PODCAST: Paul’s ARROW Tribute!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

After 8 seasons and launching multiple fantastic spin-offs, like The Flash and Supergirl, The CW’s hit series ARROW has come to an end. “The Arrowverse” introduced fans to an entire universe of classic DC characters, many of which saw their live action debut on one of the “Arrowverse” series. However, let’s not forget that ARROW was the show that start it all! Over its 8 Season run, ARROW remained a consistently excellent superhero action-drama. With it’s incredible action and fight sequences, badass and compelling villains, and beloved characters, ARROW will be looked back on fondly as the series that changed superhero TV forever. On this episode of “The World’s Best Podcast”, we pay tribute and says goodby to one of my favorite shows.

I really like these sizzle reel videos that pop up on YouTube. Basically people take some of the coolest scenes and moments from beloved movies and TV shows and turn them into bad ass music videos. The MCU and the arrow verse in particular have quite a few. The video below is by far the best video tribute to Arrow that I have seen so far. It’s extremely well edited and the content is well chosen. If you’re a fan of Arrow or The Arrowverse, DO NOT miss this excellent tribute video:

This video was created by The Rusty Lion. For more great videos like this, look up The Rusty Lion on YouTube.

Who knows? After the awesome teaser in the final episode, where we see Diggle find a certain glowing green object that has crash landed from space in front of him, perhaps will be seeing him pop up in The Flash, Supergirl, or the upcoming Superman TV series? This might be a longshot but maybe even the upcoming Green Lantern Corps series that’s coming toHBO? It would be pretty cool. After all, they did finally reveal his real name is Jon Stewart…

Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/22984514  Or subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Podchaser, Castbox, Podcast Addict, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes…

iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?i=1000466159268

Stitcher:  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?i=1000466159268

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

-Paul

POCAST: Birds Of Prey Review! With Co-Host Tim Cuff!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

On this very special episode of “The World’s Best Podcast”, Tim Cuff makes his triumphant return to the show! Tim was one of the original co-hosts of “The World’s Best Podcast” and helped make the podcast the success that it is today! What better occasion to have Tim return to the show, than to join up with me to review “Birds of Prey”? The film focuses on Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, who’s trying to survive the brutal Gotham underworld after her break up with The Joker. Harley allies herself with other classic DC characters like Black Canary, Huntress, and Det. Rene Montoya to take on the vicious Gotham crime boss, Black Mask. Tim and I are both DC mega-fans, so it’s been great to see the DCEU (or The Worlds of DC) get back on track with movies like Aquaman, SHAZAM!, and of course, JOKER. Does “Birds of Prey” continue DC’s winning streak or do we have another Suicide Squad on our hands? Check out the episode to find out! Enjoy! FULL SPOILERS!

Make sure to check out Tim’s podcast, Cuff’s Basement, available on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/cuffs-basement/id1315442078

Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/22616693  Or subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Podchaser, Castbox, Podcast Addict, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes…

iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441#episodeGuid=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.spreaker.com%2Fepisode%2F22616693

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

-Paul

TRAILER & ANALYSIS: Birds of Prey

Hey Everyone,

Paul here..

The new trailer for Birds of Prey (Or The Who Gives A Fuck Bullshit of Fucking Harley Quinn) has dropped. Do with that information what you will. My only interest in this movie is a vague curiosity about how characters I’ve been reading on the comic book pages for years, will be translated into into a live action big budget comic book movie. Check out the trailer here and then read my thoughts on the project below:
https://youtu.be/x3HbbzHK5Mc

Is it just me or does it seem like Warner Bros. really doesn’t give a shit about this movie? It should be a bigger event for DC/Warner Bros., studios have seemed to realize niche genre movies released I’m mid-February have a tendency to do well. Movies like Kingsman: The Secret Service and Deadpool we’re both big successes, coming out on, or near, Valentines Day weekend. So at the very least, this seems like a good spot to release a movie like this. But it feels like two steps forward one step back with DC. After a string of hits with Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Shazam!, and Joker, as well as the. highly anticipated Wonder Woman 1984 coming out this summer, Birds of Prey seems like a step backwards into the realm of Suicide Squad and Justice League.

On one hand, this look like it could be a real dumpster fire, but there’s a part of me that thinks there’s a small chance it could be cool. After watching the trailer a few times, I’ll say this for the trailer, it definitely has a fun energy to it. I also noticed some interesting elements and choices made by the filmmakers. For example, there are big visual cues and callbacks to several excellent Harley Quinn focused episodes of Batman The Animated Series like “Harley’s Holiday”, “Harlequinade”, and “Harley and Ivy”. If there’s any source material Birds of Prey would be wise to draw inspiration from, it’s Batman The Animated Series . Especially because two of the leads in Birds of Prey, Rene Montoya (Rosie Perez) and Harley Quinn, were characters that were created on Batman The Animated Series and eventually made their jump into the comic books. One of the things I disliked about Suicide Squad was how little they used Harley’s story from Batman The Animated Series. The film didn’t have any interest in showcasing the fascinating and complex relationship that developed between Harley and The Joker, while she was treating him as a psychiatrist at Arkham. Suicide Squad also opted to use an inferior, new origin for Harley that had recently been showcased at the time in a DC Comics revamp, instead of using the superior transformation from Dr. Harleen Quinzell into Harley Quinn that we saw in The Animated Series, (for what little they showed of her origin and her relationship with The Joker at all).

