MUST READ: Doomsday Clock #7

Hey Everybody,

Paul here…

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Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s Watchmen is widely considered to be one of, if not the best comic book ever written. I remember the magic of getting into to comic for the first time and being blown away by the classics of the medium: The Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Year One, and of course Watchmen. Watchmen still holds up as a brilliant, powerful masterpiece of storytelling. I don’t think Watchmen’s impact on the comic book medium can be understated.

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However, as comic books have become more and more mainstream, Watchmen itself has become more mainstream. 20 years ago meeting someone else who read Watchmen was special because it was rare. If you read Watchmen, you knew something amazing that everyone else didn’t. As superhero stories and comic books became a part of pop culture in a major way, so did Watchmen. More people started to read the original graphic novel. We got Zack Snyder’s Watchmen film (an under appreciated gem, in my opinion), DC published Before Watchmen (Many of those miniseries’ were excellent), and like anything else, the more there is, the less special it becomes.

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I still love the original Watchmen comic book. I’m making this point because Watchmen isn’t the sacred cow to me that it may be to some people. Which is why I’ve been on board with almost everything DC has chosen to do with the Watchmen Universe in the wake of DC REBIRTH. However, I’m mainly here to tell you that Geoff John’s and Gary Frank’s Doomsday Clock is one of the best goddamn comic books on the shelves right now.

I will be discussing SPOILERS here, so fair warning if you want to remain SPOILERFREE

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A few weeks ago, Issue #7 of the 12 Issue miniseries went on sale and as the story hit it’s half way mark, it really kicked into a new gear. I wanted to wait awhile for people to read the latest issue before I commented on it. This is arguably the most significant series DC has published since the creation of THE NEW 52 in terms of its impact on the DC Universe.
For the most part I’m not going to recap the previous 6 Issues and instead focus mainly on Issue #7. First if all, hats off to the amazing art by Gary Frank. Frank’s been one of the best artists in the business for years, but he’s doing career best stuff here. He perfectly captures the “feel’ of the original Watchmen with copying the work of Dave Gibbons. I don’t think there’s another artist working in mainstream comics that can do what he’s doing here. He’s walking a fine line between being his own artist while making this series feel very much like a follow up to Watchmen.

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The entire series, if not everything since DC REBIRTH, has been building to Doctor Manhattan’s full appearance. We finally get it here and it is suitably epic. You could definitely say this is the chapter of the story where the shit begins to hit the fan. Ozymadias, the new Rorschach, Marionette, Mime, The Comedian, Batman, and The Joker finally come face to face with Doctor Manhattan and the whole issue is pretty fucking awesome.For the most part, Johns makes the insanity of all these unique characters coming together wildly entertaining, but I’ll come back to that in a minute.
Before I get too ahead of myself, the book opens with a fantastic scene that involves Doctor Manhattan and old school Green Lantern Alan Scott, that’s pretty damn chilling. It not only gives insight into how Manhattan perceive reality, but it also lets us see Jon ( Doctor Manhattan’s real name) as a more sinister character than he was in the original Watchmen. It gives the reader a sense of ominous dread that sets the tone for the story to come.

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Johns is one of the best writers of DC Comics characters of all time. He’s so often able to take characters that aren’t that compelling and turn them into some of the best characters in comics. He did it will Green Lantern, The Flash, The JSA, Hawkman, Aquaman, and more. One of the reasons this issue is so impressive, is that Johns beautifully captures the “voice” of each of the Watchmen characters, which is why the comic works so well. However, for some reason the character he can’t quite get right is Batman.

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Geoff Johns has an almost supernatural ability to get inside the heads of DC characters, with sole exception of Batman. Batman should always be the smartest guy in the room, but under Johns’ writing he comes across as being 2 steps behind. That is NOT Batman.

