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There are so many secrets and mysteries surrounding Avengers: Endgame thanks to some unfair marketing trickery. Most of which have been driving fans as well as entertainment writers like myself insane. Yes, Marvel’s huge marketing campaign by way of posters, other films, and trailers has revealed certain aspects over time, like the arrival of Captain Marvel and Iron Man allegedly surviving space. OH! we can’t forget Ant-Man mostly-likely surviving the quantum realm - sorry it’s just that he’s so small. All of the above has led to speculation and theories.
One shocking revelation was confirmed today when Marvel released the individual character posters for the film. Before now we had no idea what happened to the fan-favorite leading lady and Wakandan Royal Shuri. Neither Shuri nor Valkyrie were shown on-screen during the devastating “OH SNAP” end scene in Avengers: Infinity War.
The poster groupings below reveal that SHURI WAS SNAPPED into dust making her one of the fallen. Her character poster is grouped in with everyone else who didn’t make it. What the hell!
NO! This is not OK.
Shuri was not given the same respect as the rest of the team. Every other character was snapped on-screen as they were turned into dust during some of the most heroic and heartbreaking scenes we’ve seen in the MCU. They were all shown in mid-battle while trying their best to save the entire world from Thanos.
Because Shuri wasn’t shown, we assumed she was safe from the snap, and our beautiful African QUEEN was alive and well ruling the kingdom of Wakanda. Someone has to rule Wakanda especially since her big bro Black Panther was snapped.
I’m sure I’m not the first one to freak about the shocking news that SHURI WAS DEAD THIS ENTIRE TIME and not having any clue about it. Fans were happy that she supposedly survived, until a huge smack in the face revealed SHURI IS GONE. If anyone can help avenge the fallen it’s her - she is one of the strongest, smartest, and complex female characters in the MCU. Most assumed she was creating brilliant Wakandan technology along with rest of the spared while preparing for the biggest fight in Marvel history: defeating Thanos, restoring the entire world, and saving the fallen.
Of course there is a slight possibility that Marvel is just tricking (or misdirecting) us but my god there’s no reason to destroy us, rip our hearts out and stomp on them with this whole “SHURI IS DEAD” bombshell.
Shuri Deserves Better and Here’s Why
Shuri is a fan-favorite for a reason. She was the first of many strong black females to grace the screen and fight harder than most men in the MCU. After the worldwide success of Oscar-nominated Black Panther and her solo comic book series she became a mentor for women, kids, and people of color. It was easily the first time many young black girls could look at the big screen and see themselves as a superhero. In this way may related to Shuri, as she just a kid herself. She gives her fans hope, more so than any other female MCU character. Her story including her death deserves to be told on-screen mainly because she is so very important to all of us.
Let me take a second and bring this up - it took Marvel a full 11 years to produce a female fronted film with Captain Marvel. They had plenty of chances, plenty of strong female heroines to choose from. Some thing it took so long because SOME executives previously thought that a solo female-led “comic book movie” might not make as much money at the box office and might not be worth the production dollars.
HEYOO! Guess what? DC stepped up with Wonder Woman and proved all the naysayers wrong, VERY wrong. And then came Captain Marvel proving the naysayers even MORE wrong. Audiences want more female-led stories, plain and simple.
In a total of 10 Marvel movies, which I adore, we got our lady hero fix in mini-doses from ensemble films. Gamora, Pepper Potts, Shuri, Nebula, Black Widow, Jane Foster, Mantis, Agent Carter, Lady SIF, Hela, The Wasp, Scarlet Witch, Valkyrie, Okoye, the Dora Milaje all deserve to have their stories told. Any one of them could carry an entire film on their own. These are the female characters we fell in love with before Captain Marvel ever even blessed the big screen. Shuri was one of these characters.
So why did Avengers: Infinity War do her dirty? Is it possible that the Russo brothers did not expect Shuri to be such an influential character in Black Panther and didn’t write her into the final scene? Sure, but it’s also possible that the Russo brothers were/are trying to be sneaky and mysterious only to break our hearts with this Shuri poster revelation. I don’t know what the answer is, but it sure as hell looks like Shuri was forgotten or left on the cutting room floor in post production.
Shuri deserved to die a noble death just like everyone else did. The fact that she wasn’t given the chance and audiences weren’t given a chance to see her turn into dust while in the middle of a heroic action is just wrong. Shuri has proven to be an integral part of the MCU in such a short period of time. We have no idea what she was doing, where she was, or who she was with when she died.
Was she alone? Why wasn’t she with the rest of the Avengers? It’s sort of too late for Marvel to flashback to the SNAP just to add in Shuri’s death. No one wants to live through that again. Fans left the theaters sobbing because most of our best friends had just perished before our unsuspecting eyes. Maybe Marvel will try to pull off a one-shot tie-in comic of Shuri’s death, which they have done before to explain inconsistencies in the MCU.
This leaves me and many others feeling sad, betrayed, hurt, and angry. We weren’t ready for this bombshell today, trickery or not.
