The World Has Been Avenged. When Will We See Justice?

First off, I’m not interested in writing a review for Marvel’s The Avengers.  Mainly because the internet is already flooded with various reviews and articles on how The Avengers beat the bad guys and obliterated box office records.  It’s obvious that the world loves The Avengers (myself included) except for apparently 7% of the critics out there according to Rotten Tomatoes.  What I am interested in writing about is how DC and Warner Bros. absolutely NEED to follow Marvel’s lead (no matter how much it may pain them) and create a series of their own super hero movies that lead to a Justice League film.  I’ve already written about this before in my Justice League Assemble? post but I wanted to expand on those thoughts here in light of The Avengers (Hulk) smashing success.  Beyond the Dark Knight franchise Warner Bros. has made a steady stream of mistakes throughout this generation of superhero films.  Since Marvel has begun creating their universe onscreen Warner has been sitting with their thumbs up their collective butts waiting to see how this whole Marvel Studios thing will work out.  Well, Warner, how does over one billion dollars worldwide work out for you?  Yeah, I thought so.  You should probably get to work.

Maybe one of Batman’s new gadgets can help Warner Bros. figure out what to do next.

Now that the Harry Potter series is over and The Dark Knight series is wrapping up, Warner Bros. needs to focus on and support the DCU films.  The Dark Knight trilogy has had an amazing run and I’ve absolutely loved the dark tone and real world setting.  That being said, The Avengers proved that audiences can handle a comic book world filled with colorful superheroes, monstrous villains, and cosmic level threats.  In short, DCU movies need to be more comic-booky (I assure you, that’s a word).  If you look at it from the comic book side of things the Marvel Universe has always touted itself as being more realistic and down to earth than the DCU.  The heroes of the Marvel Universe are flawed.  Citizens of the Marvel world have always been more critical of its heroes, simple things like Spider-man constantly needing to re-stitch his costume has always been emphasized and, for many years, Marvel even used the tag line “Your Universe” to indicate that the Marvel heroes live in a very realistic place. In contrast, the heroes of the DCU are essentially modern gods.  The citizens of the DCU world practically worship their heroes and no matter how many times a hero’s costume is torn or ruined it always seems like they have a set of fresh costumes hanging in their closet.  DC Comics has never pretended that their world was a part of ours because the world of DC is simply too fantastic.  The DCU is a place of aliens, magicians, sci-fi wonders and infinitely more to list. The creators of DC Comics have always embraced that.  And yet, for the most part, what we see in theaters reflects the exact opposite.  Going forward, it is essential that the DCU movies be just as fantastic as the DCU comics they are based on.  So, how should DC and Warner Bros. do this?  Bear with me when I say this but I feel that the Green Lantern movie is heading in the right direction in showing us a more “comic-booky” world.

Despite its failures, Green Lantern succeeded in introducing to audiences (albeit a paltry one) the concepts of DC’s most popular cosmic characters.  Warner Bros. really showed no fear (see what I did there?) by introducing us to a universe full of not only aliens but alien superheroes.  They also explained to audiences what a power ring is and how it works.  They also explained to us what Oa is and who the Guardians of the Universe are.  They also explained…do you see where I’m going with this?  The problem with the Green Lantern movie was that the film makers felt that they had to explain everything to us before the movie even started instead of letting the audience discover these things more organically throughout the film along with Hal Jordan.  If they move forward with a sequel it should benefit from not having to set anything up and hopefully the film makers will give audiences more credit in being able to accept such a fantastic setting.

We are so sorry for what we put you through, but at least Sinestro was cool right?

