Jokershorts — the pop culture round-up for 22 June 2017

Batman returns at 25 —

Our round-up of the best, boldest and latest bits and bobs from pop-culture EVERY OTHER WEEK! Also available as a newsletter — sign up here!

Sign up at to have this delivered straight to your inbox at

What’s caught the blog with long-reads, cartoons and a smirk’s eye over the past half-month?

This Jokershorts: A League forms while a Black Panther gets his claws out, the Discovery takes shape and shows off her captain, ID properties roar back, Batman gets embarrassed by birthdays while we lose a much-loved Caped Crusader, the Master joins the war, a new Prince of Darkness appears, Wonder Woman soars, the Flash stumbles, Supergirl gets some new boots and… Winter really is coming.


The Discovery nears: Lift off. Breaking the Netflix model y’all — Discovery, a series delayed and rooted, mildly worryingly, in apparent sublime quality, will be arriving worldwide on 25 September.

Tease are the voyages: There’s still room for some teasing in the franchise. Star Trek Destination gave it a good run before announcing it will be returning to Birmingham again this October. The legendary Nick Meyer suggests some more plans may be afoot…

Lorca’n about (JAN THIJS/CBS)

And then there’s this brand spanking new pic of our Captain Lorca. Better than when Jason Isaacs so delicately put it on Twitter…

Change, my dear: It’s not new for the shadow of closure to hang over Doctor Who, but hey, are they piling it on this year. Three episodes to the end of Capaldi’s Doctor and Moffat’s lead writing. But in-between, we also lose the Cardiff Experience:

And death means regeneration: Remember, Chris-mas is coming…

The horror, the horror: And what comes after Who?

Gatiss keeper: At least we know more what to expect this time — and no, not overly-tangled, derivative, hubristic James Bond-clones as Doctor Who Series Six or Sherlock Series Four:

Calling Dr Manhattan: Who’ll watch the Watchmen!!?? Few can see how the finite, brilliant story can stretch to a series. But despite some writing mi-steps (Prometheus?) Lindelof has helped sculpt the marvellous The Leftovers. Could an anthology series through time and dystopia be the solution? HBO will be taking on Rorschach’s diary…

Bat to the franchise: It’s been a big week for Batman film nostalgia as Tim Burton’s Batman Returns turned 25. An awkward, brilliant, introverted, claustrophobic masterpiece that has a lot to answer for…

What could have been:

Here’s the Jokerside view on not only one of the greatest Bat films, but a firm festive favourite:

And awakening bat memories from the end of that journey, perhaps Warner Bros can almost raise a smirk these days. It’s also Batman and Robin’s 20th birthday after all…

A recent focus has fallen on Gal Gadot’s miserly remuneration — understandable considering her spectacular performance in one of the films of the year (See our short revew in the last Jokershorts) Worth noting Gal had the same deal as Chris Evans in The First Avenger, and her position is now one of the strongest in the Warners lot. In fact she glows promoting the film anywhere:

The power of her performance is bringing out the sensationalist, including Wired’s sub-editors (There’s a Marston movie coming out of course…):

Digging up the past #1: Justice League is a movable feast with Wonder Woman’s success no doubt posing its own set of {luxurious) challenges for that imminent arrival. It’s an unfortunate time for new Justice League head Joss Whedon to have his original Wonder Woman script from a decade ago come under scrutiny. Ouch:

Of the unrelated shuffling in the ranks of the Leaguers, one request here: Epic score please…

The League finally assemble

Oh, and guess who’s back in the shiny new JL poster? (yeah guessing games are our Kryptonite too…). Seems likely that the forthcoming Comic Con trailer, the third, will finally bring us some Super-vibes… really, don’t they look just grand?

Landis vs the MCU! While Marvel readies Spiderman and Thor for new outings, they’ve found a super-foe in John Landis:

Close, but no venom: Maybe someone’s listening, but who knows if it’s marvel or Sony?

Phoenix rising: Fox weren’t to be outdone with a slew of commitments to their newly revitalised franchise. And it’s Simon Kinberg’s big moment (Fantastic Four, you are forgotten)…

Solo shock #1! Meanwhile, Disney know how to name a solo movie, apparently:

Solo shock #2! But in the most eye-popping developments of the day… The Duo depart Solo

Not cobblers this time: As career takes off, one ends. The real shame is that no one believes him…

In a mirror darkly: The Black Mirror franchise is growing:

Brave runners: But if you’re Channel 4, who needs Black Mirror?

Attempt on paradise: Some new news — and, da what now? Try and imagine this the… Roll it back to Lucifer?

More Drokk: More small screen oddness as 2000Ad stands it’s best chance of making it to live action. Hmm. Okay…

Watch out vampires: In comics, one of Brian Clemen’s great and failed creations get’s a four-colour rebirth:

Big Trouble on page… Jack’s back, and so’s John!

Conan Wonder: The marvellous Gail Simone is back in with the supers…

Grab your Hornpipe: BBC’s World Music Day (on 15 June, oddly or not, a week before World Music Day) brought us this little medley on 21 June:

What is war good for? On the airwaves, Big Finish keep finding gold in their ever expansive Time War series… Some loose links suggest that their Gallifrey series is next:

Delaying the twist: Anthology series are suffering some setbacks as Tales from the Crypt gets buried… For a short while.

Game of Thrones. Winter arrived on the longest day of the year…

Trailers of Power!

Them White Walkers: On the first day of summer HBO was intent on telling us that winter is coming. This is all getting very real now… Although the trailers are satisfyingly giving very little away except there may just be some arrows and swords.

Supergirl. Super boots borrowing.

Them boots: Well, Supergirl got it’s knowing DCness on, a definite honorary mention for the Supergirl / Wonder Woman trail. For our view on the quite extraordinary second series of Supergirl, tune in next time.

