Batman: The Three Jokers #1 – Review!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Batman: The Three Jokers #16.5/10

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

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…


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

Wonder Woman: 1984

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


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

James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad:

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

Zack Snyder’s Justice League:

Darkseid. Is.

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

Hawkman
Atom Smasher
Doctor Fate
Cyclone

The Flash:

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

.

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

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

The Flash: Season 7 (The CW):

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

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul

DC FANDOME Event Streaming Free for 24 Hours!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

Beginning at 1 PM EST today, DC will be launching a massive online streaming event called DC FANDOME. The free, 24 hour “experience” will feature panels for some of DC’s biggest upcoming projects. They’ve  been gearing up for this for months, so we should definitely expect to hear some big announcements at the various panels. Some of the most notable segments, Wonder Woman 1984, Matt Reeves’ The Batman, James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad,  The Snyder Cut of Justice League and many more will all be making presentations to fans. WW 84, Batman, The Snyder Cut, and The Suicide Squad are arguably the most high profile, so those are the panels that have most excited to see. 

DC FanDome is just about movies, DC‘s comic books and graphic novels, as well as some of their biggest and best TV shows. The Flash, Titans, and the upcoming new Arrowverse series, Superman & Lois, will all be part of the streaming event. This is a fascinating and ambitious move by DC. It’s a smart way to bring in new fans, while giving current fans something to get excited about. 

   DC has out right confirmed that we’ll definitely see new trailers, never before seen clips from their upcoming films and TV shows. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if we got our first real look at footage from The  Batman or James Gunn‘s The Suicide Squad.  DC even has one or two surprise panels scheduled, that they’ve somehow managed to keep secrets from rabid fans. 

Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if they made some official announcement about Ben Affleck returning as Batman and in what capacity. Maybe Henry Cavill will show up to announce Man of Steel 2? Both are pretty reasonable possibilities, but who knows? I’ve only touched on a few scheduled showcases. This is definitely a must watch for any DC fan.

When you go to the DC FanDome website, you’ll see that the different panels and presentations are broken up into categories, so there really is something for everyone over the whole 24 hour. And they will be holding encore presentations of their biggest panels later in the evening. If you’re interested, but somehow unable to watch it tomorrow, there will be a on-demand style encore experience on September 12. Here’s the link to check it out yourself…   

http://www.DCFanDome.com

The full event schedule is available on the DC FANDOME website

Thanks for listening! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul

Update On Justice League: The Snyder Cut!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…


    I’m really looking forward to the Zack Snyder cut of Justice League premiering on HBO Max next year. The more I hear about it the more I’m excited by it. Zack Snyder is a very polarizing figure among fans, personally, I find much more to like in Zack Snyder‘s work than there is to dislike. I love Man of Steel and though it’s a very flawed film, I love Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Based on some statements made by Snyder in recent interviews, it sounds like this project is more of a remake of Justice League than a director’s cut. Snyder has said he’s not using any of the material that Joss Whedon shot and the current runtime of The Snyder Cut is around 4 hours. I don’t know if HBO Max is going to release this as one big piece of content or divide it into a miniseries, but the bottom line is there is going to be a shit load of new stuff in this movie. New characters, new storylines, major scenes playing out completely differently. 

A bad ass fan made poster for The Snyder Cut

  A recent clip from The Snyder Cut that was released online is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. The scene involved Superman visiting Alfred after his resurrection, to get the information he needed to help the rest of The League win the day against Steppenwolf and his forces from Apokolips. The key difference in this new clip is Superman‘s wearing his iconic post-resurrection, black costume, which is a cool call back to The Death and Return of Superman storyline from the original comic books. In a recent interview, Zack Snyder said that Warner Bros. was vehemently against a black suited Superman, but to keep his options open, he shot the scene with a version of the Superman suit with the traditional red and blue, but the colors and the tone were slightly different from other red and blue suits that were used. This was done because those slightly different color tones are easier to change in post-production using VFX. Now Snyder could go back and change the color of the costume to a sort of “ash” grey cape and Superman emblem, on a black body suit. I posted the short clip below. It’s a small, but cool change. And when it comes to sneak peeks at the upcoming “Snyder Cut”, the changes for the better don’t stop there…