Let’s move on to Batman.  Wait minute, doesn’t he already have a blockbuster franchise?  (Before you answer that question be warned that it is, in fact, rhetorical.)  Let’s take a look at the following quote that comes from a article also discussing a potential Justice League movie.  “Batman does not need a solo movie, he is a name that people know and understand. […] Everyone loved the movie.  Batman became iconic on a whole new level, and once again was the most dominant force in the superhero genre. […] Am I saying have Batman just show up in the Justice League movie without having [a] predecessor […]?  Absolutely not.  You can have Batman cameo in any one of those movies and the crowd will go insane.”  I think this is absolutely the right call to make for Batman now that the The Dark Knight movies are coming to an end.  It’s possible that Batman could even act in the capacity that Nick Fury did for the Marvel movies.   He could detect (you know, because he’s the best at that kind of thing) a threat that he knows he can’t face alone and decides to contact other heroes to fight by his side.  I know that Batman is a very solitary character usually but even the caped crusader knows when he is in over his head and this is where his cameos can come in.  Some may think that this may be too similar to how Marvel tied their films together.  Instead of using a hero like Batman, DC could go the opposite route and have Lex Luthor be what ties everything together with his Legion of Doom (trust me, they’ve come a long way since the Superfriends).

I think I just shat myself.

However, in order to even talk about potential hero or villain cameos, there needs to be movies for them to cameo in.  I’ve already talked about Green Lantern in this post and Man of Steel and other potential DC hero adaptations in a previous one.  I’ve also talked about Wonder Woman in another post but this quote (also taken from the same article mentioned above) made it impossible for me not to mention her again.  The author begins to talk about which DCU movies he thinks should build toward the Justice League one and then he says the following: “This of course would be followed by Wonder Woman, who will have to heavily rely on other heroes to make her movie work.  I hate to be the person to say this but women superhero movies just don’t work.  I’m not saying they can’t and won’t ever work, but right now in this day and age for some reason female superheroes are not on caliber to male superheroes.”  Not only do I completely disagree with this but, frankly, I find it fairly offensive.  First of all, what exactly is this statement based on?  Elektra and Catwoman?  Those are the only two female superhero adaptations that have been made as of late.  Granted, neither of those movies are good as they were severely mishandled but let’s not denigrate an entire sex of superheroes because of two movies that were clearly half-assed.  I mean, the Elektra movie got the basics of the titular character right (Well, they said she was an assassin at least) but everything else was bungled.  As for Catwoman’s on screen appearances, we have yet to see an accurate portrayal of her.  Batman Returns was close (at least the character was Selena Kyle) but why, oh why has Catwoman always had the same “dead lady brought to life by kitty licks” origin.  Catwoman is an ex prostitute turned cat burglar.  It’s as simple as that.  She likes to steal stuff for fun and help out down on their luck women so they don’t have to go through what she did.  Also, she likes cats.

Some Warner exec saw a cheap knockoff Catwoman costume and said “I’ll make a movie about this.”

My point is that Wonder Woman can be an incredible franchise if put in the right hands.  And if Warner Bros. is afraid that a feature film will flop they can look at this way, Wonder Woman is DC’s Thor.  Don’t get me wrong, they are entirely different characters of course but they do have their similarities.  They are both connected to mythical gods and come from mystical places.  Both eventually find themselves defending humanity from various threats sometimes including evil family members.  Both use magic based weapons to fight back to forces of evil.  And, most importantly, they both appreciate a good mead.

Pictured Left: Wonder Woman from DC: The New Frontier. Pictured Right: A hilarious picture of Thor I found on Google.

Seriously though, the similarities exist and Warner Bros. can use this to their advantage.  If the studio is worried about men not wanting to see this because it stars a female superhero then they can introduce Steve Trevor as the all American bad-ass that he is.  Cast the role with a popular male lead like Chris Pine.  Star Trek is crazy popular right now so they can feed off that too.  In the current Justice League comic book Geoff Johns has turned Steve Trevor into a Nick Fury type and it’s working wonderfully.  Just like in the comic, Trevor could be the Justice League liaison and become another string that ties these franchises together.

