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‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,’ a pre-release viewing guide

By Michael King

Broadcast News Director

”Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” comes out Thursday, May 5. While the Marvel Cinematic Universe weaves its movies together to the point that you are encouraged to watch all of them, some movies are more important than others when catching up for a certain movie. Here is the top five movies and series (with an honorable mention) you need to see before “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” hits theaters in May.

Honorable Mention: “Loki”

Image courtesy of Marvel Studios

“Loki” follows the story of the titular God of Mischief as he escapes his timeline and grapples with the Time Variance Authority. While the relevance to Dr. Strange himself is practically non-existent, “Loki” introduces concepts that are sure to be explored. The most notable of these are variants, versions of characters that stray from their original timelines, and are confirmed to play a part in the upcoming movie.

5. “What If?”

“What If?” is an anthology series focusing on alternate takes of MCU stories. It introduces a few concepts such as each timeline’s infinity stones are different. However, a character of note is Strange Supreme, a variant of Dr. Strange who turned to the dark side. While there is no confirmation that Strange Supreme or other featured variants will appear in “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” another variant named Supreme Strange will be.

Image courtesy of Marvel Studios

4. “Avengers: Infinity War” and 

“Avengers: Endgame”

This is technically two, but they are two halves of the same story. “Avengers: Infinity War” follows the Avengers and other heroes as they try to stop Thanos from killing half of all life in the universe with infinity stones. “Avengers: Endgame” takes place five years later, with the Avengers being given another chance to stop the Mad Titan. Vision’s death during Infinity War becomes a major source of character development for Wanda, a main character in the upcoming movie, later down the line. “Avengers: Endgame” introduces time travel into the MCU and lays the groundwork for variants.

Image courtesy of Marvel Studios

3. “Doctor Strange”

This is the first movie featuring Dr. Strange, and it gives us Dr. Strange’s character, along with establishing the character arc of Mordo, Dr. Strange’s ally turned enemy. While it’s the oldest movie on the list, this is the only movie specifically about Dr. Strange. The story the movie was building to is mostly finished, but it gives great insight into the character and development of Strange.

2. “Wandavision”

Image Courtesy of Marvel Studios

“Wandavision,” while one of Marvel’s most unconventional series/movies, is ultimately a story about grief. Wanda takes over a small town to live out her life with Vision and her children, forcing the town’s residents to act out in a sitcom. This series does two things: it recaps Wanda’s backstory neatly, and it establishes her as a potential villain. Her villain arc is all but confirmed to continue into “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.”

1. “Spider-Man: No Way Home”

“Spider-Man: No Way Home” features Peter Parker as he deals with having his identity revealed by Mysterio. He turns to the magic arts and enlists the help of Dr. Strange to make people forget he is Spider-Man. Without going too much into spoilers, this movie gives the first glimpse of the multiverse at large. It also opens the door for crossovers with other non-MCU Marvel movies such as the original Spider-Man trilogy and potentially the X-Men. It’s no coincidence that one of its post credit scenes is the “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” trailer.

Reviewing Marvel’s new series: ‘Moon Knight’

By Santiago Nunez

Multimedia Journalist

“Moon Knight” has been referred to by many as Marvel’s version of the caped crusader known as Batman. Now, this notion would be true if Batman decided to become a U.S. Marine, abandon his no kill rule, develop dissociative identity disorder, have random visions, and be in a sort of contractual agreement with an Egyptian moon god. Moon Knight does not have the same reverence that Spider-Man does, nor is he as powerful as Scarlet Witch, heck he has not even been referenced or brought up at any point in the MCU up to this point. What “Moon Knight” does have is what the MCU seemingly lacks sometimes, a breath of fresh air with an interesting mythos. 

The six episode mini-series is already down four episodes, at the time of writing, but in those episodes we have seen many things to cheer about as both Marvel fans and movie fans in general. Moon Knight’s suit is one of the best costumes in all of Marvel. There is stunning work done to make him look menacing and dangerous. The costume takes clear inspiration from Egyptian mummies from the bandaged look it carries. The Mr. Knight costume is done beautifully as well with the more detective side of his personalities donning his suit and mask. We get introduced to the world of Egyptian gods existing in the MCU adding onto the established worlds we’ve seen so far such as Asgard, Knowhere, Hala and Titan. 

