FIRST LOOK: Stargirl Season 2!

Hey Everyone

Paul here…

Stargirl was a pleasant surprise when it premiered on DC Universe Streaming and The CW last year. Good villains, a likable cast, above average VFX, and a healthy dose of DC Comics mythology, made Stargirl one of my favorite shows of 2020. So I’m happy to say that everything I’ve heard about Season 2, premiering August 10th on The CW, sounds very cool. After defeating the Injustice Society last season, Courtney, Pat, and rest of their newly formed JSA members, will have not one, but two Big Bads on their hands in Season 2! Both of whichwere teased in the Season 1 finale. But first, take a look at the new trailer for Stargirl Season 2 and then we can get into some other cool surprises to expect in the show’s upcoming sophomore year

Looks awesome to me! It looks like Season 2 will add JSA members like Jade, the new Green Lantern ,and Jakeem Thunder, that weird, purple living energy-thing.

Jay Garrick, The Flash of The JSA, who first appeared on The CW series The Flash will also be making an appearance this season.

With that in mind, here are a few important things to know bet] thatWithin the mythology of DC Comics, decades before The Justice League, The JSA or Justice Society of America, were the original superhero team. Gettineag their start decades before the modern day Justice League. The JSA are the elder statesmen (and women) of The DCU. The classic team roster usually consists of the original Green Lantern Alan Scott, Jay “The Flash” Garrick, Wildcat, Hourman, BlackCanary, Dr. Mid-Nite, The Sandman (Not the Neil Gaiman version, Hawkman & Hawkgirl, and Starman. The team first formed around WWII in the comics and each member age at a much slower rate then normal. As a result, almost all of th e JSA appear to be in their 50’s for early 60’s and while they’re all well past their prime, they can still operate at peak condition or beyond while in the field.

On the show things play out a little differently. First of all, though there are certain recognizable heroes and villains from DC Comics, a Justice League seems to have never taken form on this Earth. The JSA appear to be the only major superhero team to have formed in this universe. Though the series is technically apart of The Arrrowverse, Stargirl takes place on a different Earth than Arrrow, The Flash, and Supergirl. On Stargirl, The JSA and other heroes and villains have been active for decades. About 15 years in the past, most of The JSA were killed by the Injustice Society, a group of dangerous villains. In the present day, with the help of her step father and former JSA memberPat (Luke Wilson), Courtney Whitmore becomes Stargirl and begins to reform The JSA with a new generation of heroes.

From what we see in the trailer, it looks like the next generation of The JSA will only be expanding their roster. They’ll need all the help they can get while dealing with multiple major threats on the horizon. Both were teased in the final moments of the Season 1 finale.

First, as shown in the trailer, is the classic DC villain The Shade. He’s immortal and he can control living shadow. What makes The Shade interesting is that while he’s a serious threat, who you fuck with at your own peril, he has honor. He lives by a code.

He’s definitely a villain, but he’s not a monster. On one or two rare occasions, he even made alliances with heroes. So it should be compelling to see how the show handles the only member of the Injustice Society, that was present the night the original JSA were slaughtered, who we haven’t met on screen yet.

A brief glimpse at The Shade from the Season 1 Finale.

The second villain the show will be introducing this year is Eclipso. This guy is no joke. He’s easily a Justice League level threat. Eclipso is an ancient alien entity who, as we saw in the Season 1 finale been trapped inside a small diamond stone (as is often the case with evil, eldritch monsters).

Eclipso feeds on the negative psychic energy of mankind. Grief, hate, anger, and sadness sustain him, so he tries to create as much suffering and chaos as possible.

Unfortunately for this young incarnation of The JSA, Eclipso is WAY out of their league, so it’ll be cool to see how they handle him on the show. So this new season of Stargirl looks like it’s shaping up to be pretty interesting, so I definitely recommend checking out Seaon 1, which you can find On Demand and Streaming.

Thanks for reading! Follow us on Twitter @PJWrightWBM, Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017, and our Facebook Page, Worlds Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul

MUST WATCH: Beware The Batman!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

If you’re a frequent visitor to World’s Best Media, you probably already know that I love Batman and Superhero Animation. So I tend to get excited when I hear about a new animated Batman project. Warner Bros. and HBO recently announced a new Batman animated series in the works for HBO Max, called Batman: The Caped Crusader. The new series is being developed by Matt Reeves (the director of the upcoming film The Batman), JJ Abrams, and Bruce Timm (one of the creators of Batman: The Animated Series). There’ve been rumors floating around for a while now that Warner Bros. was developing a sequel series to the beloved and classic Batman: The Animated Series. While Batman: The Caped Crusader is not a direct sequel series or continuation of Batman: The Animated Series, it’s definitely a spiritual successor. When The Caped Crusader was announced Reeves and Abrams explicitly stated that BTAS (Batman: The Animated Series, for all you cool kids) was the new show’s biggest influence. Through the involvement of Bruce Timm as well as this promo art released during The Caped Crusader’s announcement, served to reinforce how much of an influence BTAS will have on this new show. As I mentioned before, Bruce Timm was one of the creators of Batman: The Animated Series and an icon in DC animation, and as you can clearly see in the promo art, which I posted below, Batman: The Caped Crusader is very evocative of the neo noir look of the 90s Batman series.


