Batman: The Three Jokers #1 – Review!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

In Batman: The Three Jokers, Geoff Johns sets out to answer a mystery, that he set in motion several years ago during the climactic story arc of his Justice League run. In the story, Batman interfaces with an alien super computer called The Mobius Chair, that can answer any question in the universe, no matter how seemingly impossible the question may be . One of the questions Batman asked was, “What is The Joker’s true name?”. Through it’s omniscience, The Mobius Chair gave an answer that threw even The World’s Greatest Detective for a loop: There are 3 Jokers. This three issue miniseries sets out to finally answer the mystery of The Three Jokers. I’ve read the first issue and while it answers some questions, it leaves us with even more. 

Batman while using The Mobius Chair, a repository of al the knowledge in the universe

There is no doubt that DC has two of their absolute best creators working on this book. There are very few comic book writers who have had the level of influence on modern comic books in the way that Geoff John’s has. With very few exceptions, there isn’t a major character in DC Comics that he hasn’t left his mark on. His enormous talent and impact on comic book storytelling, put him in rarefied air among legends like Stan Lee and Frank Miler. Geoff Johns is without a doubt one of the best superhero writers in the medium. No one does big, epic storytelling like Geoff Johns. Yet for some reason, he has always, in my opinion, struggled when writing Batman. Don’t get me wrong, even some of his weakest stories have fun and interesting elements at play. Despite any criticisms about his writing that I may have, John’s never fails to deliver an entertaining story. 

   Then there’s artist Jason Fabouk, who’s done some of the best superhero artwork I’ve ever seen in “The Darkseid War”, one his previous collaborations with Geoff Johns in the pages of Justice League. In a comic book, the storytelling done through the artwork is just as important, sometimes more so, than the storytelling being done in the script. It’s one of the things that makes the medium so unique. This issue opens with an exceptional example of how vital a fantastic artist is to telling a great comic book story. The issue begins with a close-up, on a large “W” engraved in stone. As the image pulls out, we see that this is the grave of Thomas Wayne. Surprisingly, the Batmobile suddenly crashes into it, partially destroying the gravestone. A seriously injured Batman emerges from the vehicle and stumbles towards Wayne Manor. A flurry of bats eventually reveals the Batcave. Filled with Batman‘s equipment and trophies, old costumes of allies and enemies. Finally, we see Alfred. Steady. Always there. We see both men from behind, as Alfred hauls Bruce in an improvised shoulder carry. Holding up his son, as Batman struggles to make it to the medical area. In a wavering voice Bruce says “My parents…” Referring to the gravestone he crashed into moments before. Again, Alfred steady as ever replies “I’ll fix their markers as soon as I fix you.”. Piece by piece, Batman‘s armor is removed, Alfred using surgical tools to remove parts of the uniform to get at Bruce’s wound, so Alfred can begin to treat whatever Bruce has suffered from this time. 

  Alfred begins to treat a puncture wound in the side Bruce‘s torso. “What was it this time?” Alfred asks. “An umbrella” Bruce replies. The image pulls back again, Bruce is naked from the waist up, with his back turned to the reader as Alfred begins stitching his latest wound. The image is stunning. What makes the artwork so powerful Is the dozens, maybe even hundreds of other scars and burns covering Bruce’s body (and we can only see him from the back). This is a grim ritual these two men have gone through together far too many times..Each scar is a dark reminder, a souvenir, of the nightly torture Bruce Wayne subjects himself to. 

However, despite all the monsters he fought in the night, only one has left more scars than any other. Both on the inside and out. The Joker. As Bruce recalls each battle, each fight with The Clown Prince of Crime, the monsters horrifying laughter builds in his head until, for the first time in the story, we see Bruce’s eyes. And they are filled with fury… and something more, something dark.

Regardless of any criticisms that I may leveled at other aspects of this comic book, the art by Jason Fabouk is incredible. There are many amazing artists out there, who draw stunningly beautiful images, but it takes more than that to be an excellent comic book artist. A comic book artist is a storyteller just like the writer. The analogy I like to use, is that a comic book artist needs to be the director, the actors, the cinematography, and the editor all wrapped in one. Like a director they need to set up every image, the angle, what will be in the shot, etc. like a cinematographer they have to establish the look and visual tone of the story, and like an actor they need to convey all of the subtle emotions of every character in the story. An artist who can do all of that well and still make every image absolutely beautiful, is less common in the industry than you might think. I think somebody like the late, great Steve Dillon (Preacher, The Punisher)  is a great example of an artist that was incredibly gifted at storytelling and conveying complex array of human emotions. With this comic, I think Jason Fabouk has taken his first step into becoming one of the most elite comic book storytellers in the business. The work on display here is some of the best visual storytelling I’ve seen in a comic book in a long time. 

