Advice From A Fanboy: Justice League

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Mmmmmm how about have advanced mercenaries start capturing major earth cities for the hidden league of villains who show up full force for the next film?

Some of those ideas sound good. But, there's a problem that I face--nothing I've ever seen or red about him has ever made me give the slightest care in the world about Superman. Not one. He's anachronistic to the world he's in, and he's a blind patsy to "the American Way", a racist, sexist, xenophobic, economically-driven, power-hungry ideal that usurped peace for terror across the world. He's incredibly boring as a character, because everything he's weak to has to magically (i.e. by plot device) appear on Earth. Kryptonite, a rock not even native to this solar system? Oh, we have it in abundance, for every time he gets a bit out of line! The light of a red sun? Well, hell, that happens all the time, for no fucking reason whatsoever! Captain America might embody the same ideals, but Captain America can also just be shot. He's altered, but he's fucking human. Even Thor, the literal God of Thunder, is more human than Supes will ever be.

Batman is the least interesting thing in his own stories, which is mercifully why the focus is usually on the villains, because they are usually ever so much fun.

Wonder Woman I'm not all that familiar with, apart from the cartoon, so I can't really chime in on her. The Flash? Fastest Man Alive breaks physics, magically doesn't cause climate problems by moving that fast or an accidental atomic explosion when his mass runs at lightspeed into an atom, as an upsized version of the LHC particle collisions. Green Latern, Green Arrow, The Martian Manhunter? Probably the most fun, and therefore won't get the focus they deserve.

Aquaman. He has all the strength and speed of Superman!--underwater. Yeah, that's really useful.

To sum up--yeah, I'm really betting this won't be that good. Marvel has a much better set of toys to work with.

BehattedWanderer:

Aquaman. He has all the strength and speed of Superman!--underwater. Yeah, that's really useful.

He has those powers in AND out of the water dude, he can go toe to toe with some the league's biggest hitters up to and including Superman.

Shjade:
Major downside: he's crap for any kind of emotional dynamics between heroes and villains. Explanatory comparison, Loki's a bit of a bastard and screws with the Avengers in addition to doing bad things; Brainiac's more A to B. Not that every movie needs snarky banter or obvious malice between its conflicting sides, but it might feel a little overly one-sided in that respect when the bad guy literally doesn't care about things other than accomplishing its goals.

This is what worries me the most about a JLA movie. Who have really been the major, high-stakes villains of the DC Universe? Darkseid (one-dimensional and too Thanos-y), Anti-monitor (zero depth as a character), Parallax (requires a complete redo of the Green Lantern), Black Lanterns (same thing), Imperiex (too hard to explain to mainstream audiences). DC sucks for major villains and most of the villain character development has been largely contained to Batman stories. The only way I can see this playing out well is if you build the stakes more and more each movie. Make reference to Darkseid in Man of Steel, have a cameo in a later solo flick, and show he's the guy who's been pulling the strings behind each movie. And for Pete's sake, add a little more depth to his character. Crafting a movie universe give WB more freedom to tweek the stories and underlying rules of the DC Universe. If they can make it fun without being too tacky (also with much violence please!), then this can work. Moreover, I trust the people that they have behind it.

Skizzick:

Shjade:
Major downside: he's crap for any kind of emotional dynamics between heroes and villains. Explanatory comparison, Loki's a bit of a bastard and screws with the Avengers in addition to doing bad things; Brainiac's more A to B. Not that every movie needs snarky banter or obvious malice between its conflicting sides, but it might feel a little overly one-sided in that respect when the bad guy literally doesn't care about things other than accomplishing its goals.

This is what worries me the most about a JLA movie. Who have really been the major, high-stakes villains of the DC Universe? Darkseid (one-dimensional and too Thanos-y), Anti-monitor (zero depth as a character), Parallax (requires a complete redo of the Green Lantern), Black Lanterns (same thing), Imperiex (too hard to explain to mainstream audiences). DC sucks for major villains and most of the villain character development has been largely contained to Batman stories. The only way I can see this playing out well is if you build the stakes more and more each movie. Make reference to Darkseid in Man of Steel, have a cameo in a later solo flick, and show he's the guy who's been pulling the strings behind each movie. And for Pete's sake, add a little more depth to his character. Crafting a movie universe give WB more freedom to tweek the stories and underlying rules of the DC Universe. If they can make it fun without being too tacky (also with much violence please!), then this can work. Moreover, I trust the people that they have behind it.

Personally I think if they want a villain I think they should go with Starro the Conqueror.
I have a few reasons: firstly that he'd set the tone nicely. Bob's right, you can't go Nolan gritty realism in a film with, at the very least, Alien Super Jesus, an Amazon with a thing for ropes and a man with a serious fetish for flying rodents. Along with a guy who can can make physics his bitch by running faster than light, the king of Atlantis who is usually seen as a bit of a joke in pop culture, a space cop who creates green things through the power of imagination and maybe an actual martian and suddenly a mind controlling starfish the size of a skyscraper doesn't seem so ridiculous

You could also tie him in with a few of the other heroes to give them an easy in. He could have been transported to Earth the same way J'onn was, so he feels responsible someway. He's a starfish so Aquaman's fish-based telepathy suddenly becomes very very useful (you could have some form of mental duel between the two...).

He could be using his mind control to influence Superman, perhaps culminating in a scuffle between the three. WW holds him off physically while Bats tries getting through to him psychologically. Done right it could not only provide an action scene (and a reason why Supes doesn't just throw Starro into the sun) but a real moment of characterisation between the three as they realise they're pretty much equals despite their various differences

You could find a way to replicate that cover to the comic that I think is their first appearance. Hardcore nerds would love you forever for that

I think the most important lesson from the Avengers is you don't have to go too far into the villan. Face it, while the Chitari were polite enough to be named after something established, they were nothing but a generic batch on non-descript aliens. I think the better path would be to have a small establishment of the bad guys, while the big battle is against something new, or simply sharing a name like "white martian" or "starro".

