This is a great winter season for geeking out on live-action anime, new fantasy series and movies

I love the holiday season! Not just for the joy of family, friends, and the Thanksgiving and Christmas season, but also for the new tv series and moves that premiere this time of the year. We have movie releases (Eternals, Spider-Man: No Way Home) and tv series streaming (Cowboy Bebop, Hawkeye, The Wheel of Time) it is a great time to be a fantasy/sci-fi nerd.

The big issue with the remakes and adaptations is how accurate is it to the comic or book series. Take the live action Cowboy Bebop on Netflix. First and foremost, the look is incredible. Great casting and set design that is so accurate to the anime. Now, is it perfect . . . No, it’s not. They are changing how the story is presented to make it fit into the shortened Netflix series. Spike’s backstory with the Syndicate is mixed in with each episode, which suits me fine. The fighting scenes are as animated as in the anime, so is the comedy banter. It’s not as good as the original anime, but it’s still fun to watch.

On a more serious note, Robert Jordan’s epic The Wheel of Time was finally made into a tv series. It’s hard to imagine this series laid out logically as a TV series, and watching has proven that. Instead of teenagers, the five dragon candidates are young adults, and they changed how they get from their village to the White Tower. When you’re taking 14 books and putting them into a shortened series, it makes sense. It still flows good and is watchable to me. I can’t help but enjoy it because I love these books and seeing them come to life is a dream come true. It’s a lot like when Game of Thrones was brought to television. You can’t follow the exact dimensions of such a rich story, but if it remains true to the essence of the novels, then it’s worth watching.

Rosamund Pike is great as Moiraine in the series. She is commanding, fierce and dedicated to her cause. Her magic is so powerful, flowing from the one source in such a beautiful visual effect. The first battle scene against the Trolloc’s was intense. It’s great that Amazon is taking a chance on this series, and they’ve already confirmed season 2.

And now, Disney Plus is coming out with Hawkeye as part of its ongoing MCU television series. I can’t say I’m overly excited for this series. It just doesn’t excite me like Loki, Wandavision, What If, or Falcon and the Winter Soldier. I will watch it, though, because it helps set up the next set of series coming out in 2022.

Speaking of the MCU, we’ve gotten three films in less than four months. Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings was a great introduction to a new hero, and the Eternals reset the cosmic powers of the Marvel Universe. Both of these movies set up new powers and heroes in the MCU coming in the next phase. I mean, the Black Knight, Blade, and others are coming our way. Then we have Spider-Man: No Way Home which brings us into the multiverse by setting up Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. I think just bringing all the villains from the other Spider-Man movies completes the transition from the “Sony-verse” to the MCU. Plus, it brings together the Sinister Six for the first time and that is just freakin’ awesome to see!

The Spider-Man movie not only completes Tom Holland’s trilogy, but it sets up so much more. Will he finish his run as the webhead or just prepare for the New Avengers in the next phase? Maybe we’ll get to see Miles Morales for the first time in a live movie! The possibilities are there, but we’ll have to wait and see!

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Mark Piggott is an independent author of the Forever Avalon fantasy book series and other fantasy/steampunk novels and short stories. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon and as an audiobook from Audible and iTunes. The Dark Tides: Book 2 of the Forever Avalon Series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from iUniverse Publishing and at Amazon, and other booksellers. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from Austin Macauley Publishing, and at Amazon and other booksellers. His latest fantasy novel, The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart is available through Lulu and other booksellers.

Get ready for the steampunk historical fiction, Corsair and the Sky Pirates, coming soon from Revolutionary Press; and The River of Souls novella, coming soon from Curious Corvid PublishingThe Prometheus Engine: Book 4 of the Forever Avalon Series and The Last Magus: Dragonfire and Steel are future installments of my current fantasy book series, coming soon.

What did I just see? “Avengers: End Game” was the best superhero movie EVER

Image result for avengers endgame

No spoilers but plenty of accolades! Oh my frick’n God, what did I just see? This has to be a GREATEST superhero movie ever. Yeah, I know, I’ve said that before. But each time, a new movie comes out, it overtakes the last one that was previously the greatest. Just the final battle scene was enough to tag this as THE GREATEST.

It’s not enough to undo the snap, Thanos’ universe-ending action at the end of INFINITY WAR. There were plenty of clues in IW that led us to what was happening in ENDGAME. I know that Marvel has said that SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME is the final movie of Phase 4, but make no mistake, it’s really this one.

This movie had it all… Comedy, drama, action, adventure, etc. Sometimes, I think they go a little too far with the comedy. The Ant-Man jokes were expected, but EG went back to THOR: RAGNAROK to give us Thor/Hulk as the “straight man” in an ongoing comedy routine throughout the whole movie. It was funny, but to me, out of character for these two original Avengers.

I will admit that I cried a couple of times in this movie, and I don’t normally expect to cry when watching a superhero movie. This movie gave you unforgettable moments that you need a handkerchief or box of tissues. One person was so shaken after watching this movie, they had to be hospitalized, or so I read.

I will say one, kind of, spoiler, but this is something that has been suggested from the beginning of the EG rumormill. There is time travel involved and this gave us the opportunity to see characters that have died in previous movies. That made it a lot of fun to see these great characters one last time. There was also another great Stan Lee cameo, so the “Godfather of Marvel Comics” still lives in these movies. Excelsior!

After just watching CAPTAIN MARVEL last month, I expected her to have a bigger role in the movie, and to be honest, I was disappointed that she wasn’t there a lot. Her character in the MCU seems to be more focused on the galaxy rather than Earth, and this movie demonstrated that. Still, when she was there, she kicked ass, and she led a female superheroine group that took to the forefront in one scene.

Lastly, I would like to add that this was the end of a journey for many of the actors involved. It’s not clear where we’re going from here in the MCU. We know they’ll be sequels to Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Captain Marvel in the future, as well as a Black Widow prequel and The Eternals, maybe Nova too. With the acquisition of Fantastic Four and X-Men from Fox, there may be more there too.

The future awaits and “Avengers: Endgame” set it up beautifully.



Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverse publishing. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is coming soon from Austin Macauley Publishing.