BATMAN DAY: The Best Modern Day Batman Stories!

Hey Everyone.

Paul here…

One of humanities greatest holiday’s, Batman Day, is upon us once again. In honor of this joyous occasion, it’s officially Batman Week here at World’s Best Media! It’s that special time of year when we can all take the time to reflect on the greatness of The Dark Knight Detectve. Like Superman, people will still be telling stories about The Batman, in one form or another, hundreds of years from now (unless of course, mankind doesn’t wipe itself from the face of the Earth in the near future). Characters like Batman and Superman are our modern day gods. Like Achilles or Beowulf, these heroes resonate with people because they’re such primal archetypes.

Even more so than Superman, the tragic tale of a boy who witnesses the brutal murder of his parents, is a fear we can all relate to. The boy made a vow to rid his city of the evil that took their lives, and turned himself into a monster to do it. The tragedy of Batman is that his war can never be won and he knows it. That’s deep, primal stuff. The brillliant simplicity of Batman allows for endless stories and reinventions.

Batman isn’t only my favorite comics book character, he’s by far my favorite character in all of literature. The complex psychology of Bruce Wayne, the greatest group of villains ever assembled, the sprawling urban nightmare that is Gotham City, and a phenomenal supporting cast… it all comes together to form the unforgettable tapestry of The Batman mythology. So in honor of Batman Day, I decided to put together a list of my favorite modern Batman stories. This was harder than you might think, because there are literally hundreds of classic Batman tales. I left out the obvious ones like “The Big 3”: The Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Year One, and The Killing Joke. Including those 3 classics on my list, seemed redundant and obvious, so I decided to focus on some great modern Batman stories. I was able to narrow it down to these amazing tales, that I encourage all of you to check out. Let’s dive in…


Batman: The Black Mirror

Written by Scott Snyder

Art by Jock & Francesco Francavilla

DC has a long history of “legacy heroes”. “Legacy heroes” are characters who take up the mantle of an iconic, classic superhero, when the original cannot or will not continue on. “Legacy heroes” are almost always characters who are close to the original incarnation of the superhero in question, usually a sidekick or a partner. For example, when the original Flash, Barry Allen, died in Crisis On Infinite Earths, his sidekick, Wally West AKA Kid Flash, inherited the role of The Scarlet Speedster. In fact, many fans believe Wally West surpassed his mentor to be the best version of The Flash in the history of DC Comics. Another good example, is when the entire Green Lantern Corp were wiped out (including Hal Jordan), artist Kyle Rayner was chosen to become the only living in Green Lantern in the universe. Eventually, he was instrumental in rebuilding the Corp. We tend tp not think of Batman as a character that ”passes on the mantle”. However, there has been some notable exceptions, like Dick Grayson, that were excellent and unique versions of The Dark Knight.

The Black Mirror took place at a time when, for reasons that are too complicated to get into, Bruce Wayne was MIA as Batman. Dick Grayson a.k.a. the original Robin a.k.a. Nightwing, reluctantly donned the Cape and Cowl to become the new Batman.

Like so many other excellent Batman tales, the story is just as much about Jim Gordon as it is Batman. The veteran Gotham police officer and the rookie Batman, must solve a grisly mystery that hits far too close to home for both men. With amazing art by Jock and Francesco Francavilla, it seems as if Gotham City itself is alive. A dark and hungry thing, ready to devour those that walk it’s streets. This was the breakout story that launched Scott Snyder’s career as one of the biggest creators in the industry. This isn’t the only time you’ll see Snyder’s name pop up on this list, because The Black Mirror was his first step on his journey to becoming one of the greatest Batman writers of all time.


Batman: R.I.P.

Written by Grant Morrison

Art by Tony Daniel

Grant Morrison is not only a personal favorite of mine, he’s also one of the best and most celebrated comic writers in the history of the medium. All-Star Superman, Arkham Asylum: A Serious House On A Serious Earth, JLA, if you’ve ever read Morrison‘s work, it will come as no surprise that this is one hell of a weird, fucking Batman story. However, in this instance that’s a really good thing. Batman R.I.P. marks the end of ACT I of Morrison‘s epic Batman run. When I was reading this nightmarish and disturbing story for the first time, it genuinely felt like anything could happen, which is rare when you’re dealing with such a well-known character like Batman. The brilliance of Morrison‘s run, is how he mines some of the most ridiculous and wacked out Batman stories from the late-50’s, 60’s, and early 70’s, (that any other writer would just as soon forget) to tell a truly unique Batman tale. Some fantastic new villains, like demonic Dr. Hurt, and new spins on old dynamics, make this an unforgettable story about madness, evil, and the indomitable will of The Dark Knight.