My outline would be inspired by New Frontier: Superheroes are new, but untrusted, and as tension grows Amanda Waller (and potentially Luthor) try to bring the heroes under government control leading to tensions between two sides. Waller tries to deal with alien invaders to fake a conflict to bring the heroes together under her control, but gets screwed over and the league has to form to stop a full global invasion.

Can we have Joseph Gordon Levitt as Nightwing then?

Seriously, I HATE all of Nolan's films (even the ones that aren't Batman), but JGL as Nightwing? I'd buy a ticket on the strength of that alone.

It doesn't even have to tie into the Nolanverse.

Skizzick:

Shjade:
Major downside: he's crap for any kind of emotional dynamics between heroes and villains. Explanatory comparison, Loki's a bit of a bastard and screws with the Avengers in addition to doing bad things; Brainiac's more A to B. Not that every movie needs snarky banter or obvious malice between its conflicting sides, but it might feel a little overly one-sided in that respect when the bad guy literally doesn't care about things other than accomplishing its goals.

This is what worries me the most about a JLA movie. Who have really been the major, high-stakes villains of the DC Universe? Darkseid (one-dimensional and too Thanos-y), Anti-monitor (zero depth as a character), Parallax (requires a complete redo of the Green Lantern), Black Lanterns (same thing), Imperiex (too hard to explain to mainstream audiences). DC sucks for major villains and most of the villain character development has been largely contained to Batman stories. The only way I can see this playing out well is if you build the stakes more and more each movie. Make reference to Darkseid in Man of Steel, have a cameo in a later solo flick, and show he's the guy who's been pulling the strings behind each movie. And for Pete's sake, add a little more depth to his character. Crafting a movie universe give WB more freedom to tweek the stories and underlying rules of the DC Universe. If they can make it fun without being too tacky (also with much violence please!), then this can work. Moreover, I trust the people that they have behind it.

On the one hand, overall I'd say I agree with your general premise.

On the other, I've never really thought of Darkseid as being so one-note as people seem to think of him in this thread. He's just...how to put it...he keeps his own counsel. Yes, he has a major overarching goal to achieve, but he considers other things along the way. He's not immune to curiosity or surprise; he has at times felt a desire to pursue things outside of his immediate pathway toward the endgame, as it were. He's just not very dramatic or extroverted about it. Moreover, his personal philosophy/worldview is pretty solidly fleshed out, which is more than can be said for a number of comic characters.

I dunno, maybe I just enjoyed the time Anarky showed up on Darkseid's doorstep for a conversation about the nature of evil with a self-invented boomtube equivalent more than I was supposed to.

Smokescreen:

SonicWaffle:

Everyone should agree with me. I'm wonderful.

We'll see about...

Oh. Lookie here. Note from grandma and everything. Looks like that checks out.

Tell her I said thanks for the cookies.

Smokescreen:

Smokescreen:
The first arc should even be the Grant Morrison white martian invasion storyline.

Terror Incognita? I'm not so sure. It requires some backstory (the mind-wiping, the whiteys taking the time to kidnap J'onn, build the towers that eliminate fire etc) so it won't be an amazing first movie, but I can see it making a great part 3. First movie intoduces white martians, second movie - since by then there will have been several solo movies with their own established villains - an Injustice League movie, and third movie can be the shocking return of the white martians to wreck some shit.

I think that might be too long to sustain. I dig where you're going and I see your point but I think you may have gone too 'big picture' for that one. My gut says that the Terror Incognita story could be streamlined down and made to work.

See, I think we need to go "big picture" on this bad boy. Plan ahead. One of the reasons Marvel's movie continuity has done so well is because they clearly planned it out in advance and took their time putting it together. A cameo here, a hint there, maybe a quick shot of Cap's shield or the Inifinty Gauntlet in the background of a totally unrelated scene from a different franchise. If DC/WB want a JLA movie to work, they need to build it up properly, not just jump straight in to the action. The new wave of comic book movies are different from anything we've had before, because they're being made by people who understand that half the fun of a shared universe is the way various things interlink.

Smokescreen:
Injustice League has to be one of the big hitters, for certain: the thing that can keep coming back though, which means establishing villains. 2nd movie is a good place for them.

Having given this a little thought, it might be problematic. Moviegoers tend to like resolution to a storyline, but an Injustice League featured in the second movie would mean that none of the villains from the solo movies were killed, exiled to a distant star, or even jailed (because if they can't be killed they're likely to be imprisoned, and how plausible is it that every featured villain breaks out of jail at the same time without the heroes noticing?) so that they could appear in the League film. It would mean all the solo films would be left without a proper conclusion.

I still think it's a workable idea, but it would have to be implemented very carefully.

Smokescreen:
What's troubling is: I can't think of another JLA storyline that's been compelling which wouldn't require a ton of backstory or setup. Granted, my history with the comics is limited; there must be some really compelling, epic level things to do there that were done pre-Morrison.

There's plenty that can be done, but much of it involves dumping whole hosts of new characters on the public. World War III might be an interesting one to do, but considering how many heroes and villains are involved we'd end up with too many characters vying for screen time.

Smokescreen:
I have no reason to care about the New 52 version...no one has suggested that I'm really missing out so I've been ignoring it.

