Disney’s DESCENDANTS First Trailer is… Peppy? Let’s Go With Peppy.

I’m getting to the point where I’m exactly old enough that a necessary (and welcome!) distance from “youth culture” on the whole and regular interactions with the teen-and-under set not really existing for the most part is beginning to make the tail-end of The Millennials look increasingly alien to me – which is a red flag in my business. So I try to keep an open mind when regarding stuff clearly aimed as far away from me as humanly possible.

That having been said, here’s the trailer for Disney’s ambitious “what if our characters had kids and they all went to school together” TV movie project DESCENDANTS:

To be honest? The main thing jumping out at me here is how little the Disney Channel house-style seems to have changed since I was “that age.” The pop-culture cues are different (no way Carlos would’ve been played quite so outwardly… “fashionable” in the 90s, yes?), the basic energy and attitude are  pretty-much the same – which sort of throws into sharp relief just how much what we think of as organically-occurring cultural “vibes” are shaped by media. Disney Channel has effectively staked itself as the driver of late-GenX and Millennial tweenhood, and that’s that.

Oh, the movie? Looks cute. The whole thing sort of feels like a DeviantArt project that someone greenlit to series as a joke, but there’s potential here and I like that it looks notably different from ONCE UPON A TIME. If nothing else, it’s a marvel of how good Disney is at working their iconography machine: Even without the names and most obvious cue(s) present in this trailer, you can pretty easily tell who the King and Queen are supposed to be, so that’s amusing, right?

Whatever. You can pretty much tell this thing is going to be absolutely huge, and a decade from now we’ll be reading thinkpieces from now-35-year-old Millennials explaining why it actually wasn’t as disposable as it was judged to be in it’s day. So, look forward to that I guess?

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This Is Your New DC Cinematic Universe JOKER

There may come a day when there’s no more need for (by now) tired, cheap-shot references to how
effortlessly satisfying the Marvel movies have been versus the endless cycle of self-inflicted stumbles Warner Bros. DC Cinematic Universe has undergone.

A day when we can actually look forward to the JUSTICE LEAGUE-adjacent features with “I hope it’s good” anticipation and not “I wonder what *type* of trainwreck” anticipation.

A day when it’s no longer appropriate to point out the disparity between a studio dithering over whether or not a woman can carry a feature film versus another putting a talking raccoon on a marquee.

A day when you can assume that at least *some* ideas are too stupid to not make it into the post-MAN OF STEEL DC movieverse.

But it is not this day.

TV Recap: AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D – Season 2 Episode 18: "THE FRENEMY OF MY ENEMY"

For a change, “Frenemy” provides an opportunity to properly/honestly appraise an AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D episode up front without dropping spoilers (since Season 2’s entire second half is now a big-deal Marvel Universe mythology-reveal)  and incurring the wrath of binge watchers.

So, then. Short version: This is the season’s stupidest title, but possibly it’s best episode. Want more than that (with SPOILERS?) keep reading after the jump…

One thing (among many) that Season 2 of AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D has done better than Season 1 is to “answer” the justifiable criticism of the series failing to measure up to its (implicit) promise of staying fresh and vibrant by flitting between the various worlds of the Marvel Universe by quietly building a fairly substantial “sub-universe” of its own: As this second season winds down, AGENTS now has enough levels, strata and moving parts between Coulson’s S.H.I.E.L.D, “Real S.H.I.E.L.D,” The Inhumans, the attention they draw from The Kree and Asgard (well, okay, just Lady Sif for now but still) the adjacent machinations of rogue supervillain Calvin “Mister Hyde” Johnson, rogue vanilla-villain Grant Ward and HYDRA that it’s that much easier to “forgive” Coulson and Company for not bumping into Iron Man or The Hulk more often (or, y’know, ever.)

On the down side, in recent episodes those moving parts had begun to move a little too far apart from one another – to the point where there wasn’t much connecting (in the most obvious examples) the S.H.I.E.L.D vs S.H.I.E.L.D story with Agent Skye’s discovery that she’s actually one of the (still unnamed) Inhumans beyond the prior relationships between the characters. “Frenemy” sets about bringing these (and other) divergent plot-threads back to one place and (shockingly!) manages to feel almost organic while doing so.