Photo courtesy of IMDb

Khonshu, the ancient Egyptian god of the Moon that gives Moon Knight his powers, is the one with the most screen time because after all, there is no Moon Knight without Khonshu. We get to see the uneasy relationship that often exists between him and Marc Spector with the threats at his wife and his powers as Moon Knight. The show makes creative decisions in the way that it chooses to handle the character of Steven Grant. Normally a suave and charming billionaire, the show makes Steven Grant a timid and kind man. After “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” it is nice to see a show that takes you back down to a less multiversal threat level and more of a planetary one. Speaking of Spider-Man, now that Disney has the rights to Daredevil as well, an on-screen collaboration between these three characters would be to die for. That’s enough salivating at the mouth as a Marvel fan, there’s still lots to enjoy if you’re not big into comics or Marvel.

I have to start off by mentioning the performance of Oscar Isaac. His third outing as a Marvel character (played Apocalypse and voiced Spider-Man 2099 in “X-Men: Apocalypse” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” respectively) is definitely his best one. Oscar Isaac has a difficult task at hand, he must convincingly play two different characters while absolutely nothing changes about his physical appearance. He does this in a variety of ways. He changes the way in which Steven and Marc carry themselves. He has a sort of transitional state between personality changes. He changes the pitch of his characters’ voices, and most notably, he changes between a British and American accent. Oscar Isaac’s performance in this is truly quality work. 

Thematically, there is also a lot to unwrap here. The most prominent theme is about the deterioration of one’s mental health. Marc Spector and Steven Grant are constantly at war with each other for control of the body, similarly to how D.I.D. works in actuality. The constant black outs and random paranoiac hallucinations that take place to Marc are once again a sign of mental deterioration. 

The second most prominent theme here is acceptance. Marc Spector is a very secretive man for seemingly everyone in his life, even himself. He cannot tell his wife anything about his emotions, leading to the rocky state of his marriage. He cannot come to terms with his actions as a Marine or as Moon Knight, leading to regrets about being alive. He cannot even tell Steven anything about what he is doing until he is basically strong armed into telling him. This is because Marc does not accept himself for who he is or for what he has done in the past; He is hiding his true self because he cannot accept it.

Overall, “Moon Knight” is an excellent show that just so happens to be about superheroes and supervillains. The story is engaging, the characters are interesting, and the cast is a great selection of talented people doing an excellent job. This is a must-watch show to keep you entertained until “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” premieres on May 4. 

Upcoming TJC graduates provide advice for current, future students


By Colton Hollis

Multimedia Journalist

With the school year winding down and summer break right around the corner, sophomores at Tyler Junior College are planning the move to a four-year university. With how rocky the transition from high school to college can be, three graduating TJC students would like to impart wisdom on future freshmen and returning sophomores.

Advice for incoming freshmen

○ Find a friend group or join an organization ○

One thing that can ease the transition from high school to college is to find a group or organization you get along with. This is something echoed by TJC graduates Tanner Smith and Myia Davis.

“It can be extremely nerve-racking coming into a new place with a completely different group of people from what you’re used to seeing every day,” Smith said. “Find that group of people that you can relax and be yourself with. It’ll make college life a lot more fun.”

Once you are attending classes, don’t be afraid to talk with your classmates about what they do around campus, maybe one of them will be with a club or organization that piques your interest. 

“Being involved on campus is one of the best decisions I ever made, and I wish I would’ve done it earlier,” Davis said. No matter what you are interested in, there will probably be a TJC organization related to it. If you like theatre, there is Las Mascaras. For people interested in game design or just playing video games with friends, there’s the International Game Developers Association.  TJC also has several religious-based organizations such as the Baptist Student Ministry, Overflow and the Baha’i Club. 

One way to learn more about organizations is to attend Student Senate meetings, as many organizations announce events they will be holding. 

○ Figure out a balanced schedule ○

 The prospect of being in a new city and surrounded by new people can be a bit distracting for new freshmen, but it is important to keep a balance between classwork, studying and taking time for yourself. 

“A majority of the professors make attendance a grade. If you miss class a lot without a reasonable excuse than your average is pretty much screwed and you’ll probably have to take the class again,” Smith said. 

Simone Griffith, graduating resident assistant,  expressed the need for balance in college life.

“The advice I would give to a freshman would be knowing yourself and your limits. Being in college, you will be independent and free to do anything you want. You can skip class, go to parties, even have an off day and no one will care,” Griffith said. “However, I will tell them to not take this for granted. Know your limits to certain things like parties and stay focused on your degree.”

○ Be the best version of yourself and find time to focus on you ○

The change in workload from high school to college is something some students need to adjust for. This can be a burden on one’s mental health. 

“Don’t get stressed out, which sounds easy to say, but it’s true. Putting yourself and your mental health first is so important,” Davis said. 

It is also important to remember you shouldn’t worry too much about what others think of you, instead focus on getting through college and bettering yourself for the future. 