It is poison. POISON. I've read one or two books that weren't that bad (though in large part it was because I was happy to see some characters return to prominence - the new Animal Man wasn't bad, and it's always nice to see the JLI again) but in the most part it's just fucking awful. Low points for me so far has to be Hawk & Dove, because while I never cared that much about the characters they let fucking Rob Liefeld take charge of it and that's a crime in my book, and the new Justice League Dark because teenage John Constantine is in the Justice League argh argh argh fuck you to death DC you absolute bastards fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck

Smokescreen:

Smokescreen:
But a Birds movie? That would be amazing. Again: don't tell me it can't be done. I would bet the house that there are actresses who would kill to have a chance to play those roles and we already know there's good writing behind it.

Hell, I'm neither a professional actress or even female, and I'd kill for a chance to be Black Canary, running around high-kicking and screaming people into submission :-P

Looking at a very different movie then. Might be a little less family friendly, what with you wearing those stockings and all.

No. NO PUT YOUR LEG DOWN.

TOO LATE! I am all dressed up and hungrry for justice!

Eleuthera:

SonicWaffle:

Terror Incognita? I'm not so sure. It requires some backstory (the mind-wiping, the whiteys taking the time to kidnap J'onn, build the towers that eliminate fire etc) so it won't be an amazing first movie, but I can see it making a great part 3. First movie intoduces white martians, second movie - since by then there will have been several solo movies with their own established villains - an Injustice League movie, and third movie can be the shocking return of the white martians to wreck some shit.

I was thinking "New World Order" actually, pre credits establish JLA, act 1 suspicious new supergroup even more awesome, act 2 investigating JLA-ers get taken out captured, act 3 they escape and kick the crap out of them.

I don't remember the storyline, actually. Was it the one with Tomorrow Woman?

Milanezi:
I'd go on New 52 take

The sooner we can have the next big crossover crisis that erases the New 52 and puts the continuity back the way it was, the sooner I can start buying comics again. To risk sounding like a whining fanboy who resists any kind of change, the New 52 is just bad. Horrible idea, horrible execution (you can tell the writers hated the idea, because of the 20-odd books I've read not one writer has bothered to make any kind of effort, kinda like a silent rebellion), the sooner it gets reverted the better.

A lot of good points here.

While Nolan made some incredible movies he also made it a lot more difficult for those who want to fit Batman into something like a Justice League movie. There's just no room for an expanded universe.

SonicWaffle:
[quote="Eleuthera" post="6.394982.16028284"]
I don't remember the storyline, actually. Was it the one with Tomorrow Woman?

It was the first 4 comics of Morrison's run. (JLA 1-4). Tomorrow Woman was in a special or 80-page giant iirc. Basically the first story of the 90s big-7 JLA series after the introduction mini series.

BehattedWanderer:
Some of those ideas sound good. But, there's a problem that I face--nothing I've ever seen or red about him has ever made me give the slightest care in the world about Superman. Not one. He's anachronistic to the world he's in, and he's a blind patsy to "the American Way", a racist, sexist, xenophobic, economically-driven, power-hungry ideal that usurped peace for terror across the world.

You realise that a couple of years ago (pre-reboot) he renounced his American citizenship for pretty much these reasons, right?

See, I've always found Superman to be an interesting character. Obviously you have the battle of personality versus powers, where if he wanted to he could become God-Emperor of Earth, but because of the way he was raised and the man he has become, he doesn't. He just wants to help. He's also torn because he could be helping a lot more (see Red Son) but has to restrain himself because he knows that over-protective nannying will in the long run be detrimental to humanity's development - interestingly, a belief he shares with Lex Luthor, though obviously they disagree on what level of intervention is acceptable.

I don't like the modern trend of bashing Superman as bland and boring. Yes, his powers make him pretty dull, but his character makes him interesting. He's more human than many of his biologically-human contemporaries because he embodies all the things we consider the best about ourselves; honesty, compassion, mercy, justice and so on. He may be physically alien (another interesting facet to the character that gets frequently ignored by haters is that he's so incredibly lonely, because his powers set him so far apart from everyone else that there's practially nobody he can relate to) but he's emotionally human. More than anything, he's a symbol. People might be glad when Batman saves them from a rapist, but they're still afraid of him. When Superman shows up, they know that whatever happens, things are going to be OK, because Superman always saves the day. It's what he does.

BehattedWanderer:
Batman is the least interesting thing in his own stories, which is mercifully why the focus is usually on the villains, because they are usually ever so much fun.

Not really. I know Yahtzee said so, but that doesn't automatically make it true ;-)

The villains are often pretty boring and repetitive. That was the point of the whole Hush storylines, that Batman's villains were generally stuck in a rut of the same old thing, and Batman was able to defeat them easily because they were generally quite predictable. The most interesting thing in Batman stories is usually how Batman gets out of the situations he finds himself in and his own determination and drive to fight.

BehattedWanderer:
Wonder Woman I'm not all that familiar with, apart from the cartoon, so I can't really chime in on her.

I've always been of the opinion that listing Wonder Woman as one of DC's "big three" was making a statement rather than because she's a great character - "Hey, look, we have girl superheroes and they're totally equal to the dudes!" - since she's frankly not very interesting. I love comics, I've read thousands of them, and while I can talk about Batman or Superman or even obscure DC characters like Tommy Monaghan, Spoiler or the Doom Patrol for literally hours at a time, I have nothing to say about Wonder Woman. Can't really remember anything interesting she's said or done. Don't remember more than a couple of her storylines. Even when she was prominent in a JLA story I happened to have been reading, she seemed to fade into the background.

BehattedWanderer:
The Flash? Fastest Man Alive breaks physics, magically doesn't cause climate problems by moving that fast or an accidental atomic explosion when his mass runs at lightspeed into an atom, as an upsized version of the LHC particle collisions.