Black panther. Mixing the MCU up. We’re excited.

Them claws: Back to Marvel for Black Panther — a lovely little teaser that quite rightly promises something different for the MCU, and starts with a classic Brit(ish) interrogation. Oh it’s all gone Lord of the Rings

Wolfenstein‘s parallel dimension

Jokershorts resumed:

Alternate takes: So close to being in a Trailers of Power! Another return to Castle Wolfenstein that’s got a lot of people very excited!

Doom‘s alternative dimension

Scarier hell: And on that note — Doom VFR:

But it really is all about Collosi at the moment — as the shadows loom again…

Here’s why it was all so good 12 years ago:

Bustin’ never dies: Back to Hollywood, after Dan’s input, an update last time round. Looks like Sony may be ready to sacrifice New York…

Digging up the past #2: Oh, this is just unfair. You don’t see Wonder Woman getting the Greek mythology experts in to do a number, do you?

Franchise relics: Because, this is the real artifact of the Dark Universe’s ropey beginnings…

Arrested: Always the TV-maid, never the Film-bride? Luthor’s the British Arrested Development, just with less green screen. You heard that here first.

Returning phantasms: Back to the Batman for a final film resurgence. The flavour for Batmen past is really there…


Adam West. Oh, what a legend. Game for anything, rather used and abused in a version of a character that many at DC Comics have done their utmost to banish for five decades. Still, his legacy endures. More quoted than any other small of big screen Batman, probably only rivalled in Bat fan’s affections by Kevin Conroy — and he’s generally been, literally, two dimensional. West’s durability has been proven again and again. Accusations of campery soon gave way to affection. From the late 1980s, his Batman became the benchmark to measure Big screen Batmen, and superheroes in general, against. Michael Keaton’s was too sadistic, George Clooney’s missed the comic heart, Christian Bale’s too serious. Wests name was up there with Christopher Reeve as defining the innate goodness and nobility that should be at the heart of every superhero adaptation, not least from Detective Comics. And like Reeve, West’s name was synonymous with his own superhero up to his death.

Gail Simone’s eloquent tribute to Adam West

As the movie that fell between the TV’ show’s spectacularly well received first and second season turned 50 last year, West returned for an animated film. It was the year that DC had come full circle, and concluded a two year run of Batman 1966 comics. In recent days, bat signals have shone in LA, it’s been confirmed that West had one final Batman performance in him, and his loss was even enough to temporarily return recently axed DC comedy Powerless to public consciouness.

Here’s our tribute to the original ’66 Batman Movie from last year.

* Say what? Spoilers here on in *

Been Watching

The Flash Season 3: The end of a long journey. There’s no doubt that the Flash’s third year was its least satisfying. Although it was still packed with ambition and range, the opposition posed by yet another, ever-more enhanced speedster in the villain slot left it an uphill struggle. As welcome as the Speed Force and the growing family of speedsters are (Thawne’s Reverse Flash was a delight in the early episodes and then over on Legends of Tomorrow), Flash slightly fumbled its well earned rep as one of the best interpretations of a DC line.

Speedster versus speed god in Flash’s third year

Of course, there were a great many highlights, from suitably absurd the visit to Gorilla City to the reveal of more classic villains (although Mirror Master not being a Glasgae joker — what were they thinking?), and another horror legend, Tobin Bell, taking on voice duties of the self-proclaimed speed god nemesis.

Some new additions, particularly Tom Felton’s Julian Albert, were marvelous and the show proved once again that it wasn’t afraid to move characters on — even if the result was patchy. If a show like The Flash can’t move quickly, what can? While the resolution to the Killer Frost’s storyline was unexpected, her emergence and other villainous twists were unfortunately all-too predictable this time round. With the epic four series crossover out the way, the series’ second half determinedly resolved to capture the mystery of the first series as it propelled to the inescapable death of Iris West.

But that determination and the year’s resolution came with a greater loss. While, there’s a great deal to enjoy in the Flash, right at the top of the pile is the ever-superb Tom Cavanagh. His work on the show, playing multiple variations of Harrison Wells, is a masterclass. If he was superb as the first season’s villain or the irritable and frosty Earth 2 version in the second, he reached a peak with the useless, optimistic, huge-hearted HR in the third year. Laugh out loud funny almost every week, he’s enough to add a star to any review. GIVE THE MAN AN EMMY!

But the Flashpoint plot that promised so much at the close of the second year managed to both fizzle quickly and leave the show in an artificially dark and over-complicated place for most of its run. Disappointingly, the big winners were plot holes and at the heart of it all an intrinsic problem. In a world of time remnants, nobly propped by Thawne’s work in Legends of Tomorrow, there’s little surprise in the Flash finally becoming a villain, But it never totally convinced that our Barry Allen was less than the the hero we all knew and loved, the cause of agony to everyone around him with each successive attempt to change the past or peer to the future, and not the gleaming heart of the show.

The Flash needs to find its way back to its roots from the series’ rather odd and dour finale. Barry Allen needs to become a hero once again, especially as next time he appears he’ll have a direct, multiverse counterpart on the big screen.

Time for a intra-series reboot, there’s plenty of juice left in The Flash yet.

In-depth: Doctor Who Series 10 reviews

Of course Doctor Who’s on the agenda. We’re hosting a review of every episode of Series 10 on Medium. The reviews continue, and the summary of the tent-pole mid-season Monk Trilogy isn’t pretty in light of the final episode.

While we ready ourselves for the finale, and the reappearance of the Mondasian Cybermen, take a trip with us back to The Tenth Planet:

That’s been our rolling half month… Fill the gap until your next fix with just about 200 long-reads, cartoons and features running the gamut of Pop-Culture at See you in two! :)

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Matt Goddard’s story.