On this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, i talks about the upcoming final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, premiering on Disney+ next month. Since Disney bought Lucasfilm, the TV content like Star Wars: Rebels and The Mandalorian, as well as in continuity comic books have been a much better at telling amazing Star Wars tales than the films of late. Let’s be honest; when I say the movies have dropped the ball, I’m really talking about The Rise Of Skywalker. I love The Force Awakens and I really like The Last Jedi. Hell, despite all of my complaining before it was released, I ended up really digging Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Still, Lucasfilm and Disney have been putting out some spectacular Star Wars story content, like the aforementioned TV shows, the comics, books, and video games. Marvel Comics (also owned by Disney) doesn’t get enough credit for the consistently excellent Star Wars graphic novels they’ve been publishing over the last several years. Whether you loved or hated The Rise of Skywalker (I lean towards the latter, personally), in my opinion it’s still a pretty great time to be a Star Wars fan. As I mentioned a moment ago, Marvel has been consistently cranking out fantastic Star Wars comics, Jedi Fallen Order on PS4 (or Xbox, pick your poison) was a total blast, and The Mandalorian, which was one of 2019’s best series did, one hell of a job bringing us our first live-action Star Wars TV show. Which brings me to one of the subjects I’ll be covering on this episode of The World’s Best Podcast. The all new, final season of the beloved animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, will premiere on Disney+ next month. In this episode, I discuss the previous seasons of the show and what we should expect going into homestretch of this highly anticipated final season.
After covering The Clone Wars, we do a deep dive into the second part of The CW’s DC Crossover Event: Crisis On Infinite Earths! The first 3 installments of the 5-Part crossover aired in December and, after the holiday hiatus, returned for the EPIC 2-Part finale last week! The final 2 hours of Crisis did not disappoint and had massive ramifications for The Arrowverse and it’s characters moving forward! On this episode I give my take on the biggest moments from Crisis, how the Crossover Event fundamentally changed The Arrowverse forever, and I speculate about the possible future directions The Arrowverse could take. In many ways, the slate has been wiped clean for all of The CW‘s DC shows. So this is the perfect jumping on point for new viewers or lapsed fans looking to return to the franchise. With Arrow having just aired it’s Series Finale earlier this week (Don’t worry. I’ll get to that in another article very soon), I think Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow have become my favorite Arrowverse shows. Either series would be a good place to jump back into The Arrowverse.
Thanks for reading and 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!
After almost a year of build up, The CW’s DC Mega-Crossover Crisis On Infinite Earths is about to begin. So I thought this would be the perfect time to post my Crisis Primer, something to give you a little bit of information you might not otherwise have known. Here you’ll find out where and when to watch everything Crisis, as well as some fun little side projects that you may want to take a look at! I hope you like it!
By far the most ambitious project taken up by The Arrowverse, the 5-part crossover starts Sunday, with Chapter 1 on Supergirl, Chapter 2 on Batwoman, and Chapter 3 on The Flash. Chapter 3 will presumably end on a cliffhanger of some kind when all of the shows go on their annual winter hiatus. The epic story will finish off it’s final 2 chapters, with both installments airing on the same night , January 14th with Arrow at 8pm and Legends of Tomorrow at 9pm.
The CW will also be airing a 2-part special, Crisis Aftermath, hosted by mega-fan and frequent Arrowverse director, Kevin Smith (Smith has directed multiple episodes of Supergirl and The Flash, including what is widely considered to be one of the best episodes of The Flash, “The Runaway Dinosaur”). Part 1 of the special will air Sunday night after Supergirl and Part 2 will air after what is sure to a huge cliffhanger installment of The Flash on Tuesday night. The special will include interviews, behind the scenes looks, and more! Including host Kevin Smith, breaking down the big moments and reveals of the crossover along with a panel of guests including various cast members from The Arrowverse shows like Jon Cryer, as well as the series writers and showrunners. Also appearing on the panel, will be the legendary Kevin Conroy, who after playing The Caped Crusader in Batman The Animated Series as well as countless other movies, video games, and TV shows, will be making his live action debut as Bruce Wayne during Crisis (Conroy’s appearance in Crisis is one of the things that has me most excited about the crossover).
In one of the most recent trailers for Crisis On Infinite Earths, The Monitor tells the gathered heroes that they must find seven champions throughout time and space, that can help stop The Anti-Monitor and Crisis. I’m sure there will be more to the story than this, but I think that’s a great idea because it’s a cool way to get interesting characters off on missions together who don’t always interact with one another. Watching them find other cool DC character that will certainly be fun to see. So with Crisis coming right up, I thought it might be fun to share my picks (or my guesses) for who exactly“The Seven Paragons” or heroes that The Monitor needs assembled to help save The Multiverse. A group I’m calling… THE MONITOR’S MAGNIFICENT SEVEN! So let’s get started!
Kingdom Come Superman –
This one seems like a no brainer. Despite the many flaws of Superman Returns, Brandon Routh was not one of them. If early buzz is to be believed Routh absolutely crushes it in his return to The Man of Steel.
