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…
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It’s been recently announced that director Todd Phillips and actor Joaquin Phoenix, may be returning for a sequel to their critical and commercial smash hit, JOKER. A lot of fans, may initially be very happy to hear this news, but today I’d like to put forth the argument that making a sequel to JOKER is a bad idea.
Throughout the making of this film, right up to press interviews before the premiere Phoenix and Phillips stuck to their guns, as they did from the very beginning. Even when the box office juggernaut opened to critical and commercial success, Phoenix and Phillips said loud and clear that this was a one off. This was meant to be a standalone story. Which is partially what made the movie so interesting. Every movie studio, especially when it comes to comic book properties, is always looking for their next franchise. So when the trailers for JOKER dropped and the movie garnered seriously positive buzz, mostly due to what looked to be an incredible performance from Joaquin Phoenix, chatter began about the possibility of a sequel. When asked if a sequel could possibly be in the cards, the answer from Joaquin Phoenix and Todd Phillips was always an unequivocal NO. That’s not how they approached this project, it was a character study with a beginning, middle, and end.
In this franchise driven environment, it’s refreshing to hear filmmakers say we’re here to make one movie and one movie alone. Especially when every film studio is trying to copy the success of Marvel and make a 20 film series. These guys came along and said, we want to do this one, fucked up little movie, on the cheap, let us do it our way and fuck off.
Clearly that strategy paid off. Though it’s by no means perfect, JOKER is one of the best films of the year. The movie coming close to $1 billion in box office revenue with such a low budget, makes it one of the most financially successful comic book films ever made. Not to mention, Joaquin Phoenix is all but a shoe in for an Oscar nomination next year. So, with the film being complete home run, one can see why Warner Bros would have serious interest in reuniting their director and star for a sequel. I’d argue the film’s success is due to audience’s looking for some diversity in their entertainment. Instead of making a sequel to a film that was designed to stand alone, get another talented filmmaker with a unique, singular vision for a different DC property, keep the budget low and let them have at it. Evolution is the only way that superhero films will survive. Change or die.
I would also argue I’m not sure where the sequel to JOKER would go from here. Todd Phillips has been on record saying that pitched JOKER to Joaquin Phoenix as “sneaking a gritty, art house character study through the studio system”. Phoenix’s interest was in telling a story about a man’s descent into madness, not a story about The Joker we know from the comics. In fact, Joaquin Phoenix didn’t even want Todd Phillips to have Thomas Wayne in the movie, he wanted the character to have a different name, even that was too much of a connection to the comic book for him. The connections to the greater Batman mythology in JOKER are minimal to say the least. Todd Phillips basically bullshitted Joaquin Phoenix and kept in things like the Thomas Wayne character and the murder of The Wayne’s at the end of the film.
Now this is just my opinion, but I think there are two ways to go with a sequel to JOKER. The first would be add a Batman into the mix. However, keep him at the periphery, don’t make him a main character and keep him very grounded. As grounded as they made The Joker in the first film. It would be incredibly fascinating to see how Arthur Fleck, who has now become The Joker would approach the emergence of someone like The Batman.
The problem is Joaquin Phoenix would never make a movie like that. While doing the interview rounds for JOKER, one of the reporters asked Joaquin Phoenix, how his version of The Joker would react to someone like Batman appearing in Gotham. Phoenix smiled, he seemed to genuinely like the question, and after a moment of thought he said “That’s great question. I don’t know I’ve never thought about it.”. Really?! C’mon! YOU NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT IT?! Batman is only the most important and fundamentally driving force in the life of the character you’re playing, but you’ve never thought of it, OK that makes sense (in case you can’t tell I’m oozing sarcasm and mild disgust as I write this).Batman and the Joker are one of the great yin and yang characters in all of popular culture. They are defined by one another. But hey, he never really thought about it! (….fucking dipshit...).
So if Phoenix never once gave a fuck about how his character would feel about Batman, I think it’s safe to say he would never agree to appear in a movie featuring Batman alongside his version of The Joker. Now, the second way to go for a JOKER sequel, would be to do some version of the classic Bruce Timm and Paul Dini story Mad Love about the creation of Harley Quinn and the beginning of her love story with The Joker. I’m not talking about the bullshit nonsensical version of their love story we saw in the god awful Suicide Squad film, I’m to I’m talking about the classic graphic novel Mad Love.