  With that out of the way, what do I think about the comic? I think there are two major issues that ultimately plague this story. First, the problem with telling a story like this, is that part of what makes The Joker so terrifying and so fascinating is that he doesn’t have a definitive origin. Sure, there have been hints over the years. Possibilities of who or what he was before he became The Clown Prince of Crime.  Writers like Alan Moore, Scott Snyder, Bruce Timm,and Paul Dini have all played with possible origins for The Joker. These stories worked because none of them were the character’s definitive origin. It was left ambiguous, the writers placed doubt in the minds of fans about how much of these possible backstories actually happened. Was any of it real? Even the recent JOKER film starring Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck/The Joker, made the audience question exactly how much of the films events actually took place and how much of it was all in Arthur’s head

The questions at the heart of this story are: How are there three Jokers? What does that even mean? Are there literally three different men, who have been The Joker over the years? What is the answer to the mystery of The Three Jokers? At least for me, the answer to that question is: I don’t fucking care. I would’ve been perfectly happy if DC never picked up this storyline again. In the JL story written by Geoff Johns that kicked this whole thing off, Batman asks the all-knowing Mobius Chair “What is The Joker’s true name?”. The chair replies and Batman is visibly shocked and disturbed by what he hears. He can only respond “That’s not possible“. On its own, that’s a cool moment. What the fuck did The Mobius Chair tell Batman? The Joker is already a character shrouded in mystery and darkness and this was a powerful and creepy moment. I think if it was left alone by DC, this could have been an intriguing addition to The Joker’s mythology. A question we’ll never get the answer to would’ve been so much more interesting to readers, because the unknown is always so much scarier than anything a writer can cook up.

To talk about my second major criticism of this story so far, I’m going to be discussing a pivotal scene in depth as an example of a larger concern I have with the project. So MAJOR, MAJOR SPOILER WARNINGS for the rest of the review!!!

Ok, still with me? Great. So, when Jason Todd AKA The Red Hood finally blows The Joker’s brains out, I thought: “About damn time!”.

You see, a common misconception is, that Batman has always adhered to a strict moral code, that kept him from ever taking a life. It’s important to point out that when Batman was created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane (It was actually MOSTLY Bill Finger, but Bob Kane gets all the credit). Batman‘s so-called “no kill“ rule, didn’t come from a creative decision by one of Batman’s creators. It came down as an editorial mandate from DC Comics. The Joker was originally supposed to die in his first appearance, but the character was so popular that the creators working on Batman at the time had to come up with a way for Joker to return. Batman couldn’t go around killing the entirety of what would become his whole rogues gallery! Of course this early version of Batman would kill The Joker! For a man willing to take a life, this was the exact situation where you take someone off the board. It was a way to keep Batman’s popular villains returning to the story. Another factor was that DC comics wanted to attract younger readers. Which was why Robin was introduced and Batman’s homicidal edge was softened. The hard-hitting, gritty, noir stores told in Batman’s early days, made way for more colorful and family friendly content. 

So when someone tries to convince you that Batman never kills because of a deep moral belief in the sanctity of life, you can say that’s bullshit, he doesn’t kill because the publisher wanted to make more money by having more readers and reoccurring, colorful villains. From the very beginning of Batman‘s career, he had no compunction about killing criminals. Batman even carried a gun in many of his earliest appearances. Many of the unfortunate thugs he came across found them selves with a bullet in the chest, thrown into a vat of acid, or strangling a man with a steel cable attached to The Batplane and flying through Gotham with the corpse still hanging from The Batplane. While Batman muses that the villain is “better off this way“. In fact here are some fun instances of Batman straight up murdering people…


   Which is why I find it so frustrating that certain writers, like Geoff John’s in particular, treat Batman‘s “no kill“ rule is if it was a sacred and fundamental part of the character’s ideology. It wasn’t a creative storytelling decision, it was a marketing one. Most of the other vigilantes in Gotham City have been trained by Bruce or work closely with him, so they also adhere to same, foolish “no kill” rule (with some notable exceptions). So when writers like Geoff John’s put Batman or one of his allies, in this case Barbara Gordon AKA Batgirl, in positions where all logic, emotion, and reason would lead to their character taking a life, the writers will go to extraordinary lengths to find reasons for their so-called heroes not to go through with it. This doesn’t make the heroes noble, it makes them look foolish and naïve. I’m not saying that Batman and his allies should start acting like The Punisher, but in extreme circumstances, extreme measures are appropriate. Unless a writer is willing to honestly tackle some potentially uncomfortable questions about his characters, then perhaps it’s a subject that is best left alone. If you’ve been successfully crime fighting crime in a cesspool like Gotham City for years, you’ve probably seen some of the ugliest things that humanity has to offer. Which is why it makes no sense that someone like Barbara Gordon, an intelligent, worldly, capable, and very tough woman would attempt to stop Jason Todd from murdering The Joker. The amount of suffering that The Joker has personally inflicted on Barbara and her family includes crippling and sexually molesting her, torturing her father, murdering her stepmother, and has killing literally thousands of people. Including successfully murdering Jason himself. Even though Jason eventually came back from the dead, as Jon Snow would tell you, that isn’t some shit you just forgive. For Barbara to feign outrage when The Joker is killed, is just silly and poor writing. However, I did enjoy what Jason says to Barbara after kills The Joker, posted below…

I’ll definitely read all 3 issues of Batman: The Three Jokers, but It’s mostly out of sense of obligation. New comic books come out each week and I still read every issue of my favorite ongoing titles. Batman is my favorite comic book character, so for better or worse, regardless of how this story ends it’s going to have a major impact of some kind on the Batman mythology. For that alone, I’d read all 3 issues just to see how it all plays out. That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement, especially if you don’t read comics every week like I do. I’m certain that DC is trying to attract new readers with a high profile book like this. In that regard, I suppose Three Jokers is successful. Most of my problems with the book were rooted in my long personal history with Batman and how I think the character and his world should be portrayed. As well as certain longtime comics books tropes present in the issue, that drive my nuts whenever they pop-up in a story. New readers might be the ideal audience for this comic book, even with my criticisms, it’s an undeniably entertaining book with beautiful art. Casual Batman fans wouldn’t bring as much baggage to the story as I did and it really only requires a basic knowledge of Batman and The Joker to follow what’s going on.

