Flash War! A Special Article Co-Written By Mike & Paul!

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I don’t have any comic series that I read consistently, but I do like picking up stories that are either getting a lot of buzz, or are going to be the basis for some adaptation.  I’ve been seeing a lot about the “Flash War” event which will pit Barry Allen against Wally West.  Last week the first issue came out, and I picked it up, along with the ‘prelude’ which was in the annual.

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Barry Allen’s “death” in Crisis on Infinite Earths. Which lasted around 30 years before he was resurrected.

Hey Everybody, Paul here. As the resident comic book expert I thought I’d help fill in some of the blanks in the background with ‘Flash War”. Mike not quite having his comic book super nerd powers yet. So anytime in this article you see italics text like this pop up, that’s me putting in my two cents. It’s two authors for the price of one!

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Flashpoint!

Now, I’ve read Flashpoint, and Flash: Savage World, a couple of the Justice League trade paperbacks, as well as being a fan of the TV show, so take my opinion as that of someone who’s not an expert, but also not diving in for the first time. If you’re interested in this story, I do suggest picking up the annual with the prelude, because I found that it makes things a bit clearer in the first issue.

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The Flash: Blitz by Geoff Johns. A must read to understand Flash War.

Besides the Flash Annual that Mike mentioned earlier, the storyline that is most important to understanding Flash War is a story that goes back to Geoff John’s original run on The Flash BEFORE The New 52 and even before Barry Allen came back from the dead. At this point in DC history Barry Allen had died in the classic mega-event Crisis on Infinite Earths. For the nearly three decades after, Barry’s sidekick Wally West aka Kid Flash became The Flash full time. For a whole generation of readers (or if  you even just knew The Flash from the Justice League animated series) Wally West WAS The Flash. Anyway, this super important story was called BLITZ and it was all about how former FBI criminal profiler Hunter Zolomon, who was a good friend of The Flash, became the super villain Zoom and initiated a devastating attack on Wally West and his family. 

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Zoom AKA Hunter Zolomon VS The Flash (Wally West) during Blitz. Set before The New 52.

I’m not going to review the individual parts, but now that I have an idea of what the story is, I’m going to write about it, and then when the series concludes, I’ll write a review of it as a whole.

So, if you’re familiar with DC’s recent history, they had the “New 52” runs, and then there was Flashpoint which I believe allowed them to reset somethings after that, to try the “Rebirth” runs.  Well, there were some consequences to all of these resets and reboots, and one major one, which apparently directly stems from Flashpoint, is that the Wally West (the third Flash) from pre-“New 52” no longer exists as he did.  He is still around, but he has no history, much of his memory is cloudy due to being lost in the ever-changing timeline, and almost no one remembers him.

 

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Another must read before Flash War.

Ok so there’s actually another super important story that you need to read called DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH, also written by Geoff John’s. When Barry created Flashpoint and created The New 52 as we know it, “classic” Wally West had seemingly been erased from history. This story partially shows how he escaped from The Speed Force and why there are 2 very different Wally West’s in The New 52 continuity. It also, tells us that Barry creating Flashpoint was not the only person responsible for this altered universe… Just read the story, it’s a huge reveal.

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A heartfelt reunion between Barry and Wally from DC UNIVERSE REBIRTH 

*Some minor spoilers from this point out*

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“Classic” Wally West after he’s escaped The Speed Force in DC UNIVERSE REBIRTH 

As Mike goes into here, there are now 2 Wally West’s in this reality. The adult, white, pre-The New 52, FLASH Wally West who escaped The Speed Force in DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH  and teenage, African-American, KID FLASH Wally West.  Now Wally is a white red haired guy, still operating under the title of Flash (although Iris West-Allen, Barry’s wife and Wally’s aunt who doesn’t know who he is, refers to him as the new Flash because Barry is still the Flash as well.)  Wallace on the other hand, is a younger, black teenager (not sure how old he’s supposed to be, but he’s shorter which I’m pretty sure equals younger) Paul chiming in here, he’s roughly in his mid-teens and is Kid-Flash, but is also Iris’s nephew.

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Teenage, The New 52, Kid Flash, Wally West
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All of them together. From left to right: Barry, Adult Wally, Kid Flash Wally

So, they’re the same person but different people.  It’s a little confusing, but I like it, because I’m a big fan of time-travel and the idea that if anything were done differently in a time-line individuals could be genetically different people from one to another.

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Fuck these pricks.

