What If … Zombies!? Episode Review

Wednesday remains Marvel review day, even if I might post a little later in the day. As a warning, this will likely happen for several weeks to come, as my schedule has changed a bit. BUT reviews are still happening. Today we talk about What If … Zombies!? and spoilers are ahead from here on out!

What If ... Zombies!?
credit: Marvel Studios

What was it about?

When Bruce Banner falls to Earth to warn everyone about Thanos’ arrival, he finds a planet entirely changed and now inhabited by … zombies.

My thoughts?

I genuinely thought last week’s episode was dark, but this one was equally (if not partially more) sinister. In general, I was never a huge fan of the zombie genre, but I was curious to see what they would do with it paired with the Avengers and it was a lot of fun. I don’t have a comparison to the comic book storyline (because yes, there were zombies in the comics too), but it worked alright for me. That is … until the once again, super open and ambiguous end. I vowed not to complain so much about the episodes feeling rushed (which they still do), but I also haven’t made peace with the fact that it’s never really a closed story. Sometimes an open end is great, but sometimes … I just don’t know what to do with it. But let’s start at the beginning!

  • Just like in Infinity War, Bruce Banner crashes into the Sanctum Sanctorum to warn everyone of Thanos’ arrival. However, in this reality, Bruce finds Earth changed and seemingly deserted. That is until Bruce’s henchmen arrive to start a fight, just to be surprised by superpowered zombies in the shape of Tony Stark, Wong and Doctor Strange. It’s not often that I see zombies retain the abilities they had before they were changed.
What If ... Zombies!?
credit: Marvel Studios
  • Bruce eventually gets saved by Hope van Dyne, Strange’s cape and Peter Parker as we find out what happened on Earth.
  • In this version of events, Hank Pym also went to find his missing wife in the quantum realm, but the reunion went quite differently. Janet van Dyne contracted a quantum virus that corrupted her brain (aka turned her into a zombie) and because of her daughter’s unrelenting search for her, she managed to bring the virus back to our realm and infect large groups in no time. Once the Avengers joined the fight and got turned as well, the fate of humanity was more or less sealed. 
  • If only it weren’t for a small group of survivors that still carried that torch of hope. In a very curious constellation, Hope van Dyne, Peter Parker, Happy, Bucky Barnes, Kurt (one of Scott’s friends, if you struggled to remember him as well), Sharon Carter and Okoye as well as Bruce Banner now, all found themselves in New York, willing to give their all to save the planet.
  • The group gets a beacon that tells them that a potential cure has been found and in an attempt to get there, they lose a couple members. I have to say that, despite the scenes being fairly brief, the violence was definitely upped quite a bit. I never thought that I’d have to watch Sam get cut in half from top to bottom and Bucky react entirely nonchalantly, but here we are. I mean, he literally said “I should be sad, but I’m not”. To me, there were several quite gruesome moments.
  • Only Peter, Bruce, Bucky, Okoye and Kurt make it to the base that is supposed to hold the cure, just to find Vision there. He found out that his mind stone creates an aversion within the zombies, which ultimately led him to test his theory. He was able to save Scott, but only his head. A head that keeps floating around and just telling dad jokes. Typical Scott!
  • This is where Marvel really twists in the knife though! When everyone gets excited about potentially saving humanity, Vision turns dark. In reality, he has been luring people to his hideout in order to feed his zombie bride – Wanda. She is too strong and her zombie-condition can’t be cured, so he instead contained her and fed her, even holding T’Challa hostage.
What If ... Zombies!?
credit: Marvel Studios
  • I did not expect to get another appearance of Chadwick as T’Challa, but my heart sang again. This wasn’t nearly as happy as the last episode he was in, but yeah, I’ll take what I can get.
  • Ultimately, Vision can’t betray everyone he knows, while he also can’t let go of Wanda. He opts to destroy himself and give up the mind stone to the others, rather than leave her or kill her himself.
  • A Hulk vs. zombie Scarlet Witch fight ensues, while Peter, Scott’s head and T’Challa are the only ones making it off the base with the mind stone. Thankfully, Wakanda’s shields were strong enough to not have them fall pray to the zombie apocalypse. So, technically, there is still hope that they can fabricate a cure, if only it wasn’t for the small little detail everyone forgot – Thanos arrival.
  • The episode ends with an image of a zombie Thanos, who is wearing an infinity gauntlet with a full set of stones. To me, that means he defeated the remaining people in Wakanda and got the mind stone. I’m assuming his plans for the use of the gauntlet changed with his turn to a zombie, but I don’t know. I could speculate and form a dozen theories, but that’s the frustrating thing with these episodes sometimes. The end could mean basically anything and everything.
What If ... Zombies!?
credit: Marvel Studios