The setup(s): May and Simmons are pretending to help Superhuman-phobic “Real S.H.I.E.L.D” look for Fitz and Coulson, who’ve absconded with Nick Fury’s “Toolbox” and its index of… everything, basically. Coulson, Hunter, Deathlok and Fitz meanwhile have scooped up Ward and Agent 33 to help them find the two surviving HYDRA bigwigs, Dr. List and Baron Strucker (this appears to be our big tie-in to AGE OF ULTRON) on the logic that they’ve been abducting/experimenting on “powered people” (we’re still not calling them Inhumans, I guess) and thus might be behind Skye’s disappearance or at least know about it. Skye, of course, has actually been hanging out at The Inhumans’ (or, more likely, a smaller community thereof) secret retreat, getting to know her surprisingly still-living Inhuman mother Jaiying and less-surprisingly still-insane science-enhanced father Cal/Mr. Hyde.

Since this is AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D, all of these huge interests and powerful characters ultimately converge on… a relatively-inexpensive shooting location – in this case Cal’s abandoned Milwaukee doctor’s office, where Skye is supposed to be letting him down gently about not being allowed to hang around Afterlife (The Inhuman’s refuge) any more because of the whole evil/not-Inhuman thing. Misunderstandings abound, mostly because people keep first glimpsing Coulson either in the company of “complicated” individuals like Ward or Deathlok. Things wrap up (so to speak) with Skye and Cal vanished again (List was actually chasing Gordon’s teleportation energy signature around) and Coulson seemingly pretending to hand himself over to Real S.H.I.E.L.D; setting up what’s being promoted as an action-heavy episode next week.

PARTING THOUGHTS

  • We now know that the Bobbi and Hunter are getting a spin-off, so… I guess that sort of spoils whether or not they’ll A.) survive the season or B.) still be good guys (unless it’s a prequel?)
  • Unless I’m forgetting, this is the first time Skye has referred to herself as “Daisy Johnson.” Did Calvin not mention his last name previously?
  • Raina (not actually appearing in the episode) is suggested to be the first known precognition-powered person (Inhuman or otherwise?) documented on Earth. The idea that precognition is the big red-flag “not real yet” superpower has been repeatedly brought up back to Season 1, but at this point I’m at a loss as to what this is building to.
  • We’ve been told a few times now that we’ve not seen Cal at his worst – is it too much to hope that there’s a shape/form to him that’s closer to how Mr. Hyde is typically portrayed in the comics, then?
  • Sidebar: Is it just me, or has Cal/Hyde very gradually evolved into one of the more compelling MCU villains? It’s easy to forget that McLachlan is a really great actor in the right part, and that he’s been able to find (and convey) relatable humanity in such an over-the-top character (he’s basically playing a Hulk who doesn’t transform – so far). The business with him and Skye wandering around his old city, which has changed to a degree he can hardly cope with in the decades he’s been living in a supervillain rage-haze, is genuinely moving stuff.

NEXT WEEK:

“The Dirty Half Dozen” purportedly finds the two S.H.I.E.L.Ds working together for an attack on what looks like it could well be the same facility Baron Strucker was hanging out in during the post-credit scene of WINTER SOLDIER and is (assumed to be) occupying during whatever point he turns up in AGE OF ULTRON. I wonder if they’ll be brazen enough to suggest that this is taking place in the same relative time-frame, i.e. “Oh wow, The Avengers just got here! I mean, it’s too bad we were just leaving so we can’t meet or in any way interact with them, but hey it’s cool they’re here, huh?”

FANTASTIC FOUR Official Trailer looks… I dunno

Fairly or not (spoiler: it’s not), it’s becoming increasingly clear that the ongoing Marvel Studios success story is basically ruining the prospects of many fans (myself included) to have any kind of proper “anticipation factor” for Marvel Comics adaptations made by anybody else. It’s one thing to have a vague sense that this or that film might be better off in other hands, but another to know (in the case of an adaptation) that A.) you’re not getting a version remotely close to what you might’ve hoped to see and B.) that you all but certainly would be getting that version if not for circumstance of contracts and rights issues.

