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The Justice League Problems, and how to solve them, Part 2.

March 24, 2013

To my (admittedly limited) knowledge, there has been no significant change in the status of the impending Justice League movie, which means that the problems I presented in The Justice League Problems, and how to solve them are still relevant. In that sparklingly fantastic article, I posited 5 major questions surrounding a potential Justice League. These;

  1. How many movies should there be?
  2. How will you avoid comparisons to The Avengers?
  3. Who should actually be in the Justice League, and who will play them?
  4. Which “foundation” movies should be included in the continuity?
  5. Who will be the villain, and what will their motivation be?

I answered the first three in Part 1, and I figure I may as well just jump right into the next two! I know that you have been continually refreshing my homepage, waiting for this new piece. Right? Right, guys?

(Just as a quick reminder; my pitched Justice League was Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash and Green Lantern.)

4. WHICH “FOUNDATION” MOVIES SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN THE CONTINUITY?

Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Man of Steel and my proposed Man of Steel 2.

Why these ones? I will explain, just give me time.

First, I’d like to explain why we should be including foundation movies at all, because I feel that this is an important issue to flesh out. There are a few reasons that the concept of “foundation” movies is an issue. And only one of them is “Because The Avengers did it”.

The major reason is that these are all big characters… They have long, complex histories, and although most people probably do have a basic enough knowledge to just watch them kick arse and enjoy it, that won’t be enough for a lot of the hard-core fans going in to see the movies. It’s pretty much the fanboys (and fangirls) that throw their money at box offices when adaption movies are released, so a degree of pandering to this population wouldn’t go too far astray.

For Justice League to really do its source material justice (hehe. Unintentional pun), it needs to be a rich tapestry of DC mythology. I can see no way that a single movie can incorporate it all on its own and still have enough action elements to interest the non-comic-book-base moviegoers or the younger people going to see the movie (or, y’know, anyone).

I don’t believe that it would be practical not to include foundation movies for Justice League, because there is just too damn much to fit into the movie otherwise! This is a movie that also has to explain the formation of the League, the villain, and why a team of insanely super-powered beings can’t just work it out alone anyways.

“Okay, sweet, Molly,” you will say, “I get why we need foundation movies. But why those ones? Why couldn’t we reboot the Batman movies? Why do we need Man of Steel? Why…”

Woah, woah, woah, cowboy! One at a time.

“Why can’t there be a reboot of the Batman movies?”

I hadn’t actually considered this matter until somebody commented on the first part of this piece, bringing it to my attention, and suggesting that it might be viable. I had always just assumed that the Nolan Batman movies would be included. Partially for their sheer awesome, but mostly just because I’m hoping like hell that Nolan will be on crew for Justice League, and it just seems rude to look at his Batman trilogy, pat him on the head and then just dismiss them, rebooting a character that (and people might hate me for this) didn’t look particularly good on the silver screen until Nolan came along.

The big evidence for rebooting Batman has to do with temporal continuity. Namely, the question; if The Dark Knight Rises is set 8 years after The Dark Knight, which was released in 2008 and probably set in about that time, where the fuck are the aliens!?

“What aliens!? WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT, WOMAN!?”

Man of Steel is being released this year (2013). It looks like it is also set this year. So, if The Dark Knight Rises is set 8 years after 2008, i.e. 2016, how come everyone is just so chill about the existence of aliens that Superman entails? Why wasn’t Superman called in to deal with the Bane issue when everyone thought Batman was dead or MIA?

(Sidenote: how fucking cool would THAT movie have been?)

So, yes. Including the Nolan movies causes that problem. But, I actually don’t think it is a huge deal. Yes, the devil is in the details. But I think most The Dark Knight Rises viewers felt as though it was a 2012-set movie (I did. Maybe I stand alone here, but I sure as shit hope not, if only for this post’s sake), which pushes The Dark Knight backwards in time, and there is no reason that I can think of right now that this isn’t a plausible way of explaining the time-related issues.

So yeah, I guess starting Batman over in Justice League would solve those temporal continuity issues, but it also presents another whole set of problems. What is this Batman’s game? What’s his story? Which villains has he faced? What has his life been like?