The question of a Wonder Woman movie (and other female superheroes) is all over the web and this quote from a Yahoo! Movies article brings me to my next point.  “The big issue seems to be that studios are waiting for somebody to take the first step and prove that a female superhero film can actually be successful. The failure of Catwoman and Elektra seems to have made everybody overly cautious. Perhaps if the Black Widow gets her own film after The Avengers, that will finally open the floodgates.”  Warner Bros. needs to start taking more risks.  Which leads me to yet another quote from an article on the LA Times Hero Complex site (then, I swear, I will get to my point).  “No one could be prouder than Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios, the Hollywood upstart that launched in 2008 with “Iron Man” with a “risky” leading man in Robert Downey Jr. and “an actor playing director” in Jon Favreau.”  Warner Bros. needs to stop thinking like whoever it was that fired Joss Whedon and hire someone who thinks like Kevin Feige.  This is someone who is clearly not afraid of taking risks and knows talent when he sees it.  It’s very possible that Warner Bros. has found that someone in a couple of people.  First off we have Chris Nolan whose involvement in projects like Man of Steel may mean it’s possible that Warner Bros. may be counting on him to continue to work with them in constructing the DCU on the big screen.  Also consider another big player on the DC side of things.  Geoff Johns.  DC created the role of Chief Creative Officer just for him.  That means that he has the responsibility of overseeing the characters of the DCU when they appear outside of the comic book realm.  Hmm…could that also mean movies?  If I had to guess, I’d say that’s a big yes.  It seems to me that these two would have to work together by necessity.  And if they don’t, then THEY SHOULD.   Nolan and Johns could be exactly what Warner Bros. needs in order to pull off the onscreen DCU in a way that could rival Marvel’s success.


8 thoughts on “The World Has Been Avenged. When Will We See Justice?

  1. Nice article and I’m glad you expounded upon the JLA film ideas. Here’s a few things that can introduce the landscape of DC in a fantastical way.

    As I’ve stated in your previous JL article, a good Worlds Finest (Batman/Superman) film released the same year as a Wonder Woman film would be a good move for DC (two or three birds, one stone). No matter the success of ‘Man of Steel’, green lighting a WF (Bats/Supes) film (where they face off against Intergang, Lex Luthor and Joker) would still be a good move for a few reasons. a) It would show that DC/WB has a pair (maybe DC has been possessed by Parralax all these years). b) Everyone and their grandmother already knows these characters. They’re two of the most iconic characters ever created. Period. They don’t need movies that lead into anything to actually know them. Plus with Batman’s new franchise you don’t have to do anymore origins. All you have to do is tweak a couple things (mention that he started off as a BOY genius and he traveled the globe at a MUCH earlier age than was depicted in ‘Begins’). c) Since we’re on the Batman reinvention subject, I think establishing Bruce Wayne as what I like to call a human anomaly or natures’ natural answer to the superhero (meta, mutant, alien). A guy who we’d like to think we can become if we work out and get enough money but will probably never reach because Mr. Wayne is far too naturally talented. Put some Stark-like toys around him (i.e. holograms, and back up suits of armor just NO WHERE near as flashy). Think Batman meets Mission Impossible (specifically ‘Ghost Protocol’). For those fans like the guy from the Batman on Film site (Jett) that would say “but what if he gets injured or too old he’s only human”… simple answer in the new DCU on film… Lazarus Pits (and other such rejuvenation plot devices that Batman just so happens to fall into annually) exist. Boom! Batman should also be the guy that communicates with all of the top good guy brains and influential people of the world. All in secret. Kind of his Network of humans in case these supernatural beings wanna overrun the planet. Then you get name drops like Ray Palmer, Micheal Holt, Ted Kord, Oliver Queen, Steve Trevor, Dinah Lance etc. Batman would be the superhero Nick Fury. d) From this film you can introduce a lot of subtle elements that lead into other DCU films like Flash or Justice League.

