Can Warner Bros make a success of a Justice League film?

Feature James Hunt 12 Jun 2012 - 06:32

Following the staggering success of The Avengers, Warner are putting together an ensemble superhero movie of their own. But can a Justice League film work, James wonders...

It was bound to happen. The unprecedented, unexpected cinematic success of The Avengers has led Warner Bros to commission a new script for their own superhero team-up property. That's right folks! The on-again-off-again Justice League movie is back on! Again!

Writer Will Beall is the man being handed what is, at present, Hollywood's most thankless task: writing a movie that can compete with Avengers. It's only the number three grossing movie of all time, one that smashed box office records while everything around it underperformed, written and directed by a master of his craft. How hard can it be?

It's fair to say that no one's going into this expecting a Justice League movie to succeed like Avengers did - except maybe the most deluded fanboys/fangirls and a smattering of Warner Bros executives who, at initial glance, wouldn't know a quality blockbuster from Green Lantern. But the question is a reasonable one: if Avengers could be made to work, why couldn't a Justice League movie perform just as well?

Maybe there's no reason. On paper, Superman and Batman are undoubtedly the two most recognised superheroes in the world, with more films to their name than Marvel Studios has even made. On paper, a Justice League movie would feed appetites whet for an Avengers sequel that's years away. On paper, all Warner's top brass has to do is think of a way to spend their bonus cheques.

Except there's one problem with a Justice League movie, and ironically, that's actually getting it on paper.

Avengers didn't succeed simply because it plugged some of Marvel's greatest characters into a screenplay and pumped money into it. It succeeded because it was the result of a four year marketing campaign that encompassed five ‘prequels’. It succeeded because it featured some of the world's biggest movie stars in roles that made them household names. It succeeded because Joss Whedon brought his A-game to both the script and direction. And perhaps most of all, it succeeded because everyone who had ever watched a Marvel Studios film - in cinemas, on DVD or on TV - turned up to see it, and bought their friends with them.

Match those factors against the realities of Warner Bros knocking out a Justice League movie at short order, and by comparison it looks like an attempt to reach the Moon by holding onto a lit firework and praying.

But the biggest problem with a Justice League movie isn't the logistics at all. It's something far more fundamental: the characters.

Let's not bring up tired ideas about Superman being too powerful to be interesting, or Batman being outmatched because he has no superpowers. Let's talk about the really big problem: just who are these guys, really?

Justice League's cast, even at its most scant, would need to feature Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and The Flash. Iconic characters, all, but that's just it: they're icons. Cyphers. They have costumes, but not personalities.

Look at it this way: you know, just from thinking about it, what cars Tony Stark would drive, and what music Captain America would listen to, but how many of you know what Diana Prince would do with her spare time, or what sort of takeaway Barry Allen might order? And even if you think you do know, be honest: how many of your friends would?

Any Justice League movie made in the next couple of years would – will - have to introduce most of, if not all of its cast from scratch. The actors, their characters, their origins and their reasons for joining the Justice League will all have to be laid out before the story can truly start. By contrast, most of the Avengers didn't need any introduction. Just an entrance.

Even if you're relying on the most popular members of the team to carry the film, you have to stop it feeling like every moment with the B-listers is a moment you're not spending with Superman and Batman. You could probably cut the others out entirely – indeed, right now a Superman versus Batman film would be (structurally and conceptually) a much easier sell than a Justice League film – but then all you have is a snake eating its own tail. There's little to gain from simply mashing two popular properties together, and a lot to lose. Succeed, you break even: everyone still likes those two characters. But fail? That's two brands poisoned for the price of one.

A Justice League movie, produced in advance of solo ones, would only make sense if it acted as a springboard to individual success, capitalising on the public interest in superheroes by giving them a whole new set of characters to care about.

But that's the thing, isn't it? Members of the movie-going public aren't high on superheroes. They're high on Marvel superheroes. Superman has built up a spotty record, and Zack Snyder's notoriously unreliable hands leave little reason for future optimism. We're all aware of the depths to which Batman has sunk in the past, and there's no way Nolan and Bale would get involved in Justice League. The less said about Green Lantern, the better. That's not to say you can't do Avengers numbers with damaged goods – but you make it much harder for yourself. Until Warner rehabilitates those characters, it seems like a bad call to even try.

So before we see a Justice League movie, give us a Batman movie with a star who's willing to play in that world. Give us a Superman movie by someone who understands the character. Give us Green Lantern, Flash and Wonder Woman films that tell us who they are and why we should care. Give us a villain who can match them all in presence and scope.

Most of all, though, give us some sign that this is a decision being made by people who care, rather than bean counters and suits. If there's one thing that Marvel Studios has proven time and again, it's that they care as much about superheroes as their audience – and maybe that's the key to their success. If that's what it takes, a Justice League movie is truly doomed from its inception, because making that film will ask a lot of people to care about a lot of things – budgets, scripts, marketing and contracts – but caring about the characters? That's something you can't ask anyone to do.

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Sad but true. I just can't see it being a success.

Sorry for the long post, but did you honestly just write that the Justice League members have no character? How rediculously stupid are you?

The depth of Batman's dark, guilt-ridden psyche and his perfectionist mastery of his craft forms a wonderfully rich (and famous) personality! Based on Nolan's Batman trilogy, or at least the last two that have come out, we can say they've captured this very well.

Depending on how they do "Man of Steel" (which looks to be grittier based on Nolan being involved and the photos so far), they'll touch upon how Superman is burdened under the weight of the world and the frusterating inability to attract the girl (Lois) when he's not being Superman. His personality would work well with Batman, as the two didn't get along very well initially, and then began to trust and respect each other as team-mates/ friends over time.

The Flash's character is fast, funny and awkward. He moves too fast for everyone, not only physically but mentally, and contributes the comedic relief. He's there so that Batman and Superman won't make the movie too dark. However, he does suffer from fears (such as running too fast and stopping time around him) and more.

Wonder Woman is a strong, beautiful, headstrong woman and can be portrayed beautifully on film if you make her stunning and more a symbol of female strength and guile (think Katniss from "Hunger Games").

Green Lantern is not as Reynold played him. Hal Jordan IS a headstrong, cocky, witty test pilot, but he's not quite as wise-cracking as Ryan made him out to be. He's there as a motivator for the team.

Nolan needs to work on the whole series, but to say that the team is not compatible due to personality is to ignore decades of in-depth character and team development evidence to the contrary.

A bigger problem is that from the initial announcement they still seem intent on making this film 'dark and gritty' (ala Batman Begins.) It's hard to see a JL movie working in the same way Batman Begins & The Dark Knight did, because most of those characters don't suit being dark and gritty! Keep Batman dark yes, but if there is one thing that they should have learned from the Avengers it's that a lighter super hero film can also work! 

Personally I think one of the biggest problems they will have is pulling Batman back out of the Nolan universe and back into a world where an alien can fly or another uses a ring to make weapons.

Everytime the Justice League movie gets mentioned there seems to be an effort to say how well having the 5 build up movies worked for the Avengers and how the Justice League must follow that example, but just because it worked for Marvel doesnt mean DC have to copy. Marvel have always had more street wise heroes while DC have Supergods the movie could introduce them to the audience through the characters with the Flash and Green lantern taking the mick out of Aquamans "talking to fish powers" or everyone being nervous around Superman because hes so powerful.
The first issue of the new 52 was the Justice League and no one knew what the new back stories were it was a great idea some people didnt like it because there was only Green Lantern and Batman in the first issue hunting down Superman but this would work in the movie building up the tension to each characters introduction, I say good luck to DC do it your way!

Let's see...
Thor... Legit god...
Captain America... Super-fucking-soldier with legit indestructible shield, a god because he's American and fights for the American way...
Iron Man... Pretty much a techno-god...
The Hulk... Might as well BE a god...

I don't know what you're talking about... Even if they have "streetwise" heroes... THE AVENGERS movie was about a bunch of gods and some puny humans taking on a bunch of aliens...

Siara's right on the wealth of characterisation behind the JL members, but James is spot on when he says it not in the public consciousness. I'm a comic fan - have been since the 70s - and have read a large amount of JLA, World's Finest and individual DC comics, but even I wouldn't be able to answer the 'what if' questions James poses on Flash, WW and GL. Ask my non-comic reading buddies, and I doubt they'll even know who Diana Prince is.

They need to test the waters with individual films for WW, Flash and maybe another GL, before the JL movie. Simple as.

These are all really good points you've made. I think what I'd like to see is them use the Justice league cartoon as a template to build from. I do prefer John Stewart to Hal Jordan, although in saying that, I've never read a Green Lantern comic in my life, but I like who Stewart interacts with the rest of his team members in the series.

And Yeah ?!? Awesome dude ! Here's all you need to make a Justice League America movie, Earth 3 ! Have the Justice League face off against an evil super villain versions of themselves ! Superman Vs Wonder - Man ! Wonder Woman Vs Super Woman ! The Green Lantern Vs The Red Beacon ! Batman Vs Ratman ! Etc. Etc. That and has no one else here thought that they went Marvel route and did the standard, stand alone movies first, followed by team movie, that they could also do one thing that Marvel can't do and also have villains from stand alone movies team up together too as Suicide Squad ? You could have Joker, Harley Quinn, Bizzaro, Zoom Etc. all at it in one movie ! Dude ! How plain epic would that be ? That would be epic as !!! ;-D

Yeah but marvel have always been better at focusing on their characters people Spider-man always had girl problems, the Hulk struggles to keep the beast under his control, Tony Stark had his drinking problems. DC apart from Batman never really had such a focus on their characters thats why no one knows what Wonder Woman would do in her spare time or what takeaway Barry Allen would order because they are just that Superheroes. Theyve tried in recent years to humanise their characters with stories like "Identity Crisis", no one would go and see a solo Wonder Woman movie or an Aquaman film I really think its best to introduce them in a Justice League film through the eyes of the more well known characters. 

They should just concentrate on making decent individual films that all fit within the same universe.

That way if it works they can easily unite them within a JL film. If some work and others not so much at least they will have 1 or 2 hit franchises on their hands.  

Lets face it. It's at least 90% percent money. Why risk your whole basket of characters on one film. If it flops, you devalue all of them. Build individual characters first. Make them bankable on the big screen to the point where a joint movie becomes an organic progression.

Thats how i see it.

I don't think the article is saying they have no personalities just that in the public's mind, rather than those who are familiar with them, they have no idea who these characters really are apart from Superman and Batman, whereas Marvel laid all this out in the solo movies so that the team up wouldn't have the burden of that character exposition allowing the movie to just get on with being a movie.

The problem the JL movie has is that it would be introducing a number of new characters either with or without origins, both of which bring their own problems to the pacing or impact of the story.

a lot of people now identify Bats as the psychological, realistic action hero and to suddenly bring another version of him to an audience expecting something else might be too jarring for them which is why they probably want to make the other heroes more like him.  It's a big ask for one movie with several characters that we're supposed to root for.

In the movies Stark's weakness has more been his ego and arrogance which I think makes him more interesting than defining him by his addiction.

I think you're right about DC's other character's not being able to carry their weight in a solo movie. If the JL movie is to work as a franchise I think it essentially has to be a Batman/Superman team-up with a rotating list of heroes who, if they prove popular can be spun off following the movie. Similar in some ways to how JLU and Brave and the Bold worked on TV.

I only hope they make it if they DO care about the quality of the script, and give the characters some depth. Also, as Robert has already said, it's a mistake if they go for a 'dark' movie - 'Avengers' have shown that a lighter mood is 'in'.

This whole script may just be a way of figuring out where DC and Warner Bros. is at with the project.

I cant agree more. I agree that the 4 years of Prequels not only laid the ground work, BUT without those movies the group of costumed heroes look campy.. DC far more than marvel.. DC needs to lay the ground work that they cant if they are going to strike while Avengers fever is incredibly hot. Maybe if they could get the current superman ans a batman that looks like he arced from the Batman rises they can cut some time off .

I will argue "But that's the thing, isn't it? Members of the movie-going public aren't high on superheroes. They're high on Marvel superheroes" they are high on well written Superheros. The problem with Green Lantern (makes one of your points) it had CG but no plot. It had a green Lantern suit but no Character in it.  Iron Man, Thor< Captain American (and to a lesser extent Ed Norton's Hulk) had solid scripts they had heart.  SUPERMAN RETURNS tried to bring Lois and Clark into a new place give the script heart.. It was rehash. (as much as I liked a few moments in it) Green Lantern, well I have no idea what the hell that was about, except "Look what we can do with CGI"

ToonMonkey "
Personally I think one of the biggest problems they will have is pulling Batman back out of the Nolan universe and back into a world where an alien can fly or another uses a ring to make weapons" I think Batman can be used in the film as long as he is the catalyst for the group forming and then is in shadows manipulating out comes etc. the minute you use him like Hawkeye in Avengers you ruin the Character for years to come.

I think the big difference is that Lee, Kirby, Ditko and co. created a universe, with the idea that their characters would interact in place from the very beginning. The DC characters  were not all even technically created by the same company, and the idea of combining them didn't occur until a few years later. And even then, sharply contradictory elements persisted - two Atlantises (at least!), different versions of Mars or of the future, etc etc. And even though DC have been following the coherent universe approach of Marvel for about 40 years, i think you can still see the joins.

i think if you can get Anne Hathaway to appear as Catwoman.  DIGITALSPY has a quote "
Bale has stated that he would be open to doing further Batman films with Nolan"    So I think this could be done.. Have the Superman Film do well. Get the existing Superman Batman Catwoman on board and release a Wonder Woman movie that has cameos and a tie into JLA and you might have something.. it wont happen but I see it as a Could (now I'll Shut up"

WB: Ten Steps Behind the Curve. That should be their motto. This will crash and burn just like Green Lantern.

make KINGDOM COME (animated) keep the complete story and Alex Ross's art work and Mark Waid story telling. Put it in Imax and the money will roll right in   

What is need is for Warner Brothers to get this right, and just jump on the ensemble film bad wagon because Avengers worked.  Star Wars was successful and a lot of studios thought putting together special effects was enough to sell film without a coherent story because SCI-FI  and funny robots was the in thing.  Anyone remember "Battle Beyond the Stars" and its flying moose head of a ship? Or the other failed attempts to capitalize on the Star Wars crazy?

I agree that t the Justice League/Justice League Unlimited series should be used as a template however, trying to tell a origin story for characters not Batman and Superman as well as for the League itself is a bad idea.  The new 52 took multiple issue to put the JLA together, this approach cannot work on film as most readers where already familiar with the members introduced, as well as most of them having their own titles to introduce their origins or changes (to their origin) to the reader.  The only Character given an origin story was Cyborg, and anyone either not reading comics or having viewed the Teen Titans series has no idea who this is. 

Whilst it would be a good move to have this movie out there in the cinematic realm, is it needed? Wanted? Or just plain too late? 
Whilst the public would like (I think) the movies made, the timing is so wrong. We, as a viewing public, will be moving away from the Superhero franchises in 5-6 years time toward another genre. 

 i don't feel like you are describing personalities or qualities that give a character a rounded sense of personality; just types, and roles reduced to an essence--like spice girls.

I think the authors point is to even have any chance at success each character needs their own film so you can get to know them as people.  Nolan's films are ambitious, but I have to say, I don't feel like they give me any sense of Bruce Wayne as a person.  yes, batman has PTSD, yes he is somewhat ambivalent about his role and yes he is quite agressive on crime.  but he doesn't feel like a character i can relate to or who has a faceted personality like peter parker, or tony stark, or even what was delivered for Bruce Banner in just the avengers movie.

For me, Superman was always pretty bland and one dimensional until the smallville show (I know, its a teeny bopper show on the CW, but a lot of people seem to think the best batman has been in childrens cartoons).  Granted that show had years and hundreds of hours, but they made clark kent a complex personality, not just his major themes, but his personality, his quirks, his insecurities.

I think this is a pretty terrible way to look at the problem. Films with archetypal characters can work with great success; in some cases we don't even need to know their name (Clint Eastwood became a household name, ironically, through playing that Man With No Name).

 I'd love to see a bit different take on batman.  I understand that he has a serious demeanour--taciturn, driven, workaholic, reserved, but perhaps wry at times.  and this can work well making him the straight man for lighter hearted characters like flash and GL. 

but Bale as batman has begun to feel like the sad keannu meme.  a single note that begins to feel like a parody of itself, between the brooding, to the lack of interpersonal relationships to the monotone growling voice.  it's all a bit tiresome.  if nothing else, a JL movie could rescue batman from collapsing under his own weight.

 nolan has been categorical about not doing anymore batman, and bale has been categorical about only doing batman with nolan.  both these guys can write their own ticket, so neither need to fall back on this franchise.  as well, both are people who like diversity and risk in their careers and are probably very tired of batman

i wonder if unfamiliarity is even a problem.  at this point the comics no longer matter.  no one reads comics, it is a dead form (before anyone argues, i am talking from a mass entertainment perspective--there are about 380 million people in North America, about 50 000 of them read comics.  statistically, that equals zero).

On the other hand most kids watch cartoons, where there have been and endless run of superhero cartoons featuring all the members of the justice league,as well as a JL cartoon that I understand was successful and well thought of?  Add to that an entire decade of smallville, one of the more popular shows on television that built  up the entire DC universe, from Aquaman, to JL, to Cyborg, to Doomsday and Darkseid, to Booster Gold.  Ten years is an entire generation's formative experience.  Itis the equivalent of a generation of 70's kids on Star Wars and comic books.

It seems to me that the key demographic that studios care about is pretty schooled in these characters and may in fact care about them.

I don't know, I don't talk with young people much, but it doesn't seem like they would be going in cold, other than not having live action analogs.

I think that DC needs to get the right people behind the scenes. Avengers has shown that you can do a multi-film build up rather than try and do a one off film and try to introduce the whole universe and all the characters in one go. 

Getting in actual comic writers, people who know and care about the characters rather than the bottom line, would be a great step forward. Maybe guys like Bruce Timm, Jeph Loeb, Alfred Gough and Miles Millar?

5 film setup, Superman, Batman, Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern. 6th film to introduce Martian Manhunter and the Big Bad to bring the team together. If you start from that position then it'd be easy to get things set up.

that's just it: they're icons. Cyphers. They have costumes, but not personalities."

That's the problem that I've always had with DC, they always seem to be about the powers and the superhero rather than the person underneath the mask. Marvel tends to take the other approach, focussing on the human being that hides behind the powers. The only DC character I can get on with is Batman, because the story is more about Bruce Wayne than Batman. I've often felt that Batman is the most Marvel-esque of the DC universe, with is ironic, considering that Batman was one of DC's first superheroes.

There's gold in them thar capes.

I only recently watched Green Lantern and I was surprised how much I enjoyed it after some of the negative reviews I read. We've all seen versions of Batman/Superman and Wonderwoman, so I don't really know what the big deal is. Bring it on - just make sure it's one hell of a script and that's half the battle over with. 

Great article - you've identified the very crux of the problem in the characters. 

"Any Justice League movie made in the next couple of years would
– will - have to introduce most of, if not all of its cast from
scratch. The actors, their characters, their origins and their reasons for joining the Justice League will all have to be laid out before the story can truly start."

Why? Why must every super hero movie start with the origin? Did we need to see how Bond became 007 before he battled Dr. No? Did we need to see how Henry Jones Jr. earned his archaeology degree before he went after the Ark of the Covenant? How much did we need to know about the Dirty Dozen before they were dropped behind enemy lines? And super heroes require even less explanation and back story to get people on board, not more. If they're wearing spandex and fighting crime, people can intuit a lot of the rest. And it's not like we're talking about Blue Beetle or Booster Gold here. Folks are already familiar enough with Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman to build a Justice League movie around them. I'm pretty sure Flash is an easy concept to grasp, likewise Green Lantern (who are both infinitely more recognizable than Black Widow or Hawkeye - the average moviegoer who helped The Avengers become the third biggest movie of all time had little or no recollection of their brief appearances in Iron Man 2 and Thor, respectively, and it didn't matter).

So don't bother with a Justice League Assembled approach, but start with them already formed and battling the big baddy.  

Although I agree with every point made in this article I can remember all these points being made about iron man and hulk when the idea of an avengers movie was first proposed.  It won't be easy but neither was the amazing success of avengers and no matter that they cared about the characters the bottom line was always making money so they now know what we want what we will pay to see and hopefully that's exactly what we'll get but with our beloved DC heroes.  If they could just get Kevin Smith involved as his green arrow is the greatest of all Justice League stories then like Joss he might be able to see through all the difficulties and with love, care and most importantly wit get us a film we wanna watch


EXCELLENT  analysis.

True, to fan-boys none of the JLA (that's right...I'm not PC) characters need an introduction (although the New 52 is messing with origins and such even as we speak).

But the goal here is to broaden the base, so that those that aren't part of fandom can enjoy the movies too. So, seems like introductory storylines are essential.

That was the genius behind Marvel's plan. Everyone had the opportunity to become familiar with the characters before they walked in the theater for Avengers.

So that definitely puts DC in a catch-up position.

If the studio is smart, they'll round up Bruce Timm and the tean that produced the animated series. Yes, they did make mistakes in the series, but they also learned from the mistakes.

And most importantly, as the article points out, Timm and his team are all fan-boys. They already come with an understanding of the characters and the various characteristics each character possesses. A in both writing and producing it is indeed crucial to know teh property and what to do with it.

Just like Marvel threw in a bunch if inside jokes that only fans would catch, DC should not squander the same opportunity...which means taking their time to develop the characters just as Marvel did.

So, message to the bean-counting suits:

You have a gold mine on your hands, but you can turn it into lead very easily with the wrong magic.

Rush production and it certainly under-perform.

Take the time to do it right and you can greate a money-making franchise that will span decades. 

I don't remember Marvel doing much of a lead up on Black Widow and Hawkeye, though. I remember a few bit parts, but audiences generally accepted their characters quite well with little to no leadup.

The one thing I have ALWAYS found DC to do better than Marvel is quality in the psyche of their characters. While Marvel tends to focus more on the marketability of their character's superpowers/ skills, DC has always done more to focus on their character's personality and adaptability. I've seen Marvel do that with really only two characters and that was Ironman (Tony Stark) and Captain America, in which they developed a good character.

Thor was more about the rivalry between him and his brother. Hulk was always more about the science behind his transformation. Captain America may have developed good character, but I felt it lacked in the Avengers. He became more just some idol from the past with a shield.

I feel that DC has a lot more to play with. Comparing both the Marvel and the DC comics, the DC comics did a LOT more psychological character development and backstory than Marvel.

 The Nolan Batman films were quite the opposite for me.

Bruce doesn't have PTSD. He has an obsessive personality. He's taken one of the most tragic moments of his life and has obsessed over it to the point where he knows he will never truly rectify the pain it caused him. He sees the good he does in Gotham, but the movies also touch upon the feelings of scorn he encounters when turned into the martyr Gotham needs.

The problem is that DC has always struggled to cram the full depth of these characters into a 90 min movie. There's not always enough time. However, if you've ever read the comics, you'd understand the extreme detail each character has had inputted into their psyche over the years. Some authors even talked with actual psychologists to add even more realism.

Picking apart the psyche of comic book characters and cartoons is one of my favorite passtimes and I can tell you that no set of characters (not even Marvel's) has given me more to think about than the DC characters.

If all you've ever seen of them is their TV or movie depictions, then I can understand how you might think they lack. However, these are characters that have been so intensely developed over the years that I don't think any movie will do them justice (which is probably the reason why DC has been so hesitant in creating a JL movie). The best TV adaptation of their psyche I've ever seen has got to be the JLU: Animated Series, but that took at least 50 episodes for them to fully get to each character's hopes, fears, flaws, redeeming qualities, etc.

That's what makes DC's character's so much better than Marvel's. Marvel's characters are so flat that they're easy to depict on film. DC is going to require true talent to depict their characters as they were meant to be seen on screen. That's why it's so daunting.

You're right - dark and gritty wouldn't work for Justice League.  I'm pretty sure we already had a dark and gritty superhero team up movie, and it was Watchmen.  And that didn't exactly set the box office on fire...

I agree.  Once this Nolan trilogy's over, I look forward to another version of Bats, and one that doesn't strive for the dark and edgy real world feel...

 i pulled this off of wiki, about PTSD and it fits Batman to a T:


The diagnostic criteria for PTSD, stipulated in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV (Text Revision) (DSM-IV-TR), may be summarized as:[1][65]

A: Exposure to a traumatic event

This must have involved both (a) loss of "physical integrity",
or risk of serious injury or death, to self or others, and (b) a
response to the event that involved intense fear, horror, or
helplessness (or in children, the response must involve disorganized or
agitated behavior). (The DSM-IV-TR
criterion differs substantially from the previous DSM-III-R stressor
criterion, which specified the traumatic event should be of a type that
would cause "significant symptoms of distress in almost anyone," and
that the event was "outside the range of usual human experience."[66])

B: Persistent re-experiencing

One or more of these must be present in the victim: flashback
memories, recurring distressing dreams, subjective re-experiencing of
the traumatic event(s), or intense negative psychological or
physiological response to any objective or subjective reminder of the
traumatic event(s).

C: Persistent avoidance and emotional numbing

This involves a sufficient level of:

avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma, such as certain thoughts or feelings, or talking about the event(s);avoidance of behaviors, places, or people that might lead to distressing memories;inability to recall major parts of the trauma(s), or decreased involvement in significant life activities;decreased capacity (down to complete inability) to feel certain feelings;an expectation that one's future will be somehow constrained in ways not normal to other people.

D: Persistent symptoms of increased arousal not present before

These are all physiological response issues, such as difficulty
falling or staying asleep, or problems with anger, concentration, or hypervigilance.

E: Duration of symptoms for more than 1 month

If all other criteria are present, but 30 days have not elapsed, the individual is diagnosed with Acute stress disorder.

F: Significant impairment

The symptoms reported must lead to "clinically significant distress
or impairment" of major domains of life activity, such as social
relations, occupational activities, or other "important areas of
So, Batman/bruce Wayne seems to fit all these criteria, but i wasn't so much suggesting we try and analyze comic heroes as though they were people, but his whatever you want to call it, is kind of the core of his character and his personality and life have little else going on.  Wolverine is often reduced to a similar one note, and it is pretty tedious.

I haven't really read superhero comics from either marvel or dc for 25 years, so i don't know what kind of developments may have happened.  and i know that readers tastes are subjective and we map onto the comics we like all kinds of extra meaning.  That said, back in the day, marvel always sold far better because they had richer textures and more of the story was devoted to character and a continuing sense of personality, whereas DC tended toward a more basic, flashier straight up action hero kind of story, that frankly, had been stale and bland for at least 15 years.  DC seemed like wish fullfillment, and marvel seemed like the exploration of flaws and interrelationships.  I do believe this to be fairly objective of the time period.

I would argue that it is easier to craft a marvel movie precisely because the heroes are fully developed characters with personalities and lives and histories, not because they are flat.

In any case, its mostly moot, as superhero movies are a whole different animal and need have little relation to comics.  comics and comics readers are endangered species and make up a negligible percentage of box office. superhero movies take characters many are vaguely familiar with and map out new mythologies.  our popular culture may owe a lot to comics (and really, are living in a comic book world when it comes to entertainment, not just in adaptions, but in sensibilities in general), but comics themselves are kind of relics of a past culture with a few loyal hangers on.

I've said it before, but the first five seasons of smallville created an intensely satisfying and dramatic dialectic between luther and kent, and made a three dimensional vulnerable character with hopes and fears and quirks out of superman.    smallville succeeded in overcoming the basic problem of supermans godhood by making him less powerful, very unsure of himself, and introducing the concept of a plethora of kryptonite mutations.  so i have no doubt, the characters and their stories are as rich as the writers make them.

Absolutely true.

DCs characters better than Marvels?? ha! now that is fighting talk and also the best laugh ive had all morning...

Hawkeye and Black Widow were only two characters among a host of other established ones and so they were able to be thrust into the action with only hints of their backstory woven into the narrative.

I think I've said elsewhere that this may be the better approach for a JL movie to introduce Wonder Woman, Flash and any other character they decide to launch the movie with, as Batman, Superman and to a lesser extent Green Lantern have already had origins.  Unless the JL movie were to deal with something like a war between the Amazons and the gods or Professor Zoom trying to rewrite time then they could leave the origins for a another time and just have the characters show who they are through their actions.

 In fairness, I wasn't suggesting every movie would have to SHOW the characters receiving their powers - just that it'd have to give them some context as an introduction. No, we didn't see Bond being recruited, or Jones earning his degree, but we learned who they are and what they do pretty early on in their respective films - and as solo films, it doesn't take too long to establish that. The JLA has, say, seven members. If you just do seven 3-minute introduction scenes to open the movie, that's 20 minutes of run-time taken up just showing people who the cast is.

At some point in a Justice League film you have to say "here is a character, these are their powers, here's who they are" - but Avengers didn't. Even if the audience hadn't seen the solo films, their recent, strong presence in pop-culture meant people already knew Thor was a hot-headed Asgardian god with a hammer, or that Iron Man was a billionaire with a robotic suit. That meant they could afford to give us a little more time introducing the Black Widow & Hawkeye properly.

This just sounds like a biased Marvel fan article. Yeah it's true that DC/WB
has a long way to go for a Justice League film, but it's highly doable. And the
fact that the JL characters are iconic is their appeal. People like Iron Man
cause he's a likeable partying screw up version of Batman, the stoic,
calculated tactician-trillionaire. People flock to Marvel for the heroes they
relate to, while people flock to DC heroes because they are in awe of their

Truthfully the roadblocks DC/WB need to tackle is making more
"prequel" type films as Marvel did. A younger actor to play the
revamped Batman and a more action packed Green Lantern; in which he will be met
by the man who is his equal corrupted, Sinestro. Obviously Man of Steel could
be awful. If Superman Returns was your CGI remake of the original Superman,
then it's likely this shall be the CGI and slightly darker tone remake of
Superman II. We get the other two problems sorted with the Bat and GL we can easily
take a bullet with supes if it goes wrong. There's also Arrow of course. While
he has been rejected from the New 52 incarnation of the League, we are soon to
see a dark tv show version of the character hitting the CW. If he wasn't
already made a more mainstream DC character with Smallville, then it's likely
this will make him more recognisable to the non-comic book margin of the
potential JL movie goers.

As for the other characters, they can effectively be B-string heroes in a
Justice League film. Let’s face it aside from his two-minutes of screen time in
Thor, who is Hawkeye to the non-comic reading viewers? He's a cool incarnation
of Robin Hood. Who is Black Widow prior to the first fifteen minutes of
Avengers? Iron Man's mysterious secretary who can fight a few random guards?
And after the abysmal 2003 Hulk film fans went off him, forcing The Incredible
Hulk a surprisingly good film for that character, to be written off. There were
multiple forums about people hating on Ruffalo before Avengers hit the box
office. But thanks to a well written script by Whedon, a man who knows his
trade, as you rightly put, fans were going crazy over Hulk.

The fact is the non-comic reading fans just need to be shown a script that
works. We need as previously mentioned Bats and GL2 to be made well, hopefully
a good Supes film and then the others can have moments that are well written to
introduce them. Who doesn't want a scene were this scarlet speedster that
people are just being introduced to is questioning if he can stand next to Man
of Steel and a guy with a magic power ring? Think Justice League New Frontier “I’m
just a guy who runs after jewellery thieves and talking gorillas.” Who doesn’t
want a Wonder Woman who hasn’t became humanised yet, trying to find herself;
which of course she begins to towards the end finding she can relate to these
strong men she fights beside. The king of Atlantis being humbled by everyone
underestimating him thinking he can just talk to fish. If they use the New 52
continuity then Cyborg a normal teen finding himself standing next to heroes
and fighting to prove himself.

These are likeable characters; all Warner Bros. needs to do is find their
voice. Finding a person who can bring that through in a script passionately the
way Whedon has with Avengers. We need Warner Bros. to stop thinking corporate
money machines and put a writer who is a fan in the mix for a change. The only
good thing they’ve done to DC in the last decade is put Nolan, a man who
understood how Batman’s universe and ours could act as one, in charge of
Batman. We need more passion less money hungry projects.

Anyways apologies for my rant but it didn’t seem like DC was getting a fair
shake from this article. DC characters have much more depth than Marvel and if
done right could be a great achievement on the screen.

well superman has had to deal with being what is essentially a adopted refugee allegory for the past 20ish years. Also the responsibility and the weight on his shoulders of protecting earth almost 24/7 so he doesnt get much spare time for himself.

I think your looking at this Wrong, the best way to introduce the Justice League movie is Simple, the first story arc of the New 52 books is PERFECT FOR THE FILM, instead of introducing the characters first in individual movies do that story arc, then do that origin stories, I will be more than happy to take over the reigns of Warner Bros DC movies... lol

If you know Hal Jordan, I'm positively sure you wouldn't say what you just said.

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