However, when I read the announcement for Batman: The Caped Crusader, I couldn’t help but think that I’d heard this all somewhere else once before. Which brings me to the main topic of this article, an animated series that you may not have even heard of called Beware The Batman. An extremely underrated animated series that I’ve been wanting to write about for a long time, Beware The Batman. The announcement about The Caped Crusader reminded me a lot of how Beware The Batman was described when it was first announced. Especially because of the comments made by Abrams and Reeves about “reinvention” and “reimagining” the Batman mythos. It was very similar to how Beware The Batman was pitched when first heard about it, just with some keywords turned around here and there. Beware The Batman was “pitched” to the audience as a darker, grittier animated Batman story, that wasn’t going to do the same old thing. The series certainly lived up to the claim, because it isn’t quite like any other adaptation of the character. The core of the show was something we see far too little of, in on screen adaptations of The Dark Knight, Batman: The World’s Greatest Detective. This was still a relatively early days Batman, at least a few years into his grand mission. The series really played up the “World’s Greatest Detective“ aspect of the character, which many of you may know, I fucking love.

The writers weren’t afraid to play up some of Batman’s other underutilized character attributes. For example. I loved how they played Bruce Wayne as a really fucking weird guy. Because of course he would be. This guys lives a pretty fucked up lifestyle, so he’s bound to be at little… off. It wasn’t over the top or anything like that, but this is not a normal dude and i thought it brought out something special in this version of Batman.


Bruce Wayne wasn’t the only character who went through some changes on Beware The Batman. Wherever Batman goes, so goes Alfred Pennyworth. There’s been a slow moving trend over the last 10 years or so, to change Alfred from an elderly butler into a slightly younger, badass in his own right, with a more active role in Bruce Wayne’s war on crime. This version leaned into Alfred’s history as a military combat vet/spy. Beware The Batman drew upon parts of the character seen in projects like the Epix TV series Pennyworth, the Batman: Earth One graphic novels, and arguably Jeremy Irons’ Alfred in the DCEU. In this animated series, Alfred was former MI-6 and his past catching up to him drives a surprising amount of the story throughout the season, but it works.


Batman may seem like a loner, but he surrounds himself with a lot of surrogate family. So when it came to figuring out who would be Batman‘s partner, the writers chose to buck the trend once again. Instead of Nightwing, Robin, or Batgirl, Batman‘s main partner in crime was Tatsu Yamashiro also known as Katana. Alfred brought her in as potential back up for Bruce. Tatsu was formally a member of both The League of Assassins (where she picked up the alias Katana) and MI-6, a formidable combination. Katana was also Alfred’s protege, Alfred having served with her father in MI-6. Alfred looked at Tatsu as a surrogate daughter. Which makes it almost poetic that he would call upon the woman he sees as a daughter, to help protect the man he sees as his son. Her presence in the story added a unique dynamic that wasn’t present in other animated Batman projects.

Beware The Batman also distinguished itself by not using any of the major Batman villains for the majority of the first and only season. Which I thought that was a really smart and cool way to go. You didn’t see villains like The Joker or The Penguin pop up immediately, which gave the show the opportunity to showcase lesser known villains. Batman has such a fucking incredible rogues gallery, you have to go real far down the list to find a character that is genuinely lame. Kite Man! Yes, there’s a Batman villain called Kite Man! Shockingly enough, in the right hands, even Kite Man is interesting.

So Instead of the usual suspects, Beware The Batman offers up villains like the horrifying Professor Pyg, or Magpie, a thief Bruce becomes infatuated with, or Simon Stagg, everyone’s favorite piece of dog shit industrialist. The overarcing villain for the series was Anarky, a white clad terrorist and madman with skills and fighting abilities dangerously close to Batman’s own.

The writers framed him as the polar opposite opposite of Batman. Anarky, the broken funhouse mirror version of The Dark Knight. Anarky adorned himself in white to Batman’s black, where Batman embraced order, Anarky embraced chaos. Watching Anarky and Batman playing an elaborate game of cat and mouse across the entire season, with Gotham City hanging in the balance, was a hell of a lot of fun.

But Anarky wasn’t the only Big Bad putting Batman to the test over this 26 episode series. The League of Assassins were present early on in the season, which gave Lady Shiva (another awesome, but under utilized Batman villain) some time to shine as the face of The League.

Until about halfway through the season when Ra’s Al Ghul himself enters the fray, menacingly played by The Wire’s Lance Reddick.

As the season went on, some other familiar faces began to pop up, like Killer Croc and Man- Bat. There was also a fair amount of set up dedicated to stories that would have played out had their been second season.

Harvey Dent was introduced in the final few episodes and had already suffered his infamous facial scarring by the end of the season. Presumably setting up Two-Face as the Big Bad for Season 2.

It really is a shame that we never got to see more of this show because the season ended with a cool mystery involving Deathstroke and Alfred’s past once again coming back to haunt him and the people he loves. I would’ve loved to have seen how these writers would’ve interpreted some of Batman’s other classic villains.

The animation style can be a little jarring at first, but it works once you get used to it. I really loved how the shine and texture of The Bat-Suit makes it looks like it’s made out of the same material as the Michael Keaton Batman suit‘s, but has the flexibility and range of motion of a much lighter material. The CGI animation also allows for some choreographed fight scenes that wouldn’t be possible in 2-D animation.