I will concede that Johns may be improving when it comes to writing Batman. There’s a moment in this chapter when Doctor Manhattan finally shows up, in the flesh, for the first time. A moment that has been building since DC UNIVERSE REBIRTH. As the closets thing to God himself that Bruce has ever seen teleports into a room full of killers, mad men, and geniuses, Batman immediately glares right into Doctor Manhattan’s eyes and says “I know how you are”. A very cool, very Batman moment.

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Each of these characters get some great moments together, but I wish there was a more substantial confrontation between Batman and Doctor Manhattan. I don’t mean physical, obviously, but I would have liked to see them interact more. We’ve still have a fair amount of issues left before the series wraps up, so I’ll probably get to see something like that sooner or later.
Without getting into too much detail, we finally find out why Doctor Manhattan came to the DCU. It’s a great scene where we’re given some answers, but even more questions.The scene also underscores the slightly darker character Doctor Manhattan has become. One thing he makes very clear to Adrian Veidt is that he has no intention of going back to the Watchmen Universe. He believes that world’s time is over. It beyond saving and not worth his attention. Needless to say Veidt is not happy. The scene ends with some shocking revelations about Veidt that fundamentally change his relationship with Reggie, the new Rorschach.

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This is perhaps an Adrian Veidt more dangerous than we’ve ever seen. He’s just as ruthless and cunning as he’s always been. This issue shows us that the man who killed millions in service of “the greater good”may not have learned from his mistakes after all. He’s the same manipulative sociopath he’s always been and he’s got a plan. By the end of the Issue it seems like Ozymandias has gone “full villain”.
Finally, the most unsettling revelation is that in one month, Doctor Manhattan will have a fateful encounter with an enraged Superman. We know Doctor Manhattan doesn’t perceive time in the way everyone else does. He sees the past, present, and future all at once. So, what makes this information so disturbing is that Jon cannot see the future beyond the point of his confrontation with Superman.Which means one of two things, either Superman will destroy Doctor Manhattan or Doctor Manhattan will destroy everything. Considering that we’ve seen very little of the Man of Steel in this series so far, it seems like that’s about to change in a big way. It’s hard to see a scenario where Superman comes out on top in a fight with Doctor Manhattan, so I’m anxiously awaiting their meeting. After all, Doctor Manhattan has screwed with Clark’s life in significant ways recently. Most notably “resurrecting” Jor-El, who’s been running around the DCU causing trouble as Mr. Oz.

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Though the shipping schedule has been somewhat frustrating, the series began in November 2017 and Issue 8 is slated for release in mid-November, at least it’s picking up slightly. Regardless of these minor flaws, Doomsday Clock has been a fantastic series that has vastly surpassed my expectations. What could have easily been a cash grab by DC has become a truly worthy follow up to Watchmen.
If you were skeptical about what is essentially a sequel to Watchmen, rest assured that these characters are in good hands. I can’t recommend this series enough. It’s a must read.

Doomsday Clock: 9/10

Thanks for reading!

-Paul

FIRST LOOKS! Batwoman from The Arrowverse! & Lobo from SyFy’s KRYPTON!

Hey Everyone!

Paul here…

Today we got our first look at Ruby Rose (John Wick 2) as Batwoman, debuting in December on The CW’s Annual Arrowverse Superhero Crossover, with her own series planned for after her debut. A few days ago we also got a look at Lobo (played by Emmett J. Scanlan who also played Jim Corrigan on Constantine) from the upcoming second season of SyFy’s Krypton! It’s pretty comic accurate version of the intergalactic bounty hunter and Krypton was surprisingly fun. Offer more of an alternate timeline than a predicable prequel that included Brainiac, General Zod, and Doomsday in Season 1!

BATWOMAN

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LOBO

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NYCC 2018! Trailers Galore!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

This weekend was the New York Comic-Con. Probably the second largest Comic-Con in the world after the San Diego Comic-Con. Much like SDCC, this Con premiered some very cool trailers. Though there were a few interesting movie trailers, most of the big trailers for NYCC were for shows on TV or streaming services. Below I’ve rounded up all of my favorites so you don’t have to go looking yourself! It’s your best stop for all the coolest trailers! Enjoy!