Case in point: This new most-recent trailer for FANTASTIC FOUR, which has me struggling to figure out if I’m underwhelmed and irritated that it looks like a drab, dreary misuse of The Fantastic Four or that it looks like a drab, dreary movie – period:

I dunno.

The previous trailers weren’t wonderful either, but at least there was enough vagueness at play to make it a legit question whether this looked like an outright bad movie or a movie I’d otherwise be more into if it weren’t trying to convince me it’s a FANTASTIC FOUR movie.

Thus far, what they’ve been selling has looked more like Josh Trank’s obligatory “bigger-budget version of the low-budget movie you just broke big on” entry with FF trappings awkwardly stuck to it; and while this still looks like that it’s also clearly meant to be the “Yup, it’s Fantastic Four!” trailer: Everyone is onscreen using their powers, reveal of The Thing, shot of Doctor(?) Doom while someone says “doom,” etc. For good measure, they’ve even thrown in the “hard open on city-skyline over loud bass sting” thing, so you know it’s a superhero movie.

And it mostly looks just… bad.

I like some of this. The general look is dreary and glum, which is about as tonally opposite the property as you can get… but it’s a well-shot, handsome looking version of dreary and glum, like someone working to imitate David Fincher’s preferred aesthetic. The cast seems to have chemistry, I like Reed not knowing how a fist-bump works, Michael B. Jordan continues to impress, etc.

The downside? Everything else. I dig the shot of Reed’s arm-muscles shifting around, but at the same time it makes me worry that they’re going to “nerf” his power-set away from “guy made of rubber” to “has stretchy limbs.” Kate Mara doesn’t seem to be registering as either Sue Storm or as a general presence. The Thing looks like he’d make a decent rock-monster minion in a fantasy feature of some sort, but he’s just not Ben Grimm and I always hate versions of The Thing that go the easy “made of rocks” route rather than the more alien, interesting classic designs.

Doom? Egh… it’s only one shot (and then another from the back), but you can already tell they’re going with him being another “altered” person like the heroes (the mask looks semi-transparent, maybe containing some kind of energy or for life-support) and… like I said, egh. I’m all for reinterpretation, but when it comes to Doctor Doom you’re not just talking about another piece of Marvel/FF mythos – you’re talking about one of the greatest villains in popular fiction of all time. Is it seriously too much to ask that we get a proper version of him onscreen before all the revisionism?

Darkness. No Parents.

Wanted to put this up yesterday, but I’m having an… interesting few weeks, scheduling and lifewise. Ah well. Anyway, here’s the trailer Warner Bros. wanted people to trek out to IMAX theaters for on Monday but we forced to release online after someone leaked it hoping that a clean version would make the reactions not be so negative. It didn’t seem to help much, but judge for yourself:



So, the blowback on this has been pretty negative. Understandably yet still unfairly, a lot of the geek blogosphere really, really wants the new DC Cinematic Universe to essentially look/feel like the DC Animated Universe (Batman: The Animated Series to Justice League Unlimited) as-produced by Marvel Studios; and while I get why (that sounds great!) it’s crystal clear that that’s not what they’re making and this stuff needs to be judged on it’s own terms – good or bad.

It feels more than ever like no one working on these can really “square” how to make Superman work in the kind of movies they want to make (how do you use a character who can end any real threat instantly and generally works to prevent destruction “work” in the Transformers-esque extended-destruction style WB clearly wants these movies to be?) and so the plot becomes about making everyone else not “get” Superman either. I know more than I should about how the plot of this supposedly goes down, but suffice it to say these things seem to start from the premise of “which trades are still bestsellers for us?” and go forward, so if this is looking like Miller’s DARK KNIGHT RETURNS smooshed together with a bunch of 90s event crossovers… yeah, that seems to be the case.

That said, I like the way it looks. We’re a long way from MAN OF STEEL here, with Snyder once again working with his favorite DP Larry Fong. Visually we’re very much in WATCHMEN territory, and it compliments Snyder’s aggressively macho approach to the genre. It looks pumped-up, ridiculous, slick and showy – like a mid-90s foil cover come to life – and since that seems to be where they’re aiming it might as well look like the best version possible.