At this point in the article, bless his heart, Mike sort of misinterpreted the chain of events. Basically, Time Agents from the 25th Century (kind of like Minority Report) all dressed like good versions of classic Flash villains, The Rogues, show up at try to arrest Iris for supposedly killing Eodard Thawne (Classic Flash villain The Reverse Flash) at some point… in the future… I guess? Even I’m a little confused on this on, guys. These Time Agents could be full of shit, but adult Wally freaks out at the idea of these assholes taking Iris, where Barry wants to let cooler heads prevail and calmly go with The Time Agents to figure out what’s going on. Some fighting and time travel ensues… One of  The Time Agents has a really cool and surprising power source I won’t spoil here.

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Eobard Thawne AKA The Reverse Flash. Just a real piece of shit. And yes I realize he looks exactly like Zoom. It’s… Well… IT’S A WHOLE THING, OK!

As the first issue comes to a close, we see that Wally has been transported to a future in which he did exist, while Barry, Iris, and Wallace were transported to the alternate future, and Hunter Zolomon aka Zoom tells Wally he’s going to help him change the past and save his children who were erased in Flashpoint.

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Zoom/ Hunter Zolomon 

This issue is kind of framed by Hunter Zolomon and his POV. To the best of my knowledge, the first time we’ve seen this version of Zoom and Wally’s kids since before Flashpoint, because they’re all pre- The New 52 characters.

I’m really excited, because as I said before I really enjoy time-travel and time line stories, I also really enjoy stories in which protagonists conflict with each other, sometimes I find it more interesting than when there is a clear protagonist.  I’m not sure to what level Zoom will participate, my only familiarity with him is from season 2 of the Flash on CW, but I’m really looking forward to what’s coming up.

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    The Hunter Zolomon/Zoom of this comic is VASTLY different from the Zoom from The Flash CW series.  I like Mike’s enthusiasm, but I think this isn’t a great comic for new readers. It’s really more for people who’ve been following The Flash and DC Comics in general for the past decade or so. I recommend new readers check out, as an alternative, the mini-series The Man of Steel by Brian Michael Bendis currently in it’s 3rd issue. You can get at your local comic book store or on your tablet on the ComiXology app. It’s very new reader friendly and all you really need to know is who Superman is and the bare minimum about his world. I hope you guys enjoyed our different takes on Flash War part 1. Thanks for reading, everyone!

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This may be a better option for new readers.

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Paul

 

Let’s Talk About Venom

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I’ve been getting back into comics the last year or so, and I’ve been finding that my tastes have drastically changed in characters and stories in my nearly twenty year absence.  As a kid, I loved Marvel comics, and didn’t ever pay attention to DC, now I’m definitely finding more in DC that I enjoy.  I used to love Spider-Man and the Avengers, and now when I am reading Marvel stuff it tends to be stuff that isn’t too closely related to any of the MCU films or other Marvel films.

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One of the characters that I used to love when I was about 12 or so, was Venom.  He was so cool.  I’m starting to think he may have been more of a ‘cool’ character, than a ‘good’ character.

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I remember reading some of the ‘Venom’ series, and thinking that he was like an edgy broodier version of Spider-Man.  I think I thought “Venom is what J. Jonah Jameson thinks Spider-Man is,” which I thought was incredibly cool.  At this same time in my life, I was also collecting all the ‘alternatives’ that were coming out like A-Next which was the next generation Avengers, and J² which was Juggernaut’s son.  I think I had crappy taste at the time.  But Venom was a bad-ass, and I was convinced that was amazing.

Then, Spider-Man 3 was coming out, and it was announced that they’d be doing Venom as one of the villains, I was ecstatic.  Even when they announced it was Topher Grace, who seemed so unlike Eddie Brock, but they explained that he was supposed to be Spider-Man’s mirror, so they sold me on it.  Then I saw the movie and thought “oh they really fucked that up.”  It was definitely the portrayal of the character, and not the character itself right?

So a couple months ago, the trailer for the new Venom movie was released, and I have to be honest, I think it looks like garbage.  I like every single person in it (especially Jenny Slate) but the way she pronounces symbiote (Sim BY Oat) is obnoxious, and I’m sure this will be like when people were telling me that the correct way to pronounce Smaug was with each and every single vowel present, and I was like “it may be right, but it’s still annoying.”  So there was strike one.  Strike two is that the actual Venom suit/skin looks horrendous.  Don’t get me wrong, it looks just like in the comics, but it looks awful when juxtaposed with non-animated characters.  There isn’t a strike three yet.  So hopefully, I’m wrong.