Good Omens (Amazon Prime)

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This one caught me by surprise and is probably my favorite trailer of the Con. Good Omens was a fantasy/comedy novel written by Neil Gaiman (American Gods, The Sandman) and Terry Pratchett and published in 1990. For years people have tried turning the novel into a movie, most notably director Terry Gilliam. Television being what it is now, where it’s able to bring big screen production values, casting, and talent to long form story telling, Amazon Prime seems perfect for Good Omens. With a cast that includes Michael Sheen, David Tennant, and Jon Hamm, Good Omens has just become one of my most anticipated television projects in 2019.

 

American Gods Season 2 (Starz)

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Speaking of Neil Gaiman, we also got our first look at Season 2 of American Gods. Season 1 was pretty damn great, but by no means perfect. I’m a little concerned about some behind the scenes issues the show has had. They changed Showrunners between seasons, for example.  However, a lot of shows go through growing pains and this trailer looks like they’ve kicked things up a notch for Season 2. I definitely recommend checking out Season 1 if you haven’t already.

 

 

Daredevil Season 3 (Netflix)

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Now we’re talking! We have two trailers here. There have already been a few trailers for Daredevil Season 3, but this is the first real story trailer we’ve seen for this season. It looks to be largely borrowing from the graphic novels “Born Again” and “Guardian Devil”. However, the Showrunner has said that the season is its own unique tale while still borrowing elements from those classic stories.

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This is a quick character trailer focusing on Bullseye! I’ve been waiting since Season 1 for them to introduce this villain. Bullseye is probably Matt Murdock’s greatest rival besides Wilson Fisk. I can’t wait to see The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen face off against the Assassin Who Never Misses. October 19th can’t come soon enough.

 

 

The Boys (Amazon Prime)

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The Boys is based on a comic book by writer Garth Ennis (the creator of Preacher) and artist Darick Robertson. It’s an extremely fucked up, but fantastic story about a group of CIA black ops psychos who “deal” with out of control superheroes. And when is say “deal” I mean brutally fucking kill. The cast is certainly good and it looks like Amazon Prime is really upping their game.

 

Aquaman

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Finally, we have an extended look at Aquaman. I think this looks fantastic and I hope they knock it out of the park. I LOVE Black Manta’s costume and Aquaman’s more classic look that we see in the comics. James Wan is a spectacular and versatile director. This definitely has the potential to be something truly unique in the genre. Aquaman opens on 12/21.

 

Thanks for reading and watching!

-Paul

PODCAST: Hot Takes: Captain Marvel! Daredevil Season 3! Fantastic Beasts! & More!

Hey Everybody,

Paul Here…

In this episode there’s so much cool news! I’m joined by his father, Paul Sr., to discuss, among many other things, how the X-Men could fit into the MCU and how we’re both psyched for Daredevil Season 3 on Netflix! We also watch and give our commentary on the new trailers for Captain Marvel and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald! All this, Batman’s penis, and more on this spectacular episode of The World’s Best Podcast! Listen here or subscribe on Stitcher and iTunes:

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/15808903

iTunes 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?mt=2#episodeGuid=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.spreaker.com%2Fepisode%2F15808903

Stitcher 

https://www.stitcher.com/s?eid=56430726&autoplay=1

Below, we have a look at some of the topics we discussed on this episode. Including the Captain Marvel trailer and the first photos of  Joaquin Phoenix as The Joker

Captain Marvel Trailer:

 

Joaquin Phoenix as The Joker

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Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, The man who will become The Clown Prince of Crime 
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Joaquin Phoenix going full Joker

 

Thanks for listening!

-Paul

TRAILER: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Fantastic Beasts 2)!

Hi everyone,

The final trailer for the second installment of Fantastic Beasts dropped about an hour ago, give it a watch and then scroll down to see what I thought about it:

The first thing that I want to talk about is Newt Scamander, played by Eddie Redmayne.  Newt was amazing in the first one, and I absolutely loved what he brought to the table, but there had been some rumors that he was going to be downplayed in this film due to audience response.  I’m glad to see that this trailer looks like that isn’t true.