Then there are the problems with the villains in the movie. I love seeing Ewan McGregor in a DC movie, I just wish he was playing a more interesting character than Black Mask (and what seems to be an extremely loose interpretation of Black Mask at that). There was a rumor a while back that Ewan McGregor would feature in the rumored Justice League Dark movie where he was supposedly going to play either John Constantine or Jason Blood/Etrigan The Demon. McGregor would have been amazing in either of those roles and they’re both far more interesting than Black Mask. Which brings me to another double edge sword presented by this film. I like the inclusion of lesser used Batman villains like Roman Sionus a.k.a. Black Mask and Victor Zsasz, but they seem to be different enough from their comic book counterparts to wonder why they were included at all. I understand what works on the comic book page may not work on the big screen and certain things get lost in translation, especially from one medium to another. Sometimes those changes can even be for the better. However, it seems like these characters are Black Mask and Zsasz in name only, so why bother to use them? I could be wrong, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

To wrap things up, I’ve seen more negatives than positives when it comes to Birds Of Prey, so my expectations are pretty low going into this. But sometimes the best movie going experiences happen when your expectations for a film are in the toilet and the movie pleasantly surprises you.

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

Birds of Prey hits theaters 2/7/20

-Paul

Paul’s Pick’s: New Years Eve Edition!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

  Another year has come to an end, but before we ring in the New Year, I wanted to leave you all with one more entry in my recommendation series: Paul’s Picks! Let’s dive in…

House of X/Powers of X by Jonathan Hickman 

This is by far the best superhero graphic novel of the year, if not the last several years. Jonathan Hickman has delivered one of the most wildly unique superhero comics I’ve read in a long time. Something about the X-Men allows for new creators to come into that world and wildly shake things up. They put their unique brand on the characters and the story, all the while always feeling like an X-Men tale. Chris Claremont did it with Giant Size X-Men #1, Grant Morrison did it with New X-Men, Joss Whedon did it with Astonishing X-Men, and now Jonathan Hickman has done it again with House of X/Powers of X.

The best part is you don’t have to be familiar with recent X-Men comics understand the story, you just need a basic knowledge of who the X-Men are. The hardcover volume I have is a special edition that actually came with a lithograph signed by Jonathan Hickman, which is pretty cool, but don’t expect it to be come with every edition (this was a special order).

Lithograph signed by Jonathan Hickman

Most other editions of this hardcore graphic novel have a different, but still beautiful wrap around cover. If you’ve ever been interested in superhero comics or if you wanted to get back into comic books, this is a must read.

Get it here on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/House-X-Powers-Jonathan-Hickman/dp/1302915703/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3VUY2NZLQC7NW&keywords=house+of+x+powers+of+x+hardcover&qid=1578004057&sprefix=House+of+x%2Caps%2C144&sr=8-1

The Death and Return of Superman Blu-Ray/4K

    As I’ve talked about on this website many times, I love the DC animated movies that come out every year. One of the better ones in recent memory has been The Death of Superman storyline which was broken into two different films. The first, The Death of Superman focuses on Clark Kent’s growing romantic relationship with Lois Lane and ultimately Superman’s fight to the death with the vicious monster, Doomsday. While Reign of The Supermen is about how the World, The Justice League, Lois Lane, and even Lex Luthor all deal with the loss of Earth’s greatest hero. Now this excellent story can be watched seamlessly as one beautiful animated film: The Death and Return of Superman. Much like their adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns, which was split into two separate film releases and then eventually released as one film under The Dark Knight Returns Deluxe Edition, The Death and Return of Superman is best enjoyed as one movie.

Get it on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Death-Return-Superman-Complete-Collection/dp/B07RVHGJBX/ref=sr_1_2?crid=22A49P5SASHTS&keywords=the+death+and+return+of+superman&qid=1578004170&sprefix=the+Death+and+ret%2Caps%2C147&sr=8-2

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Steelbook Blu-ray 

 My last pick is Quentin Tarantino’s latest film Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. I’m a huge Tarantino fan, but to be honest I was disappointed with his most recent directorial effort. Don’t get me wrong, DiCaprio and Pitt are great and there’s a lot to like in this movie, but it just didn’t wow me like Tarantino’s movies usually do. I know I’m in the minority on this one, the film was a huge critical success and most of my friends loved it as well, including World’s Best Media’s own Ryan McDonald. However, just because I wasn’t blown away doesn’t mean I didn’t want to add the film to my Blu-Ray collection. My personal selection was the Best Buy Exclusive Steelbook Blu-Ray/4K edition. I love me some steelbook Blu-rays!