Batman & Robin: Reborn


Written by Grant Morrison

Art by Frank Quietly

Another fantastic story taking place during Dick Grayson’s tenure as The Caped Crusader. Grant Morrison’s ambitious, and entertaining Batman run, consisted of a broad, 3 Act structure. If Batman RIP was the end of Act I of Morrison‘s epic, then Batman and Robin: Reborn is the beginning of Act II. This story follows Dick as he struggles to fit into his new role as Batman. One The most compelling parts of the story, is the relationship between Dick and the new Robin, Damian Wayne, Bruce’s son. Reborn puts a fun new spin on the Batman and Robin dynamic. Normally, Batman is the dark, brooding one, with Robin as the bright, quipping, colorful, and lighthearted side of The Dynamic Duo. This story completely flips that dynamic on its head. This Batman smiles, tells jokes, and has fun. Damian’s Robin is arrogant, violent, and brutal. Basically the kid is a real pain in the ass

Regardless, he is, after all, Bruce Wayne‘s biological son. To Dick and Alfred, Bruce was family, so they both feel a responsibility to keep Damian on the right path. Both men know that Bruce would want them to watch over Damian, a task that certainly isn’t easy given Damian’s violent upbringing before he came to live with his father. But Dick and Alfred would never give up on the boy because of their love for Bruce. After all, Damian was raised in The League of Assassins, under the tutelage of Tallia and Ra’s Al Ghul. He could kill grown men by the time he was four years old. With Damian, The House’s of Wayne and Al Ghul would finally be united. Talia and Ra’s were grooming him to stride across the world as a modern-day Alexander The Great. Fortunately, Damian had more of his father in him than his mother and grandfather thought. Inspired by his father, Damian chose his own path, even if that meant being branded as an adversary to The House of Al Ghul.

I really enjoyed the dynamic between Dick, Damian, and Alfred in this story. One of my favorite subplots that evolves as the story goes on, is how Damien, who has nothing but disdain for Dick and Alfred, gradually comes to love and respect them both, arguably even more than he loves his father. Add in some gorgeous art by the legendary Frank Quietly (who’s one of my favorite comic book artists), the introduction of one of my favorite and most disturbing modern day Batman villains: the grotesque Professor Pyg, and you’ve got yourself one hell of a Batman comic book. This story is a new era for Batman and it all comes together to make this a must read.


Batman: The Court of Owls

Written by Scott Snyder

Art by Greg Capullo

The Court of Owls marks the beginning of what would become, one of the greatest writer/artist teams in modern comics. Together, writer Scott Snyder and veteran artist Greg Capullo, would go on to create one of the best Batman runs in the long history of the character.

Gotham City is synonymous with The Dark Knight. He knows it’s broken streets and dark alleyways, as well as he knows his own reflection in the mirror. Gotham belongs to The Batman and he knows all it’s secrets. Or does he? After a series of bizarre murders, Batman is blindsided by the realization that a cunning and dangerous enemy has existed and operated right under his nose. This powerful adversary has had its claws in Gotham for hundreds of years, going all the way back to the founding of the city. Bruce Wayne might be the worlds greatest detective and the legendary Batman, but in his hubris, he forgot one of the most important lessons he learned in his years protecting the city: The second you think you know Gotham, is the moment it swallows you into the darkness.

What are your favorite Batman stories? Please let us know in the comments below or on social media!

Thanks for reading! Follow us on Twitter @PJWrightWBM, Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017, and our Facebook Page, Worlds 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

PODCAST: The Suicide Squad Review! Full Spoilers!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

On this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, Tim Cuff and Ryan McDonald join me to review The Suicide Squad, the latest film based on the classic DC Comics series. Tim and Ryan are also the co-hosts of the hit podcast, Cuff’s Basement!

This episode is also particularly special because this was the first time we recorded a podcast in person, in well over a year because of the pandemic. We were recording all of our episodes through our devices, so just physically getting together to do a new show felt great.