What did I learn from this episode? I still remember this thing going around TikTok or Twitter, where someone said that heroes would always sacrifice their love in order to save the world, whereas villains would burn down everything rather than let you go. Well, I think the What If … multiverse proves that our heroes are definitely willing to let it all go to hell for their loved ones. Just some more food for thought, because as the watcher said, all these stories (most of which often turn to a form of horror) started with love and hope/Hope.

Something I appreciate a lot with these episodes is how they replicate certain shots from the bigger MCU in animation. It was especially notable with Captain Carter’s episode, but continued to be utilized throughout the season thus far. This time around, for example, we saw a corrupted Steve Rogers still use his shield and it looked marred by blood, just like it did when John Walker misused it in TFATWS. It’s very smart cinematography, because it easily creates a connection and possible emotional memory to something familiar, but in a very subtle way.

In general, this episode offered a lot of imagery hinting at the fate of characters in different realities. There was Peter with the cloak/cape and him being Spider Supreme in another universe. Then there was Bucky with the shield (“guess this is the end of the line”), stepping up as the new “Captain America” in this version. It’s the little things that often only last a couple seconds, but that can be meaningful to viewers (although Sam is my Captain. Sorry not sorry).

Ultimately, I liked the episode, but I’ve enjoyed others even more. Maybe I’m not the right audience for an anthology series like this, but we’ve made it to episode 5 (which I believe to be the halfway point of the season), so I’m going to keep going with these little reviews/recaps.


PREVIOUSLY: WHAT IF …


What did you think of this episode? Did you like this take on zombies? What are your thoughts? Let’s chat!

The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake (Book Review)

The Atlas Six Book Cover

Publisher: self-published
Page Count
: 461

CW: death, murder, degenerative diseases, suicide, sex scenes (not explicit), manipulation and psychological trauma

This book blew my mind in the best of ways! I finished it mere moments ago and I have absolutely no idea how to feel, other than I cannot wait for the sequel to release next year.

“Knowledge is carnage. You can’t have it without sacrifice.”

Although a couple of my friends and fellow bloggers have loved The Atlast Six, I was still trying to go into it with fairly low expectations. From experience, nothing kills the enjoyment of reading a book more than it being hyped too much, but it barely took me a couple pages until I was completely enthralled in what was happening. There is some rich worldbuilding, however it isn’t initially clear who knows about what kind of magic, as it seems to be omnipresent in the world and almost like an open secret. Just like the candidates, you get thrown into this new life and have to figure out a lot of it on your own, often being met with closed doors which harbor secrets behind them. While there was mystery, it only propelled me forward to read more rather than put me off with frustration, which was nice.

“We study the realm of consciousness because we understand that to decide something, to weigh a cost and accept its consequences, is to forcibly alter the world in some tangible way. That is magic as true and as real as any other.”

What drives a lot of the story are the characters. Even though I think you can sense which ones the author preferred in the way the POVs were written, I found all of them equally as interesting. You might not like everyone and I definitely had a personal preference in characters (Libby and Tristan, hello?), but I never felt that kind of dread that can easily come with books that are written from various points of view. Even when I wasn’t a big fan of a character, I still found value in their thoughts and observations, they were all so uniquely complex. All the more fascinating were the relationships between the candidates and the people in their orbit. While I could guess some developments, I still felt that it was all written in a very satisfying way, making me crave more of them in the process.

“A flaw of humanity,” said Parisa, shrugging. “The compulsion to be unique, which is at war with the desire to belong to a single identifiable sameness.”