Dr. Harleen Quinnzel is a new psychiatrist at Arkham. She’s young, beautiful, and ambitious. She imagines getting rich writing some kind of breakthrough book about the psychology of these colorful super criminals. She manages to arrange sessions to meet with and attempt to treat The Joker, confident that she can handle him. As their sessions go on, The Joker begins to completely manipulate and control her. She falls completely under his spell, breaks him out of Arkham and becomes the now iconic Harley Quinn. A film like that could really work, but it has the same problems my first proposed scenario does. It has too many ties to the comic book source material, which Joaquin Phoenix has no interest in whatsoever.
An even bigger mistake would be for the studio to try to replicate the “JOKER Formula” of a gritty, dressed down, no frills take on another Batman villain. Admittedly, I think there are a few members of Batman’s rogues gallery that this could work with, but who the fuck really wants to see that?
Don’t get me wrong, I’d be very interested to see what a sequel to JOKER would look like. However, it’s all a question of if they even have a story to tell. If Joaquin Phoenix didn’t even want the name of Thomas Wayne to even be in the movie, he’s certainly not going to want to include some version of Batman or Harley Quinn in a potential sequel. There is a third way they could go, but I don’t think it really works either. They make a movie that’s a continuation of the first film and focus on The Joker and his continued transformation into one of the greatest super villains in all of fiction.
Here’s why that concept doesn’t quite work either. Based on where we leave The Joker at the end of this film, The only way to go for him is to fall deeper and deeper into the persona of The Joker. He would have to evolve into a more “classic”, for lack of a better word, version of The Joker. As he becomes more insane and embraces his identity as The Joker, we’d see things like his deadly Joker laughing gas, elaborate plots against the city, the personification of terror and evil. Just as I don’t think Joaquin Phoenix would ever do a movie with Batman and Harley Quinn, I also don’t think he would want to play a version of The Joker that’s more like the Jack Nicholson or Heath Ledger version. The character’s natural evolution is to get more “comic book-y” and it seems, based on multiple interviews that I’ve seen and articles that I’ve read, the aspects of JOKER that were connected to the comic book were the things he was always least interested in.
One might counter with the point, So, Paul what’s wrong with that? Couldn’t they just continue to tell the story of Arthur Fleck becoming The Joker? Well, if you continue this character’s story when you don’t want comic book elements to be a significant part of the story, the problem becomes, he’s just some lunatic guy. He’s not The Joker. If the character is nothing like The Joker, then what’s the point in doing the movie? The biggest flaw of JOKER was how derivative the story was. It was very reminiscent of other films about men being broken by society, like Falling Down, Taxi Driver, or Fight Club. What made JOKER great was Joaquin Phoenix and his mesmerizing performance as the man who would become The Joker, not necessarily the film itself. If we ever see a JOKER 2, we want to see The goddamn Joker.
If they want to move forward with a sequel, Joaquin Phoenix and Todd Phillips have to really understand what kind of movie they want to make. At the end of the day, you have an extremely successful comic book film that was designed to be a standalone story, with a star who has absolutely no interest in anything from the DC Universe becoming a part of the story he’s acting in. I think the best thing for Warner Bros and the movie going public, would be to get another visionary filmmaker, to tell another small budget story from the DC Universe. Re-create the success of JOKER by giving the audience what they really responded to in their first place, a unique movie going experience, not another financially driven sequel.
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!
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!
Gotham returns on 4/18 to wrap up the show’s final two episodes. The series finale airs April 25th on Fox. It’s become pretty clear that between the penultimate and final episodes there will be a time jump. We don’t know how long exactly, but presumably it will serve to allow Bruce to travel the world and complete his journey to becoming a Batman. I do know they’re not going to cop out like Smallville and only show him in costume for the last 10 seconds of the episode. Apparently we’re supposed to get a good amount of Batman in the final episode, which is exciting. I’ve heard that all close ups on Batman and speaking or acting will be done by a David Mazouz, who plays Bruce Wayne, but the fighting and the action sequences will be using a beefed up body double in the Batman costume. I wasn’t a fan of the show when it began, but dammit they won me over in the middle of Season 3. So, I’m anxiously awaiting and excited for these final episodes. Take a look at this really cool poster released by FOX to promote the series coming to a close.
2018 is at an end and that means it’s time for the return of one of my favorite episodes of The World’s Best Podcast: The Best & The Worst of 2018! We cover the very best and
the human diarrhea in story form, from TV, Movies Comics and I’ll kinds of other cool shit! This was by far one of my favorite podcasts that we recorded this year and I think you’re all going to love it!
