I'm really happy they announced Black Panther and Captain Marvel. I have passionately defended the position that Marvel Studios has always gone out of their way to add or increase roles for women and minorities, but it's still nice to see that they're giving the fans what they want with this. Unfortunately, I doubt it'll shut up the PC Police and the haters for very long, but it has at least undercut their main argument for the moment.

Personally, I'm not too thrilled about the casting of Chadwick Boseman, though. I just think he's a little too on-the-nose, a little typecast. His two famous roles so far have been as Jackie Robinson (the first black Major League Baseball player), and James Brown (arguably the first popular funk singer), and now he'll be playing the Black Panther (the first black superhero). All he needs is to star in a movie about Barack Obama, and he'll be forever relegated to playing roles about "the first black something."

Similarly, I was very lukewarm on the news about Benedict Cumberbatch, so the non-news about his non-casting has given me some hope. The fact that he wasn't confirmed doesn't mean he definitely won't be playing the part (it might mean they just haven't made the final agreement yet), but I will keep hoping. Maybe it's just that the whole Khan denial nonsense has left a bad taste in my mouth, but I feel that he's much like Boseman in just being too on-the-nose.

Marvel Studios really gave us "something new" with their casting choices for Iron Man, Captain America, and Star-Lord, picking out skilled actors who might not have appeared to be a good fit for their respective roles, and who hadn't played a bunch of similar roles in the past (the Human Torch was a similar genre, but not a similar characterization, to Captain America). I feel like both Boseman and Cumberbatch are just really safe choices. I understand with Doctor Strange that they need to have some good name recognition to get past the initial hesitancy toward a superhero movie about magic, but they could still go for a big-name actor who would show us something new in the role, and isn't just the safe, obvious choice.

In other news, Kevin Feige has now put it on the record that Civil War won't be as focused on secret identities as the comic storyline was, so that can set people's minds at ease. The announcement of a two-part movie called "Infinity War" also proves that Civil War won't derail the Thanos storyline at all. It really does seem like it's all going solidly according to the plan they had mapped out all along. I'm amazed that they could have such a clear plan for things that didn't have any guarantee of success (there was no certainty that either Cap 2 or Guardians would be so successful), but it seems like they've put a lot of well-placed faith in their creative teams.

We mustn't forget, one part of that finely-honed plan is Marvel's shows on Netflix. Daredevil is coming out in May of next year, around the same time as Age of Ultron, so it will probably take place before whatever world-shattering events happen there and lead into Civil War. For the other shows, though, they'll probably have to be set in a post-Ultron world, and it'll be interesting to see how that shakes things up there.

One thing that may not be quite according to their plan is Captain Marvel coming out a year after both Wonder Woman and Sony's fabled female-led movie in the Spider-Man universe (assuming the Sony one even happens, which doesn't seem like a guarantee). Since neither DC nor Sony have demonstrated that consistent quality that Marvel Studios has, it's very possible both those movies could be quite mediocre. If they are, it could cause a backlash against female-led superhero movies in general, which could hurt Captain Marvel. I'm sure they have all kinds of reasons for every point on their schedule and the overall story they're telling, but I think it might've been better for Captain Marvel specifically to have it in 2017.

I must say, I'm quite lukewarm on the Inhumans. I'm not worried about Marvel Studios' ability to make an entertaining movie out of it (after all, I was lukewarm on Guardians as well, until I saw it), but they're pretty low on my list of comic properties I want to see adapted to the big screen. I am, however, really curious to see which actor will take on the risky challenge of playing a mute hero. (Jean Dujardin! I'm kidding, kinda.)