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WandaVision Changed the MCU Forever

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Warning: Spoilers

WandaVision’s season finale released last Friday, leaving fans trying to wrap their heads around what they just saw. The first Disney+ installment of the MCU was strange, to say the least and may have taken a little while to get some momentum, but delivered an impressive story from beginning to end. Unlike most new television series, WandaVision already had the trust of fans that the show would be worth the watch. It did not disappoint.

After a long year and a half hiatus from the MCU, fans sat down and watched WandaVision – Marvel’s first real foray into television (no, we’re not counting Agents of Shield or Agent Carter). There was a lot of buzz about how WandaVision could advance the story of the Avengers. Now that we’ve all had the chance to watch the season finale let’s unpack what WandaVision did (and did not) deliver.

Plot Breakdown

As a show, WandaVision offers two big things at once: a crafty, ever-changing format and a cryptic, slow-burning (at first) plot. The impressive feat is how the strong suit shifts from the style to the story.  Each episode is modeled to look like a different era of American television. The early episodes are black and white with a laugh track and cute little jingles à la I Love Lucy and The Dick Van Dyke Show. The set design, format, even dialogue shift throughout the season, emulating shows like The Brady Bunch, Step by Step, Malcolm in the Middle, and Modern Family.

The show even includes classic tv tropes like nosy neighbors, pets that come and go, and babies that grow up overnight. Even the fake commercials between scenes look like they were ripped from time. It seems poetic that as the MCU helps usher in a new TV era, it does so by paying an homage to all the eras before.

The story is not easy to wrap your head around at first. And if you haven’t seen any of the Marvel movies, forget it. Wanda and Vision are husband and wife living in a New Jersey suburb. They have their powers, Vision is still a synthezoid, but they masquerade as a normal American couple when around their neighbors.

Oh, so many questions.

First of all, why are we watching in black and white? Why is there a laugh track? More importantly, how is Vision alive? Thanos killed him. In the first couple episodes, WandaVision does little to explain itself – only dropping little hints that things aren’t exactly how they seem. For example, within two episodes, Wanda discovers she’s pregnant, gives birth, and then has two twin 10-year-old boys.

 A few episodes in, we meet characters who live outside of Wanda and Vision’s cookie-cutter town. Monica Rambeau, who we last saw as a young girl in Captain Marvel, is now a woman working for the government agency, S.W.O.R.D. We are reintroduced to FBI agent Jimmy Woo who we last saw in Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Darcy Lewis from the Thor movies.

The audience learns that Wanda and Vision’s hometown of Westview is under some kind of spell. Later, we learn that it is Wanda who controls the spell and everyone inside. While S.W.O.R.D. and the FBI work to end the hex around Westview, Wanda pushes back.

What the…?

Jaws hit the floor at the end of episode 5 when Wanda’s dead brother, Pietro, knocks on the door. However, the actor is not Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who played Pietro in the Avengers movies, but Evan Peters, who played him in the X-Men movies. (more on that later)

The big bomb drops at the end of episode 8. It is revealed that the lovable, meddling neighbor Agnes played by Kathryn Hahn, is really Agatha Harkness, a rival witch and the true antagonist in WandaVision.

The 8th episode is the big payoff that puts all the pieces together. Agatha explains to Wanda that they are both witches, and Agatha wants Wanda’s powers for herself. She takes Wanda on a trip down memory lane. This is when we learn that growing up in Sokovia, Wanda was a big fan of American sitcoms – thus the reason for her spell. We got an intimate look at the love between Wanda and Vision. After Wanda lost her parents, her home was destroyed, and her brother dead, Vision was there for her, and she fell in love. Before Thanos killed vision, the two had plans to retire in Westview. Grief-stricken by Vision’s death, Wanda went to Westview, altered reality, recreated Vision, and put a spell on all its inhabitants.

The showdown in the finale pitted Wanda against Agatha, launching spells and mystic energy at one another high above Westview. Meanwhile, Vision fought against a replica made by S.W.O.R.D. The two synthezoids were too evenly matched until finally, the original Vision mind effed the duplicate with an existential dilemma. The all-white copy took off and disappeared, but only after the original Vision uploaded his thoughts and memories into him.

In the end, Wanda defeats Agatha and holds her prisoner under a spell as the nosy neighbor in Westview. After a heartfelt goodbye to her two boys and Vision, Wanda removes the Hex on Westview, and her family disappears.

No Mutants

There was speculation about whether or not WandaVision would introduce mutants into Marvel Cinematic Universe. The movie rights to the X-Men have belonged to Fox since the early ‘00s. When Disney officially acquired Fox in 2019, X-Men could legally join the MCU. In the comic books, Wanda was both a mutant and an Avenger. Fans have anxiously wondered how the MCU would introduce the X-Men. It was a popular theory that Wanda’s reality-bending abilities would be the mutants’ ticket in. Evan Peters played Quicksilver, aka Wanda’s brother Pietro in the X-Men movies. When Evan Peters showed up as Quicksilver in WandaVision, fans cheered as surely this meant they were blending the universes.

