What I Want to See: DCEU

It was announced today, that Henry Cavill is no longer going to be the live action Superman in the DCEU.  It was recently confirmed (and long rumored) that Ben Affleck was not going to be Batman in the DCEU.  So, the DCEU is down 2 of their three most iconic characters, and many people are speculating a ‘soft reboot’ of the DCEU in general.  Of their 5 films so far, the only success across the board (critics/fans/box office) has been Wonder Woman, and so this might make sense to do.  Especially since Wonder Woman and the upcoming sequel take place before the events of the other 4 films released so far.

MV5BMTA1NDM2ODUxOTNeQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU4MDgxOTEyMDYz._V1_Has Aquaman ever looked cooler?

Now, I personally think this reboot idea will likely take some of its cues from what happens with December’s Aquaman film.  We already saw Jason Mamoa as the character in Justice League, and I’ve heard virtually no complaints about him, but an Aquaman stand-alone will be a completely different thing, and so we really won’t know until it comes out.

There is also the forthcoming Shazam, scheduled for next April.  Now, Shazam hasn’t appeared in the DCEU previously, so if Aquaman tanks and they go full steam ahead on the reboot, Shazam could be part of the ‘new’ universe, or if Aquaman is a success, it could be tailored into the ‘newish/soft reboot/whatever they’re going to call it.’

maxresdefaultI knew nothing about this character, and the trailer sold me.

So let’s make the assumption that some kind of reboot is going to happen, and I will tell you what I want to see with that.  Ok?

I want to see this reboot build characters individually.  I’m not saying not to put Easter eggs, or slight references to each other, but let’s not get to the second movie before we have a full blown cross over.  If in Wonder Woman ’84 we see some story about a ‘meteorological event’ which implies Kal El’s (Superman) arrival, that’s fine, but I don’t want Jason Mamoa or Shazam or anyone else to show up.  Get several stand alone films under your belts, like you should have done the first time around.

ntgk14lkrtl11Thanos’ snap was more powerful than we all realized.

The second thing that I want to see happen, is I don’t want Superman and Batman to show up for a while.  It might sound dumb, and I’m sure people hate hearing about the MCU as a model, but Marvel didn’t have access to their A listers when they started, and it forced them to build characters and not assume we knew who they were, it forced them to get creative and be better story tellers.  I think Batman and Superman are too iconic to start.  Let’s deal with Shazam, and Cyborg, and other characters that the general film going audience that aren’t comic book readers aren’t familiar with, and start world building through them.  There is some brand recognition with characters like Flash and Green Lantern, but use those characters to bridge the gap between the audience who know nothing, and the audience who totally get it.  Then once you’re several successes deep, you can start introducing Superman and Batman.  This exercise, will also help you to understand how to create those characters more memorably, to not be coming at them as the icons they are to the general public, but to fill in and establish all of the layers that have comic book fans hooked.

Blu-Ray Review: Batman & Mr. Freeze: Subzero

 

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Remembering Batman & Mr. Freeze: Subzero

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When fans look back at the Batman movies that took place in the same universe as the wonderful Batman: The Animated Series, they most likely remember the fantastic Batman Beyond: Return of The Joker or the classic Batman: Mask of The Phantasm. As of last summer, we can add 2017’s Batman and Harley Quinn to the list, but unfortunately that movie sucks.

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However, there’s a hidden gem that a lot of people forget about; Batman & Mr. Freeze: Subzero. This was a direct to video animated film taking in the BTAS Universe that came out in 1998. No doubt hoping to capitalize on the Mr. Freeze buzz in that was in the air after Arnold Schwarzenegger’s heartbreaking, Oscar winning performance in the critical darling and mega hit, Batman & Robin. Oh wait, I forgot the movie was explosive diarrhea and killed the Batman live action film franchise for nearly a decade. I’m sure there’s an alternate reality out there where it was The Dark Knight of it’s day.