    Elements for establishing a fantastical world: make major cities (Metropolis, Star, Central) a bit more fantastic. The mythology of the world around them should be legendary: Themiscyra (Paradise Island) should be a myth that directly ties to the fountain of youth with warrior women that kept mankind away from it’s realm by creating invisible technology to stay hidden from the greedy, horny bastards of the world. Hera! Atlantis (which I’m currently writing a script treatment for) should be an established myth and folklore like the Bermuda Triangle. Military and government (aka the Man or the suits of the DCU) should be the eyes and ears that are trying investigate every aspect of the fantastical. Lex Luthor a hired government scientist and ruthless business man that is ALL OVER Superman, Steve Trevor who eventually discovers Paradise Island (and Wonder Woman) while on a mission is also in contact with Batman because he realizes that this guy could be the top agent to end all agents. Steve is the Nick Fury of the government in contrast to Batman as being the Fury of the heroes. Let’s not forget Amanda Waller who should be right along side Steve. Orchestrating situations behind the scenes should be the villains. They’ll be the reason that heroes like the JSA (if they can get a historical mention) were outlawed after WWII. The villains will act as DC’s illuminati (i.e. the Light in ‘Young Justice’). Men and women that have been operating for years to push “mankind into cataclysms to evolve them into a better species”. Vandal Savages words, not mine. This Society (see what I did there?) of villains should consist of the most brilliant and ruthless: Vandal Savage, Ra’s al Ghul (who both make sense because they are old enough to have been apart of such a group for all these years), Lex Luthor, Orm (aka Ocean Master), Kanto (or another of Darkseids Elite) as well as others. These guys use other well known villains like Joker (who should be used in the WF film), Cheetah, etc. so that they carry out the Society’s agendas (unknowingly at times) that may lead to the eventual JL movie team up. One of their agendas is the funding and launch of earths first walk on Mars (you’ll see why that’s important to them later).

    Now after establishing and reinvented characters the actual Justice League film can go one of a few ways. Martian Manhunter has been synonymous with the League over the years so a solo flick isn’t necessary for an introduction to him. With the Society manipulating things, one might ask what’s their goal is besides the basic “I just wanna take over the world!!!” concept. The Society has been looking for the one thing that can help them take over and push their agenda: the anti-life equation. A mythological alien legend that was supposedly formed by the gods (New gods?) to subjugate the world (and possibly reshape the universe). Thanks to Kanto The Society has contacted and freed the White Martians who claim to know where the A-LE is on Earth. Those WM’s know anything and everything involving mind control and subjugation and as you can see The Society will do ANYTHING to make sure their end game is accomplished. Even funding the first Mars landing for astronauts (of course some astronauts are working for them and they free the WM’s from their prison being guarded by J’onn J’onzz). Martian Manhunter arrives to warn Earth of the incoming invasion and all hell breaks loose. The Society isn’t threatened by the invasion because they know once the equation is discovered they can use Kanto’s resources to get it from the WM’s but they won’t have to because the JL will save the day thus a WM double cross becomes a Society gain. All of this leads to an even bigger double cross in the form of Kanto taking the A-LE back to his boss Darkseid and thus begins the set-up for a JL sequel (hold your applause).

    Now I know this all sounds very tricky. So did the Avengers. Watching Marvel work their magic I’ve realized that the key is mapping things out (assuming they did that). So here’s a map:

    ‘Worlds Finest’ starring Batman and Superman- Intergang being run by Bruno “Ugly” Manheim give weapons to Joker and his gang in Gotham. These weapons are from Apocalypse and Batman’s investigation leads him to Metropolis. The plot goes into Lex and Kanto (one of Darksieds Elite) supplying these weapons to knock Superman out of the picture for a bigger agenda. Of course with Batman’s help they save the day. In this film they mention the launch to Mars that’s being overseen by a scientist named Erdel, they show a reinvented Batman and his Network establishing himself as the Heroes Nick Fury investigating the Society and eventually helping to form the League.

    Wonder Woman- We fans know the story now it’s time the world was reminded. In this film you expand the mythology of earth and introduce Steve Trevor as the governments Nick Fury.

    Those are just a few ideas I guess. I hope of Saint Walkers blue ring that we get a Justice League film. If Marvel did it why can’t DC? Bring us to JUSTICE!

    Thanks for reading.

