Review-Ben Reilly issue 1

It’s weird being a Spider-Man fan, I’m old enough to remember the original reaction to ‘The clone saga’. People hated it, they hated there was a Spider-Man that wasn’t Peter Parker. Nowdays, the appeal of the character seems to be that there are thousands of variations.

Written by J.M. DeMatteis, Ben Reilly: Spider-Man #1, picks up shortly after Ben Reilly took over the mantle of Spider-Man from Peter Parker (before to the Beyond Saga), and he’s having identity issues.
The resurrection of Carrion, a living virus, as well as other villains from Peter’s past, doesn’t help matters.

DeMatteis transports the reader to the aftermath of the clone saga and tells a compelling story about a conflicted hero attempting to figure out who and what he truly is.

I adored the story’s complexities and Ben’s internal battle. His personality is intriguing, and the darkness within him makes the reader interested in his decisions. I’m really looking forward to seeing where this tale leads, and the conclusion of this issue has piqued my interest even more.

With its amazing attention to detail and unique, engaging style, David Baldeon’s art continues to excite and impress. His work manages to convey character feelings, as well as fantastic action and catches the 90s vibe.

Ben Reilly: Spider-Man #1 is a solid issue. It’s almost as if Ben Reilly has come full circle, since his first appearance so many decades ago, and this is a great example of how successfully the character can be handled.

There’s a lot to be explored, and this series feels like it might be the ultimate piece of proof that his long-ago creation was, in fact, a great idea.

Listen to our review of Spider-Man: No way home here.

Spider-Man: No Way Home is the first pandemic-era film to earn $1bn

The latest Spider-Man film has become the first pandemic-era film to gross more than $1 billion (£750 million) at the global box office.

In addition, Spider-Man: No Way Home was named the highest-grossing film of 2021.

According to media data analytics firm Comscore, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was the most recent film to gross more than $1 billion.

Since the pandemic began two years ago, no other Hollywood film has come close to surpassing that box office milestone.

The latest Marvel Cinematic Universe picture grossed $1.05 billion worldwide over the weekend.

Even while the Omicron variety of Covid-19 has spread swiftly over the world, generating new concerns about indoor events, the Sony-Disney co-production reached its milestone less than two weeks after its premiere.

China, which is currently the world’s largest cinema market, has not yet seen the film.

Tom Holland reprises his role as Peter Parker in Spider-Man: No Way Home, featuring Zendaya as MJ and Benedict Cumberbatch as the wizard Doctor Strange.

Listen to our review of the film here.

Amy Pascal and Kevin Feige discuss Spider-Man’s future

Amy Pascal, the longtime producer of the Spider-Man series, and Kevin Feige, the CEO of Marvel Studios, have an unusual creative partnership, as they demonstrated in a new interview.

Whilst speaking with the New York Times, about Spider-Man: No Way Home and the future of the wall-crawler, the dynamic-duo addressed Pascal’s previous comments that Tom Holland would star in a new “Spider-Man trilogy”.

Pascal said:

“We’re producers, so we always believe everything will work out, I love working with Kevin. We have a great partnership, along with Tom Rothman, who runs Sony and has been instrumental, a great leader with great ideas. I hope it lasts forever.”

Feige added:

“Amy and I and Disney and Sony are actively beginning to develop where the story heads next, which I only say outright because I don’t want fans to go through any separation trauma like what happened after ‘Far From Home.’ That will not be occurring this time”.

In 2019, the original deal between both studios ended, leading to a financial dispute between Disney and Sony. For a while, it looked like Peter Parker’s time in the MCU sandbox was done. Fourteunetly, cooler heads prevailed and the studios got to work on no way home.

In the interview, Pascal and Feige also discussed how they first collaborated. Feige had worked as an unofficial script consultant on The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Most of his advice wasn’t taken up by Sony. When the film was released to widespread negative reviews, she and Feige met to discuss the next way forward. He suggested a co-production deal, with Marvel studios taking control of the character. She didn’t take the suggestion well.

“I threw a sandwich at him,” she said.

Feige added:

“She said, ‘I really want you to help on this next movie. We have these great ideas for the next one. It’s amazing stuff and I said, ‘I’m not good at that — giving advice and leaving. The only way I know how to help is if we just make the movie for you.’”

Despite Pascal’s initial scepticism, she and Sony eventually warmed to the idea after Feige offered more concrete proposals for how to integrate Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe:

She said:

“He said ‘I have an idea. What if Tony Stark makes Peter’s suit?’ And as soon as he said that, I understood the possibilities of what we could do together. To have Iron Man and Spidey in the same world, one rooted more in technological innovation — the new suit — and less in medical experimentation, which is where we were confined before, felt so much more modern.”

Since then, each of Marvel’s “Spider-Man” films, starring Tom Holland and produced by Pascal, has been a critical and commercial triumph, with most fans dubbing Holland “the best Spider-Man ever”.

