JOKER, the highly anticipated new film from director Todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix has hit theaters! The movie is already receiving rave reviews, with many critics declaring the movie a shoe in for Academy Award nominations for Best Picture and Best Actor for Joaquin Phoenix. The early buzz has praised Phoenix’s tour de force performance as a broken man’s decent into madness and his transformation into the legendary Clown Prince Of Crime! But does it live up to the hype? That’s exactly what Ryan and I discuss in the latest episode of The World’s Best Podcast! The Joker is one of the best characters in all of fiction and the film asks provocative questions about society, mental health, and morality. Does the film live up to its lofty ambitions? Where does this Joker rank among the other classic performances of the character? Can you tell a Joker story without Batman? We answer all these questions and more! Listen and enjoy!
Thanks for listening! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again!
If it wasn’t for Justice League, the DC films would be on quite the streak right now. Yes, if you look at all of their films besides Justice League, after Suicide Squad, youhave Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and SHAZAM!, each a success in their own way. Aquaman in particular made a shitload of money at the box office. Now, later this week we have the much hyped and much anticipated premier of JOKER. I think the direction of the DC Cinematic Universe from here on will be largely predicated upon how JOKER performs financially. If it’s a smash hit, I think they’ll probably continue trying stand-alone, “Elseworlds” style stories like JOKER that are independent of The DCEU (I’m not calling it The Worlds of DC! I’m not fucking doing it!!!). If the film under performs I would imagine they will go back to embracing universe building, single continuity films like the upcoming Wonder Woman 1984 and Aquaman 2.
Out of all their upcoming projects, I am by far most intrigued by Matt Reeves’ new Batman film. I think Robert Pattinson is a great choice for Batman. I think he’s underestimated as an actor by a lot of people who don’t know his work outside of the Twilight series. Also Matt Reeves is a great filmmaker and writer, who wants to bring Batman back to his detective roots. Reeves seems to finally be making a Batman film that’s a noir-detective story, which is something we’ve never really seen from the character, ironically enough. Despite it being such a massive part of who he is and his mythology, we’ve never seen “Batman: The World’s Greatest Detective” on the big screen.
Then, we had the trailer for Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn) drop like a ton of shit today. I’ll be honest with you,this movie kind of came out of nowhere for me. For someone who follows comic books movies so closely, I had no idea the movie was this close to release until I saw a teaser for during my screening of It: Chapter 2. First things first, I want you guys to get a chance to check out the trailer, which I’ve posted below and I’ll give you my thoughts after…
First of all, regardless of what I think about this film as a DC Comics adaptation, this is just a bad trailer. There’s no clear indication of what’s really going on, who the good guys and the bad guys are, what the hell the story is, it’s just a big goddamn mess. The only thing that is clear is that we’re getting a shitload of Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn front and center. If I didn’t know better I would say this is just a straight up Harley Quinn solo film. It looks nothing like up what I would imagine a Birds of Prey movie would look like (I’ll get back to that in a minute). Don’t get me wrong, I really like Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn and I thought she was one of the high points of the otherwise abysmal Suicide Squad. Unfortunately, Harley Quinn is one of those characters that’s really popular with fans and tends to get over used. Just to give you an example from the world of comics, DC has at least three or four Harley Quinn-centric books being published right now. Four Harley Quinn comics is three Harley Quinn comics too many. Even though they’re very different characters, Wolverine came to mind as I watched this trailer. Some of the greatest X-Men comic book writers of all time have understood one thing: less is more with Wolverine when he’s with The X-Men. He such a popular character that the temptation for most writers is to put him front and center, make him the most important character in the story. However with Wolverine, (at least when he’s in the X-Men, not his solo books) if he’s used in small doses, the moments the writers let him off the chain and really allow the character to shine, the moment is that much more special because they showed restraint. With Birds of Prey, all I’ve seen is the trailer and I’m already sick of Harley Quinn.
