TRAILER: Justice League VS The Fatal Five!

SHey Everyone,

Paul here…

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The Fatal Five. This movie’s Big Bads.

You all know how much I love the MCU, but I think my favorite cinematic universe could be the what I’m going to call The Batman The Animated Series/Bruce Timm Universe. This Universe includes all time classics like Batman The Animated Series, Superman TheAnimated series, Batman Beyond, Justice League, and Justice League Unlimited. Bruce Timm having essentially created this shared universe, is the reason his name is a part of the universe’s title. I love both of these universes so much, it would be really hard to pick which of them I hold more dear.

FE5347A8-9147-4EFF-9B67-565B7D699C66   Honestly you’d have to have a gun to my head and a gun to gun my balls, with the gunman screaming in my face, “CHOOSE! NOW! PICK ONE! CHOOSE! I’M NOT FUCKING AROUND! DECIDE! YOU HAVE TO THE COUNT OF 3! THEN I’M GOING TO SHOOT YOU IN THE BALLS AND SHORTLY AFTER THAT, SHOOT YOU IN THE HEAD!CHOOSE! 3… ,2… ,1..!” Then I guess we’d have our answer. But until that day comes, I guess I’ll just have to keepthem both very special in my heart.

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 Which is why I wanted to share this trailer with you guys today. I’m a big fan of the animated movies that DC releases directly to Blu-ray and digital three or four times every year. Some of them are fucking spectacular and are probably some of my favorite comic book movies of all time. The movie I was most looking forward to this year is their adaptation of Batman: Hush, hitting later this year, in early or mid summer. However, while Hush is still my most anticipated DC animated film this year, after watching the trailer below, (which debuted on ign.com) Justice League VS The Fatal Five has my attention in a big, bad way. Check out the trailer below:

It appears, from the animation style, to the voice cast, to the people working on the film behind the scenes, that the movie takes place in The Batman The Animated Series/Bruce Timm Universe.  Last year they released a film called Batman & Harley Quinn that also seemed to take place in what I call the Batman The Animated Series/Bruce Timm Universe, but that movie was pretty shitty. While this one looks really great. It’s awesome to hear the original voice cast from these classic TV shows (I love hearing Kevin Conroy as Batman and George Newbern as Superman), in what looks like an extension of this classic universe, but with some new faces as well. New heroes including Ms. Martian, Mr. Terrific (2 of my personal favorites), Jessica Cruz Green Lantern, and Starman. I love see DC’s Trinity (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman), alongside new and unique heroes.

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It looks like this is the next DC animated movie that’s coming out this year and they usually release their second film around March or April, with the summer release reserved for the third film. However this year they are releasing a fourth films, one of which will focus on Wonder Woman, so we may end up seeing Justice League VS The Fatal Five sooner than we think. I’m sure a release date will be announced soon. I wasn’t super interested in this project  at first, but after watching the trailer, I’m psyched.  I thought it looked great and I wanted to share it with all of you. Please let me know what you think in the comments below and thank you for reading!

 UPDATE: Justice League VS The Fatal Five will be available for Digital Download on 3/30/19 and Blu-Ray 4/16/19! I

-Paul

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MOVIE REVIEW: Reign of The Supermen

Hey Everyone,

Paul here… 

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  This month DC Animation is releasing the second movie in their two part Death of Superman saga, Reign of The Supermen. Reign of The Supermen begins roughly 6 months after The Death of Superman. The world is still in morning, but none more so than Lois Lane. Shortly before his death, due to his injuries sustained saving the city from Doomsday in the previous film, Clark and Lois’ relationship had reached the point where they were deeply in love with each other. Which makes Clark’s death all the more tragic, but more on that in a moment.

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    Even with the fantastic action sequences we come to expect, I’ve really enjoyed the small character moments in both of these movies that give the films some heart. For example, the developing friendship between Lois Lane and Wonder Woman added a nice layer to the film. Superhero comics are often so male focused, we don’t get to see enough positive female friendships. Even though it’s Clark’s death that brings them together in this film, it’s great to see their bond develop throughout the film. Even though they are very different people in many ways, it makes a lot of sense that they would like each other, that they’d hit it off. 

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Lois and Diana just chillin’

   A problem DC characters face that most Marvel characters don’t, is the fact that the Justice League are almost a modern day pantheon of gods. Which can make them seem distant, inhuman and unrelatable. Seeing Lois and Diana together in civilian attire bonding at a local pub is a great scene that humanizes these larger than life characters. It’s a small moment, but I hope the writers take the opportunity to grow this relationship. There’s great dramatic and comedic potential in pairing Lois and Diana in this and future films.

