Why The Justice League Is Doomed To Be Sub-Par...Or "The Three Hurdles"

There are three hurdles that will make the eventual Justice League movie average at best when compared to The Avengers. The film could clear one hurdle, or two, but it is impossible for it to leap over all three and reach Avenger-levels of positive reception and box office.

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By Nive - 9/6/2013
The inevitable Justice League film will always be compared to The Avengers, because even now people are wondering how well it will stack up to Marvel's successful super-hero team up. If the Justice League movie is really aiming for a 2017 release, there are three major hurdles in the way of the JL movie, and there is no way on earth (or infinite earths!) that it will be able to clear all of them. Here's why.

1: Must include all the characters fans are expecting...

For two reasons, the DC film won't be able to do this. First is the number of heroes that established the team-- 8, including Batman and Superman. Some characters will need to be cut, perhaps Martian Manhunter, perhaps Aquaman (since their mainstream recognition and popularity are relatively low). Ditching them still leaves The Flash, Green Lantern, & Wonder Woman. But don't forget the current New 52 drops Martian Manhunter and includes Cyborg. So, no matter who else is in the film along with Bats and Supes, there will need to be, at minimum, 3 heroes that must be introduced, fleshed out, and given their spotlight moment. Clearing this hurdle would make the movie bloated, and would simultaneously make it impossible to leap over both of the remaining hurdles...

2: Must stay true to the tone of Man of Steel...

Does an Amazonian princess fit into the world of Man of Steel? Well, make her an alien, since we already have one of those... ditto Martian Manhunter. Okay... and Green Lantern got his ring (which functions in a very magical way, but whatever) from an alien. Wow, there sure are a lot of non-terrestrial beings on Earth all of a sudden. Give the writers, credit, maybe that's worked into the story line somehow. But it won't work to merely adjust the origins; these characters need to function in way that honors those origins within the emotional context and "real world feel" of Man of Steel. Additionally, the Justice League film needs to embrace these aliens but keep the potential vibrancy muted behind the dulled tones of the Man of Steel color pallet. None of this incorporates The Flash or Cyborg, who, again, need to come from somewhere (not space this time) and be integrated into the story without becoming the focus of the story. But let's say the film somehow managers to clear both the first and second hurdle, by some miracle. It cannot clear the third hurdle, which is...

3: Honor each character...
If there's one thing that has recently (oh that there were only one thing!) upset DC film fans, it has been when writers/directors dishonor their beloved characters. Superman doesn't kill. But he did. Batman is a detective, but rarely sleuths in three films. And he certainly doesn't quit being Batman for eight years. Now, I know this new universe will have an older, more world weary Batman. But what does that look like in the team-up film, and does it feel organic? DC's spotty track record not withstanding, bringing an Aquaman, for example, into this film universe, giving him powers that don't make him a joke, while still honoring his comic-book incarnation is a difficult task. Now do it for The Flash too... only wait, will it be the Wally West version, or the Barry Allen version? People love both incarnations.

Some fans believe the Arrow television show could provide a launch pad for characters like The Flash and circumvent one or more of these hurdles. However, it is possible that the TV show isn't even in the DC film continuity, and also conceivable that the show might "mess up" the origin stories or present versions of them that nobody wants to see on the big screen.

There's simply no way that the Justice League movie can clear all three of these hurdles. In 2017, the movie will come out, it will make a whole lot of money, but it will not rival The Avengers in any way, shape, or form. And if it fails to clear two or even all three hurdles, you can look forward to a Batman reboot in 2019.
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ForeverPowerful - 9/6/2013, 1:10 PM
Thats weird, these are basically the same three hurdles The Avengers had to jump through.

I wonder if that turned out to be good or not.
ALegendaryPanda - 9/6/2013, 1:10 PM
Didn't even read
ForeverPowerful - 9/6/2013, 1:11 PM
By the way, I hate this stupid 500 dollar thing. Every person who thinks they have an opinion that should be heard is being thrown up on main now.

I'm gonna go take a picture of my shit and post it, I expect my money up front.
MatTaylorX - 9/6/2013, 1:13 PM
How about we wait and see it when it comes out in 2 YEARS! All these articles suck.
CherryBomb - 9/6/2013, 1:13 PM
I don't think we can predict anything yet.
I'm kinda sick of these bias articles about a project that is very far away.
It's not "'news" nor does it bring anything new to the site that we haven't already talked about.

There weren't many people who thought Avengers could do as well as it did. A lot do people didn't think Thor could do that well either.