Final Words:
In a vacuum, taken for what it is, Batman: The Three Jokers is pretty good read, but it fails to justify it’s own existence. This new miniseries suffers because of some poorly written characters and will leave a lot of readers questioning why this story needed to be told in the first place. On the other hand, The Three Jokers is a solid book for casual readers and the art work by Jason Fabouk is gorgeous.

Batman: The Three Jokers #16.5/10

DC FANDOME: Wonder Woman 1984! The Batman! Zack Snyder’s Justice League! James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad! Trailers, Posters, & Behind-The-Scenes Video!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…


HOLY. CRAP. It is one HELL of a good day to be a DC COMICS fan! I’ve gotta say, at least when it came to delivering on big, exciting content for DC fans, DC FANDOME knocked it out of the park! We got a look at nearly every upcoming major DC project on the horizon across all major mediums (film, television, comic books, and video games, etc). In case you didn’t get a chance to see any of these awesome panels for yourself, Ive taken the liberty of getting all the goodies, the best stuff from DC FANDOME, and compiled them here for your viewing pleasure. I’ve posted all of the trailers, posters, and behind the scenes videos that were shown during today’s DC FANDOME event. If you wanted to watch certain panels, but missed them, there’s also going to be a complete encore of all the panels featured, beginning tonight and running into the morning. An on-demand style version of DC FANDOME will be available on September 22, where instead of having to watch the live feed and wait for your favorite panel to start, you can just pick and choose which of the videos and panels from DC FANDOME that you want to watch. Fortunately I’m here right now, so you don’t have to do wait to see the best content. You can just take a look at all the awesome and exciting DC Comics goodness coming our way in the near future! Enjoy!

Wonder Woman: 1984

The Batman (Directed by Matt Reeves & Starring Robert Pattinson):


The Official Logo of “The Batman”
Official promo art for “The Batman”, designed and drawn by the legendary Jim Lee
Stills from the film of Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne/Batman

James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad:

The Suicide Squad reveals which characters the ensemble cast are playing.
A behind-the-scenes look at James Gunn’s new take on The Suicide Squad.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League:

Darkseid. Is.

Black Adam (Starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson):
Concept Art from the film showing Black Adam and the heroes who disagree with his extreme methods, The JSA or The Justice Society of America…

Hawkman
Atom Smasher
Doctor Fate
Cyclone

The Flash:

The Flash hasn’t begun filming yet, so there wasn’t much new content to show the audience. It’s already been announced that Ben Affleck is returning to the role of Batman for this film, which will also see the return of fan favorite Michael Keaton’s classic version of The Dark Knight. The film is expected to be heavily influenced by the classic Flash story, Flashpoint. Time travel and alternate realities are big parts of that story and according to the director, The Multiverse is a major component of the movie. Which is how we have two different versions of Batman in the same film. The panel did showcase this cool concept art below that shows the new version of The Flash’s costume as he fights alongside Batman. As explained on the panel, like Tony Stark in the Marvel films, apparently this new suit upgrade will be courtesy of Wayne Enterprises, some thing built by a Batman specifically for Barry Allen. The director (who previously directed It: Chapter One & Two) described the suit as more “organic“ than the previous design. Take a look…

.

Gotham Knights (the long rumored new installment in DC’s popular series of Batman video games). Coming to PS4 & PS5 in 2021:

Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League (A New Video Game available on PS4 and PS5):

The Flash: Season 7 (The CW):

Holy shit! A lot of new and amazing DC content dropped during their DC FANDOME event. This is great for DC fans because, as you can se, all of theses projects looked fantastic!

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. 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: The Umbrella Academy: Season 2 Review!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

Trust me, this isn’t really a SPOILER

On this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, I review the new, 2nd season of the hit Netflix series The Umbrella Academy! The 1st season of the series based on the comic book created by Gerard Way (from the band My Chemical Romance) and Gabriel Ba’, which premiered last summer was one my favorite shows of 2019 and season 2 was one of my most anticipated shows of the year. Did The Umbrella Academy: Season 2 live up to expectations? Listen to this week’s episode to find out! Also, make sure to check out some of the awesome behind-the-scenes videos that we have posted below!

Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/40164289 Or subscribe on 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=1000487273901

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


Check out these cool behind-the-scenes videos…

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. 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

The 15th Anniversary Of Constantine: An Underrated Cult Classic

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

Normally, this is the time of year when we’d be right in the middle of the San Diego Comic-Con. Some of the year’s biggest announcements about our favorite movies, TV shows, and comic books are made at this event. Unfortunately, due to the continued threat of the COVID-19 outbreak, the mega-convention couldn’t be held this year and I can’t say I blame them. Imagine it, thousands of sweaty, nerdy fans, decked out in their cosplay, in 90+ degree heat with 80% humidity, as they all walk around hacking and coughing a deadly virus on each other. Half of the attendees would be in the hospital by the end of the week. Not a pretty picture. 

     However, we weren’t completely left empty-handed, the folks behind the long running annual fan event, came up with  Comic-Con@Home, multiple panels were live streamed online for folks to enjoy a little bit of Comic-Con from the comfort and safety of their own home. Nothing beats the real Comic-Con experience, but they still put together some very interesting panels. One of the highlights, for me at least, was the Constantine 15th Anniversary Panel. Star Keanu Reeves, producer Akiva Goldman, and director Francis Lawrence discussed the 2005 film with one of writers from Collider. 

