ByFergus Coyle, writer at
Movie lover, wannabe director and resident DC nerd. Get more from me at:
Fergus Coyle

If you've read many of my articles (or even my profile's description) you'll probably have guessed that I'm into my DC superheroes. Most of my comics are DC (though I love a lot of Marvel's stuff too); I've kept well on top of the recent Rebirth event; I diligently buy every single DC animated films; and I watch every single show they create - animated or live action - until I can physically take no more.

I say this to let you know how big a deal it is for me to decide I ain't paying any money for the first live-action debut of some of my favourite characters. Allow me to now justify why I have made this decision.

Details have been coming out like a landslide about next year's Justice League film in the past few days, and they've brought back to the forefront the turmoil I feel in regards to the film. On one hand, I feel like I've been waiting for this ever since I was a kid watching Justice League Unlimited. On that pesky other hand though, I despise this universe that has been created.

Look, if you like Batman v Superman then I have no right to say you're wrong, but I hated virtually everything about it. Even besides from the off-beat pacing, the pretentious dialogue, the nonsensical story, and the horrendous looking climax, there's an underlying problem that I take issue with on a deeper level.

What I can see in Dawn of Justice, and also retrospectively in Man of Steel, is a fundamental misunderstanding of the characters I hold dear. To be clear, I do not simply mean changes to these characters, that's fine - I mean genuinely misunderstanding the purpose of both Batman and Superman.

If you want to make Batman a murderer, great, I can live with that. But only if you're doing something with it. This movie never even acknowledges that Batman actually kills people, and before you jump to your keyboard to tell be how gravity killed those people in the car chase, what do you think he was planning to do with that Kryptonite spear mate? From the imagery of the bats to his inherent beliefs about people, all of Batman's character is mishandled here for the sake of "cool shots" or being more "badass".

Superman is the guy who comes off worst of all if you ask me. I get that we're trying to depict a world more like ours in its reception of Superman, but why? I feel like that's the question that hangs over this whole enterprise. See, we're good for depressed anti-heroes guys; in fact we have too bloody many of them thanks to the eighties/nineties and this wave of gritty angst-ridden heroes. But that style and tone clashes with the inherent character and appeal of Superman. I should be able to stand in a room with him and feel safe because he's a boy scout, a kind person, and even verging on naive. If I were in a room with Henry Cavill's Superman? I'd be terrified.

Say there's a really interesting story to be told about humanity that I just missed, I still don't care. Because if you want to tackle the theme of uncaring god-figures, or the weight of ultimate power, then create a new damn superhero and tell it about him. Don't twist Superman to try and fit your vision, that defeats the purpose of an adaptation.

Let's be kinder than I feel and assume you've gotten the point.

While all the news seems desperate to convince me that Justice League will have a light tone, and be more straight-forward in its adaptation of its material, I have three problems with the film anyway: the tone wasn't the source of the problem, so this is just begging fans for mercy; it's the same terrible characters and visionaries behind them that made Dawn of Justice; and this world just hasn't been built well enough for this story to be able to work in less than 4 hours. It's not about taking your time to get to Justice League, as many keep saying (because apparently Marvel's way is the only way), it's just about the world-building in MoS and BvS being crap.

Maybe the Justice League film will be good in the end, I don't know. The problem is that I personally can't bring myself to forgive the missteps of this world and these characters. I don't see it as a healthy thing to give this series another chance. I might give Suicide Squad a chance because it's so removed from the established path set up so far that I can maybe get over my issues as they don't directly affect it.

Wrapping Up...

I'd like to stress that I'm fine with you going to see Justice League if you want to. Sure, I would personally like to see the film flop, but it isn't fair for me to try and impose that on anyone else. Regardless, I've got all my comics and animated DVDs so I'll be fine. I'd like to know though, after reading this, are you going to go see Justice League? You can vote below or maybe comment to say why.


Will you see 'Justice League'?


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