Sunday, November 26, 2017
I Saw The Justice League
Finally saw Justice League and I liked it just fine.
And that is the problem.
Didn't love it. I liked it.
After 40-plus years of watching Super Friends/Justice League cartoons movie and over thirty years of comics reading, I liked it.
I just liked it.
There were many reasons to like it; Gal Gadot and all of the good will and faith she built as Wonder Woman is, once again, on screen. Ben Affleck and his padded spacesuit Batman are back and more than willing to play with others. Ezra Miller's Flash is a funny, unsure guy and there to provide moments of levity. Jason Mamoa's Aquaman is a bit of a bro, doing all the things that makes you think that Aquaman isn't lame like drinking, walking in slow-mo and surfing a Parademon. And Cyborg, who is there, is Siri with angst.
And SPOILER (eye roll)...
And Superman. Superman is back and leaning harder on the "Man" in his name, leaving me hopeful for his cinematic future.
All of that and I walked away from the Justice League movie not in a rush to see them again and that makes me a bit sad.
Wonder Woman, I saw it three times in theatres. Captain America: Civil War? Four, in theatres and few on DVD and Netflix.
I loved those movies because they had consequences and gravity. In Justice League, I felt and heard nothing more than the mechanisms clicking into place to have these characters come together. The threat that brought them together just felt flimsy and unworthy of this gathering of heroes.
Steppenwolf was a poorly rendered CGI non-threat that never did more than promise threat. He may as well have been a cardboard cut-out with lasers stapled to its side. Sadly, the threat was never given any weight and is one only those with a passing knowledge of comics would know.
As the movie wrapped, I was happy we got a shot of The Justice League standing triumphant but it just didn't feel earned. I had no sense, nor did The Justice League or humanity, of just how epic this moment was or should've been. They simply look at one another, exchange glances and leave their final statement to a hollow voiceover.
I so wanted that one moment for them.
A moment to realize just how momentous a gathering of Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, The Flash, Aquaman and yes, Cyborg should be. I wanted them to express how humanity dodged a bullet and all they should know is that there will be a Justice League there for them should the need arise again.
I simply wanted them to know.
Know what they could mean to humanity and what they could mean to each other.
As a movie, I wish this movie knew what it meant to folks who never thought they'd be in this moment: sitting in a movie theatre watching a hope become real before their eyes.
All I could think was that the filmmakers didn't know.
They didn't know.
Monday, November 13, 2017
Elongated Man, Oh Man!!!
I am a HUGE Elongated Man fan; have been since I first saw him in Justice League of America #190. His ability to crack wise in the face of world conquering starfish just did something for me. Only later, through DC's Who's Who series did I learn that he was originally a Flash character rooted in the art of detection.
His relationship with his wife, Sue was a joy to watch throughout the Justice League's Satellite, Detroit and BWAH-HA-HA eras. It was loving, supportive and equal. The exact opposite of so many of the relationships we were given in comics.
And then, Infinite Crisis came along and destroyed them.
Their treatment over the past decade has been abysmal but man, just seeing this one screenshot reminds me of the fun I used to have whenever he was on the comics page.
Sue and Ralph were returned to comics in post-New 52 Secret Six but haven't been seen in DC's newly minted DC Rebirth continuity. I hope to see more of these two in comics.
Solving mysteries, nose twitching. Smiling and most of all, happy together, again.
Until then, seeing Ralph find a new, wider audience brings me immense joy.
And kudos to the Flash's casting director and actor Hartley Sawyer for just nailing Ralph Dibny.