Why ‘Justice League’ Could (Still) Be DC’s Next Big Movie

Published 2 years ago by , Updated June 25th, 2013 at 7:36 am,

The Origin Story Debate: DC vs. Marvel

The Avengers Movie 1 Team Pose 570x332 Why Justice League Could (Still) Be DCs Next Big Movie

So why did origin tales work for Marvel? Well, for the main reason we first argued Justice League wouldn’t need to follow Marvel’s plan: audiences are more familiar with Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman than they ever were with Thor, Black Widow, Captain America or Iron Man. For Marvel, an introduction was necessary. Not only to get audiences familiar with these characters, but out of a necessity to make their symbolic meaning clear to anyone not already steeped in decades of their mythology.

As our own Kofi Outlaw has explained in the past, Snyder’s claims of “purer archetypes” are founded in literary study, not fanboyism. Marvel’s characters, while perhaps not as “archetypal” as DC’s, are more likely to encapsulate elements of the human experience; Captain America embodies the scrawny kid with a good heart who becomes super strong, and turns against those who would bully others. Spider-Man is the nerdy kid who finally gets the girl, and Dr. Bruce Banner speaks for every introvert who ever longed to be powerful, and invincible.

They’re characters everyone can relate to, but to understand the symbols that each of them truly were, audiences needed to see them as weak, unwanted, and limited before they were granted their ‘hero’ status.

Justice League Movie Character List Why Justice League Could (Still) Be DCs Next Big Movie

DC’s characters, on the other hand, are more easily identified; sure, they don’t encapsulate human experiences (how many interstellar space cops do you know?), but the do embody universal archetypes, myths, icons, or ideas. Superman: the demigod from a far-off land. Batman: grief and anger in the flesh. Wonder Woman: the warrior princess. Green Lantern: fearlessness, using courage as a weapon. And Flash: a man for whom time has no meaning.

Each of these characters has a deep and relatable history, but that doesn’t need to be shown for human beings to understand what ideas and wish-fulfillment they embody. Hal Jordan may be without fear, but only when that notion is tested are the best Green Lantern stories written. Flash can run faster than sound, but what happens when speed won’t help him? Wonder Woman can turn stone to dust, but knows little about the modern world and its people.

That’s the reason why you won’t find many origin stories among the most revered in DC’s catalogue: the best storytelling wasn’t concerned with how the people got to where they are, but what happened once they did.

Man of Steel Suit Why Justice League Could (Still) Be DCs Next Big Movie

Man of Steel  and Batman Begins prove that sometimes, telling an origin story in bits and pieces, not laid out from beginning to end, can be an entertaining delivery method. And with the plethora of Marvel films set to be released in the coming years – all looking to follow a similar formula, if trends hold – differentiating themselves in any way is a wise move.

DC and Warner Bros. don’t have to start at the start to show why their characters are unique and iconic, so why not start at the most interesting point from a story perspective? As in, what happens when these archetypes meet for the first time in a Justice League movie?


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  1. Have not seen Man of Steel yet, but plan to. I disliked all the other Superman movies, but even though this will not be quite “according to rote” like one might expect before knowing any details of this one, this one actually looks like one I might like, judging from the trailers. Oh, I might have written it differently, but this still looks like it has possibilities. We will see. I did not like any of the Batman movies (too goofy, exagerated, or psychotically-sicko-dark), but on the other hand, despite some serious flaws, I did like Green Lantern. Alot of people would disagree with me on all fronts on these comments, but there it is for all to see from my house to yours. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, & rightfully so, and for those who do not think as such, they are entitled to a colossal STBO!!! (“Suck The Big One”).

  2. This is how I’d like to see a JL lead up go
    1: make a Flash movie showing him getting his powers due to the destruction in MOS(he was in his lab in the city when Zod came)

    2: wonder woman is introduced in the flash movie and considered a villain at first, they eventually both join forces to fight a common enemy. Flash could be running all over the world and end up on paradise island (or maybe in another dimension), he crashes into something important and Diana grabs onto him as he’s running away carrying her to civilization.

