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

WBM Spring 2021 Movie & TV Preview (Week 1) PODCAST: THE FALCON & THE WINTER SOLDIER- Series Premiere (SPOILERS)!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

I’m going to keep this relatively brief. This episode of the podcast is all about one my most anticipated new projects of The MCU, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. If you’re a World’s Best Media regular, first let me say Thank You and you’re awesome, (if you’re not a frequent visitor, welcome and thanks for being here!), you may have noticed our SPRING 2021 Movie & TV Preview announcement! The COVID-19 pandemic lead to a lot of rescheduling in Hollywood, which resulted in a lot of films and shows getting their release dates shuffled around. As these projects begin to finally have concrete release dates, a lot of really cool stuff ended up with premieres between March and the beginning of May. We have some really really exciting pieces of content coming our way very soon. We’re going to have continuing coverage on all of it, so stay tuned! Kicking things off with Week 1, DC and Marvel are slugging it out for supremacy, with the release of Zack Snyder‘s Justice League and Marvel’s The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. We have a great breakdown and review of Zack Snyder‘s Justice League on the next installment of the podcast, coming very soon!

On this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, we dive right into a FULL SPOILER review of the series premiere of The Falcon & The Winter Soldier! This was a fun episode to record so I hope you all enjoy it! Thanks for listening and enjoy! Listen here or subscribe on iTunes/Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, and more!

iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441#episodeGuid=https%3A%2F%2Fapi.spreaker.com%2Fepisode%2F4397346

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

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

Thanks for listening! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM, our Facebook page; World’s Best Media, and 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

PODCAST: WandaVision Series Finale (FULL SPOILERS)!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

This week on The World’s Best Podcast, guest co-host Mike Cole and I dive right into the Season Finale of WandaVision! How’d the story wrap up? What did we think of the series in general? & What does this mean for the future of the characters and The MCU, after one of Marvel’s most wildly unique and compelling stories yet?

Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/43761901  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=1000511891206

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

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

SPOILER ALERT!!!

One of the best moments in the finale, is during the fight between the 2 Visions. What begins as a pretty cool physical confrontation, is ultimately resolved when “our” Vision proposes a thought experimental his double (specifically, The Ship of Theseus). This reveals to Vision’s white, doppelgänger, the flawed and conflicting nature of his programming. I loved this scene because it’s a clever way to subvert the superhero story troupe of “The Final Battle”, which was in keeping with the unique nature of the series. I didn’t know at the time, but this was taken straight out of one of a recent Avengers comics! Take a look…

Cool, right?

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

WBM’s SPRING 2021 MOVIE & TV PREVIEW! Week 1: The Falcon & The Winter Soldiers and Zack Snyder’s Justice League! UPDATED

Hey Everyone,

Paul here… Updated: 3/17/2021

From now to the end of May, some of the years most high profile television shows and films will be premiering on streaming networks, digitally, on-demand, and if you’re bold enough, movie theaters. We’re about to roll out a big World’s Best Media’s SPRING 2021 Movie & TV Preview! This is going to include multiple podcasts, some of our best writers offering up reviews and editorials, exclusive video content, and more! New films and shows like The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, Godzilla Vs. Kong, Black Widow, Invincible, Justice Society: World War II, The Irregulars, Jupiter’s Legacy, Invincible and more will all be covered here on World’s Best Media! We’re really excited for you all to see it! Save this page/link to your browser because we’ll be posting multiple updates each week! It could be a new article, a trailer, a first look at a film or TV show poster, or a podcast! We want to provide you with as much fun and interesting new content as possible! Week 1 of World’s Best Media’s SPRING 2021 Movie & TV Preview starts off with a bang! Zack Snyder’s Justice League premieres on HBO Max on 3/18, we already have some beautiful character posters and teasers posted below, to get you psyched for Thursday’s premiere. By Sunday night or Monday morning we’ll have a very special episode of The World’s Best Podcast ready where I recap and review The Snyder Cut, with Tim Cuff and Ryan McDonald, hosts of Cuff’s Basement! However, Zack Snyder’s Justice League isn’t the only exciting project to premiere this week…

Marvel’s The Falcon & The Winter Soldier: (UPDATED on 3/23)

Here’s our FULL SPOILER breakdown/review of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier: Episode 1


Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/43973460  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=1000513737947

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

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

Keep it here at World’s Best Media for continuing coverage of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier…