Get at Best Buy right here: https://www.bestbuy.com/site/once-upon-a-time-in-hollywood-steelbookdig-copy4k-ultra-hd-blu-ray-blu-ray-only–best-buy-4k-ultra-hd-blu-ray-blu-ray-2019/6383000.p?skuId=6383000

So that’s it for my picks in 2019! Look for me to continue this article series more frequently in the coming year. Have a safe and Happy New Year! See you in 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, which go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again!

-Paul

TRAILER: Superman: Red Son

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

I love DC’s Animated Movies. I always look forward to what stories they choose to tell in their animated films every year. I’ll even go so far as to say that some of them are among the best superhero movies ever made. There’s one story in particular that fans have wanted to see for years: an adaptation of Superman: Red Son, a miniseries by Mark Millar and Dave Johnson. Red Son is a classic DC “Elseworlds”story. Elseworlds stories are essentially alternate takes on classic DC stories or characters. It’s almost like a “what if?” tale. Like, what if Batman existed in the Victorian era Gotham City and hunted Jack The Ripper? Or what if, years in the future, the original members of the Justice League must come out of retirement to deal with a new generation of violent and destructive “heroes“ that have risen up in their absence? (These are all real Elseworlds stories by the way).

The story of Superman: Red Son is brilliant in its simplicity. What if instead of crashing his spaceship in Smallville, Kansas where he was raised by the Kent’s, little baby Kal-El’s ship landed in Soviet Union era Russia? How would that change the history of the world? Would Superman’s inherent goodness shine through despite being raised in a culture like The Soviet Union, during the height of The Cold War? Red Son takes this premise and runs with it brilliantly. We even get to see different versions of characters like Batman, Lex Luthor, Wonder Woman, The Green Lantern Corps, and many more.


Over the past couple of years, the DC Animated Movies have dipped a little in quality compared to some of their truly phenomenal earlier films, like their adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, or Batman: Under The Red Hood. I have noticed a little bit of an uptick in quality over there last few movies, so hopefully Superman: Red Son will be the film that gives us another DC Animated Movie classic. You can watch the trailer right here:

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

-Paul

PODCAST: Post-CRISIS Reaction Part One!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

Cool fan made poster

Part-1 of the 5-Part DC Mega-Crossover, Crisis On Infinite Earths has arrived! Superhero Scholars and Comic Book Experts, Paul Sr. and I sat down to give you our immediate reaction to the first installment of this superhero extravaganza! Worlds will live, worlds will die! Heroes will live, heroes will die! What did we think of the first chapter of Crisis? What were our favorite scenes? What shocked and surprised these two superhero super-fans? Listen and find out! Because we love a good comic book epic, this is the first of several reaction podcasts we’ll be recording, with the next “Post-Crisis” podcast dropping Tuesday night, after the guys watch Part-3 of Crisis On Infinite Earths! Thanks for listening! Enjoy!

Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/20591792

Or subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes!

iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?i=1000459056098

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/s?eid=65862551&autoplay=1

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

-Paul

Get Ready for Crisis On Infinite Earths With Our CRISIS PRIMER!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

   After almost a year of build up, The CW’s DC Mega-Crossover Crisis On Infinite Earths is about to begin. So I thought this would be the perfect time to post my Crisis Primer, something to give you a little bit of information you might not otherwise have known. Here you’ll find out where and when to watch everything Crisis, as well as some fun little side projects that you may want to take a look at! I hope you like it!

     By far the most ambitious project taken up by The Arrowverse, the 5-part crossover starts Sunday, with Chapter 1 on Supergirl, Chapter 2 on Batwoman, and Chapter 3 on The Flash. Chapter 3 will presumably end on a cliffhanger of some kind when all of the shows go on their annual winter hiatus. The epic story will finish off it’s final 2 chapters, with both installments airing on the same night , January 14th with Arrow at 8pm and Legends of Tomorrow at 9pm. 

  The CW will also be airing a 2-part special, Crisis Aftermath, hosted by mega-fan and frequent Arrowverse director, Kevin Smith (Smith has directed multiple episodes of Supergirl and The Flash, including what is widely considered to be one of the best episodes of The Flash, “The Runaway Dinosaur”). Part 1 of the special will air Sunday night after Supergirl and Part 2 will air after what is sure to a huge cliffhanger installment of The Flash on Tuesday night. The special will include interviews, behind the scenes looks, and more! Including host Kevin Smith, breaking down the big moments and reveals of the crossover along with a panel of guests including various cast members from The Arrowverse shows like Jon Cryer, as well as the series writers and showrunners. Also appearing on the panel, will be the legendary Kevin Conroy, who after playing The Caped Crusader in Batman The Animated Series as well as countless other movies, video games, and TV shows, will be making his live action debut as Bruce Wayne during Crisis (Conroy’s appearance in Crisis is one of the things that has me most excited about the crossover). 