If I had to criticize one thing, it would be the fact that I was often confused about how much time had passed. As the story had proven several times, time isn’t exactly linear and it was actually a field of study for the candidates of the Society, but I still never really got a feeling for it within the story, which felt disorienting. Sometimes there would be mere days between chapters and then entire months. That was the one thing I found hard to keep track of. It also took the candidates way too long to figure out what the fate of the eliminated person would be, but I won’t hold it against them. Who likes to think about sacrifices like that?

Still, in the end, I would love to dive into the sequel right away. I fell in love with the secrets and intricate dynamics. I want to know more so bad, having possibly been poisoned by the library and knowledge a little bit myself. It was such a fantastic read that I can sense will linger in the back of my mind for a while now.

“The problem with knowledge, is its inexhaustible craving. The more of it you have, the less you feel you know.”

Lastly, something that made the book even more unique were some really gorgeous illustrations of the characters by Little Chmura! I adore that kind of attention to detail!

Lowkey considering getting the The Atlas Six character art print from Little Chmura’s Redbubble shop (click here)!

Fazit: 4.5/5 stars! I want more right now, always and forever. The world and characters sucked me in completely!


Have you read The Atlas Six? Do you plan to? What’s the last book that completely enthralled you? Let’s talk about that!

TMP – Oscar Winner Edition: Best Original Score and Best Original Song

It’s Thursday and I’m back with a new Thursday Movie Picks feature post. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

This week is once again part of the Oscar Winner Edition, which will continue to be a reoccurring theme during each month. As was evident from the post title, we are dealing with Best Original Song and Best Original Score this time around – another two for one post! Music is such an important component to filmmaking, as is sound design in general. I’m looking forward to diving into some good music today!

Best Original Score

Soul

(Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross & Jon Batiste)

Soul was a beautiful movie that lived off of music, so it only makes sense to mention it here. Jazz in general might not be for everyone, but I’m sure it can enchant you here. (Also, it’s not like it’s all “just” jazz.)

Black Panther

(Ludwig Göransson)

I’ve mentioned Black Panther a lot for these posts, but 1) I’m happy when superhero movies get recognition from the Academy and 2) the movie was fantastic/iconic/a whole movement. If I hear a certain rhythm of tribal drums, I immediately think of Wakanda and/or the Dora Milaje. The score did THAT!

Finding Neverland

(Jan A. P. Kaczmarek)

I was obsessed with this movie when I was like 11 years old. I’m sure I watched it 20+ times and I cried every single one of them. To me, that movie was pure magic and my Peter Pan loving heart was all in.

Best Original Song

Man or Muppet (The Muppets)

(music and lyrics by Bret McKenzie)

Is this song ridiculous? Absolutely! Did it still get stuck in my head? Yes, it sure did!

Remember Me (Coco)

(music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez)

My favorite song from Coco is actually “Un Poco Loco”, but this one made me tear up in the end. So, it deserves to be on this list.

Falling Slowly (Once)

(music and lyrics by Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová)

I just love the song! All the more for getting covered on a show I love (Good Trouble), but that’s another story.

You’ll Be In My Heart (Tarzan)

(music and lyrics by Phil Collins)

I love the whole soundtrack. Phil Collins doing all the songs in dozens of languages, despite not speaking them, was just the cherry on top. I will admit to having grown up with mostly the German versions of the Tarzan songs, but it is (next to the Anastasia soundtrack) one of the most played CDs of my childhood.

Honorable Mentions

I couldn’t go without a little shout out to some more songs that I loved and that were nominated, however, didn’t win.

  • Mystery of Love by Sufjan Stevens (Call Me by Your Name)
  • Lost Stars from the movie Begin Again (performed by Keira Knightley and Adam Levine in different versions)
  • Coming Home from the movie Country Strong (which has a fantastic soundtrack in general)
  • A LOT of Disney songs …
  • Tron: Legacy was snubbed for Best Score, because it was never even nominated. You can fight me on that, but I’ll stick to that opinion.

Which songs and scores would have made it onto your list? What did you think of my selection? Let’s talk about that!

What If … Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands? Episode Review

It’s Wednesday and we all know this means it’s time for another Marvel review! Today we’re talking about What If … Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?, so continue at your own peril. Spoilers ahead!

What If ... Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?
credit: Marvel Studios

What was it about?

