Thor: Love and Thunder + Ms. Marvel Eps 4 & 5 | Crooked Media
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July 08, 2022
X-Ray Vision
Thor: Love and Thunder + Ms. Marvel Eps 4 & 5

In This Episode

Seen Thor: Love and Thunder? Have questions? Drop us a line at


On this episode of X-Ray Vision, Jason Concepcion and Rosie Knight workout with Surtur’s chains! First in Previously On (2:59), Jason and Rosie discuss the upcoming Paper Girls adaptation on Amazon Prime as well as the Duffer Brothers new production company and expanding the Stranger Things-verse. Then they lightning recap episodes 4 & 5 of Ms. Marvel, exploring the messiness of time travel narratives and pondering whether Damage Control will inevitably lead to the Sentinels and the X-Men (because it’s not X-Ray Vision without talking about X-Men!). In the Airlock (1:05:09), Jason and Rosie dive deep (deeeep) into the shadow realm to discuss Thor: Love and Thunder (in theaters now), recapping the film, giving their reactions on Christian Bale’s performance, Taika’s magical, manic energy, as well as background and lore on some new and familiar ideas and characters in the MCU. 


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Listener’s Guide to X-Ray Vision

Paper Girls – Available at Image comics; by Brian K. Vaughan & Cliff Chiang.


Ms. Marvel creator Bisha K. Ali’s Reading List on Partition available here.


Rachel Paige’s official Marvel recap on Ms. Marvel episode 5.


Rosie’s Esquire article on the Endgame timeline.


Maryam Ahmad’s Nerdist article on Djinn & Ms. Marvel.


Strange Tales #138 – written by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, pencils by Jack Kirby and John Severin, inks by Severin, colors by Stan Goldberg, letters by Sam Rosen.


Venom #4 — Depicts the symbiote origins of the Necrosword; written by Donny Cates, pencils by Ryan Stegman, inks by JP Mayer, colors by Frank Martin Jr, letters by Clayton Cowles.




Jason Concepcion: Folks. Get your popcorn buttered. Get your fountain drink ready because there’s going to be some spoilers from the Thor Love and Thunder movie out in theaters now. If you have not seen Thor, Love and Thunder. For God’s sakes, do not listen to this podcast. The section in which we talk about that movie until you have seen the movie. Please do that. Go watch the movie. Lots of spoilers in here for Thor, Love and Thunder and Ms Marvel Episodes four and five. So please see that stuff before you listen here. Yeah. Hello. My name is Jason Concepcion and welcome to X-ray Vision, the Crooked Podcast, where we dive deep into your favorite shows, movies, comics and pop culture. In today’s episode on the Previously On news segment, where we’ll be talking about the Paper Girls trailer, the adaptation of the beloved Brian K. Vaughn, Cliff Chiang comic book from Image Comics. We’re going to talk about some Stranger Things, spin off news from the Duffer Brothers, and then we’re going to be catching up on Ms. Marvel episodes four and five. In the Airlock, we’re diving all the way deep into Thor, Love and Thunder. And of course, if you want to jump around, check out the timestamps in the show notes to find all the things that we talk about. And joining me now, we’re back baby. After a week lay off filling her mind library with ever more information, ever more wisdom to give to the people, is the number one comics encyclopedia now overflowing with things to tell you. It’s the great Rosie. Knight, Rosie. How are you?


Rosie Knight: I’m good. I’m so happy to be back. We needed the one week break. But now we’re back.


Jason Concepcion: We needed it. What did you do? Did you do anything good?


Rosie Knight: I actually. I did too much work, sadly. But I also did do. I did go away for, like, two days, so that was nice.


Jason Concepcion: Nice. Yeah, I, I went to the desert and.


Rosie Knight: That’s also where I went, just after you.


Jason Concepcion: Got to tell you, it was like 113 degrees every day. But it was also very, very relaxing. And I enjoyed it.


Rosie Knight: Yeah, whenever I whenever I go to the desert, I feel like Superman. I’m like, I am being powered up by the yellow sun, like the desert. There’s something about it where I’m just like, this heat is nourishing me. I’m probably, like, shriveled and old, but I feel empowered. I love the desert. Thank you. Desert.


Jason Concepcion: I, too, love it. Folks, let’s get into the news. Paper Girls trailer. The trailer for Amazon Prime’s PaperGirls dropped this week again, an adaptation from the series of the same name by Brian K. Vaughn. Illustration Art by Cliff Chiang. It is a show about four paper delivery girls like 12 or 13 year olds in 1988 who are pulled into a time traveling adventure where they encounter future versions of themselves, its time copying in the way that their time traveling is kind of against the law. And it’s a great if you want to dive into the completely original comics world, Paper Girls on Image Comics is there for You. The show comes out on July 29th. I was, I thought the trailer looked fantastic. The color scheme.


Rosie Knight: It looked so good.


Jason Concepcion: Reminds me so much of the comic day, it seems like they nailed the casting and I’m really excited by it. What what were your thoughts?


Rosie Knight: Yeah, I’m I’m so impressed by everything to do with this show. Like, from the moment that they first revealed the cast to this trailer, they just. Amazon, something we can say about whoever’s making these shows at Amazon. They know when to totally commit to the comics like this and they know when to distance themselves like The Boys.


Jason Concepcion: Like The Boys.


Rosie Knight: And this is like so incredible to see Cliff’s visual language and landscape brought to the screen, especially in the colors, because Paper Girl uses coloring in a very specific way.


Jason Concepcion: Yes.


Rosie Knight: The colors by Matt Wilson are just astonishing in that book, and they’re used in a very narrative important way. And it’s just also like one of the coolest looking books. I remember working in a comic shop when it was coming out, and you just wanted to get those neon issues every time, like the beautiful covers. And yeah, this is definitely one where I would say, Read it now. Or if the trailer looks really enticing to you, wait, and then you can be surprised when you watch the show. I also something that I think is really cool about this when we talk about committing to the comics, something the Amazon PR is doing here, which is really incredible, every single time they write about Paper Girls, they shout out Brian K. Vaughn and they shout out Cliff Chiang and they are at-ing them and they are saying, These are the people who made this, these are the people, this is the reason this exists. So I think this could be a real step forward when it comes to how closely connected the creators are to the show. Also, images create your own.


Jason Concepcion: Creat your own, I was about to say.


Rosie Knight: This is their baby.


Jason Concepcion: The brand is Brian K. Vaughn, not so much Image Comics.


Rosie Knight: Exactly. So I’m really excited. I think it looks great. I’m very stoked to see the on the internet. Like there was a lot of people who were like, Oh, this looks like Stranger Things, duh, duh, duh, duh, duh. But the Paper Girls fandom has been there being like, well, actually, and correctly so.


Jason Concepcion: It’s a great point to bring up because. It’s interesting. We just. I just got done with Stranger Things season four.


Rosie Knight: Mm hmm.


Jason Concepcion: Many of us have. It’s a show set in the eighties with lots of eighties references that clearly is inspired by, you know, the work of Steven Spielberg and other kind of Y-Aa movies of the era, kids on bikes having an adventure.


Rosie Knight: I was going to say the bikes are such a visual touchpoint for both.


Jason Concepcion: And so I was wondering while watching the trailer and then going back and flipping through the first couple of issues of, of Paper Girls on Image. I wonder how much the success of Stranger Things affected choices that they made in the show because you know I mean the opening of the comic there is like a reference to the Challenger explosion. There’s all these pop culture eighties references. There’s a kid dressed as Freddy Krueger like, you know, in the opening in the opening pages and all of that, it would feel, I think, pretty Stranger Thingsy in to those who are not initiated to to the comics or who weren’t reading the comics at the time. So I wonder, I really wonder how much the showrunners and the production team either leaned into the eighties references, the stuff that’s on the page, or leaned away from those choices, not wanting to you know, ride on a wave that has been created by another show.


Rosie Knight: I think it’s really interesting to think about because I think there’s probably no way that Paper Girls gets made into a TV show at all without Stranger Things, or at least not this speedily. So thank you, Stranger Things, because I wanted a Paper Girl show probably more than most other comic book shows.


Jason Concepcion: Yes.


Rosie Knight: But Paper Girls did come out, you know, almost a year before the first issue of Paper Girls came out almost a year before Stranger Things. My gut says you cannot,, the point of Paper Girls, as well as Stranger Things, is that to evoke that nostalgia. The question is, do they do it in the Stranger Things way, which is like, look at this thing that is from that era, or do they do it in tone and shit? I would love to see them evoke different parts of the eighties that we don’t necessarily get to see in the same way. So I’ll be really I think that’s one of the most interesting things to look for as we go into the show is like. What do they do to separate themselves from Stranger Things and not in a negative way just because this is a unique, different kind of story. So I’m very interested.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah. Not in a negative way at all, but just understanding like how storytellers.


Rosie Knight: Mhm.


Jason Concepcion: You know like to work is you always want to do something that is your own even if you’re working in the same time period, the same milieu that, you know, there are certain references to historical events from 1988 that are, you know, kind of unavoidable and of course like Stranger Things is in 86 so there is a little bit of air gap in terms of years.


Rosie Knight: Oh yeah, that was that that really good point. But they’re going to group Stranger Things for the late eighties.


Jason Concepcion: But you know, I’d imagine if I was if I was working on this, I’d be like, I don’t know, this is like fun, but like, Stranger Things did this. So I don’t know, I, I would just be fascinated to know what the conversation was. Speaking of Stranger Things, Matt and Ross Duffer, the Duffer Brothers, creators of the Stranger Things television program on the Netflix streaming platform, have announced per deadline that they have launched their own company, Upside-Down Pictures, and they are working on producing a Stranger Things spinoff per deadline following the record breaking release of the two final episodes of Stranger Things, season four, creators Matt and Ross Duffer have formed Upside Down Pictures and recommitted to Netflix with several new projects. Those include a live action series adaptation of Death Note. The famed Japanese manga and anime written by Tsugumi Ohba and with illustrations by Takeshi Obata and original series from creators Jeffrey Adis and Will Matthews. Dark Crystal Resistance could come out of Upside Down Pictures, a series adaptation of Stephen King and Peter Straub 1984 novel, The Talisman. Which, speaking as a King-head, excited for that one. A new stage play set within the world and mythology of Stranger Things, produced by a UK based stage producer, Sonia Friedman, and the aforementioned Live Action Stranger Things spinoff based on an original idea by the Duffer Brothers with Upside Down and 21 Laps producing. This just makes a Lot of sense, you know. This is by, I think, any measure, although with Netflix, it’s hard to understand what measure, what is.


Rosie Knight: By Netflix’s official measure.


Jason Concepcion: By that, by just anecdotally, knowing all the people who are talking about this show and who have watched it and understanding what they hit, what it means as a hit to Netflix, it just makes sense to do this.And I’m excited. Listen, give let’s give Steve.


Rosie Knight: Let’s give Steve and Dustin a spin off.


Jason Concepcion: Bring Steve and Dustin’s spin off. Is that not what we want?


Rosie Knight: That’s what the people want. I was going to say a spoiler, but I’ll save that for when we actually talk about Stranger Things. Yes, that’s what the people want. I am intrigued by this. I think that was a cool like Talisman Easter Egg as well. And in the second volume of the Stranger Things new season. So that’s kind of a fun lead in kind of doing that Mike Flanagan World Within a World sort of thing. I. I’m wary of that first the first announcement, the Death Note adaptation. Netflix has done that before.


