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New Escapist Column! On How “Loki” Betrayed Itself…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. With Loki wrapping up its first season this week, it seemed like a good opportunity to take a look back at the show. In particular, how the season finale betrayed the show’s core themes and characters.

Loki is a story about many things, but it is primarily about power. It is about whether individuals have the power to determine the paths of their own lives. It is about who has the power to determine what stories get told and what they do with that power. It is also about how power intrinsically acts in its own best interests. There’s a lot of really interesting and biting stuff in Loki, which makes it slightly frustrating when the final makes a conscious choice to rob its characters of their agency, to reveal that this story doesn’t belong to them, and to argue that power must be centralised. In the end, Loki betrayed itself.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

New Escapist Video! “Black Widow – Review”

I’m thrilled to be launching movie reviews on The Escapist. Over the coming weeks and months, I will be joining a set of contributors in adding these reviews to the channel. For the moment, I’m honoured to contribute a three-minute film review of Black Widow, which is releasing theatrically and on Disney+ Premier Access this weekend.

New Escapist Column! On “Loki” as a Fugitive From Continuity…

I published a new column at The Escapist yesterday. Following the premiere of Loki, it seemed like an opportunity to take a look at some of the meta-fictional aspects of the beloved trickster.

At its core, Loki is essentially the story of a character trying to escape their own narrative and wrest control of the story in which they’ve found themselves trapped. The title character of Loki has always been a supporting player, an antagonist or an ensemble player. Loki finds the character pushing his way to the fore, trying to figure out his own arc and his own place when he is no longer defined by the role that he has played for the past decade of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

New Escapist Column! On How Loki Twists the Campbellian Archetype…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. With Loki arriving on Disney+ on Wednesday, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to take a look at the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s God of Mischief and what makes Loki such a compelling character.

There are lots of reasons why Loki has succeeded where other Marvel Studios villains have failed. Part of this is undoubtedly the casting of Tom Hiddleston. However, part of it is also down to the way in which Loki offers an interesting twist on the classic Campbellian archetype. Arguably more than any other character in the MCU, including his own brother, Loki is defined by has complicated and contradictory relationship with his father.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

New Escapist Video! “A Marvelous Escape” – “M.O.D.O.K. Full Series Review”…

With a slew of Marvel Studios productions coming to Disney+ over the next six months, The Escapist has launched a weekly show discussing these series

This week, in the gap between The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki, KC Nwosu and I take a look at a rather unconventional entry in the Marvel television canon: M.O.D.O.K., the half-hour sitcom from Patton Oswalt and Jordan Blum about the maniacal supervillain trying to strike a work/life balance.

New Escapist Video! “A Marvelous Escape” – Falcon and the Winter Soldier – “Full Season Review”…

With a slew of Marvel Studios productions coming to Disney+ over the next six months, The Escapist has launched a weekly show discussing these series. I’ll be joining the wonderful Jack Packard and the fantastic KC Nwosu to break down WandaVision, Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki as they come out.

This week, we take a look back at the first season of Falcon and the Winter Soldier, including the news that Sam Wilson will be wielding the shield in Captain America 4 and trying to make sense of some of the season’s more chaotic plotting decisions.

New Escapist Video! “A Marvelous Escape” – Falcon and the Winter Soldier – “One World, One People” Discussion…

With a slew of Marvel Studios productions coming to Disney+ over the next six months, The Escapist has launched a weekly show discussing these series. I’ll be joining the wonderful Jack Packard and the fantastic KC Nwosu to break down WandaVision, Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki as they come out.

This week, we take a look at the final episode of Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which has a lot to wrap up. Can the show stick the landing?

New Escapist Column! On the Negative Space in “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier”…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. As The Falcon and the Winter Soldier winds down its season, it seemed like a good opportunity to consider the show’s approach to the question: “What does Captain America stand for?”

It has been a turbulent few years for American identity, and it makes sense that a television about a character carrying the mantle of “Captain America” should have to figure out what that title means. The biggest issue with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is that it defines the concept of “Captain America” in negative terms. The series is more preoccupied with what Captain America isn’t than what he actually and actively is.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

New Escapist Video! “A Marvelous Escape” – Falcon and the Winter Soldier – “The Whole World is Watching” Discussion…

With a slew of Marvel Studios productions coming to Disney+ over the next six months, The Escapist has launched a weekly show discussing these series. I’ll be joining the wonderful Jack Packard and the fantastic KC Nwosu to break down WandaVision, Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki as they come out.

This week, we take a look at the fourth episode of Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which I continue to really like, even with some caveats about possible “both-sides-ism.” It’s continues to be an interesting and clever reworking of certain flawed elements of both Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War.

New Escapist Video! “Wanda-Full Tonight”…

With a slew of Marvel Studios productions coming to Disney+ over the next six months, The Escapist has launched a weekly show discussing these series. I’ll be joining the wonderful Jack Packard and the fantastic KC Nwosu to break down WandaVision, Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki as they come out.

This week, we take a look at the fifth episode of WandaVision, including the tropes and conventions of eighties sitcoms, the Full House allusions, who the real bad guy is, and – of course – that universe-cracking closing cameo.