A recent trend I’ve noticed is that everything concerning the DC Extended Universe gets analyzed and dissected more than most big budget movies. Ever since Joss Whedon took over directing duties for Zack Snyder on Justice League, the microscope has been further analyzed on the film. Recent reports came out that the film was deemed “unwatchable” by Warner Bros. execs. Now if this is true or not, who is to say. But I know personally I am not worried about the reshoots or additional photography, whatever you want to call it, as it is clear that the studio is trying to make the best film possible.
I don’t know why reshoots came to be such a taboo thing. If you see a problem with a film and you have the ability to fix it, why not do it? The fact that everything must be perfect from the start is an insane concept in itself as well. So if there are problems with Justice League and I do think that there are, then take the time to fix them. If the film came out “unwatchable” and was released as that, people would jump on the film even harder than if they didn’t. So it’s kind of a lose lose situation.
Sure these reshoots are a bit more than typical but sometimes that happens. Does not necessarily mean that the film will be a wreck. Apocalypse Now and the recent Rogue One are examples of films that underwent massive reshoots and the films turned out fine. Of course it can turn out the other way but that can happen on films that did not undergo reshoots. So it’s all just a process.
You don’t necessarily turn in a class paper with your first draft. Some people feel content with that and it turns out fine. Others work on it until the very end and it also turns out fine. The opposite effects happen for both situations as well. Making a film is similar to this. I hope that the film is a success as I love the DC superheroes and want them to prosper on film.
So here’s a sort of new poster for the Justice League film
From San Diego Comic Con 2017.
From San Diego Comic Con 2017. One conspicuously missing member whom we all know is in the movie.
First thing first, no Superman. We all know that the Man of Steel is in the movie and probably more than a cameo. They even brought Henry Cavill out at San Diego Comic Con 2016 to show that he was in the movie. We know Lex Luthor and Lois Lane both play important roles in the movie. We even see a brief shot of Lois Lane looking towards the sky. Maybe she’s looking at her returned love. Who’s to say? But I can commend Warner Bros. on playing coy about Superman.
But other than that, I think it was a good trailer. We see how Batman is the one to bring the team together. This was hinted at in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. We still don’t know the extent of Wonder Woman’s role in forming the team. She really does not play that much of an element in the trailer. Instead it mainly focuses on the three new heroes who were introduced in cameos in BvS.
The Flash was always going to have the hardest time. The superhero already has a hit television show on The CW. We even see that they have the same origins with the father being in prison after being falsely accused of murder of Barry’s mother. The way that The Flash’s powers work in this universe make him much more faster than any other live action incarnation. Plus Ezra Miller is the total opposite of what Barry Allen traditionally looks like and younger as well. He does look much like Robin than Allen but he looks to be Batman’s sidekick in the movie.
Cyborg is the one who gets the least amount of screentime in the trailer. I figure this may be due to the heavy special effects nature of his character and these shots might not be done. But we do get a sense of his abilities and what he is capable of. In BvS it looked like a Mother Box (powerful tools used by the New Gods…it’s complicated) helped form him into what he is now. We know that the forces of Apokolips play an important part in this movie as the main antagonist but it makes you wonder what Cyborg will function as.
Aquaman looks to be the life of the party. The one who gets off on the thrill of battle. Nothing cooler than seeing Aquaman ride on top of the Batmobile while Batman can only smirk. There is a quick shot of Mera in the trailer as well. It is known that a Mother Box resides with the Atlanteans but we do not know Aquaman’s status with Atlantis. It will be interesting to see his dynamic with Batman as he seems to grate on Batman at best.
We also see a lighter side of Batman in this. I was not a fan of the way Batman was in BvS. Talking about how “you’re not a man” and “men are brave” and all that. It was all a little too xenophobic for me. But this movie seems to have taken a step back. While Batman will probably not be cracking jokes, he does have a dry wit about him. This is apparent in most of his interactions shown in the trailer with Aquaman, The Flash and Commissioner Gordon. By the way, J.K. Simmons looks great as Gordon.
There is not much to the trailer other than mostly battle scenes which are good and bad. Hopefully WB does not do what they did with BvS and ruin all the set pieces before the movie even premieres. Justice League looks to be fluffy fun which is something that the DCEU can use at the moment. Remember The Avengers in 2012, there was not much in terms of plot when it came to that moment. This movie looks to be following suit as well as assemble the team (and possibly resurrect Superman) and kick ass. I honestly hope this movie does not suck.
Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Batman, Aquaman and The Flash stand tall in front of the team logo.
Of course there’s one member we all know that’s in the movie missing.
When I first started reading and collecting comics, I really had no idea where to start. So while I was reading Wizard Magazine (RIP) I kept seeing mention of this guy Geoff Johns and his writing of The Flash. Now I knew who The Flash was in some respects but I could never call myself a fan. I really do not know what the disconnect for me was. But I decided to give the book a shot and let me tell you it was one of the best decisions I ever made.
I started reading the book right after the The Flash: Iron Heights one shot issue. I was introduced to Wally West, formerly Kid Flash and now The Flash, who was a married man and struggling with his legacy. His uncle was Barry Allen, The Flash before him who was dead…at the time. He was the protector of twin cities; Keystone City and Central City. He was also a member of both the Justice League and The Titans. So life was pretty busy for the fastest man alive.
The themes of legacy was probably the biggest theme throughout the initial run. The Rogues led by Captain Cold frequently compared Wally to his predecessor. There was also a new Rogues group forming of mostly completely new characters. Jay Garrick, the first Flash, served as a grandfather figure to Wally. Wally’s younger cousin (and Barry’s grandson) Bart aka Impulse frequently reminded Wally he planned to usurp him as The Flash someday. This all culminated in a tragic event where Wally’s wife, Linda Park, got caught in the crossfire and lost their unborn children. This all stemmed from a conflict between The Flash and Zoom, an obsessed villain who felt Wally did not have enough tragedy in his life to have a proper legacy.