“I wished I learned that when you’re in college, no one really cares. What I mean by that is no one cares if you’re the best dressed or was the popular one at your high school. It starts all over when you’re in college,” Griffith said. “You shouldn’t worry what anyone thinks about you because everyone there is just trying to gain their degree. None of that matters in college to be honest. This is not a fashion show or a social contest.” 

Advice for returning sophomores

○ Don’t get distracted ○

Burnout can be a serious issue for students with the feelings of procrastination creeping in. That is why it’s important for returning sophomores to stay focused on the end goal of graduation. 

“If it’s your last semester then keep up with your work. It can be very easy to procrastinate and take things a little too easy,” Smith said. “Stay on top of everything and push until graduation day.”

○ Don’t be afraid to hit the reset button ○

Junior college is a time for experimentation and finding yourself, and sometimes that means learning the career you chose in high school isn’t what you want to be doing for the rest of your life or the major you chose just doesn’t match up with your interests.

“Do not feel like you’re a failure or behind in any way if you change your major. Those feelings hit me hard each time I changed mine, but I realized that everyone moves at their own pace and that I am not the same as anyone else,” Davis said. 

A reset doesn’t have to involve your major or future career either. Students can find themselves falling behind in their studies while still wanting to follow through with their original major. That’s when they need to just take a step back and look at what are the best changes to make to their habits. 

“If your grades were high, while still balancing school, work or even social life, keep doing what you’re doing,” Griffith said. “If you are struggling to balance your social life and school, change your mindset and focus on your grades.”

Al Ippolito: An unforseen love for speech


By Landon Reid

Contributing Writer

The room is a tan color, with three bright lights above where the students sit. On the left side of the room, a long wall is seen with a standard chalkboard on it, with the word “morning” written surrounded by scribbles. On the other side of the room, posters are hung promoting the Tyler Junior College Cultural Arts program, and in the front of the room, stands a podium for students to speak from. A man walks in before the scheduled start time, wearing a magenta suit jacket and a pair of pressed khaki pants. His appearance assured his students he is not a professor just going through the motions, but a dedicated educator. He sits in a chair beside the computer, pulling out his ID to reveal the name Alfonso Ippolito. “Good morning class, let’s get started for today,” Ippolito said.

Alfonso Ippolito, better known to his students as Mr. I, is the son of immigrant parents who always championed for education in his life. He grew up loving to draw and was fascinated with the idea of becoming an architect for a career, leading him down the line to pursue his first degree in civil engineering. 

It was from there where he began an internship with Carrier Air Conditioning, taking him all over the world to places like London, Paris and Rome. He began working with General Electric after leaving Carrier. 

Photo by Chris Swann

Getting into communications was a byproduct of his engineering work, not an intentional career shift by Ippolito. 

“Most engineers were very bright and could come up with great ideas but had difficulty in explaining their ideas so earning a communication degree could be a big help, professionally,” Ippolito said, “So I did.” 

GE offered Ippolito a  full scholarship, and he used that to earn his undergraduate degree in communications. He then went on to also receive his master’s degree for communications. During this time, he received an outstanding teaching assistant award.

According to iaeconsulting.org, Ippolito was granted the Rick Diamond Excellence in Education Award 2016-2017, The Thomas H. Shelby Jr. Endowed Chair for Teaching Excellence 2017-2018 and STAR Professor Fall 2011 while teaching at TJC.

In regard to the Endowed Chair award, Ippolito said it was “the most humbling experience” in his life and nothing has been able to come close to receiving that honor. Ippolito said it is important to him because it allowed him to see how he is touching the lives of not just students but the faculty of TJC, as well.

One of the most important lessons he teaches his students on day one is, “In order to be an effective communicator, you have to have compassion, empathy, humility and respect.” These are the four values he makes all his students recite before anyone speaks in front of the class. He believes it’s that kind of environment that produces quality learning and if he shows these four values for the students, they will show those values back to him. He also believes teaching at TJC is his way of giving back. He says many people in his life helped get him to where he is today, and he feels it is only right that he passes it on.

Braden Wilson, engineering major and former student of Ippolito, explains why his class was so beneficial to him.

“I always loved how his class was the kind of place where you never knew what to expect,” Wilson said. “He taught me how to truly be myself and speak to others on a level that I never thought was possible for myself. Since taking his class, not only have I noticed a difference in my professional life but also my personal life. I am more open to others now and not afraid to be myself around them, allowing others to see a side of me that one would never have known if it wasn’t for Mr. I.”

In the future, Ippolito said he has plans to possibly pursue his doctoral degree in communications. He has no plans to retire anytime soon, and expects that he will always have his “finger in the education pie.” He believes education is exciting and sees the rewards it has for not just him but the lives of students that he impacts. 

“We are all lifelong learners, and we never really stop learning,” Ippolito said.