A Week on the Jokerside — 4 April 2017

Hulk and Cap see off Marvel Phase 2 as the MCU heads for the stars, 2015

Our regular round-up of the best, boldest and latest bits and bobs from pop-culture has arrived. What’s caught the blog with long-reads, cartoons and a smirk’s eye over the past week?

Well, this time:

American Gods draw nearer, Star Wars messes with the Walkers, Lara Croft gets a new life, True Detective may be back on track, Doctor Who wavers, Marvel stumbles and the DCEU manages to surprise again as Joss Whedon finds a bat-glove that fits.


Kicking off with some of the best trailers… It turns out that Spidey was just conserving his energy last week…

Crashing the web: Astonishingly, we heard a fair few rumbles in the Marvel-verse over Homecoming’s emergence. We think it’s a promising effort, suggesting more depth than other ‘origin’ Marvel films. that said, this Spidey has even more pressure on him than Andrew Garfield’s or Tobey Maguire’s, although Tom Holland looks made for the part. Our only consternation, pending the next trailer, is that they really shouldn’t have pitched Spidey against Falcon in Civil War if that feathery foe Vulture was going to get an industrial upgrade. The trailer was the start of a rather difficult week for the House of Mouse as we’ll find out later…

A year of Fab blockbusters: Otherwise there was Ghost Story and It making a stab… And special mention for Luc Besson’s barking new effort’s second trailer — boldly maintaining the trend set by its first trailer and subsequently Justice League with a burning, mesmeric burst of Abbey Road Beatles. Because Valerian, Because

We’ll probably get onto the second The Mummy trailer next week…

Healing the physician: But for now, our trailer of the week has to go to the final trailer for Doctor Who Series 10. Steven Moffat’s final series is less than two weeks away (Ed — you can tell from Jokerside’s Doctor countdown every Saturday), and a series has rarely looked as intriguing, or frankly spectacular. The vistas, the concept, the new companion and oddly constant mid-shots of characters… The only worry is another regeneration that can’t possibly be (can it?) and those oddly synchronous Cybermen. Creepy yes, but not quite The Tenth Planet we’re looking for…

Oh there it is: the irony that the show with more in-built change than any other is so constantly hamstrung by it? It’s like a TARDIS allergic to Artron energy…

Throwing stones: And talking of leaving… OH. Way to leave.

Merlin’s magical odds: And it’s that kind of attitude that can get you into trouble. Especially with this shock result:

The thing with Merlin was, it was consistently brilliant. How we miss it — here’s our tribute at the last:

Greybeards disunite: While we’re on Wizards, here’s a mild war. We think it all worked out for the best:

Back in the game — welcome to the jungle: Elsewhere, we’re pretty sure this won’t be making trailer of the week anytime soon. But for us, kevin hart still steals that first promo shot.

Waxing time: Here’s a spoilerish and highly confusing behind-the-scenes chat on the Westworld finale. Get used to this — there’s a long time until that second series…

Three Detective: One of the best received dramas of modern-times (yes, we mean the first series) could be heading back for a third run. Aside form the excellent dialogue, casting and pacing of that first series, it was buoyed by huge homages to classic genre works, including Alan Moore. If any third series could recapture that, it’d be grand. But could it also be heading back in time..?

Face the Dungeon: A late contender for Poster of the week is The London Dugeon’s eye-catching promo for its Jekyll and Hyde. this Spring event is designed to bring out everyone’s inner Jekyll and Hyde and is spreading the horror across the London Underground. Intriguingly the inspiration takes a visual queue from the Two Face of DC Comics, who of course took inspiration from R.L. Stevenson’s original creation.

Posing Gods: But the winner, in sheer quality matched by quantity has to be American Gods with character posters including these two reprobates…

After seeing those, we barely had enough breath left to mutter, “Where’s Gillian Anderson’s Media?” But of course, they weren’t done. Their twist on classic American artworks also surfaced — lovely stuff:

Root Groot: Back to Marvel and there was wholly unnecessary news from the world of marvel’s next anticipated instalment: GROOT!

Hanging on diversity: On the page, Marvel may be dominating the silver screen, but DC’s Rebirth has seen them grab the advantage in comic sales. Could it really be the quest for diversity that’s cost them? It’ was always going to be a controversial finger pointing, and predictably earned a quick mass retort with other failings of the current approach. Having stuck our head into some Marvel Now recently, and that’s away from their onslaught of multi-comic events, can’t say our imagination was sparked like it used to be…

RT Time Capsule: Less forgetful was the Radio Times, who had some special news:

Away from Hoth: Fresh from last week’s revelation that Star Wars Land will have full size Walkers, a rumour that the imminent Episode VIII will change the game. I mean, chicken walkers, dog walkers, gorilla walkers?

