugged the USB drive into containing “Project Insight” had more than one USB port. And based on the dust patterns, someone used more than just one USB port. If it takes a warehouse full of old-school computers to contain Zola’s mind, then wouldn’t he fit on a modern day thumb-drive of sorts?

Zola can come back, but just like Crossbones I’m not sure he fits into ‘Civil War’

Red Skull in 'Captain America: First AvengerRed Skull. Red Skull, Red Skull, Red Skull. Will we ever see you again?

Red Skull’s appearance would make the third ‘Captain America’ film less grounded than the new standard tone set by ‘Winter Soldier,’ but no more wacky than ‘Captain America: First Avenger.’

The special effect that swallowed Red Skull when he gripped the Tesseract too tightly in ‘First Avenger’ is identical to the special effect when Thor and friends get launched across space by the Bifrost. That means Red Skull could come back, just like the two aforementioned characters, though his appearance is the least likely.

Red Skull accidentally opens a door to the galaxy and is quickly swallowed by it.
Red Skull accidentally opens a door to the galaxy and is quickly swallowed by it.

If all three characters and their loose ends were crammed into ‘Captain America 3,’ it would be a disaster. That being said, I would love to see all three eventually return, especially Red Skull.

If they return, Crossbones could be the 1st act combat scene instead of facing Winter Soldier; seeing Rumlow in ‘Capt. 3’  is the most likely of the Hydra group including Zola and Red Skull. Zola may play a role in the superhuman registration act, but that would be repetitive of “Project Insight” in ‘Winter Soldier.’ And there is NO chance we’ll see Red Skull in ‘Captain America 3’ if the film’s focus is ‘Civil War.’

No time for Red Skull, Dr. Jones!

Maybe next time. If there is a next time.

Which takes me to my final point…

Will Steve Rogers Die?

'Captain America 3' may be titled 'Fallen Son,' which involves the Death of Captain America.
‘Captain America 3’ may be titled ‘Fallen Son,’ which involves the Death of Captain America.

Like Superman, Captain America’s death was one of the biggest superhero deaths in the history of comics.

It’s nearly impossible to imagine a ‘Captain America’ franchise not including ‘The Winter Soldier’ storyline and ‘The Death of Captain America.’

Seeing as how the two rumored titles are the straightforward ‘Captain America: Civil War’ or ‘Fallen Son,’ the death of Captain America is likely in ‘Capt. 3.’

Perhaps he will die fighting Iron Man. Or more likely maybe he will be assassinated for his views.. or his past (Crossbones could be a likely candidate for Steve Rogers’ killer).

No matter the case, I would say there is a 99.99% chance Steve Rogers doesn’t make it past ‘Avengers 3,’ if he is alive to see even that.

Sam Wilson as Captain America in Mavel Now! Comics
Sam Wilson as Captain America in Mavel Now! Comics

Further support of this theory comes from the rumor that Sebastion Shaw is signed on for nine MCU films (which seems like an exaggeration) while Chris Evans wants out. Like RDJ, he doesn’t want to play his signature Marvel character forever and has expressed interest in leaving the Avengers sooner rather than later. Meaning he might not even make it to ‘Avengers 3…’ because he may die in ‘Capt. 3!’ Boom! Full circle.

And then the comic storyline can continue on the big screen, with Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier  taking up Captain America’s cowl… Sam Wilson / Falcon taking over for Steve Rogers is less likely, though that is exactly what is happening currently in the ‘Marvel Now!’ run of comics.

There you have it. That’s the end! No more parts to read! Sorry I wrote a novel and I thank you reading it, because you are one of the few who made it this far. You deserve a reward! Super Geek-cred, yo!

To quickly sum it all up…

Steve Rogers / Captain AmericaDO keep that ‘Winter Soldier’ tone/vibe.

DON’T make ‘Capt. 3’ the Tony Stark story. Keep it focused on Steve Rogers and his point-of-view.

DO keep ‘Civil War’ contained to ‘Captain America 3.’

DON’T load the movie with too many superhumans.

DO tie up as many loose ends as possible without making the movie feel crammed together.

DON’T kill Steve Rogers, even though they will, because he is my favorite Captain America.

‘Nuff Said.

Breaking MARVEL NOW!… Now! – Where Best To Start Your MARVEL Adventure


Marvel presents... THE AVENGERS... NOW!
Marvel presents… THE AVENGERS… NOW!

