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.

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.

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

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

WBM SPRING 2021 Preview! – Loki, Batman: The Long Halloween, Jupiter’s Legacy, Black Widow!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

World’s Best Media’s SPRING 2021 Movie & TV Preview, Week 2\Week 3 continues! An insane amount of awesome trailers have dropped online over the past 24 hours, including some of the most anticipated projects of the year. Each of them looks fantastic in their own way, but I’ll let you be the judge! Check them out below…

LOKI

Jupiter’s Legacy

Batman: The Long Halloween Part 1


Black Widow

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

Spring 2021 Movie & TV Preview! PODCAST: Zack Snyder’s JUSTICE LEAGUE (SPOILERS)!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

On this episode, The World’s Best Podcast crosses over with the Cuff’s Basement Podcast to review Zack Snyder’s Justice League, which recently premiered on HBO Max! Along with Tim and Ryan, we breakdown a film that is vastly different from the original 2017 Justice League theatrical release. In fact Zack Snyder‘s Justice League is more like a entirely new film, than a director’s cut. We go over everything from what worked to what didn’t, as well as what we loved about the film and what we may have disliked. In this fun and far reaching discussion which yielded one of our best episodes this year, so far!

Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/43993349  Or subscribe/listen on Spotify, Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Podchaser, Castbox, Podcast Addict, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes…

iTunes/ApplePodcats: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?i=1000513898680

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

Stitcherhttps://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=185563

While promoting the film, Zack Snyder offered up a lot of interesting information, teases, and images about what might have been, had things gone according to plan and the DCEU stayed on the track that began with Man of Steel. Snyder originally envisioned a 5-film “Lord of The Rings” style epic, that included Man of Steel, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, and culminated in a massive Justice League trilogy. As a result there were a lot ideas and concepts that were played around with that were abandoned. A good example of how somethings could’ve played out slightly differently is, how in one of the subplots in Batman V Superman, involved Wonder Woman attempting to retrieve an old photograph of herself and her comrades-in-arms from WWI. This of course tied into 2017’s Wonder Woman directed by Patty Jenkins. However, before the story for the first wonder woman film had been finalized there was still some to be about exactly how long Diana had been away from Themyscira fighting wars in “Man’s World”. Some beautiful images were commissioned showing Diana fighting alongside soldiers in wars much farther back in history, closer to The Crimean War than World War I. Snyder shared a few of them online that I thought were particularly interesting which you can take a look at right here:

Snyder offered up another sneak peek at The Snyder Cut, whe he confirmed the long running fan theory that General Swanwick played by Harry Lennox (Man of Steel, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice) was actually J’onn J’onnz: The Martian Manhunter, hiding among mankind. Snyder revealed that the character would indeed be making an appearance in his Justice League when it premiered on HBO Max, with Lennox returning for the role. DC helped Snyder give fans at hint at the character’s design in the film, by publishing variant covers of the JL comic book a few months back, featuring the movie version of this classic character drawn by the legendary Jim Lee. Take a look…

This is the final design for the character used in the movie

This also wraps up WEEK 1 of World’s Best Media’s Spring 2021 Movie & TV Preview! We have even more great content coming your way in WEEK 2, with exciting new series like Amazon Prime’s INVINCIBLE, from the creator of The Walking Dead!

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 Animated Series (Short Film) – “The Chase”

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

  I came across this video today as I was looking through YouTube today, and I realized that many of you may not have ever seen this cool animated short (or even knew it existed). Back in 2013 the amazing folks behind Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, Justice League, and Justice League Unlimited, released this short animated film called “Chase Me”. It’s a fun, quick little story about Batman trying to catch Catwoman after a minor heist she’s pulled off. But the whole chase is really a metaphor for the romance and attraction that’s at the heart off their relationship. There’s always the folks behind Batman: The Animated Series understand what makes The Dark Knight tick, better than most. If you haven’t seen “Chase Me” before, you can check it out right here and if you have seen, any excuse to dive back into the world Batman: The Animated Series, is well worth your time. Watch it here:


What did you all think of this short film? Let me know in the comments below!

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. 

-Paul

Update On Justice League: The Snyder Cut!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…


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

A bad ass fan made poster for The Snyder Cut

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A young Darkseid battles Ares.

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

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

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

-Paul

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

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Paul

Batwoman Season 1: The Good, The Bad, and What to Do in Season 2


Written by Michael Cole

*Note: This article was written before the announcement that Ruby Rose, the actress who plays Batwoman, has left the series and will be replaced in Season 2.