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Then lastly, I started reading the Venom vs. Carnage trade paperback, and after a few pages of “I’m your father, you have to listen to me,” and “Perhaps if my host had any regard for his family, I’d respect you dear old daddy” a lightbulb went off in my head.  What if Venom sucks?  What if it isn’t that the character hasn’t been portrayed right, but what if it’s that the character isn’t good, or perhaps he’s only situationally good, like in small doses, when paired with the right characters?

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Paul has talked a few times in articles and in the podcast about characters like Wolverine being best served in small doses, because they’re cool, and there is a tendency to over do them.  Maybe that’s Venom’s problem.  Or maybe unlike Wolverine who is cool, and has a great arc/background, Venom is just cool, and not ‘good’.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll go see the Venom film and I’m going to finish reading this book, but I’m not sure anymore about Venom.

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What do you think of Venom?  Is he just cool?  Am I missing some incredible story that does his character the most justice possible?  Let me know in the comments below.

written by Michael Cole

What I Want to See: Solo Sequel

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This is going to contain some spoilers, so be warned.  TLDR: Spoiler Alert!

I had some reservations about Solo, I didn’t think it was a great idea, and there was the mess of a production we all heard about, and then they took forever to release a trailer, and it seemed like it was going to be a stinker, but the trailers regained some of my confidence.  I saw the film last night, and I really liked it, for a letter grade, I’d say B+.

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The film tells the story of how Han starts his life as a ‘scoundrel,’ how he meets Chewie, and Lando, and how he finds the Falcon.  Of his lore, I think that’s all the big key points that were touched upon.  The film ends with Han and Chewie heading off to Tattooine to find some ‘big gangster’ for a ‘big score.’

That’s what I want to see in the sequel.  Han and Chewie finding Jabba, and starting their smuggling.  That’s the concept they obviously need to go with, and perhaps there will be some chaos with the head of the Crimson Sun, who was revealed at the end of Solo.  That’s the basic plot, and obviously that’s what they’re planning.

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But, what I want to see, comes down more to cameos, and lore.  If they’re going to be on Tattooine, we could easily see some kind of Obi-Wan cameo, same with young Luke.  I’m a little iffy on what the timeline is supposed to be, so I’m not sure if Luke’s a small child or a young teenager.

In addition to those two though, are all of Jabba’s crew; Greedo, Boba-Fett (not necessarily Jabba’s crew but on payroll), Salacious Crumb; it would be interesting to expand upon these characters.

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There is also the possible setup of new characters that could be really cool.  So if you watched Rogue One, you should have known that most if not all of the characters shown would die, because otherwise why wouldn’t they be in A New Hope, but with Han’s life before A New Hope, there is no rule that says it has to interact with the main Skywalker Saga at all.  Cameos will be fun, but lets establish some awesome new characters, and pockets of the galaxy.  By doing this, it could create some connection, to whatever either of the two new trilogies (Rian Johnson, or the GoT guys’ trilogies) because while I don’t want those two new trilogies to be about Rebels or Resistance, or anything too obvious, it would be nice to know where it falls with in the extended universe.  Han and Chewie’s adventures could definitely provide a springboard for that.

Lastly, there’s a fan theory that I like, that might be fun if it’s shown to be correct, or at least purposely kept ambigious.  This theory basically says that because we see Chewie with Yoda in Revenge of the Sith, that they clearly know each other, and Chewie definitely has a passion for liberating the oppressed, and so what if Chewie was working as a rebel agent to some degree, with Yoda.  That’s why Han and Chewie meet with Obi-Wan, and it’s not all coincidence.  It’s a good theory, especially after seeing how Chewie behaves in Solo.

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What about you?  What do you want to see from a Solo sequel?  Let me know in the comments below.

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Two MCU Films at the Box Office…

Avengers: Infinity War is coming out in just a couple weeks, and it will very likely dominate the Box Office, this isn’t surprising, and if you’d asked someone a year or two ago, they’d have known then that it was likely.  Right?  Here is what was unlikely, but is now seeming incredibly likely:

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Black Panther, will still be in the top 10 spots at the Box Office when Infinity War comes.

Never before, have we seen two MCU films (I’m not sure we’ve ever seen two films of the same franchise in general) dominate the box office at the same time, but we’re about to.  So I wonder what this means for both films.

In case you’re unaware, Black Panther has not only been raking in more money on a week to week basis than almost any other film since it’s release, but it has been moving in on the all time earners.  As of this past weekend, it took down Titanic, as the #3 earner domestically of all time.  It currently stands at #10 globally of all time (not taking inflation into account), and is only $32 million from the #9 spot, and $41 million from the #8 spot, which when you’re looking at the fact that it made $8 million last week, seem a plausible outcome.