Also: that first shot of Affleck in the “normal” bat-suit is probably as good as Batman’s getup has ever looked in live-action, but I really want to know how much of those muscles are Affleck and how much is the suit because holy shit – if that’s Affleck he must be on Ryback’s regimen. On the other hand, the “big reveal” of the TDKR “bat-armor” look (which you know is meant to be a huge deal here) manages to fall completely flat because now it makes him look like Lego Batman. I’m getting a sense that LEGO MOVIE’s send-up of dark-dark-dark Batman-performances may have rendered a good chunk of audience no longer able to take them as seriously, and the helmet isn’t helping:

TV Recap: AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D – Season 2 Episode 17: "MELINDA"

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Having now introduced somewhere just under a dozen new yet-to-be-solved mysteries in it’s second season (what’s “Real S.H.I.E.L.D’s” real agenda, what’s really going on at Afterlife, what’s in The Iliad’s super-secret cargo hold, what exactly is Cal using to gain his strength to name just a few), “Melinda” finds AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D doubling back to explain a leftover from Season 1: What really happened to earn Agent May the nickname “The Cavalry” (official story: She singlehandedly took down a superhuman villain and their entire army of henchmen) and why is she so cold and mysterious about it?

The answer and more (SPOILERS!) after the jump…

So, the idea that something a lot darker than “just” a rescue went down with May in Bahrain has been a given since they decided not to reveal it right away; but the actual reveal (she actually only took out two henchmen, the rest were killed by their own master – a pre-teen girl Inhuman who’d transformed without authorization from… whoever is making that call – that May was forced to kill) was a lot darker than AGENTS is usually prepared to go, so that’s interesting in itself.

Interesting enough, in fact, that it probably could’ve stood to be it’s own story. Weaving it into Skye bonding with Jaioying works narratively, but it also ends up giving away the twist too easily: “Gee, I wonder if May’s story will somehow pay off in a way the ties-in with the ‘not every Inhuman should transition’ infodump?” On the other hand, it feels wrong to criticize the show for wasting no time getting Skye to her “learning its your mother” moment so quickly when the lack of padding had been so praiseworthy all season – especially since I’ve also been watching through DAREDEVIL this week, which (while overall a solid series – review likely pending) is padded and stretched-out to the point of near absurdity at times.

Meanwhile, our new big piece of information is that Coulson actually does seem to have been secretly assembling what sounds like a personal army of superhumans, as part of something called “Theta Protocol.” This is, apparently, where a bunch of S.H.I.E.L.D 2.0’s money has gone, and the majority of the actual data is in the toolbox that just walked out the door with Fitz last week. Oh, and if you were guessing that Raina’s complaint of constant nightmares was foreshadowing an Inhuman power for future-telling? Congratulations – you’ve seen a superhero show before.

Still, the “showpiece” for this episode was seeing Ming-Na Wen stretch her acting chops alongside her action work, and it delivered on that front – she turns in a hell of a performance that momentarily turns so “real” it almost feels out of place with all the broader genre-series business going on. There’s only about 4 – 5 more of these left, and there’s a lot of plot to tie up, so this might have been our last shot at a “character piece” episode before a sprint to the finish like last season. If so, it’s a good note to transition on.

PARTING THOUGHTS:

  • I missed it myself the first time, but Coulson has mentioned Theta Protocol once before – to the Koenigs, as an “if we don’t come back” measure. So there’s that.
  • So what is Theta? At this point it could be anything, but it would be a weird coincidence for a S.H.I.E.L.D spin-off to be announced the same week we start hearing “our main character might be building a training-camp for superhumans” as a plot point. SECRET AVENGERS?
  • Piggy-backing on that: Remember, CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR *is* apparently going to still be about the government trying to regulate powered persons, so it’d be convenient to have a whole bunch of them ready to go.
  • An exchange between Gordon and Lincoln suggests that there’s some tension between the human-looking and non-human-looking Inhumans. Seems a bit late to bring that up.

NEXT WEEK:

The ads are acting like “Frenemy of My Enemy” is an AGE OF ULTRON tie-in, but I’m a bit skeptical – there’s at least one more episode between this and the film’s U.S. release, and other than the still sought-after Dr. List the prospect of a WINTER SOLDIER-level tie-in seems unlikely from a logistical perspective.