    3: make another Superman movie where he has to deal with Lex and fails, Batman meets him to tell him back down(a fight scene between them is a must)they join forces to stop Lex with Batman making subtle attacks. Lex took over the city’s real estate and has been dumping the building rubble(caused by MOS)in the sea bringing massive calamity to sea life, he gets support from the city while making superman look guilty for the destruction.

    4: make a JL movie starting from the last movie, Aquaman senses the high amount of death in the sea and argues with his leader about invading the nearby city, his leader wants blood but he doesn’t, eventually they do it with a large tidal wave, flash and wonder woman save people, superman goes toe to toe with Aquaman, members of Aquaman race try to kill him for being merciful but he’s saved by Superman, he joins forces with Superman, Batman making contact with Flash and Wonder Woman gets everyone together and they all fight off the enemy.

    • FYI, Aquaman IS the leader of Atlantis.

      • he could become the leader after the attack or he could be the leader and have to deal with a rebel army of his own race, both ways can work.

    • Not bad, some interesting points tie-ing everyone in.

    • @Aridarron: Its a really good idea and could be the line for DC movies. But i disagree in the way you introduce wonder woman. I think she deserves her own movienbecause she awesome! And rhe fact that hernown movie would atract the women audience and make someting that Marvel hasnt done yet.
      @Robert. Seriously? i think that Reynolds was a great Green Lantern. But unfortunately he was the Thor movie of DC. Why? Because it started very good then they try to mix everuything and in resault they made a Lame villain. But otherwise their final was good (seeing Siniestro being the fist yellow lantern.) So they could hire a DC writter and make a excelent scrip for GL2.

      In my opinion:
      They should launch Wonder woman and flash movies after League of Justice. And take the heroes they already have to make the JL movie. Reaynolds as Hal Jordan. Cavill as MOS and the problematic batman: Bale if he comebacks or John Hamm as the 30-40 batman or Fassbender as a younger batman.
      Just ad a good plot with a b class villain (they got a lot of cool villains but they are not develop enough).

  3. If they actually do a Justice league movie they really need to take Ryan reynolds off of Green Lantern and put Idris Elba as John Stewart ( My favorite Green Lantern )

  4. I agree re: not needing origin stories. It would also be good to stand apart from Marvel’s formula to avoid direct comparison.

    I’d rather see a well made Justice League movie which is wholly different to avengers than to see a this-is-our-version-of-Avengers made by DC/WB.

    I think there are so many ways to tie in the JL into the new Man of Steel universe and aridarron’s comment above is one way of doing that.

    I wonder even if the JL movie could simply be Man of Steel 3? ie.
    MOS 1 – establishing Superman (Zod bad guy)
    MOS 2 – Lex & Braniac story which forces Superman to start realising he can’t do everything alone
    MOS 3 – Doomsday; Superman joins up with JL to defeat Doomsday but has to sacrifice himself and let the JL protect the earth.

    There are endless ways forward to get MOS and JL connected.

  5. (Sorry, i dont speak really English)
    But i will see DC and Warner Bros: Please dont take a Actress for Wonder Woman he is too little in Body-Sitze-High. WonderWoman is almost in Size-Highness like Superman in the Comix, and this is very, very important for the Watchers in Cinema!!!!
    PLEASE dont forget this when you Produce the Movie WonderWoman or bring She in a other Superheore Movie for Guest.

  6. I don´t like man of steel movie, i will waiting for a better reboot maybe in 10 years.

  7. Have to agree with Dr. Mindbender. There’s this tremendous “group think” herd mentality to the online critical reviews of Man of Steel. Doesn’t matter if it was bought by Disney or not. Seems like no one is really thinking for themselves, just parroting the same asinine “observations” as the dolt next door who agrees with the same hollow talking points as them. Maybe it’s all about expectations. Critics where expecting a humor-filled, brightly colored, joyful superhero romp with a fully grown, perfectly realized version of Superman and what they got was a thoughtful, complex, and multi-layered journey through the first steps of the Kal-el’s journey to becoming the Superman we all know and love. It was literally the first day on the job. Cut the man some slack if he doesn’t measure up to your Christopher Reeve-like standards of perfection. I loved this film. It made me feel and care about Clark’s journey. Not gonna let haters ruin this experience for me.

