The Dark Side of Having Darkseid in a JLA Movie

For discussion, here's one analysis of Warner Brothers' "popular decision" (rumor-based) to have the Justice League square off against Thanos. Let your voice be heard!

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By BattlinMurdock - 12/3/2012


Yesterday, we heard about a rumour that Warner Brothers may have picked one, if not the, villain for their Justice League film, scheduled for release date in 2015. And while many fans are excited about the leak, others are torn, thinking that the choice of Darkseid is a blatant rip by the studio to cash in on the impending destruction of Thanos, who appeared at the end of rival Marvel Studios’ The Avengers and is rumored to be the big baddie in Guardians of the Galaxy, one of Marvel’s next outings led by James Gunn.

So, why is this a bad move? Well, for starters, it further perpetuates the idea that Warner Brothers is doing everything they can to match up a superhero film for the big bucks. And from a studio perspective, that’s understandable. However, they’re also shelving other prospective films in order to get a hold of the final product. Instead of green-lighting are nabbing up filmmakers for the likes of solo Wonder Woman, Flash, and Aquaman films (many would settle with a Green Lantern reboot or sequel), it appears as though WB is trying to skip the practice runs (aside from Man of Steel) and go straight for the finish line. Execs saw the payoff of Marvel’s endgame and are now making a dash for a mirrored success.

In doing so, they’ve grabbed the same premise of famous superheroes coming together to form a pact to fight evil, the same release year as Avengers 2, and even the same type of god-like antagonist, who is often fan-drawn to go head-to-head with Marvel’s Thanos. Want me to further prove my point? Go to Google and type in “Darkseid vs” and watch the first entry that pops up. It’s not the Justice League. It’s not Superman. It’s not Batman. It’s Thanos.



There’s also fears of rushed production because of the way Warner Brothers has made attempts to cash in on The Avengers’ success. And, once again it should be noted, that as a studio, it’s a smart move. Marvel Studios is going to be making superhero movies. That’s what the studio was created for. But WB is a studio with hundreds of other non-superhero prospects. If they play it safe, they’ll fall into a game of easy success and minimal risk, unlike Marvel. WB has just been handed the blueprint, but they seem more interested in the final skyscraper. While you recover from that awful analogy, think about it this way: Warner Brothers can afford a major loss in Justice League, but at this point, Marvel can’t really handle a misstep. A bad Marvel film has greater potential to soil the whole lot. They continue to take risks. But a bad Justice League film from Warner Brothers doesn’t alienate their other movies. Fanboys are going to be upset, and maybe they’ll steer clear of Warner Brothers superhero movies. But they won’t be shaking their head to all the other WB movies that are coming out.

And speaking of the general audience, they’re about to be confused why Batman can’t be in the Avengers, but the Justice League and Avengers have the “same” villain. Now, there are plenty out there who understand the difference between the two companies, but there are also a large chunk that don’t. There will be a little bit of confusion.

What do you think? Is this "for the fans" or "for the money?"
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35 Comments
DrDoom - 12/3/2012, 12:18 PM
They should save Darkseid for later.
FirstAvenger - 12/3/2012, 12:25 PM
This movie is gonna suck. I hope I'm wrong, but I doubt it.
Jollem - 12/3/2012, 12:30 PM
lot's of things are about money. it's just how people work
comiccow6 - 12/3/2012, 12:37 PM
Everyone keeps saying that WB is doing this to challenge the Avengers 2. Actually, they're ripping it off. Marvel has already teased Thanos, and if Darkseid is in Justice League, they'll get deep shit from the fans.
calin88 - 12/3/2012, 12:38 PM
Using Darkseid from the start means going all in. If they face him now, who will they use later?
ArtisticErotic - 12/3/2012, 12:41 PM
Honestly I have yet to see them Learn from their mistakes. They keep making the same mistakes over and over again.
calin88 - 12/3/2012, 1:56 PM
@SotoJuiceMan I'm definitely gonna be excited about sequels, and at this point I'm happy they will use him,but DC has given us some great villains so far, and to be honest, I don't like this type of bad guy, a power-house who seems invincible but just winds up getting his ass kicked like Thanos will most likely do in the Avengers 2 or 3.
SageMode - 12/3/2012, 2:31 PM
Excellent article BATTLINM and very true.