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But I think that was definitely the intention. Animation takes longer than live action to produce especially in the 90’s. Even though this came out in 1998, it must have started production a few years earlier. So Warner Bros. probably thought Batman & Mr. Freeze: Subzero would tie in to what they believed would be another hit Batman movie. It really feels like somewhere around 95’or 96’, Warner Bros. told Bruce Timm and his crew that if we let you do another Batman Animated movie, it better be about Mr. Freeze. Of course, Batman & Robin was such a piece of shit, people eventually put it out of their minds after the film bombed. Unfortunately I think Batman & Mr. Freeze: Subzero was forgotten a little as well.

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Which is a shame because it’s a hell of a little flick. Nowhere near as good as Mask of The Phantasm or Return of The Joker, but still solid as fuck. It’s certainly about one thousand times better than Batman & Robin, it feels wrong to even compare the two. The movie plays like a darker, longer episode of the show. But at only 66 minuets, it still feels like a movie with a 3 act structure as opposed to a multi part episode of the series.

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Basically at some point during Batman: The Animated Series, Freeze found out his wife Nora was actually still alive and being kept in cryogenic stasis. They’re living a peaceful life in the arctic with Freeze’s 2 pet Polar Bears and an Inuit boy that Freeze rescued and adopted after his parents died. There’s an accident involving some poor bastards who stumble onto this little family (it doesn’t end well for them), Nora’s medical equipment is damaged and her condition deteriorates rapidly. Freeze and the whole Fam (including the fucking polar bears) head to Gotham where Freeze meets up with his old colleague, Dr. Benson another expert in cryogenics who’s a massive piece of shit with serious financial debt. Benson tells Freeze that the only way to save his wife is an organ transplant. Nora has a rare blood type so they need to kidnap some who’s alive, kill them, and harvest their organs. Benson the medical professional that he is, gets on board right away when Freeze drops a lump of gold the size of football on his desk and tells him it’s from a mine he discovered in the arctic, which is Benson’s if he successfully helps Freeze. And wouldn’t you know it? The perfect match: Barbara Gordon. Batgirl. Commission Gordons’s daughter and the love of Dick Grayson’s (Robin) life.

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There are some great action sequences including the scene kidnapping Barbara while she’s out to dinner with Dick at upscale nightclub, which starts with Freeze coming for Barbara in the club, polar bears and all, and ends with Dick in badass motorcycle chase. The film’s finale on an oil rig that going up in flames is exciting and genuinely edge of your seat tense.

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This is some FUCKED. UP. SHIT.  They’re trying to hold her down so they can straight up murder her to give Freeze’s wife an organ transplant. That’s fucking dark.

This is also arguably the darkest we see Freeze, who’s always been one of the most sympathetic members of Batman’s Rogues Gallery. Killing a man out of revenge for murdering your wife and destroying your life is one thing, but butchering an innocent young woman to harvest an organ is pretty fucking dark. Especially considering she was basically already dead and the procedure did not seem to have a high likelihood of success when it’s being performed on an abandoned oil rig by a criminally negligent doctor who hasn’t changed his clothes in days and is solely motivated by paying off his shady debts. We do see glimmers of the honorable man that still exists somewhere deep beneath the ice of Freeze, but his main mission here is kind of unforgivable. And those polar bears aren’t fucking around either!

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I rewatched this because it just came out on Blu-ray, which includes all the other Mr. Freeze episodes in the Batman: The Animated series Universe (including Batman Beyond), and I found myself thinking it was kind of underrated. This movie is also notable because it came out in the time betweeen the original Batman: The Animated series ended and The New Batman/Superman Adventures began. It was the same show, same continuity, but there was a big character redesign. Also, there are some big character developments that happen between the change over on the show and this movie hints at some of those upcoming character developments.

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This is a good example of the character design changed between seasons.

I definitely recommend picking up Batman & Mr. Freeze: Subzero, I know I did. Especially if you have the other animated movies on Blu-Ray. It’s very good Batman movie and the Blu-Ray transfer looks good on the traditional animation. They experimented with some computer animation for certain shots and vehicles, that don’t work and look super dated. Other than that, this gets a big thumbs up from me. Give it a watch!

