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MCU: 10 Characters Confirmed To Be Introduced Before The End Of Phase 4

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Marvel fans got several surprises at the Marvel Cinematic Universe panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2022, including the confirmation that the upcoming film, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, will mark the official ending of Phase 4.

Though the current phase has only a handful of canon projects left in its run, there are still several comic characters that have been confirmed to be introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe before the beginning of Phase 5.

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Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk

Tatiana Maslany’s Marvel Cinematic Universe debut as Jennifer Walters, the She-Hulk is on the horizon. This August, the character will be receiving her own nine-episode legal procedural series on Disney+ entitled She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, which will feature her superhero origin and will explore Jennifer’s relationship with her cousin Bruce.

She-Hulk’s introduction portends major things to come in the franchise with her character, who is a major member of the Avengers in the comics. As such, fans are already getting excited to see her interact with several MCU heroes in her solo series and beyond in what is sure to be a long and successful tenure in the franchise.


Titania

Jameela Jamil will soon debut as the primary antagonist of the upcoming She-Hulk Disney+ series, Titania. Audiences have gotten brief looks at Jamil’s supervillain in the show’s two trailers and, though initial reactions have mocked her look, the actress and the producers behind the show promise that the MCU’s Titania will not disappoint.

Though not an A-list supervillain from Marvel comics, Titania’s debut is noteworthy for the character of She-Hulk, who has had frequent scuffles with the supervillain throughout their comics history. While it is yet unclear whether Titania will appear in any projects outside of She-Hulk, fans can rest assured that she will provide a sufficient threat against Maslany’s superhero.


Namor The Sub-Mariner

A recent trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever revealed that Tenoch Huerta will indeed be playing the king of Atlantis, Namor the Sub-Mariner, in the film. Namor has been long rumored to be the villain of Wakanda Forever and is expected to be set up for a major role moving forward in the MCU.

Namor is a major character from Marvel Comics who debuted early in the company’s history. He is considered to be Marvel’s “first mutant” in terms of publication, making his debut shortly after the revelation of the MCU’s first mutant, Kamala Khan, quite timely. Fans can likely expect to see plenty more from Huerta in the franchise after the events of Wakanda Forever.


Frog-Man

Taking the form of a legal procedural, She-Hulk will feature several superheroes and supervillains that, for one reason or another, have trouble with the law. One such hero is Frog-Man, who is briefly seen during a recent trailer shot and will be played by an as-yet undisclosed actor.

Frog-Man is a largely comedic character that has acted as both a hero and a villain in Marvel Comics. His presence in She-Hulk highlights one of the show’s most exciting qualities in that it promises to bring even the most obscure Marvel characters into the limelight. Fans can continue to get excited about what other characters will join Frog-Man for their MCU debut.


Attuma

Marvel recently confirmed that the Namor villain Attuma will be making his first MCU appearance in Wakanda Forever, where he will be portrayed by Alex Livinalli. The actor made an appearance at San Diego Comic-Con 2022 to confirm his casting.

The appearance of Attuma in Wakanda Forever could indicate the direction of the film’s plot, which sees Namor engage in war against the nation of Wakanda. However, given Attuma’s reputation in Marvel comics as a villain far worse than Namor has ever been, it may be that Wakanda Forever ends with an alliance between Atlantis and Wakanda to take down a common enemy.

The Wrecking Crew

A recent trailer for She-Hulk: Attorney at Law seems to confirm the first live-action appearance of the supervillain team known as the Wrecking Crew. In Marvel Comics, this group most often consists of four criminals: Wrecker, Bulldozer, Thunderball, and Piledriver, who use super-powered construction materials to commit their criminal acts.

The Wrecking Crew is a fun B-list group of supervillains that turn up from time to time in Marvel Comics as a relatively minor threat to whatever hero they may face in any given appearance. They have faced off against the likes of She-Hulk, Spider-Man, and the Defenders over the years, making them quite accomplished villains that could be quite fun when adapted into the MCU.


