Top Five Sequels… to anything

Top Five is a show where the hosts categorize, rank, compare, and stratify everything… from cars to gadgets to people and movies. From stuff that is hot, and things that are not nearly as interesting – it’s Top Five.

This week, SEQUELS! When something is popular, more is sure to come, and over the years we’ve had some great followups and some not so great additions to our beloved franchises. So what sequels made the list? Take a listen and find out!


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  1. Again, I’m making my list blindly as I haven’t listened to the show yet.

    5. Aliens. The sequel to Alien was so much faster and more exciteing than the original. Although it removed a bit of the suspence and horror, the acting really brought out a very lush script and the effects were awesome.

    4. Predator. I’m talking about the four issue mini-series Concrete Jungle from Dark Horse during the late 80’s early 90’s. It was more of a sequel to the events in the original movie than the Danny Glover sequel was and for whatever reason it still hold up well. When I think of Predator, I always think to that cover from issue 1 with the Predator on the roof top.

    3. The Empire Strikes Back. Probably a no brainer, but it’s the essential sequel and as Dante says, “Empire has the better ending! Luke gets his hand cut off, finds out Vader is his father. Han get frozen and taken away by Boba Fett. It ends on such a down note. That’s what life is, a series of down endings.”

    2. The Dark Knight. Nolan’s vision of Batman and his world have been for lack of a better word, brilliant and this sequel surpasses the first film in every way. Ledger’s Joker is still the creepiest villian this side of Hannibal Lecter and the tradgey of Harvey Dent was done in such a beautifully subtle way, yet still has the emotion punch the nards that does this universe right.

    1. Terminator 2: Judgement Day. I love this movie to no end. I was age appropriate to be blown away in theatres when this first came out and must have seen it 7 times in that run. Everything that made Terminator great was amplified and redesigned 20 fold for this sequel. To this day, I still give a thumbs up everytime I slowly descend into any water.

    My also ran list would include (but not limited to): Superman II, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Spider-Man 2, Die Hard With A Vengence, Army of Darkness, X2: X-Men United, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers/ Return of the King, Return of the Jedi, Indiana Jones and the Last Crudsade, and Gremlins 2: The New Batch. (Still makes me laugh)

  2. 5. The Road Warrior – This 1981 sequel to the 1979 action flick Mad Max defined ‘post apocalyptic’ in the 1980s with its heavy metal/biker imagery, minimal dialogue, and totally bad-ass chase sequences. Great flick, and definitely superior to its predecessor.

    4. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein – This 1981 book of poems is a sequel of sorts to 1974’s Where the Sidewalk Ends, a children’s classic if ever there was one. Attic picks up where Sidewalk leave off, with hilarious and often subversive poems like, The Pirate, Bear in There, Backward Bill and Ations.

    3. Lamb – The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore – This sequel to the New Testament is a hilarious take on the missing years of Jesus, as told by his childhood friend. We spend time with the 3 Wise Men of the Nativity, the lovely Mary Magdalene, and we learn some very funny things about Judas and the other Apostles. Subversive, profane and profound, hilarious, and yet very respectful of the central character.

    2. The Keeper of the Seven Keys Part II by Helloween – A Power Metal classic, originally conceived as the second part of a double LP, this ended up as the 1988 sequel to Part I from 1987. Vocalist Michael Kiske was at the height of his vocal prowess, and his bandmates were ferocious and virtuoso everywhere else on this record. It was also the last Helloween record with guitarist and founding member Kai Hansen before he formed Gamma Ray. Keepers Part II is conclusion of an epic sword and sorcery Sci-Fi/Fantasy story line, and in High School I based a D&D Campaign on the two ‘Keeper’ albums. I listen to it regularly to this day.

    1. Revelation X, the ‘Bob’ Apocryphon by Various including the Reverend Ivan Stang – This book is essentially the New Testament of the Church of the Subgenius, and a sequel to the Book of the Subgenius from 1983. There is no way to measure the impact this book had on me. It led to my interest in conspiracies, the works of Robert Anton Wilson and other weirdo thinkers, and to the ultimate shattering of a rather narrow worldview.

  3. 5. Wrath of Khan – the first Star Trek movie to get it right. Plus it took one of the weakest episodes of the original series and turned it into a classic on a par with Moby Dick. Not bad considering how badly the first movie sucked donkey balls!

    4. Aliens – everything that was great about aliens turned up a notch. The scene where the marine assault vehicle is racing through the refinery as the planet blows up around them was the most thrilling thing I’d seen in years.

    3. The three Lord of the Rings movies, which were a worthy sequel to the novels! I would have bet good money that LOTR was unfilmable and I am so happy Peter Jackson proved me wrong!

    2. Any of the Honor Harrington Novels that follow the first book – A series that has never failed to disappoint, with every new book. If you haven’t been reading David Weber, shame on you.

    1. Back to the Future #3 – it ties up the whole story arc from the first two movies nicely, and is much better than #2 and arguably better than the first. Although ZZ Top in the old west was a bit hard to swallow, the Delorean with 50s sidewalls and hubcaps was a hoot, and you can’t go wrong with steam train wrecks. The final movie of the trilogy could have been a train wreck in its own right, but they got it right! Eastwood gorge is a riot!

    Oh, and Matthew, the GI Joes that you referred to were NOT the originals. The originals were 12″ high World War II soldiers, with accessories like jeep, (the jeep was actually motorized), canteens, rifles, pistols, etc. The Joes had no names other than Joe, and no fancy costumes or secret identities. There was a white Joe, a black Joe, an Air Force Joe, and a Navy Joe, and that was it. The idiotic superhero joes you love so much came later. The original Joes sold rather well, since TV shows like the Rat Patrol and Combat were the order of the day, but the toys fell out of favor as the protests over the vietnam war heated up. If you had ever played with the original G I Joes, you would have nothing but contempt for the super hero action figures that came later. The original Joes honored the WWII vets that saved the world from tyranny. The others are just cheap plastic crap meant to make a fast buck and had nothing whatsoever to do with the originals.