All this can be excused though, since the Flash is awesome ;-)

BehattedWanderer:
Green Latern, Green Arrow, The Martian Manhunter? Probably the most fun, and therefore won't get the focus they deserve.

I think with Green Arrow, we run into the balance issue. Hawkeye in Avengers played his role and was a useful member of the team because with the exception of Thor and Hulk they weren't massively powerful individually. When you compare GA to his teammates, a guy with the boxing-glove arrow seems a little useless standing next to the dude who runs faster than sound or a man who can bench-press the moon. Batman gets away with it partly by being a memetic badass (it's fucking Batman!) and partly by being a full-fledged genius in matters technical and tactical, but Green Arrow - much as I like the guy - always felt outclassed.

BehattedWanderer:
Aquaman. He has all the strength and speed of Superman!--underwater. Yeah, that's really useful.

And the rest of the time too. He has the same strength and speed wherever he is, which is one of the reasons the Aquaman bashing fad annoys me. Yeah, we get it, talking to fish is a bit dumb. That doesn't mean that's all he can do. I think it would be interesting if they used the comic book version of Aquaman, who is actually king of Atlantis (basically a massive underwater civilization) and therefore the de facto ruler of two thirds of the planet, with everything that entails - ambassadors to foreign countries, a standing army, the works. I like the character because he's got power in more ways than just physical; he's a genuine player on the world diplomatic stage.

BehattedWanderer:
To sum up--yeah, I'm really betting this won't be that good. Marvel has a much better set of toys to work with.

I strongly disagree. DC have tons of interesting heroes and villains, and a million great stories to tell. You just need to look past the fashionable bashing of characters as "boring" or "useless" and see them as more than one-note jokes.

Eleuthera:

SonicWaffle:
[quote="Eleuthera" post="6.394982.16028284"]
I don't remember the storyline, actually. Was it the one with Tomorrow Woman?

It was the first 4 comics of Morrison's run. (JLA 1-4). Tomorrow Woman was in a special or 80-page giant iirc. Basically the first story of the 90s big-7 JLA series after the introduction mini series.

Hmm. I remember the introductory series I think (alien starfish, right? The league being brought together by a time traveller - the Hourman android? - to avert the apocalypse and being shown a vision of what happens when they fail?) but not what came after.

Eleuthera:

SonicWaffle:

Terror Incognita? I'm not so sure. It requires some backstory (the mind-wiping, the whiteys taking the time to kidnap J'onn, build the towers that eliminate fire etc) so it won't be an amazing first movie, but I can see it making a great part 3. First movie intoduces white martians, second movie - since by then there will have been several solo movies with their own established villains - an Injustice League movie, and third movie can be the shocking return of the white martians to wreck some shit.

I was thinking "New World Order" actually, pre credits establish JLA, act 1 suspicious new supergroup even more awesome, act 2 investigating JLA-ers get taken out captured, act 3 they escape and kick the crap out of them.

The sequel would have to be that Morrison story where they use Batman's notes to destroy the rest of the Justice League.

SonicWaffle:

BehattedWanderer:
Aquaman. He has all the strength and speed of Superman!--underwater. Yeah, that's really useful.

And the rest of the time too. He has the same strength and speed wherever he is, which is one of the reasons the Aquaman bashing fad annoys me. Yeah, we get it, talking to fish is a bit dumb. That doesn't mean that's all he can do. I think it would be interesting if they used the comic book version of Aquaman, who is actually king of Atlantis (basically a massive underwater civilization) and therefore the de facto ruler of two thirds of the planet, with everything that entails - ambassadors to foreign countries, a standing army, the works. I like the character because he's got power in more ways than just physical; he's a genuine player on the world diplomatic stage.

Peter David constantly writes about how underrated Aquaman is - http://www.peterdavid.net/2010/12/20/et-tu-big-bang-theory/ is a good example.

SonicWaffle:

BehattedWanderer:
To sum up--yeah, I'm really betting this won't be that good. Marvel has a much better set of toys to work with.

I strongly disagree. DC have tons of interesting heroes and villains, and a million great stories to tell. You just need to look past the fashionable bashing of characters as "boring" or "useless" and see them as more than one-note jokes.

DC certainly has more interesting villains - for the most part. Nearly everyone in Marvel is human and vulnerable, including the villains (in fact, the weakest villains are the most physically strong - Apocalypse for example). But DC has a rogue's gallery for everyone, and they usually have some great motivations. Sinestro, Luthor, and the Joker being the best examples.

CAPTCHA: worship nothing - ha

SonicWaffle:

Hmm. I remember the introductory series I think (alien starfish, right? The league being brought together by a time traveller - the Hourman android? - to avert the apocalypse and being shown a vision of what happens when they fail?) but not what came after.

I'm going to cheat and check my comics...

The story I'm talking about is this one.

The introductory story was 'A midsummer's Nightmare', written by Mark Waid. A rather weird story, starting with the established superheroes all power less, and without memory of their powers, but lots of normal people have gained powers. This turns out to be some sort of alien plot trying to trigger the human potential to all become 'super' (this plot point come up again in WW3).

The starfish (Starro) thing happens in another special and comes back in the story with Daniel (the Sandman of Gaiman fame). The Hourman (android version) story doesn't happen until a lot later and starts with a time travel story concerning Darkseid and the Worlogog.