El Aguila

The latest trailer for She-Hulk depicted the titular superhero in what appears to be a support group for superpowered people. Among this smorgasbord of cameos is a character who closely resembles an obscure antagonist from Marvel Comics, El Aguila, a Zorro-themed villain known for his skirmishes with Luke Cage and Iron Fist.

Though the appearance of El Aguila has not been officially confirmed by Marvel Studios, the mystery character’s resemblance to his comic book counterpart is too spot-on to deny. While the villain appears to be a very low-level threat in a world only increasing in superpowered people, the character has endless comedic potential as a member of this apparent support group.

Man-Bull

Among a litany of cameos in She-Hulk‘s superhero/villain support group is another character who appears to be modeled after the low-level villain Man-Bull. Man-Bull is a rarely depicted supervillain who, as his name implies, closely resembles a bull, giving him enhanced strength and the ability to empathize with animals of the bovine species.

While it is likely that Man-Bull will only appear in a cameo during She-Hulk, it is interesting to note that the character made his first appearance as an enemy of Daredevil, who has been confirmed to be appearing in the series. The D-list supervillain may in fact cross paths with Charlie Cox’s Daredevil, who could very well be the one to bring Man-Bull to justice.

Namora

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has been confirmed to introduce the Atlantean princess Namora, who will be portrayed by Mabel Cadena in the MCU. While little has been seen of the character in any promotional material, fans can expect to see plenty of Cadena’s new character during the events of the upcoming Black Panther sequel as Atlantis and Wakanda prepare for war.

Marvel fans will immediately recognize Namora as the predecessor to Namorita, a cloned version of the original Atlantean princess that goes on to become a notable superhero in the Marvel Universe. The coming of Namora could herald yet another major addition to the MCU’s superhero ranks as Cadena could prove to be one of Phase 4’s most formative heroes.


Riri Williams/Ironheart

After months of speculation regarding Riri Williams’ involvement in Wakanda Forever, it was revealed at San Diego Comic-Con 2022 that Dominique Thorne will indeed be making her MCU debut as the up-and-coming superhero in the highly-anticipated finale to Phase 4.

Fans know that Riri Williams is fated to become her own iron-clad superhero in her spinoff Disney+ series, Ironheart, which will premiere in 2024 as part of the MCU’s Phase 5. Wakanda Forever, however, will set up the character’s backstory and position her to take on the legacy of the late Tony Stark, making Riri Williams one of Phase 4’s most exciting introductions.

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Adar Did WHAT? Is Rings Of Power’s Shock Sauron Twist True?

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Warning: spoilers ahead for The Rings of Power episode 6Did Adar really kill Sauron in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power? Everybody from Lindon to the Southlands knows Sauron is lurking in The Rings of Power‘s shadows – it’s merely a matter of where he’s hiding, and when he’ll reveal himself. Many naturally assumed The Rings of Power season 1’s big bad (Joseph Mawle’s Adar) was working in league with the Dark Lord, executing Sauron’s evil machinations in his absence.

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The Rings of Power episode 6 all but confirms that’s not the case. Captured and interrogated by Galadriel, Adar acknowledges his allegiance to Morgoth, but explains that Sauron’s harsh treatment of Orcs following the War of Wrath upset him. Adar is, after all, the race’s progenitor from way back. Feeling protective over his little bundles of hate, Adar apparently killed Sauron, thus making himself the chief purveyor of Middle-earth misery. Sauron, meanwhile, hasn’t been spotted since… if Adar’s story is to be believed.

The Lord of the Rings fans will, of course, know that Sauron doesn’t die until the One Ring’s destruction in the Third Age (and even then he technically still exists in some metaphysical form). With this in mind, what’s the truth behind Adar’s boastful claim in The Rings of Power episode 6?


Did Adar Really Kill Sauron In The Rings Of Power? Can He?