In the comics Birds of Prey is a long running, very beloved series about 3 great female DC heroes, who come together to pool their skills, and eventually become a little family. The team classically consist of the wheelchair bound Barbara Gordon, who after retiring as Batgirl due to her injuries at the hands of The Joker, has taken up the mantle of Oracle. She is the ultimate hacker, she’s the hub of all knowledge and information for the heroes of the DC Universe. She handles everything from tracking criminals to hacking into The Pentagon, she’s the ultimate field support team. As Ned from the Spider-Man films likes to say that he’s the “man in the chair“, well Oracle is the original “woman in the chair“. Everything Felicity did on the TV show Arrow was basically Oracle. They even make a joke on the show about how Felicity should get a code name like everyone else on Team Arrow and Oliver mentioned he wanted her code name to be Oracle “but it’s taken”. She is the best of the best at what she does. Heroes all the way from Batman and Superman come to her for her help and expertise.
The field team usually consists of Helena Bertinelli a.k.a. Huntress, a violent Gotham vigilante who is almost always an outsider/pariah within the community of Gotham City vigilantes. Huntress is not afraid to kill to get the job done, which of course Batman does not approve of. But Huntress doesn’t particularly give a shit what Batman does and does not approve of.
Finally,there is Dinah Lance a.k.a. Black Canary, she is one of the greatest martial artists in the DC Universe, she could easily go toe to toe with the very best hand to hand fighters in the DCU. She’s also a meta-human who can emit intense sonic “canary cries“. She can modulate the power of her sonic blasts so it can be used as a simple distraction or powerful enough to rip through a concrete wall. Gail Simone was the writer who made this series what it was. There have been a lot of other writers who’ve worked on Birds of Prey, but Gail Simone is by far the most well-known and beloved.
My point is Birds of Prey is about these 3 female Gotham vigilantes coming together to fight the good fight. There’s nothing wrong with throwing Harley Quinn into the mix, in fact I think that could be really fun. However, based on the trailer none of that seems to be there, it’s just all Harley Quinn, all the time.
I haven’t even touched on the villain, Gotham crime boss Roman Sionus a.k.a. Black Mask played by Ewan McGregor. Black Mask is known for 3 things: first, he’s one of the biggest organize crime figures in Gotham, who leans more towards the traditional criminal side of things, than over the top insanity of some of Batman‘s other rogues gallery like Scarecrow, for example. Second, his entire head and face permanently resemble a black skull. Think The Red Skull from Captain America, but completely black instead and wearing a business suit and that’s exactly what Black Mask looks like. Finally, he’s known for loving to torture his victims to death. So all around he’s a really nice, pleasant guy. You don’t see any indication of him looking anything like the traditional Black Mask in this trailer, so why not just make him a different character if you’re not gonna use that interesting visual motif Black Mask possesses? But it’s hard to be too critical because I didn’t really get enough of Ewan McGregor in the trailer to get a sense of how he’s playing the part. I love Ewan McGregor so I hope they actually give him something interesting to do. The trailer is cut together so poorly I can’t even understand some of Ewan McGregor’s lines sometimes.
Look, obviously I want this movie to be good. I want it to be a success. I love the DC Universe and I love these characters. I hope I’m wrong and I hope they pull it off. However, at the moment the Birds of Prey a.k.a. “Harley Quinn: The Movie”, looks pretty shitty in my opinion.
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 for our podcast, 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!