WB/DC's approach to the JL movie makes them look like opportunistic weasels always waiting for Marvel Studios to take the risk first, thats very cowardly and non-innovative.
Preston - 12/3/2012, 5:30 PM

I think one of the coolest Superman VS Darkseid moments happens in Superman/Batman #13. It ends with Superman imprisoning/attaching Darkseid to the Source Wall:




sw1
SW2
sw4
SW3

With that said, I think that Darkseid (a fascist megalomaniac and warmonger) is any easy villain to translate to film. Introducing Darkseid wouldn't have the complexity of introducing a character like Starro the conqueror. Starro would need a ton of exposition, especially for people unfamiliar with the character (the same goes for Brainiac and others).

The Justice League movie has to set up it's heroes, so it needs a villain that is easily set up without tons of exposition. A Hitler like villain with jackboots who sees everyone as an extension of himself is easy to setup.

Now, Superman can take Darkseid; however, he can't take Darkseid and all his minions by himself. I think that's where the 'rest' of the Justice League comes in.
jjk2814 - 12/3/2012, 7:18 PM
Good editorial, Murdock. The above-written is my views/fears almost to a tee. I can see where Levitikuz is coming from too, but you're right, if this is all they have, then yes, the future of the franchise is pretty much doomed.

BUT...

I think anyone who has read a little bit of both DC and Marvel then it could be said, that just like the team-dynamics themselves, Darkseid and Thanos, while similar, are different enough to make them distinguishable. If the writers of both respective franchises realize this, and highlight those differences, then it all might work out.

Just because Marvel has the heavy lead and headstart doesn't mean the tide couldnt turn if DC uses some real talent and a little luck. Marvel should remember this and not get too arrogant and continue to really develop their characters. They don't benefit at all by casual fans confusing Thanos for Darkseid or vice-versa,
Blueeyes - 12/3/2012, 7:55 PM
@Leviticus

The Justice league cld have formed to battle the Appellexians or Hyperclan.Like they originally did in the comics.They did not have to use Darkseid.
DrDoom - 12/3/2012, 8:37 PM
@Levitikuz

How is Darkseid 'the only choice'?

The JLA has tons of villains to choose from to save Darkseid for later. Once again, I nominate:



Powerful enough to take on the League.
Could provide more than enough reason for the League to form.
Has her own army.
Has an extremely personal vendetta against Wonder Woman (who needs to establish her cinematic identity much more than Superman or Batman).
Is epic.
ArtisticErotic - 12/4/2012, 3:11 AM
SotoJuiceMan

Ok the resaon the new Batman film has succeeded is because they let Nolan have full control over the movies.

The rest of the their body of work has not worked out unless it's animated or a video game. Don't even get me started on the CW.
aresww3 - 12/4/2012, 4:15 AM
@levitikuz and Battlin: actually there are loads of villains that can be used that would present a major threat. WW has God level villains, like Ares, Phobos.
Green Lantern has an array of super powerful villains. White Martians could be used. Even Braniac or some of Batmans villains could be used in conjunction. I don´t want that to happen, cause I hope they make their first appearance in their respective solo movies.

By the way good article Battlin: here´s my problem though. WB are defo doing this to cash in on the Superhero fad before it fades. I also think they are decieving fans about solo movies after, they just want to make money off the big game before the market is fed up of Superhero movies. So that means if they just happen to have a good script the movie might be great; but know this, if they don´t have a great script as of now, they are going to role this out anyway, ruining the careers of some of my favorite heroes like Flash, Wonder Woman and Martian Manhunter, before they get going. I really think this is a quite cynical ploy on the studios part, AND, if this film is good as I said it will be pure accident. If they really believed in the Justice League, they would have made it years ago, now they are clearly rushing to catch up with Marvel.

Also people saying that if they do solo movies first it will look like they are copying Marvel, I just think thats retarded, cause as long as the solo films are really good and have the same creative quality as Batman, no one will care.
aresww3 - 12/4/2012, 4:19 AM
levitikuz - although I do agree with you that Darkseid is not a bad villain, I also think he´s just a lot more interesting than Thanos.
gmoney0505 - 12/4/2012, 8:27 AM
There are more villains than Darkseid to make the JLA come together. Another that comes to mind is Amazo or Anti-Monitor, or even The Thanagarian invasion like in the JL series.