As I wrap it up here, I’ll also add that the show doesn’t really hit it’s stride until Episode 6 “Toxic“. That’s not to say that the first 5 episodes are bad by any means, but Episode 6 was really the one that clicked for me and made me begin to fall in love with the show. So if you plan on giving this series a try, make sure you give the show until at least Episode 6 “Toxic”, it only gets better from there. Honestly, you could probably go straight to Episode 6 without missing that much. Then once you’re really into the show, you can always go back and watch those first 5 episodes.
Beware The Batman: The Complete Series is available to watch on HBO Max, iTunes, and Blu-Ray. If you a fan of superhero animation, I highly recommend you check out this unique hidden gem.

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. We’re on Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!


-Paul

FIRST LOOK: Marvel’s ETERNALS!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

Marvel just dropped the first teaser trailer for their upcoming film, Eternals, hitting theaters this November. Take a look:

The key word here is “teaser”, unlike a lot of other movies trailers these days, Eternals doesn’t make the mistake of showing its hand. Even though it’s just over 2 minuets, we don’t really get a sense of what kind of threat the characters are facing or the film’s major story arcs. Which is great, because it’s never a good idea to show too much of a movie too soon. This did exactly what a teaser trailer is supposed to, which is establish the tone and look of the movie, while also peaking the audience interest for more. When most movie studios give away all the twists, turns, and coolest scenes from their films in trailers, Marvel Studios understands the function and purpose of a teaser/trailer. This is yet another example of Marvel Studios being the very best at what they do.

This a unique and gorgeous trailer even by Marvel’s standards. From the very first shot, this doesn’t look quite like any other MCU movie we’ve seen (at least visually).. The beautiful cinematography is a particular standout. With director u Chloe Zhao, who won 2 Academy Awards this year for Best Director and Best Picture for her movie Nomadland, behind the camera, Eternals is shaping up to be something pretty special.

One last thing I wanted to call attention to was the tag at the end of the trailer, which was interesting for a few different reasons. The scene is there to add some levity to the trailer and features The Eternals sitting down and enjoying a family dinner together. At which point there is a funny momentwhen one of the characters brings up The Avengers. This film looks so different from the other MCU projects that have come before it, that if not for the Avengers reference at the end of the teaser, I wouldn’t have been surprised if a lot of people out there didn’t even realize this was a MCU movie.

Phase 4 is a new beginning for The MCU. As YouTube movie commentator John Campea pointed out, Marvel is very aware what questions their audience is asking. With Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, and King T’Challa all taken off the board, who’s left to step up and lead The Avengers? So it’s no coincidence that the subject being discussed in the tag at the end of the Eternals trailer, was about who will become the new leader of The Avengers?

They also managed to sneak in a subtle, but notable piece of world building and continuity into the tag at the end of the trailer. Sprite, the character who brings this up while everyone’s having dinner, refers to the former leaders of The Avengers as as “Iron Man and Captain Rogers“ not “Iron Man and Captain America“ because as we all know, Sam Wilson is Captain America now! I love small but significant pieces of continuity like that. Anyway I think this is a really great first look at Eternals. The poster, which you can see above at the top of the page, is gorgeous as well. But I would love to hear what you guys think! Please let me know in the comments below or on social media!

Thanks for reading! Follow us on Twitter @PJWrightWBM, Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017, and our Facebook Page, Worlds Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul

PODCAST: INVINCIBLE: Reinventing The Superhero Genre!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

It’s all about INVINCIBLE this week, baby! On this episode we go over everything that makes this series great: the characters, the season’s major story arcs, the incredible cast with standout performances from J.K. Simmons, Steven Yuen, Walton Goggins, Sandra Oh, Zachary Quinto, to name a few, every brilliant twist, turn, and surprise throughout the season, and so much more!

SPOILER ALERT! The images below depict Omni-Man’s slaughter of The Guardians of The Globe!

This is the show that everyone is going to be talking about. Potentially the “Game of Thrones of the Superhero genre”, as we say in the episode. So don’t miss this killer installment of The World’s Best Podcast! Thanks for listening and enjoy! FULL SPOILERS

Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/44944950 Or subscribe/listen on Spotify, Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Podchaser, Castbox, Podcast Addict, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes…

iTunes/Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?i=1000522632420

Spotify:  https://open.spotify.com/show/11mA9kClyevVZjWYMQB1Io?si=7TfnqkBiShqTQpZhh2UDsA

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=185563

Thanks for listening! Follow us on Twitter @PJWrightWBM, Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017, and our Facebook Page, World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul

PODCAST: Jupiter’s Legacy Review!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

On this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, we take some time to review Jupiter’s Legacy, the new Netflix series based on the comic book by Mark Millar! There are some relatively minor SPOILERS in this one, but we don’t ruin any big reveals or plot twists.

Part of an ambitious plan by Netflix, the company bought Millarworld, the ultra successful independent creator owned comic book imprint by Mark Millar. The creator has already had multiple successful adaptations of his work like, Kick-Ass, Kingsman, and Wanted. Jupiter’s Legacy is the first of many planned movies and shows Netflix is adapting from Millarworld (and not just superhero content, though of course that’ll be there too). Millar’s work covers Star Wars like Sci-Fi, spy adventures, fantasy, and more.

Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/44716819 Or subscribe/listen on Spotify, Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Podchaser, Castbox, Podcast Addict, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes…

iTunes/Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?i=1000520915352

Spotify:  https://open.spotify.com/show/11mA9kClyevVZjWYMQB1Io?si=7TfnqkBiShqTQpZhh2UDsA

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=185563

Thanks for listening ! Follow us on Twitter @PJWrightWBM, Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017, and our Facebook Page, Worlds Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul

FIRST LOOK: The Marvel Cinematic Universe – PHASE 4!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

First things first, if you haven’t seen it yet (and even if you did, watch it again), take look at this incredible video Marvel Studios put out, giving us a look at its upcoming films and reminding us why we love going to the movies in the first place! Watch it here:

My God, those sons of bitches at Marvel have done it again! Goddamn if this isn’t one of the most effective pieces of marketing material I have ever seen. The use of Stan Lee’s voice over, coupled with the images of all of the amazing MCU films we’ve seen so far was genius. 

It was like in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Luke doesn’t want anything to with The Jedi or The Resistance. Trusty old R2-D2 decides to give Luke a little kick in the ass, by playing Leia’s message from all those years ago, “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.” Luke gives R2 an annoyed, but slightly amused look and replies, “That was a cheap move.” Yeah. Sure. It was a cheap move, but it worked like a goddamn charm. 

   The video begins by showing us our most beloved moments and characters from throughout The MCU. All of this is set to Stan Lee’s beautiful voiceover. He delivered a message full of nostalgia, friendship, community, and hope. In other hands it might have sounded a little hokey, but this is Stan Fucking Lee. The guy’s a pro! From everything I’ve heard in addition to creating almost all of marvels most popular characters Stan was just a really good guy. Anyone who knew him talked about what an amazing person he was. He was humble man despite the indelible success. He always loved his fans and was genuinely grateful for reading his work. They didn’t call him Stan “The Man” Lee for nothing!

 But then we’re shown a brief piece of footage, from an audience watching Avengers: Endgame opening night. A movie theater full of people, watching the now iconic “portals“ scene, culminating in Captain America’s unforgettable battle cry of “Avengers Assemble!” The theatre absolutely ERUPTS! Cheering! Applause! This is something I certainly related to because I had the exact same experience when I saw Avengers: Endgame opening night with my father. One of the things I’ve noticed over the last 20 years or so, is that for a really excellent film, if there was a rousing triumphant moment, people used to clap and cheer. Or even if the movie itself was just great, a cut above the rest, the audience would sometimes applaud. As if they were watching a Broadway show live. That has become increasingly rare over the last few decades. I can count on one hand the amount of times an audience has engaged with a recent movie like they did with Avengers: Endgame. The night I saw it, it wasn’t a special fans screening, it wasn’t a midnight show. It was just opening night, I’m sure a lot of the people in the audience were just movie fans not necessarily diehard marvel fans like myself and my father were. Yet when Cap picks up fours hammer and tape sign Thanos and when Captain America once again utters those immortal words “Avengers Assemble!” The entire audience flipped out, people were standing up and clapping as if it was a playoff game at a sporting event. That’s the kind of communal movie going experience I miss. That’s the type of audience interaction that I miss. For so long one of the big reasons I didn’t like to see films in theaters as much as I used to, is because audience etiquette has gone down the tubes. People talk and take out their phones. However if somebody yells something out, claps, or cheers simply because they got caught up in the moment, they became lost in the story unfolding on the screen, that kind of audience engagement is wonderful and has become all too rare. That’s the kind of movie magic Marvel is trying to remind us of with this amazing look at PHASE 4. it’s a big part of what I think is missing from the movie theater industry. It’s one of the reasons they’ve struggled over the last few decades. Marvel is sending us a very clear message here: LET’S GET BACK TO THE MOVIES!

A few interesting observations…

I really love how for some of these sequels were given new, creative titles, instead of just calling them part 2 or part 3. For example, we have Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (great title),  instead of Black Panther 2. Captain Marvel 2 is now The Marvels and Ant-Man 3 is Ant-Man and The Wasp: QuantumMania

I thought it was particularly cool that Captain Marvel 2 has been re-titled, The Marvels.  Carol Danvers is still the main character, but she’ll be fighting alongside two new lead characters with deep ties to Captain Marvel in the comics and The MCU. The film will feature Monica Rambeau, who was memorably introduced (and developed superpowers) in WandaVision, and eventually becomes the superhero known as Spectrum. To refresh your memory, the first Captain Marvel film took place in the 90’s and Monica was the daughter of Carol’s best friend. Monica was also one of the best side characters in WandaVision, so seeing her in the Captain Marvel sequel as an adult, with her own superhero experience, working alongside the woman she idolized growing up, will be a welcome addition to the film.  

The Marvels not only marks the big screen debut of Monica Rambeau, but Kamal Khan, AKA Ms. Marvel, as well. Ms. Marvel is one of The MCU’s new Disney+ series premiering later this year. The story follows a Pakistani teenager named Kamal Khan from New Jersey who develops extraordinary abilities and her favorite hero just happens to be Captain Marvel. So Carol Danvers is a big inspiration for Kamala and connects to the character in some interesting ways that the Disney+ series will delve into. Ms Marvel is interesting because her story is basically a modern day retelling of Spider-Man. She’s a teenage girl juggling family, friends, and the life of a superhero.  The Marvels premieres in late 2022, so we’ll get a much better idea of how this character will fit into this highly anticipated movie when the Ms Marvel Disney+ series debuts later this year. 