Doctor Strange’s entire life changes when he loses Doctor Christine Palmer in an accident rather than his motor skills.

My thoughts?

So, that was quite something! Maybe I will really like every other What If …? reality more than the previous one. This episode truly felt like the Marvel version of a Black Mirror story and I didn’t mind it. That obviously means that the ending was quite depressing, which probably won’t be to everyone’s liking, but if you think about it, it is also not very likely that every reality in the multiverse is a happy one. Let’s break down the events of What If … Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?

  • Stephen Strange and Christine Palmer were on a date. They were goofing off, clearly having a great relationship, when the dreadful car accident happens. Instead of Stephen losing the precise motor skills in his surgeon hands, he loses Christine, the love of his life, instead.
  • I thought it was interesting that his grief for her sent him on the same journey as the despair about his hands did. He traveled the world, eventually trained in the mystic arts and became the Sorcerer Supreme. However, it’s after that, where the story really changes.
What If ... Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?
credit: Marvel Studios
  • Unable to let go of the past, Stephen uses the Eye of Agamotto to travel back in time and redo his date with Christine. No matter what he tries, even if he stays away completely, she always dies though. Her death turning out to be an absolute point in time, unchangeable and irreversible.
  • The Ancient One tries to warn and explain to Stephen that he is endangering the entire universe with his obsession, but they fight and he escapes to the lost library of Cagliostro. There, in the midst of all the hidden mystic knowledge, he learns that he can reverse an absolute point in time, but will need more power. This power can be absorbed from other beings. While a regular person would probably stop at the thought of consuming creatures, Doctor Strange goes on to absorb every powerful being, small or big, he can find (yes, the tentacle monster from What If … Captain Carter Were the First Avenger? makes a reappearance) for centuries.
  • What this version of Doctor Strange wasn’t prepared for was the fact that his last interaction with the Ancient One led to a split timeline. All the while he got stronger, there was another half of him, who hadn’t chosen to change time, running around and still being good. This means we got a Doctor Strange vs. Doctor Strange face off.
What If ... Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?
credit: Marvel Studios
  • Where a usual Disney or happy storyline would have the good Stephen, the hero, win, this story is not that. The evil and now monstrous looking Doctor Strange cannot convince his counterpart to help him save Christine. So, instead, he even consumes himself, ultimately resurrecting Christine into a crumbling universe.
  • Christine doesn’t recognize Stephen when she comes to. He looks like an amalgamation of all the monsters and creatures he consumed, having no resemblance of his former self anymore. But worst of all, his entire effort was for nothing as Christine starts to disintegrate with the rest of the universe. He had broken the fabric of his reality to the point of no return. Even begging the Watcher himself to help resulted in nothing. So, Stephen created a bubble to shield him and Christine from the destruction, but in the end, he was all alone in vast nothingness.
What If ... Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?
credit: Marvel Studios

Something I enjoyed a lot during What If … Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands? is the fact that The Watcher was involved, albeit he did not intervene. In one of the earlier scenes, The Watcher talked to us and told us that Stephen was on the wrong path. He could intervene, but the safety of one universe was not more important than the others, while he also didn’t think that Strange would actually listen. However, Stephen did hear him and later directly talked to him. As I said last week, he seems to get more present in the storylines each week. Be it in the imagery or by actually talking with the characters now. I wonder if this will amp up even more in the future.

While I still think that the episodes deserve to be longer to make full use of the storylines and the potential emotional impact, it worked better here than with some previous ones. Once again, there were some fun visual and dialogue references to movies we know. There was a whole montage of how Stephen learned his craft and jokes about his name and hilarious moments with the cloak. At the end of all of this, I might do a personal ranking of all the What If …? episodes. Would anyone be interested in that?


PREVIOUSLY: WHAT IF …


What did you think of this episode? Did it shake you in any way? Did you agree with my opinion? Let’s talk!

August 2021 Wrap-Up

I don’t know where this summer went, but it sure went by quick! I’m well aware I’ve said the same thing the past couple of months, but it’s still true. I blink and suddenly the month has gone by, but apparently I had a lot of time to read, because I somehow managed to finish my Goodreads Reading Challenge! I know I could adjust the goal, but I kind of like that there’s now zero pressure for the remainder of the year.

