At last, the time is upon us. The Justice League movie is finally here! In this piece, we’ll briefly go over the origin of the Justice League, a.k.a. the Justice League of America, as well as which members you should and should not expect to see in the upcoming film. We’ll also be talking about fan theories and speculations on the storyline and changes to the team’s roster in this newest rendition.
A Brief History of the Justice League
The Justice League is a team of DC superheroes created by Gardner Fox, that first appeared together in The Brave and the Bold #28 (Mar. 1960). The original seven members were Batman, Superman, Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Aquaman and Martian Manhunter. The group’s potent combination of crime fighting ability and impressive range of superpowers earned them a comic of their own just eight months later, titled Justice League of America. Over the decades, the team’s roster has rotated multiple times and the group has been adapted to many different forms of media but has never lost its loyal following. From comic books to cartoons, videogames and even an unproduced live-action series (the pilot of which is rumored to still be out there somewhere), the Justice League has continuously reinforced to its readers and watchers that when the powers of good work together, evil can never prevail. A live action Justice League film is an idea that was originally toyed with back in 2008, and again in 2012 but both times it was shelved, leaving fans disappointed and wondering if and when it would ever become a reality. That time has come to an end. On November 17, all of our questions will finally be answered.
Current Team Members (as of now)
Alright, I’m not going to beat around the bush on this one. Anybody that’s a true fan of DC Comics knew a long time ago that Superman would most definitely be making a comeback in this movie. The hints at this have been apparent, yet subtle. That is, at least until the newest poster was released (Thurs. Nov. 2), which reads “You Can’t Save the World Alone” and the “S” on “Save” is clearly the Superman insignia. Flash even seems to be pointing in that direction, as if to draw your eye toward it. If that weren’t blatant enough, on the same poster you can clearly see a silhouette of The Man of Steel between the portraits of Wonder Woman, Batman, Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman. There’s really no question as to if he’ll return, but rather how. Superman is no stranger to being “killed off” and somehow making a miraculous recovery to come back and be the impenetrable force that is Superman once again. The most notable example of such a comeback was in The Death of Superman series (Nov. 1992 – Oct. 1993), in which Superman “dies,” and a series of imposters try to take his place before it is revealed that he was never actually dead, but rather in suspended animation. He triumphantly returned, and with him came a tragic mullet that lasted for four long years. Undoubtedly the worst side effect of suspended animation, by far. Never Forget.
Missing Team Members: No Justice for Martian Manhunter
As I mentioned earlier, the original Justice League was made up of seven members. This movie, with the expected return of Superman, will showcase five of the original seven, excluding both Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter. Some fans online are claiming that the Justice League can’t really be called the “Justice League” without Green Lantern. While it may seem unfair that he will not be making an appearance in this film, hardcore Lantern Heads can rest assured knowing that the powers at be will definitely be planning a big screen comeback for the light of their lives sometime in the next few years. However, Martian Manhunter fans might not be so lucky. He seems to be the only original member of the Justice League that does not have a notable comeback (big screen or otherwise) in the foreseeable future. There has been a lot of online speculation as to why his character will not be included, considering his status as a founding member of the group. Some people say that his origin and powers would be too difficult to translate to the big screen, while others insist that it’s simply because not many people know who he is. As a character with very few recent appearances, it would make sense for a company that’s movies are targeted primarily toward younger people to exclude Manhunter so as to not confuse any recently acquired fans. Especially if you consider the fact that rotations were a fairly common occurrence in the Justice League roster. The sad truth is, fans of Martian Manhunter are just going to have to keep waiting and wishing for his comeback. Or learn how to make movies!
Live Action Aquaman
This is it, you guys. We’re finally going to get to see Aquaman in a live action movie! More than just a glimpse, that is. I am personally beyond thrilled and can’t wait to see how it’s done. The Aquatic Ace has been around for the better part of a century now, first appearing in More Fun Comics #73 (Nov. 1941) as a backup feature character in the DC Universe before starring in his own self-titled series, and later becoming an original founding member of the Justice League in 1960. Even with his long-standing status as a beloved superhero, Aquaman has often been perceived as having weaker powers than other supers, and for that reason, has taken the back seat as far as live action roles until the 2016 film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, in which he made a small cameo appearance. DC has tried many times over the years to change public opinion of Aquaman to that of a stronger, darker, fallen hero type. Make no mistake, Aquaman was never a weak superhero. Let’s not forget that he fought Nazi U-boat commanders during WWII, as well as Black Jack the pirate. Also, not only did he fight enemies of humanity, he also fought enemies of the sea and those that wished to cause harm to the environment. I’m sure that we can expect great things from this version of Aquaman, and we’ll have even more of him to watch in 2018 when the solo Aquaman movie drops!
More to Come(?)
Will this movie be the beginning of a long-running series of live-action Justice League films? Will Superman return? More importantly, will he be himself, or a brainwashed servant to destruction which the others must join together to help save and bring back to the side of justice? Will there ever be a big screen appearance of Martian Manhunter? Will Aquaman have a cute little octopus sidekick named Topo? Are all of these questions rhetorical? Will any of them actually be answered in this paragraph? Are they being asked simply to create dramatic effect and cause readers to draw grandiose conclusions about questions that can thus far only be speculated upon? All of these answers and more, In a screening of Justice League on November 17, at your local movie theater!
By Bill L. Wallis