Marvel’s The Falcon and The Winter Soldier drops the first installment of it’s 6 episode season on Friday 3/19 on Disney+. Marvel has released multiple trailers and images hinting at some thrilling stuff in store for us in this new series. Check them out right here…

Final Trailer:

Teaser #1:


Behind-The-Scenes Look:

    We’ll be updating this page with our review for The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, as well as other content pertaining to the series, as it becomes available.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League – Posters & Character Teasers: (UPDATED with FULL SPOILER REVIEW)

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

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

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


  Zack Snyder‘s Justice League is absolutely one of the big projects we’re going to cover in our World’s Best Media’s SPRING 2021 Preview! Zack Snyder has posted several cool character teasers, hinting at the arcs for individual heroes in this new film, as well as a few new posters for his 4 hour+, Justice League remake,  premiering HBO Max in just a few weeks. Take a look! UPDATED!!! Check out the epic FINAL TRAILER, new teasers and posters for Wonder Woman, The Flash, and Darkseid!

Final Trailer:

Darkseid Teaser:


The Flash/Aquaman Teaser:

Wonder Woman Teaser:


Cyborg Teaser:

Batman Teaser:

Superman Teaser:

Aquaman Teaser:

Character Posters


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

X-Men: The Complete Animated Series Now On Disney+!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

X-Men: The Animated Series Now Streaming on Disney+! Watch the trailer below!

A picture of X-Men Cyclops, Beast, and Wolverine looking at something while Jubilee points at it. The X-Men logo and Disney+ logos covering the bottom half of the image.

As a child of the 90s, there were really only three superhero cartoons that defined the era for most kids. The best, was of course, the absolute classic Batman: The Animated Series, Spider-Man, and X-Men: The Animated Series. Batman: The Animated Series aired on Kid’s WB, while Spider-Man, and X-Men: The Animated Series were both on Fox Kids or Fox (Though there may have been some overlap at some point). I was a Batman and Spider-Man kid all the way, I loved both of the shows. Those shows were the reason I started reading comic books. When I went to my local comic book store, while I was in middle school, I asked the owner to set me up with the Spider-Man and Batman comic books.

Spider-Man crouching on a building ledge looking down, from the Spider-Man animated series.

While Spider-Man has its charms, it doesn’t hold a candle to Batman: The Animated Series, which still holds up as one of the best television shows of all time. It may surprise you to hear that, despite my love for superhero comics and my love of the X-Men in general, for some reason I never got into X-Men: The Animated Series. It was a big deal for all the kids I went to school with, but something about just turned me off and I never got into it. As time went on and I started to get into actual comic books and I became a huge X-Men comic book fan I would check out random episodes here and there, but I hadn’t seen very much of the show. At that point X-Men: Evolution had begun to coincide with the X-Men live action films that were being released. However, to many people who grew up in that era, X-Men: The Animated Series is the definitive take on the characters. I knew a lot of people who based their expectations of the X-Men films on what was done on the animated series. Like I said, I haven’t seen more than a few episodes, but from what I understand they took on classic stories like The Dark Phoenix Saga, Days of Future Past, and Age of Apocalypse. 

A collage of the X-Men team, showing Jean Grey (alongside both her light and dark Phoenix personas), Cable, Storm, Cyclops, Beast, Rogue, Mystique, Gambit, Wolverine and Jubilee.

  The one problem I will really always have with an X-Men cartoon that’s aimed at kids, is that I think the subject matter just doesn’t translate well to a heavily censored audience. One of the biggest issues I‘ll always have is the fact that everyone’s favorite character from that series is Wolverine. I’ve viewed Wolverine as a perfect example of main stream popular culture’s fundamental misunderstanding of comic book superheroes. Let me see right away, this is something that has hugely improved over the last few years. I think that as a culture, we have become more understanding that superhero stories run the gamut from something that’s appropriate for young children to stories that are only appropriate for adults. The example I love give is, when Batman Returns came out, McDonald’s had toys for that film in their happy meals as part of a promotional deal. Yet that is one of the most fucked up, dark, superhero movies that exists. The Penguin bites a guy’s nose off at one point. Which brings me back to X-Men: The Animated Series and the man called Logan. When Wolverine, one of the main protagonists of an animated show aimed at children, whose defining ability are the razor sharp adamantium claws that shoot out from his hands, there’s a disconnect between content and audience. I mean, there’s only so many times someone can throw a chair at him and he cuts it in half with his claws, with the pieces knocking the assailant out. Or Wolverine cuts a door or weapon. Come on, those things were created for one thing and one thing only and that is to take chunks out of people and stab them until they’re dead. But obviously you can’t do that on a kids show. I always felt like there was extra silliness to the character because it was so obvious that he was being toned down just by the very nature of his powers. His powers revolve around his excellence at murdering people, it’s just right there. Anyway that’s my nitpick.