    Do yourself a favor and don’t listen to critics. It’s like taking advice from a snake whispering in your ear. I’m so glad I finally woke up a a few years ago to the fact that whatever the critics love, I’m probably gonna hate. And vice versa. If I’m looking for a consensus on a film before I see it, I check out the user reviews and comments on sites like Yahoo. Why do we place such weight on critics anyway? This quote from Theodore Roosevelt needs repeating

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

    • Agree 110%

  8. I’m not really familiar with all of the origin stories for the DC characters that make up the Justice League but I agree with a comment made earlier. I say they should just continue with the Man Of Steel franchise and just introduce character within the Superman films. If anyone deserves a reboot/origin film it’ Superman and maybe Green Lantern because his story is so abstract (to me). But I don’t think they need to waste their time on making stand alone films for everyone, just the ones that matter. For Avengers, they introduced Hawkeye and Black Widow in to Iron Man and Thor movies. Everyone’s origin isn’t always important, unless that story will directly correlate with the Justice League. If you look at Avengers, Joss Whedon was very meticulous about using each film to his advantage and making it all tie in to the Avengers Assemble film. Look at 20th Century Fox and their Wolverine movies and First Class. None of them tie together and the continuity is way off that it messes up the entire universe. These Wolverine films didn’t really need to be made. Making stand alone films would be just something die hard fans fantasize about but, in certain cases, there really isn’t a point if it doesn’t edify the main objective which is a Justice League movie.

  9. I agree with the posters who said that Warner/DC should not do origin stories as a means to differentiate themselves from Marvel. Except for Wonder Woman, who is a part of DC’s “big three” and deserves a movie of her own. I would like to see the next DC films in the following order: 1. MOS 2 with Darkseid as the main villain, the introduction of Batman and Lex Luthor as minor characters, and a cliffhanger ending where Superman cannot defeat Darkseid 2. A World’s Finest Movie that takes place after the events of MOS 2 where Darkseid teams up with Lex but they are ultimately defeated by a team up of Superman and Batman 3. A Wonder Woman origin movie with Ares as the villain and finally 4. A JL movie that teams up Batman, Supes, and WW while it introduces the Wally West Flash (who to me would be more interesting that Barry since Wally has kids and that can be part of his motivation to join the league), the John Stewart GL (because I think it would be great for the African American community to have someone represent them on the screen), Aquaman, and Martian Manhunter. This movie could follow the events of World’s Finest and this time have the villains be Lex Luthor and Brainiac. This movie would test the audience response to Flash and Aquaman and then determine whether their origin story movies would be worthwhile.

  10. As far as the Justice League is concerned, my personal wish is for Chris Nolan’s Batman to return. I know because of the “realism” aspect, his universe wouldn’t cross-pollinate that well with the fantastical aspects of the Justice League. However, if you think about it, Bale’s Batman is perfect for it. His experiences with the League of Shadows would already make him skeptical of an group of individuals claiming to want to fight crime. The fact that many of them are super-powered just gives him an added reason to keep an eye on them. I could see Bale’s Batman creating the file on the other members. In fact, if they go the route of giving each major character a film, it should end with Batman keeping notes on them and their weaknesses (Or tracking them in some way).

    You could also create tension within the group (ala Tower Of Babel story) and have a major villain get access to Batman’s file and doing serious damage to the League.

    In terms of the villain, I don’t think it should be someone like Darkseid ad that will draw comparisons to Avengers2. I’ll go on a limb and say the villain should be Lex, who takes advantage of the public’s distrust of aliens (as a result of MOS) and frames the Justice League for an attack. Let him get a hold of the file and position himself as some sort of hero, while being behind the plot all along. So the threat would be to the League themselves and they’d have to clear their name and stop Lex. Something like this could even inspire them to adopt the name “Justice League” in the end.