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In the end they managed to save his wife without kidnapping and murdering a 20  year old girl and that’s all that really matters.

-Paul

Oh FUCK! I forget about Batman: Mystery of The Batwoman! That’s one of the movies too..

 

You can pick up the Blu-Ray through our Amazon Affilliate link here:

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The State of the Arrowverse

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

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

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

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

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

The First 3 Big Bads on The Flash:

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

Other cool Villains :

 

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

Other cool heroes:

 

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

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

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

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Sarah Lanch AKA White Canary: Captain of The Waverider

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

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

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

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Black Lightning AKA Jefferson Pierce with his future superhero daughters

Thanks for reading, everyone!

Written by Michael Cole

With additional writing by Paul Wright

Big DC Comics News! Scott Snyder Announced As The New Writer For JUSTICE LEAGUE

 

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Team: Entropy

Scott Snyder is probably one of the greatest comic books writers in the history of the medium. His run on Batman with artist Greg Capullo is already a modern classic and some of the best work ever done on the character.

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Left to Right: Beast Boy, Lobo, Batman, Lex Luthor, Deathstroke

Following the release of artwork by Francis Manapul, DC announced that Scott Snyder will writing the flagship book for DC, Justice League.  Besides the incredible work he’s already done on characters like Batman, we’ve seen that Snyder has incredible talent working on almost any hero in the DC Universe. So this is something to be very excited about.  Though it wasn’t formally announced I suspect that Francis Manapul will be the artist on the main Justice League book that Snyder is writing, considering his art was such a large part of the announcement.

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Team: Mystery
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Left to Right: Starfire, Superman, J’onn J’onzz, Sinestro, Behind them: (the weirdest damn inclusion) Starro The Star Conqueror

To kick off this new era for the JL, DC has also announced a 4 issue miniseries called Justice League: No Justice, that will set up the new status quo for Snyder’s Justice League bookThe miniseries will be co-written by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV (Detective Comics) and Joshua Williamson (The Flash) with art by Francis Manapul. Issue #1 of that miniseries will be on sale 5/9.

DC unveiled artwork with a very diverse group of characters joining the League roster. It was a weird/awesome mix of classic Justice League members, villains, and younger heroes. There are a lot of cool possibilities with these characters. In fact each group of heroes was given subtitle to their team that I’ll include in the artwork captions. Apparently theses specific teams being brought together on separate missions, but with the same larger goal is  part of the story in Justice League: No Justice.

As a side note, Francis Manapul is one of the most talented artists in the business. His gorgeous art is always a huge draw for me on any comic he works on. His run on The Flash in particular is absolutely beautiful.

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Team: Wisdom
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Left to Right: The Atom, Harley Quinn, The Flash, Robin (Damian Wayne), Cyborg

This means there will probably be a few different JL books, each with a different focus. For example, one of the Justice League comics used to be called Justice League Dark and it featured all mystical based DC heroes like John Constantine and Zatanna facing supernatural threats. Writers James Tynion IV and Joshua Williamson were named as co-writers of the miniseries with Scott Snyder, so I’d bet that they’ll each be writing a Justice League book, probably with a specific focus like space or magic or something. But once again, the thing to be excited about is Scott Snyder writing the flagship Justice League book which will be your “classic Justice League style”  adventures. Your Original Recipe Justice League, if you will

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Team: Wonder
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Left to Right: Raven, Doctor Fate, Wonder Woman, Zatanna, Etrigan The Demon

After Justice League: No Justice wraps up, Scott Snyder’s Justice League will hit shelves shortly after.  These are usually excellent times for new readers to jump on the comic book bandwagon. A miniseries like No Justice is usually designed to acclimate new readers to the status quo and they’re great jumping on points. Keep an eye out here as we’ll publish new info as it becomes available.

Are you excited for Scott Snyder’s Justice League comic book?

Out of the four teams  we see, which was your favorite?

Which team has the most  interesting combo of characters?

Let us know in the comments below!

I know I’m excited! Thanks for reading, everyone!

