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Where can the Marvel Cinematic Universe go after Thanos? My vote is for Doctor Doom to be the next overarching big baddie now that Disney owns Fox (and the Fantastic Four license). Thanos already successfully wiped out half of all life in the universe, and despite the Avengers gaining access to a time machine, they did not undo any of that! How do you up the stakes going into the next phase of Marvel movies?

Well, introducing a multi-verse seems like the logical next step.

It's so logical, in fact that Marvel didn't even seem to hide the idea in Far From Home's marketing. The second trailer, which I think premiered within a week of Endgame's release, pushed the multi-verse idea hard -- as well as spoiling Tony Stark's death for anyone who hadn't made it out to see Endgame within that first week.

It's all spoilers from the next paragraph on. If you haven't seen the movie yet, then I recommend it. It's good! Not Into the Spider-Verse good, but Far From Home is one of the better Marvel movies, and Mysterio is totally awesome.

The Far From Home trailer spoiled the multiverse and death of Tony Stark within a week of Endgame's release.

Mysterio: Master of the Misdirection Arts

In fact, the Far From Home trailer was pushing the multi-verse idea a little too hard. Oh, and they want us to buy into the idea of Mysterio being an inter-dimensional hero? Mysterio?!

Nah, something's up. I didn't buy into Mysterio being a hero for a minute. The only question is: what's his goal? Is the multi-verse thing true, but Mysterio is still lying about his personal motivations? Maybe he is from a parallel Earth, but he was cast out of it as a charlatan, and now he's trying to find another Earth gullible enough to accept him? Or maybe the whole multi-verse thing is bullshit? Are these elemental things real? Or are they just some elaborate illusion created by Mysterio? If so, how is he doing it? And how does he pull the wool over Nick Fury?!

I didn't buy into the idea of Mysterio being a hero for a minute!

Despite anticipating a plot twist since the first trailer premiered, I'm happy to say that Far From Home far exceeded my expectations. The ride to that plot twist had me guessing and second-guessing the whole way through, and I could easily see people who don't know better being completely duped by Quentin Beck's hero act.

From here, we get a surprisingly thoughtful and topical [borderline] sci-fi story that uses Peter's personal struggles to find his place in a world of super heroes post-Iron Man, in order to make a statement about how easy it is for people to be duped by a power-hungry narcissist who knows what you want to hear and is willing to tell it to you -- not matter how outrageously false it might be. Geez, it's reached the point that I'm getting better science fiction from comic book movies than I am from Star Trek!

And oh man, some of these scenes where Mysterio goes full-blown Mysterio are absolutely breath-taking! Imagine the Scarecrow scenes from Batman: the Animated Series blown up to the big screen. This is the sort of visual spectacle that I was expecting from Doctor Strange, but Strange was happy enough to fall-back on ripping off Inception. Mysterio knows Spider-Man's insecurities, and he goes after them, raising the stakes and cementing Mysterio as a legitimately dangerous villain -- even more so than Michael Keaton's Vulture. If these two show up in a Sinister Six team, then the personal stakes for Peter will be very high!

Mysterio goes full-blown Scarecrow and establishes himself as even more threatening than Adrian Toomes.

I always feared that Hollywood would never be able to do justice to Mysterio on the big screen, but damn if I was wrong. Far From Home absolutely nailed him! And told a damn good story with him to boot.

I mean, Fury probably should have been able to simply look up who Quentin Beck is, and discover that he's a disgruntled Stark employee who specialized in holographics. That would have stopped Beck's plan right from the start. But I guess the movie has an excuse for that...

Not-so-secret identity

If I have any complaint with this movie, then it is the same complaint that I have with all Spider-Man movies: Peter reveals his identity to everybody in his social circle.

Well, actually, my first complaint would be that the movie hand-waves away the "blip". This is an absolutely cataclysmic event, and Far From Home treats it as a joke, just as I feared it would. Spider-Man running around so much without his mask on is a close second on my complaint list.

Having to balance his heroic responsibilities with his personal, academic, and professional responsibilities was always the greatest source of stress and drama in Peter Parker's life. He always chose his heroic responsibilities, at the expense of his personal ones, damaging his relationships, damaging his emotional health in the process, and genuinely hurting his friends and family in his attempt to protect them from harm.

Spider-Man movies always seem to drop this fundamental aspect of the Spider-Man story way too soon. I was OK with Ned knowing in Homecoming, but Aunt May finding out in the first movie was too far.

I am consistently frustrated that everybody learns that Peter is Spider-Man in movies.

These characters aren't going to feel stood up or upset if Peter flakes out on them because he has to go do Spidey hero stuff. They're probably going to be grateful just to see him come home at all -- like the wife of a police officer or fire fighter, or soldier. And when a villain learned Spider-Man's true identity (such as Green Goblin or Venom), it was a huge deal, and a game-changer for Peter. But none of that is true in the movies, and so the story-telling possibilities within the Spider-Man framework are severely diminished.

That being said, I do like that Mary Jane figures it out on her own. I've always believed that the people close to Peter must all know, even if they won't admit it to him. It's why, I believe, Aunt May and J. J. professed a dislike for Spider-Man for so long. They were trying to express to Peter that they wanted him to stop doing what he was doing before he got himself hurt or killed. It's why I think Gwen left Peter and fled to Europe after she blamed Spider-Man for the death of her father. And so on.

J. Jonah Jameson is back, baby!

But they still don't have to tell Peter that they know.

Anyway, that's a minor gripe in an otherwise good movie. And besides, the cat's out of the bag anyway.

Whoohoo! J.K. Simmons is back as J. Jonah Jameson!

Fingers crossed for Jameson to play a major role in the next Spider-Man movie, with Scorpion hopefully being the main bad guy!

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Welcome to Mega Bears Fan's blog, and thanks for visiting! This blog is mostly dedicated to game reviews, strategies, and analysis of my favorite games. I also talk about my other interests, like football, science and technology, movies, and so on. Feel free to read more about the blog.

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