    Mr. Glass

    • @ Mr. Glass

      First of all, love the “Unbreakable” reference. Second, I agree that the villain for a JL movie should be more Earth based, whether it be Luthor or even someone like Savage. Darkseid should be like a JL 3 villain. He’s top tier. Save the best for last.
      I do however disagree with your assertion that Bale’s Batman would be best for this JL movie. And it’s not because of the realism aspect because I think that can work for all of the characters but I’ll get to that in a bit. It’s more because of the continuity issues and that Bale’s Batman pales in comparison to the Batman that exists within the JL. What is Bruce gonna tell all the orphans who now live in his mansion? Back to the hard knock life? What about his inability to physically be Batman? He had to get an assist from a brace just to be able to walk around much like Batman does in The Dark Knight Returns (which was obviously a huge inspiriation for the third movie and he actually used an arm brace) and he couldn’t even stand up to Bane. How is the audience going accept that the same guy can stand up to Superman? Because that is the Batman that needs to exist in a JL universe. The audience has to be able to believe that Batman is just as much a threat to the villain as any superpowered hero. When a villain is asked who he’d rather tangle with, Batman or Superman, it should be a difficult choice for him and Bale’s Batman simply can’t bring that type of presence to the character. My constant go to example is that the Batman of the comics does one armed pushups while Bale “can’t even move a bloody log.” A lot of people will point to batman’s role as a strategist and tactician. While that’s true, he also goes out and does the the heavy lifting as well. You cannot relegate one of the most iconic heroes in modern times to sitting in his cave and/or the watchtower just sending out tactics and strategies because of some misplaced sense of nostalgia (and I use that term loosely) for Bale’s Batman. Batman deserves more than that and it would deprive the story and characters of great possibilities.
      As for the realism approach and how that works within the shared universe, here is my post on a different article:
      I disagree that the grounded realism approach won’t work for every member of the team or the team itself. There are any number of directions you could take characters like Wonder Woman and Flash plot wise but as far as grounded concept it’s merely a matter of focusing on what makes them relatable to people as opposed to what makes them different. The “superhero” aspect comes naturally to the character but as long as the creative team stays true to what people loved about these characters for decades it won’t be a problem. It doesn’t matter how “grounded” Nolan made Batman, a guy dressing in that outfit running around at night beating up criminals is completely ridiculous. You can’t say it isn’t. But Nolan made the stories about Bruce Wayne as a person. He allowed the audience to see behind the mask and care about the man wearing it, and that is the key to making these characters work on screen. You don’t need to ground the characters by putting limitations on them, changing their back stories, tweaking their powers, all for the sake of “realism.” There’s more to these characters than costumes and powers and if the teams working on these films can show that to the audience each character will seem as a real and grounded as Batman and be just as well received.

      • Top posts from both Mr Glass and Oneiros. I think I’m leaning towards Oneiros’ side with respect to batman.
        Batman needs to be on par with Superman. Obviously not physically but you have to think if they were to go toe to toe batman would stand a chance because he’d be able to outsmart superman.

      • i agree with both of u , but what i inderstood from TDKR is that the part of leg strap and the fail of the fight with bane is where batman was falling / after 8 years of quitting being batman , it’s retional that this will be his condition.
        but after the jump of the pit , i think bruce even superseded his TDK self, by realising that being afraid is important as being brave.
        also he leveled up physically and mentally . so when he came back he came up with the plan to save gordon,robin and recruit sekina and defeat bane “”he was physically much better although not completely on top of bane”” and save the city.
        and i don’t think that he completely retire / he is not that kind of personality / with the right threat i can see him coming back but not as the vengful batman , the one who have top be batman to deal with his pain , but as a wiser batman , that is batman because they need him to be , not because he needs to be.