Constantine takes a trip to Hell

    I want to take a minute and to give the film some context. John Constantine is easily among my top 10 favorite comic book characters. He was created by legendary comic book writer Alan Moore during his Swamp Thing run for DC and the physical inspiration for Constantine was world famous musician, Sting. The character was enough of a standout to warrant his own series from DC under their mature readers imprint, Vertigo, called Hellblazer. Constantine was sort of a con-man mage based out of London. Writers like Neil Gaiman, Garth Ennis, Brian Azzerello, and Warren Ellis have all done memorable work with the character, in fact Hellblazer was the longest running books in Vertigo’s history. 

Constantine is a little more high profile these days, appearing in both live-action and animated TV shows and films. Most notably, actor Matt Ryan has portrayed John Constantine in pretty much every appearance the character has made over the last 6 years. We first saw Ryan’s interpretation of the role in the short-lived (but cancelled too soon) Constantine TV series (2014-2015). Unlike Keanu Reeves, the British and blonde haired Matt Ryan is much more in line with the traditional depiction of John Constantine. But you can’t keep a good warlock down, and Matt Ryan reprised the role of John Constantine on Arrow and eventually became a series regular on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (these appearances retroactively made the Constantine TV series part of The Arrowverse). Ryan has also voiced the character in multiple animated films, like Justice League Dark and Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, as well as an animated miniseries. Much like Kevin Conroy as Batman and Mark Hamill as The Joker, Matt Ryan has become the unofficial, definitive version of John Constantine in the eyes of many fans.

Matt Ryan as John Constantine

   Having said all that, I think 2005’s Constantine is an extremely underrated movie that deserves more credit than it gets. On paper this movie should not work. First of all, John Constantine is one of the best comic book characters ever created and holds a lot of reverence with fans. Does Keanu Reeves sound anything the character I described above? A British, street sorcerer that looks like Sting? At the time, casting Keanu Reeves in the title role seemed like a weird and misguided choice for the movie. That’s strike one. Producer, Alkiva Goldman, has had his name attached to some truly dog shit projects over the years, including Joel Schumacher’s infamous Batman & Robin. Strike two. Finally, this beloved character was in the hands of a first time film director, who predominantly directed music videos before this movie. Strike three! But goddammit if they don’t manage to pull it off. Not only did the movie work, it was pretty damn great.

Lucifer pays John a visit. The only Soul he’d come to personally collect himself.

   Despite the changes to the source material, especially the casting of Keanu Reeves and the film taking place in LA instead of London, the movie did a phenomenal job at capturing the essence of John Constantine and his world. Keanu was so good in the role that the superficial changes didn’t matter as much as you’d think. The spirit of the character was there. Reeves did a better job of inhabiting John Constantine than a lot of other actors in comic book films that seem perfectly cast from the jump. There are so many great, little moments throughout the film that show how Keanu Reeves and the filmmakers really get exactly who this guy is and what makes him tick. 

   The look of the film, the supporting cast, Peter Stormare as Lucifer, are just a few examples of what makes this movie an underrated gem. I definitely recommend checking out the full panel, which you can watch right here:

It sounds like Keanu is up for a sequel, which would be pretty cool. So what do you guys think? Is Constantine an underrated classic? Or am I nuts and it’s a piece of shit? Let me know in the comments below.

Constantine, Papa Midnite (Djimon Hounsou), and Chas (Shia LaBeouf)

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. 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: Interview with Mark Fitzgerald – Location Manager On The Town, Mystic River, & Much More!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here….

  On this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, I sat down for an interview with Film Location Manager, Mark Fitzgerald. Mark has become synonymous with Boston filmmaking. You may not immediately recognize his name, but he’s left his mark on The City of Boston’s portrayal in movies like few people have. As Location Manager for dozens of films over the last two decades and beyond, he’s worked on movies all over the country, as well as some of Boston’s most iconic films. In our far reaching interview, we discuss how through his work with legendary filmmakers like Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, David Mamet, and Ben Affleck, Mark has reshaped how this unique city has been brought to life on film. All this and much more, in this incredibly fascinating interview covering Mark’s prolific career in the movie business. This discussion was an absolute delight and I hope you enjoy listening to it, as much as I did recording it! Enjoy!

Mark was kind enough to send me the photos below, which he really liked because of the circumstances behind them. While working on the film “21”, Mark and the rest of the production team where able to close off Massachusetts Ave. in Boston and land their camera mounted helicopter, which is no east feet! It had to be cleared with multiple government agencies, as well as the BPD. As he explained it to me, the director even wanted the 22 polls removed from each side the bridge. All of this to get a sweeping a shot of one of the actors on a motorcycle driving across the bridge. Despite all the difficulties and hard work they managed to get it all done! Unfortunately, as it sometimes happens, the shot ended up on the cutting room floor! (Mark is on the far right of the photos, wearing a long sleeve white shirt, jeans, and work boots)

Mark Fitzgerald is pictured on the far right in a white shirt and jeans

Mark’s next film hitting theaters is Free Guy starring Ryan Reynolds, premiering later this year. When the pandemic allows for filming to begin, Mark’s next project will be working on the next movie from Academy Award winning director Adam McKay (Anchorman, The Big Short, Step Brother, Vice)!

