Best Wayne Moments

Ava Flores
• Thursday, 12 November, 2020
• 7 min read

Wayne Rooney announced his retirement on Friday morning as he now transitions into a managerial career, joining fellow England stars Frank Lampard (Chelsea) and Steven Gerrard (Celtic) as players to enter the coaching ranks after hanging up their boots. As one of the sport's greatest players of his generation, Rooney's greatness shined brightly during his two seasons at D.C. United.

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Though Rooney's time in the nation's capital ended trophy-less with two straight exits out of the first round of the MLS Cup, he still produced some magical moments. After leaving his hometown club, Everton, for new pastures across the pond, Rooney earned the trust of his teammates and former D.C. United coach Ben Olsen to wear the captain's armband just three matches into his MLS tenure.

In his first game as D.C. United's captain, Rooney scored his first goal with a clinical finish in what was a special moment that galvanized the club's fan base. Basically by the corner flag on this goal, Rooney probably accidentally sent an intended cross too far into the box -- not that he or any soccer player would ever admit that.

You've probably seen this clip a thousand times before, but it's worth watching a million more to fondly remember the best moment Rooney ever produced in a D.C. United shirt. Again against Orlando, Rooney tracked down an Orlando player who would've been through on goal had he not hustled back, made a well-timed slide tackle to gain possession and lofted a beautiful ball to the back post for former United striker Luciano Acosta to head home.

Back in the days before DVDs and YouTube I used to try to capture on VHS tape from the TV what I considered to be those ‘magic moments in a John Wayne movie when Duke gets to express himself either with a memorable speech, or a silent gesture, a piece of dialogue or a casual look that just stops you in your tracks and says ‘yep. A lot of people have pointed out the almost balletic movement of Wayne’s body when he shoots Cherry Valance prior to the climactic showdown between Dun son and his adopted son Matt in Red River.

Somewhere in a field in Ireland, just a few miles outside the village of Cong in County Mayo, there still lies the remains of a stone wall that momentarily bore the weight of the great man himself. He takes a puff or two then, after a silent moment of contemplation, Thornton discards the barely-smoked object behind him with a dramatic sweep of his arms then carries on trudging across the field.

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The small interlude on the wall with the cigarette serves to dissipate his anger, and Wayne signals that moment to the audience just by movement, body language and gesture alone. I could have made numerous observations on the gestures and silent facial expressions that Wayne utilizes to communicate the emotional turmoil lurking just beneath the surface of Ethan Edwards.

Ethan and his fellow compatriots have been lured away in pursuit of a stolen herd of cattle whilst Scar and his Comanche warriors attack the unprotected homesteads the men have left behind. Wayne as Crockett expends a lot of energy trying to convince his fellow Tennesseans that standing up to Santa Anna is the right thing to do, going so far as faking a letter from the Mexican despot himself in which he threatens to ‘chastise’ the defenders ‘even unto death’.

It’s at this moment that there’s a refreshingly honest and quite believable reaction by Wayne as he sits on his horse, not realizing that his men have already started to dismount in order to join Travis. The post-credit sequence to Honda is very similar to the beginning of The Searchers, with Wayne appearing from out of the landscape as if from nowhere, then slowly moving towards a lonely cabin under the close observation of the woman of the house.

But the way he smacks Job Burette (Claude Akins) across the face with his rifle in Rio Bravo is almost as balletic as when he guns Cherry Valance down in Red River. Goaded on by Dude, Chance swipes Joe with his rifle then, and this is the icing on the cake, literally pirouettes as he performs a graceful 360-degree turns, following the momentum of the weapon in his hands, as the man with the dented face crumples to the ground.

He’s faced off against a seemingly infinite amount of villains, scoundrels, and né’McDowell, while having his one-man war against criminality bolstered by innumerable allies. Exploited from every angle and exposed in every medium for nearly a century, Batman is a character that has shown remarkable resilience.