Jason Concepcion: But let’s see where it goes.


Rosie Knight: You know what? I’m open to it. There’s been plenty of brilliant already death, no adaptations in Japan, so it’s not going to take those away. And maybe it’ll add something really cool and new. I love anything like Y-A kid’s storytelling that’s like. And we’ll talk about that more when we talk about Thor. Like that. I’m a sucker for that. So the notion that we could see a new cool version of that.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah.


Rosie Knight: I’m open to it. I’m open to it. I love Dark Crystal Age Resistance. That was like one of my favorite TV shows of the last few years.


Jason Concepcion: I need to get in on that because I heard.


Rosie Knight: It’s Oh my God, it is like so good. If you when you watch it, you almost cannot believe it’s real. It is so.


Jason Concepcion: I got to get into it.


Rosie Knight: So you are going to love it so much. I know everything you love and you’re just going to love it. It is. So I.


Jason Concepcion: Well listen, I love the original Dark Crystal movie.


Rosie Knight: It’s like, imagine that. But it’s a prestige TV show with like in a never ending budget and everything is. There’s obviously incredible CG, but there’s a lot of practical puppetry. So it is just like, that’s my ultimate. I wish they would renew it show that got canceled. So the idea that that team teaming up with the Stranger Things team who was obviously so influenced by that era of filmmaking, I think that’s really exciting.


Jason Concepcion: And we will be talking about Stranger Things more on a upcoming episode. I got to say just as a quick knee jerk reaction, this was my favorite season of Stranger Things for, for.


Rosie Knight: Yeah.


Jason Concepcion: Primarily because we were finally like fleshing out the lore of the world. And, you know, we’re both big like world building. People and just understanding more about the upside down, how the mind flayer works, Vecna’s role in all of this stuff. That was really fun to learn about all that stuff.


Rosie Knight: Yeah, it also brings in two of my favorite things, which is like, I absolutely love horror storytelling and like fantasy horror and that is brought in in such an expansive and unexpected way here. And also, I thought the satanic panic aspect of the show and the storytelling, that is something that really speaks to me, that notion of him being othered. And I thought that Joseph Quinn as Eddie is just like, that’s got to be one of my favorite characters from a TV show in ever. And I saw so much love there for him. So like I yeah, this feels again. It’s been a little while since we’ve had one of those moments where you feel like everybody’s talking about it.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah.


Rosie Knight: You know, so it’s kind of .


Jason Concepcion: It’s been a little while since we’ve had that.


Rosie Knight: Yeah. It’s, it’s been fun to see that everyone getting excited about it for the good reason. So it’s all, it’s all because people are passionate about it. So it’s been exciting to be a part of that again.


Jason Concepcion: Ms. Marvel Episodes four and five. Lightning Recap of both. Let’s start with episode four titled Seeing Red. And basically, here’s what you need to know. Kamala goes to. Karachi. She meets up with her noni and some cousins. She meets Kareem, a member of the Red Daggers, and learns about the Red Daggers, this group that has been working behind the scenes over there. She goes, Kamala goes to Red Dagger headquarters, where she meets the leaders of the group. We learn more about the realm of the Clandestines come from. And then, fucking, the Department of Damage Control absolutely fumbles the fucking bag.


Rosie Knight: Once again. Once again.


Jason Concepcion: Once. It’s like you can just. You can just take them to their cells. You don’t have to be assholes about it. Anyway, the Department of Damage Control are escorting Najma and her group to their cells, but they have to be really racist about it. And this leads to a big fight. And Najma and the Clandestines escape. Waleed is killed in a in a fight back in Karachi. And we see a portal open and Kamala goes through and arrives at that fateful night back in 1947, when Sana followed a trail of stars to her father and Aisha disappeared. On to episode five, we opened on newsreel footage from August 1947, the eve of India’s independence and the creation of the state of Pakistan. We see India’s leader, Nehru and Pakistan’s leader and founding figure of Muhammad Ali Jinnah making speeches. And then we see crowds of people on the move as these two states are created, and Hindus who are living in what will soon become Pakistan, are leaving for India and Muslims in India leaving for Pakistan. Of course, this process, historical process, which was, I believe, the largest mass migration of people in history, in the history of the world, talking about millions of people on the move was accompanied by a lot of violence, a lot of destruction and a lot of heartache for people who for generations had been living in a place, living in the place that their, you know, family had lived in for generations, all of a sudden forced to uproot themselves and move. That’s the historical context. We arrive in 1942. Flashback from this newsreel footage. British troops are pursuing Kamala’s great grandmother, Aisha, through through the forest. She suddenly turns and does something which takes down the soldier. Later, we see an activist handing out handbills and talking to a crowd about the independence movement, agitating this crowd of eager locals about why they should be an independent nation and how they can do that with the the least amount of chaos and rioting possible. And then all of a sudden, British troops arrive. And of course, they’ve got Indian auxiliaries also, and they don’t want people talking about this, so they disperse the crowd using force. Aisha later is wearing the bangle and we see her wearing the bangle. She’s sleeping in a field. Turns out that’s the that’s this man’s field. His name is Hasan, and he wakes her up and he’s like, hey, you know, if you want to, my house is right over here. If you want to come in and get something to eat and rest in there. That night, she comes in and very, very, very reluctantly eats dinner, which you don’t have to tell me twice if you’re offering food, I’m eating.  Aisha doesn’t talk much. And it’s we understand why, of course, but Hasan does not. It’s clear that she’s not from around here. It’s also clear that she’s not British. So who, who is she? What’s, What’s her deal? Aisha is very close lipped about this, but eventually she reveals that she likes Hasan’s roses. Hasan grows roses. And she thinks they’re great. That gets them talking. Now they introduce themselves and she is Aisha. We know he is Hasan. We just learned that. And folks, you can tell right away, by the way, they’re looking at each other. They’re going to make babies. And it happens in the very next scene. We fast forward to Aisha has got Hasan’s roses in her hair. They are being very loving to each. And the camera pans down and guess what? It’s baby on board time. That is within that belly is Sana, Kamala’s grandmother. The growing family is at peace. We fast forward years later we see Sana playing with Aisha’s bangle is a BBC radio reports on the violence that is gripping the country. This is post-independence now and the partition is taking place or around the time of the independence as as this mass migration is taking place. Hasan is upset. He is Muslim. He lives in what will become India. Already people in the village that he and his family have lived in for many years are being shunned by certain members of the community, although there is also a lot of generosity within that community. And he is angry because he’s really grappling with the very real possibility that he’s going to have to flee the home that has been his home for generations. A villager comes to offer him them some food and he rejects it. He’s angry about it.That night, Aisha meets Najma out in the field. And we learn that Aisha has been hiding from her fellow Clandestines. Najma has been searching for Aisha for years, it seems like. And her plan is the same as it is present day. She wants to use the bangal to return everybody home. They want to go back to their dimension they’ve been exiled from.  Aisha is like Oh, the bangle. Yeah, I hid it because, you know, there’s all this, all this, you know, there’s all this movement of people’s riots going on, a lot of chaos because of the independence movement. And I got to look for it. And I’ll tell you what, I’ll text you when I find it. I’ll look for it. Okay. And I’ll let you know. And then Najma is like you have until the end of day tomorrow and that’s when you better have it. Aisha goes back to Hasan and urges him to flee. It’s time to go. We got to go. The riots are getting closer. I know this farmhouse has been in your family and you don’t want to leave it. And it’s really painful but you’ve got a growing family now. We have to do it. They hit the road. Aisha gives Sana the bangle for protection. The family heads off for the last train out of town on the road. Hasan, who’s uses a cane, he’s got an injured leg, is struggling. He asks who Aisha was talking to out in the fields the other night in Aisha is like, okay, let me show you something. Shows  Hasan the bangle. Gives a very short demo of what it can do, which is basically like a little telescoping feature and it lights up.


Rosie Knight: So it’s very fancy.


Jason Concepcion: We learn through this process in this scene that Hasan, like many guys, he’s not a big, he has a lot to say about politics and stuff. But in terms of like deep questions with a partner has clearly not asked a lot of questions. This beautiful, gorgeous, intelligent woman showed up in his field one day with no past. Not talking about where she’s from or anything. And it’s not until now, apparently like one or two years later, because Sana is like a toddler, right. That he now begins to ask questions about like real questions about so, well, this bangle, what’s going on with this? I want I wanted to. Talk about something since it was just the 4th of July, as you know, Rosie.


Rosie Knight: I do know it was.


Jason Concepcion: As a as a as a member of all of our of our extended family. Our English cousin, Rosie. I’ve been thinking a lot about about the you know, it’s like you often hear when people critique colonialism, you’ll often hear like defenders of colonialism say kind of tritely like, hey, sure, it wasn’t ideal all the time, but look like India has the post office. They have this railway system, they have these beautiful harbors, they have this parliamentary system of government. They have like all these the civil service and all this stuff that’s like very fleshed out. And that’s because of the legacy that English rule left there. And while it wasn’t always great, look, look at the positives that they left behind, which, like all that stuff is there because the English were there. That’s true. But at the same time, it’s like, you know, the economics of colonialism, it’s it’s different for many cases. And I’m by no means an expert, but I will say, like the basics were, the English and the English were not, you know, the Dutch were there, the Portuguese were there, there were France was there also. But the English came to dominate India. The English system of colonialism was they extract natural resources, gems, you know, textiles, tea, etc.. And take it very for a very cheap pricen to.


Rosie Knight: It was stolen.


Jason Concepcion: England Right, essentially. Right. But, but, you know, like there is an investment of money to like to like go and send people there. Anyway, they extract the natural resources they send to England where they produced finished goods that they would then sell to this captive market of India where they can’t buy anything else. They have to buy stuff from from England. Right. So. What you’re basically looking at is I mean, you could call it theft, but on a massive, massive scale, like, oh, yeah, scale to the point where you need a railroad to transport all the stuff you’re taking to the harbor and you need ships to take that home and you need this massive lake management system that becomes a civil service to, to, to keep track of all that stuff. And you need a postal service because you need to, like, be in communication with all these people who are extracting all this wealth out of there and then selling the finished goods and taking that wealth back also. And so really when you when people say, oh, but look at the post office and look at all the railways and stuff, it’s kind of like if I was a bank robber and I tunneled into a bank and I stole all the money. If I came back, like.


Rosie Knight: Now there’s a tunnel.


Jason Concepcion: 40, 50 years later and say, Oh, I notice you made a subway out of the tunnel that I dug. You’re welcome.


Rosie Knight: Yeah. No, that’s exactly what it is. I mean, it’s it’s colonialism is like the most horrendous and vile crime in England is like one of its absolute worst perpetrators. Like, it’s so awful. And I just and it’s kind of it’s really strange as well, because, like, at least when I was in school, I don’t think it’s changed very much. They don’t really teach you anything about it.