Before digging into the weeds of his claim, The Rings of Power viewers can at least assume Adar believes what he’s telling Galadriel. No obvious benefit can be gained by lying in this situation, and Adar’s story about wanting to protect the Orcs from Sauron’s cruelty tallies with both Galadriel’s experiment chamber discovery from episode 1, and the promises Adar has repeatedly made about wanting the Southlands to become an Orc haven. Adar, therefore, seems to honestly believe he killed the Dark Lord.

He’s almost certainly mistaken. Sauron is one of the Maiar – angelic and immortal spirits from the beginning of time. Since the Maiar are divine, primordial beings, they don’t die in the traditional sense. Even after the One Ring’s eventual destruction, The Return of the King confirms Sauron still lives as a weakened spirit floating helplessly through the shadows (the same fate implicitly befalls Saruman, although wizards are a slightly special case). Maiar can, through great effort, be diminished to the point of no return, but their essence remains tied to the world.

Nevertheless, physical forms of Maiar aren’t invulnerable to damage. The likes of Lúthien, Gil-galad and Elendil all enjoyed success in battle against Sauron, but the Dark Lord’s spirit survived in each case, renewing its strength, restoring its body, and returning to prominence. Maybe this is what happened between Sauron and Adar in The Rings of Power. Adar might’ve slayed Sauron’s physical body, forcing his spirit away until enough power returned to launch a comeback. At worst, Adar’s betrayal would’ve been an unpleasant inconvenience to Sauron.

How Sauron Could Return To Middle-earth

The Lord of the Rings tells of two ways a Maia can retake physical form following a defeat. One is by the Valar’s grace – as seen when Gandalf dies fighting Moria’s Balrog but returns as Gandalf the White. The second method is going the long way around by renewing over time. After the destruction of Númenor, for example, Sauron’s physical body is gone. Tolkien writes of how the villain’s spirit endures, retreats to Middle-earth, and slowly forges a new shape over many years. This could certainly explain how Sauron defies Adar’s blade in The Rings of Power. Since the Valar are hardly likely to bring him back as “Sauron the Purple,” the Dark Lord could only wait in secret until his strength returned, and the body Adar may or may not have assassinated was replaced with a new form.

Annoyingly, this knowledge doesn’t bring The Rings of Power any closer to explaining where Sauron might be. If Adar vanquished Sauron’s physical form and forced him to spend many centuries recovering, it’s possible the villain would return to Middle-earth as a flaming meteor with no memory of his former self. The theory connecting Sauron to The Rings of Power‘s Stranger, therefore, remains alive. At the same time, Sauron’s enforced exile by Adar sounds suspiciously similar to the fate Halbrand was forced to endure…

Adar’s Story Might Explain A Tolkien Mystery

J.R.R. Tolkien’s mythology leaves a big chunk of Sauron’s history unaccounted for. After the War of Wrath ended, Sauron chose to run and hide rather than face the Valar’s judgment. He eventually began making moves 500 years into the Second Age, spent another 500 years redecorating Mordor, then eventually triggered his One Ring masterplan by appearing as Annatar yet another half-century later. Compared to the 100 years (give or take) between Sauron’s body being destroyed on Númenor and his subsequent wars against Gondor, it’s fair to ask why the Dark Lord took 1500 years to make waves after Morgoth’s defeat.

The real answer, of course, is a combination of gathering troops, making plans, building strongholds, and amassing power after a crushing loss. The Rings of Power may be offering an alternative perspective, where Sauron’s Second Age comeback was rudely interrupted by the blade of a supposed ally delaying his glorious return.

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The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power continues Thursday/Friday on Prime Video.

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‘Ghosts’ Cast Tease Season 2 and Their Dream A-List Guest Stars (Exclusive)

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The Ghosts cast got all dressed up as they posed for a CBS Watch magazine spread and teased season 2, which kicks off Thursday on CBS. Only ET was with the ensemble as they reflected on the comedy’s breakout first season and offered a glimpse into what awaits the crew as they begin a new chapter.