For a character like Batman, the answers to these sorts of questions really inform the way in which the Batman will act in Justice League. And he is a damn big player, so these can’t really be discounted as minor problems.

For a damn good writer, I suppose rebooting Batman wouldn’t really be a big problem.  I just think that you’re causing unnecessary problems by replacing a popular Batman franchise so soon and in such an underdeveloped way.

(But for the love of all things good and pure, get rid of the damn Batman voice, Bale! FUCK.)

“Why include Man of Steel?”

In a lot of ways, Man of Steel is something of a trial run for DC. How willing are audiences to accept an alien story, done in what looks like a gritty way? How will the actors be received in their roles? Will people like a Superman movie in this day and age?

I’m not a huge Superman fan. I’m sure at some point I will write a post about why that is. But I really, really, really fucking want a good Superman movie! Mostly, just to prove that it can be done. Man of Steel is looking like it will be that movie. Not the movie the world needs, but the one that it deserves right now (please excuse the bastardisation of that quote, I needed to. I can’t go too long talking about Superman without referencing Batman in some way).

The main reason, though, for including Man of Steel is because of my proposed idea for Man of Steel 2, which is basically my cop-out way of trying to de-clutter Justice League.

Now, what was that last question?

“Why not include Green Lantern?”

HAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

*Breathes deeply*

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA….. HAHAH… haaaaa…

Oh, shit, wait… You… You were serious? You’re seriously asking me that?

By now, it should be obvious that I have nothing but disdain for the clusterfuck of misappropriated bullshittery that was Martin Campbell’s 2008 Green Lantern. Maybe you like it, and, you know what? Good for you. I, personally, thought it was ridiculous.

I want it nowhere near my Justice League. I want my Justice League to be good. Sorry Mister Campbell and Mister Reynolds.

But seriously, stay the fuck away from Justice League.

 

5. WHO WILL BE THE VILLAIN, AND WHAT WILL THEIR MOTIVATION BE?

Any of you up-to-date on the Justice League rumours are probably wondering why the Hell this is even one of my questions. This is one of the only questions that actually seems to have an answer.

Who do the rumours say is going to be the villain?

Darkseid.

Quick rundown about who that is, just in case you don’t really know. Darkseid is a God-like being (and by God-like being, I mean a literal motherfucking God) from the planet Apokolips. His characteristic ability is something called an Omega Beam, which to my understanding, is a pulse of energy fired from his eyes that can be used to flat out destroy substantial amounts of everything. He has Superman-like speed and strength, Batman-like levels of intelligence, and can fly, possess other creatures, and shape-shift. His mind is an important weapon, as he is both a strategist, and has telekinesis/telepathy. Oh, and he’s immortal. ‘Cause he’s a motherfucking God.

Does this God business sound familiar?

(PUN ALERT: It might be a bit of a Thor point with some people. HAHAHAHAHAHA. Hilarity.)

There have been comparisons drawn between Darkseid and Thanos, the hinted villain of Avengers 2. To this I say; DARKSEID CAME FIRST IN THE COMIC BOOKS. FUCK YOU, MARVEL, AND FUCK YOUR FANBOYS, TOO.

*Deep breath*

I explained earlier that I don’t believe that comparisons between Justice League and The Avengers/The Avengers 2 would be particularly impacting, nor would they matter. But this is the point that contends that – just how similar can they be before people cry “Shenanigans!”? (Which I totally recommend doing, by the way. Right now. Cry “Shenanigans”, you won’t regret it.)

My answer?

Not very. Because people are dicks. They will nit-pick the everloving shit out of every tiny detail in the movies. In fact, there is a good chance that I will be one of the people who does that.

It is important to note that Thanos is based on Darkseid, as I… uh… mentioned earlier. So yes, there are going to be similarities between the characteristics of the two. But I believe that The Avengers 2 and Justice League will take such different directions with the two characters that this probably won’t even matter.

So, why Darkseid?