Who knows. Wait and see what happens with the DC movie-verse.
thenerdicon4 - 9/6/2013, 1:15 PM
1. the Avengers replaced Ant-Man and Wasp with Hawkeye and Black Widow in the film, therefore not using the characters people were expecting and made Hawkeye a zombie most of the film.

2. Iron Man was a very grounded and realistic take on a comic book character and is hailed as such and The Tone of the Avengers was different than that.

3. Marvel destroys characters all the time. Where was Donald Blake for Thor? Why is Iron Man jokey? He was an asshole in the comics, just not as funny. Loki is a "tortured soul" and is not completely bonkers and just devious and a maniacal trickster like he is in the comics. Obidiah Stane was Lex Luthor in his super suit. THey de-aged Justin Hammer and made him goofy. They completely destroyed the Mandarin as a character and Captain America barely lead the Avengers. But yes, DC destroys their characters more...
Pokeysteve - 9/6/2013, 1:17 PM
DC's biggest obstacle is staying true to their characters and not making them like the Avengers. The League gets along very well. Bruce, Diana and Clark are more or less best friends. So are Barry and Hal. Aquaman and Manhunter are the outsiders but Aquaman is really the only one who is a dick about it. That's if they include all 7 which will be tough. Again though, there should be no issue of team work and leadership.
Geeksiah - 9/6/2013, 1:17 PM
The Geeksiah speaks.

The Man of Steel actually made way for all the Justice League members if you step away from the comics.

Now Step back... a little more.. there you go.

Kryptonians existed on Earth thousands of years ago. Lets say they bread with humans and introduced a ... Metagene.

This Gene is what allows humans (always adaptive humans) to at times gain super powers. Now those said Kryptonians went to Greece and a maybe one or two hung out there and started what would become the Amazons and before that the Atlantians.

Oh wait.. we solve Aquaman, Wonder Woman they Flash and more in one stroke.

Wait...So Cyborg.. Lots of Kryptonian tech hanging about.. boom Cyborg. GL? Alien tech, nuff said.
MM, The Kryptonians of Mars mutated or had to adapt to that world... Boom, J'onn.

These are not stretches but pretty much applied in Man of steel.

So... there you go.

Bow or not, the Geeksiah out.
Frogman - 9/6/2013, 1:22 PM
Wonder Woman doesn't need to be an alien to fit in with the tone of Man of Steel. Why would she be. The tone has nothing to do with the type of hero the film presents...
tacobender - 9/6/2013, 1:23 PM
Yo Geeksiah, the taco's got wood. Why not simplify? Have the center of the DCCU revolve around Humans and Kyptonians then expand further.
DukeAcureds - 9/6/2013, 1:24 PM
Yeah, this is far away, still.
It's a step by step process.
Man of Steel was a good start. If Batman Vs. Superman reintroduces Batman in a way that sustains the good work of the Dark Knight Trilogy or better, then we are two steps in. Then they need to nail Wonder Woman.
So far so good. I don't think BatsVsSupes will drop the ball, being as it's the same crew as Man of Steel.
So we've just got to hold our breath for that to be good and then hope they do Wonder Woman.
Step by step. Softly, softly catch a monkey.
teinen - 9/6/2013, 1:26 PM
Shut up with all these!
DukeAcureds - 9/6/2013, 1:27 PM
I was thinking along the same lines, Geeksiah@. Seems outrageous, to a certain extent. But, ultimately, it might be the way forward.
taimaitai - 9/6/2013, 1:28 PM
It's been posted before but I really think DC should do the opposite of Marvel and give us a JL movie without the solo ones.

No need to establish characters, given the audience of a JL film.

Just show each character's personally through the action and teamwork between heroes.

Don't waste time on excessive exposition and you will have plenty of time to showcase each hero.

They can just do the movie similar to the JL tv series, where Martian Manhunter arrives on Earth and joined the already established JL.
HAILHYDRA - 9/6/2013, 1:33 PM
I just wish DC/WB was man enough to put some more of their properties on the big screen. I'm so tired of Batman and Superman.
faver - 9/6/2013, 1:34 PM
"DC will never be as succesful as Marvel."
"Justice League will own The Avengers and show them how it's done."