In Part 2 of our Fall 2019 TV Preview, we’ll be focusing on one of my personal favorite corners of pop culture, The CW’s Arrowverse. The Arrowverse, as it’s come to be known, began 8 years ago on The CW with the series premiere of Arrow, a dark, gritty take on the story of classic DC hero, The Green Arrow. The series premiere of Arrow was, at the time, the most watched episode of television in the network’s history (that record went on to be broken by The Flash and Riverdale). Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy was clearly a massive influence on the series in its first season. Even the most grounded and “realistic” superheroes, like Green Arrow and Batman, still require some level of suspension of disbelief. Having said that, the show’s first episodes showed us a world where there weren’t other superheroes, super powers didn’t exist, and any “crazy, comic book elements” you’d normally see in a story based on a long time DC Universe character, were absent in the first season. Boy, did that fucking change! When they introduced Barry Allen in Season 2, they began with super soldiers, from there we got The Flash, The first real super powered superhero in The Arrowverse. From there this universe has expanded to include time travel, meta-humans, aliens, the multi-verse, psychic gorillas, demons, alternate timelines, and literally thousands of other batshit crazy things. I think the smartest thing Arrow ever did was the show’s decision to stop trying to be a cheap carbon copy of Christopher Nolan‘s Dark Knight Trilogy and instead create their own identity by embracing some of the more in sane and out there aspects of the DC Universe. In this article, I’ll be previewing what we know about the individual seasons of the shows that make up The Arrowverse, as well is the up-to-date news about the mega crossover Crisis on Infinite Earths. The annual crossover is by far one of the most ambitious things ever attempted on television so it’s going to loom large over all of the shows for the first half of their seasons.
Arrow Season Premiere: 10/15/19
As far as what the final season will look like, Season 8 will consist of 10 episodes. 7 of the episodes will each act as an homage to specific parts of the show’s history from Season’s 1-7, while also tying up any loose ends associated with that part of the show’s journey. At the same time, the first 7 episodes will also serve to help set up Crisis on Infinite Earths, with Oliver traveling the world with The Monitor in an attempt to prepare for the coming disaster. Episode 8 will be Arrow’s installment of Crisis on Infinite Earths. Once the crossover has ended, the final two episodes, airing at the beginning of 2020, will serve as the show’s true series finale. A new trailer for Season 8 has been released, check it out below:
The Flash Season 6 Premiere 10/8/19
There hasn’t been much news from The Flash Season 6 since the first trailer for the season dropped during Comic-Con A few months ago. However, as we get closer to the show’s season premiere, more content is becoming available. Like this new trailer released today. Check it out, then I’ll can give you some of my thoughts:
I think it looks very cool. The Flash used to be one of my favorite shows, but I felt over the last few years, it had lost its way a little bit. I think the series can only benefit from tying into Crisis on Infinite Earths. After all, Crisis was first teased in the pilot episode of The Flash and no other show in The Arrowverse has more consistently referenced the event since. Barry Allen is one of the most significant and important characters in Crisis On Infinite Earths, so I think this is the perfect opportunity for the show to get back to the greatness it once had. It should also be mentioned that unlike other seasons, season six will have two big bags.
One for the first half of the season, the character Bloodwork played by Sendhil Ramamurthy (Heroes) and an unknown villain for the second half of the Season 6 in 2020. Considering that both The Thinker in Season 4 and Cicada in Season 5 were both pretty lackluster villains, I’m on board with any kind of new strategy to inject some life into the threats that Team Flash faces.
Legends of Tomorrow Season Premiere 1/21/20/Crisis On Infinite Earths begin 12/8/19:
Easily one of the coolest pieces of news concerning a member of the Legends Of Tomorrow cast, is the first photo of Brandon Routh (Ray Palmer AKA The Atom on Legends) as Kingdom Comic Superman! We already new Routh would be returning to the role that made him famous, just not quite the EXACT same Superman, but actually seeing him in the Kingdom Come Superman uniform is really exciting!
Speaking of The Atom, a new bit of casting news broke today, reports surfaced that actor Osric Chau, Best known for playing Kevin Tran on one of my all-time favorite television shows supernatural, will be playing DC character Ryan Choi in the upcoming Crisis Crossover. According to EW.com, Ryan Choi is an Ivy Town University Physics professor with a “key” role to play in the crossover event. In the comics, the character is a protégé of Ray Palmer who takes up the mantle of The Atom alongside Ray Palmer and in his absence. This makes a lot of sense because unfortunately Brandon Routh will be leaving Legends of Tomorrow by the end of this coming season. So you can see why they would want to have a character in place to become The New Atom, if need be. Osric Chau looks great on supernatural and I’m sure he’ll fit right in with the Legends cast. Right now he’s only being reported as a recurring guest star role in the crossover. But don’t be surprised if he ends up becoming a part of The Waverider crew on Legends.