One of the worst things about the theatrical cut of Justice League was it’s villain, Steppenwolf. Not only was he an uninteresting and boring character, but the CGI design was terrible. When Batman V. Superman came out, a deleted scene called “Communion” was released online that showed Lex Luthor using the Kryptonian ship to communicate with a very different looking Steppenwolf. Much cooler and much scarier. You can watch that below if you haven’t seen it:

I loved this design, Steppenwolf is one of The New Gods, a servant of Darkseid. I loved this almost demonic, monstrous take on the character. Thanks to these images released online, we know that Steppenwolf has been completely redesigned for The Snyder Cut. This is clearly much more in line with the creature we see in “Communion”. Take a look…

Zack Snyder posted this image of a WAY cooler looking Steppenwolf from The Snyder Cut
Steppenwolf concept art
More Steppenwolf concept art. A much cooler design, in the vein o& the “Alien” films

 I thought it would be very interesting to see that same aesthetic applied to Darkseid and the other New Gods. Now, with Zack Snyder’s Justice League, it looks like I’ll get my wish. Darkseid was originally going to be the main villain of the film and with the added emphasis put on The Lord of Apokolips in the first teaser for The Snyder Cut, we should expect to see Darkseid as a prominent figure in the film. Early in the theatrical cut of Justice League, we’re show an ancient battle sequence at the beginning of Justice League, which features Amazons, Atlanteans, human armies, the old gods, and even a Green Lantern, fighting together to push back the forces of Apokolips, lead by Steppenwolf, during their first invasion of Earth. In the teaser for The Snyder Cut that I just mentioned, the invasion is now lead by Darkseid. Here’s that teaser to refresh your memory:

A low res image of Darkseid during the first Apokolips invasion of Earth
Rough concept art of Darkseid during his invasion of Earth. In his younger days, Darkseid was known as Uxas.

Interestingly, in one of his recent interviews Zack Snyder mentioned that the film won’t even be called Justice League anymore. I’m not sure what the new title will be and if the change is for legal or creative reasons, but we’ll find out sooner or later. DC  is currently gearing up for a big event on August 22nd called DC FANDOME. The 24 hour online event will be showcasing DC characters and properties across all mediums. There’ll be some big announcements about upcoming DC projects in film, comics, TV, and more. We should definitely expect to get an update on The Snyder Cut in some form or another. It could be another trailer or new information, but regardless we will be comprehensively covering the DC FANDOME event here at World’s Best Media. For more on DC FANDOME, go to http://www.DCFanDome.com !

A young Darkseid battles Ares.

So are you looking forward to The Snyder Cut? Let me know you thoughts in the comments below!

This concept art shows an alternate design for the Parademons. This look will not be in the new film, it’s just a cool
“what if” that I wanted to share..

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul

The 15th Anniversary Of Constantine: An Underrated Cult Classic

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

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

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

Constantine takes a trip to Hell

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

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

Matt Ryan as John Constantine

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul

NEW TRAILERS: Project Power! Lucifer Season 5!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here,

A few new trailers for upcoming Netflix projects dropped this week (one returning series and one film). They both look pretty cool. I had some brief thoughts that I wanted to share about them and you can take a look at some images and the trailers for yourself below…

Project Power

Until movie theaters open again, God knows when, because of the massive shit show that is the Coronavirus outbreak, we’re going to have to settle for getting of Summer Movie fix through streaming services. This is the time of the year when the biggest, most expensive, and insane Hollywood Blockbusters are supposed to come out! At least Netflix and a few of the other streaming services have put out a few solid summer action movies. I particularly enjoyed The Old Guard starring Charlize Theron (here’s my review to refresh you’re memory: https://best-media-world.com/2020/07/14/movie-review-the-old-guard/ ). Now we have Project Power starring Jamie Foxx and Joseph Gordon Levitt. The idea of a dangerous street drug that temporarily grants super powers is nothing new in superhero storytelling. So this movie isn’t exactly reinventing the wheel. But there were enough interesting and cool visuals to make want to check it out when it hits Netflix on 8/14/20. Check out the trailer:

EW.com had some cool images from the movie, which I have posted here…

Lucifer Season 5:

When Lucifer premiered on Fox a few years back, I absolutely hated the concept. You see, THIS version of Lucifer first appeared as a recurring in the classic comic book series, The Sandman, written by Neil Gaiman. The character was popular and interesting enough to get his own critically acclaimed, spin-off comic book series, Lucifer created by Mike Carey. Both books were very dark and adult, so they were published by DC Comics under the legendary Vertigo imprint. Vertigo was kind of like HBO for comic books, meaning the creators were able to do whatever they damn well pleased without censorship (for the most part anyway…). Classic comic books like Preacher, 100 Bullets, Fables, and Ex Machina were all published under Vertigo. To be clear, the Lucifer TV series is an adaptation of that version of the character, when I saw that FOX’s take was essentially a police procedural like Bones, Monk, Castle, or Elementary and the THOUSANDS of other shows just like them, I was disgusted. These shows all have the same formula: a straight laced detective is forced to partnered with a quirky and unique individual, whose unorthodox gimmick is shockingly effective at solving crimes (Oh, and of course they’ll eventually fall in love after years of “Will They/Wont They?”, romantic and sexual tension)! That might as well be describing 30 other stupid fucking shows on TV. After seeing the pilot, there was nothing to convince me that this was anything but Lucifer, in name only. Just another dumb procedural. Why the fuck would The Devil want to solve mysteries with the LAPD? However, it managed to gathered a cult following and I kept hearing that the show was pretty good and a lot of fun. When the show moved to Netflix for its fourth season, I decided to give it shot and binge watched entire series so far. Surprisingly, I enjoyed the hell out of it (and NO, that wasn’t a pun! I don’t do puns, goddammit!). As the show continues, the police element is still there, but the series has gotten more and more into the mythology of other Angels, Demons, Lucifer discovering more about himself, Hell, God, and more. The show is at its best when it focuses on those story elements. Their ace in the hole is Tom Ellis who plays Lucifer. The guy is so damned charismatic and fun to watch. We haven’t seen a version of The Devil quite like this one yet and Tom Ellis absolutely crushes it. Even a weak episode is still entertaining because of Tom Ellis’ performance. The series was originally planned to wrap up after it’s upcoming 5th season, but the show has proved to be so popular that Netflix ordered more episodes, extending Season 5 (which will now be split in 2-parts). Not only are fans getting more episodes for this new season, but Netflix has already ordered a 6th season. It’s a good time to be a fan of this series. Check out the trailer below:

Lucifer Season 5 premiere on Netflix on 8/21/2020

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul

TRAILERS- Superman: Man of Tomorrow & Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

So far, it’s been a fantastic year for DC Animated Movies. First, we got the excellent adaptation of the classic Superman graphic novel, Superman: Red Son. Which is one of the best movies DC Animation has put out in years. Then just a few months ago with the release of Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, which was a bleak, bloody, action packed, funny, thrill ride, that utterly destroyed the interconnected DC Animated Universe that has been spread over 11 or 12 movies. DC Animation was doing their own version of the MCU with some (but not all) of their films. and Justice League Dark: Apokolips War was the final film in that series and it was pretty fucking great. Now, we have two more DC Animated Movies to look forward to this summer and they both seem Seri promising in completely different ways. First up, we have our first look at the next DC Animated Movie, Superman: Man of Tomorrow! Take a look at the trailer right here and then I’ll give you a few of my thoughts below…

I’m really digging the vibe of this one. First of all I really like how the animation seems unique from other styles we’ve seen from DC in the past. Also, even though they say this is an original story, this is clearly an adaptation of the excellent, recent Superman miniseries, Superman: American Alien. American Alien is a fantastic graphic novel, so if this is even a loose adaptation, I’m all for it! Plus, I love seeing Superman fight villains like Lobo and Parasite. Bottom line: I’ll be buying a digital copy of this movie it hits iTunes in July. If it’s anywhere near as good as Superman: Red Son and Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, I’m sure I’ll buy the Blu-Ray, too.