I’m thinking that if the confirmed villain really is Darkseid, there are a lot of good reasons that this is the case. Firstly, he justifies the use of the Justice League. Alone, they wouldn’t be able to take a villain like this guy out, so there is a reason for them to actually work together (without all this death-of-a-comrade bonding bullshit). Secondly, he’s interesting. Thirdly, I don’t think it would be overly difficult to work his presence into the real world.

Stick with me through this.

Yes, he’s a God. And that might cause some issues with some people. But you know who else are technically considered Gods in their source material? Thor and Loki, and their presence went over fairly well. Yes, they skipped around the issue by saying that “they’re basically Gods”, but we all know the game. It was an American film. You can’t tell the entire American populace that there are more Gods. I’m thinking that would mildly annoy some people, and they would write mildly annoyed emails.

But Darkseid has endless tactical ability, you could reveal him piece by piece over the course of the movie. You don’t even need to know straight up what is being dealt with here. I’m not suggesting that you do a The Avengers-like set up at the start, then a big reveal halfway through the credits, while throughout the movie another character does the fighting, I’m saying lay out Darkseid piece by piece. Drop hints. Have stuff going on; hell, you could have Amazo, the super-powerful android, generating the action and plot for a while. If you don’t want to worry about having to explain that, throw in the Female Furies, essentially a strike force made up of women and badassery.

But don’t do a sneaky big reveal. Let us know what the Justice League are dealing with, do it over the course of the movie to build tension, but leave us with a cliffhanger. I already mentioned that I want two movies; make us want to see the second one.

“Hey, Molly, why would Darkseid want to bother Earth now? If he’s this super-intelligent being, surely he already knew we were here, so what could taking over/destroying/conquering Earth achieve?”

Oh! Hey, I forgot you guys were still here, you’d been pretty quiet for a while.

I guess, basically, what you’re asking is, ‘What is Darkseid’s motivation?’, right?

“Yep.”

If I was less imaginative, I would tell you that he’s chosen now because he’s only just realised that Earth exists. But for a character as intelligent as Darkseid, from a planet that is so technologically advanced, like Apokolips, that doesn’t seem plausible. And you guys already mentioned this in your question. Given what we know about Darkseid, it seems pretty safe to assume that he knows Earth exists, and has a pretty rough idea of what we’ve been up to lately.

So saying that he didn’t know until now doesn’t cut it.

(But if you were going to go down that route, which we’ve just established isn’t viable, by the way, you could argue that maybe something like Superman doin’ his thang somehow attracted Darkseid’s attention, and then the events of Justice League follow that.)

Personally, I think a better reason to explain why Darkseid is messing with Earth now is that until this point, he couldn’t. Not for technological reasons, but maybe because his attention was caught up somewhere else. Somewhere a little closer to home

I mean he’s just finished wrapping up a civil war. Or war with a closer planet. Maybe Darkseid has just rose to power (or seized power), or only just transformed from his original state Axus, into the God that will prove a worthy adversary of the Justice League.

So why would he want Earth?

You know what you can never have enough of? Resources.

Earth isn’t exactly deficient in useful resources. We’ve got metals, wood, water, people…

All of them could have some use, especially if your planet has just emerged out of a war. War chews up a lot of resources that need to be refilled in order to keep your civilisation running. Is this a cliché explanation? I don’t really think so. Sure, there are cliché elements, but as a whole I think it could work as one possible explanation for why Darkseid is bothering Earth.

Another possible reason is for shits and giggles.

“You’ve introduced a lot of new material, there, Molly…”

I know what you’re getting at. It is a lot to explain, isn’t it?

But that is why I think you should the de-clutter Justice League hero origins that you can, and have two movies.

Imagine Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and the Flash teaming up in an epic final battle against five Female Furies in Justice League. Imagine the possible climax of Justice League 2 where the Justice League, backed by the military, take on an army of Apokolips’ soldiers. Or zombified humans.

This is Justice League we’re talking about here. You have to go big, or go home.

 

Yes, there are problems.

Did I solve them definitively? No.

But I like to think that I showed that they aren’t un-answerable, and that making Justice League is not impractical.

 

So get on it, DC and Warner Bros. It’s rude to make a lady wait.

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