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Another Puny God? Justice League May Have Found Their Big Bad

By Jodi Clager | Trade News | December 3, 2012 | Comments ()


justice_league_of_america_by_ed_benes__span.jpg

Another day, another bit of rumor concerning the Justice League movie. How do you compete with The Avengers when they've set the bar so high for superhero team movies? Well, Will Beal (Gangster Squad) is supposedly writing in Superman nemesis of decades and manipulative god Darkseid.

I will admit here and now that I am not overly familiar with Darkseid, as I have a huge dislike of Superman and prefer my Batman on his own. However, I have concerns that it may be a misstep to give the Justice League an immortal adversary. There is no way to avoid comparisons to The Avengers, both because of its success and because Marvel and DC are competitors, but why invite more with your villain god? Another concern is that Darkseid will be pure CGI or motion capture or whatnot. Although that can be done well, have you seen Green Lantern? I'm not sold on DC being able to pull him off without looking like shit. I'd like to be more optimistic, but I've been burned by you before, DC.

Here's what Darkseid looked like on "Smallville":
darkseid-smallville.jpg

Damn it.



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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • Jodi, watch Superman/Batman: Apocalypse if you haven't already. It will give you a crash course in a Darkseid storyline and is a great animated movie. (It also involves a sassy Batman.) In the comics, Darkseid's one of the BAMFs; he comes a-knockin' and your bowels void immediately, whether you want them to or not.

    Also, I don't approve of the Pez dispenser / Easter Island look that Smallville gave Darkseid.

  • Omer

    1. It's not DC, per se, it's Time-Warner that's making these decisions. The editorial board at DC Comics has about as much control over how a Justice League movie is done as Dan Harmon has with Community- ZERO.

    2. If you look at the Justice League as a pantheon of gods, then of course they'll take on another god or several gods since Apokolips and New Genesis are crawling with them.

  • Ben

    Ok so I know that Darkseid was first, but really Avengers is doing Thanos and DC decide to do Darkseid? REALLY? They couldn't have come up with Anti Monitor, or Starro, or fucking Mongul or anything? They go with the guy who's pretty much exactly the same as the Avengers villian wich has been shown first? You're not doing yourself any favors DC.

  • Erich

    Everything you need to know about Darkseid can be found in these animated episodes.

    Superman The Animated Series -
    Apokolips...Now!
    Legacy

    Justice League -
    Twilight

    Justice League Unlimited -
    Alive!
    Destroyer

    You'll know more about Darkseid by watching a couple hours of great cartoons than you will any other source.

  • TheOriginalMRod

    Awe man, I thought you were going to say Mr. Mxyzptlk.

  • damnitjanet

    The Doctor called. A Cyberman is missing

  • Fabius_Maximus

    I really hope that in that movie, Batman only can stand Superman's self-righteousness for about 2 minutes, and then says "Fuck you, guys. I'm going home."

  • PuraPuma

    The only thing I really like about this is the graphic that shows Wonder Woman out in front with her badass self.

  • BWeaves

    See, that's what Wonder Woman cleavage is supposed to look like. (OK, without the biceps and shoulders and thighs of steel, because now she looks like a man with hooters and a really good tuck.)

  • The Gaf

    To be fair, Thanos is a big time rip off of Darkseid, and Jim Starlin has admitted it in the past. The problem is it seems like a lack of inventiveness by DC. Darkseid is the last villain pre-flashpoint, first villain post, on Smallville, and now in the movies too? Too much! Haven't they got anyone else? Mongul? Starro? Legion of Doom? Anyone? Even Luthor could do it with a great script.

  • Thanos started as a rip off of Darkseid, but actually became a solid character with well defined motivations and flexible morals. From everything I've read of DC and Darkseid, he still isn't half the character that Thanos is. For all his power, Darkseid spends most of his time scowling with his arms crossed, ready to toss the sternest look in the universe at whoever happens to be nearby.

    And the problem with these movies and the reason you have to go Big big bad is that you need a reason to assemble these heroes in the first place. This is especially true in the DC universe where half of the damn League is obscenely overpowered. You need a God to even make them break a sweat. Just take a look at the roster.

    Superman is only weak against magic and space skittles. Flash is weak against bullets and pointy things, but since he's faster than Superman (and occasionally time) it doesn't count. Wonder Woman is Superman minus the weakness and penis and plus boobs. Aquaman is Superman minus the weakness and plus both the ability to talk to fish and to swim without getting all pruney. Martian Manhunter is Superman minus the weakness to space skittles and plus telepathy and shape shifting. Just don't get him to close to a bonfire. Green Lantern may not have Superman's power set, but his ring allows him to beat any villain as long as they aren't the Bananas in Pajamas.

    Then there's Batman, who is ostensibly mortal. But let's be honest. He's the god king of the DC universe. Capable of planning his way out of anything because he's already thought of it before he knew that the villain even existed. Possibly the most broken character in all of comics.

    Looking at that roster, you want them to be challenged by Lex Luthor. A man who is supposed to be a genius but apparently thinks he looks good in green and purple. A man who most movie fans are going to remember as a person who thinks that real estate is the best way to achieve world domination in an evil fashion.

    Just not seeing it.

  • James

    Starro would totally be a sequel villain with an invasion of the body snatchers vibe.