This movie had a huge advantage right out of the gate, because its directed by the amazing James Gunn. James Gunn is the twisted mind behind both Guardians of The Galaxy movies Slither starring Nathan Fillion, Super, and more. He easily makes it onto my list of The 10 Best Working Directors, his name one the project alone was enough to get me excited for The Suicide Squad. If James Gunn is directing, you can bet your ass I’ll be watching.

The Suicide Squad also acts as a soft reboot of the abysmal 2016 Suicide Squad. A few characters that appeared in the 2016 film return for this installment, like Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, and Joel Kinnamen as Rick Flagg. While 2021’s The Suicide Squad doesn’t directly contradict the 2016 film, it’s clear that everyone involved wants us to forget it ever happened.

Whenever I get together with Ryan and Tim, we always have blast recording a show. We hope you guys enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed making the episode!


Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/46049118 Or subscribe/listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, 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=1000531679297

Spotify:  https://open.spotify.com/show/11mA9kClyevVZjWYMQB1Io?si=7TfnqkBiShqTQpZhh2UDsA

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


Thanks for listening! Follow us on Twitter @PJWrightWBM, Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017, and our Facebook Page, Worlds 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

UPDATED!!! The AWESOME List: August 2021’s Coolest Movies, Shows, & Comics!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

The SUMMER ain’t over yet! These are my picks for the movie, TV, streaming, and comic book content to check out in August 2021.

TV

UFO – Documentary Series (Sunday 8/8) Showtime

UFO’s have been in the news now more than ever. As a long time UFO researcher, it’s very satisfying to see this topic finally being taken seriously. This is a 4-part documentary series from JJ Abrams premiering on Showtime. Abrams may have fallen out of grace as a filmmaker, for me at least, but the subject matter makes this a must watch.

Stargirl Season 2 (Tuesday 8/10) The CW

This was a very pleasant surprise when the first season premiered last year. A great cast, cool villains, and fantastic use of classic characters and lore from throughout DC‘s history. This is a great superhero show that the whole family can enjoy. From what I’ve seen, they seem to have really kicked it up a notch in Season 2.

Marvel Studio’s WHAT IF…? (8/11) Disney+

After the events of LOKI, this promises to be very cool.

Titans Season 3 (8/12) HBO

An underrated superhero show that I highly recommend checking out. The first two seasons are available on HBO Max right now.

The Walking Dead: The Final Season (8/22) AMC

I gave up on The Walking Dead a few seasons back, but I just might tune in to see how everything wraps up.

Blu-Ray/4K

Batman: The Long Halloween Part II (8/10)

This has been one of the stronger stories put out by DC Animation over the last few years. Part 1 was great and reviews for Part 2 are even better. I’ve heard that the best way to watch this, is to watch Part 1 & 2, back-to-back. As one movie, like the filmmakers created it to be. I’m sure that, just like their adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns, DC animation will release a Deluxe Edition that is the entire Long Halloween story as one film.

Movies

The Suicide Squad (8/6)

This is a James Gunn movie. Enough said

Free Guy (8/13)

I had zero interest in seeing this film, however I’ve heard nothing but great things about it. The early word is that it’s phenomenal, which is kind of shocking. Friend of the podcast Mark Fitzgerald, who I interviewed, a few months back worked on this movie. So I’m definitely going at the very least auto for loyalty my friend Mark.

The Green Knight (8/18)

This unique and captivating retelling of a classic Arthurian fable has been receiving rave reviews since its release. The film is very far from your typical fantasy movies like Lord of The Rings, as a result some have found it difficult to find a local theater playing the movie on the big screen. So the company that produced the film is giving moviegoers as chances to watch this excellent new story online. Here are the details on how to watch courtesy of Screen Rant: The A24 Screening Room will be playing The Green Knight for one night only in an online format. It will be available on Wednesday, August 18 at 9PM EST and tickets are available now on the A24 Screening Room site at the price of $20 per ticket. The film is accessible through the web, Apple TV, and Roku. After creating an account and buying a ticket, customers will be able to have access to the movie at the aforementioned date and time. Audiences will have 4 hours to watch the film and any other content provided.


New Movies On Streaming

Godzilla VS Kong (Available on HBO Max on 8/17)

A sometimes dumb, but nonetheless fun watch.