31F3511B-8547-43DA-8488-30F23D9E75CEOne thing, that I think could happen as Infinity War looms over us, is that I think it is possible, that Black Panther gets a resurgence in the week or so prior to Infinity War, after all, if you’re an MCU fan, and there’s a chance to watch the previous film in theaters, then the following day/week/whatever watch the most current, there’s a strong likelihood that you’ll take that.  Will it be some massive swell that pushes Black Panther to the #1 spot on either the domestic or global lists? It seems unlikely (the domestic record is Star Wars: The Force Awakens at $936 million, to Black Panther’s $665 million;  globally, Avatar has the record at $2.78 billion, while Black Panther is currently at $1.3 billion) but that doesn’t matter, because it’s potentially going to change a lot of things about how films are made.  It bought legitimacy for so many different aspects that may have been overlooked before.

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On the other hand, how will Black Panther affect Infinity War at the Box Office?  My guess, is that it will help it.  From the trailer, it appears that Wakanda is going to play a major role in the film, as well as including multiple characters from Black Panther in addition to the title character.  If people loved Black Panther, they’re getting a sequel of sorts, while it’s still in theaters, and I think that will translate to big Box Office numbers, in addition to the fact that the previous 2 Avengers films have both ranked higher than BP so far in the global market, and let’s face it, whether it’s a good film or not, it’s got EVERYTHING, and so this film would have to be absolutely atrocious to not do amazing numbers in the Box Office.

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Ultimately, if I’m wrong, and Infinity War somehow kills Black Panther’s momentum, it’s already done so well that it hardly matters, on the other hand, I do think that Infinity War could potentially hurt some of the films coming out in the month or two afterwards.  Whether you think Solo is going to be good or not, Disney’s kind of taking a risk putting it a month after Infinity War.  I do think Deadpool 2 is far enough away that it should be able to be successful regardless of the shadow that Infinity War casts (either way, chances are Josh Brolin has a good few months).

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What I Want to See: Avengers Infinity War

 

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Hopefully, I don’t need to catch you up on the history of the MCU, and I can just dive into what I want to see from Infinity War.  This might be a pretty controversial take on it, and as always I’m very open to whatever they’re actually going to do, but this is what I would do if I were in charge.

MARVEL’S AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR Josh Brolin as Thanos

I want to see Thanos, and his team lay waste to much of the MCU heroes.  I don’t need to see him murder a bunch of them, (although I think we can agree there will likely be some major losses) but I want it to be a one-sided slaughter, I want the end of the second act to appear hopeless, like Han in carbonite, Luke handless level of hopeless.  I want the audience to honestly be borderline upset at how poorly our heroes are doing.

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Then as the third act begins, we see something falling towards the Earth, and it’s coming in too quick, and we see the heat trail as it burns through the atmosphere towards the ground, and it’s the Hulk who has been hurtling through space since whatever happens to the ship Thor and the Asgardians were on at the end of Ragnarok, and he slams into the ground, and is so pissed off from that ordeal, that he begins to pummel through each and every one of Thanos’ lackies and maybe they don’t win the fight (it seems as if this will not be the end since Avenger’s 4 comes out a year from now and originally was going to be Infinity War Part 2,) but he helps the team to at least hold off Thanos.

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I’ve got to admit, with a 2 year-old who’s favorite phrase has been “Hulk Smash” ever since he saw Ragnarok, I want Hulk to not be in the film for long, but then come in and fuck shit up.  I want to see Thanos over confident in his ability, and in his progress in destroying the Avengers and other assorted MCU heroes, and I want to have that moment everyone seems to have in the MCU where they think they know what’s going to happen, and then immediately realize they don’t have a clue.  Hulk is amazing at delivering that moment, and I want him to give that to Thanos.

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A big piece of speculation about the film has been that Thanos will not have all of the Infinity stones in this film, or at least not until the end of the film.  I’m not sure how they cover him succeeding in getting the stones, and still have any kind of victory for the Avengers.  It’s a plot point that seems—from a writing standpoint—to be insurmountable, but one that many seem to think is coming.  If it’s coming, I hope it’s the very last moment, and I would enjoy seeing the Hulk have that same “oh shit” moment of realization that I want for Thanos.  Then despite that, we see Hulk rampage forward, swing for a hit, and before it connects cut to black.