Superman: Man of Tomorrow will available for digital download on 8/23 and 4K/Blu-Ray on 9/8

The second DC Animated film we can look forward to in the near future, is Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons. This originally appeared as a series of animated shorts on The CW seed app. DC Animation expanded the content and decided to release it as a feature length film, focusing on the DC Universe’s most famous and deadly assassin. Similar successful and entertaining projects have been done with John Constantine and Vixen. It looks damn pretty cool and It certainly is a sharp contrast to Superman a man of tomorrow, it certainly is a sharp contrast to Superman: Man of Tomorrow, take a look at the trailer below:

Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons will be available digitally on 8/4/20 and on 4K/Blu-Ray on 8/18/20

Thanks for reading!

PODCAST: Is Michael Keaton Returning To Play Batman?!!!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

On this week’s episode of The World’s Best Podcast, Big Paul Sr. returns to the show for a sobering reminder of how aging can lead to a steep cognitive decline! More importantly, we cover the big news of the week: Michael Keaton may be returning to play Batman alongside Ezra Miller’s Flash, in the upcoming Flashpoint movie? The man who many people think is still the best to ever wear the cape and the cowl, returning to the role of The Dark Knight is extremely exciting!

Getting a Flash movie to the big screen has been an enormous struggle for DC and Warner Brothers. The film has already gone through multiple writers/directors and was originally scheduled for release more than two years ago. Barring anymore disasters, The Flash is going to be helmed by Andy Muschietti, who directed the recent hit horror films, IT and IT: Chapter Two. Despite all the drama behind the scenes, one thing has remain constant: The Flash film will be an adaptation of the seminal Flash storyline, Flashpoint.

Written by Geoff Johns with art by Andy Kubert, Flashpoint told the story of Barry Allen (The Flash) going back in time to prevent his mothers murder. However, changing this one event has dire and far reaching consequences that Barry never could have foreseen. Barry finds himself in a much darker and dangerous version of the DCU that he knows. Kind of like Back To The Future II. However, one of the most significant and interesting changes is revealed when Barry heads to Wayne Manor to seek out the help of his friend and fellow JL member, Batman. When Barry enters The Batcave, a nearly psychotic Batman attacks him. At which point Barry makes a horrifying discovery, the man underneath the bat cowl is actually Thomas Wayne, Bruce Wayne’s father! As a result of Barry‘s manipulation of the timeline, one of the major changes effected the creation of The Dark Knight on that fateful night in Crime Alley, in Gotham City all those years ago when The Wayne’s were attacked by a mugger. Bruce was now the one shot and killed, instead of his parents. So Thomas Wayne became Batman. A much more violent and unhinged Batman. Working together, Barry and Thomas Wayne set out to fix the timeline. That’s the set up.

This is just speculation on my part, but like a lot of comic book adaptations of specific stories, I think a lot of liberties will be taken with the source material with this Flashpoint film. A good example is Captain America: Civil War, that story was based on the miniseries Civil War and is vastly different from the source material. So what I think will happen is, maybe instead of an alternate timeline, Barry will enter an alternate universe, like the universe of Tim Burton’s Batman and that’s where he’ll meet and team up with Michael Keaton‘s Dark Knight. Maybe he travels to another alternate universe with Barry, I don’t know how it will work. But you can definitely see how they could fit Michael Keaton’s Batman into a story like this. 

I know DC also wants to use Keaton in a role similar to Nick fury in the MCU, one example that’s been rumored suggests Keaton’s Batman showing up in a Batgirl movie. However, I think if DC and Warner Bros. want to do a film about a young Bat-themed hero, they would be crazy not to adapt Batman Beyond. It works perfectly, an older Bruce Wayne played by Keaton, training Terry McGinnis as the next Batman in futuristic Gotham City. It was a phenomenal TV series and it could be a phenomenal film series, as well. 