Comic Books/Graphic Novels

The Trial of Magneto (8/18)

Someone murdered Wanda Maximoff, The Scarlet Witch, and Magneto is the prime suspect. But what if Magneto is innocent? Did he really kill his own daughter or is there something far more sinister at play? The 5-Issue miniseries is the latest chapter in Jonathan Hickman’s ongoing X-Men Saga that continues to rock the Marvel Universe to it’s core.

Kang The Conqueror #1

SPOILERS FOR LOKI!!!! Fans of the recently wrapped first season of Loki, had a lot of questions following the standout finale episode. The character at the center of many of those questions, was the man pulling strings of The TVA: He Who Remains. He Who Remains, is of course better known to comic book readers as Kang The Conqueror. Kang, He Who Remains, or whoever you want to call him, has gone by many names while becoming the self proclaimed Master of Time. No matter the incarnation we see him in next, this character is going to be massively important moving forward into Phase 4 of The MCU. This 5-issue miniseries is a great place to start for anyone wanting a better understanding Kang and how this fascinating villain will shape the past, present, and future of The MCU.

Thanks for reading! Follow us on Twitter @PJWrightWBM, Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017, and our Facebook Page, Worlds 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 TRAILER & POSTERS: Titans Season 3!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

Ever since Titans first premiered on the DC Universe Streaming Service, I always felt it was a pretty underrated superhero show. It seemed to get a lot of criticism, that I think, it didn’t deserve. Even Season 2 was a big improvement on Season 1, in my opinion. My theory, is that the series is a fairly dark interpretation of the Teen Titans mythology. Titans premiered right around the time many fans were souring on what they believed was overly dark and grim tone of the DCEU movies like Man of Steel and BvS. Regardless, it’s not a perfect show by any means, but for me at least, Titans has always been an absolute blast. Season 3 looks to be the best yet, adding Scarecrow, Red Hood, Blackfire, and Barbara Gordon to an already fun ensemble of DC characters. The first two seasons are available now on HBO Max. I definitely recommend giving it a shot, especially if you’re a DC fan. Titans Season 3 premieres August 12 on HBO Max. Take a look at these cool promo images, and watch the new trailer right here:

This season also sees the debut of Tim Drake, the 3rd hero to take up the mantle of Robin (pictured below). Tim eventually comes into his own as The World’s Second Greatest Detective, Red Robin.

More character posters…

Follow us on Twitter @PJWrightWBM, Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017, and our Facebook Page, Worlds 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

TRAILER: Titans Season 3


FIRST LOOK: Stargirl Season 2!

Hey Everyone

Paul here…

Stargirl was a pleasant surprise when it premiered on DC Universe Streaming and The CW last year. Good villains, a likable cast, above average VFX, and a healthy dose of DC Comics mythology, made Stargirl one of my favorite shows of 2020. So I’m happy to say that everything I’ve heard about Season 2, premiering August 10th on The CW, sounds very cool. After defeating the Injustice Society last season, Courtney, Pat, and rest of their newly formed JSA members, will have not one, but two Big Bads on their hands in Season 2! Both of whichwere teased in the Season 1 finale. But first, take a look at the new trailer for Stargirl Season 2 and then we can get into some other cool surprises to expect in the show’s upcoming sophomore year

Looks awesome to me! It looks like Season 2 will add JSA members like Jade, the new Green Lantern ,and Jakeem Thunder, that weird, purple living energy-thing.

Jay Garrick, The Flash of The JSA, who first appeared on The CW series The Flash will also be making an appearance this season.

With that in mind, here are a few important things to know bet] thatWithin the mythology of DC Comics, decades before The Justice League, The JSA or Justice Society of America, were the original superhero team. Gettineag their start decades before the modern day Justice League. The JSA are the elder statesmen (and women) of The DCU. The classic team roster usually consists of the original Green Lantern Alan Scott, Jay “The Flash” Garrick, Wildcat, Hourman, BlackCanary, Dr. Mid-Nite, The Sandman (Not the Neil Gaiman version, Hawkman & Hawkgirl, and Starman. The team first formed around WWII in the comics and each member age at a much slower rate then normal. As a result, almost all of th e JSA appear to be in their 50’s for early 60’s and while they’re all well past their prime, they can still operate at peak condition or beyond while in the field.