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Newt is a great protagonist because he’s so different from the archetypal male protagonists we’re used to in action films, unlike the universe’s namesake Harry Potter.  I mean, I love the original movies, but did you ever notice that Harry’s magical method is shouting his incantations and spells as loud as possible to make them as powerful as possible?  He’s a bit of a yeller.  Newt on the other hand is soft spoken, and it took people off guard, because they weren’t used to it, but it lent the series some real rounding out.  There’s a great video all about Newt and his ‘Fantastic Masculinity’ that I think is really eye opening, and interesting.

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So that’s my first big take away, based on rumors and my own expectations.  The second is Grindelwald himself.  Now, I loved Colin Farrell in the first film, and I have to be completely honest, I was not happy to find out we were getting a Johnny Depp filled film in the sequel (and possible the three films after this).  I’m one of the many “Johnny Depp hasn’t been reined in enough” viewers, and was worried we’d get another ‘cartoon-y’ performance.  The trailer has a lot of Depp, and it appears as if he’s riding that same sweet spot of eccentric, but not too weird, that launched him into performances like Jack Sparrow.  So I remain cautiously optimistic.  The bleached white hair, and the accent aren’t a great sign, but he never fully crosses the goofy line.

The third part is Jude Law.  I think most Potter fans were excited to see him as Dumbledore when the first pictures were released. However, seeing him in action in this confirms for me that he’s going to be awesome.  I think Jude Law is great casting, but also they seem to have Dumbledore in a more youthful, but still Dumbledorian role, relegated to being the chess master in the background again.  I think too much Dumbledore could ruin the mystique, and so this is a great decision.

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With Dumbledore, many of the fans were nervous that he wasn’t going to be directly expressing his homosexuality in this film, and I don’t know how overt it will be in the film (I’m personally game for any level), but he does tell Newt, that he cannot be the main one to oppose Grindelwald, and there is a shot that seems to show Dumbledore sadly pining for his lost love.  I imagine this is included in the trailer to appease the nervous fans, and basically say “you may not see them making out, but Dumbledore loves Grindelwald.”  Which I personally think makes sense, because it seemed as if their love happened as children and it’s over at this point.

The last thing I want to touch upon, is that they’re bringing back the main cast from the first movie and I’m thrilled about it.  I loved the three supporting characters, and I really think they helped to flesh out the differences between the muggle and wizard worlds. While also differentiating Newt from Harry.

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I’ve been very excited about this film since I saw the first one, but today after watching this trailer I’m more excited than ever. This looks awesome to me.  Comment below and let us know what you think about the trailer, whether or not you’re psyched for the movie, and whatever else this trailer stirs up in you!

PODCAST: Iron Fist Season 2!

Hey Everybody,

Paul here…

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In the latest episode of The World’s Best Podcast, I breakdown Netflix’s Iron Fist Season 2! After a lackluster first season, Iron Fist returns with a vengeance, having massively improved in its second season! This season opened up the mythology and characters of The Immortal Iron Fist in a huge way. With my encyclopedic knowledge of the comics, on this episode I give you my thoughts on the season and explain the deal with some of the season’s biggest moments and characters. Including the show’s game changing ending and where the story of the Iron Fist could go from here. Plus, I ramble on about a bunch of other bullshit too! Below, I also put some pictures of some of the characters and places from the comics we may see in upcoming seasons. Listen here or subscribe on Stitcher and iTunes Enjoy!:

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/15728441

ITunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?mt=2&i=1000419826853

Iron Fist characters from the comics that are referenced in Season 2:

Orson Randall

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K’un L’un

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Davos

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Shou-Lao The Undying

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Wu Ao-Shi The Pirate Queen of Pinghai Bay (Colleen Wing’s Ancestor)

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The Iron Fist of The Avengers Of 1,000,000 B.C.