Personally, as a fan. I’m excited to see where this partnership goes. They’ve opened up the multiverse now and with Sony continuing to make their own Marvel movies, the possibilities are truly endless.

Episode 277: Spider-Man No way home

Martyn is joined by Big Finish writer, Antoni Pearce, the pair talk about Spider-Man: No way home. The episode is full of spoilers, so listen at your own peril.

The podcast is available from all good podcast services, such as but not limited to Spotify, Amazon Music, PodchaserPlayer FM, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts.

We also have a Smartlink.

Artwork by Penny Smallshire.

We sound familiar can be found here.

More than just an impression can be found here.

Comedians talking about football can be found here.

Sam’s YouTube channel can be found here.

Buy Antoni’s dark Shadows audios here.

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Kevin Feige confirms Charlie Cox will stay on as Daredevil

Kevin Feige has announced that Charlie Cox will continue to play Daredevil, which will come as no surprise to Marvel fans who have been following various behind-the-scenes speculations and intriguing MCU leaks.

Charlie Cox recently said that he expects to still continue on in the role, one day.

Feige spoke very carefully, as he spoke to CineBlend:

“If you were to see Daredevil in upcoming things, Charlie Cox, yes, would be the actor playing Daredevil. Where we see that how we see that, when we see that, remains to be seen.”

Personally, I don’t think we’ll be waiting too long to see Matt Murdoch. After the events of Spider-Man: Far from home. Peter Parker is going to need a lawyer. Murdoch represented him in the comics, so an appearance in the upcoming Spider-Man: No way home just makes sense.

The reappearance of Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin was also hinted at in a recent episode of Hawkeye.
In the same episode, Maya Lopez, AKA Echo, was introduced, a figure is known for her connections to Matt Murdock in Marvel Comics, and it’s been announced that Alaqua Cox will play Lopez in an Echo spin-off series that could easily include Daredevil and Kingpin.

Spider-Man: No way home is due for release in the UK, on the 15th of December.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson set to play Kraven the hunter

Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass) has been cast in Sony Picture’s upcoming Marvel film ‘Kraven The Hunter’. It’s an unexpected, but very interesting choice. It will mark the actors third outing as a comic book character.

In the comics, Sergei Kravinoff a.k.a. Kraven the Hunter is an obsessive big-game hunter. Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Over time, Kravinoff moved away from using the tools of a regular hunter and started taking down large animals with his bare hands. After taking a potion, he developed enhanced physical powers giving him the strength, speed and senses of a jungle cat. The potion also extended his life, health and vitality.

Sony’s casting description lists Kraven The Hunter as being of Russian origin, with “superhuman strength, speed, stamina, agility, and reflexes. The maniacal big-game hunter seeks to defeat Spider-Man to prove that he is the greatest hunter in the world.”

Directing duties will be taken up by J.C. Chandor (Triple Frontier). With Art Marcum and Matt Holloway (Iron Man) writing the scripts.

Kraven the Hunter is set for release on January 13th, 2023.

Source: Variety

Olivia Wilde to direct a Silk movie?

Olivia Wilde has reportedly signed a deal to direct a new Marvel film for Sony Pictures.

The ’Booksmart’ director will make a movie about a female superhero, but neither Disney or Sony has officially commented.

When Marvel were in financial trouble in the 1990s, they sold off the film rights to their superheroes. Sony bought the rights to Spider-Man. Which also grants them use of any Spider-Man related characters.

Wilde posted a spider emoji on Twitter, leading most people to assume she’s making a Spider-Woman movie. But, my money is on Silk.

https://twitter.com/oliviawilde/status/1296224309896126464?s=21

Silk AKA Cindy Moon made her debut in 2014, in The Amazing Spider-Man issue 1. She’s a Korean-American, who was bitten by the same spider on the same day as Peter Parker.

Cindy gained similar abilities to Peter when she was bitten, though her spider-sense (dubbed by her as “Silk Sense”) is far stronger than Peter’s. On their first meeting, Peter observed that she was even faster than him, though not quite as strong. She also has the ability to shoot webs out of her fingertips, and she has an eidetic memory.

Deleted scene from Iron Man

Recently, it was announced that Marvel Studios were planning to release never before scene footage, as part of The Infinity Saga boxset. The box set will consist of every MCU film up to Avengers: End Game.

Marvel Studios Big Boss, Kevin Feige has shared one such scene. It’s an unused post-credits scene from 2008’s Iron Man. Nick Fury mentions “Mutants” and radioactive bug bites”.

I imagine this was dropped due to rights issues, at the time 20th century Fox owned X-Men, Daredevil and Fantastic Four. Whilst Sony owned Spider-Man, this was years before the now defunct rights sharing deal. A similar thing happened with Blade, the original last shot saw Michael Morbius standing on top of a building staring down at Blade. This scene was dropped when Sony’s lawyers reminded New Line, that Sony own the character.