        • well my comment is apparently still awaiting moderation. I may just repost it.

        • Amoos,

          I agree with you completely. Batman was out of his element after 8 years of inactivity as a crime fighter. that’s why he failed against Bane. I happen to believe that the Batman we saw in TDK would have obliterated Bane in a fight (and even if Bane still one, he would have actually been forced to fight Batman instead of toying with him). That’s why I think that him taking the blame for Dent’s crimes was possibly the worst decision he made throughout the trilogy. It (along with grief over Rachel’s death) forced him to quit. Had he not, he would have been in a better place (physically) to deal with the threat of Bane/Talia/LOS.

          Mr. Glass

          • TYPO ALERT,

            “and even if Bane still one, he would have actually been forced to fight Batman instead of toying with him”.

            “One” should have been won. I was typing fast.

            Mr. Glass

      • Oneiros,

        I just read your post (Sorry It took awhile). I slightly agree with you on the issues that you raised about Bale’s Batman. However, what I meant about Bale’s Batman was from a character development perspective. The fact that he already dealt with the League of Shadows would already make him skeptical of any group (especially having members who are super-powered) to the point that he would want to keep a very close eye on them. As far as Batman needing to be on par with the other Supers, I think we saw that Batman in TDK to an extent, and I think with time he could get back to that point (Though you do raise VERY valid points).

        Also, I tend to think that the file Batman has on the other members of JL would put him (somewhat) on par with the others (I’m thinking about the Tower of Babel story arc where Ra’s got a hold of the file and did quite a lot of damage to the League).

        I did like reading your thoughts on the matter, though. It’s also cool that you noticed the “Unbreakable” reference. It’s one of my favorite films( I want to see a sequel, but I’m very skeptical of the idea of M. Night doing it).

        Mr. Glass

        P.S. On poster said that Batman would be in trouble against Cavill’s Superman. That’s exactly what I thought leaving the theater. I’ve often said that Batman (in the past) could take Superman, however, I would be very concerned about him going up against the Superman we saw in Man of Steel.

  11. @ DMC

    Yes. He should be able to outsmart superman and come up with plans/gadgets to beat him just like he does in so many stories.


    I like the idea of them (the team) needing Batman and it not being his own physcological problems that drive him to be Batman but the continuity issues still stand. What about the orphanage? What about the “Robin” character? Does he just take the cape and cowl back and tell JGL to take a hike? There are too many things that would have to be explained and no explanation would really validate the need to bring that Batman back. He may have been “better” after the pit jump but Selina still had to shoot Bane for him to win and Christian Bale will be 50 by the time a JL movie comes out. He didn’t really “level up” physically or mentally. In what aspect was he more physically or mentally intimidating? And even saying he superseded his TDK self isn’t saying much about the character of Batman. There isn’t a single one of those Batman movies that shows a Batman that could hold his own to the one in the majority of comics and cartoons. In The Dark Knight Returns, which Nolan clearly pulled from, Batman literally gets gutted with a huge knife, has about one day to recover, and goes on to physically fight and beat Superman with the help of some special armor. Bale’s Batman went down after a single knife wound and to relatively minor part of the abdomen at that. A real Batman would have taken a small tool from his belt, cauterized himself, and continued fighting. There is a better Batman that can be realized on screen and that needs to be the Batman in these movies going forward.

    • 1-By leveling up mentally and physically i don’t mean intimidation
      imean that after the jump , i don’t know if u will understand me,
      after defeating some thing like this , it affects your mind , it makes your self stronger , and i think that his jorney back to gotham from the pit helped his mind too ” iam thinking of it as if i were batman , what will i feel “”
      and physically , after those years without practising “”i suppose” i think what he did in the pit is a good start to regain his former strength.

      2-about continuity issues , in the comics i think batman had more than one batcave scattered around gotham but some how interconnected / and his shares in wayne enterprises will be proved in time as fox said / and the wayne manor is not a must anyways to be bruce wayne / he still has his base of operations used in TDK instead of Wayne manor where his gadjets are still there / i don’t think that the presonality of bruce wayne will leave gotham with an untrained blake , thats if he will be batman , and i don’t think so , i think he wil start his own path : night wing.