Wolverine out of his X-Men uniform, with his claws extended, and some kind of energy circling the tips of them.

The point is that, up untill now, X-Men: The Complete Animated Series was never available easily on any streaming service or even some of the major digital purchasers. And there’s never been a DVD or Blu-ray release for The Complete Animated Series or even season by season. Well, that has all changed with Disney+, for the first time X-Men: The Animated Series is available in it’s entirety on Disney+. I think they know that they have an asset with this series, not only will all the original fans go out of their way to watch and enjoy the show, but many of those original fans will share the series with their own children. So Disney+ has putout a special trailer to commemorate the X-Men: The Complete Animated Series becoming fully available on their streaming service. It’s actually pretty cool. Check it out here:

Unfortunately they missed the opportunity to include the iconic X-Men opening theme song. If they put out this trailer, with the X-Men theme song playing at some point in the background, people would be running to their tablets and computers to sign up for Disney+. Even though it isn’t in this pretty cool trailer, the theme song is so goddamn catchy I wanted to make sure I included here for your viewing and listening pleasure…

It’s always worth noting that Disney+ may be promoting the show to gauge audience interest in producing a new season. That’s just conjecture, but it’s worth asking the question. Disney+ actually has a fantastic back catalogue of TV shows, especially when it comes to great cartoons from the 90s and early 2000s. You can find Spiderman: The Complete Animated Series, the aforementioned X-Men: Evolution, and a lot more to discover and explore. My personal favorite is the classic 90s Disney Afternoon series, Gargoyles, which is available in its entirety streaming on Disney+. This show is ridiculously fucking good. It is amazing the shit they got away with for a late 90s cartoon on Disney Afternoon. It is extremely dark, there are on screen murders, they even swear a few times, which is crazy for any animated series that is directed at children. The show is so fucking cool, deep, with characters that are compelling and fascinating, along with a rich and complex mythology that sucks you in. I will definitely write a much longer article about why you need to go out of your way to watch Gargoyles, because it’s fucking awesome. In fact, rumor has it for a while now that Jordan Peele actually wants to make a live action Gargoyles movie, which would be fucking amazing. I really hope that one comes through. Anyway I thought you guys might be interested in these trailers and the info about what is available over on Disney+. Enjoy your binge watching and bring your kids if you have them, I guess. Or screw your kids, go enjoy yourself, pawn your kid off on your spouse or just let them walk around in the yard or some thing. Lock yourself in a room for a few hours and kick back to a time when you were the kid instead of worrying about your goddamn kid. That’s pretty good advice right? All you need is a leash attached to one of those runners that goes across the yard, so kid can just run back and forth and tire itself out. Set out a bowl of water, watch your cartoons, and you’re good to go.

Three panel images, the first of Gambit sitting, the middle of Wolverine punching Cyclops in the stomach, and the third of Jean Grey looking worried or sad.

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

SUPERNATURAL: The Final Season (UPDATED!)

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

(UPDATED: WITH NEW VIDEOS AND PHOTOS!)

Hey After 15 Seasons, more than than 1 apocalypse, and a shitload of dead monsters, Supernatural will be riding it’s ‘67 Chevy Impala off into the sunset…

With only a few episodes of Supernatural left, The CW has been sending off the long running and beloved series with the respect it deserves. TV GUIDE even put out a special edition of the magazine, commemorating the end of the fan favorite series…

This Special Edition Issue is now available on stands and online.