2. Future and/or alternate reality Bruce Wayne (played by Kevin Conroy)
We already know that Brandon Routh Superman is from the classic Mark Waid and Alex Ross story Kingdom Come. From what little we’ve seen of Bruce Wayne in in the trailers he is wearing some sort of exoskeleton from the neck down that helps him move around. In Kingdom Come, Batman wore something very similar. After decades of crime fighting, his body was essentially broken so he wore a full body brace much like the one we see in the promos. Which leads me to believe that this version of Batman/Bruce Wayne is also from the Kingdom Come universe. Bruce Wayne is another sure bad for the seven heroes.
3. Tom Wellings’ Clark Kent (Smallville’s Universe)
This is another obvious one, but it won’t be any less fun to see. I can’t wait to see a scene that has all three superman together in one room.
4. Black Lightening
They kind of give this one away in the trailer. It’s pretty apparent that Black Lightening is very important to the heroes’ plan to stop The Anti-Monitor and the antimatter wave. Another good bet.
5. Lex Luthor
Considering that The Monitor resurrected him from a lethal gunshot wound delivered by his sister and has been keeping him in his own weird, little, pocket dimension where Lex continuously beats him at chess, I think Lex is a strong contender for one of The Seven. As The Monitor says to Lex, this is his chance to prove he’s the hero that he’s always said he is, but will Lex take it?
6. John Wesley Shipp’s Barry Allen
Even though his Earth was seemingly destroyed in Elseworlds last year, he was certainly able to stay one step ahead of The Monitor. He seems like a prime candidate for The Monitor’s Magnificent Seven.
7. Ryan Choi AKA The Atom (Osric Chau)
Sadly this will be Brandon Routh‘s last season on Legends Of Tomorrow. However, that doesn’t mean The Atom will be leaving the team. In the comics, Ray Palmer has a protégé who becomes the second Atom and he will be introduced during Crisis. After the crossover, he’ll be taking up residence with the rest of the crew of The Waverider. I still think they’re going to throw a few surprise characters at us, so this one is a longshot but I figured, what the hell?
DC and The CW also took the opportunity to drop our first look at the new season of Legends of Tomorrow. Legends typically has a shorter season than the rest of The Arrowverse shows, so the first episode of Legends this season will be in the crossover. However, it’s technically not the season premiere. It’s being billed as a “special episode“ with the official season premiere airing January 21st. Check out the trailer:
DC is also publishing a 2 issue tie-in comic to go along with the crossover. Usually tie-in comics like these follow characters or events that may have been mentioned in the main story, but weren’t heavily featured or touched upon. They can be a cool look at what some of the other characters may have been up to that we don’t see on screen during the main crossover. The stories are co-written by original Crisis on Infinite Earths writer Marv Wolfman and Arrow showrunner Marc Guggenheim.
The very cool cover was drawn by classic DC artist, Jerry Ordway, who worked on the original Crisis as well. Ordway’s cover features Green Arrow, The Flash, Kid Flash, Supergirl, The Ray, and Felicity Smoak. Kid Flash, The Ray, and Felicity aren’t appearing in Crisis, which shows my point that these tie-in comics typically feature side adventures focusing on characters that aren’t in the spotlight of the main story. I couldn’t find an exact release date for either issue, but they’re expected to hit stands in January and February 2020,
Finally, we have one last trailer for Crisis before it begins and I think it’s my favorite so far. One of the previous trailers had that fantastic line from Brandon Routh’s Superman, “Hope is the light that leads us through the darkness“, but it is a think this one has it beat with Kevin Conroy‘s Bruce Wayne delivering this killer line: “Battle not with monsters, lest you become a monster.” Hell yeah, Batman. Watch it here:
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, 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!
*Oh! I almost forgot! One last thing, I really think we are going to see Diggle wield a Green Lantern power ring in Crisis. They’ve been teasing it for years and if there’s any place to do it, it’s here. Fingers crossed!
Mike Cole is one of the most interesting co-hosts I have on the show. So, I was happy to have Mike C return for back to back episodes. Mike co-hosted last week’s episode with me and it came out great. So if you haven’t had a chance to listen our last show, definitely check it out. So this week on The World’s Best Podcast, you get to hear part of my back to back episodes with Mike Cole.
Mike and I are both big fans of The Arrowverse , DC’s TV Universe, that consists of multiple, interconnected shows that take place in the same DC Universe. It’s referred to as The Arrowverse because it all began with, Arrow, the first TV show in this universe. From Arrow came it’s first spinoff, The Flash. With The Flash surpassing the still very successful Arrow, The CW had lightning in bottle. The network had the gritty, dark, Nolan influenced, action series with Arrow alongside the bright and fun new series The Flash which followed it’s extremely effective formula of heart, humor, and spectacle. It wasn’t long until shows like Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, and Batwoman followed.
