Are The Members of the Justice League Relatable to Audiences?
In a recent article posted on CBM.com, Joss Whedon was quoted as saying that DC's heroes were from a "bygone era" and that "Marvel's characters are just like us". I think Joss Whedon is dead wrong. Click the jump to read my editorial on the matter.
In recent days, we've been getting clips, reviews, and interviews for the soon to be released "The Avengers" movie, but there was one interview here on CBM.com that really stood out to me. Joss Whedon was recently interviewed where he was asked what he thought about Warner Brothers doing a Justice League movie. His response was, "It’s enormously difficult to take very disparate characters and make them work. And DC has a harder time with it than Marvel because their characters are from a bygone era. Their characters were bigger than we were...Marvel really cracked the code in terms of ‘Oh, they’re just like us.’ A dose of that sort of veracity that Marvel really started with Iron Man, I think you need to use that as a base."
If you ask me, Joss Whedon suffers from the same thing that we abuse other fans of having: He has a Marvel bias. Now, some of you may be reading this and thinking that I have a DC bias. That's not entirely true. While I do admit to having a heavy Superman bias, I really do not think it's fair of Joss Whedon and other Marvel fans to paint DC characters as unrelatable to audiences, while saying that the Avengers ARE relatable. With the Avengers, you have a god on the team, who no one can relate to, other than the sibling rivalry. You've got a WWII veteran who was frozen in ice and thawed out 70 years later. They've got a gamma irradiated scientist who can transform into an unstobble green monster with limitless strength. And they've got a billionaire genius in impossibly achievable tech suit. Nothing about these guys, PHYSICALLY, is relatable.
But, we all know that what Joss Whedon means is that they possess characteristics and personalities that are relatable. Such as Thor being a favorite child who constantly is locked in sibling rivalry. Captain America is feels like an outsider and that he doesn't belong. Hulk is constantly at war with himself and trying to keep himself under control. And Iron Man has problems with sobriety and is an egotistical narcisist. Yes, these are qualities that are very relatable to a lot of people all around the world. But it is EXTREMELY unfair to say that the members of the Justice League don't also have relatable personalities and characteristics.
Batman is an orphaned child with survivor's guilt and wants to put an end to the thing that ended his childhood. Superman is an adopted child who knew nothing about where he came from or who his biological parents were, but still tried to be the very best he could be with the means at his disposal. Green Lantern is a guy who faced his worst fear as a kid and dealt with the horrific death of his father, so he now faces things head on and doesn't let fear run his life. The Flash is a guy who feels detached from the world because he moves so much faster than it. He feels isolated and frustrated. Wonder Woman is an outsider who believes that she knows the better way to act and live, but is faced with a world that doesn't understand her ways. Aquaman is a half human Atlantean who is told that he's supposed to be a great leader and do all these things, but he wants to live his own life on his own schedule. He also constantly deals with people under estimating him and mocking him.
The point that I am trying to make here is this: When most people think about the Justice League, they see these gods on Mount Olympus, simply because they were the first superheroes in comics and because of their powers. And yes, back in the 40's and 50's, these were heroes that could never do any wrong and were extremely powerful. But they haven't been like that for decades. Just because Superman is a Kryptonian who can crack the earth in half and melt glass with his eyes doesn't mean that he doesn't have worries, concerns, insecurities, and short comings. Just because The Flash can run at the speed of light doesn't mean that life is perfect for him. If anything, moving that fast makes life harder for him. Wonder Woman may be an excellent warrior and a very strong woman, but she's faced with a world that constantly gets in its own way and refuses to change. Green Lantern is a simple guy forced to face galactic cataclysms and alien despots. The Justice League members have VERY relatable personalities and to say that they're any less relatable than Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, or Hulk is just ignorant and unfair.
Please post your comments and opinions in the usual place. This is actually a topic that I really want to debate and discuss, so please say anything that's on your minds.
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