The details surrounding Black Panter: Wakanda Forever are a little bit more ambiguous. I’ve heard conflicting reports about what this movie is going to actually be. Very early on, Marvel announced that they didn’t intend to replace Chadwick Boseman in the role of T’Challa. They were going to move forward with Black Panther 2, presumably with someone from the existing cast, most likely either Shuri or Okoye, taking up the mantle of The Black Panther. With the greatest respect to Chadwick Boseman, I think that would be a big mistake. I think if you could ask him, he would probably agree that characters like Black Panther transcend the people who play them, just like with Heath Ledger and The Joker. So often you hear actors compare these superhero roles to Shakespeare characters like Hamlet, that are interpreted over and over again by different actors. With each new actor putting their own spin on it. T’Challa is just too important and cool a character to introduce into The MCU and then not be part of it as we move into this exciting new future. I always thought the best course of action would be to, put that sequel on hold for a respectful couple of years, re-cast, and just make Black Panther 2. For a good while it seemed like that was not the way they were going to go, they were going to move on seemingly without T’Challa as the lead character. If that ends up being the way they go, exactly how they will explain his absence from the film is complete mystery.  However, if  some recent reports are to be believed, then there is a possibility they may be re-casting the role, which honestly I would prefer. I don’t think it’s necessarily in bad taste. As I said before I’m sure if you could ask people like Heath ledger or Chad Boseman they would agree that these characters are larger than the people who play them. They’ve been here before us and they will be there long after. Of course we will update you as information comes to light, but for the time being I will say I love the title of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever !

If your regular visitor to the website, you know how much I love The Fantastic Four and how much I’ve been dying to see them make an appearance in The MCU.  We were teased at the very end of this presentation that FF is essentially going to be the last film in Phase 4. Now if I had to pick which of of these projects I am most excited for, it wouldn’t be FF. We just don’t know enough about Fantastic Four yet for me to be super intrigued, because I don’t know what their approach is going to be. I know that Jon Watts the director of Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home will be directing FF, which I think is an excellent choice. But other than that nothing is known about the movie. I’m certain as more information comes out my excitement for FF will increase, but for now there are a lot of PHASE 4 projects highlighted here to get really excited for!

It’s important to remember that when Phase 3 of The MCU was announced, the slate of films that we got and what was announced have some major difference. Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 & 2 became Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. The Inhumans film was dropped from the slate completely and made into a TV miniseries. Two Spider-Man films, as well as Ant-Man and The Wasp were added to the lineup. Marvel is always willing to change and adapt when it’s appropriate, which is one of its strengths. To wrap things up, this is an extremely exciting and impressive look at things to come from one of pop-culture’s most exciting storytellers.

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. We’re on Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul

FIRST LOOK: Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

We got out first look at the highly anticipated MCU movie, Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings, when Marvel dropped the first trailer this week. Not to mention the cool new poster (above) and some photos courtesy of EW.com. Now, I’m sure some of you out there might be asking: Who the hell is Shang-Chi? Before I answer, don’t forget that just a few years ago, audiences asked the same question about Iron Man and Thor, Captain America and Black Panther. Hell, before Marvel Studios announced the film, even I had no idea who the Guardians of The Galaxy were! Now these characters are household names! Marvel Studios has proven time and again that they can take the most obscure Marvel characters and make magic.

Who Is Shang-Chi?

Simu Liu as Shang-Chi

Shang-Chi is widely regarded to be the deadliest and most skilled martial artist on Earth. He’s better than Iron Fist, Black Widow, even Daredevil. I always like to describe Shang- Chi as: Imagine Bruce Lee, if he was an Avenger? Bruce Lee and his films were a huge influence on comic books featuring Shang-Chi. Stan The Man Lee wanted Bruce Lee’s son, Brandon Lee, to Star in the role whei a film was being developed in the early 80’s. Some comic book artists like to model their character on real people, so quite a few artists based their version of Shang-Chi on Bruce Lee (in one instance, complete with nunchucks straight out of Enter The Dragon).

It’s sort of like the now classic story of artist Bryan Hitch drew Nick Fury, to look exactly like Samuel L. Jackson in The Ultimates. An iconic Avengers comic that Hitch worked on with writer Mark Millar. Of course, Jackson eventually saw this, being an avid comic book reader himself. He and Marvel Studios contacted each other and the rest is history!

But I digress! Sorry about that, I tend to ramble sometimes. Anyway, back to Shang-Chi! Without any enhancements, like the super soldier serum Captain America and Bucky were exposed to call, I think Shang-Chi is so skilled that he would even be able to hold his own, if not out right beat, “enhanced” individuals like Steve Rogers or Bucky Barnes. I’m sure we’ll see his skill as a martial artist on full display in the movie.

Shang-Chi with Black Widow and Steve Rogers, during one of his stints in The Avengers

Shang-Chi became such a force of nature because of the brutal and cruel father spent Shang’s entire life forging him into a human weapon. To say that Shang-Chi has a complicated relationship with his father is an understatement. Shang is a hero, one of Earth’s champions, an Avenger. His father Wewun on the other hand, happens to be one the most dangerous supervillains on the planet and he wants he son to join the family business (whether Shang-Chi likes it or not). Wewun has gone by many names over the years, including one Marvel fans have heard before, but to say anymore would get into SPOILER territory. Just trust me when I say Wewun is a very cool, badass villain and I can’t wait to see what they do with him in this film. Wenwu wields Ten Rings (5 on each forearm) as you can see in the photo below. The Ten Rings bestow unimaginable power up their bearer, each with it’s own unique power. Fire and water manipulation, lightning blasts, some low level psychic abilities, just to name a few. Basically, Wenwu is a guy you do not want to fuck with. With the heart of this film being about a father and son who are diametrically opposed to one another, some powerful emotional (and liter) fireworks are going to fly.