Jason Concepcion: Like most countries


Rosie Knight: They don’t teach about  partitioned and they don’t they don’t even do the version where it’s like, um, well, at least where I went to school, which was like a very like poor working class neighborhood where there was people from all over the world like they, a lot of whom came there because of what England had done to their countries during colonialism and like because of colonialism. But like they didn’t even do the version where they were like we were like generous benefactors. They just like skip over it because they know that even if you like, scrape the tiniest bit of of off. I think it’s like in that way, like Ms. Marvel, by talking about partition and kind of generally. Even broaching this period. It’s doing that thing that comic books have always done that we love, which is like using a story to tell, like an analogous import, shine a light on, like an important moment in history. But instead of doing it in a way that’s analogous to actually just talking about it and setting it during this time and like the creative team actually shared. Bisha Ali I saw shared it. This reading list they made, we can put it in the show notes of readings on partition by all different kinds of people is like so. And I think it’s like a really interesting, cool expansion of that where they’re not just saying like, Oh, we wrote about this thing, you should go and learn about it. They’re like, Here are the things that helped us learn about it. And, and now you can too. So I’m glad that there are stories about this because, yeah, just terrible.


Jason Concepcion: There’s going to be there’s going to be a significant amount of people who learn about this this event in this period of history, in this part of the world because of this show. And I think that is broadly positive. And, you know, partition is it is a it is a subject of ongoing scholarship, like as you speak, like it has been kind of overlooked. Both in the region and indeed in the West. In the region because it’s such a painful topic with like a lot of a lot of bad history attached to it. Yeah. Again, like millions died during this extremely violent and chaotic like events. Like it was bad.


Rosie Knight: Yeah. And I think there’s been really good. This is like a really nuanced topic, like anything about this. So there’s been this who’ve who’ve loved this version of part of the way Ms. Marvel has represented it and feel like it’s super representative and bringing this like moment, a forgotten moment in history to life. And there’s been people who don’t feel like it’s actually representative of their experience at all. So that’s the notion of all of these things, right? Yeah, it’s a two sides of trying to tell this huge story in like a 30 minute episode.


Jason Concepcion: Let’s talk about that, too, before we get back to the recap, because this is another thing I’ve been thinking about a lot, which is on Reddit and elsewhere, there’s all these threads that are like, basically being like, I’m not a bigot but Ms. Marvel just doesn’t speak to me. Here are the reasons why. Which. And listen. Certain people like things or they don’t like things. There’s nothing wrong with that. I will say that. I will say that. And I’m not trying to speak for the Pakistani or Indian fans of the show or like, you know, pop culture fans in general. I’m speaking as a as a person of color who loves nerd shit. It feels a little like. It feels a little weird when people are so loudly like, well, it doesn’t speak to me considering like, you know, as a as a again, as like a nerd and a nerd of color like, you just know you, I have to. Growing up and watching shows, including now, you basically have to eat what they make you. You know, like there’s no choice. And so as when you were talking about like how the kind of obliquely talking about like the stakes for fans who are looking to see their experiences mirrored in this show and are either satisfied or disappointed. I think that that is it. Just when there are so few opportunities to see something like that, all of a sudden it carries more weight. Like if this was like Peaky Blinders or something. Right? And it stiffed and people were. Like, well, fuck it. I don’t, you know, I don’t really care about like early 20th century Anglo Irish, like mafia shit.


Rosie Knight: Am I being represented in this show about 1920s gang?


Jason Concepcion: People would not there would not be an uproar from the community that is looking to see themselves reflected in that Anglo Irish story. Because guess what? You’re going to get a million other Anglo Irish stories like you could go fuck and watch Boondock Saints or something. I don’t know, like that’s or The Departed, you know, like it’s.


Rosie Knight: Yeah, yeah, yeah.


Jason Concepcion: There’s a million things, but, you know.


Rosie Knight: Boardwalk Empire. There’s many versions.


Jason Concepcion: Right? Well. Yeah, it’s like, listen, when, when Crazy Rich Asians, I’ve told this story before. I’ll tell it again. Crazy Rich Asians came out. I didn’t like it. Okay. I. The theme, story,  subject matter very, very rich people doing very, very rich shit. It just doesn’t speak to me. It’s not my thing. At the same time. Not knowing when we would get another major Hollywood budget movie starring Asian people. And in fact, it would not be. Until years later. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. I was like, not I’m not going to be out there being like, you know. Fuck this movie. I don’t like it. I was just not going to do that. Now, was I like not speaking my mind? Yeah. But also, like, those are the those. Are the kind of issues that you have to weigh when you’re just not used to seeing yourself or your stories reflected in the broader pop culture.


Rosie Knight: Dude, I think that’s one of the I think that’s a really interesting and very, very true balance that we all strike. I have yet to watch a Marvel movie focused solely around the solo female character that I have enjoyed or that has spoken to me. I was not a fan, particularly of Captain Marvel, and I was not really a huge fan of Black Widow. But, you know, I love the MCU and there’s 25 movies or whatever and a million TV shows, so I can find different things that do speak to me. But again, I wasn’t out here like, boo Captain Marvel, because you realize you’re like, it took them ten years to do this anyway. It’s and the way that they’re doing it, like, sure, I would have rather that it was a Monica Rambeau movie like that to me is the movie I wanted to see, but I’m going to be stoked that this means a lot to people.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah. Again, it’s just like the the fullness of one’s chest when when announcing that this a certain thing that stars, you know, a South Asian cast that is culturally Muslim. But it really just, you know, that based on very, very uniquely based and heavily based on on Pakistani culture,  the Muslim religion to then go well, this isn’t speaking to me. It just strikes me as a little.


Rosie Knight: I’m not saying.


Jason Concepcion:  I’m not saying anything, but also.


Rosie Knight: I’m not saying it’s a dog whistle. Yeah, but I am saying that I think that it is very interesting to see the stories that that is said about. Nobody’s like, oh, Captain America doesn’t speak to me because I wasn’t given a super soldier serum and turned into a super soldier. So, you know, it’s like this doesn’t speak to you because most likely you’re very used to being catered to. And I actually is I think that these stories, they don’t need to speak to you because they’re so many. But also, if the best thing about them is if you let yourself open up, maybe it will speak to you.


Jason Concepcion: I think it will.


Rosie Knight: Just give it a try.


Jason Concepcion: It’s a universal story.


Rosie Knight: Exactly.


Jason Concepcion: You know, it’s kind of it’s like if if you’re if we all live in this massive house together. Right. And there’s a hundred pictures on the wall and 100 of them are like people that look like you. And then we change it so that, like, five of them are people that don’t look like you. Maybe you’d be like, oh, yeah, that, that’s still. But then if we get to, like, say ten or 15 pictures out of the hundred. Now, all of a sudden people are like, Well, hold up,  let’s pump the brake. We want to change this over. And I think there’s a lot of that going on, not just about this show, but in the broader culture. Okay. Back to the train station, 1947, and it is a fucking mess, as one would expect. Aisha, Hasan and Sana push their way through the crowds. But Aisha gets a, gets a feeling that something is amiss. And she looks and she sees Najma through the crowd. So she breaks off because she’s afraid Najma’s about to attack. What if my husband and daughter are killed or innocent people are killed? And she she goes off to try and lure her away from her family. She’s speaking to her, but then Najma’s like, I want to hear it and stabs Aisha and then walks off.


Rosie Knight: She’s like bye.


Jason Concepcion: What the fuck?


Rosie Knight: She takes advantage of the chaos. I mean, there’s one place you can stab someone and walk off, it is that train station. As brutal.


Jason Concepcion: Walks off. Meanwhile, Hasan has lost track of his daughter in this boiling mass of refugees. Aisha is dying. She’s looking at a photo of of her and Hasan and Sana like standing in the field. And she says What you seek is seeking you. And then the bangle glows and drops to the ground as Aisha is losing her strength. And in that moment, as the bangle hits the ground, the portal opens, which we saw open elsewhere in present day Karachi. And Kamala arrives in 1947. She finds her great grandmother dying. But Aisha thinks Kamala is actually adult Sana, her daughter. And and it’s unclear, actually, that she actually gets who she is as she’s dying. But she she in her final moments, asks Kamala to save her family, and then she dies. Kamala finds her grandmother, her infant grandmother in the crowd and is about to use her light powers to, like, get them to walk above the crowd so they can get to the train. When we there’s like a disrupted for a second and the Sana we see is infatuated with the light and can control it in some kind of way, is playing with it in a way that is unique. Kamala is looking on at this in amazement, and this light show allows Hasan to find his daughter. He sees the glow and he gets over to it. He finds her. We’re going to talk about what this means for time travel in a second. Then the bangle glows and Kamala is transported back to present day Karachi, where a portal is opening to the Noor dimension. Here is Najma that she’s about to watch her plans come to a fulfillment. They’re about to be able to go home. But as the Clandestine touch the veil, they die. One of one of Najma’s number faria touches it and turns to bone and ash. Kamala tries to shoot a light at the veil to close it. Red Dagger comes up is like, I’ll help by evacuating. Like all there’s a bunch of civilians in the area. This took place like in a in a market area of Karachi. It starts evacuating people. And Kamala is like you, to Najma, like, you got to help me close this thing. Like, I understand. Like, you want to go home, all this stuff. But we could we can lose everything and they have it out right there. And then finally, Najma is like, okay, I get it. Like, I. I agree. And I know how to close the veil. And she steps forward and touches it, and she dies. And the veil seals. Just as Najma’s powers are transferred across the world to Kamran over in Jersey City. As the veil closes, Muneeba and Sana, the adult elderly Sana, walk up just in time, as it’s all over. It’s all over and they show up. Later, Sana shows Kamala pictures of her mom when she was her age. Muneeba  was a huge fan of Bon Jovi, which we already know, Sana. And and there’s this really like wonderful mothers and daughters seen generationally of of Sana and Muneeba rebuilding their relationship through their relationship with Kamala, which I just found to be one of them. Like this is. What this show does well is stuff like this, like really well.


Rosie Knight: The actor who plays Muneeba is just so brilliant and like they the writing team does something. I really love this episode where it would have been really easy to have this episode introduce more conflict, but instead Muneeba sees Kamala using her powers, realizes what her mother son was saying was true, and just apologizes. And then they’re just like a team. And I thought that was really nice because that’s the right thing. And Muneeba is so impressed when she realizes that Kamala was a superhero, which I thought was, like, really cute. She doesn’t tell her off or anything. She’s just like, Wow. And I just I really like that. And I think this is, like, a very low key. No one cares apart from me theory. But from the beginning of the show, I thought they were establishing a space where, like many, would design Kamala’s superhero costume. And I do think after this episode that that’s what we’ll see next week, which I think is just so cute.


Jason Concepcion: Another X-ray vision prediction. Get ready, folks.


Rosie Knight: That one’s on the low stakes, but full of heart. Full of heart.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah. Back in Jersey City, Bruno is at work at the store when Kamran waylays him in the alley as he’s taking out trash. Kamaran’s like I need your help. And the two, of course, make a very awkward pair. Kamran being Kamala’s kind of crush, Kamala being Bruno’s 100% definite crush and it gets even more akward when Kamran admits that he thought Bruno’s name was Brian from.


Rosie Knight: He’s been calling him that like a lot.


Jason Concepcion: I will say like as a person who’s bad with names, that I have done. I’ve got a system now, but I’ve had numerous encounters.


Rosie Knight: You were feeling represented.


Jason Concepcion: Where it’s like, Fuck, I 100% should know this person’s name by now. It’s ridiculous that I don’t know it. I need to figure out how to figure out.


Rosie Knight: In Kamran’s defense like every time they’ve met, it’s been like a life threatening situation.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah. It’s been a lot going on.