  • The clear difference being that Marvel started planting seeds for The Avengers with the very first Iron Man and DC has a Superman movie out next summer with apparently no thought to a larger Justice League story as part of the plot. That pretty much says it all right there (especially if they want to shoehorn Nolan Universe Batman/Robin into this mess rather than doing the right thing and letting those movies stand on their own).

    Seems like DC is contorting themselves inside out trying to move away from a gimmick that should actually be working in their favor. With the new Superman, Nolan's Batman ending, the disaster that was Green Lantern, TV fare like Smallville and Arrow and their successful animated films, why not embrace the idea of a Multiverse? Just run a simple 1 minute prologue before the Justice League movie mentioning all the different worlds and incarnations of the DC heroes that exist simultaneously and announce straight up that this story is one of those realities. Edit some footage of Keaton's Batman, Reeve's Superman, Nolan's Batman, Smallville and any other DC titles together to show how all of these worlds coexist then launch into the Justice League with a new cast and no need to share plot points with any existing title AND give yourself a chance to try Green Lantern again and reboot Batman in a way fans will accept. Seems like a pretty easy way to do things. This also gives DC the added bonus of actually distinguishing themselves from Marvel and not becoming a slave to one giant storyline.

  • I think one of the reasons they may be shying away from a Multiverse option is because of the Crisis storyline. They wiped the entire universe clean of the different Earths, the different versions of the same characters, and they may be trying to rule with an iron fist when it comes to the movies. It was starting to become where you needed a ph.D in comic history just to keep your Batmans and Supermans straight, let alone any other character who's survived for that long.

    When you think about it, animated films and comics don't take nearly the amount of clout it would take to make a movie, so to have an Earth-616 movie and a separate Earth-3 movie would confuse the average (even the advanced) moviegoer. Can you imagine reading a Pajiba review about the Multiverse and the ill-fated snark that would be included? "Okay, so this happened in this movie, but APPARENTLY IT DOESN'T HAPPEN OR ISN'T ACKNOWLEDGED IN THIS MOVIE."

  • Green Lantern

    I'm probably one of the last people that remembers the idea of "Hypertime". I think it was one of the better ideas ever tried, until it was sadly gut-shot in its infancy by DC editorial. The rough idea was, as Demps described above, that all stories happened somewhere, and were connected by to each other by tenuous strands of reality. It was first described in the "Superboy" series of the 90's.

  • Bert_McGurt

    That's a really interesting idea. Especially considering all the future plot options it opens for DC.

  • If they want Avengers-type deal I think a pretty safe strategy would be in plotting for a Crisis movie 7 or 8 years down the road where they tie everything together and literally pull the trigger on killing off a bunch of also rans to end up with their Earth 1 roster going forward. Helps get them out of the jam of needing to rely on a name villain as well. Course, that would require a ton of work in getting cameos from a lot of people, but I think it could work.

  • NateMan

    I have no problem with them using a godlike entity as their antagonist at some point. After all, the biggest problem with Superman as a character is that he's so powerful it's difficult to come up with a suitable threat. But like Ozioma said, it's something you build to. It could go to a great, dark place where Gotham and Metropolis get utterly trashed, with the Justice League fighting a guerrilla war against Darkseid's forces.

    Buuuuut it won't. Because that would be awesome.

  • James

    If they do I hope it is an R-rated movie because damn the invasion of New York in The Avengers was the worst aprt of the movie. Pretty sure no on screen deaths making it the nicest invasion ever.

  • Robert

    The Avengers isn't supposed have tons of deaths and blood and all that. There were shots of memorials at the end, which made it clear that lots of people were killed.

  • Ozioma

    Introducing Darkseid right off the bat doesn't really leave a lot to go on afterwards.

  • Green Lantern

    True, and it sadly apes the first story arc of the recent "Justice League" series, which means creativity has gone out the window.

    What's wrong with rewriting the Justice League animated intro...spending the movie introducing the Martian Manhunter with the real "enemy" being the U.S. military/government, and our own levels of trust?

  • In all honesty, government vs. good guys is very much "been there, done that." Especially for a summer blockbuster (as these movies typically are), no one handles a good government vs. good guys storyline. Instead, you'll notice the theme is "vague, secret, possibly-linked-to-the-government organization" vs. the good guys (as seen in The Avengers) or "extreme patriotism, but there are some government people who disagree and are proven wrong immediately" vs. the good guys (Michael Bay's entire Transformers series).

  • Bert_McGurt

    Not to mention how we're going to manage the exposition for (at least) Wonder Woman, Flash, and Martian Manhunter AND the Apokolips/New Genesis backstory while still trying to make a movie out of the damn thing.

  • James

    I know enough about the DC universe that an In media res would work.

    Alternatively they could bring in Bruce Timm and his DCAU crew to do the basic plotting because their work on the JL animated series was top notch on fitting exposition into compact time frames.

  • Bert_McGurt

    It would be OK for me too, but I had that problem with TDKR this summer - I feel like I forgave the movie some of its faults because I filled it in with my knowledge of the Batman mythos from the comics. At the same time I felt like it lost some of its punch since I could see the different "twists" coming well before they arrived. And all the time I wondered how well Joe-regular-movie-fan was putting things together without having read Knightfall, for example.

    Even for a comic book movie, the filmmakers need to focus on making the story self-encompassing. They can't be relying on the audience's previous knowledge to fill in the blanks (unless that knowledge comes from a lead-in movie of course).

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