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Pitch Me, Mr.B: "MEGA MAN"

This poll decided which hypothetical movie adaptations of… things I’d take a swing at pitching as movie treatments. Just a creative-writing exercise to keep things sharp. By decision of you the readers, first up is MEGA MAN – which I’m assuming anyone reading this recognizes as a series of video games from Capcom. Reminder: If you enjoy this sort of feature on this blog, please consider becoming part of The MovieBob Patreon.

Let’s get into this:

Open in extended montage, intercutting childhoods and teen years of two young boys: THOMAS LIGHT and ALBERT WILY. Light is a happy child of priviledge, the only son of two wealthy scientists (a lineage of doctors, professors, etc in fact) whose interests in science, technology and art are nurtured and encouraged from the start. Wily, on the other hand, is born into harsh working-class poverty – a middle child whose natural genius for science/engineering mostly get him bullied by his peers, abused by his siblings (his inventions broken, ideas mocked) and ignored by his parents.

The two become friends at an Ivy League college, where their complimentary talents make them a potent force in the emerging field of robotics and artificial-intelligence, which has just begun to fully explode (think the advent of home computers) into the mainstream. Soon, robotics and A.I. are ubiquitous, and L&W ROBOTICS SOLUTIONS is at the popular and technological forefront of the industry.

Virtually everyone agrees that L&W robots are the industry standard, but their most popularly-touted innovation (culturally, at least) is Light’s solution to circumventing The Uncanny Valley by embracing the use of humanoid/animal shapes subtly-exaggerated to cartoon proportions. This means that the robots look exactly like they do in the NES Mega Man games – bulgy, smooth and “chibi-like,” with humanoid models commonly featuring oversized heads/feet/hands and expressive doll-like faces (alternately, imagine a more expensive version of this nonsense.) Privately, Wily resents that “The Light Touch” (and Light’s more public-friendly, Walt Disney-like persona) is so talked-about, as he feels his pure engineering contributions are the true source of their success.

The plot-proper finally finds Wily & Light as white-haired older men, 40 years after college, making a huge press presentation of their new products for the year. They are joined onstage by ROCK and ROLL, a male/female “sibling” pair of humanoid robots with super-advanced artificial-intelligence (most “work bots” are not as “smart” as virtual-only A.I. for technical reasons) who largely serve as crowd-pleasing mascots for the company.

The centerpiece presentation is six prototype industrial robots with unprecedented fusion of physical-dexterity and artificial-intelligence (not nearly at Rock & Roll’s level, but impressive) built to work in harsh conditions – yes, CUTMAN, GUTSMAN (mining/clearing/etc, a team) ICEMAN (arctic industries) FIREMAN (high-temperature) ELECMAN (energy) and BOMBMAN (demolition).

The presentation goes well, and Light announces that Wily will be presenting a “concept robot” whose design he personally spearheaded: This is PROTO MAN, a demonstration robot meant to show off Wily’s still-in-development “smart circuit” technology that theoretically allows a robot to “rewrite” it’s own schematics almost as rapidly as software, in order to not only use any tool within it’s ability and programming but absorb new functions and physical parts rapidly (he uses, to Light’s obvious chagrin, a less than friendly metaphor of a military robot being able to repurpose the onboard weaponry of it’s fallen comrades and enemies).

Someone in the crowd asks the obvious question about robots with universal function replacing human manual laborers. Wily treats the concern flippantly, while Light hurriedly interjects that those concerns are why Proto Man is only a research concept – they have no interest in putting humans out of jobs. There has clearly been internal disagreement on this, and the two men begin to argue – first by passive aggression, but ending with Wily blurting out an insult about “Giving the world the steam engine and being harraugned about the fate of mules!” This goes over bad, leading Light to usher his friend offstage and start-up the introduction of another product, RUSH the robot dog – a toy/companion for children.