  In one of the most recent trailers for Crisis On Infinite Earths, The Monitor tells the gathered heroes that they must find seven champions throughout time and space, that can help stop The Anti-Monitor and Crisis. I’m sure there will be more to the story than this, but I think that’s a great idea because it’s a cool way to get interesting characters off on missions together who don’t always interact with one another. Watching them find other cool DC character that will certainly be fun to see. So with Crisis coming right up, I thought it might be fun to share my picks (or my guesses) for who exactly“The Seven Paragons” or heroes that The Monitor needs assembled to help save The Multiverse. A group I’m calling… THE MONITOR’S MAGNIFICENT SEVEN! So let’s get started!

  1. Kingdom Come Superman –

This one seems like a no brainer. Despite the many flaws of Superman Returns, Brandon Routh was not one of them. If early buzz is to be believed Routh absolutely crushes it in his return to The Man of Steel.

2. Future and/or alternate reality Bruce Wayne (played by Kevin Conroy)

We already know that Brandon Routh Superman is from the classic Mark Waid and Alex Ross story Kingdom Come. From what little we’ve seen of Bruce Wayne in in the trailers he is wearing some sort of exoskeleton from the neck down that helps him move around. In Kingdom Come, Batman wore something very similar. After decades of crime fighting, his body was essentially broken so he wore a full body brace much like the one we see in the promos. Which leads me to believe that this version of Batman/Bruce Wayne is also from the Kingdom Come universe. Bruce Wayne is another sure bad for the seven heroes.

3. Tom Wellings’ Clark Kent (Smallville’s Universe)

This is another obvious one, but it won’t be any less fun to see. I can’t wait to see a scene that has all three superman together in one room.

4. Black Lightening

They kind of give this one away in the trailer. It’s pretty apparent that Black Lightening is very important to the heroes’ plan to stop The Anti-Monitor and the antimatter wave. Another good bet.

5. Lex Luthor

Considering that The Monitor resurrected him from a lethal gunshot wound delivered by his sister and has been keeping him in his own weird, little, pocket dimension where Lex continuously beats him at chess, I think Lex is a strong contender for one of The Seven. As The Monitor says to Lex, this is his chance to prove he’s the hero that he’s always said he is, but will Lex take it?

6. John Wesley Shipp’s Barry Allen


Even though his Earth was seemingly destroyed in Elseworlds last year, he was certainly able to stay one step ahead of The Monitor. He seems like a prime candidate for The Monitor’s Magnificent Seven.

7. Ryan Choi AKA The Atom (Osric Chau)

Sadly this will be Brandon Routh‘s last season on Legends Of Tomorrow. However, that doesn’t mean The Atom will be leaving the team. In the comics, Ray Palmer has a protégé who becomes the second Atom and he will be introduced during Crisis. After the crossover, he’ll be taking up residence with the rest of the crew of The Waverider. I still think they’re going to throw a few surprise characters at us, so this one is a longshot but I figured, what the hell?

  DC and The CW also took the opportunity to drop our first look at the new season of Legends of Tomorrow. Legends typically has a shorter season than the rest of The Arrowverse shows, so the first episode of Legends this season will be in the crossover. However, it’s technically not the season premiere. It’s being billed as a “special episode“ with the official season premiere airing January 21st. Check out the trailer:

    DC is also publishing a 2 issue tie-in comic to go along with the crossover. Usually tie-in comics like these follow characters or events that may have been mentioned in the main story, but weren’t heavily featured or touched upon. They can be a cool look at what some of the other characters may have been up to that we don’t see on screen during the main crossover. The stories are co-written by original Crisis on Infinite Earths writer Marv Wolfman and Arrow showrunner Marc Guggenheim.

The very cool cover was drawn by classic DC artist, Jerry Ordway, who worked on the original Crisis as well. Ordway’s cover features Green Arrow, The Flash, Kid Flash, Supergirl, The Ray, and Felicity Smoak. Kid Flash, The Ray, and Felicity aren’t appearing in Crisis, which shows my point that these tie-in comics typically feature side adventures focusing on characters that aren’t in the spotlight of the main story. I couldn’t find an exact release date for either issue, but they’re expected to hit stands in January and February 2020, 

Finally, we have one last trailer for Crisis before it begins and I think it’s my favorite so far. One of the previous trailers had that fantastic line from Brandon Routh’s Superman, “Hope is the light that leads us through the darkness“, but it is a think this one has it beat with Kevin Conroy‘s Bruce Wayne delivering this killer line: “Battle not with monsters, lest you become a monster.” Hell yeah, Batman. Watch it here:

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

-Paul

*Oh! I almost forgot! One last thing, I really think we are going to see Diggle wield a Green Lantern power ring in Crisis. They’ve been teasing it for years and if there’s any place to do it, it’s here. Fingers crossed!