Nope

Evan Peters was a red herring, and he was merely a townsperson named Ralph Bohner, who Agatha was controlling.

WandaVision did not introduce any mutants (that we know of), but that doesn’t rule out that she will be the instrument the MCU uses in the future.

Powers Unleashed

When we first saw Wanda in The Avengers Age of Ultron, we didn’t really know much about her abilities. “He’s fast, and she’s weird,” says Maria Hill summing up Wanda and Pietro. She did some hypnotizing spells on Iron Man and the Avengers. We also see she can levitate create force fields. But in the comic books, Wanda’s abilities were expansive. Each installment after Ultron, we got a little more. She held her own in Captain America: Civil War. In Avengers: Endgame, she almost single-handedly defeated Thanos. WandaVision put a spotlight on just how powerful Wanda’s powers were and could grow to be. Says Agatha Harkness: “Your power exceeds that of the Sorcerer Supreme (Doctor Strange).”

Big Plans for Monica Rambeau

Monica Rambeau, played by Teyonah Paris, will play a big part in moving forward in the MCU. In WandaVision, she gets some cool powers by crossing through Wanda’s Hex. In the comic books, she can turn into any form of matter; she can travel at the speed of light, and of course, super strength and durability.

If you are a loyal fan of the MCU, you know that just because the credits are rolling doesn’t mean it’s over. WandaVision delivered plenty of mid and post-credit scenes. In one of the finale’s mid-credit scenes, a Skrull alien tells her she’s needed in space. She will be a key component in upcoming movies – most likely Captain Marvel 2.

What About Agatha

Agatha Harkness is one of the most interesting side characters in the Marvel comic book lure. She has spanned all different comic storylines, having ties to Wanda, the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, and Ghost Rider. She points out that Wanda will need her in the future. To which, Wanda responds, “Then I’ll know where to find you.” And then Wanda turns Agatha into a suburban mind-slave. Harkness’s character has Loki-level potential to be a repeat offender.

MCU Can Make TV Shows

No other movie franchise has reached the peaks that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has. They managed to tell a 20 part story with dozens of dynamic characters and intricate plots. While some movies are better than others, the MCU standard has been, above all else, awesome. Now using the Disney+ platform, they have moved into the television scene. If WandaVision showed fans anything, it’s that the MCU can crush that medium as well. With high budget visual effects, complex plots, and consistent fan service, fans should have every bit of confidence that future MCU TV shows will be a level above ordinary programming.

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Banksy’s website hacked, fan scammed $336,000 and got money back

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The mysterious graffiti artist from England Banksy got his website hacked seven days after his team warned him it might have security issues. A British collector and also fan got scammed with a $336,000-worth digital art. Luckily, the fan got his money back. 

On Tuesday, Banksy’s digital art was promoted on his official website. It was an image that displayed one of the NFT collectibles called CryptoPunks. 

NFT, also known as non-fungible tokens, represents unique digital items such as art. With NFT, the owners of the digital artwork can be bought and sold by creating an ownership certificate. People who buy NFTs carry certificates that indicate ownership of the original item. However, this certificate doesn’t mean buyers have copyright, which means other netizens can still access or view the digital item. Simply put, an NFT acts like an ownership receipt of a digital item. 

Banksy fell prey to hackers Tuesday when his official website was hacked and scammed a fan out of $336,000 (£242,000). Security experts gave the graffiti artist a heads up that the website might be hacked. However, the artist ignored it. 

Who is Banksy? 

Banksy is an England-based graffiti artist, street artist, film director, and political activist. Although the artist is famous both online and offline, he keeps his identity a secret. He’s dubbed as the anonymous British graffiti artist. 

He remains anonymous while creating his artwork and only reveals it when it gains traction on social media. Banksy’s style leans more towards stencils to make it quicker to paint. The great French graffiti artist Blek le Rat also has a significant influence on Banksy’s style. 

NFT scam

A British collector thought he bought a world-renowned artist’s first-ever NFT, only to realize that the artwork was fake after buying it. He had been led to a link to an auction with the URL “banksy.co.uk/NFT.” The link showed a collectible entitled “Great Redistribution of the Climate Change Disaster was deleted after the auction. The auction finished early, and the fan bid 90 percent over other fans. 

The fan paid close to $336,000 for a fake Banksy digital art. The British collector under the name Pranksy wanted to stay anonymous. Moreover, Pranksy was even more surprised when the hacker returned the entire amount save for the $5,000 transaction fee. 

He said an anonymous person alerted him on Discord about the auction. He also said that the hacker might have been scared because Pranksy found out who he was and followed him on Twitter. Pranksy also recounts how the media was all over the NFT hack scam and might have pushed the hacker to return the money. 

Although he is now $5,000 short, he says he’s still fortunate to get the rest of the amount back. He said he feels sorry for others in a similar situation, with the worst outcome of not getting a refund. 

