Darkseid And Ding Dongs − Three Radical Storylines For The 'Justice League' Movie
Latino Review is citing a source who says Warner Bros. has settled on storyline its 2015 Justice League movie. According to the tipster, the film will look to issues 183-185 of the Justice League comic, which was released back in 1980. That plot has Darkseid — confirmed as the movie's villain — attempting to use a magical laser beam to blast planet Earth to bits and move his home world, Apokolips, into its place. Yikes!
Latino Review's stories are quite usually accurate, but until the news receives official confirmation, I'm taking this with a big-ass grain of Kryptonite. Besides, as cool as this sounds, there's a hell of a lot more from DC's storied history worth mining for the first cinematic team-up between Superman and Batman (and the rest, cough.) I think DC and WB need to consider all options available to them before committing, so to help them out, here are three other superpowered super stories worth exploiting:
By the 1980s, the DC universe had stopped making sense thanks to 40-plus years of superhero funnybooks that had been reactively and haphazardly modified to suit the aesthetic tastes of the times. Batman was both the grumpy avenger of the 1970s AND the campy 1950s version whose relationship with Robin unfairly inspired the moral panic book Seduction of the Innocent. Superman was both a stiff-necked last son of Krypton and the guy who had Krypto the Super Dog. No superhero's official backstory made any sense at all, basically, and DC's official explanation, the Multiverse (all these various contradictory versions of characters existed in numerous parallel dimensions) now made less sense than Mulholland Drive.
To fix this mess, DC writer Marv Wolfman came up with Crisis, in which two godlike beings — The Monitor and his evil counterpart the Anti-Monitor — used DC's various character incarnations in a battle over control of the Multiverse. Total destruction was narrowly avoided when even stalwart villains like Darkseid joined the fight to stop the Anti-Monitor — the result being that DC became a single universe once more and some inconvenient characters were erased seemingly forever from Continuity. (RIP: Supergirl and Barry Allen.) Subsequently, that universe was rebooted, and the next two years saw Superman restarted at issue 1 and the publication of both Batman: Year One and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.
Since Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight series and Zack Snyder's upcoming Man of Steel both take their cues from the post-Crisis DC universe, they don't need a reboot, but not so the rest of the DC movie and television continuity. We know Darkseid is the villain of the Justice League movie, but that doesn't mean his evil plan couldn't have the happy result of willing the recent Green Lantern movie, and the old Wonder Woman and The Flash tv shows out of existence forever. A Crisis-inspired plot could give us new versions of those characters without the tedious need for any sort of origin-story movies. Just so long as Mark Hamill's Trickster stays in the picture.
You know which character is unfairly ignored, despite frequent, abortive attempts to revive her onscreen? Wonder Woman. By far the DC superhero with the most potential for epic plots full of crazy mythology this side of Superman, Wonder Woman is an immortal demigod and the second most powerful active superhero in the DC universe. Too bad though, because instead of the terrifyingly powerful Amazonian princess we need, every attempt to bring Wonder Woman back ends up being some silly faux-feminist nonsense that manages more than anything else to infantilize the character. This is why of all the trepidations I have about Justice League, the most troubling is how she'll be portrayed.
Warner Bros. can fix this by basing the plot of Justice League on the War of the Gods crossover, which was created to celebrate Wonder Woman's 50th anniversary. That story had the ancient Roman gods go to war against the ancient Greek gods (which is kind of like the original cast of Beverly Hills 90210 starting a gang war with the cast of the CW's 90210), while pantheons of other ancient cultures rose up and tried grabbing a piece of whatever was left. Wonder Woman and her fellow Amazonians of Paradise Island end up having to save Earth, with some help from DC's other heroes (including a Brainwashed Captain Marvel).
Darksied, being the antagonist of DC's New Gods, is the perfect behind-the-scenes manipulator to rile the old gods. And best of all, it gives Wonder Woman, criminally neglected in filmed-entertainment for almost 40 years, a chance to be front and center of Justice League without it coming off as painful tokenism.
3. Hostess Snack Cake Wars
Finally, we come to the greatest and the timeliest crisis for Warner Bros.' Justice League to overcome: The horrifying shortage of Twinkies.
From 1975 through the early '80s, Hostess advertised heavily in the pages of Marvel and DC comics via a series of hilariously irresponsible short comics featuring each company's superheroes and villains battling over control of — no, seriously — Hostess snack cakes. You can see the whole series of them here. Each adventure involved either some nefarious villain's plot to steal or disrupt the supply of these delicious, obesity-causing confections — believe me, I know. #formerfatkid — or superheroes using Hostess cakes to foil criminal activity. No matter who lost, we won, however, because Vanilla Pudding Pies were the shit.
Of course, now we know that if the average super villain was serious about destroying the supply of Hostess Ding Dongs and Twinkies, they should have gotten their MBA. So why not make this current event the basis of Justice League? Have the ruler of Apokolips form an asset management company, buy Hostess, and loot it from the inside via perfectly legal tricks like destroying the employee fund. Thrill to the helplessness of the Justice League as they fail to convince a bankruptcy court that not only should Hostess employees get to keep their pensions, but that Darkseid is planning to destroy the universe. Darkseid could even run for president, citing his business acumen as proof of competence and rendering Superman painfully impotent as cable news channels constantly demand to see his Kryptonian birth certificate.
Far-fetched? Hell yes, but no more so than the idea that unions are a force more evil than the Legion of Doom.
So what would you like to see in the Justice League movie? Sound off in comments.
Ross Lincoln is a LA-based freelance writer from Oklahoma with an unhealthy obsession with comics, movies, video games, ancient history, Gore Vidal, and wine.
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