After ‘Suicide Squad’, Here’s What to Expect from ‘Justice League’

This piece is originally published by The Jakarta Post and also featured in

Following the epic fail of “Martha” in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad does not escape a lot of bad reviews either. Many say that the storyline is too boring and underdeveloped, glorifies Deadshot too much, sexualizes Harley Quinn and is more like a zombie-apocalypse movie.

A friend of mine, who is a big fan of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), said that the big mistake in assessing the quality of DC movies was most people expect them to be bright and exciting stories. A real fan knows best that DC’s style is about dark twisted stories and they are sometimes rather monotonous because of too much talk. Moreover, according to him, we should compare them to their animated versions, instead of to Marvel’s movies.

Now we have two big questions regarding one of DC’s next movies: How is DC supposed to make sure their next movie, Justice League, will be well received, unlike the two previous ones, and what should we expect from the upcoming Justice League?

Knowing that most of casual movie-goers do not really follow DC’s comics and animations, naturally they will expect the story to be entertainingly exhilarating like other action movies. Of course, DC must keep its style, but some improvements are needed to fulfill the market’s demands as well.

Justice League’s story will be about how the death of Superman by Doomsday has inspired Batman to form a team consisting of superheroes to battle possible upcoming great evil. It is a good call to create the Justice League because right at that moment an extraterrestrial meta-human, Steppenwolf, is looking for the powerful Mother Boxes on Earth.

Many new things will be introduced here. So as to not make audiences confused, I hope the movie can give good background to the origin of Steppenwolf (who is from a planet called Apokolips) and his king (who is also his nephew), Darkseid. The existence of the Mother Boxes and how three of them happen to be on Earth also needs a clear visual explanation.

We remember that in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Batman has dreams that may seem irrelevant to the movie and casual watchers could not comprehend why they lasted so long. Nevertheless, DC fans know very well that those dreams were hints about the story in the Justice League movie (e.g. Darkseid’s flying minions called Parademons) and for them they were kind of brilliant. However, as Batman’s premonitions are left unexplained, most of us who are not familiar with the DCEU found them baffling and a waste of time (and I can not recall that Batman had the psychic power of prophecy). This kind of mistake is exactly what the director of Justice League should avoid at all cost.

It is DC’s style to have more conversational drama in their storyline instead of mere fighting created by awesome visual effects, but I think this time it would be wise for them to put in more battle action and a little less drama, especially while the battle is on. Give us an amazing dynamic rumble, not “Martha” or a long march like in Suicide Squad. Do not forget to give Batman, as the only human without superpowers, a good fighting scene that does not make him look like a coward who just flies around.

As for the watchers, I believe that as long as we do not understand what the DCEU is, we are going to feel disappointed over and over again. Anyhow, we are talking about a movie adapted from comics. This kind of movie naturally will prioritize the perspectives of its fan base before anything else and for your information, many of Marvel’s fans hated to see Mystique being portrayed as a heroine instead of a villain in the last X-Men movie, despite it having been well received.

In a nutshell, expect DC to be DC, not Marvel. You do not have to read the comics or watch the animations right away (although it is a good idea), but you can first wiki the summarized stories about the characters that appear in Justice League before watching the movie.

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