The CW has put together some excellent promotional material to psych up fans for the grand finale of one of the most successful shows in the history of The CW network. In particular, some fantastic behind-the-scenes videos have been released and I posted my personal favorites below.They put a spotlight on the show’s legacy, we get a look at how some of the most iconic running jokes and quirks on the show came to be, and the making of the final few episodes. Check them out:

Next up, I loved this new trailer that was released to get people hyped up for the two-hour series finale event. As an avid fan of the series, who’s been watching the show since Season 2, the nostalgia really hard. I’m certainly going to miss The Winchesters, Castiel, Bobby, Crowley and all the rest. However, as much as I’ll miss the show, I think it’s better that they’re going out on a relative high. Even in the later seasons they’ve been able to deliver some phenomenal episodes of television. How many shows with a 15 season run, are able to pull off consistently unique, entertaining, and engaging episodes? I’m sure it wasn’t easy, but Supernatural has been able to sustain its quality and I’m happy to see the series go out on a high note. Check out the trailer below…

They’ve released interesting images from the upcoming final episodes, including the return of some fan favorite characters

This behind-the-image features (L) Lisa Berry who plays the current incarnation of
speaking with episode director, (R) Richard Speight Jr. In addition to playing The Trickster AKA Archangel Gabriel, Speight Jr has directed 11 episodes of the series.


After this week’s gut wrenching episode, I honestly have no idea where things are going in the final 2 episodes. I do know that the next episode has been described as the “Season Finale”, wrapping up the season’s central conflict, while the final episode serves more as an overall “Series Finale”. Here are some cool images from nexts week’s episode, 15×19 “Inherit The Earth” (The “Season Finale” Episode), which shows the return of a major familiar face. This character’s presence could be the edge the boy’s need in their fight against Chuck. Take a look:

Yes, that is indeed Archangel Michael in his vessel Adam, Sam and Dean’s younger half brother. The fact that Adam and Michael have a seemingly symbiotic relationship that almost seems like a friendship, which is very rare for Archangels. This unique relationship has led many fans to dub character “Aichael”. Judging from the photos, he appears to be there to help, but I guess we’ll have to wait until next week to see. So what do you guys think are you excited for the final two episodes of Supernatural? Let me know in the comments below!

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: The Flash “Time Bomb”

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

For the first two Seasons of The Flash, it was one of my top shows. I loved The Flash and The Arrowverse in general as much as shows like Game of Thrones or Netflix’s Daredevil (before you freak out, I’m not saying that The Flash, at its best, was as good as those shows. I’m just saying I enjoyed The Flash almost as much as those series). The first two Seasons are among the best live action superhero stories brought to any screen. Things started to get dicey in the 3rd Season, it wasn’t reaching the heights of what had come before. However, because the way the story in Season 3 is told, the audience doesn’t have the full picture of what’s been going on until much later in the season. Giving Season 3 a rewatch reveals a flawed, but very good/great season. Sadly, after the Season 3 finale, the show had it’s best days behind it. Season 4 sucked and Season 5 (the current season) has me barely interested in the show anymore. However, despite my waning interest, I was really looking forward to Tuesday night’s episode, “Time Bomb”, for reasons I’ll explain below. Imagine my surprise when The Flash put out it’s best episode (non-crossover) episode in a few years with this heartbreaking installment.

   The over arcing story of the season revolves around, Nora Allen, Barry and Iris’s speedster daughter from roughly 30 years in the future, who has come back in time to correct a mistake she made by messing with the timeline. According to Nora, basically Team Flash has to stop a super villain called Cicada (a very dangerous man named Orlin Dwyer), which will somehow correct the timeline, and Nora will return to her own time period. I feel like this show doesn’t do a good job of explaining why Nora needs to fix the timeline in the first place. I get that a dangerous villain called Cicada has become even more dangerous due to the change in the timeline, but beyond that the plans for Nora’s return home are unclear. To me, with time travel being so dangerous in this universe the longer she stays in the past the more damage she would be doing. By hanging around with her parents decades before she was born, seems far more dangerous than stopping any villain. So I haven’t been that invested in the show until the mid season finale when they reveal that 30 years in the future Nora‘s mentor, the person who is giving her instructions on how to properly manipulate the timeline and use the Speed Force is none other than Eobard Thawne! He’s being held in a Supermax version of Iron Heights Prison In 2049 and he seems to genuinely want to help Nora. As we learn from the very first episode of the series, in Thawne’s Timevault there’s a futuristic front page hologram newspapers from the year 2024 that reads “THE FLASH VANISHES IN CRISIS“. So, Nora was a little girl who grew up without her legendary, hero father and then develops the superspeed she inherited from him. She needed a mentor to instructor her in how to use the Speed Force. In Nora’s defense, it’s clear that she didn’t understand just how much damage The Reverse-Flash had done to Barry and his life. Even though I am certain Thawne has an ulterior motive that benefits himself, he seems to truly care about Nora and almost views her as a surrogate daughter. 