On the show things play out a little differently. First of all, though there are certain recognizable heroes and villains from DC Comics, a Justice League seems to have never taken form on this Earth. The JSA appear to be the only major superhero team to have formed in this universe. Though the series is technically apart of The Arrrowverse, Stargirl takes place on a different Earth than Arrrow, The Flash, and Supergirl. On Stargirl, The JSA and other heroes and villains have been active for decades. About 15 years in the past, most of The JSA were killed by the Injustice Society, a group of dangerous villains. In the present day, with the help of her step father and former JSA memberPat (Luke Wilson), Courtney Whitmore becomes Stargirl and begins to reform The JSA with a new generation of heroes.

From what we see in the trailer, it looks like the next generation of The JSA will only be expanding their roster. They’ll need all the help they can get while dealing with multiple major threats on the horizon. Both were teased in the final moments of the Season 1 finale.

First, as shown in the trailer, is the classic DC villain The Shade. He’s immortal and he can control living shadow. What makes The Shade interesting is that while he’s a serious threat, who you fuck with at your own peril, he has honor. He lives by a code.

He’s definitely a villain, but he’s not a monster. On one or two rare occasions, he even made alliances with heroes. So it should be compelling to see how the show handles the only member of the Injustice Society, that was present the night the original JSA were slaughtered, who we haven’t met on screen yet.

A brief glimpse at The Shade from the Season 1 Finale.

The second villain the show will be introducing this year is Eclipso. This guy is no joke. He’s easily a Justice League level threat. Eclipso is an ancient alien entity who, as we saw in the Season 1 finale been trapped inside a small diamond stone (as is often the case with evil, eldritch monsters).

Eclipso feeds on the negative psychic energy of mankind. Grief, hate, anger, and sadness sustain him, so he tries to create as much suffering and chaos as possible.

Unfortunately for this young incarnation of The JSA, Eclipso is WAY out of their league, so it’ll be cool to see how they handle him on the show. So this new season of Stargirl looks like it’s shaping up to be pretty interesting, so I definitely recommend checking out Seaon 1, which you can find On Demand and Streaming.

Thanks for reading! Follow us on Twitter @PJWrightWBM, Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017, and our Facebook Page, Worlds 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

MUST WATCH: Beware The Batman!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

If you’re a frequent visitor to World’s Best Media, you probably already know that I love Batman and Superhero Animation. So I tend to get excited when I hear about a new animated Batman project. Warner Bros. and HBO recently announced a new Batman animated series in the works for HBO Max, called Batman: The Caped Crusader. The new series is being developed by Matt Reeves (the director of the upcoming film The Batman), JJ Abrams, and Bruce Timm (one of the creators of Batman: The Animated Series). There’ve been rumors floating around for a while now that Warner Bros. was developing a sequel series to the beloved and classic Batman: The Animated Series. While Batman: The Caped Crusader is not a direct sequel series or continuation of Batman: The Animated Series, it’s definitely a spiritual successor. When The Caped Crusader was announced Reeves and Abrams explicitly stated that BTAS (Batman: The Animated Series, for all you cool kids) was the new show’s biggest influence. Through the involvement of Bruce Timm as well as this promo art released during The Caped Crusader’s announcement, served to reinforce how much of an influence BTAS will have on this new show. As I mentioned before, Bruce Timm was one of the creators of Batman: The Animated Series and an icon in DC animation, and as you can clearly see in the promo art, which I posted below, Batman: The Caped Crusader is very evocative of the neo noir look of the 90s Batman series.


However, when I read the announcement for Batman: The Caped Crusader, I couldn’t help but think that I’d heard this all somewhere else once before. Which brings me to the main topic of this article, an animated series that you may not have even heard of called Beware The Batman. An extremely underrated animated series that I’ve been wanting to write about for a long time, Beware The Batman. The announcement about The Caped Crusader reminded me a lot of how Beware The Batman was described when it was first announced. Especially because of the comments made by Abrams and Reeves about “reinvention” and “reimagining” the Batman mythos. It was very similar to how Beware The Batman was pitched when first heard about it, just with some keywords turned around here and there. Beware The Batman was “pitched” to the audience as a darker, grittier animated Batman story, that wasn’t going to do the same old thing. The series certainly lived up to the claim, because it isn’t quite like any other adaptation of the character. The core of the show was something we see far too little of, in on screen adaptations of The Dark Knight, Batman: The World’s Greatest Detective. This was still a relatively early days Batman, at least a few years into his grand mission. The series really played up the “World’s Greatest Detective“ aspect of the character, which many of you may know, I fucking love.