“We are a loud, very rambunctious group of people. We take a very long time to get through our days on set, but we have a really good time. It has become very much like a family in this pandemic,” Ghosts star Rose McIver, who plays Sam, told ET.

Added co-star Utkarsh Ambudkar, who plays her TV husband Jay: “I think we all learned how to really work well with each other and not to mention all of our incredible guest stars. It’s not just the ensemble. We have two or three extra hilarious people almost every episode.”

Season 2 kicks off with Sam employing the ghosts to spy on an overly-critical couple who have arrived as guests at the B&B in an attempt to receive a positive online review. Meanwhile, Isaac (Brandon Scott Jones) tries to integrate Nigel (John Hartman) into his friend group.

“I love whenever people ask us what’s going to happen in the second season because I’m like, I have been grilling the two Joes — [showrunners Joe Port and Joe Wiseman], who are our writers and creators — so much. I try to peer pressure information out of them, and I can’t get anything so far!” McIver confessed of what Sam, Jay and the undeads are up to this year.

“We’re so excited to find out what happens with the characters and there are so many possibilities with the show, so it’s very exciting,” co-star Sheila Carrasco, who plays Flower, added. “Especially now to be back in L.A. and New York and just to be seeing the show on TV and experiencing it and knowing you get to… make more, it’s just a very special time right now.”

Cast members Danielle Pinnock, who plays Alberta; Richie Moriarty, who plays Pete; and Jones all had their own theories about where the show will go in season 2, sharing that they believe there will be a “parade of the most famous guest stars in the world” dropping in at the B&B.

As for who they’d like to see swing by? The Ghosts cast reached for the moon. And why not? Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tiffany Haddish, Mark Hamill, Dolly Parton, Steve Carell, Carol Burnett, Lily Tomlin, Jason Momoa, George Clooney, anyone from The West Wing and Harrison Ford were just several of the A-list names bandied about.

“We just want visitors in Montreal,” Jones quipped.

Ghosts airs Thursdays on CBS.

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‘Rings of Power’ Episode 6 Recap: ‘Udûn’ is the Darkest, Bloodiest and Best Episode Yet

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Anyone who’s been waiting for “The Rings of Power” to pick up the pace will have their wish granted by “Udûn,” an hour-long battle sequence with a few brief interludes thrown in for viewers to collect their thoughts. It’s the most focused episode to date, as two of the main narrative threads are conspicuous in their absence: Elrond and Durin’s odd-couple bromance and the hobbitses’ migration. It’s also the most consequential.

It would appear that having a stronger, larger army matters little when attacking a fortress in Middle-earth. Just as Saruman learned this the hard way in “The Two Towers,” Adar does in the opening moments of “Udûn.” He and his battalion of orcs and human conscripts march on Ostirith, the watchtower where Bronwyn, Arondir, and their people have taken shelter; the battle promises to be a short one, with little hope of survival for the good guys, except there’s no battle at all. The tower is abandoned, and yet Adar is sure that Arondir remains — “I can smell him,” he tells one of his officers. He’s right, of course, but he failed to anticipate the trap he’s just walked into: With a few arrows and graceful movements, Arondir brings the whole place down via a booby-trapped tower as he makes his nimble escape, presumably wiping out Adar’s forces in one fell swoop. Though yet to show as much personality as some of the show’s other characters, Arondir can always be counted on for a balletic action sequence.

The victory is short-lived, however, as one battle tends to just start another. After retreating to a nearby village and setting up their meager defenses for the inevitable second round, Arondir’s forces appear to eke out yet another win against Adar. (If all this seems too good to be true, that’s because it is.) It isn’t the most believable come-from-behind victory we’ve seen in Middle-earth, but it’s still an engrossing one — especially once Arondir gets cornered by an absolute unit of an orc who comes dangerously close to ending him.