Another interesting last-minute addition to the ever growing cast of this massive and ambitious event will be Ashley Scott reprising her role as The Huntress from the short lived and god awful Birds of Prey series in the early 2000’s. Considering how many characters are involved in this project I have a feeling that appearances like this one will be closer to a cameo status then a significant role. More like just a fun wink and nod to the audience, but we’ll see.
Even though it had been heavily rumored to the point that most people considered it a foregone conclusion, last week it was confirmed, 100%, that Tom Welling would be returning to play Smallville’s Clark Kent in Crisis. A pleasant surprise is that Smallville’s Lois Lane, Erica Durance, will also be returning in the crossover. Unfortunately, Michael Rosenbaum will not be reprising his iconic role as Lex Luthor in the project. He was approached about appearing, but for his own reasons, declined to participate.
I think what’s really interesting here is that it’s very clear that Welling will be playing Smallville‘s version of Superman in the crossover. Which should be exciting to Smallville fans because despite all of the heroics we saw Clark perform across 10 years of television, we really only saw him as Superman for about 20 seconds in the series finale. It looks like his role in Crisis is a significant one, so multiple episodes of that Clark Kent in his prime as Superman will be really cool to see. It’ll be especially exciting to see Welling as Superman alongside Tyler Hoechlin‘s established and already beloved take on Superman in The Arrowverse, and Brandon Routh playing the Kingdom Come version of Superman. All three are pretty different takes on the character, so I imagine seeing 3 different Supermen in the mix will not only be thrilling, but it’s also a great way to show just how much of a threat The Anti-Monitor poses. Below I have two cool pictures, one is from the set of the currently filming Crisis on Infinite Earths and shows Tom Welling and Erica Durance reunited at The Kent Family Farm. I also have a fantastic rendition of what the Smallville Clark Kent could look like in the full superman costume, in this awesome piece of fan art. Check out both below:
Supergirl Season Premiere 10/6/2019:
Last but not least we have Supergirl. Supergirl has a tough act to follow after it’s phenomenal 4th season. I think it was probably my favorite Arrowverse show last year and that’s saying a lot. That was due in no small part to Jon Cryer’s unexpectedly spectacular performance as Lex Luthor. Luckily, he’ll be back for Crisis On Infinite Earths, so it’s pretty likely he’ll pop up in Supergirl Season 5, as well. As far as the story for Season 5, I have heard that this Season will be very much about Kara and Lena‘s relationship. That will be the main focus of the season. Will they repair their friendship? Or are they doomed to repeat the same pattern that Superman and Lex fell into? Along with the looming threat of Crisis On Infinite Earths, when it comes to villains this season, the secret society Leviathan will be making their presence known after their introduction in the Season 4 finale. J’onn J’onzz’s evil brother, Ma’alefa’ak. so it will be interesting to see how the show in ports that relatively new concepts from the comics. Another really interesting development on the show this season, is Supergirl will be introducing Atlanteans, like Aquaman Atlantean’s! It’s pretty fucking cool. With superman and Batman pretty soon officially becoming part of the hour of hers maybe we’ll get to see the arrow verse version of Aquaman?. This is not the first time Aquaman has been referenced, in fact there have been multiple references to The King of The Seven Seas in The Flash. Anyway you can check out the latest trailer below. And by the way? I ❤️her new costume :
Crisis on Infinite Earths will kick off on December 8 in Supergirl. Part 2 will hit Batwoman on December 9, before The Flash takes part 3 on December 10. Then on January 14, 2020, Arrow and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow will wrap up the crossover
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 shown to us by our fans, so thanks again!
I think it’s fair to say that the majority of people out there don’t have the DC Universe streaming service yet. I think the majority of subscribers are Superfans like myself. I don’t know what kind of numbers DC Universe is pulling down, but I think eventually Warner Bros., the parent company that owns DC Universe, will bundle the streaming services with others that Warner Bros. are developing. Just like some of their competition is doing. When Disney+ launches in November, subscribers will be able to purchase a bundle deal that will include Disney+, Hulu, and an ESPN streaming service of some kind. I’ve read reports that indicate the Disney+ bundle is going to be available for around $12 or $13 a month, which is a fucking steal in my opinion. I only mention this because I think that’s what will probably happen with DC Universe eventually.
