ByFlint Johnson, writer at
An historical SciFi author who sees comic heroes as the modern myths and integrates them into his stories.
Flint Johnson

Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of another bunch of superheroes banding together for whatever excuse. The interactions of godlike beings is always entertaining, especially when they are portrayed with such typically human qualities as the Fantastic Four and Avengers have been in recent years, or as the latest Justice League cartoons managed in the in the years before that. But there are a couple serious flaws with making the movie right now as opposed to say in another five years.

For one, movie makers must realize that if they are going to have a successful movie they will need to attract beyond the comics readers, and the only way that crowd knows most of the primaries (apart from Batman and Superman) is through a media that has traditionally portrayed them as flat and uninteresting characters (here Marvel already had a huge advantage). Take Wonder Woman, traditionally the number three in DC comics. Not much to her. And the only successful show about her took place in the seventies. Aquaman and The Flash still suffer from the same perception of being two-dimensional. The Martian Manhunter, J'onn J'onzz, is almost completely unknown to the public.

Marvel had a huge advantage in this regard. All of the most important characters had appeared in more than one medium over the decade before they started making the movies, and Captain America, Iron Man, The Hulk, and even Thor were all well in the public consciousness. More importantly, they had all been reincarnated as three-dimensional personalities.

Second thing, Marvel took established actors for most of the key roles, people an audience already wanted to see. This was especially important for Iron Man (a complex character hard to play) and Captain America (someone difficult to play as anything but flat). In the JL movie Wonder Woman would have to be a key element, and she is to be played by a virtual unknown apart from small parts in three Fast and Furious movies. And while she is an attractive woman, she hardly calls to mind an Amazon with her slight figure.

Now certainly Smallville and the recent game Injustice: Gods Among Us has improved the public's awareness of the characters who will be in this movie, but here again DC needs to take a lesson from Marvel, which has been extremely successful with its Avengers franchise. In a series of movies, they gave us the chance to be reintroduced to their leading characters and eased into the actors would play those roles. In the process, they generated interest years before Avengers actually came out. If Justice League is to be a commercial success, they will need to do the same thing. They will have to do so more carefully, as they have many hokey movies such as the 1960s and 80s Batman and Superman movies to live down before they can try such a delicate project as a team superhero movie.

I know we're all excited about getting the DC movies started, but what do you think about the timing?


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