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I want to see the Hulk smash, like he’s never smashed before…

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What I Want to See: Star Wars TV

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Paul did a podcast a week or so ago that covered the show Star Wars: Rebels, and out of curiosity, I began watching it with my son.  We’re hooked.  I like the fact that it’s a legitimately great entry into the Star Wars saga, and my son loved that there were half a dozen Wookies (or as he calls them “Bacca!”) and he also loves that there are lots of “Star Wars” which is what he calls the stormtroopers.  I’m starting him off young if you can’t tell.

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So we’re hooked, but I’ve also been looking into Star Wars animation, since I had also heard that Clone Wars was a good show, and in the process, I found out that there is a lot of speculation that the next series will be Star Wars: Resistance.  This hasn’t been confirmed but apparently Lucasfilm and Disney have been getting the trademarks in order.

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Now, I haven’t made it through the entirety of Rebels, and I will dive into Clone Wars when I’m done (I know it’s backwards but I don’t care, I saw Return of the Jedi first as a kid, and honestly it didn’t ruin anything for me).  I also recently read an article about how Disney with their television programming has a tendency to shut shows down, regardless of success with in about 65 episodes.  Rebels runs for 69, but many adhere to the 65 rule.  While this might be irritating for some, I think it may actually be good with Star Wars, because if we get multiple series, that might be a great way of doing things.  So I’m ok with this idea of 65ish episodes.

If the next show is Star Wars: Resistance, I have some specific things that I want to see.  First, I want this to take place between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, it could be right in the middle, or leaning toward either one, but I really don’t want there to be much overlap with Force Awakens.  There are supposed to be roughly 30 years between the two films, and I don’t want this to just be the lead up to Force Awakens.

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I’m interested in seeing the creation of The First Order.  There must be a power vacuum created in the wake of Return of the Jedi, and with both those loyal to the Empire, and the Rebels wanting to recreate the Republic, there must be a lot of story that happens within that power struggle, and arguably it could be more interesting than much of what we’ve seen.  One of the things that I love about Rebels, is that we’re getting to see a group of 5 rebels take on Ezra, and then become a part of a larger rebellion faction which then begins recruiting and forming the alliance.  Meanwhile, we’re seeing the Empire slowly complete their destruction of the Republic and its remnants.  Seeing both sides regrouping and seeing the Rebels trying to take more control from the crumbling Empire, while the Empire loyalists try to find their own new structure could provide some great storylines along with the ‘scrappy’ type of action that the originals, and now Rebels provide us.

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I don’t really want to see much of Poe, Rey, or Finn in this show.  I love those characters, and sure Poe has something of a background in the Resistance, and Finn goes through stormtrooper training, but ultimately, I want any interaction with the younger versions of them to be cameo or Easter Egg level.

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I’m somewhat interested in Kylo and the Knights of Ren, but I think perhaps that should be in its own series, something based on Luke training new Jedi or something, but it seems to be somewhat separated from the action of the Resistance.

 

This show however, could provide some of the answers that people are wanting that haven’t necessarily been necessary answers.  We could see who Snoke is, and fill him in more, we could see more about Hux, and I’d be ok with those explorations as long as they’re not the main focus.  What I really want to see though, is new characters.  These wars span the course of 90ish years so far, and an entire Galaxy, and so I want to see more of the people who are also giving it their all, but aren’t necessarily connected, or not deeply connected to the Skywalkers.

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I am sure that now that I have started down the rabbit hole of the Star Wars animated universe, that I will likely be along for the entire ride, so I’m not saying I won’t watch if they don’t do it the way I necessarily want, but that is ultimately what I do want to see.

Written by Michael Cole

The State of the Arrowverse

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I’m a big fan of the Arrowverse.  I watch every show, including Back Lightning, which doesn’t technically seem to be part of the Arowverse and I personally hope it stays that way. But there have been a few pieces of evidence that suggest the shows may be connected. Don’t forget, when Supergirl premiered on CBS and even for a few months after, it was definitely not apart of the Arrowverse. But things change and I suppose we’ll have to see.  Speaking of The Girl of Steel, I’m even a defender when people like to talk about their least favorite one (which tends to be Supergirl).  I think what they’re doing on that channel is great.  But not amazing.

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I think each of the shows right now has one element that seems to be holding it back from achieving something amazing.  With Arrow, I think it’s Oliver as the Green Arrow.  Let me explain that explain that. I really like Oliver, but whole idea of juggling his two lives is played out to me.  Earlier this season, he stepped out of the role, and John Diggle became the Green Arrow, and honestly, I loved that.  Arrowverse Trivia:  In Legends of Tomorrow season one, John Diggle’s son, John Diggle Jr., is the Green Arrow protecting Star City, decades in the future,  under the assumed name of Conner Hawke. AnywayI wish Dig as Green Arrow had been a season long arch, maybe with Oliver being forced to take up the mantle again towards the end of the season. That could have the show go out with a real bang at the end of season six.