-Paul

 

 

ALL NEW PODCAST!!! Paul’s Pulls!

 

Hey everybody,

It’s Paul and I’m very excited to announce my brand new Podcast… PAUL’S PULLS! As you all know I LOOOOOOOVE comic books and superheroes, so this podcast is all comics all the time. It’s a shorter show than “The World’s Best Podcast with Paul & Tim”, but it’s perfect for the format. Each episode I’ll be recommending the best comics of the week and talk about comic book or comic book movie, Comic book TV, COMIC BOOK ANYTHING news! I really hope you’ll enjoy it. In the first episode I give an annotated breakdown of the awesome new DC series Doomsday Clock. Then I wrap thing up talking about the very cool new superhero show Black Lightning. The podcast will be available on iTunes soon but for now you can listen to it right here:

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/13889474

As always, thanks for listening!

-Paul

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MUST WATCH: Black Lightning

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Cress Williams as Jefferson Pierce AKA Black Lightning

Black Lightening Series Premiere Review

Written by Paul Wright

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Black Lightning is the latest superhero drama from The CW, which has made DC superhero shows it’s bread and butter. Based on the DC Comic of the same name, Black Lightning follows Jefferson Pierce (played by Cress Williams), a former Olympic medalist and retired consumed superhero with electricity powers and who gave up the life of superhero/vigilante Black Lightning, to focus on his family. Today, Jefferson’s main focus is raising his 2 daughters with his estranged wife and helping his community in a different way as an award winning high school principal. His oldest daughter Anissa is a medical student who inherited here father’s desire to help her community by protesting against the violent local gang The 100. Meanwhile his youngest daughter Jennifer, a senior at Jefferson’s high school, is going through her rebellious teenage years. Which of course drives her father nuts.

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What makes this series stand out is that it tackles issues of race, violence, and the antagonistic relationship between the police and the communities they protect, head on. Before the opening title is even shown, our hero, Jefferson Pierce is driving home with his two daughters and is pulled over and harassed by the police solely because he’s black. The police don’t even offer an apology or explanation when they realize they have the wrong man. It’s ugly and feels all too real. Like thousands of other police stops around the country that are a razors edge away from becoming a tragedy. It’s an opening that grabs you and gets your attention without any superheroics.

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Black Lightning is a surprisingly intense series for a superhero show on The CW. Maybe it just feels that way because much of what happens in the story is so similar to what we see on the news everyday. Considering that the main character is a meta-human with electricity powers the show feels more grounded than any other superhero show on The CW.

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Goddamn, that’s a sexy man…

MILD SPOILERS
There’s a great scene where Jefferson has to come to the rescue of his daughter Jennifer, when she gets in some trouble with members of the very dangerous 100 gang at a local club. Despite being out of the game for awhile, Jefferson can still kick ass and take names. After he absolutely fucks up the bad guys in the club, which is pretty damn cool, the cops show up as Jefferson is leaving and immediately pull their tasers on him (I should note that Jefferson is in formal wear throughout this scene). After yelling some racially charged orders at him, the cops tase Jefferson, at which point he’s had enough. When the taser has no effect on him, he electrocutes the 2 cops (without killing them) and blows up their police car. It’s a very cathartic moment. Cress Williams, who plays Jefferson, conveys very well that this is probably something that has happened to the character before and this time he’s not going to take any shit.

END SPOILERS

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There’s a lot to like in this series. There’s even a little bit of a “Dark Knight Returns” vibe. An aging hero comes out of retirement to find his city worse off than ever and he’s forced to confront a particularly vicious gang. There are definitely some parallels there. Also, any big DC Comics fans could guess where some of the stories may go for certain characters.

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Black Lightning in the comics as a member of the Justice League. Umm.. he’s the black guy. Man, the JL needs some diversity!

Overall, Black Lightning was surprisingly good and a welcome addition to The CW’s DC Superhero line up. It’s not completely clear if this show takes place in the “Arrow-verse”, but we are told that other superheroes exist in other cities in this world. Unlike those other DC Superhero shows, Black Lightning seems to have something of a bit more substance to say, which is always welcome in the genre. The characters are likable, especially Cress Williams in the lead roll, the story is appropriately timely, and there are some excellent action sequences. Black Lightning is definitely a show to check out. Highly recommended.