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   As, I touched upon earlier, when that film began, Lois and Clark have been dating long enough that they both knew some serious choices needed to be made in their relationship. Was this just a fun office romance? Or is it something real? They love one another, but Clark struggles with how and if he should tell Lois that he is Superman. Their love story is a key story aspect of that film.

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   I think the decision to make this story into two films really works and you see that decision pay off here. Considering the ambition of the story they were telling, this does feel like one film, cut in two, instead of two separate movies. I hope they put out a deluxe edition with both films together like they did with The Dark Knight Returns Part One and Two. There are so many callbacks and little moments connected to the first film, that if you haven’t seen The Death of Superman, you may not understand the emotional impact of certain moments.

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   Following Superman’s death, four new “Superman themed” heroes appear. The question to some is, if somehow one of them could be the real deal. First there’s Steel, a scientist named John Henry Irons we’d met in a few previous DCAU films. Irons has essentially built Superman-themed Iron Man armor. He has a particularly cool mechanized hammer, almost like a high tech version of Thor’s new ax/hammer in Infinity War. With his flowing red cape and the S on his armor, he cant quite reach the power level of the original Man of Steel, but he certainly holds his own.

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  Then there’s the teenage Superboy, a LexCorp sponsored hero reveling in his celebrity and all too eager to prove himself to be the hero that Superman was and so much more. Unfortunately, he finds out the hard way that a cocky attitude and bravado can’t compete with the years of experience the original Superman had under his belt. His origin is pretty dark and I won’t spoil it here, if you don’t know it already. Some may find his character to be a little bit annoying, but I found there to be an underlying tragedy to the character and I thought his relationship with Lex Luthor was particularly interesting.

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Superboy and his complicated relationship with Lex Luthor

  I don’t want to go into full spoilers, but there are 2 other contenders for the title of the new Man of Steel: The dangerous Eradicator and Cyborg-Superman. Both are much darker figures than Steel and Superboy. Strangely, it seems that if any of these new “heroes” are Kal-El of Krypton reborn, Cyborg-Superman seems like the best bet, but like all of the new Superman figures there is more to him than meets the eye.

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The Eradicator
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Cyborg-Superman

  When the shit really starts to hit the fan, the movie finds a particularly clever way to take of the Justice League out of the equation for the big final battle at the end of the film. Had the Justice League been present, it definitely would’ve created major story problems, so it was nice to see that was handled well. The absence of the Justice League forces some unpredictable and surprising figures to step up and act more heroically than you may expect, including Lex Luthor.

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     Rainn Wilson returns to the role of Lex Luthor in this film after first playing him in The Death of Superman. I really like how Lex is portrayed in both of these movies. He is undoubtably self-serving, amoral, and even a flat out piece of shit at times. However, he doesn’t want to see mankind destroyed or brought low. He genuinely wants to help the human race and at times, under the right circumstances, he can even act heroically. The film leaves him in a particularly interesting place in this regard and I‘m very much looking forward to see where they take the character from here.

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Lex Luthor himself

In my review for last year’s The Death of Superman (Read it here:  https://best-media-world.com/2018/07/29/movie-review-the-death-of-superman/   ), I mention how the film feels very much like a story about Clark Kent “the man” first and foremost. Not Superman, just Clark Kent. The Death of Superman is about the young man who grew up on a Kansas farm raised by wonderful parents. 

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If The Death of Superman was about Clark Kent, Reign of The Supermen is all about Lois Lane.  She’s the lead in this film. Sure, we have four new Superman “replacements/Wannabes/psychos” running around that are crucial to the story, But make no mistake this is Lois’s film. We get to see you Lois in action playing the hero on a level I don’t think we’ve ever seen her before outside of the comics. Even without the costume and the powers she almost feels like the superhero of the film. I mentioned before that at some point in the film the Justice League are taken out of the equation and there are people seriously fighting out of their weight class. Lois Lane is of course one of these people. She manages to hold her own in against one of the most dangerous super villains in the DC Universe and the movie makes it work. Almost like Batman, Lois uses her cunning and what weapons she has at her disposal to take on some real heavy hitters. Lois and Lex Luthor, as characters are probably some of the strongest parts of this film

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  I don’t really want to get into the method in which a Superman is resurrected. I mean, c’mon! We all knew he was coming back. No one thought he going to stay dead. But the events surrounding his resurrection, put Superman at a slight disadvantage. Which was another creative way to up the stakes for the characters, especially when Superman is often labeled as being too powerful in his stories.

