Thursday, January 24, 2013

This Is (Probably) Your "Justice League" Lineup

SOURCE: Latino Review

Latino Review (who are really, really good at smuggling this kind of shit out of Warner Bros lately) has what purports to be a confirmed lineup for the surging-through-development "Justice League" movie. Drumroll, please...


SUPERMAN, BATMAN, WONDER WOMAN, GREEN LANTERN and THE FLASH.

Random statistics: 1 less total membership than The Avengers but same basic male/female ratio, 2 natural-born metahumans, 1 "created" metahuman, 2 "normal" humans - one with "powers" and one without, 3 with prior movies, 4 with prior TV shows, zero live-action debuts zero (comic-canonical) minorities, zero magic-users, zero non-humanoids.

So... about the roster you would expect, really. No head-scratchers but no surprises, either.

What sticks out to me most is, given that this entire project has been willed into existance as a counter-measure to Disney's "Avengers" juggernaut, there doesn't immediately seem to be any attempt at hitting their rival in it's most vulnerable spot: Even the most enthusiastic fans of Marvel's innaugural team-up had to concede that the all-caucasian, one-woman outfit was decidedly un-21st Century in the diversity department; and yet here's the Justice League putting up the same basic vanilla sundae. Putting one more woman on the team, at least, would immediately generate several days worth of free "DC sees Marvel's heroine gamble, raises" publicity.

The problem with that, of course, is that WB is going with "everybody knows" characters here since they're doing the team-up first and solo movies after; and apart from Supergirl and Batgirl Wonder Woman is the only female DC Hero that anyone outside of fandom has heard of. With apologies to, say, Vixen, Black Canary or Zatanna; the headlines would've been "Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and WHO?"

That said, if you're in the position to make or take bets on this sort of thing, I'd say right now there's very good odds that "League's" Green Lantern will end up being African-American John Stewart instead of Hal Jordan. Aside from the obvious upside, it would be the easiest way to further minimize associations with the "Green Lantern" movie disaster and Stewart is probably the Lantern most familiar/remembered by the sought-after Millenial demographic; who grew up with him as THE Green Lantern of the Justice League cartoons. There's seriously no good reason for WB not to do this, other than to appease a minority of comic purists. (This wouldn't be like the "John Blake is Batman" thing, where you're junking the significant Bruce/Clark relationship from the books - there's no comparable Hal/Anybody "thing" to lose.)

Interestingly, Latino Review goes on to say that while this five is being set up as the primary group, there may or may not be smaller-scale appearances planned for The Martian Manhunter and Aquaman, which makes a certain amount of sense: The film's plot supposedly concerns an alien invasion of Earth, so there's plenty of room for J'onn J'onzz to turn up in a supporting (or surprise "holy crap this random guy we met is actually a Martian shape-shifter!") role; and Aquaman is technically the ruler of an underwater kingdom so they could go to meet/consult with him (maybe Wonder Woman already knows him? Just a guess) without him actually having to be part of the team... like, if they needed to borrow a bunch of sharks or something.

The film is still without a director or a 100% locked-in screenplay, and I doubt we'll be seeing anything more concrete taking shape until we all find out how "Man of Steel" performs.