Bottom line is, there a lot of thrilling possibilities with Michael Keaton returning to play Batman and all of them are exciting! We get into in all on this episode so, enjoy!

The Flash or Flashpoint (whatever they end up calling it) is currently set to hit theaters on June 3, 2022  

Lastly, DC Animation did an adaptation of Flashpoint, called Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox. Not only is it one of their best animated films, it’s also one of my favorite superhero movies of all time, period. I highly recommend you checking it out, you can find it on iTunes and other streaming services and I have included a link where you can purchase Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (for pretty damn cheap) on Blu-ray: https://www.bestbuy.com/site/justice-league-the-flashpoint-paradox-blu-ray-2013/9343093.p?skuId=9343093&ref=212&loc=1&ref=212&loc=1&gclid=Cj0KCQjw3Nv3BRC8ARIsAPh8hgLwh_kLVKQR71iVmaxPM7yK8_G8RZxXtQSCwppslGvgdcOhDdynn2MaAjyHEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/33382238   Or subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Podchaser, Castbox, Podcast Addict, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes…

iTunes/Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?i=1000479658504

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

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul

FIRST LOOK: Justice League: The Snyder Cut!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

There’ve been few things in recent popular culture that have been more divisive than Zack Snyder‘s foray into the DCEU. Personally, I’m a big Zack Snyder defender. I think, with the exception of Sucker Punch, he’s never truly made a bad movie.

   Man of Steel is easily my favorite live-action Superman movie. Henry Cavill is much better in the role than people give him credit for and the movie is underrated in general. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is a very flawed film, but I love it. Particularly the R-Rated Ultimate Edition. It’s sad that the films reception and his personal issues forced Ben Affleck to walk away from the character because he was arguably our best live action Batman to date. The only thing in that movie that was truly terrible was the decision to cast Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and his god awful subsequent performance. I understand that, as fans we all have our own beliefs about how beloved character should be portrayed on screen, but I was pleasantly surprised by Batman V Superman, especially because the film was getting such mixed reviews at the time. 

I don’t count Justice League because at the end of the day that wasn’t really Snyder’s film. Almost everything with Superman in that movie was shot after he left the film, for personal reasons. Henry Cavill was well into filming Mission: Impossible Fallout, where he sported a thick mustache. You can tell that all of Superman’s scenes were shot after Zack Snyder left the film, because Paramount, the film studio that was making Mission Impossible, wouldn’t let Warner Bros. shave Cavill’s mustache for JL reshoots. So, instead of choosing the much simpler, cheaper, and smarter option of shaving his mustache and having Cavill wear a fake for the remainder of shooting Mission Impossible, Warner Bros. had to remove the mustache digitally. The god awful result is that the whole bottom half of Superman’s face in JL looks like a creepy mannequin come to life. Of course none of that is Zack Snyder‘s fault because he already left the movie at that point, but it’s a funny story if you haven’t already heard it.

Now, Zack Snyder is finally getting a chance to give us his vision of his Justice League film, or at least something pretty close to it. Justice League: The Snyder Cut is premiering on HBOMax next year, sometime in 2021. It might not be much, but HBO released a brief teaser for the project that you can watch below. Of course, you can’t judge a movie after only seeing less than 60 seconds of footage, but I already dig the darker tone. We’re only shown two quick scenes, one involving Diana played by Gal Gadot that was not in the theatrical cut at all and a quick look at a alternate version of the ancient battle sequence that opens the film where Steppenwolf has been replaced by… Well, I won’t spoil it, but it’s someone much scarier and much more interesting. The thing that both of these scenes have in common is that they’re extremely ominous and they both serve to focus on the appearance of a certain iconic DC villain, not featured in the theatrical cut. Take a look below, I’d love to hear what you guys think:

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul

Dark Nights: Death Metal #1 Review!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…


Dark Nights: Death Metal #1

Written by Scott Snyder

Art by Greg Capullo 

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

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

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

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

Perpetua: Creator of The Multiverse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dark Nights: Death Metal #19/10

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

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