TRAILERS: First Look BLACK WIDOW Teaser! Final Crisis On Infinite Earths Trailer!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

I just wanted to put up a quick post about two new trailers. One from Marvel, the other from the “Distinguished Competition”, DC! First up, we have our first teaser trailer for Black Widow and looks unsurprisingly cool. Taskmaster, Red Guardian, The “Other” Black Widow, and more! Black widow is a great MCU character, so it’s great to see that she finally got her on the movie. In case any of you are confused about how she can have her own movie when she’s died in Avengers: Endgame, this film actually takes place between Civil War and Infinity War.

Second, we have our best luck yet at Crisis On Infinite Earths with the final trailer for the crossover event. In this very cool trailer we get to see Kevin Conroy as what looks to be Kingdom Come Batman, multiple Supermen including Tom Welling’s Clark Kent from the Smallville TV series, and so many other cool things. The event kicks off Sunday night on The CW, so don’t miss it!


-Paul

REVIEW: Titans Season 2 Finale!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

Titans is a weird show. In a television landscape filled with superhero shows, Titans doesn’t quite feel like anything else on TV or streaming at the moment. It may share some superficial similarities to other comic book shows, but the series has an “X factor” that’s hard to define. Titans is about a group of young heroes (some only in their mid-teens) trying to find their place in the world. Though it isn’t made explicitly clear how old the most senior members of the Titans are, they seem to be in their 20s at the oldest. The series is also extremely dark, violent, and graphic. I have no doubt that the violence and language on this show would earn Titans a hard R-rating if it were a film instead of a streaming series. The combination of a young generation of heroes, the ultraviolent nature of the series, along with it’s willingness to dive headfirst into the rich character and story history of DC Comics, makes for a very unique tone.

The series borrows from some fantastic DC Comics stories and characters, both big and small. Some of which like Bruce Wayne (Iain Glen from Game of Thrones) who is recurring character throughout Season 2, were off-limits to television until just a few years ago. Warner Bros. used to have this pretty stupid rule where they did not want their A-list characters like Batman or Superman to ever appear on any of their live action TV shows when a big screen counterpart was currently being depicted in a movie series with a different actor in the same role. For example, while Christian Bale was still officially Batman, a show like Arrow could never introduce their own version of Bruce Wayne. I think people can tell the difference, it’s almost like they think the audience will be too confused by 2 versions of the same character in completely different mediums. Fortunately, this policy seems to slowly be going away bit by bit.

Iain Glen looking cool as fuck as Bruce Wayne

Titans always has a lot of balls in the air. I’m always surprised at the sheer amount of story and concepts that they introduce in any given season. I’d find myself thinking, how are they going to tell a cohesive, season long story with all of these disparate elements at play? For me at least, it works (in it’s own unconventional way). The strength of this series lies with it’s characters. The Titans themselves are the beating heart of the show. This might seem obvious or a necessity for any successful TV series (or streaming series, in this case), but some shows rely on the intricacies of a complex plot more than others. Shows like Lost, Battlestar Galactica, The Wire, and HBO’s recent Watchmen are all great examples of shows that work like a finely tuned watch (not to say that these shows don’t have fantastic characters, it’s just that these examples are much more dependent on plot driven storylines). All the pieces of the story come together to form something extraordinary. For Titans, the magic happens when the show is at it’s most character driven.  DC hasn’t been quite as successful as Marvel at bringing some of it’s less well known characters to life, but when it comes to Titans, they have some deep enough cuts that there’s excitement in just seeing these characters brought to life and brought to life well. Whether it’s Dick Grayson violently confronting the man who murdered his parents, or Raven banishing her demonic father, Trigon, back to Hell to save the world and her newfound Titans family. Truly great shows can have their cake and eat it too: a thrilling, well plotted story and rich, fascinating characters. I enjoy the hell out of Titans, but keep your expectations in check if you decide to give it a watch. So for this review of the Season 2 finale of Titans, I’m going to be focusing on the characters first and foremost.

Season 1 was very much Rachel and Dick‘s season. Things are spread out much more evenly through Season 2, I think to the shows benefit. With new characters being introduced and some side characters from season one now having larger rules, the show has become more of an ensemble. Which is exactly what it should be because Titans is team show. Characters like Donna Troy, Connor Kent, and even Hawk and Dove had some great material this season. Gar felt like the odd man out. Very interesting character and I wish they gave him more to do. The same goes for Jason Todd, while he did have a good amount of screen time, he took a backseat in the latter half of the season and we didn’t get much closure regarding where he’s heading going into Season 3.