Wenwu, Shang-Chi’s father, played by the great Tony Leung. Hmmm, those are some interesting bracelets he’s wearing…
Wenwu is a man who has walked the Earth of a very time and has gone by many names…

The exciting thing about Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings, is how it parallels the first Iron Man movie when it came out in 2008. No one who knew who the fuck Iron Man was and this great film, with this great characters, exploded onto screens and started this incredible journey. One of the greatest film franchises of all time both creatively and commercially. Like Iron Man, even among comic book fans Shang-Chi is a fairly blank slate. Beyond appearances as a key member of the team in some Avengers comics, as well as Daredevil and Iron Fist, I haven’t read one of the characters solo titles. Something I will be rectifying shortly with the new mini series that just became available in trade paperback/graphic novel. My point is this has the potential to blow up and be huge in the same way Iron Man has. Like Black Panther before it, this is the first major superhero, blockbuster featuring an Asian lead, with an almost entirely Asian cast, and an Asian crew. Shang-Chi can do for Asian children, what Black Panther did for young black kids all around! Not just children, but all Asians who want to see themselves represented in the biggest and coolest franchise in the world. If the people making this film play their cards right, this could be fucking amazing. Without further ado, take a look at the first trailer for Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings, here:

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings opens 9/3/21

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. We’re on Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul

MUST READ: Batman/Catwoman

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

  From the very beginning of World’s Best Media, one of my missions has been to show people how cool comic books are and why they’re such an incredible way to tell stories (and maybe, just maybe, get some folks to give comics a try). It’s been a little while since I’ve done a deep dive into a comic book series or graphic novel, but a fantastic new series inspired me to take you guys on another journey into weird and wonderful world of comics. Let’s do it!

   The book we’re taking a look at, is Batman/Catwoman. One of DC’s flagship Batman books. In my opinion, it’s also one of the best mainstream superhero book being published at either of “The Big Two” right now (otherwise known as DC and Marvel).  This is all due to the incredible talent of writer Tom King and artist Clay Mann. These are two of DC’s best creators operating at the top of their game (and it shows).

  As a longtime comic book fan, the stories and characters are what draw me in. A book can have the most beautiful art in the world, but it doesn’t mount up to a whole lot without a great story at it’s core. The last thing I want to do is minimize the incredible achievements of the artists working in the comic book industry. Most people don’t understand how important and difficult the work of a comic book artist really is. They’re not just drawing images on a page, they’re performing the characters, they’re directing the story. It’s one thing to draw beautiful images, but to be a great comic book artist, you also have to a great storyteller.

    As much as I respect comic book artists, it’s always the writer that will draw me to a particular book. Whenever a writer like Scott Snyder, Grant Morrison, or Neil Gaiman has a new comic coming out, it’s a guaranteed that I’m going to check it out regardless of the artist. Hell, some of my favorite writers have built up enough trust and good will, that I don’t even need to know what their latest book is about to give it a read. There are a lot of great comic book artists, but very few that would make me go out and buy a comic solely because they’re working on it.

    This is a long winded way of me saying that artist Clay Mann’s work on Batman/Catwoman is nothing short of astonishing. I’ve been following his work for a while on Batman and Heroes In Crisis. However his work has just taken a massive leap forward with Batman/Catwoman. I don’t think I’ve been more impressed with an artists work in a long time. Mann’s work reminds me of Jim Lee or Tony Daniel, with its crisp detailed lines. It’s widely considered that Jim Lee drew the definitive modern Batman during his Hush story line. Jim Lee’s Batman from Hush is  pretty much the basis for all modern versions of the character since. Now, Clay Mann has drawn the definitive modern Catwoman with this book and if things keep going the way they are, he may take the title away from Jim Lee for the definitive modern Batman as well.

 It’s not just the art that makes this book so phenomenal. Batman: Mask of The Phantasm is arguably one of, if not THE best Batman film ever made. Unlike so many other Batman Films, even the great ones, Bruce Wayne is front and center in this story. Bruce Wayne is the most interesting character in any Batman story and most filmmakers get caught up in his flashy rogues gallery at the expense of exploring Batman himself. When I was a kid The Phantasm scared the shit out of me with its creepy look and unstoppable mission of vengeance. The Phantasm was an original character created by the people who made that film. Batman/Catwoman is a quasi-sequel to Batman: Mask of The Phatasm, making the character and the events of the film canon in DC lore. 

This comic is really a continuation of the story that writer Tom King first began in his excellent run on the main Batman series. The question at the heart of the story was: Can Batman be happy? And If the answer if yes, can a happy Batman still be Batman? Can a Bruce Wayne who’s found some measure of peace still be The Dark Knight that Gotham City, and the world, needs? I thought it was a fantastic idea for a Batman story. It has so much potential and in the long history of the character it’s isn’t something that had been explored before. Also, let’s not forget that just because Bruce has found a woman who truly loves and understands him doesn’t mean he’s going start going on Costco runs. Their marriage consists of Selena joining Batman on cases and nightly patrols just like Nightwing or Robin would except after they go home and fuck each other‘s brains out (come to think of it, who’s to say that didn’t happen with Nightwing a few times? After all, Master Dick looks damn good in a lm skin tight leotard!). King explored this idea through Bruce’s growing romance with Selina Kyle. After years of hook ups and on again off again romances, Bruce and Selena finally get serious. They get engaged, and eventually, after some drama including Selena leaving bruise standing at the aisle during their first wedding attempt, things worked out and now they live as husband and wife. Living together in Wayne Manor.