There was a time when Arrow and The Flash were appointment television for me… and I was in the only one. People I knew from work, friends and family members, all people I thought would never normally tune in to this type of show, were just as wrapped up in the world of Oliver Queen and Barry Allen as I was. However, while all of the shows (except for Batwoman) have reached unbelievable heights they’ve also reached some lows. While the first 3 seasons of both Arrow and The Flash were excellent, both series developed issues that they needed to overcome. Legends of Tomorrow, after a somewhat rocky first season has been consistently silly entertainment for its entire run. I do enjoy Supergirl, but it can be very hit or miss and it’s only truly great season, was last year‘s Season 4 featuring Jon Cryer‘s incredible performance as Lex Luthor. Unfortunately, as much is I love the character of Batwoman and I want the show to succeed, I don’t see it getting a second season. So far it’s been pretty poorly written and executed.
Anyway, this is a big season for the our offers all leading up to the mega crossover Crisis On Infinite Earths. Every year all The Arrowverse shows do a epic crossover. They’re always fun and I look forward to them every year. Each crossover seems to be better than the last. When the Justice League movie came out in 2017, a few weeks later The Arrowverse did their annual crossover which was called Crisis on Earth X, and it was basically their version of a Justice League movie. It was a better Justice League movie the actual Justice League movie. This group of TV shows on the basic cable had outdone some of the biggest directors, actors, and big budget filmmaking in Hollywood.
This year’s crossover has been teased and hinted at since the first episode of The Flash. Crisis On Infinite Earths is on of the biggest stories in the history of DC Comics, so this crossover is one of the most ambitious basic cable TV projects that I can think of. All of our favorite heroes from the regular Arrowverse TV shows, plus appearances by Superman, Batman, Lex Luthor, and many, many more. This is going to be a real fucking blockbuster. With Crisis on the horizon, Mike and I talk about each of the shows in The Arrowverse and how they are performing so far this season. Some of the shows are doing some of their best work, others are at their lowest point, and others still are going strong. You’ll hear all about it in this entertaining podcast!
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!
On this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, I’m here to give you everything you need to know about The CW’s upcoming annual EPIC DC Superhero Crossover Event… CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS! All of The CW’s DC shows, Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, and Batwoman, along with an all star cast of characters from throughout the DC Multiverse, are crossing over for their most ambitious event yet: an adaptation of the classic DC maxiseries, Crisis On Infinite Earths! “Worlds will live, worlds will die and nothing will ever be the same!” As the old saying goes. On this week’s show I go over when you can watch the event, what you need to know before watching, all of the amazing guest stars and characters scheduled to appear, and what The Arrowverse might look like when the dust settles. This a MUST LISTEN for fans of ANY of The CW DC superhero shows and DC fans in general.
When Crisis On Infinite Earths hit stand.30 years ago, it set the standard for massive, comic book superhero, crossover events. I can say without hyperbole, that Crisis makes The Infinity Gauntlet seem like a minor skirmish by comparison and that’s not a knock at the The Infinity Gaunlet. Which is a great story in it’s own right that was largely the inspiration for The MCU’s The Infinity Saga. While TheInfinity Gauntlet was about saving The Universe, Crisis is about saving The ENTIRE Multiverse. Countless realities face total annihilation at the hands of a being of immeasurable power. More of a cosmic force of nature than a being with any kind of human motivation. He is know throughout The Multiverse by many names: The Anti-God, The Unmaker, he is… The Anti-Monitor.
We’re getting a lot of cool cameos and characters new and old in this Crossover. So after you listen to the episode (or before, it’s a free country… for now), come and check out some spectacular art work showcasing the characters appearing in Crisis. Some of the images are actually concept art from the incredibly talented design teams that work on these shows and some are fantastic pieces of fan art from some of the best online artists from around the world, depicting what these characters will most likely look like in the Crossover. The great artists create these images based on character descriptions from people who work on the shows, what the actors playing the characters look like, and their most iconic looks from the comics. You can find all of the concept art on this page, below the links to this episode of The World’s Best Podcast!
Kevin Conroy as Batman Beyond era Bruce Wayne (Plus Additional Batman Beyond Images)-
With Kevin Conroy coming on to play Batman in Crisis there’s rumors that Mark Hamill, who iconically played The Joker in Batman: The Animated Series, Justice League, and Batman Beyond will be returning to plan the character in live action for Crisis. Hamill has already made multiple appearances in The Arrowverse as The Trickster on The Flash. Here’s some concept art of Hamill as The Joker and it’s pretty fucking creepy:
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 the show. We really appreciate the loyalty shown to us by World’s Best Media fans, so thanks again!
On this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, I review the new movie BRIGHTBURN, described by the filmmakers as a new genre: “Superhero Horror”. Brightburn was produced by director James Gunn, the man behind Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.1 & Vol.2 . The concept of Brightburn has a very simple, but effective premise. Basically it’s a “What If?”-kind of story, about a character named Brandon Breyer who’s very similar to Superman. His rocket crash to Earth, growing up on a farm, even the same power set as The Man Of Steel. The difference in this story is how, around puberty, Brandon becomes a homicidal sociopath as a kid growing up in a town very much like Smallville. Plus, Paul goes off on some interesting and crazy tangents that are sure to entertain! Enjoy! Listen here or subscribe on Stitcher, Spotify, and iTunes: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/18097818
I wanted to take a minute to talk about Supergirl on the CW. Before I get into the show, I want to put something in context first. Lex Luthor is by far one of my favorite comic book characters. I think different generations have their own definitive superman. To many people of a certain age Richard Donner’s Superman with Christopher Reeves as the Man of Steel, is the standard by which all other portrayals of the character are judged.