Scam or stunt?

While the fake link is already weird enough, others thought it was also highly bizarre that the scammer returned the money. People even speculated it was all part of a stunt.

However, Prof Paul Gough, an expert on Banksy art and Arts University Bournemouth principal and vice-chancellor, says it couldn’t have been. 

For one, Banksy was recently busy with his “Spraycation” stunt, where he filmed 10 of his projects in East Anglia. And secondly, the artwork is a far cry from his stencil-inspired style.

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Kim Kardashian Breaks The Internet. Again.

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Hey everyone. Kim Kardashian did another thing. And it’s not what you expect.

This year’s 2021 Met Gala theme was “American Independence.” This theme was so open that the outfits, dresses, and costumes were absolutely all over the place. From Frank Ocean’s puppet to Grimes’ Sci-Fi Warrier outfit, to AOC’s “Tax The Rich” gown this year’s Met Gala was one to see.

And who stood out amongst the crowd? Why, Kim Kardashian, of course.

When people expect something from you, the best way to maintain attention is to take that expectation and flip it on its head. Because Kim knows how to “break the internet,” Twitter went HAM on memes. 

Here’s a compilation of all the best memes made from Kim Kardashian and her attention-seeking outfit. 

If I woke up seeing that I’d have a very wet bed.

Definitely knock before entering.

Some people may be very disappointed when they unlock this character.

Me. So, so me.

Quick! Throw a Pokeball at it!

Best anti-social social outfit ever.

“dementor” is a little on the nose, no?

You know who had a way more impressive Met Gala appearance than Kim Kardashian? Lil Nas X.

Look at how shiny she is. You go on Lil Nas X, with your gay C-3PO look.

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The Ariana Grande Fortnite Concert: A Magical Musical Gaming Experience

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Many fans of Fortnite would agree that it’s no longer just a game; it’s an experience. The developer of the popular game, Epic Games is known to release new maps or experiments to keep players on it. Two of which are the mystery cube and a black hole that created a new map. But their latest release is the Ariana Grande Fortnite concert treating millions of fans to the Princess of Pop’s hits as they explore a magical pastel map.

Let’s take a look at how players enjoyed the Ariana Grande Fortnite concert in all of its pastel glory.

Rift Tour: Ariana Grande Fortnite Concert

The concert was live from August 6 to 8. Before players can witness the Ariana Grande Fortnite concert live, they can complete quests and win rewards, such as a Cosmic Cuddles loading screen, kitty emoticon, and spray. Those who played any of the five live games received an umbrella.

In the Rift Tour video, players wait in a lobby or space under an unknown flying object in the sky. There, they run towards a rectangular portal where they float towards an animated Fortnite-version of Ariana Grande, hand holding out, welcoming them on a new experience.

Before they get treated to the Ariana Grande musical journey, they can rack up points by sliding across a track and fighting a giant boss, Storm King. Players can hear music from Travis Scott and Marshmello before they meet the Princess of Pop and enjoy dancing and floating to her tunes.

Gaming and Music Come Together

Fortnite isn’t only famous for battle-royale and team battles. Players can bust out dance moves like The Dab. And anyone online for the live concert danced along to Grande’s catchy tunes.

Grande sings the following hits as players traverse through different courses in the game:

  • Raindrops
  • 7 Rings
  • Be Alright
  • R.E.M.
  • The Way
  • Positions

Players are treated to different experiences during the musical journey, giving fans an unforgettable audiovisual treat. Ariana Grande starts with a brief Raindrops performance, with players helping each other up. Then, an orb of light appears and lands on a circular stage where she finally emerges to sing 7 Rings. It transitions to a beach where players can dance along to one of her famous hits.

During her Be Alright number, players float inside a bubble while Grande flies through the air thanks to her winged glass shards costume. And for her R.E.M. performance, players ride on flying unicorns while the singer sits on a giant swing.

She then sings her next song, The Way, where players can move up the stairs where they teleport to another flight of stairs until they reach the top. Finally, Positions plays where players can jump and dance along to the beat.

The whole musical journey ends with the singer breaking the glassy exterior of the map with a hammer. Then, the players are sucked back into the portal they entered and to the lobby.

Post-Concert Quests, Rewards, and Items

Although the live concert is no longer available, Fortnite players can download the content for free on Fortnite’s site. As reported by Ginx.tv, there are four quests available to play. One of them is meant for solo players, and the three require a team. The rewards you’ll receive are experience points, and an XOXO emote.

The post-concert rewards include Skye Up High Loading Screen, an umbrella, and a Rift-Tour banner. Only those with a Fortnite Crew subscription are entitled to these awards. Also, die-hard Arianators and Fortnite fans can buy the Ariana Grande skin and play as the pop star.

However, the quests are only available until August 23, 10 AM EST.

For other gaming and entertainment news, read more stories here at Owner’s Mag!

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