Out of all the incredibly fascinating characters that populates Batman’s world, I was never particularly interested in Catwoman. I love Michelle Pfeiffer as the character in Batman Returns, but other than that, I was fairly ambivalent about Catwoman in general. It wasn’t until Tom King’s Batman run and Batman/Catwoman, that I started to really like her. Batman and Catwoman have had an off and on romance for years, one of their more notable attempts at a real relationship took place in the classic Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee story, “Hush”. Batman and Catwoman getting married may seem like another gimmick like the death or resurrection of a hero, but it makes perfect sense for the characters. So many storytelling possibilities open up. Catwoman is a character who lives in the gray, so what is it like being married to a man who only sees things in black-and-white? The story puts Selena in morally compromising situations in some really imaginative ways

This story is essentially a quasi-sequel to The Mask of Phantasm. Which is really cool because The Phantasm was an original character created for that film, so her inclusion here officially brings her into the main canon of DCU. But this is a Batman story after all, and if Andrea Beaumont has returned to Gotham City, you can be sure that she’s there for blood.

The story takes place simultaneously over three different time periods. The present, the past when Bruce and Selena we’re still more of an occasional romantic tryst than the serious couple and life partners that they’ve become, and decades into the future where Bruce has recently passed away. Leaving behind his beloved wife Selina and their beautiful daughter Helena. With Bruce gone the elderly Selina finally feels free to settle a vicious vendetta with The Joker. Specially for something that occurred years before with Andrea Beaumont, during the case involving The Phantasm that Batman and Catwoman are taking on in the present. Complicating matters in the future is Helena Wayne, who’s continuing the family business as Batwoman. She also seems to have inherited her father’s naive sense of absolute justice. Bringing the story full circle showing Selina keeping secrets about her morally questionable choices from the two most people in her life, Bruce in the past and her daughter Helena in the future.

  Which brings me back to Clay Mann’s beautiful artwork. I love his design for Helena Wayne, the daughter of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle, the Batwoman of the future. Both in and out of costume, Helena is of course her mother and father‘s daughter. A Gorgeous, stunning young woman while having dinner with her mother in Wayne Manor and looking all kinds of cool and bad ass in her new Batwoman suit. Which looks like a combination of the Batman Beyond suit and the modern version of Catwoman’s costume Mann has designed for this series. 

This series is a great jumping on point for new readers because you only need to have seen the movie Batman: Mask of The Phantasm. If you’re looking for a fantastic superhero story with fantastic art, writing, and characters, then you can’t go wrong with Batman/Catwoman.

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. We’re on Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul

MUST WATCH: INVINCIBLE!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

After a brief hiatus, we’re back! for WBM SPRING 2021 Movie & TV Preview: Week 2/Week3! Today we’re going to take a look at the excellent new Amazon Prime series, INVINCIBLE…

Mark Grayson AKA Invincible

Amazon Prime’s New Series INVINCIBLE

At first glance, Invincible appears to be another coming-of-age superhero tale mixed with a variation on The Superman Archetype. However, this fantastic new series from Amazon Prime actually subverts every troupe and expectation that comes along with the above mentioned stories, to create it’s own wonderfully rich and unique series. Invincible is based on the phenomenal comic book series of the same name from writer Robert Kirkman, creator of The  Walking Dead. Animation is the perfect way to tell this story because the universe of Invincible is as wild and creative as the Marvel or DC Universes. If you like superhero movies and TV, but are looking for something new from the genre, Invincible is the series for you.

So What’s It About?

Invincible and Atom Eve flying together. Eve has the ability to manipulate matter on a molecular level.

17 year old Mark Grayson is a typical teenager, except for the fact his father is Omni-Man, the world’s greatest superhero. Kind of like Superman, Mark’s dad is an alien from another world called Viltrum. Omni-Man, or Nolan Grayson, came to earth on a peacekeeping mission and eventually met his wife Debbie. Being half Mark will inherit his fathers abilities. When he finally does, he jumps right in the superhero game. Whether it’s rescuing people or stopping bad guys so low, working with all the superheroes like teen teen or the guardians of the globe, or working with his dad who is training him on how to use his abilities and develop them over time. Nolan and Debbie are still very much in love and Mark is over the moon about finally got his powers. There’ loving family who care deeply about one another. However, things aren’t as perfect as they seem.

Steven Yuen as Mark
Mark at high school

Though not a full-time member, Invincible often works with superhero groups like The Teen Team and The Guardians of The Globe. The member of the team team that in March is most friendly is Adam and Eve, if you can go to Marks high school. Mark finds himself in an interesting love triangle between his new girlfriend Amber and fellow superhero Atom Eve, who undeniably has feelings for Mark.