For a lot of people in my generation, Superman The Animated Series is THEIR Superman in the same way Christopher Reeves was for previous generations. Superman The Animated Series ( or STAS or brevity’s sake) is by far my favorite interpretation of the Superman mythos. However, the show doesn’t only have what is, in my opinion, the best on screen Superman that we’ve had it also has the best Lex Luthor. Anytime a new Superman film is being made I’m always hoping to see the filmmakers will portray Lex Luthor as the incredibly interesting and complex character that he is. Unfortunately, my hopes are never realized. When Lex inevitably gets fucked up, I always find myself saying why the fuck don’t they just do the Lex Luthor from the animated series? Clancy Brown, who did the voice of Lex are on STAS is my iconic Luthor.
I’ve said this many times, but Lex Luthor for at least the last 30 years has been portrayed in the comic books as what I describe as a slightly more amoral Tony Stark. In fact, the argument could be made that Tony Stark is more dangerous than Lex Luthor in many ways. Yet I keep seeing these goofy, stupid portrayals of Lex on the big screen. Have these people even bothered to pick up a Superman comic book from the past three decades besides The Death of Superman?
Kevin Spacey was just playing Gene Hackman as Lex. In Superman Returns, Lex has what is without a doubt the stupidest master plan from a super villain in a comic book movie. The master plan involving real estate is another example of a generation that is so overly reverent towards the Christopher Reeves Superman that it actually hurts the film. Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor was an abortion for the eyes (I REFUSE to even include a photograph of him as the character in this article). It’s was a fucking disgrace and everyone involved in the decisions that resulted that version of ”Lex”. * A quick side note: I’ve heard a few people insist that Jesse Eisenberg‘s Lex Luthor is actually supposed to be the son of the real, more traditional Lex Luthor, that would’ve been introduced down the line. I never took that from BvS at any point. I could be wrong, but I’m almost 100% sure that this was supposed to be straight up Lex Luthor, not Lex Jr. I’m not sure of people where people are getting that one from and if anyone could clarify in the comments, I’d love to hear your thoughts. The only live action take on the character that I thought was done well, was Michael Rosenbaum on Smallville. Smallville was a silly and sometimes campy show, but Lex was always one of the show’s strongest aspects.
To my surprise, it was announced that this season of Supergirl would be introducing Lex Luthor for the first time. It was it wasn’t going to be a one off either, he was going to be on the show for a good while. For some reason Warner Bros. and DC have had this weird rule for a long time, that they seem to be bending now for some reason, that prohibits character’s like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and some other big characters like Lex Luthor from appearing in a live action television show and a film at the same time. The reasoning that they seem to give is that the audience will just be baffled at the idea of two different people portraying this character, which tells you everything you really need to know about how the creative intelligence off Hollywood executives.
In Supergirl’s second season, the two part premiere episodes introduced Tyler Hoechlin as Superman. He did a fantastic job and there’s an argument to be made that he’s the best live-action Superman right now. I like this version of the character so much that I’d like to see more of him, but I’m happy they didn’t make his appearance a one off. He appeared on Supergirl later in season two and has popped up a few more times on the series in the last couple of years. Even cooler was when Superman was a big part of this year‘s excellent Arrowverse Crossover Elseworlds, where they also introduced Lois Lane for the first time. Like I said, it always seems like those characters were off-limits, so I was pleasantly surprised that we’ve seen as much of Superman as we have.
The same thing happened when they announced Lex was going to be on Supergirl. Then they announced Jon cryer would be playing Lex Luthor. At first glance this would seem like a terrible idea because he seem like just another skinny geek and that’s the last thing we want to see after Jesse Eisenberg‘s portrayal. But I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. I figured this guy is so incredibly loaded from his years on Two and a Half Men that he does not have to do any project he doesn’t want to do. So there must’ve been something he saw in this character that would allow him to stretch his acting muscles in a completely different way. He just spent over a decade doing comedy, I figured maybe he’s up for a darker role.
We are now two episodes in to Lex’s stint on Supergirl and goddamnit if he is not fantastic in this role. So far he’s been pretty close to what I’ve been looking for with this character. He’s a genius, manipulative, he has his cool battle armor. It’s much more in line with the Lex Luthor we see in modern comics.
His second episode really impressed me because we saw how he had been behind (in one way or another) much what has happened on the show in the last few years. It was established early on in the series that Lex Luthor was in prison when Supergirl began. Using flashbacks, this weeks episode showed what Lex has been up to since he’d been convicted of Crimes Against Humanity. It was fantastic it showcase for John Cryer is in this role.