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Throughout the years, creative runs on the Batman books have displayed a reverence for the many creators and ideas that came before, while others have depicted the crusading crime fighter in a way that’s nearly unrecognizable. Reinforced by incredible artwork from some of the finest artists in the medium, Grant Morrison’s seven-year run on Batman has proved to be one of the most polarizing takes, but there’s little argument that the ramifications of this arc are still felt to this very day.

)Early on in Morrison’s run, we find Bruce Wayne freeing up time from his nightly endeavors to mingle with high society. Traveling to London to take in a charity gala (where he chances on meeting a potential new Wayne Girl” in Jezebel Jet), Wayne’s evening attempting to solidify his slick bachelor profile is abruptly cut short by an invading army… of flying ninja man-bats.

Morrison wasn’t two issues into his run, and it’s with this one moment where the reader became perfectly aware that Batman was taking The Dark Knight to places he had never been before. Infusing the monstrous look Neal Adams brought to the original Man-Bat with his own take and decking them out with the usual League of Assassins garb, Andy Hubert concocted a masterfully absurd cadre of adversaries with which The Dark Knight could do battle.

That kind of devil-may-care attitude was a refreshing injection of real, animated life to a series that had been taking itself far too seriously for far too long. Kids who bitched about Batman never being as harassed as The Punisher would have done well to read this issue, where they would have been forced to imagine a kingdom of murder and madness forever and ever, amen.” It’s easy if you try.

Installing the then-unpopular Damian Wayne as Robin (thus marginalizing the still-very popular Tim Drake) was the biggest gamble of the book’s premise, but under the banner Batman Reborn, DC’s trust in Morrison proved wise. This new series allowed the writer to go crazy with innovation, and with artist Frank Quietly, fresh from their earlier collaboration on All-Star Superman, Batman and Robin #1 promised to revitalize the Batman books in a way that had not happened since Chuck Dixon and Graham Nolan sicced a certain Santa Prison on The Dark Knight.

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)The finale of Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly’s run on Batman and Robin found the duo going out on something of a discomfiting note. With Quietly taking over the paneled choreography from the notoriously thorough Morrison, the Scottish artist drafted a surreal tapestry of movement featuring the psychotic and downright wrong Professor PYG.

Sexy disco hot …”), PYG began to gyrate and grind while offering a sensual fantasy that inspired cringes nearly as often as it did laughter. PYG turned out to be as demented as a Batman rogue could ever get, and it was this bizarre sequence that forever cemented the character into the annals of sadistic legend.

” Being too much of a perfectionist (her words), Tania denounced her son, telling him to consider himself an enemy of the House of all Gaul. There are only three days left until a foreboding lunar eclipse bathes the rotten city in its ominous shadows.

Once the Joker requests the Boy Wonder’s presence, Batman and Gordon make a mad dash against time to stop blood from being spilled… but not from whom you’d expect. Morrison takes the opportunity to turn the Robin/Joker dichotomy on its ear by placing the Mephistopheles of Mirth at the mercy of Robin for the first time ever, and the Whirling Dervish is having none of it: “… I don’t think you know what chaos is, ” Damian states rather plainly, revealing, yes, a crowbar from under his yellow tunic.

Whether the Joker was in complete control the entire time is irrelevant (he was); the small fact of the matter is that Morrison’s strict eye for detail wouldn’t allow him to pass up an opportunity such as this, and because he didn’t Robin fans finally found small catharsis in the Joker’s righteous ass-beating, doled out by Damian Wayne. And that’s why Batman: The Return Of Bruce Wayne is on this list: it exemplifies the innate re-readability of Grant Morrison’s entire run.

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The finer flourishes of this dense saga were found in the pages of this mini-series, dragging the rest of the DC Universe kicking and screaming into Morrison’s new world order. Sub-plots were joined, mysteries were solved, and a vital corner piece was provided to this massive jigsaw puzzle.

Later he would find that he was able to shoot forward through the expanse of time as a result of Daresay’s seemingly fatal Omega Effect. In effect, Bruce Wayne became a living weapon whose arrival in the present would surely usher the end of all things.