Lately there's been a lot of opinion pieces with those two stupid premises. And almost none of those have presented well thought arguments (the last paragraph is as biased as it gets, and the previous ones do not make enough of an argument to make that kind of statement). An opinion piece is fine, but please, you should make a good one. Or at the very least, the users should stop giving this kind of articles thumbs up. The fact that they show up in the main page is an embarrasment to the site and all the great articles and news that it offers. Sorry to single this article out, this actually goes to all the empty opinion pieces that have been showing up lately.

And yes, I know that I can just skip these kind of biased and inflamatory posts. But that doesn't invalidate the fact that they cheapen this great website.
tacobender - 9/6/2013, 1:35 PM
It's probably to their advantage if they have a core of Superman, Batman, Flash, Green Arrow, introduce Wonder Woman and a different Green Lantern (John Stewart) in the JL movie. Why backtrack on successful TV properties? I know everyone here hates Arrow and thinks Flash is gonna be shitty but it'll be an easy transition for a company that's having a hard time getting their movies other than Superman and Batman off the ground.
bradgeremt - 9/6/2013, 1:37 PM
This writer is clearly a Marvel fan, and wants to see any DC film fail! Shameful!
Geeksiah - 9/6/2013, 1:40 PM
Sorry my poeople.
All this magic, silly Accident getting powers crap without any background stuff is weak-tea.

The Kryptonian background as I described is one way it can work. You can fit all the minutia in as mythology and half-truths but in the end its just alien mucking about be it Kryptonian, Oian or more.

It's simple, Joe Average can wrap their heads around it.

Speaking of... A Character that worships greek gods.. not gonna play well in middle America, but a character who thinks the gods are real and she's just part alien will.

So like it or not folks, Your make it like the comic talk is just a quick way to a bad DC movieverse.
CaptainObvious - 9/6/2013, 1:41 PM
How many more editorials are there going to be today?
fr0st - 9/6/2013, 1:45 PM
I just can't get enough of these predictions concerning a movie with hardly any details revealed.
HAILHYDRA - 9/6/2013, 1:47 PM
No one ever seems to come up with a rebuttal to why DC/WB has beaten Batman and Superman to death on the big screen. I wanna see Cyborg, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, and Flash. But no. Let's keep doing Batman and Superman.
tacobender - 9/6/2013, 1:48 PM
Editorials fill my taco
HAILHYDRA - 9/6/2013, 1:48 PM
I don't have many friends who read comic books. I had a really hard time finding someone to see Man of Steel with because so many people are tired of Superman.
tacobender - 9/6/2013, 1:49 PM
They're not brave enough to change their ways and hand over the properties to someone who will get it done
Battleready73 - 9/6/2013, 1:51 PM
This movie wont get made or it will be horrible.
Geeksiah - 9/6/2013, 1:53 PM
Beto.. My way they are already on earth.... They are Part Kryptoian from a line of Kryptonians who were the greek gods.

The Origin of why they isolated themselves remains they same as does their tech.
GinjaNinja - 9/6/2013, 1:57 PM
I think they can have a solid universe. But I agree, Marvel has more films coming out than WB because they are only making comic book movies. Not to mention already up 7 movies and 1 tv show to 1 movie doesn't help WB.
113 - 9/6/2013, 2:01 PM
1) World's Finest takes care of 2 of the characters in Justice League. Meaning, we will have their stories told already

2) It's highly likely that either Wonder Woman, or Flash, gets made prior to JL. So that takes care of a third characters story

3) Justice League 1 only needs to have the 5 major characters, not the original 7. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, and GL John Stewart would be more than adequate to hold the first JL movie.

4) Thus, since 3 of the characters have already had movies that delve into their backstories, Justice League can be reserved JUST for 2/5 of the initial roster, that's WELL within reason to make a quality movie.

5)A movie that concentrates (or heavily focuses on) Flash and GLs relationship would work very well.

6) Then from JL1 WB spins off some solo movies like Batman, Flash, GL, Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, or whoever else. And then come JL2 we get the full roster we all know and love.