I’ve always been a huge Arrowverse fan, even though it’s best days are behind it in many ways. Despite my love of the Arrowverse, I’ve never really been that big of a fan of Supergirl (the series not the character). I think the series has done an excellent job with their portrayal of the character. Mellissa Benoist is great as The Girl of Steel, for some reason I find her at her most charming and entertaining in the crossover episodes. She’s a very interesting contrast to Barry Allen and especially Oliver Queen.
However, in my opinion the show really excels at using characters and stories from Superman‘s mythology. For example, they did an episode that was an adaptation for the classic Alan Moore Superman story For The Man Who Has Everything. This season also saw the introduction of Manchester Black and The Elite who were first introduced in another iconic Superman story What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice, And The American Way?. Even in the first season, they reveal about halfway through that one of the main characters was actually J’onn J’onnz; The Martian Manhunter. That blew my fucking mind. He’s been a fixture in the Arrowverse ever since and I love seeing him shape shift into his classic Martian form. Most of the time he appears as a human man because he’s a shape shifter and it would be way too expensive for the show to have him in full Martian Manhunter mode all the time.
I even loved how they’ve used classic Superman villains like Metallo, Parasite, White Martians and the Kryptonian villain Non, one of the general Zod’s right hand men. He is usually portrayed as muscle for General Zod, just a big, dumb, strong antagonist for Superman to fight. But he actually has a pretty tragic backstory. He was lobotomized by The Kryptonian Council as punishment for crimes he committed. There was a time that he was a mentor to Jor-El, one of Krypton‘s most brilliant scientists.
All of this has just been a very long winded way of saying how great it is to see a fantastic live action Lex Luthor. The season in general has been strong even though I have problems with some of their heavy handed attempts at making the story a real world to allegory. Despite that big flaw, there have been some very cool and exciting stories and characters being used on Supergirl that make a fan like me pay attention. I would definitely recommend going to iTunes or on-demand and checking out the last two episodes of Supergirl, the first one with Lex Luthor’s appearance is O’ Brother Where Art Thou. Cryer had a great start in that installment, but I was even more impressed with how good he is in this role in his second episode. I wouldn’t say I’m that big enough fan of Supergirl to recommend diving into the series as a whole, but I definitely think if you’re a big DC fan and you finally want to see a solid Lex Luthor, check out these episodes. I’d also recommend checking out any of the episodes where Superman makes an appearance and this year’s crossover with Arrow and The Flash: Elseworlds. While I’m on the subject of crossovers, with the most ambitious and thrilling crossover the Arrowverse has ever attempted, Crisis on Infinite Earths, debuting this fall, Lex being a major player in the Arrowverse now makes that already exciting crossover even more interesting.
With Lex seemingly not going anywhere for the rest of the season, I cannot wait to see what else the show’s writers and John Cryer do with this extremely interesting take on Lex Luthor. As always thank you for reading!
Superman is mostly portrayed as such a wholesome, pure character. A lot of people mentally associate him with classic Americana, like apple pie and Norman Rockwell. However, the best writers understand that the key to writing Superman is to highlight his humanity. Take the recent Superman #7 written by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by Ivan Reis, for example. Something I’ve enjoyed in some of the recent Superman comics, especially Bendis’ Superman comics is, without being gratuitous, it’s clear that Clark and Lois have a healthy sex life. Yet Clark is still a big old Kansas farm boy, raised to be a respectful and decent son.
So I loved a small moment in Issue #7, during a scene involving Clark and Lois’ adolescent son Jonathan. Jon who’s about 12 or 13, has been out traveling the cosmos with his grandfather, in what I guess is the Kryptonian version of backpacking through Europe. An unexpected problem presents itself When Clark quickly realizes that his son who is only been gone for a month or so has aged at least three years. At first he thinks this has something to do with one of those weird colored Kryptonites. You know, the yellow Kryptonite or the pink Kryptonite or … something like that. What was supposed to be a summer vacation has turned, through the weirdness of space travel (think the movie Interstellar) into Clark and Lois missing a pretty large portion of their sons life and development. It comes as no surprise that it’s quite a shock.
After Clark’s emotional, but joyous reunion with his son, they of course go to see his mother, Lois whose been living out of a hotel in Metropolis for awhile now as she puts the finishing touches on her latest book. It’s implied that it is not uncommon for Clark to fly on by for a little afternoon delight semi-frequently, which is where the fun begins.
Clark flies up to her balcony and Lois is at her computer, writing, in nothing but a fluffy white hotel bathrobe and black underwear. Lois sees Clark before she realizes Jonathan is there, she begins to undo her bathrobe with a sultry little smirk, just as their son peaks around from behind Clark. It’s such a perfect moment seeing the absolute embarrassment on Clark’s face is he quickly shoots his arm up to cover his sons eyes and Lois’ mortified expression as she attempts to cover up and make herself look a bit more modest in front of her son. The small scene is a good example of how you can take a god and tell a story about a man.
What’s more human then those million little moments that make up life? Some good, some bad, and some, like this one, hilariously embarrassing. Writers often complain that Superman is a difficult character to write, I just think many of them don’t understand him. Like I said at the beginning, the key to any great Superman story is his humanity and this small scene illustrates that perfectly.
