Justice League is not a remake of The Avengers. And yet these two films, both about the forming of major superhero teams to fight threats too big for one hero to face alone, have an alarmingly suspicious number of similarities.
Is this because Joss Whedon was heavily involved in both? They may have arrived in theaters five years apart from one another, but Whedon wrote and directed The Avengers, as well as oversaw reshoots and post-production on Justice League after a family tragedy forced Zack Snyder to step away. Granted, his role in The Avengers was much larger, but both movies have unmistakable signs of his fingerprints all over them.
Or are the parallels more ingrained? Are viewers finding correlations so easily simply because of the "superhero team" common ground the films share? It may be that the similarities these two films share are just unavoidable. Still. that doesn't account for quite how many they are. Let's take a look at how much they resemble each other to find out if they are, at their cores, the same movie.
Major spoilers ahead for Justice League and The Avengers.
The Teams Have The Same Specific Dynamic
So, obviously, each hero in each team has their own, distinct powersets. However, when you disregard that makeup, there are remarkable parallels between the members of the two superhero teams.
Both teams have members who were active participants in one of the World Wars (Wonder Woman in World War I, Captain America in World War II) and "Gods" at their core — Thor in The Avengers and Wonder Woman in Justice League - who further have direct links to the villains: Thor is Loki's adopted brother; Wonder Woman's people, the Amazons, were a major part of the alliance of gods, humans, and others that defended Earth from Steppenwolf the first time he came. Both are funded by billionaires who have no actual superpowers of their own, but seemingly limitless bank accounts: Iron Man (Tony Stark) and Batman (Bruce Wayne). And there's just one female member apiece - Black Widow and Wonder Woman - although, just as The Avengers added a second female member, Scarlet Witch, in the sequel, that's something the cast of League also want to do. We also have a duo of burly, long-haired member who wields a unique, one-of-a-kind weapon: Thor and his hammer, Mjolnir; and Aquaman and his Quindent (that's a trident with 5 tips). Finally, each team has a metallic-armored hero - Iron Man and Cyborg - who fires energy blasts and can fly (along with a seemingly-ever growing set of extra abilities, something Cyborg also shares Hawkeye). Yes, there's overlap, but that's a lot of repeated tropes.
That goes over to their interaction. There's an overall reluctance underpinning the teams, both in how specific participants join - Bruce Banner/Cyborg and Aquaman - and a greater schism amongst the group themselves, unsure whether to be heroes. Beyond that, the entire team spends most of the movie fighting each other: The Avengers have Hawkeye turned bad and are corrupted by Loki's scepter; the League fight an evil Superman, an event predicated by in-fighting.
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019