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Green Arrow of 2046 AKA Conner Hawke AKA John Diggle Jr.
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Left: Wild Dog, Right: John Diggle as Green Arrow (Present Day)

I also hope that they are able to make Ricardo Diaz a really cool village. Up until now, he’s just been in the background as a puppet master, so he couldn’t really be in the forefront of the story.  Otherwise it wouldn’t be as much of a surprise when the revealed he’s the one orchestrating everything. In the comics (and they reference this on the show) he goes by the name Richard dragon, one of the greatest martial artists on the planet and formidable thorn in the side of characters like Batman, Nightwing, and of course Green Arrow. I’ve always wanted to see him on the show and I hope they do him justice now that he’s been revealed is the true big bad. It’d be pretty cool if he started going by Richard Dragon for the rest of the season, I’ll be honest I’ll be disappointed if they don’t.

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Before I move on to the other shows, I want to touch on something else that all of the Arrowverse shows are guilty of: Many of the really interesting, major changes seems to be resolved way too quickly. Season 3 of Flash began with Barry having traveled back in time, changing the timeline and arriving in Flashpoint, within 3 episodes he was back in the regular timeline. Yes, there were consequences for Barry later in the season, but I think everyone would have wanted to spend more time in the Flashpoint timeline. They had set it up at the end of Season 2, and it seemed like over the summer they said “oh shit, we cant pull off such a massive world change!.  Let’s fix it asap.”  The same thing happened this season with Legends of Tomorrow, the final shot of last season showed them appearing in San Francisco with modern architecture and dinosaurs running around. That would have been a crazy season, but within minutes of the first episode, the anachronism was fixed, as if they realized it wasn’t in their budget.  It’s a bit frustrating.

The First 3 Big Bads on The Flash:

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Eobard Thawne AKA The Reverse-Flash
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ZOOM AKA Hunter Zolomon
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Barry faces Savitar

Other cool Villains :

 

Anyway, back to each show’s big flaw.  I think The Flash’s biggest flaw has been the villain.  We got three season of speedsters and honestly they were each great in their own way. Thawne and Zoom inparticular where fantastic villains. But 3 speedster villains was one too many and the show needed some variety. So as we entered this season and you got The Thinker.  The guy they got to play him was amazing, then they killed him off and put his brain into another guy’s body just as soon as you become invested in him as a villain.  This was hugely disappointing even if it did land Barry in jail for several episodes (which did end up being it’s own highlight).  Now Barry’s out of jail, facing an able-bodied Thinker (part of the appeal of the character was that he was so smart that he would be able to beat Barry with just his brain, while sitting in his hover chair).

Other cool heroes:

 

Then there is Supergirl.  I might be in the minority here, but I do like Supergirl, I just think it has some major flaws.    Most superheroes stories derive their success from action sequences and thrills, but the best parts of Supergirl are the character moments .   There have been less of these great character moments that make the show so good. This season for example, the highlight has been Kara’s sister Alex’s personal turmoil over her romantic life, and her desire to be a mother.  Alex’s struggle last season with her sexual orientation, and discovering she was a lesbian, was the highlight, and this season expanding on that, breaking her heart has been the most intriguing.  The problem then falls on the action, and the “A plot,” and unfortunately, it’s just not keeping up.  It’s serviceable, but it’s not special, it’s not captivating like Alex’s life is.

The Adventures Of Supergirl
Left: Clark Kent, Right: Kara Danvers AKA Supergirl

Finally we come to Legends of Tomorrow.  Before I get into it I’d just like to say, Sarah Lance, whom I disliked during her run on Arrow, is amazing on this show. She’s the Han Solo of the Arrowverse, and honestly, even though I’d really want Barry’s powers, ultimately if I had to BE anyone character, it would be Sarah Lance (She even has her own Millennium Falcon!).

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Sarah Lanch AKA White Canary: Captain of The Waverider

Legends is probably the most fun show of the lineup.  It definitely keeps improving year to year. It is amazingly fun every week and definitely the best of the Arrowverse, at least for now. Also, the cast’s natural rotation, and the structure of the show allow for it to always seem fresh.  So what is wrong with it?  It’s unoriginal.  The idea’s cool, that’s not what I mean.  The Wave-Rider, the team’s time-machine is suspiciously similar to, as I mentioned before, the Millennium Falcon, there are a lot of Doctor Who similarities, and while I loved the episode this week, it was Groundhog’s Day.  None of these things ruins the show for me, in fact I like them all, but I do think it keeps the show from achieving the ‘amazing’ status certain other genre shows achieve.