Tonight, Part 1 of the 3-part DC superhero crossover event Elseworlds aired on The CW. As I’ve often said, these annual crossovers are always a delight for me to watch. They’re always wildly entertaining and they seem to get more ambitious year after year. After watching the first episode of Elseworlds, I came away from the episode thinking of one word: Fun. This episode was fun as all hell.
All of the Arrowverse crossovers have been really fun, but compared to something like last year’s epic CrisisonEarth–X, Elseworlds feels more exuberant and joyful. Don’t get me wrong, CrisisonEarth–X was an absolute blast. However, watching Elseworlds, I don’t think I’ve ever seen this cast looking like they’re having more fun and It’s easy to see why.
Barry and Oliver are very different characters and the episode gets a lot of entertainment mileage and comedy out of them switching lives and abilities. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed more watching an episode of an Arrowverse show. It’s really funny seeing Oliver’s bewilderment at suddenly waking up with superspeed and the world believing that he is Barry Allen. While Oliver immediately feels out of his element, Barry seems to be getting much more of a kick out of suddenly having all of Green Arrow’s skills and fighting ability.
For the purposes of this review, I’m not really going to touch on the overarching threat and the circumstances that altered reality. This episode focuses more on the “What do we do now?” than “How did this happen?”. Though we briefly see how this was set in motion, it’s a very minor part of the episode. I’m sure they’ll be covering much more of that territory in the next 2 installments.
I only have one real criticism of the episode. Considering all of the insane things that Team Flash have seen and been through over the years, I found their reluctance to believe that Barry and Oliver had somehow switched powers and identities a little odd and out of character for the team. It really only exists in the story to give Barry and Oliver an excuse to go to Supergirl’s Earth and seek out Kara’s help. They figure that if something is wrong with their reality, another universe like Supergirl’s may not be affected. Of course they’re right and Supergirl recognizes them for who they are right away.
To my utter delight, Kara just so happens to be visiting her cousin, Clark Kent and his wife Lois Lane, on The Kent Family Farm when Barry and Oliver pop up in her universe. In a nice Easter Egg that will make many long time superhero TV show fans happy, The Kent Farm where they filmed this episode is the same Kent Farm that was used on the TV series Smallville. When we see the farm for the first time “Save Me” by Remy Zero, the them song to Smallville, kicks in and I’ll admit that had me grinning ear to ear. It was a hot mess at times, but I’ll always have a soft spot for Smallville.
As a long time DC Comics fan, it was so much fun seeing Barry, Oliver, and Kara interacting with Clark Kent and Lois Lane on The Kent Family Farm. In what I think was my favorite moment of the episode, as soon as Oliver meets Clark, he immediately starts puffing up his chest and Barry instantly calls him out on it. It’s great.
Though we’ve seen relatively little of him over the last few years, Tyler Hoechlin is probably my favorite the live action Superman right now. Anytime he shows up in the Arrowverse is cause for celebration and his inclusion here does not disappoint. While it seems like he may be out of the picture at the end of the episode, I know for a fact we’ll be seeing him again throughout the crossover. I was equally impressed with Elizabeth Tulloch as Lois Lane. In what little screen time she has, she instantly embodies Lois Lane. She’s tough, funny, smart, and likable. As much as I like Amy Adams’ Lois Lane, Tulloch seemed really dialed in to the character and I can’t wait to see more of her as the crossover progresses.
Another very pleasant surprise was the inclusion of an iconic DC villain that’s the perfect enemy to have a Superman, Supergirl, The Flash, and Green Arrow go up against. Apparently in this new altered reality, Professor Ivo, the psychopathic scientist responsible for torturing Oliver and his fellow castaways on Lian Yu, killing Shado, and indirectly creating Deathstroke in Arrow Season 2, somehow got off the island alive. He opened his own lab in Central City and created the iconic, ultra powerful android A.M.A.Z.O. using advanced robotics, computer programming, and the Mirakuru super soldier serum that was such an intricate plot point in Arrow Season 2. A.M.A.Z.O. has the ability to immediately replicate the powers of any meta-human it comes into contact with. In the comics, it’s so powerful that even the Justice League have a difficult time handling this thing. So this was the perfect bad guy for the heroes to go up against in the climax of the episode.
Elseworlds only has three episodes, unlike last year which had four episodes and a much bigger cast. Legends of Tomorrow isn’t officially part of the crossover this year (part of me thinks that’s a shame because I would have loved seeing someone like John Constantine interact with the characters featured in Elseworlds ). This year has a much tighter focus so far on Barry, Oliver, and Kara. As a result more money went into these 3 episodes and it really shows on screen. More money means better special effects. You can really see how well that money was spent because A.M.A.Z.O. looks incredible and his final fight with our heroes is really, really fucking cool. The Arrowverse in general and The Flash In particular, has always had excellent special effects considering they’re on The CW. Which makes the fight with A.M.A.Z.O. all the more impressive.
Last year the 4-part CrisisonEarth–X aired over two night, with each night featuring two episodes of the crossover. This year we’re getting 3 episodes spread out over 3 nights. So it definitely felt like the whole thing was over way too fast. Which is really a testament to how well Part 1 of Elseworlds was executed, because it leaves the audience wanting to see the next installment immediately. I know I certainly did.