    • I like what I’m reading but I’m just worried that it would be too much too fast. I’d like your concepts spread around an extra movie or 2. Because there is so much space stuff involved Green Lantern would be easy to include. And if we are going to include him in a JLA movie (which he needs to be) then the character seriously needs a reboot/sequel. And if we are going to have Intergang involved then they will most likely be using super science weapons of some kind and who is the fastest police scientist in the world? The Flash should have his own flick before the JLA movie hits. It would be okay with me if he was introduced in the JLA film but he’s a strong enough character to pull of a solo act before hand. As for the A-LE you had mentioned it perhaps being a product of the New Gods. I like that idea but I was trying to think of a way to get WW in on that action and it struck me. What if the A-LE is not just a product of the New Gods but of ALL the gods. What if it was intended to be some kind of a measure to ensure that humanity (or all mortal life) would stay under the control (and keep believing in) the gods so that they would maintain their power but then something went terribly wrong and the equation was “lost” on purpose. I think I kind of just blew my own mind lol. What do you think?

      • Awesome ideas! I was kinda tossing ideas around that I already had along with ideas that just came to me as I typed. I like the idea of another GL movie. In fact I thought a good GL movie would act as a sequel a la ‘Incredible Hulk’. The studio can call it ‘Green Lantern Corps.’ and introduce the GL to our non-comic book reading generations most recognized Latern, the one that had the most media/Hollywood buzz, prompting everyone to ask: “Isn’t Green Lantern Black?”. John Stewart.

        ‘Green Lantern Corps.’- A true blue (or Green) space adventure in the vein of ‘Star Wars’. Treat it JUST LIKE the new ‘Green Lantern: The Animated Series’ (with space ships for the Lanterns to fly in and alien worlds, this style seems so much more grounded). In this movie we see the Corps. in the far reaches of space investigating a possible rogue Lantern (Thaal Sinestro) who’s been working with a secret organization (The Society) to find out where a powerful force can bring about order in the Universe (looking for clues to the whereabouts of the Anti-Life Equation). The kind of order that means no free will.

        The Cast: John Stewart, Hal Jordan, Kilowag, Sinestro, other various Lanterns.

        The Society’s members so far: Vandal Savage (who’s an old Flash villain by the way), Ra’s al Ghul, Lex Luthor, Atlan (a member in the Aquaman film before Aquaman kills him and takes back the throne of Atlantis), Orm (aka Ocean Master after his half brother Orin aka Aquaman kills his father), Kanto (or another of Darkseids Elite who’s the key to the Society contact other worldly being to join their ranks), and Sinestro.

        Sadly I don’t have any Flash ideas

        Intergang is perfect for a Batman/Superman team up because they’re strong enough plot wise (with their Apocalypse tech) to take on Superman and just grounded enough for Batman to thrive.

        That Wonder Woman/Anti-Life Equation/New and old gods created it idea is EXCELLENT!

        An Aquaman film. I’m being quiet about it because I’m working out a treatment now and it’s starting to feel like it could be a modern epic.

        Film ideas so far: ‘Worlds Finest’, ‘Wonder Woman’, ‘War of Atlantis’, ‘Green Lantern Corps’, a Flash film and ‘Justice League’

        Let me know what you think and I’d love to hear a detailing of more Flash ideas.

      • You too sir! And that is actually what I meant by reboot/sequel. I should have said seq-boot. If one green character got multiple chances to get it right why not two? I like the idea of introducing Stewart although I honestly dont feel that Hal has had enough time to develop as a character in just one movie. I’d like to see him developed more because he is a cool character. I wish they would have intro’d Stewart in the first movie in the vein of Geoff John’s Secret Origin but since we are stuck with what we have I think it’d be a safer bet to stick with Hal as GL in the sequel (only written well this time) and intro Stewart so that by the end of the 2nd movie he becomes a GL. Maybe they could have Stewart made a GL because they need Hal for a secret deep space mission involving the A-LE and Earth still needs to be protected. The second one could end on Earth with some kind of epic battle (in which Hal deputizes John in order to win) that results in the discovery of a much larger threat (A-LE). But then I’m not sure how the third movie would work if they did that since the GL’s would be split apart we’d have the problem of having two movies in one. I suppose they could both be working towards the same goal with one on Earth and the other in space but idk, I’d like to see them stick together for a more cohesive movie.