Batwoman Season 1 ended almost two weeks ago, and I had intended to write a review on here when that happened, but I hadn’t realized the season had ended because it was an abrupt, COVID interrupted season. I won’t hold that against Batwoman obviously, and please don’t hold my tardiness on this subject against me.

I’m going to be frank with you, and tell you that while I might be in the minority, I really enjoyed Batwoman. I think there was a ton of things that were done really well. I also recognize that it had several faults, and I’m not blind to those. I think, for the sake of redemption, I will start us off with the parts that I don’t like, and work towards the things that made this show work for me.

What Fails:

I think it was back before the mid-season break, I had a conversation with Paul about the show, and one of the things that he pointed out that made no sense what-so-ever was the idea of The Crows. As I watched the second half of the season with this in mind, I realized he was completely right. The Crows, are Gotham’s premium and private ‘police’ service. They don’t exist in place of The GCPD, but in addition to it. They’re essentially independent contractors acting like Police, but with less restriction, and seemingly less self-restraint. A local law enforcement version of Blackwater.

At best, their existence doesn’t make any sense. With the appearance of Batwoman, a vigilante acting outside of the law, of course The Crows declare her to be a dangerous criminal who must be brought to justice. Complicating matters, The Crows are lead by Commander Jacob Kane (Batwoman’s father, who has no idea that his daughter is the vigilante). In similar situations like Arrow, Batman, or even Spider-Man, if a hero or vigilante is seen as a criminal, they’re usually being accused as such by the police. While there is room for argument on the morality of vigilante justice on either side, the legality of the situation is clear because The Police Dept., The D.A., are all part of law enforcement that governments put in place to protect the public. It all makes some sense. This isn’t the case in Batwoman with The Crows because they’re a private company, not operating with any kind of government oversight. The potentially interesting morality/logic of that dynamic isn’t really touched upon until the last episode or two, and even then only in passing.

Along with The Crows and their non-sensical existence, is Commander Kane. I think he fails on pretty much every front. I think the performance, with him trying to sound grizzly and hardened comes off as two dimensional and uninteresting. As for the characterization, he’s written to have the same black and white moral code that someone like Quentin Lance on Arrow had, but again Lance existed within a real Police Dept which made much more sense. Also, while Lance may have been tough on his children and perhaps a bit too rigid, he never really wrote them off. Whereas Kane’s love is barely existent at best, and far from unconditional. Do I think we need to portray every parent as having unconditional love for their children? No, but in these types of characters and stories it leads to some interesting inner conflict. Trying to justify your unconditional love for your children, when your children test your own moral code, makes for fascinating character drama. Commander Kane doesn’t do that. There are very few, if any, moments when it appears that indicate if he finds out his daughter Kate is Batwoman, that he’ll hesitate to treat her like any other criminal.

My last complaint about the show will probably be more controversial and this is way more a matter of opinion, but Kate sporadically write’s letters to the missing Bruce Wayne. It’s not the idea that she’s writing them that doesn’t work for me, it’s more a matter of delivery. There is something about it that comes across as awkward and unnatural, it interrupts the flow of the show. I think it is possible that it’s Ruby Rose, who is Australian, trying to do an American accent in these long slow, uber-articulated monologues, that doesn’t work.

What Works:

Three characters work perfectly for me on this show, there will be some mild-spoilers.

I think The Big-Bad, Alice, head of the Wonderland Gang, works perfectly. I would make the argument that she may be the best villain in The Arrowverse this season. Alice, as we learn very early on, is Kate’s twin sister, Beth. Beth was believed to be killed in a car accident when they were both 12 or 13. As the season plays out, we get to see how Alice isn’t just a menacing thug, but a deeply troubled (and for good reason) woman, who is trying to get reconcile a sense of normalcy with her sister and revenge with her father, step-mother and sister. Every emotional twist and turn is believable within the circumstances, and the performance by Rachel Skarsten rides those emotions completely and makes you feel genuine empathy for her, while also understanding that she must be stopped. I would argue that her character’s complexity exacerbates how poorly Commander Kane’s character is developed.

Alice’s right-hand man, is Mouse, who we learn is the son of the man who took Beth from the accident, and through neglect and abuse, turned her into Alice. Mouse is himself a very damaged man from his father, in addition to some physical scarring. Mouse has the ability to mimic any voice, and with Beth’s help, to make skin masks. He can turn into nearly any one within the show. It’s not Mouse’s abilities that make him interesting though. It’s his relationship with Alice/Beth. He starts off as her best friend, trying to help her exact her revenge. But as soon as Alices plan shifts from revenge to reconciliation, he begins to fear she’ll abandon him for not being enough. As well as expressing his own desire to eventually get away from Gotham and the chaos and pain he sees as being a symptom of the place.