Anyway, back to TITANS. Even though the show premiered on DC Universe, TITANS Season 1 was available on Netflix for a while, I’m not sure if it still is (I just checked, it isn’t). It’s also available on Blu-ray and digitally through iTunes. It takes a few episodes to get going, but once the show found it’s footing, I thought it was a really strong first season. TITANS has some very interesting characters, some stand out action sequences, and it’s actually fairly unique. Even among the over crowded market of superhero TV shows, TITANS managed to stand out . In fact, every series that DC Universe has produced has been more or less excellent across-the-board: Titans, Young Justice: Outsiders, Doom Patrol, and Swamp Thing are all fantastic shows.
Season 2 looks like it’s really upping the ante, the list of new characters include: Superboy, Krypto, Rose Wilson AKA Ravager, Aqualad, and Deathstroke, to name a few. However, the character I’m most excited to see is another new addition to Season 2, Bruce Wayne. Considering how large Bruce’s shady loomed in Dicks life and the series as a whole, he really felt like a character on the show despite not actually being featured in the first season (with the exception of dream sequences or partial views here and there). It will be great to finally see him in the flesh as a REAL character on the show this time. Also, I love the show’s excellent casting for Bruce Wayne, Ian Glenn a.k.a. Ser Jorrah Mormont himself from a Game of Thrones. I think that’s perfect casting for a older Bruce Wayne/Batman.
This almost seems like a almost The Dark Knight Returns era Bruce Wayne. Anyone who watched Game of Thrones knows that Ian Glenn is more than physically up to the challenge of playing Batman. I’ve heard the producer say that the focus won’t be as much on Batman, but Bruce Wayne instead. I think that’s a smart way for the show to have his cake and eat it too. Batman is such a huge figure, by not having him suit up he won’t overshadow the other heroes, but we still get to see and explore Bruce Wayne as a character. I can’t wait to see how he and Dick interact after all of the baggage that was built up between the two of them in the first season. The relationship between Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne is one of the most interesting dynamics in comic books, finally seeing this pairing in live action for the first time (Batman Forever and Batman & Robin don’t count) is super exciting. You can check out the trailer for TITANS Season 2 below:
This week also saw the release of the final trailer for JOKER from director Todd Phillips, with Joaquin Phoenix playing the titular Clown Prince Of Crime. At World’s Best Media, I’ve dedicated little to no coverage to this movie. I don’t think I’d be exaggerating to say that I’m fundamental against the very concept of this movie’s existence.
The buzz surrounding JOKER has been great, Joaquin Phoenix looks like he’s going to deliver a fantastic performance, and the trailers have been solid as hell, but that’s not really the point. It’s essentially a Joker origin story and, for me at least, there in lies the problem. Don’t get me wrong, there’ve been fantastic Joker stories that teased possible origins for the character. The Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland, Batman: Endgame by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm, all of these classics stories present a possible origin for The Joker, but none of them present the origin as definitive. The stories never give you the whole picture of who this guy really is, why he does what he does, and is the information we just learned about him even real? The stories always leaves a question mark at the end, things are left ambiguous. However, this new film is just a straight up origin. This is the story of how one man, Arthur Fleck, goes from A to B to C and becomes The Joker.
If there is one character in all of fiction that will only be hurt by definitive origin story it’s, The Joker. I always say the joker is to the normal people of Gotham white Batman is to the criminals. This almost supernatural force who seems to be everywhere at once and 10 steps ahead of every move you can make, The Boogeyman. Chaos and Madness incarnate. Which is why he such a compelling antagonist for a Batman, because a lot of what I just said about The Joker could be said about Batman. When you have a character as iconic as The Joker, the reveal that the story could possibly give you, can never live up to what you have built up in your head. Your imagination fills in the blanks in a way the storytellers never can.