He’s saved at the last moment, but not before the orc has spilled black, viscous blood all over him. The visual is as important as it is disgusting, for Arondir can’t help noticing a nearby corpse covered in the more familiar red while assessing the enemy’s casualties. Then a terrible realization dawns upon our heroes: Mixed in with the orcs were their own people, the ones who foolishly accepted Adar’s offer of peace in exchange for swearing fealty. (Who could have guessed that he wasn’t trustworthy?) They aren’t the only army who can spring a trap, and arrows soon begin raining from the sky — two of which strike Bronwyn.

This is the most peril one of the protagonists has been in so far, and seeing Bronwyn pierced by two arrows is sure to have some viewers concerned that the lovely speech she delivered to her son Theo earlier in the episode was a kind of swan song: “This shadow is but a small and passing thing,” she tells him, echoing Sam’s words to Frodo at the end of “The Two Towers.” “There is light and high beauty forever beyond its reach. Find the light and the shadow will not find you.”

Arondir carries her into a makeshift keep where the group’s noncombatants have been hiding, but not before many of his compatriots are killed by the hail of arrows. Thus begins the darkest, most violent sequence of the series thus far, with Bronwyn narrowly surviving after having her wounds painfully cauterized and Adar breaking into the keep and demanding to know where “it” is. “It,” in this case, is the sword Theo found, the one we’ve been led to believe belonged to none other than Sauron himself. It’s wrapped in cloth and hidden beneath the floorboards, but Arondir refuses to tell him that — even when Adar’s soldiers begin killing hostages. Not until they turn their attention to Bronwyn does Theo reveal the blade’s location.

How many times can the good guys be saved at the last moment before it stops being an effective plot device? Difficult to say, but it certainly hasn’t happened yet. For it’s just after Adar makes off with the covered blade that we hear a rumble in the distance, the kind that can only mean approaching horses carrying Galadriel, Halbrand and hundreds of Númenorians clad in what might be the most gorgeous armor you’ll ever see. Galadriel and Halbrand track down Adar and retrieve the sword, with Halbrand coming close to killing him after asking whether Adar remembers him (he does not). But Galadriel wants him alive, which can only mean one thing: It’s time for an interrogation, dear readers.

Before that, though, we’re treated to a brief respite in which Halbrand is hailed as the returning King of the Southlands, Elendil and Isildur bond over their first father-son battle and we learn about the unbreakable bond between horse and rider. “Lord of the Rings” has never lacked for epic battles — though few, it must be said, are quite as bloody as the one we’ve just witnessed — but these small moments in between have always been its true heart.

As he’s being questioned, we finally learn Adar’s whole deal: He’s a “Son of the Dark,” one of the first orcs, an elf taken by Morgoth and corrupted into his current form. She then promises to kill every last one of his kind, saving him for last so he can see all of his “children” die before she sticks a dagger into his poisoned heart. (Yikes!) His response? “It would seem I’m not the only elf alive who’s been transformed by darkness.” He’s got a point, Galadriel.

But what of the sword, which still hasn’t been removed from its covering? Galadriel returns it to Arondir, who speaks to Theo about it and advises that the accursed blade be tossed into the sea. But they were both of them deceived, for Waldreg — last seen bailing on his people in the hope that Adar would reward his betrayal with safety — has taken the blade in secret and replaced it with a mere axe. Why he’s done so relates to the episode’s title, which has implications that will last thousands of years. The old man plunges the true blade into a puzzle-like lock, setting off a seismic chain of events: Water recedes into underground passages, shooting up in geyser-like bursts all around our heroes before flowing into the interior of what appears to be a normal mountain before it begins erupting and turns the sky black.

Dear readers, Udûn is a valley of Mordor thought to have been formed by volcanic activity. The mountain that just revealed itself as a volcano is Mount Doom. The eruption we just witnessed was a cataclysm unto itself, but it surely pales in comparison to what’s to come.



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