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Another picture of Black Lightning from the DC Comics

Black Lightning airs Tuesday nights on The CW at 9PM!

Black Lightning: 8.8/10

Thanks for reading!
-Paul

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PODCAST: The Best & Worst Of 2017! (Part One)

 

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Hey, everyone

It’s Paul

So this is it! We made it through 2017! Building World’s Best Media, writing articles and reviews, and recording podcasts have all been an absolute blast for myself and the incredibly talented people who contribute to World’s Best Media. We couldn’t have done any of it with the support of our listeners and readers. So thank you very much, it means the world to us.

Now with this being the end of the year and all, Tim and I decided it would be a good time to do a look back at the best and worst of 2017. We cover everything from the best and the worst movies, comics, TV shows, books, and more. It’s a 2-Part Episode and Part-One mostly focuses on TV. Or should I say content? A large portion of the shows we discuss in this episode come from streaming services. How we watch television has already drastically changed from 10 or even 5 years ago. With big companies like Disney and Warner Bros. starting their own streaming services in 2018 and 2019, things are going to change even more. It’ll be interesting to see where things go…

Also expect a Review of the Netflix show, Mindhunters, later this week. And  of course keep an eye out for part two of this episode.

Anyway, THANK YOU! Have a safe and Happy New Year and check out part one the episode below or subscribe on iTunes:

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/13683765

Thanks for listening!

-Paul

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Podcast: The Walking Dead TV Series SHOCKER with Special Guest co-host Paul Wright Sr.

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Hi everybody,

Here’s a relatively short (by the standards of this show at least) Episode where we talk about the shocking developments on Sunday night’s episode of The Walking Dead. Also, keep a lookout Friday morning when we’ll have our full Star Wars Episode VIII The Last Jedi up. We’re also going to try to get in a review of Netflix’s new Marvel series The Punisher if we can. Until then, please enjoy this fun episode about the most recent episode of The Walking Dead. Today I have a very special co-host, beloved by fans the world over, my Father…  Mr. Paul Wright Sr! Listen here or subscribe on iTunes:

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/13554612

 

 

 

 

 

MUST READ: Doomsday Clock #1 Review (SPOILERS)

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Back in 2011 DC Comics made a bold decision. They would reboot the ENTIRE DC Universe, the entire line of comics would start from scratch. All new #1s, new creative teams. Much like Marvel’s successful “Ultimate” re-launch of their characters in 2000. This relaunch of DC’S Comics was called The New 52.

The story telling mechanism they used to reboot their universe was a mini-series event comic called Flashpoint. If Flashpoint sounds familiar it’s because it’s been often used when talking about the cinematic DCU. The idea is if things get bad enough and their movies continue to be failures, they’ll make a Flashpoint film and completely start over the DC movies from scratch. The Flash TV series did a VERY different version of Flashpoint on their show.

So the basic set up for Flashpoint Barry wakes up one morning to find himself in a world vastly different from his own. He’s not The Flash, so no powers, there’s no Superman, no Justice League, Aquaman and Wonder Woman are about to start WWIII, etc. But he’s still a CSI and most importantly for him his mother, who’d been murdered when he was a child is now alive and well. I wont go into details because Flashpoint is a good read, but it’s an even better animated movie Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox. It’s one of the best animated films DC has put out. So Barry gets his powers back and with Batman’s help fixes the timeline. But when changes that massive have been made to the timeline, things aren’t EXACTLY the same. There were a lot of little and HUGE differences from the classic DC Comics people had been following. So, Flashpoint was basically the “IN STORY” explanation for the NEW 52. Almost none of the characters remember the world as it was before Flashpoint.