There are just too many great stories in Morrison's run.. now i want to see them all on film :(

jmarquiso:

Eleuthera:

SonicWaffle:

Terror Incognita? I'm not so sure. It requires some backstory (the mind-wiping, the whiteys taking the time to kidnap J'onn, build the towers that eliminate fire etc) so it won't be an amazing first movie, but I can see it making a great part 3. First movie intoduces white martians, second movie - since by then there will have been several solo movies with their own established villains - an Injustice League movie, and third movie can be the shocking return of the white martians to wreck some shit.

I was thinking "New World Order" actually, pre credits establish JLA, act 1 suspicious new supergroup even more awesome, act 2 investigating JLA-ers get taken out captured, act 3 they escape and kick the crap out of them.

The sequel would have to be that Morrison story where they use Batman's notes to destroy the rest of the Justice League.

Tower of Babel, also known as "Bruce, you done really fucked up this time"

Did you ever read the special edition (it was an anniversary or something) of JLA that had a whole section of Batman's notes? It was actually a really interesting read, seeing the way his mind works and the fact he isn't just theorising - he's been experimenting with various ideas/formulas/weapons just so he'd be fully prepared to take down his friends as necessary. That's an incredibly impressive level of paranoia.

jmarquiso:

SonicWaffle:

BehattedWanderer:
Aquaman. He has all the strength and speed of Superman!--underwater. Yeah, that's really useful.

And the rest of the time too. He has the same strength and speed wherever he is, which is one of the reasons the Aquaman bashing fad annoys me. Yeah, we get it, talking to fish is a bit dumb. That doesn't mean that's all he can do. I think it would be interesting if they used the comic book version of Aquaman, who is actually king of Atlantis (basically a massive underwater civilization) and therefore the de facto ruler of two thirds of the planet, with everything that entails - ambassadors to foreign countries, a standing army, the works. I like the character because he's got power in more ways than just physical; he's a genuine player on the world diplomatic stage.

Peter David constantly writes about how underrated Aquaman is - http://www.peterdavid.net/2010/12/20/et-tu-big-bang-theory/ is a good example.

That was an enjoyable read, cheers for the link. Guy makes a lot of good points, which I shall now email to my Marvel-loving, Aquaman-bashing buddy :-)

jmarquiso:

SonicWaffle:

BehattedWanderer:
To sum up--yeah, I'm really betting this won't be that good. Marvel has a much better set of toys to work with.

I strongly disagree. DC have tons of interesting heroes and villains, and a million great stories to tell. You just need to look past the fashionable bashing of characters as "boring" or "useless" and see them as more than one-note jokes.

DC certainly has more interesting villains - for the most part. Nearly everyone in Marvel is human and vulnerable, including the villains (in fact, the weakest villains are the most physically strong - Apocalypse for example). But DC has a rogue's gallery for everyone, and they usually have some great motivations. Sinestro, Luthor, and the Joker being the best examples.

I'm rather partial to Catman, personally. Formerly a complete joke, built himself up and was recruited by the Secret Six and actually became a very interesting character. Honourable despite being a villain, kicks ass despite having an idiotic costume, becomes best friends with Deadshot despite the two of them being totally different personalities.

In fact, the whole Secret Six series was built of this - a bunch of villains operating as mercenaries, and often acting quite honourably and as decent-if-psychopathic people. There was an issue I particularly liked that took place while Batman was dead; a little kid is kidnapped in Gotham and nobody is doing anything about it, so Bane, Deadshot and Catman take care of it and rescue the child "because it's what he would have done". It's not often you see a gang of villains honouring the passing of a mutual foe with anything more than mad cackling.

If you've never read the series, I advise you to look it up. Very humanising, making the characters interesting and relatable without turning them into heroes or pussies.

Eleuthera:

SonicWaffle:

Hmm. I remember the introductory series I think (alien starfish, right? The league being brought together by a time traveller - the Hourman android? - to avert the apocalypse and being shown a vision of what happens when they fail?) but not what came after.

I'm going to cheat and check my comics...

The story I'm talking about is this one

I have a vague memory of reading that. It was so long ago that most of the comics I read in those days have merged into a big lump of punching and explosions inside my brain :-P

It wouldn't make a very good first movie, though. It relies on new heroes arriving to supplant the established ones, which doesn't work if we're still trying to establish our heroes as characters in the minds of the audience. Might make for an interesting part two though.

Eleuthera:
The introductory story was 'A midsummer's Nightmare', written by Mark Waid. A rather weird story, starting with the established superheroes all power less, and without memory of their powers, but lots of normal people have gained powers. This turns out to be some sort of alien plot trying to trigger the human potential to all become 'super' (this plot point come up again in WW3).

Ah yes, speeding up human evolution with SCIENCE RAYS! I seem to recall they went and got some magic alien from a long-dead world that Maggeddon had previously fucked up, and then combined him with SCIENCE! and somehow everything turned out fine. A good story, I rather enjoyed it, but a little bit lax on the explanations of why the hell anything was happening ;-)

Eleuthera:
The starfish (Starro) thing happens in another special and comes back in the story with Daniel (the Sandman of Gaiman fame).

Not quite. This is the issue in question, and it's not Daniel in this story, it's the (pre-Hal Jordan, IIRC) Spectre.

It's supposedly the first team-up by this iteration of the League though, which is why I thought it was the first storyline.

SonicWaffle:

I have a vague memory of reading that. It was so long ago that most of the comics I read in those days have merged into a big lump of punching and explosions inside my brain :-P

It wouldn't make a very good first movie, though. It relies on new heroes arriving to supplant the established ones, which doesn't work if we're still trying to establish our heroes as characters in the minds of the audience. Might make for an interesting part two though.

Since they're apparently going for a "the JLA is already a thing" story, there shjouldn't be too much of a problem there. That why I said introduce the JLA pre-credits (a la James Bond), and start the story with the arrival of the new team.