Lastly, is Mary, Kate’s step-sister. Mary starts the show off appearing to be a vapid socialite, but its quickly revealed that she’s actually running an underground clinic for those who cannot afford emergency medical attention. She helps Batwoman early on, making something of a connection with her. Even as she struggles throughout the season with her relationship with Kate, which is strained by Kate’s distance, and Kate’s inability to let go of Beth. Mary’s feelings of inadequacy and longing to bond with Kate are well developed and expressed, and it comes to a head when she finds out Kate is Batwoman and Kate still refuses to tell Mary her secret.

How to Move Forward

The other three main characters in the show are a bit of a mixed bag for me. I think Ruby Rose as Kate is very good at the aloof part of the character, but in the genuine moments of connection, I think she’s still seems to struggle. It’s likely that they are trying to draw a parallel between her and Bruce Wayne, (but as someone who knows very little of the comic version of Bruce Wayne, take that with a grain of salt). However when you have so many characters who do have an emotional connection with Kate, like her sisters, her father, Luke Fox , or Sophie (her ex-girlfriend who works for her father on The Crows) the performance doesn’t work as well for me.

I think Luke had a pretty good second half of the season, but he didn’t start off great. There was a flatness in the character or the performance and it just didn’t work. What eventually won me over, is two-fold, Luke is very clearly the voice for the absent Bruce. As his relationship to Kate developed, he even shares things that perhaps he never would, about his loneliness, his responsibility. We also see Luke’s own dedication and search for justice by finding his father Lucius’s killer, and how he will risk his own life in order to protect his father’s secrets. As a small side note, Luke is the guy back at HQ role, so I like that he is very different from similar characters in The Arrowverse like Cisco, Felicity, and even Winn.

Sophie probably would have made the first section, except that I’m not sure she’s made enough of an impact on the show yet to say she’s failing. Sophie is kind of a bland character, who’s at her most interesting as we see her and Kate struggle throughout the beginning of the series. With Sophie being closeted and Kate being out, how this tore them apart in military academy, and is married to a man. On top of all that she also works for Kate’s father, it’s impossibly complicated between the two of them. The writers seem to have trouble picking a lane with Sophie, she’s not bold and empowered, nor is she timid and weak. She kind of flip-flops back and forth.

Going forward, into season 2, I think that these three characters can all be improved and really work for the show. I think with Kate, they were starting to work on the aloofness problem in the last couple of episodes, (maybe if they’d been given the whole season run I wouldn’t have this complaint at all). The same can be said with Luke, I think he was a slow start, but they’re getting there, and I hope that they go even further with him. With Sophie, I think she kind of has to embrace herself more in season 2, even if she goes a bit overboard at first, it would make sense, and propel her forward.

I think they should find someway in season 2 (and I kind of think they may have been working toward this at the end of season 1) of getting rid of The Crows. They just don’t work. Getting rid of them wouldn’t be difficult from a writing stand-point, and I would argue that if you just put one character in (a Mayor or something) who realizes how ridiculous they are, dismantling them could take a couple of episodes tops.

As for Commander Kane, there are three options that I see, they could kill him off, try to turn him into a human with emotions (I don’t really think this works without ignoring some of what we already have seen of him), or lastly make him outright a villain. The series could dismantle The Crows and Kane could become a vigilante hell bent on avenging them, it’s the only way I think you can keep him on the show and have him work. I just really think the dude is broken beyond repair.

The letters to Bruce Wayne are maybe the toughest fix. I think the series has been fairly inconsistent in doing them to be completely honest, I think maybe they should just get rid of them altogether. At the end of the finale, Alice has transformed the villain Hush, into a doppelgänger of Bruce Wayne. I think having a few episodes of ‘Bruce Wayne’ around will make the letters redundant. Unless Kate knows right off the bat (I swear that wasn’t intended) that he’s not the real Bruce.

The Verdict:

The show has a lot of potential, and needs a lot of growth, but I think it’s a worthy inclusion to The Arrowverse. If they work out the kinks in Season 2, there could be some really cool opportunities for interesting character work. Don’t go in expecting a finely tuned machine, but a diamond in the rough.

Article by Michael Cole