Thoughts on Spider-Man leaving the MCU

Normally, I’d record this as a quick podcast. But I’m away at the moment and don’t have access to any of my equipment.

News broke recently, that the current deal between Sony and Disney/Marvel has broken down. There seems to be a lot of misinformation/misunderstanding of why the Sony/Disney deal happened in the first place.

A surprising amount of people think it’s because The Amazing Spider-Man films were financial flops. They weren’t. Far from it. They received a critical panning. But they were financially successful. The first one was the seventh highest grossing film of 2012, the second was the ninth highest grossing film of 2014. These are far from the duds so many Marvel fans are claiming.

The original deal happened because the head of Sony (Kenichiro Yoshida) felt dishonoured by Andrew Garfield. In Japanese culture, being dishonoured is a pretty serious thing. Garfield didn’t show up to the event in Rio, that was announcing The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and 4, The Sinister Six and, the wider Spider-Man universe. He’d also turned up to meetings unkempt and seemed entirely disinterested-making the Yoshida feel dishonoured. He wanted Garfield gone.

The company then found themselves in the position where they would either have to recast and make The Amazing Spider-Man 3, or reboot it again. For the third time in 15 years. Understandably Sony Pictures didn’t want to reboot. Which is why they initially turned the deal down. It was only when Kenichiro Yoshida wanted the deal, that it was accepted. Yoshida felt that rebooting the character for a third time, but into the MCU would limit damage control and garner good will with the audience. For both companies, which it did.

The deal was Disney would get to use him for 5 films. Starting with Captain America: Civil War, ending with Avengers: End Game. In exchange for this use, Disney would produce 2 films for Sony-with Sony maintaining distribution rights. In exchange for these films, Disney would get 5% the box office takings and all the money from Spider-Man merchandise.

Essentially, the MCU deal happened because the owner of Sony got offended. Not because Sony needed Disney-the deal was mutually beneficial for both parties, but either would’ve still been okay without the other.

Venom-Blu Ray review

Venom is a bold project for Sony, they’re attempting to launch a Spider-Man universe, without Spider-Man. They want this universe to stand alone, but they don’t want to rule out the chance of a future crossover.

Whilst it’s never stated this is in the MCU (Marvel cinematic universe) they don’t say anything to contradict that it isn’t. Instead of New York, the action takes place in San Francisco.

Tom Hardy plays Eddie Brock, an investigative journalist. Eddie lives with his fiancé Anne (Michelle Williams), a successful lawyer, working for a firm that represents the controversial billionaire Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed).

One night, Eddie makes a bad decision and ends up losing his job, his relationship and his apartment.

Cut to six months later. Eddie has given up on himself — but when Dr. Dora Skirth (Jenny Slate), a scientist who works for Drake, tells Eddie that Drake is sacrificing homeless people in mad experiments, Eddie decides to leap back into action to expose him. Whilst exploring the lab, Eddie gets bonded with an alien, that calls itself Venom.

All of a sudden we’re in a slapstick/buddy comedy. Invoking the obligatory talking alien mechanical baritone, Venom at first barks out primal commands such as “HUNGRY!” and “FOOD!”, but soon he’s commenting on Eddie’s romantic life and opening up about how he was considered a “loser” on his home planet.



The movie is a strange beast, it never truly settles on an identity. It’s unevenly dumb, part superhero movie, part horror/comedy and it doesn’t really do either well. It is funny? Yes, at times. I’ll admit I laughed. But, not always at the times the film wanted me to.

According to Hardy his favourite bits of the film, are the 40 minutes that ended up on the cutting room floor. He’s also said in interviews, that he mostly improvised his scenes. Which could explain some of the choppy editing, or inconsistencies in characters motivations.

The film wants us to want Eddie and Anne back together, but they’ve put her in a relationship with Dr. Dan, probably the nicest/most understanding man in the universe. Venom feels like it fell through a time vortex, this is like a pre-MCU superhero movie. Something akin to 2003’s Daredevil.

The special effects are underwhelming. The CGI is terrible and the fight scenes are predictable and murky at best. The villains — human and extraterrestrial — are forgettable. And neither the ordinary guy nor his alter ego is particularly compelling to watch.

This film cerments Tom Hardy, as the British Nicholas Cage.

Blu-ray Disc Exclusives

  • Extended Post Credit Scene and Deleted Scenes
  • PLUS over an hour of extras including
  • Venom Mode: Trivia Track
  • The Lethal Protector in Action
  • The Anti-Hero
  • Venom Vision
  • Designing Venom
  • Symbiote Secrets

*AND MORE

Also includes

  • Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse Sneak Peek
  • Eminem Music Video