Goodreads Reading Challenge 2021

But let’s take a closer look at all the books I had the chance to check out during August!

The Green Knight (Movie Tie-In) In the Wild Light Still Life With Woodpecker The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone Ballad of the Whiskey Robber: A True Story of Bank Heists, Ice Hockey, Transylvanian Pelt Smuggling, Moonlighting Detectives, and Broken Hearts Take Me with You When You Go Dark and Shallow Lies

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! My own reviews (where there is one) you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above if there are posts for them.

So, August was alright? It was my birthday month, but I’m not much of a birthday person, so I didn’t really celebrate. I told all my friends and family that I didn’t want anything, except to maybe spend some time with them. Therefore, I went on some nice walks in town, got good food and even went hiking. I’m not a super athletic person and I need new hiking gear, but I still love the feeling of accomplishment once you get to the top (or your designated spot). That was hard, but nice! (And I’m completely going to ignore that I forgot to put on sun screen and had the worst sun burn afterwards.)

Not really sure if this constitutes as news, but I’m currently looking for an apartment in Vienna for myself. This is momentous due to a couple reasons for me, because 1) living with my parents has always been my safety net and a great way to save money during tough times, 2) I never really intended to stay in Vienna and therefore never went looking for a place of my own, so this is like admitting defeat in my pursuit of moving abroad? Kind of? and 3) as I’m getting over my crushed dreams, I’m developing new ones and I’m really looking forward to making some of them come true (this is not necessarily referring to a flat).

MY FAVORITE THINGS

I hope you’re not getting tired of hearing this, but I’m once again going to talk about my reader compatibility series! I put a lot of work into these posts and I know the topic is kind of silly and fun, but I’m really, really proud of the outcome. The latest installment was me checking to see if Sebastian Stan and I are compatible readers and the result was genuinely surprising to me! This series will continue to be a regular feature on the blog, however, I decided to take a break during September and possibly focus a little more on books that I just want to read for my own sake. Still, I have a list of names ready to go!

Sebastian Stan compatibility

Another thing I completely adored and simply cannot get out of my head is the movie CODA! It’s about the only hearing child of deaf adults and her passion for music. It was honestly one of the most beautiful and emotional movies I had the pleasure of watching this year and I’m really not surprised audiences love it so much. If you haven’t yet, I hope you’re going to check out this masterpiece!!

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

This part of the wrap-up is always dedicated to the amazing work other bloggers do in the community. I hope you give them a visit and show some appreciation for their contributions!

MY OTHER POSTS

PREVIOUSLY ON WHAT IF …

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

THURSDAY MOVIE PICKS

VARIOUS POSTS AND TAGS

TRAILER POSTS


I hope your August went well and that you are safe and healthy! Wishing you all the best for September and hope we can chat a bit in the comments!

Dark and Shallow Lies by Ginny Myers Sain (ARC Review)

Dark and Shallow Lies Cover

Publisher: Razorbill
Page Count
: 432
Release Date: September 7, 2021

*I was provided with an eARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!*

CW: mention of suicide and self-harm, domestic violence, emotional and physical abuse, graphic murder, death of children, hurricane/natural disaster

I don’t know what it is, but I’ve found myself drawn to darker and darker material as of late and ever since I read the blurb of this supernatural YA thriller, I knew I was going to love sinking into this world. Rich in atmosphere and magic, it still takes a while until you find your footing. While it’s a very interesting setting and concept, the beginning is a bit messy as you don’t completely understand what has been happening. Grey, our main character and narrator, is a decent guide though and introduces us to all the key players one by one … and there really are quite a few.

I think Dark and Shallow Lies did an amazing job in portraying Grey’s confusion and grief due to the disappearance of her best friend and “twin flame” Elora. Not every decision will be rational when your heart is broken and reeling, so I decided to not be too harsh on her for her constantly changing feelings towards people.
Seen as she is the only one who lives away from La Cachette outside of the summer season, it felt natural that there was a bit of distance between her and the events of the past months. However, the story focused a lot on her potential love interests as well as her dependancy and need for certain people and not so much on the other “summer children”, which would have been a bit more interesting for me. They all have different powers and are supposedly inseparable, but we were mostly told about that instead of it being shown. No matter how often they said they loved each other more and in a different way than they could ever love anyone else, they sure didn’t seem as distressed about their dwindling numbers as they should have in my eyes.