Sure, I get JOKER is it’s own standalone movie, it’s not affecting anything other DC films, TV shows, or comics. But fictional characters have pop culture capital and a high-profile project like this can increase or decrease that capital. That’s just another way of saying, if a Joker origin movie sucks, it hurts this fantastic character outside of this movie. The Joker is bigger than one film. You could make an argument that the character of The Joker is almost as important as Batman himself. When a character is as compelling, beloved, and interesting as The Joker, you don’t want to see them fuck it up. Like I said before, I’ve heard nothing but positive things about this film and Joaquin phoenix looks like he’s putting on a hell of a performance. Still, Despite everything the movie has going for it, I’m just not that into this kind of Joker film. I’ll probably see Joker when it comes out. Then I can report back if I was right, or I was wrong and I need to eat a little crow, or things fell somewhere in the middle. Who knows? We’ll find out in a little over a month. Anyway check out the trailer below …
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 the show. We really appreciate the loyalty shown to us by World’s Best Media fans, so thanks again!
On this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, I’m here to give you everything you need to know about The CW’s upcoming annual EPIC DC Superhero Crossover Event… CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS! All of The CW’s DC shows, Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, and Batwoman, along with an all star cast of characters from throughout the DC Multiverse, are crossing over for their most ambitious event yet: an adaptation of the classic DC maxiseries, Crisis On Infinite Earths! “Worlds will live, worlds will die and nothing will ever be the same!” As the old saying goes. On this week’s show I go over when you can watch the event, what you need to know before watching, all of the amazing guest stars and characters scheduled to appear, and what The Arrowverse might look like when the dust settles. This a MUST LISTEN for fans of ANY of The CW DC superhero shows and DC fans in general.
When Crisis On Infinite Earths hit stand.30 years ago, it set the standard for massive, comic book superhero, crossover events. I can say without hyperbole, that Crisis makes The Infinity Gauntlet seem like a minor skirmish by comparison and that’s not a knock at the The Infinity Gaunlet. Which is a great story in it’s own right that was largely the inspiration for The MCU’s The Infinity Saga. While TheInfinity Gauntlet was about saving The Universe, Crisis is about saving The ENTIRE Multiverse. Countless realities face total annihilation at the hands of a being of immeasurable power. More of a cosmic force of nature than a being with any kind of human motivation. He is know throughout The Multiverse by many names: The Anti-God, The Unmaker, he is… The Anti-Monitor.
We’re getting a lot of cool cameos and characters new and old in this Crossover. So after you listen to the episode (or before, it’s a free country… for now), come and check out some spectacular art work showcasing the characters appearing in Crisis. Some of the images are actually concept art from the incredibly talented design teams that work on these shows and some are fantastic pieces of fan art from some of the best online artists from around the world, depicting what these characters will most likely look like in the Crossover. The great artists create these images based on character descriptions from people who work on the shows, what the actors playing the characters look like, and their most iconic looks from the comics. You can find all of the concept art on this page, below the links to this episode of The World’s Best Podcast!
Kevin Conroy as Batman Beyond era Bruce Wayne (Plus Additional Batman Beyond Images)-
With Kevin Conroy coming on to play Batman in Crisis there’s rumors that Mark Hamill, who iconically played The Joker in Batman: The Animated Series, Justice League, and Batman Beyond will be returning to plan the character in live action for Crisis. Hamill has already made multiple appearances in The Arrowverse as The Trickster on The Flash. Here’s some concept art of Hamill as The Joker and it’s pretty fucking creepy:
Thanks for listening! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting the show. We really appreciate the loyalty shown to us by World’s Best Media fans, so thanks again!
Tonight, Part 1 of the 3-part DC superhero crossover event Elseworlds aired on The CW. As I’ve often said, these annual crossovers are always a delight for me to watch. They’re always wildly entertaining and they seem to get more ambitious year after year. After watching the first episode of Elseworlds, I came away from the episode thinking of one word: Fun. This episode was fun as all hell.