But in the meantime, Shuri is just as important as every single other character in the MCU. Without an official comment from Marvel or the Russo brothers, we can only hope they bring back Shuri in all her glory - giving her the BRIGHTEST spotlight that she deserves.
It took me a few days to be able to write this. This is is not your generic obituary, laden with a slideshows of Luke Perry’s best roles. Instead, this is a celebration of Luke Perry’s life as a humbled, lovable person and incredibly talented actor. Yes, this is an article full of feels, as my own eyes are still filled with tears.
As we all know by now, last week Luke Perry suffered a severe stroke and was put into a medically induced coma. Because he was only 52 years old we assumed he would recover, but sadly he passed away Monday morning, the 4th of March, 2019. The news of his passing was shocking, sudden, and heartbreaking.
Luke Perry as Dylan McKay in Beverly Hills 90210 was and still is every 90’s girls fantasy bad boy boyfriend. He was the first crush of millions. When his character was first introduced on the series he described himself as, ““mad, bad and dangerous to know.” In that moment, he became every young girls dream. I even broke up with Jordan Catalano (Jared Leto) from My So-Called Life.
He broke a flower pot at Brenda’s (Shannon Doherty) feet during their first fight. He often sped off angrily on his motorcycle or in his 1960’s black Porsche speedster. He started dating Kelly (Jenny Garth) while Brenda was away, giving birth to the most famous teen love triangle on television. Dylan was brooding and everyone who watched 90210 wanted to save him. Somewhere along the way, he was the first boy that a lot of us fell in love with. Because of this, Luke Perry’s passing took a piece of our teenage hearts with him.
I was fairly young when the series first aired in 1990 and wasn’t allowed to watch it, but that didn’t stop me. Remember the Topps trading cards? I remember my friends and I playing 90210 during recess and everyone clamoring over my Dylan cards that I refused to trade. For all you youngings out there, we even put Teen Beat pop out posters of dreamy teen heartthrobs on our bedroom walls much to our parents dismay. Dylan was a permanent fixture on my walls, right next to Leonardo DiCaprio!
Beverly Hills 90210 is regarded as one of the first hour-long teen drama television shows. It tackled hard subjects like teen pregnancy, sexuality, divorce, abuse, toxic relationships, and for that it became revolutionary. 90210 was what every other subsequent teen drama wanted to be, but no one (not even Chuck Bass or Ryan Atwood ) could come close to the legendary Dylan McKay.
Dylan McKay was Luke Perry’s most unforgettable role, but we cant forget about his other roles as well. He was in HBO’s OZ, which I admittedly have never watched. He was part of the ensemble cast of The Florentine, a movie that was filmed in my hometown of Bethlehem, PA. He starred in a post-apocalyptic thriller Jeremiah (as Jeremiah) on Showtime until they decided they no longer wanted to product television series in the sci-fi genre. He’s had many roles and guest appearances in our favorite shows like Will and Grace, Law and Order, Family Guy, Criminal Minds, and even Community. Before we get into his last role on television, we must remember Buffy the Vampire Slayer the movie, way before Michele Gellar took over.
in 1992, just two years after we fell head over heels for Dylan, Luke Perry was cast in director Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer as Pike - Buffy’s leather-jacket clad, vampire-fighting bad boy love interest. Basically, this campy teen horror-comedy flick made every teen girl want to live in SoCal. Our young, vulnerable hearts fell even harder for Luke Perry - especially when he showed up at the school dance with a single stem red rose looking like this and swept Buffy (Kristy Swanson) off her feet.
Forget about Buffy’s lame TV boyfriends, like Angel (David Boreanaz) or whatever his name was - Pike was clearly her best boyfriend for reasons I can’t logically explain other than LUKE PERRY.
Back in 2016, when I heard that Luke Perry was cast in the upcoming Riverdale series based on Archie Comics, I just about screamed with joy. YES! MORE LUKE PERRY! Now in its’ third season, Luke Perry plays the role of Archie’s (KJ Apa) dad, Fred. He is the wholesome, humble, and moral father figure to the entire cast, especially Jughead (Cole Sprouse) until his own father stepped up to the plate. No matter how bizzare the storylines of Riverdale may get, Fred Andrews is always the grounding force who loves his son and always does the right thing. We were lucky enough to witness the real Luke Perry through Fred Andrews. He was and still is the beating heart of the show.
There was a moment in the second season when Fred Andrews was shot by the infamous Black Hood at Pop’s Diner. I screamed in tears at the possibility that he might die. For the rest of the season, Archie continued to beat himself up for not being able to stop the shooting. Thankfully Fred lived, because he really is one of the best characters on the show. I could spend hours praising Riverdale as a brilliant modern noir full of self-aware pop culture but that’s not what we’re here for.
As soon as news of Luke Perry’s passing spread like wildfire on Monday morning, Riverdale immediately stopped production. Showrunner Greg Berlanti released this heartfelt statement:
“We are deeply saddened to learn today about the passing of Luke Perry. A beloved member of the ‘Riverdale,’ Warner Bros. and CW family, Luke was everything you would hope he would be: an incredibly caring, consummate professional with a giant heart, and a true friend to all. A father figure and mentor to the show’s young cast, Luke was incredibly generous, and he infused the set with love and kindness. Our thoughts are with Luke’s family during this most difficult time.”