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He’s got the black suit! And the beard! AND THE MULLET!! FUCK YEAH!!!

  There are some really great action sequences in the climax. Some of the animation in particular is very dynamic, fluid, almost anime  . That turns some people off, but I think it looks really cool and I thought it especially worked for this film. 

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SOME SPOILERS IN THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH 

Beware…

 

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     The Death Of Superman strongly hinted at the mastermind behind the events in both of these films. It won’t be too hard to guess the individual’s identity. SLIGHT SPOILERS FOR FUTURE POSSIBLE FILMS: I really like how the story leaves  Superman and the rest of the Justice League contemplating how to deal with the threat of Darkseid. This was his revenge for his failed invasion of Earth in Justice League: War (Though it seems he blames Superman for that defeat more than the other heroes for some reason). The JL knows that Darkseid is going to keep coming and they’re going to have to do something about him. I’m really excited for the story possibilities this set up for future movies. I hope the folks at DC animation take full advantage of the storytelling potential. Oh, and stay for the post-credits scene! Not only is it important to some potential future films but it’s also just really fun and funny. Don’t  miss it

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It looks like we may be getting an adaptation of The Darkseid War

 

 

END SPOILERS 

 All in all, I loved The Death of Superman, I don’t think Reign of The Supermen quite reached the heights of the previous film. However, it still has a lot going for it that makes it absolutely worth a watch. For a fun and exciting superhero movie with some above average character work and thrilling action sequences, you can’t go wrong with Reign of The Supermen. I definitely recommend you check it out.

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Reign of The Supermen: B-

Thanks for reading!

Review by Paul J. Wright

New Trailer & Poster For SHAZAM!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

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  The folks over at DC and Warner Bros. must be feeling pretty damn good right about now. After years of attempting and failing to copy Marvel’s shared universe format, it finally seems like their superhero movies are on the right track. Wonder Woman was their first huge step in the right direction. Unfortunately, by the time Warner Bros realized Wonder Woman was a hit, production on the craptacular Justice League film was in full swing. I’m not quite sure what they could’ve done, but if production on Justice league had begun following the critical and commercial success of Wonder Woman, I think Warner Bros. probably would’ve tried to write the ship a little bit on JL. 

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  Anyway, you can’t change the past (Or can you?… Well… No, um, no. I don’t think you can… Actually, who’s to say?), so they went from the success of Wonder Woman, to the unavoidable speedbump of Justice League, and now they have another bona fide hit on their hands with Aquaman. A film which was both financially successful and generally well received by fans and audiences in general. However, the DCEU (I REFUSE to call it The Worlds of DC!) has another very big test coming up, their next movie: SHAZAM! (Yes, the exclamation point IS part of the title, not just for emphasis).

   DC just released the second trailer for SHAZAM!, which I have posted below. As well as a few pretty cool posters (one at the top of the article and one below) and some stills and pictures from the film. 

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This movie has the potential to make or break DC at this point. This is really their do or die film. Yes, Aquaman absolutely had a lot riding on it as well. Had that movie been a failure, it would’ve been disastrous for the DCEU. However, if they’re able to pull off SHAZAM! after the success of Aquaman, it demonstrates that Aquaman wasn’t a fluke (No, that’s not a lame pun). It shows that DC can consistently and reliably put out solid superhero films.

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If they somehow manage to pull another rabbit out of their ass and make SHAZAM! a success, it’s almost even more impressive because on the paper, both Aquaman and SHAZAM! are pretty fucking weird characters. Also, neither of them are very well known in mainstream pop culture. Based on this trailer, which is nothing mind blowing and that’s OK, I think they really need to nail the tone of this movie for it to work. If it’s too comedic and goofy it won’t work is a serious movie that has any real stakes. At the same time you want that sense of youthful fun and exuberance which comes with telling the Shazam story. It’s basically the superhero version of “Big”. Kid says the magic word “SHAZAM!” and he’s transformed into an adult superhero at will. His powers a magic based and they’re very similar to Superman’s, he can turn back into a kid at any time by repeating the magic word “SHAZAM!”. There’s no time limit. So they’re walking a really fine line here. 