SonicWaffle:
Ah yes, speeding up human evolution with SCIENCE RAYS! I seem to recall they went and got some magic alien from a long-dead world that Maggeddon had previously fucked up, and then combined him with SCIENCE! and somehow everything turned out fine. A good story, I rather enjoyed it, but a little bit lax on the explanations of why the hell anything was happening ;-)

He was 'the Glimmer' last survivor of 'Wonderworld' the world they visited in the time trvale story with Darksied I talked about. a world inhabited solely by superbeing for the sole purpose of defeating Maggedon.
It wasn't so much magic he lent them as it was his superpower (he was a speedster like Flash (they ran perpendicular...)), but yeah not a lot of explaning in there, it was a culmination of 50+ comics worth of story lines.

SonicWaffle:

Not quite. This is the issue in question, and it's not Daniel in this story, it's the (pre-Hal Jordan, IIRC) Spectre.

It's supposedly the first team-up by this iteration of the League though, which is why I thought it was the first storyline.

Yeah, that's what I meant by special, the secret files and origins stories. But I don't think Starro is a good movie villain. Giant alien starfish will be a bit hard to swallow I think. Daniel was the one helping them in the follow-up story, another great story that wouldn't work on film...

Eleuthera:
Since they're apparently going for a "the JLA is already a thing" story, there shjouldn't be too much of a problem there. That why I said introduce the JLA pre-credits (a la James Bond), and start the story with the arrival of the new team.

Even if they start with the JLA already established, they'll need to introduce many of the less familiar characters (since by the time JLA comes out there will only have been one or two solo movies released) and explain them to the non-comic nerd portion of the audience. If they then throw in the Hyperclan and do the same thing with them, that's a lot of characters to introduce and explain in a relatively short span of time.

Eleuthera:
Yeah, that's what I meant by special, the secret files and origins stories. But I don't think Starro is a good movie villain. Giant alien starfish will be a bit hard to swallow I think. Daniel was the one helping them in the follow-up story, another great story that wouldn't work on film...

It think it depends. If they played down the starfish angle and just used the star-shaped facehuggers, I think the audience would accept it. Parasitic aliens who take over your mind and body - cool. Understood. Let's watch superheroes get possessed and beat each other up.

Would save on new characters too, as you could have various Leaguers presented as heroes to begin with and villains later, so we don't have to waste time explain the bad guys' powers or motivation when the entire story is "Green Lantern possessed by evil alien, let's watch Batman kick him in the dick"

My main complaint with a JLA movie is my general complaint with the DCU in general.

The high end characters just aren't that interesting. Superman's a boy scout, Batman's a rich boy with abandonment issues, and every different writer tried to reinvent Wonder Woman to make her interesting.

The DCU's strength has always been its roster of second tier heroes. This is why I think JLU worked as well as it did. Hal Jordan is as interesting as a pile of mud, but put him next to Green Arrow and you've got gold. Batman a little too Batgod for you? Maybe he's busy and you need to call on the Birds of Prey. Superman off fighting Doomsday again? Don't worry Power Girl can help you out (and look better doing it).

Any JLA movie has to find a way to characterize the big three beyond the broad strokes we already know of them, and skipping to a group movie right after Man of Steel is not the way to do it.

This suddenly reminds why I don't trust comic book fans' input on adaptations of comics. At this point I'm wondering when the bubble is going to burst and superhero movies go into a recession for awhile.

According to IMDB, the following is set to all hit in 2015:

-Avengers 2
-Justice League
-Star Wars VII
-Avatar 2

Hot damn. It's like the early '80s all over again.

How to make a justice league movie, or ones about the superheroes in them not suck?

Have Christopher Nolan direct every one of them. Or at least write them.

I'm not sure I see the desirability in a live-action Justice League movie, except for all the money it might make, obviously. The marvel stuff I get, I had never seen those characters before and really enjoyed their movies, but DC has had a lot of really nice animated stuff going for a long while. I'm much more interested in those cartoons than I've ever been in the convoluted comics, they have made me care for characters I could never stand or never knew about and don't reboot and retcon every nanosecond. When they make this movie, I hope they don't look at the comics too closely.
Watched a number of the animated DC movies lately, and while a couple were horrible(Superman/Batman Public Enemies especially), there were a couple I thought were amazing as well(The one on Apokolips action-wise and Superman VS The Elite plotwise). There is no Justice League Movie-shaped hole in my heart. If anything, I would prefer it if they let Dreamworks start making CG movies of their characters rather than live-action.

We all know that they're going to Edward Cullify Superman in Man of Steel...

Right?

SonicWaffle:

You realise that a couple of years ago (pre-reboot) he renounced his American citizenship for pretty much these reasons, right?

See, I've always found Superman to be an interesting character. Obviously you have the battle of personality versus powers, where if he wanted to he could become God-Emperor of Earth, but because of the way he was raised and the man he has become, he doesn't. He just wants to help. He's also torn because he could be helping a lot more (see Red Son) but has to restrain himself because he knows that over-protective nannying will in the long run be detrimental to humanity's development - interestingly, a belief he shares with Lex Luthor, though obviously they disagree on what level of intervention is acceptable.

I don't like the modern trend of bashing Superman as bland and boring. Yes, his powers make him pretty dull, but his character makes him interesting. He's more human than many of his biologically-human contemporaries because he embodies all the things we consider the best about ourselves; honesty, compassion, mercy, justice and so on. He may be physically alien (another interesting facet to the character that gets frequently ignored by haters is that he's so incredibly lonely, because his powers set him so far apart from everyone else that there's practially nobody he can relate to) but he's emotionally human. More than anything, he's a symbol. People might be glad when Batman saves them from a rapist, but they're still afraid of him. When Superman shows up, they know that whatever happens, things are going to be OK, because Superman always saves the day. It's what he does.