Through Morrison’s guiding hand (which, in a way, was guided by Dennis O’Neil, Bob Haney and Neal Adams), Bruce Wayne found an out from his transcendent predicament, arriving to our time in the nick of time to implement some good, of’ fashioned, two-fisted justice. Running down some masked thug by the name of “Goat boy” is surreal enough, but for Morrison’s opening salvo into DC Comics’ New 52 initiative, the mad Scotsman took Batman and Robin into the goriest, messiest, um… sweetest scenario he’d concocted for the Dynamic Duo yet.

Running through a gauntlet of Leviathan thugs inside a violently functional abattoir, the Caped Crusaders find that their Goat boy (named for the immortal Bill Hicks’, ERM… disturbing sketch) is nothing more than a patsy, there to bring Robin to the cross-hairs of a rocket-powered sniper rifle. The real Goat boy makes good his escape, leaving Batman and Robin to mire in the ankle-deep blood of butchered cows.

The most gorgeous part of the issue is undeniably its opener, where Ra’s carries his newborn daughter up the Himalayan slopes to show her the world she would one day inherit. Morrison and artist Chris Burnham juxtapose the sequence with panels depicting a grown Tania and her armed mercenaries marching towards her father’s inner sanctum for a takeover that’s not hostile so much as it was inevitable.

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The Batman is caught, contained within an elaborate trap that The Dark Knight will easily escape, but not before Tania’s destructive masterstroke is executed. The one hope for retribution arrives far too early in the form of Robin, flying on metallic wings to rescue the day from his mother.

Surrounded by countless Leviathan agents under a rain of relentless ammunition, Damian conjures a daring plan to counter the army with his erstwhile partner: the former Batman, Dick Grayson. The duo crack wise in a way not seen since the first pages of Batman and Robin, and it is in this brief moment of levity where Morrison chooses to make a statement on his entire run, with the same cutting petulance of Damian himself.

” Grayson and Wayne lob smoke grenades at the advancing mercenaries, leap over the concrete partition that was their momentary refuge, and dive towards Damian’s ultimate fate, forever a Dynamic Duo. Whether it was poking fun at obvious tropes or turning references on their heads, Wayne’s World is chock-full of little Easter Eggs for pop culture obsessives.

While the film version of the spy shenanigans of IMF wouldn’t hit the big screen until 1996, the classic television show it was based on had enjoyed a reboot in the late ’80s. Big’ in an effort to score Cassandra (Tia Carrera) and Crucial Taunt a record deal, the iconic theme song plays over their covert mission, and leads up to one of the most quotable lines in the film.

While they may not have the full Mysteries Incorporated gang on hand, Wayne and Garth make for a suitable Shaggy and Scooby. But even more than a callback to childhood cartoons (which Wayne and Garth probably still partake in), it’s a cleverly meta moment that pokes fun at film structure while also upending it.

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While it’s mostly played for laughs (obviously these dummies are going to sign contracts they don’t understand and spend their money on dumb stuff), Wayne’s conversation with Cassandra (Tia Carrera) about whether their love will survive comes from the heart. James Cameron’s Terminator 2: Judgement Day became one of the biggest action films of all-time when it was released in 1991, so it was still ripe for the referencing (still is, frankly) when Wayne’s World snuck in a pitch-perfect Robert Patrick.

However, Wayne’s World managed to turn commerce into art with a hilariously meta bit of product placement. As Benjamin tries to explain how the show will have to toe the line in certain ways due to their new funding from millionaire Noah Vanderhoff (Brian Doyle-Murray), Wayne and Garth express their displeasure for product placement by hawking the sponsors of the actual film’s wares.

Director Penelope Spheres and producer Borne Michael's wanted Guns & Roses initially, but Myers fought hard for Queen’s classic, which had unfortunately started slipping away into the recesses of music history. According to Myers, the “ballsy” nature of the rock opera was more inherently comedic, but it also goes a long way toward reinforcing the fact that, at its heart, Wayne’s World is about living life with your friends, with all the donuts, Queen, and spewing that entails.

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4 en.wikipedia.org - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherlock_(TV_series)