Part 1 leaves you with one hell of a set up for Part 2. The episode wraps up with our heroes heading off to the legendary Gotham City in search for answers. We catch a glimpse of Wayne Tower and a quick glance at Batwoman looking out over the Gotham City skyline. After seeing how good this episode was and how so many amazing characters and pieces of DC lore show up, the promise of seeing iconic places like Arkham Asylum and Gotham City leaves me incredibly excited for the next installment of Elseworlds. I don’t want to speak too soon, but at the rate Elseworlds is going it’s shaping up to possibly be the best Arrowverse crossover yet.
I’ve always been a big fan of the DC Animated movies that come out each year. For those of you that aren’t familiar, they’re animated adaptations of DC Comics stories that go directly to iTunes and Blu Ray. They usually release three a year, around January, April, and July. They’re PG-13 or R-Rated films marketed to adult and teenage DC superhero fans. They’re hit or miss, in terms of quality. They run the spectrum from “Ok” or “Fine” to “One Of The Best Superhero Movies I’ve Ever seen”.
Their latest release is “The Death of Superman” and you may be thinking: “Wait, didn’t they do this one already?” The answer is: Kind of. Way back in 2007, the very first DC Animated Movie was Superman: Doomsday, a very loose adaptation of the classic death of Superman story. So, as far as THIS movie is concerned, this current film I’m reviewing is a much more faithful adaptation. The Death of Superman is the first part of a 2 movie story.With Part 2 titled, Reign of The Supermen, premiering in January or February 2019.
Like I said before, they usually release three of these a year. Starting with 2013’s Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox and 2014’s “Justice League: War” (A JL origin film FAR superior to the live action one we got in November 2017), 2 out of the 3 animated movies they released each year were part of an ongoing cinematic universe, like the MCU or whatever the fuck DC is trying to do in live action at the moment. Including Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, 11 movies that take place in this DC Animated Movie Universe have been released. The other stories are cool one offs, like the recent Batman: Gotham by Gaslight, for example. Which is a what if? tale that imagines a steampunk, Victorian era Batman hunting Jack The Ripper in late-19th Century Gotham. Most of these have been pretty solid across the board. It probably doesn’t say much about the overall quality of this Animated Movie Universe that there isn’t a sense that we got to know these characters over an 11 film continuity. Or that the movies had been leading to something like this.
At nearly an hour and half, this movie is slightly longer the most of the recent DC Animated Movies. However, it’s a smart move because the running time allows for a much deeper film that I was expecting. Going into this, I expected the whole thing to one big superhero punch up. Great animation, cool fights, but at the end of the day just a fun piece of entertainment. So, I was delighted when at least half of the film is about Clark and Lois and the issues that arise in their still relatively new romance. The movie is well paced considering all of the characters in play. Because this movie is about his death, everyone in Clark Kent’s life is in this film and they all get their moment to shine. The Justice League, The Daily Planet staff, Ma and Pa Kent, Lex Luthor, and few other local Metropolis citizens with ties to Superman all pop up in the movie. It’s a credit to the film that even with all these characters, it never feels over stuffed or loses it’s focus on Lois and Clark.
You don’t need to have seen any of the other DC Animated Movies to enjoy this wonderful film. All of the great character work and storytelling come straight from THIS movie. Real life husband and wife Jerry O’Connel and Rebecca Romijn are perfect as Clark and Lois. O’Connel has voiced Superman to good effect before in other animated movies and Romijn makes a solid debut as Lois Lane. They’re real life chemistry definitely translates into the film. We have all the usual suspects from the other films back to play their respective roles in the Justice League, as well as other returning supporting characters.
Before getting into the movie there’s one other bit of voice casting I want to touch on. Rainn Wilson (Dwight from The Office) voices Luthor and is surprisingly effective as the character. Lex is an interesting presence in this film. He’s not that dissimilar to the Lex we’ve seen in the comics over the past few years. He’s undeniably despicable, arrogant, and cold, but there’s a glimmer of something more underneath. Inside him’s the shadow of a man who could be better than he is. He adds a little something special to the overall film.
I’m going to make a bold statement here. I think this is the best film about Clark Kent that I’ve ever seen. This movie is Clark Kent’s story. Lois is very important, but this is Clark’s tale. This man’s death shows us who he is. This was just one more reason I loved this movie. Outside of the fights with Doomsday, I deliberately refer to the character as Clark, not Superman, throughout this review. This is one of the better onscreen portrayals of Superman I’ve seen and that’s because they understand who Clark Kent is. The kid who grew up on a farm in Kansas, that’s the real character. Not Kal-El, not Christopher Reeves’ mask of Clark Kent as pathetic buffoon, not Superman. He’s Clark Joseph Kent. Jonathan and Martha’s son. Even when he’s in costume at the beginning of the movie, interacting with the League or stopping bad guys with high tech weapons. He seems more man than god. He’s happy to stop and take a picture with a man he’s gotten to know, because he’s saved the guys life so many damn times. In these scenes before the fight with Doomsday, while he’s in costume as Superman, he feels like a citizen of Metropolis. Not a distant god, but more like a cop on his beat that gives you a nod and smile. Superman knows these people and they know him. It’s a brilliant way to humanize the character in a way live action films always struggle with.