       But time has run out, the shit has hit the fan, their plan has fallen apart. A desperate Nora runs into the future to find a despondent Thawne who says there’s nothing else they can do. Thawne tells Nora to do something that terrifies her: tell her father everything. Tell him about working with Thawne, Tell him about their attempts to change the timeline, and tell him the painful reality that she has been lying to him about working with his greatest enemy.

    What really fucked up the timeline was that Dwyer’s niece, Grace, who is comatose young girl in the present. Grace, all grown up and from the future, has come back in time using the Time Sphere the Team Flash built in Season 1. Grace has become the new Cicada in her time and she plans to continue, what she saw as, her Uncle’s “Mission” to kill all meta humans. In many ways, she’s even more psychotic and dangerous than her uncle. She remarks that in her time, about 30 years from now, that meta humans have has grown at an exponential rate. Which makes sense because there are a shitload of other super heroes and super villains in the future.

Grace, all grown up and a complete fucking psychopath. The new Cicada from 30 years in the future

    Dwyer killed Metas as Cicada to protect and avenge his niece. He wanted to make the world a safer for a place for her when she comes out of her coma. He just wanted her to have a happy life. He is somewhat horrified that his beloved niece is so filled with the same hate and anger that led to him down his path to being Cicada. Grace becoming Cicada is the last thing he wants for her. So during her battle with Team Flash. Dwyer shows up, without his powers because he’s been cured, and tries to talk her down. He tells her that she needs to let go of her anger and move on. I saw this coming a mile away, but just as it looks like he might be getting through to her, she kills him with the meta dampening dagger that now belongs to her. This is where we really see just how much more of a psychopath she is compared to her uncle. As her dies in The Flash’s arms, Dwyer’s touching last words to Barry are “Save my Grace.” Even though she just murdered him, she’s the only thing he’s truly loved. Even if he’s dying all he really cares about is his niece Grace. When he asks Barry to save her I think he means save her from the path to Cicada. From one father to another, Dwyer asks Barry to save his child’s soul.

    Team flash manages to track down Cicada’s next target, a woman named Vickie Bolen. Several years ago, without quite understanding how her powers worked, she accidentally blew up an ATM, seemingly killing Grace’s parents. Because at the time of the explosion meta-humans were being kept under wraps in Central City, so Bolen remarks that she takes blame for the ATM explosion but “Thanks  God that no one was hurt”. She was blissfully ignorant to the fact that she’s probably the person who killed Grace’s parents. I say “probably” because who the fuck knows on a show like this sometimes. CCPD/Team Flash, which is essentially the same thing for all intents and purposes on this mission because everyone involved works for CCPD and Team Flash, realize the incident wasn’t her fault and the team insist on protecting her and her family from this very dangerous new Cicada. Bolen’s daughter was slightly injured, so they wait for the attack at Central City Hospital.

    This leads to an excellent action sequence that relied on special FX, when Grace shows up to kill this woman Team Flash is protecting. Standing outside the hospital, Grace unleashes the Dagger with Barry realizing a split second before anybody that the dagger is coming, which will take away their powers and it’s headed right at the woman they’re trying to protect. In a really cool piece of special FX, everything slows way down to flash time the dagger crashes through the window of the hospital. Nora’s powers start to drain away in the presence of the dagger as she and Barry take off in the other direction to try to save Bolen. However, Barry is a little bit ahead of Nora and he’s able to get around the corner, get his Flash suit on as it blows out of his ring, and get to Bolen just before she’s about to be killed by the dagger. Nora super speeds Bolen out of there with the dagger flying behind them like a heat seeking missile close behind. Meanwhile Barry goes to face off with Grace. It was a really cool scene and I liked seeing Nora try to out run this weapon and save this woman, while Team Flash comes up with a plan to save them. It seems that lately the special Fx haven’t lived up to the amazing standard set by the show’s first three seasons. Their FX is usually great, especially for a network show. Even though I think the FX has dipped a little recently, this was a very cool action sequence.

   And then we come to the end of things…. The team has saved the day, for now, and are looking to head out to grab a well deserved drink together. This is when Cecile picks up on the fact that Nora wants to tell them all something and everything from this moment on in the episode is pretty brutal.