Backstage, they have it out: Wily feels that Light only cares for the labor-class because in his life of priviledge he never actually had to “know” them; whereas Wily grew up in that world and became obsessed with robots partially because of a personal revenge-fantasy of seeing mechanized-labor drive the human working-class (whom he associates entirely with the “ignorant brutes” who tormented him in his youth) into extinction – ultimately creating a utopia where robots manage all menial tasks and scientists like him and Light are left unbothered to think and create.

Wily’s rant is captured by a young Japanese hacker and technology blogger, MAYL SAKURAI (yes, Battle Network references – there aren’t a lot of humans in this mythos) and goes viral – a P.R. disaster for the company that is “damage controlled” by an announcement to “gift” Cutman, Gutsman, Iceman, Fireman, Elecman and Bombman to specific operations of of “global interest”

Light is forced to dismiss Wily, who turns down a severance package “large enough to found your own new company” in exchange for taking PROTO MAN (and his patents for Smart Circuity) with him. Six months later, the rebranded LIGHT ROBOTICS remains on top of the market; with “sightings” of Dr. Wily in public (and the odd fact that no competing firm has been able to “poach” him despite trying) are the only real lasting memory of his “meltdown.”

Where Wily actually is? A rocky island off the coast of Japan (L&W was located in San Fransisco, incidentally) where has has secretly maintained a whole “workshop” of “borrowed” company equipment in an abandonned underground military installation.

Light meets with a teen-aged girl who sneaks away from field-trip tour to show him “her invention.” This is TRON BONNE, a young robotics wunderkind (she’s actually already skipped ahead to college, used the tour for cover), and her invention is an affordable mass-production house-robot called a SERVBOT. Light is impressed, buys production rights to the Servbots and hires her on the spot as a “consulting intern” for the engineering department, which needs fresh ideas after Wily’s departure.

Tron Bonne learns, along with the audience, Light’s most closely-guarded secret: Rock and Roll are even more advanced than the public realizes: They have full personalities and even rudimentary, child-like emotions.

Sakurai investigates reports of famous hackers, mostly from Japan and Korea, disappearing after being contacted by a “Mr. X” (yes, Dr. Wily, who is also selling illegal “SNIPER JOE” combat robots to international terrorists and organized crime, using the money to grow his “workshop” and continue experimenting with Proto Man and… “other” projects.)

Bonne (whom was also learn is a big fan of Mayl’s online presence) comes to Light with a new proposal: She believes that she’s managed to reverse-engineer a non-infringing answer to Wily’s “smart circuits,” but needs his help to implement it. Light agrees, and they decide that they will first try adding the feature to the extra-durable Rock.

The rebuild of Rock is successful: He can incorporate almost any tools or programming into his body (and also does the color-changing thing when changing tools, because.) Wily, having hacked into Light’s security systems to spy, discovers that they’ve (sort of) trumped his tech and becomes enraged, telling Proto Man “we’re moving things up.”

Light Robotics prepares for the launch of a major firmware update for around 20-30% of their most popular models, which will be downloaded automatically during a brief “power down” that the company treats like a mock-“event.” But when the robots power back on, the they’ve been infected with a virus that causes them to go berzerk causing damage and mass-hysteria! The same protocol also causes Cutman, Gutsman etc to being operating “independently,” taking control of the areas they’ve been dispatched to violently with backup from also-refigured Sniper Joes and other machines.

Light’s tech-support finds the source of the infection immediately: Mayl Sakurai, whose home is raided and is arrested. But the virus has actually come from Wily, the creation of the hackers he’s abducted.

After some web digging, Bonne theorizes that Wily pinned the initial hack on Mayl – and not just for revenge to take her away from computers, as she may be among those capable of reversing the virus. Light opts to retrofit Rock with combat equipment and hope he can use his new smart-circuit adaptability to fight his way to rescuing her from prison in Japan (the country has been hit especially hard, and she hasn’t even been arraigned yet) and bringing her their (to Light’s) to help stop the machine riots.

As MEGA MAN (and using Rush’s transforming vehicle modes) Rock flies to Japan and fights through out of control robots to extract Mayl. He also encounters Proto Man (now looking like he does in the games, whistle and all) confirming that Wily is behind things. They fight, but Proto Man is ordered to withdraw.