At the heart of Clark’s story here is his romance with Lois. Unlike other takes on the Lois and Clark/Superman dynamic, Lois is into Clark, NOT Superman. She wants their relationship to move forward but she knows something’s holding them back. She knows there’s more going on with Clark, but doesn’t quite know what it is. She’s a little taken aback when, while asking Clark to dinner, he tells her he cant because his parents are in town and he’s having dinner with them. Lois is understandably a little insulted when Clark didn’t even mention the possibility of meeting his parents. It’s clear that they’ve been dating for at least several months if not more. But what she perceives as Clark being aloof and having an emotional wall up, is actually Clark wrestling with the idea that he’s falling in love with her and that he should tell her he’s Superman. He’s afraid that his parents will accidentally let something slip before he has a chance to tell Lois the truth about this part of his life. After all, besides a few fun DC Easter Eggs mentioned by Ma and Pa Kent, Clark’s ex- girlfriend knew had superpowers from the jump, this the first time Clark has been in a relationship like this. Not just with a normal person, but someone he’s falling in love with.
The movie does an excellent job of showing the audience exactly what an unstoppable, terrifying force Doomsday is. We’ve seen Doomsday in live action and animation before, but the threat he represents is much more impactful here. This is a creature that kills every single living thing it sees.
The Justice League faces Doomsday before Superman gets into the fight and they have some pretty heavy hitters. We see Doomsday go up against Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Martian Manhunter, The Flash, Cyborg, and Batman all before the Monster’s fateful Confrontations with The Man of Steel. Even with out Superman, that’s a fucking stacked roster. Despite how powerful the Justice League is, they’re simply not up to facing Doomsday. They’re completely helpless to stop him.
So, when the fight between Clark and Doomsday finally goes down, there’s no backup or cavalry coming. Superman is the “last watcher on the wall”. If he doesn’t stop this Monster there and then, there will be no end to the death and destruction Doomsday will unleash. There’s an inevitability to Doomsday. As he slowly kills his way to Superman. We all slowly march towards death and this story shows us The Man of Steel is no different, but for him Death comes in the form of Doomsday.
The fight between Superman and Doomsday is easily the most brutal and bloody Superman fight I’ve seen in any medium. I found myself wincing or exclaiming “Jesus..”, as conflict went on. At a certain point, it stops being a fight. You realize you’re watch Superman slowly be beaten to death with each blow and it’s hard to watch. The fact that there’s such emotional heft shows that the storytellers did their job with this film. The movie is called The Death of Superman, OF COURSE HE’S GOING TO DIE! But the movie magic was that the filmmakers had me so engrossed in the story onscreen, I almost forget that there was no question to the outcome of this fight. The battle’s hard to watch not just because of the level of violence, but because you really care about Clark Kent and it’s heartbreaking seeing this man die in front of us.
The animation in this film is top notch. When the action goes full tilt there’s a level of detail that comes close to resembling anime, without completely going over into that style. Every once and awhile a western animation superhero project will use anime influenced sequences, Justice League Unlimited comes to mind for example. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s used well here and only adds to the already visceral fight scenes. For those of you who aren’t fans of that animation style, It’s not so noticeable that it takes you out of the story.
I think its was smart that DC decided if they were going to tell this story, it should be a 2-Parter, like they did with their fantastic adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns. As impactful as the death of Superman is, the story of how the world, his friends, his enemies, his family, and his fellow superheroes react to his death is arguably more compelling . Who or what will step up to fill the void left by The Last Son of Krypton? Considering how well this story was told, I can’t wait to see what the filmmakers do in Reign of The Supermen. If you’re a DC Comics fan, there are some Easter Eggs in the movie that hint at some of the story and characters elements that’ll be used in Part 2. Make sure you stay for the end credits, there are multiple mid credit tags setting up the next movie.
I didn’t want to end this review without mentioning something I noticed that the writers chose to add to the story. As I said before, this movie is part of a DC Animated Movie Universe, this story doesn’t exist in a bubble. I don’t want to spoil this for anyone and I’ll let you draw your own conclusions, but pay attention to EXACTLY how Doomsday comes out of space, ultimately crashing on Earth. Also be sure to pay attention to the details when STAR Labs examines the high tech weapons Superman takes off the thugs at the beginning of the movie. None of these story elements are from the comics, so the writers deliberately chose to add them in. I have my own theory about what’s going on, but I wont spoil the fun here.
This is top notch superhero story telling from DC Animation. This movie is the best DC Animated Movie since Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (which is high praise). This a surprisingly moving story about love, death, family, friendship, and sacrifice. No DC fan worth their salt should miss this one. I know I cant wait to see Part 2, when Reign of The Supermen comes out early next year. The Death of Superman is an excellent film, the best DC Animated Movie in years, and a must watch. Don’t miss it.