For many of us, Luke Perry was the epitome of teenage heartthrob, he was our first crush. His chiseled good looks hung on our walls and in our hearts. Around the industry, he was known as being down-to-earth and a genuinely nice person that lit up whatever set he stepped on to. Let us remember him in this way. Take some time to celebrate and remember Luke Perry by diving into his many films and television series.
I don’t know about you, but I’m about to start binging Beverly Hills, 90210 with a box of tissues in hand.
With great power comes great responsibility.
With the unexpected passing of Marvel’s titan Stan Lee, we lost a true legend today. Just a quick reminder that it’s OK to not feel OK over this. We’re all crying right now. Lee was 95 years old.
Scrolling through my socials, I noticed instantly that many fans, industry people, and celebrities are shedding tears for Stan, not only because of his caliber, but because most of us wouldn’t be where we are today without the empire he created. In the teary midst of mourning his death, let’s also remember to celebrate the amazing life and contributions of Stan Lee.
Stan Lee created a world of superheroes that touched each of our hearts. He showed us the true meaning of courage, strength, and honor during the times we needed it the most. His empire will continue to live on, in the hands of many talented creatives, through the beloved characters he created and their heroic stories.
Before Marvel became what it is today, the publishing company had some trouble taking off in Stan Lee, Jack KIrby, and Steve Ditko created what was known as “The Marvel Method" and collectively made Marvel a household name, saving the company with complex characters like The Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Iron Man, and a reboot of Captain America in The SIlver Age. Stan Lee was just a teenager when he started in the industry and went on to spend 70 years building the legendary Marvel Comics empire that we all know and love today.
Lee gave his characters human emotions and faults (which was unheard of at the time in comics). This made it easy for fans to relate to their favorite superheroes and their stories by seeing parts of themselves in the panels. Hulk had a problem dealing with anger. Iron Man struggled with substance abuse and alcoholism.
You know, I’m sitting here crying as I write this. I might not have read every Spider-Man comic, but I truly believe in every little thing Stan Lee stood for. For example, Captain America was created in The Golden Age to give the troops hope during wartime. In fact, copies of Captain America comics were sent overseas for soldiers to read. Captain America not only gave soldiers the strength they needed, but also united our great nation as we fought against the pure hatred Hitler was spreading like wildfire through Europe. Captain America’s reason for existing was to stand up against bullies, and of course punching Nazi’s in the face. but After the war was over, Captain America took the biggest hit, but was relaunched under Marvel in the 1960’s allowing the legacy of Steve Rogers to live on through the perfect storytelling of Stan Lee (hence the whole iceburg/man out of time storyline). But not a damn thing changed about him, he was the same old Cap – fighting the bullies, standing up for the underdogs.
Take the X-Men for example. This supergroup of “mutants” was so vastly different than any other heroes we’ve met before. The X-Men were misunderstood, cast aside, and even experimented on simply because they looked different. In the comics, humans were afraid of mutants. In most cases, (especially Trump’s America) fear mongering and lack of understanding is the main reason behind racism and bigotry.
Characters like Jean Gray and Wolverine didn’t have it all together and struggled immensely with their given mutations, powers, and mental health. Stan Lee created this group of flawed outcasts who dreamed of being accepted by humanity as an allegory for the Civil Rights Movement in the 60s. This is just one of the many examples of Stan Lee’s inherent brilliance. In December of 1968 he wrote very moving words in his column “Stan’s Soapbox” on the Bullpen Bulletins page in Marvel Comics. Stan Lee’s way of thinking and connecting with readers led to more progressive narratives in the early years.
He wanted to create a conversation with the fans he cared so much about and succeeded in being a strong voice during trying times.
If you know anything at all about Stan Lee, you know about the multiple cameos he’s made in every single Marvel film. Seeing him pop up onscreen, even for just a few seconds with a one-liner always brought joy to audiences. His very first film cameo wasn’t actually in a Marvel movie. WHAT? Anyone remember the gem of a movie Mallrats from 1995? It was Kevin Smith’s first independent film; a sort of stoner comedy about a misfit group of friends who hung out at the mall and local comic book shop. Check out Stan Lee’s film debut below when he meets Brodie… and Brodie has lots of questions about Mister Fantastic.
If you haven’t seen Mallrats, I highly recommend it. It’s a film for comic book fans; made by comic book fans! Like I mentioned before, so many people are sharing special photos and stories of the late great Stan Lee. Here are a few Marvel memories:
From Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson:
From Mark Ruffalo aka Hulk:
From Sebastian Stan AKA The Winter Soldier:
From The Russo Brothers:
And finally from Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld with a heartwarming story:
If you haven’t had the experience of reading a Stan Lee comic, I suggest starting with the original Fantastic Four series. We already miss you dearly, Stan Lee. We’ll miss you gracing the stage at nearly every comic convention and calling us “True Believers.”
Rest in Peace, Stan Lee. May your legacy live on in our hearts, on the page, and on the small and big screen. EXCELSIOR!
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