Grant Gustin, Jessica Parker Kennedy, and Tom Cavanuogh each give Excellent performances in this episode. Stand outs include: Barry’s look of utter betrayal and horror when he finds out his daughter was working with Thawne. Nora’s opening scene with Thawne; everything they’ve risked, everything they’ve been working towards has been completely fucked. Nora’s panic and terror that the plan failed and Thawne’s crushed acceptance made for a memorable scene. Jessica Parker Kennedy knocked it out of the park throughout the entire episode; portraying the utter terror and desperation Nora feels at the prospect of her secret coming to light. Especially in the first scene with Thawne and the final scene with Sherloque, (two very different men with the same face,  intense scenes that bookend the episode) she wanted to to tell her family the truth about working with Thawne, she even tried to confess to Barry a few times only to be interrupted. But she waited to long and Sherloque had finally put all the pieces together, which leads to Sherloque’s big speech telling the team how he followed the trail and solved this mystery (It’s a classic troupe of great detective stories, where the brilliant detective like Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot lays out all the facts in front of the characters in the story. Sherloque is definitely more Poirot than Holmes, especially in this scene. I LOVE the “Detective Solved The Mystery And Gives His Speech About What’s Really Going On” scene in any story with a master detective. Tom Cavanough does a great job in this scene.

   There were a couple of times that almost got me a little misty in this episode. Like the wires dying words and the look of a hot air but trail on Barry‘s face when he realizes that Nora and Sean are working together. The final few seconds of nor is it breaking down in one of the pipeline cells was one of the most downbeat endings to a flash episode ever. Like I said before, I don’t think the Flash has had such a strong episode in a few seasons. I look forward to watching the next episode which won’t be airing again until April where we find out the back story of how Nora and Thawne got together in the first place, but this does not mean I’m back on The Flash bandwagon. This was just one excellent episode in a sea of mediocrity over the last several years. If you’re like me and you’ve liked The Flash in the past and maybe have given up on it a little bit, watch this episode. However, It’s so well done that the episode deserved appreciation on its own merits. 

   Anyway, thank you so much for reading as always I appreciate it! I’d love to hear your thoughts about this episode or about The Flash in general, you can leave your comments below or send me a message on Facebook or Twitter.

The Flash (S5, Ep17) “Time Bomb”: 9/10

-Paul

3Below Season 1: Reviewed

 

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Earlier this year, Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia ended after their third season.  As far as I know, they completed the story and ended according to the schedule that creator Guillermo Del Toro had envisioned.  I loved the series, and I was sad to see it go.  Then about a month ago or so, I saw on one of those “Everything new coming to Netflix in December” articles, something called “3Below: Tales of Arcadia,” and the article had an image, and it was clear that the animation was similar style to Trollhunters, but the article itself didn’t mention whether or not the two were related, so a quick IMDb check confirmed that his was a spinoff series, and a brief conversation with Paul, he informed me that this was the second in a planned 3 part series.

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Anyway, the show has been out for about three weeks, and I just finished watching the first season, and I’ve got to say it’s pretty good.  It’s not as good as Trollhunters, (my 2 year-old would give up about thirty seconds into every episode and say “we watch real Trollhunters now?”) but it’s good.

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Above: Krel, guardian Varvatos Vex, & Aja in their natural form.  Below: In their human disguises.

First off, even though the two main characters Aja and Krel, extra-terrestrial (they don’t like the term aliens!) siblings living in Arcadia were featured briefly in Trollhunters, the show had a little more work to setting it up than Trollhunters did.  Trollhunters starts out on Earth, on a pretty standard version we would all recognize, and then reveals that there is a secret underworld of trolls, and other magical creatures; they start with the default and add.  3Below however starts on a planet known as Acaridian 5 and tells the story of Princess Aja and Prince Krel on the day they are to become the King and Queen in waiting, and are attacked by enemies and have to go on the run.  We don’t see Earth until the end of the episode.  This doesn’t make it a worse show that Trollhunters, but certainly it gives it a different set of challenges to overcome.  They do so pretty well, but it takes just a little longer to really get invested.

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I’m not going to get too into spoilers, but I will say that one of the things I really like about this show, is that they create a lot of new mythology within this universe, and they aren’t just applying the same formula as Trollhunters to this, meaning it’s not an Madlibs style situation where they’re like alright we need this role because Trollhunters had it.  Trollhunters is largely about Jim and his friends going after something, and this is definitely more of Aja and Krell running from something, and not necessarily in a cowardly way, but in order to protect their kingdom.