If you’ve always wanted to read comics but never knew where to start, the time is NOW! Marvel NOW!

Or, if you already read comics and are looking for a few more good comics, I have sampled most the new Marvel books  and have recommendations for you, Now! Marvel NOW!

In 2011, DC Comics relaunched its entire universe, all 52 titles including Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman, as well as all their friends & enemies, in a reboot fitted with the brand “The New 52.”

Batman New 52This semi-reboot – some universes were partially reset while others like Batman kept his complete continuity (according to current BATMAN scribe Scott Snyder on Smodcast’s FAT MAN ON BATMAN podcast) – while still incredibly confusing, served as the perfect starting point for me and my roommate to finally give into our prepubescent urges and become full on geeks, frequenting Mile High Comics every Wednesday at 11 am (right when it opens).

By the time Marvel launched MARVEL NOW! last December, its own version of THE NEW 52 (which it is still rolling out) designed to bring in new readers following AVENGERS becoming the biggest fucking movie off all time (okay, it isn’t officially, but it is a “game changer” in a way AVATAR never was), I was over a year into comics. I subscribe to all the NEW 52 titles with BATMAN in them (except BATMAN BEYOND UNLIMITED – I tried it, but it didn’t stick), my roommate covers SUPERMAN and his two friends (SUPERBOY & SUPERGIRL), while also spending the past year exploring Batman’s pre-NEW 52 greatest hits from THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS to KNIGHTFALL to PREY to my personal favorite, LONG HALLOWEEN.

All this time, I also subscribed to many Marvel titles at Mile High Comics including nearly all AVENGERS (yes, including AVENGERS VS. X-MEN), and any title with Spider-Man (including the Ultimate Universe’s Miles Morales), Captain America, Deadpool, & countless other characters. (I also covered a little IDW with some STAR TREK & JUDGE DREDD).

Yet, while I feasted on Batman, I read almost none of my Marvel titles, as all carried too much baggage, too many years of backstory and strange twists that bogged me down as a noob comic reader.

But now, MARVEL NOW!

Though not an actual reboot, just like the NEW 52’s Batman line, Marvel NOW! introduces all the characters at a point where things are changing: at a new starting point, as it were. Though there is still 50 years of history behind characters like Spider-Man, Marvel NOW! introduces every team and character to us , not necessarily from their point of origin, but from a spot where no background is needed. Marvel knows there are noobs like me and have therefore made their labyrinth of a universe easy to digest.

Issue #1 of CAPTAIN AMERICA
Issue #1 of CAPTAIN AMERICA

Never understood the difference between NEW AVENGERS & regular AVENGERS? Marvel NOW quickly and simply differentiates the two teams’ roles. Characters like Captain America don’t have their origin repeated, but we do get flashes of Steve Roger’s childhood life along with a storyline with no prior Capt. knowledge required.

Marvel NOW! is simply the best way to get into comics, whether you haven’t read them for years, have never read them, or have left Marvel previously due to the universe’s extreme complexity.

I’ve listed the titles I’ve read thus far (I can’t afford to read them all, fwiend), following said list with my favorite five titles, so that you can get started on the road to Marvel NOW!

NOTE: I’m only including titles that started with Issue #1 for Marvel NOW! Any titles continuing their numbering system and not adding the “NOW!” of Marvel NOW!, like VENOM, AVENGING SPIDER-MAN, or AVENGERS ASSEMBLE, will not be considered on this list.

All New X-MenMARVEL NOW! issues I’ve Read…

A + X #1

INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK Issue #1
INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK Issue #1

ALL NEW X-MEN 1-3

AVENGERS 1-4

CAPTAIN AMERICA 1-3

DEADPOOL 1-4

FANTASTIC FOUR #1

INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK 1-3

IRON MAN 1-5

NEW AVENGERS 1-2

SAVAGE WOLVERINE #1

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN 1-2

THOR: GOD OF THUNDER 1-4

THUNDERBOLTS 1-3

UNCANNY AVENGERS 1-3

YOUNG AVENGERS #1

Find out which five you shouldn’t miss after the jump! Some of my choices may surprise you.

Continue reading “Breaking MARVEL NOW!… Now! – Where Best To Start Your MARVEL Adventure”