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    Like I said, based on the trailer, it’s hard to see if they’re pulling it off. But I know I’m rooting for this movie because I like the character, I like the cast, and I just want to see good DC movies. Hopefully this will be another solid film after last months very good Aquaman and we’ll start to get some consistently great DC movies. There are so many amazing character occupying this Universe, it would be such a shame to miss out on all the possibilities. Anyway check out the trailer below and let me know what you think. Id love to hear your thoughts in the comments section or on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for reading have a great day!

-Paul

Superman: Afternoon Delight

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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. 

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   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. 

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   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. 

 

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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.

FIRST LOOK: DOOM PATROL TV Series On DC Universe!

Hey Everyone,

Paul…

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Last week, the DC UNIVERSE Streaming Service wrapped up the first season of it’s flagship original program, Titans. Considering that, initially, there was some negative buzz about the project, Titans turned out to be a damn good superhero show with a unique take on the DCU and a killer teaser for Season 2. There really isn’t a superhero show quite like Titans airing at the moment.

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One of the coolest parts of the season was how the show alternated episodes by focusing on the overarching, season-long story in one episode. While the next showcased great, but more obscure characters from DC lore and giving them time to shine. We met characters like Jason Todd (the new, borderline psychotic Robin), Hawk & Dove, Donna Troy aka Wonder Girl, and Doom Patrol.

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Doom Patrol popped up around the 4th episode of Titans and was a early highlight in Season 1. Raven is rescued by Garfield Logan aka Gar aka Beast Boy in his tiger form and then takes her to see the rest of his “family”, The Doom Patrol. The Doom Patrol lives in a mansion under the eye of The Chief whose real name is Dr. Niles Caulder. Each member of the Doom Patrol had been in some kind of sever accident and Dr. Caulder’s very bizarre methods saved their lives. However, though his strange methods saved their lives, the side effects of his treatments gave them special abilities. Some are so extreme that that they see themselves as freaks and become more or less shut ins. When Raven is ready to leave, Beast Boy decides to strikes out on his own with the Titans. The Doom Patrol will always be his family, but he needs to start his own journey. As happy as the rest of the Doom Patrol are for him, there’s a sense of tragedy because none of the rest can ever do that themselves. Gar’s the only one of them who can remotely pass as human. They want Gar to have what they can’t: Freedom to live his own life. Basically Doom Patrol is really, really, fucking weird.

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I can’t say I was much of Doom Patrol fan or knew that much about them besides Grant Morrison’s acclaimed Doom Patrol run from the comics years ago. Seeing an episode with those characters front and center made me kind of like them. They’re kind of goofy, but if you don’t take it too seriously the Doom Patrol characters are a lot of fun.

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For the moment, the plan for DC UNIVERSE is to make at least one episode of an original series available on the app each week. Of course, all of the the content the app provides, like free comic book downloads from DC’s library, DC films, and more.

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Young Justice: Outsiders (Part 1) will be available on DC UNIVERSE January 4, with 3 episode blocks coming out each week. Young Justice returns for Part 2 of the season  this summer.

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Shorty after Part 1 of Young Justice: Outsiders finishes up, the Doom Patrol series will premiere on February 15th. Even though these are the same characters, in the same universe, there are 2 big differences from the Doom Patrol series and the Doom Patrol episode of Titans. The Chief, the somewhat menacing Dr. Caulder, will be payed by Timothy Dalton.  While Cyborg has been added to the team in Beast Boy’s absence. Out of the many comic book series premiering in 2019, this has the potential to be a very fun and weird superhero show, so make sure to keep an eye out for this one.

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“Remember when I was in The Mummy?! (Sigh) Better days…”
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“I’m Timothy Dalton For Christ’s Sake! What the FUCK am I doing in this thing?!”

Check out the teaser below and these cool character posters in our first official look at the series. I’ll sat this it looks weird as hell and I really dig that.

What do you guys think of Doom Patrol? Are you going to give it a try? I’d love to hear your comments below.

-Paul

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TV REVIEW: Elseworlds (Part 1)!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

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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.

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 All of the Arrowverse crossovers have been really fun, but compared to something like last year’s epic Crisis on EarthX, Elseworlds feels more exuberant and joyful. Don’t get me wrong, Crisis on EarthX 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.

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  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. 

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  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.

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   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.

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  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.

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  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. 

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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Last year the 4-part Crisis on EarthX 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.

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  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.

Elseworlds (Part 1):  9/10

Thanks for reading!