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Another thing that I really like about this show, is that they manage to pull in characters we’ve gotten to know through Trollhunters, and build upon them.  We get to see Jim, Toby, and Claire, but we also get to see Steve, who’ a bully on Trollhuntersgiven some fleshing out, fully realized on this show, as he quickly has a crush on Aja after she kicks his ass.  We get to see Senor Uhl, less as the authority figure to be thwarted or avoided, but more as the protector when other humans seem to target the twins in their human forms.

 

                                           (Steve & Aja. Steve’s come a long way…)

All in all, I really liked this show, and I hope that we get to see another season or two (whatever Guillermo Del Toro has envisioned) and now that I’ve seen how aliens and magic have played with each other in this setting, I’m really interested in seeing what he has in mind for the 3rd series he’s planning.

DreamWorks Animation's 3Below

Written by Michael Cole

MUST WATCH: Titans

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

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I have some pretty surprising news to share with you good folks today, Titans, on the DC UNIVERSE streaming service, is pretty fucking great. Of course, like many of you, I was skeptical going into this show. It seemed like the negative buzz began when the first trailer dropped (I kind of dug it). I really don’t mind dark and gritty, I also know that you can’t judge a project by it’s trailer. So, a lot of people hated this show before it even premiered, based on what they saw in promotional material and trailers. Many felt it seemed reminiscent of the overly serious and violent DCEU, excuse me, The Worlds of DC (good luck getting that to stick). Personally, I don’t dislike the recent DC superhero films nearly as much as most fans do. Besides their only real critical and commercial success, Wonder Woman, I really like Man of Steel and though it’s hugely flawed, I kind of love Batman V Superman.

Titans CR: DC
Dick Grayson AKA Robin/Nightwing

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Rachel AKA Raven

           So why was I skeptical about the Titans series? Despite my excitement at the prospect of an adult oriented live action Titans series, the word behind the scenes was that the show wasn’t very good. Then there were the costumes. If you’re a comic book fan and you’ve ever read Teen Titans, you would know that they have very distinct styles, with colorful and bright costumes. Some of the set photos had leaked online and the pictures I saw of Starfire, Raven, and Beast Boy in costume looked absolutely horrendous. Especially Starfire, who is one of my favorite Titans. The pictures of her costume made her like a hooker from the 1970’s. With all of that in mind, things didn’t look good for Titans.

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Beast Boy

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Starfire

Now Robin, on the other hand, was a different story. I love the Robin costume on this series. It isn’t an easy superhero uniform to pull off in live action. Just look at Batman Forever and Batman & Robin. Besides the atrocious version of Robin played by Chris O’Donnell in those films, this is the first time we’ve really seen Robin on screen in the golden age of superhero storytelling. It looked like Titans nailed the Robin uniform in my opinion. It looked functional, not too bright, not too dark, and frankly it was just cool. Plus, I thought Brenton Thwaites was a perfect pick for Dick Grayson/Robin/Nightwing. At the very least I liked what I’d seen from Dick Grayson in the show’s trailers. Which was a big deal for me because Dick has always been one of my favorite superheroes. So I was still holding out some hope that Titans could be a great show.

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  It certainly didn’t help that when I signed up for a 15 month subscription to the DC UNIVERSE streaming service, the app was terrible. It felt like it wasn’t nearly ready to be launched. I couldn’t log into my account, there wasn’t nearly enough content, the whole thing was a shit show. Even now, months later, I can’t log into DC UNIVERSE on any other device except for my tablet. That’s a big problem. I had to contact the team that handles customer service multiple times. As much as I hated the app, I still really wanted to see Titans. More importantly, Young Justice Season 3 premieres early next year on DC UNIVERSE after Titans Season 1 wraps up.

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  In spite of all the problems, I enjoyed the first episode of Titans. It didn’t blow me away, but I liked it. It certainly is not your classic version of the Teen Titans by any means, but it had enough going on to keep me interested. 

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Dick just beat the living hell out of these guys

   The over arcing story of the season is about the Titans coming together to protect Raven from a cult, that is trying to unleash her demon father, Trigon, upon the Earth. The Raven stuff, especially in the early episodes, had a real Rosemary’s Baby/The Exorcist kind of vibe that worked really well. Raven is the character that really brings the team together in the story.

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Raven in full demon mode

  In the series, Dick Grayson left Gotham City to become a cop in Detroit after a massive falling out with Batman. The show manages to explore Dick‘s complicated relationship with Bruce Wayne, without actually having Batman present as a character. Seeing why Dick went out on his own and his character arc in general is by far my favorite part of the show. 