Why do people keep thinking that non comic audience will be confused that Darkseid and Thanos are the same? People will know the difference. Only a small amount of people will be confused by that and that's because of other people trying to tell them that they are the same because of some loyalty to a company for some odd reason.

Marvel had turds when they first started to get they characters into live action (Captain America, Nick Fury, Punisher) before they started to make some decent ones. WB only have tried 3 characters out of a plethora of the characters they have. They made a great Watchmen movie and a great V for Vendetta movie. Whose to say that JL wont be great. It all depends on the story and how it is presented. Not if they are introduced before the movie comes out.
gmoney0505 - 12/4/2012, 8:29 AM
@ChurchofComics
Probably come from the creators of Thanos themselves saying they ripped off Darkseid after the succes of Jack Kirby Fourth World series. But since then writers have made their motivation very different to make them different.
CorndogBurglar - 12/4/2012, 9:09 AM
They should have gone the solo route, starting with Superman. Have Lex in Man of Steel, maybe not as the villain, but as an observer.

Then in the following solo films, like Flash, WW, and so on, have Lex appear and recruit the defeated villains from the solo films to create the Legion of Doom.

That would be the best reason to have the JLA form. All their villains teamed up, so why wouldn't the heroes team up to beat them?

They could have made Lex this mastermind (which he is), and keep tabs on all the major heroes and the showdowns with their respective villains. He could even have a wall of tv's showing news reports of all these battles in major cities.

Then the JLA could have been the culmination of that. The villains finally team up. It would have been nothing that has ever been done on film, a team of the JLA's arch nemeses teaming up to fight our heroes.

In my opinion, that would have been the best way to go.

CorndogBurglar - 12/4/2012, 9:10 AM
^^ Also, they wouldn't be using the League's heaviest hitting villain and blow their load in the first film.
CPIXLEY - 12/4/2012, 11:29 AM
I'm not sure what should be in the first movie, but I think the second should be like Tower of Babel, (ending with them kicking out Batman) and the third should use Darkseid, making the Justice League bring Batman back to help. I know I know, I'm looking too far ahead.
jjk2814 - 12/4/2012, 1:30 PM
^^Both 90's kids??? Man, I feel old now...
gmoney0505 - 12/4/2012, 5:20 PM
If the general audience does not know anything about Thanos or Darkseid, then how can they get tehm confused in the first place. They both look totally different on first glance and people still dont even know the guy at the end is named Thanos. They have forgotten about him till they see it especially if they even liked the movie or not.
Tainted87 - 12/4/2012, 5:45 PM
I feel the same way. Darkseid is formidable enough, but he's the OMEGA. Literally. You don't start with the BIG BAD.

Also, who cares about his omega beams and super strength? What are the action scenes going to be about? Just a big knock out fight between Superman and Darkseid while the rest do what?

Is the Martian Manhunter going to outwit Kanto? Is Wonder Woman going to lasso up the female furies? Is Batman going to sabotage Steppenwolf's artillery? Is Green Lantern going to make construct walls to push the Parademons back? Is Flash going to trick the Black Racer into running into Darkseid?

I just don't see it happening. I could understand if he made a cameo, as a man behind the scenes, or a voice instructing Intergang members, but that's it. He's like the Emperor of Star Wars.
gmoney0505 - 12/4/2012, 10:00 PM
And if people get confused, how many will get confused at most? It aint gonna cause that much confusion that no one will go see Jl at all. So it is not that much big of deal anyway.
Tainted87 - 12/5/2012, 11:40 AM
It is more likely than most think. My sister's boyfriend (who hasn't read a comic book before) thought that Thanos was a Green Lantern villain/character, and that that teaser was for a Green Lantern sequel.

General audience doesn't distinguish between DC or Marvel.
gmckoy - 12/5/2012, 9:03 PM
wow we got some young kids on here, im and 80' child lol

darkseid is a great choice...

btw for all those who claim to know comics, darkseid was created in 70' and thanos in late 73' so get a grip, dc has every right to use darkseid and especially when you have supes, batman, wonder woman and gl there, you need a super villain
Tainted87 - 12/6/2012, 5:23 AM
A supervillain is an antagonist with powers.
The Justice League is a volunteer group, not organized by any SHIELD-like organization, certainly not CADMUS. They banded together because they are all capable individuals who want to protect their planet from crazy people and hostile threats.

Yes, that includes Darkseid. But after Darkseid, what happens? What threat could possibly be greater than Darkseid?

And what does Darkseid predating Thanos have anything to do with it? In the movie-verse, Thanos would predate Darkseid by three years.
BatsFan - 12/6/2012, 7:51 AM
A good epic JL trilogy within a DCCU could be:

Prelude: World's Finest

1. Justice League loosely based on the New 52 with some element of New Frontier with Darkseid and his army.

2. Justice League loosely based on Tower of Babel and Doom.

Prelude to the epic final: World's Finest 2, loosely based on Kingdom Come and The Dark Knight Returns focusing on both Superman and Batman coming out of retirement.

3.The Epic final of Justice League loosely based on Kingdom Come opposing Superman Justice League to Batman's Outsider and President Luthor Justice League of America.

gmckoy - 12/6/2012, 8:37 AM
@tainted87

so i guess villains like sinestro, brainiac, black adam and lex luthor to a lesser extent are irrelevant to you?

the threats they could pose are as great and in some instances greater, brainiac shrank cities and superman into a bottle for example, so i really don't know how these other villains are insignificant, you tell me?

and the reason i brought up darkseid predating thanos is bc some posters don't have a clue, they believe bc marvel gave us a sneak peek at thanos, that dc is copying, thats bull, dc had darkseid first, so your point is irrelevant in regards to the posts i addressed.
gmckoy - 12/6/2012, 8:47 AM
@ tainted87

furthermore, i don't think you understand the magnitude of the justice league movie

you have 3 iconic comic book characters in batman, supes and wonder woman, which even your grandparents know about in one movie, plus guys like martian manhunter and gl, not to mention flash and aquaman.

you need a villain like darkseid to face, the jl is a more powerful team than the avengers in comic book reality, if your coming out with supes and batman in the same movie, it better be a bigger than life villain, wb/dc are going big, can't blame them, they have arguably the most powerful superhero team in comics

Tainted87 - 12/6/2012, 9:57 AM
Confidence born of ignorance. You don't know what I know, so you assume a great many things.

I don't need you to tell me why Brainiac or Sinestro (or anyone really) would be a threat to the entire planet or galaxy. And I'd be overjoyed if I saw Brainiac in a Justice League movie, and see Jor-El have a conversation with the STAS version in Man of Steel, as he is my favorite DC villain.

I'm saying once again - Darkseid is the OMEGA, literally. Unless his goals and powers have been SERIOUSLY reduced for a movie, the bar will simply be set too high for any other sequel to follow.
gmckoy - 12/6/2012, 12:27 PM
@tainted87

confidence born of intelligence and sound expertise of the movie business, you also don't know what I know and I based my argument on your criticism of having Darkseid as the first villain.

However, I do understand your perspective, why start with Darkseid? Why not start with luthor and lesser villains like black adam, rather than throw darkseid in our face, when you believe he should be the final villain to face.

Yea I can relate to that perspective but we have seen luthor before and also sinestro in GL, so that leaves black adam and Darkseid, so their logic is bring on the super villain that would make a huge impact and hasn't been seen before because for me, black adam isn't enough to face a team like the JL imo.

So I also understand the logic of wb/dc in choosing Darkseid
gmckoy - 12/6/2012, 12:53 PM
@tainted87

oh btw i haven't even mentioned doomsday...

then i guess we would get the maxima storyline lol
Superior - 12/9/2012, 6:49 AM
@BattlinMurdock, You have a really clever and cool article title that can catch people's attention like how a toad catches a fly with it's tongue, really good. Keep up the good editorials!
monkeyhead78 - 12/29/2012, 3:16 AM
I cant see how this will work for non-comic book readers that know the back ground to many of the characters if many of them are introduced in the JL movie. That is unless it has a run time of 7 hours lol

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