COMICS PORTAL: My Justice League movie

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The movie of the summer for me will be Man of Steel, and I can’t wait until it swoops into theaters on June 11. I think the commercials look awesome! (I did enjoy Iron Man 3, by the way!)

Word has it that Henry Cavill will appear in the upcoming Justice League film, so if Man of Steel is a big success, maybe Superman can help launch the long-desired JL movie. Since we have some time to consider how to move forward, what’s the best thing to do? Fortunately, I have a few ideas…

DO NOT MIMIC MARVEL

“Let Marvel be Marvel, ” I say. So I think DC should travel their own course. (Also, I can hear the most rabid Marvel fans saying, “They’re just copying Marvel!”)

It appears that Warner Bros. is going to start out with the “team” film, then continue to spin-off characters from there. I like that strategy because it gives movie-goers a chance to sample the DC characters before a commitment is made to invest millions of dollars into him or her. Maybe that long-awaited Wonder Woman film could take place! Yeah!

I’m glad that Ant-Man is getting his own film, but as much as I like the character, I don’t think that movie will be very successful. After all, Ant-Man has worn multiple costumes and had many different identities in attempts to make him more popular. I hope I’m wrong, but decades of appearances in comics and animated shows (He was actually the leader of the Avengers in one short-lived cartoon.) haven’t helped. We’ll see.

PULL A NOLAN

Here I say go back over various Justice League incarnations and see what would work on the big screen. (I’m referring to how Christopher Nolan and company sat down and pored over Batman stories, mixing some of the best stories they read together into a great trio of feature films.) There have been many wonderful versions of the team that could be integrated. Thinking specifically about comics, I’d consider elements of various Grant Morrison stories, always ones I’ve thought would translate to the local theater very well.

I’m also a big fan of the “New 52″ Justice League, so they could use some of the revamped heroes and villains into a movie. For instance, I’ve never been more interested in Cheetah than I am now with the recent storyline taking place in the comic.

DON’T BWA-HA-HA IT

However, as much as I adored it, I would NOT recommend the Giffen/DeMatteis/Maguire League. If this were a cartoon, yeah, I think it would work. But if the JL isn’t truly serious when they hit the big screen, I think folks will harken back to the Adam West Batman in the 60s, and I don’t think that will appeal to as many people as a darker, more adventurous movie would. (I still love pulling out hardcovers of this book and diving in sometimes! They were great fun!)

I know some people will not like this next suggestion, but I am such a huge fan of Bruce Timm and Paul Dini that I don’t see how their DC Comics-related offerings can be overlooked. Some of the very best animated episodes (heck, shows) I’ve ever seen came from them. A lot of what that “dynamic duo” has done still lives on, like their reboot of Mr. Freeze. He’s never been as interesting as he was under their watchful eyes.

In fact, if you haven’t seen the animated Justice League or Justice League Unlimited yet, I very highly recommend you check them out. I think you’ll really enjoy them! I sure did!

I’ve always felt that Marvel and DC approach their characters differently. Marvel tends to take average people and make them heroes while DC tends to have more “heroic” and iconic men and women. Even if Superman didn’t have his powers, he’d be a hero, for instance. I’m not sure that applies to many of the Marvel longjohns folks!

Anyway, I’m glad that the blending of comics into television and movies continues! It’s a good thing for all of us fans as the industry moves forward!