Listen here:https://www.spreaker.com/episode/39770948 Or subscribe on 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=1000484989281

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

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. 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

Movie Review: THE OLD GUARD

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

The Old Guard is a fun and exciting new action movie starring Charlize Theron, that premiered on Netflix this weekend. Based on the graphic novel by Greg Rucka and Leandro Fernandez, set in the present day (with some flashbacks), the story follows a group of immortal warriors led by Charlize Theron’s Andy, short for her real name Andromache The Scythian. Andy’s team/army/surrogate family includes Booker, the youngest member of the team at a little more than 200 years old, as well as Joe and Nicky, a devoted couple who met fighting on opposite sides of The Crusades. Andy’s age is never definitively revealed, but she’s ancient, at least several thousand years old (according to IMDB, in a recent interview Charlize Theron revealed that her character is at least 6,000 years old). 

   For reasons they don’t fully understand, Andy and her team are among a very small, but very formidable group of people, who have all woken up one day to find that they’re no longer aging and cannot be killed. Riddled with bullets from an assault rifle, burned alive, drowning, explosions, it doesn’t matter how they die, but whether it takes a few seconds or a few minutes they always come back. They even have accelerated healing which will rapidly repair smaller injuries. There’s one catch though, despite the fact that these individuals have lived for thousands of years, one day for seemingly no rhyme or reason, they will get killed and not wake up. One day it is simply “their time”, as they put it.  It’s different for each of them, but whether it’s after 500 years or 5,000 years, one their immortality will simply end. They learned this lesson first hand. The team has had other immortal members who’s time has run out. So each time they die, they wonder if this is the time they don’t wake back up.

The immortals have a tenuous psychic link to one another, causing them tooccasionally share memories of past events through dreams. Most importantly, this link allows them to become instantly aware of when another immortal is activated. It’s an extremely jarring and vivid psychic experience because an new immortal is so rare. They’re all given mental pieces of an image that they collectively put together to identify and locate their latest brother or sister in arms. 

In this case, the new immortal is a young African-American woman in her early twenties named Nile (played by Kiki Layne), serving in the U.S. Marine Corps stationed in Afghanistan. While on a mission to find a dangerous terrorist, Nile’s throat it cut open and dies in the arm of one of her fellow soldiers. When Nile wakes up in a medical tent, having recovered from a mortal neck wound without a scratch, she doesn’t know what the fuck is happening to her. Fortunately (I guess?) Andy, heads off to find Nile, get her the fuck out of Afghanistan, and give her the 411 on how her life as she knew it, is over. From there we’re off to the races.

Charlize Theron (“Andy”); Kiki Layne (“Nile”)

I haven’t seen the actress who plays Nile in many other projects, but I liked her a lot in The Old Guard. Nile, naturally, has some serious questions for Andy and she expects to get answers. Because the audience will have many of the same questions as Nile, this is a decent way for the film to get some exposition out of the way. It’s not the most creative storytelling method in the world, but it works well enough. Plus, I enjoyed the scenes  of the relatively idealistic Nile bouncing off of Charlize Theron’s much more jaded Andy.

   There were two aspects of this film that I thought were particularly well done. The first was the surprising amount of time that was spent on character work. Don’t get me wrong, this movie isn’t gonna be winning any awards, but for what it is they spent more time investing the audience in the characters that I thought they would. One of my favorite things about this movie was the existential crisis Charlize Theron’s character deals with through in the film. Andy is by far the oldest of all the immortals, thousands of years at least. For their entire lives Andy and her team, both living and the ones they’ve lost, have been warriors who fought for what they believed to be right. Mankind’s blood soaked angel on it’s shoulder. After all the death, all the fighting, the wars, the people she’s lost, Andy has just had enough. She’s walked the earth for thousands of years, trying to protect humanity to make it something more. But when she looks around at the world she sees today, it’s not getting better, it’s getting worse. This is the dark side of immortality, the other side of the coin that people don’t think about. Sure, it sounds great on paper, to never die, to live forever. What good is living forever if you have nothing worth fighting for, nothing to live for? Everything and everyone around you eventually dying and leaving you alone again. Immortality can be a prison worse than death (and without going into spoiler territory here, believe me there are seats far, far worse than death).

This is a great video about adapting the comic book to film

This movie also answers one of the greatest questions in all of fiction: what happened to Dudley Dursley after the Harry Potter movies? Apparently he became the evil head of a pharmaceutical corporation focused on slowing (or stopping) the aging process! He’s looking to cell in mortality in a pill form to the richest of the rich. I love the Harry Potter films and I want to see the actors do well, but actor Harry Melling as Merrick, the films villain doesn’t stand out among the 10 million other versions of the “Evil Billionaire CEO”. This is by far the weakest and most least interesting aspect of the film. However, Nile, Andy and her team of bad-asses needed to bunch of guys to kill at the end of the movie and who better to supply that than a piece of shit pharmaceutical CEO who looks like Harry Potter’s abusive cousin?

 There is one bright spot in the evil pharmaceutical company storyline. Chiwetel Ejiofor in small role as a former CIA operative who hires the team for a job that goes real south, real quick. His character provides the only heart in his part of the movie and like several characters in the film, is more morally complex than you think.

Joe and Nicky. Two immortals who are deeply in love with each other, who met fighting on opposite sides of The Crusades.