Actually, no, I did not realize that. It doesn't really change things, because he still embodies that retchingly sickening idea of perfect goodness, and has no moral grey. There's never an issue of saving something personal over something for all, because, almost as a checklist in everything I've seen of him, he manages to save both parties what with his checklist of God Powers that he complains about having to keep in check. "Oh no, I'm almost as fast as the Flash, who can practically bend space and time he moves so fast! Oh no, I have near-impossible physical strength and can fly, how am I ever going to be in two places at once? Oh, right, I'll just be there that fast, save everything, then punch someone!" There's no real sense of danger, except when the plot device demands that he magically can't use his powers, which usually only lasts a short period of time. You said it yourself, "he always saves the day". His most interesting moment for me is him giving the ring to Batman, saying if he ever goes off the deep end, that Batman should use it. It led me to believe he might actually get too enveloped in his powers, a la Green Latern, but, in what I've seen, he never has. He can't, apparently, because it would break that whole "I'm the embodiment of hope, love, and goodness" thing.

And lonely? With all the various other Kryptonians that show up? With superhumans like Flash and Diana, and fellow Last Son J'onn J'onzz, among others? That doesn't hold much water for me, sorry. His adoptive parents, the parts of the JL he actually likes, fellow survivors, maybe even a couple of the people at The Daily Planet all become his family. He's not exactly short on friends.

SonicWaffle:

Not really. I know Yahtzee said so, but that doesn't automatically make it true ;-)

The villains are often pretty boring and repetitive. That was the point of the whole Hush storylines, that Batman's villains were generally stuck in a rut of the same old thing, and Batman was able to defeat them easily because they were generally quite predictable. The most interesting thing in Batman stories is usually how Batman gets out of the situations he finds himself in and his own determination and drive to fight.

Yeah, Yahtzee said it, but it rings true in this case. Batman is useless with his villains. Yeah, some of them are just weird and comicky, but the best Batman stories are him going toe-to-toe with his own mind. He is Joker, except he doesn't kill. He is Scarecrow, except instead of innocents, he's targeting criminals. He is Two-Face, trying to juggle his desire for sociopathic violence and his desire to better the world. He's pitting his fractured humanity against his own anger, and it leads to him barely walking the line. Without his villains, he'd have either killed himself in his desolation, or become one for the other heroes to deal with. He's only interesting on his own because he walks the line between villain and hero.

SonicWaffle:

I've always been of the opinion that listing Wonder Woman as one of DC's "big three" was making a statement rather than because she's a great character - "Hey, look, we have girl superheroes and they're totally equal to the dudes!" - since she's frankly not very interesting. I love comics, I've read thousands of them, and while I can talk about Batman or Superman or even obscure DC characters like Tommy Monaghan, Spoiler or the Doom Patrol for literally hours at a time, I have nothing to say about Wonder Woman. Can't really remember anything interesting she's said or done. Don't remember more than a couple of her storylines. Even when she was prominent in a JLA story I happened to have been reading, she seemed to fade into the background.

Like I said, I don't really know enough about her to chime in, so I'm more inclined to see something interesting come out of her involvement.

SonicWaffle:

All this can be excused though, since the Flash is awesome ;-)

He's at least fun and consistent, even if in a world of suspended disbelief, it requires further suspension.

SonicWaffle:

I think with Green Arrow, we run into the balance issue. Hawkeye in Avengers played his role and was a useful member of the team because with the exception of Thor and Hulk they weren't massively powerful individually. When you compare GA to his teammates, a guy with the boxing-glove arrow seems a little useless standing next to the dude who runs faster than sound or a man who can bench-press the moon. Batman gets away with it partly by being a memetic badass (it's fucking Batman!) and partly by being a full-fledged genius in matters technical and tactical, but Green Arrow - much as I like the guy - always felt outclassed.

I wholly agree, but he could provide great flavor as a side character. If they go less goofy, and stick him with things like thermite and acid capsule arrows, then he's at least useful occasionally. Like Hawkeye, he's a comic book character that barely makes sense in a world of superhumans, science, magic, and even normal humans that are just really really good at using a gun. Them using a bow is just...outdated.

SonicWaffle:

And the rest of the time too. He has the same strength and speed wherever he is, which is one of the reasons the Aquaman bashing fad annoys me. Yeah, we get it, talking to fish is a bit dumb. That doesn't mean that's all he can do. I think it would be interesting if they used the comic book version of Aquaman, who is actually king of Atlantis (basically a massive underwater civilization) and therefore the de facto ruler of two thirds of the planet, with everything that entails - ambassadors to foreign countries, a standing army, the works. I like the character because he's got power in more ways than just physical; he's a genuine player on the world diplomatic stage.

Wow, that all sounds wonderful! My favorite parts of superhero movies are the U.N. meetings between dignitaries from various nations! Seriously, though, that's neat and all, but how much fun can you feasibly get up to when you're the king of an underwater civilization. Unless they're aiming for a LOTR/Hobbit battle of five armies kind of thing, then I don't see much use to Aquaman's armies, other than a cheap way to knock off the Chitauri from Avengers, which I'm hoping they don't do.

SonicWaffle:

I strongly disagree. DC have tons of interesting heroes and villains, and a million great stories to tell. You just need to look past the fashionable bashing of characters as "boring" or "useless" and see them as more than one-note jokes.