I recorded this episode of The World’s Best Podcast with one my absolute favorite co-host, Ryan McDonald! Of course what look back at the best and worst of 2018 be without a very special appearance by Paul Sr! So sit back and enjoy as we deep dive into everything from Avengers: Infinity War, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, and Mission: Impossible Fallout to Daredevil, The DC Superhero Crossovers Elseworlds, and more!
*Editors Note- We did have a very minor editing glitch for about 2 seconds towards the last quarter of the episode. You could easily miss it because of who quick and minor it is, but I wanted to give you all a heads up regardless. Even with the issue it still think this is a great episode and I’m very proud of it!
This is a DON’T MISS episode! Listen here or subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher:
Tonight the final season of Gotham premiered on Fox and honestly I was very excited to watch it. It’s hard to believe that this is the same show that just a few years ago had some of the absolute worst superhero writing on TV.When Gotham began, it was more or less a shittier Smallville, with proto-versions of Batman’s rogues gallery popping up each week for Ben McKenzie’s Jim Gordon to deal with. It was a shame because the show was very well cast and all the actors were perfect in their roles. Since the very first episode, Ben McKenzie has made a great Jim Gordon (he was also the voice of Batman in the animated film adaptation of Batman: Year One). Many of the great Batman stories are also great Jim Gordon stories, so it was very important for them to get this character right.
We even got to see a part of Bruce Wayne’s life that is very rarely explored, the years immediately following the murder of his parents. David Mazouz is easily one of the most compelling live action versions of Bruce Wayne we’ve seen. He conveys Bruce’s dark, brooding intelligence without ever sounding like a whiny brat. With excellent actors memorably playing classic Batman characters like Alfred, The Penguin, The Riddler, Selina Kyle and more, the series felt like a frustrating waste of great talent. Terrible writing hamstrung what could otherwise have been an excellent take on the Batman mythos.
About halfway through Season 3, specifically the mid-season finale, something fundamentally changed about the show for the better. I think there are two big reasons for this and one of them was how the series began to use Bruce Wayne. First of all, David Mazouz had grown up enough that he was just old enough to start becoming more crucial to the action going on in the story. Pretty much from the pilot on, Bruce has slowly been learning important skills that would become crucial on his journey to becoming Batman. Season 3’s mid-season finale saw Bruce being taken hostage at a circus by Jeremiah Valeska. If you’re not familiar with Gotham, Jeremiah (played by Cameron Monaghan) is basically their version of The Joker, and a damn good one too. The episode culminated with a show down in a hall of mirrors between Bruce and Jeremiah, where Bruce comes very close to killing Jeremiah. The whole episode was pretty great and I found myself watching the rest of the season once the show returned from it’s hiatus. You started to see Bruce take a more active role as a vigilante even though he wasn’t dressed like Batman.
The second reason the series changed for the better in my opinion, was because it stopped being a bad prequel series, building up to some day in the future where we get to see Bruce put on the Batman costume in the last 5 minutes of the final episode. In the same way that Smallville was entirely built around the show teasing Clark eventually putting on the Superman costume, that we only see him wear for about three seconds in the series finale. Instead, Gotham became more of an Elseworlds Batman story. I think it’s the smartest thing the show could’ve done because they took the mythology and made it their own. They were no longer slaves to the mythology of the Batman comic books. They allowed their story to be an alternate take on the mythos. This choice gave the show its own identity. It also made it more exciting for the audiences because things weren’t necessarily going to play out exactly as they had in the comic books. As a result the back half of Season 3 was a hell of a lot of fun and frankly I love Season 4. One of the reasons I love the show Krypton on Syfy is that the show isn’t a prequel, it’s more about the DC Universe’s past being changed by time travel. Changing Krypton‘s history, changes the history of the entire Superman story and by extension the entire DC Universe.
So coming into this final season, which was going to be drawing from classic Batman stories like No Man’ Land and Zero Year (In fact this episode’s title is “Year Zero”), I was pretty psyched to see what they were going to do. I’m happy to say I wasn’t disappointed.
After the events of last season, Gotham has been completely cut off from the outside world. The bridges are down in the city and it’s been 87 days since Gotham was officially declared a No Man’s Land by the US government. Unfortunately, not everyone who wanted to had the means to leave the city before it was cut off from the rest of the world. Children, families, innocent people have been trapped in a city that has become an almost post-apocalyptic dystopia. Gotham’s been carved up into territories, with different factions controlling different neighborhoods. Penguin Control City Hall and the surrounding area. He’s also the only person in the city manufacturing bullets for guns, which are more or less currency in the city. Scarecrow, Firefly, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, and other villains have also carved up their own peace of the city.Somewhat ominously, Jerimiah Valeska hasn’t been seen since the beginning of No Man’s Land. I have a feeling he’s waiting to make his own suitably dramatic entrance.