Instead, it’s Bomb Man (previously stationed at a Korean demolition project) who arrives for a showdown. He and Mega Man tear apart part of a city, until Mega draws the fight away to nearby cliffs. After defeating his enemy, Mega Man incorporates the bomb weaponry into his system – maybe if he can do this to the rest of them, there’s a chance.

Proto Man returns to Wily, confused as to why he was recalled. Wily says there is more work to be done on his upgrades.

MM brings Mayl to Light’s, then announces his plan to take down the other “Robot Masters” while they work on the virus.

GutsMan and CutMan are stationed at a geoengineering project in the Pacific Northwest, so they’re first on the schedule. GutsMan falls easily to bombs, but doesn’t fully shut down – his “living” head is taken away by HARD-HATS. CutMan is more of a hand-to-hand martial-arts foe, defeated but after a much harsher fight.

ElecMan falls next, fight taking place at a solar energy storage facility.

Robots bring Wily the remains of GutsMan, he orders them taken to “reengineering,” with Proto Man continuing to grouse about not being allowed to face Mega Man again yet.

IceMan falls next (arctic weather-research station).

Mega Man arrives at a geothermal power-plant adjacent to an active volcano in Hawaii to battle Fire Man, but Proto Man is waiting for him.

At Light’s, Sniper Joe robots attack the faciltiy but are repelled by Bonne’s Servbots (and Roll, who repurposes “household” tools into weapons to beat them.)

Proto Man and Fire Man double-team Mega Man, subduing him. Proto Man then destroys Fire Man himself, intending to absorb the flame-thrower weapon and prove himself equal (and then superior) to Mega Man – who protests that they shouldn’t fight because they’re “brothers” built together.

The flamethrower weapon malfunctions, shocking Proto Man and badly damaging him. He departs, leaving Mega Man to claim the final weapon.

Light, Bonne and Mayl crack the virus code and stop the rioting robots. In response, Wily causes SKULL CASTLE to rise out of the island and announces his terms to the world: Bigger and more unstoppable robot uprisings, unless he is allowed to found his own mechanized nation on any plot of land he chooses.

Mega Man arrives at Skull Castle amid a battle between Wily’s robots and an easily-outmatched human naval fleet, who are almost making headway until the ROBOT DRAGON from (Mega Man 2) appears to engage them.

MM enters the castle and begins fighting his way to Wily’s inner sanctum. The way is guarded by (separate) encounters with two big-scale robots: The shape-changing YELLOW DEVIL and GutsMan rebuilt as the massive GUTS DOZER.

On the final approach to Wily, MM finds himself in a huge chamber where an unknown number of “figures” are being contained in opaque glass tubes. Wily’s voice comes up, welcoming the hero to the “prototypes divison.” The tubes open, and out of them come between 40-50 “fan favorite” Robot Masters (some not finished) from the entire Mega Man game series. An absolutely massive brawl ensues.

Outside, Light arrives on the deck of a naval carrier with Mayl and Bonne, explaining that they’ve developed a reverse version of Wily’s virus that could shut down the robots protecting the castle, but it will take time to set up and broadcast.

Wily, in his lab, happily watches MM fight a losing battle against his prototypes – but is caught off guard when Proto Man bursts in demanding “answers” to his malfunctions.

Light and the girls’ virus is broadcast and works, de-securing the castle and causing the prototypes to shut down inside. But it doesn’t effect Proto-Man, who is still holding Wily at gunpoint when Mega Man bursts in.

Wily takes the opportunity to zap Proto Man with electricity, knocking him out. He explains that he sees Proto Man as a failed test, usable for parts, and that he hasn’t been repairing his smart-circuits, he’d been carefully porting them over into a NEW project – Proto-Man has his “head” and memories, but he’s basically a glorified Sniper Joe unit now.

Wily then unveils his “new favorite son,” the robot who got all of Proto Man’s implants: Wily’s answer to Mega Man… “X!” (Yup, as in MEGA MAN X in full armor – that’s our big final fight.

After a brutal battle and a last-minute assist from Proto-Man, MM defeats MMX only to see Wily get away in an escape pod.

Mega Man returns to Light with Proto Man and remnants of MMX. After repairs, Proto Man announces that he is going looking for Wily, while MM will stay to protect others if he returns for the sequel.

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