Superman is still boring to me. He's a Swiss army knife with too many functions, so when it comes time to need something simple, you miss the point and end up making it complicated just to get use out of it. He's always The Golden Boy, never to do wrong, because he's got practically no reason to fail except contrivance. Batman we know makes for great entertainment, Bat-nipples withstanding, but hopefully this won't be "Batman and Friends". Wonder Woman and Aquaman make for an interesting pair of superhumans for less interesting things to happen to, Green Latern won't get to do much because of the recent flop, and I can't help but question how much anyone else will really get any focus. There's a chance they could pull it off, but my hopes aren't that high. This isn't being done to tell a Justice League story, it's being done because Marvel made an entire mountain range of money with their combined movies, and DC/Warner Bros wants a part of that. That's not a good reason to anticipate the great film it could be, so I'm skeptical.

the dcu has its work cut out for it
because as someone has mentioned its the marvel vs capcom 2 of comic book franchises , there is no balance

say what you will about marvel but those mofo's know where people stand on a power scale and how to make a threat seem actually threatening.

i also agree about darkseid , not only because i think he isn't all that great in the first place i don't think thanos is the best either, i am more scared of doctor doom on a bad day ( and by bad i mean angry) than those two, i never look at doctor doom and see "not a threat" i pray to god marvel gets that license back

but back on point
build up to darkseid, maybe a lantern invasion, or the other martians, or maybe demons, or brainiac, or the injustice league or cadmus, something?

You hit the nail on the head here. Unfortunately it's only the tip of the iceberg of troubles really; I feel that making a group of 'Thor-style' living God heroes relatable to the average audience would be an even trickier task than humanizing each of the 'Spidey-style' Avengers. Even more so if you don't take the time in separate good movies to build interest in each of them individually. Avengers was like five minor miracles one after the other. None had to be perfect, but any one of the four being a Green Lantern-level bomb could have ruined the whole thing. If you're working on a deadline as DC is now, the odds of that happening rise further still.

I support the White Martian idea for what it's worth. The hardest threat for Superman to deal with is always the one that disguises itself within the society he vowed to protect, or more often has become a critical part of society that can never be safely removed (Luthor). IIRC they were amazingly deadly in the Justice League pilot (something they should certainly try to take inspiration from), capable of infiltrating, regenerating, telepathically brainwashing and of course transforming into the Leaguers to battle them on equal footing. Like as then, J'onn J'onzz doesn't need his own movie to become the glue that pulls the team together any more than Nick Fury did.

The Wonder Woman movie is probably necessary, and of all of them it's one I'd like to see done extremely well to get people interested in characters other than Batman and Supes. Besides being the most formal of the trio in diction and action, she also stands apart from the rest by either lacking or often disregarding the 'do not kill rule'. That makes a kind of sense since so many of her opponents are Greek Gods like Circe, Hades and Ares who will always come back, but despite making her primary goal achieving lasting peace between her two homes she is a more traditional warrior than Bruce and Clark, shown to be skilled with nearly every melee weapon in existence.

Sadly, there's so many conflicting voices on a project this big that I doubt any of these ideas from any of us will be heard. It will take another miracle to hit as big as Avengers instead of just being a hollow me-too cash-grab. If Man of Steel is well received then they have a foundation to build off of. Here's hoping.

DC has not succeeded in a single superhero film in almost two decades (I don't care how much money the Schumachuer films made)...

... and I don't consider the Nolan trilogy "superhero" movies. Those movies, as good as they are, are almost ASHAMED of their comic book roots and took great pains to eliminate anything even remotely unrealistic or plausible from them. They are good thrillers and police drama movies, but they're pretty abysmal as "superhero" movies.

Compare that to The Avengers, which is so unabashedly fun and PROUD of being a comic book movie about larger-than-life superheroes.

Can audiences TRULY go back to a movie where Batman could possibly fight a giant starfish after Nolan stripped every comic book-y element from him?

Oh they are so going to fuck this up.... So very badly.

I can't wait to see how much they destroy, now that i no longer care after the reboot.

As far as villains go....How about the Legion of Doom? It could have a SPECTER feel to it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SPECTRE

BehattedWanderer:
Some of those ideas sound good. But, there's a problem that I face--nothing I've ever seen or red about him has ever made me give the slightest care in the world about Superman. Not one. He's anachronistic to the world he's in, and he's a blind patsy to "the American Way", a racist, sexist, xenophobic, economically-driven, power-hungry ideal that usurped peace for terror across the world. He's incredibly boring as a character, because everything he's weak to has to magically (i.e. by plot device) appear on Earth. Kryptonite, a rock not even native to this solar system? Oh, we have it in abundance, for every time he gets a bit out of line! The light of a red sun? Well, hell, that happens all the time, for no fucking reason whatsoever! Captain America might embody the same ideals, but Captain America can also just be shot. He's altered, but he's fucking human. Even Thor, the literal God of Thunder, is more human than Supes will ever be.

Batman is the least interesting thing in his own stories, which is mercifully why the focus is usually on the villains, because they are usually ever so much fun.

Wonder Woman I'm not all that familiar with, apart from the cartoon, so I can't really chime in on her. The Flash? Fastest Man Alive breaks physics, magically doesn't cause climate problems by moving that fast or an accidental atomic explosion when his mass runs at lightspeed into an atom, as an upsized version of the LHC particle collisions. Green Latern, Green Arrow, The Martian Manhunter? Probably the most fun, and therefore won't get the focus they deserve.

Aquaman. He has all the strength and speed of Superman!--underwater. Yeah, that's really useful.

To sum up--yeah, I'm really betting this won't be that good. Marvel has a much better set of toys to work with.

You don't really read a lot of comics, do you? Because you don't seem to know a whole lot about them.

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