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    You see how Batman was an incredibly violent and negative influence on Dick. Early on some people were concerned that the show seemed needlessly graphic. While Titans is an extremely brutal show, arguably even more so than something like Daredevil, the violence isn’t gratuitously used for shock value or edginess. The brutality is important to Dick Grayson’s story arc because you see just how close he came to losing himself under Bruce’s influence. Being Batman’s Robin brought out all of his worst instincts. This is most apparent in episode 6, “Jason Todd”, fittingly where we’re introduced to the new Robin, Jason Todd. 

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Dick meets his replacement, the new Robin: Jason Todd

 

 

   At this point, Dick certainly doesn’t have a very high opinion of Bruce. He more or less feels like Bruce Wayne just used him as a weapon, or tool in his war on crime. Meeting Jason just seems to confirm those beliefs. Despite the amount of time that’s passed, it’s still very raw emotionally for Dick. You can tell he hasn’t gotten over his issues from his time working with Batman. Meeting his replacement certainly doesn’t help. It’s one of several great passive aggressive “fuck you”s Batman throws at Dick. Which is impressive considering, again, we don’t actually see Batman. Brenton Thwaites is damn near perfect casting. Thwaites is very believable both physically and in the more dramatic aspects of the performance. Though Raven is the big through line of the season, Dick is really the main character. As a long time fan, it’s a lot of fun seeing how well Dick Grayson is handled.

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Jason and Dick

   Episode 6, “Jason Todd”, is also a good example of how the season has been structured. One episode will serve to further the main story and continue to build up the Titans coming together as team, while the next episode shifts the focus to showcasing and introducing new DC Comics characters into the narrative. The episodes switch from one to the other each week. For example, so far we’ve had episodes featuring Hawk and Dove, Doom Patrol, Jason Todd, and Donna Troy AKA Wonder Girl. The DC character episodes tend to be the stronger ones because so far each new character introduced from the DC cannon have been really fun and interesting.

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Things get a little intense when Dick realizes that Jason, the new Robin, is kind of a fucking psycho

   I spent the bulk of this article talking about Dick Grayson, mainly because I like the character so much and he’s the most well developed on the show. I like the other Titans well enough. Certainly more than I thought I would when the series began. Starfire or Kory as she’s referred to on the show, has really grown on me. Even with very little time being given to her backstory, she’s probably my second favorite Titan so far. She’s basically an exiled alien princess, but the show hasn’t taken the time to get into any of that yet and it remains to be seen how the series will tie her origin into the Raven storyline.

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Unless you’re a hardcore comic book fan like me, there isn’t a lot of incentive for even a moderate comic book fan or superhero geek to subscribe to DC UNIVERSE. Which is a shame because Titans is turning out to be a fun and unique look at the DC Comics Universe. I’ve heard rumors that eventually the show will become available on Netflix, but it’s not clear when that would happen. Regardless, if and when you have the opportunity to watch Titans, I highly recommended giving this series a shot. The show has already been renewed for Season 2 and I’m really looking forward to seeing how the show wraps up it’s first season. 

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    Titans is by no means a perfect show, but there’s some great stuff in here despite it’s flaws. The big thing the show has going for it is that even with all the superhero movies and TV shows out there, Titans is showcasing characters and stories that have never been seen in live action. Although I’m sure very few of you are running out to subscribe to DC UNIVERSE, Titans is definitely a show to keep on your radar. If you go into it with your expectations in check, you may be surprised how much you enjoy this fun, new series.

Thanks for reading!

-Paul

 

PODCAST: Hulu’s Castle Rock and Freeform’s Cloak & Dagger

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Hey Everybody,

Paul here…

We’re deep into the dog days of summer and what better why to beat the heat than to sit back and watch a couple of great TV shows! In this episode, I recommend 2 great shows to watch while waiting for all your favorite series to return in the Fall! Hulu’s Castle Rock and Freeform’s Cloak & Dagger! Castle Rock is supernatural mystery/thriller that takes place in the universe of Stephen King’s novels. Cloak & Dagger is superhero, coming of age series, about 2 classic Marvel superheroes. These are 2 very different shows, but both are a blast to watch! Listen here or subscribe on Stitcher and iTunes:

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/15429967

iTunes:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?mt=2&i=1000417278055
Stitcher:
https://www.stitcher.com/s?eid=55651220&autoplay=1

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As always, thanks for listening!