-Paul

 

MUST WATCH: Titans

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

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

Titans CR: DC
Dick Grayson AKA Robin/Nightwing
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Rachel AKA Raven

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

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Beast Boy
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Starfire

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

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

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

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Dick just beat the living hell out of these guys

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

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Raven in full demon mode

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

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

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Dick meets his replacement, the new Robin: Jason Todd

 

 

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

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Jason and Dick

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading!

-Paul

 

Elseworlds! New Poster & First Teasers!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

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We’re taking a quick detour from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Month to give you folks an update on the annual CW Superhero Crossover, Elseworlds, starting on December 9th. I fucking LOVE these DC TV Crossover Events. They seem to get better each year and up the ante on the scope and ambition. Last year’s event, Crisis on Earth-X was basically a Justice League movie that was WAY fucking better than the actual Justice League movie. With the premiere of Elseworlds fast approaching, The CW and DC have released some really cool promo art and our first teasers for the event.

This comic book cover style poster is dynamite. I eat shit like this up!  (yes, I eat shit. Beat you to it!)

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I really like this photo from EW.com, that shows Clark Kent and Lois Lane (who’s making her Arrowverse debut in this crossover) at the Kent Family Farm. It’s actually the same farm they used in Smallville, which is a fun reference that’s very in keeping with the Elseworlds concept. Considering The Flash from the early 90’s John Wesley Shipp (AKA Barry’s Dad/Jay Garrick) short lived TV series is making an appearance, I wonder if they’ll acknowledge Smallville as an alternate reality in their Multiverse.

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Also from EW.com, we get this look at Batwoman in action with the classic grapple gun used by every member of “The Bat-Family”. According to EW.com, Batwoman makes her big debut in an action sequence taking place in Gotham City’s iconic Arkham Asylum. I really hope they nail Batwoman on this one (Get your heads out of the gutter!). She’s a fantastic character with huge potential if she’s handled well in her live action debut. I think Ruby Rose was perfect casting for this role and she seems to be really honored to be playing this character.

A93F8C23-5B65-4099-A78D-749044391278Finally, they’ve released these three brief teasers, one for each of the Arrowverse’s Trinity of major heroes: Green Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl. In the comics Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman are often referred to as “The Trinity” of major superheroes in the DCU. According to the showrunners, this crossover will thematically focus on Oliver, Barry, and Kara as “The Trinity” of the Arrowverse. UPDATE:Hey guys, I wanted add in this very cool promo that gives us our first look at Batwoman in action and Gotham City. It also touches on Batman in a big way, which is pretty cool. Check it out below.

As always, thanks for reading and give us a follow if you want to support the site or get updates when new content is posted.

-Paul

Check Out These Awesome New AQUAMAN Movie Character Posters!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

   Aquaman is fast approaching it’s release date and I am filled with both extreme excitement and dread. Everything I’ve seen from the trailers and promotional material looked fantastic. Despite how unbelievably cool the trailer looks, we all know how, now more than ever, a great trailer doesn’t make a good movie (cough*suicidesquad*cough). It seems like director James Wan could be delivering on some really unique and fun world building. Seeing Atlantis and characters like Black Manta, Ocean Master, and even creatures like The Trench, being brought to life is so thrilling. Just a quick aside, even though we really do get some terrible superhero movies, we should appreciate this golden age of having some of our most wonderful dreams from our favorite comic books brought to life on the big screen and TV. Anyway, I love how Wan even managed to give us the classic Aquaman costume. Which brings me to another point, despite how much I dislike Justice League, I thought Jason Momoa did a great job for what they gave him. So he definitely has the charisma to make Aquaman a memorable hero, if he’s given a good film to showcase the character. 

   It’s really a shame the way DC chose to go about making these films. As I sit here writing this article, I’m imagining all the cool things that could have been had they just taken their time and done movies like Wonder Woman, Aquaman (God willing), and yes even Man of Steel, from the beginning and then built on that. 

  I really think the wild card here, that makes this film stand out from other movies from The Worlds of DC (Yes, that is now the official name for the DC Cinematic Universe) is the director, James Wan. He’s a prolific filmmaker behind some excellent movies in completely different genres (Insidious, The Conjuring 1 & 2, Furious 7). He’s also directing the pilot and executive producing the upcoming new, live action Swamp Thing series on the streaming service DC Universe. I find myself coming out of his films thinking that what I saw wasn’t just a great action movie or a great horror movie, but just a great movie period. I’m cautious optimistic that he’s going to crush this flick.