The build up of the mystery was great and left you wondering about what happened for quite a while. Sometimes you might feel like you would want a quicker progression in the case, but I was so sucked into the story, I flew through it either way and just loved exploring every new page. Ultimately, everything does make sense! When the puzzle pieces eventually fit together and everything falls into place, you can’t help but think “of course, what else could it have been!?”, which I think is always a satisfying experience. More than anything, this book seems to be a lesson on trusting your gut instinct when you think something isn’t quite right. I still wish that some aspects were explored further and I’m missing one key explanation about a certain character, but I also wasn’t massively disappointed in the end.

Fazit: 3.5/5 stars! I decided to round up because of the atmosphere, although I think it could have dug deeper.


Do you plan on reading Dark and Shallow Lies? Are you into magical YA thrillers? Let’s talk!

TMP – TV Edition: Books I Want to See Adapted Into a TV Series

It’s Thursday and I’m back with a new Thursday Movie Picks feature post. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

As it so happens, we change it up once per month and talk about TV shows instead of movies and today gives me the great opportunity to talk about books I would like to see adapted into a TV series. There’s many, many I would like to see, but not all of them are suitable for the TV format. Many are better for movies, but I still have plenty of ideas. I’m going to try my very best not to go overboard. Emphasis on try. But to make it easier for myself, I’m going to stay in the SciFi and Fantasy realm.

Red Rising Saga by Pierce Brown

Those of you who have followed me for a while, know how much I adore this series. It grabs me every time and makes me feel emotions I usually don’t feel access that much. From what I know, it has been in the talk to be adapted for a movie, before Pierce Brown shut that down, because they would have changed the essence of the story too much. After that, I heard rumors of it being developed for TV, but news have been scarce on that front since.

Either way, I want a show and I hope they won’t make an animated one, because I want a live action one more. I especially hope they will ignore the height difference between the different colors and will cast Richard Harmon as my favorite Sevro. I’ve been championing for this for years!

My Red Rising reviews:

Monsters of Verity by Victoria Schwab

August Flynn is one of my all time favorite characters. I just want to adopt and coddle him, but I also genuinely think that the Monsters of Verity series would lend itself well for TV. There is a lot of freedom of what could be explored beyond the two books and a rich world full of intriguing monsters and heroes. I’d sure love to see it come to life on the screen.

My Monsters of Verity reviews:

Wolf by Wolf duology by Ryan Graudin

I think we’ve seen that alternate reality shows about WWII work quite well, just look at The Man from the High Castle. This is obviously targeted at a younger audience, but would raise great talking points. While the book had several issues with the German language, that’s not anything that wouldn’t be easy to remedy in a show. The characters were great for sure!

My reviews for the duology:

Jackaby Series by William Ritter

Jackaby is like Sherlock meets Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency? Two shows I absolutely adored and would therefore love to watch something in a similar realm. The books are definitely not that well known, but they are so much fun!

Jackaby (Jackaby, #1) by William Ritter Beastly Bones: A Jackaby Novel 02 : Ritter, William: Amazon.de: Bücher Ghostly Echoes (Jackaby Series #3) by William Ritter, Paperback | Barnes &  Noble® The Dire King ( Jackaby Series #4) by William Ritter, Hardcover | Barnes &  Noble®

My Jackaby (mini-)reviews:

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

While I definitely don’t agree with everything Maggie Stiefvater says on the internet and elsewhere, I think a show could do great things with her books as a guideline (but not sticking to it entirely faithfully if you ask me). Somehow, I just picture them on a small network like syfy with a fresh new cast of faces. I’d really like to see someone appreciate my ghost boy.

My Raven Cycle reviews:

Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe

Alright, so this is me cheating a little bit, because Netflix IS releasing Lore Olympus as an animated series soon. For those who don’t know, it’s a web comic that you can read for free here. It’s a modern retelling of the tale of Hades and Persephone and I have fallen utterly in love with it. However, I’m a sucker for live action adaptations, so I’ve started to cast the characters in my head already.