The only part of Gotham City for the average citizen who’d been left behind is the area controlled by the GCPD. Gordon with Bullock and Lucius Fox by his side, are not only leading what’s left of the GCPD, they’re also protecting and feeding hundreds of refugees and supplies are running out. A lot of this is straight out of some iconic Batman storylines, so as a longtime Batman comic book fan this is cool to see.
Fortunately, Bruce Wayne and Alfred decided to stay behind as well and Bruce is doing everything he can to get supplies smuggled in. Not only to the people suffering in the city, but medicine for Selena Kyle as well. She was shot in the stomach at point-blank range by Jeremiah in the season finale last year and unless something drastic is done she could be paralyzed from the waist down for the rest of her life. Of course this heavily weighs on Bruce, who blames himself for her condition.
Part of the fun of this season is seeing how close Bruce is to becoming Batman, even though he isn’t ready yet. There’s an early scene where Bruce takes down a bunch of thugs trying to steal medical supplies. The power has gone out, so he uses night vision goggles courtesy of the Lucius Fox to take them out one by one, in very Batman fashion. However, just when it looks like he’s saved the day, the lights come back on, the night vision goggles blind him, and the thieves get away. This is an important scene because it shows us that while Bruce is well on his way to becoming The Batman that we know, who could’ve easily taken down a group of bad guys in a situation like this, but he’s not quite there yet. He’s still making crucial mistakes and he still has much to learn. It’s important the series didn’t just suddenly turn him into Batman over night. Bruce’s journey throughout the series has felt earned. Based on his training it makes perfect sense for him to be exactly at the level he’s at now.
The episode largely sets up the status quo for the season and puts the pieces in play for things to come. We know things are going to get a lot worse before they get better because the episode opens with a flash forward to No Mans Land Day 391 and shows Gordon, Bullock, The Penguin, The Riddler, and the rest of the GCPD fending off a full blown siege by… someone. For Penguin and The Riddler to be teaming up with Gordon, it must be a pretty serious common enemy.
All in all I really enjoyed this episode and considering that it was mostly set up, I have a feeling once the story really gets going this has the potential to be a fantastic final season for Gotham. I couldn’t help but love the scene when Gordon and Bruce were standing on the roof of the GCPD together. With Gordon shining a spotlight on the sky to give people hope, foreshadowing so many of their interactions in the years to come. As Bruce walks away at the end of the scene, Gordon ask him if he regrets staying behind in Gotham, Bruce replies “No. You?”. Jim Gordons smiles and says “Hell no”. Am I looking forward to the rest of Gotham’s Final Season? Hell, yes.
On this Episode, I bring in the old man, Paul Sr. to discuss the season finales of Arrow, The Flash, Supernatural, and Gotham. We discuss the big moments of each finale, the quality of the preceding seasons, and where the shows go from here. A few of these shows we really love and have suffered from a dip in quality lately. So we have a lot of hot takes in this one! Including some inside info on how the shows connect to some other interesting projects like the Green Arrow movie that almost was called Supermax, the upcoming annual CW superhero crossover event involving Gotham City and Batwoman, the classic Batman stories “No Man’s Land” “Zero Year”, and more! Also, take a look below the link at some cool new images put out to promote the upcoming seasons of the show’s we talk about in this episode. Enjoy! Listen here, on The Boston Podcast Network pod617.com , or subscribe on Stitcher and ITunes:
Before you get to hear Part 2 of our EPIC Quentin Tarantino discussion, here’s an new episode of “The World’s Best Podcast” where I discuss some cool news in the world of movies, comics, TV, and a BOOK REVIEW! In this episode I discuss Avengers Infinity War SMASHING box office records, this year’s Free Comic Book Day, the new season of Westworld on HBO, and much more.
I also give a review/recommendation for an excellent trilogy of books that are collectively called The Themis Files by author Sylvain Nuevel. The series consists of Sleeping Giants, Waking Gods, and the latest and final book in the trilogy Only Human. Below the podcast links I’ve posted links to each book on Amazon if you want to give them a try. But this is one of my favorite sci-fi series in recent memory, so I highly recommend these books. As always, I really appreciate you guys using the Amazon links, because going through those links helps support the website and get great content out to all of you. Listen to the podcast at the links below