(Left to Right: Rex-Splode, Atom Eve, Invincible (Mark Grayson), Dupli-Kate)
L. Amber; R. Eve

This series has so much going for it, I almost don’t know where to start. The vocal performances are fantastic, mostly due to the stellar voice cast. Steven Yuen (Glenn from The Walking Dead) plays the series lead, Mark Grayson/Invincible. This was pitch perfect casting and Yuen doesn’t disappoint with a excellent  performance. Sandra Oh plays Marks mom and wife of J.K. Simmons’ Omniman, The worlds most powerful superhero. Speaking of, another highlight in the series is JK Simmons, who adds another iconic comic book character to his resume as Mark’s father Omniman, the world’s most powerful superhero. His performance in the Spider-Man films as J. Jonah Jameson is one of the best marriages of character and actor in any superhero film. Jameson and Omni-Man couldn’t be more different from one another, yet it’s a testament to Simmons’ versatility as an actor that he brings such nuance and subtlety this fascinating and complicated character. With supporting roles that include John Hamm, Gillian Jacobs, Walton Goggins Zachary Quinto Seth Rogen, Kevin Michael Richards, and many, many more. Invincible is absolutely stacked with amazing talent.


Not The Same Old Superhero Story

During the show’s quieter moments, like Grayson’s sharing some family time at home, the animation isn’t dissimilar to the type of animation you’d see in on DC Animated Films or Young Justice on HBO Max (Another MUST WATCH series). It’s a clean, stylish lock, that certainly works, but has a bit of a “stock” feel to it. I almost think this is a deliberate choice by the creators, to once again manipulate viewer expectations. The entire show is about subverting classic superhero stories and over the last 10 or 15 years we got used to a certain style of animation, like what I described above. Then the show cuts loose and it’s a feast for the eyes. The action sequences and fight scenes are detailed, visceral, and brutal. This series doesn’t pull any punches. 

  I should also mention this is an excellent adaptation. When I think of all the big moments and characters that I would really want to see at this point in the story, as a fan of the original comic book, everything I’m looking for is there and then some. It never feels overstuffed, the pacing is pitch perfect. A lot of character, plot, and mythology for giving to us in the first four episodes, but it never feels like too much. Which brings me to another important part of the series identity. Like the comic book it’s based on, Invincible is extremely violent. They do a fantastic job of showing just how gory and vicious the damage could be if someone with powers like Superman really cut loose. The series wisely doesn’t over do it when it comes to how many ultra violent scenes there are. It never comes off as gratuitous. When we do get a particularly brutal scene it’s in service of the larger and really packs a wallop. 

For comic book fans as well as anyone looking for new and different from the genre, Invincible is a MUST WATCH!

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. We’re on Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul

Spring 2021 Movie & TV Preview! PODCAST: Zack Snyder’s JUSTICE LEAGUE (SPOILERS)!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

On this episode, The World’s Best Podcast crosses over with the Cuff’s Basement Podcast to review Zack Snyder’s Justice League, which recently premiered on HBO Max! Along with Tim and Ryan, we breakdown a film that is vastly different from the original 2017 Justice League theatrical release. In fact Zack Snyder‘s Justice League is more like a entirely new film, than a director’s cut. We go over everything from what worked to what didn’t, as well as what we loved about the film and what we may have disliked. In this fun and far reaching discussion which yielded one of our best episodes this year, so far!

Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/43993349  Or subscribe/listen on Spotify, Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Podchaser, Castbox, Podcast Addict, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes…

iTunes/ApplePodcats: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?i=1000513898680

Spotifyhttps://open.spotify.com/show/11mA9kClyevVZjWYMQB1Io?si=7TfnqkBiShqTQpZhh2UDsA

Stitcherhttps://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=185563

While promoting the film, Zack Snyder offered up a lot of interesting information, teases, and images about what might have been, had things gone according to plan and the DCEU stayed on the track that began with Man of Steel. Snyder originally envisioned a 5-film “Lord of The Rings” style epic, that included Man of Steel, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, and culminated in a massive Justice League trilogy. As a result there were a lot ideas and concepts that were played around with that were abandoned. A good example of how somethings could’ve played out slightly differently is, how in one of the subplots in Batman V Superman, involved Wonder Woman attempting to retrieve an old photograph of herself and her comrades-in-arms from WWI. This of course tied into 2017’s Wonder Woman directed by Patty Jenkins. However, before the story for the first wonder woman film had been finalized there was still some to be about exactly how long Diana had been away from Themyscira fighting wars in “Man’s World”. Some beautiful images were commissioned showing Diana fighting alongside soldiers in wars much farther back in history, closer to The Crimean War than World War I. Snyder shared a few of them online that I thought were particularly interesting which you can take a look at right here:

Snyder offered up another sneak peek at The Snyder Cut, whe he confirmed the long running fan theory that General Swanwick played by Harry Lennox (Man of Steel, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice) was actually J’onn J’onnz: The Martian Manhunter, hiding among mankind. Snyder revealed that the character would indeed be making an appearance in his Justice League when it premiered on HBO Max, with Lennox returning for the role. DC helped Snyder give fans at hint at the character’s design in the film, by publishing variant covers of the JL comic book a few months back, featuring the movie version of this classic character drawn by the legendary Jim Lee. Take a look…

This is the final design for the character used in the movie

This also wraps up WEEK 1 of World’s Best Media’s Spring 2021 Movie & TV Preview! We have even more great content coming your way in WEEK 2, with exciting new series like Amazon Prime’s INVINCIBLE, from the creator of The Walking Dead!

Thanks for listening! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. We’re on Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul