Justice league Dark and why it Matters to DC

Acadia Einstein

etrigan_005

So it looks like Justice League Dark is one step closer to being real since they announced that Doug Liman, director of The Bourne Identity among other movies I don't know anything about and producer on a bunch of the subsequent Bourne movies, is ditching the Marvel Gambit property (sorry, C-Tates!) and directing the on again - off again DC movie.

For years, chubby spookster Guillermo Del Toro had been shepherding the movie along, and supposedly there is a script that Del Toro had that Warner Brothers liked, but the shooting would have conflicted with Pacific Rim II - Rim Deeper so they scrapped it.  That makes no sense because there is no way they would have jammed another movie into the schedule in 2017, especially one that needs a lot of explaining, like Suicide Squad did.  So assume there is no script and that everyone is made of lies.  Let's just focus on why this matter so much for the DCEU.

What are we?  Some sort of...dark Justice League?

The concept of Justice League Dark was part of the new 52 comics that started a few years ago.  The group, so far being listed as: Etrigan, John Constantine, Swamp Thing, Zatanna, and Deadman, is the DC version of who you gonna call when Enchantress and her big dumb brother open a magic hole in the sky.  Or at least, it is who they SHOULD have called.  They are in the magical / horror / spoopy section of the DCEU and they, to me, add a layer of awesome to the whole thing, just like I hope Dr. Strange does for Marvel.

Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat!

555430-actioncomics762p108rr_superWhat good is being able to cast some spells when Superman is around?  Well, because Superman, Batman, Flash and most of the DC roster has zero defense against magic.  Superman might be impervious to everything physical, but Ron Weasley would kill him in a fight assuming Ron has a ton of time to get ready.

Magic > Metahumanness.  That's a good balance because in all other ways the traditional super heroes would kill them.  Like the old joke about why didn't Voldemort just shoot baby Harry Potter, John Constantine can still get thrown into the sun by Superman.  His only hope is magical barriers and whatnot.

So when something magical happens, Batman can't do anything about it.  You need specialists.  And JLD (I am not typing out the whole name anymore) provides that logical response to those kinds of threats in a world where the super heroes are acknowledging they need to be organized.

BFD!  Who cares, nerd?

Captain-Marvel-Shazam-JSA-Alex-RossI care because it feels to me like one of my favorite DC characters, Shazam (seriously can we call him Captain Marvel or no?) is magic based.  He is a kid with the powers of a bunch of gods stuffed into him and is, for the most part, Superman's equal.  If Batman was gonna be worried about someone, he should have been worried about Shazam, because with him you get someone as dangerous as Supes with the brain of a dumb kid.  A kid who will eventually hit puberty and become a moron!

As you may know, lots of people are saying that the Shazam movie is a go, with The Rock as the villain, Black Adam.  Feels like the JLD could be introduced in that movie and then let Shazam straddle both teams.  I love Shazam.  I even watched the dumb live action show from the 70s where they drove around in a Winnebago.  Good times.

BUT THAT'S NOT HOW IT WAS IN THE COMICS!

Who cares?  I don't complain when they make Sherlock Holmes stuff that has nothing to do with the original books.  Or James Bond.  Or basically any fictional character.  So if they take these characters and put them in a world and try to make the world work, it will succeed or fail based on what they do, not on how near or far they stray from a comic story line you liked.  Shut up.

I hope this is real.

Yeah - I hope this happens.  Because to me, the beauty of the DCEU is how many characters they have.  And using them in a smart way can appeal to different people (maybe) and enrich the whole experience.  I hope Doctor Strange kicks butt (though I hate the Inception building-foldy thing) because I want the Marvel Universe to get more complex, too.  Go magic!

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I have run the site since 2005. And I have to say I am pretty damn proud of it. I wrote the book Whalewolf (sold on Smashwords.com) and am not even close to tired so I am just going to keep going. I was born in Portland, Maine and I currently live in Charlotte, North Carolina. I keep hoping that at some point all these weird rebels are gonna say: "SURPRISE!" and act normal. Six years and counting....

7 Comments

  1. Adam A
    August 26, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    Gawd I hope not. Suicide Squad was a mercilessly unrelenting torrent of farts. I’m going to make a prediction.

    Just like Suicide Squad would have been better if they’d simply remade a live action version of Batman: Assault on Arkham, a live version of JLD will be radically different to a far superior animated version coming out this fall. That thing’s gonna rock. A live version is going to suck. Hard.

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    • Acadia Einstein
      August 26, 2016 at 7:34 pm

      I disagree with you on Suicide Squad although unrelenting torrent of farts is one of the best reviews of ANYTHING I have ever heard. And I think that by the time JLD has a script it will have a small advantage over the previous DC offerings.

      But it is weird how the animated DC is so well received and the live action not so much, and the reverse seems to be true for Marvel. Different houses?

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  2. James Olchak
    August 26, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    Justice League Dark has a couple problems. One, the title sounds like an espresso bar, or a clothing line available at Hot Topic.

    Two, there are a bunch of characters on the team with vague-ass nebulous powers and motivations. There’s nobody on earth who can adequately describe exactly what Constantine or Zatanna’s magical powers can or cannot do. Swamp Thing is a character that really only works in one location, and while Etrigan is a brilliant character, nobody’s written him well in about 30 years.

    And no, you can’t call him “Captain Marvel” anymore. DC is (I guess rightfully) sick of fomenting brand confusion, and likewise annoyed about being unable to put one of their character’s names in the title of their own comic. To make things worse, in recent iterations, SHAZAM has also had a bunch of nebulous powers (telekinesis, force lighting, ATM spoofing) grafted onto him, diluting his identity as “The World’s Mightiest Mortal.” Plus, now Billy Batson is a snotty dick, like every other Nu52 character.

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    • Acadia Einstein
      August 26, 2016 at 7:49 pm

      When they make their plan Swamp thing always says: hey! maybe you can lure them to the swamp?

      And truthfully the one I am the most worried about is Deadman. I don’t know anything about him so I am not sure why his name isn’t ZOMBIE!

      I think character introduction is important. The dude who has metal wings in Captain America makes no sense to me at all but I don’t mind.

      And when you are dealing with magic I don’t think things are as rigid. I had no idea what Gandalf’s powers were. He used a sword most of the time while Radagast drove around in a sled and Saruman did some haaaard wizarding.

      The only world that made the rules of magic the point was Harry Potter, and even there any asshole could use the killing curses.

      Magic is hard. Come talk to me about it. By this swamp.

      SHAZAM!

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  3. James Olchak
    August 26, 2016 at 10:16 pm

    Deadman’s powers are really straightforward, actually. He’s a ghost, and he can possess people. Bolt-solid concept.

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  4. Jordan Pond
    Jordan PondReply
    August 26, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    Deadman is the ghost of a circus performer named Boston Brand. He has the power to take over (living) people’s bodies and also do ghost stuff, like spy on Zatanna in the shower.

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  5. Acadia Einstein
    August 26, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    Yeah that’s a pretty solid power. Thanks both of you!

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