   Like I said before, there were two things in this movie that I thought were done particularly well, the second being the action and fight choreography. In fact, most characters in this movie are more fleshed out than you might expect going into it. It’s one of the things that helps The Old Guard stand out from the pack. Andy’s team of fellow immortals could have been just 3 bad-asses it’s one or two lines covering their backstory. The fact that they took the time to put just a little bit more effort into it, makes this a cut above the rest of similar films. Things like Joe and Nicky‘s deep and passionate love for one another that still burns bright despite the millennia they’ve spent together. When Booker tells Nile that attempting to stay in the lives of the people they love, will bring her and her family only suffering, heartbreak, and ruin, his anguish makes it clear he’s speaking from experience. The film wisely gives it’s characters enough meat on their backstory and their personalities to make them interesting to watch, so you actually give a shit about what’s happening to them. It’s a lesson that way too many action films have forgotten. The difference between a decent or good action movie and great action movie, is cast of characters that you care about.

    This is an action film after all and the fight and combat sequences stood out to me as the second big thing that really impressed me about The Old Guard. With so many fantastic examples of innovation and creativity in action and fight choreography, it’s can be difficult for any movie to stand out from the crowd and show the audience something that feels fresh and unique. The Old Guard has multiple impressive fight scenes, using a combination of modern guns and old world weapons like swords and axes. What’s so cool about the way the immortals fight, is that over centuries of combat, they’ve become masters at virtually every weapon and fighting style. So they don’t just use multiple weapons, they use those weapons to complement one another. Assault rifles, swords, and fists whirl together in a way that each weapon’s is enhanced by the use of the other. A gun is perfectly used to take out a target in one move while also setting up an ax to take out another target three moves later. It’s a really cool style of fight choreography that really makes this team feel dangerous. These people have been fighting the worst armies in the history of mankind and they fucked them up on a regular basis. Your best bet would encountering one of these mortals would be to drop your weapon and run like hell on the other direction and even that might not be enough to save you. There’s a scene less than half hour into the film where we see the team really cut loose for the first time in combat and we get to see exactly what these people are capable of and it’s fucking awesome.

This is a great behind the scenes video showing how those incredible fight scenes for the film were achieved.

A sequel to The Old Guard is already in the works. Apparently this was envisioned by Netflix and Co-creator/writer Greg Rucka been talk of making this a trilogy of films on Netflix and I hope that story turns out to be true because I enjoyed the hell out of The Old Guard. I definitely recommend giving this one a watch.

The Old Guard: 8.5/10

PODCAST – UFO’s: Are Extraterrestrials Visiting Earth?!!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

An early UFO photo taken during a spike in UFO sightings in the mid-20th Century

The term UFO is often misunderstood, when most people hear “UFO“, they think: Aliens. The reality is much more complicated and if you’re willing to keep an open mind, on this thrilling new episode of The World’s Best Podcast, we discuss one of our favorite subjects: The worldwide UFO phenomena. Big Paul Sr. and I go over what we think is some pretty convincing evidence of extraterrestrial visitation to Earth (including recently declassified U.S Military UFO documentation). We’ll promise you this, even if you think the idea that intelligent life, from somewhere else in the universe, visiting Earth is complete nonsense, this is still a damn fun podcast and we guarantee you’ll be entertained!

Throughout this episode, I mentioned several books, interviews, and documentaries that I recommend taking a look at (especially if you want to learn more about what we covered in this week’s podcast) so they’re included below. As well as a few videos, including the declassified military material, showing U.S. fighter jets engaging multiple UFO’S:

UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go On The Record

You can pick up a copy here: https://www.amazon.com/UFOs-Generals-Pilots-Government-Officials-dp-0307717089/dp/0307717089/ref=mt_other?_encoding=UTF8&me=&qid=1594141561

Cosmos (Carl Sagan)

You can pick up a copy here: https://www.amazon.com/Cosmos-Carl-Sagan/dp/0345539435/ref=sr_1_1?crid=30296V4AXLOC5&dchild=1&keywords=cosmos+carl+sagan&qid=1594151136&sprefix=Cosmos%2Caps%2C145&sr=8-1

Declassified U.S. Navy UFO Footage:


Joe Rogan Interviews CMDR. David Fravor:

10 Great Pieces Of UFO Footage :

An Image Of The Phoenix Lights, A Still Unexplained Mass UFO Sighting In 1997, Witnessed By Thousands Of People In Arizona and Nevada:

Listen here:  https://www.spreaker.com/episode/36905732   Or subscribe on 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#episodeGuid=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.spreaker.com%2Fepisode%2F36905732

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

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. 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

Dark Nights: Death Metal #1 Review!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…


Dark Nights: Death Metal #1

Written by Scott Snyder

Art by Greg Capullo 

  The long awaited and much anticipated new miniseries from DC Comics, Dark Nights: Death Metal, is finally here and today I’m reviewing the first issue! About once a year, usually in the summer, both of “The Big Two” comic book publishers, DC and Marvel, will put out an epic miniseries “Event”. These are the no holds barred stories, where seemingly anything can happen! Typically, even though one character or one particular team will be the focus of the story, these Events affect and involve the entire DCU or Marvel Universe. These stories tend to have casts of thousands! With huge, status quo changing moments! Whenever the publishers at Marvel or DC are talking about their latest Event Miniseries, they like to say things like, “After this story nothing will ever be the same!”. When you’ve been reading comics as long as I have, there are certain things that you tend to expect to see when one of these big stories come out. There are usually some major character deaths, surprise resurrections, heroes turning into villains and vice versa, things like that. Classic DC and Marvel stories like Crisis On Infinite Earths, Infinity Gauntlet, and Civil War are some examples of Event Comics. Like many things, some of them suck and other become classics.

