Whether you’re a Marvel fan or a DC fan, I think we can all agree that the Justice League movie wasn’t that great. It wasn’t the worst thing on the planet, it wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t amazing either. Something was off about the whole movie. But luckily, there’s a three step guide that the people behind DC movies can follow to make sure that their movies can turn out better. Because competition is good and I’d love for DC movies to be as good and popular as Marvel movies.
Thing the First: Get a Better Villain
There’s a lot of bad guys in the DC universe, a lot of them. And we went with Steppenwolf. A character the Greek subtitles in the movie I watched didn’t quite know what to do with. I’m not the biggest DC nerd, all I really knew of Steppenwolf before the movie came out was that he was related to Darkseid and was one of his elite baddies. The movie did little to really help with that, just claiming he was the leader of this terrifying army that had tried to invade Earth and failed.
I’m not saying that Steppenwolf is that bad a character but he’s 1. not eye-grabbing and 2. has a kinda weird name. You want your big bad guy to at least seem either utterly intimidating both in visuals and in name, or be a slippery bastard like Loki or Lex Luthor who doesn’t SEEM almighty and untouchable, but totally could be.
A quick aside, Lex Luthor was NOT good in Batman VS Superman, but if they’d just swapped all mentions of Lex Luthor to the Joker or something, it could have worked.
If anything, the perfect Big Bad had already been used and wasted. Doomsday is the exact sort of thing that would have been perfect for Justice League, a terrifying, otherwise unstoppable force, a single entity that needs teamwork. I say a single entity because an alien army has already been done in a lot of Marvel stuff. Failing that, someone like Amazo or Bizaro would have worked, but if you really wanted an unstoppable threat without the need of having an army or someone big and dumb, Braniac would have worked.
My point is, your first bad guy needs to be memorable, and Steppenwolf really isn’t.
Thing the Second: Pick a Direction and Stick With It
You can tell where it was all stitched together, but I think right from the start, Justice League didn’t know what it wanted to be, and it didn’t have the buildup that the Avengers did with previous movies. So we ended up with a cobbled together mess which both wanted to be as family friendly as possible and develop some dark personalities and evilness too.
I know it’s really tempting to try and combine different styles, but don’t. Better to have a good movie with one defined direction than a bad movie with multiple directions.
Thing the Third: Stop Sucking Superman’s Dick
My biggest takeaway from Justice League? That EVERYONE IS TOO DAMN RELIANT ON SUPERMAN. Seriously, most of the Justice League movie is “boo hoo superman’s dead we can’t do anything wah wah wah” and it’s annoying as fuck. The Justice League feels like a first outing for Teen Titans Go when they don’t have Superman around, not really capable of doing anything right, and only actually getting things done when Superman does half the work.
I don’t know if it’s just me but this really, really pissed me off. The Justice League might as well have not existed after they’d resurrected Superman, something EVERYONE knew was going to happen anyway. The over-reliance on one character in what’s supposed to be a team hero movie is insane.
Okay, yeah, I get it, Superman’s popular, but no character should completely overshadow everyone else. That’s the whole point of bringing together a team, making it so that everyone has to work together, but Justice League felt like an excuse to bring back Superman and nothing else.
Bonus Tip: Take Your Time
Yeah, sure, Marvel beat you to the punch with their cinematic universe. But instead of focusing on getting it all done, take your time and do all your setup movies and introductions and origin stories. As Thor: Ragnarok showed (more than even Avengers: Civil War), people aren’t getting bored of superhero movies, they just expect higher quality movies. DC can do that, they just need to not rush.
Although frankly I’m not sure why I’m bothering with this. I’m just a guy with a blog, and DC probably knows all of this already. Whether they act on any of this though, I have no idea.