      3-it might be viewed as if bruce intended to retire , but by the emergence of superman , he realized he can’t , because earth is about to know great dangers.
      sorry , my words seems to be unorganized.

  12. As long as its not anything like the 1997 movie, it’ll be starting off right.

  13. I quite agree DC can start with Good Justice League Movie then start solo movies. You can then even to flashback in the solo movies to see how they got in the Justice League Movie.

  14. I loved Nolans Batman but if brought into the MOS universe then Batman better not pick a fight with Superman because Bats would be destroyed, Supes would toss him to mars, He could crush him with his little pinky, I think Batman should be rebooted and he needs to be bigger, harder and smarter if he’s going to team up with Superman. I’m also blown away with the critics response to MOS, I have no idea what film they saw but the one I seen was a masterpiece, I was massively impressed, it’s like the critics still want Supes going around in red tights and saving cats out of trees! 1978 Superman is lame compared to MOS, Also Superman is just a rookie here, he’s still getting used to being who he is, he can’t save every person and be in 20 places at once! These so called critics annoy me, if Snyder had made another Superman like Reeves I bet they would of complained that it wasn’t a new take on it! Talk about a no win situation, Snyder nailed MOS and I don’t care what anyone says, it’s now my favourite CBM!

    • Zipper,

      Excellent post about the critics of Man of Steel. I also think that Kofi touched on something that was very true: Some people criticize the film because they are holding on to a concept of Superman (a character that has been constantly changing since his creation). They have an idea of Superman, and anything that challenges that idea is deemed heresy. I liked this take on Superman as he struck me as a character who will become the Superman we all are familiar with. It’s early in his career and thus wouldn’t make sense if he were that guy from the start.

      Mr. Glass

  15. I think to solve the continuity error with Green Lantern (since people want to replace Ryan Reynolds as GL), they should just introduce John Stewart as the Green Lantern in ths Justice League and scrap Ryan Reynold’s Hal Jordan for now. From the tv show he was such a cool character and more experienced as a GL than Hal and it will also be more beneficial to introduce a black superhero on the screen for a change!

    • Don;

      I disagree with you because they have a great opportunity with the mess they did with GL. Just think this: the villain there was an alien creature, in MoS the villain is again from outerspace, this would aloud the writers to and introduce the fantansy and cosmic feauteres that the comics have. This way they can present you to darkseid, doomsday and other things that are not from earth. So they dont have to do a whole movie to introduce them has in the Avengers, they could just put them from the beginning.
      And rhe problem with the continuity problem they could just make reynolds look younger or make a good explanaiton.
      In the end they are comics so they can repair that without any problem.


    • I was meaning an older reynolds not younger, i got confused while thinking.

    • That could work, have John Stewart become GL in the JL movie and then in the next GL film John will be mentored by Hal, and Hal would tell him he couldn’t go to Earth because Mongol was attacking the GL’s headquarters with the War Machine.

  16. I hope that one day we will finally get a Green Lanters vs Black Hand movie, or better yet have a major JLA member die and have Black Hand resurrect him, leading to an epic fighting between the JLA and the Black Lanterns. I hate using the word “NerdGasm” but imo that would be the perfect time to use it xD

    • my bad for the grammar errors.

  17. DC can go with the Justice League movie coming before any of the other characters in its roster, but it has to be a good Justice League movie to not trip up or lose interest in the solo movies. The Avengers needed, as you said, those lead in movies to stoke interest in their assemble film, and those solo movies had to be good enough to carry interest for the payoff, that people felt comfortable with the developments in the movie due to the backdrop given. If DC flops on the Justice League, it may not matter if they make a good Flash movie and a mediocre Wonder Woman or an outstanding Martian Manhunter. The scale of fail could interest impale.

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