One of the best superhero Events of the last decade was Dark Nights: Metal written by Scott Snyder and art by Greg Capullo. That story saw the DCU being invaded by the evil, cosmic forces of the previously unknown Dark Mutiverse. The Dark Multiverse is a nightmare realm where the deep fears of everyone in The DCU are made manifest. These are the worlds where everything that could go wrong, does go wrong. The Dark Multiverse was ruled by an evil god-like entity called Barbatos. When he came to attack and claim the DCU, his generals were all dark, twisted versions of Batman. 

   The most terrifying and formidable of the evil Bruce Waynes from across The Dark Multiverse was, without a doubt, The Batman Who Laughs. In his home reality, after The Joker killed Jim Gordon and a shit load of other people, Bruce Wayne finally had enough of the atrocities committed by The Joker and killed him by snapping his neck. BUT The Clown Prince of Crime had one last surprise for his longtime nemesis, The Joker created a toxin that would be released from his body at the moment of his death and turn whoever killed him into the next Joker. The insidious toxin burned  away Bruce’s humanity. Batman lost of all his morality, compassion, and empathy. Batman, under normal circumstances, is already as Superman once put it, “The most dangerous man alive.”.  This version Batman, without the moral code that stops him from going too far, is a terrifying and unbeatable cosmic horror. Now he’s the apex predator of The Multiverse. Because a Batman Who Laughs is a Batman who always wins. 

  The Justice League managed to defeat Barbatos and his army of evil Batmen (The Batman Who Laughs managed to stick around The DCU), but it came with huge unforeseen consequences. In defeating one dark god, they unknowingly unleashed another: Perpetua, The Mother and Creator of The Multiverse. However, when Perpetua was freed, it took time for her to regain her full power. She needed help and a certain bald, alien hating, billionaire businessman/scientific genius was just the megalomaniac for the job…

Perpetua: Creator of The Multiverse

   One of the major ongoing stories in DC Comics over the last few years has followed Lex Luthor (with the help of The Legion of Doom) as he attempted to pull off his most ambitious cosmic power grab to date. Luthor set out to unlock the hidden powers of the universe and restore Perpetua to her full strength. Luthor’s endgame was to help Perpetua regain control of The Multiverse and rule over all of creation alongside her as her right hand and most trusted disciple. Everything was going according to Luthor’s plan, that is until The Batman Who Laughs showed up. He managed to make the case to Perpetua that he, not Luthor, was the one worthy of becoming her most valuable acolyte. Luthor had done all the work and The Batman Who Laughs snatched everything right out from under him. Perpetua agreed, and Luthor was cast aside.

    Dark Nights: Death Metal is not only a sequel to Dark Nights: Metal, it also builds upon many of the major stories Scott Snyder and others have been telling in the DCU since the end of the first Dark Nights: Metal. Elements from Snyder‘s Justice League run, Doomsday Clock, Snyder’s Batman Who Laughs miniseries, The Flash, and more are all at play. I think one of the things that the story does really well, is that despite all of the groundwork the story has been built upon, it doesn’t feel like you need to have read all of those other stories to understand this one. It’s a more accessible tale than you might think. The story starts very much in the middle of the action, so even if you have read every single DC Comic Book that’s connected to this story, you’re still going to be playing catch-up. Everything in the story is so insane that, part of the fun is figuring out how the hell our heroes have found themselves in this crazy situation.

Without going into major spoilers, Earth has been pulled into The Dark Multiverse. The planet has become a terrifying nightmare-scape, ruled over by the cruel and sadistic Batman Who Laughs. Countless twisted and evil versions of Batman from throughout The Dark Multiverse act as his lieutenants and help enforce his will. Our heroes have lost so badly that to keep what’s left of humanity alive, heroes like Swamp Thing, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and others are forced work for The Batman Who Laughs and do his bidding. He’s given his version of the Justice League different roles to play in his new kingdom. They know that they can’t beat him. He holds all the cards in such a way that, the only way our heroes can protect the people that are left is to play his sick game and grudgingly work for him. The Batman Who Laughs is essentially holding a gun to the head of what’s left of humanity, to keep the former Justice League in line. It’s sort of reminds me of something out of Game of Thrones where noble characters have to bow down before a despicable ruler in the name of serving a greater good. Of course Batman, the real Batman that is out there somewhere, fighting almost like a guerrilla insurgency, desperately trying to pull off whatever ever he can to save whatever’s left of this broken Multiverse.

Despite the fact that the whole story is wrapped in Batman iconography and there are evil Batmen everywhere, Wonder Woman is the central character in this story. Themyscira, Wonder Woman’s former home, has literally become Hell, a jail for people that The Batman Who Laughs wants to keep out of the way and imprisoned. With Swamp Thing (who’s seen better days to say the least) as her right hand man and confidant, Wonder Woman has become Hell’s Jailer, The Warden of her desecrated homeland. Despite her dark circumstances, Wonder Woman is pretty fucking cool in this story and I love the choice to make her one of the central characters. She’s really the main character, at least in this issue.  but considering what goes down in the first issue alone, I think it’s fair to say she’ll probably be taking center stage for the whole story. If this issue is any indication, that’s a fantastic idea. As cool as Batman is, as smart as he is, and is tough as he is, no one will fight to their last breath like Wonder Woman. She is not content to play her fucked up role in The Batman Who Laugh’s wasteland. Bruce thinks the fight is already lost and all they can hope to do is save whatever good is left. Wonder woman is not having that shit, she knows there must be a way to make things right, to put the universe back together again. And when a very important prisoner is sent to her by The Batman Who Laughs, Diana thinks she may have found her last chance to save the world.