   So, over at EW.com they had a set of new character posters for the upcoming Aquaman film. If this movie ends up being good at all, I think I definitely might have to snag a Black Manta or Aquaman poster (I think those are the 2 coolest ones). I honestly think they all look pretty cool though. Take a look below. Which character posters are your favorite? Are you guys looking forward to Aquaman as much as I am? Or do you think it’s going to be a Suicide Squad level disaster? Please let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading!

-Paul

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Aaaaaaaand I’m sorry, I’m not proud of it, but I had to include this picture…

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DC’s Legends of Tomorrow Season 4 Premiere Review!

  

Hey Everybody,

Paul here…

DC'S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW

One of my favorite aspects of the Arrowverse has always been their use of John Constantine. When Matt Ryan played the character on the very underrated and short lived Constantine TV series, it was clear there was something special about him in this role that made him perfect for the character. Almost immediately after the Constantine series was canceled, something fairly unique happened where Matt Ryan became DC’s de facto John Constantine. He made a guest appearance on Arrow as the character, retroactively integrating Constantine into the Arrowverse. Ryan voiced Constantine in his own online animated series (which is how Vixen and The Ray joined The Arrowverse). The excellent DC Animated Movie; Justice League Dark, and the just released Constantine:   City Of Demons, also had Matt Ryan return to voice John Constantine. 

F02ACEAB-B8C3-4A82-812E-B330E65ADFF1    As soon as Legends of Tomorrow was first announced, I thought Constantine would make an excellent addition to the cast. It was an eclectic group of DC characters and it seemed like a pretty big missed opportunity to not include him on a show like this. Thankfully, It seems like the folks over on The CW have finally come to their senses. After his excellent reoccurring appearances in Season 3, it seemed like the character was finally sticking around. At last, in Season 4, John Constantine is on of the crew of The Waverider (kind of).

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  Now that my gushing about Constantine is out of the way, back to Legends. After last season, the Legends are basking in their success at actually saving the timeline and doing things right for once. They’re even being honored by The Time Bureau. Their personal lives are looking pretty good too. Sarah and Ava are even thinking about moving in together. So the team really doesn’t want the other shoe to inevitability drop. 

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    Constantine, always knowing how to make an entrance, returns to remind Sarah of the warning he gave the team at the end of last season. When the Legends defeated the time demon Mallus, they unleashed other supernatural and magical entities onto the time stream. Now the Legends have to clean up this latest mess and it looks like it’s going to be pretty great. 

The Virgin Gary

  The first mystical threat they encounter occurs at Woodstock, where an iconic mythical creature gets a fantastic Legends spin. A Unicorn is impaling and eating people. That sentence should give you an idea of just how crazy and fun this show is. Much to the chagrin of Mick, it may not be a dragon (he REALLY wants to kill a dragon), but it’ll do.

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  Sarah turns to John for help dealing with the creature, while the rest of the team trips on the mystical goo the Unicorn sprayed on them (Because, of course). To capture and banish the Unicorn, John needs to perform a spell with ingredients that include a joint stolen from Jerry Garcia, Janice Joplin’s hair, and a virgin as bait. Of course the only virgin they know is poor, poor Gary from the Time Bureau, who they sucker into being bait for the human heart eating monster. The Unicorn actually looks really cool in it’s true monstrous form and after biting off Gary’s nipple, Constantine is able to use the spell to send the creature to Hell.

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  When everything is said and done, Sarah tries to convince John to officially become a member of the Legends. But John being John basically tells her to fuck off in his own special way. However, we know that it’s unlikely he’ll keep that attitude for long. Especially after the very ominous way and the episode ends. There’s a larger threat out there that will take Constantine and the Legends to deal with. I suspect I know what it is specifically, but I don’t want to spoil it here.

Suicidal TendenciesI also wanted to mention that Thomas F. Wilson AKA Biff Tannen himself has joined the show as Nate’s disapproving father. He didn’t respect Nate’s job as a historian and has no Idea that his son has been playing time traveling superhero for that last two years.

Blood Ties

  Legends of Tomorrow is at its best when it embraces it’s most absurd ideas and they seem to be doing exactly that this season. Much like the new season of Arrow, this seems like a fresh new direction for the show that could be a new start for Legends of Tomorrow. I know I had a blast and I can’t wait to see where the season goes from here!

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DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (Season 4 Premiere): 8/10

As always, thanks for reading!

-Paul