The title of this rant pretty much gives away the topic but it is something that has been discussed more and more in recent days as the very positive reviews flood in for Marvel’s “The Avengers.” DC fans want to know if they will ever see a day when their heroes will face something that is too big for them to handle alone. Will this happen?
I think it will but I do not have the faith in DC to pull it off in such a natural and amazing fashion as Marvel. When they started to construct the Marvel Cinematic Universe, (known as MCU from here on out) the creative minds at Marvel realized that they had an opportunity to not just built each of their next movie franchises in house as they wished but also could integrate all of them into a larger universe.
The other approach was the method that DC was implementing, as they forced all of their movie characters to exist in a world where they are the only super hero. Some people believe it was due to the fact that if Superman and Batman existed in the same universe, that Batman would not be needed as Superman can do everything and at super speeds.
What I want to do is look at what I feel (and this is my opinion remember) are the stumbling blocks that DC will be facing to make a “Justice League” live action film.
– The first issue is pretty obvious…..DC needs to create a movie universe that is unified aka the DC Cinematic Universe (now known as DCCU going forward….original eh?) and that means they need to do one thing that they love to do. A Crisis. Now I am not saying they need to do an actual Crisis movie that explains a reboot, although that would be interesting in itself, what they will need to do is reboot a very successful movie franchise in Nolan’s Batman franchise. Through three films, Christopher Nolan grounded his films in reality and to adapt the super powered heroes into the fold, there needs to be a sense that the world has the potential to house these people. How the world of the Batman is at this time, they would not exist.
– There needs to be an actual need to bring them together. What makes “The Avengers” work so well as a comic and potentially as a movie is that the characters are flawed. Even Thor as a god, is not all powerful and would have the need to align himself with a team that offers different skill sets to compliment his. The MCU is structured in a way that even a god and a monster who is incredibly strong needs what the other heroes offer to succeed fully. There does not seem to be that synergy in the potential DCCU but it needs to happen. if the core of the DCCU will be a JL movie with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern and The Martian Manhunter there will need to be some power level tweaks needed to necessitate the need of a group effort. Superman is a VERY powerful character and more or less Wonder Woman and Martian Manhunter are just female and alien characters that are more of the same basic skill set. Even the only hero without super powers is super powered. Batman fans pride themselves on the fact that he is not super powered or enhanced, but he is, as he has developed into a plot device in the comics that can handle any situation as he would have planned for it beforehand. This hinders the need of a team when one character (all of them individually as well) do not need the assistance of a team.
– The characters of the DCCU are not nearly as flawed as those of the MCU. Each of the heroes that makes up “The Avengers” have character flaws that not only makes them more interesting as their alter egos (except Thor as he has no alter ego in the MCU) as well as when they suit up to be heroes. DC tried to accomplish this with Hal Jordan and only partially succeeded. Although Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Bruce Banner and Thor had their flaws explored in their individual movies, I feel that Tony Stark is the perfect example of an extremely flawed character that makes it work. Now I am not saying that Batman needs to follow the example of Tony Stark but I am saying that he needs flaws such as maybe an emphasis on the physical trauma he endures night after night and how it impacts him. How he doesn’t believe he needs assistance, refuses it and finally …..quietly accepts it after putting himself through hell physically. If he is dead set on doing everything by himself and he continues to put himself at risk during a huge event, it is a flaw he needs to deal with internally and that creates great plot ideas.
– What will be the common stomping ground for the heroes to make their stand? In the MCU, New York City is the center of the universe. Everything seems to happen there and it works for them. The DCU has a different situation as all their cities such as Gotham, Metropolis and Coast City were all painstakingly created to have their own distinct vibes. For me, I believe the best place to have the movie take place is Metropolis as it will be the most foreign place to the group as a whole. Superman, Wonder Woman and The Martin Manhunter are all from places that are technically different worlds so it would be foreign to them. It would aslo be foreign to Batman, The Flash and Green Lantern of course as they were born in different cities. It would also present the mass scale of people and possible destruction that would be needed for such a movie, such as New York City did for “The Avengers.”
– Who would the villain(s) be? One thing I like about the Avengers is that Loki is a singular villain for the film. He does have an army but he is the only villain we see during the entire film and it is refreshing as many comic book.super hero movies tend to have multiple villains for the hero to dispatch of. Someone I like the idea of as a villain would be Brainiac. He could easily be a great villain as you could use the idea of him as a singular villain but also give him the ability to create copies of himself on a larger scale for the JL to fight. If he could also interfere with Batman’s tech it would force Batman into that team aspect that he would be forced to rely on other’s instead of his gadgets.
So what do you think? Can DC pull off a “Justice League” film without it feeling rushed or as a half hearted attempt to not be left behind Marvel? What are your suggestions?
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