        A Flash movie would have to focus on The Rouges as much as The Flash for it to work I think. Start off with Captain Cold fighting the Flash solo and then with his defeat have him immediately begin to build his rogues in the sequels. The Rouges could be connected to the Society as well in some way (or at least Cold could be a member of it maybe). As for what the Flash would be doing besides beating up bad guys I assume the films could be about him discovering the secrets of the Speed Force. We’d also have to into Iris and hopefully Wally. I think Kid Flash would work perfect for this series and help to make it interesting (considering how unbearable boring Barry is). I mean, HE’S SO BORING. The only cool thing he ever did was DIE. Not even joking. I really think they need to make this a family kind of thing. It hasn’t been seen on screen yet and I think it would work well. Kids would love to see a kid superhero. It’s fool proof. I’m trying to figure out a way to connect Flash to the A-LE but it’s difficult haha. Maybe he can discover that it exists while he’s exploring the secrets of the Speed Force. And maybe that is why the Society is after the Flash because they somehow learn that he’s glimpsed it through the Speed Force.

        Why am I not writing this movie? LOL.

        What do you have for Aquaman? Send me a message on FB when you have the chance if you want.

  2. Thanx, man! When it comes to the GL movie I’ve been thinking like an exec and taking into account what critics and audiences said. You already know the complaints. You touched on them wonderfully in your article. I think including Stewart in the Corps as a full fledged member without explaining ANYTHING to the audience is just the right thing needed for the seq-boot (you make that up? If not you better coin it). The audience already know how GL becomes GL. Even if they don’t, they can figure it out during the film. I think Hal can certainly be fleshed out more, along side other characters. Hal doesn’t have to take a back seat to any of them. They can all (or both as in him and Stewart) be on equal footing. The studio should treat it like a space-buddy-cop-film. I would love to see Hal and John fleshed out separately but for the sake of the franchise, the next film makers should be thinking more about saving it and not about what we fans want to a T. We got that in the first film and no one but us appreciated it. It’s time to look at what the film should be. Treat these characters like chess pieces and place them where they work without losing them in essence. Jumping right into a buddy cop type space film and exploring different worlds would be great. Look at that ‘Prometheus’ trailer and tell me you didn’t get the chills! Why can’t GL be that to an extent?

    Yeah… Borry… I mean Barry is BOOOoooring! I’m not gonna lie, if they made Wally the Flash in a film I wouldn’t be mad AT ALL. Bringing back Barry has done NOTHING for the franchise that Wally couldn’t have done himself. I hate almost everything about Barry (sometimes haha). I can’t stand that he’s the generator of the Speed Force. That’s the dumbest idea ever. Anyway, using the Rouges is cool. Remember you don’t HAVE to use the A-LE in every movie. You just have to have characters cameo in them to link the universe. I personally don’t like Cap Cold being IN the Society per se. BUT having him be manipulated by the Society… that would be cool. That’s where Savage comes in. The Society is comprised of the most powerful and influential villains on the planet. Not necessarily an exact parallel to the League (i. e. Superman vs. Lex, Batman vs. Ra’s). If there are matches it’s by pure coincidence. For example, they’d NEVER allow the Joker to be a member per se but they’d surely invite his skills to be manipulated to achieve a goal of theirs.

    And I definitely think you should start writing a Flash treatment. What ever ideas you have just put them all down. Trust me it’s worth it.

    I’ll definitely send you the Aquaman ideas as soon as I get to a certain point. So far it’s much better than the pilot. Hahaha!

  3. Pingback: 10 DC Properties Warner Bros. Should Focus On Other Than The Metal Men. « A Wild Crisis Appears!

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