    • I’m pretty sure that when Matthew said “Original” he meant the first run of the super-articulated Joes so as to differentiate it from “G.I. Joe Vs. Cobra”, “G.I. Joe Extreme” or “G.I. Joe Sigma Six: G.E. Super Abrasives”. Especially since those lines are much more derivative of that run than the old school “Tall Joes”.

      You bringing up the old school joes takes me back though. Growing up I had a friend who had an original G.I. Joe. She really loved it because, being a handsome soldier, he made a perfect boyfriend for her barbie doll. It took me forever to realize that Joe was supposed to be a toy for boys since he predates the great articulation schism of the 80s.

    • The others are just cheap plastic crap meant to make a fast buck and had nothing whatsoever to do with the originals.

      I suppose mileage may vary… It’s worth noting that they’ve been making the 3/4 inch version for nearly three times as long as the original production runs of the 12 inch figures. :D

      I’d also say that Hasbro has made a valiant attempt to tie the two lines together, so “nothing whatsoever” is a pretty meaningless statement, as well.

  4. Listened to this ep on the way back from the NYC Justice League: Doom premier (positive impressions tomorrow), so many potential picks the mind… Big “Amen” on Matthew’s picks of Vice City and JLU… okay quickly:

    Terminator 2 – Time travel, contemporary action, strong heroine, and completely stands on its own without watching the first film or any of the following ones. Other Movies: Drunken Master II
    Marvel vs Capcom – The height of the 2D “Versus” series with 6-button play (subsequent games being their own- still fun / great- thing). Still some restraint (compared to MvC2) and still 2D sprites (compared to MvC3). Other games: Half-Life 2; Street Fighter II
    Ruger Mark II – From 1982-2005… one of my favorite guns to trick shoot with, small adjustments made a great difference in usability (like the slide stop) and usefulness in training (1911 grip angle).
    Wally West, The Flash – Capturing the spirit of his predecessor while moving the franchise forwards, Wally West as The Flash represented one of the best organic modernizations of a Silver Age character ever. I could go on about this for pages, but I promised to be brief!
    Avatar The Legend Of Korra – I’m predicting this will be awesome based on the sheer awesomeness of the original. ;-)
    Rashida Jones and Kate Hudson – Sequels to Peggy Lipton and Goldie Hawn.

  5. Stephen- I have a beef with you on the first Star Trek movie! The Veejer idea was a REALLY REALLY good idea. The movie just kind of sucked.
    My Best Sequels
    5. Star Trek 4: The Voyage Home- I love this movie because, even though the Enterprise crew has aged and have now gone back in time, the cast/crew can still kick butt!
    4. New Doctor Who (2005-present)- Not exactly a sequel, but it might as well be. This series got so many new people interested into an amazing series and shot all of the older series’ ideas into the STRATOSPHERE and turned up the drama to eleven. Including the crappy movie that has a very lovely Doctor.
    3. Justice League Unlimited- this sequel had more drama, more cameos and more Easter eggs/nods for people like Matthew.
    2. Full Metal Alchemist: Conqueror of Shamballa- great movie that really wraps up the original animated series. (Full Metal Alchemist is an anime series that Funimation dubs and distributes in America)
    1. Legion of Superheroes (most recent issues)- While I was sad that the ‘sequel’ aka reboot of the original Legion shoved the Threeboot series into ending too quickly, the way Paul Levitz started the issues was amazing. I haven’t really had the time or money to track down the original series, I do think that the new series has been excellent.

    • Stephen- I have a beef with you on the first Star Trek movie! The Veejer idea was a REALLY REALLY good idea. The movie just kind of sucked.

      It was a really, really good idea… One that Star Trek had already done in the far superior original series episode, “The Changeling.”

  6. 5. Across The Sun -Before the Night Takes us..This album followed up an album from them I was really not a fan of, and this is one I completely love and connect with.

    4. Spartacus Series: While this was not actually a sequal to 300, they definitely used it was a spring board using very similar styles and techniques. But the story is so awesomely portrayed as is the acting.

    3. Army of Darkness: Bruce Campbell chainsaw hand, THIS IS MY BOOMSTICK..How can you get any better?

    2. Shadow Hearts 2: This game is freaking awesome, and while it lost some of the freaky wierdness from the first ones design. The story is still so rich and amazing, the combat system is fun and unique, I love the game with all my heart.

    1. Ravinca Block Set: This was such a welcome change. After Kamigawa WOTC really needed to step it up. And they did so with this set, it brought multicolor decks into tournament play by necessity and fun. And all the great cards that seemed awkward in Kamigawa fit amazingly in these decks for Standard play.

  7. Hi Spoilerites? How about your Top 5 favorite badasses, anti-heroes, or charismatic villains? Those folks who, when written or portrayed properly, make a work more interesting? Hearing Matthew’s recent FF review, I thought of course of Jonathan Hickman’s handling of Dr. Doom. Dirty Harry? Al Swearengen? Just a thought.

  8. #5; Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, comparing the two books Chamber had a guy we hated, a dangerous villain, Harry had reason to fear because he looked to be involved just a much better set up

    #4; Terminator 2, it is better in all and every way simple as that

    #3; Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back. Done

    #2; Drakengard 2; Play the first game and you will feel dead inside. Play the second game and you can get your happy ending… for the most part but it is better then the first. And plays better with better companions

    #1; Borderlands 2, already a good series, they crank the parody, comedy, still making it their but also throwing loops in upon itself hiding more subtle humor among the explosions of awesome

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