To say anymore would spoil the fun. I will say this, they are not fucking around with this story. Snyder and Capullo have pulled out all of the fucking stops. This is only the first issue and there were at least three or four jaw-dropping moments in this comic book. I was fucking blown away. It’s impressive that while so much of what is going on in the story is dark and bleak, the story never loses it’s thrilling sense of fun. The heroes of the DCU are in rough shape, but it looks like watching them try to set things right is going to be a blast!

   I think it’s safe to say at this point that Snyder and Capullo have established themselves as one of the best writer/artist teams in the history of comics. These are two guys operating at the absolute top of their game and it shows in the story. When Greg Capullo’s name is on a comic book, it’s a given that the art inside will be fantastic, but he really knocked it out of the park on this one. It would be easy to take Capullo’s incredible art for granted, because his work has produced so many phenomenal stories over the years. In Dark Nights: Death Metal, literally everything on each page is something totally new, even all of the classic DC heroes in this story are sporting completely new looks. There are so few artists that could pull off a story like this, with the level of excellence that Capullo delivers. Then there’s the coloring by FCO Plascencia (another long time collaborator of Snyder and Capullo’s) which is gorgeous in this issue. The way the bright, vivid colors of Wonder Woman contrast with the dark, more muted tones of the desolate wasteland that surrounds her, is beautiful to behold.

I’ll definitely say this I loved Dark Nights: Metal and this is a much better first issue than that story. I’m sure Snyder and Capullo would be happy to hear, that the comic book is definitely “Metal”. It rocks the fucking doors off, blows out the windows, and leaves you desperately wanting more. I cannot wait for the next issue, because Dark Nights: Death Metal fucking rules! 🤘

Dark Nights: Death Metal #19/10

Note: DC has put out a prelude story that takes place right before issue #1 begins. You can read it for free on instagram! It’s pretty cool, so I definitely recommend checking it out. Read for free right here: https://t.co/vIJ8HkiZ23

Check out this art from issue #2 hitting stands in July…

A Look At The Upcoming Video Game: The Last of Us Part II

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

Like many other kids of my generation, I grew up playing video games on Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis. However, by the time I got to high school, I rarely played and pretty much lost interest in video games. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking gaming, it’s just that, at the time, it wasn’t my thing anymore. One of my close friends kept gaming and every once in a while, he’d send me a cool video, like the cinematic teaser for one of the Batman Arkham games and I was always impressed. It was clear that gaming had made a big jump forward, but I was just intrigued more than anything else. I wasn’t exactly ready to dive headfirst back in to playing video games.

  Not long after, the same friend of mine and I were meeting up with another group of people to grab dinner and I was supposed to meet my buddy at his place. I was a few minutes early and he was wrapping up playing one of the Uncharted games. I was completely blown away by what I was seeing. It was so incredibly cinematic, with 360° visibility, amazing rendering of characters and environments. The cherry onto for me was that it wasn’t just a game, but a real story with well developed characters. I’m sure this sounds stupid to a lot of you, but for me this is a quantum leap forward in video gaming. It felt like he was playing an Indiana Jones movie. I even remember the part of the game he was playing. It was (at least for me, at the time) a mind-bogglingly cool action sequence, involving Nathan Drake and some bad guys, on a cargo plane, with an open hold door, flying over the desert. I was sold. I never looked at videos games the same way.

   I haven’t played as much as I’d have liked to over the last year, but there’s a new game coming out in a few weeks will definitely change that: The Last of Us Part II. The is sequel to, in my opinion, one of the best games ever created, The Last of Us. When The Last of Us came out on PS3, it was the best story, in any medium, of 2013. The best analogy I could use to describe The Last of Us, would be that it feels like you’re “playing” a movie and that doesn’t even do the game justice.

   The Last of Us, from the video game developer Naughty Dog, tells the story of Joel, a bitter, cynical, middle aged man and teenage Ellie, as they make their way across a post-Apocalyptic United States. Of course, they have to contend with weird, zombie like creatures roaming the country. Oh, and our heroes have to deal with the worst monsters of all… other human survivors! Dah, dah, duhn! I’m sure this may sound like a cliched story you’ve heard too many times before, but The Last of Us is in a class all its own. I became more invested in the character’s of Joel and Ellie than the characters in the books I was reading or the movies I was watching that summer. If you’ve ever played the game, you know exactly what I’m talking about. It was a masterpiece. A beautiful piece of art. Now, in just a few short weeks, we will get a chance to revisit Joel, Elle, and their broken, but not completely hopeless, world when The Last of Us Part II launches on 5/29/2020!

Now take a look at the new trailer below….

…And this really cool behind the scenes video from the creators of the game, as well:

The Last of Us II drops on 5/29/20

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. 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: Best Movies Of The Decade!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

As we say goodbye to not just another year, but another decade, what better time to look back at the best movies of the last 10 years? That’s what co-host Ryan McDonald and myself set out to do on this episode of The World’s Best Podcast! As two of the great film experts of their our, Ryan and I will take you on a journey through the very best films of the 2010’s! We each scoured the movies released between 2010 and 2019. After extensive research, we came with separate lists, each covering about 15 of the best pieces of cinema in the 2010’s! This is a can’t miss episode! 

Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/21293384 Or subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes:

iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441#episodeGuid=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.spreaker.com%2Fepisode%2F21293384

Below, you’ll find the YouTube video from Mr Sunday Movies about Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Prt. 1, that we mention in the podcast. Watch it right here:

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. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, which 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!

-Paul