Rosie Knight: He’s been like trying to introduce his immortal Jinn mother to Kamala, who may or may not be related to him, like, hey, you know, Bruno, I feel like in this case he could he does a good job where he just like, makes a joke about it because I’m like truly Bruno, get over it. Like and they do so good for them.


Jason Concepcion: They do get so they go up to Bruno’s apartment and Kamran is like, Listen, I need to stay put because my mom needs to come back and find me. He doesn’t know that Najma’s dead. And as they are just kind of discussing their next move, they look out the window and they see one of those Damage Control stark drones like lurking outside. And Kamran uses his clan to his new Clandestine powers to knock the drone down. And we are on to the season finale of of Ms. Marvel.


Rosie Knight: After the drone blows up the Circle Q, where Bruno works.


Jason Concepcion: So let’s. Okay. Here is my. This is, we were talking about this offline. Okay. So. Endgame established an MCU time travel structure by which, right, it’s not like Looper or the Terminator where you go back in time  and if I find past you and I cut off their hand, all of a sudden, you know, like Back to the Future, your hand falls or, you know, or you fade out of the picture. What happens is if you change something, it starts a whole new timeline and that timeline goes on. So.


Rosie Knight: Unless you change it back, which is what happened in Endgame.


Jason Concepcion: Unless you change it back. But even then we can parse it. We can parse that because I think it’s interesting to parse. But so what happened here is is Kamala’s grandmother’s life was apparently saved by Kamala, who time traveled back because of the dropped bangle to 1947 to reunite her grandmother with her great grandfather so that she could be raised and then so her mother could be born, and so then she could eventually be born.


Rosie Knight: And then go back and save.


Jason Concepcion: And then go back and save it again. So. The way it is implied in the show and at the end, the way that that Marvel’s official recap, written by Marvel editor Rachel Paige makes it seem, is that it’s like a Back to the future.


Rosie Knight: Terminator.


Jason Concepcion: Style closed time loop, where Kamala has always. gone back and will always go back and has always gone back. We would imagine infinite times before this. She has done this exact thing and nothing can change it. Is it that or is it like the Endgame thing where she went back and either A) started an alternate timeline so Kamala one, the bangle is dropped, goes back through the portal, saves her grandmother, creating an alternate timeline in which Kamala, two, does the same thing, starting a new timeline in which Kamala three, say, you know, like, is it that like in Endgame? Or.


Rosie Knight: I would like that version.


Jason Concepcion: Or is it still like Endgame? But, because. Now here is where it gets, this is a little tricky, but like. So in Endgame, right. You know, the stuff that they stole, they put back a second later. Now, I would argue that you’re. Still changing things. You’re killing bacteria, you’re moving.


Rosie Knight: Absolutely.


Jason Concepcion: Six inches. The world is still changing. You’re countering people on the way there. Maybe somebody is. 2 seconds later.


Rosie Knight: Tony meets like his own dad.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah. Like there’s a bunch of stuff, right? The timeline is significantly, like, you’re playing with stuff and it still remain the same. Right. So maybe what happened? So the alternate version of the Endgame version is that Hasan was always going to find Sana. He’s really not that far from her. Right. He was calling her name. He was always going to find her. They were always going to get on the train together. And this is the first time that Kamala has done this thing where she goes back to the past. But she actually didn’t significantly change anything. She was just there and nobody actually. Saw her except the grandmother who doesn’t remember. And so therefore nothing changed and no timeline was branched.


Rosie Knight: I think so. I think it is a closed terminate, a time loop. I also think.


Jason Concepcion: I think that that is what they intend for it to be.


Rosie Knight:  I think it is. But I do think that. So I will say after Endgame, yeah, like much many of us, I tried to understand the Endgame time travel logic. I wrote an article to Esquire breaking it all down. Right. It is very much and narratively it’s a deus ex machina style decision. Like it’s something they created for the show that the Russo brothers have regularly changed or contradicted in like answer since. I don’t know how like tight it is when you really think about it because like you said, like if you are taking the stones but then you’re putting them back, that allegedly would stop the timeline and make it the same. But how come then Steve Rogers can go back and live an entirely different life, entirely change the timeline? That doesn’t make any sense. Also, Steve, I got lost that he was saying, well, about that the choice.


Jason Concepcion: Same here.


Rosie Knight: That you didn’t do. But why.


Jason Concepcion: Will. Same here. I will say that, Steve 100% must have created another timeline.


Rosie Knight: Yes, no question.


Jason Concepcion: Absolutely no question. There was another timeline because of he was there for years.


Rosie Knight: Literally like 90 years, like and. Okay, so one thing I will say. I don’t know how this would work, but if we look at the Infinity Gems and when the Ancient One talks about, I think they say that the Infinity Gems, essentially, they like stabilize the timeline that they’re in. Right. And that’s why you got to put them back to not separate off a timeline. What if the bangle, in its artifact nature stabilizes the timeline. So the fact that, like, it gets dropped and Kamala finds it, that’s the thing that always putting back. It’s like as long as the bangle is the the thing that is there, that timeline stays the same, even if it’s like a closed time loop.


Jason Concepcion: I thought about that too, and I thought about like if that is what it is. And I think that is heavily suggested, right? Therefore it’s this written in stone event. Kamala is always going to do this. I think that there’s a world in which, like, much like hiding an apocalypse in a Loki show hides you from the eyes of the TVA. There is a world in which, like some time traveling figure who 100% wants to know the safest place in the universe to hide out in or to hide something. You know, because we’ve seen in comics and various other stories where you hide, you know, you you magically hide something. You can shrink it down, hide it in a person, you know, like or magically hide it in a person. If you want to hide something or find out where the safest place like in the multiverse almost is. It is right next to Kamala Khan, who cannot.


Rosie Knight: In that time loop.


Jason Concepcion: She is immortal during this. There is no way that anything bad can happen. She is unkillable during this time.


Rosie Knight: The thing I find most interesting about her.


Jason Concepcion: From her baby from being born, even her parents like the entire time that they come to the states, nothing can happen to them that will stop them from having this child. You could you could hide some magically something in there, the forms that could never be found or destroyed or anything because they 100% must do this.


Rosie Knight: Yeah, that’s the thing I find most interesting about this choice is like, one, I feel like it’s like it’s really interesting. And I felt like it was very evocative at the end of last episode where we knew that once she got there that it was going to be her. The Trail of Stars, right. But like, it does really remove Kamala from the ground level superhero thing, which is the which is what she always was, was this kind of ground level, Spider-Man style superhero. But what I think is really interesting about this is like usually when we see these stories, it’s because somebody is doing something to put that timeline in danger, which is like Back to the Future, you’re going to be erased. Something’s going to happen. That means you’re going to be erased. Or, you know, Terminator, something’s going to happen. And you need to do something to stop the timeline from being disrupted so you can still be here to stop it. It’s also the most recent series of Umbrella Academy gets into this idea of like a grandfather paradox for everything to keep going. What is really interesting about this is that is not what happened in this series. There was never a threat to it. What we were seeing was just Kamala learn about it for the first time, which is more of like a Bill and Ted logic almost. It’s I find it very interesting because it raises a lot of questions and I feel like they are questions. That were probably like, Oh, we’ll answer that in a couple of movies or something.


Jason Concepcion: My hot take is that if it indeed is this closed loop destiny thing, eventually they’re going to retcon this just because. And this is like takes us out of like the interior reality of the story and it’s more of like a taste thing for me personally. Which, which is. This negates Kamala’s hero’s journey in her agency. It was always going to happen, so it kind of doesn’t matter any of the choices she made because she was always going to end up in this place. Which is why as messy and as kind of deus ex machina as the Endgame.. The system of time travel is. I actually like it because it makes the choices matter.


Rosie Knight: Yeah, I think.


Jason Concepcion: What you choose to do when you go back in time actually matters because you’re trying to accomplish a goal that isn’t set in stone. It’s yeah. Very in flux.


Rosie Knight: I think the argument. Okay, so this is like I’ve been thinking about this a lot because I think you’re totally right. And I also think it’s that was a really great piece that somebody at Nerdist, I think it was Mariame, wrote about the connection between Kamala and the Jinn. And kind of like what that really means in, in, in Western storytelling and the kind of Orientalist history of that kind of stuff. I don’t necessarily love the idea that Kamala is the one who gets the preordained history, the preordained fate. It feels like you said like it could take away some of that agency. Well, I will say I’m one, I’m very interested to see what happens next episode because it feels like every loose end has been tied up. Yeah. So I want to know, you know. I want to know. But the one thing I will say, you know, what we see here that happens at the end that seemingly we don’t know if it would have happened before, because the big change here comes essentially, Kamala, that the difference in this version is that Kamala makes her family come together, but with an honesty about and a truth of, like what happened. And Sana wasn’t imagining things, you know, and I think, like, that might be the journey that they were on, which in a way again brings it back to street level. But I do find it very interesting because like maybe that happens in every time loop, maybe they always end up there. But I think Sana kind of hints at the idea that they didn’t. I also think with any time travel story and we.


Jason Concepcion: There’s little yeah there’s literally every time.


Rosie Knight: There’s also you know every time travel story anyone who writes a time travel story this is what they want you to do. Oh, they time travelled and that it. Like you to think about this stuff. They never want you think about time loops or paradoxes.


Jason Concepcion: It’s like that. It’s like that scene in Looper Diner where the two versions of the same character, like, listen, if we start talking about how it works, we’re going to have straw wrappers as diagrams and we’re going to be here for 3 hours. We’re going to circles. Let’s not even talk about it.


Rosie Knight: It is my favorite thing is like, what’s everyone’s favorite? My favorite is like, which kind of this is kind of like it, but they don’t get into the power of it, which is like, I like the Bill and Ted’s style, which is if you know, you can travel into the future or the past, you can think of anything and it comes true. And that kind of it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. So at the end of Bill and Ted, they all say like, oh, you know, we’re going to trap you in a cage and the cage falls down from the sky. At the end of this, when we defeat you, we’ll be able to prepare this, this and this. I like it. I like it. Kind of like you can use it almost as a magical power, because anything that you say you’re going to do in the future, you’ve already done, and this is kind of like that, but robust. We never really see the power impact. Yeah, I’m so interested to see what happens in the finale because I feel like it’s either going to be very intimate, which this show has kind of been but has stripped away from in the last couple of episodes. Like the first two episodes of this season are still some of my favorite MCU. That’s what I wonder.


Jason Concepcion: We’re going to get the big, big showdown with Damage Control.


Rosie Knight: Yeah, my hope for that, this is not a theory. This is a wish. And I don’t think it’s going to happen. My hope for that is like I hope that this version of Damage Control just gets absolutely decimated at the end of the finale. I do not like Damage Control as like the MCU’s version of like ICE. I like Damage Control as like weird. They’re just like a building company that fixes stuff after they get broken. I hope this is.


Jason Concepcion: Here is why I think that that is not going to go away.


Rosie Knight: I know.


Jason Concepcion: And why I think it’s actually a little interesting if I didn’t love the way they did it in Episode four. We now have robots that look for powered people. Run by, run by a government agency that is openly antagonistic towards powered people to the point where the rank and file are even just shitty to to the people that they have in their in their jails. It feels. I mean, we’re like. The Sentinels are here like it’s.


Rosie Knight: Yeah I love how you can always bring it back to X-Men.


Jason Concepcion: Just like we already know.


Rosie Knight: You’re.


Jason Concepcion: Like, here, here, here are the autonomous drones that are looking for powered people. They’re doing it right now.


Rosie Knight: So I’m going to ask you one, I think you’re right. And I think it’s very likely.


Jason Concepcion: I think this is the Sentinel. I think this and sword merge and we get the Sentinel program. Striker is in there somewhere.


Rosie Knight: I think it’s very likely that next week in the finale his outrageous prediction. But I think you’re right. I think next week somebody might even call it a Sentinel drone or something, a Stark Sentinel. Also, I’m going to ask you a second question, because this just came to my mind. It’s completely bonkers. But I feel like it’s quite likely now you’ve brought this up. So we know that all of this misuse of Stark technology is going to play into Armor Wars, right? Yes. But they have kept very quiet about what Armor Wars is always going to be about and we know that Roadie is going to be in it. But do you think that if that’s the case, Armor Wars takes on a more important role in like introducing Sentinels and the notion of like the X-Men style oppression of powered people. And that’s what Rhodey is fighting against, is the use of Stark tech for Sentinel technology?


Jason Concepcion: I think that that’s on the table. And I had another thought about just as I was rewatching this episode and being like, holy shit, like we’re doing it. Like these are I know it’s very, very, very early days, but this is basically what the Sentinel program is. We’ve we’ve often talked we’ve talked ad nauseum for anybody. Else about how could they do it? How do they bring the X-Men in, and how is it going to be because of Westfield? Is it going to be because of because of the blip? Is it going to be interdimensional? Are they already here or is it magic? And I think there’s a world in which you program using stark tech program, these autonomous robots who get smarter and smarter and smarter in learning how to detect people. And all of a sudden they go, Oh, wait. There’s a bunch of them here in upstate New York that we found.


Rosie Knight: Yeah.


Rosie Knight: That nobody knew about that have been like underground this. They’ve already done it with the Eternals.


Rosie Knight: Yeah.


Jason Concepcion: And maybe they wouldn’t do it exactly like that again. But I do think that that is a doorway they could walk through if they wanted to, where this increasingly powerful Sentinel system discovers mutants. And just to backtrack for 1 second, this is going to seem like an aside. But I swear it is. In Captain America, Winter Soldier, right? There’s that there’s the scene where. You know, they take Cap and Nat and take well to the roof, right, and they throw him off and then Sam brings him back and all of a sudden he spills and. He’s like, Yeah, you know, we’ve got this algorithm. It’s looking for power for people who threats.


Rosie Knight: Yes,Stephen Strange.


Jason Concepcion: Stephen Strange is one of them, right? How the fuck did the algorithm know that Stephen Strange was up to Stephen Strange was up to literally nothing at that time. so


Rosie Knight: Retcon.


Jason Concepcion: The word. Definitely Retcon because that was like an Easter egg to get people excited. At the same time, how does how does comic book storytelling work as a storytelling work? It works because creators look back and they go, Here’s a weird thing. I wonder if I can blow this up and make this.


Rosie Knight: Yeah.


Jason Concepcion: In the interior reality of the MCU, there wasn’t any computer eight years ago that was predicting who would be powered threats. So like in the interior reality, MCU, this technology already exists.


Rosie Knight: No, I think you’re so right.


Jason Concepcion: It’s very possible that it could that much like Jasper Sitwell knew that Dr. Strange was going to be a player years before he would ever be a player. Maybe there’s this ongoing project that eventually will discover people who are not even on the radar, right? Yeah. And that are in this world.


Rosie Knight: Also, I think, you know. So I think you’re absolutely right. I can’t believe you’ve turned me back on to I’m like such a Dwayne McDuffie fan that every week I’m like watching this and I’m just like, Damage Control would never. But you’re right. Once you bring the X-Men into it, I’m like, Oh, this is actually very interesting. I think you’re right as well, because what have they been doing the whole time that they’ve been doing this thing that I talk about every week? So get ready to hear again. I’ve been thinking it’s about Secret Wars but I think maybe it is about introducing the X-Men because what they’ve done in every single movie in this phase. Shang Chi. You know, what was that? Oh, it’s a secret group of people you’ve never known about who are not on the radar, who have a certain way of fighting. Ms. Marvel. Oh, there’s this whole secret, hidden group of people who live behind the veil in a hidden world. Maybe that they have some secret powers you don’t know about. They’re setting up this idea that all around us, all these worlds of powered people that we do not know. And the Eternals is another one, you know, and that very much took on a kind of almost Inhumans esque storytelling of like they’ve been here for so long, so it really would just fit in with what they’re doing. To introduce in enclave. Also, we’ve talked about this before, but like Professor Xavier and/or Jean Gray, either of them is powerful enough to essentially use their psychic powers to stop people knowing about them.


Jason Concepcion: They’re very, very adept at doing that.Tune into this space to find out if we are right. And if we’re not, just forget it.


Rosie Knight: We’ve never said Sentinels.


Jason Concepcion: We’ve never said that. Up next, Thor, Love and Thunder.


Jason Concepcion: [AD]


CLIP: Kids get the popcorn now. Let me tell you the story of the Space Viking Thor Odinson. He was no ordinary man. He was a god. After saving planet Earth for the 500th time, Thor set off on a new journey. Well, he got in shape. He went from dead body to God bod. And after all that, he reclaimed his title as the one and only Thor. Oh,spoke too soon. Jane.


Jason Concepcion: Folks are stepping off the goat  boat into the shadow realm to break down Thor, Love and Thunder, which is in theaters now. Directed, of course, by Taika Waititi. Written by Taika Waititi and Jennifer Robinson. Produced by Kevin Feige and Brad Winderbaum. And starring all of our favorite people. Once again, we open somewhere in space. Our friend Korg is narrating the story to date. After the events of Avengers Endgame and the victorious fight to undo Thanos’ Snap. Thor went to space to just get healthy.


Rosie Knight: Mm hmm.


Jason Concepcion: It didn’t just mean losing weight. It means his mental health. It means his physical health. He just wants to feel better about himself. And that’s what he went to space to do with his friend Korg. And it took a while, but with some dedication, a healthier outlook, some exercise, some regular meditation and of course, the company of his now very close friends, the Guardians of the Galaxy. Thor becomes fitter, more at peace former God of Thunder. We find Thor and the Guardians in the process of evicting some rodent alien bandits from a temple, that they have occupied and stolen, essentially from a native population. In the end, Thor does find it necessary to destroy the temple to liberate it, and the indigenous population are more or less pleased. They would prefer not to talk about the fact that temples are destroyed, but they’re kind of thankful. And it’s very clear from this that adventures such as these have been a regular thing for the Guardians and Thor, who have been at this for a while. This kind of this kind of adventuring, these kind of fights where the Guardians are fighting, and then Thor as the big gun comes in with his own catchphrase. But now Thor has a new mission, and that is to hunt down the God butcher that slayed the gods of this planet. Speaking of that, God butcher in the past, long, long, long ago in some far off world, Gorr and his daughter are staggering through an endless desert, and they are praying to their gods, who, it turns out. Have abandoned. Not only Gorr and his daughter, but their entire people.


Rosie Knight: Which probably mentioned his daughter dies. We don’t we didn’t explicitly say.


Jason Concepcion: His daughter passes away in the desert. Gorr finds the garden of his people’s God. Turns out, he’s a pretty petty person, very vindictive, not at all caring about the people who worship him. And Gorr comes to this beautiful garden. In the moments right after his God had killed some creature who is wielding the necro sword, which is an ancient blade made of symbiote stuff that is capable of killing gods. This God is like, you know, I don’t care about you. I don’t care about your people. I’ll get more people. That’s how it works. So you’re annoying and I’m going to kill you now. And, as the God is about to kill Gorr, the Necro sword chooses Gorr as its next wielder, and Gorr slays this God. And right then and there dedicates his life, as the wielder of the necro sword, to killing all gods everywhere across the universe. Back to Thor and our friends. Thor and Korg say goodbye to the Guardians. They are getting ready to leave this planet. The natives of the planet are like, Oh, thank you for saving slash destroying our temple. We’d like to give you this gift of two huge goats that scream all the time as a thank you, but clearly also because we want to get rid of them. And Thor is like, thank you so much. I love these goats. I will name them Tooth Gnasher and Tooth Grinder. They then travel to a snowy world, Korg Thor do. Where, because they get a message from Sif and there they find a dead God, a huge dead God. This dragon like God that we saw in the trailer Falligar the Behemoth, has been slain by Gorr, the God butcher, and they’re in the field of war. In front of Falligar is our good friend, the warrior Sif, who is grievously injured and has had her arm cut off. And she sees Thor and she’s like, Oh, my God, thank God, Thor, it’s you. I died in battle. Look at me. It’s like I’m going to Valhalla. This is awesome. This is what Asgardian Warriors dream about is dying in battle and go into Valhalla. I’m about to go and it’s great to see your face in the moments before I go. And Thor is like the battle is like long over. If you die now, you actually won’t go to Valhalla. So sorry to spoil that for you. It’s just like. Fuck. So then Sif is like, okay, then just take me back to wherever you’re going. They grab Sif and they bifrost back to earth. Meanwhile, back on earth. Our good friend Dr. Jane Foster is now a successful public intellectual and the author of a, a very influential and successful book about physics. Unfortunately, she’s also in the fight of her life against cancer. Her friend and former assistant, Darcy Lewis, is there to kind of like support her through this. We recently saw Darcy, of course, taking part in the government response to the West View incident in Wandavision. She’s there to support her friend Jane. But of course, Jane’s cancer is stage four, which is the final stage. Darcy, at her wits end, contacts their old friend, the brilliant doctor, Eric Selvig, who, of course, has been with us since Thor and The Avengers and etc.. And he agrees also that, you know, he’s just doesn’t know. He’s not a medical doctor, but he looks at the scans and looks at the data and says, I’m not sure what we can do for Jane. But one day Jane hears a voice calling her to New Asgard. It is the voice of Mjolnir. Much like in the comics, we find out that Mjolnir has some sort of some sort of consciousness now. Thor’s hammer forged from the magical Yawuru by the power of Odin himself. And we need to back up here because we get a flashback about what Jane and Thor had been up to between Thor, The Dark World and Ragnarok. So after the events of Dark World, Thor and Jane moved in together very much in love. So deep and pure was their love for each other, that it actually imprinted itself into Mjolnir. Their love became like a snake, a magical spell. But, as often happens, Jane and Thor grew apart. They started arguing a little bit, hanging out different places. And then eventually they broke up. Unhappily, but they did do so. But the magic of their bond remained imprinted on Mjolnir. Now back to the present, Jane, desperately sick, she travels to New Asgard in Norway, where the pieces of Thor’s hammer are kept, like under a little dome. They’re immovable, of course, unless you’re worthy enough to move them. That is the very place where they fell after Hela crushed them in the opening act of Thor Ragnarok. And then Jane comes, and then the pieces assemble themselves into the hammer, which Jane, as the worthy wielder of Mjolnir lifts, thus becoming worthy of the power of Thor in New Asgard. We see that King Valkyrie’s reign has been great. It’s actually been pretty good. Like it’s very, very peaceful. And on the economic front, things are going great. It’s a tourist destination. People are coming through all the time. It appears that they have a kind of like Norwegian style, European style like health care and system. Because everybody seems very well taken care of and everything’s great. Unfortunately, it is also very, very boring. KING Valkyrie is has to sit through endless meetings all day. And she’s bored by this. Our friend Miek, at least, seems very satisfied in their role as a member of the King’s Cabinet. But overall, King Valkyrie is is a little like, is this all there is to life? Thor, Korg and the goats arrive back in New Asgard, and the very night they arrive, Gorr strikes because this is the next target on his list. He’s killing gods. He wants to kill the god in. New Asgard. King Valkyrie, Thor Odinson and Whoa, mighty Jane Foster fight the minions of Gorr and repel them. But unfortunately, the God butcher also escaped with like two dozen Asgardian kids. Among them Heimdall son Axl, named for. Axl Rose, apparently. Who has similar powers to his late father but hopefully is better at using them. Unlike Heimdall. Who missed every single fucking threat in every movie he was ever in, I rest my case. That’s enough about Heimdall. I won’t speak ill of the dead.


Rosie Knight: That’s why he’s dead.


Jason Concepcion: Let’s not speak ill of him. Heimdall, you did a bad job, but.


Rosie Knight: But Idris Elba, we love you, the love you.


Jason Concepcion: Now through Axl’s powers, Thor is able to basically astral project to where Axl is. They find out through the kids that Gorr is heading to or hanging out at the shadow realm. And so Thor, King Valkyrie and mighty Jane Foster are like, okay, we need to we need to go there and stop Thor and rescue the kids. Now, Thor, King V, Jane and Korg, that’s a good start. But we need more. They need an army. So Thor is like, I know where we can get one. Let’s go to Omnipotence City, which is like the Las Vegas of the gods. Supposedly, they’re, they’re like doing god governmental work, but they’re never doing that. At, at Omnipotence City, Zeus is like the big daddy rock star of all the 616 gods. He holds sway there and he’s pretty much like a dirtbag whose current calling is fucking and drinking his way through the anxiety of the ongoing Gorr menace. Zeus very aggressively does not want to help Thor and is in fact terrified of Gorr and would prefer to just hide here in Omnipotencce City having orgies and drinking wine and not doing anything. So. That’s your answer, Thor. Take it or leave it. Our heroes decide that’s not good enough. They fight Zeus. In the course of the fight, Korg is turning to rubble. Very, very scary moment here where I was like, Oh, fuck, Korg is dead.


Rosie Knight: They definitely want you to think that. Thor thinks that.


Jason Concepcion:  Thor thinks that. My whole movie theater thought it and was very, very bummed out for a little while. Don’t worry. Korg is, I’m not gonna say okay. But Korg is alive. At the end of the fight, though, Zeus has a big ol hole blown in his chest thanks to his own lightning bolt weapon, which our heroes take for themselves, because that’s the only backup they have and now they’re down Korg. So they need all the help they can get. In the course of the argument and fight with Zeus in Omnipotence City, our heroes realize that Gorr’s endgame is to reach Eternity, who is like a genie at the center of the universe, you can think of him as essentially. And if you reach Eternity, whoever can get there, no one has ever gotten there. But if you can get there, Eternity will grant you one reality altering wish. And we can assume that if Gorr gets there, his wishes all gods be dead and there will be a  genocide of gods across the universe. Okay. Meanwhile, Jane’s cancer, which is never truly banished, much like in the comics, reasserts itself. Now, while Jane is holding Mjolnir, she has the power of Thor. But it comes at a price because it weakens her defenses, makes her weaker. When she’s not holding Mjolnir and thus speeding her towards her death, Jane begins to weaken dramatically after our heroes fight Gorr in the shadow realm, it’s clear that she cannot continue. Thor is heartbroken at just the thought of losing Jane. Here, their love has been rekindled. And now he’s about to lose her before he can even. Get to spend time with her again. A Jane to Thor’s relief goes back to Earth to basically wait out her final hours. This is some of the best stuff in this movie, the Jane-Thor stuff. It’s crazy that like ten years after ater the first Thor movie, we were now like paying off this relationship in a way that feels like really great.


Rosie Knight: Definitely. And I think something they do that’s really heartbreaking but amazing. And this is like they they really make it very explicit that the reason that Thor and Jane’s relationship failed is because they both loved each other so much that they started to put up walls because they were terrified of losing each other. And then in this moment where Thor is reunited with Jane and they and they share this honesty and they’re both holding the mantle of Thor, and they say, well, Thor says, you know, I don’t want to be scared of that anymore. I want to be with you. And Jane’s like, Well, I’ve got cancer. And Thor was like, Look. I’m not doing this. I love you. Go and stay in the hospital. We will sort this out. But don’t you be picking up that hammer again. And it’s like. It’s so. It’s so well done. And I love the relationship and this. And I totally understand why this is the movie where Natalie Portman came back. Like, Jane gets so much great stuff here, not just like heroically, but also emotionally.


Jason Concepcion: There’s also Thor’s. Well the other thing I liked about it is how it built on Thor’s again, very dude like inability to access, like his feelings of hurt and pain. You know, we saw it in Thor, The Dark World.


Rosie Knight: Yeah.


Jason Concepcion: We saw the way he responded to his mom’s death. We saw the way he responded to the events of Infinity War in the opening of Endgame, where he’s just like a shattered person, unable to grapple with his failure to save his mother, unable to grapple with their his and the Avengers, failure to save half the living things in the entire universe. And he’s just crushed by this. And here, even again. As he’s urging Jane to go home and like and seek medical care and stop picking up this hammer that is making her powerful, but at the same time making the cancer more powerful. He’s also in this very, very human way. He is unable to like acknowledge that Jane will die like he’s still holding in a in again, a very human way. As anybody who’s ever dealt with somebody having like a like an illness like this.


Rosie Knight: Yeah.


Jason Concepcion: It’s like, oh, you got to fight like you, you can’t you gotta go home and, you know, like, you can fight for every day. And we can still. And Thor still has that. That is where Thor’s mind is at. He has not even begun to accept that he could lose Jane and that then it’s really humane and heartbreaking. Thor tracks Gorr and the kids to the Temple of Eternity. And we get this great moment where.


Rosie Knight: It’s like one of maybe my favorite MCU fight ever. It’s just like. So targetted at me.


Jason Concepcion: This is why Taika is great. Because he balances just fun and creativity and wacky humor with epic action and real like emotional. So, so Thor, he’s, he’s with the kids. And he has them all pick up something that they can use as a weapon. Some have, like a stuffed animal. Others have picked up, like some stick that they found or a rock or a brick or whatever. And then, much like Odin did centuries ago, Thor bestows, for a limited time only, his power on all these Asgardian kids, so that together they are wielding the power of Thor and they open a huge can of whip ass on Gorr. Who, despite getting molly wopped all around the temple, does manage to break through to Eternity and crawl through to make his wish. So the kids are fighting Gorr’s shadow monsters, the Black Berserkers. Thor is fighting Gorr, but steadily losing. And just in the moment where it seems like Thor is about to get his head cut off by the Necro sword, Jane shows up and beats Gorr’s fucking ass. Unfortunately the Bifrost does manage to drill through to the realm of Eternity, while all of this is going on. And Jane has spent the very last of her strength and so Gorr goes through to Eternity. Jane dies in Thor’s arm, heartbreakingly turning to gold dust and drifting away. Thor confronts Gorr right in front of Eternity in this water realm that looks like something it honestly looks like one of the boss fights from Elden Ring. That said,  it looked beautiful.


Rosie Knight: So what happens? They go through to Eternity, and Gorr is going to both of them. And he, Thor says, I’m going to like, fuck you, you won make a wish, make your wish. I’m going to spend the last moments with the woman that I love. And he’s like, You could do the same. You could bring back your daughter. That’s. And then. And then Gorr says. And then Gorr is like. He’s like. But she’d be alone. And just before Jane dies, she’s like, No, she wouldn’t. And that’s like. And that’s when they make the agreement or ever that they’re going to raise his kid.


Jason Concepcion: And that’s that’s what happened. So then Gorr passes away, but not before, with tears in his eyes, he sees that his daughter has come back to life, and it’s clear by the very fact that she now exists once again that he accepts that this girl will be entrusted in Thor’s care. We flash forward, Korg narrates his relationship with with another Cronin, and it turns out that all Cronins are male. And this Cronin, Duane, he’s fallen in love with him and all Cronin’s to procreate. They go into the heart of the volcano where they hold hands and then create a baby. And so together they do this and they father a beautiful Cronin child. As the film ends, Korg still narrating, we see that Thor stayed true to his word. He and the girl, now named Love. Together they are known as Love and Thunder, are adventuring amongst the stars, as Thor has been doing with the Guardians of the Galaxy to open the film and just doing good across the galaxy. And we close with this big, splashy logo of Love and Thunder. And in that which is like a really cool surprise to realize that, oh, this is like, weirdly, this entire movie, weirdly, is like a prequel to.


Rosie Knight: Mm hmm.


Jason Concepcion: The Love and Thunder relationship that is Thor and his daughter, Love his.


Rosie Knight: Yeah, I love this so much. And also something that’s really cool is like we can get into it a bit deeper later, but in that the first established notion of Thor having a daughter was in the Next Avengers movie from 2008, Next Avengers Heroes of Tomorrow. And in that she’s called Torin and Torin Means Thor’s Love. So I think like that, like kind of continuing that tradition here, which I think is really cool.


Jason Concepcion: That Torin is the daughter of Thor and Sif.


Rosie Knight: Yes.


Jason Concepcion: Who throughout the comics and a little bit in the movies have had an on again, off again, on again, off again, on again, off again relationship all throughout time. In the comics, much more, you know, it’s like pretty much like Sif has a crush on Thor and Thor occasionally reciprocates, but mostly doesn’t.


Rosie Knight: Yeah.


Jason Concepcion: So we go to our first stinger, we see Zeus. He is pissed. He’s got a hole in his chest, it’s mending, but he’s still got this big hole in his chest and he’s got one of his servants that’s looking after it. He is talking about Thor and how Thor did all this stuff and put up, punched a hole through his chest and how he was happy, just kind of like chilling out In Omnipotence City drinking wine. But now he’s he’s back to being the vengeful god that he always was. And he’s mad. He wants to strike back. And I’m talking to you, my son, are you going to be the instrument of my vengeance? And the camera pans over and it’s his son, Hercules, who’s like, Yep. I’m going to do it.


Rosie Knight: And also, who is can we just like Brett Goldstein from Ted Lasso? One of the most shocking castings of all time. And I am so excited to see him get Marvel buff because you have to be buff. The CGI is there but you have to be buff.


Jason Concepcion: They did CGI him. Did they CGI Hemsworth because I got to see some of those lats looked unreal. Like I don’t even know.


Rosie Knight: Hemsworth. The Marvel Diet, as Kumail spoke about, is a truly terrifying thing. And they I think before they make these movies, they’re probably not allowed to drink water for like two days because they have to have that muscle definition that comes only from dehydration. But I wouldn’t be. I mean, Thor’s a god, so a little bit of CG would, it would make sense. But, yeah, Brett, very CG’d understandably. Hercules is a mammoth man.


Jason Concepcion: Hercules is here, baby. Now, of course, Hercules, Hercules and Thor  fight a lot in their early incarnation. Hercules early incarnations in the Marvel Comics universe. They fight all the time. But of course, Hercules, as often happens, it’s a misunderstanding, and he’s a good guy anyway. And then he eventually does become a longtime member of The Avengers, which was their.


Rosie Knight: Jacket Avengers.


Jason Concepcion: It was there drunkenly during the The Masters of Evil invasion of the of the Avengers mansion that Rosie and I love so much. This is during the reign of of Janet Van Dyne as leader. Leader of the. Avengers. Anyway. In our second Stinger, we see a beautiful green landscape. Glimmering Golden Hall on a hill. And Jane Foster has arrived in this place and can only be Valhalla, the realm where Asgardian warriors go when they die courageously in battle as Jane. Very, very obviously just has who is there to welcome her. It’s Heimdall. And he’s like you’re here. Welcome to Valhalla. Guess what? We’re going up there to that hall on the hill and. And then we are off, folks. And that is the end of our film. Some thoughts, Rosie, your thoughts.


Rosie Knight: Well, I really love this movie. Like, for me.


Jason Concepcion: Same. I had such a great time.


Rosie Knight: It just it worked for me on a lot of levels. Like I, I really love stories about kids and stuff like that. I think that’s my eighties baby in me like. So I loved, I thought Kieron L. Dyer’s Axl was so great and I loved that kind of nod of like Axl being the chosen name and Heimdall had named him Astrid and stuff. There was so much fun stuff. I loved how creepy Christian Bale was. I thought he was so scary. And I love.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah, if I had one critique, it’s like more Gorr that was.


Rosie Knight: Like, right. He was so good.


Jason Concepcion: Needed more Gorr.


Rosie Knight: So many creepy moments. They were he was really channeling like the child catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. This movie I really love, like it balances it. That’s one of my favorite things. It’s kind of in a way, it’s kind of like Shazam in the MCU, but like this Shazam movie had this really creepy, scary horror elements, but then this really fun family aspect. And I feel like if I was a kid, I mean, I loved horror stuff when I was a kid. But if you’re a kid and you’re a bit spooked by the scary stuff, you will get the biggest payoff of your life when you get to that battle sequence. Like that to me, that balance between the family fun. There’s also like I, I found the I found the overall arc of Thor’s story, like very moving. And I thought that they did a really good job in terms of the stinger of kind of and we’ll talk about that more in a minute. But like they they do a good job. I didn’t feel like anything was done to get an emotional reaction for no reason. I felt like it was very well thought out and fun and wacky and wild and like, there’s so much Guns and Roses in this movie, but it just works so well. I like Taika, just like they spent that money budget on that and they’re going to make it back. I was looking at going to see it on Friday and it sold out like every cinema near me, like almost Spider-Man levels. And so I’m really excited for people to see it.


Jason Concepcion: Same. I really it is, it’s my favorite movie of this phase.


Rosie Knight: Mm hmm.


Jason Concepcion: It is. I mean, listen, you know, I’ve talked about a million times. I’m a lifelong comics fan. I love MCU movies. I love the bad ones. Like, I’m also a big Taika Waititi fan. I think that I don’t know that anybody again, can quite match the mix of humor, action and emotion that he particularly brings to it. Like the opening of Thor Ragnarok, I remember I remember watching it and that that monologue that Thor has in front of Surtur in the cage, where he’s talking about all the stuff that he’s been doing.


Rosie Knight: And he’s like, Oh, I’m just spinning like, don’t mind me.


Jason Concepcion: I mean, it’s like, it’s. So it it gives you story. It is incredibly funny. And it was one and it was simultaneously completely unlike anything that Thor had done in Dark World and Thor One. Right. That was a more serious Thor. This is like not that. And it also felt of a piece with the character that had been established in that it was not jarring. It wasn’t like who the fuck is this guy? It felt like a different facet of a character we had already known, but was completely unexpected and funny. And that continues in yes, where we’re getting new facets to characters that we know and love. But we’re seeing them in that in this really unique, funny, unexpected way that I think only Taika in the MCU is this doing in this particular way. I just love this stuff.


Rosie Knight: Me, too. And something I really love about this is it’s like it’s like Ragnarok, but it’s not like Ragnarok and the kid aspects of this stuff, which is something Taika does so well. It feels much more like he’s channeling his early stuff like Boy or Hunt for the Wilderpeople. That charm of, like, the unexpected kid character that you actually like, who is relatable and funny and sassy and like weird. And I loved where we left Thor at the end of this movie, and I loved this kind of notion of of him carrying Mjolnir and Love carrying Stormbreaker and, and that just and she has cool like Cyclops powers where she can shoot lasers out of her eyes and something I thought was really cool. Was when they mentioned. They say he calls cause I like the girl born of Eternity. Which one just sounds really cool, but feels like this is a film that I think kind of like Doctor Strange two, which I really liked as well. But like, this feels like a kind of a new phase, which is like. Movies that are just allowed to stand by themselves and just be crazy, wild, fun adventures. But if there’s one thing that feels obviously like it’s going to stick is going to be Love. But also, I think that notion of her having cosmic beginnings is going to be important and is essentially going to establish her is like a force that can help in the future when we inevitably start to see more epoch, ian, Celestials, whoever else this is someone who standing next to her, you know, Uncle Thor as she calls him, who is the God of Thunder that’s going to be able they’re going to be able to put up a fight against these kind of cosmic elders.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah. To a. Take a moment, Rosie, to tell us about eternity and some of those cosmic elder characters that we see in the Temple of Eternity.


Rosie Knight: Oh, yeah.


Jason Concepcion: You know, the heads. We see them in the trailer, including a watcher, perhaps, Uatu, other figures there who like tell us about what the role that these super, super weird cosmic, super cosmic gods play in the MCU.


Rosie Knight: Okay, so Eternity is like incredibly cool and was actually brought to life in the movie. If you’ve watched this now, which I hope you have as you’re listening to this, that or if you haven’t, you can go and Google the comic because they brought it to life basically identically. It’s identical is brought to life is kind of this like walking being made of space and time. It’s it’s really impeccable to see and this is a old, this is a sixties character no surprise, because it’s absolutely out there created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Two icons first appeared in Strange Tales, 138, which was in 65, I believe. And so it depends which canon. But basically Eternity is sort of like the beginning of all things, Eternity and Infinity. And in the Marvel Universe, different universes are created out of them and from of and from them. My understanding is Eternity currently is basically the living representation of the 616, which I think is every so interesting. It’s the entire sequence, right?


Jason Concepcion: Yeah.


Rosie Knight: And then we actually so they, they’ve had, Eternity’s had many children in the comics because like you said something earlier which I just love Jason, where you were basically like the reason comics are good is somebody sees something weird and says, Oh, what can I do? How can I blow up? Yes, this is a great example of that. So Eternity’s had a bunch kids. Most famously is Ian, who we thought might have been one of the statues. We’re still not sure if it’s Ian or Ian’s daughter. So Eternity’s granddaughter, Epoch. And these are all essentially these like abstract entities that represent huge beginnings and or ends in the Marvel Universe. Ian  and Epoch, if you’re like, Oh, that sounds like something you guys have talked about before, that’s because they are the creators of the Nega bands, which we hyper hypothesized is some something being adapted in Ms. Marvel with the Bangles. I still believe that is the case. We saw the bangle on a Kree arm.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah.


Rosie Knight: So Eternity like only usually turns up when there’s, like a terrible Thanos level threat, which is why he would have been able to be there for Gorr. And I just thought this was, like, so cool. The wish thing I think they created for this movie, which also feels very relevant with the Ms. Marvel reveals recently. But I just thought I couldn’t believe how well done this was. And I think that the notion something that Zeus says in the stinger, which is very funny because it’s like essentially sets up this notion of the old gods versus the new gods. Jack Kirby. But also it sets up this idea that like something that, you know, many comic book fans and academics and storytellers have put forward this notion, Grant Morrison being one of them. And it’s been taken in kind of this ongoing conversation, all the superheroes, the modern pantheon of gods, is that what they are? Because we’ve created these stories and we’ve put them on this place and now we worship them, you know, on the TV and all these things. This is making that text in the MCU where we’re going to see Zeus wants his attention back. So we’re going to have the pantheon, potentially some of those gods from the Iliad that we saw in, you know, Moon Knight, we’re going to see a version where the more traditional mythological gods are pitting themselves against what they see as new gods. These people in the sky, superheroes. I think it will be very interesting to see how Eternity and the actual eight most ancient creatures deal with that. And also something else I thought was really interesting to sort right back to my absolute favorite channels. Thank you to everyone who always is like commenting, like don’t stop talking about Eternals. And I was like, I do it for you guys. But like the one statue that we didn’t see in the trailer that was that there was a Celestial. So I think that implies with that notion that like the Celestials are that ancient as they are in the comics. And I think we’re just entering into a really interesting world of like gods, but also it’s much more like Metatextual than I realized because I think we are going to be looking at that more boys style conversation of like, are these the modern gods? Are these the people we worship?


Jason Concepcion: Although, we do see a pair of Celestials as our friends speed the goat boat out of them in Omnipotence City. We see a couple of Celestials who are too big to fit inside the Hall of Gods. Just kind of like what just happened?


Rosie Knight: So yeah. so that I wonder if that hints that when we think about that old gods, it’s not just Zeus and Dionysus and all the ones that we know, right? I mean, the Marvel Universe. Yeah, it’s also the Celestials. It’s Eternity, you know, Eternity is just chillin. They seem pretty chill. And also I feel like in the grand scheme of things, Eternity probably pretty happy that that was the wish, like birthing a child that’s going to maybe do good. But generally I think, yeah, I think that’s where we’re going is seeing these kind of ancient deities want to take back that power from the Supes.


Jason Concepcion: Let me ask you this. In the comics, Jane becomes a member of the Congress of of Worlds, which is kind of like a parliament of gods, essentially, a governing body. I wonder if. I wonder if Valhalla is going to be a little like that? I don’t know what they do? But, and I would imagine, well, Odin actually probably, would Odin get there?


Rosie Knight: I don’t know. He he was just chillin. I don’t think so.


Jason Concepcion: I don’t think. Right. He just kind of draws on this.


Rosie Knight: I think so. I mean, this is we’re going to we’re going to double dip theories here so that we cover all bases, right.


Jason Concepcion: Because I do think.


Rosie Knight: I love that.


Jason Concepcion: I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Jane. And I certainly don’t think.


Rosie Knight: No, I don’t think so.


Jason Concepcion: We’ve seen the last of Heimdall.


Rosie Knight: But I think another version that is equally as likely. In the comics, Jane goes to Valhalla because they think that she died. They they allow her to go like they did here. But Jane goes back to Earth. And then after that, she ends up becoming a Valkyrie. And I think there’s actually a Jane Foster Valkyrie comic. And I think that is very likely as well, because I don’t think if you’re Natalie Portman. Yeah. And you come back and you get to hold the hammer and wear the armor, which, by the way, looked fucking banging. Like they bought Russell Dauterman’s stuff to life. And Russell and Jason were both at the premiere, which is so great. And like, I don’t know if you’re just like, Yeah, I’m chilled to be on like a cosmic council. I bet you’re like, So what’s the next superhero? Like who is next? I want so I think we could see a Valkyrie where we have Jane Foster as Valkyrie or some kind of super heroic iteration that is more connected to like Valhalla. And I also think as well, like, I just think that this isn’t going to be the end of.


Jason Concepcion: I don’t think so.


Rosie Knight: Jane and Thor’s relationship.


Jason Concepcion: Here’s my here’s my prediction. This is based on absolute zero. This won’t happen. But this is me just fan flicking in real time. Odin doesn’t get to Valhalla it’s like a you know it was he dropped dead. It’s a it’s a it was a, you know, a close call. But they went to V.A.R. and did a re end and looked at it on video replay and decided he didn’t actually die in battle. So he’s got to go to straight hell. Thor and Hercules, of course, have their square off at the beginning of Thor five, but then they decide to team up with King Valkyrie’s help. They managed to contact Jane and Heimdall in Valhalla. And then it’s a mission in the afterlife to charge into hell and rescue Odin from hell.


Rosie Knight: Oh, I love that. Okay, I’m going to take all of that, I think. I love all of that. But instead, I’m going to flip it at the end. And what they they have to actually stop Odin because he’s so pissed about not being in Valhalla that he’s teamed up with like Zeus. He’s a real petty guy, man.


Jason Concepcion: I can see,I can see Thor and Zeus having a very, very complicated relationship.


Rosie Knight: I love that. And I think that you’re onto something because I mean, with Ragnarok, Taika basically just established this anyway, but this very much once again establishes Thor as like the place for cosmic stuff, the place for weird stuff. They would do a whole movie in hell. Surt is beginning is essentially already leaning into that kind of esthetic and narrative. And like, I hope that I think when they announced that Sif was going to be in this movie and, you know, when tested in her speech at San Diego Comic-Con and said, you know, King Valkyrie is going to find a queen, I think a lot of people were hoping that would be like a love connection. I really hope that whatever the next Thor movie is or maybe wherever we see King Valkyrie before again, I would like to see, you know, they did a really good job talking about queerness in this movie and establishing like the queerness of the Cronins and stuff. But I would love to actually get to see that explored a little bit more for Valkyrie like that love romance, finding that again, just like Thor after she lost the person that she loved in battle. You know, I would love to see how I get a chance to, like, find someone to connect with them. Like, go around doing, like, cool battles with.


Jason Concepcion: Necro sword. Where do we see it again? What are, because this is good.


Rosie Knight: Let’s talk about this actually.


Jason Concepcion: This is not the last we’ve seen. The necro sword appears to be destroyed, although pieces of it.


Rosie Knight: Yeah, it seems like pieces of it actually went into Mjolnir, which I found very interesting. Okay, so let’s talk about this because I think this is going to be a big talking point right in the comics. Yeah. It was established in the recent Donny Cates, Ryan Stegman Venom series. I think Venom issue four, that. The necro sword as we knew it from Thor, God of Thunder, which we talked about a lot. Saad Verbeke Jason Aron was actually the first to be it, all black, the necro sword. And it was manifested by Knull. Who is this like another ancient eldritch kind of deity? Now I would say I think it’s pretty fair to say that in this movie they very much want to say that the necro sword is like not a living because in the comics the necro sword is literally a symbiote. And people who have the symbiote can manifest a separate symbiote. That is the necro sword. I think they very clearly want you to be like, this is the shadow thing. Like this isn’t a symbiote. This isn’t connected to Venom, blah, blah, blah. But that said, this is very much like that early version that we saw in God of Thunder, which this whole movie is basically taken from. So I think there’s definitely a way in the future that this was just like an early version or that’s how it manifested for Gorr, who had this connection to the shadow realm once he got corrupted, which, by the way, hilariously deep cut, this shadow realm is like barely even in any Marvel comics. I just that was like the best type of deep cut. But yeah, I think I think it could not necessarily be retcon because I think this was probably always the purpose, but I think that in the future we could still see it take on those symbolic tendencies because I do think a lot of people, a lot of fans, they assume that once they announced this so close after the reveal in Venom.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah.


Rosie Knight: That this was going to be symbiotes. They’ve kept it open so you could in the future say, oh, it kind of was. But it’s definitely there’s nothing textual here to say this is a symbiote or this is and also the necro sword is more of a standard weapon that can wield shadows rather than being something that obviously replicates venom.


Jason Concepcion: I will say it does. It does. You know, kind of like the Darkhold, it does imprint itself. And yeah, very much like the Darkhold it very much like it, very much like there are wholly corrupts the wielder. And you know, to get it kind of into the weeds about like IP strategy, it may not be the symbiote that might not be the plan, but it gives them the option.


Rosie Knight: Exactly.


Jason Concepcion: To symbiote to do a non non-Sony symbiote if they so wish to do that.


Rosie Knight: We know that there is a version or there is a tiny droplet of the venom symbiote in a stinger with another Ted Lasso member. By the way, Marvel was like, We’re going to out do that. Ted Lasso is making it into the MCU. They were like, It’s Danny. I mean, that has to be he has to come back. There’s no way that was just a cameo. But that Venom symbiote lives in the MCU in our version of it in our world. Now we have this necro sword is already manifesting symbiote style shadows and monsters and beings. It does not seem very hard to imagine that those two things could come together and create a non Tom Hardy’s chaotic energy event.


Jason Concepcion: Now, let me ask you and let me ask you this. We have that in your favorite MCU movie of all time, The Eternals in the stinger in that film, we saw Dane Whitman, the comics Black Knight, come into possession finally of The Ebony Blade, which, when they showed it rippled in a way.


Rosie Knight: It looks like a symbiote.


Jason Concepcion: It was very symbiote-like, now we’ve got these two black swords in the MCU proper. The obviously the Black Blade is, you know, Arthurian legend, magic.


Rosie Knight: Does corrupt people, though.


Jason Concepcion: It does corrupt people also. So I wonder how they. If there is either a connection or if there is going to be very definite ways that they define these two swords differently from each other.


Rosie Knight: So I realized slash relearned slash kind of cemented something today when I was writing about this in a piece that you will inevitably be able to read when this comes out about the necro sword right. So very interestingly, in Thor Ragnarok, Hela’s nlades are called Necro Swords and that is confirmed in what if that the helmet, the reason it can shapeshift and control the swords is because it is a necro sword sword. Right. So obviously it’s not the version we’ve seen in the comics and it doesn’t seem to be connected to this. But I think the notion is going to be like in the comics, there are many Necro Swords. And I think that whatever we whatever I think the Ebony Blade is going to be the first Necro sword. Maybe that’s the one that was created by Knull. I think that we’re going to and there’s already multiple things called Necro Swords in the MCU, now both introduced by Taika and then confirmed by What If. So I think that that ebony blade ripple, that can’t be a coincidence. Just like. No way.


Jason Concepcion: I agree. I finally the question that everybody wants to know, where do we ranked this movie, in the MCU pantheon? I will go first. I. I don’t have a number ranking. I want to see it again before I give it top five, top eight, top ten rankings. That said, I don’t think it’s better than Ragnarok. But I have it right there. In whatever tier. Which is the top tier of MCU movies, which for me is like Ragnarok, Winter Soldier, Infinity War, Endgame, etc. Like I have it there just because I think it’s so fun and original and really great. Like, I have it right there. Not better than Ragnarok, but in the tier, whatever tier you want to put Ragnarok in, it’s right there with it. Where do you have it?


Rosie Knight: Mine is exactly the same. Like, my, my. That top tier for me is, like, a little bit different. You know, obviously the Eternals does sneak in that, but like, like, you know, Ragnarok is up there for me. Like, I absolutely love Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. I’m definitely being, like, catered to in this weird, kind of, like, strange adventure phase, but also like, yeah, this is whatever that top tier is this. I agree. Ragnarok had that. Like, you couldn’t. You couldn’t see it coming and you could never know what it was. And that made it, like, so impactful. But definitely like, yeah. Ragnarok, Black Panther, that top tier. But the first 20 minutes of Shang-Chi, that’s just like only the opening. But yeah, like, this is definitely in that top tier for me and I’m, I’m really excited for people to see it. I think this is I saw when I saw Spider-Man No Way Home, when I came out of the theater, I saw obviously a screening and that’s how we talked about it. But like, I went to see it again and there was so many kids. Every little kid, every gender, every kind of kid in every kind of costume, in every kind of Spider-Man T-shirt from like four to, you know, 21. Like every one that you could ever define is like a young person. And that was so cool. And I feel like that audience is going to really love this movie. And I’m really excited about that because like, yeah, we are the generation that were lucky enough to basically like come up and be there when the MCU first happened in a way that was noticeable to us because we’d lived through like the nineties where there was like no superhero movies and then we’d had, you know, these incredible non Marvel Studios movies, but like we got to feel that impact. But there were kids who, like, that’s all they’ve ever known as like blockbusters. And I kind of love the notion that this might be their favorite, this might be the one that really gets them excited and that makes them want to be a superhero or want to read more about superheroes and stuff that that just warms my my heart. I’m a grandma that way.


Jason Concepcion: Well, you know what’s one of my favorite things Rosie? Is hosting this podcast with you.


Rosie Knight: Same.


Jason Concepcion: Another great one. It’s great to be back after a week off. Rosie, what do you have to plug? What’s going on with Godzilla? What is happening in your life and career?


Rosie Knight: Thank you.


Jason Concepcion: That we can take part in, that we can read, that we can watch or we can listen to?


Rosie Knight: Well, I will have lots of Thor articles going up, no surprises. I’m also got Ms. Marvel stuff going up. You can find that Nerdist, IGN. Also doing a lot of anime coverage IGN. I know I got a lot of manga and anime lovers out there who listen to this podcast, so that’s really cool. That’s been nice to dip into. Godzilla versus Batra, the final order cut off has passed, but that does not mean that you cannot go to your comic shop and say, Hey, I would like a copy of Godzilla versus Batra Rivals, which we found out sold very well in preorders. Thank you so much to everyone who preordered. And it’s going to be really exciting. We’re going to be doing signings. We are going to be doing an x ray vision giveaway that we will have more information about soon.


Jason Concepcion: That’s right. We’re going to be airdropping Godzilla Batra from a C-130 aircraft. We’re going to be dropping it over your home when this comic comes out folks. Stay tuned right here because we’re going to be delivering it to you in a major way. Folks, check out the show notes for the Listener’s Guide to X-ray Vision, where we provide more details on everything that we talk about in each and every episode. Next week, we’re back on Friday, July 15th. For the Ms. Marvel finale and a bunch of TV catchup, including The Boys and more exciting housekeeping announcement X-ray vision. The YouTube page will be moving from uncultured on YouTube to its own channel starting this week. X-ray Vision will be taking over the Takeline on YouTube channel as the dedicated X-ray Vision channel. So check there for all the all the video versions of the podcast, as well as different video content that we will be releasing each and every week. Please subscribe. If you have Thor, Love and Thunder questions, send us an email or any questions about anything whatsoever. Reach out on social. We may have a time to answer them in a mailbag segment coming up next week. But of course, we’d love to hear from you. Love to hear your questions. Don’t forget. Also rate and review us, X-ray Vision, five stars. We want to five stars on every platform where you can give us reviews. If you want to do that, if you want to review X-ray vision, give us the five star ratings, that’s what we need, that’s what we love. X-ray Vision is a Crooked Media production. The show is produced by Chris Lord and Saul Rubin. The show is executive produced by myself and Sandy Girard. Our editing and sound design is by Vasilis Fotopoulos. Delon Villanueva and Matt DeGroot provide video production support. Alex Reliford handles social media. Thank you, Brian Vasquez for our theme music. See you next time folks. Bye