Jason Todd – The 2nd Robin after Dick. He’s the kind of guy who for example.,

If I had to say there was a central character this season, I’d probably have to go with Dick. The last two years of the show have been about his emotional journey, culminating in his transformation into Nightwing. Season 1 was all about Dick’s search for identity. So much of who he is was defined by his relationship with Bruce Wayne, a man that he has a great deal of anger and resentment towards. A really nice recurring aspect to this season was that we slowly got to see Dick and Bruce rebuilding their relationship with one another. 

      Unfortunately, when you’re a superhero there’s always more torment and angst right around the corner. Dick may have worked through his issues with Bruce in Season 1, but Season 2 is all about him dealing with the guilt he for his role in how the Titans originally broke up and the lives that were destroyed during that time. 

The original Titans team: Donna Troy, Aqualad, Dick Grayson as Robin, Hawk, and Dove.

    In case it’s not clear, years before Dick met Rachel and began this new version of The Titans or Titans 2.0, there was an original teen that formed years before the group we meet in Season 1. The original Titans included Dick as Robin, Donna Troy, Hawk and Dove, and the tragically fated Aqualad. Garth AKA Aqualad was in love with Donna Troy and had been for years. She loved him too, but her sense of duty clouded her judgement and she repressed her feelings for Garth. I think a lot of us can relate to that situation, especially when you’re young pining after someone for years. You want to be with them so bought bad your chest aches.

Garth AKA Aqualad not only had sick water-kinesis powers, but he was also in love with Donna Troy. Very shortly after they finally got together, Garth is killed by Deathstroke

Speaking of Season 3, like the Superboy and Krypto teaser at the end of Season 1, we get a brief teaser at the end of the episode showing Kory’s sister Blackfire arriving on Earth, presumably to wreak havoc on her sisters life. Lex Luthor is also directly referenced at one point in the episode. When the shit hits the fan with Cadmus as the Titans fuck up that whole operation, Lex puts in an angry call to Mercy Graves. Mercy is Lex’s right hand woman and the person responsible for brainwashing and weaponizing Connor and Gar. With Superboy now a big part of the team and such a public disaster for Cadmus in the season finale, I wonder if we will get to see this show’s version of Lex Luthor, much in the same way we got to see the show’s version of Bruce Wayne this year? At the very least it seems like Blackfire (Kory’s evil sister) will be a major villain in Season 3 since it was just announced that she would be joining the show as a series regular in the next season.

Connor Kent AKA Superboy and his superpowered dog, Krypto

 By the end of the Season 2 Finale, the team finally looks and functions like a classic version of the Teen Titans from the comics. A big part of this is the fact that finally, at long last, Dick Grayson has become Nightwing. A debut that fans have been waiting for since pretty much the first episode of the series. This a good example of how the series can struggle with pacing and the problems with how they choose to unfold their stories. Most fans of the show would probably say Dick finally becoming Nightwing is about a season and a half overdue. However, despite the wait, the long overdue debut of Nightwing was pretty fucking awesome. The costume look great and seeing Nightwing swoop in to save his friends from Deathstroke was sick. Dick’s final face off with Slade, swords clashing against Nightwing’s classic electrified batons and all, was very fun and satisfying. 

This Nightwing uniform is pretty damn perfect.
Slade’s estranged daughter jumps into the fray to help Dick, now Nightwing, take her father down.

    As much fun as the fight was, it was another example of how the series struggles to handle plot and pacing. Deathstroke has been the main Season 2 antagonist, but about half way through the season, a subplot was introduced involving Superboy (Connor Kent), Beast Boy (Gar Logan), and the sinister Cadmus Labs. Cadmus is a front for Lex Luthor, run by his right hand woman Mercy Graves, to sell meta-human weapons on the black market, with the captured Conner and Gar as the star products. Cadmus was certainly a cool and interesting element throughout the season, but it was a little jarring to see Deathstroke finished off so early in the episode with the focus of the finale entirely shifting to rescuing Connor and Gar and taking down Cadmus. 

Gar and Connor shortly before they’re captured by Cadmus.
Gar AKA Beast Boy in his Tiger form

  The sequence itself was a lot of fun and had some great moments, but then a major character is killed off almost out of nowhere with relatively little fanfare. Again, while it didn’t kill the episode, it was certainly an odd choice. This episode is a great showcase of what’s great and what doesn’t work with Titans. 

This man has Batarangs and he knows how to fucking use them.