Lara potential: Sometimes heroines come back. And the new Lara Croft is looking inevitably well cast. It’s an intriguing reboot, picking up its queue from the 2013 game reboot that managed to shift 8.5 million units on its way to a franchise record . Arrow and Iron Fist better watch out, there’s a new pretender on the island.

They mostly come out at night: Alicia Vikander’s taken a shine to action roles, and will be reunited with Armie Hammer (after last year’s cruelly over-looked The Man from U.N.C.L.E) as Ben Wheatley goes up a budget notch. More on Mr Wheatley below…

Star Trek cast at last: Over in the Trek-o-sphere, there’s well publicised worst-kept secret has just been confirmed. we have our Number One:

From ocean to swamp: Great news for scriptwriters who really dig being Under the Sea.

Harley’s back: Astonishingly, The Batman’s simpering hell hasn’t made the cut this week. however, the bat family still manage to steal the show. The next instalment of the popular DC animated movie series is jumping on the Harley bandwagon:

All eyes on Batgirl: But most exciting of all was news that harley was due to be joined by another strong woman of Gotham. Batgirl is on, and they’ve gone and nabbed Joss Whedon to helm it. A strong move, though not one without critics. While some thought pulling the strings of one of the secondary inhabitants of Gotham was a distracting step for the Hulk-saviour, Batgirl seems the perfect fit to us. Smaller, leaner, more chance to let rip into the extraordinary and return to just dome of his many heydays with a strong female character. It made The Guardian in two significant ways. First, in a bit of breaking news shock:

And then exploring the potential DC have to do something very special (or expected) for the genre:

Just, y’know, nobody think about this:

Been Playing

Lego Dimensions: It’s been a while, but finally, thanks to a highly enthusiastic godson I got stuck into Lego Dimensions over the weekend. 1980s New York to be specific as I barely assisted taking down Zool. As a long-time subscriber to Tell Tales’ Lego games it’s reassuring that the format has transferred to the Dimensions open world format, across multiple, so confidently. Next time, it’s got to be Doctor Who (a pleasure put off…). My only reservation so far—one that can’t be lost on those who remember the ‘80s brands that are almost ridiculously loading up Dimensions (A-team, Knight Rider, Ghostbusters, E.T…). As the first point of exposure to many kids, can the new breath of life afforded by the digital age, keep those original formats pure and distinct for the new generation?

Doctor Who Legacy: After last week’s mention, completed the story mode of Doctor Who Legacy, so far… With the promise of more to come, and all too abruptly closing the fourth chapter, it’s one of those rarest of things, a Doctor Who spin-off with some longevity (franticaly touches all manner of wooden monsters to make sure no fate’s been tempted). Anyone remember Doctor Who Worlds in Time?

Please can everybody forget Doctor Who Return to Earth — I wish I could forget being forced to leave the Doctor trapped in a stairwell thanks to the horrifically errant camera. Anyway, forget that — let’s just get more of the War Doctor chatting up River Song by the swimming pool…

Been Visiting

Stuck my head into the FCD Out of the Ashes 2.0 event in Telford on Saturday. A great, compact con that did what it does very well and hopefully will continue to build. There were great contributions from Trek veterans JG Hertzler, Aron Eisenberg and Robert Picardo on fine voice. But interest was most piqued by Bruce Boxleitner and Claudia Christian. A Babylon 5 retrospective has just become a lot closer.

Been Watching

Free Fire: Caught Ben Wheatley’s latest at a Q&A preview on Friday night, hing somewhere in that there photo on the left. A vivid, fast, and pacy film, it’s not Wheatley’s best — Highrise was purposefully deeper and more mesmerising, but it’s a literal shot in the leg of actioners with a stellar cast and typically sparkling script. Wheatley’s, along with Amy Jump, are fast turning into British film greats.

Humans: And finally caught up with the series two resolution of Humans, the current great, utopian/dystopian highlight of British TV. That it took so long to catch the last two episodes of the series was down to sheer forgetfulness rather than lack of desire. Although fears that Series 2 had less steam than its predecessor as it stumbled further from intricate eccentricity and mystery to start-ups and stealth action did make it fractionally less compelling.

While Carrie-Anne Moss added an extra dash of casting class, come the end, the series suffered from a sprawling cliffhanger that meant some players who’d been rather under-served throughout the run were left wasted in a pool of blood or little more than watching a clown malfunction. That and the fact the main narrative shock came from a ‘more serious’ repeat of the first year’s were rare missteps in a finely crafted series. So, just as well..

That’s been our rolling week… Fill the gap until your next fix with just about 200 long-reads, cartoons and features running the gamut of Pop-Culture at Jokerside.com.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.