DC's Legends of Tomorrow
Legends of Tomorrow (Version 1.0)
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John Constantine again because he fucking rules.

I mentioned before that I hope that Black Lightning doesn’t become part of the Arrowverse, and I just want to clarify that is just because it’s a different kind of show.  The Arrowverse may touch upon issues of the day, but mostly they’re fun fare, where as Black Lightning as far as we’ve seen it, is a drama, with some comic book elements.  They don’t really mesh, and so I hope they don’t try to force them to.

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Black Lightning AKA Jefferson Pierce with his future superhero daughters

Thanks for reading, everyone!

Written by Michael Cole

With additional writing by Paul Wright

What I Want to See: The Fifty Shades Franchise

I kind of doubt that there is much overlap, between World’s Best Media’s audience, and The Fifty Shades audience, but hear me out, ok?

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The final Fifty Shades movie is upon us, and it seems like we may largely be done with this franchise altogether.  I personally don’t care whether or not it gets rebooted, or continued, but if it does, I have an opinion as to what I want to see from it.

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Now, let me be honest, I didn’t read any of the books.  I read a randomly selected page that my wife thought might entice me to read the entire book, and she was very wrong.  I did however go and see the first film with for Valentine’s Day, however many years ago that came out (was it two?  It feels like it was 5, but it’s been a crazy couple of years).  You may be surprised to hear this, but I didn’t think the film was as bad as seemingly everyone else did.  Don’t get me wrong, it was really bad, but there was a shining light.

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Sam Taylor-Johnson, who directed the film, did as good of a job as possible with the combination of source material, and restrictions she was given.  For whatever reason, the studio dictated that she stick fairly rigidly to the dialogue from the novel, and the dialogue in the novel was apparently a complete dumpster fire.  “I’m Fifty Shades of fucked up!” is one of my top 5 least favorite movie lines of all time.

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According to my wife, there is very little description in regards to the visuals of the world, apparently E.L. James didn’t spend much time on setting or anything while typing away on her Blackberry. This allowed Taylor-Johnson to create a pretty interesting visual style.  One of the things that the film lets her play with is visual metaphors, and it enhanced the story immensely.  During the initial meeting with Christian Grey, the main character Anastasia Steele (God! I hate the names of so many fictional characters) is attracted and sexually aroused by him. While the dialogue and acting don’t do a great job of selling that point, there is a moment, immediately after the encounter, where Anastasia walks out of the building into the rain.  Now, this could easily be missed, but water signifies climax throughout the movie.  Later when they’re in the ‘red room,’ as Anastasia succumbs to Christian’s BDSM lifestyle, the camera pans up to a painting of water splashing hard against the rocks.

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I think this film, is similar to the problems that I have with the Star Wars prequels.  They stick to rigidly to dialogue that is not only awful, but also hurts the acting performances.  Had the studio not insisted on staying with the dialogue, then I think that Taylor-Johnson would have made the movie much more watchable.

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Now, that’s all in the past, and on this first go ’round, we got very little in the way of what I would have preferred (probably because I’m not the main audience for it.)  If there is a reboot, or further exploration of the concept, what I’d like to see is something different.  If you watch the movie Shame from 2011, you see an NC-17 film about a sex addict, which is gritty, and realistic, and harsh, but more importantly, it is sexual while not really being sexy.  It showcased Fassbender’s performance, as well as exposing many to a type of sexual behavior that they weren’t previously aware of.  That is what I’d like to see with any future Fifty Shades reboots, or reimaginings or whatever they come up with.  In this series you have a story that many actual BDSM practitioners have called abusive, because the author didn’t know what she was writing about, and very few people in the creative process knew enough to correct it.  Take these characters, adapt the story to conform into a more realistic BDSM relationship, scrap side plots, and dive into the psyche of the two characters, examine the roles within the relationship, show us why it works for these characters, water crashing against the rocks.  We’ve never seen that in mainstream film, and yes it would likely get an NC-17 rating, but if the subject matter, and acting, and pathos are all strong enough, with the “Fifty Shades” name on it, it could be really interesting.