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For the life of me I absolutely cannot understand why some people hated the NEW 52. I don’t interact with a lot of other comic book fans on forums or Reddit, which is where I think much of the NEW 52 hate came from. Sure, not everything worked and some beloved characters didn’t immediately make the transition, but lets run through some of the books the DC published at during The New 52:

• Batman
• Swamp Thing
• The Flash
• Animal Man
• Aquaman
• Green Lantern
• Batman and Robin
• Action Comics
• Wonder Woman
• Batman Inc.
• Justice League
• Forever Evil
• Green Arrow

 

That’s just to name a few. With excellent creative teams and excellent storylines.For some reason DC felt that they’d fundamentally lost something along the way. They felt like they lost legacy, a sense of family, a sense of optimism that DC had always been known for. I personally don’t agree, I think the stories where great. But one things that did bug me a little, was that several DC characters didn’t make the transition in the NEW 52 and nothing scares hardcore comic books fans more than change. As a response to what they felt was the negative reception the NEW 52 received. They decided to address the problem with a new intuitive called DC REBIRTH. They didn’t reboot the universe, they just began to take their series in a different direction. They just decided that DC line wide would focus on hope, family, optimism.

DC Comics wanted infuse their books with more of that hope and optimism I mentioned. So, DC released a special called DC UNIVERSE REBIRTH. This special planted the seeds of stories that would affect all of the books DC Comics had published. One of the massive revelations of DC UNIVERSE REBIRTH, was the fact that Barry Allen WAS NOT at fault for the timeline being slightly “off” when he fixed the changes from Flashpoint. Certain classic characters no longer existed, people with powerful relationships in the past weren’t together anymore, key figures like Red Robin had their deaths unwillingly faked only to be held captive in a prison outside of time and space. Basically, for whatever reason, certain people were being take off the board. Barry found out that their was a much more powerful Being out there. Someone or something was altering space and time in the DCU. Someone they’ve never encountered before. At the end of DC REBIRTH, they scene cuts to Mars. It’s revealed that the person that has been manipulating the DCU was the God-like DR. Manhattan Of Watchmen.

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So it seems that characters from Watchmen, at the very least Dr. Manhattan, will be interacting with DC characters. At this point I think it’s important to say that it’s real easy to be cynical about a project like this. But every little piece we’ve been given from REBIRTH leading up to Doomsday Clock has been handled very well. Most of the talk about this project coming from DC wasn’t about a fight of any kind between the DC and Watchmen characters, but an ideological conflict between the cold, clinical view of the world held be Dr Manhattan and the hope and optimism of Clark Kent… Superman.

SPOILERS FROM HERE ON…

 

CONTIUE AT YOUR OWN PERIL IF YOU DONT WANT SPOILERS…

 

LAST CHANCE!….

OK…

 

The thing that surprised me most about this book was how much of it was a Watchmen book. I figured this story would mostly be set in the DCU with Dr. Manhattan visiting that reality and maybe an appearance from one or two other characters. Instead the majority of the story takes place in the world of Watchmen, years after we last saw these characters. It’s a world on the brink of annihilation once again. The first line of dialogue is from our narrator, who tells us it’s “ December 22 1992… or is it the 23rd?” Geoff John has been quick to point out that from the first line of dialogue we’re dealing an unreliable narrative. It’s also been pointed out multiple times in other places that December 22, 1992 is the day that The Death of Superman came out (obviously this date wasn’t chosen by accident). You see “The Great Lie” has bee exposed. Rorschach’s Journal at the end of Watchmen eventually showed the world that Veidt’s attempt to save humanity from nuclear holocaust, was built on an atrocity. Adrian Veidt AKA Ozymandias is now the most wanted man in the world. Then we’re shown a prison full of men begging to be released. The Soviets and the U.S. are minutes away from launching their nukes and beginning nuclear Armageddon.

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The story cut to chaos at a prison, with the inmates screaming to be let free. The news is telling everyone to get to “Safe Zones” , but this seems like bullshit that the government is pushing on people through media and the guards are cutting and running. One of the inmates manages to grab a guard as he runs past his cell and the inmate demands for the guard to unlock the door. Before he can do anything, the guard is knocked out by someone else in the hallway with him. This is the books first huge reveal: the man who knocked out the guard and who’s now stealing the keys to the prison is Rorschach. Suddenly the inmate isn’ t quite so eager to get out of this cell.