This is the tack WB should be taking as it allows the universe to expand, but not at a reckless pace.
JoeMomma29 - 9/6/2013, 2:01 PM
This is a just a stupid editorial/article.
FOOM - 9/6/2013, 2:02 PM
Given all the unjustified bitching over MOS, I can't see a JLA film ever happening. Snyder's vision for a possible DC universe was sound and would have paid the way for a serious JLA film but too many fanboys seem to want their heroes straight from the comic. And there's no way WB, or movie going audiences, would spend money for an embarrassing overly dramatic campfest like that.
Ocelot - 9/6/2013, 2:07 PM
Either omit Green Lantern or drastically tone down his powers and move set(omitting would however be better), make Wonder Woman and the Amazonians "aliens" who arrived on Earth years ago, or have them be an humans who were experimented on, scrap the Flash "speedforce" mumbo jumbo, sleek cyborg down from the dated 80's design he has and it can work.
DukeAcureds - 9/6/2013, 2:09 PM
If the Asgardians are aliens, then the Olympians and Titans are aliens. And as such, the Atlanteans and Amazons are aliens/human hybrids. This isn't changing anything. This is just mythology.
Besides Wonder Woman was part of Superman's race in Supreme Power.
Also, Hippolyta married Theseus and guess who played him? Superman. Henry Cavil.
bradgeremt - 9/6/2013, 2:10 PM
well in my opinion, its good timing for arrow/man of steel universe to come together, for the most part Arrow never really talks too much about whats going on outside of their own city, perfect way to bring in the man of steel world would be with the destruction in staling city they could reference well at least its not like metropolis. lol
Highflyer - 9/6/2013, 2:10 PM
what the...
Gnyah123 - 9/6/2013, 2:15 PM
this isnt a comicbook website no more
it shud be called the comicbook editorial website
all these damn editorials is annoying
i respect freedom of speech but come on enough is enough this is annoying
McNyagano - 9/6/2013, 2:17 PM
@thenerdicon4

"1. the Avengers replaced Ant-Man and Wasp with Hawkeye and Black Widow in the film, therefore not using the characters people were expecting and made Hawkeye a zombie most of the film."

Well it's not as if Ant-Man is not getting his own movie. Oh wait...... Despite their absence I guess I know why The Avengers didn't gross a billion and was panned by critics and fans. Oh wait....

"3. Marvel destroys characters all the time. Where was Donald Blake for Thor? Why is Iron Man jokey? He was an asshole in the comics, just not as funny. Loki is a "tortured soul" and is not completely bonkers and just devious and a maniacal trickster like he is in the comics. Obidiah Stane was Lex Luthor in his super suit. THey de-aged Justin Hammer and made him goofy. They completely destroyed the Mandarin as a character and Captain America barely lead the Avengers. But yes, DC destroys their characters more..."

Like what characters besides the Mandarin?

damntree - 9/6/2013, 2:19 PM
Why is "The Three Hurdles" in quotes like it's a thing and not some crap you just made up for this article?
bs77 - 9/6/2013, 2:19 PM
I personally don't think a JLA film will happen, not with the full ensemble. I feel that the success of the Avengers was partly due to the fact that these characters until recently, were all second tier characters. I know comics fans love them, but outside the core readers, there wasn't much interest in the characters. In a way, they each lack something that another Avenger member has, so when they come together it's cohesive and complimentary. I never cared for Ironman, Hulk, or Cap until I saw the movies. With some msart tactics and little luck, Marvel made these characters relevant again through their solo films. It's easier to convince people that humans can be superhuman, than it is to convince people that aliens and gods possess humanity. Marvel's characters, while not my favorite, already have a headstart with audiences because they are mostly human.

JLA members are all ridiculously powerful. Just the alpha nature and power levels of each alone, makes them inherently loners. They barely make sense as a team in the comics. Even the animated show balanced the heroes, by basically focusing on one or two at a time in each episode. Rarely, did they all share the screen at once. I can't even imagine a movie that would incorporate all the big hitters. I'm not sure I'd even enjoy it. We all have our favorites, and there's no way each hero will get equal time on screen, and if they did, it wouldn't be satisfying.

Why use the Marvel formula? DC is different. They should create a new formula. Do a series of team-ups between the heavies, and inbetween do solo films. That way the writers don't have to pull stuff out of their a$$es to explain why Batman's in space or Flash is under the Atlantic. They can introduce major villains without being forced to focus on just the big baddies like Doomsday and Darkseid just to give the JLA a challenge. I'd like to see MM, Supes and GL fighting across the galaxy, but I think Flash, Bats, Aquaman are more suited for Earth based stories. I hope WB makes smart choices, and doesn't rush to emulate Avengers.
BlackFlash - 9/6/2013, 2:22 PM
@HAILHYDRA, I've been saying that for years I haven't been excited for any DC movie for years for the simple fact that it's Batman or Superman, I'm more excited for season 2 of Arrow because of the Flash then I am MOS2. Batman is one of, if not my favourite superhero but i'm tired of seeing him, in the last decade we've had so many Batman cartoons, video games animated movies and movies then any other superhero that I've gone off him.
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