     I’d also be remiss if I didn’t comment on Iain Glen‘s great performance as Bruce Wayne throughout Season 2. I didn’t think he would be as much of a presence on the show as he was. I thought he would maybe have one or two cameos in a few episodes, but he ended up being in quite a few. I really liked his take on Bruce Wayne, it’s definitely not a side of the character we’ve seen much of and certainly not at all in live-action. He’s an older, more paternal version of the character and despite his darkness and cynicism, you can see the genuine happiness it brings him to reconcile with Dick. There are a few scenes where you see that Bruce is just as emotionally vulnerable about their relationship as Dick is. It’s in moments like those that show us glimpses of the man whose trauma stunted him somewhat developmentally. He never quite grew up completely. It’s a really insightful take on Bruce Wayne and I applaud the writers and Iain Glen for going there. My only complaint would be that a significant portion of Bruce Wayne‘s presence in the season was a hallucination in Dick’s mind. Since this wasn’t really Bruce, just Dick’s perception of Bruce within his subconscious, Glen is basically playing another character.  There’s hallucination Bruce and there is real Bruce. Even though we got quite a bit of the real Bruce present throughout the season, the hallucination Bruce probably represented a third of his appearances throughout. I wanted to see much more of the real Bruce. I really like the actor and his take on one of the most complex and multifaceted individuals in all of fiction, was always fun to watch.  

To wrap things up, Titans is by no means a perfect show but it is a lot of fun. Season 2 was a large improvement over Season 1, but they still have some work to be done when it comes to plotting and execution of their storylines. If you’re a DC fan in particular, there’s a lot to love here. The characters are great and by the end of the season the show is starting to look a lot like the Teen Titans we’ve read in the comic books for years. If you don’t have DC Universe, Titans Season 2 will probably be available on iTunes and Blu-ray soon. This show gets my recommendation as long as you go into it keeping your expectations in check.

TITANS Season 2 Finale = 8/10

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!

-Paul

Why Making A Sequel To JOKER Is A Bad Idea

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

A man dressed as a clown writhing in pain, in a filthy alley, as he clutches at his groin. Hey man, we’ve ALL been there.

It’s been recently announced that director Todd Phillips and actor Joaquin Phoenix, may be returning for a sequel to their critical and commercial smash hit, JOKER. A lot of fans, may initially be very happy to hear this news, but today I’d like to put forth the argument that making a sequel to JOKER is a bad idea. 

Hey guys, let’s take the enthusiasm down a few notches. This a Hollywood premiere, not a frat party!

    Throughout the making of this film, right up to press interviews before the premiere Phoenix and Phillips stuck to their guns, as they did from the very beginning. Even when the box office juggernaut opened to critical and commercial success, Phoenix and Phillips said loud and clear that this was a one off. This was meant to be a standalone story. Which is partially what made the movie so interesting. Every movie studio, especially when it comes to comic book properties, is always looking for their next franchise. So when the trailers for JOKER dropped and the movie garnered seriously positive buzz, mostly due to what looked to be an incredible performance from Joaquin Phoenix, chatter began about the possibility of a sequel. When asked if a sequel could possibly be in the cards, the answer from Joaquin Phoenix and Todd Phillips was always an unequivocal NO. That’s not how they approached this project, it was a character study with a beginning, middle, and end. 

    In this franchise driven environment, it’s refreshing to hear filmmakers say we’re here to make one movie and one movie alone. Especially when every film studio is trying to copy the success of Marvel and make a 20 film series. These guys came along and said, we want to do this one, fucked up little movie, on the cheap, let us do it our way and fuck off. 

   Clearly that strategy paid off. Though it’s by no means perfect, JOKER is one of the best films of the year. The movie coming close to $1 billion in box office revenue with such a low budget, makes it one of the most financially successful comic book films ever made.  Not to mention, Joaquin Phoenix is all but a shoe in for an Oscar nomination next year. So, with the film being complete home run, one can see why Warner Bros would have serious interest in reuniting their director and star for a sequel. I’d argue the film’s success is due to audience’s looking for some diversity in their entertainment. Instead of making a sequel to a film that was designed to stand alone, get another talented filmmaker with a unique, singular vision for a different DC property, keep the budget low and let them have at it. Evolution is the only way that superhero films will survive. Change or die.

  I would also argue I’m not sure where the sequel to JOKER would go from here. Todd Phillips has been on record saying that pitched JOKER to Joaquin Phoenix as “sneaking a gritty, art house character study through the studio system”. Phoenix’s interest was in telling a story about a man’s descent into madness, not a story about The Joker we know from the comics. In fact, Joaquin Phoenix didn’t even want Todd Phillips to have Thomas Wayne in the movie, he wanted the character to have a different name, even that was too much of a connection to the comic book for him. The connections to the greater Batman mythology in JOKER are minimal to say the least. Todd Phillips basically bullshitted Joaquin Phoenix and kept in things like the Thomas Wayne character and the murder of The Wayne’s at the end of the film.

    Now this is just my opinion, but I think there are two ways to go with a sequel to JOKER. The first would be add a Batman into the mix. However, keep him at the periphery, don’t make him a main character and keep him very grounded. As grounded as they made The Joker in the first film. It would be incredibly fascinating to see how Arthur Fleck, who has now become The Joker would approach the emergence of someone like The Batman.