So, aside from Geraldine Viswanathan as Persephone and Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Hades, I’d like to put forward Sam Claflin as Zeus and Paul Mescal as Poseidon. Thanks for coming to my TED Talk.


What are some books you would like to see as TV shows? Let’s talk in the comments!

What If … The World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes? Episode Review

Wednesdays are mostly our Marvel review days on the blog, so it’s time to talk about today’s episode of What If …? called What If … The World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes? There will be spoilers from here on out, so proceed with caution.

What If ... Nick Fury
credit: Marvel Studios

What was it about?

What if someone eliminated the candidates for the Avengers initiative before they ever had a chance to band together? 

My thoughts?

I’m really feeling like I’m having my ups and downs with this show. While I tremendously enjoyed the plot of last week, I was somewhat disappointed with this episode. It wasn’t just the way it felt rushed in the short run time, but it also seemed like the real story only started once it ended. Let us break down what the episode was about!

  • The episode covered the span of a week, with every day more or less featuring the death of one of the Avengers. It all started with Tony Stark’s demise, which Black Widow got framed for. Then, it continued with the assassination of Thor by the hand of Hawkeye, who, just like Black Widow, claims innocence, which was followed by his own death. After that the Hulk literally exploded and even Natasha got found after her escape from SHIELD’s capture and taken down. Nick Fury (alongside Agent Coulson) seemed to be the only one left standing.
Black Widow
credit: Marvel Studios
  • I was somewhat surprised to see Doctor Ross, which is silly, because of course she is part of Bruce’s story, but we haven’t seen her in so long. In fact, in the live action version with the character being portrayed by Mark Ruffalo, she has never even been mentioned.
  • I didn’t see the point of rehashing each death in detail, as few of them have lasting consequences within the episode, except for Thor’s passing. His death prompts Loki to arrive on Earth with an army, vowing to revenge his brother. Fury manages to strike a deal with him by offering him the real assassin in return for leaving the planet in peace.
Thor and his glorious hair
credit: Marvel Studios
  • Natasha, before her final battle, managed to give Fury a hint at who was behind the attacks. She called him and told him that it was all about Hope. We, as devoted MCU viewers, obviously knew right away that it had to do with Hope van Dyne, but she really couldn’t have just told him the full name instead of repeating her first name twice on the message? Seems inefficient to me.
  • In this universe, Hope was an agent of SHIELD, just like her mother before her. They both died on missions, which left a grieving Hank Pym unable to deal with his emotions. He, in his suit could manipulate all the situations without being seen, therefore being the real culprit. He got tricked by Loki, who disguised himself as Fury to coax out a confession, and eventually got taken in by the Asgardian army.
  • Loki wouldn’t be Loki if he didn’t betray someone. So, despite Fury honoring his deal with the trickster God, Loki decides to stay on Earth and without anyone stopping him and a full army to back him, he manages to take over the rule of the planet within a day.
Loki on Earth
credit: Marvel Studios
  • It was odd to see Fury and Coulson so non-chalantly dealing with the alien invasion. However, the episode ends with Captain Marvel showing up for back up and Coulson looking at the frozen shield of Captain America. Maybe in this universe he was never unthawed? We literally don’t find out more as this is where it all fades to black.
  • What I noticed within the episode was that the Watcher was present in the sky/background a lot more obviously than in previous stories. I don’t know why it stood out so much here, but it did. I still wonder if he will really just remain someone to tell us tales or if he will eventually be involved in something as well.

As you can see, I kept that a lot shorter than with previous Marvel reviews or recaps, but I really wasn’t that impressed by the episode. Wouldn’t the meat of the story be about how Fury has to find alternate Avengers team members? How did Loki manage to conquer Earth in a day? There seemed to be exactly zero pushback from anyone as he spoke in front of the UN, which could possibly be because of his large armada, but come on. That was way too easy!

I have no idea what next week’s episode will be about, as I think they’ve only revealed the first three in advance, but I hope it will be something I can be more enthusiastic about again. Not even the funny quips about Thor’s glorious hair could keep me entertained for long here. Maybe I just also didn’t want to watch all the Avengers die … again. See you for more next week!


PREVIOUSLY: WHAT IF …


What did you think of this episode? Did you like it? Did you agree with my opinion? Let’s talk!