All of the Arrowverse crossovers have been really fun, but compared to something like last year’s epic CrisisonEarth–X, Elseworlds feels more exuberant and joyful. Don’t get me wrong, CrisisonEarth–X was an absolute blast. However, watching Elseworlds, I don’t think I’ve ever seen this cast looking like they’re having more fun and It’s easy to see why.
Barry and Oliver are very different characters and the episode gets a lot of entertainment mileage and comedy out of them switching lives and abilities. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed more watching an episode of an Arrowverse show. It’s really funny seeing Oliver’s bewilderment at suddenly waking up with superspeed and the world believing that he is Barry Allen. While Oliver immediately feels out of his element, Barry seems to be getting much more of a kick out of suddenly having all of Green Arrow’s skills and fighting ability.
For the purposes of this review, I’m not really going to touch on the overarching threat and the circumstances that altered reality. This episode focuses more on the “What do we do now?” than “How did this happen?”. Though we briefly see how this was set in motion, it’s a very minor part of the episode. I’m sure they’ll be covering much more of that territory in the next 2 installments.
I only have one real criticism of the episode. Considering all of the insane things that Team Flash have seen and been through over the years, I found their reluctance to believe that Barry and Oliver had somehow switched powers and identities a little odd and out of character for the team. It really only exists in the story to give Barry and Oliver an excuse to go to Supergirl’s Earth and seek out Kara’s help. They figure that if something is wrong with their reality, another universe like Supergirl’s may not be affected. Of course they’re right and Supergirl recognizes them for who they are right away.
To my utter delight, Kara just so happens to be visiting her cousin, Clark Kent and his wife Lois Lane, on The Kent Family Farm when Barry and Oliver pop up in her universe. In a nice Easter Egg that will make many long time superhero TV show fans happy, The Kent Farm where they filmed this episode is the same Kent Farm that was used on the TV series Smallville. When we see the farm for the first time “Save Me” by Remy Zero, the them song to Smallville, kicks in and I’ll admit that had me grinning ear to ear. It was a hot mess at times, but I’ll always have a soft spot for Smallville.
As a long time DC Comics fan, it was so much fun seeing Barry, Oliver, and Kara interacting with Clark Kent and Lois Lane on The Kent Family Farm. In what I think was my favorite moment of the episode, as soon as Oliver meets Clark, he immediately starts puffing up his chest and Barry instantly calls him out on it. It’s great.
Though we’ve seen relatively little of him over the last few years, Tyler Hoechlin is probably my favorite the live action Superman right now. Anytime he shows up in the Arrowverse is cause for celebration and his inclusion here does not disappoint. While it seems like he may be out of the picture at the end of the episode, I know for a fact we’ll be seeing him again throughout the crossover. I was equally impressed with Elizabeth Tulloch as Lois Lane. In what little screen time she has, she instantly embodies Lois Lane. She’s tough, funny, smart, and likable. As much as I like Amy Adams’ Lois Lane, Tulloch seemed really dialed in to the character and I can’t wait to see more of her as the crossover progresses.
Another very pleasant surprise was the inclusion of an iconic DC villain that’s the perfect enemy to have a Superman, Supergirl, The Flash, and Green Arrow go up against. Apparently in this new altered reality, Professor Ivo, the psychopathic scientist responsible for torturing Oliver and his fellow castaways on Lian Yu, killing Shado, and indirectly creating Deathstroke in Arrow Season 2, somehow got off the island alive. He opened his own lab in Central City and created the iconic, ultra powerful android A.M.A.Z.O. using advanced robotics, computer programming, and the Mirakuru super soldier serum that was such an intricate plot point in Arrow Season 2. A.M.A.Z.O. has the ability to immediately replicate the powers of any meta-human it comes into contact with. In the comics, it’s so powerful that even the Justice League have a difficult time handling this thing. So this was the perfect bad guy for the heroes to go up against in the climax of the episode.