The writers weren’t afraid to play up some of Batman’s other underutilized character attributes. For example. I loved how they played Bruce Wayne as a really fucking weird guy. Because of course he would be. This guys lives a pretty fucked up lifestyle, so he’s bound to be at little… off. It wasn’t over the top or anything like that, but this is not a normal dude and i thought it brought out something special in this version of Batman.


Bruce Wayne wasn’t the only character who went through some changes on Beware The Batman. Wherever Batman goes, so goes Alfred Pennyworth. There’s been a slow moving trend over the last 10 years or so, to change Alfred from an elderly butler into a slightly younger, badass in his own right, with a more active role in Bruce Wayne’s war on crime. This version leaned into Alfred’s history as a military combat vet/spy. Beware The Batman drew upon parts of the character seen in projects like the Epix TV series Pennyworth, the Batman: Earth One graphic novels, and arguably Jeremy Irons’ Alfred in the DCEU. In this animated series, Alfred was former MI-6 and his past catching up to him drives a surprising amount of the story throughout the season, but it works.


Batman may seem like a loner, but he surrounds himself with a lot of surrogate family. So when it came to figuring out who would be Batman‘s partner, the writers chose to buck the trend once again. Instead of Nightwing, Robin, or Batgirl, Batman‘s main partner in crime was Tatsu Yamashiro also known as Katana. Alfred brought her in as potential back up for Bruce. Tatsu was formally a member of both The League of Assassins (where she picked up the alias Katana) and MI-6, a formidable combination. Katana was also Alfred’s protege, Alfred having served with her father in MI-6. Alfred looked at Tatsu as a surrogate daughter. Which makes it almost poetic that he would call upon the woman he sees as a daughter, to help protect the man he sees as his son. Her presence in the story added a unique dynamic that wasn’t present in other animated Batman projects.

Beware The Batman also distinguished itself by not using any of the major Batman villains for the majority of the first and only season. Which I thought that was a really smart and cool way to go. You didn’t see villains like The Joker or The Penguin pop up immediately, which gave the show the opportunity to showcase lesser known villains. Batman has such a fucking incredible rogues gallery, you have to go real far down the list to find a character that is genuinely lame. Kite Man! Yes, there’s a Batman villain called Kite Man! Shockingly enough, in the right hands, even Kite Man is interesting.

So Instead of the usual suspects, Beware The Batman offers up villains like the horrifying Professor Pyg, or Magpie, a thief Bruce becomes infatuated with, or Simon Stagg, everyone’s favorite piece of dog shit industrialist. The overarcing villain for the series was Anarky, a white clad terrorist and madman with skills and fighting abilities dangerously close to Batman’s own.

The writers framed him as the polar opposite opposite of Batman. Anarky, the broken funhouse mirror version of The Dark Knight. Anarky adorned himself in white to Batman’s black, where Batman embraced order, Anarky embraced chaos. Watching Anarky and Batman playing an elaborate game of cat and mouse across the entire season, with Gotham City hanging in the balance, was a hell of a lot of fun.

But Anarky wasn’t the only Big Bad putting Batman to the test over this 26 episode series. The League of Assassins were present early on in the season, which gave Lady Shiva (another awesome, but under utilized Batman villain) some time to shine as the face of The League.

Until about halfway through the season when Ra’s Al Ghul himself enters the fray, menacingly played by The Wire’s Lance Reddick.

As the season went on, some other familiar faces began to pop up, like Killer Croc and Man- Bat. There was also a fair amount of set up dedicated to stories that would have played out had their been second season.

Harvey Dent was introduced in the final few episodes and had already suffered his infamous facial scarring by the end of the season. Presumably setting up Two-Face as the Big Bad for Season 2.

It really is a shame that we never got to see more of this show because the season ended with a cool mystery involving Deathstroke and Alfred’s past once again coming back to haunt him and the people he loves. I would’ve loved to have seen how these writers would’ve interpreted some of Batman’s other classic villains.

The animation style can be a little jarring at first, but it works once you get used to it. I really loved how the shine and texture of The Bat-Suit makes it looks like it’s made out of the same material as the Michael Keaton Batman suit‘s, but has the flexibility and range of motion of a much lighter material. The CGI animation also allows for some choreographed fight scenes that wouldn’t be possible in 2-D animation.