What I Want to See: Chadwick Boseman

Black Panther is coming out next week, and I really wanted to write a What I Want to See in honor of it, but the truth is, that Black Panther as a character was the MVP of the one Marvel movie he’s been in, has had one of the coolest trailers in the MCU, looks like he’s could be the MVP of Infinity War.  As a movie, Black Panther boasts one of the more exciting casts, and crews of any MCU film to date.  Ryan Coogler coming off of Creed to the MCU is an inspired choice. So I didn’t want to do a What I Want to See about Black Panther.  I have faith in this, and What I Want to See, is what they’ve got, I think it’s going to be amazing.

I first saw Chadwick Boseman in 42, as Jackie Robinson, and he was great in that film.  Then a year later, he was James Brown, and I haven’t seen that, but again he looked awesome in it.  Then we got to see him as Black Panther in Civil War, and he stole the show.  This last year, he played Thurgood Marshall in Marshall.

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He’s played 3 men who have been hugely important in the conversation of race over the last 70 years, and one of the most important fictional characters in the same area.  I really only know about these 4 roles, and I already consider Boseman to be a legend.

What I want to see, is Boseman get to play the big two.  The two big names we think of when we think of race in the last 70 years, I want to see him play Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.  I think that he has the acting chops, and I would love to see what he can bring to these two characters, and while it may sound ridiculous, I’d be interested in seeing him do both in the same film.

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I think that it wouldn’t get taken seriously enough, but with two characters like that, two characters who we often think of as Yin and Yang, it would be really interesting to see what one actor can bring to both roles, to juxtapose them through one actor giving two performances.  I think the only man (at least right now) who could do that role, would be Chadwick Boseman.  I think he could give enough nuance to distinguish the two roles, and with make up they could make him look like two different people, and what we’d get would be something bizarre, but potentially really incredible.

We’re in a time where we’re seeing some very creative methods of telling historical stories.  Hamilton casts against historical race in order to show the spirit of America, we’ve seen time travel tell the story of JFK’s assassination and what his legacy may have been in 11.22.63.  We’re ready for something like this, and if you got someone with a really interesting direction style and Chadwick Boseman playing the leading roles, it could be amazing.  That’s what I want to see.

Time Travel in the Show Travelers on Netflix

I want to tell you all about a show that I’ve literally heard no one talking about, but I don’t want to spoil it.  So please bare with me.

The Netflix show Travelers, has some of the most compelling time-travel I’ve seen in a long time.  The premise, is that people are coming back from some far off, terrible future, in hopes of fixing it.  In that regard it’s pretty standard, but everything else really stands out for me.

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The travelers have their consciousness placed in the heads of ordinary people in 2016-2017 (there have been 2 seasons so far), at the moments before they were going to die.  The point of this being, that they’re not killing someone to make room, they’re just borrowing what would otherwise be an empty shell.  Without getting too into spoiler territory, this process doesn’t always workout for them, and that creates a lot of the interesting aspects of the show.  (I really want to tell you, but if I do I’ll be doing you a disservice).

The plot about saving the future, really takes a back seat, to the stories of the characters, who have to adapt not only to a world that they don’t recognize, but to roles and relationships they are thrust into by means of their “host’s” previous life.  One thing I will tell you, is that these characters come from a future in which famine has ravaged their food supply, and so any time a new ‘Traveler’ is brought into the show, they really explore their relationship with food.  It might not sound that interesting, but food, both the experience of tasting, as well as all of the addictive nature of modern food and sugar, show how they aren’t ready for, or able to adjust while eating in front of non-travelers.  It’s a small weakness in their ‘act’ that they all have to perform.

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The show focuses on one team of ‘travelers,’ who work toward individual missions as they are assigned.  One of the things that I find really cool about the team, is that you have a leader, an engineer, a weapons expert, a medic, but also a historian, who has one of the coolest functions.  Essentially, the historian is in charge of remembering all the deaths and events in the area, so that they can go help new traveler’s transition, or look for differences that they may make in the time-line.  Philip, the historian, also has to face the idea that as they change the time-line he becomes less essential, and less helpful to their missions, which creates something of an existential crisis for him.

Ultimately, the characters learning that they can’t just travel back and accomplish their missions without lives interfering becomes the meat of the show.  Each character ends up with a particular set of challenges that were unforeseen from the future, and they have to adjust and keep going.

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I’m only a few episodes into season 2, but the show remains really interesting in this perfect fusion of character and device. What I would suggest to you, is that you watch the first episode, which I consider to be one of the best first episodes I’ve ever seen.  It had me instantly hooked and wanting more.  That being said, I can’t really tell you anything about why I was hooked from the start without spoiling it for you.  I hope you enjoy.

Also, as a side note, and a shameless plug, if you’re looking for time-travel fiction, check out my new time-travel blog, which I’ve been working on since October.