Johns also did this thing where in between major story arcs he would take an issue to put the spotlight on one of Flash’s villains. Mirror Master, Gorilla Grodd, Zoom and Captain Cold were the highlights. Captain Cold was definitely a creators pet but Johns knew how to use him well without overshadowing. A hero is only as good as his villains and these spotlight uses definitely highlighted that.
As mentioned before Johns created a multitude of new villains for Wally West. The Plunder, Girder, Murmur, Blacksmith, Brother Grimm, Cicada, Double Down, Fallout and Zoom. Zoom deserves a special mention due to the slow and deliberate buildup to his debut. Introduced as Hunter Zolomon, a criminal profiler who had to walk with a cane due to a mistake he made in the field. He was Wally’s ally on the force but after suffering another tragedy, Wally refused to use his time travel abilities to help Hunter. This set Hunter to become Zoom and one of the deadliest enemies of Wally.
The confrontation with Zoom ended at issue 200. At the end there was a new status quo. But I’ll cover that in a second part. This first half of Johns’ run on The Flash was amazing. I was hooked for years. I even dug up back issues to complete my collection. If you have not checked it out, you can easily find trades or omnibus of Johns’ run. It is highly recommended.
With all the recent news coming out about the DC Extended Universe, I’m no longer in “wait and see” mode. I’m now officially worried about this cinematic universe. I loved Man of Steel and more ambivalent towards Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and have grown to really dislike Suicide Squad. So I am more about where this universe is going. But The Flash movie has now lost two directors and getting a page one rewrite. Ben Affleck has left directorial duties on the upcoming Batman movie. Suicide Squad was such a mess because of the studio being reactionary about the reception of Batman v. Superman. The DCEU is a ship that is moving but there is no singular voice and thus it doesn’t know where it’s going.
I’ve already made my opinions about Ben Affleck stepping down as director known. The Flash losing another director and getting a page one rewrite raises some eyebrows. I can applaud the execs at Warner Bros. not rushing something as they tend to have been doing ever since the announcement of Batman v. Superman. But a complete rewrite of the script? Then there is the Shazam (aka Captain Marvel) splitting into two movies with Black Adam starring Dwaynr Johnson.
Warner Bros. is in the business to make money. Makes total sense. But their biggest problem is rushing to a billion. Man of Steel didn’t make a billion so let’s scrap a pure sequel and instead let’s introduce a new Batman, introduce Wonder Woman and lay the foundations for Justice League while also paying homage to The Dark Knight Returns and The Death of Superman. That’s a lot and probably the film’s biggest shortcoming.
It has been said time and time again that there needs to be a central figure in charge of these movies. Too many cooks in the kitchen is what’s making these discombobulated. Is there hope for the DCEU? Of course. These are some of the most beloved heroes and villains in superhero fiction. But there needs to be action done and quickly to help right thr ship.
2017 is upon us and that means it is time for more information about blockbusters to be revealed. Other than a set visit and certain images, not much has been revealed about the upcoming Justice League. We know the lineup, we know the villain and the basic plot. But with what is known, there are still a lot of questions especially concerning Superman himself.
We see in this image that the team is leaving some sort of ship and are staring into a field. Well where was Clark Kent/Superman buried? In a field. Is this a subtle way yet not actually showing the team going to see the body of the Man of Steel? We know that Superman isn’t dead per se but his role in the movie is being kept under wraps. This is similar to the Luke Skywalker situation in The Force Awakens.
Either way it is a nice image of the team before the one key member returns. Justice League will be released in November.
“The Extinction Machines” Part 3
The arc continues from the previous issues events and picks up maybe a few hours after. Here we learn that Superman is being sent on a potential suicide mission to the Earth’s core. In a poignant moment, we see Superman talking with Lois Lane and their son Jon before his trip. This is all while Batman is keeping his distance but still a voyeur to the intimate family moment. It’s not really touched upon in the issue but this is presumably Batman’s first time seeing this Superman with his family. The other two issues have stated how Batman is wary of this Superman but maybe this will be the turning point in their relationship. Now that he sees this Superman is a man with a family and Lois actually threatens him if something happens to her husband and Jon offers him some cookies, maybe Batman will turn the other cheek towards The Man of Steel.
But the other heroes still have other things to deal with as well. Being are seemingly drawing off of the origin of their abilities. The way each being talks makes it seem like that they are living “arks” as they harvest the inhabitants of the planet in case of the oncoming disaster. The disaster is also the threat that the Justice League has been dealing with since the first issue. So seemingly this is a threat that has happened many times before in Earth’s history. Aquaman is still off on his own separate but connected adventure but it appears it might finally tie in in the next issue.
As Batman and Cyborg send Superman to the center of the Earth, they are attacked by the alien beings from the previous issues. So now they must protect themselves but also Superman’s family. Superman is also in a precarious incident as being in the Earth’s core is no joke. The intense heat and pressure is something that he is surviving but for how long can he do so. But finding a barrier in the Earth’s core and one that is unbreakable is another thing he has to deal with.
The high concept and high action is a theme that continues with this issue. It has been the thing that I have actually loved about the series so far. If you’re going to get the world’s greatest superheroes all together, they have to be facing incredible threats that would justify them being all together. The mystery is still intriguing but it does seem to be padded out. I’m not too sure as to how long this arc is supposed to go on but something needs to happen in the next issue. But it is nice to see a nice rapport between all of the characters and they all have their own distinct voice. Bryan Hitch and Tony Daniels continue to do good work on the series.