Elseworlds only has three episodes, unlike last year which had four episodes and a much bigger cast. Legends of Tomorrow isn’t officially part of the crossover this year (part of me thinks that’s a shame because I would have loved seeing someone like John Constantine interact with the characters featured in Elseworlds ). This year has a much tighter focus so far on Barry, Oliver, and Kara. As a result more money went into these 3 episodes and it really shows on screen. More money means better special effects. You can really see how well that money was spent because A.M.A.Z.O. looks incredible and his final fight with our heroes is really, really fucking cool. The Arrowverse in general and The Flash In particular, has always had excellent special effects considering they’re on The CW. Which makes the fight with A.M.A.Z.O. all the more impressive.
Last year the 4-part CrisisonEarth–X aired over two night, with each night featuring two episodes of the crossover. This year we’re getting 3 episodes spread out over 3 nights. So it definitely felt like the whole thing was over way too fast. Which is really a testament to how well Part 1 of Elseworlds was executed, because it leaves the audience wanting to see the next installment immediately. I know I certainly did.
Part 1 leaves you with one hell of a set up for Part 2. The episode wraps up with our heroes heading off to the legendary Gotham City in search for answers. We catch a glimpse of Wayne Tower and a quick glance at Batwoman looking out over the Gotham City skyline. After seeing how good this episode was and how so many amazing characters and pieces of DC lore show up, the promise of seeing iconic places like Arkham Asylum and Gotham City leaves me incredibly excited for the next installment of Elseworlds. I don’t want to speak too soon, but at the rate Elseworlds is going it’s shaping up to possibly be the best Arrowverse crossover yet.
We’re taking a quick detour from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Month to give you folks an update on the annual CW Superhero Crossover, Elseworlds, starting on December 9th. I fucking LOVE these DC TV Crossover Events. They seem to get better each year and up the ante on the scope and ambition. Last year’s event, Crisis on Earth-X was basically a Justice League movie that was WAY fucking better than the actual Justice League movie. With the premiere of Elseworlds fast approaching, The CW and DC have released some really cool promo art and our first teasers for the event.
This comic book cover style poster is dynamite. I eat shit like this up! (yes, I eat shit. Beat you to it!)
I really like this photo from EW.com, that shows Clark Kent and Lois Lane (who’s making her Arrowverse debut in this crossover) at the Kent Family Farm. It’s actually the same farm they used in Smallville, which is a fun reference that’s very in keeping with the Elseworlds concept. Considering TheFlash from the early 90’s John Wesley Shipp (AKA Barry’s Dad/Jay Garrick) short lived TV series is making an appearance, I wonder if they’ll acknowledge Smallville as an alternate reality in their Multiverse.
Also from EW.com, we get this look at Batwoman in action with the classic grapple gun used by every member of “The Bat-Family”. According to EW.com, Batwoman makes her big debut in an action sequence taking place in Gotham City’s iconic Arkham Asylum. I really hope they nail Batwoman on this one (Get your heads out of the gutter!). She’s a fantastic character with huge potential if she’s handled well in her live action debut. I think Ruby Rose was perfect casting for this role and she seems to be really honored to be playing this character.
Finally, they’ve released these three brief teasers, one for each of the Arrowverse’s Trinity of major heroes: Green Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl. In the comics Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman are often referred to as “The Trinity” of major superheroes in the DCU. According to the showrunners, this crossover will thematically focus on Oliver, Barry, and Kara as “The Trinity” of the Arrowverse. UPDATE:Hey guys, I wanted add in this very cool promo that gives us our first look at Batwoman in action and Gotham City. It also touches on Batman in a big way, which is pretty cool. Check it out below.
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Today we got our first look at Ruby Rose (John Wick 2) as Batwoman, debuting in December on The CW’s Annual Arrowverse Superhero Crossover, with her own series planned for after her debut. A few days ago we also got a look at Lobo (played by Emmett J. Scanlan who also played Jim Corrigan on Constantine) from the upcoming second season of SyFy’s Krypton! It’s pretty comic accurate version of the intergalactic bounty hunter and Krypton was surprisingly fun. Offer more of an alternate timeline than a predicable prequel that included Brainiac, General Zod, and Doomsday in Season 1!