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The Crane Sisters & Crane Mother

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Many fans have theorized that Madam Gao is Crane Mother

The Immortal Weapons Of The Seven Capital Cities Of Heaven

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The Tournament Of Immortal Weapons

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Typhoid Mary

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Blindspot

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Thanks for listening!

-Paul

What I Want to See: DCEU

It was announced today, that Henry Cavill is no longer going to be the live action Superman in the DCEU.  It was recently confirmed (and long rumored) that Ben Affleck was not going to be Batman in the DCEU.  So, the DCEU is down 2 of their three most iconic characters, and many people are speculating a ‘soft reboot’ of the DCEU in general.  Of their 5 films so far, the only success across the board (critics/fans/box office) has been Wonder Woman, and so this might make sense to do.  Especially since Wonder Woman and the upcoming sequel take place before the events of the other 4 films released so far.

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Now, I personally think this reboot idea will likely take some of its cues from what happens with December’s Aquaman film.  We already saw Jason Mamoa as the character in Justice League, and I’ve heard virtually no complaints about him, but an Aquaman stand-alone will be a completely different thing, and so we really won’t know until it comes out.

There is also the forthcoming Shazam, scheduled for next April.  Now, Shazam hasn’t appeared in the DCEU previously, so if Aquaman tanks and they go full steam ahead on the reboot, Shazam could be part of the ‘new’ universe, or if Aquaman is a success, it could be tailored into the ‘newish/soft reboot/whatever they’re going to call it.’

maxresdefaultI knew nothing about this character, and the trailer sold me.

So let’s make the assumption that some kind of reboot is going to happen, and I will tell you what I want to see with that.  Ok?

I want to see this reboot build characters individually.  I’m not saying not to put Easter eggs, or slight references to each other, but let’s not get to the second movie before we have a full blown cross over.  If in Wonder Woman ’84 we see some story about a ‘meteorological event’ which implies Kal El’s (Superman) arrival, that’s fine, but I don’t want Jason Mamoa or Shazam or anyone else to show up.  Get several stand alone films under your belts, like you should have done the first time around.

ntgk14lkrtl11Thanos’ snap was more powerful than we all realized.

The second thing that I want to see happen, is I don’t want Superman and Batman to show up for a while.  It might sound dumb, and I’m sure people hate hearing about the MCU as a model, but Marvel didn’t have access to their A listers when they started, and it forced them to build characters and not assume we knew who they were, it forced them to get creative and be better story tellers.  I think Batman and Superman are too iconic to start.  Let’s deal with Shazam, and Cyborg, and other characters that the general film going audience that aren’t comic book readers aren’t familiar with, and start world building through them.  There is some brand recognition with characters like Flash and Green Lantern, but use those characters to bridge the gap between the audience who know nothing, and the audience who totally get it.  Then once you’re several successes deep, you can start introducing Superman and Batman.  This exercise, will also help you to understand how to create those characters more memorably, to not be coming at them as the icons they are to the general public, but to fill in and establish all of the layers that have comic book fans hooked.

PODCAST: TV Roundup! Jack Ryan! Preacher! Castle Rock! & Iron Fist!

Hey Everybody,

Paul here…

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On this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, this week’s guest co-host, Paul Sr. and I look back, discuss, and review some of the late summer TV shows! We also look at some upcoming returning series that look pretty interesting. We review Jack Ryan on Amazon Prime, talk about Preacher Season 3 on AMC, Castle Rock on Hulu, and premiering tonight Iron Fist Season 2 on Netflix! Beware of some light spoilers! Listen here or subscribe on Stitcher and iTunes:

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/15661120

ITunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?mt=2#episodeGuid=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.spreaker.com%2Fepisode%2F15661120

Stitcher:

https://www.stitcher.com/s?eid=56149253&autoplay=1

53279C45-7987-45D1-B405-0B0D86ADF5AD

Thanks for listening!

-Paul