As I wrap it up here, I’ll also add that the show doesn’t really hit it’s stride until Episode 6 “Toxic“. That’s not to say that the first 5 episodes are bad by any means, but Episode 6 was really the one that clicked for me and made me begin to fall in love with the show. So if you plan on giving this series a try, make sure you give the show until at least Episode 6 “Toxic”, it only gets better from there. Honestly, you could probably go straight to Episode 6 without missing that much. Then once you’re really into the show, you can always go back and watch those first 5 episodes.
Beware The Batman: The Complete Series is available to watch on HBO Max, iTunes, and Blu-Ray. If you a fan of superhero animation, I highly recommend you check out this unique hidden gem.

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. We’re on Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017. 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 OF THE WEEK: Army of The Dead & Justice Society: World War II !

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

Picks For Trailers of The Week

2021 stands to be a big year for Netflix and Zack Snyder. The director is getting a mulligan from DC fans everywhere with Zack Snyder‘s Justice League premiering on HBO Max in March. In May, Snyder teams up with Netflix for his other big project this year, a zombie-heist flick, Army Of The Dead, starring Dave Bautista. Here’s the official synopsis:

After a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas, a group of mercenaries takes the ultimate gamble by venturing into the quarantine zone for the greatest heist ever.

 Now, we have our first look at Army of the Dead with the new trailer below. I was sold on this movie before I even saw the trailer, to be honest. Zack Snyder directed 2004’s Dawn of The Dead, which is not only one of the best zombie movies ever made. It’s also one of the only remakes of a classic movies that lives up to and possibly even surpasses the original.  So a new movie called Army of The Dead, from the director of Dawn of The Dead, about a team of mercenaries, led by Dave Bautista, trying to rob a casino in a zombie infested Las Vegas? In the immortal words of Kevin Smith: “Fuck you. Take my money!” I am in!

Army of The Dead Trailer

Army of The Dead premieres on Netflix on 5/21/2021

Justice Society: World War II – Clip & Trailer

DC Animation has really upped their game over year and a half. Coming off of a run of strong animated films like Superman: Red Son, Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, Superman: Man of Tomorrow, and Batman: Soul of The Dragon, DC Animation has been doing their nest work in years. After coming off a series of winners, their next film, Justice Society: World War II, looks fucking awesome. It’s great because it’s a period accurate piece. When the JSA was first introduced, they were fighting Nazi’s during WWII. I think it’ll be great for fans to see the JSA (Justice Society of America) and members like The “Jay Garrick” Flash and Green “Alan Scott” Lantern, who would go on to inspire the modern incarnations, in their prime. DC Animation has also begun to move away from that in house, stock animation style of the previous, shared DC Animated Movie Universe. So the animation in this new movie stands out in a beautifully bold and dynamic way. The full trailer for Justice Society: World War II has already been released (which we posted below, if you haven’t seen it yet), but a new clip from the movie dropped this weekend, showing Wonder Woman in battle with a platoon of Nazi soldiers and it looks incredible! Take a look:

Justice Society: World War II (Full Trailer):

Justice Society: World War II is available digitally on 4/27 and on Blu-Ray/4K on 5/11

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. We’re on Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017. 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

PODCAST: BEST & WORST MOVIES of 2020!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

On this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, we’re going over The Best & Worst Movies of 2020! Normally, choosing the best and worst movies at the end of the year, is one of my favorite movie rituals. Unfortunately, this year didn’t have quite as many opportunities to see new films in theaters, due to the obvious mitigating circumstances. I still manage to see quite a few movies nonetheless. It just meant watching a lot more steaming content and movies On Demand. So GODDAMMIT!, I was gonna do my best and worst movies of 2020 list, so help me God! Because if I don’t the virus wins! So here it is! It’s nothing to write home about, but hey they can’t all the gems! Please let me know in the comments what movies you loved, or hated, 2020!

Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/42893825  Or subscribe/listen on Spotify, 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#episodeGuid=https%3A%2F%2Fapi.spreaker.com%2Fepisode%2F42893825

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/11mA9kClyevVZjWYMQB1Io?si=7TfnqkBiShqTQpZhh2UDsA

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

We are also going to be posting either an article or a podcast about our favorite TV shows of 2020, as well as the projects we’re p most looking forward to in 2021! Those will be up in the very near future, so keep an eye out…

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. We’re on Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017. 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

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