  The problem is Joaquin Phoenix would never make a movie like that. While doing the interview rounds for JOKER, one of the reporters asked Joaquin Phoenix, how his version of The Joker would react to someone like Batman appearing in Gotham. Phoenix smiled, he seemed to genuinely like the question, and after a moment of thought he said “That’s great question. I don’t know I’ve never thought about it.”. Really?! C’mon! YOU NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT IT?! Batman is only the most important and fundamentally driving force in the life of the character you’re playing, but you’ve never thought of it, OK that makes sense (in case you can’t tell I’m oozing sarcasm and mild disgust as I write this).Batman and the Joker are one of the great yin and yang characters in all of popular culture. They are defined by one another. But hey, he never really thought about it! (….fucking dipshit...).

How fucking SICK is this poster? It was made by a company called Mondo and unfortunately they don’t carry this poster anymore. But God damn, is it cool.

  So if Phoenix never once gave a fuck about how his character would feel about Batman, I think it’s safe to say he would never agree to appear in a movie featuring Batman alongside his version of The Joker. Now, the second way to go for a JOKER sequel, would be to do some version of the classic Bruce Timm and Paul Dini story Mad Love about the creation of Harley Quinn and the beginning of her love story with The Joker. I’m not talking about the bullshit nonsensical version of their love story we saw in the god awful Suicide Squad film, I’m to I’m talking about the classic graphic novel Mad Love.

Dr. Harleen Quinnzel is a new psychiatrist at Arkham. She’s young, beautiful, and ambitious. She imagines getting rich writing some kind of breakthrough book about the psychology of these colorful super criminals. She manages to arrange sessions to meet with and attempt to treat The Joker, confident that she can handle him. As their sessions go on, The Joker begins to completely manipulate and control her. She falls completely under his spell, breaks him out of Arkham and becomes the now iconic Harley Quinn.  A film like that could really work, but it has the same problems my first proposed scenario does. It has too many ties to the comic book source material, which Joaquin Phoenix has no interest in whatsoever. 

An even bigger mistake would be for the studio to try to replicate the “JOKER Formula” of a gritty, dressed down, no frills take on another Batman villain. Admittedly, I think there are a few members of Batman’s rogues gallery that this could work with, but who the fuck really wants to see that?

Don’t get me wrong, I’d be very interested to see what a sequel to JOKER would look like. However, it’s all a question of if they even have a story to tell. If Joaquin Phoenix didn’t even want the name of Thomas Wayne to even be in the movie, he’s certainly not going to want to include some version of Batman or Harley Quinn in a potential sequel. There is a third way they could go, but I don’t think it really works either. They make a movie that’s a continuation of the first film and focus on The Joker and his continued transformation into one of the greatest super villains in all of fiction.

Here’s why that concept doesn’t quite work either. Based on where we leave The Joker at the end of this film, The only way to go for him is to fall deeper and deeper into the persona of The Joker. He would have to evolve into a more “classic”, for lack of a better word, version of The Joker. As he becomes more insane and embraces his identity as The Joker, we’d see things like his deadly Joker laughing gas, elaborate plots against the city, the personification of terror and evil. Just as I don’t think Joaquin Phoenix would ever do a movie with Batman and Harley Quinn, I also don’t think he would want to play a version of The Joker that’s more like the Jack Nicholson or Heath Ledger version. The character’s natural evolution is to get more “comic book-y” and it seems, based on multiple interviews that I’ve seen and articles that I’ve read, the aspects of JOKER that were connected to the comic book were the things he was always least interested in.

One might counter with the point, So, Paul what’s wrong with that? Couldn’t they just continue to tell the story of Arthur Fleck becoming The Joker? Well, if you continue this character’s story when you don’t want comic book elements to be a significant part of the story, the problem becomes, he’s just some lunatic guy. He’s not The Joker. If the character is nothing like The Joker, then what’s the point in doing the movie? The biggest flaw of JOKER was how derivative the story was. It was very reminiscent of other films about men being broken by society, like Falling Down, Taxi Driver, or Fight Club. What made JOKER great was Joaquin Phoenix and his mesmerizing performance as the man who would become The Joker, not necessarily the film itself. If we ever see a JOKER 2, we want to see The goddamn Joker.

If they want to move forward with a sequel, Joaquin Phoenix and Todd Phillips have to really understand what kind of movie they want to make. At the end of the day, you have an extremely successful comic book film that was designed to be a standalone story, with a star who has absolutely no interest in anything from the DC Universe becoming a part of the story he’s acting in. I think the best thing for Warner Bros and the movie going public, would be to get another visionary filmmaker, to tell another small budget story from the DC Universe. Re-create the success of JOKER by giving the audience what they really responded to in their first place, a unique movie going experience, not another financially driven sequel.

As alway, thanks for reading!

-Paul