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From here on out, I’m going to give you the very broad strokes of the issue. The first six pages of this book were released by DC at NYCC and the Rorschach reveal was one of the last scenes in the promotional material. As I expected as soon Rorschach was revealed, later in the story were shown (without revealing his identity) that this is NOT Walter Kovacs, the original Rorschach. Someone else has taken up his “mantle”. Even if it wasn’t explicitly revealed, if you’re an avid Watchmen fan, you would have been able to tell that this isn’t the Rorschach from Watchmen. There are subtle, but noticeable differences.

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Basically Veidt sent Rorschach to break one very specific criminals out of prison: Erika Manson AKA The Marionette. Manson won’t leave with her husband Marco Maez AKA The Mime. From what we briefly see of The Mime in prison he seems like a very dangerous psychopath. Rorschach reluctantly takes them both and they head to Nite Owl’s old hideout. Once everyone’s gathered Veidt reveals a key piece of personal information and explains his plan. Adrian has a brain tumor that is killing him and as bad as things are on their world, there’s still one man who can fix everything: Dr. Manhattan. No matter where he is Veidt intends to find Dr. Manhattan in an attempt to save his world (if that is indeed his true motive). It’s unclear how he intends to accomplish this and why he needs these SPECIFIC individuals. The last scene is Clark Kent asleep in bed next to Lois. He has a horrific nightmare of his adopted parents dying in a car crash (I’m honestly not sure if this is the current continuity, so this could be a memory or something else entirely). He wakes up startled and Lois asks him if he’s ok. Clark’s not really sure. It was just a nightmare, but as he says to Lois, he’s never had a nightmare before.

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Bottom line, I really liked this story.  I get that to some people Doomsday Clock will always be sacrilege, but if you go in with an open mind you’ll realize this is a great book. If the first chapter is an indicator of what’s to come,. this could potentially be something special. The art by Gary Frank is incredible. I already considered Geoff Johns to be an excellent comic book writer, but it seems like he stepped up his game here. If you didn’t know any better, you’d be forgiven to think that this is Alan Moore is Watchmen.It was a great set up to the miniseries and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here. Several interesting details stood out to me. We’ve been shown that Batman was told that somehow it’ s an irrefutable fact that there are “three Jokers“. Both The Marionette and The Mime are clown themed villains. At one point, you see The Mime smiling with blood smeared across his face and mouth, which is very evocative of The Joker. Is this a version of Joker and Harley Quinn?

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Another interesting point was when Rorschach was asked to prove that he is not in fact Walter Kovacs the original Rorschach, he takes off his glove and his skin is brown. We all know the original Rorschach was white. This is a complete wild guess here, but could this be the psychiatrist that Rorschach seemingly warped so deeply in the original miniseries? (However, I’m pretty sure that character died in the original Watchmen, so I don’t now)

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I also found that it spoke volumes that Ozymandias seemed to be genuinely frightened of this new Rorschach. He explains to The Mime and The Marionette that Rorschach is not a man to be pushed. Veidt explains he doesn’t have limits like the original Rorschach did. Which is scary because it didn’t seem like the original Rorschach had many limits beyond his black-and-white code of justice. Especially considering that Adrian so easily physically overpowered Nite Owl, Silk Spectre, and the original Rorschach in Watchmen, this guy must be a pretty big bad ass for Ozymandias to be genuinely afraid of him.

Anyway those are my initial thoughts and impressions. My biggest questions are: How many of the Watchmen characters are we going to ultimately see in this story? How does Adrian intend to actually breach through the multi-verse to find Dr Manhattan ? Why is all this causing nightmares for Superman? and how does the rest of the DCU fit in? I definitely recommend reading it twice. Even though it seems slow at times, there’s a lot more going on than you may think after initially reading it. Personally I can’t wait for #2.

P.S. Below are the covers for some of the upcoming issues!

As always thanks for reading!

-Paul

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